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Section 1

Introduction
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 1: Introduction

1.0 Introduction to the Manual

Welcome to the ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual. This Manual was developed
by ERCOT power system operations experts. It was developed for training and to be
used as a reference by persons preparing for the ERCOT System Operator
Certification Exam. This Manual contains descriptions of fundamental topics in
electrical power and ERCOT power system operations.

1.1 Purpose of the Manual

The Manual was designed and written to serve as a study tool for ERCOT System
Operator certification tests and to serve as a readily available reference document.
Once the certification process is complete the Manual will serve as a life-long
reference tool. Periodically the Manual will be updated to keep pace with changes in
ERCOT power system operations.

1.2 How the Manual was Developed

This Manual was written for ERCOT System Operators. Every effort has been made
to address topics from the perspective of a System Operator.
In the mid 1990s representatives from many of the existing Control Areas of ERCOT
formed a working group to design and develop this Manual. Drafts of each section of
the Manual were first written by experts in the subject matter. The working group
then reviewed the section and modified it as required to ensure conformance to
ERCOT operating practices.
A similar process was employed when this latest revision was developed. A great
deal of effort has gone into the preparation of this version of the Manual. In the
future, additional updates will be developed and made available to Manual holders in
an effort to keep the Manual up to date.

1.3 Prerequisites for the use of the Manual

The Manual is designed to provide all the introductory material the reader will require.
The initial sections include basic material on mathematics, DC power, and AC power.
No prerequisite study should be needed. If there are areas that the Manual does not
sufficiently address, please ask your supervisor for assistance.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 1: Introduction

1.4 Manual Content Summary

The Manual is divided into 18 sections. Each section is briefly reviewed here to
provide the reader with a general overview of the contents of the Manual.
Section 1: Introduction
An introductory section that describes the purpose and content of the Manual.
Section 2: Interconnected System Operations
Explains how the North American power system is configured and describes the
role of NERC and ERCOT in promoting reliable system operations.
Section 3: Mathematics Review
Presents basic mathematics concepts that are useful to a System Operator.
Topics addressed include trigonometry, vectors and phasors, ratios,
percentages, and the per-unit system
Section 4: DC Electricity
Explains the basic principles of DC electricity. Topics addressed include current,
voltage, electrical circuits, resistance, Ohms Law, Kirchhoffs Laws, power, and
energy.
Section 5: AC Electricity
Explains the basic principles of AC electricity. Topics addressed include
alternating current and voltage, magnetism, capacitance and inductance, and
single and three phase power.
Section 6: Generating Units
Describes the theory and operation of generating units. Topics addressed
include AC machines, torque angles, turbines, control systems, generator MW
capability, and synchronous condensers.
Section 7: Transmission Equipment
Describes the theory and operation of the common types of equipment used in
the transmission system and in substations. The types of equipment described
include power transformers, instrument transformers, transmission lines, circuit
breakers and switches, and meters.
Section 8: Active & Reactive Power Flow
Equations for active and reactive power flow are developed and
demonstrated. The factors that impact active and reactive power flow are
described.
Section 9: Voltage Control
Describes the causes and effects of high and low voltage and explains the
methods used to control voltage deviations. The theory and operation of the
equipment used to control voltage magnitude is also described.

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Section 10: Frequency Control


Describes the cause and effects of frequency deviations and the methods used
to control frequency deviations. Topics addressed include governor systems,
automatic generation control, reserves, time error, control performance
standards, and load shedding.
Section 11: Unused
This section is reserved for future use.
Section 12: System Protection
A summary of power system protective relaying. The purpose and operation of
protective relays is explained and the types of protective relays are described.
Section 13: Transmission Operations
Introduces the reader to ERCOT transmission system operation. Topics
addressed include the ERCOT security (reliability) criteria, the switching
process, and responding to transmission system outages.
Section 14: Emergency Operations
Introduces the reader to emergency operations within ERCOT. Generation and
transmission emergencies are addressed. Programs for speeding the recovery
from emergency situations are described. Principles and strategies for system
restoration are also described.
Section 15: Economic Operation
Introduces the reader to the theory and principles of economic operation and
the ERCOT Market. Topics addressed include the cost of power production,
scheduling and unit commitment, and real time economic operation.
Section 16: Glossary
A glossary of important terms used throughout this Manual.
Section 17: Sample Certification Test
Section 18: Question Answers
Answers to all of the questions that follow each Manual
subsection.

1.5 How to Use the Manual

The Manual is designed in a self-study format. The reader should begin with Section
2. The early sections (2 through 7) address basic material. The reader is encouraged
to read all the material although it may be a review for some. The certification tests
will contain basic as well as advanced questions and a review of basic material will
only improve the readers score on the certification tests.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 1: Introduction

A brief summary and a series of questions appear at the conclusion of each


subsection of the Manual. The summary section is a brief review of the subsection
contents. The questions are provided so the reader can judge their comprehension of
the subsections contents.
Answers to all the subsection questions are contained in Section 18.
Section 17 contains a sample ERCOT certification test. This fifty-question test
includes questions from throughout the Manual. If the reader can take and pass this
test (without any assistance!) it is likely the reader will be able to pass the actual
ERCOT certification test.
However, the actual certification test will include questions not included in the sample
test. The best way to ensure the certification test is passed is to read and understand
all the material contained in each section of this Manual.

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Section 2
Interconnected
System Operations
Table of Contents

2.0 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1


2.1 Interconnected Operations .................................................................................................. 1
2.1.1 Benefits of Interconnected Operations .............................................................................. 1
2.1.2 The Four Major Interconnections ...................................................................................... 2
2.1.3 The ERCOT Interconnection............................................................................................. 3
2.1.4 Interconnections and Frequency....................................................................................... 5
Section 2.1 Summary ................................................................................................................. 6
Section 2.1 Review Questions ................................................................................................... 7
2.2 The Role of NERC ............................................................................................................... 8
2.2.1 Regional Entities ............................................................................................................... 8
2.2.2 Functions of NERC ........................................................................................................... 9
Section 2.2 Summary ............................................................................................................... 10
Section 2.2 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 11
2.3 Purpose and Function of ERCOT ...................................................................................... 12
2.3.1 History and Evolution ...................................................................................................... 12
2.3.2 ERCOT Organization ...................................................................................................... 14
2.3.3 ERCOT Operating Guides .............................................................................................. 18
Section 2.3 Summary .............................................................................................................. 19
Section 2.3 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 20
2.4 ERCOT .............................................................................................................................. 21
2.4.1 Purpose of ERCOT ......................................................................................................... 21
2.4.2 Responsibilities of ERCOT ............................................................................................. 21
2.4.3 ERCOT as a Control Area .............................................................................................. 22
2.4.4 ERCOTs Core Processes .............................................................................................. 22
2.4.5 System Operator Responsibilities ................................................................................... 23
Section 2.4 Summary .............................................................................................................. 24
SECTION 2.4 Review Questions ............................................................................................. 25
Figures and Tables
Figure 2-1 The Four Major Interconnections ..................................................................2
Figure 2-2 ERCOT Interconnection ...............................................................................3
Figure 2-2a DC Ties ......................................................................................................4
Figure 2-3 The Eight Regional Entities of NERC ...........................................................8
Figure 2.4 Bilateral Market ........................................................................................... 13
Figure 2.5 Market Participants ..................................................................................... 15
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 2: Interconnected System Operations

2.0 Introduction

Electric systems have many things in common. The shared goal of electric system operators
is to provide reliable service to the customers in a safe and efficient manner. This section
explains how the many different electric systems in North Americaand particularly those in
ERCOTwork together to achieve that goal. The section describes how the North American
power system is configured and also describes the role of the North American Electric
Reliability Council (NERC) and ERCOT in promoting reliable operation.

2.1 Interconnected Operations

2.1.1 Benefits of Interconnected Operations

In the infancy of the electric system industry, individual companies operated totally isolated
electrical systems. Most systems were not interconnected with neighboring systems by
transmission lines. When one system had a problem, that system was more or less on its own
to solve the problem. Eventually power systems began to interconnect with their neighboring
systems.

Note: The first interconnected systems in Texas were Texas Power &
Light and West Texas Systems. This Interconnection occurred in 1924.

Advantages to interconnection included, a reduction in the total generation capacity required,


reduced power production costs and enhanced reliability. Total generation could be reduced
because systems could now share capacity. When one system suffered a loss, an
interconnected system was there to supply emergency assistance. Systems no longer had to
go it alone. In addition, by operating as part of a large interconnection, systems were able to
construct larger, more efficient power plants, contributing to more economic power production.
A small isolated system would not be able to recover, for example, from loss of a large
1000 MW nuclear unit. In an interconnected system, such a loss can be compensated using
the combined reserves of all the interconnected companies.

Over the last thirty years or so, systems have worked together to establish an organizational
structure to facilitate communication and coordinated operating policies among the
interconnected systems. This section describes the role of the North American Electric
Reliability Council (NERC) at the national level, and the role of ERCOT within its own region.

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2.1.2 The Four Major Interconnections

Today, the North American power system (USA, Canada, and a small part of Mexico) is
composed of four large Interconnections. These Interconnections are groups of systems that
are tied together by AC transmission lines. Every facility in an Interconnection is tied
electrically to every other facility. For example, within the Eastern Interconnection, a substation
in Florida has an electrical connection to a substation in Maine or to a generator in North
Dakota. Within ERCOT, a substation in Brownsville is connected by AC transmission lines to
generating plants in power systems as far away as Dallas or Houston.

Note: The electrical connection between widely dispersed points may be


via many different transmission lines, but the electrical connection does
exist.

The four large Interconnections in North America are illustrated in Figure 2-1 and briefly
described below:

1 in Figure 2-1 The Eastern Interconnection. The Eastern Interconnection is by far the largest
of the Interconnections. The peak load of the Eastern Interconnection is about 600,000 MW.

Figure 2-1 The Four Major Interconnections

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2 in Figure 2-1 The Western Interconnection. The Western Interconnection is the next
largest of the major Interconnections. The peak load is over 125,000 MW.

3 in Figure 2-1 The ERCOT Interconnection. The majority of the state of Texas forms
a separate Interconnection. The peak load of the Texas Interconnection is about 70,000
MW. (The ERCOT Interconnection is the only Inter-connection that does not cross state
boundaries.)

4 in Figure 2-1 The Hydro-Quebec Interconnection. Hydro-Quebec, the smallest of


the major Interconnections has a peak load of about 30,000 MW.

With the exception of Hydro-Quebec, each of the Interconnections includes many different
operating companies. All the systems coordinate their operations to assist each other in
providing a highly reliable supply of electricity. We have only described the four major
Interconnections. Actually, there are many small interconnections in North America. For
example, the state of Alaska is electrically isolated from the rest of North America. The portion
of Alaska between Fairbanks and Anchorage forms a small (1,000 MW) interconnection. The
northern regions of the Canadian provinces also have many small, isolated interconnections.

2.1.3 The ERCOT Interconnection

ERCOT was organized in its present form in 1970 as one of the ten Regional Reliability
Councils within NERC. These Regional Councils were first established as a voluntary response
of the electric utility industry in North America to the East Coast blackout of 1966. By
overseeing the reliability of the bulk power systems throughout North America, the Regional
Councils have played a major role in preventing widespread disruptions of the electric power
supply.

Figure 2-2 ERCOT Interconnection

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Figure 2-2 is a map of ERCOT. ERCOT covers mostbut not allof the state of
Texas.
Parts of the state that are not within ERCOTs boundaries include:

Two pockets in the eastern portion of the state that are connected to the
Eastern Interconnection. A pocket to the north is part of the Southwest Electric
Power Company (SWEPCO) system and a pocket to the south is part of the
Entergy system.
The territory of Southwest Public Service (SPS) is located in the panhandle
portion of the state. This system is part of the Eastern Interconnection.
A small piece of the far west portion of the state (El Paso Electric Company
EPEC) is connected to the Western Interconnection.

OKLAUNION

MONTICELLO

EAGLE PASS

McALLEN
LAREDO

Figure 2-2a DC Ties

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There are no AC tie-lines connecting ERCOT to the other Interconnections. There are,
however, five AC-DC-AC ties. Two DC links between ERCOT and other
Interconnections are at Monticello to SWEPCO (SPP) in the Northeast and at
Oklaunion to Public Service of Oklahoma (SPP) in the North. The remaining three DC
ties are with Mexico (CFE) at Eagle Pass, McAllen and Laredo.

Note: To connect two Interconnections with different versions


of the same frequency, or with different frequencies, we use
direct current (DC) transmission lines.

There are several AC transmission lines that can be used to transfer load areas back
and forth between ERCOT and Mexico and between ERCOT and the Eastern
Interconnection. These AC lines are never used to permanently connect the ERCOT
system to Mexico or to the Eastern Interconnection, only to shift load in special
circumstances.

2.1.4 Interconnections and Frequency

Each Interconnection in North America maintains its own version of a 60 HZ


frequency. The Interconnections do not operate in synchronism with one another. For
example, the frequency of the Eastern Interconnection may be running fast at 60.02
HZ, while the frequency of ERCOT is running slow at 59.98 HZ. The only transmission
lines connecting the major Interconnections are DC, because DC ties operate
independent of frequency.

Back-to-back AC-DC-AC facilities such as those that link ERCOT to the Eastern
Interconnection are normally located at a single station. They include an AC-to-DC
converter, a short bus or length of transmission line, and a DC-to-AC converter. Power
enters the facility as AC power and leaves as AC power, but the frequencies of the two
waveforms are not the same. The DC link creates a frequency barrier between the two
and allows the operator to control the power flows across the interface.

As mentioned, ERCOT has back-to-back AC-DC-AC ties with the rest of the world but
no closed AC ties. If large Interconnections are connected by AC lines, the AC line
capacity should, as a rule of thumb, be at least 10% of the MW size of the smaller of
the two Interconnections. If the AC line capacity is not large enough, the AC tie-lines
will frequently trip. DC ties are commonly used, as it would be too expensive to build
the required amount of AC transmission to safely tie Interconnections together.

An example of a failed effort to connect two Interconnections was a past attempt to


connect the Eastern and Western Interconnections. In the late 1960s and early 1970s
attempts were made to tie the Eastern and Western Interconnections together with AC
transmission lines. The lines frequently tripped and caused more problems than they
were worth. The capacity of the lines was simply too small to tie such large systems
together. The ties were opened permanently in the early 1970s. Presently only DC
links are used to tie the Eastern and Western Interconnections.

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Section 2.1 Summary

2.1.1 Benefits of Interconnected Operations


In the infancy of the electric power industry, individual companies
operated totally isolated electrical systems.
Advantages to interconnection included a reduction in the total
generation capacity required, reduced power production costs and
enhanced reliability.
An organizational structure has been established at the national level (NERC)
and at the regional level (ERCOT) to facilitate communication and coordinated
operating policies among the interconnected systems.
2.1.2 The Four Major Interconnections
The North American power system (USA, Canada, and a small part of
Mexico) is composed of four large Interconnections.
The four large Interconnections are the Eastern Interconnection, the Western
Interconnection, ERCOT, and Hydro-Quebec.
There are also many small Interconnections, for example, parts of the state of
Alaska.
2.1.3 The ERCOT Connection
ERCOT covers mostbut not allof the state of Texas.
There are two DC ties between ERCOT and the Eastern Interconnection, and
three DC ties between ERCOT and Mexico.
2.1.4 Interconnections and Frequency
Each Interconnection in North America maintains a target frequency of 60 HZ,
but the Interconnections do not operate in synchronism.
The only transmission lines connecting the major Interconnections are DC
because DC ties operate independent of frequency.

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Section 2.1 Review Questions

Q1: What are the names of the four major interconnected power systems in North
America?

Q2: Are all electric systems in North America part of the four major
Interconnections? If not, give examples.

Q3: All the following are advantages of interconnected operations except:

a) Reduced power production costs


b) Availability of emergency
assistance
c) Expansion of power markets
d) Numerous DC ties

Q4: Which of the following regions is NOT part of ERCOT?

a) El Paso area
b) Dallas area
c) Houston area
d) San Antonio area.

Q5: There are no electrical connections between ERCOT and the Eastern
Interconnection.

True or false?

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2.2 The Role of NERC

2.2.1 Regional Entities

U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the creation of an electric reliability
organization (ERO) that would span North America, with FERC providing oversight in
the U.S. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) was selected as
the ERO in July of 2006. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 stated that compliance with
reliability standards would be mandatory and enforceable. In April of 2007 FERC
approved eight delegation agreements by which NERC delegates its authority to
monitor and enforce compliance with NERC Reliability Standards in the United States
to eight Regional Entities, with NERC continuing in an oversight role.

Figure 2-3 The Eight Regional Entities of NERC

Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC) SERC Reliability Corporation (SERC)

Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) Southwest Power Pool, RE (SPP)

Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) Texas Reliability Entity, Inc. (TRE)

Reliability First Corporation (RFC) Western Electricity Coordinating Council WECC)

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2.2.2 Functions of NERC

NERC was formed by the electric system industry in 1968 to promote the reliability of
the electric power systems in North America; at that time membership was voluntary.
Membership in NERC today is by registration, and includes all types of participants in
the electric power industry. NERC publishes Reliability Standards to which member
systems are mandated under penalty of law and sanctions, to comply. Every
organizations Operations and Support Staff, Planning Group, Information Technology
segment, and Security team should read and understand the applicable Reliability
Standards published by NERC.

In addition to NERC Reliability Standards, NERC also publishes operating studies and
statistics that are distributed to member systems to help in their operations planning.

The growth of competition and the structural changes taking place in the electric
industry significantly altered the incentives and responsibilities of market participants to
the point that a system of voluntary compliance was no longer adequate. In response
to these changes, NERC the North American Electric Reliability Council became
NERC the North American Reliability Corporation transforming itself into an
organization that develops reliability standards for the North American bulk electric
system. This effort gives NERC the statutory authority to enforce compliance with
reliability standards among all market participants.

On July 18, 2007, compliance with approved NERC Reliability Standards became
mandatory and enforceable in the United States.

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Section 2.2 Summary

2.2.1 The Regional Entities


U.S. and Canadian systems are organized into a system of eight Regional
Entities
Texas RE (ERCOT) functions as one Regional Entity

2.2.2 Functions of NERC


NERC was formed in 1968 to promote the reliability of electric systems in North
America.
In addition to NERC Reliability Standards, NERC also publishes operating
studies and statistics.
NERC is the statutory authority to enforce compliance with reliability standards.
Membership in NERC today is by registration.
Every organizations Operations and Support Staff, Planning Group,
Information Technology segment, and Security team should read and
understand the applicable Reliability Standards published by NERC.

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Section 2.2 Review Questions

Q1: NERCs Reliability Standards have the force of Federal regulations.

True or false?

Q2: How many Regional Entities exist within the Eastern Interconnection?

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2.3 Purpose and Function of ERCOT

2.3.1 History and Evolution

History:
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is one of eight regional reliability
councils in the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). The primary
responsibility of ERCOT, as a NERC member, is to facilitate reliable power grid
operations in the ERCOT region by working with the electrical energy industry
organizations that operate within that region. ERCOT members serve about 85% of
the electrical load in Texas, and have an overall generating capacity of approximately
80,000 Megawatts (MW). Because ERCOT is located entirely within Texas, the Public
Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) is the principal regulatory authority.
Evolution:
In 1995 a major step toward a fully competitive market in the ERCOT region, was
taken when the Texas State Legislature amended the Public Utility Regulatory Act
(PURA), to deregulate the wholesale generation market. In response to its increased
responsibility under PURA, ERCOT expanded its scope to facilitate the efficient use of
the electric transmission system by all market participants. On September 11, 1996,
this change was officially implemented when the ERCOT Board of Directors
restructured its organization and initiated operations as a not-for-profit Independent
System Operator (ISO).

Senate Bill 7:
In 1999, the Texas Legislature passed, and Governor Bush signed into law Senate Bill
7 (SB7). SB 7 restructured Texas electric utility service, deregulating the electric
generation market. This permits providers to compete for customers who choose their
electricity supplier in competitive areas, and authorizes the PUC to develop and
promulgate customer protection rules in a competitive market.

In January 1, 2002 customers served by investor owned utilities were allowed to


participate in the new market. Other customers will be able to participate if their
cooperative or municipally owned utility opts into the competitive retail market.

It was the intent of SB7 to make the price of energy more visible, provide more choice
for customers, and create an environment that is conducive to innovation and new
business opportunities. Some of the major impacts to the Texas electric industry and
its organizations as a result of SB7 include:

Functional Unbundling: All Texas investor-owned utilities were required to


unbundle into separate business units: generation, transmission and/or
distribution, and retail functions.

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Continuing Wires Regulation: The incumbent utilities' TDSP business


unit will continue to be regulated.
Limitation of Ownership of Installed Capacity: After January 1, 2002 a
Resource was not able to own more than 20% of the installed capacity in the
ERCOT region, or any other power region in Texas for four years or until 40%
percent of its customers switch to non-affiliated Competitive Retailers (CRs).
Creation of a Price to Beat: An affiliated (formerly a member of the same
company) CR of an investor-owned utility was required to offer customers in its
affiliated TDSPs service area a price to beat. The REP could not adjust this
price until either 36 months after retail competition was introduced, or 40% of
the customers in its affiliated TDSPs area have switched to another retailer.
Provision for Municipally Owned Utilities or Cooperatives: Municipally
owned utility and electric cooperatives have the right to not opt into retail
competition and retain their existing customer territories.

Bilateral Transactions:
A key feature of the competitive retail electricity market is that it is based on bilateral
transactions between buyers and sellers of energy, as shown in the Figure 2.4
Bilateral Markets. This is unlike some other markets, where power-generating
companies sell electricity into a pool that sets market prices for buyers.

Bilateral Market - Coordination of Resources

Figure 2.4 Bilateral Market

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2.3.2 ERCOT Organization

Since ERCOTs primary responsibility is to ensure the day-to-day reliability of the


ERCOT Transmission Grid, ERCOT must match generation output and system
demand, and make sure that the transmission system is operating within its
established limits.

This process requires continual dispatch of generation to meet the rise and fall in
system demand.

In order to be able to perform this dispatch at the least cost, ERCOT executes
competitive markets to purchase energy and capacity services needed to reliably
serve the system demand.

A perfect balance between reliability and economics means that generation output is
matched with system demand, the transmission system is operating within limits, and
the services needed to maintain reliable operations are procured at the least cost.

Lets take a moment to talk about capacity. In addition to matching system demand
with generation, ERCOT must also be able to respond quickly to ever-changing
system conditions, including rapidly increasing or decreasing demand or sudden loss
of generation.

To meet this reliability need, ERCOT procures and reserves additional capacity from
certain generators that can respond quick enough to meet changing system
conditions. Capacity reserves procured for this purpose are called Ancillary Services.

ERCOT has three types of reserved capacities, or Ancillary Services: Regulation


Reserve, Responsive Reserve and Non-Spinning Reserve. Each of these services has
distinct performance requirements for response if ERCOT calls on the reserved
capacity to be deployed as energy in response to system conditions.

Ancillary Service capacity that is reserved for responding quickly to changing


conditions is above and beyond what is required to meet the forecasted system
demand. Market participants are allowed, but not required to self-provide ancillary
services as part of their regular private transactions. This means that the market will
still rely on ERCOT to procure additional ancillary services to resolve problems that it
is uniquely positioned to identify, like capacity inadequacy and congestion.

One of ERCOTs reliability functions is to ensure that the transmission system is


operating within limits. In most cases, the process of serving load involves loads and
generators that are separated by some distance. Power moving from generators to
loads flows on the transmission system. Since every part of the transmission system
has its limits, as more and more generation is brought on-line to serve the system
load, there may be a risk of overloading specific elements of the system.

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We may also encounter limits which, if exceeded, place the stability of the
transmission system at risk or otherwise place the system in an insecure state. As the
system approaches these limits, we say that ERCOT is experiencing Transmission
Congestion. Congestion management keeps the transmission system operating within
limits by adjusting power flows in the system.

For the market to operate reliably and efficiently, the various market participants need
to work closely together and operate according to standard market rules or Protocols.
A description of these market participants follows. More detail is contained in Section
10.

Figure 2.5 Market Participants

Market Participants
Qualified Scheduling Entities (QSEs)
Figure 2.5 Market Participants, illustrates the main market participant relationships in
the ERCOT region competitive retail market.

ERCOT interacts with the market through QSEs - for almost all operational and
financial settlement purposes. For example, ERCOT communicates all operational
instructions to QSEs, who then pass them to the appropriate Resource Entity.

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From a market operations perspective, this means that QSEs will serve as the
primary information provider of supply and demand with ERCOT.

Resources Entities (Generation and Load Resources)


Resource Entities are the only entities that can own generation or contract for
instructed demand. They negotiate privately with other market participants to sell their
energy (or demand) and communicate to ERCOT through their QSEs.

Load Serving Entities (LSE)


LSE are the only ones allowed to sell electricity to consumers. LSEs may be a
municipality or coop that has not opened up its market to competition, or it may be a
Competitive Retailer.

Competitive Retailers (CRs)


CRs will be the only organizations authorized to sell electricity directly to retail
customers who have customer choice. CRs will forecast their customer load and
negotiate privately with other market participants. CRs will communicate to ERCOT
through a QSE.

CRs will interact directly with ERCOT when they need to submit switching requests,
where customers choose a new CR. ERCOT will process the switching requests by
working with TDSPs to obtain the initial and final meter reads, confirming switches with
customers, and confirming the switch with the relevant CRs once the switch is
approved. ERCOT also sends switch confirmation notices to consumers to help control
slamming or unauthorized switching.

Transmission and/or Distribution Service Providers (TDSPs)


TDSPs will provide the electricity transportation infrastructure, and will work with
ERCOT to jointly manage the transmission system. ERCOT will also work with TDSPs
to manage the transmission system, and will oversee the customer switching process
by requiring TDSPs to register all premises and switch requests in its centralized
statewide registration system.

ERCOT will need TDSPs to provide meter reading and consumption information, in
order to correctly settle the balancing energy and ancillary service markets. For
example, consumption information for each CR will be needed to determine whether
the actual load matches the schedules submitted by a QSE, on behalf of its CR. If it
did not match, the difference will be settled with QSEs at the Locational Marginal Price
(LMP).

At the present time the majority of customer meters measure accumulated


consumption and are read once per month. This is not conducive to the 15-minute
settlement period used in ERCOT. To manage this issue, ERCOT utilizes standard
load profiles (or shapes) to estimate how monthly consumption breaks down into

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 2: Interconnected System Operations
15-minute intervals for the different customer segments in the region. This process is
relatively accurate because the amount of meters for which this estimate is applied is
statistically significant. Over time it is anticipated that additional meters that measure
usage in 15-minute intervals (interval data recorders) will be deployed to more
customers, reducing the need for the profile estimation process.

Non Opt-In Entities (NOIEs)


Municipalities and Cooperatives, utilities that choose to not open their retail customer
bases to customer choice, will be required to participate in wholesale competitive
market transactions.

Other Participants

Other participants may also operate in the ERCOT market. Power Marketers who buy
and sell blocks of energy will need to communicate with ERCOT through a QSE.
Aggregators that represent one or more retail customers may also submit their loads to
QSEs. Furthermore, innovation within the industry could create many entities that are
not currently envisioned. The PUCT will oversee the entire market, including customer
participation matters, and monitor market activity to deal with market abuses and
gaming. The Independent Market Monitor helps the commission with that function.

The Board of Directors and Committees

ERCOT is managed by a Board of Directors. The ERCOT bylaws specify how the
membership of the Board of Directors will be divided among investor-owned systems,
municipal systems, non-utility generators, and other entities. The directors serve for
one year and elect from their membership a Chairman and Vice Chairman.

The Technical Advisory Committee

TAC is responsible for developing policies, procedures, and guidelines for power grid
coordination, operation, and reliability. TAC has five standing subcommittees:

- Protocol Revision Subcommittee


- Wholesale Market Subcommittee
- Retail Market Subcommittee
- Reliability and Operations Subcommittee
- Commercial Operations Subcommittee

Each subcommittee may appoint task forces or work groups as necessary to


accomplish assigned tasks. Task forces are assigned a specific unit of work and are in
existence until that task is finished, typically one (1) year. Work Groups are sub-
elements that remain from year to year until instructed to dissolve.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 2: Interconnected System Operations

2.3.3 ERCOT Operating Guides

ERCOT publishes operating guides that are prepared and adopted by the Reliability
and Operations Subcommittee and approved by the Technical Advisory Committee.
The purpose of the guidelines is to present mutually agreed upon operating practices
for ERCOT Market Participants. The guidelines are complementary and
supplementary to ERCOT Protocols and the NERC Reliability Standards and are
applied specifically to ERCOT operating conditions. The guidelines are living
documents that are constantly being updated as operating conditions change.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 2: Interconnected System Operations

Section 2.3 Summary

2.3.1 Purpose and Function


The purpose of ERCOT is to promote reliable operation of the members electric
power systems.
ERCOT achieves its goal through communication and exchange of information
as well as through implementation of agreed policies and procedures such as
the Protocols and Operating Guides.
2.3.2 ERCOT Organization
This segment discussed Qualified Scheduling Entities (QSEs) and their
scheduling responsibilities, as well as the roles of Resources (Generation and
Loads Acting as Resources), Load Serving Entities (LSEs), Competitive
Retailers (CRs), and Non-Opt-In- Entities (NOIEs) in ERCOT.
ERCOT is managed by a Board of Directors.
The work of ERCOT is initiated and overseen by the Technical Advisory
Committee (TAC) and five (5) subcommittees: the Protocol Revision
Subcommittee (PRS), the Reliability and Operations Subcommittee (ROS),
the Wholesale Market Subcommittee (WMS) and the Retail Market
Subcommittee (RMS), Commercial Operations Subcommittee (COPS).
2.3.3 ERCOT Operating Guides
ERCOT operating guides present mutually agreed operating practices for
ERCOT Market Participants.
ERCOT guides are consistent with the NERC Reliability Standards but are
applied more specifically to ERCOT operating conditions.
ERCOTs guides are constantly being updated as operating conditions change.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 2: Interconnected System Operations

Section 2.3 Review Questions

Q1: Non-Opt in Market Participants are not eligible to be members of ERCOT.

True or false?

Q2: Name the five Subcommittees of ERCOTs Technical Advisory Committee.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 2: Interconnected System Operations

2.4 ERCOT

2.4.1 Purpose of ERCOT

The purpose of ERCOT is:

To maintain continuous surveillance of the status of operating


conditions and act as the central information collection and
dissemination point for the Market Participants for system security
purposes.

As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an
electric grid that connects 40,000 miles of transmission lines and more than 550
generation units. ERCOT also manages financial settlement for the competitive
wholesale bulk-power market and administers customer switching for 6.5 million
Texans in competitive choice areas.

2.4.2 Responsibilities of ERCOT

ERCOT acts as a coordinating authority for secure operation of the ERCOT Region
bulk power system. ERCOT continually receives information needed to monitor
ERCOT System operating conditions. As required, ERCOT directs Market Participants
to adjust operation to ensure the ERCOT Systems overall security. Specific functions
performed by ERCOT include:

Coordination of system-wide response to unusual operating conditions,


including Short Supply Operations, initiation of Energy Emergency Alerts
and system restoration.
Management of operating reserves for the Interconnection by tracking and
trending reserves in real-time operations and anticipating reserve shortages
and other potential capacity shortage problems.
Monitor and coordination of transmission facility operations ensuring that the
system is not exposed to voltage problems or limit violations in case of a
contingency.
Analysis of planned outages of bulk power transmission system
circuits or components.
Monitoring and coordinating information for daily planning, hourly reporting,
and minute-by-minute operation.
Reporting significant system events to Market
Participants. Recording, reporting and adjusting for
accumulated time error.

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2.4.3 ERCOT as a Control Area

As an extension of its responsibilities for system reliability and competitive wholesale


market, ERCOT provides centralized power scheduling for electricity market
transactions, and the procurement of necessary ancillary services to ensure reliability.
Operating a Control Area carries responsibilities and obligations as well as benefits.
ERCOT also coordinates the operation of all the ERCOT Market Participants.

2.4.4 ERCOTs Core Processes

ERCOT is continuously performing five major processes to support the competitive


retail market:

Registration Market Operations Power Operations


Load Profiling, Data Acquisition & Aggregation
Settlements, Billing & Financial Transfer
Registration
ERCOT is the registration agent for the entire state of Texas. It uses a centralized
registration system to register retail premises and market participants alike.

ERCOT is responsible for the registration of:

Market participant organizations, and the people within those organizations,


that are authorized to access ERCOT computer systems.
Market participant assets: resources that participate in the supply of energy
and ancillary services, including both generating units and loads acting as
resources.
Metered and un-metered retail premises of customers who are in the
competitive market. This information is sent to the ERCOT database by the
TDSPs that serve those retail customers.
The ERCOT centralized registration database contains the minimal information that
ERCOT needs to facilitate the process of a customer switching Competitive Retailers
(CR). The ability for customers to switch CR is fundamental to supporting retail
competition.
Market Operations
Two processes that are completed in the Day Ahead Operations are:
Day-Ahead Market (DAM)
Day-Ahead Reliability Unit Commitment (DRUC)

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 2: Interconnected System Operations

o Day-Ahead Market: occurs from 6:00AM to 14:30PM on the day prior to


the operating day. QSEs. Ancillary services (AS) and Day Ahead
Energy markets clear, and ERCOT publishes the results.
Ancillary service awards are physically binding.
DAM Energy Only awards are financially binding, but not
physically binding. QSEs are not permitted to change the
quantity of Ancillary Services awarded through the ERCOT
procurement process and cannot change the amount of Self-
Arranged ancillary service from the Day Ahead.
AS and Energy markets will account for all uses of a resource in the
most economical way.
o DRUC: the purpose of the DRUC is to ensure reliability for the ERCOT
transmission grid.
Adjustment Period:
The Adjustment Period begins when the Day-Ahead Market closes and continues into
the Operating Day. The Adjustment Period ends when the Operating Period begins.

The Adjustment Period is the in-between time when QSEs have the opportunity to:

o Submit and /or update offers, trades, and schedules.


o Request Resource de-commitments.
o Another event that may occur in the Adjustment Period is a Supplemental
Ancillary Services Market (SASM).
Evaluation of System Security and Adequacy:
Throughout the Adjustment Period, ERCOT will evaluate Ancillary Service
requirements, Congestion, and capacity.

2.4.5 System Operator Responsibilities

The System Operators who staff ERCOT are the designated coordinating authorities. It
is the System Operators job to make and carry through decisions, which are required
to operate the ERCOT system during normal and adverse conditions. ERCOT ensures
that their System Operators have the necessary authority to effectively operate the
ERCOT system.
There are also Operators associated with the Qualified Scheduling Entities and the
Transmission and/or Distribution Service Providers. These Operators are critical to the
consistent, reliable operations of the bulk electrical distribution system of ERCOT.
The duties of Operators are many and varied. Specific duties vary between assigned
desks at ERCOT and the Operators of the Market Participants that interface with
ERCOTs System Operators.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 2: Interconnected System Operations

Section 2.4 Summary

2.4.1 Purpose of ERCOT

The purpose of ERCOT is: To maintain a continuous surveillance of the


status of operating conditions and act as a central information collection and
dissemination point for the Market Participants for system reliability
purposes.
2.4.2 Responsibilities of ERCOT

ERCOT acts as the coordinating authority for secure operation of the ERCOT
Region bulk power system.

Responsibilities of ERCOT include: coordination of response to unusual


operating conditions, management of operating reserves, analysis of planned
outages of bulk power facilities, reporting significant system events, recording
and reporting accumulated time error, and administering inadvertent energy
payback accounts.
2.4.3 ERCOT as a Control Area

ERCOT is the single Control Area for this region.

2.4.4 ERCOTs Core Processes

ERCOT is continuously performing five major processes to support the


competitive retail market:
o Registration Market Operations Power Operations
o Load Profiling, Data Acquisition & Aggregation
o Settlements, Billing & Financial Transfer

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 2: Interconnected System Operations

SECTION 2.4 Review Questions

Q1: Which of the following is not a major responsibility of ERCOT?

a) Arranging energy transactions between Qualified Scheduling Entities (QSEs)


and Load Serving Entities (LSEs)
b) Coordination of system-wide response to unusual operating conditions
c) Analysis of planned outages of bulk power transmission system circuits
or components
d) Reporting significant system events to Market Participants

Q2: The purpose of ERCOT is to?

a) Provide a pool of available energy for purchase by Retail Electric Providers


(REPs)
b) Market surplus capacity of the Region to other Control Areas within the North
American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)
c) To maintain surveillance of operating conditions for system reliability
purposes d) Manage metering, register users, bill suppliers, and plan
transmission outages

Q3: How many Control Areas exist within ERCOTs region?

a. 10
b. 2
c. 1
d. 11

Q4: What are ERCOTs Core Processes?

a) Registration
b) Establishing a Pool Market
c) Power Operations
d) Load Profiling, Data Acquisition & Aggregation
e) Settlements, Billing & Financial Transfer
f) Market Operations
g) Coordinating Bi-Lateral Contracts

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Section 3
Mathematics
Review
Table of Contents

3. Introduction .................................................................................................................. 1
3.1 Right Triangles .......................................................................................................... 1
3.1.1 Definitions and Terminology .................................................................................. 1
3.1.2 Pythagorean Theorem ........................................................................................... 2
3.1.3 Definition of Sine and Cosine ................................................................................ 2
3.1.4 Solving Right Triangles .......................................................................................... 3
Section 3.1 Summary ......................................................................................................... 5
Section 3.1 Review Questions ............................................................................................ 6
3.2 Sine and Cosine Waveforms..................................................................................... 7
3.2.1 Sine and Cosine Functions .................................................................................... 7
3.2.2 Waveforms & Power System Quantities ................................................................ 7
Section 3.2 Summary ....................................................................................................... 11
Section 3.2 Review Questions .......................................................................................... 12
3.3 Vectors and Phasors ............................................................................................... 13
3.3.1 Vectors ................................................................................................................ 13
3.3.2 Phasors ............................................................................................................... 14
Section 3.3 Summary ....................................................................................................... 17
Section 3.3 Review Questions .......................................................................................... 18
3.4 Ratios and Percentages .......................................................................................... 19
3.4.1 Ratios .................................................................................................................. 19
3.4.2 Percentages ........................................................................................................ 19
Section 3.4 Summary ....................................................................................................... 21
Section 3.4 Review Questions .......................................................................................... 22
3.5 Per Unit Values ....................................................................................................... 23
Section 3.5 Summary ....................................................................................................... 24
Section 3.5 Review Questions .......................................................................................... 25
Figures and Tables

Figure 3-1 Right Triangles ..................................................................................................... 1


Figure 3-2 Right Triangle and the Sine Function ................................................................... 3
Figure 3-3 Solving a Right Triangle ....................................................................................... 3
Figure 3-4 Sine Function ....................................................................................................... 8
Figure 3-5 Cosine Function ................................................................................................... 8
Figure 3-6 One Cycle of an AC Sine Wave Form .................................................................. 9
Figure 3-7 Adding Vectors ................................................................................................... 13
Figure 3-8 Phase Angle Between Voltage and Current ....................................................... 14
Figure 3-9 Phasor Diagram ................................................................................................. 15
Figure 3-10 Comparing Waveform and Phasor Representation .......................................... 16
Figure 3-11 Per-Unit System ............................................................................................... 23
Learning Objectives

Identify the relationships between the angles and sides of a right triangle
Solve for all sides of a right triangle
Identify the relationship between Sine and Cosine as it relates to waveforms
Calculate power system quantities derived from waveforms
Define vectors and phasors
Calculate ratios to determine per unit values on the power system
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

3. Introduction
This section reviews some basic math concepts that are useful in describing power
system behavior. The topics addressed include right triangles, trigonometric functions,
vectors and phasors, ratios, and the per-unit system. Many examples are included in
this section. The mathematics concepts presented in this section are applied as we
progress through the Training Manual.

3.1 Right Triangles

3.1.1 Definitions and Terminology


In order to understand the basic concepts of AC power, you must be familiar with the
relationships between the angles and sides of a right triangle. A right triangle is a
triangle in which one of the three angles is a right angle (90). Figure 3-1 illustrates
two right triangles.

