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13-104

Session 2002
CIGR

Evaluation of Interruption Capability of Gas Circuit Breakers


on Large Time Constants of DC Component of Fault Current
by

T. Shimato
The Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc

K. Chiyajo
Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc

K. Nakanishi
Yokohama National University

K. Hirasawa
Hitachi, Ltd

A. Kobayashi
Toshiba Corporation

T. Sugiyama
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

(Japan)

SUMMARY
The time constants of the DC component of fault
current have been increasing due to the increase of
capacity of the EHV transmission lines as well as
concentration of the power stations and substations. In
500kV and 275kV extra-high-voltage (EHV)
transmission systems, the time constants of the DC
component of the lines are being increased as a result of
adopting a bundle of multiple-conductors with an
increased diameter. For these reasons, the time constants
() of the DC component of fault currents observed at
the EHV transmission lines become =70-130ms for
500kV systems and =50-100ms for 275kV systems and
attain a value as high as =150ms for a certain system.
These time constants are much higher than the special
values added to IEC 62271-100 [1]. In Japan, an
alternative time constant of DC component (=90ms) for
special cases was added to the standard value (=45ms)
of JEC2300-1998 [2].
The root-mean-square value of the asymmetrical
current increases with the increase in , which causes
greater stresses on the circuit breakers and degrades
their interrupting capability. Even though the IEC guide
[3] proposed certain testing procedures for the
asymmetrical short-circuit interrupting test duty T100a,
available reports on the influence of on interrupting
capability are limited because of the difficulty in
changing with large interrupting currents due to
restrictions of testing facilities.
The influence of (from =45ms to at maximum of
150ms) on interrupting capability was investigated
analytically and experimentally using three different
types of 550kV gas circuit breakers (GCB). Equivalent
testing method was also studied to evaluate the influence

of large on interrupting capability of these GCBs. The


method, which was made to agree with the arc energy
and the duration of the last current loop was verified to
be effective in evaluating the breaker performance for
asymmetrical fault current with large .
This paper provides a guideline for the interrupting
capability of GCBs on large .
Keywords
time constant of DC component, gas circuit beaker,
transient recovery voltage, interrupting capability,
pre-tripping method, two-part test method

1. Introduction
Expansion of electric power systems to cope with
the growing demand for electricity in Japan has led to
the introduction of transmission lines using a bundle of
multiple-conductors with an increased diameter in
550kV trunk transmission systems. The time constants
() of the DC component of fault are being increased
due to the increased ratio of reactance to resistance of
the transmission lines. For example, the use of bundles
of 4-6 conductors with cross-sectional-areas of 410mm2
and 810mm2 for 500kV transmission lines and bundles
of 4 conductors with cross-sectional-areas of 810mm2
for 275kV transmission lines result in time constants ()
of 70-130ms for 500kV systems and 50-100ms for
275kV systems.
Based on the international survey on the time
constants, alternative time constants of DC component
(=60ms for high-voltage networks from 72.5kV to
420kV and =75ms for EHV networks from 525kV and
above) are added to IEC 62271-100 [1]. Prior to the IEC

Duration of last major loop


di/dt

0
25

30

35

40

45

50

55
time (ms)

Ratio of parameters on TRV


and interrupting current

=150ms)
Interrupting current (
Interrupting current i

=45ms)

Peak current

Peak current of the last major loop

Duration of the last major loop


Rate of rise of TRV
Peak value of TRV
0

25
50
75
100
125
150
Time constant of DC component (ms)

175

dv / dt
Peak value of TRV

Fig.1 Asymmetrical currents and TRV waveforms

standards revision, a special time constant (=90ms)


was added to the standard value (=45ms) of
JEC2300-1998 [2]. However, only a few reports [3][4]
about the influence of these large time constants () on
interrupting capability are available because of the
difficulty in conducting interruption tests at large
interrupting currents with larger than 100ms due to
restrictions of testing facilities.
Therefore, an equivalent testing method was
developed to evaluate the influence of DC time
constants up to 150ms on the interrupting capability of
GCBs. The dependence of interrupting capability on
ranging from =45ms to =150ms was evaluated using
three different types of 550kV gas circuit breakers
designed by three manufacturers.

