# Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________

Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection Aim Understand the principle of operation of Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection. LEARNING OUTCOMES • • • • • • • • • Sketch the electrical schematic diagram of an air circuit breaker. Explain the principle of operation. Perform the safety precautions necessary when circuit breaker is removed. Demonstrate the ACB withdrawal procedure. Explain how over-current protection, under-voltage protection and reverse power protection are incorporated in the ACB. Determine the setting for each of the above protection. Describe the principle of operation of preferential tripping in an a.c. system. Explain where in the range of generator load, preferential trips and alarms are set to operate. Describe the testing procedures for the above protections.

Overview This lesson provides students with an understanding of the working principle of the Air Circuit Breaker and the protection incorporated in it for safe operation of generators.

Air Circuit Breaker ___________________________________________________________________
PTM / Jul 2002 66 SP / SMA

Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________
151 X 440 / 110 V R P Undervoltage coil

Trip Contacts N. O. PushButton Closing Coil Mai n Contact s

Latch

Auxiliar y Contacts

Closing PushButton

440 / 110 V

Generato r

Figure 1 Figure 1 shows an Air Circuit Breaker of the draw-out type found in main switchboard of an a.c. system. It is used to connect the alternator safely onto the bus bars as well as to disconnect it safely should a serious malfunction occur. It can break a circuit in abnormal conditions - under-voltage, over-current, short-circuit, reverse power- in an installation. It thus disconnect automatically a faulty circuit. Principle of Operation 1. The main contacts are kept closed and latched against high spring force. 2. Quick acting tripping action is provided by release spring. 3. Cooling and splitting of arc is done by arc chutes. Arcing contacts close earlier and open later than main contacts. ___________________________________________________________________
PTM / Jul 2002 67 SP / SMA

Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________

4. Closing coil is provided to close the circuit breaker. This coil operates on d.c. power from rectifier and is energised by a closing relay operated by a pushbutton. 5. The no-volt coil trips the circuit breaker when severe voltage drop (setting could be 50% - 70% of rated voltage) occurs. It also prevents circuit breaker from being closed when generator voltage is very low or absent. 6. This coil operates on d.c. power. A push-button switch for opening the circuit breaker by de-energising the no-volt coil is used. Normally-open contacts are used for de-energising the coil and trip the circuit breaker by electronic overcurrent and reverse power relays. A.C. Switchboard Protection The following switchboard protections are incorporated in the Air Circuit Breaker shown in Figure 1: a. Over-current b. Reverse-power c. Under-voltage release In the event of low voltage (50 % to 70% of rated voltage), ACB trips because the no-volt coil is de-energised to release the mechanical latch. See simplified diagram of ACB in Figure 2.
3-phase 440 V Bus Bars

Air Circuit Breaker

Under-voltage relay coil Generator

Circuit Breaker Latch

Figure 2 Closure by mistake of an alternator breaker when machine is dead is prevented by an under-voltage trip. This protective measure is fitted when alternators are arranged for parallel operation. Instantaneous operation of the trip is necessary to prevent closure of the breaker.

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PTM / Jul 2002 68 SP / SMA

Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________

Under-voltage trip also gives protection against loss of voltage while the machine is connected to the switchboard.

Reverse Power Protection In the event of reverse power, the fault is sensed by the reverse-power relay which then closes the contact RP which is connected into the ACB circuit as shown in Figure 1. This de-energised the no-volt coil to release the latch and trips the ACB. Reverse power occurs when two (or more) generators are running in parallel. When there is a loss of prime-mover power, the driven generator acts as a motor and impose a heavy load on the remaining sets in parallel. To obviate overload trip in the other generators, its ACB must be released.

Laminated Iron Core Contact RP connected to ACB

To ACB Circuit

Voltage Coil

Spindle Current Coil

Aluminium Disc

End View

Laminated Iron Core

Figure 3 The reverse power relay is similar in construction to the electricity supply meter. The lightweight non-magnetic aluminum disc, mounted on a spindle which has lowfriction bearings is positioned in a gap between 2 electromagnets. The upper electro-magnet has a voltage coil connected through a transformer between one phase and an artificial neutral of the alternator output. The lower electromagnet has a current coil also supplied from the same phase through a transformer. ___________________________________________________________________
PTM / Jul 2002 69 SP / SMA

Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________

Magnetic fields are produced by the voltage and current coils. Both fields pass through the aluminum disc and cause eddy currents. The effect of the eddy currents is that a torque is produced in the disc. With normal power flow, trip contacts on the disc spindle are open and the disc bears against a stop. When power reverses, the disc rotates in the other direction, away from the stop and the contacts are closed so that the breaker trip circuit is energised. A time delay of 5 seconds prevents reverse power tripping due to surges at synchronising.