Each of the sides of a right triangle is given a name. The side opposite the right angle
is called the hypotenuse (h). The other two sides are named relative to a particular
angle. In the figure, the two sides which form the right angle are designated as the
adjacent side and the opposite side with respect to the
angle (theta). Figure 3-1 illustrates how the designation of the adjacent and
opposite sides depends on which of the two remaining angles is designated as .

Note: In this text, we will use Greek letters such as (theta) and
(alpha) to designate angles. The sum of all the angles of any triangle is
equal to 180 .

Figure 3-1 Right Triangles

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3.1.2 Pythagorean Theorem


Given the lengths of two of the sides of a right triangle, the third side can be
determined by using the Pythagorean Theorem. This theorem states that the square
of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the remaining two sides. For
example, given a right triangle with hypotenuse equal to five (5) units and one of the
other sides equal to four (4) units, we can use the Pythagorean Theorem to determine
the length of the remaining side:

Hypotenuse2 Opposite2 + Adjacent2


52 42 + Adjacent2
25 = 16 + Adjacent2
25 16 = Adjacent2
25 16 = 2
9 = 2
Adjacent = 3

3.1.3 Definition of Sine and Cosine


Sometimes you need to calculate the angles of a right triangle when you know the
lengths of the sides. Other times you only know one side and one angle and would
like to calculate the lengths of the remaining sides. To do this, we make use of the
trigonometric functions, sine and cosine.

The sine of either of the unknown angles of a right triangle is the ratio of the
opposite side to the hypotenuse. This is shown in Figure 3-2. Similarly, the cosine
of either of the unknown angles of a right angle triangle is the ratio of the adjacent
side to the hypotenuse.

Values for the sines and cosines of angles are widely available and stored in
scientific calculators. For example, the sine of 30 is 0.5. If you know the sine or
cosine, you can determine the value of the angle. Thus, you can determine the
angles of a triangle if the sides are known. Using sines and cosines also helps
you to determine the remaining side lengths, if one side and one angle are known.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Figure 3-2 Right Triangle and the Sine Function

3.1.4 Solving Right Triangles


In power applications you typically know the hypotenuse and either an angle or
one of the other sides. Figure 3-3 and the example box that follows are used to
demonstrate the solution of a right triangle.

Figure 3-3 Solving a Right Triangle

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

To solve the trig functions for the angle , you could use the inverse (or arc)
function on your calculator. For instance in the first equation above, the sine of
equals 0.6. This is the same as saying that equals the inverse sine (or the
arcsine) of 0.6. If you take the inverse sine of 0.6 on your calculator, you should
find that equals 36.9. The reader can verify that the other trig equation yields
the same result.

The only remaining angle to determine in the triangle in Figure 3-3 is . This angle
could also be found using the trig relationships - for example sine = 4/5 = 0.8.
However, if you remember that the sum of the angles in a triangle always equals
180, you can quickly determine that =53.1 (180 -90 -36.9 =53.1 ).

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.1 Summary

Definitions and Terminology


A right triangle is a triangle in which one of the three angles is a right angle (90).
The side opposite the right angle is called the hypotenuse.
The two sides that form the right angle are designated as the adjacent side and
the opposite side with respect to the angle .

Pythagorean Theorem
The Pythagorean Theorem states that for a right triangle the square of the
hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the remaining two sides.

Definition of Sine and Cosine


The sine of either of the unknown angles of a right triangle is the ratio of the
opposite side to the hypotenuse.
The cosine of either of the unknown angles of a right triangle is the ratio of the
adjacent side to the hypotenuse.
Values for the sines and cosines of angles are stored in scientific calculators.

Solving Right Triangles


To solve the trig functions to determine an angle , use the inverse (or arc)
function on your calculator

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.1 Review Questions

Q1: In the figure, what are the values of (1) the


third side, (2) cos , and (3) ?

a) 12, 5/13, 67.4


b) 8, 8/13, 52.0
c) 12, 12/13, 22.6
d) 8, 5/13, 67.4

Q2: In the figure, what are the lengths of the two sides y and h?

a) y = 11.9, h = 15.6
b) y = 8.4, h = 13.1
c) y = 13.1, h = 8.4
d) y = 15.6, h = 11.9

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3.2 Sine and Cosine Waveforms


You have seen how sine and cosine functions can be used in solving right triangles.
These functions are also important in describing the way in which the current and
voltage flow in an alternating current circuit. We will describe the shape of both
functions and note the similarities and differences between them.

3.2.1 Sine and Cosine Functions

Sine
If you were to look up the values of the sine function and plot them on a graph you
would see a curve similar to that given in Figure 3-4. The sine function is a periodic
function, which means it repeats itself. Figure 3-4 illustrates one cycle or repetition of
the sine function. Note that the value of the sine function ranges between +1 and -
1, with a value of zero at 0, 180 and 360 (360 is 0 for the next cycle of the
function). In order to solve right triangles, it is necessary to know the value of the
sine function between 0 and 90. Note that the sine function starts at zero when
the angle is zero and rises to a maximum (1) when the angle is 90.
Cosine
Figure 3-5 illustrates one cycle of the cosine wave. The cosine function is identical to
the sine function except that it is displaced relative to the sine function. The cosine
function has a value of one (1) when the angle is zero. We say that the cosine
function leads the sine function by 90. This means that the cosine function will
reach a point 90 before the sine function reaches that same point. For example,
the value of the cosine function at 0 is one (1) whereas the sine function does not
reach one (1) until 90. Another way to describe the difference between the sine and
cosine waveforms is to say that they are 90 out of phase with one another.

3.2.2 Waveforms & Power System Quantities


Sine waveforms are used to represent alternating current and voltage on the power
system. One cycle on the power system is equivalent to 360. After completing a
cycle, the pattern repeats itself. In North America, the frequency of the power
system is normally 60 HZ, which means that the cycle repeats itself sixty (60) times
per second.

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Figure 3-4 Sine Function

Figure 3-5 Cosine Function

Use of Degrees, Cycles & Time


One full sine wave cycle is divided into 360 as was illustrated in Figure 3-4. If
the frequency is 60 HZ, then Figure 3-4 illustrated:
o 1 cycle, or
o 360 , or
o 1/60th of a second

The above three statements all represent the same time span. You can refer to
power system time frames in terms of degrees, cycles, or time.

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Amplitude, Period, and Root Mean Square Values


Figure 3-6 contains the waveform for a 60 HZ voltage or current. The x axis is
marked in degrees, cycles, and seconds. The y axis gives the value of the voltage
or current at any point in time. The time for one complete cycle is sometimes called
the period. If the frequency of the power system is exactly 60.00 HZ or 60 cycles per
second, then the period is 1/60 of a second. This is equal to 0.0167 seconds or
about 17 thousandths of a second. It is the time for the current or voltage to
complete a cycle.
The maximum or peak value during each cycle is called the amplitude of the wave as
shown in the figure. The sine wave has a negative peak as well as a positive peak.
The direction of the peak changes but the magnitude is the same, equal to the
amplitude.

Figure 3-6 One Cycle of an AC Sine Wave Form

When you read the current or voltage on the power system, it is the root mean
square (RMS) value of the alternating current or voltage that is normally stated. The
RMS value can be thought of as the average value of the alternating voltage or
current over a cycle. The formula for the RMS value is:

Since the RMS value is an average of the amplitudes across a full cycle, the RMS
value must always be less than the peak value.

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Note: The RMS value is not really an average value but rather an
effective value. Thinking of RMS as an average is simply an easy
way to remember the concept of RMS.
To illustrate the difference between a voltage waves amplitude and its RMS value
assume a transmission line voltage is measured (using a RMS meter) to be 345
KV. The peak value of the voltage wave is found by dividing the RMS value by
0.707 or:

Amplitude 487.9KV

This wave reaches positive and negative peaks of 487.9 KV and has an average
value of approximately 345 KV.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.2 Summary


3.2.1 Sine and Cosine Functions
The sine function is a periodic function.
The sine function ranges between +1 and -1, with a value of zero at 0, 180,
and 360.
The cosine function is identical to the sine function except that it is displaced
relative to the sine function.
The cosine function leads the sine function by 90.

3.2.2 Waveforms & Power System Quantities


The frequency of the power system is 60 HZ, which means that the cycle repeats
itself 60 times per second.
If the frequency of the power system is exactly 60.0, the period is 1/60 seconds or
about 17 thousandths of a second.
The maximum value in the cycle is called the amplitude or peak value of the
current wave.
The root mean square or RMS value can be thought of as the average magnitude
of the current or voltage over a cycle.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.2 Review Questions


Q1: At a certain bus, current lags voltage by 36. What fraction of a cycle does
this 36 phase lag correspond to?

a) 2/5th
b) 2/15th
c) 1/5th
d) 1/10th

Q2: A certain relay scheme is designed to operate within 5 cycles of detecting a


fault. What is the relay schemes time of operation in seconds?

a) .0167 seconds
b) 1/60 of a second
c) .083 seconds
d) .03 seconds

Q3: The power system is running fast at 61 HZ. At this frequency, what is the
time, in seconds, to complete one cycle?

a) .0164 seconds
b) 61 seconds
c) 1.01 seconds
d) .083 seconds

Q4: What is the peak value of the voltage amplitude for a 138 KV AC voltage?
(Hint: The stated value is the RMS value.)

a) 79.7 KV
b) 97.6 KV
c) 195.2 KV
d) 239.0 KV

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

3.3 Vectors and Phasors


Vectors and phasors are mathematical tools that are very helpful in describing the
behavior of the power system. Phasors are commonly used, and are very similar to
vectors. We will start our explanation with vectors, as they are easier to describe.

3.3.1 Vectors

Figure 3-7 Adding Vectors


Vectors are line segments that are used to represent the direction and magnitude of
physical quantities such as distance, velocity, acceleration, or force. For example, the
line labeled A in Figure 3-7 could be used to represent a person walking 3 miles to
the West. Lets suppose that after three miles the person turns north and walks 4
miles to the North. This can be represented by line B. The result of his walk is that
the person has traveled a certain distance in a north-northwest direction.

The resultant of the two individual legs of the journey (represented by lines A and
B) is the vector represented by line C. Line C closes the triangle formed by lines
A and B. Using the Pythagorean Theorem, we could determine the length of
vector C:
(Line C)2 = (Line A)2 + (Line B)2
Line C = 5 miles

We could also use the sine and cosine functions to determine the angle to the north
through which the person has moved:

0.8
5
53.1

In general, if two vectors are used to represent two individual quantities (such as two
distances), then the vector that completes the triangle represents the sum of the two
quantities or vectors, just as in Figure 3-7 above.

The example of a person walking West then North gave us a right triangle. Using the

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

relationships for a right triangle, we could easily solve the triangle to determine the
magnitude and direction of the resultant distance traveled.

Most of the power system applications that we will use involve right triangles that can
be solved using the Pythagorean Theorem and the sine and cosine relationships. In
many cases, the vectors (or phasors) are not at right angles. We will not go into the
details for solving triangles that are not right triangles. However, vectors provide a
useful way of visualizing the relationships and relative magnitudes, even if we do not
evaluate them numerically.

3.3.2 Phasors
Phasors are used to represent quantities that vary over time such as the sinusoidal
functions illustrated earlier in Figure 3-6. A phasor includes information about the
frequency, amplitude, and phase of a vector.
Phasors of power system quantities are specified in the following form:

The first number is the magnitude, and the second number is the phase angle. (For
example, the first number in the above list has a magnitude of 10 and an angle of
90) Frequency is approximately the same throughout the power system and so we
normally do not need to specify a frequency value.

Like a vector, a phasor can be represented by a line segment drawn on the page:

Figure 3-8 Phase Angle Between Voltage and Current

The length of the phasor represents the magnitude of the quantity. This could be
either the amplitude or the RMS value as long as we are consistent.
The direction of the phasor represents the phase of the quantity. If two phasors are
represented by two lines 30 apart, this means that the sine waves have a 30 phase
difference between them. The phase angle may be between two voltages, two
currents, or between a voltage and a current. For example, Figure 3-8 shows the
phasors for voltage and current at a certain bus with a phase angle of between

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

them.

The phasor is assumed to be rotating counter-clockwise at a speed of rotation equal


to the frequency with which the quantity is varying. Since we normally assume that
the frequency of the power system is 60 HZ, all phasors would be rotating at the
same speed so all we normally need to represent alternating voltage or current are
amplitude and phase angle. We can hold the phasors still while examining the
relationships between their magnitudes and phases. (Note: when determining phase
angle differences, assume a counterclockwise rotation)
Construction of phasor diagrams
When describing power systems, a phasor is often plotted on a diagram with two
axes; one axis is called the real axis and the other the imaginary axis. (The imaginary
axis is also called the j-vector.) A phasor is represented on the plot as an arrow
whose length represents magnitude, and whose direction represents phase angle.
Figure 3-9 contains three phasors. The phase angle is measured counter-clockwise
with zero degrees pointing to the right.

Note: The j symbol means the imaginary axis is at a 90 angle to the


real axis.

Figure 3-9 Phasor Diagram


When a phasor is plotted, it looks like a vector and for all practical purposes it can be
treated like a vector. We should just remember that this is true only if the frequencies
of all the phasors we are working with are the same.
Comparing Phasors and Waveforms
It will be helpful to compare the use of phasors and waveforms as aids in representing
alternating voltage and current in the power system. Figure 3-10 presents alternating
voltage and current. Figure 3-10a is the phasor representation of the voltage and
current while Figure 3-10b is the waveform representation. In both parts of Figure 3-
10, the voltage leads the current by 20.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Note: Remember that in the phasor representation, phasors are thought


of as rotating counter-clockwise, so V is ahead of I.

Figure 3-10 Comparing Waveform and Phasor Representation


The two representations for the voltage and current in Figure 3-10 are
equivalent. The phasor representation is typically much simpler. If there were
more voltage and/or current quantities involved, the waveform representation
would quickly become too complicated to be useful. The phasor representation
is therefore preferred in many instances.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.3 Summary


3.3.1 Vectors
Vectors are used to represent the direction and magnitude of physical
quantities. If two vectors are used to represent two individual quantities, then
the line that completes the triangle is a vector that represents the sum of the
two quantities.

3.3.2 Phasors
Phasors are used to represent quantities that vary over time.
A phasor includes information about frequency, amplitude, and phase of a vector.
Like a vector, the magnitude and direction of a phasor can be represented by a
line segment drawn on the page.
The phasor is assumed to be rotating counter-clockwise at a speed of rotation
equal to the frequency.
A phasor is often plotted on a diagram with two axes, one called the real axis and
the other the imaginary axis. The imaginary axis is also called the j-vector.
Phasor and waveform representations are equivalent, but the phasor
representation is typically simpler and preferred in many instances.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.3 Review Questions


Q1: A ferryboat sets a course north and moves at a speed of 20 mph to cross a
river. The river flows due east at a speed of 15 mph. What is the resultant
speed of the boat? In what direction does the boat travel? (Hint: Create a
figure with the boats speed and the rivers speed and then complete the
vector triangle.)

a) 25 mph, North
b) 25 mph, North East
c) 35 mph, North
d) 35 mph, North East

Q2: What is the phase difference between the two vectors in each of the following
pairs?
(1) 1090 and 530
(2) 4 90 and 80

a) (1) 120, (2) -90


b) (1) 120, (2) 90
c) (1) 60, (2) 270
d) (1) 60, (2) 90

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

3.4 Ratios and Percentages


The ability to use ratios and percentages can be very helpful to a system operator in
estimating power system performance.

3.4.1 Ratios
A ratio is simply a relationship between two numbers and is usually expressed as a
fraction. Usually ratios are used when the relationship of two values is known and
one of two similarly related values is known.

Ratios can be used by a system operator to estimate system performance. For


example, assume a system operator knows by experience that the loss of a 1000
MW unit typically results in a 0.2 HZ dip in system frequency. The system operator
wants to estimate the frequency dip due to the loss of an 800 MW unit. This can be
done using a ratio. The thought process would be as follows: 1000 MW is to 0.2 HZ
as 800 MW is to ? HZ. The ratio and cross multiplication would be:

When using ratios, it is important to remember that ratios only provide exact answers
in linear systems. A linear system means that the relationship between two values in
the system is the same regardless of the two values. Referring back to our previous
example with the frequency, as long as the frequency drop is proportional to the MW
loss, ratios can be used. Few power system dynamic events are truly linear
including the frequency drop in relation to the MW loss used above. However, this
method at least provides a means to estimate performance based on past events.

3.4.2 Percentages
Percentages are an important special case of ratios. Percentages tell us the
magnitude of a quantity in relation to a baseline value, which is arbitrarily set equal
to one hundred. Percentages indicate the significance of a change or deviation. For
example, voltage limits are often expressed as a percentage of the desired value.

Lets look again at the example of the loss of a 1000 MW unit. A loss of a 1000 MW
in a 50,000 MW (maximum load) Interconnectionsuch as ERCOTis much more
significant than the same loss in a 600,000 MW Interconnection such as the Eastern.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Suppose the total ERCOT load is 50,000 MW. To find the percentage, the thought
process is:
1000 is to 50,000 as ??? is to 100
Performing the cross-multiplication, we get the answer of 2%.

The total load in the Eastern Interconnection is about 600,000 MW. Therefore, a
1000 MW unit is much smaller, percentage-wise:

1000 is to 600,000 as ??? is to 100


This gives a percentage of 0.17%.

As expected, the loss of a 1000 MW unit is much more significant in ERCOT than
it is in the Eastern Interconnection. Percentages are a convenient way to present
these differences.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.4 Summary


3.4.1 Ratios
A ratio is simply a relationship between two numbers and is usually expressed
as a fraction.

3.4.2 Percentages
Percentages describe a quantity in relation to a baseline value of hundred
(100)
Percentages indicate the significance of a change or deviation.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.4 Review Questions


Q1: What is the ratio of actual voltage to the nominal value of 138 KV, if SCADA
shows the bus voltage to be 144 KV? If the operating criteria require voltage
to be within 5% of the nominal value, is the bus voltage within limits?

a) 0.96, Yes
b) 1.04, No
c) 0.96, No
d) 1.04, Yes

Q2: If the turns ratio of a transformer is 10:1 and low side voltage is 13.5 KV, what
is the high side voltage? (Assume the voltage ratio for a transformer equals
the turns ratio.)

a) 135 KV
b) 13.5 KV
c) 1.35 KV
d) 0.74 KV

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

3.5 Per Unit Values


Very often, quantities on the power system are specified as a percent or per-unit of
their base or nominal value. For example, suppose the voltage at a 345 KV bus is
measured to be 349 KV. If we assume that the base (or nominal) bus voltage is 345
KV, then we could say that the measured voltage is 101% (349/345) of nominal or
1.01 per- unit. Using per-unit values makes it very easy to see where a system
value is with respect to its base value. It also makes it easy to compare values of
voltage and other quantities between parts of the system with different base values.

Figure 3-11 illustrates the use of the per-unit system in a simple power system. The
base voltages are 20 KV for the generator, 345 KV for the transmission and 138 KV
for the sub-transmission. The actual and per-unit voltages are given in the figure.

Figure 3-11 Per-Unit System


The per-unit system allows an observer to view a system and rapidly obtain a feel for
the voltage profile. For example, in Figure 3-11 per-unit data shows us that the
voltage of the lowest magnitude 345 KV bus is approximately 3.2% lower than any
other 345 KV bus.
Note: Per-unit values are commonly shown in load flow studies. Load
flow studies are computer simulations of system power flows.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.5 Summary


Quantities on the power system are often specified as a percent or per-unit of
their base or nominal value.
If the voltage at a 345 KV bus is measured to be 349 KV, measured voltage
is 101% (349/345) of nominal or 1.01 per-unit.
Per-unit values make it easy to compare values of voltage and other
quantities between parts of the system with different base values.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 3: Mathematics Review

Section 3.5 Review Questions

Q1: If the nominal voltage is 138 KV and measured voltage is 1.02 per unit,
what is the measured voltage in KV?

a) 138.0 KV
b) 145.0 KV
c) 135.3 KV
d) 140.8 KV

Q2: If the nominal voltage is 345 KV and the measured voltage is 364 KV,
what is the per-unit value?
a) 1.07 per-unit
b) .955 per-unit
c) 1.055 per-unit
d) .98 per-unit

May, 2016 3 - 25
Section 4
DC Electricity
Table of Contents
4.0 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1
4.1 Current................................................................................................................................. 1
4.1.1 Positive And Negative Charges ........................................................................................ 1
4.1.2 Movement of Charges ...................................................................................................... 1
4.1.3 Direction of Flow ............................................................................................................... 2
4.1.4 Amperes ........................................................................................................................... 2
Section 4.1 Summary ................................................................................................................ 3
Section 4.1 Review Questions ................................................................................................... 4
4.2 Voltage ................................................................................................................................ 5
4.2.1 The Cause of Current Flow ............................................................................................... 5
4.2.2 Voltage Sources ............................................................................................................... 5
4.2.3 Measured Voltage............................................................................................................. 5
Section 4.2 Summary ................................................................................................................ 6
Section 4.2 Review Questions ................................................................................................... 7
4.3 Electrical Circuits ................................................................................................................. 8
4.3.1 Elements of a Circuit......................................................................................................... 8
4.3.2 Electric Loads ................................................................................................................... 9
4.3.3 Return Path ...................................................................................................................... 9
Section 4.3 Summary .............................................................................................................. 10
Section 4.3 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 11
4.4 Resistance ......................................................................................................................... 12
4.4.1 Definition of Resistance .................................................................................................. 12
4.4.2 Path of Least Resistance ................................................................................................ 12
4.4.3 Factors Affecting Resistance Of A Conductor ................................................................ 13
4.4.4 Combinations of Resistances ......................................................................................... 14
Section 4.4 Summary .............................................................................................................. 15
Section 4.4 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 16
4.5 Ohms Law......................................................................................................................... 17
4.5.1 Statement of Ohms Law ................................................................................................ 17
4.5.2 Use of Ohms Law .......................................................................................................... 18
Section 4.5 Summary .............................................................................................................. 19
Section 4.5 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 20
4.6 Kirchhoffs Laws ................................................................................................................ 22
4.6.1 The Current and Voltage Laws ....................................................................................... 22
4.6.2 Use of Kirchhoffs Laws .................................................................................................. 22
Section 4.6 Summary .............................................................................................................. 25
Section 4.6 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 26
4.7 Power and Energy ............................................................................................................. 27
4.7.1 Power ............................................................................................................................. 27
4.7.2 Energy ............................................................................................................................ 28
4.7.3 Use of the Giga, Mega, and Kilo Symbols ............................................................... 28
Section 4.7 Summary .............................................................................................................. 30
Section 4.7 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 31
Table of Figures
Figure 4-1 Current Flow ............................................................................................................. 1
Figure 4-2 Simple Electrical Circuit ............................................................................................ 8
Figure 4-3 Water Analogy for Current Flow ............................................................................. 12
Figure 4-4 Resistance of a Conductor ..................................................................................... 14
Figure 4-5 Resistance in Parallel Circuits ................................................................................ 14
Figure 4-6 Ohms Law.............................................................................................................. 17
Figure 4-7 Use of Ohms Law .................................................................................................. 18
Figure 4-8 Applying Kirchhoffs Laws ....................................................................................... 23
Figure 4-9 Integrated Demand ................................................................................................. 28
Learning Objectives
List the three principal parts of an atom
State the law of charges
Explain the difference between conductors and insulators
Define an ampere
Define voltage
Define ohm
Define watt
Define circuits
Define grounding
Discuss the use of the Earth in return paths
Define resistance
Discuss resistance in series circuits
Discuss resistance in parallel circuits
Perform resistance calculations
Define Ohms Law
Select proper Ohms Law formula from a given chart
Calculate electrical values using Ohms Law
Define Kirchhoffs Law
Calculate electrical values using Kirchhoffs Law
Define Power
Define Energy
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

4.0 Introduction
This section reviews the basic concepts and laws of direct current (DC) electricity. The section
starts with definitions of two fundamental physical quantities: current and voltage. Basic
properties of an electrical circuit are explained along with the concept of electrical resistance.
Ohms Law and Kirchhoffs Laws are then introduced. The section concludes with a brief
discussion of power and energy. Water flowing through a pipeor network of pipesis a
useful analogy for the flow of electric current in a DC circuit.

4.1 Current
Electrical current is the rate of flow of electrical charge through a conductor. We describe
positive and negative charges before explaining the meaning of current flow.

4.1.1 Positive and Negative Charges


Electric charge exists in individual quantities equal to the charge of one electron. Electrons
orbit atoms and have a negative charge. The protons within the nucleus of an atom each carry
one unit of positive charge. Overall, these positive and negative charges balance leaving
matter with zero resultant charge.
In the nucleus of the atom, there are usually many positively charged protons. Thus, the
massive part of atomsthe nucleuscarries many units of positive charge. In neutral atoms,
the positive and negative charges balance, and there is no flow of charge and no current. In the
atoms of a conductor, some electrons are loosely bound to the nucleus and are free to move
through the conductor. Charge (current) is free to flow in a conductor.

4.1.2 Movement of Charges


When an electrical force is applied to a conductor, the free electrons in the conductor may be
forced to flow through the conductor as electric current. The flow of free electrons is illustrated
in Figure 4-1.

Figure 4-1 Current Flow

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

In the figure, the electrical force that causes the electrons to flow is supplied by the battery.
Notice that the battery has effectively separated the charges inside it. It is this separation of
charge that creates the electrical forceknown as the voltage. Negative charges are attracted
to the positive terminal, while positive charges are attracted toward the negative terminal.

4.1.3 Direction of Flow


Figure 4-1 illustrates a negative charge flowing from the negative terminal of the battery to the
positive terminal of the battery. Note that the current is shown to be flowing in the opposite
direction of the charge flow. The accepted convention in the electric power industry is to
designate the current flow as being from the positive to the negative terminal.
When describing the flow of current through a conductor it is convenient to think of the positive
holes caused by missing electrons moving in the opposite direction to the electrons. This is
illustrated in the figure. It is the positive holes rather than the positive nuclei themselves that
move through the conductor.

Note: Electronic movement is from negative to positive. However, conventional current flow is
from positive to negative.

4.1.4 Amperes
Current is measured as the amount of charge passing through the cross section of a conductor
over time. Specifically, current is measured in amperes (amps). One ampere of current is
equivalent to 6.24x1018 (6.24 billion-billion) electrons passing through a cross section of a
conductor per second.
Note: The 6.24x1018 represents a very large number equal to 6.24 times a 1 with 18 trailing
zeroes. 6.24x1018 is simply a shorthand way of writing this large number.

The electrical current that we have described so far is referred to as direct current (DC)
because it flows in one direction. Later we will examine a current that constantly oscillates. This
type of current is called alternating current (AC).

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.1 Summary


4.1.1 Positive and Negative Charges
Overall, the positive and negative charges of an atom balance, leaving matter with zero
resultant charge.
In a conductor, some electrons are loosely bound to the nucleus and are free to move
through the conductor.
4.1.2 Movement of Charges
When an electrical force is applied to a conductor, the free electrons in the conductor
can be forced to flow through the conductor as electric current.
4.1.3 Direction of Flow
The accepted convention in the electric power industry is to designate the current flow
as being from positive to negative.
4.1.4 Amperes
Current is the amount of charge passing through the cross section of conductor over
time.
Current is measured in amperes (amps). Direct current (DC) flows in one direction.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.1 Review Questions


Q1: What component of an atom carries a single unit of negative charge?

a) Atom
b) Electron
c) Proton
d) Neutron

Q2: What causes charges to move through conductors?

a) Protons
b) Free electrons
c) Electrical current
d) Electrical force or voltage

Q3: In the electric power industry, current is typically illustrated as moving from the
(positive/negative) terminal of a battery to the (positive/negative) terminal.

a) Positive, negative
b) Negative, positive
c) Positive, positive
d) Negative, negative

Q4: What is the unit of measurement for electric current?

a) EMF
b) Amperes
c) Coulombs
d) Volts

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

4.2 Voltage
This section will describe voltage. Voltage is the electrical force that causes current to flow.
The voltage at a point in an electrical circuit is measured in units of volts.

4.2.1 The Cause of Current Flow


Electrons in a conductor (like water in a river) need some force to cause a current flow to
occur. The force that causes water to flow in a river is gravity. The source of the river is higher
than the mouth, and therefore the water flows downhill driven by gravity. The force that causes
charge to flow (current) in a conductor is voltage. The separation of charge between two points
in a conductor gives rise to a potential difference or voltage. Electric charge flows down this
potential gradient, just as water flows down the physical gradient of a hill or slanting pipe. The
voltage difference between two points equals the energy that would be lost by a unit of charge
as it flowed through the conductor from one point to the next.

4.2.2 Voltage Sources


A voltage source is a device, which is capable of producing or creating a voltage difference
across its terminals. The voltage produced by a generator is called an electromotive force by
engineers and for this reason is often represented by the letter E. Sources of voltage typically
convert non-electrical energy to electrical energy.
Batteries are sources of DC voltage. The chemical reaction within the battery results in a
separation of positive and negative charges thus creating the desired potential difference or
voltage. Generators are also voltage sources. The interaction of the generators conductors
and magnetic fields creates a voltage at the generator terminals (generators are described in
more detail in Section 6). Solar cellswhich produce a separation of charge using the suns
energy on the structure of the solar cell materialare also voltage sources.

4.2.3 Measured Voltage


Measured voltage is the voltage that you would see if you connected a voltmeter between two
points in a circuit or between two points on the electric system.
A measured voltage can be taken between the lines of a high voltage system. Measured
voltage can also be taken from a line to ground. Measured voltage is typically represented with
the letter V. A subscript on the measured voltage indicates where the voltage is referenced
too. For example, VA is the measured voltage at point A.
The ground is often taken as a reference point for voltage. Thus, when we talk of the voltage at
a point on the system, we are often referring to the voltage difference between that point and
ground. However, in a high voltage power system, the designated voltage at a bus is usually
measured between the different lines, as we shall learn in Section 5 of this Manual.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.2 Summary

4.2.1 The Cause of Current Flow


Electrons in a conductor need some force to cause a current flow to occur.
The force that causes current to flow in a conductor is voltage.
4.2.2 Voltage Sources
The voltage produced by a generator is called an electromotive force (E).
Batteries, generators, and solar cells are all voltage sources.
4.2.3 Measured Voltage
Voltage is usually measured between the lines in a high voltage 3 system.
When we talk of the voltage at a point on the system, we may be referring to the voltage
difference between that point and ground or to the voltage between two lines in a high
voltage power system.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.2 Review Questions


Q1: Which of the following is NOT a source of electric voltage?

a) Battery
b) Generator
c) Solar cell
d) Light bulb

Q2: What term other than voltage is used to describe the strength of a source of electricity?
(Hint: The term is symbolized by the letter E.)

a) Electromagnetic force
b) Electromagnetic field
c) Electromotive force
d) Electrical charge

Q3: What is the unit of measurement for an electrical force?

a) Ampere
b) EMF
c) Volts
d) Charge

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

4.3 Electrical Circuits


An electrical circuit exists when there is a complete conducting path from a voltage source
through a load and back to the source. Whenever you switch on a light, you have created an
electrical circuit between the voltage source and the light bulb. When you turn the key in your
car, you are connecting the cars battery to the cars starter and completing an electrical circuit.

4.3.1 Elements of a Circuit


An electrical circuit is composed of a voltage source, a load, and a supply and return path
connecting the source to the load. A voltage source can only cause current to flow when there
is a complete path for the charge to flow. This is the same as saying that electrical energy can
only be used when a circuit is created to allow the electrical current to flow from the source to
the load and back to the source.
An example of an electrical circuit is the flashlight circuit of Figure 4-2. The voltage source is
the two batteries and the load is the light bulb. The supply path is the direct contact between
the batteries and the light bulb. The return path is the metal case from the bulb to a spring that
the batteries rest on. When the flashlight switch is closed, the circuit is complete and the bulb
glows.

Figure 4-2 Simple Electrical Circuit

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

4.3.2 Electric Loads


Any device, which consumes electrical energy, is called a load. Lights, motors, heaters, and
air-conditioners are all examples of electrical loads. Different loads have different effects on
electric circuits.

4.3.3 Return Path


If you simply connect a wire from the positive terminal of a battery to one side of a light bulb,
the bulb will not illuminate. There must be a complete physical-conducting path to carry electric
current (consisting of a flow of electrons) from a source to a load and back to the source.
Remember that the driving force behind current is voltageor more correctly a difference in
voltage. For current to flow through a load, such as a light bulb, there must be a voltage
difference across the bulb.
When you provide a return path by connecting the opposite side of the light bulb to the
negative terminal of the battery, you complete the electrical circuit. A voltage difference now
exists across the light bulb with a continuous path for the current to flow. Referring back to
Figure 4-2, you will see that the flashlight switch simply opens and closes the return path of the
circuit, thus turning the light off and on.
Earth as the Return Path in a Power System
The return path for a circuit need only be an electrically common point joining the load and the
source. Earth is typically the return path in power systems. Utility generators are normally
grounded to the earth. Customer load is normally grounded to the earth. A utility need only
supply the path from the source to the load and the earth serves as the return path.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.3 Summary


4.3.1 Elements of a Circuit
An electrical circuit is composed of a voltage source, a load, and supply and return path
connecting the source to the load.

4.3.2 Electric Loads


Any device, which consumes electrical energy, is called a load. Lights motors, heaters,
and air conditioners are all examples of electrical loads.

4.3.3 Return Path


There must be a complete physical-conducting path to carry electric current from a
source to a load and back to the source.

For current to flow through a load, such as a light bulb, there must be a voltage
difference across the bulb.
Earth is typically the return path in power systems.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.3 Review Questions


Q1: What are the essential components of an electric circuit?

a) Voltage source, load, supply path, return path

b) Voltage source, current flow, power flow, load

c) Voltage source, load, supply path

d) Generator, load, transmission lines, substation

Q2: In the power system, the earth often serves as the return path.
True or false?

Q3: Give three examples of electric loads.

a) Batteries, lights, motors


b) Generators, air conditioners, motors
c) Solar cells, heaters, air conditioners
d) Lights, motors, heaters

Q4: What do electric loads all have in common?

a) Provide a return path back to source


b) Consume electrical energy
c) Provide a supply path from source
d) Store electrical energy

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

4.4 Resistance
The resistance of a conductor restricts the flow of current. This section describes resistance.

4.4.1 Definition of Resistance


Resistance is a measure of the opposition of a circuit element to the flow of current. Electrical
resistance is measured in ohms. An ohm is symbolized by the Greek letter omega ().
Water Analogy
By thinking of water flowing through pipes of different dimensions, you can get a good idea of
what electrical resistance means. If you apply a certain pressure to water flowing through a
pipe, the amount of water flowing through the pipe (the current) will depend on the dimensions
of the pipe. Narrow pipes offer more resistance to water flow than broad pipes. Long pipes
offer more resistance than short pipes, so less water (current) flows. In just the same way, the
electrical resistance of a conductor depends on its length and its width.

4.4.2 Path of Least Resistance


Just as in the case of water flow, electrical current flow will always take the path of least
resistance. Assume you have a piping arrangement as given in Figure 4-3. A pipe with a 3ft2
(square feet) cross section is feeding two pipes with cross sections of 1ft2 and 2ft2 respectively.
It should be apparent that more water will flow into the 2ft2 pipe than the 1ft2 pipe. This is
because there is less resistance to flow in the bigger pipe. The water from the 3ft2 pipe will flow
into the other two pipes in inverse proportion to the amount of resistance offered by each pipe.
Specifically, 2/3 of the water will flow into the 2ft2 pipe, and 1/3 of the water will flow into the
1ft2 pipe.

Figure 4-3 Water Analogy for Current Flow

Electrical current will likewise flow through the conducting paths, which offer the least
resistance. When current in a circuit encounters multiple paths, it will divide and flow along

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

those paths in inverse proportion to the resistance of the path.

4.4.3 Factors Affecting Resistance of a Conductor


We have said that the electrical resistance of a wire depends on the length and cross-
sectional area of the wire. Electrical resistance also depends on the material of the conductor.
For a given size of wire, copper has the lowest resistance of any of the commonly available
metals. Aluminum also has a low resistance. Copper and aluminum are commonly used for
electric conductors for this reason.
The measure of how strongly a material opposes the flow of electric current is known as its
resistivity. Resistance is related to resistivity by the equation:

Where:

Resistivity of Material
R = Resistance in Ohms ()
L = Length of Material
A = Cross Sectional Area

Note: is the Greek letter rho pronounced row.

Materials with lower resistivity are better conductors of electricity. Some examples of resistivity
are:

Aluminum 0.00000002709 -m (Ohm-meters)


Copper 0.00000001712 -m

Note that copper is the better conductor and has a lower resistivity than aluminum. However,
aluminum is much lighter than copper, therefore reducing the construction cost of the
transmission line.
Figure 4-4 illustrates the relationship between resistance and resistivity. Note that resistance is
a property of a conductor, while resistivity is a property of the material.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Figure 4-4 Resistance of a Conductor

4.4.4 Combinations of Resistances


Resistance in Series Circuits
Resistances connected in series produce a total resistance equal to the sum of the individual
resistances. Figure 4-5 illustrates this relationship.
Figure 4-5 Resistance in Series & Parallel

Figure 4-5 Resistance in Parallel Circuits

When resistances are connected in parallel, the inverse of the total resistance is equal to the
sum of the inverse of each individual resistance as illustrated in Figure 4-5. The more
resistances that are added in parallel, the less the total circuit resistance will be and the greater
the current that will flow for a given voltage.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.4 Summary

4.4.1 Definition of Resistance


Resistance is a measure of the opposition of a circuit element to the flow of electrical
current.
Electrical resistance is measured in ohms.
4.4.2 Path of Least Resistance
A larger share of the electrical current will flow through the conducting path which offers
the least resistance.
4.4.3 Factors Affecting Resistance of a Conductor
Electrical resistance of a conductor depends on the length and cross-sectional area of the
conductor and on the material of which the conductor is made.
The resistance of a material is temperature dependent but the change in resistance due
to temperature change is very small.
4.4.4 Combinations of Resistances
Resistances connected in series produce a total resistance equal to the sum of the
individual resistances.
When resistances are connected in parallel, the inverse of the total resistance is equal
to the sum of the inverse of each individual resistance.
More resistance connected in series increases the total path resistance. More
resistance connected in parallel reduces the total path resistance.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.4 Review Questions


Q1: A resistance of 2 ohms is connected to a resistance of 4 ohms in an electric circuit.
What is the total resistance if the two resistances are connected (i) in series and (ii) in parallel?

a) (i) 6 ohms, (ii) ohms


b) (i) 2 ohms, (ii) 4/3 ohms
c) (i) 6 ohms, (ii) 4/3 ohms
d) (i) 2 ohms (ii) 3 ohms

Q2: An electrical circuit (feeding one load) has two branches consisting of an aluminum and a
copper wire respectively. Both wires have the same dimensions. Which branch will carry
the larger current?

a) Same current in each branch


b) Not enough information
c) Aluminum
d) Copper

Q3: Two aluminum wires have the same cross-sectional area. Wire A is twice as long as
wire B. If wire A has a resistance of 10 ohms, what is the resistance of wire B?

a) 5 ohms
b) 10 ohms
c) 15 ohms
d) 20 ohms

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

4.5 Ohms Law


There are two basic laws that govern the behavior of electrical circuits. These two laws are
Ohms Law and Kirchhoffs Law. This section will describe the use of Ohms Law.

4.5.1 Statement of Ohms Law


Ohms Law states that the amount of current flowing through a conductor is directly
proportional to the voltage across the conductor and inversely proportional to its resistance.
Stated as an equation, Ohms Law is:

Where:
I = Current (amps)
V = Measured Voltage (volts)
R = Resistance (ohms)

Several simple examples of the application of Ohms Law will help understand the equation.
For example, Ohms Law states that if the voltage in an electrical circuit is exactly doubled
and all other conditions remain the samethe current will exactly double. On the other hand, if
the voltage is kept constant and the resistance is doubled, the value of current will be cut in
half.

Figure 4-6 Ohms Law


Ohms Law is a basic relationship between three quantities: voltage, current, and resistance.
As long as two of the quantities are known, the third can be found. Figure 4-6 illustrates a
simple way to remember the Ohms Law relationships. Simply draw a circle with V in the top
half, and I and R in the bottom half. Now, cover the quantity that you wish to calculate and
the relationship between the other two quantities is shown.
For example, if you know voltage and resistance and you need to find current, simply cover the
I, and you are left with V over R as shown in Figure 4-6. Now that you have a way of

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

remembering Ohms Law, lets see how it can be applied to DC circuits.

