Comparison of switching surges and basic lightning impulse surges at transformer in MV cable grids

Tarik Abdulahovi´ c

#1 ,

Torbjörn Thiringer


Division of Electric Power Engineering, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden 1 2

Abstract— The electric transients generated during the switching of a breaker placed near the transformer in a system with a substantial amount of cables can have a very short rise time and can reach very high magnitudes. In practice, the magnitude of the voltage surges is usually limited using the surge arresters while the rise time of the surge to which the apparatus is exposed, remains unchanged. In this paper, the characteristic of the switching transients generated in the MV cable grids are analyzed. For this purpose, cases with both dry-type and oil insulated transformers are studied. These cases are typical for a MV industrial grid and a wind park (WP) collection grid. Furthermore, the case with and without surge arrester protection is analyzed in order to observe the impact of the surge arresters on the voltage surges. Simulations show that the magnitude of the voltage surges exceeds the basic lightning impulse insulation level (BIL) defined by present standards. Furthermore, the rise time of the voltage surges is much shorter compared to the rise time of the lightning impulse especially in the case of the dry-type transformers and the WP collection grid. When surge arresters are used, the magnitude of the surges is limited to the BIL but the rise times of the surges can be twenty five times shorter compared to the BIL. Only when surge arresters are used with other fast transient mitigation equipment such as RC protection or surge capacitor protection, the magnitude of very fast voltage surges are brought down.

The BIL defined by standards for dry-type and oilimpregnated transformers is given in Table I.
TABLE I N OMINAL S YSTEM VOLTAGE AND BASIC L IGHTNING I MPULSE I NSULATION L EVELS (BIL) FOR D RY- TYPE AND O IL - FILLED T RANSFORMERS [1], [2] BIL (kV) Unom 8.7 (DT) 15 (DT) 24 (DT) 34.5 (DT) 8.7 15 24 34.5 45 S 60 1 S S S S S 75 95 1 1 2 110 1 S 125 150 200

1 2

1 S


I. I NTRODUCTION - T HE S TANDARD L IGHTNING I MPULSE T EST The results obtained in this work are compared to standard values of the basic lightning impulse voltage level (BIL). The results obtained in this section are measured at a non-standard voltage level which is set below the rated voltage of the transformers, cables and other equipment. This is performed in order to avoid damages on the equipment used for testing since the simulations showed that transient overvoltages of very high magnitudes are expected during some tests. The standards for both dry-type and oil filled transformers define for each voltage level the BIL at which the transformer will not show any signs of insulation damages. These voltage impulse tests are considered as the strongest stress that can occur to the insulation of a transformer and therefore, if the transformer is able to withstand this voltage without any damages, its insulation will most probably survive other high frequency transients.

Where S is referred as the standard value, 1 as an optional higher level where the transformer is exposed to high overvoltages, 2 is the case where surge arresters are used and found to provide appropriate surge protection and DT is dry-type transformers. This data is used for comparison with strikes obtained by measurements and simulations. For the presentation of the voltage strikes in the scatter plots, the magnitudes of the voltage strikes are shown in per unit, where 1pu presents the nominal voltage of the transformer. This is done because, the maximum magnitudes of the voltage strikes obtained at any voltage level with properly calculated surge arresters is the same when presented in per unit. However, the BIL for each voltage level has a different value when expressed in pu making the direct comparison meaningless. For example, for the 8.7kV level, the basic lightning insulation level is 5.2pu for dry-type transformers and 8.6pu for oil insulated transformers while for the 34.5kV level the BIL values are 3.6pu (with surge arrester used) and 5.8pu respectively. For this reason, the minimum value in per unit is used as the reference value for the dry-type and the oil insulated transformers. The comparison is done for both standards since the magnitude of the voltage strikes is the same for both dry-type and oil insulated transformers, while the difference is in the rise time of the strike.

