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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON APPLIED SUPERC ONDUCTIVITY, VOL. 23, NO. 3, JUNE 2013
G. Wojtasiewicz, G. Komarzyniec, T. Janowski, S. Kozak, J. Kozak, M. Majka, and B. KondratowiczKucewicz
Abstract—Inrush current in superconducting transformers is a littleknown phenomenon. Because of its high values and long time, it may lead to loss of superconductivity in transformer’s windings. In the article, we present results of inrush current measurements in two superconducting transformers of the same power but different winding geometries. The results were con fronted with inrush current registered for a transformer with copper windings. The results suggest different parameters of in rush current for superconducting transformers as compared to transformers with copper windings. This article is an introduction to a series of studies on the phenomenon of superconducting transformer inrush current.
Index Terms—Inrush current, superconducting transformer, 2G HTS tapes.
I. I NTRODUCTION
Fig. 1. Equivalent circuit of the transformer under no load.
primary coil. For equivalent circuit diagram of a transformer during power on with no load connected to the secondary winding (Fig. 1) we can write
H IGH VALUES of current may ﬂow in a transformer’s windings not only when the device is highly overloaded, but also under certain circumstances while switching on the transformer under no load to the power grid. Transformer inrush current to the grid introduces higher har monics, generates overvoltages and causes resonance phenom ena [1]. Inrush current may damage windings and transformer’s isolation as result of forces brought about by this current [2], [3]. In superconducting transformers inrush current may cause lost of superconductivity in windings and consequently prevents engagement of the transformer to the network.
u _{1} =U _{1} _{m} sin(ωt + ϕ)
(1)
φ =Φ _{m} sin(ωt + ϕ − θ ) − Φ _{m} sin(ϕ − θ )e ^{−} T ± Φ _{r} e T (2)
−
t
t
where
T ≈ ^{L} ^{μ} − circuit time constant, R 1
θ = arctg ^{X} ^{μ} − phase shift between voltage and ﬂux; R 1
(3)
(4)
and U _{1} _{m} —peak value of applied primary voltage; ϕ—phase
Surge inrush current of unloaded transformers with copper angle of voltage u _{1} at time zero when the transformer is
windings may be up to 40 times greater than rated current. That is for duration of several periods for transformers with powers of below 100 kVA, up to several thousands period for huge devices. Just to compare: shortcircuit current may be 25 times higher than rated current and it is switched off by overcurrent protections in tens of milliseconds. Amplitude, duration and degree of distortion of inrush cur rent depend on the transformer’s construction and magnetic properties of its core, on the other hand are determined by the initial conditions, while switching the transformer into the grid:
instantaneous value voltage and core’s magnetization [4]. The time course of inrush current can be estimated basing on the magnetization characteristic Φ = f (I _{0} ), where Φ is the magnetic ﬂux in the iron yoke and I _{0} the current through the
Manuscript received October 2, 2012; accepted December 10, 2012. Date of publication December 20, 2012; date of current version January 29, 2013. This work was supported by the Polish Department of Science under Grant
N510526439.
G. Wojtasiewicz, S. Kozak, J. Kozak, M. Majka, and B. Kondratowicz Kucewicz are with the Electrotechnical Institute, 04703 Warsaw, Poland (email: g.wojtasiewicz@iel.waw.pl; s.kozak@iel.waw.pl; j.kozak@iel.waw.pl; m.majka@iel.waw.pl; b.kondratowiczkucewicz@iel.waw.pl). G. Komarzyniec and T. Janowski are with the Lublin University of Technology, 20618 Lublin, Poland (email: g.komarzyniec@pollub.pl; t.janowski@pollub.pl). Digital Object Identiﬁer 10.1109/TASC.2012.2234498
switched on; Φ _{m} —peak value of magnetic ﬂux in the iron yoke.
The disturbance component of the idle current is the com ponent that disappears with the time constant T , dependent on relation L _{μ} /R _{1} . Current suppression phenomenon is caused by energy disperse at windings resistance R _{1} . When resistance is R _{1} = 0 the phenomena of aperiodic ﬂux component suppres sion will not appear and the surge current value will be constant in time. The current will reach its greatest value when while switch ing on the transformer the voltage will equal zero (ϕ = 0) and a positive value of remanent ﬂux
Φ _{M} = 2Φ _{m} + Φ _{r} 
(5) 
For ϕ = π/2 the ﬂux amplitude will be minimal 

Φ _{M} = Φ _{m} + Φ _{r} 
(6) 
As soon as magnetic ﬂux density in the core exceeds saturation, and this is usually the case for (5), a steep increase of current versus ﬂux occurs due to the nonlinear magnetization charac teristics of the core. In engineering practice the interesting aspect is the maximal surge current value which is estimated from the following
10518223/$31.00 © 2012 IEEE
WOJTASIEWICZ et al.: INRUSH CURRENT OF SUPERCONDUCTING TRANSFORMER
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Fig. 2. Core size RZC70/23070 (dimensions in mm).