4.5.2 Use of Ohms Law


Ohms Law is often used to determine the current flow in a circuit when the voltage and
resistance are known. For example, Figure 4-7 contains a simplified circuit for the flashlight
graphic of Figure 4-2. Essentially, the circuit is composed of a three (3) volt battery connected
across a light bulb. The circuit has a total resistance of 0.75. Current flow in the circuit can be
found easily using Ohms Law as follows:

Figure 4-7 Use of Ohms Law

Ohms Law alone would suffice for solving simple circuits like this example. However, circuits
that are more complex require additional tools such as Kirchhoffs Laws. Kirchhoffs Laws are
described in the next section.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.5 Summary


4.5.1 Statement of Ohms Law
Ohms Law states that the amount of current flowing through a conductor is directly
proportional to the voltage across the conductor and inversely proportional to its
resistance
(I = V/R)

4.5.2 Use of Ohms Law


Ohms Law can be used to determine the current flow in an electrical circuit if the
voltage across the circuit and the circuits resistance are known.
Ohms Law can be used to determine the voltage drop across a component in an
electrical circuit if the resistance of the component and the current flow are known.
Ohms Law can be used to determine an electrical circuits resistance when the voltage
and current flow in the circuit are known.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.5 Review Questions

Q1: What is the value of I1?

a) 0.4 amperes
b) 0.6 amperes
c) 1.2 amperes
d) 2.5 amperes

Q2: What is the voltage drop (V) across the 10 resistor?

a) 2 volts
b) 4 volts
c) 6 volts
d) 12 volts

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Q3: What is the value of V?

a) 6.67 volts
b) 17 volts
c) 23 volts
d) 60 volts

Q4: What is the value of I2?

a) 2.5 amperes
b) 10 amperes
c) 250 amperes
d) 1000 amperes

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

4.6 Kirchhoffs Laws


As stated in the previous section, there are two basic laws that govern the behavior of electrical
circuits. Section 4.5 addressed Ohms Law while this section addresses Kirchhoffs Law.

4.6.1 The Current and Voltage Laws


Two useful tools or laws for solving electrical circuits are named after Gustav Kirchhoff who
first stated them in 1848. The first law is known as Kirchhoffs current law and is stated as:

The sum of all the currents at any point in a circuit


equals zero.

The second law is known as Kirchhoffs voltage law and is stated as:

The sum of all the voltages around any closed path in


a circuit equals zero.

4.6.2 Use of Kirchhoffs Laws


Figure 4-8 is used to demonstrate the application of Kirchhoffs Laws. The circuit consists of a
twelve (12) V battery supplying two resistors in parallel. The objective is to determine the
current flowing in each branch of the circuit. A total current equal to IT flows from the battery. I1
is the current that flows through R1 and I2 is the current that flows through R2.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Figure 4-8 Applying Kirchhoffs Laws

Using the principles introduced in Section 4.4.4, we can combine the two parallel resistors into
one equivalent resistor as follows:

The simplified circuit is given in Figure 4-8b. Ohms Law can now be used to find IT.

Using Kirchhoffs second law, which states that the sum of the voltages around any closed path
in a circuit equals zero, we can find the current flowing through resistors R1 and R2. Applying
Kirchhoffs second law to Figure 4-8a, the voltage drop across resistor R1 must equal 12 V.
Therefore, the current I1 through resistor R1 equals:

Kirchhoffs first law can now be used to find the current through R2. Restated, this law says that
the sum of the currents going into a point on a circuit must equal the sum of the currents going
out of that same point. In our example, this law applied to point A yields:

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

We have now determined all the currents in this resistive circuit by applying
Kirchhoffs and Ohms Laws.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.6 Summary


4.6.1 The Current and Voltage Laws
Kirchhoffs current law states that the sum of all the currents going into and out of any
point in a circuit equals zero.
Kirchhoffs voltage law states that the sum of all the voltages around any closed path in
a circuit must sum to zero.
4.6.2 Use of Kirchhoffs Laws
Kirchhoffs and Ohms Laws can be used to determine the currents and voltages at
various points in an electric circuit.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.6 Review Questions


Q1: Use Kirchhoffs and/or Ohms Laws to determine the value of V in the circuit shown below.

a) V = 0.45 volts
b) V = 10 volts
c) V = 20 volts
d) V = 90 volts

Q2: Use Kirchhoffs and/or Ohms Laws to determine the values I1 and I2 in the circuit shown
below.

a) I1 = 1 A, I2 = 2 A
b) I1 = 1.5 A, I2 = 1.5 A
c) I1 = 2 A, I2 = 1 A
d) I1 = 3 A, I2 = 3 A

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

4.7 Power and Energy


Power is the rate at which energy is expended in doing work. Energy is the power usage over
time. A car with a full tank of gas has an amount of energy stored chemically in the gasoline.
The rate at which the cars engine can convert the energy in the gas to motion of the car is the
power of the engine. Similarly, a charged battery has energy and the power delivered by the
battery is the rate at which the energy is expended when the battery causes current to flow in
an electric circuit.

4.7.1 Power
Power is the rate at which energy is expended to do work. DC power (P) is defined as voltage
times current and is measured in watts.

We know from Ohms Law that for a conductor V = I x R. Therefore, the powerconsumed by a
resistance, R, is given by:

=
=
= 2

The power consumed in a resistance is designated as the power loss such as when electric
current flows through the wires of a power system. For example, if a current of 4 amps flows
through a resistance of 10 ohms, the power loss is:

= 2
= 42 10
= 160

Instantaneous Demand

The instantaneous demand of a system is equal to the amount of power delivered to the

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

system at one point in time. Instantaneous demand is equal to the voltage times the current.
The instantaneous demand is measured in watts. The instantaneous demand is constantly
changing in a power system.
The power system demand is sometimes expressed as the average power delivered over a
period of time. On a power system, this is usually given as the average megawatts (a
megawatt is one million watts) delivered over a particular hour.

4.7.2 Energy
Energy is defined as the power used over a period of time, and is usually measured in watt-
hours. For example, a 100 watt light bulb which is on for 10 hours uses 1,000 watt- hours of
energy.
Integrated Demand
Energy is more accurately defined as the integral of instantaneous demand over time. The
integral of demand is equal to the area between the demand curve and the time axis as
illustrated in Figure 4-9. For a load with constant demand, such as the light bulb mentioned
earlier, the integrated demand is equal to the demand times the period of time that the load is
on. However, if we look at the demand of a typical household load, you would see an
instantaneous demand which is constantly changing as lights and appliances are switched on
and off. The energy consumed by the house is the sum of all the products of instantaneous
demand and time for each period.

Figure 4-9 Integrated Demand

4.7.3 Use of the Giga, Mega, and Kilo Symbols


In the field of power systems, the units of watts and volts are very small. To measure power

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

system values with these units would be equivalent to posting road signs with the number of
feet to the next city. The prefixes Giga, Mega, and Kilo are used to represent large
quantities of watts or volts. Each prefix can be used as a multiplier as follows:
Kilo is a multiplier of 1,000
Mega is a multiplier of 1,000,000
Giga is a multiplier of 1,000,000,000

For example, given a power plant which has a power output of one billion watts, we could call it
a:
o 1,000,000,000 watt plant
o 1,000,000 Kilowatt (KW) plant
o 1,000 Megawatt (MW) plant
o 1 Gigawatt (GW) plant

We commonly refer to power plant capabilities in MW. We commonly refer to transmission line
voltages in thousands of volts or kilovolts (KV). For instance, it is more common to refer to a
138 KV or 345 KV system rather than a 138,000 V or 345,000 V system.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.7 Summary


4.7.1 Power
Power is the rate at which energy is expended to do work.
DC power is defined as voltage times current and is measured in watts. The power
consumed by a resistance (R) is given by P = I2R
4.7.2 Energy
Energy is the power used over a period of time, and is usually measured in watt- hours.
4.7.3 Use of the Giga, Mega, and Kilo Symbols
The prefixes Giga, Mega, and kilo are used to represent large quantities of watts or
volts: Kilo is a multiplier of 1,000; Mega is a multiplier of 1,000,000, and Giga is a
multiplier of 1,000,000,000.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 4: DC Electricity

Section 4.7 Review Questions


Q1. i) What is the unit used to measure power delivered to an electric load? ii) What is the unit
for energy consumed by the electric load?

a) (i)Volt-amperes, (ii) Volt-ampere hours


b) (i) Watts, (ii) Volt-ampere hours
c) (i) Volt-amperes, (iii) Watt-hours
d) (i) Watts, (ii) Watt-hours

Q2: State the expression for power consumed by a resistance, R, when a current, I, flows
through it.

a) Power = I R
b) Power = RI
c) Power = I2R
d) Power = R2I

Q3: What is the unit of measurement for instantaneous demand?

a) MW
b) MWh
c) MW/h
d) MW/h2

Q4: The output of a generating unit is 500 MW. Express this value in watts.

a) 5,000 Watts
b) 50,000 Watts
c) 500,000 Watts
d) 500,000,000 Watts

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Q5: The output of a generating unit is 500 MW. Express this value in Kilowatts.

a) 5,000 Kilowatts
b) 50,000 Kilowatts
c) 500,000 Kilowatts
d) 5,000,000 Kilowatts

May, 2016 4 - 32
Section 5
AC Electricity
Table of Contents
5.0 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1
5.1 Alternating Current ............................................................................................................... 1
5.1.1 Alternating Current Magnitude and Direction .................................................................... 1
5.1.2 Frequency of AC Power .................................................................................................... 1
5.1.3 Reasons for Using AC Power ........................................................................................... 2
5.1.4 Phase Difference Between Voltage and Current .............................................................. 2
Section 5.1 Summary ................................................................................................................ 3
Section 5.1 Review Questions ................................................................................................... 4
5.2 Magnetism and Magnetic fields ........................................................................................... 5
5.2.1 Sources of Magnetism ...................................................................................................... 5
5.2.2 Magnetic Fields ................................................................................................................ 5
5.2.3 Electromagnetic Induction ................................................................................................ 7
5.2.4 Magnetic Fields and AC Power Systems .......................................................................... 7
Section 5.2 Summary ................................................................................................................ 8
Section 5.2 Review Questions ................................................................................................... 9
5.3 Capacitance & Inductance In AC Circuits .......................................................................... 10
5.3.1 Capacitors and Capacitive Reactance ............................................................................ 10
5.3.2 Inductance and Inductive Reactance .............................................................................. 11
5.3.3 Summary of Phase Angle Relationships ......................................................................... 13
Section 5.3 Summary .............................................................................................................. 15
Section 5.3 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 16
5.4 Impedance ......................................................................................................................... 18
5.4.1 Impedances as Vectors .................................................................................................. 18
5.4.2 The Impedance Triangle ................................................................................................. 18
Section 5.4 Summary .............................................................................................................. 20
Section 5.4. Review Questions ................................................................................................ 21
5.5 AC Power .......................................................................................................................... 22
5.5.1 Active Power ................................................................................................................... 22
5.5.2 Reactive Power .............................................................................................................. 22
5.5.3 Complex Power .............................................................................................................. 23
5.5.4 The Power Triangle ........................................................................................................ 24
5.5.5 Power Factor .................................................................................................................. 25
Section 5.5 Summary .............................................................................................................. 26
Section 5.5 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 27
5.6 Three-Phase Power ........................................................................................................... 28
5.6.1 Phasor Diagram Illustration of 3 Systems .................................................................... 28
5.6.3 Power In A 3 Circuit ..................................................................................................... 29
5.6.4 Magnetic Fields in a 3 System ..................................................................................... 30
Section 5.6 Summary .............................................................................................................. 31
Section 5.6 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 32
Figures and Tables
Figure 5-1 A Current Cycle ........................................................................................................ 1
Figure 5-2 Magnetic Fields ........................................................................................................ 6
Figure 5-3 Magnetic Field in an Iron-Core.................................................................................. 6
Figure 5-4 Capacitor and Inductor ........................................................................................... 10
Figure 5-5 Phase Angle in Capacitive and Inductive Circuits ................................................... 12
Figure 5-6 Phase Angles ......................................................................................................... 13
Figure 5-7 The Impedance Triangle......................................................................................... 18
Figure 5-8 The Power Triangle ................................................................................................ 24
Figure 5-9 Using the Power Triangle ....................................................................................... 25
Figure 5-10 Phasor Diagram ................................................................................................... 28
Figure 5-11 - & -G Voltages............................................................................................. 29
Learning Objectives
Explain basic AC electrical concepts (electrical charge, current, potential, power and energy)
Define AC Magnitude and direction
Define AC frequency
Explain the benefits of AC power vs DC power
Explain phase differences between voltage and current (lead and lag)
Define magnetism
Discuss the sources of magnetism
Explain magnetic fields
Explain electromagnetic induction
Define a capacitor
Explain the operation of a capacitor
Define Capacitance
Define Capacitive Reactance
Define Inductance
Define Inductance Reactance
Explain the phase angle between voltage and current
Discuss and explain ELI the ICE Man
Define Impedance
Explain Vectors
Define the Impedance Triangle
Utilize the Impedance Triangle for calculating impedance, resistance and reactance
Define the Pythagorean Theorem
Define AC power
Define Active power
Define Reactive power
Define Complex power
Explain the Power Triangle
Utilize the Power Triangle for calculating Complex Power, Reactive Power, Active Power, and
the Phase Angle
Define Power Factor
Define three phase power
Explain three phase voltage
Explain power in a three phase circuit
Explain magnetic fields in a three phase system
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 5: AC Electricity

5.0 Introduction
Power in North America is largely generated and delivered by alternating current (AC) systems.
This section reviews AC electrical theory. Topics addressed include the advantages of AC over
DC, the effects of capacitance and inductance in AC circuits, AC impedance and the
impedance triangle, basic concepts of three-phase power, and an introduction to active and
reactive power.

5.1 Alternating Current

5.1.1 Alternating Current Magnitude and Direction

The magnitude of alternating current is constantly changing and its direction reverses at regular
intervals. Figure 5-1 contains a graph of AC current as it varies with time. As you can see in the
figure, alternating current has the shape of a sine wave as described in Section
3. Alternating current could have the shape of a different type of waveform (triangular, square,
etc.) but the alternating current used in power systems is intentionally produced as close to a
pure sine wave as possible.

Figure 5-1 A Current Cycle

5.1.2 Frequency of AC Power

Recall that a sine wave is periodic which means that it constantly repeats itself. For each cycle,
a sine wave passes through zero twice and has one positive and one negative peak.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 5: AC Electricity

The frequency of the alternating current is equal to the number of cycles that are completed per
second. As stated in Section 3, the power system frequency in North America is 60 cycles per
second or 60 HZ. Other countries, such as England, use a 50 HZ system. In Japan, part of the
country operates at 60 HZ and part of the country at 50 HZ. Some railroads and industrial
customers use an AC supply that has a frequency of 25 HZ.

5.1.3 Reasons for Using AC Power

Why use seemingly complicated AC over relatively simple DC? There are two main reasons for
using AC. One reason is that generators naturally produce an alternating current output. An
additional step would be required to convert the alternating current to direct current.

Note: A hotly contested battle between Thomas Edison and Nikola


Tesla was waged to prove whether AC or DC was the best system
to use. Eventually Teslas ideas for AC power won the battle.

Another, and more important reason, has to do with losses on the power system and the fact
that the voltage level of AC power can be easily changed using transformers. As you recall
from Section 4, the heat generated when current flows through a conductor is given by I2R. On
the power system, heat generated in the conductors is power lost to the system. The goal is to
be able to transmit large amounts of power while minimizing losses. Since the power
transmitted by the power system equals V x I, engineers seek to maximize the voltage (V), in
order to be able to minimize the current (I) and therefore the loss (I2R).
The voltage of AC power can be transformed up and down relatively easily using a
transformer. So, using AC, power can be transformed to high voltages for transmission, thus
cutting down system losses. The principle of mutual induction, by which AC transformers
operate, does not apply to direct current.

5.1.4 Phase Difference between Voltage and Current

AC circuits behave differently from DC circuits in many respects. These differences are due to
the fact that in AC circuits, voltage and current are generally not in-phase with each other.
Circuit elements cause the current to lead or lag the voltage by a fraction of a cycle. This
effect is due to the presence of magnetic and electric fields within different equipment on the
system.
Electrostatic fields arise any time there is a separation between positive and negative charges.
In fact, as stated in Section 4, it is the presence of an electric fielddue to a separation of
positive and negative chargesthat causes current to flow. Later, we will describe how
capacitors store energy in their electric fields, causing the current to lead the voltage. Inductors
store energy in their magnetic fields and cause the current to lag the voltage. The effects of
capacitors and inductors in AC circuits are described in Section 5.3. First, we must explain
some basic concepts of magnetism and properties of magnetic fields.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 5: AC Electricity

Section 5.1 Summary

5.1.1 Alternating Current Magnitude and Direction


The magnitude and direction of alternating current are constantly changing in agreement
with the shape of the sine wave.
5.1.2 Frequency of AC Power
The frequency of alternating current is equal to the number of cycles that are completed
per second.
The power system frequency in North America is typically 60 cycles per second.
5.1.3 Reasons for Using AC Power
The voltage of AC power can be transformed using a transformer.
Using AC, power can be transformed to high voltages for transmission, thus reducing
losses.
5.1.4 Phase Difference between Voltage and Current
In AC circuits, voltage and current are generally not in-phase with each other. This is
due to the buildup of magnetic and electric fields within different equipment on the
system.
Capacitors store energy in their electric fields, causing current to lead the voltage.
Inductors store energy in their magnetic fields and cause current to lag the voltage.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 5: AC Electricity

Section 5.1 Review Questions

Q1: What is the shape of the power systems alternating current waveform?

a) Saw tooth
b) Sine
c) Square
d) Triangular

Q2. What is the power system frequency in the United States? At this frequency, what is the
time in seconds for the current to go from a zero crossing to its nearest peak value?

a) 60 HZ, .0042 seconds


b) 60 HZ, .0083 seconds
c) 50 HZ, .005 seconds
d) 50 HZ, .001 seconds

Q3: What is the reason for transmitting power at high voltage?

a) To prevent unauthorized persons from interfering with the system


b) Less maintenance is required
c) To minimize power losses over the transmission lines
d) Power is generated at high voltages and consumed at lower voltages

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 5: AC Electricity

5.2 Magnetism and Magnetic fields

Electricity and magnetism are closely related subjects. This section examines the cause and
effects of magnetism and magnetic fields.

5.2.1 Sources of Magnetism

Magnetism is a property of matter associated with moving charges. The moving charges may
be within the atomic structure of the materials as in magnetized pieces of iron or steel. These
type materials are called permanent magnets.
Magnetism also arises any time there are moving chargesfor example, the moving charges
associated with an electric current. An electric current flowing through a straight conductor or a
coil naturally produces a magnetic field. The magnetic field is generally much stronger for a coil
because of the number of turns of wire in which the current flows. If the coil is wound around a
core made of magnetic material, an electromagnet is formed.

Note: Permanent magnets retain their magnetic field strength.


Electromagnets require a current source to sustain their magnetic
fields.

5.2.2 Magnetic Fields

A field can be thought of as a force distributed over an area. For example, gravity is a field. The
gravitational field of the earth can be thought of as lines of force, which extend outward from
the earths center, and weaken with distance. Any object within the gravitational field of the
earth will experience the force of gravity pulling it toward the earth.
Similarly, magnetic fields can be viewed as lines of magnetic force. Any other magnet placed
within a magnetic field will experience a magnetic force.
The geometry of magnetic fields varies depending on the source of the field as shown in Figure
5-2. Permanent magnets have two poles designated north and south. The lines of magnetic
force run by convention from the north pole to the south pole. The Earth is a permanent
magnet with a magnetic field that can be detected with a compass.
The magnetic field due to a current in a straight conductor is concentric about the conductor as
illustrated in the right side of Figure 5-2. The intensity of the magnetic field decreases as the
distance from the conductor increases. The magnetic field of a coil is similar to that of a
permanent bar magnet. This type of magnetic field is shown in the left of Figure
5-2.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 5: AC Electricity

Figure 5-2 Magnetic Fields

Magnetic fields can be confined within magnetic material such as the iron in a transformer
core. In other words, if a magnetic field is set up in an iron structure, the lines of magnetic force
will tend to be confined to that structure. Figure 5-3 contains a simplified transformer core. The
core is basically a rectangular iron doughnut. If a wire is wrapped around the core and current
is passed through it as shown, a magnetic field will be created in the core as illustrated.
Because iron is a better magnetic material than air, the magnetic field will mostly remain in the
core.

Figure 5-3 Magnetic Field in an Iron-Core

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 5: AC Electricity

5.2.3 Electromagnetic Induction

If there is relative motion between a magnetic field and a conductor, or if there is a change in
the magnetic field affecting a conductor, an electromotive forceor voltageis generated.
This voltage causes current to flow in the circuit. This is called the principle of electromagnetic
induction. This is a very important principle. It is the basic principle of operation of electric
generators, transformers, and other equipment.

Note: A voltage is generated in a conductor if there is relative


motion between a conductor and a magnetic field.

The change in a magnetic field that causes the induced voltage may be due to physical motion
of the magnetic field or the electrical circuit or both. The induced voltage may also be due to
changes in the magnitude or direction of the magnetic field. In other words, if a conductor is
placed in a fluctuating magnetic field, a voltage will be induced in the conductor.

5.2.4 Magnetic Fields and AC Power Systems

When DC current flows through a conductor, a constant magnetic field is created. When AC
current flows through a conductor, a variable or alternating magnetic field is created. The
variable field alternately builds and collapses as the AC voltage wave builds and collapses in
its normal cycle. This constantly changing magnetic field causes an induced voltage in the
conductor. This induced voltage is referred to as a counter-emf. The voltage due to the
counter-emf opposes the original voltage that caused the current to flow. The result is to delay
the current flowing in the conductor.
This delay or lag in the current due to a counter-emf is one of the reasons why current and
voltage are generally out-of-phase in an AC system. The effect is larger with coils, such as
those in a transformer, because of the strong magnetic fields associated with coils. In the next
section, we will use this concept in explaining the inductive component of the impedance of an
AC circuit.

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Section 5.2 Summary

5.2.1 Sources of Magnetism


Magnetism is associated with moving charges.
In permanent magnets, the moving charges are within the atomic structure of materials.
An electric current flowing through a straight conductor or a coil also produces a
magnetic field.
If the coil is wound around a core made of magnetic material an electromagnet is
formed.
5.2.2 Magnetic Fields
Magnetic fields can be viewed as lines of magnetic force. Any magnet placed within a
magnetic field will experience a magnetic force.
The magnetic field due to a current in a straight conductor is concentric about the
conductor.
The magnetic field due to a coil is similar to that of a permanent bar magnet.
If a magnetic field is set up on an iron structure, the lines of magnetic force will tend to
be confined to that structure.
5.2.3 Electromagnetic Induction
If there is a change in the magnetic field affecting a conductor, an electromotive force
or voltageis generated.
This principle of electromagnetic induction is the basic principle of operation of electric
generators and transformers.
5.2.4 Magnetic Fields and AC Power Systems
When AC current flows through a conductor the magnetic field alternately builds and
collapses as the AC voltage wave completes its normal cycle. The result is to delay the
current flowing in the conductor. The effect is larger with coils, such as those in a
transformer, because of the high magnetic fields associated with coils.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 5: AC Electricity

Section 5.2 Review Questions

Q1: What is the source of a magnetic field?

a) Moving charges
b) Stationary charges
c) Moving atoms
d) Electromotive force

Q2: How is an electromagnet formed?

a) Magnet induces electricity into a coil


b) Magnetic field induced by current in coil
c) Current in coil induces magnetism into an iron-core
d) Electric field induced by magnetism in an iron-core

Q3: What causes a voltage to be induced in a conductor?

a) Electric field induced by current in a coil


b) Magnetic field induced by current in coil
c) Relative motion between an electric field and a conductor
d) Relative motion between a magnetic field and a conductor

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5.3 Capacitance & Inductance in AC Circuits

This section describes, in greater detail, how capacitors and inductors affect AC circuits. Figure
5-4 contains a simple illustration of each type of device.

Figure 5-4 Capacitor and Inductor

5.3.1 Capacitors and Capacitive Reactance

Capacitors
A capacitor is a simple and very common electrical device. All that is needed to create a
capacitor are:
Two pieces of conducting material
A dielectric between the conductors

Note: A dielectric is a material (air, glass, rubber, etc.) that does not
conduct electricity. A dielectric is an insulator.

Figure 5-4a contains a simple capacitor in which two conducting plates are separated by a
dielectric. Air serves as the dielectric in many capacitors. Sometimes the dielectric is oil-
impregnated paper.

Energy Stored in a Capacitors Electric Field


Suppose that a battery is connected across the capacitor plates. A positive charge will build up
on one plate and negative charge on the other plate. This causes an electric field between the
plates. Figure 5-4 illustrates the electric field lines. Energy is stored in this electric field.
If an alternating voltage is applied across the plates instead of a DC voltage, the electric field
will alternately build and collapse as the charge flows in and out of the capacitor. Because of
the charge build-up on the plates, the voltage in the plates opposes the applied voltage.

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Current will start flowing out of the capacitor before the direction of the applied AC voltage has
reversed. Thus, the current flowing in and out of the capacitor leads the voltage.
Capacitance and Capacitive Reactance
A capacitor is a circuit element that stores energy in its electric field. The measure of how
much energy a capacitor can store is known as its capacitance, C. The capacitance of a
capacitor depends on the dimensions of the capacitor plates, the plate separation, and the
composition of the dielectric that separates them. Capacitance is measured in farads or micro-
farads. One micro-farad (F) is equal to 0.000001 Farad (or 10-6 F).
Capacitive reactance (XC) is a measure of how a capacitor affects the flow of current.
Capacitive reactance is measured in ohms. To determine the capacitive reactance you must
know the value of capacitance (C) and the frequency (f) of the circuit. The formula for
determining the capacitive reactance is:
1
=
2

Note: The term (Greek letter PI) refers to a constant. PI is the


ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. PI is
approximately equal to 3.1416

Note that the capacitive reactance varies with the frequency.

It is important to keep in mind the difference between capacitance and capacitive reactance.
Capacitance is an energy storage property of the circuit element or device. Capacitive
reactance describes the impedance of the device in an AC circuit.
Phase Angle between Voltage and Current
In a purely capacitive circuit, the current leads the voltage by 90o. This phase relationship can
be represented with a vector diagram as shown in Figure 5-5b. If a circuit contains both
capacitance and resistance, the phase angle, , depends on the relative magnitude of the two
impedances as shown in Figure 5-5d.

5.3.2 Inductance and Inductive Reactance

Inductors
An inductor is also a simple electrical device, commonly found in AC systems. An inductor is a
coiled conductor. Figure 5-4b illustrated an inductor. As we have described, inductors build
magnetic fields as current flows through them and the inductor stores energy in this field.

Inductance and Inductive Reactance


Inductance is a measure of how much energy an inductor can store. Like capacitance, the
inductance of a coil depends on its dimensions and the medium that fills the space between
the coils. Inductance is measured in Henries (H).

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Figure 5-5 Phase Angle in Capacitive and Inductive Circuits

Inductive reactance (XL) is a measure of how an inductor affects the flow of current. Inductive
reactance is measured in ohms. To determine the inductive reactance you must know the
value of inductance (L) and the frequency (f) of the circuit. The formula for determining the
inductive reactance is:

= 2

Note that the inductive reactance (like capacitive reactance) varies with the frequency.
However, the inductive reactance increases with increasing frequency while the capacitive
reactance decreases with increasing frequency.

Phase Angle between Voltage and Current


In a purely inductive circuit, the current lags the voltage by 90o. This is illustrated in Figure 5-
5a. In a circuit that includes both inductance and resistance the angle (), by which the current
lags the voltage depends on the relative magnitude of resistance and inductive reactance in
the circuit. A combination of inductance and resistance is illustrated in Figure 5-5c.
In a capacitive circuit, the current leads the voltage. The phase angle of an inductive circuit is
defined as a positive phase angle. The phase angle of a capacitive circuit is defined as a
negative phase angle.

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5.3.3 Summary of Phase Angle Relationships

Phase angle () has been defined as the angular separation between two phasors. The two
phasors could be a voltage and a current. Figure 5-6 illustrates portions of the voltage and
current sine waves for a circuit. The spacing between the zero crossings of the two waveforms
also illustrates the phase angle () of the circuit.

Figure 5-6 Phase Angles

Figure 5-6a illustrates a leading phase angle. The current waveform is to the left, or ahead of
the voltage waveform. Figure 5-6b illustrates a lagging phase angle. The current waveform is to
the right, or behind the voltage waveform. As we have said, the phase angle between the
voltage and current phasors for a circuit is directly related to the impedance of the circuit.
The following rules summarize the relationships:
If the impedance of the circuit is purely resistive, then the voltage and current will be in-
phase, and the phase angle will be zero. (The impedance of AC power system circuits is
rarely purely resistive.)
Circuits in which the reactance is primarily capacitive have a leading phase angle.
Circuits with inductive impedance have a lagging phase angle.

Note: When the terms leading and lagging are used, the
assumption is that voltage is the reference.

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A Memory Jogger
A convenient way to remember that in an inductive circuit current lags and in a capacitive
circuit current leads, is the expression:

ELI the ICE Man


The ELI portion helps you remember the E (voltage) leads the I (current) in an inductive (L)
circuit while the ICE portion reminds you that I leads E in a capacitive (C) circuit.

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Section 5.3 Summary

5.3.1 Capacitors and Capacitive Reactance


A capacitor consists of two pieces of conducting material separated with a dielectric
situated between the conductors.
If an alternating voltage is applied across the capacitor plates, an electric field will
alternately build and collapse as the charge flows in and out of the capacitor. The
current flowing in and out of the capacitor leads the voltage.
The measure of how much energy a capacitor can store in its electric field is known as
its capacitance, C. Capacitance is measured in farads (f).
Capacitive reactance (Xc) is a measure of how a capacitor affects the flow of current.
The capacitive reactance is:
1
=
2
In a purely capacitive circuit, the current leads the voltage by 90.
5.3.2 Inductance and Inductive Reactance
An inductor is a coiled conductor.
Inductance (L) is a measure of how much energy an inductor can store. Inductance is
measured in Henries (H).
Inductive reactance (XL) is a measure of how an inductor affects the flow of current. The
inductive reactance is:

= 2
In a purely inductive circuit, the current lags the voltage by 90.
5.3.3 Summary of Phase Angle Relationships
The phase angle between voltage and current phasors for a circuit is directly related to
the impedance of the circuit. Inductive circuits are lagging circuits while capacitive
circuits are leading circuits.

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Section 5.3 Review Questions

Q1: What is the difference between capacitance and capacitive reactance?

a) Capacitance is a measure of the energy a capacitor can store in its electric field,
capacitive reactance is a measure of how a capacitor affects the flow of current
b) Capacitive reactance is a measure of the energy a capacitor can store in its electric
field, capacitance is a measure of how a capacitor affects the flow of current
c) There is no difference between them
d) Capacitance is measured in ohms and capacitive reactance in farads

Q2: What is the relationship between capacitance and capacitive reactance?

a) Xc = 2fC
b) Xc = 1/(2fC)
c) C= 2fXc
d) C = 2f/(Xc)

Q3: Energy is stored in the field between the plates of a capacitor.


a) Electric
b) Magnetic
c) Capacitive
d) Reactive

Q4: What is the phase relationship between voltage and current in a purely capacitive circuit?

a) Current leads voltage by 60


b) Current lags voltage by 90
c) Current and voltage are in-phase
d) Current leads voltage by 90

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Q5: What is the relationship between voltage and current in a purely inductive circuit?

a) Current leads voltage by 60


b) Current lags voltage by 90
c) Current and voltage are in-phase
d) Current leads voltage by 90

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5.4 Impedance

Impedance restricts current flow in AC circuits. Impedance is the AC version of resistance. It


consists of both resistance and reactance. Resistance is caused by the conductors resistance
to the flow of electrons, as described in the review of DC electricity. The reactance is made up
of the capacitive reactance and the inductive reactance, as described in the previous section.

5.4.1 Impedances as Vectors

In order to find the total impedance of an AC circuit, the three components (resistance,
inductive reactance, and capacitive reactance) must be treated like vectors. The three
quantities are vectors as they each have both a magnitude and a phase. Resistance is
normally represented by a vector pointing to the right. Capacitance is represented by a vector
pointing downward at 90o to the resistance, while inductive reactance is represented by a
vector pointing upward at 90o to the resistance.

Note: Resistance has a 0 phase angle. Inductive reactance +90,


and capacitive reactance -90.

To find the total impedance in a circuit, reactances are summed first. Keep in mind that XL and
XC are 180 out of phase. Because of the direction in which they point, XL may be considered a
positive reactance while XC may be considered a negative reactance. Thus, if you had a circuit
whose inductive reactance was 10 and whose capacitive reactance was 5, the total
reactance would be +5 (10-5) inductive.

5.4.2 The Impedance Triangle

To sum reactances and resistances, the triangle method of adding vectors is used. (This was
described in Section 3.) Two impedance (vector) triangles are represented in Figure 5-7.
Figure 5-7a represents an inductive impedance since the reactance (XL) is positive. This is
added to the resistance to give the impedance, Z, for the circuit. Figure 5-7b represents a
negative capacitive reactance (XC).

Figure 5-7 The Impedance Triangle

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Note: You can calculate impedance, resistance, and reactance


values using the impedance triangle in the same manner as power
values are calculated using the power triangle (see Section 5.5).

Because the impedance triangle is a right triangle, the two components are added together
using the Pythagorean Theorem as was described in Section 3.
Z2 = R2 + X2

If the resistance (R) and the reactance (X) are known, the impedance (Z) can be calculated.

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Section 5.4 Summary

5.4.1 Impedances as Vectors


Impedance is the AC version of resistance. It consists of both resistance and reactance.
Resistance is represented by a vector pointing to the right.
Capacitive reactance is represented by a vector pointing downward at 90o to the
resistance.
Inductive reactance is represented by a vector pointing upward at 90o to the resistance.
5.4.2 The Impedance Triangle
The impedance triangle is used to find the vector sum of reactances and resistances.
Because the impedance triangle is a right triangle, the two components are added
together using the Pythagorean Theorem:

2 = 2 + 2

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Section 5.4. Review Questions

Q1: If resistance is represented by a vector pointing to the right on a phasor diagram, how
would (i) capacitive reactance and (ii) inductive reactance be represented?

a) (i) Capacitive reactance vector points up, (ii) Inductive reactance vector points down
b) (i) Capacitive reactance vector points down, (ii) Inductive reactance vector points up
c) (i) Capacitive reactance vector points left, (ii) Inductive reactance vector points right
d) (i) Capacitive reactance vector points right, (ii) Inductive reactance vector points left

Q2: An AC circuit has a capacitive reactance of 100 and an inductive reactance of


500. What is the net reactance of the circuit?

a) 400 inductive
b) 490 inductive
c) 510 capacitive
d) 600 capacitive

Q3: Use the impedance triangle to calculate the resultant impedance for a circuit with the
following components:

Resistance = 30
Capacitive Reactance = 20
Inductive Reactance = 60

a) 50
b) 80
c) 90
d) 110

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5.5 AC Power

The power that flows in a power system is composed of active and reactive power. Both
components are necessary to serve customer loads. As we will see, without active power our
lights would be dark. On the other hand, all the active power in the world will not turn the shaft
of an electric motor without sufficient reactive power.

5.5.1 Active Power

Active power has sometimes been referred to as real power to distinguish it from reactive
power. Active power is used to perform work such as lighting a room or heating a building or
turning a motor shaft. The unit of active power is the watt (W) but the more common units are
the kilowatt (equal to 1,000 watts) and the megawatt (MW)equal to one million watts. Power
is the rate at which energy is consumed and is measured in watts. The energy a customer
consumes and pays for is measured in kilowatt hours (KWh) or megawatt hours (MWh). The
symbol often used for active power on the power system is the letter P.
A generator converts energy from one form to another. For example, a generator may convert
the potential energy of water to electrical energy or the chemical energy of coal to electrical
energy. When a generators MW output is increased, more fuel (water, coal, etc.) must be
added to produce more MW. More fuel is generally not required to produce more reactive
power. When more reactive power is required, the generator's excitation system is adjusted or
additional capacitors are added to the power system.

5.5.2 Reactive Power

Reactive power supports the magnetic and electric fields necessary to operate power system
equipment. Reactive power is never used up by the power system. Reactive power is stored in
the electrical and magnetic fields that exist in the system. A constant exchange of reactive
power is made between those devices that produce reactive and those that store reactive in
their electric and magnetic fields.
When electrical equipment is energized via AC voltage, an electric field is created. When AC
current flows through a conductor a magnetic field is created. These electric and magnetic
fields continually build and collapse with the changing magnitudes of the AC voltage and
current. When the electric and magnetic fields are building, they store reactive power. When
these fields are collapsing, they return the reactive power to the system. No actual energy is
expended (except losses). Reactive power flow is simply a continual exchange of power.
If you have ever looked at the inside of a motoreven a small oneyou may have noticed that
there is a gap between the rotating component of the motor and the stationary component of
the motor. This gap is necessary to allow the rotor to turn and to perform some type of work.
However, how do the watts of power used to run the motor get across this gap to be used to
turn the rotor? The answer is that the component of AC power called reactive power creates a
magnetic field in this air-gap and serves as a bridge to allow active power to turn the rotor of
the motor. Reactive power is used to build magnetic and electric fields.
Reactive power is measured in VAR. VAR stands for volt ampere reactive. We use the
abbreviation KVAR for 1,000 VAR and MVAR for 1,000,000 VAR. The symbol for reactive

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power is the letter Q.

Note: The Q symbol for reactive power derives from the word
quadrature. Quadrature means a 90 phase difference exists
between active (P) and reactive (Q) power.

A large percentage of electrical loads could not run without VAR. For example, all AC- powered
rotating equipment, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, and industrial motors use VAR.
Transformers could not operate (step-up or step-down voltages) without VAR. Reactive power
is stored in and returned to the system from the magnetic fields of inductors and the electric
fields of capacitors.
Reactive Power Analogy
Reactive power is often described in terms of an analogy. A useful analogy is to assume you
were to use a wheelbarrow to move a load of bricks along a level path. To do so you must first
raise the handles of the wheelbarrow. While raising the handles, you are storing energy in the
wheelbarrow. Next, you apply a force to move the wheelbarrow forward. When you arrive at
your destination you lower the wheelbarrow handles to the ground and release stored energy.
The raising of the wheelbarrow handles is equivalent to storing reactive power in a magnetic
field. This energy is not being used but simply being stored for later retrieval. However, to move
the wheelbarrow forward this energy must first be stored. The forward movement of the
wheelbarrow is equivalent to active power usage. Real work is being performed as the
wheelbarrow moves forward. The lowering of the handles is equivalent to retrieving the
reactive power from its storage location.
Note that reactive power was stored but later retrieved. This storage was necessary to enable
active power to perform the desired work.

5.5.3 Complex Power

Together, active power and reactive power make up complex powerwhich is the total power
flow. Power producers use generators to produce active and reactive power. Transmission and
distribution companies then use the transmission and distribution systems to distribute this
power to the customer loads.
Complex power is the combination of active and reactive power. Complex power is the total
power the transmission system is carrying. This total flow (the product of voltage and current)
has units of volts-amperes (VA). Electric companies commonly use the abbreviation KVA for
1,000 VA and MVA for 1,000,000 VA. The symbol for complex power is the letter S.
Active power and reactive power are quantities that have both magnitude and direction so they
must be treated as vectors when they are added together. The addition of MW and MVAR will
be reviewed as we discuss the power triangle.

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5.5.4 The Power Triangle

Figure 5-8 The Power Triangle

Complex power is the combination of active and reactive power. Since active power and
reactive power are 90 apart in-phase, they must be added vectorially using the power triangle.
Figure 5-8 illustrates the power triangle, where the two legs are active and reactive power, and
the hypotenuse represents the complex power.
Because this is a right triangle, the two components must be summed using the Pythagorean
Theorem as was described in Section 3.