However. 1. For illustration. voltage escalations occur.41kV /kV . However. The simulation models are developed and the simulation results are verified with good accuracy [3]. A. 20. SC2 and SC3. 20kV XLPE single core cable with the same conductor cross section.2kV and 10kA@28. The number of reignitions is very high due to the very fast transient recovery voltage (TRV). with characteristic points of 1mA@17. because of malfunction or other reasons. a very narrow time .318mH inductance.1. Due to the limitations imposed by the breaker. 1. Additionally. 2. The value of the stray capacitances of the dry-type transformers are in order of hundreds of pico Farads [6] or approximately ten times lower compared to those of the oil-insulated type. the risk of generation of multiple reignitions and the voltage escalation is quite low since this phenomenon can appear only if the contacts open during a very narrow time window when the current is below the current chopping level. Dyn11 Zk = 5. S WITCHING T RANSIENTS As mentioned before. Test Setup An experimental setup is built in ABB Corporate Research.4%. Cable SC6. A base case is obtained with surge arresters connected to transformer TX1 and the voltage plot presented in Fig. Västerås.6kV voltage at buses B2. • Inductive load with 0. a characterization method is introduced [3]. It is important to underline that an interruption of an inductive load is an extreme case performed to obtain the worst case scenario. the dry-type transformers were not available for the experiments and accordingly their stray capacitances are estimated. This case could still happen accidentally. B3 and B4. • Transformer TX2.simulation The rating of the equipment installed in the cable lab is as follows: • Cable SC1.3kV . even if such an accident happens. However. 20kV XLPE three core cable with 240mm2 cross section of conductor. The cable lab measurement setup The base case voltage transient at transformer TX1 . it does not represent a normal operation in a MV cable grid where it should not be normal practice to open the breakers and switches when the transformer is fully loaded.II. The reason for having surge arresters connected all the time is just a precaution in order to avoid any damage of the transformers during experiments performed for the verification purpose.5kV . • Transformer TX1. [4]. The transformers used in the experiments are of the oil-insulated type and the stray capacitances are measured [5] in order to obtain a transformer model suitable for the high frequency transient analysis. The test setup is presented in Fig. 20/0. Switching Surge Analysis Since the worst case scenario is chosen for the opening of the breaker. a simulation case without any surge protection devices is presented to illustrate the magnitude of the generated surges.2 shows phase voltages at the high voltage side of transformer TX1 terminals. Dyn11 Zk = 5. • B.5/0.69kV /kV . Since the high frequency transients transients contain a large number of voltage strikes of different rise times where the steepest ones are obtained during the voltage breakdowns (BD) between the contacts of the breaker. tests are operated at 11. [4] where voltage steps are sorted by its rise time and magnitude. This case is simulated only for the opening operation of the breaker since the highest magnitudes of surges are obtained during re-ignitions due to the voltage escalation. 20 10 TX1 (kV) U 0 −10 −20 2 4 6 8 t (ms) 10 12 14 Fig. Fig. Sweden for the purpose of high frequency transient analysis. • Breaker rated at 12kV . 1M V A. The same setup is used for the analysis in this article. • Two blocks of ZnO connected in series with continuous operating voltage COV = 14. the case with only surge arresters connected to the transformer terminals is taken as the base case. Furthermore.25M V A.1%.15kA. a test case with dry-type transformers is presented. 3.