relation [5]
I M =
U 1 m
2πfN ^{2} μ _{0}
A
h
2 +
B r
B m
−
m
B
s
B
(7)
where U _{1} _{m} —peak value of applied primary voltage; f —frequency; N —number of turns; A—cross sectional area of the winding; h—winding height; B _{r} —remanent ﬂux density of the transformer core; B _{s} —saturation ﬂux density of the core material; B _{m} peak value of rated ﬂux density.
_{I}_{I}_{.} _{E} XAMINED T RANSFORMERS
For construction of magnetic circuit of a HTS transformer a wound and cut core RZC70/23070 (Fig. 2) the power 8.8 kVA was used, constructed of sheet metal PN ET5227, containing 3% grainoriented silicon and sheet thickness of 27 mm. The saturation ﬂux density B _{s} = 1.7 T at H = 10 A/cm and core losses P = 0.8 W/kg at B = 1 T. Primary and secondary windings were constructed with su perconducting tape Super Power SCS4050 of critical current 115 A in temperature 77 K and self ﬁeld. The tape’s thickness was 0.1 mm and its width was 4 mm. The structure of tape is as follows: 20 μm copper stabilizer, 2 μm silver overlayer, 1 μm (RE)BCO—HTS, 1 μm buffer stack, 50 μm hastelloy, 20 μm copper stabilizer. The windings isolation was done with kapton. The transformer has got two primary windings (Fig. 3). By switching the HV2 winding into the energy grid we obtain the transformer (TrHTS2) with air gap δ = 10 mm between primary and secondary windings. Transformer without any gap (TrHTS1) is obtained by switching the HV1 winding into the energy grid. In order to cool down the windings was used a cryostat with warm bore (Fig. 5). For comparison, on the same core a copper windings trans former was constructed (TrCu) with windings in a proﬁle 2.0 × 4.0 mm × mm (Fig. 5). Transformers’ parameters are compared in Table I.
III. E XPERIMENTAL S ETU P
The measurements registration was done with data acqui sition card National Instruments USB6212 using application written with LabVIEW. The inrush current was registered indi rectly by measuring voltage drop at shunt of 60 A, 60 mV and accuracy class 0.5. Transformers were switched on by thyristor system that realized the switching on at the moment of voltage crossing zero. The diagram of the measuring system shown in Fig. 6.
Fig. 3. Dimensions of the HTS transformer: HV—primary winding, LV—secondary windings.
IV. T HE E XPERIMENT ’ S R ESULTS
The experiment was executed at the worst conditions of transformer switching into the energy grid when the voltage crossing zero. First of all inrush current waveform of conven tional transformer TrCu were registered and then the supercon ducting transformers TrHTS1 and TrHTS2. Registered waveforms of inrush current in transformers TrCu and TrHTS1 are presented in Fig. 7. In Figs. 8 and 9 inrush current waveforms at selected moments of time are presented. Fig. 8 shows the most interesting ﬁrst peak current. In case
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Fig. 6. 
Measuring system. 



Fig. 7. 
Inrush current of transformer TrHTS1 and TrCu. 




Fig. 8. 
First pulse inrush current of transformer TrHTS1, TrHTS2 and TrCu. 
Fig. 9. Inrush current peaks after time 0.18 s of transformer TrHTS1, TrHTS2 and TrCu. 
of transformer with copper windings TrCu the maximal mea
sured inrush current was 164 A. The maximal measured in rush current of TrHTS1 transformer was 178 A and TrHTS2 transformer was 167 A. Compared to conventional transformer
the superconducting transformers’
inrush current is greater
of 8.5% and 1.8% respectively. In both cases the ﬁrst surge
of current exceeds by over 1,45 times the critical current of the superconducting tape used for making the windings. The second surge occurring after 0.02 s _{[} is comparable to the critical current value and the third surge after 0.04 s is below the critical current value.