MVA2 = MW2 + MVAR2

Look again at the power triangle in Figure 5-8. The angle between MW and MVA is the same
as the angle between the current and voltage. If you know any two of the quantities shown in
the power triangle (MW, MVAR, MVA, or ) you can calculate the other two.
As stated, the complex power is equal to the product of voltage and current (V x I) for the
circuit. From the power triangle the active and reactive power are equal to:

( ) = cos
( ) = sin

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5.5.5 Power Factor

The cosine (cos) of the angle between the MVA and MW in the power triangle is called the
power factor. The power factor is equal to the ratio of the active power and complex power at
the point at which the power factor is measured.


() =

If a load has a unity power factor (PF=1.0), the load is purely resistive and requires no reactive
power. If the power factor were zero, the load would be purely reactive and would not require
any MW. Suppose that the load on a power system is 100 MVA with an active power
component of 85 MW. We could then calculate that the power factor was 85 MW/100 MW =
0.85.

The power factor of a load is a simple way of determining how many MW and MVAR are
needed to serve the load. If the power factor and MVA of the load are known, the MVAR and
MW components can be calculated. For example, in Figure 5-9 the MVA is 100, is 25.8, and
the power factor is 0.9 (cos 25.8). The MW can be easily calculated to be 100 x 0.9 = 90 MW
and the power triangle can then be used to calculate that MVAR is 43.6.

Figure 5-9 Using the Power Triangle

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Section 5.5 Summary

5.5.1 Active Power


Active power is the useful or working energy supplied by a power source. Active power
is measured in watt (W), kilowatt (KW), and megawatt (MW).
5.5.2 Reactive Power
Reactive power supports the magnetic and electric fields necessary to operate power
system equipment.
A constant exchange of reactive power is made between those devices that produce
reactive and those that store reactive in their electric and magnetic fields.
Reactive power is measured in VAR. VAR stands for volt ampere reactive. Typical units
used are KVAR for one thousand VAR and MVAR for one million VAR.
5.5.3 Complex Power
Complex power is the vector sum of active and reactive power. Complex power is
measured in units of volts-amperes (VA), KVA, and MVA.
Active power and reactive power must be treated as vectors when they are added
together.
5.5.4 The Power Triangle
The power triangle is a graphical representation of the equation:

MVA2 = MW2 + MVAR2


5.5.5 Power Factor
The cosine (cos) of the angle between the MVA and MW in the power triangle is called
the power factor. This is equal to the ratio of active power and complex power.
If a load has a unity power factor, the load is purely resistive and requires no MVAR.
If a load has a zero power factor it is purely reactive and requires no MW.

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Section 5.5 Review Questions

Q1: What type of power is used to perform useful work? In what units is it measured?

a) Complex power, MVA


b) Reactive power, MVAR
c) Active Power, MVA
d) Active Power, MW

Q2: What type of power is used to support the electric and magnetic fields required by power
system equipment? In what units is it measured?

a) Complex power, MVA


b) Reactive power, MVAR
c) Active Power, MVA
d) Active Power, MW

Q3: What is the total or complex power required by a load if the active power is 800 MW and
the reactive power is 600 MVAR? What is the power factor of this load?

a) 1000 MVA, 0.6


b) 1000 MVA, 0.8
c) 1400 MVA, 0.57
d) 1400 MVA, 0.43

Q4: What is the power factor of a purely resistive load?

a) 0.0
b) 0.6
c) 0.8
d) 1.0

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5.6 Three-Phase Power

Note: The symbol is used to denote a phase. Three-phase is


symbolized as 3.

Most AC power systems transmit power as 3 power. Three separate conducting paths are
used to transmit the power, one for each phase. The AC voltages and currents are ideally the
same in amplitude and frequency but are each 120o out of phase.

5.6.1 Phasor Diagram Illustration of 3 Systems

Figure 5-10 Phasor Diagram

As we have said, in a 3 system, each of the phase voltages is 120 out of phase with the
other two voltages. The three phases on a phasor diagram can be represented by three
phasors 120 apart. For example, if we choose A phase to be the reference phase, and
assign it an angle of 0, the C phase will have an angle of 120, and B phase will have an
angle of 240 or -120. Figure 5-10 illustrates the phase relationships of voltages in a three-
phase system using a phasor diagram.
5.6.2 3 Voltages
In a 1 system, the only voltage that can be specified is the voltage from the phase (or line) to
ground (-G). In a 3 system there are two ways of specifying the voltage. First, there is the
voltage from each phase conductor to ground, called the -G voltage. Second, there is the
voltage between any two of the three-phase conductors. This voltage is called the phase-to-
phase (-) voltage.
- voltages are usually given when talking about power system circuits. For example, if you
had a 345 KV line, and you wanted to measure the voltage, you would have to connect your
voltmeter between two of the phases to measure 345 KV. If you measured from one of the
phases to ground, you would measure 199 KV (345 3).

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Figure 5-11 illustrates the relationships between the -G voltage and the - voltage in a
balanced 3 circuit. The figure illustrates that the magnitude of the - voltage is equal to the
magnitude of the -G voltage times the square root of three ( 3)

Figure 5-11 - & -G Voltages

5.6.3 Power in A 3 Circuit

Our description of power flow in section 5.5 was for 1 systems. In 1 systems active
power flow is the product of the voltage, current and power factor. Whenever large amounts of
power are transmitted long distances, 1 systems are not sufficient. As you would expect, the
power flowing in a balanced 3 circuit is simply three times that of a 1 circuit. That is,
the power is three times the product of the -G voltage, the current, and the power factor.
Since, as we just explained, the voltage is usually given as the - voltage, the 3 active
power becomes the product of three times the - voltage, the current, and the power
factor all divided by the 3 . The following equations summarize these relationships:

3 = cos Recall that = so that
3

3 = cos = 3 cos
3
Where:
= Phase to Phase Voltage
= Phase to Ground Voltage

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The reactive power in a 3 circuit is calculated in much the same manner. The active power
was determined above to be equal to: 3 = 3 cos The formula for 3 reactive power is
similar3 = 3 sin : For example, assume the voltage of a 3 circuit is 345 KV, the
current flow is 500 amps, and the phase angle between the voltage and current is 30. The
active and reactive power flows are calculated below:

5.6.4 Magnetic Fields in a 3 System

Each of the phase conductors of a 3 power system creates its own magnetic field as the
phase currents flow. If you were to analyze the magnetic field that results from the summation
of the three fields you would discover that the resultant field rotates. The field rotates at the
system frequency.
Three-phase power systems must have rotating magnetic fields to exist. Generators use
rotating magnetic fields to generate AC power, and motors use rotating magnetic fields to drive
their loads. When a generator is synchronized to the power system, you are actually
synchronizing the rotating magnetic field of the generator to the rotating magnetic field of the
3 system.

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Section 5.6 Summary

5.6.1 Phasor Diagram Illustration of 3 Systems


Most AC power systems transmit power as 3 power
The AC voltages and currents in each phase are ideally the same in amplitude and
frequency but are each 120o out of phase.
5.6.2 3 Voltages
The voltage from each phase conductor to ground is called the phase-to-ground (-G)
voltage.
The voltage between any two of the three-phase conductors is called the phase-to-
phase (-) voltage.
The - voltage is equal to the -G voltage times the square root of three (3 ).
5.6.3 Power in a 3 Circuit
Power flowing in a balanced 3 circuit is given by: =
The formula for 3 reactive power is similar: =
5.6.4 Magnetic Fields in a 3System
When the magnetic fields due to current flow in each conductor of a 3 power system
are summed together a rotating magnetic field is naturally created.
Generators use rotating magnetic fields to generate AC power, and motors use rotating
magnetic fields to drive their loads.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 5: AC Electricity

Section 5.6 Review Questions

Q1: What is the angular separation of voltages between the A and B phases of a 3 power
system?

a) 45
b) 90
c) 120
d) 180

Q2: In a 3 power system the - voltage is 138 KV. What is the -G voltage?

a) 79.7 KV
b) 239.0 KV
c) 46 KV
d) 414 KV

Q3 If the complex power in a circuit is 250 MVA and the power factor is 0.95, what is the active
power?

a) 12.5 MW
b) 12.5 MVAR
c) 237.5 MVAR
d) 237.5 MW

May, 2016 5 - 32
Section 6
Generating Units
Table of Contents
6. Introduction ................................................................................................................. 1
6.1 Generators ................................................................................................................ 1
6.1.1 Principle of Generator Operation ............................................................................ 1
6.1.2 Utility Power Generators ........................................................................................ 4
6.1.3 Synchronous and Asynchronous Machines ........................................................... 5
6.1.4 The Torque Angle................................................................................................... 9
6.1.5 Torque Angles and Power Generation ................................................................. 12
6.1.6 Torque Angle and Voltage Angle.......................................................................... 12
Section 6.1 Summary .................................................................................................... 14
Section 6.1 Review Questions ...................................................................................... 16
6.2 Generator Turbines ................................................................................................. 17
6.2.1 Introduction to Hydroelectric Generators .............................................................. 17
6.2.2 Hydroelectric Turbines ......................................................................................... 17
6.2.3 Steam Turbines .................................................................................................... 19
6.2.4 Combustion Turbines ........................................................................................... 21
Section 6.2 Summary .................................................................................................... 23
Section 6.2 Review Questions ...................................................................................... 24
6.3 Introduction to Generator Control Systems ............................................................. 25
6.3.1 Governor Control System ..................................................................................... 25
6.3.2 Excitation Control System .................................................................................... 26
6.3.3 Boiler-Turbine Control Systems............................................................................ 27
Section 6.3 Summary .................................................................................................... 29
Section 6.3 Review Questions ...................................................................................... 30
6.4 Generator Capability ............................................................................................... 31
6.4.1 Gross Generation and Net Generation ................................................................. 31
Section 6.4 Summary .................................................................................................... 32
Section 6.4 Review Questions ...................................................................................... 33
6.5 Synchronous Condensers ....................................................................................... 34
Section 6.5 Summary .................................................................................................... 35
Section 6.5 Review Questions ...................................................................................... 36
Figures and Tables
Figure 6-1 Rotating Armature - Stationary Field .................................................................. 2
Figure 6-2 Armature Rotation and Voltage .......................................................................... 3
Figure 6-3 1 AC Power Generator .................................................................................... 4
Figure 6-4 Two Pole Rotor .................................................................................................. 7
Figure 6-5 Four Pole Rotor .................................................................................................. 8
Figure 6-6 Torque Wrench Analogy of Torque Angle ........................................................ 10
Figure 6-7 Torque Angle and Voltage ............................................................................... 13
Figure 6-8 Pelton Wheel .................................................................................................... 17
Figure 6-9 Francis Turbine ................................................................................................ 18
Figure 6-10 Wicket Gates .................................................................................................. 19
Figure 6-11 Turbine Components...................................................................................... 20
Figure 6-12 Basic Combustion Turbine ............................................................................. 22
Figure 6-13 Model of Basic Governor Control System ...................................................... 25
Figure 6-14 Block Diagram of a Generator Excitation System .......................................... 26
Figure 6-15 Essential Components for Converting Fuel to Electric Energy ....................... 27
Learning Objectives

Identify the principle of electromagnetic induction.


Identify the purpose of the generator armature.
Identify the purpose of the generator stator.
Describe the relationship between the speed of rotation and the number of poles in a
synchronous generator.
Define torque angle.
Identify the relationship between torque angles and power generation.
Identify the two main types of hydroelectric turbines.
Identify the various heat sources for steam turbines.
Identify the major components of a steam turbine.
Describe the basic operation of a combustion turbine.
Identify the difference between simple cycle and combined cycle combustion turbine units.
Identify the purpose of the governor control system.
Identify the purpose of the generator excitation control system
Define the terms leading/lagging and boosting/bucking as it relates to an over or
under-excited generator.
Identify the purpose of the various components of the boiler-turbine control systems.
Identify the difference between gross and net generation.
Identify the principle of operation of a synchronous condenser.
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 6: Generating Units
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6. Introduction

This section provides basic information about the equipment found at generating
stations. The section focuses on features of this equipment that are important for power
system operation. Concepts are introduced here that will be needed later in this manual
when important aspects of power system behavior are described.

The section starts with the generator. Basic principles of operation of 1 and 3
generators are explained. The differences between synchronous and asynchronous
machines are introduced and the concepts of torque angle and voltage angle are
explained. Next, generator turbines are described, including hydroelectric turbines,
steam turbines, and combustion turbines. The major control systems at a plant are also
described briefly. These systems include governor control systems, excitation control
systems, and boiler controls. Finally, brief sections on synchronous condensers and
terms used by ERCOT for defining generating unit capability are provided.

6.1 Generators

6.1.1 Principle of Generator Operation

Review of Electromagnetic Induction


Electric generatorsor alternatorsuse the principle of electro-magnetic induction to
generate electric power from mechanical energy. Recall from Section 5 that an
electromotive force (EMF), or voltage, is created anytime there is a change in the
magnetic flux that passes through (or links) a conductor. For example, if a conductor is
moved through a magnetic field, an EMF (voltage) is generated. If the conductor is part
of an electric circuit, a current will flow. Likewise, if there is movement of a magnetic
field in which a conductor is located, a voltage is generated.
Energy Conversion in a Generator
In an electric generator, mechanical energy is used to rotate a conductor in a magnetic
field (or to rotate a magnetic field in which a conductor is located). The mechanical
energy is translated into electric energy in the conductor through the EMF that is
generated. The conductor in which the EMF is generated is in the form of a coil with
multiple windings. It is known as the armature. The magnetic field is generated by
current flowing in another set of windings, known as the field windings.
Generating an AC Waveform
We will introduce the principle of AC generation using an alternator consisting of a
rotating armature winding and a stationary field winding. With this basic understanding,
we will then describe the common practice of using a rotating field winding and a
stationary armature winding to create AC power.

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Figure 6-1 illustrates an elementary 1 AC machine. This machine consists of a
conductor (armature) rotating through a magnetic field. The magnetic field path is
between the north and south magnetic poles. The magnetic field strength varies
between these poles. When the coil travels through the varying field, voltage is induced
into the coil, causing a variation in the voltage in the armature coil. The amount of
voltage induced in the armature coil is directly proportional to the rate at which the coil
passes through the magnetic field.

Figure 6-1 Rotating Armature - Stationary Field


In order to transfer load current from the rotating armature to a non-rotating load, the
armature coil terminates on conducting slip-rings. Carbon brushes are used to transmit
load current from the slip-rings to the load. These brushes ride on the smooth surface
of the slip- rings.
To understand how an AC voltage waveform is generated in the coil, the reader should
refer to the sequence of sketches shown in Figure 6-2. These sketches show the
armature coil in different positions in relation to the magnetic field. For example, Figure
6-2b represents the coil lying parallel to the magnetic field as it was in Figure 6-1.

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a b

c d e

Figure 6-2 Armature Rotation and Voltage

Consider the voltage generated at each step in the rotation of the coil. In Figure 6-2 a
the plane of the coil is perpendicular to the magnetic field. At this exact point, the
conductors in the coil are moving parallel to the field, there is no relative motion
between the coil and the field, therefore no voltage is generated. As the armature
rotates counterclockwise, the rate at which the magnetic field is cut by the rotating coil
increases. A peak voltage is reached when the armature is in the horizontal position
(Figure 6-2b). As the armature continues to rotate past the horizontal position, the
voltage decreases reaching zero when the conductor reaches the vertical position
again (Figure 6-2c). The voltage increases again in the negative direction as the coil
continues its path through the magnetic field. When the conductor has completed one
complete rotation (360), a complete AC voltage sine wave has been generated as
illustrated in Figure 6-2e.
The example of a 1 generator shows how an AC voltage is generated in the armature
windings when the armature is rotated in a stationary magnetic field.

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6.1.2 Utility Power Generators

1 Generation
The elementary AC generator just described is not practical for power generation. The
AC load currents on power generators are too large to use slip-rings. To eliminate slip-
rings in the output AC current path, a power generator uses a rotating magnetic field
and a stationary armature coil. The configuration for a 1 generator is shown in Figure
6-3.

Figure 6-3 1 AC Power Generator

The rotating magnetic field is produced by passing a DC current through field windings
wrapped about the rotor. This DC current (called excitation current) turns the rotor into
an electromagnet. The generators exciter is the source of the DC excitation current.
The strength of the magnetic field can be changed by adjusting the amount of DC
excitation current flow to the field winding. The excitation current is provided to the
rotating field winding by a brush and slip-ring assembly as shown in Figure 6-3.
The rotor is connected to a prime mover such as a steam or water turbine. The prime
mover provides mechanical input power to the generator rotor. As the rotor turns a
rotating magnetic field is created. This field induces an AC voltage in the armature coil
of the stator.

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3 Generators
Utility power generators are 3 generators, not 1 as illustrated in Figures 6-1 and 6-
3.3 generators have at least three sets of stator (armature) windingsone for each
phase. Each one of the stator winding sets produces a sine wave of voltage. The
windings are arranged so that each sine wave of voltage has a 120 phase angle
separation from the other two voltages as was described in Section 5.

6.1.3 Synchronous and Asynchronous Machines


There are two general types of AC machines, synchronous and asynchronous. The
terms synchronous and asynchronous refer to the relationship between a machine
rotors speed of rotation and synchronous speed. The term AC machine can mean
either an AC generator or an AC motor.

Synchronous speed is the speed at which an AC machine must rotate to stay in-step
with the 3 power systems rotating magnetic field. As stated in Section 5, the power
systems magnetic field rotates at 60 HZ. When an AC machine is connected to the
power system, the power systems magnetic field is applied to the stator of the
machine. For an AC machine to rotate in-step with the power systems rotating
magnetic field, the machines rotor and stator magnetic fields must rotate at the same
(synchronous) speed.
An AC machines rotor can be designed to rotate in-step or in synchronism with the
power systems rotating field. We call this type of AC machine a synchronous
machine. In synchronous machines, the rotors magnetic field (due to the excitation
current) rotates at the same frequency as the stators magnetic field. Most power
generators are synchronous machines.
An AC machines rotor can also be designed to rotate slower or faster than
synchronous speed. This type of machine is an asynchronous machine. Most small
AC motors are asynchronous machines. (AC motors are very similar in basic
construction to AC generators. AC motors use electric energy to generate mechanical
energy, while AC generators use mechanical energy to generate electrical energy).
Induction (Asynchronous) Machines
Induction machines are the most common types of asynchronous machines. In this
text, we will use the term induction machine to refer to an asynchronous machine.
If the rotor of an induction machine rotates faster than synchronous speed, it is an
induction generator. If the rotor spins slower than synchronous speed, it is an
induction motor. The difference between synchronous speed and the speed of the
rotor is called the slip of the induction machine.
In an induction machine, the excitation needed to produce the magnetic field about
the rotor is supplied by the power system to which the machine is connected. An
induction machine draws in reactive power from the external power system to
magnetize the rotor. Without MVAR from the power system, the induction machine
could not operate. An induction machine is always a lagging load.

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Because induction machines cannot supply MVAR to the system, they are not used
for large-scale power generation. Typically, induction generators have outputs less
than one (1) MW. A common usage for induction generators is either as small
hydroelectric units or as wind turbines. The reason for using induction instead of
synchronous generators is often cost. Induction generators are considerably cheaper
to build due to their relatively simple design.
Synchronous Machines
Synchronous machines are the most common types of generator used for large-scale
power production. Synchronous machines can be used to produce both active and
reactive power. This is in contrast to induction machines which cannot produce
reactive power, only active power. Capabilities of synchronous generators range from
a few kW to hundreds of MW. This text will focus on synchronous generators instead
of induction generators. When this text refers to a generator, a synchronous generator
is implied unless noted otherwise.
Excitation in a Synchronous Machine
In a synchronous generator, a DC current is applied to the field windings of the rotor.
This DC current produces a magnetic field about the rotor. As the rotor turns, the
magnetic field rotates and induces a voltage in the stator. The voltage induced in the
stator allows current to flow out of the stator to the load connected to the generator.
The magnitude of the voltage induced in the stator is determined by the strength of
the DC current applied to the rotor field winding.
Speed of Rotation and Number of Poles
A synchronous generator is characterized by the fact that during steady state
conditions the rotor will rotate at synchronous speed. Synchronous speed is
determined by the frequency of the power system to which the generator is connected
and by the number of rotor poles.
The number of rotor poles refers to the number of magnetic poles that exist in the
rotor of the machine. Different machines have different numbers of poles. There will
always be an even number of poles as the negative and positive poles must match
one another. Figures 6-4 and 6-5 illustrate two of many possible rotor designs. One
design has two poles while the other has four poles.

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Note: Stator windings A and A together form the phase A winding.

Figure 6-4 Two Pole Rotor

The frequency of the generated voltage is dependent on the number of field poles and
the speed at which the generator is operated, as indicated in the following Equation.

=
120
Where:

f = frequency (Hz)
P = total number of poles
N = rotor speed (rpm)
120 = conversion from minutes to seconds and from poles to pole pairs.

The 120 in the above equation is derived by multiplying the following conversion factors

60 2

1
In this manner, the units of frequency (hertz or cycles/sec.) are derived.

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Figure 6-5 Four Pole Rotor

Note: Note that with a four-pole rotor, you must have two
complete sets of stator windings.

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The following formula can be used to determine the synchronous speed:


=

Where:
N is the speed of the generator in revolutions per minute (RPM). f is the frequency
of the power system.
P is the number of rotor poles in the generator.
As can be seen from the formula, as the number of rotor poles increases, the speed at
which the generator rotates decreases. For example, assuming a 60 HZ power system,
a two- pole synchronous generators speed is as follows:

60
= 120 = 3600
2
For a four-pole synchronous generator the generators speed of rotation is:

60
= 120 = 1800
4
Generators for steam turbines typically use two or four pole rotors. Hydroelectric units
rotate at considerably slower speeds and have a much larger number of poles. For
example, the speed of a 40 pole hydroelectric generator is:

60
= 120 = 180
40
6.1.4 The Torque Angle

Note: The torque angle is actually measured between the rotor


and air- gap of the machine. We are using stator instead of air-
gap to simplify our description.
The torque angle determines the active power output of a synchronous generator or the
active power consumption of a synchronous motor. The torque angle of a synchronous
machine is defined as the angular separation between the rotor and stators rotating
magnetic fields. The magnetic field of the stator is primarily due to the 3 system to
which the generator is attached. The magnetic field of the rotor is the field caused by
the excitation current. The angular position of the rotors field will change as the rotor
rotates. The angular position of the stators field also rotates because of the natural
rotation of the field caused bya 3 system.

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Torque Wrench Analogy
To introduce the concept of a torque angle we start with a mechanical analogy.
Visualize a torque wrench connected to a shaft to turn a drum. At a preset amount of
torque, the wrench will give way. The wrench can bend as much as 90 before it gives
way. The more torque applied the more the wrench twists until at 90 the torque wrench
fails. Our analogy is illustrated in Figure 6-6a.
In Figure 6-6a, a torque wrench is attached to the drum via a shaft through the center of
the drum. A mark is made on the drum indicating the position of the wrench when the
system is at rest. If you slowly turn the wrench to rotate the drum at a constant speed
with no load on the drumthe wrench will remain aligned with the mark on the drum.
If you apply a braking load to the drum, it will take more torque applied to the wrench to
keep the drum rotating at the same speed. This torque will cause the wrench to bend.
The angle between the wrench and the mark on the drum is the torque angle of this
system. The maximum amount of load that can be driven by this system is that which
causes the torque angle to reach 90. At this point, the torque wrench fails.

Figure 6-6 Torque Wrench Analogy of Torque Angle

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 6: Generating Units
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In this analogy:
The force applied to the wrench is equivalent to a prime mover such as a
steam or water turbine.
The wrench is equivalent to the magnetic field about the rotor of a
synchronous generator.
The drum is equivalent to the magnetic field about the stator of the
synchronous generator.
In our mechanical analogy, the torque angle was the angle between the axis of the
torque wrench handle and the axis of the drum. The axis of the drum was defined as
the relative position of the handle with no torque applied. Electrically the torque angle is
the angle between the axis of the rotating magnetic field of the rotor and the axis of the
rotating magnetic field of the generators stator as shown in Figure 6-6b.
Force Between Rotor and Stator Magnetic Fields
To help visualize the magnetic forces inside a generator, we will look at the forces in a
compass. A compass needle is nothing more than a floating magnet that pivots at its
center. Due to the laws of physics, magnetic fields will always try to align. That is, when
two magnetic fields are not aligned, a force exists between them that is acting to realign
them.
For example, if we turn a compass needle and let it rotate, a magnetic force will act to
realign the needles magnetic field axis with that of the Earths magnetic field.
In the case of a synchronous generator, the magnetic field in the stator is rotating at
synchronous speed. Assume that the rotor is also turning at synchronous speed. If the
rotor field axis is perfectly aligned with that of the stator field, no force is exerted by
either field on the other. This corresponds to a torque angle of zero and zero active
power output. (In the mechanical analogy, zero torque angle corresponded to zero
load.)
Now assume we increase the input power to the turbine. The rotor speed will briefly
pick up above synchronous speed and then return to synchronous speed. The angle
between the magnetic field axis of the rotor and the stators magnetic field axis (torque
angle) will increase during the period in which the field of the rotor spins faster than
synchronous speed. A force now exists trying to realign these two magnetic fields.
Since this force is a twisting force about the rotor shaft, we refer to the force as a
torque.
If the turbine power remains constant, the positive torque angle created by our brief
rotor acceleration remains constant. The magnetic forces that result from the existing
torque angle result in a current flow in the stator windings. Active power flows out of the
generator. If the turbine power were increased, the torque would increasemore active
power would then flow out of the generator.

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6.1.5 Torque Angles and Power Generation

Positive Torque Angle for a Generator


The torque that is created between the two magnetic fields of a generator is
proportional to the sine of the torque angle. When a generator is producing active
power, its torque angle is typically between 10 and 30. If the torque angle is steady,
the mechanical force applied by the prime mover is equal to the opposing electrical
force applied by the power system to which the generator is attached. To change a
generators torque angle, the generator must accelerate slightly with respect to the
power system.
The maximum torque between the stator and rotor fields occurs when the torque angle
equals approximately 90. This is the point at which the active power output of a
generator is at its maximum (theoretical) value.
Note that generators never operate with a torque angle as large as 90. Their turbines
cannot typically supply this amount of power nor would it be a safe manner in which to
operate.
Negative Torque Angle for a Motor
If a generator was producing active power and the turbine power was steadily reduced,
the torque angle would return to zero. If turbine power were reduced enough, the
torque angle would eventually become negative. A generator with a negative torque
angle is actually a motor.
In a synchronous motor, the rotor field lags behind the stator field. A motor is said to
have a negative torque angle. Another way to think of it is that a generator applies
torque (positive) to the system, whereas a motor draws torque (negative) from the
system.
The concept of adjusting a torque angle from a positive to a negative value is actually a
commonly used operating strategy at large steam power plants. Turbine power is
gradually reduced until the anti-motoring protection of the plant detects the condition
and initiates an orderly plant trip.

6.1.6 Torque Angle and Voltage Angle

A generators voltage magnitude is related to the excitation current that is applied to a


rotor. Higher excitation current leads to a stronger generator voltage. The relationship
between excitation current and a generating units terminal voltage will be described in
relation to the excitation control system later in this section. For now, we want to
introduce another voltage, known as the internal generator voltage, EG, that also varies
with the excitation current magnitude. Using the internal generator voltage, we can
describe the active power output of a generator in terms of the angle between voltage
directions. This will prove useful later.

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To describe the phase relationship between two rotating magnetic fields in terms of the
angle between voltages, we can think of the voltages as follows:
o The voltage induced in the stator is aligned with the magnetic field axis for
the stator.
o The internal generator voltage is aligned with the rotor field axis.

Thus, a generators torque angle is the same as the angle between the system voltage,
VS, and the internal generator voltage, EG.
Figure 6-7 illustrates the relationship between torque angle (), EG, and VS. EG is the
generators internal voltage and VS is the stator voltage. The voltage waveforms below
the graphics illustrate how the magnetic field alignment looks in terms of voltage. Figure
6-7a shows a generator synchronized to the power system. The rotating magnetic field
of the rotor is in alignment with the rotating magnetic field of the stator. EG and VS are
in-phase with one another. There is no torque angle and no active power output from
this generator.
Figure 6-7b illustrates a 45 torque angle. The rotor magnetic field leads the stators
magnetic field by 45. Below this graphic is the voltage equivalent. Note how the torque
angle is visible as a difference in-phase between the two voltage waveforms. The
Greek letter (delta) is commonly used to represent a synchronous machines torque
angle.

Figure 6-7 Torque Angle and Voltage

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Section 6.1 Summary

6.1.1 Principle of Generator Operation

The principle of electromagnetic induction states that an electromotive force


(EMF or voltage) is created anytime there is a change in the magnetic field
lines that link a conductor.
In a basic electric generator, an EMF is produced in the conductor that is
rotated in a magnetic field. The conductor is known as the armature. The
magnetic field is generated by current flowing in the generators field windings.
The armature passes through the magnetic field. The magnetic field strength
varies across between the poles. As the armature rotates through this field it
causes a varying voltage to be induced in the armature coil. The voltage
magnitude is directly proportional to the rate at which the coil passes through
the magnetic field.
When the conductor has completed one complete rotation, a complete AC
voltage sine wave has been generated.

6.1.2 Utility Power Generators

A power generator uses a rotating magnetic field and a stationary armature coil.
The rotating magnetic field is produced by passing a DC currentcalled
excitation currentthrough field windings on the rotor. The excitation current
is provided to the rotating field winding via a brush and slip-ring assembly.
The rotor is connected to a prime mover such as a steam or water turbine.
Utility 3 generators have at least three sets of stator (armature) windings,
one for each phase. The windings are arranged so that each sine wave of
voltage has a 120 phase angle separation from the other two voltages.

6.1.3 Synchronous and Asynchronous Machines

The synchronous speed of an AC machine is the speed at which the rotor of


the machine must rotate in order to stay in-step with the systems rotating
magnetic field.
An AC machines rotor can be designed to rotate in-step or in synchronism
with the power systems rotating field. This type of AC machine is called a
synchronous machine.
An AC machines rotor can also be designed to rotate slower or faster than
synchronous speed. This type of machine is an asynchronous machine.
Induction machines are the most common types of asynchronous machines.
An induction machine draws in reactive power from the external power
system to magnetize the rotor.

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Synchronous machines can be used to produce both active and reactive power.
o Capabilities of synchronous generators range from a few kW to hundreds
of MW.
Synchronous speed is determined by the frequency of the power system to
which the generator is connected and by the number of rotor magnetic poles.
Different machines have different numbers of rotor poles.

6.1.4 The Torque Angle

Torque angle is defined as the angular separation between the rotor and stators
rotating magnetic fields.
Torque angle determines the active power output of a synchronous
generator or the active power consumption of a synchronous motor.
In a synchronous motor, the rotor field lags behind the stator field. A motor is
said to have a negative torque angle.
The torque angle is the same as the angle between the system voltage VS,
and the internal generator voltage, EG.

6.1.5 Torque Angles and Power Generation


The torque that is created between the two magnetic fields of a generator is
proportional to the sine of the torque angle. To change a generators torque
angle, the generator must accelerate slightly with respect to the power system.
The maximum torque between the stator and rotor fields occurs when the
torque angle equals approximately 90.
Generators never operate with a torque angle as large as 90. Their turbines
cannot typically supply this amount of power nor would it be a safe manner in
which to operate.
A motor is said to have a negative torque angle.
The voltage induced in the stator is aligned with the magnetic field axis for the
stator.
The internal generator voltage is aligned with the rotor field axis.
The torque angle is equal to the angle between system voltage (VS) and
internal generator voltage (EG)
Thus, a generators torque angle is the same as the angle between the system
voltage VS, and the internal generator voltage, EG,
.

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Section 6.1 Review Questions

Q1. In a typical power generator, the armature is (stationary/rotating) and the


field windings are (stationary/rotating).

a) Stationary/rotating
b) Rotating/stationary
c) Stationary/stationary
d) Rotating/rotating

Q2. What most determines the output voltage of a generator?

a) The mechanical energy of the turbine


b) The number of rotor poles
c) The excitation current
d) Torque angle

Q3. What most determines the active power output of a generator?

a) The magnetic field due to the stator


b) The number of rotor poles
c) The excitation current
d) Torque angle

Q4. An induction generator can be used to provide both active and reactive power.

True or false

Q5. What does it mean for a synchronous machine to have a negative torque angle?

a) Machine is producing reactive power


b) Machine is producing only reactive power
c) Machine is a motor
d) Machine is a generator

Q6. What is the speed of rotation N (in RPM) of a six-pole generator that is connected to a
60 HZ system?

a) 12 rpm
b) 20 rpm
c) 720 rpm
d) 1200 rpm

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6.2 Generator Turbines

Turbines turn the rotors in electrical generators. This section describes different types
of turbines including hydroelectric, steam, and combustion turbines.

6.2.1 Introduction to Hydroelectric Generators

Hydroelectric generating units use the gravitational energy that is released when water
runs downhill to generate electrical power. The prime mover used to gather the energy
of the water is the hydraulic turbine. The following section will briefly describe several
different types of hydraulic turbines.
A major advantage of hydroelectric power plants over other types of generating units is
that there are no turbine thermal restraints to limit how fast the generator can be
loaded. A hydroelectric power plant may be able to supply full electrical power output
from a stopped condition in just a few minutes or possibly even in seconds.
A constraint on the use of hydroelectric plants is that they are often subject to
environmental and recreational regulations. Water levels and flows must be kept within
strict limits to accommodate the needs of wildlife, irrigation, and recreational
requirements.

6.2.2 Hydroelectric Turbines

There are two main types of hydraulic turbines: impulse turbines and reaction turbines.
Each of these turbine types is briefly described.
The Impulse or Pelton Turbine
The impulse turbine, known as a Pelton Wheel, is a series of buckets that are mounted
on the rim of a wheel. Nozzles control high velocity water jets that strike each of the
buckets in- turn and cause the wheel to rotate. The axle of the wheel is connected to
the shaft of the electric generator. Figure 6-8 illustrates a Pelton Wheel turbine.

Figure 6-8 Pelton Wheel


The Pelton Wheel is used when high (>3000 feet) heads are available. Head is the
difference between the incoming and outgoing water storage elevations.

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Reaction Turbine
The reaction turbine is based on a different principle. In this type of turbine, water fills
the turbine on all sides of the turbine blades. There is a pressure head across the
turbine blades, which helps to turn the wheel. There are two types of reaction turbine:
the Francis turbine and the propeller turbine.

The Francis turbine consists of a series of blades mounted on a turning element, or


runner. In the Francis turbine, water is admitted through a series of gating devices and
strikes all of the blades simultaneously. A casing (called a scroll case) surrounds the
Francis turbine and keeps it emerged in water. Figure 6-9 illustrates a Francis turbine.

Figure 6-9 Francis Turbine


The propeller turbine is designed to allow it to operate at higher speeds than the
Francis turbine. Propeller turbines may have fixed or movable blades. Propeller
turbines with movable blades are called Kaplan turbines. Propeller turbines are used
for low (<150 feet) head applications. They are generally smaller and less costly than
Francis turbines, but they are also less efficient.
Speed Control of Hydraulic Turbines
The speed control of a hydraulic turbine generator is a function of water flow. As the
load on the generator is increased, the turbine speed will decrease. To compensate
and maintain the relatively constant speed that is necessary for system frequency
control, more water must be passed through the turbine.
The speed of a Pelton Wheel is controlled using a nozzle-type control valve. The
amount of water is controlled by opening, shutting, or changing the direction of the
needle valves in the nozzles.
The speed of Francis and propeller turbines is controlled using wicket gates. Wicket
gates are located around the inlet flow of the turbine. The gates operate as a unit and
provide a regulated flow of water to the turbine. Figure 6-10 Illustrates wicket gates.

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Figure 6-10 Wicket Gates


The needle valves and wicket gates are managed by the governor control system. The
governor system adjusts the control valves and wicket gates to assist with maintaining
a constant system speed. Governor controls are introduced in Section 6.3.

6.2.3 Steam Turbines

Steam is created in fossil plants by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural
gas. The heat is used to produce steam. The fuel is usually burned in a furnace or
boiler. Water passes through tubes that line the walls of the furnace or boiler. This
arrangement is called a water wall, and is where the steam is actually created.
In a nuclear plant, heat from a nuclear reaction is used to create steam. The steam may
be produced by a heat exchanger arrangement with the reactor or the reactor vessel
itself may be the steam generator.

Steam turbines are composed of a series of blades or buckets. Steam strikes the
blades and turns the turbine. Modern steam units are composed of more than one
turbine. The turbines are classified by the steam pressure in which they operate. For
example, one unit may include high pressure (HP), intermediate pressure (IP), and low
pressure (LP) turbines. Figure 6-11 illustrates the arrangement of multi-pressure stages
in a steam turbine and shows the flow path of steam through the three turbines.

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Figure 6-11 Turbine Components


The following major components are illustrated in Figure 6-11:
The main steam headers contain and guide the flow of superheated, high-
pressure steam from the boiler to the main stop valves.
The main stop valves admit steam to the turbine for normal operation or shut
off the flow of steam quickly if emergency conditions require it.
The steam chest is a manifold that contains the control (governing) valves.
These valves control the flow of steam to the high-pressure turbine.
Inlet bends connect the steam chest with the nozzle block in the high-pressure
turbine. Each of the control valves in the steam chest admits steam through a
separate inlet bend (pipe) to a particular location around the nozzle block.
The nozzle block is the first point in the turbine where the energy within the
steam is turned into work. The steam is directed through the nozzle block into
the first row of the turbines rotating blades. The nozzle block usually is divided
into nozzle groups. Each nozzle group is supplied with steam by a separate
control valve and inlet bend.
The high-pressure turbine contains turbine blades or buckets that are struck
by the steam, which creates the force that rotates the shaft.
Extractions are points along the turbine blade path where steam is bled off
and piped to the boiler feed water heaters.

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The exhaust from the high-pressure turbine is piped back to the boiler to
become reheated. This exhaust is called cold reheat steam. Cold reheat
steam is reheated up to about the same temperature as the inlet to the high-
pressure turbine.
The steam returning from the boiler returns to the intermediate pressure turbine
and is called hot reheat steam.
Two valves are located in the hot reheat steam line before the intermediate
pressure turbine:
The intercept valve is provided to adjust the steam flow from the large storage
capacity of the reheat boiler.
The reheat stop valve is used to quickly shut down the supply of reheated
steam to the intermediate pressure turbine and serves as the backup to
the intercept valve.
The intermediate pressure turbine is very similar to the high pressure turbine.
One major difference is that the turbine blades are longer. The blades are
longer in the intermediate pressure turbine because the steam expands as
the pressure reduces. Larger blades are needed to efficiently handle the
increased steam volume.
The crossover is the pipe or duct that contains and guides the steam from the
intermediate pressure turbine to the low-pressure turbine. The crossover is
probably the largest steam line in the entire turbine, as the steam at this point
has expanded 15 to 20 times from its main steam header volume.
The last bit of work is extracted from the steam in the low-pressure turbine.
After the steam passes through the last row of turbine blades, it passes into the
condenser where it turns into liquid water and returns to the boiler.

6.2.4 Combustion Turbines

Combustion turbines are rotating internal combustion engines that can be used to turn
an electric generator. Combustion turbinesoften referred to as gas turbinesutilize
the energy released by the burning of gas or oil fuel to provide a rotational force to spin
the turbine blades.

The basic combustion turbine has three main components as illustrated in Figure 6-12:
Compressor
Combustor
Turbine

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Figure 6-12 Basic Combustion Turbine


In its most simple form, as shown in Figure 6-12, air is compressed by several rows of
blades in the compressor section. Some of this air passes into the combustion chamber
where it combines with the fuel to burn. The majority of the air flows around the
chamber and is used to cool the chamber and the turbine.
After burning occurs, the combustion gases leave the combustion section and strike the
turbine blades at a temperature as high as 1600F and at pressures of approximately
200-225 pounds per square inch (psi).

In the simple combustion turbine illustrated in Figure 6-12, a large amount of energy
was wasted in the turbine exhaust gas. A modern variation on the simple combustion
turbine, called a combined cycle unit, utilizes this exhaust heat to create steam and
drive a steam turbine. Combined cycle units are extremely efficient units.

