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Paralleling Operations / Synchronizations:Theory, Practices and Improvements.

Presented at Electrical Systems 2005 KNOW-HOW on Emerging Technologies & Best

Practices in Electrical field held on 10th & 11th June 2005 at CII Godrej GBC, Hyderabad

What is Synchronizing
Types of Switching Operation
Types of Synchronizing
Concept of Slip frequency and Advance angle
Load pick-up and Governor droop Characteristics
Synchronizing methods
Generator Synchronizing
General criteria for Generator Synchronisation
Manual Synchronizing
Components used for Synchronisation
Automatic Synchronizing
Choice of Synchronization
( cont..)

Topics (cont
Sources of Errors in Synchronisation System
Pre-commissioning Checks for Synchronisation System
Mechanism of Wrong Synchronisation System
Possible out of Synchronisation
Effect of faulty Synchronisation on Generator System
Shortfall in the Conventional Synchronising Scheme
Improvement Suggested in the Synchronisation System

THEME of Presentation
Sources of Errors in Synchronisation System
Mechanism of Wrong Synchronisation
Effect of Wrong Synchronisation on Generator
Pre-commissioning Checks
Drawback in the Present Synchronisation System
Improvements suggested in the Synchronisation System

What is Synchronising ?
Overall operation of ensuring that the two power systems to
be interconnected THROUGH a Circuit Breaker.
To achieve the same the following shall be satisfied on either
side of the circuit breaker
Voltage Magnitudes are same
Voltages are in Phase
Frequencies are equal

Phasor Relationship between Incoming and Running Supplies

a) Phasor relationship at some instant prior to Synchronising

b) Phasor relationship at the instant before switch contacts close

Types of Synchronisation
1. System synchronising:
When two different parts of a system are connected together
(i.e. both Voltage Magnitude, Phase and Frequency cannot
be controlled like generator circuits)
For example Closing of a Bus coupler CB fed by two
Transformer feeders, the voltage magnitude can only be
varied through Tap changing mechanism

2. Generator synchronizing
Generator is connected to a Grid. The voltage magnitude,
Phase and frequency of the generator supply can be varied.

Synchronising methods
1) Manual synchronising
It is performed by the operator using following synchronizing
devices. This is generally used for both Generator
synchronisation and System synchronisation


Check Synchronising Relay

DV, DF Meters, Guard Relay

2) Automatic synchronising
It is performed through Automatic Synchronising Relay.
This provides closed loop control for adjusting Speed & Voltage
of the Generator during synchronization. This is used for
Generator synchronisation

Slip Frequency:
Difference between the incoming voltage and the running voltage
frequency is called Slip frequency. It is the measure of the rate
rate of
change of phase
Say (for 50Hz System)

fs = fi fr


= 50.01 50.06
= 0.05Hz

(fs / 50) X 100

(0.05/50) X 100 = 0.1%


Time period of Slip cycle:


= % fs

= ( 1 / 0.05 ) = 20 sec per Slip cycle


Rate of change of Phase:

0.05 x 360 = 18
18 per second

Frequency Error / Slip Frequency

Advance angle:
The angle in advance of the phase coincidence at the instant when
when the
switch closing impulse is generated

Aa = fs X 360 X tc
Where, tc = Closing time of CB (0.15 sec)
Say, Aa

= 0.10 X 360 X 0.15

= 5.40
5.40 electrical

Relationship between advance angle and Switch closing time:


Load Pick-Up
% load pickpick-up ( lp )=

% Slip Frequency ( fs )

X 100

% Speed droop ( nd )
Where, %fs =

slip frequency
system frequency

% Speed droop =

X 100

No load Speed Full load Speed

X 100
No load Speed

Slip frequency =

% ( lp ) X % (nd)

System frequency

= [ (1 x 4) / 100] X (50 / 100)

= 0.02Hz

Criteria for Generator Synchronising

Generator synchronising is of two methods:

Super synchronously synchronising, with the incoming

frequency higher than the running frequency


Sub synchronously synchronising, with the incoming

frequency lower than the running frequency
Generator Type


Synchronising Method

Steam turbine generator Super synchronously

Prevent motoring
(Prime mover damage)

Diesel generator

Prevent motoring
(Reverse power relay

Super synchronously

Permissible Synchronising Criteria for Generators


Gas Turbine

Frequency range 4040-51 Hz

Diesel Generator
4747-51 Hz

Steam Turbine
4747-51 Hz

Voltage Range

8080-115% (nominal)

8585-115% (nominal)
85-115% (nominal) 85-

Voltage error

4% (nominal)

4% (nominal)

Maximum slip

0.2% above
0.2% above
synchronous ( For
manual synchronous)

Phase error

8 (elec)

Load pick up

1 5% Full Load

4% (nominal)
0.2% above

8 (elec)

8 (elec)

1-5% Full load

1-5% Full load

Manual Synchronising for Generator

To synchronize generator to a Grid the following steps shall be
1. Voltage difference is brought within prescribed limits by
adjusting the excitation
2. Slip frequency and Phase difference are brought within the
prescribed limits by adjusting the Speed governor
3. CB closing is done at the correct Phase Advance Angle.
4. Check synchronising relay separately measures the voltage,
phase and slip frequency, inhibiting the breaker-closing signal
unless supply differences are within the preset limits.

