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Protection System of Grid

Substation Transformer
Assignment 1

Power System Protection and Communication

Prepared By:

Habibullah Nahid
Roll: 1015160004
Military Institute of Science and Technology

Date: 29 July, 2015

Electric Substation:
A station in the power transmission system at which electric power is transformed to a
conveniently used form. Its main function is to receive energy transmitted at high voltage from the
generating station, by either step-up or step-down the voltage to a value appropriate for local use
and provide facilities for switching. Substations have some additional functions. Its provide points
where safety devices may be installed to disconnect circuits or equipment in the event of trouble.
Major Tasks of a Substation
1. Protection of transmission system.
2. Controlling the Exchange of Energy.
3. Ensure steady State & Transient stability.
4. Load shedding and prevention of loss of synchronism. Maintaining the system frequency
within targeted limits.
5. Voltage Control; reducing the reactive power flow by compensation of reactive power, tapchanging.
6. Securing the supply by proving adequate line capacity.
7. Data transmission via power line carrier for the purpose of network monitoring; control
and protection.
8. Fault analysis and pin-pointing the cause and subsequent improvement in that area of field.
9. Determining the energy transfer through transmission lines.
10. Reliable supply by feeding the network at various points.
11. Establishment of economic load distribution and several associated functions.
Based on configuration substation are usually classified in two ways.

Air-insulated switchgear (AIS) used to be the most common design, but this requires a lot
of space and for higher voltages is only feasible outdoors. Even then, AIS may be
unsuitable or undesirable in certain locations, such as residential areas.
Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) uses a superior dielectric gas, SF6, at moderate pressure
for phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground insulation. The high voltage conductors, circuit
breaker interrupters, switches, current transformers, and voltage transformers are in SF6
gas inside grounded metal enclosures. Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) may be more
expensive if only the unit cost is compared, but is safer and needs less maintenance. The
fact that GIS units are five times smaller than AIS means cost savings and smaller, less
intrusive buildings

Components in a Substation:
Power transformers, switching devices such as circuit breakers and disconnectors to cut power in
case of a problem, and measurement, protection and control devices needed to ensure its safe and
efficient operation.
Electrical Grids:
An electric grid is a network of synchronized power providers and consumers that are connected
by transmission and distribution lines and operated by one or more control centers. When most
people talk about the power "grid," they're referring to the transmission system for electricity.
The electricity generation, transmission, distribution and control networks make up the electrical
grid. The simplest grids link a local generator to homes, but grids can cover whole continents too.
Smaller grids have a radial structure with supply lines branching out from a large centralized
electricity supplier. This is relatively simple to operate, but if a line goes down, users are cut off.
Smaller grids have a radial structure with supply lines branching out from a large
centralized electricity supplier. This is relatively simple to operate, but if a line goes down, users
are cut off.
To ensure reliable supply, most grids use a mesh structure. In this configuration, the power lines
of any given electricity supply source are interconnected with those of other sources. If one line
has a problem, power can be rerouted from elsewhere while the damaged line is repaired.
To plan, operate and manage large interlinked systems, we need control centers where operators
monitor grid status. They will adjust to electrical demand variations in real time, using
sophisticated network management systems.
Increasingly, intelligence is being built into electric grids. Smart grid initiatives seek to improve
operations, maintenance and planning by automating operations and ensuring that components of
the grid can communicate with each other as required.
The power goes from the transformer to the distribution bus. The bus distributes power to local
distribution lines. The bus has its own transformers that can also step down or step up voltage
according to local energy needs. At the bus, there may be two separate sets of distribution lines at
two different voltages. Smaller transformers attached to the bus step the power down to standard
line voltage (usually 7,200 volts) for one set of lines, while power leaves in the other direction at
the higher voltage of the main transformer.

Substations may be indoor or outdoor, with a selection of high-voltage incoming sections, a choice
of transformer types, and an arrangement of Switchgear to suit the application. Most switchgear
assemblies are configured as unit substations. Unit substations follow the system concept of
locating transformers as close as practicable to areas of load concentration at utilization voltages,
thus minimizing the lengths of secondary distribution cables and buses.


Under Electrical Protection
Different transformers demand different schemes of transformer protection depending upon their
importance, winding connections, earthing methods and mode of operation etc. It is common
practice to provide Buchholz relay protection to all 0.5 MVA and above transformers. While for
all small size distribution transformers, only high voltage fuses are used as main protective device.
For all larger rated and important distribution transformers, over current protection along with
restricted earth fault protection is applied. Differential protection should be provided in the
transformers rated above 5 MVA. Depending upon the normal service condition, nature of
transformer faults, degree of sustained over load, scheme of tap changing, and many other factors,
the suitable transformer protection schemes are chosen.
All kinds of faults and protection in transformer
Transformer is a static device plus it is protected by the main circuit breaker thus there is almost
no possibility of external fault to it other than internal faults like open circuit fault, over heating
fault and winding short circuit fault.
Open circuit fault occurs when one phase of transformer become open which is relatively harmless
just because temperature rise that can be detected by temperature alarm and disconnect the
transformer. Short circuit fault is relatively dangerous and need extra caution.
The complete protection schemes of transformer is not a single protection system unlike alternator
which can be protected by only Mertz Price differential circulating current protection system.
A combination of protection system is needed for the complete protection of transformer. The
deciding factors of requiring protection system are (1)Size of transformer,(2) type of cooling
system, (3)transformer location in the network (4)Load type & nature, (5) Importance of
Nature of Transformer Faults:
Although an electrical power transformer is a static device, but internal stresses arising from
abnormal system conditions, must be taken into consideration.
A transformer generally suffers from following types of transformer fault1.