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Section 6.2 Summary

6.2.1 Introduction to Hydroelectric Generators


Hydroelectric generating units use the gravitational energy released when
water runs downhill to generate electrical power. The prime mover used to
channel the energy of the water is the hydraulic turbine.
A major advantage of hydroelectric power plants is that they are able to
supply full electrical power output from a stopped condition in a few
minutes or possibly even in seconds.

6.2.2 Hydroelectric Turbines


The impulse turbine is a series of buckets mounted on the rim of a wheel.
High velocity water jets strike the buckets and cause the wheel to rotate.
In reaction turbines, there is a pressure head across the turbine blades that
helps to turn the wheel.
The speed of a Pelton Wheel is controlled using a nozzle-type control valve.
The speed of Francis and propeller turbines is controlled using wicket gates.
6.2.3 Steam Turbines
Steam is created in fossil plants by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and
natural gas.
In a nuclear plant, heat from a nuclear reaction is used to create steam.
Steam turbines are composed of a series of blades or buckets. Steam strikes
the blades and turns the turbine.
Modern steam units may include high pressure (HP), intermediate pressure
(IP), and low- pressure (LP) turbines.

6.2.4 Combustion Turbines


Combustion turbines are rotating internal combustion engines. Combustion
turbines utilize the energy released by the burning of gas or oil fuel to spin the
turbine blades.

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Section 6.2 Review Questions

Q1. The function of a steam turbine is to convert fossil energy into


energy.

a) Gravitational
b) Electrical
c) Mechanical
d) Chemical

Q2. Why are low-pressure steam turbines generally larger than high-pressure turbines?

a) Low pressure steam is more dense and requires less volume than
high pressure steam
b) Low pressure steam is less dense and requires more volume than
high pressure steam
c) Low pressure steam stores more energy and requires more volume
than high pressure steam
d) Low pressure steam stores less energy and requires more volume
than high pressure steam

Q3. What device is used to control the flow of water in a Francis turbine?

a) Propeller
b) Wicket gates
c) Scroll case
d) Needle valves

Q4. A combustion turbine is a type of engine

a) Internal combustion
b) Compressed gas
c) Diesel fuel
d) Low pressure

Q5. Which of the following types of fuels are used by combustion turbines?

a) Coal, oil
b) Oil, gas
c) Gas, coal
d) Nuclear, gas

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6.3 Introduction to Generator Control Systems

Generating units use complex control systems to ensure that all the components work
together safely and reliably to provide the required active and reactive power output to
the system. Generating units of all types use governor control systems to control
frequency and hence active power output. Excitation control systems are used to
control reactive power output. In addition, fossil fuel plants require boiler and turbine
control systems to coordinate the energy conversion processes in the plant. These
three types of control systems are introduced in this section.

6.3.1 Governor Control System

Steam turbine generators rely on a constant supply of steam to maintain proper


operation. The mechanism that controls the steam flow from the boiler to the turbine is
the generator governor control system. Similarly, hydro units use governors to control
the flow of water into the turbine.

Both types of governors adjust unit MW output automatically in response to frequency


deviations. The governor system senses the generator shaft speed and adjusts the
input power of the generator to increase or decrease the generators speed as required.
Figure 6-13 illustrates a basic governor control system for a steam plant.

Figure 6-13 Model of Basic Governor Control System


The governor shown in the above figure senses the speed of the generator shaft. The
governor has the ability to adjust the speed of the shaft by adjusting the amount of
steam supplied to the turbine. Basically, the speed of the shaft is fed back as an input
to speed control. This is a simple feedback system, used in the control of many devices

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in the modern world.
Adjusting the steam supplied to the turbine leads to a corresponding change in the MW
output of the unit to control the frequency deviation that was detected.

To respond to the MW demands of the system, unit output can be adjusted manually or
by the Automatic Generation Control (AGC) system. Governor control systems and
AGC are described in more detail in Section 10 of this manual.

6.3.2 Excitation Control System

The excitation control system of a generator is used to control the units terminal
voltage as well as its reactive output. The level of DC excitation current supplied to the
field winding determines the units terminal voltage and the reactive output. A basic
excitation system block diagram is given in Figure 6-14.
Note: This diagram illustrates automatic voltage regulation. A
voltage regulator can also be operated in a manual mode.

Figure 6-14 Block Diagram of a Generator Excitation System

A potential transformer (PT) senses the units high side voltage. The PTs secondary
voltage is compared to a target value. If the actual voltage differs from the target value,
the excitation current to the unit is changed. Excitation systems can only control a units
terminal voltage within a certain range. How large that range is depends on the strength
of the exciter and the strength of the system to which the generator is connected. If a
small generator is tied to a very strong bus, the generator excitation will have little effect
on the bus voltage.

At normal excitation levels, a generator is neither supplying nor absorbing reactive


power from the system. The term normal excitation means that the generators exciter
is supplying exactly the excitation the generator needs to operate. The unit is at unity

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power factor. When a generator is over-excited, it is supplying reactive power to the
system. An over-excited generator may be referred to as a boosting, lagging, or
pushing generator. When a generator is under-excited, it is absorbing reactive power
from the system. An under-excited generator may be referred to as bucking, leading, or
pulling generator.

6.3.3 Boiler-Turbine Control Systems

In a fossil fuel plant, the steam supplied to the turbine must be at a sufficient pressure
to drive the turbine at its normal operating speed. The steam is created and
pressurized by the boiler, so the boiler must have a sufficient supply of feedwater to
produce the steam. The boiler must also be supplied with fuel and air in the correct
proportions to provide the heat necessary to create steam at the required temperature
and pressure. Figure 6-15 illustrates the main components of a fossil fuel unit indicating
the need for controlling the major processes to ensure that the plant is providing the
desired output to the system.

Figure 6-15 Essential Components for Converting Fuel to Electric Energy

Boiler control systems have several important functions including combustion control,
feedwater control, and steam temperature control.

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Combustion Control
Combustion control adjusts the fuel supply to the boiler to maintain the desired steam
pressure and temperature. The airflow to the boiler must also be adjusted to control the
heat input to the boiler. The combustion controls sense the steam pressure and
temperature in the boiler as well as the steam flow to the turbine. Then it adjusts the
combustion conditions to match the actual and anticipated requirements for steam
pressure.
Feedwater control
Feedwater controls are used to maintain the water in the boiler drum at a constant
level. The control system balances the flow of feedwater into the boiler with the flow of
steam out of the boiler. Adjustments may be used to maintain a higher water level when
the rates of flow are high and vice versa when the rates of flow are low.
Steam Temperature Control
The steam temperature is primarily controlled by varying the fuel/air ratio for
combustion. Adjustments of the fuel flow rate are accomplished by valving fuel lines.
The airflow rate is adjusted through a damper arrangement to achieve a desired fuel-to-
air ratio.

Additional controls are needed in some instances because changes in steam


temperature lag changes in the firing rate in the boiler. These controls may be in the
form of a water spray regulated by control valves.
Coordinated Controls
Modern boiler controls coordinate the different control systems. Changes in the MW
demand on the unit are transmitted to boiler and turbine control systems. This limits the
swings in the boiler during load changes.

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Section 6.3 Summary

6.3.1 Governor Control System


The generator speed governor controls the steam flow from the boiler to the
turbine.
The governor adjusts unit MW output automatically in response to frequency
deviations.
The governor adjusts the speed of the shaft by adjusting the amount of steam (or
water)
supplied to the turbine.
Adjusting the steam supplied to the turbine leads to a change in the MW
output of the unit to mitigate any frequency deviation.

6.3.2 Excitation Control System


The excitation control system of a generator is used to control the units terminal
voltage
as well as its reactive output.
A potential transformer (PT) senses the units high side voltage. The PTs
secondary voltage is compared to a target value. If the actual voltage differs
from the target value, the excitation current to the unit is changed.
When a generator is overexcited, it is supplying reactive power to the system.
When a generator is under-excited, it is absorbing reactive power from the
system.

6.3.3 Boiler-Turbine Control Systems


In a fossil plant, the steam supplied to the turbine must be at a sufficient
pressure to drive the turbine at its normal operating speed.
The boiler must have a sufficient supply of feedwater to produce the steam. Fuel
and air in the correct proportions are necessary to create steam at the required
temperature and pressure.
Feedwater control systems balance the flow of feedwater into the boiler with the
flow of steam out of the boiler.
Modern boiler control systems coordinate the different control systems. This
limits the temperature and pressure swings in the boiler during load changes.

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Section 6.3 Review Questions

Q1: Which one of the following is NOT a function of governor control systems?

a) Control the steam flow from the boiler to the turbine stages
b) Adjust generator MW output automatically in response to
frequency deviations
c) Adjust the speed of the shaft by adjusting the amount of steam supplied
to the turbine
d) Sense steam pressure in the boiler as well as the steam flow to the
turbine

Q2: Which one of the following is a function of excitation control systems?

a) Control the generators terminal voltage as well as its reactive output


b) Adjust the fuel supply and air flow to the boiler to match the actual
and anticipated requirements for steam pressure
c) Adjust the speed of the shaft by adjusting the amount of steam supplied
to the turbine
d) Control the steam flow from the boiler to the turbine

Q3: Which one of the following is NOT a function of combustion control


systems?

a) Sense steam pressure in the boiler


b) Control the reactive output of generating units
c) Adjust the fuel supply and air flow to the boiler to match the actual
and anticipated requirements for steam pressure
d) Sense the steam flow to the turbine

Q4: Which one of the following is a function of feedwater control systems?

a) Sense the temperature of feedwater going into the boiler


b) Sense the pressure of feedwater going into the boiler
c) Balance the flow of feedwater into the boiler with the flow of steam out
of the boiler
d) Balance the flow of feedwater into the turbine with the flow of steam
out of the turbine

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6.4 Generator Capability

System operators need accurate data about the capability of available generating units.
To ensure proper communication of this information among Market Participants,
ERCOT has adopted specific definitions for the capability and output level of generating
units. These terms and definitions are explained here.

6.4.1 Gross Generation and Net Generation

Gross generation is defined as the output power (MW) at the terminals of the generator.
Gross generation should be contrasted with net generation. Net generation is the gross
generation minus the power requirements of station auxiliaries and other requirements
internal to the generator:

Net Generation = Gross Generation - Plant MW Requirements

Thus, net generation is the power available from the generator to be fed to the system.

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Section 6.4 Summary

6.4.1 Gross Generation and Net Generation

Gross generation is the output power (MW) at the terminals of the generator.
Net Generation = Gross Generation - Plant MW requirements.

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Section 6.4 Review Questions

Q1: A units gross generation is 520 MW. The auxiliary power requirements of the
station amount to 18 MW. What is the units net generation?

a) 18 MW
b) 502 MW
c) 520 MW
d) 538 MW

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6.5 Synchronous Condensers

Synchronous condensers are essentially synchronous motors that do not have any
mechanical load attached to their shafts. Synchronous condensers may be used for
voltage control. A synchronous condenser can be used as a capacitor or as a reactor
based on the field excitation current. If the synchronous condenser is over-excited it
supplies MVAR to the system, like a capacitor. If under-excited, the synchronous
condenser absorbs MVAR like a reactor.

An excitation system is used to control the excitation in response to voltage deviations.


For example, if the voltage falls below the desired value, the excitation system will
increase the excitation. The synchronous condenser starts to act like a capacitor and
supply MVAR to the system, thus raising the voltage.

Hydroelectric generators are often operated as synchronous condensers. The water


supply is removed from the turbine. Power from the system is then used to turn the
turbine/rotor of the hydro generator. The excitation system of the generator can then be
used to adjust the MVAR in or out of the hydro generator.

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Section 6.5 Summary

Synchronous condensers are synchronous motors that are not driving any
mechanical load. A synchronous condenser is a versatile voltage control
tool.
If the synchronous condenser is over-excited it supplies MVAR to the system,
like a capacitor. If under-excited, the synchronous condenser absorbs
MVAR like a reactor.
Hydroelectric generators are often used as a synchronous condenser.

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Section 6.5 Review Questions

Q1. If a synchronous condenser is over-excited it reactive power.

Q2. If a synchronous generator is under-excited it reactive power.

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Section 7
Transmission Equipment
Table of Contents
7.0 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1
7.1 Power Transformers ............................................................................................................ 1
7.1.1 Basic Principles ................................................................................................................ 1
7.1.2 Types of Transformers...................................................................................................... 3
7.1.3 Transformer Connections ................................................................................................. 5
7.1.4 Transformer Nameplate Data ........................................................................................... 7
7.1.5 Transformer Operating Considerations............................................................................. 8
Section 7.1 Summary ................................................................................................................ 9
Section 7.1 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 10
7.2 Phase Shifting Transformers ............................................................................................. 12
7.2 Summary ........................................................................................................................... 13
Section 7.2 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 14
7.3 Instrument Transformers ................................................................................................... 15
7.3.1 Current Transformers ..................................................................................................... 15
7.3.2 Potential Transformers ................................................................................................... 18
7.3.3 Other Potential Devices .................................................................................................. 19
Section 7.3 Summary .............................................................................................................. 21
Section 7.3 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 22
7.4 Transmission Lines ............................................................................................................ 24
7.4.1 Transmission Line Structures ......................................................................................... 24
7.4.2 Transmission Line Conductors ....................................................................................... 24
7.4.3 Transmission Line Capacity ............................................................................................ 25
Section 7.4 Summary .............................................................................................................. 26
Section 7.4 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 27
7.5 Circuit Breakers & Switches .............................................................................................. 28
7.5.1 Purpose and Function of Circuit Breakers ...................................................................... 28
7.5.2 Power Circuit Breaker Components............................................................................... 28
7.5.3 Arc Extinction .................................................................................................................. 29
7.5.4 Circuit Breaker Operating Mechanisms .......................................................................... 31
7.5.5 High Voltage Switches .................................................................................................... 32
Section 7.5 Summary .............................................................................................................. 36
Section 7.5 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 38
7.6 Meters and Data Communication ...................................................................................... 40
7.6.1 Meter Construction and Usage ....................................................................................... 40
7.6.2 Communication of Metered Data .................................................................................... 43
Section 7.6 Summary .............................................................................................................. 45
Section 7.6 Review Questions ................................................................................................. 46
Table of Figures

Figure 7-1 Basic Transformer .................................................................................................... 2


Figure 7-2 Transformer Turns Ratio.......................................................................................... 3
Figure 7-3 Autotransformer Evolution ........................................................................................ 4
Figure 7-4 3 Transformer Connections .................................................................................. 5
Figure 7-5 Name Plate Data ...................................................................................................... 8
Figure 7-6 Principle of Operation of a Current Transformer ..................................................... 15
Figure 7-7 Windings for a Current Transformer ....................................................................... 15
Figure 7-8 Voltage and Current on CT Secondary.................................................................. 16
Figure 7-9 Iron-Core CT Iron-core CTs ................................................................................... 17
Figure 7-10 Bushing Type CT ................................................................................................. 17
Figure 7-11 Principle of Operation of a Potential Transformer ................................................. 18
Figure 7-12 Simplified Drawing of a Potential Transformer ..................................................... 19
Figure 7-13 Coupling Capacitor Potential Device ................................................................... 20
Figure 7-14 Transmission Line Structures .............................................................................. 24
Figure 7-15 ACSR Conductor Cross Section .......................................................................... 25
Figure 7-16 Typical Thermal Ratings ...................................................................................... 25
Figure 7-17 Basic Component Parts of A High Voltage Circuit Breaker .................................. 28
Figure 7-18 Arc Interruption in an Oil Circuit Breaker .............................................................. 30
Figure 7-19 SF6 Gas Circuit Breaker Contacts ....................................................................... 31
Figure 7-20 Components of a Basic Disconnect Switch.......................................................... 32
Figure 7-21 Gang Operated Disconnect Switch ...................................................................... 33
Figure 7-22 Center Break Disconnect Switch ......................................................................... 34
Figure 7-23 Circuit Switcher .................................................................................................... 35
Figure 7-24 Basic Induction Disk Meter .................................................................................. 40
Figure 7-25 Wattmeter Circuit Connections ............................................................................ 42
Learning Objectives

Identify the basic principles of power transformers.


Identify the different types of transformers.
Identify the purpose of a Phase Shifting Transformer.
Identify the factors that determine the type of transmission line structure used.
Identify the purpose of transmission lines.
Identify the purpose of circuit breakers.
Identify the components of circuit breakers.
Identify the purpose of high voltage switches.
Identify the purpose of meters.
Identify the different types of meters.
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

7.0 Introduction
This section provides brief descriptions of the major types of equipment used in the power
system. This includes power transformers, instrument transformers, circuit breakers and
switches, and meters. Transmission lines are also briefly described.

7.1 Power Transformers

Transformers are used throughout the power system to transform system voltage. Voltage is
stepped up for transmission from the generating stations to distant loads. The purpose is to
reduce system losses as was explained in Section 5. Voltage is stepped down for distribution
to local areas and eventually to individual customers.
This section explains the basic principle of operation of power transformers, identifies different
types of transformers, and describes the ways in which 3 transformers may be connected to
the power system. The section also includes a discussion of transformer nameplate data and
some general operating considerations.
In addition to their use for power applications, transformers are widely used for metering and
protection. Instrument transformers used for these applications are described in Section 7.2.
The basic principles of operation are the same.

7.1.1 Basic Principles

First, we describe the basic principle of operation of a transformer and use of the turns- ratio to
determine the voltages across the windings.
The Principle of Mutual Induction
The operation of a transformer is based on the principle of mutual induction, which is an
example of electromagnetic induction. Earlier, we explained how electromagnetic induction is
used in a generator to generate electrical power from mechanical energy. A voltage is
generated because of the change in the flux linkages due to relative motion between a
conductor (the armature) and a magnetic field.
In a typical transformer, two coils connected to separate electrical circuits are placed close
together on a common iron-core. When an alternating current is passed through one of the
coils, it creates a changing magnetic field in the core. The building and collapsing
electromagnetic field in the core, caused by the alternating current flow in the winding, induces
an electromotive force (EMF) or voltage in the other winding. This process is called mutual
induction.
Thusin a transformerelectrical energy is transferred by mutual induction from one set of
windings to another. When the coils are linked by their magnetic fields, the coils are said to
have mutual inductance or be inductively coupled.
Figure 7-1 illustrates a basic transformer connected between an AC source of power and a
load. As shown, the transformer consists of two windings in separate electrical circuits. The
coil connected to the source of power is the primary winding and the coil connected to

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

the load is the secondary winding. However, in the power system it is often difficult to
designate primary and secondary windings. It is clearer to state whether you are referring to
the high voltage or low voltage windings.

Figure 7-1 Basic Transformer


The power delivered from the source passes through the transformer and is delivered to the
load. Although no physical connection exists between the primary and secondary circuits, a
connection does exist through a magnetic linkage between the coils. The purpose of the iron-
core is to concentrate the magnetic flux and improve the magnetic linkage between the two
coils.
Turns Ratio
The magnitude of voltage induced in a winding depends primarily on the number of turns in the
windings. The voltages across the primary and secondary windings are proportional to the
total number of turns in each winding. By varying the number of turns in the primary and
secondary windings, the voltage that is transformed through the magnetic linkage can be
adjusted.
The ratio of the voltages across the primary and secondary windings of a transformer is equal
to the turns ratio. The relationship is given as follows:

VP is the primary voltage, VS is the secondary voltage, NP is the number of primary turns, and

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NS is the number of secondary turns. NP/NS (or VP/VS) is the transformer turns ratio. Figure 7-2
illustrates a transformer with a turns ratio of two. This transformer has 10 primary turns and 5
secondary turns. Note that the voltage is halved while the current is doubled across the
transformer.

Figure 7-2 Transformer Turns Ratio

7.1.2 Types of Transformers

Many different types of transformers are used on the power system. Here we describe types
of power transformers. Instrument transformers are described in Section 7.2.
Number of Windings
Transformers differ in the number of windings. A two-winding transformer consists of two
windingswhich are not physically connectedwrapped around a common core. The
transformers in Figures 7-1 and 7-2 are examples of two-winding transformers. A third winding
is sometimes wrapped around the core. The lowest voltage winding is then called the tertiary
winding. For example, a transformer may have a primary winding of 345 KV, a secondary
winding of 138 KV, and a tertiary winding of 13.2 KV.
A transformer design may also consist of two electrically connected windings. A transformer
with two electrically connected windings is known as an autotransformer.

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Figure 7-3 illustrates the evolution from a two-winding transformer to an autotransformer. In an


autotransformer, the primary and secondary windings are physically connected. ERCOT
companies use autotransformers for 345 KV to 138 KV and 138 KV to 69 KV voltage
transformation.

Figure 7-3 Autotransformer Evolution

The advantages of an autotransformer include lower impedance, lower losses, and a smaller
excitation current than a two-winding transformer. However, the direct electrical connection
between the high and low voltage sides can be a disadvantage. A two-winding transformer
provides a certain degree of electrical isolation between the primary and secondary.
Autotransformers do not provide this electrical isolation. An auto-transformer can be created by
starting with a two-winding transformer and then physically connecting the primary and
secondary windings.
Most autotransformers have tertiary windings. The tertiary may be used for substation station
service, as a connection point for shunt reactors or capacitors, or for many other uses.

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Number of Phases
Transformers may be 1 or 3. Large power transformers are 3 transformers. A 3
transformer may be constructed as a 3 unit or composed of three separate 1 transformers
connected for 3 operation. Three phase transformers of both types are used by ERCOT at
138 KV to 69 KV stations. Groups of 1 transformers connected for 3 operation and 3
transformers connected in parallel are commonly referred to as transformer banks.

7.1.3 Transformer Connections

The individual windings of a 3 transformer are connected using either the delta or wye
configuration. In the wye configuration, shown at the left of Figure 7-4a, the three phases are
connected to one common point. This point may also be connected to the neutral of the 3
system. In the delta configuration, the three phases are connected in series as shown to the
right in Figure 7-4a.

Figure 7-4 3 Transformer Connections

In the wye arrangement, the current in each winding of the transformer (I W) is the same as the
current in each phase (I) of the connecting transmission system and the voltage across each
winding of the transformer (VW), is equal to the transmission line - voltage (V - ) divided
by the 3. In the delta arrangement, the voltage across each winding of the transformer (VW),
is equal to the transmission line - voltage (V - ) and the current in each winding of the
transformer (I W), is equal to the current in each phase of the transmission system (I) divided
by the 3. These relationships are summarized below:

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Transformers used for 3 power are typically connected in either wye or delta on their primary
and secondary sides. This yields four typical 3 transformer connections:
1. Wye-wye (wye primary and wye secondary)
2. Wye-delta (wye primary and delta secondary)
3. Delta-delta (delta primary and delta secondary)
4. Delta-wye (delta primary and wye secondary)

Wye-wye connections are often used to interconnect different voltage levels of the high voltage
transmission system. Wye-wye connected transformers have the advantages of minimizing
the size and insulation requirements of the transformer and providing a neutral which can be
solidly grounded. Transformers that utilize wye-connected primaries require that any three-
phase loads served be balanced to avoid excessive neutral current.
Wye-delta (Figure 7-4a) connected transformers are sometimes used as step-down
transformers to supply large 3 loads. The high voltage wye connection provides a neutral
conductor for grounding the high voltage circuit. Cost savings can be realized, since each high
voltage winding carries less voltage than the equivalent delta-connected winding insulation
requirements are therefore lower.
Transformers connected in a delta-delta configuration are often used as distribution
transformers for supplying large 3 loads. One advantage of the delta-delta connection is that
if three separate 1 transformers are used, two of the transformers can be used to supply 3
power (at reduced wattage) if one of the 1 transformers fails.
Transformers connected delta-wye are often used as step-down transformers to supply
combined 3 and 1 loads when the 1 loads are comparatively large. Delta-wye
transformers are also used as step-up power transformers for a generating unit. When the
high voltage secondary is wye-connected, two major advantages are realized:
1. The wye connection provides a neutral point for grounding the high-voltage sidewhich
can be an important safety feature
2. Each set of secondary windings handles less voltage than in the delta configuration,
allowing reduced insulation ratings and resulting in lower cost for the transformer.

Figure 7-4a illustrated a wye to delta connection. Figure 7-4b illustrates a wye connected
autotransformer. Note the optional delta winding in the autotransformer. This is a tertiary
winding.

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7.1.4 Transformer Nameplate Data

When a company purchases a power transformer, the companys engineers specify the
maximum rated load. The transformers nameplate will list this rated load. The rated load will
be a function of the transformer design and the type of auxiliary cooling systems with which the
transformer is equipped. For example, a transformer may have three rated loads such as
30/40/50 MVA. The different rated loads apply depending on the available cooling systems.
A 30/40/50 MVA transformer may have a 30 MVA limit (the self-cooled rating) if no auxiliary
cooling is used. If a first stage of cooling is operational, the bank has a 40 MVA limit. If a
second stage of cooling is operational, the bank has a 50 MVA limit. The maximum
temperature rise in a transformer is typically 65C above ambient. This temperature limit
applies no matter what cooling systems are available.
Figure 7-5 contains the name plate data for a transformer presently in use on the ERCOT
system. The following information is provided. The numbers refer to the numbers in the
figure:

1. The transformer is a 3 autotransformer.


2. There are three windings at 345KV, 138KV and 13.8KV, respectively.
3. The transformer has three levels of cooling (OA/FOA/FOA):
o OA - Means self-cooled due to natural circulation of oil and air.
o FOA - Means a first stage of forced oil and air-cooling using pumps and fans.
o FOA - Means a second stage of forced oil and air-cooling.
4. The transformer is rated for three different KVA levels in each winding depending on
which of the three levels of cooling systems is enabled. For example, both the primary
and secondary are rated for 320000 KVA (320 MVA) with OA/FOA cooling.
5. The transformer can safely carry the stated load on a continuous basis without
exceeding a temperature rise of 55oC.
This transformer was designed to withstand a 65oC temperature rise. The highest MVA rating
of this bank is therefore 448 MVA.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

Figure 7-5 Name Plate Data

7.1.5 Transformer Operating Considerations

Transformer Excitation
An energized transformer will draw a certain amount of current even with no load connected to
the secondary. This is because an unloaded transformer still draws current to magnetize its
core. This current is referred to as the excitation current of the transformer. There are two
components of excitation current. The first component is the magnetizing component, which
builds the magnetic field in the transformers core.
The second component is the loss component, which is drawn due to core iron I2R losses. The
magnetizing component is a reactive current and is much larger than the iron loss component.
Transformers are in general very efficient devices. Transformer losses will seldom exceed 1%
to 2% of load.
Transformers are users of reactive power. Transformers require reactive power to support the
magnetic field in their core. A large power transformer (about 400 MVA) may use five (5)
MVAR to support its magnetic field.
Transformer in-rush currents
When a transformer is first energized, it may experience a large in-rush of excitation current.
The maximum in-rush will occur if the transformers core is still magnetized and the transformer
is energized near a voltage zero. The in-rush current can be several times the normal load
current. Magnetizing in-rush currents can cause false protective relay operations (especially
differentials) and short term system voltage problems.

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Section 7.1 Summary

7.1.1 Basic Principles


The operation of a transformer is based on the principle of mutual induction. Two
windings connected to separate electrical circuits are placed close together on a
common iron-core. When an alternating current is passed through one of the windings,
it creates a changing magnetic field in the core that induces an electromotive force
(EMF) or voltage in the other winding.
The winding connected to the source of power is the primary winding and the winding
connected to the load is the secondary winding.
The ratio of the voltages across the primary and secondary windings of a transformer
equals the turns ratio.
7.1.2 Types of Transformers
A two-winding transformer consists of two windings wrapped around a common core.
A third windingcalled the tertiary windingmay be used for substation station service,
as a connection point for shunt reactors or capacitors, or for many other uses.
A transformer with a common winding for the primary and secondary is known as an
auto-transformer.
Large power transformers are 3 transformers. A 3 transformer may be constructed
as a 3 unit or composed of three separate 1 transformers connected for 3 operation.
7.1.3 Transformer Connections
The phases of a three-phase transformer are typically connected using a delta or wye
configuration.
In the wye configuration, the three windings are connected to one common point. In the
delta configuration, the three windings are connected in series.
7.1.4 Transformer Nameplate Data
The transformers nameplate lists the rated load. The rated load is a function of the
transformer design and type of auxiliary cooling systems with which the transformer is
equipped.
The maximum temperature rise in a transformer is typically 65 degrees C above a 30
degree C ambient. This temperature limit applies no matter what cooling systems are
available.
7.1.5 Transformer Operating Considerations
An energized transformer will draw a certain amount of excitation current to magnetize
its core and supply core losses even with no load attached to the secondary winding.
There are two components of the excitation current: the magnetizing component and
the loss component. The magnetizing component is much larger than the loss
component. When a transformer is first energized, it may experience a large current in-
rush equal to several times the normal load current.

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Section 7.1 Review Questions

Q1: A transformer has a turn ratio of 10:1. The primary side voltage is 138 KV.
What is the secondary side voltage?

a) 1,380 KV
b) 138 KV
c) 13.8 KV
d) 138 V

Q2: What is the function of the iron-core of a transformer?

a) Confines the induced magnetic field to a target area


b) Confines the induced electric field to a target area
c) Stores energy within its magnetic field
d) Stores energy within its electric field

Q3: Which is a use of the tertiary winding of a transformer?

a) Substation station service


b) Low voltage supply for relays and meters
c) Large 1 loads
d) Auxiliary input when the primary winding is out of service

Q4: i) Which type of transformer connection (wye or delta) allows the transformer to have a
grounded neutral? ii) Which type of connection requires higher levels of insulation?

a) (i) Wye, (ii) Wye


b) (i) Wye, (ii) Delta
c) (i) Delta, (ii) Delta
d) (i) Delta, (ii) Wye

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Q5: What are the two levels of transformer cooling indicated by the symbols OA/FOA?

a) Natural circulation of oil & air / forced oil circulation


b) Forced air circulation / forced oil circulation
c) Natural circulation of oil & air / forced oil & air circulation
d) Natural circulation of oil / forced gas circulation

Q6: What are the two components of transformer excitation current? Which is larger?

a) Energizing and reactive; Reactive


b) Energizing and reactive; Energizing
c) Magnetizing and core loss; Core loss
d) Magnetizing and core loss; Magnetizing

Q7: Transformer in-rush current is the excitation current a transformer experiences when it is
first energized.
True or false?

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7.2 Phase Shifting Transformers

Phase shifting transformers are a specialized form of transformer used to control the flow of
real power on 3-phase electrical transmission systems. Phase shifting transformers installed
on the ERCOT grid are electrically located to impede heavy flows of real power to maintain
system reliability.
Phase shifting transformers provide us the ability to increase and decrease the impedance of
the attached transmission element allowing equalization of flow across parallel transmission
paths.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

7.2 Summary

Phase Shifting Transformers


Phase shifting transformers control the flow of real power to maintain system reliability.

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Section 7.2 Review Questions

Q1: Phase Shifting Transformers have the ability to ______________ impedance of the
attached transmission element allowing equalization of flow across parallel transmission
paths.

a) Increase
b) Decrease
c) Both a and b
d) Neither a nor b

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

7.3 Instrument Transformers

Instrument transformers, including current transformers, potential transformers, and capacitive


devices are used to reduce power system voltages and currents to levels suitable for input to
relaying, metering, and measuring equipment.
Instrument transformers provide us the ability to:
Protect both personnel and sensitive apparatus from high voltages and currents.
Permit the use of reasonable insulation levels for voltage and acceptable current
capacity in relays, meters, and control circuits.

7.3.1 Current Transformers

Ammeters, watt meters, watt-hour meters, and protective relays are all examples of devices
that measure or respond to current. It is impractical to build these devices so that they may be
directly connected to the power system. Current transformers (CTs) are used to reduceor
scale downthe actual load current to a magnitude suitable for these types of devices as
illustrated in Figure 7-6.

Figure 7-6 Principle of Operation of a Current Transformer


In a CT, the primary winding is often composed of only one turn. The transmission line or
conductor the CT is connected to may function as the primary winding of the CT. The
secondary winding of the CT is coiled around this conductor as illustrated in Figure 7-7.

Figure 7-7 Windings for a Current Transformer

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CTs are designed to be very accurate. The current induced in the secondary coil can be used
to determine the primary currentor line currentif you know the CT ratio.
The number of turns in the CT secondary winding is designed so that the secondary current of
the CT is approximately 3 to 5 amps when the primary conductor has rated current passing
through it. This amount of secondary current is small enough to be easily used in relaying and
metering equipment.
If the power system conductor has 1000 amps flowing through it, then a CT ratio of
200:1 would give five (5) amps secondary current. The primary winding would consist of one
(1) turn while the secondary winding would have 200 turns.
It is an industry standard that when CT ratios are listed they are stated with a five (5) amp
secondary current. For example, a 200:1 CT ratio would be stated as 1000:5.
Remember that because a CT steps down current it is actually stepping-up voltage. Therefore,
the voltage across the secondary terminals of a CT is much larger than the voltage drop
across the primary terminals of the CT (see Figure 7-8). The secondary winding of a
CT should never be left open. If the equipment connected to the secondary is removed, the
secondary terminals should be shorted. If a CTs secondary is opened, it could produce a
large enough secondary voltage to destroy the CT and possibly cause injury to personnel.

Figure 7-8 Voltage and Current on CT Secondary

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Three common types of CT construction are the iron-core, bushing, and bar-type CT. All three
types operate using the same principles but their construction is slightly different.

Figure 7-9 Iron-Core CT Iron-core CTs

Figure 7-9 contains a simplified illustration of an iron-core CT. The primary winding of this type
of CT is the power system conductor. As shown in the figure, the conductor is physically
attached to the iron-core. The numerous secondary windings are then wrapped around the
core.
Bushing Type CTs

Circuit breakers, transformers, reactors, and other power system equipment use bushings to
insulate the primary conductor as it enters the device. The bushings protrude from the device
and are often constructed of bell-shaped porcelain segments stacked one on top of another. A
bushing type CT (BCT) is a CT that is installed within this stack of insulators and may be
situated either internal or external to the device.

SECONDARY
WINDINGS

POWER SYSTEM
CONDUCTOR

Figure 7-10 Bushing Type CT

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Figure 7-10 illustrates the construction of a BCT. The BCT has a circular (doughnut shaped)
metallic core with the secondary windings wrapped about the core. The conductor that passes
through the bushing is the primary winding. The BCT is arranged on the bushing so that the
conductor passes through the center of the BCT.

Bar Type CTs

The bar-type current transformer was shown in Figure 7-7. Like the iron-core and bushing
CTs, the primary winding of the bar type CT is the transmission line or power system
conductor to which the CT is connected. The secondary winding of the bar-type CT is coiled
around the conductor as illustrated in Figure 7-7.

7.3.2 Potential Transformers

Potential transformers (PTs) sense the amount of voltage in a circuit and supply an output that
is proportional to, but much lower in magnitude, than the sensed voltage. The resulting
proportional voltage can then be sent to an instrument for measurement or to a relay for a
protective function. Potential transformers are used to provide a proportionate value of voltage
as illustrated in Figure 7-11.

Figure 7-11 Principle of Operation of a Potential Transformer

PTs operate on the same principle as power transformers. The primary winding of the PT may
be connected from - across the transmission line or from -G. Unlike CTs, PTs step down
voltage and step up current; therefore, PTs have fewer turns in the secondary winding than in
the primary winding. The PT turns ratio is typically set up so that the secondary (output)
voltage ranges from 115 to 240 volts (-). This is the voltage that the relaying and metering
equipment utilizes. A simplified drawing of a PT is provided in Figure 7-12.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

Figure 7-12 Simplified Drawing of a Potential Transformer

PT ratios are often stated in terms of -G voltage values instead of - values. For example,
the ratio for a PT connected to a 138 KV line for a 120 V secondary output may be given as
79,674:69. The 79,674 and 69 are the -G equivalent of the 138 KV and 120 V - voltages
(divide 138,000 and 120 by 138,000 and 120 by 3).
PTs are not designed to carry any substantial amount of load. The equipment connected to
PTs requires minimal power. If a PT is forced to carry load over its rating, it may rapidly lose
its accuracy. The amount of load connected to an instrument transformer is called the
burden.

7.3.3 Other Potential Devices

Other devices used to provide proportional voltage signals for metering and relaying are the
coupling capacitor potential device and the bushing potential device.
Coupling Capacitor Potential Device
The capacitors are called coupling capacitors as they couple (electrically connect) the low
voltage secondary of the CCPD to the high voltage primary.
Coupling capacitor potential devices (CCPD) serve the same purposes as PTs. CCPDs
reproduce power system voltages on a scale acceptable to low voltage rated equipment. The
abbreviations CCVT (capacitively coupled voltage transformer) and CVT (capacitive voltage
transformer) are also commonly used to refer to a similar type of device.

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The basic operating principle of a CCPD is to connect a series of coupling capacitors between
the power system conductor and ground. This is illustrated in Figure 7-13. The series of
capacitors divide the high power system voltage into smaller increments. The desired voltage
output can be obtained by connecting a small PT across whatever number of capacitors yields
an output voltage in the desired range.

Figure 7-13 Coupling Capacitor Potential Device

CCPDs are less costly than PTs and historically have been less accurate than PTs. Recent
advances in the design of CCPDs have substantially increased their accuracy levels. Due to
the greater accuracy of PTs, CCPDs are rarely used for revenue metering purposes. CCPDs
are used for the inputs of relaying or measuring devices where small errors in the secondary
voltages are not harmful.
Bushing Potential Device
Bushing potential devices (BPDs) operate using the same principle as CCPDs. Rather than
using series connected capacitors, however, BPDs are constructed using concentric
capacitors. The concentric capacitors within the bushing each contain a portion of the total
system voltage. A PT can be connected across several of the capacitors to obtain the required
output voltage. The accuracy and cost of the BPD is similar to the CCPD.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

Section 7.3 Summary

Instrument transformers are used to reduce power system voltages and currents to levels
suitable for input to relaying, metering, and measuring equipment.

7.3.1 Current Transformers


Current transformers (CTs) are used to reduceor scale downthe primary current to
a manageable secondary value.
The number of turns in the CT secondary winding is designed so that the secondary
current of the CT is approximately 3 to 5 amps when the primary conductor has rated
current passing through it.
Because a CT steps down current it is actually stepping-up voltage. The secondary
winding of a CT must never be left open-circuited.

7.3.2 Potential Transformers


Potential transformers (PTs) sense the amount of voltage in a primary circuit and supply
an output that is proportional to, but much lower in magnitude than, the primary voltage.
PTs step down voltage and step up current; PTs have fewer turns in the secondary
winding than in their primary winding.
The PT turns ratio is typically set up so that the secondary (output) voltage ranges from
115 to 240 volts (-).

7.3.3 Other Potential Devices


Coupling capacitor potential device (CCPD), capacitively coupled voltage transformer
(CCVT), and capacitive voltage transformer (CVT) are terms used to refer to the same
family of devices.
In a CCPD, a series of capacitors is connected between the power system conductor
and ground. The series capacitors divide the high power system voltage into smaller
increments. The desired voltage output is obtained by connecting a PT across
whatever number of capacitors yields an output voltage in the desired range.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

Section 7.3 Review Questions

Q1: In a current transformer, the secondary winding has turns than the primary.

a) More
b) Fewer
c) The same amount of
d) More or less (depending on the manufacturer)

Q2: Why is it dangerous to open circuit the secondary winding of a CT?

a) The voltage across the secondary winding is too low to support continued current
flow
b) There will be a strong and damaging backfeed current to the equipment being
supplied by the CT
c) CT steps-up current, therefore current flowing between the secondary terminals
is very high
d) CT steps-up voltage, therefore voltage across the secondary terminals can be
very high

Q3: CTs are designed so that the normal current output in the secondary winding is in the
range:

a) 10-30 amps
b) 3-5 amps
c) 10-30 milliamps
d) 30-50 milliamps

Q4: The secondary output voltage for a PT is typically in the (-) range:

a) 3-5 volts
b) 60-115 volts
c) 115-240 volts
d) 115-240 k volts

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

Q5: A CCPD is typically accurate than a PT at measuring voltage.


a) More
b) Less
c) Just as
d) Depends on the manufacturer

Q6: In a CCPD, the power system voltage to be measured is reduced by dividing it across:

a) Capacitors in series
b) Capacitors in parallel
c) Transformer windings in series
d) Transformer windings and capacitors in parallel

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7.4 Transmission Lines

Transmission lines are used to connect electric power sources to electric power loads. In
general, transmission lines connect the systems generators to the systems distribution
substations. Transmission lines are also used to interconnect neighboring power systems.
Since transmission line power losses are proportional to the square of the load current, high
voltages are used to minimize losses. Transmission voltages in ERCOT are 69 KV, 138 KV,
and 345 KV.