Manual Synchronising for System

To synchronize two Grid feeders (I.e. Non-Generator feeders)
The following steps to be adopted
1. Operator has to wait until the Voltage magnitude and Frequency
are almost becoming same.
2. The Phase difference is continuously varying as the function of
Slip frequency
3. Switch closing is done at the instant of the correct Phase
advance angle
Check synchronising relay separately measures the voltage,
phase and slip frequency, inhibiting the breaker-closing signal
unless supply differences are within the preset limits.

Automatic Synchronising for Generator

Automatic synchronising relays monitor the voltages and the
frequencies of the incoming and the running supplies.
It gives out signal, which are used to control the incoming
voltage and the incoming frequency through a closed loop
The Governor Characteristic , Slip frequency and CB closing
time characteristic are taken for generation of closing pulse.
A pulse signal is sent out to energise the interposing relay, at
correct Phase Advance Angle which inturn closes the breaker

Sources of Errors in Synchronisation System

Voltage Transformer Ratio & Phase error
The total burden connected to the secondary of winding shall be
within 25% to 100% of rated burden
Lead Resistance
The Cable Lead interconnecting VT and Synchronising panel
should not make any significant voltage drop.
Usage of Interposing Potential Transformer
Workman error in connecting Instruments
Inadvertent Error such as connecting wrong terminals of
Instruments to the PT supply. (Say PT Polarity Reversal)
( Cont)

Mechanism of Wrong Synchronisation in

Generator System
To Synchronize a Generator with GRID,a load pick-up of 1% 5% shall be considered.
This results into a Slip frequency (i.e. fs = 0)

In.Sup Run.Sup
Polarity Polarity

Initial Phase
Shift @ fs = 0

Final Phase Shift @

Phase coincidence

Possible out of Synchronisation

Phase Neutral method:
180 : Due to interchange of R & N at PT secondary
120 : Due to interchange of Y & N at PT secondary

Phase Phase method:

180 : Due to interchange of R & Y at PT secondary
60 : When R&Y & R&B of I/C & Running circuits
are compared at synchroscope / synchronising
120 : When R&Y & Y&B of I/C & Running circuits
are compared at synchroscope / synchronising
150 : When R&Y & B&R of I/C & Running circuits
are compared at synchroscope / synchronising


Effect of Faulty Synchronising on

The effect of the disturbance on an turbine generator
1. Stator end windings, being the weakest part of the stator,
may distort and would damage the end insulation
2. Torsional oscillations stress the shaft system and in particular
the shaft couplings
3. The No.of force reversals is more important in determining the
failure of alternator windings
4. Even Protective Relay (50) picking-up instantaneously (20
msec) and Tripping the CB (40 msec) cannot protect the
Generator from the effect of Faulty Synchronisation as first two
cycle is sufficient enough to cause the damage.
5. Differential Protective Relays will sense only after Fault is
established by the Generator after damaging the winding.

Pre-Commissioning Checks for Synchronism System

Thorough Phasing out operation to be carried out using
1. Check for the correct connections of the wires to the
terminal blocks and Synchronising instruments
2. Check the Phase sequence using Phase sequence indicator
3. Measure Voltage across Terminal ( Rr Ri, Yr Yi, Br Bi )
4. Check the Synchroscope by interchange of running /
incoming polarity
5. Check the Synchronising Relay
6. Measure and Capture the Wave forms through SCOPE


Short fall in the Conventional Synchronising

1. Basically Unsecured due to highly person dependent.
2. Susceptable for Intentional & Unintentional changes.
3. Path between VT and Synchronising panel gets multiple
entry to provide tap of to Remote Synchronising panel.
4. Multiple access possible at any time, if not, specifically
on the Synchronising panel ( for example DG power
panel may be under Maintenance)
5. Synchronising Instruments like Synchroscope, Check
Synchronising relay are tapped off from Common
Synchronising Circuits.
( Cont)

Short fall in the Conventional

Synchronising Scheme (Cont
6. Synchronising circuits are not Duplicated in terms of
Instruments and connection by Cables.
7. Terminal blocks in VT circuits are of Mono color.
8. Ferrules are too small to be visible enough in a full fledged
panel wiring system
9. No SEALING arrangement for Terminal blocks and
Synchronising instruments.
10. Inadvertent Changes in the commissioned system, if any
gets unnoticed by Random checks.


Conventional Scheme

Improvement Suggested

TBs associated with VT signal for Synchronising circuits at

all locations / Tapping points shall be COLORED type and
it shall be SEALABLE.

Terminals of Synchronising Instruments at the Respective

panels shall be of SEALABLE type.

Connection from VT to Synchronising circuit shall be by

cable as DIRECT as possible.

Connection from VT to Synchronising circuit shall be by

cable as DUPLICATED (i.e.redundancy).

Auxiliary Synchronising panel with 3# incandescent lamps

and Voltage balance Relay

Lamps are configured in Bright / Dark Lamp methods.


Improvement Suggested