WOJTASIEWICZ et al.: INRUSH CURRENT OF SUPERCONDUCTING TRANSFORMER
TABLE II
M EASUREMENT DATA
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After 0.04 s time the suppression of current effect still occurs even though the windings are in a superconducting state (R _{1} ≈ 0). This suppression can be explained by the presence of resistance in the parameters of the power grid and conﬁgu ration of the measuring circuit includes a shunt in the supply circuit of superconducting transformer. The superconducting transformers examined have greater times of the inrush current stabilization to the level of the idle current as compared to conventional transformers. The TrCu transformer reaches the idle current 1 A after about 200 ms, that is after 10 periods of supply voltage. The inrush current of the TrHTS1 transformer drops to the value of the idle current 3.1 A after about 350 ms that is after 18 periods of the supply voltage, and as for TrHTS2 transformer the case is the level of 3.2 A reached after 400 ms, that is 20 supply voltage periods. As compared to the conventional transformer the time of the inrush current disappearance is greater of 75% and 100% respectively. The measured data is presented in Table II.
V. C ALCULATED C URRENT
The formula (7) practically gives the sufﬁcient accuracy for big transformers switched into the grid of stiff voltage. With transformers of over a dozen kVA the values calculated from this formula may be 30% greater than the correct ones. Calculated from the formula (7) by ignoring remanent ﬂux density, the maximal inrush current values for transformers TrCu, TrHTS1 and TrHTS2 are presented in Table II. The current value calculated for the conventional transformer exceeds the measured value by 60%. With the superconducting transformers the differences are even greater. For the TrHTS1 transformer the calculated value is greater than the measured by 120% and for the TrHTS2 transformer the difference is 70%.
VI. S UMMARY
The experiment presented here showed that superconduct ing transformer of power 8.5 kVA has slightly greater values of inrush current than an 8.5 kVA transformer with copper windings. This is connected to inrush current suppression in superconducting windings caused by resistance growth after exceeding the critical value of the superconductor by current
[6], [7]. The current damping effect is maintained after the recovery of the superconducting coil [8], [9]. After the recovery of superconductivity decisive role in the suppression of the cur rent play grid parameters. They decide about the time needed for the magnetizing current to settle. In this experiment at the same parameters of the supply grid the twice as long time of settling current was noted for the superconducting transformer as compared to a transformer with copper windings. If the inrush current of huge conventional transformers may reach up to over dozen thousands periods, we should assume that with huge superconducting transformers this value might be tens of thousands of periods. The formula (7) practically used in engineering for calculat ing the inrush current value results in huge differences between calculated and measured values even in conventional trans formers. The differences go further in case of superconducting transformers. This is due to the fact that formula (7) does not in clude the number of parameters of the transformer and the pow er system which inﬂuence the value of the switching current.
_{R} EFERENCES
[1] R. A. Turner and K. S. Smith, “Resonance excited by transformer inrush current in interconnected offshore power systems,” in Conf. Rec. IEEE IAS Annu. Meeting, Edmonton, Canada, Oct. 2008. [2] M. Steurer and K. Fröhlich, “The impact of inrush currents on the mechan ical stress of high voltage power transformer coils,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 155–160, Jan. 2002. [3] A. A. Adly, “Computation of inrush current forces on transformer wind ings,” IEEE Trans. Magn., vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 2855–2857, Jul. 2001. [4] J. H. Brunke and K. J. Frolich, “Elimination of transformer inrush currents by controlled switching—Part I & II,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 16, no. 2, Apr. 2001. [5] R. S. Girgis and E. G. teNyenhuis, “Characteristics of inrush current of present designs of power transformers,” in Proc. IEEE Power Eng. Soc. Gen. Meeting, Jun. 24–28, 2007. [6] H. Shimizu, K. Mutsuura, Y. Yokomizu, and T. Matsumura, “Inrush currentlimiting with high Tc Superconductor,” IEEE Trans. Appl. Super cond., vol. 15, no. 2, Jun. 2005. [7] S. Nishimiya, T. Ishigohka, A. Ninomiya, and K. Arai, “Quench character istic of superconducting transformer by inrush current,” IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond., vol. 17, pt. 2, no. 2, pp. 1931–1934, 2007. [8] H. Kimura, K. Honda, H. Hayashi, K. Tsutsumi, M. Iwakuma, K. Funaki, T. Bohno, A. Tomioka, Y. Yagi, H. Maruyama, and K. Ohashi, “Test results of a HTS power transformer connected to a power grid,” Phys. C, Supercond., vol. 372–376, pt. 3, pp. 1694–1697, Aug. 2002. [9] T. Ishigohka, K. Uno, and S. Nishimiya, “Experimental study on effect of inrush current of superconducting transformer,” IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond., vol. 16, no. 2, Jun. 2006.
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