7.4.1 Transmission Line Structures

Overhead transmission lines are supported by towers that are typically built of either wood,
concrete, or steel. Transmission line tower design is governed by many factors. The factors
range from the voltage level of the transmission line, conductor size, minimum clearance, and
aesthetics, to expected climatic conditions such as wind and ice. The primary function of a
transmission tower is to support the transmission conductors at a proper distance above the
ground, and with proper separation between phases. Figure 7-14a illustrates a typical high
voltage steel lattice structure. Figure 7-14b illustrates a typical wood structure.

Figure 7-14 Transmission Line Structures

The wire positions at the top of the towers in Figure 7-14 are for shield wire connections.
Shield wires are used to protect the transmission line from lightning strikes. Shield wires are
often referred to as static wires

7.4.2 Transmission Line Conductors

In the early days of power transmission, conductors were mostly copper. In modern
transmission lines, copper has been largely replaced by aluminum. For the same current
carrying capacity, aluminum is cheaper and lighter than copper. Aluminum has a relatively low
tensile strength, and therefore is usually reinforced with a stronger material. This material is
usually steel, but can also be an aluminum alloy.

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Aluminum conductor that is reinforced with steel is referred to as ACSR (aluminum conductor
steel reinforced). ACSR has a core composed of several strands of steel with strands of
aluminum wound around the core. Figure 7-15 illustrates a cross section of an ACSR type
conductor. This particular conductor has seven steel and 24 aluminum strands, it is referred to
as 24/7 ACSR.

Figure 7-15 ACSR Conductor Cross Section


Each phase of a transmission line can be an individual conductor, or it can be a group of
conductors. Lines that have multiple conductors per phase are said to have bundled
conductors. For example, 345 KV lines often have two conductors per phase.

7.4.3 Transmission Line Capacity

Increased power transfer across a transmission line means increased current flow. Increased
current flow leads to increased conductor heating. Transmission lines have thermal ratings,
which limit the amount of current that can be carried by the line. Exceeding the thermal limit of
a transmission line can cause the conductors to sag and stretch due to overheating.
Excessive sag may lead to contact with objects in the lines right-of-way resulting in faults and
safety hazards.
Figure 7-16 summarizes typical thermal ratings for different voltage transmission lines using
typical conductors (the conductor type will vary with the line voltage rating). These limits are
only estimates as actual thermal ratings are system specific.

VOLTAGE (KV) THERMAL RATING (MVA)


(KV) (MVA)
69 60
138 150
230 325
345 700
500 1500
Figure 7-16 Typical Thermal Ratings

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

Section 7.4 Summary

Transmission lines connect the systems generators to the distribution substations and
interconnect neighboring power systems.
Transmission line tower design is governed by the voltage level of the transmission line,
conductor size, minimum clearance, expected climatic conditions, and other factors.
Shield wires at the top of the transmission line towers are used to protect the
transmission line from lightning strikes.
The most common type of conductor is ACSR (aluminum conductor steel reinforced).
Each phase of a transmission line can be an individual conductor, or it can be a group
of conductors. Lines that have multiple conductors per phase are said to have bundled
conductors.
Transmission lines have thermal ratings that limit the amount of current that can be
carried by the line.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

Section 7.4 Review Questions

Q1: What is the purpose of the additional wire that often runs along the very top of
transmission towers? What name is given to this wire?

a) To transmit telecommunications; Pilot wire


b) To transmit telecommunications; Telephone wire
c) To ground wye connected transmission lines; Neutral wire
d) To protect against lightning; Shield wire

Q2: What is meant by ACSR conductor?

a) Aluminum, Copper, and Steel Reinforced


b) Aluminum and Copper Strands Reinforced
c) Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced
d) Aluminum Core Steel Reinforced

Q3: What is meant by bundled conductors?

a) Multiple conductors make up one phase of a line


b) Alternating layers of aluminum and copper in a conductor
c) Conductor made up of more than one conducting strand
d) Conductor made up of more than one conducting material

Q4: Name one possible consequence of exceeding the thermal rating of a transmission line.

a) Excessive sagging of a line


b) Excessive contraction of a line
c) Line phases may wrap around each other
d) Reduced power transfer

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

7.5 Circuit Breakers & Switches

7.5.1 Purpose and Function of Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are used to open or close electrical circuits. Power system circuit breakers
are capable of interrupting load and fault current. All circuit breakers operate by mechanically
opening a set of contacts, then extinguishing the resulting arc.
During normal switching operations, a circuit breaker may interrupt 1,000 amps load current
when it is called upon to open. When a circuit breaker opens to interrupt fault current, it may
interrupt 10,000 amps or more.
During emergency conditions, such as when a fault is detected on a circuit, transmission
system circuit breakers open automatically and (possibly) reclose automatically to restore the
circuit once (if) the fault is cleared. During normal switching operationssuch as when de-
energizing a circuit for equipment repair or maintenancetransmission circuit breakers can
normally be operated by remote control from the substation control house or from the Control
Center using a SCADA system. (Note: SCADA is the acronym for supervisory control and data
acquisition.)
There are essentially four major types of circuit breakers available today: oil, sulfur
hexafluoride (SF6) gas, air, and vacuum. These types of circuit breakers are distinguished by
the insulating mediums used.

7.5.2 Power Circuit Breaker Components

The fundamental component parts of any high voltage circuit breaker are illustrated in
Figure 7-17. The functions of these components are briefly described in this section.

Figure 7-17 Basic Component Parts of A High Voltage Circuit Breaker

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Contacts
A circuit breakers contacts must satisfy two criteria:
The contacts must have minimum resistance across their junction when the circuit breaker is
closed.
When the circuit breaker is tripped, the contacts must separate providing a very high
resistance path.
Interrupting Chamber
The interrupting chamber is where the contacts are located and the arc and subsequent
interruption take place (see below).
Dielectric
The dielectric medium is used to aid in quenching the arc. It is located in the interrupting
chamber. Dielectric refers to insulating medium. Different types of circuit breakers use
different types of dielectric medium. The insulation is of particular importance around the
contacts because the ability to withstand and suppress the arc that forms when a circuit
breaker opens determines its rating. Dielectric materials include oil, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
gas, air, and vacuum.
Operating Mechanism.
Operating mechanisms are used to trip the circuit breaker. Operating mechanisms can be
provided with multiple-pole or single-pole operation of the circuit breaker. Most circuit breakers
in the United States use multiple-pole operation. That is, the circuit breaker simultaneously
opens all three phases. There are several types of circuit breaker operating mechanisms but
the two most common are pneumatic and hydraulic mechanisms.
Control and Alarm Circuits.
Control circuitry enables the circuit breaker operating mechanism to open/close the circuit
breaker by either manual or automatic means. The alarm circuitry notifies the System
Operator of the status of the circuit breaker.

7.5.3 Arc Extinction

When the contacts of a circuit breaker are opened under load or during faults, an arc is
formed. Arc interruption mechanisms differ for different types of breakers.
Formation of an Arc
Heat is generated as the contacts of an energized circuit breaker begin to separate and the
resistance between the contacts increases. When the air becomes hot, it becomes a
conductor. Hot air becomes a conductor because of the free electrons that can flow from one
contact toward the other. As the circuit breaker contacts begin to separate, an arc is formed
between them.
The existence of an arc during opening is not a disadvantage. When a circuit breaker opens, it
causes an abrupt change in current. This abrupt change in current leads to a high voltage
spike. The arc helps slow the change in current and thus reduces the magnitude of the
resultant voltage spike. The arc provides a smooth transition from the current carrying

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condition to the open circuit position.


As the current is interrupted by a circuit breaker, the goal is first to establish an arc, then to
control the arc so the energy dissipated does not damage the circuit breaker. Finally, the goal
is to extinguish the arc before the circuit breaker contacts reach their full open positions.
Interrupting the Arc
The arc is controlled by rapidly replacing the ionized matter between the contacts with non-
ionized matter such as air, gas, or oil. This can be achieved by propelling non- ionized
material through the arc. The flow of air, gas, or oil also serves to cool the arc, which helps to
extinguish it. Circuit breakers often employ additional means of separating the arc into smaller
sections. An arc that has been split into many small sections extinguishes faster than one
continuous arc.
Arc Interruption in Oil
A method used to extinguish the arc in an oil circuit breaker is illustrated in Figure 7-18. As the
circuit breaker's contacts are pulled apart by the downward movement of the piston, the arc
forms. The downward movement of the piston also forces oil to pass through the arc. The
combination of the increased oil pressure and the gas formed by the arc blows the arc out.

Figure 7-18 Arc Interruption in an Oil Circuit Breaker

Arc interruption in oil is more effective than in air for two reasons:

The dielectric strength (ability to withstand the voltage without breakdown and initiation of a
spark) for oil is many times greater than for air.

The hydrogen gas generated by the arc in the oil is superior to air as a cooling medium.

Interruption in Gas
In a single pressure SF6 gas circuit breaker (interrupting chamber illustrated in Figure 7-
19), arc extinction is achieved using the puffer principle. The entire interrupting chamber

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is filled with gas. As the circuit breaker contacts open, a puff of SF6 gas is forced across the
arc path. This puff of gas cools the arc path and quenches the arc as the contacts separate.
At all times, the SF6 gas is contained in the interrupting chamber. The gas is simply directed
across the contacts when needed.

Figure 7-19 SF6 Gas Circuit Breaker Contacts

SF6 gas has excellent arc quenching properties, including high dielectric strength and good
heat transfer characteristics.

7.5.4 Circuit Breaker Operating Mechanisms

All circuit breakers operate by closing or opening a set of contacts to complete or interrupt an
electrical circuit. The contacts of a circuit breaker are closed by the action of the operating
mechanism. Operating mechanisms consist of a system of mechanical linkages and latching
devices that are operated by an applied force. The resulting mechanical motion closes the
circuit breaker contacts.
The most common types of systems used to provide the applied force for operating
mechanisms are pneumatic and hydraulic. Pneumatic operating mechanisms use compressed
high-pressure air to close the circuit breaker. Typically, the circuit breaker is closed using air
pressure and opened with a tripping spring that is compressed during the closing operation.
Hydraulic operating mechanisms use pressurized hydraulic fluid instead of compressed air.
The pressurized hydraulic fluid is stored in an accumulator. This hydraulic pressure is applied
to a piston that drives the circuit breaker contacts.

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7.5.5 High Voltage Switches

Circuit breakers are used to switch electrical circuits carrying normal or fault currents. Power
switches are used to alter circuit arrangements and to provide electrical isolation for
equipment. The current interrupting capability of power switches is typically much less than a
circuit breaker. In this subsection we discuss different types of disconnect switches and circuit
switchers.
Disconnect Switches
Disconnect switches are used to electrically isolate equipment for maintenance purposes.
Simple disconnect switches are not designed for interrupting current. Disconnect switches are
constructed such that the open and closed positions are easily distinguished and readily visible
to the naked eye. Construction or maintenance personnel can easily verify whether disconnect
switches are open or closed by simply looking at the switch.
A disconnect switch consists of a hinge, a moving blade, a stationary jaw, and an operating
mechanism. The blade is a moving contact that swivels to open and/or close the switch. The
jaw is a stationary contact shaped like a clamp into which the blade of the switch fits. When
the blade is clamped in the jaw, the switch is closed and when the blade is swiveled away from
the jaw, the switch is fully open. Both the blade and the jaw of the switch are mounted on bus
support insulators. The operating mechanism is the control linkage used to move the blade.
Figure 7-20 illustrates the components of a basic disconnect switch. Normally, there are three
sets of disconnect switches, one switch for each phase.

Figure 7-20 Components of a Basic Disconnect Switch

Disconnect switches vary in how they are mounted, how the blade moves, what causes the
switches to operate and what amount of current they are capable of interrupting.

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Gang Operated Versus Single Phase

Gang operated disconnect switches are actually three individual disconnect switches
connected together and controlled through one operating mechanism. Figure 7-21 is a
drawing of a gang operated disconnect switch. Note in Figure 7-21 how all three disconnect
switchesone per phaseare opened or closed simultaneously by the same operating
mechanism. In contrast with the gang operated disconnects, when using 1 phase disconnects,
each phase is opened and closed independently of the other two phases. Single phase
disconnects are usually operated manually. (A person, using a stick designed for the purpose,
opens and closes the blades.)

Figure 7-21 Gang Operated Disconnect Switch

Single Break versus Center Break

The single break switch has a blade that swivels on one end with the other end fitting into the
jaw. (Figures 7-20 and 7-21 illustrated single break switches.) The center break disconnect
switch has two blades which form a connection at the middle. Figure 7-22 illustrates a center
break disconnect switch.

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Figure 7-22 Center Break Disconnect Switch

Manually Operated Versus Motor Operated


A manually-operated disconnect switch is a non-automatic switch that must be opened and
closed manually at the switch. The opening and closing is typically done by rotating a handle
located at the base of the switch. A motor-operated switch has a motor located at the base of
the switch. This motor enables the switch to be opened or closed automatically or by remote
control (the motor does the job of the hand cranker). A motor- operated disconnect also has a
handle for manual operation.
Disconnect Switch Enhancements
Disconnect switches may be enhanced so that they can interrupt load. Typical enhancements
include arcing horns, and interrupter units.
Arcing Horns
Arcing horns are attached to both the switch jaws and switch blade. As the switch opens, the
horns support the arc allowing the actual switch contacts to become well separated before the
arc is extinguished between the arcing horns. This method of opening saves wear and tear on
the switch contacts.
Interrupter Units
Interrupter units can be added to disconnect switches in order to help extinguish the arc. In
most cases, SF6 is used as the dielectric or interrupting medium. The function of the SF6 is
similar to that discussed for circuit breakers with the arc being extinguished in a medium more
suitable for the purpose than plain air. When interrupter units are added to disconnect
switches, the switches are capable of interrupting loadtypically up to about 600 amperes.
Circuit Switchers
A circuit switcher is a motor-operated interrupting unit which may or may not include a
disconnect switch. Circuit switchers are capable of interrupting load and fault currents.

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Figure 7-23 is a schematic diagram of only one pole (phase) of a circuit switcher. An actual
installation would include three units similar to that shown in Figure 7-23.

Figure 7-23 Circuit Switcher

The pole unit, as illustrated in Figure 7-23, is made up of an interrupting mechanism that is
mounted on insulators in series with a disconnect switch. All of the components are mounted
on a base. A motor driver with assorted gears and linkages is mounted below the circuit
switcher. The motor operates all three disconnect switches as a gang.
The interrupter units are charged with SF6 gas and interrupt the circuit using the same
principle as the puffer circuit breaker. The disconnect switches (if present) are driven by a
motor operator to both the open and closed positions.
Circuit switchers are less expensive than circuit breakers and, in addition to providing a means
of interruption, may also provide a visible opening. However, a circuit switcher is not capable
of interrupting as high a current magnitude as a circuit breaker.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

Section 7.5 Summary

7.5.1 Purpose and Function


Circuit breakers are used to open or close electrical circuits. Circuit breakers are
capable of interrupting load and fault current.
During normal switching operations, a circuit breaker may be used to interrupt load
current of up to 1,000 amps. When a circuit breaker opens to interrupt fault current, it
may interrupt 10,000 amps or more.
During emergency conditions, circuit breakers open automatically. Circuit breakers can
be configured to reclose automatically to restore the circuit once (if) the fault is cleared.
During normal switching operations, circuit breakers can be operated by remote control
from the substation control house or using SCADA.

7.5.2 Power Circuit Breaker Components


The basic components of any high voltage circuit breaker are:
o Main contacts
o Interrupting chamber
o Dielectric
o Operating mechanism
o Control and alarm circuits

7.5.3 Arc Extinction


When the contacts of a circuit breaker are opened under load an arc is formed. The arc
helps slow the change in current and reduces the magnitude of the resultant voltage
spike.
The goal is to control the arc so the energy dissipated does not damage the circuit
breaker, and extinguish the arc before the circuit breaker contacts reach their full open
positions.

7.5.4 Circuit Breaker Operating Mechanisms


Pneumatic operating mechanisms use compressed high-pressure air to close the circuit
breaker. The circuit breaker is opened with a tripping spring that is compressed during
the closing operation.
Hydraulic operating mechanisms use pressurized hydraulic fluid stored in an
accumulator to drive the circuit breaker contacts.

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7.5.5 High Voltage Switches


Power switches are used to alter circuit arrangements and to provide electrical isolation
for equipment. The current interrupting capability of power switches is typically much
less than a circuit breaker.
Disconnect switches are constructed such that the open and closed positions are
readily visible to the naked eye.
A simple disconnect switch consists of a hinge, a moving blade, a stationary jaw, and an
operating mechanism. Simple disconnect switches are not designed to interrupt
current.
Gang operated disconnect switches are three individual disconnect switches connected
together and controlled through one operating mechanism.
A manually-operated disconnect switch must be opened and closed manually at the
switch.
A motor-operated switch has a motor located at the base of the switch allowing the
switch to be opened or closed automatically by remote control.
Disconnect switches may be enhanced so that they can interrupt load. Typical
enhancements include arcing horns and interrupter units.
A circuit switcher is a motor-operated interrupting unit which may or may not include a
disconnect switch. Circuit switchers are capable of interrupting load and fault currents.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

Section 7.5 Review Questions

Q1: Which of the following consists essentially of a moving blade, a stationary hinge, jaws, and
an operating mechanism:

a) Circuit breaker
b) Circuit switcher
c) Simple disconnect switch
d) Interrupter

Q2: Which of the following groups of devices may both have a visible break?

a) Oil circuit breaker and simple disconnect


b) SF6 circuit breaker and gang-operated disconnect
c) Circuit switcher and simple disconnect
d) Simple disconnect only

Q3: What is the current interruption capability of a simple disconnect switch?

a) 0 amps
b) 1,000 amps
c) 80,000 amps
d) 300 amps

Q4: When the contacts of a circuit breaker are opened under load, an arc tends to be formed.
Circuit breakers are designed to:

a) Prevent an arc from forming, thus avoiding damage to the contacts


b) Extinguish the arc as rapidly as possible
c) Control the arc so as to minimize the voltage spike
d) Allow the arc to extinguish itself gradually after the contacts are fully open

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Q5: Which of the following substances may be used in the interrupting chamber of a circuit
breaker?

a) Air, oil, and SO2


b) Oxygen, oil, and SF6
c) CO2, air, and SF6
d) Air, oil, and SF6

Q6: Which types of circuit breaker operating mechanisms are most commonly used in
transmission system circuit breakers?

a) Pneumatic, hydraulic
b) Pneumatic, solenoid
c) Pneumatic, air-pressure
d) Hydraulic, solenoid

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 7: Transmission Equipment

7.6 Meters and Data Communication

Meters are used to measure the energy produced by generators and consumed by customers.
Meters are also used to measure the energy exchanged between adjacent systems and
resources to loads. Meters are also used to measure voltages, currents, etc.
Connecting line energy measurementsalong with other measurements made in the
substationare communicated by telemetry to the Control Center. This section describes the
construction and operation of basic types of meters, the methods by which the metered values
are transmitted to the Control Centers and how ERCOT applies the process.

7.6.1 Meter Construction and Usage

The Induction Disk Meter


The induction disk meter is commonly used to measure the energy transferred across an
electrical connection. The meter can be used to measure both watt and VAR flow.
Watt Hour Meters
Watt Hour Meters are used to register the amount of power used in a period of time. They
consist of a small motor whose speed is proportional to the power consumed by the equipment
being supplied.
Typical Watt- Hour Induction Disk Meter
The basic components of an induction-disk watt hour meter are; voltage coil, current coil,
compensating coil, revolving disk and a registering mechanism. The revolving disk operates
similarly to an induction motor, driven by a rotating magnetic field proportional to the product of
the eddy currents in the disk and the flux from the load current coils.
This is illustrated in Figure 7-24. Two electromagnets are mounted over the disk. The two
electromagnets are energized by two independent AC voltage or current sources. The torque
is proportional to the power used by the load.

Figure 7-24 Basic Induction Disk Meter

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The disk is linked to a set of counting registers. As the disk turns, the registers count the
number of rotations. The greater the power flow rate, the faster the disk turns and the more
revolutions are counted for the billing period.
Principles of Operation
The basic principles of operation of the induction disk meter are as follows:
The alternating current in the voltage and current coils produces an alternating magnetic flux at
the poles which induces current in the disk.
Because of the varying magnetic fields, currents are induced in the disk (which is a conductor)
by the principle of electromagnetic induction. The currents are 90o out of phase with the
magnetic field that induced them. That is, the current has a peak value when the magnetic
field is changing most rapidlywhich is around the time when its value is zero.
We thus have a current flowing in a magnetic field, so by the motor principle, there is a torque,
rotating force, acting on the disk. The torque produced on the disk is proportional to the
product of the eddy currents in the disk and the flux from the load current coil. The torque is,
therefore, proportionate to the power used by the load. The retarding action necessary to
produce a counter torque is provided by permanent magnets acting on the disk.
If there were just one electromagnet, the forces acting on the disk would balance and there
would be no resultant motion. However, with two magnetic fieldsseparated by some
distance and out of phase with each otherthere are two sets of currents. The magnetic field
due to the first electromagnet interacts with the currents due to the second electromagnet to
cause a net torque on the disk. Likewise, there is a torque due to the interaction between the
second field and the first set of currents. The amount of torque produced depends on the
energizing currents in the two electromagnets and on the phase relationship between them.
Demand Meters
A demand meter is a watt-hour meter with the addition of another face and two pointers, one
red and one black. The consumption accumulates on the dials while the volt- amperes being
used at the particular moment is indicated by the red pointer. As the red pointer moves up the
scale with increasing demand for power, it catches up to the black pointer and carries the black
pointer with it. When the demand decreases, the red pointer moves down the scale, following
the actual demand; however, the black pointer remains at the highest position it was moved.
The black pointer then indicates the highest demand during the period until it is manually reset.
Utilities typically levy a surcharge to commercial consumers based on the peak demand during
each billing period. The utility must have enough capacity to meet all consumers peak
demands at the same time, if such occurrence is presented. A consumers average use of
power may be low compared to peak demand. Even though the average consumption is low,
the utility has installed equipment to meet peak requirements. The surcharge or demand
charge is used to pay for that service.
Measurement of Active and Reactive Power
In the induction disk meter, one coil is connected across the load to sense voltage, while the
other coil is in series with the load current (see Figure 7-25). The voltage and current
magnitudes, measured by watt-hour meters, are supplied by instrument transformers of the
type described in Section 7.2.

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Figure 7-25 Wattmeter Circuit Connections

To limit the load that the meter coils place on the circuit, the current coil has few turns while the
voltage coil has many turns. Because the voltage coil has a large number of turns (large
inductance) the current through this coil lags the current coil by about 90o. This provides the
necessary 90o phase difference between the two meter coils.
Since the power is equal to voltage times current, the torque on the disk is proportional to
power. If the power doubles, the current will double, causing the magnetic flux and thus the
torque to double.
Maximum torque is applied to the disk when current and potential are at unity power factor. If
the load becomes more inductive or capacitive and moves away from unity power factor, then
the torque decreases. Therefore, the induction disk naturally measures active power flow.
The induction disk meter can be made to measure reactive power flow by placing an inductor
(called a compensator) in series with the current coil to create an additional 90o phase shift.
Polyphase Meters
Polyphase meters may have one disk and set of coils for each phase, all driving the same
register. A 3 phase, three-wire system requires at least two meter elements, while a 3 phase,
four-wire system requires at least three meter elements.
Solid State Revenue Meters
In many recent applications, solid-state meters are used in place of induction disk meters.
Plug-in circuit boards are used to measure power system quantities. Instrument transformers
are used to reduce the input voltages and currents to the very low values required by electronic
circuit boards. Solid state meters require low maintenance and the data may be electrically
read or transferred.
Solid state meters built around a computer central processing unit that records electrical
demand at selected intervals (fifteen minutes in ERCOT) and validates with a wide range of
sophisticated options including; power quality measurement, communication capabilities and
records reporting flexibility are Interval Data Recorders (IDR s).

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7.6.2 Communication of Metered Data

Accounting for open access to the transmission system requires that all flows at the
transmission system boundaries be metered (directly or indirectly) for revenue purposes.
Additional transmission boundary points to be metered are generator injection points and all
points of supply to the distribution system. Flows that are metered in the field are telemetered
to the Control Center or some other central location. The metered values serve a number of
purposes, including:
Interchange billing
Automatic Generation Control or AGC. (The actual MW flows are compared with the
scheduled values and the difference is used to generate a control signal for AGC systems).
Monitoring of Power Flows on the Power System
For real-time control purposes, SCADA Control Centers link to transmission system
interconnections and distribution substations and report continuous readings. The electrical
signal is a smoothly varying value whose magnitude is proportional to the measured MW
value. The value is generated at the substation RTU, telemetered along with other SCADA
data to the Control Center and used for monitoring and control.
Qualified Scheduling Entities Metering Application
QSE control centers supply operational metering data to ERCOT and receive signals from
ERCOT to implement frequency control. The QSEs interface to ERCOT for this purpose is
implemented through a QSE-supplied RTU or other device using a common protocol. The
Operating Period Data uses DNP 3.0 Protocol and operational information is exchanged in a
two to four second period. The Day Ahead and Adjustment Period Data is transmitted using
XML (Extensible Markup Language), a self-describing language used for facilitating data. This
language will format requests as well as receive replies using the API (Programmatic
Interface), a message protocol used to automate data exchange between ERCOT Control
Area Authority and market participants. Operational messaging is accomplished each fifteen
minutes.
Transmission System Providers Metering Application
Transmission System Providers supply operational metering to ERCOT using an ICCP (Inter-
Control Area Communications Protocol) interface through the ERCOT Wide Area Network
(WAN) to provide system status and security data. Transmission System
Providers may use an RTU interface similar to the QSEs only with approval from ERCOT.
Each QSE or TSP shall continuously provide the data quantities that they are responsible for
providing to ERCOT and information on system status is exchanged in a ten second period. If
polled at regular intervals, the system could be said to provide interval data. The value is
integrated to determine the MWh that have been delivered or received for loads that cannot be
polled, interval data is not available, Load Profiling is used to represent a consumption pattern
showing demand on an hourly or sub-hourly basis. A back-up signal consisting of counter
register pulses is also sent to the Control Center and the accumulated number of pulses is
verified. This value is compared with the integrated value. If there is a wide difference, the
cause of the discrepancy is investigated and corrected. Because the SCADA system is
designed to provide operational control, Remote Terminal Units are not approved devices for
revenue metering.

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ERCOT Metering Application for Settlement and Load Forecasting


Meter collection points are points that connect market participants to the electrical grid, define
the point of sale and where settlement transactions are deemed to take place. Meter collection
points include the following; points where neighboring systems connect to the grid; radial lines
connected to the grid, points where generator transformers connect to the grid, points where
load transformers connect to the grid and points where distribution substations connect to the
grid. In ERCOT, each premise (delivery point or combination of delivery points) is assigned an
Electric Service Identifier (ESI ID) for purposes of registration and settlement. This is a unique
and permanent identifier assigned to a premise (a metered service delivery point). This
process is maintained through the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), a format specified by the
market and based on standard transaction protocols. The process is initiated by the Retail
Energy Provider.
For energy accounting purposes, very accurate metering data is required. Where the meters
are of the older induction-disk type, meter registers are read at the meter location on a regular
basis. These values are compared with accumulated counter register values that have been
logged at the Control Center. Meter adjustments are made as needed to correct any errors.
Electronic meters are increasingly used for interconnection metering due to their accuracy and
versatility. Electronic meters have no moving parts as in electro-mechanical meters, thereby
increasing their accuracy. An electronic meter can be set at the factory to meet the needs of
the purchaser. An electronic meter has the ability to record and store its own information
without an external recorder.
Industry direction has brought about changes to metering practices. At points of
interconnection, power may flow in either of two directions (bi-directional). At such points, two
electro-mechanical meter installations can be replaced with one electronic meter capable of
performing multiple functions. The multiple functions may include bi-directional measuring of
both active and reactive power flows.
On bi-directional meters, the watt or volt-ampere demand is relative to out measurements.
Internal bypassing with voltage variable resistors provides transient suppression protection for
the solid state output when operation is within the specified limits.
Pulse outputs are provided which are proportional to the metered function with a wide range of
pulse rates available. The standard output is from solid state devices in a three wire transistor
pair. The solid state output is photo isolated from the internal circuits. Volt-ampere hour output
pulses may be used to compute volt-amperes, but should not be used as units for billing on
hourly consumption.

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Section 7.6 Summary

Meters are used to measure the energy produced by generators and consumed by customers.
Meters are also used to measure the energy exchanged between systems

7.6.1 The Induction Disk Meter


The induction disk meter is used to measure active and reactive power flow. The basic
induction disk meter consists of a metal disk free to turn on pivots. Two electromagnets
are mounted over the disk.
The meters disk is linked to a set of registers. As the disk turns, the registers count the
number of rotations. The higher the power flow rate, the faster the disk turns and the
more revolutions are counted for the billing period.
In the induction disk meter, one coil is connected across the load to sense voltage,
while the other coil is in series with the load current.
A demand meter is a watt-hour meter with the addition of another face and two pointers.
Maximum torque is applied to the disk when current and potential are at unity power
factor. If the load becomes more inductive or capacitive and moves away from unity
power factor, then the disks torque decreases. Therefore, the induction disk meter
measures active power flow. The induction disk meter can be made to measure
reactive power by placing an inductor (called a compensator) in series with the current
coil to create an additional 90o phase shift.

7.6.2 Communication of Metered Data


Tie-line flows are used for interchange accounting, automatic generation control (AGC),
and monitoring of power flows.
For real-time purposes, an analog signal is sent by telemetry to the Control Center. The
value is integrated to determine the MWh that have been delivered on the tie-line.
QSE control centers supply operational metering data to ERCOT and receive signals
from ERCOT to implement frequency control.
Transmission System Service Providers supply operational metering to ERCOT using
an ICCP (Inter-Control Area Communications Protocol) interface through the ERCOT
Wide Area Network (WAN) to provide system status and security data.
In ERCOT, each premise (metered service delivery point) is assigned an Electric
Service
Identifier (ESI ID) for purposes of registration and settlement.
For energy accounting purposes, meter registers are read at the meter location on a
regular basis. These values are compared with accumulated counter values that have
been logged at the Control Center.
Electronic meters are increasingly used for interconnection metering. Information from
electronic meters can be retrieved using the telephone network.

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Section 7.6 Review Questions

Q1: Induction disk meters may be used to measure:

a) Amps and volts


b) KW and KWH
c) KWH only
d) KW, KWH, and KVAR

Q2: The induction meter rotates because of the currents set up in the induction disk.
True or false?

Q3: The torque on the induction disk depends on the following factors:

a) Energizing currents in the two electro-magnets


b) Energizing currents in the two electromagnets and the phase relationship between
them
c) Electromagnetic force applied to the two electromagnets
d) Voltages in the two electro-magnets and phase relationship between them

Q4: How are points of service designated in ERCOT?

a) By the Transmission/Distribution provider


b) By the Qualified Scheduling Entity
c) By the Programmatic Interface
d) By the Electric Service Identifier

May, 2016 7 - 46
Section 8
Active & Reactive
Power Flow
Table of Contents

8. Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 1
8.1 Review of Active & Reactive Power.................................................................................................. 1
8.1.1 Active, Reactive, & Complex Power .............................................................................................. 1
8.1.2 Phase Angle, Power Angle, & Torque Angle .................................................................................. 1
Section 8.1 Summary .............................................................................................................................. 9
Section 8.1 Review Questions .............................................................................................................. 11
8.2 Equations For Power Transfer ........................................................................................................ 13
8.2.1 Development of Power Transfer Equations ................................................................................ 13
8.2.2 Use of Active Power Transfer Equation ....................................................................................... 14
8.2.3 Factors that Effect Active Power Flow......................................................................................... 15
8.2.4 Graphical Tool for Active Power Transfer ................................................................................... 16
8.2.5 Use of Reactive Power Transfer Equation ................................................................................... 19
8.2.6 Factors that Effect Reactive Power Flow ..................................................................................... 20
Section 8.2 Summary ............................................................................................................................ 22
Section 8.2 Review Questions .............................................................................................................. 25
8.3 Power Transfer Limits ..................................................................................................................... 27
8.3.1 Thermal Limits ............................................................................................................................. 27
8.3.2 Angle Stability Limits ................................................................................................................... 28
8.3.3 Voltage Limits .............................................................................................................................. 28
8.3.4 Determining Power Transfer Limits............................................................................................. 29
Section 8.3 Summary ............................................................................................................................ 31
Section 8.3 Review Questions .............................................................................................................. 32
Figures and Tables
Figure 8-1 Voltage Phase Angle ............................................................................................................. 2
Figure 8-2 Concept of Phase Angle ( ) .................................................................................................... 3
Figure 8-3 Measurement of the Power Angle ( ) ................................................................................... 4
Figure 8-4 Determining Power Angle from Phase Angles ...................................................................... 5
Figure 8-5 Power System Phase and Power Angles ............................................................................... 6
Figure 8-7 Generator Torque Angle....................................................................................................... 8
Figure 8-8 Transmission Line Model..................................................................................................... 13
Figure 8-9 Power transfer Equations .................................................................................................... 14
Figure 8-10 Use of the Active Power Transfer Equation ...................................................................... 14
Figure 8-10a Use of the Active Power Transfer Equation ................................................................... 15
Figure 8-11 The Power-Angle Curve ..................................................................................................... 17
Figure 8-12 Evaluating Power Transfer Limits ...................................................................................... 30
Learning Objectives
Identify the differences between Active Power and Reactive Power
Identify the concepts and relationships between voltage angle, phase
angle, power angle, and generator torque angle
Identify the difference between leading and lagging phase angle
Identify the effect of power angle on power flows in the system
Utilize the active and reactive power transfer equations to perform
simple calculations
Identify how voltage, power angle, and path impedance interact to affect
real and reactive power transfer
Define angular stability
Identify the major operating characteristics of a power angle stability
curve
Define thermal limits
Identify which electrical quantities contribute to the thermal limits of
equipment
Identify the most limiting element in a transmission circuit
Define voltage limits
Define angular stability limits
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

8. Introduction
An understanding of the concepts of active and reactive power flow is important for effective
and efficient operation of a power system. To maximize your ability to control the flow of active
and reactive power, you need to understand the factors that impact this flow. This section first
reviews and summarizes the theory related to active and reactive power. Simplified equations
are presented for the flow of both active (P) and reactive (Q) power. These simplified
equations are then used to analyze the factors that impact both types of power flow.

8.1 Review of Active & Reactive Power

8.1.1 Active, Reactive, & Complex Power


Active power (MW) performs the actual work. A generating unit must consume a fuel (coal,
water, nuclear, gas, oil, etc.) to produce active power. Active power lights the lights, produces
heat, turns the motors, etc. When active power flows from the generator to the load, the
customers electric meter spins. The customer is eventually billed for this energy consumption.

Reactive power (MVAR) is constantly being exchanged between those devices that produce it
and those devices that store it in their electric and magnetic fields. AC power systems are
dependent upon electric and magnetic fields. Reactive power is the building block for these
required fields. We designate the movement of reactive power between a generator and an
inductive load as positive reactive power flow.

There is no net energy transfer with reactive power flow. Half the time the power is stored in
electric or magnetic fields, the other half of the time the power returns to the source. Over time,
the average reactive power flow is zero. Since the average power flow is zero, there is no
energy usage. A generating unit does not have to consume a fuel to produce reactive power.

The sum of active and reactive power is the complex power. Stated in equation form:
S = P + jQ
MVA = MW + jMVAR
Complex power (S) is equal to the vector sum of the active (P) and reactive (Q) powers. Since
reactive power has a 90 angle (j) with respect to active power, the quantities must be added
as vectors. The power triangle is a graphical method of adding two vectors. The power triangle
is used to sum the active and reactive powers to determine the complex power.

8.1.2 Phase Angle, Power Angle, & Torque Angle


Phase, power and torque angles are three different angular measurements used in describing
the operation of a power system. This section will describe and state the difference between
the three angles and help you recognize when the different angles apply.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Voltage & Current Angles

To fully understand the concept of a phase angle, you should first understand voltage
and current angles. Recall the shape of power system voltage and current waves from
Section 5. The voltage and current waves are sine waves that repeat themselves
every 1/60TH of a second. Each full cycle of the voltage and current sine wave can be
further broken down into 360.
At the beginning of the sine wave cycle, the magnitude is zero since the sine 0 is
equal to zero (0). The maximum value of the sine wave occurs at 90 and is equal to
one (1) while the minimum value occurs at 270 and is equal to minus one (-1). An
alternating voltage behaves like a sine wave as illustrated in Figure 8-1a. Note how
the zero crossings and maximum and minimum values for this voltage wave occur at
exactly the degree values on the sine wave where you would expect them to occur.
(omega) is the angular frequency, and is equal to 2 times the frequency.

Figure 8-1 Voltage Phase Angle

Look closely at Figure 8-1b. Notice that the zero crossings and minimum and maximum
values are shifted from where you would expect them to occur. The sine wave of Figure
8-1b has been shifted 45 to the left. The zero crossings and all other points on the
voltage wave have been shifted by the same number of degrees. We say that the sine
wave of Figure 8-1b has a voltage angle (V) of +45.
The voltage angle represents the amount by which the voltage sine wave has been
shifted left or right with respect to a reference. A positive angle will shift the wave to
the left, thus causing it to lead the reference wave. A negative angle will shift the wave
to the right, thus causing it to lag the reference wave.
The concept of a voltage angle (V) applies when you compare a voltage wave to
another voltage wave. You must have a reference wave to determine if there has been
a shift to the left or the right. Current waves can also have current angles. The current
angle (I) is the angular separation between two current waveforms. As we will see in
the following sections, it is often useful to look at the voltage angle of a bus with
respect to the current angle or with respect to the voltage angle at another bus.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

The equations for the two voltage waves in Figure 8-1 are written below each wave.
The term t represents the time changing nature of the voltage wave. Notice how in
the left (Figure 8-1a) equation the sine value is purely a function of the t term. There
is no voltage angle in this equation. In contrast, the right (Figure 8-1b) voltage wave
equation is for the sine of t + 45. The 45 is the voltage angle and represents a 45
left shift of the voltage wave.
Figure 8-1 illustrated how voltage angles are shown graphically and in equation form.
Throughout this Manual, we will use a shorthand method of stating a current or voltage
magnitude and angle. For example, if the voltage magnitude is 355 KV and the voltage
angle is 45, a shorthand way of showing this is 355 45.
Phase Angle
The phase angle at a point in a power system is the angular separationor difference
in phasebetween the current and the voltage waves. We use the Greek letter theta
() with no subscript to represent the phase angle.
The phase angle is actually the difference between the voltage and current angles. You
determine the phase angle for a point in the power system by subtracting the current
angle from the voltage angle. As you will remember, if current lags voltage -as in an
inductive system- is positive. If current leads voltage - as in a capacitive system -
is negative. The phase angle is defined to be positive when voltage leads current.
These relationships are illustrated in Figure 8-2.

Figure 8-2 Concept of Phase Angle

Recall that the phase angle between current and voltage is the same as the angle
between active (MW) and complex power (MVA). The value of varies from one point
in a power system to another.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Power Angle

The power angle is the voltage angle between two locations in the power system. This
angular value plays a large role in the magnitude of active and reactive power flows
thus the name power angle. The power angle could correctly be called the voltage
angle difference since a difference in two voltage angles is actually what is being
measured. The power angle is represented by the Greek letter delta or .
The power angle is the angular difference between the voltages at two different points
in the power system. If you were to plot the voltage waves from two locations and
measure the difference between the zero crossings, you would be measuring the
power or voltage angle. Figure 8-3 illustrates the measurement of a power angle.
Assume the two voltage waves are oscilloscope traces. Note the difference between
the zero crossings. The voltage wave at bus #1 leads the voltage wave at bus #2 by
the power angle .

Note: The two voltage waves must be compared at exactly the same
time to measure an accurate power angle.

