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An Overview Of Short Circuit Current (part 2)

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An O ve rvie w O f Sho rt Circ uit Curre nt - Part 2 (o n p ho to Main Switc hb o ard b y jayre yno ld s is re al @Flic kr)

Continued from previous technical article: An Overview Of Short Circuit Current (part 1)

Sub transient reactance Xd is the apparent reactance of the stator winding at the instant short circuit occurs, and it determines the current f low during the f irst f ew cycles of a short circuit. Transient reactance Xd is the apparent initial reactance of the stator winding, if the ef f ect of all amortisseur windings is ignored and only the f ield winding considered. T his reactance determines the current f ollowing the period when subtransient reactance is the controlling value. Transient reactance is ef f ective up to 1/2 sec. i.e. 30 cycles or longer, depending upon the design of the machine.

Synchronous reactance Xd is the apparent reactance that determines the current f low when a steady state condition is reached. It is not ef f ective until several seconds af ter the short circuit occurs, consequently it has no value in short circuit calculations f or the application of circuit breakers, f uses and contactors selection but is usef ul f or relay setting studies. Below f igure gives simplif ied representation of Asymmetrical and symmetrical fault current as well as dif f erent reactance: During f irst f ew cycles reactance of system/synchronous machine is least and short circuit current is highest. T his stage is called subtransient reactance. T his reactance is denoted by X. Af ter f irst f ew cycles decrement in RMS value of short circuit current is less. T his state is called transient reactance and is denoted by X. Finally transient dies out and current reaches the steady sinusoidal state. Reactance in this state is called steady state reactance and is denoted by Xd .
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Here we can introduce the concept of short circuit making and breaking current. During the f irst f ew cycles of f ault current the reactance is least and magnitude of short circuit current is highest. Current increases to maximum value at the peak of f irst current loop. All switching device are subjected to high electro-magnetic forces. To ensure that switching device like circuit breakers withstand saf ely this high magnitude of short circuit current, switching device is tested f or short circuit making current. Hence we can also def ine the short circuit making current as peak value of f irst current loop of short circuit current. Short circuit making current = Peak value of steady state SC current + doubling ef f ect caused by f irst peak containing DC component = 1.8 x peak value of steady state short circuit current (considering doubling effect) = 1.8 x 2 x RMS value of steady state short circuit current = 2.5 x RMS value of steady state short circuit current Since RMS value of steady state short circuit current is called breaking current so short circuit making current can be written as: Short circuit making current = 2.5 x short circuit breaking current Above expression f or calculating the making current is also given by Indian standard 10118, part-2 f or selection, installation and maintenance of switchgear and controlgear.

However as per Indian standard 8623-part-1 for low voltage switchgear and controlgear assembly: Relationship between peak and RMS. values of short-circuit current T he value of peak short-circuit current (peak value of the first loop of the short-circuit current including DC. component) f or determining the electrodynamic stresses shall be obtained by multiplying the RMS. value of the short-circuit current by the factor n . Standard values f or the factor n and the corresponding power f actor are given in below table:

Table f or select ing asymmet rical peak value

RMS Value of Short circuit current I 5 kA 5kA <I 10 kA 10kA <I 20 kA 20kA <I 50 kA 50kA <I cos 0.7 0.5 0.3 0.25 0.2 n 1.5 1.7 2 2.1 2.2

One can observe the dif f erence in selection of multiplying f actor n in case of two dif f erent IS. As per IS 10118 part-2 multiplying f actor should be 2.5 and as per 8623 part-1 multiplying f actor should be n times and n should be selected as per above table. Since IS 8623 latest edition is 1998 and IS 10118 has been published bef ore 8623 hence generalized value of n in IS 10118 must have been elaborated in IS 8623. Also note the f act that IS 10118 considers the doubling ef f ect as 1.8 times which may vary depending upon amount of DC component which in turn depends upon the X/R ratio. Exact and accurate knowledge of system X/R ratio is dif f icult to obtain, only power system engineers who are exclusively involved in system studies can throw some light on it. Hence dif f erent values of multiplying f actor at dif f erent power f actor (in other words X/R) in IS 8623 is more reliable and is used by all switchgear manuf acturers. All the switchgears are type tested as per IS 8623 part-1 Readers are advised to ref er the equivalent IEC 439 part-1 f or technical comparison and analysis of multiplying factor n .

Sources and limit ers of short circuit current

When determining the magnitude of short-circuits currents, it is extremely important that all sources of short circuit current be considered and that the reactance characteristics of these sources are known. Electrical loads are either static (such as lighting) or dynamic loads (like motors). Dynamic loads have residual voltage and voltage of f ault point is zero (if it is ground fault) or very less than line voltage hence current starts f lowing f rom dynamic loads to f ault points.

This phenomenon is called motor contribution. T he amount of current is dependent on the motor impedance. At f irst there is an asymmetrical current containing both AC and DC components. Lack of a stable voltage supply causes the AC component to decay when the rotor f lux begins to drop. Without a stable voltage supply, the transient DC component also decays. Induction motor contribution typically lasts f rom one to f our cycles f rom time equal zero during a short circuit condition. However, synchronous motors short circuit contribution can last from six to eight cycles. T he main dif f erence is the induction motor does not have an excitation capability of a synchronous motor; theref ore, it cannot maintain voltage f or the same amount of time. In either case the motor contribution is present during the f irst cycle. There are three basic sources of short circuit current: 1. Generators 2. Synchronous motors and synchronous condensers 3. Induction motor Due to residual f lux in the rotor of the induction motor, it contributes f ault current f or 1-4 cycles. Normally, induction motor current contribution is considered f or f ault calculations. ANSI standard C37.010 [1] of f ers guidance when calculating motor contribution f or a group of low voltage motors if detail motor data are not available. Assuming a motor contribution of f our times rated f ull load current is acceptable. T he standard arrived at this value by assuming the motor contribution of 3.6 times rated current came f rom 75% induction motors and 4.8 times rated current f rom 25% synchronous motors. A circuit element where voltage is induced by changing current in it is inductor and property is called inductive property. As per Lenz Law rate of change of current is positive and induced voltage is negative. T hus inductance acts in negative direction around the circuit to oppose change in current and hence can also limit the short circuit current. There are three basic limiters of short circuit current: 1. Transf ormer impedance 2. Cable impedance 3. Series reactor impedance (if any) Will be continued very soon