In this case.3.06 Fig. Simulation results obtained when the transformer is protected using surge arresters are presented in Fig.measurement The green line in Fig. 8. Blue. This is observed in Fig. For the case where surge arresters are not used.interval which shows voltage escalations recorded during an experiment is presented in Fig. 4. while red lines are voltage steps identified by the characterization processing performed during data analysis.1 8. Switching Surges With Dry-type Transformers The case with dry-type transformers is also performed with and without surge arresters installed. Voltage strikes at TX1 . 6 5 UTX1(pu) 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 t rise (µ s) Fig. Once the voltage steps are identified. 5.5 times shorter than the rise time of the BIL which makes recorded voltage strikes potentially even more dangerous to the insulation according to similar studies performed on induction machines [7].8pu defined by standards.46µs which is 2.08 8. the rise time of breakdown voltage steps reached 0. Switching Surges With Oil-insulated Transformers The simulation results are presented using the scatter plots where a voltage step with its magnitude and rise time are shown.12 t (ms) 8. The simulation results are compared to plots marked by BIL-DT2 and BIL-DT1 which correspond to the BIL for drytype transformers with surge arrester installed and optional t rise (µ s) Fig. D. 20 10 U(kV) 0 −10 −20 BD voltage step Voltage oscillations during HF current TRV Plots marked by BIL-DT and BIL-OI represent cases of BIL for the dry-type transformer with surge arrester used which is marked by ’2’ in Table I and BIL for the oil-insulated transformer marked by ’S’ in the same table. Voltage strikes at TX1 . red and green dots present voltage steps in phase A. Although the magnitude of the voltage strikes never reached the level of 5. the rise time of the highest voltage steps is approximately 2. Simulation results obtained without any surge arresters used. transformer TX1 is a dry-type transformer and all other parameters of the test circuit are the same as in the previous case. scatter plots are made where x-axis shows the rise time and y-axis shows the magnitude of the voltage steps. 8.5 it can be seen that the magnitude of the highest voltage steps surpasses the BIL set by IEEE standards for the oil-insulated transformers. This is because the rise time is determined by the stray capacitance of the transformer and the surge impedance of the cable.oil-insulated transformer with surge arrester protection (simulation) . phase B and phase C. C. respectively.16 7 BIL−DT BIL−OI phase A phase B phase C Characteristic voltage steps during transient .4. 8. Furthermore. higher magnitudes of the voltage steps are obtained while the rise time remained the same.3 present the recorded signal. respectively.oil-insulated transformer without surge arrester protection (simulation) 7 6 5 BIL−DT BIL−OI phase A phase B phase C UTX1(pu) 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In Fig. The fastest voltage steps are the result of the voltage breakdown between the contacts of the breaker and in the case of the oil-insulated transformer rise time is reduced to less than half compared to the BIL. is presented in Fig.5 times quicker than the BIL.

6.5 1 1. RC Protection The RC protection is used for mitigation of the very fast transients and protection of transformers and induction motors [10].5 1 1.5 3 UTX1(pu) 4 3 2 1 0 0. the rise time of the voltage strikes is much shorter now and reaches approximately 50ns which is nearly ten times quicker compared to the voltage steps generated with oil-insulated transformers. However.2Zcab Ccap . The principle of an RC protection is very simple.8 simulation results of the case with a dry-type transformer and a case with surge arrester and a surge capacitor can be observed.6 it can be seen that the magnitude of the voltage steps is on the limit defined by the IEEE standards. the minimum capacitance of the surge capacitor is set by 2.dry-type transformers without surge arrester protection (simulation) higher level marked by ’2’ and ’1’ in Table I.7. The wave reflections which give the highest magnitude of transient overvoltages occur in the systems where the . In Fig. which gives trise = 2. The rise time of the transient is determined by the capacitance of the surge capacitor and the surge impedance of the cable connected to the protected device. 1. [11]. where in the case with the dry-type transformer substantially quicker voltage steps are obtained. In Fig. In Fig. that is not the case with standards for transformers. respectively. Furthermore. Although standards for induction motors define for such very fast transients much lower magnitude of the voltage step when compared to the BIL [7].3µH inductance is added in the simulation to account for stray inductance of the surge capacitance lead. magnitudes of the voltage step reach approximately the same level as in the case with an oil-insulated transformer.5 2 2. Surge Capacitor Protection Surge capacitors have been commonly used as protection device to mitigate transients. The purpose of using the surge capacitor is to reduce the rise time of the surge [9]. The results of the surge capacitor protection are shown only for the case with dry-type transformers since the impact of the protection is the same for both transformer types. An inductor of 1.7 it can be seen that the voltage steps have higher magnitudes than the optional higher level defined by the IEEE standards. Voltage strikes at TX1 . the inductance of the leads which connect surge capacitors to the terminals of the protected transformer is accounted.2Zcab (2) .5 3 t rise (µ s) t rise (µ s) Fig. Since the capacitance of the surge capacitor is much larger than the stray capacitance of the protected device. Ccap ≥ F. The combination of surge capacitors and surge arresters has been used to protect medium voltage induction motor windings from steep-fronted voltage surges [8]. E. the rise time of the voltage steps is approximately 50ns which is almost 25 times quicker than that of the lightning impulse. (1) In order to set the rise time of the transients to be slower than the lightning impulse. It is very effective and proved to reduce the number of reignitions [10]. This is expected since the stray capacitance of the dry-type transformer is ten times smaller. This is shown in Fig.5 2 2. The rise times of some voltage steps are still short due to the stray inductance of the surge capacitor leads. When the case of a dry-type transformer without any surge arresters installed is observed. It can be seen that the magnitude of the transients decreased significantly. its stray capacitance is neglected.2 × 10−6 In order to have a more realistic simulation. Voltage strikes at TX1 .dry-type transformer with surge arrester protection (simulation) Fig.7 6 5 BIL−DT2 BIL−DT1 phase A phase B phase C 7 6 5 BIL−DT2 BIL−DT1 phase A phase B phase C UTX1(pu) 4 3 2 1 0 0. 7.

