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Converter Transformer

HVDC Systems for

Energy Transmission over long distances Asynchronous coupling between AC Regional networks

Power Electronic circuits are used to convert AC to DC (Rectifier circuits) or convert DC to AC (Inverter Circuits). Both of these circuits are also called converter circuits.

A transformer that has one of its windings connected to one of these circuits, as a dedicated transformer, is a Converter Transformer

Converter Transformer in HVDC system.

Supply of AC voltages into two separate circuits feeding the rectifier bridges with a phase shift of 30 electrical degrees for reduction of low order harmonics esp. 5th & 7th harmonics. As a galvanic barrier between AC and DC systems to prevent DC potential entering into the AC system Reactive Impedance in the AC supply to reduce short circuit currents and to control the rate of rise in valve current during commutation.

Converter Transformers for 12 pulse rectification.

Primary: Star 400 kV AC Secondary: Two windings connected to converter (Thyristors) connected in series to build up required level of DC voltage

Choice of transformer design is mainly ruled by.

transport restrictions (dimensions and weight) number of necessary spare transformers technical possible solutions for core and windings

Converter Transformers for 12 pulse rectification

Type of Connections 3 Phase Star-Delta & StarStar Single phase 2 winding Singe phase 3 winding Extended deltaconnection 3 Phase 3 winding No. of design X No. of units 2X2 2X6 2x3 2X2 2X2 Spares required 2 2 1 1 1

Converter Transformer....
Design active part
Valve Winding (Y) Tap Winding Line Winding Valve Winding (D)



Simplified connection of line windings and tap windings Winding and core arrangement

Converter Xmer & Normal AC Xmer..

Polarity Reversal Voltage Distribution in Oil Barrier System Impedance variation influence On load Tap Changer Harmonic Currents Losses DC Magnetisation Short Circuit Forces DC Bushings

Under Polarity Reversal..

Beginning voltage stress distributions capacitive Oil is stressed more than PB Successively change over to Resistive distribution PB is stressed more (almost all stress across solid insulation) PD stresses under DC Sporadic pulses at random intervals -Discharges in oil gaps under rapid changes in voltage
-Discharges in cellulose insulation due to imperfections in insulation -Discharges at the oil-cellulose interface

. To meet above, special oil-barrier insulation system is required

Voltage Distribution in Oil-Barrier System...

Voltage Distribution in Oil-Barrier System...

Main duct in HVDC transformers require more PB barriers than normal AC transformers as DC voltage is taken mainly by PB. Voltage distribution is by resistivity in steady state. - Transient DC voltages:
Start up of converter when full DC potential from bridges is developed almost instantaneously

- DC Voltage Polarity Reversal:

When direction of power flow is changed in HVDC system, current direction remains the same while polarity of the voltage will be reversed. This is done within a few number of power cycles. A sudden change in DC voltage is capacitive. Time constant for the transition from capacitive to resistive distribution is about an hour.

Voltage Distribution in Oil-Barrier System...



Insulation Design
Valve windings to withstand AC voltages, superimposed DC voltages on AC voltages, DC Voltage Polarity Reversal Composite insulation of Pressboard or Paper (Solid) and oil (liquid) Voltage distribution between paper & oil under AC conditions depends on inverse ratio of dielectric constants of PB/ Oil (2:1) Voltage distribution between oil & paper under steady state DC voltage depends on direct ratio of resistivities (1:10 ~ 500), depends on oil quality, moisture content and temperature

Influence of Impedance variation

Closer Tolerance in Impedance is required between three phases and also between upper & lower bridges (star-star, star-delta circuits)
( 6% on special tolerance and 2-3% variation between units (Normal transformers 10%)

The above is necessary :

To reduce distortion in DC voltage wave form To reduce non-characteristic harmonics, thereby cost of AC filters To reduce residual currents between three phases, which can act as DC magnetization on the core.

To achieve close tolerance on impedance variation

Close dimensional tolerances in windings Proper stabilization of windings before assembly Better insulating material Good winding machines

On Load Tap Changer.

Large voltage control requirements at converter & inverter ends. Tapping range is large (25 ~ 30%) with small steps to give necessary adjustments in supply voltage. High frequency of operation Mechanical aspects of OLTC should be reviewed to ensure a robust design (Contacts wear, linkages, motor, relays, contactors, interlocks). Derating necessary compared to normal transformer applications. Small step voltage permit small variation in DC voltage, valve firing angles and reactive power demand

On Load Tap Changer

There is need to compensate for the reactive voltage drop in the conversion between AC & DC by changing taps. In OLTC, switchover from one tap to another is carried out by the diverter switch. When changing over from one tap to next, the current in the leaving tap has to be broken during the normal current zero passage. In star-star connected windings, the current is zero for a long time and the change over is smooth. But in star-delta connected windings, the current change from positive to negative is abrupt with very little time at zero current. This puts strain on diverter switch.

Higher Harmonic Currents.