Over current due to overloads and external short circuits,

Terminal faults,
Winding faults,
Incipient faults.

All the above mentioned transformer faults cause mechanical and thermal stresses inside the
transformer winding and its connecting terminals. Thermal stresses lead to overheating which
ultimately affect the insulation system of transformer. Deterioration of insulation leads to
winding faults. Sometime failure of transformer cooling system, leads to overheating of
transformer. So the transformer protection schemes are very much required.
The short circuit current of an electrical transformer is normally limited by its reactance and for
low reactance, the value of short circuit current may be excessively high. The duration of
external short circuits which a transformer can sustain without damage as given in BSS
Transformer % reactance

Permitted fault duration in seconds




7 % and over

The general winding faults in transformer are either earth faults or inter-turns faults. Phase to phase
winding faults in a transformer is rare. The phase faults in an electrical transformer may be
occurred due to bushing flash over and faults in tap changer equipment. Whatever may be the
faults, the transformer must be isolated instantly during fault otherwise major breakdown may
occur in the electrical power system.
Incipient faults are internal faults which constitute no immediate hazard. But it these faults are
over looked and not taken care of, these may lead to major faults. The faults in this group are
mainly inter-lamination short circuit due to insulation failure between core lamination, lowering
the oil level due to oil leakage, blockage of oil flow paths. All these faults lead to overheating. So
transformer protection scheme is required for incipient transformer faults also. The earth fault,
very nearer to neutral point of transformer star winding may also be considered as an incipient
Influence of winding connections and earthing on earth fault current magnitude.
There are mainly two conditions for earth fault current to flow during winding to earth faults:
A current exists for the current to flow into and out of the winding.
Ampere-turns balance is maintained between the windings.
The value of winding earth fault current depends upon position of the fault on the winding, method
of winding connection and method of earthing. The star point of the windings may be earthed
either solidly or via a resistor. On delta side of the transformer the system is earthed through an

earthing transformer. Grounding or earthing transformer provides low impedance path to the zero
sequence current and high impedance to the positive and negative sequence currents.
Star Winding with Neutral Resistance Earthed
In this case the neutral point of the transformer is earthed via a resistor and the value of impedance
of it, is much higher than that of winding impedance of the transformer. That means the value of
transformer winding impedance is negligible compared to impedance of earthing resistor. The
value of earth current is, therefore, proportional to the position of the fault in the winding. As the
fault current in the primary winding of the transformer is proportional to the ratio of the short
circuited secondary turns to the total turns on the primary winding, the primary fault current will
be proportional to the square of the percentage of winding short circuited. The variation of fault
current both in the primary and secondary winding is shown below.
Star Winding with Neutral Solidly Earthed
In this case the earth fault current magnitude is limited solely by the winding impedance and the
fault is no longer proportional to the position of the fault. The reason for this non linearity is
unbalanced flux linkage.
Protection of Transformer in Grid Substation:
Double element relays can be used in detecting minor or major faults in a transformer. The alarm
element will operate, after a specified volume of gas has collected to give an alarm indication.
Examples of incipient faults are:
(a) Broken-down core bolt insulation
(b) Shorted laminations
(c) Bad contacts
(d) Overheating of part of windings
The alarm element will also operate in the event of oil leakage, or if air gets into the oil system.
The trip element will be operated by an oil surge in the event of more serious faults such as
(a) Earth faults
(b) Winding short circuits
(c) Puncture of bushings
(d) Short circuit between phases
Function of Buchholz relay: In the following the operation of a Buchholz relay is explained using
the example of a double-float Buchholz relay. The relay is built in the connecting pipe between

the transformer tank and the conservator. During normal operation it is filled completely with
insulating liquid.
Due to buoyancy the floats are at their top position. If a fault occurs inside the transformer, the
Buchholz relay responds as follows:
Fault Type: Free gas is available in the insulating liquid.
Response of the Relay: The gas in the liquid moves upwards,
accumulates in the Buchholz relay and displaces the insulating
liquid level. The moving float actuates a switch contact (magnet
contact tube). An alarm signal is tripped. The lower float is not
affected as from a certain gas volume the gas flows through a
piping to the conservator.
Fault Type: Insulating liquid loss due to leakage.
Response of the Relay: As the liquid level falls the top float moves
downward. An alarm is tripped. If the liquid loss continues,
conservator and piping as well as the Buchholz relay will be emptied.
As the liquid level falls, the lower float moves downward. The
moving float actuates a switch contact so that the transformer is

Fault Type: A spontaneous incident generates a pressure wave

moving in the direction of the conservator.
Response of the Relay: The liquid flow reaches a damper arranged
in the liquid flow. If the flow rate exceeds the operating threshold
of the damper, the latter moves in flow direction. Due to this
movement a switch contact is actuated so that the transformer is
Advantages of using Buchholz Relay:
1. Buchholz relay indicates inter turn faults and faults due to heating of core and helps in the
avoidance of severe faults.
2. Nature and severity of fault can be determined without dismantling the transformer by
testing the air samples.

It can sense the faults occurring below the oil level only. The relay is slow and has a minimum
operating range of 0.1second and an average operating range of 0.2 seconds.