Abdulahovic. .” in Proc.5 1 1. pp. 2007. January.12. Chalmers University of Technology. G. H. 2009. 2004.Experiments on fast transients in cable systems. [9] D.7 6 5 BIL−DT2 BIL−DT1 phase A phase B phase C UTX1(pu) 4 3 2 1 0 0. H. 91-103. 1. 8. H. April.5 1 1. 7 6 5 BIL−DT2 BIL−DT1 phase A phase B phase C UTX1(pu) 4 3 2 1 0 0. Voltage strikes TX1 . on Energy Conversion. 9. L.” Licentiate Thesis. 7. pp. 2009. March. 1.9. [2] IEEE Standard Requirements for Liquid-Immersed Distribution Substation Transformers.” Power Engineering Society Winter Meeting. vol.5 2 2. L.Vindforsk V110. Sharma. [8] R. vol. Nilsson. [3] M.5 2 2.” Pulp & Paper Canada vol. E. Sweden.12.P. R EFERENCES [1] IEEE standard test code for dry-type distribution and power transformers. The results obtained are presented in Fig. [7] B.. Ljiljestrand. Both RC and surge capacitor protection combined with the surge arresters provided good protection of the transformer by lowering the magnitude of the voltage steps and increasing their rise time. ”A simplified transformer model for the simulation of fast surges and adequate protection measures. March. [10] J. Popov.9 it can be seen that the RC protection combined with surge arresters protected the transformer as good as the combination of surge arresters and surge capacitors. ”Protection of Motors Against High Voltage Switching Surges. Sweden. [5] M.91-2001. [4] T. ”Effect of Surge Capacitor Lead Length on Protection of Motors from Steep Switching Surges. 32-36.dry-type transformer with surge arrester and surge capacitor protection (simulation) surge impedance of the transformer Ztr is much higher than the cable surge impedance Zcab . PAS-103. 2001. Voltage strikes at TX1 . IEEE Std C57. t rise (µ s) Fig. IEEE. ”Transient Overvoltages in Cable Systems Part 2 . D. Rep. Boyra. D. Bacvarov. Electric Power Transformer Engineering. [6] J.” IEEE Trans. 1995. L. ”Cable System Transient Study . ”Multiple Re-Strikes Phenomenon when Using Vacuum Circuit Breakers to Start Refiner Motors. ”Analysis of High-Frequency Electrical Transients in Offshore Wind Parks. K. 323-328. Paap.5 3 t rise (µ s) Fig. pp.36-2007. pp.. 1995. July 1997. no. no. Petroleum and Chemical Industry Conference. Heredos. N. 1992. L. vol. 1879-1882. the protected transformer is exposed only to transients of a magnitude more than two times lower than the BIL. Gupta. [11] M. In order to prevent such reflections. ”Cost effective motor surge capability. The simulation is performed only with a dry-type transformer protected with surge arresters.dry-type transformer with surge arrester and RC protection (simulation) . Hennenfent.Experiments with switching transients and their mitigation in a wind power collection grid scale model. 98.5 3 In Fig. C.C.” Masters Thesis. 11-13 Sep. Harlow. IEEE Std C57. K. Lee. F. Industry Applications Society 42nd Annual. W. C. van der Sluis.” IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems. Chalmers University of Technology. July 1984. Sweden. a resistor with a capacitor is connected in parallel to the protected transformer. With this protection added. 2001. Gothenburg. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The financial support provided by Vindforsk is gratefully acknowledged. Doughty. Record of Conference Papers. The surge capacitor is added in series with the resistor in order to increase the impedance for low frequency signals and to increase the rise times of the voltage surges. Gothenburg. CRC Press.” Vindforsk Tech. 7. The resistance of the resistor is chosen so that it matches the surge impedance of the cable Zcab . Jackson. Eichenberg. 7. Breder. 28 Jan-1 Feb 2001. no. Reza. 2008.

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