2. Effects of DC Component on Interrupting Current


and Transient Recovery Voltage parameters
Fig. 1 shows the current and the transient recovery
voltage (TRV) waveforms for =45ms and 150ms. Both
the peak current during the last (third) loop and the
duration of the last current loop with =150ms are 120%
larger than those values with =45ms. On the other hand,
the TRV peak value and the rate of rise of TRV (RRRV)
for =150ms decrease to 70% and 59% respectively
compared to those for =45ms according to the
Example of hot gas flow analysis

Evalution of critical interrupting current

Voltage
Expected breakdown voltage
N ^E
calculated by V(t)
( :Local gas density on the
surface of the electrode
E: Electric field intensity on
the position of the electrode)

Comparison of dielectric recovery


voltage and the TRV in different time
constant of DC component

Successful interruption
Breakdown

TRV

Comparison of dielectric
recovery voltage
t

Time

Fig.3 Comparison between the prospective TRV and


dielectric recovery characteristic gives the critical
interrupting current for a certain

Fig.2 Ratios of the current and TRV parameters for


different to those for symmetrical current interruption

calculation described in the guide [3]. Furthermore, the


TRV peak values for =150ms are less than the peak
value of the phase-to-ground voltage in a non-faulted
state.
Fig. 2 summarizes the ratios of these parameters for
different to the values for symmetrical current
interruption. The severity of TRV (TRV peak value and
RRRV) decreases with the increase in .
3. Analysis of interruption capability on large time
constants of DC component
The comparison between a simulated dielectric
recovery characteristic of GCB and a prospective TRV
predicts interruption success-or-failure at a certain
interrupting condition. The dielectric recovery
characteristic after contact separation can be calculated
by a gas-density analysis during the cooling process of
hot gas flow in an interrupter as well as an electrical
field analysis on the surface of the electrodes for
different positions of the moving contact.
Three puffer-type GCBs were investigated. In the
hot gas analysis, the stroke characteristic of the
interrupter was simulated taking into account the
operation force of the operating mechanism as well as
the opposing force of both the puffer chamber and the
damping device. The results of the stroke characteristic
were checked by measurement. Total heat generation
during the arcing time obtained by measurement of arc
current and voltage behavior was distributed along a
presumed arc column in analysis. The left-hand side of
Fig.3 shows a typical example of the temperature
distribution near the arc contacts calculated by the hot
gas flow analysis, which gives the gas-density
distribution as well. It also shows an example of
dielectric recovery characteristic calculated from the
electric field strength and the gas density near the
surface of the electrodes. The right-hand side of Fig. 3
compares the dielectric recovery characteristics
calculated at different time constants () and a
prospective TRV. If the dielectric recovery
characteristic always surpasses the TRV, the GCB was
judged to be able to interrupt this duty successfully. On
the contrary, if the TRV exceeds the dielectric recovery
characteristic at any moment, the GCB was judged to

Interrupting capability (%)

100

Arcing time : 1.25cycle

Ls

Rs

IA
(63kA)

E=550kV/ 3

90

ba

Arc
80

Ls

Rs

Ls

Rs

C
Type A

Type B

B
Lg=
0.75Ls

Type C

IB

70
0

50

100

150

IC

Time constant of DC component (ms)

Fig.5 Three-phase test circuit

Fig.4 Dependence of interrupting capability on


evaluated analytically for three different GCBs

fail to interrupt this duty.


Using this method of combining the electric field
analysis and the hot gas flow analysis, the critical
interrupting currents were evaluated by comparison of
the dielectric recovery characteristic and the TRV for
different interrupting currents and different time
constants (=45, 90, 150ms). The reduced TRV peak
value and the reduced RRRV for large were
considered. Fig. 4 shows the dependence of interrupting
capability on ranging from =45ms to =150ms
evaluated analytically for three different types of 550kV
GCBs. The rate of decreasing interrupting capability
was calculated by the ratio of the critical interrupting
current at a certain to that at =45ms. The interrupting
capability at =150ms was predicted to degrade 10 to
15% as compared with that at =45ms from the analysis.
4. Considerations of Equivalent Testing Method on
Large Time Constants of DC component
It is difficult to supply 63kA asymmetrical current
with larger than 100ms at a high power. For this
reason, a practical testing method was developed to
investigate the influence of on the breaker
performance.
(1) Determination of arcing time
Three-phase short-circuit interruption is one of the
most severe duties for GCBs when the interrupting
current is close to the rated interrupting current. For
single-phase synthetic tests, the arc energy should be
equal to or larger than the value corresponding to that of
the most severe case for three-phase tests, although
single-phase tests cannot reproduce the detailed current
deformations after interruption of the first pole.
The total arc energies for each phase were evaluated
with a three-phase circuit (first-pole-to-clear factor is
1.3) shown in Fig.5. Table 1 shows the prospective
maximum arc energy generated in three-phase test at
63kA with different . The peak current during the last
(third) major loop and the arcing time both increase with
the increase in . For evaluating the breaker
performance by a single-phase test, the arcing time must

