Haïssam Nasrat P.Eng.


Primax Technologies Inc.


Protection Coordination “AGAIN”? It’s been already well covered by many studies and books...

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Very simple: 99% of all available literature and standards are about AC applications. Very few cover DC faults.

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In this presentation, We’ll focus on Fault (short circuit) coordination assuming that overload protection is much easier to define and manage. Challenge Better understand the whole DC backup system fault behaviour in order to get to a conclusion for safe and reliable solution.

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.. Ex.. 5 . inductive loads. 2 chargers. Rational 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. fully charged capacitors.In typical DC backup systems multiple sources of energy are:  connected in parallel  simultaneously contributing into the fault  Each has different time constant and amplitude Fault effect reflected on AC mains must be taken in consideration. 1 or more batteries.

.. 6 . UL. IEEE. Rule 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. one has to refer to the country standard to specify the required components IEC std ratings and requirements may vary from CSA.Once breaking current of each source is defined. NFPA.

switches... bus bars. switches.Fuses. Need to WITHSTAND the fault energy Bottom line 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. circuit breakers. cables and other equipment need to operate safely and reliably during fault: Breakers and Fuses Need to open SELECTIVELY Cables. bus bars. 7 .

For the purpose of this discussion we define the following: Fault: refers to a very low impedance path created when both polarity conductors are shorted.  Failure: refers to over-current: Ex. 8 . Basics 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. leakage in battery or DC source has lost regulation   As always. Failing load. Ohm’s law applies: I = V /∑ Z Z: individual component impedance including interconnecting cable resistance.

During fault evolution: System voltage decays gradually. The decay rate is related to impedance rate-of-change of all parallel sources over the period of time before that protection devices open. 9 . Steady state fault 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. This calculation is less accurate than the initial fault current.

10 . Fire: due to the arc ignition of material during the contact opening Injury or death: Operators will be operating in unsafe environment. a badly coordinated protection device may lead to: Device failure: Circuit breaker contacts may weld during opening. Effects 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.At the occurrence of a fault. so the fault is not interrupted     Explosion: the device will explode due to the energy available during the fault arcing. Note: Arc flash hazard level is directly proportional to the duration of the arc fault.

11 . we need to evaluate the contribution in the fault of each of the DC components Energy sources 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.To define minimum protection fault current ratings.

12 .Let’s looks first to typical DC backup system layouts: Typical layouts 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.

Typical layout 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 13 .

Redundant layout 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 14 .

Redundant complex layout 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 15 .

16 .Typical nuclear layout 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.

17 .Typical battery charger layout 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.

Battery Charger output under fault 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 18 .

19 .Contribution of different DC components 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.

Check with battery manufacturers for the exact fault current. Time constant: consider ≈ 10ms Battery 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.Depending on the battery technology. plate thickness and number. specific gravity (in the case of Lead acid batteries) available fault current may vary. 20 .

35” thick plate battery with 1. 21 .215 SG: 3400A AGM VRLA : 4361A Gel VRLA: 3750A Ni-Cd Medium performance: 3200A Battery example 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.33” thick Flat calcium plate battery with 1.215 SG: 3200A      Tubular VLA 0.Typical 350AH battery fault current at its terminals: VLA 0.

000uF-200VDC.Capacitors are a source of large instantaneous currents    Consider time constant ≈ 10 ms Ex. 22 .ESR:20mΩ with line impedance of 0.1Ω Filter Capacitors 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 8 x 10.

000uF200VDC ESR:20mΩ with line impedance of 0.1 Vo 136 RC(s) 0.1Ω C (uF) 80 000 R( Ω) 0. e(-t/RC) Imax(A) Vo/R 1360 Q (uC) I(A) CVo(e-t/RC)(Voe(-t/RC))/R 10880000 1360 at t=0 I at 1 RC I at 2RC 1360 500 184 A A A t=RC(s) t=2 RC(s) 0. 23 .008 0.016 Capacitor discharge case 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.8 x 10.008 Vc Vo .