Figure 8-3 Measurement of the Power Angle ( )

A simple rule of thumb states that active power flows downhill on power angle. Active
power normally flows from points where the bus voltage is more leading to points
where the bus voltage is more lagging. The direction in Figure 8-3, the active power
must flow from bus #1 to bus #2.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

When we report a phase angle value, we do so for a point in the power system. For
example, the phase angle at a bus may be 20. When we report a power angle value,
we report the value between two locations. The power angle is the angular difference
between voltages at two points. In Figure 8-3, the power angle is approximately 90. A
of 90 means there is a 90 angle between the voltages at bus #1 and bus #2.

The larger the power angle (up to 90), the larger the active power flow is between the
two points. Sustained operation with a greater than 90 will likely result in an out-of-
step condition.

Approximate Relationship Between Phase & Power Angles

Now that we have defined phase angle and power angle separately, we can describe
their relationship to one another. Consider the simple two-bus system that is given in
Figure 8-4. We will assume that there is no angular difference between the current
waves at the two buses (the two current vectors are in-phase).

Figure 8-4 Determining Power Angle from Phase Angles

The power angle is then equal to the difference between the phase angles at the buses
or:
= S R = 45 - 30 = 15
Similarly, the power angle between any two buses or points on the system is
approximately equal to the difference in phase angle between the two buses. Values of
and are given in Figure 8-5 to illustrate this approximate relationship. Notice how
the phase angles at the generator end of the system are generally leading with respect
to other system phase angles. Active power will flow from the generator to the other
buses in the system.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

The use of the difference in phase angles to determine the power angle is an
approximation. In the high voltage system, current is not in-phase throughout the
system. There are substantial current angles due to the natural capacitive effect of
transmission lines. Accurate high voltage system power angles should be determined
based on the difference in voltage angles.

The System Operator is not normally aware of the phase and power angles in the
system. At least you may not think you are aware of these angles. However, every time
you use a synchroscope or a synch-check relay to synchronize two systems together
you are monitoring the power angle.

Figure 8-5 Power System Phase and Power Angles

A circuit breaker synchroscope is illustrated in Figure 8-6. This system compares the
frequency, voltage phase angles, and voltage magnitudes on both sides of a circuit
breaker.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Figure 8-6 Synchroscopes and Power Angles


If the frequency on either side of the circuit breaker is different, the synchroscope will
rotate. The position of the rotating hand represents the voltage phase angle difference
or the power angle. If the hand is at 12:00, the power angle is 0. If the hand is at
6:00, the power angle is 180. Ideally, the hand has stopped rotating and is at 0 at
the instant the circuit breaker is closed.

When synchroscopes are used in the transmission system, the frequency difference is
usually zero or very small. If the power angle measured is too large, a System
Operator adjusts generation levels in the system to lower the angle and allow a
closure.

Generator Torque Angle

As illustrated in Figure 8-7, a simple synchronous generator is composed of a rotating


member called the rotor and a stationary member called the stator. The rotor is
attached to the turbine. When the working fluid (steam, water, etc.) exerts force on
the turbine blades, it causes the turbine/rotor combination to rotate. The rotor is
actually an electromagnet. To magnetize the rotor, DC field coils are wound about the
rotor and fed DC current from the generators excitation system. A synchronous
generator is designed so that the rotor turns at synchronous speed. This creates a
rotating electromagnetic field.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Figure 8-7 Generator Torque Angle

When a generator is first attached to the power system, the rotating electromagnetic
field of the rotor is synchronized to the rotating electromagnetic field that already exists
in the 3 power system. To synchronize a generator you must adjust the generator
voltage and speed to within a certain range. Once voltage and speed are within this
range, the generator breaker is closed and the two rotating fields combine. We say
that the two rotating fields are in- step with one another when they are synchronized.
The torque angle of a generator is the angular difference between the rotor magnetic
field and the rotating magnetic field around the stator of the generator.
Figure 8-7a represents a generator that is synchronized to the system but has no MW
output. The angular difference between the rotor and stator magnetic fields is 0. Both
fields are rotating in lock step with one another.
Figure 8-7b represents a generator that is synchronized and supplying MW to the
system. Notice that the rotor field leads the stator field by a torque angle of 30. The
magnetic field of the rotor is pulling the magnetic field of the stator along with it. The
generator is injecting a large amount of energy into the power system because of the
magnetic force it is exerting on the system. We see a MW output from the generator as
a result of this torque angle.
The torque angle of a generator has a large impact on the MW delivered by the
generator to the system. We shall learn in the next section thatwithin certain limits
the larger the torque angle the more MW the generator outputs.
The torque angle of a generator is very similar to the power angle measured between
locations in the power system. A generators torque angle can be explained as the
difference in phase between a generators internal or excitation voltage and the units
stator voltage. When this torque angle explanation is used both torque and power
angles are voltage angle differences. These torque and power angles determine the
direction and magnitude of active power flow in the system.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Section 8.1 Summary

8.2.1 Active, Reactive & Complex Power


Active power (MW) performs the actual work. A generating unit must consume
a fuel (coal, water, nuclear, gas, oil, etc.) to produce MW. Active power lights
the lights, produces heat, turns the motors, etc.

Reactive power (MVAR) is constantly being exchanged between those


devices that produce it and those devices that store it in their electric and
magnetic fields. AC power systems are dependent upon electric and
magnetic fields. Reactive power is the building block for these required
fields.

There is no net energy usage (except losses) with reactive power flow. Half
the time the power is stored in electric or magnetic fields, the other half of the
time the power returns to the source. Over time the average reactive power
flow is zero. Since the average power flow is zero, there is no energy usage.

The vector sum of active and reactive power is the complex power. The
active power (MW) plus the reactive power (MVAR) equals the complex
power (MVA).

8.2.2 Phase Angle, Power Angle, & Torque Angle


The voltage angle represents the amount by which the voltage sine wave has
been shifted left or right with respect to a reference wave. A positive angle will
shift the wave to the left, thus causing it to lead the reference wave. A negative
angle will shift the wave to the right, thus causing it to lag the reference wave.
We use the Greek letter theta with a V subscript (V) to indicate a voltage
angle.

The phase angle at a point in a power system is the angular separationor


difference in phasebetween the current and the voltage waves. We use the
Greek letter theta with no subscript () to represent the phase angle.

The phase angle is actually the difference between the voltage and current
angles. You determine the phase angle for a point in the power system by
subtracting the current angle from the voltage angle.

The power angle is the angular difference between the voltages at two
different points in the power system. The power angle is represented by the
Greek letter delta or .

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

A rule of thumb to remember is that active power flows downhill on power


angle. Active power flows from points where the bus voltage is more leading
to points where the bus voltage is more lagging.

The power angle between two buses is approximately equal to the


difference in phase angles between the buses.

The torque angle of a generator is the angular difference between the rotor
magnetic field and the rotating magnetic field around the stator of the
generator.

The torque angle of a generator is very similar to the power angle measured
between two locations in the power system. A generators torque angle can be
explained as the difference in phase between a generators internal or
excitation voltage and the units stator voltage.

May, 2016 8 - 10
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Section 8.1 Review Questions


Q1. Which of the following statements is true about real and reactive power?
a) Reactive power is exchanged between devices that produce it and those that
store it
b) A generating unit consumes fuel to produce reactive power
c) Utilities bill customers for both active and reactive power usage
d) There is energy transfer with reactive power
Q2. What does the following signify: V = 346 kV 32 ?
e) The voltage is 346 kV with a voltage angle of +32
f) The voltage is 346 kV with a phase angle of +32
g) The current lags the voltage by 32
h) The current leads the voltage by 32
Q3. The difference between the voltage angles at two different locations is the:
a) Power angle
b) Voltage angle
c) Phase angle difference
d) Generator torque angle
Q4. Given voltage V = 355 kV 14 and current I = 1000 A 52, what is the phase
angle?
a) -38
b) +66
c) +38
d) -66
Q5. Which of the following generator torque angles will supply MW to the system?
a) Rotor field leads the stator field by 30
b) Stator field leads the rotor field by 30
c) Rotor field leads the stator field by 0
d) Stator field leads the rotor field by 0

May, 2016 8 - 11
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Q6. Given voltage V = 355 kV 14 and current I = 1000 A 52, which of the

following statements is correct?


a) The system is capacitive
b) The current wave lags the voltage wave
c) The system is inductive
d) The phase angle is positive
Q7. Which of the following statements is true?
a) Power angles determine the direction and magnitude of active power
flows in the system
b) Active power flows from points where bus voltage is lagging to points where bus
voltage is leading
c) The power angle between two buses is approximately equal to the difference in
torque angles between them
d) The generator torque angle is the difference between the rotor magnetic field
and the voltage
Q8. Bus A has a voltage of V = 345 kV 0 and current I = 800 A -30. Bus B has
a voltage of V = 352 kV 10 and current I = 800 A -30. What is the power
angle from Bus A to Bus B? Which direction will active power flow?
a) -10, From Bus B to Bus A
b) 10, From Bus B to Bus A
c) -10, From Bus A to Bus B
d) 10, From Bus A to Bus B

May, 2016 8 - 12
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

8.2 Equations for Power Transfer


This section will introduce simplified equations for the flow of active and reactive power.
The equations will then be used as a reference to describe the impacts of various
factors on active and reactive power flow.

8.2.1 Development of Power Transfer Equations


To better understand the factors that influence how active and reactive power flows in
the power system, we will present simplified equations. These equations relate the
power transferred between two buses to important system electrical data. The system
electrical data includes:
Voltages of the two buses
Power angle between the two buses
Series impedance of the transmission line connecting the two buses
Natural capacitance (charging) of the transmission line connecting the two
buses
Figure 8-8 is a simplified model of a high voltage transmission line. The impedances
that affect the flow of power are represented in this model. In addition, the natural
charging of the transmission line is represented with two shunt capacitors (with
impedance XC) connected at either end of the line. This transmission line model
approximates the behavior of a high voltage transmission line.

Figure 8-8 Transmission Line Model

In our model for a transmission line, Z is equal to the series impedance of the
transmission line. Z includes both the series reactance (XL) and the series resistance
(R) of the line. Both the reactance and resistance are measured in ohms. A
transmission lines reactance is typically much greater than its resistance, so we will
ignore the resistance. XC is the capacitive reactance of the line. The capacitive
reactance of the line represents the natural capacitive nature of the transmission line.
Kirchhoffs voltage and current laws were introduced in Section 4 of this manual.
These fundamental electrical laws can be applied to the simplified system of Figure 8-

May, 2016 8 - 13
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

8 to produce two power transfer equations. The two equations are written in Figure 8-
9. The equations define the active (P) and reactive (Q) power transfers out of the
sending bus and into the transmission line. The next two subsections of this text will
interpret and illustrate the use of the active and reactive power transfer equations.

Figure 8-9 Power transfer Equations

8.2.2 Use of Active Power Transfer Equation


The active power transfer equation is restated below.

This equation tells us that the active power (MW) transferred between two buses is
determined by multiplying the sending and receiving end voltages together and dividing
by the series reactance of the path. This quantity is next multiplied by the sine of the
power angle. The quantity [(Vs x VR) /X] is called the maximum power or PMAX.
PMAX is the maximum active power a system is electrically capable of transmitting. How
much of this maximum is actually transmitted depends on the sine term of the
equation. Within limits, the larger the power angle (), the more active power will flow.
Figure 8-10 contains a simple 138 KV two bus power system. The voltage at the
sending end is 138 KV and the receiving end voltage is 142 KV. The series reactance
(X) of the line is 100 . Figure 8-10a contains an illustration of the use of the active
power transfer equation. If you multiply out the numbers, the active power transferred
is 34.03 MW. Note that this MW flow is from the sending bus to the receiving bus.
(From leading to lagging)

Figure 8-10 Use of the Active Power Transfer Equation

May, 2016 8 - 14
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Figure 8-10a Use of the Active Power Transfer Equation

When we applied the active power transfer equation to the simple system of Figure 8-
10, we used the bus voltages at either end of the system. The active power transfer
equation applies as long as the buses used are strong buses. By strong we typically
mean the buses have many connecting lines or are close to large sources of
generation. The buses must be strong to ensure they hold voltage. If the voltage of
the bus falls sharply with increasing active power transfer, the power transfer
equations cannot be used.

8.2.3 Factors that Effect Active Power Flow


By interpreting the active power transfer equation, we can judge the impact of various
actions and system equipment on active power flow.

System Generation & Load

For active power to flow generators must produce MW and loads must absorb MW.
Active power always flows from source to load. Within an interconnected power
system, active power typically has many sources, many loads, and many paths to get
from the source to the load. You can partially control the flow of active power by
controlling where it is generated and where it is used.

Voltage Magnitude

As the voltage magnitude of either the sending or receiving bus is increased, the active
power transfer increases. Assume you have a system with several possible paths from
the source to the load. If you increase the voltage levels along one of the paths, more
power will flow along that path.

Path Impedance

The X in the denominator of the active power transfer equation is the impedance
impact on active power flow. As X is increased, active power flow decreases. As X
is decreased, active power flow increases. If two paths exist between a source and a
load, more power will flow on the lower impedance path. Every System Operator
should understand the statement that power flows the path of least impedance.
Power will split up according to what it detects as the lowest impedance path to the
load.

May, 2016 8 - 15
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Power Angle ()

Typically, the voltage magnitudes and path impedance are relatively fixed. Active
power flow along a path is normally changed by changing the paths power angle.
Power angles are not changed as a result of some conscious effort by a System
Operator. Power angles change as a natural result of actions that change a systems
active power needs. For example, assume there is generation at one end of a
transmission path and load at the other. As the load increases the power angle across
the path must also increase.

System Equipment

System equipment can have a large impact on active power flow. As new transmission
lines are added, system active power flows redistribute to incorporate the new path.
Transmission lines and transformers have natural impedance and therefore impact the
flow of active power. Whenever equipment is taken out-of-service for maintenance or
during switching, always consider the possible impact on system power flows.
8.2.4 Graphical Tool for Active Power Transfer
The active power transfer equation is restated below.

The [(VS x VR) / X] portion is a relatively constant value and is called PMAX. PMAX is
the largest possible MW transfer between two locations. The MW transfer can only
reach PMAX if the power angle is 90 . The amount of PMAX that is actually
transferred between the two points is dependent on the term sine . For example,
assume the power angle is 30. The sine of 30 is 0.5 so half of PMAX will be
transferred between the two points.
Figure 8-11 graphically illustrates the active power transfer equation. The plot is called
a power-angle curve. The power-angle curve is created by multiplying the PMAX value
by the sine term. Since the value of the sine function varies from zero (0) to one (1) to
zero (0) to minus one (-1) to zero (0), the power-angle curve magnitude will vary from
zero (0) to +PMAX to zero (0) to -PMAX to zero (0). The power-angle curve is a tool
for evaluating how active power transfer varies with impedance changes, voltage
magnitude changes, and power angle changes.

May, 2016 8 - 16
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Figure 8-11 The Power-Angle Curve

The power-angle curve graphically illustrates that the maximum continuous active
power transfer between any two strong buses occurs when the power angle between
these same two points is 90. (This also could be determined from the active power
transfer equation as the maximum value of sine occurs when = 90.)

Point A in Figure 8-11 represents a point at which a medium amount of active power
(PA) is being transmitted from the sending bus (VS) to the receiving bus (VR). The
power angle for the active power transfer at point A is A, which is less than 90.
Point B represents a point at which the maximum amount of power (PMAX) is being
transmitted between the two buses. The power angle at point B is 90. Point C is for
a power transfer with a greater than 90. Note that the power transfer at point C is
less than at point B. As the power angle rises above 90, the active power transferred
shrinks.

If the power angle reaches this level (above 90) and attempts to stay there,
synchronism will eventually be lost between the two buses. It is impossible to operate
to the right of point B for an extended period. The power system will pay a stiff
priceloss of synchronism for extended operation in the area of point C.

There is a very important feature to the power-angle curve of Figure 8-11. The
mechanical power input line is the horizontal line through the power-angle curve. This
line represents the amount of mechanical power being input to the generator
connected to the sending end. The mechanical power input line may cross the power-
angle curve at any point. Figure 8-11 shows the mechanical power input line crossing
near the middle of the power-angle curve. As the mechanical power input to the
generator varies, the mechanical power input line position varies.

May, 2016 8 - 17
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

The intersection of the mechanical power input line and the power-angle curve yields
the possible power angle operating points. One of these points is an acceptable
operating point while the other would be unacceptable. For example in Figure 8-11
point A is acceptable while point C is unacceptable. Operation at point C for
longer than a fraction of a second would lead to a loss of synchronism.

Introduction to Angle Stability

Power-angle curves are a powerfulyet simple to usetool for determining the angle
stability of a power system. Angle stability is the study of whether a power system
maintains its magnetic bonds. A system is angle stable if all the generators maintain
strong magnetic bonds with the system and with one another. A system is angle
unstable if the magnetic bonds are lost. Other terms used to indicate angle instability
are loss of synchronism and out- of-step.

When a section of the power system is operated in a state where the power angle
between two points is close to 90, we say it is being operated at PMAX or at its steady
state stability limit. For example, if a major transmission line were operated with a
power angle of 90, it would be at its steady state stability limit. This is not an
acceptable normal point of operation as any system disturbanceeven minorcould
cause the power system to lose synchronism.

When a power system loses synchronism, portions of the interconnected system


operate at slightly different frequencies than the remainder of the power system. A loss
of synchronism means that the magnetic bonds that existed between points within the
interconnected power system are too weak to maintain a constant frequency. The
magnetic bonds fail and the system eventually separates into smaller sections or
islands. Each island would then attempt to maintain its own separate 60 HZ frequency.

Power systems lose synchronism when power transfers rise to such large magnitudes
that power angles reach and try to maintain excessive values. Power systems cannot
operate in an interconnected manner after synchronism is lost. When synchronism is
lost, protective relays will likely operate and system separation will occur. Some
portions of the interconnected system may end up as electrical islands that are unable
to maintain scheduled frequency. System generators and customer motors in these low
or high frequency islands may be damaged if the island is allowed to exist for too long
a period with the abnormal frequency.

The term out-of-step is another way of saying that a section of the power system has
lost synchronism with the remainder of the power system. The magnetic bond between
a generators rotor and the power system it is connected to normally holds generators
in-step. When this bond is broken the generators will no longer be in-step with the
system but will be out-of-step.

May, 2016 8 - 18
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

8.2.5 Use of Reactive Power Transfer Equation


The reactive power transfer equation is more complex than the active power transfer
equation. However, there are a few simplifications we can implement to make the
equation useful to operations personnel. The reactive power transfer equation is:

The last term in the equation (Vs2 / Xc) represents the line charging. (Notice the higher
the line voltage, the greater the line charging.) For now, we will ignore the line
charging. The reactive power transfer equation then simplifies to:

The reactive power transferred between two points is now determined by the voltage
magnitudes at the two points, the impedance, and the cosine of the power angle
between the points.

In normal system conditions, the power angle between two connected buses is small. If
is small (<20), the cosine term will be very close to one (1). If we assume that the
power angle stays small then the reactive power transfer simplifies even further:

The critical part of this equation is the portion in parenthesis of (VS VR). This portion
tells us that reactive power will flow from the higher voltage to the lower voltage point.

Reactive power normally flows from the high to the low voltage bus. Every System
Operator should be aware of this rule of thumb. However, we have also determined
the conditions for which this rule of thumb is true. Recall that we assumed the power
angle was small and so ignored the cosine term. If had been large (>20) we could
not have ignored the cosine term. When power angles exceed approximately 20, the
rule of thumb that reactive power flows from high to low voltage no longer applies.
Reactive power can flow from the low to the high voltage bus if the power angle
between the buses is large.

May, 2016 8 - 19
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Power angles between 345 KV buses in the ERCOT system are normally much less
than 20 so the rule that reactive power flows downhill on voltage normally applies in
ERCOT.

8.2.6 Factors that Effect Reactive Power Flow


By using the reactive power transfer equation, we can judge the impact of various
actions and system equipment on reactive power flow.

Reactive Sources & Reactive Loads

Reactive power flows from sources to loads in the same manner as active power.
However, reactive sources are not just limited to generators. Shunt capacitors,
synchronous condensers and transmission lines are all possible reactive power
sources. Reactive loads include not only the customer load but also shunt reactors
and the transmission system.

Reactive power is closely related to system voltage levels. When voltage levels need to
be increased, the solution is often to increase the reactive supply to the system.
Generators may be asked to produce more reactive power or shunt capacitors may be
placed in-service.

When voltage levels need to be reduced, the solution is often to reduce the reactive
power supply. Generators may be asked to absorb excess reactive power or shunt
reactors may be placed in-service.

Voltage Magnitude

Reactive power flow is strongly tied to voltage magnitudes. When a generator is asked
to increase its reactive power output, the generator adjusts its internal excitation
voltage. The higher voltage inside the generator leads to more MVAR flowing out of
the unit. When shunt capacitors are placed in-service the voltage at the point of the
capacitor insertion increases. Reactive power flows from this high voltage point and
disperses throughout the local power system.

Path Impedance

The X also appears in the denominator of the reactive power transfer equation. As
X is increased in a path, reactive power flow decreases. As X is decreased,
reactive power flow increases. In the same manner as active power flow, reactive
power will tend to flow through the path of least impedance.

May, 2016 8 - 20
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Power Angle ()

Reactive power is also impacted by the power angle. Active power is a function of the
sine of while reactive power is a function of the cosine of . Typical power angles
between transmission buses are less than 20. When the power angles are this small,
the cosine of is close to one (1). The result is that while active power is strongly
impacted by power angles reactive power is typically weakly impacted.

System Equipment

System equipment has a very strong impact on reactive power flow. When voltage
control equipment such as capacitors, reactors or tap changing transformers are used
to adjust voltagethe equipment is actually controlling the flow of reactive power.
Voltage control is reactive power flow control. The two cannot be separated. Section 9
of this text will examine the operation and use of several types of voltage (reactive
power flow) control equipment.

Transmission Line Charging

Note the last term in the reactive power transfer equation. The VS2 / XC term is due to
the natural capacitance of the transmission line. Transmission lines provide reactive
power to the system during light loading. Transmission lines absorb reactive power
from the system during heavy loading periods. The amount of reactive power a
transmission line provides to the system is related to the lines voltage. The greater
the voltage, the more MVAR the line will supply.

May, 2016 8 - 21
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Section 8.2 Summary

8.2.1 Development of Power Transfer Equations


The active and reactive power transfer equations relate the power transferred
between two buses to important system electrical data including:
Voltages of the two buses
Power angle between the two buses
Series impedance of the transmission
path
Natural capacitance of the transmission path

The active and reactive power transfer equations are:

8.2.2 Use of Active Power Transfer Equation


The active power transfer equation tells us that the active power (MW)
transferred between two buses, is determined by multiplying the sending and
receiving end voltages together and dividing by the series reactance of the
path.

The quantity [(VS x VR) / X] is called maximum power or PMAX. PMAX is the
maximum active power a system is electrically capable of transmitting. How
much of this maximum is actually transmitted depends on the sine term of
the equation.

May, 2016 8 - 22
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

8.2.3 Factors that Effect Active Power Flow


System Generation & Load - For active power to flow generators must
produce the MW and the loads must absorb the MW. Active power always
flows from source to load.

Voltage Magnitude - As the voltage magnitude of either the sending or


receiving bus is increased, the active power transfer increases.

Path Impedance - As X is increased, active power flow decreases.


As X is decreased, active power flow increases.

Power Angle () - Active power flow along a path is normally changed by


changing the paths power angle.

System Equipment - System equipment can have a large impact on active


power flow. As new transmission lines are added, system active power flows
redistribute to incorporate the new path.

Whenever equipment is taken out-of-service for maintenance or during


switching, you should always consider the possible impact on system power
flows.

8.2.4 Graphical Tool for Active Power Transfer


The power-angle curve is created by multiplying the PMAX value by the sine term.

The power-angle curve graphically illustrates that the maximum continuous MW


transfer between any two strong buses occurs when the power angle between
these same two points is 90.

Power-angle curves are a powerful tool for determining the angle stability of a
simple power system.

Angle stability is the study of whether a power system maintains its magnetic
bonds. A system is angle stable if all the generators maintain strong magnetic
bonds with the system and with one another. A system is angle unstable if the
magnetic bonds are lost. Other terms used to indicate angle instability are loss
of synchronism and out-of-step.

8.2.5 Use of Reactive Power Transfer Equation


If we ignore the contribution of line charging and assume power angles are
small, the reactive power transfer equation simplifies to:

May, 2016 8 - 23
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

The critical part of this equation is the portion in parenthesis or (V S VR). This
portion tells us that reactive power will flow from the higher voltage to the lower
voltage point.

8.2.6 Factors that Effect Reactive Power Flow


Reactive Sources & Reactive Loads - Reactive power flows from sources to
loads in the same manner as active power.

Reactive power flow is closely related to system voltage levels. When voltage
levels need to be increased, the solution is often to increase the reactive supply
to the system. When voltage levels need to be reduced, the solution is often to
reduce the reactive power supply.

Voltage Magnitude - When a generator is asked to increase its reactive power


output, the generator adjusts its internal excitation voltage. The higher voltage
inside the generator leads to more MVAR flowing out of the unit. When shunt
capacitors are placed in- service, the voltage at the point of the capacitor
insertion increases. Reactive power flows from this high voltage point and
disperses throughout the local power system.

Path Impedance - In the same manner as active power, reactive power will tend
to flow through the path of least impedance.

Power Angle () - Active power is strongly impacted by power angles while


reactive power is typically weakly impacted.

System Equipment - System equipment has a very strong impact on reactive


power flow. When voltage control equipment such as capacitors, reactors, or tap
changing transformers is used to adjust voltage, the equipment is actually
controlling the flow of reactive power.

Transmission Line Charging - Transmission lines provide reactive power to the


system during light loading. Transmission lines absorb reactive power from the
system during heavy loading periods.

May, 2016 8 - 24
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Section 8.2 Review Questions

1. Utilize the active and reactive power transfer equations for the following
questions:

P = VS x VR sin Q = [ VS2 - VS x VR cos ]


X X
Where:
P = Active Power = power angle
Q = Reactive Power X = path impedance
Vs = Voltage at sending bus
Vr = Voltage at receiving bus

Given a sending bus voltage of 136 kV, a receiving bus voltage of 142 kV, a path
impedance of 57 ohms, and a power angle is 8:

What is Pmax?
a) 339 MW
b) 47 MW
c) 193 MW
d) 278 MW

What is the MW transfer?


a) 47 MW
b) 339 MW
c) 193 MW
d) 278 MW

What is the MVAR transfer?


a) -11 MVAR
b) 11 MVAR
c) -14 MVAR
d) 18 MVAR

2. If you wanted to increase the reactive power transfer along a transmission path,
what would you do?
a) Increase the sending end voltage and decrease the power angle
b) Increase the sending end voltage and increase the impedance
c) Decrease the receiving end voltage and increase the power angle
d) Lower both the sending and receiving end voltages and increase the
impedance

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

3. For the active and reactive power transfer equations, which of the following is
correct?
a) As path impedance decreases, active and reactive power flow will
increase
b) The series resistance is typically much greater than the series
reactance and is typically ignored
c) Maximum active power transfer occurs at an power angle of 0
d) Active and reactive power flow from high voltage to low voltage

4. Which of the following statements is true regarding angular stability?


a) Power systems lose synchronism when magnetic bonds between two
points are too weak to maintain a constant frequency
b) Loss of synchronism, out-of-step conditions, and islanding are caused
by thermal instability
c) The magnetic bond between the generators stator and the power
system holds the generator in-step
d) Power systems lose synchronism when power transfers fall to such
low values that power angles reach minimum values

5. Given the power angle curve below, identify the unstable operating points:

a) B and C
b) A and B
c) A and C
d) C only

May, 2016 8 - 26
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

8.3 Power Transfer Limits


To reliably operate a power system, we must recognize that there are power flow or
power transfer limits. The limits are to the generation and transmission of active and
reactive power in the system. The limits are usually divided into three broad
categories: thermal, stability and voltage limits.

8.3.1 Thermal Limits


Thermal limits are due to the heating capability of power system equipment. As power
transfer increases, current magnitude increases. Current magnitudes are the key to
thermal damage. Both forms of power flow, active and reactive, contribute to the current
magnitude. As the current passes through equipment heat is produced. The amount of
heat produced is proportional to the square of the current (I2) and the period for which
the current flows. If the equipment cannot safely dissipate the heat generated, it could
be thermally damaged.

For example, at power plants, sustained operation of units outside their maximum MW
and MVAR capabilities will result in thermal damage. The damage may be to the stator
(armature) windings or to the rotor (field) windings of the unit. In the power system,
transmission lines and associated equipment must also be operated within thermal
limits. Sustained excessive current flow on an overhead line causes the conductors to
sag thus decreasing the ground clearance and reducing safety margins. Extreme
levels of current flow will eventually damage the metallic structure of the conductors.

Unlike overhead lines, underground cables and transformers must depend on


insulation other than air to dissipate the heat generated. These types of equipment are
tightly restricted in the amount of current they can safely carry. For this equipment,
sustained overloading will result in a shortening of service life due to damage to the
insulation.

Most power system equipment can be safely overloaded. The key is: how great is the
overload and how long does it last. Equipment manufacturers and utility experts
determine thermal ratings for equipment. Typically, these ratings may allow a specified
overload for a specified period. The ratings should be followed to avoid equipment
thermal damage.

The Limiting Element

When determining the thermal limit for a particular facility, the thermal limits of each of
the facilitys elements must be evaluated. For example, assume a thermal limit needs to
be determined for a transmission line. The lines conductor has a thermal limit of 1000

May, 2016 8 - 27
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

amps while a current transformer (CT) connected in the line is limited to 800 amps.
The thermal limit for the entire facility must be reduced to the most limiting element.
The CT would therefore limit the facility current to 800 amps.

8.3.2 Angle Stability Limits


A second category of power transfer limits is angle stability limits. Angle stability limits
are limits imposed to ensure that system torque and power angles remain controllable.
When a system is angle stable, power and torque angles are small between connected
buses.

These angles will naturally change as system conditions change. The important point is
that the angles will never grow so large or change so fast that System Operators lose
their ability to control power flows.

When a system is angle unstable, power and torque angles are no longer controllable.
The angles may reach high magnitudes and rapidly vary over a wide range. System
Operators lose their ability to control power transfer. A system may enter a period of
angle instability following a large system disturbance. A System Operator may be
helpless as the system can enter an unstable condition very rapidly (fraction of a
second) following a major disturbance.

Section 7.2 of this chapter introduced the active power transfer equation. Theoretically,
the maximum amount of active power transferred between two strong buses occurs at
a power angle of 90. Unfortunately, there is a substantial difference between theory
and reality. In the actual power system, power angles can never approach 90 between
connected buses. The system would collapse before these high angles are reached.

Utilities study their systems to determine safe power transfer limits. Stability limits are
determined using complex computer software. The entire power system is modeled to
ensure that allowable power transfer limits do not expose the system to an
unreasonable chance of angle instability. The ERCOT system has been studied to
determine angle stability limits. In general, it would take several major facility outages
before the ERCOT system approaches angle instability.

8.3.3 Voltage Limits


A third category of power transfer limits is voltage limits. Both utility and customer
equipment are designed to operate at a certain rated or nominal supply voltage. A
large, prolonged deviation (high or low) from this nominal voltage can adversely affect
the performance ofas well as cause serious damage tosystem equipment.

May, 2016 8 - 28
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Assume a large amount of power is transferred over a long distance to a load area. The
current flowing through the impedance of the lines, transformers and other transmission
equipment may produce an unacceptably large voltage drop at the receiving end of the
system. This voltage drop is influenced primarily by the flow of reactive power through
the system. If the MVAR produced by generators and other circuit elements are not
sufficient to supply the systems need for MVAR, voltages will fall.

Reactive Power Reserves

Systems often require reactive support (capacitor banks, etc.) to help prevent low
voltage problems. The amount of available reactive support often determines power
transfer limits. A system may be restricted to a lower level of active power transfer than
desired because the system does not possess enough spare reactive power. This
spare reactive power, or reactive reserve, is required to support system voltage if a
system disturbance should occur.

System planning engineers classify reactive power reserves into two categories; static
and dynamic. Static reactive reserves are not rapidly available to support system
voltage. For example, a shunt capacitor that must be manually switched is classified as
static reactive reserve. Dynamic reactive reserves are rapidly available to support
system voltage. Generators are the major source of dynamic reactive reserves.
Maintaining adequate dynamic reactive reserves are critical to ensure sufficient, rapid,
response to sudden system disturbances.

8.3.4 Determining Power Transfer Limits


We have described three broad categories of power transfer limits. Our conclusion is
that power transfer may be restricted due to any of these limits or to combinations of
these limits. Figure 8-12 illustrates this point. The figure contains a simple power
system. Utility experts have studied the system and determined the following power
transfer limits:

A power transfer limit of 1000 MVA due to expected low voltage at the
receiving bus (voltage limit).

A power transfer limit of 2000 MW due to an expected loss of angle


stability if the transfer exceeds 2000 MW (angle stability limit).

A power transfer limit of 1500 MVA due to thermal limits at the


receiving end transformer (thermal limit).

As the System Operator, you should conclude that the power transfer limit that must be
used is 1000 MVA. Any of the other limits would result in low voltage problems at the
receiving end. Installing shunt capacitors at the receiving bus may allow you to raise the

May, 2016 8 - 29
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

power transfer limit to 1500 MVA.

Note: It does not matter which way the reactive power is flowing, it still
contributes to the current magnitude.

Figure 8-12 Evaluating Power Transfer Limits

May, 2016 8 - 30
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Section 8.3 Summary

8.3.1 Thermal Limits


Thermal limits are due to the thermal (heating) capability of system equipment.
Current magnitudes are the key to thermal damage.
Both forms of power, active and reactive, contribute to the current magnitude.
The amount of heat produced is proportional to the square of the current (I2)
and the period for which the current flows.
Most power system equipment can be safely overloaded. The key is: how
great is the overload and how long does it last.
When determining the thermal limit for a particular facility, the thermal limits of
each of the facilitys individual components must be evaluated.
8.3.2 Angle Stability Limits
Angle stability limits are limits imposed to ensure that system torque
and power angles remain controllable.
The ERCOT system has been studied to determine angle stability limits. In
general, it would take several major facility outages before the ERCOT system
approaches angle instability.
8.3.3 Voltage Limits
Both utility and customer equipment are designed to operate at a certain rated
or nominal supply voltage.
If the MVAR produced by generators and other circuit elements are not
sufficient to supply the systems need for MVAR, voltages will fall.
Static reactive reserves are not rapidly available to support system
voltage. Dynamic reactive reserves are rapidly available to support
system voltage.
8.3.4 Determining Power Transfer Limits
Power transfer may be restricted due to voltage, thermal or stability limits
or to a combination of these limits.

May, 2016 8 - 31
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

Section 8.3 Review Questions

1. Thermal limits are due to:


a) The current carrying capability of system equipment
b) The need to keep system power angles controllable
c) The need to maintain sufficient static and dynamic reactive power
support
d) The need to maintain adequate power transfer capability

2. Which of the following contributes to the thermal limits of power system


equipment?
a) The ability of the equipment insulation to dissipate heat
b) The ability to keep power angles within acceptable margins
c) The nominal supply voltage to the equipment
d) The ambient air temperature

3. A transmission circuit has the following characteristics:


Line voltage is 142 kV
Circuit breaker has a rating of 1200 amps
Circuit breaker disconnect switches have a rating of 1200 amps
Conductor has a rating of 900 amps
Current transformers in the conductor have a rating of 1200 amps
Protective relays are set to trip the line at 1000 amps

Where MVA = 3 x V - x I / 1000

4. What is the thermal capability of the transmission line?


a) 221 MVA
b) 295 MVA
c) 369 MVA
d) 246 MVA

5. Voltage limits are due to:


a) The need to maintain sufficient static and dynamic reactive power
support
b) The need to maintain power flows within the current carrying capability of
equipment
c) The need to keep system power and torques angles within acceptable
margins
d) The need to maintain adequate power transfer capability

May, 2016 8 - 32
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 8: Active and Reactive Power Flow

6. Angle stability limits are due to:


a) The need to keep torque and power angles within acceptable margins
b) The need to maintain power flows with the current carrying capability of
equipment
c) The need to maintain sufficient static and dynamic reactive power
support
d) The need to maintain adequate power transfer capability

7. Given the system diagram below:

A
C
B

The transmission line thermal limit is 800 MVA. The voltage limit at the receiving end is
700 MVA. The angular stability limit between the sending and receiving bus is 1000
MVA.
Opening the bypass for the series capacitor (A) will increase the real
power transfer capability, increase the voltage limit to 800 MVA, but
reduce the angular stability limit to 950 MVA.
Energizing the capacitor bank at the receiving bus (B) will increase the
voltage limit to 900 MVA.
Increasing the voltage at the sending bus (C) will increase the reactive
power transfer capability

The Operator choses to energize the capacitor bank at bus B and also open the series
capacitor bypass at bus A. After taking these actions, what is the maximum power
transfer limit for the transmission line?

a) 1000 MVA
b) 950 MVA
c) 800 MVA
d) 700 MVA

May, 2016 8 - 33
Section 9
Voltage Control
Table of Contents
9. Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 1
9.1 Active, Reactive and Complex Power .............................................................................. 1
9.1.1 Components of Complex Power .................................................................................... 1
9.1.2 Reactive Power & Voltage Levels ................................................................................. 3
9.1.3 Flow of Reactive Power ................................................................................................. 4
Section 9.1 Summary ............................................................................................................. 6
Section 9.1 Review Questions ............................................................................................... 7
9.2 Causes of Low Voltage .................................................................................................... 8
9.2.1 Reactive Power and Low Voltages ................................................................................ 8
9.2.2 Heavy Power Transfers ................................................................................................. 8
9.2.3 Transmission Line Outages ......................................................................................... 12
9.2.4 Reactive Equipment Outages ...................................................................................... 14
9.2.5 Failure to Get Ahead of the Voltage ............................................................................ 14
Section 9.2 Summary ........................................................................................................... 16
Section 9.2 Review Questions ............................................................................................. 17
9.3 Causes of High Voltage.................................................................................................. 19
9.3.1 Reactive Power and High Voltages ............................................................................. 19
9.3.2 Reactive Equipment Outages ...................................................................................... 19
9.3.3 Light Power Transfers ................................................................................................. 19
9.3.4 Ferranti Rise................................................................................................................ 19
Section 9.3 Summary ........................................................................................................... 25
Section 9.3 Review Questions ............................................................................................. 26
9.4 Effects of Low Voltages .................................................................................................. 27
9.4.1 Effect of Low Voltage on System Equipment .............................................................. 27
9.4.2 Effect of Low Voltage on Load Magnitude ................................................................... 27
9.4.3 Effect of Low Voltage on Angle Stability ...................................................................... 28
9.4.4 Effect of Low Voltage on Customer Equipment ........................................................... 29
9.4.5 Effect of Low Voltage on Power Losses ...................................................................... 29
Section 9.4 Summary ........................................................................................................... 31
Section 9.4 Review Questions ............................................................................................. 32
9.5 Effects of High Voltages ................................................................................................. 33
9.5.1 General Effects of High Voltages ................................................................................ 33
9.5.2 Effect of High Voltage on Power Transformers ........................................................... 34
9.5.3 Effect of High Voltage on Load Magnitude .................................................................. 35
9.5.4 Effect of High Voltage on Angle Stability ..................................................................... 36
9.5.5 Effect of High Voltage On Customer Equipment ......................................................... 36
9.5.6 Effect of High Voltage on Power Losses ..................................................................... 37
Section 9.5 Summary ........................................................................................................... 39
Section 9.5 Review Questions ............................................................................................. 40
9.6 Purpose and Operation of Voltage Control Equipment .................................................. 41
9.6.1 Use of Capacitors and Reactors ................................................................................. 41
9.6.2 Tap Changing Transformers ....................................................................................... 44
9.6.3 Use of Generators ....................................................................................................... 49
9.6.4 Congestion Management for Voltage Control ............................................................. 55
9.6.5 Line Switching for Voltage Control .............................................................................. 56
Section 9.6 Summary ........................................................................................................... 57
Section 9.6 Review Questions ............................................................................................. 59
Figures and Tables
Figure 9-1 Active, Reactive and Complex Power ................................................................... 1
Figure 9-3 Use of a Capacitor ................................................................................................ 4
Figure 9-4 Reactive Power Flow ............................................................................................ 5
Figure 9-5 Radial Power System............................................................................................ 8
Figure 9-6 Power Losses ....................................................................................................... 9
Figure 9-7 MW Transferred Versus MVAR Required ........................................................... 11
Figure 9-8 Meaning of Surge Impedance Loading ............................................................... 11
Figure 9-9 Reactive Power & Line Outages - Normal System.............................................. 13
Figure 9-10 Reactive Power & Line Outages - Line Outage................................................. 13
Figure 9-11 138 KV Shunt Capacitor Bank Output............................................................... 15
Figure 9-12 Charging Current Flowing into an Open-Ended Line ........................................ 20
Figure 9-13 Voltage Profile Due to Ferranti Effect................................................................ 21
Figure 9-14 Calculating the Ferranti Effect Voltage Rise...................................................... 22
Figure 9-15 Ferranti Voltage Rise for Different Length Lines ............................................... 22
Figure 9-16 STP Bus One-Line ............................................................................................ 23
Figure 9-17 Ferranti Rise of STP Lines ................................................................................ 24
Figure 9-18 Effect of Voltage on Load Magnitude ................................................................ 28
Figure 9-19 Transformer Saturation Curve........................................................................... 34
Figure 9-20 Transformer Over-Excitation ............................................................................. 35
Figure 9-21 Computer Equipment Voltage Limits................................................................. 37
Figure 9-22 Shunt and Series Capacitors ............................................................................ 42
Figure 9-23 Shunt and Series Reactors ............................................................................... 43
Figure 9-24 Illustration of a Tap Change .............................................................................. 44
Figure 9-25 Load Tap Changing Mechanism ....................................................................... 45
Figure 9-26 Tap Change and Reactive Power ..................................................................... 47
Figure 9-27 Circulating Reactive Power ............................................................................... 48
Figure 9-28a Block Diagram of High-side Voltage Control ................................................... 50
Figure 9-28b Block Diagram Of Transformer Drop Compensation....................................... 51
Figure 9-29 Reactive Capability Curve ................................................................................. 52
Figure 9-30 Actual Thermal Unit Reactive Capability Curve ................................................ 53
Figure 9-31 Reactive Production Limitations ........................................................................ 55
Learning Objectives

Explain the terms Active, Reactive and Complex Power.