be determined to cover the most severe case for the


three-phase test. Table 2 shows the arcing time for the
single-phase test for each with the same arc energy as
the most severe case for the three-phase test in Table 1.
Considering the maximum arc energies for
three-phase tests with =45 to 150ms, the arcing time
was set to be 1.25 cycle for single-phase test, which also
covers the maximum arcing times for three-phase tests.
The last current loop corresponds to the third major loop
in the tests conducted at the arcing time of 1.25 cycle.
Table 1 Maximum arc energies in three-phase test
Time
constant
[ms]

Arcing
time
[cycle]

Peak value
at last loop
[kAp]

Maximum
arc energy
[MJ]

45
90
150

1.12
1.19
1.21

124.4
145.2
156.6

1.24
1.52
1.71

Table 2 Equivalent arcing times in single-phase test


Time
constant
[ms]

Arcing
time
[cycle]

Arc energy
[MJ]

45

1.07

1.24

90

1.12

1.53

150

1.15

1.71

(2) Determination of TRV parameters


In the case of a synthetic test using the current
injection method, the test conditions such as TRV
waveform, recovery voltage and the current gradient at
current zero should be set equal to those equivalent
values in a direct test. The current gradient at current
zero decreases with the increase in compared with that
for symmetrical current. The TRV peak value and the
RRRV also decrease with the increase in . Thus TRV
parameters were examined and determined to be equal
to the parameters for the asymmetrical current with =45,
90 and 150ms in a direct test. The interruption tests
were conducted with these reduced TRV values that
reflected the actual TRV conditions of a fault occurring
in a transmission line. The difference between the

1000

300

Voltage(kV)

800

Required waveform
with
=150ms (60Hz)

Tested waveform
with
=70ms (50Hz)

200

Accurate
simulation

Tested waveform(
= 90ms)
Tested waveform(
=150ms)

600

100

Peak value

400

Required waveform(
=90ms)
200

Required waveform(
=150ms)

Contact separation
Controlled delayed closing

-100

0
0

@ 200 @

400

600
Time(

800

1000

testing results and the required values were less than 3%


for the current gradient , less than 20% for RRRV, and
less than 5% for both the first reference voltage (U1) and
the TRV peak value voltage (Uc). Fig.6 compares the
required and tested TRV parameters at =90 and 150ms
in a synthetic test.
(3) Verification of recovery voltage with 2-part
method
Since the TRV peak value immediately after current
interruption with large such as 150ms is less than the
crest value of the following recovery voltage (RV;
1.0pu=449kV) waveform, the TRV imposed by a
first-step synthetic test cannot cover this RV waveform
as shown in Fig. 7. Therefore, a two-part test method
was used to examine the dielectric recovery
characteristic of a GCB corresponding to the TRV
waveform after interruption of the asymmetrical current
with large . The interruption success-or-failure at the
TRV period after interruption was checked by a
first-step synthetic test. Then the interruption
success-or-failure at the RV period (several milliseconds
after interruption) was checked by a second-step
synthetic test. The current parameters such as the peak
current during the last major loop and duration of the
last loop for the second-step synthetic test were made to
agree with those for the first-step synthetic test. The RV
waveform and the injection timing to impose the RV
was determined to cover the actual voltage stress as
Tested waveform of
the recovery voltage

Required waveform
with
=150ms

1.0E=449kV
0

Interruption

30

40

50

60

(m s)