Over-current Protection The electronic over-current trip device operates on the current of the current transformer mounted on the generator output conductors as shown in Figure 4. In the event of over-current drawn from the generator, the fault is sensed by the over-current relay which causes its contact 1TX to close and energise relay 151X. When contact 151X , which is connected into the ACB circuit closes, the no-volt coil is de-energised to release the latch and trips the ACB. See Figure 5.

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PTM / Jul 2002 70 SP / SMA

Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________

Current Transformer

21

22 1TX

P1

P2 Over-Current Device

Generator

Figure 4

24 V dc 21 1 TX 22

151 PX

151X

Figure 5

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PTM / Jul 2002 71 SP / SMA

Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________

Inverse Definite Minimum Time (IDMT) Relay

Load Derived Current Plug Bridge for Overl-current setting

To Trip Circuit Aluminium Disc

Closed Winding

Figure 6

Accurate inverse time delay characteristics are provided by an induction type relay with construction similar to that of a domestic wattmeter or reverse power relay. Current in the main winding (see fig.) is obtained through a CT from the alternator input to the switchboard. (The main winding is tapped and the taps brought out to a plug bridge for selection of different settings.) Alternating current in the main winding on the centre leg of the upper laminated iron core produces a magnetic field that in turns induces current in the closed winding. The magnetic field associated with the closed winding is displaced from the magnetic field of the main winding and the effect on the aluminium disc is to produce changing eddy currents in it. A tendency for the disc to rotate is prevented by a helical restraining spring when normal current is flowing. Excessive current causes

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PTM / Jul 2002 72 SP / SMA

Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________

rotation against the spring and a moving contact on the spindle comes in to bridge after half a turn the two fixed contacts so that the tripping circuit is closed. Speed of rotation of the disc through the half turn depends on the degree of overcurrent. Resulting inverse time of characteristics are such as shown. In many instances of over-current, the IDMT will not reach the tripping position as the excess current will be cleared by other means,. The characteristic obtained by the relay is one with a definite minimum time and this will not decrease regardless of the amount of over-current. Minimum time, however can be adjusted by changing the starting position of the disc. Alternator breakers have instantaneous short-current trips in addition to IDMT relays. In the event of very large over-current these rapidly trip the breaker out. Without an instant trip, high fault current would continue to flow for the duration of the minimum time mentioned above.

Time in Seconds Figure 7

Overload of an alternator may be due Over-current to increased switchboard Relay Inverse Time Characteristics load or to a serious fault causing high current flow. Straight overload (apart from the brief overload due to starting of motors) is reduced by the preferential trips which are designed to shed non-essential switchboard load. Preferential trips are operated by relays set at about 110% of normal full load. They open the breakers feeding ventilation fans, air conditioning equipment, etc. The non-essential items are disconnected at timed intervals, so reducing alternator load. By sacrificing non-essential services, services necessary for propulsion and navigation is retained. ___________________________________________________________________
PTM / Jul 2002 73 SP / SMA

Definite Minimum Time

Preferential Trip

Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________

If a generator overload condition develops, its preference overload trip will operate to energise the timing relay. The timing relay then operates to disconnect nonessential services in a definite order and at definite time intervals. e.g. 1st trip - air conditioning - 5 secs and ventilation 2nd trip - refrigerated cargo plant - 10 secs. 3rd trip - deck equipment - 15 secs This order of tripping varies from ship to ship. when sufficient non-essential load has been disconnected, then the preference overload trip resets and no further load is disconnected.

Main Switchboard

X X X
10 5 Seconds 15

Essential Services G1 G2 Timing Relay 2nd Trip 3 rd Trip ___________________________________________________________________ 1st Trip

PTM / Jul 2002

74
Circuit Breaker Trip Coil

SP / SMA

Module : Electrical Engineering

MT 3011

Topic : Air Circuit Breaker and Generator Protection _________________________________________________________________________________

Figure 8

A.C. Generator Protection and Setting Ranges

A.C. Generator Protection Over-current (Long Time Delay) Short Circuit (Short Time Delay) Preferential Trip Reverse Power

Setting Ranges 100, 105, 110, 115, 125% of rated circuit current 200, 250, 300, 400% of rated circuit current 82, 84, 86, 90, 92, 94, 96% of long time delay trip pick-up set current 5 % of rated power

Time Delay 15 to 60 seconds 120 to 420 mseconds 5 to 10 seconds 5 seconds

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PTM / Jul 2002 75 SP / SMA