5% Z transformer impedance may deliver up to 10 000A during a short circuit until its own protection gets into action to interrupt.Magnitude of faults depends mainly on:     AC mains impedance Power transformer impedance Inductive filter design Other series components As a rule of thumb take 15-20 times the full current rating time constant ≈ 25ms Ex. 500A battery charger with a 3. Charger/rectifier 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 24 .

motors act as a generators contributing in the short circuit. 25 . - Consider that all motors are connected and running at the time of the fault Typical motor armature has large L/R time constant ≈ 20-60ms  lower di/dt  longer time to clear protection Rule of thumb: Use 4 times of running FLA - - Inductive loads 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. turbine lube pumps During deceleration.Main concern is DC motors: They operate switchgear.

  Note 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. Ex. So if the protection fuse or breaker has larger I2t than what the source can provide. 26 . then this protection cannot clear its load fault. Switchmode power supplies provide fast current limiting and current foldback feature leading to a challenge in clearing faults. It’s not bad to have high fault availability from the source to efficiently perform selective clearance.

Fuse or circuit breaker? Both provide over-current. selective coordination and arc flash protection. short circuit protection. adjustability. reset and control. can provide subcycle fault protection and long term overload capacity Protection 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. Semiconductor fuses for ex. 27 . Breakers can provide remote monitoring.

DC Interrupting KA Flexibility (optional features) Adjustable Resettable Reliability (maintenance) Arc flash protection Fuses ++ + ++ + delay trip must be at minimum Circuit Breakers +++++ +++ ++++ ++++ Fuse or circuit breaker? 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 28 .

Fuse data 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 29 .

Fuse block data 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 30 .

Fuse coordination curves 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 31 .

Circuit Breaker Data 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 32 .

Circuit Breaker Data 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 33 .

one can think that protection is perfect: 250A CB is fed from 400A main CB!! Case: DC protection coordination 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.HKD400 HJD250 At first. 34 .

Breakers coordination 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 35 .

3500ASC Total Fault at X: 2x3500A + 2x7250A = 21500A + inductive HJD250 HKD400 HKD400 7250ASC 7250ASC 22kADC breakers X To Inverter Case 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 36 .

Connection cables Interconnecting cable impedance reduces the fault current. rectifiers may or may not limit their output current during faults Ground Leakage alarms in a floating DC system. 37 .15 Ω /km.Soft start If fault occurs during the soft start period of the rectifiers. This depends on their material. cross section and length. this alarm will alert user for 1st polarity ground leakage which may not cause operation failure although it can be a safety hazard. Other protection considerations 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. Inherent current limit Depending on the fault evolution over time. A 2nd polarity ground leakage may cause high impedance fault through the ground. available currents can be limited to lower value and chargers might shut down. In general. Ex. 4/0-259 strands copper cable has a DC resistance of 0. battery interconnecting cable voltage drop is accounted in the short circuit capabilities of the batteries.

Distribution Enclosed Single-Pole Air Switches. "Standard Service Conditions and Definitions for High-Voltage Fuses.IEEE 946: Recommended Practice for the Design of DC Auxiliary Power Systems for Generating Stations     IEEE 1375: Guide for the Protection of Stationary Battery Systems IEEE 1584 empirical equations are used to calculate arc-flash levels ANSI/IEEE C37. Molded-Case Switches and Circuit-Breaker Enclosures Few applicable standards 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. and Accessories"     IEC 60909: Short-circuit currents in three-phase-a. Fuse Disconnecting Switches.40 (1993).2-5-09 Harmonized Standards: Molded-Case Circuit Breakers. systems IEC 60947: Low-voltage switchgear and control gear IEC 60127 family: requirements applicable to fuses UL 489 and CSA 22. 38 .c.

During faults. DC system components response will be non linear. resulting into complicated behaviour. Consequently. Conclusion 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 39 . “rule of thumb” and past experience might be needed to define breaking currents.

more accurate assumptions and calculations must be made. So. Conclusion 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. in this case. Rules of thumb might lead to overestimated values affecting the size and cost of the installation. in special or large applications. 40 .However.

41 .Take all precautions to properly define your equipment protection and selectivity: ASK FOR   Breaking capacity of protection device Fault capabilities of all connected energy sources Require professionals with relevant experience and background to help Conclusion 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc.

QUESTIONS? 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 42 .

Thank you ! 8/28/2011 Primax Technologies Inc. 43 .

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