Fig.8 Test waveform with =70ms at 50Hz equivalent


to the required asymmetry of =150ms at 60Hz

shown in Fig.7.
(4) Consideration of equivalent testing method for
63kA asymmetrical current with large
The dielectric recovery characteristic of the GCB
after interruption, which is one of the primary factors to
determine interruption success-or-failure, is greatly
affected by the amount of arc energy generated during
the arcing time. When the arcing time is 1.25 cycle, 90%
of total arc energy is generated during the last major
current loop. Therefore, if both the peak current during
the last major loop and the duration of the last loop are
identical to those for 63kA asymmetrical current with
large , the amount of arc energy in a test with different
is almost equal to that of 63kA asymmetrical current
with large . The IEC guide for asymmetrical
short-circuit interrupting test duty T100a [3] describes
that the peak current during the last loop and duration of
the last loop should be within 90%-110% of the required
values. It also recommends the equivalent testing
method with the same value of the peak current during
the last loop multiplied by the duration of the last loop
as that for the asymmetrical current with large . For the
equivalent testing method in this paper, three parameters
(total arc energy, the peak current during the last loop
and the duration of the last loop) were made to agree
with those for 63kA asymmetrical current with large .
Table 3 summarizes the peak current (Ip) during the last
(third) major loop and the duration of the last loop (T3)
in a 63kA asymmetrical current waveform with large .
It shows that the peak current and the duration increase
with the increase in .
Table 3 Peak current and duration of the last loop at 60Hz

The value of the


recovery voltage

Voltage

450

20

Interruption

1200

Fig.6 Comparison between required and tested TRV


waveforms

i
uj

10

Duration
Arcing time

8i msj

Tested waveform is lower than


the value of the recovery voltage
Tested waveform of the TRV

Fig.7 Consideration of two-part test method to cover


TRV and RV waveforms

=45ms

=90ms

=150ms

Para-m
eters

Ip
(kA)

T3
(ms)

Ip
(kA)

T3
(ms)

Ip
(kA)

T3
(ms)

Last
loop

124

10.5

145

11.9

156

12.9

This equivalent method has the feature that a testing


station can evaluate the interrupting capability for the
asymmetrical current with =90 and 150ms at 60Hz
using a test circuit with =60-70ms at even 50Hz. The

high power laboratories of two of the manufacturers are


located in an area of 50Hz-power frequency. Fig. 8
shows a test current waveform of =70ms at 50Hz that
can yield the same arc energy as that for the
asymmetrical current with =150ms at 60Hz. A
pre-tripping method is often used to increase the peak
current during the last major loop in a testing waveform
in order to achieve the required asymmetrical current.
Table 4 shows the equivalent testing conditions such as
the interrupting current and DC component at 50Hz
testing station, which corresponds to 63kA asymmetrical
current at 60Hz.
Table 4 Required testing conditions for 50Hz power source
Testing conditions
at 60Hz
(kA)
63

70

80

Multiplying
factor of
current

(ms)
45
90
150
45
90
150
45
90
150

Equivalent testing
conditions at 50Hz
(kA)

1.29
1.24
1.24
1.29
1.24
1.24
1.29
1.24
1.24

81
78
78
90
87
87
103
98
98

DC
13%
47%
65%
13%
47%
65%
13%
47%
65%

5. Verification of Interrupting Capability for Large


Interrupting tests to evaluate the influence of large
on the interrupting capability of 550kV GCBs have been
carried out with the proposed equivalent testing method
in this paper. Fig. 9 shows a photograph of verification
test conducted at high power laboratory of one
manufacturer.

Table.5 Required Testing conditions at 60Hz

Current
Source

Parameters
Peak current during
the last loop
The duration of the
last current loop
Arcing time

Voltage
Source

Tolerance
+2%
Target value -2%
+1.0ms
Target value -1.0ms
1.25 cycle

+0.06 cycle (1.0ms)


-0.06 cycle (1.0ms)

di / dt

+5%
Required value-0%

U1

+7%
Required value-0%

Uc

+7%
Required value-0%

during the last major loop was set to be a target value


within 2%. The duration of the last major loop was set
to be a target value within 1.0ms, while the arcing time
was set to be 1.250.06 cycle. However, the RRRV was
set to be larger than a required value because it is
difficult to adjust RRRV precisely at a testing
laboratory.
(2) Testing results
In the verification test according to the equivalent
method, the total arc energy generated during the arcing
time of 1.25 cycle, the peak current during the last major
loop and the duration of the last loop were in agreement
with those of 63kA asymmetrical currents with =45, 90
and 150ms. Fig. 10 shows typical measured and
calculated results of the arc current and voltage as well
as the arc energy from the contact separation to the
current interruption. These experimental results agree
well with the calculated values. The error of the total arc
energy was less than 5%. The arc energy generated
during the last (third) major loop attained 90% of total
energy for 1.25 cycle. This supports the validity of the
proposed testing method tested with the same peak
current during the last major loop and the duration of the

