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Capacitor volts

control voltage
selection circuit.

Var Control
Capacitor voltage control voltage selection circuit details.

May 2013

Prepared by Don Nicol

CVT secondary sub-circuits


Primary HV terminal

CVTs are commonly used in subsystem to measure

volts and as a power line carries coupling device.
CVT can be damaged or there life shorten by poorly
designed CVT secondary circuits. This guide look at
the reasons for not using sub-circuits in CVT secondary circuits.



suppression circuit

The CVT internal circuitry and it equivalent circuit

are show below. A CVT at normal frequencies is

at resonance between the capacitor divider and a

reactor L and this makes it function like a MVT.
The series inductance at resonance also corrects
the phase angle error of the capacitor divider.
The intermediate voltage on the source side of
the output transformer is made as large as possible along with the resistance of the inductance
so the equivalent circuits Q = wL/R can be reduced.
When the CVT secondary current is greater that
the thermal burden a large voltage occurs across
the reactor causing the spark-gap to flashes over
and place a damping resistor in parallel with the
reactor. This will further reduce the CVT intermediate circuit Q and the CVT secondary current.

Secondary winding


Spark gap


Protection 1 VT circuit

VT secondary

Protection 2 VT circuit

Instrument VT circuit

VT MCB tripped alarm

CVT are design to carry up to there thermal burden without sparking over. The CVT secondary
box is place as near as possible to the CVT and
the cable between the CVT and the VT secondary box is enclosed in a steel conduit to reduce
the likelihood of a short circuited secondary circuit. A separate MCB is provide for each VT
circuit in the VT secondary box.

Alarm +ve
Voltage selection VT circuit
Voltage selection VT MCB status

VT secondary box



Damping Resistor





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Var Control

A typical 100VA CVTs thermal burden is about

500VA this translates to a secondary current of
500/63.5 = 7.9A. A secondary circuit MCB operating in the instantaneous region is used to protect the
CVT from spark-gap flashover. For the above CVT a
1.0Amp C curve MCB is near the instantaneous
operating region an 8 times its rated current and has
an operating time of 100ms.
Where VT sub-circuits are used it required the subcircuit circuit breaker to be in the instantaneous re-

gion and backup MCB to be in the thermal region to grade.

Testing has shown that a 10A MCB is required to grade
over a 1.0A MCB. The likely operating time for a 10A circuit breaker is between 10 and 200 seconds depending on
fault current. The CVT spark-gap will be flashing over during this period.
The voltage selection VT circuit below selects one CVT to
be the running or bus volts. The VT circuit is not selected
for a voltage selection VT MCB tripped, circuit breaker
open, line disconnector open or a bus disconnector open.
The running volts of the
substation unregulated bus
is used for capacitor volts
control. The capacitor volts
control routine for each capacitor and line controller
reclose routine do not require interlocks from each
line controller to detect a
CVT MCB trip.
The VT circuit adjacent also
shows the connections for
the line reclose synchronizing checked relay.
The inter-bay running volts
selection is shown below.

Multiple Bays Voltage Selection Circuit




The MCB in the VT secondary box is 1A and the MCB

on the control panel is 0.5A.
Both MCBs will trip for a
fault on the control panel
and a changeover will occur
to difference CVT supply. A
fault on the VT paralleling
buswires will cause a cascading trip of all VT secondary box voltage selection
Where it is not necessary for
the bus section power meter
to be supplied with running
volts and check synchronising of line reclose then the
equivalent relay circuit can
be implement in software.