Additional losses due to harmonic currents in valve windings Stray flux from harmonic currents can heat up structural members like Yoke Clamps, Tank Yoke shunts are used to contain and direct the above leakage flux to core Harmonic stray flux can induce larger currents than power frequency stray flux

No-Load losses Depends on applied AC voltage, same as normal transformer Load Losses I2R + Stray loss from circulating currents in windings & metallic parts from leakage flux Circulating current depend on rate of change in winding current and thus leakage flux. With stepwise change in load current during commutation from one valve to another, the induced voltages will be fairly high to create circulating currents. So stray losses are increased compared to conventional power transformers. Stray losses in windings Increase as square of harmonic number At 150 Hz, Stray losses (150/50)2 more than at 50 Hz current Stray losses in metal- varies as 0.8 of harmonic number High percentage of harmonic currents in the load current causes higher load losses compared to normal transformers

DC Magnetization.

Due to inaccuracies in valve firing. Results in a small residual DC current oscillating around zero. DC components in magnetizing current lead to core saturation, which results in high levels of vibration increased sound level in transformers marginal increase in no-load loss.

Short Circuit Forces.

A short circuit across a valve or phase to ground on a valve side terminal can result in a completely asymmetrical current for a few cycles.

Resulting forces on the winding can be larger than for the normal power transformers where the asymmetry decays rapidly.

Mechanical forces during a short circuit may reach critical values

An inner winding buckles under radial forces

Excessive axial force in winding will cause tilting of conductor

DC Bushing.
DC withstand voltage of contaminated insulator is 20 ~ 30% of that of AC. To meet this, bushings creepage used are 40 mm/kV or more (Normal bushings are with 25mm / kV of service maximum voltage) To avoid chances of phase to ground short circuits, valve side bushings are located inside the valve hall. This also reduces the pollution related flashovers and consequent short circuit. IEC & IEEE standards for the DC bushings.

Converter Transformer
Design Interface: DC bushings (Basslink)

Converter Transformer
Few Formula..
Rectifier mode
U d = 1 . 35 U cos 3

L Id

Inverter mode
U d = (1.35 U cos 3

L I d )

cos( + ) = cos 2 L I d U

+ + =

Converter Transformer
required acc. to IEC 60076-1, ~-3, IEC61378-2 routine tests meas of DC wind. res. meas. of voltage ratio and check of phase displacement meas. of s/c imp. and load loss meas. of no load loss and current at fr and Ur dielectric routine tests (for Um>300kV) LI (for line & neutral, principal and extr. neg. Ut taps) SI ACLD (AC long duration), sine wave>>fr, 100%Utrms(60s) seperate source AC (applied potential test) seperate source DC volt. withstand incl PD meas. polarity reversal test IEC 60076-1, 10.2 IEC 60076-1, 10.3 IEC 60076-1, 10.4 IEC 60076-1, 10.5 IEC 60076-3 IEC 60076-3, cl.13 & 14 IEC 60076-3, cl.15 IEC 60076-3, cl.12.4 IEC 60076-3, cl.11 IEC 601378-2, cl.10 IEC 601378-2, cl.10

(aux.wiring IEC60076-3, cl.10: 2kV rms) tests on on-load tap- changer (where appropriate) meas. insulation resistance test of magn. circuit insulation and associated ins.

IEC 60076-1, 10.8 IEC 601378-2, cl.10 IEC 601378-2, cl.10

Converter Transformer
type tests temp.rise test dielectric type tests sound power level sound power level of cooling equipment special tests dielectric special tests (for Um>300kV) (to be agreed see routine tests about) ACSD (AC short duration), 1ph transformer: ph- gr only, 100%Utest for 60s IEC 60076-3 1-ph.: IEC 60076-3, cl.12.2 & U2=1.5*U 12.3 m/Wurzel (3) IEC 60076-2, also 5.2.3 n.a., all tests are routine tests IEC 60076-3 IEC 60076-10 IEC 60076-10

det.of cap. windings-to-earth and between windings det. of transient volt. transfer characteristics meas. of zero-seq. imp. on 3-ph. transformers s/c withstand test (test or calc.) det. of sound levels meas. of harmonics of the no load current meas of power taken by fan and oil pump motors meas. of ins. res. to earth of windings meas of tan(delta) of the ins. sys. capacitances losses and imp.(other taps) load current test

IEC 60076-1, 10.7 calc.: 4.1.2...4.1.5 IEC 60076-5 IEC 60551 IEC 60076-1, 10.6

IEC 60076-1, 10.4+10.5, IEC 61378-1 IEC 601378-2, cl.10


1) IEC 61378-1 (1.0) 1997-09 Converter Transformers Part I Transformers for Industrial Applications 2) IEC 61378-2 (1.0) 2001-02 Converter Transformers Part 2 Transformers for HVDC Applications. 3) IEC 61378-3 (under issue) Converter Transformers Part 3 Application Guide for Converter Transformers 4) IEC 62199: 2004-05 Bushings for DC Application 5) IEEE Std. C57.129-1999 General Requirements and Test code for Oil Immersed HVDC Converter Transformers.

Standards: 6) IEEE Std. 1158-1991 (R 1996) Recommended Practice for Determination of Power losses in HVDC converter stations. 7) IEEE Std. C57.19.03 - 1996 Standard Requirements, Terminology and Test Code for Bushings for DC applications.