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The phenomenon of ferroresonance is the occurrence of high
voltages which may occur when a modest size capacitance is either
in series or in parallel with nonlinear inductance, such as an iron
cored transformer.
In power systems, the most common place to find ferroresonance is
with a three phase distribution transformer energised through an
underground cable of moderate length. Under no load, or very light
load conditions, the capacitance of the cable is sufficient to precipitate
ferroresonant behaviour under single phase switching conditions (eg.
the operation of an HV fuse or asynchronous operation of singlephase
11kV switches such as a drop-out fuse unit.)
The trend towards undergrounding of distribution assets and the
increasing installation of URD has resulted in a higher incidence of
situations where single phase switching of the cable connecting
transformer could result in dangerous overvoltage due to
The simplest form of occurrence of a ferroresonance circuit in a URD
distribution system is when the single-phase operating switchgear or
switch fuses are located some distance away from the transformer
itself, with a length of cable joining the switchgear and transformer. A
circuit of this sort could occur, for example, where a substation is
supplied from a set of EDOs on a cable termination pole.
In the case where single phase switching is performed directly at the
transformer terminals, there is no capacitance in circuit and as a
result no abnormal circuit. Since the equivalent circuit of a cable
under no load conditions is essentially a capacitive circuit, the
presence of the cable introduces a capacitance into the circuit and
forms a series LC circuit consisting of the transformer winding,
which under no load can be represented by an iron cored inductance, in
series with the core-sheath capacitance of the cable. [Note that this circuit
applies to 3-core screened and single core cables, ie. There is no core to
core capacitance.] The three-phase equivalent circuit is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1.1
With one phase energised (R phase for example as shown in Figure 1.1) a
series circuit is formed consisting of the magnetised inductance Lm
between R and Y phases and the Y phase core-to-sheath cable
capacitance. In parallel with this circuit is a second identical series circuit
consisting of the magnetised inductance Lm between R and B phases and
the B phase core-to-sheath capacitance. Since each branch of this parallel
circuit is identical, the potential between the points Y and B is zero and
therefore the magnetising inductance Lm between Y and B phases does
not enter into the circuit. Combining the circuit components results in an
equivalent series circuit consisting of a capacitance in series with a nonlinear
inductance which is therefore the ferroresonant circuit.