Zig – Zag Transformers

The most economical and simple transformer connection is a Yn Yno connection. This connection however suffers from a disadvantage that an earth fault in the secondary is reflected to the primary. A delta winding isolates the earth fault but has other demerits. A Zig – Zag winding configuration can offer a good solution, which can combine the advantages of both star and delta connection.

Star Star Connection
A typical star star connection is shown in figure – 1











Fig 1 At the generating station end, the transformer (A) will always have a solidly earthed tar connection at the !" side. This is a #niversal practice, so that we get a high earth fault current. Thus, a sensitive earth fault protection can be provided. $n case of an earth fault in the secondary of transformer %, the earth fault is reflected in the primary side also. As shown in the figure, a proportional current flows through transformer A also. $f more than one transformer (A) is connected to the system, the reflected earth fault current will flow through the other such star connected transformers also. The division of current will depend on the resistance of the associated path. $t is possible to have a sensitive and discriminatory earth fault protection at the transformer %. !owever, the reflection of fault current is considered to be a disadvantage as there have been cases of mal&operation of earth fault protection at transformer A, due to such reflected earth fault currents.

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Delta Star connection
The 'elta connection on the primary side is the most ideal connection. The earth fault in the secondary is reflected as a ( – ( current in the primary. )ormally, phase overcurrent relay settings are much higher than earth fault settings. Therefore, spurious operation of upstream protection is avoided. Also, the *ero se+uence component (Io) of the earth fault current reflected on to the primary side circulates within the 'elta winding. The connection and current flow is shown in ,ig. – -.

Fig 2 The above alternative for transformer % is not popular due to the following !igher cost (particularly at high voltage application. li.e --/ .") of delta winding. )ormally a star winding can be rated for ( – ( voltage 0 √ 1. Additionally a graded insulation can be adopted for a solidly earthed connection. • $f an 2(T3 has to be provided, it is convenient and cheaper to provide it on a tar winding compared to the 'elta winding in a 4!" transformer li.e --/ .".

Star Delta connection

A typical star delta connection is shown in ,ig. – 1. $t is evident that on an earth fault there is no flow of ( – 5 current as there is no return path. The above though apparently loo.s li.e an advantage, actually is not so. As discussed later, it is important to identify and isolate a ground fault in a system, particularly if the system has long cable networ.s.

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Fig 3 $n a distribution system where we have large cable networ., substantial capacitance e6ists. #nder normal condition this capacitance offers itself as a balanced load to the system. The same is shown schematically in ,ig. & 7


Fig 4

Fig 4a

The voltage and current phasors (only for the capacitance) is shown is ,ig. 7a.The (pseudo) neutral point shown as ), $ts voltage is *ero in a balanced system. Therefore, the cable capacitance between phase to earth has an ( – ) voltage impressed across it. 8hen there is an earth fault in any phase, the capacitance of the faulted phase is shorted. The phase to earth voltage of the healthy phases increases to ( – ( value. The voltage balance across the capacitors in the three phases is disturbed. As a result capacitive current flows at the fault point as shown in ,ig. – 9. The magnitude of the fault current is three times the normal capacitive current under healthy condition.

Fig 5

Fig 5a
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3omparing phases in ,ig. & 7 and ,ig. – 9, it is very clear that VBE = √3 VBN ∴ IBE = √3 IBc IFC = √3 IBE = √3 x √3 IBc = 3IBc This capacitive current creates an arc which is not very stable due to its low value. The arc self e6tinguishes and restri.es depending on the fault site. This is called :arcing ground;. 'uring the arc, the voltage phaser ( "< – 4 ) of the faulty phase goes to *ero (nearly). 8hen the arc is bro.en, it =umps bac. to normal. imilarly, during the arc, the voltage to earth of the healthy phases increases and then reduces when the arc is e6tinguished. This type of voltage e6cursion severely stresses the insulation of the connected e+uipment and could lead to failure. $n view of the above, 'elta connected transformer secondary is technically not preferred in such a networ. $n case where 'elta winding in the secondary side has to be adopted for certain consideration, (li.e isolation of earth fault current), an additional neutral earthing transformer has to be provided for earth fault detection and relaying.

Fig 6 The scheme is as shown in ,ig. – >. A *ig – *ag transformer is normally employed due to its inherent higher impedance. 'epending on the choice of the earth fault current, which the system designer would li.e to adopt, a neutral grounding resistor may also be provided. The above arrangement can be seen in many utilities.

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$n a delta&connected system, a voltage operated earth fault detection using :open delta; ?T connection can be deployed. The drawbac. of the system is that the scheme operates for any earth fault in this system and can not provide discrimination. $f the system is small having few feeders then manual detection (by switching off the feeders one by one) may be possible. !owever this is neither feasible nor recommended for a large system. The phaser connection of the scheme is shown in ,ig. – @.

Fig 7


! "2

"1! #2 ! #1 2 "2f "1f ! #2f

#nder normal condition voltage across <elay A rBb- A /


8ith fault in < phase voltage across relay is b-f YBf A √1 bBf b-f )ow bBfb-f A √1 bBb∴ b-f Bf A 1bBb- or 1 times the healthy voltage.

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Zig Zag transformer connection.
A *ig *ag secondary with neutral solidly earthed, offers a good solution particularly where the impedance re+uirement is on the higher side, as the *ig *ag transformer by virtue of the construction offers a higher impedance. A recent case in hand was to determine the vector group of a B-9 C"A, --/ 0 11." transformer with 2(T3. The other re+uirements were D • to restrict the fault level to the available air insulated 11." switchgears in the mar.et. • To allow parallelling of two B-9 C"A transformers at 11.v. • To preferably adopt a vector group which enables the transformers to be parallelled with e6isting Yn dll transformers. 8ith B9E impedance, the fault level with two B-9 C"A transformers in parallel is -F .A. The ma6imum fault level in a 11 ." A$ switchgear is 1B.9 .A. Thus this combination would meet the functional re+uirement The *ig *ag connection offers a good solution. (et us have a loo. at the simplified connection diagram in ,ig. & G

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! #3

#2 ! "3 # #1

" "1

"2 !


Fig 8



Fig $

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$n *ig&*ag connection two secondary winding are wound in one limb. ,rom ,ig. – G we see how the windings are to be interconnected to give a vector group of Yn ZBB $n ,ig. – F we see that in case we have an earth fault in phase <, the fault current flows through the secondary windings of Y and < phase. 'ue to ampere turns balance the reflected fault current will flow through the lines of < and Y in the primary circuit. Thus an earth fault in the *ig&*ag side is reflected as an ( – ( overcurrent. ,rom the above we can see that by adopting a YnZBB connection, we get the following advantages. • A cheaper transformer due to graded insulation in the --/." star side. • A cheaper 2(T3 due to the reduced insulation re+uirement of 2(T3. • 4arth fault isolation between secondary and primary • ?rovision of sensitive earth fault possible in the *ig&*ag connected secondary due to the presence of the neutral.

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