(1) Testing conditions


Table 5 shows the testing conditions for the current
and the TRV waveforms. When the testing results fall
within the permissible ranges shown in Table 5, the test
results were validated. For example, the peak current

Fig.9 Verification test using a 550kV GCB

Fig.10 Typical test results corresponding to 63kA


asymmetrical current with =150ms

2.0
1.6
0.8

Calculation

Experiment
Breaker Type A Type B Type C
Arcing time : 1.25cycle
Success
Time constant of DC component : 150ms

Failure

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

Equivalent interupting current [kA]

Fig.11 Total arc energies for three different GCBs

last loop as those for the asymmetrical current with a


certain .
Fig. 11 shows the total arc energies of three
different GCBs generated during the arcing time of 1.25
cycle for the equivalent current of around 63kA
asymmetrical current with =150ms. The measured arc
energies of each GCB agree well with the simulation,
even though the arc voltage showed different behaviors
resulting from the different stroke characteristics of
three GCBs.
(3) Interrupting capability for large
Fig.12 summarizes the experimental and analytical
results of the influence of on interrupting capability
with three 550kV GCBs. The verification tests were
carried out at the equivalent testing conditions for
asymmetrical currents of around 63kA with =90 and
150ms. The rate of decrease of interrupting capability
was expressed by the ratio of the critical interrupting
current at a certain to that at =45ms. The interrupting
capability at =150ms was reduced by about 10 % as
compared with that at =45ms. The experimental results
were slightly better than the analytical capability shown
in Fig.4. The dotted line shows the ratio of the
root-mean-square value of the asymmetrical interrupting
current with a certain to that of the current with
=45ms at an instant of contact separation. This
correlation is used in the industry as a convenient
reference to evaluate breaker performance for larger .
However, it was found to be 10% more severe than the
experimental results obtained in this paper.
The interrupting capability for large offers an
important index for replacement and maintenance policy
on GCB designed for =45ms and selection of GCBs in
future power systems.

6. Conclusion
The influence of the time constants of DC
component () on interrupting capability was
investigated analytically and experimentally using three
different types of 550kV GCBs. The following results
obtained in this paper will give an important guideline
for evaluating the interrupting capability of GCB

(2) Analytical results of interruption success-or-failure


combining the electric field analysis and the hot gas
flow analysis showed good agreement with the
success-or-failure results examined by the equivalent
testing method. The equivalent testing method, which
was made to agree with the arc energy, the peak current
during the last major loop and the duration of the last
loop with the asymmetrical current with large , was
verified to be effective in evaluating the breaker
performance for asymmetrical fault current. This
equivalent method has the feature that a testing station
can evaluate the interrupting capability for the
asymmetrical current with large using a power source
with =60-70ms even using a different power frequency.
(3) The evaluated influence of on interrupting
capability will give useful information on selection of
modern GCBs in future power systems as well as for
replacement and maintenance guidelines for older GCBs
operated in a current system with an increased severity.

Guideline of interrupting capability

100

Interrupting capability (%)

1.2

(1) Detailed investigation of the influence of on


interrupting capability provides the guideline of the rate
of decrease of interrupting capability for large .
Degraded interrupting capability was confirmed to be
half of the conventional correlation (shown in
JEC2300-1998 [2]) which was given by the ratio of the
root-mean-square value of the asymmetrical interrupting
current with a certain to that for the current with
=45ms.

0.4

Total arc energy [MJ]

applied for severe duties in future power systems.

90
80
70

Rate of rms value of asymetrical current


to the critical interrupting current
Breaker

Type A

Type B Type C

Success
Failure

45 60

80

100 120

150

Time constant of DC component (ms)

Fig.12 Influence of time constants of DC component


() on interrupting capability

References
[1] IEC 62271-100,"High-voltage alternating-current
circuit-breakers", (2001)
[2] The Japanese Electro-technical Committee,
"Alternating-current Circuit Breaker", JEC-2300-1998
[3] IEC 62271-308, "High-Voltage alternating current
circuit-breakers guide for asymmetrical short-circuit
breaking test duty T100a", 17A/596/CDV (2001)
[4] T.Satou et al, " Influence of the time constant of D.C.
component on interrupting duty of GCB", IEEE/PES
Winter Meeting (2001)