Identify the causes of Low Voltage in transmission equipment.
Identify the causes of High Voltage in transmission equipment.
Explain the effects of Low Voltages on transmission equipment.
Explain the effects of High Voltages on transmission equipment.
Identify Voltage Control Equipment.
Describe the purpose and operation of Voltage Control Equipment.
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 9: Voltage Control

9. Introduction
This section describes the causes and effects of high and low voltage, and explains
the methods used to control voltage deviations. The theory and operation of the
equipment used to control voltage levels is also described.

9.1 Active, Reactive and Complex Power

9.1.1 Components of Complex Power

There are two types of power produced by the system generators, active (MW) and
reactive (MVAR). The active power is what does the work in the system. Active power
lights the lights, produces heat in the heaters, and turns the motors. Reactive power
enables the active power to do its work. AC power systems cannot function without
adequate amounts of both types of power.
Figure 9-1 is used to graphically illustrate the concepts of active and reactive power.
The top portion of the figure is a plot of the voltage and current for a typical 1 system
(for simplicity). Notice that the voltage and current waves are not in-phase with one
another. The voltage wave crosses the zero axis before the current wave. We say that
the current wave lags the voltage wave by the phase angle (Greek letter theta).

Figure 9-1 Active, Reactive and Complex Power

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The total or complex power being delivered by this 1 system is the product of the
voltage and current. In equation form this is stated as:
1 = COMPLEX POWER = I* x V

Complex power has units of MVA and is composed of a mixture of MW and MVAR.

Note: The asterisk next to the current symbol (I*) is an engineering symbol called a
conjugate. The purpose of the conjugate symbol is to remind the equation user that
lagging reactive power is positive reactive power.

The middle portion of Figure 9-1 is the complex power, or MVA, being delivered by this
system. Multiplying each point of the voltage wave by the corresponding point in time
on the current wave formed this complex power wave. Notice how the complex power
wave oscillates up and down and is at times negative. The negative portion of the
wave represents the reactive component of the complex power. As discussed in the
following paragraphs this reactive power exists as the energy that is stored and
released in the magnetic fields. The magnetic fields shift direction as applied voltage
and current are passed through the system. This shift in direction creates the magnetic
fields, but is not useable for work in the system. Still, with the resistive losses in the
system this cycling creates heat in transmission system lines and equipment, limiting
the amount of active power that can be transferred.
The bottom portion of Figure 9-1 breaks down the complex power wave into two
separate waves. One wave is always positive and has an average value of P. This is
the active power or MW portion of the power. The other wave oscillates equally
between positive and negative. Over each cycle the average value of this power wave
is zero. This wave represents reactive power and has maximum and minimum values
of Q. The vector summation of active (P) and reactive power (Q) is done using the
power triangle as illustrated in the bottom right of Figure 9-1.
Figure 9-2 further illustrates the concepts of active and reactive power. Three types of
systems are represented in the figure: pure resistive, pure inductive, and pure
capacitive. In the resistive system, voltage and current are in-phase with one another.
The complex power is found by multiplying the voltage and current waves together.
Notice that the complex power is always positive. This means that there is no reactive
power in a purely resistive system. All the complex power is active power, or MW.
In the pure inductive system of Figure 9-2, the current wave lags the voltage wave by
cycle or 90. The complex power wave oscillates equally between negative and
positiveit has an average value of zero. In a pure inductive system there is no active
power; all of the complex power is reactive, or MVAR.
The last system illustrated in Figure 9-2 is a pure capacitive system. Notice that the
current leads the voltage by 90. The complex power again oscillates equally between
positive and negative and has an average value of zero. In a pure capacitive system,
there is no active power; all the power is reactive.

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Figure 9-2 Reactive Power Storage

9.1.2 Reactive Power & Voltage Levels

We have stated that over time reactive power has an average value of zero. A good way to
visualize reactive power is to think of it as oscillating back and forth between the systems
generators and loads. Most of the load in the power system is an inductive type load. Inductive
loads alternately store reactive power in their magnetic fields and then return it back to the
system. Inductive loads are constantly repeating this store/return cycle.
Capacitive loads also follow a storage/return cycle. Capacitive loads store reactive power in
their electric fields. If you compare the inductive and capacitive portions of Figure 9-2, you will
notice that the storage and return cycles of inductive and capacitive loads are opposite one
another. When an inductive load needs to absorb reactive power from the system, a capacitive
load is ready to return reactive power to the system.

Note: Generators are the only true sources of reactive power. Capacitors act like MVAR
sources due to the out-of-phase relationship between the capacitive and inductive energy
storage cycles.

We take advantage of the difference in capacitive and inductive load reactive power storage
cycles to help with system voltage control. As stated earlier, most of the load on the system is
inductive load. When an inductive load exchanges reactive power with the system, the
exchange is between the load and the system generators. This means that current is flowing
between the loads and the generator. This current causes a voltage drop as it flows through
the system. One way to reduce this voltage drop is to reduce the amount of reactive power
flowing through the system.

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A simple way to reduce the amount of reactive power flowing is to add capacitors near the
inductive load. The capacitor will assist the generator by offsetting inductive reactance thus
decreasing MVAR demand with the net result being increased voltage. When the inductive
load needs to store reactive power, the capacitor is ready to give its reactive power back to the
system. The reactive power does not have to come from the generators so less voltage drop
occurs across the power system.
Figure 9-3 illustrates the use of a capacitor to supply the reactive needs of an inductive load.
As far as the power system is concerned, the capacitor acts like a source of reactive power for
the inductive load. The generators reactive power obligation is reduced when the capacitor is
switched in-service. Less reactive power flow from the generator means less system current
flow and less voltage drop.
Note: Notice how the reactive power flow from the generator is reduced once the capacitor is
switched in-service.

Figure 9-3 Use of a Capacitor

9.1.3 Flow of Reactive Power

We have described how reactive power actually oscillates back and forth between the
generators and loads. However, it is common practice to think of reactive power as flowing in a

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certain direction. When a generator is exchanging reactive power with an inductive load, we
say that reactive power is flowing from the generator to the load. When a generator is
exchanging reactive power with a capacitive load, we say that reactive power is flowing from
the load to the generator.
If these conventions for the flow of reactive power are used, we can further say that reactive
power will normally flow from the high voltage to the low voltage point. The greater the voltage
magnitude differential, the more MVARs will flow. For example, to get more reactive power to
flow from a generator, we simply raise the generators voltage level.
Figure 9-4 summarizes our conventions for the flow of reactive power. In the top of the figure,
reactive power is flowing from the generator to an inductive load. In the bottom portion of the
figure, the generator is absorbing reactive power from a capacitive load.

Figure
9-4

Reactive Power Flow

When a generator is supplying reactive power to the system to raise voltage, the generator
may be called lagging, boosting, overexcited, or pushing.
When a generator is absorbing reactive power from the system to lower voltage, the generator
may be called leading, bucking, under-excited, or pulling.

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Section 9.1 Summary

9.1.1 Components of Complex Power


There are two types of power produced by the system generators, active (MW)
and reactive (MVAR). AC power systems cannot function without adequate
amounts of both types of power.
Complex power has units of MVA and is composed of a mixture of MW and
MVAR.
There is no reactive power in a purely resistive system. All the complex power is
active.
In a pure inductive system, there is no active power; all of the complex power is
reactive.
In a pure capacitive system, there is no active power; all the power is reactive.
9.1.2 Reactive Power & Voltage Levels
A good way to visualize reactive power is to think of it as oscillating back and
forth between the systems generators and loads.
When an inductive load needs to absorb reactive power from the system, a
capacitive load is ready to return reactive power to the system.
A simple way to reduce the amount of reactive power flowing through a power
system is to add capacitors near the inductive load.
9.1.3 Flow of Reactive Power
When a generator is exchanging reactive power with an inductive load, we say
that reactive power is flowing from the generator to the load.
When a generator is exchanging reactive power with a capacitive load, we say
that reactive power is flowing from the load to the generator.
When a generator is supplying reactive power to the system to raise voltage,
the generator may be called lagging, boosting, overexcited, or pushing.
When a generator is absorbing reactive power from the system to lower voltage,
the generator may be called leading, bucking, under-excited, or pulling.

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Section 9.1 Review Questions

Q1: What angle measurement appears between the MW and MVA in the power
triangle?

a) Phase angle ()
b) Frequency bias ()
c) Power angle ()
d) Angular frequency ()

Q2: If the MVAR flow on a line is 100 MVAR, the average value of the lines reactive
power flow is 100 MVAR.
True or false?

Q3: When a generator is supplying reactive power to the system, the generators
mode of operation can be referred to as?

a) Boosting
b) Lagging
c) Overexcited
d) All of the above

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9.2 Causes of Low Voltage

9.2.1 Reactive Power and Low Voltages

Voltage levels are directly tied to the availability of reactive power. If adequate reactive
power resources exist in the areas where it is needed, system voltages can be
controlled. If there is a deficiency of reactive power, voltage levels will drop and if there
is an excess of reactive power, voltage levels will rise. Since voltage levels on the
power system are highly dependent on MVAR flow, it follows that any event that
changes the supply, demand and/or flow of this reactive power will have a major effect
on system voltages. This section will describe several common causes of low voltage.
The root cause of low voltages is a deficiency of reactive power. This reactive
deficiency can develop in many ways. No system is immune from low voltages. Under
normal conditions, a power system may be able to progress through one days heavy
load periods with no low voltage problems. This same system could experience low
voltages if it had a major element out-of-service during the days peak load hours.
Some causes of low voltage include:
Heavy Power Transfers
Transmission Line Outages
Reactive Equipment Outages
Failure to Get Ahead of the Voltage
Lack of Local Generation

9.2.2 Heavy Power Transfers

Throughout this section of the text, we will often use a simple radial power system to
illustrate voltage control concepts. A radial power system is illustrated in Figure 9-5. A
radial power system has generation at one end of the system, load at the other and a
transmission path connecting the two. Also, note in Figure 9-5, the inductive reactance
and resistance of the transmission line. (This section will ignorefor nowthe natural
capacitance of the transmission line.)

Figure 9-5 Radial Power System

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Reactive Losses
As power (both MW and MVAR) flows through the radial system of Figure 9-5, voltage
drops will occur. The strength of the system voltages is directly related to the
availability of reactive power. The greater the amounts of spare reactive poweror
reactive reserves, the stronger the system voltages. One way to increase reactive
reserves is to minimize the reactive use of the system or to reduce the reactive losses
of the system.

Note: Reactive power is never lost. We use the term reactive losses to refer to
reactive power that is in use by a system element.

The formulas given in Figure 9-6 for active and reactive power losses can be derived
(using Ohms Law) from the simple radial power system illustrated in Figure 9-5. These
two formulas are used to calculate the active and reactive power losses as power
flows through the transmission system.
There are two forms of each loss equation listed in Figure 9-6. One form is in terms of
the complex power components and the voltage P 2+Q2/V2and the other in terms of
the current I 2 . The two forms are equal; they are simply different ways of stating the
same concept.

Figure 9-6 Power Losses

Based on these loss formulas, we can see that to minimize losses we should minimize
current and maximize voltage:
The lower the current, the lower the losses
The greater the voltage, the lower the losses
An additional method of reducing the losses is to minimize the impedance of the line.
Note from Figure 9-6 that active power (MW) losses are dependent on the resistance
of the line while reactive power (MVAR) losses are dependent on the lines inductive
reactance. In high voltage transmission systems, the inductive reactance of the line is
much greater than the resistance of the line. A 100-mile long 345 KV line may have a
resistance of 6 and an inductive reactance of 60.
The fact that the inductive reactance of a line is much greater than its resistance
strongly impacts voltage control. It is very difficult to transmit reactive power long
distances. When attempts are made to transmit MVAR long distances, the reactive

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losses are so large that system voltages fall as reactive power reserves are used up.
MW Transferred Versus MVAR Required Plot
Reactive power losses are directly related to system voltage levels. The more power
that is transferred through the system, the greater the reactive power losses and
voltage drops will be. If system loads are highor if power transfers are highpower
system voltages will decline, unless additional reactive power support can be found.
If the active power transfer on the system is extremely high, even a small increase in
active power transfer could lead to rapid voltage reduction. Figure 9-7 illustrates this
concept. As active power transfer increases, it takes more and more reactive power to
maintain voltages. As shown in the figure, increasing the active power transfer from
600 to 800 MW increases the reactive power requirement from 75 to 220 MVAR.

Incremental Increase in Reactive Losses


From the shape of the curve in Figure 9-7 you can observe that reactive losses do not
increase uniformly as active power transfer increases. For each additional increment of
active power transfer, it takes a larger and larger increment of reactive power injection
to maintain system voltage. In other words, the incremental reactive losses are
increasing at an accelerated rate.
Since reactive power losses are a function of the square of the current, a good rule of
thumb is to assume that if you double the active power transfer, you will quadruple
(2x2) the reactive power losses. However, this rule of thumb may substantially
underestimate the reactive power needs of the system. A more conservative rule of
thumb is to assume that in a heavily loaded power system, any increase in active
power transfer must be accompanied by the cube of that increase in reactive power
injection. For example, if active power transfer is doubled, reactive power usage will
increase by a factor of eight (2x2x2).

Note: The amount of increase in the reactive losses is dependent on the line loading.
In practice, the increase will lie between the square rule and the cube rule.

Significance of Surge Impedance Loading


In Figure 9-7, note the point where the active power transfer on the line requires zero
(0) MVAR to support voltage. This point is called the surge impedance loading or SIL
of the transmission line. The SIL is the point at which the MVAR from the natural
capacitance of the line exactly cancels the MVAR the line needs to support its voltage.
It is where the transmission line changes from a MVAR source to a MVAR load. Every
transmission line has a SIL.
When a transmission line is loaded below its SIL, the line is equivalent to a capacitor.
The line provides MVAR to the power system. When a transmission line is loaded
above its SIL, the line is equivalent to a reactor. The line absorbs reactive power from
the system.

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Note: Lightly loaded lines are capacitive while heavily loaded lines are inductive.

Figure 9-7 MW Transferred Versus MVAR Required


Much can be inferred about voltage levels across a transmission line if the SIL of the
line is known. When a line is loaded below its SIL, the high voltage point is toward the
middle of the line. When a line is loaded at its SIL, the line voltage is flat. When a line
is loaded above its SIL, the low voltage point is in the middle of the line. Figure 9-8
illustrates these points. The horizontal dashed lines in Figure 9-8 represent voltage
levels across a simple transmission system when the line is below, at, and above its
SIL.

Figure 9-8 Meaning of Surge Impedance Loading

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Active Power Flows


Active power flows contribute to voltage drops. Power flow will always seek the path of
least impedance. Company X may own a transmission path and have no schedules
across the path. However, other companies may be scheduling power in such a
manner that the flow heavily loads Company X lines. These active power flows will
lead to reactive losses and voltage drops.
A Transmission Service Providers internal operations may cause adverse power flows
on another Transmission Service Providers transmission lines. Transmission
Operators working on behalf of their own transmission lines, or those of the
Transmission Service Providers they represent, must be ever cognizant of flows in
relation to limitations of equipment within their operational jurisdiction. ERCOT
monitors and adjusts power flows throughout the region. Pre-emptive analysis and
corrective measures are applied to avoid excessive power flows along any given path,
considering the location of generation and load with respect to available lines. Real
time adjustments are made to alleviate any emerging power flow issues. TOs should
act using established criteria or as directed by ERCOT, the Control Area Authority, to
adjust voltages within established control bands and/or respond for the protection of
personnel and equipment.

9.2.3 Transmission Line Outages

The effect of a line trip is similar to that of a generator trip in the sense that adjacent
circuits will immediately experience a significant increase in MW flow. The increase in
flow occurs because the MWs previously carried by the tripped line must now
redistribute onto adjacent lines leading to subsequent lower voltages. This is due to
increased active and reactive power losses. The increase in reactive power losses will
be more obvious than the increase in active power losses.
Figures 9-9 and 9-10 illustrate how the loss of a major transmission line can lead to a
large increase in reactive power losses and voltage drops. Figure 9-9 is a sample
power system with two 345 KV lines. To maintain voltages in this system the generator
is producing 148 MVAR. The system is also absorbing 312 MVAR from a strong
neighboring bus (labeled the infinite system).

Note: An infinite power system is a very large power system.

The box in the lower left of Figure 9-9 lists loss data and reactive production data. The
MW losses are 28, the MVAR losses 465. Note the total MVAR generation is 460 while
the natural charging of the 345 KV transmission lines contributes 355 MVAR.

In Figure 9-10, one of the 345 KV lines has tripped. The power flows must readjust
following the line trip. The remaining line is heavily loaded and active and reactive
power losses increase.

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Figure 9-9 Reactive Power & Line Outages - Normal System

Figure 9-10 Reactive Power & Line Outages - Line Outage


The box in the lower left of Figure 9-10 again lists loss and reactive production data.
The MW losses have increased to 85, the MVAR losses to 1309. Note the total MVAR
generation is now 1484 while the line charging has been reduced to 175 MVAR. The
net increase in reactive power to this system was 1024 MVAR.

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Voltages in this system did not decline significantly due to the availability of 1024
MVAR of additional reactive power. If this additional reactive power had not been
available, the sample power system would have collapsed due to this outage.
Remember, any increase in loading, even if modest, may result in a large increase in
MVAR demand and a consequent drop in local voltage levels.

Note: An indication of just how heavily loaded the remaining line is can be found in the
lines power angle. Note the angle spread across the transmission path has increased
from 26 in Figure 9-9 to 68 in Figure 9-10.

9.2.4 Reactive Equipment Outages

Generators are the primary means of controlling power system voltages. A generator
trip results in loss of the most important method of controlling voltage. The generator
tripping has two effects. The first is MVARs previously supplied from the tripped unit
must be made up from other sources. If these sources are located at some distance
from the source loss, the result could be a large voltage drop. Not only is the
generators reactive power supply lost, but the forced rearrangement of the systems
generation may lead to further voltage drops as power flow increases over parallel
high impedance lines. Loss of reactive power equipment other than generators (such
as capacitor banks) also reduces the ability of a system to control voltage.

9.2.5 Failure to Get Ahead of the Voltage

In addition to the complete loss of a capacitor bank, the capability of capacitor banks is
reduced as voltages drop. The reactive output of a shunt capacitor bank will vary with
the square of the system voltage. If system voltage drops to 90% of nominal, a shunt
capacitor bank is good for only 81% (.9 x .9) of rated output. Figure 9-11 illustrates the
relationship between a 138 KV, 50 MVAR shunt capacitor banks output and system
voltage levels.
Note: The term shunt refers to the method of connecting the capacitor to the system.
Capacitor banks installed for voltage control purposes are connected in shunt. This
concept will be described in greater detail in Section 9.6.1.

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Figure 9-11 138 KV Shunt Capacitor Bank Output

Capacitor banks should be switched in-service before system voltage drops to very
low values. System Operators must anticipate low voltage periods and insert
capacitors prior to the low voltage periods. In other words, System Operators must get
ahead of the low voltage. Getting ahead of the voltage improves the systems voltage
profile and increases the reactive reserves held in generators.
This does not mean that capacitors should be placed in-service and allow voltages
to rise to unacceptably high values. A compromise must be taken between the need to
get capacitors in-service before voltages drop too low but still avoid high voltages.
Experience is usually the best teacher for when to switch in capacitors. Individual
Transmission Operator entities also have operating procedures to provide guidance to
their System Operators.

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Section 9.2 Summary

9.2.1 Reactive Power and Low Voltages


If there is a deficiency of reactive power, voltage levels will drop.
9.2.2 Heavy Power Transfers
The lower the current, the lower the losses. The greater the voltage, the lower
the losses.
In high voltage transmission systems, the inductive reactance of a line is typically
much greater than the resistance of the line.
It is very difficult to transmit reactive power long distances. When attempts are
made, the reactive losses are often so large that system voltages fall as reactive
power reserves are used up.
As active power transfer is increased, the incremental reactive losses increase at
an accelerating rate.
A conservative rule of thumb is to assume that in a heavily loaded power system,
any increase in active power transfer must be accompanied by the cube of that
increase in reactive power injection.
The SIL is the point at which the MVAR from the natural capacitance of a line
exactly cancels the MVAR the line needs to support its voltage.
When a transmission line is loaded below its SIL, the line is equivalent to a
capacitor. When a transmission line is loaded above its SIL, the line is equivalent
to a reactor.
9.2.3 Transmission Line Outages
Following the loss of a heavily loaded transmission line, reactive losses will
sharply increase. System voltages will decline if reserve reactive power is not
available to support voltages.
9.2.4 Reactive Equipment Outages
Generators are the primary means of controlling power system voltages.
9.2.5 Failure to Get Ahead of the Voltage
The reactive power output of a shunt capacitor bank will vary with the square of
the system voltage. If system voltage drops to 90% of nominal, a shunt capacitor
bank is good for only 81% (.9 x .9) of rated output.
System Operators must anticipate low voltage and insert capacitors prior to the
low voltage periods. In other words, System Operators must get ahead of the
low voltage.

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Section 9.2 Review Questions

Q1: The root cause of low voltage is?


a) Capacitor outages
b) Transmission line outages
c) A deficiency of reactive power
d) A deficiency of active power

Q2: Based on the following formula, how would you minimize reactive power
losses?

= 32 X

a) Minimize the current


b) Maximize the current
c) Maximize the inductive reactance
d) Minimize voltage

Q3: Why is it more difficult to transmit reactive power long distances than active
power?
a) The transmission systems resistance is typically much larger than its inductive
reactance
b) Transformers will not let reactive power pass through their windings
c) Active power is generated for transfer while reactive power is generated for
local use
d) The transmission systems inductive reactance is typically much larger than its
resistance

Q4: If a transmission line is loaded above its SIL, the line is an inductive load as far
as the power system is concerned.
True or false?

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Q5: The SIL of a transmission line is?


a) The MW loading at which the lines natural reactive production matches its
reactive power usage
b) The MW loading at which the natural reactive power production of the line
is maximized
c) The MVAR loading at which the lines natural reactive production matches
its reactive power usage
d) The MVAR loading at which the natural reactive power production of the
line is maximized

Q6: Why is it important to get ahead of an anticipated low voltage period with
capacitor switching?
a) To allow time for other System Operator duties
b) To improve the voltage profiles and increase generator reactive reserves
c) To avoid frequency swings with capacitor switching
d) To reduce the systems active power losses

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9.3 Causes of High Voltage

9.3.1 Reactive Power and High Voltages

As stated earlier, voltage levels are directly tied to the availability of reactive power. If
adequate reactive power resources exist in the areas where it is needed, system
voltages can be controlled. If there is a deficiency of reactive power, voltage levels will
drop and if there is an excess of reactive power, voltage levels will rise. This section
will describe several common causes of high voltage.

9.3.2 Reactive Equipment Outages

Power system equipment that absorbs MVAR and helps reduce system voltage may
be forced off-line or taken out-of-service for maintenance. This results in an excessive
supply of MVAR and an increase in voltage. For example, assume a transformer is
passing large amounts of reactive power from a 345 KV to a 138 KV system. If the
transformer is lost, 345
KV voltages will rise.

9.3.3 Light Power Transfers

System load or power transfer may be very light. This leads to excessive reactive
power supply. Over-voltage due to light loading is a recurring problem. During the light
load periods of the year, sustained over-voltage may occur during off-peak hours and
System Operator action is often required. A significant impact on system voltage could
be loss of load. Since most of the load is inductive, the trip of a large block of load can
result in a voltage rise. The high voltage problem may be compounded if the load is
connected to a long overhead transmission line. The main concern of the remaining
charging current of the transmission line is the voltage at the open end (Ferranti Rise).
The excessive supply of reactive power during light system loads is due to the
capacitive nature of transmission lines while lightly loaded. Those power systems with
an abundance of long, 345 KV transmission lines will experience the greatest
problems with high voltages during light loads.

Note: A rule of thumb is that a lightly loaded 345 KV line contributes one (1) MVAR per
mile. A 100-mile line is good for approximately 100 MVAR of reactive power.

9.3.4 Ferranti Rise

The Ferranti rise effect is a long-term over-voltage condition that is associated with
high voltage lines that are either lightly loaded or have their receiving ends open. Over-
voltages greater than 10% above nominal can easily occur. The magnitude of the
over-voltage depends on the length of the open-ended line and the strength of the
system tied to the closed end of the line. Figure 9-12 illustrates an open ended high

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voltage transmission line. The voltage at the closed or sending end is VS.
The voltage at the open or receiving end is VR (the receiving end circuit breaker is
open). Since the line is open, there will be no significant active (MW) power flow.
However, there is reactive power flow on the line. Recall that a transmission line is the
equivalent of a shunt capacitor. When a line is open-ended, the shunt capacitor effect
still exists.

Figure 9-12 Charging Current Flowing into an Open-Ended Line


The current flow on an open-ended line will be only that which is necessary to
charge the natural shunt capacitance of the line. In Figure 9-12, the current flow is
shown into the closed end of the line. This current flow is charging the natural
capacitance of the line, which is spread out over the entire length of the line. The
current flow into an open-ended line is called the charging current since this current
is charging the natural capacitance of the line.
Charging current is a leading reactive current flow. Normally when we think of
reactive current flow, we think of lagging reactive current. For example, induction
motors draw lagging reactive current from the power system. When lagging reactive
current passes through the inductive reactance (X) of a transmission line, it causes a
voltage drop.
Leading reactive current behaves differently with respect to voltage. When leading
reactive current passes through the inductive reactance of the line, it causes a voltage
rise. As the charging current flows into the closed end of the line in Figure 9-12, it will
cause a voltage rise from the closed end to the open end. The highest voltage will
occur at the open end. Figure 9-13 illustrates the voltage profile for an open-ended
line. Notice the voltage rise from the closed to the open end.
Note: An easy way to remember the concept of Ferranti rise is to recall that reactive
power flows from high to low voltage. Since an open- ended line acts like a shunt
capacitor, the open end must have a higher voltage as it supplies MVAR to the closed
end.

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Figure 9-13 Voltage Profile Due to Ferranti Effect

Calculating the Amount of Ferranti Voltage Rise

Note: The most important assumption in the development of this equation is that the
ratio of the lines inductive reactance to its resistance is large. This means the
equation only applies to large conductor lines such as might be used at 345 KV.

If we make some simplifying assumptions, we can develop an easily applied equation


for calculating the amount of Ferranti voltage rise for various lengths of high voltage
line.
Figure 9-14 illustrates our simplified equation and the equation is repeated below:


=

cos( )
8.61
This equation states that the receiving end voltage (VR) is equal to the sending end
voltage (VS) divided by a cosine term. The cosine term is only dependent on the length
(L) of the line. The length of the line is divided by a constant term, 8.61. (The 8.61
constant is derived from the wavelength of the 60 HZ frequency.) Figure 9-14 contains
an example of the use of this equation. Assume you have a 200-mile long open-ended
line. If we work through the equation, it tells us that this 200-mile long open-ended line
will experience an 8.8% voltage rise from the closed to the open end.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 9: Voltage Control

Figure 9-14 Calculating the Ferranti Effect Voltage Rise


Figure 9-15 was developed from our simplified equation for the Ferranti voltage rise.
This figure plots the expected voltage rise from the closed to the open end for various
lengths of line. The plot can be used to estimate the Ferranti effect for any length of
high voltage line. The Y axis is the ratio of the open end, or receiving end voltage
(VR), to the closed or sending end voltage (VS). The decimal portion may be
expressed as a percent; e.g., (VR / VS) = 1.15 may be read as 15%. The X axis is the
length in miles of a 345 KV line.

Figure 9-15 Ferranti Voltage Rise for Different Length Lines


Strength of the Closed End Voltage
The Ferranti voltage rise is a rise in voltage from the closed end to the open end. The
highest voltage will appear at the open end. If the closed end voltage also rises, the
open-end voltage will be even higher. For example, assume we have a 150-mile long
345 KV line with an initial voltage of 348 KV at the closed end. After opening the
receiving end of the line the voltage rise from the closed to the open end will be 4.8%
or 365 KV (348 x 1.048). However, if after opening the breaker at the receiving end of
the line the closed end voltage rises 3%, then the voltage at the open end will be 376

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KV (348 x 1.03 x 1.048).


The closed end voltage rise after opening the receiving end of the line depends on the
strength of the power system bus attached to the closed end. If the closed end bus
were strongly connected to other buses and generators, you would not expect the
voltage to rise very much. However, if the closed end bus is weakly connected to other
buses and remote from generators, the voltage may rise significantly during open-
ended conditions.
The stronger the closed-end or source bus, the fewer voltage problems that will occur.
When energizing transmission lines, always try to energize from the strongest possible
source.

Note: There may be reasons why the strongest source cannot be used. For example,
the strongest source may be a generator bus. Many companies will not energize a line
from a generator bus.

Ferranti Rise and the STP Bus


The South Texas Project (STP) bus is an excellent illustration of the possible impact of
the Ferranti rise effect. Figure 9-16 is a simple one-line diagram of the STP 345 KV
bus. The lengths of the lines connected to the bus are listed next to each line. The line
lengths range from very short (13 miles) to very long (178 miles).

Figure 9-16 STP Bus One-Line

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Figure 9-17 lists the probable voltage rises if lines are open-ended with the STP bus
the closed end. For the longest line (to Hill Country) the expected voltage rise is 7.4%.
If the STP bus voltage is 359 KV, a 7.4% voltage rise results in a 385 KV voltage at
the Hill Country bus.

CenterPoint Energy is the operator of the STP bus. They are very aware of the
possible over-voltage problems due to Ferranti rise. CenterPoint Energy has written
operating guidelines for their System Operators to inform them of the possible voltage
rise and the importance of energizing lines from a strong source.

LINE LENGTH %RISE

STP- BLESSING STP- DOW 13 MILES .1 %


STP- WAP 46 MILES .5 %
STP- HOLMAN 68 MILES 1%
STP- WHITE POINT STP- 94 MILES 1.9%
LON HILL 141 MILES
STP- SKYLINE 142 MILES 4.3%
STP-BUS
STP HILL COUNTRY
VOLTAGE HELD AT 359 KVMILES
OR 4.1% ABOVE NOMINAL
167 6.4%
Figure 9-17 Ferranti178
RiseMILES
of STP Lines 7.4%

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Section 9.3 Summary

9.3.1 Reactive Power and High Voltages


If there is an excess of reactive power, voltage levels will rise.
9.3.2 Light Power Transfers
During the light load periods of the year, off-peak hours may experience
sustained over- voltage. The excessive supply of reactive power during light
system loads is due to the capacitive nature of transmission lines while lightly
loaded.
A rule of thumb is that a lightly loaded 345 KV line contributes one (1) MVAR per
mile.
9.3.3 Reactive Equipment Outages
If power system equipment that normally helps to reduce voltages is lost, over-
voltage problems may occur.
9.3.4 Ferranti Rise
The Ferranti rise is a long-term over-voltage condition that is associated with
high voltage lines that are either lightly loaded or have their receiving ends open.
The highest voltage will occur at the open end.
The magnitude of the Ferranti over-voltage depends on the length of the open-
ended line and the strength of the system tied to the closed end of the line.
The current flow into an open-ended line is called the charging current since this
current is charging the natural capacitance of the line.
A simplified equation for determining the magnitude of the Ferranti rise is:


=

cos( )
8.61
Whether the closed end voltage rises after opening the receiving end of the line
depends on the strength of the power system attached to the closed end.
The stronger the closed-end or source bus, the fewer voltage problems. When
energizing transmission lines, try to energize from the strongest possible source.

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Section 9.3 Review Questions

Q1: A 100-mile long 345 KV line typically supplies how many MVAR to the system?
a) 50
b) 100
c) 150
d) 200

Q2: The Ferranti rise effect will result in the highest voltage at which point in the
line?
a) Receiving or open-end
b) Closed end
c) Middle of the line
d) Closed end substation

Q3: Using Figure 9-15 as a reference, what approximate % rise in voltage from the
closed to the open end would you expect given a 153 mile long 345 KV open-
ended line?
a) 10%
b) 5%
c) 2%
d) 1%

Q4: Assume the STP bus is de-energized and you are about to begin procedures
to restore the bus. If you had an option, would you choose to energize the long
or short lines first?
a) Long lines first
b) Short lines first

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9.4 Effects of Low Voltages

Sustained low voltages can have substantial impact on the power system. This section
will address the impacts of low voltage on:
Power System Equipment
System Load Magnitude Angle Stability
Customer Equipment
Power Losses

9.4.1 Effect of Low Voltage on System Equipment

Transformers are not seriously affected by low power system voltages. The
transformer will simply transform the low voltage primary value, through the windings,
to a lower-than- scheduled secondary voltage value. While the voltage magnitudes
may be unacceptable to other power system elements, the low voltages will not
adversely impact the transformer.
When transmission lines are exposed to low voltages, the thermal capability of the line
can easily be exceeded due to high currents. The line rating may need to be reduced
during sustained low voltage periods. Thermal damage to the conductor could occur if
no adjustments in line loading capability are made.

9.4.2 Effect of Low Voltage on Load Magnitude

When customer voltage falls, the overall power system load magnitude will normally
fall. There are two general types of customer load: motor load, and non-motor load.
Motor load does not significantly vary with voltage magnitude. As long as voltage is
within the normal operating range of the motor (approximately 90% to 110% of rated
motor voltage), connected motor load magnitude will not drop significantly when
voltage drops. As voltage decreases, current will increase to keep a relatively constant
MW load. A standard induction motor supplied with only 90% of nameplate voltage will
see a 5 to 10% rise in load current. Under these sustained conditions the motor is
likely to overheat and eventually fail.
Non-motor load magnitude will vary with voltage. Studies of load magnitudes have
shown that on average the power drawn by non-motor loads will decrease by
approximately 6% if the voltage decreases by 5%. On resistive loads, i.e. electric
heaters and ranges, a 10% under-voltage will reduce heat output by 20%.
We can conclude that the effect of voltage upon the connected load magnitude is
dependent upon the nature of the load. If the load is predominantly motor type, a

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typical voltage deviation will have little impact. If the load is predominantly non-motor
typesuch as resistive heatinga voltage deviation could have a large impact.

An approximate rule of thumb is that for a typical summer mix of motor and non-motor
load, the total power drawn will decrease by 3% if voltage decreases by 5%. This is
only a rule of thumb. The actual amount of load magnitude change depends on the
relative mix of motor and non-motor load.

Figure 9-18 graphically illustrates the effect of voltage on the connected load
magnitude.

Figure 9-18 Effect of Voltage on Load Magnitude

9.4.3 Effect of Low Voltage on Angle Stability

Recall the simplified form of the active power transfer equation first presented in
Section 8. This equation is repeated below:

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Active power transfer depends on the voltage magnitude of the sending (VS) and
receiving (VR) buses. If either of these bus voltages fall, the power angle ( ) must
increase to maintain the same active power transfer. If the voltage magnitudes fall far
enough, the system could lose synchronism. From a system stability perspective, the
lower the system voltages are held, the greater the risk of instability.

9.4.4 Effect of Low Voltage on Customer Equipment

Low voltage can seriously impact utility customers. The impact ranges from minor
irritations such as reduced television picture sizes to industrial process interruptions
with outage price tags exceeding millions of dollars.
We will address only one area of customer load, namely the impact on motor loads.
The concern is if the voltage falls below 90% of the nominal voltage, for example to
70% of nominal, the motor may stall. By stall, we mean the motor slows below its rated
speed.
When an induction motor is first started, it draws a large amount of reactive power
from the system. This initial reactive power draw is called the in-rush. The in-rush
current may exceed eight (8) to 10 times the normal full load current of the motor. The
reactive in-rush may cause short term (a few seconds) low voltage depending on the
strength of the feeder used to start the motor.
Once a motor stalls due to exposure to low voltage, it will try to recover speed
automatically as system voltages recover. To recover speed the motor will draw heavy
amounts of reactive power in the same manner as when it was first started. The
combined reactive power needs of many motors trying to recover from a stalled
condition could prevent system voltage recovery. Eventually an entire power system
could collapse.

9.4.5 Effect of Low Voltage on Power Losses

Simple Equations for Power Losses


There are two types of power losses; active and reactive. Active and reactive power
losses can collectively be called the MVA loss. Recall from basic AC theory that the
equation for three-phase power is:

This is the same equation used to calculate the MVA losses in a power system. The
I* term is the phase current in the circuit while the V term is the -G voltage drop
across the element. To make our study of the effect of low voltage on power system
losses clearer we will break down this MVA loss equation into two separate
equationsone for the active power losses and one for the reactive power losses.
Ohms law states that the voltage is equal to the product of the current and the
impedance (V=I x Z). It follows then that the MVA loss is also equal to:

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Z is the series impedance of the power system. As you recall, the series impedance is
composed of the inductive reactance (X) and the resistance (R). If we substitute the
resistance and reactance for the impedance, we arrive at two equations for power loss
as stated below:

Note the dependence of both losses on the current magnitude. If the current
magnitude is increased, both types of losses will increase. If the current magnitude is
decreased, both types of losses will decrease.

Note: Impedance also strongly impacts loss magnitude. We are assuming impedance
stays constant in this analysis.

Minimizing Power Losses


To minimize power losses in the system, we should minimize the current flow. It
follows from Ohms Law that you can reduce the current by maximizing the voltage.
The higher the system voltage, the lower the current flow for a given power delivery. A
company can reduce its losses by building a higher voltage system or by operating
their existing system with higher voltages. For example, compare the losses on two
identical 345 KV systems. One system is operated with all voltages at 345 KV and the
other with all voltages 5% lower at 328 KV. If the same power transfer occurs on both
systems, the higher voltage system will incur a minimum of 10% fewer losses.
Not only will reactive power losses increase when voltage is low but the transmission
systems natural capacitance will decrease. Both factors work together to reduce the
available reactive power reserve.
System Operators can have a substantial impact on power system losses. Several
ERCOT Transmission Operators have implemented extensive loss reduction
programs. A central feature of most of these programs is for System Operators to hold
system voltages as high as practical to minimize current and thus minimize losses.

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Section 9.4 Summary

9.4.1 Effect of Low Voltage on System Equipment


Transformers are not seriously affected by low power system voltage.
When transmission lines are exposed to low voltages, the thermal capability of the
line can be exceeded due to high currents.
9.4.2 Effect of Low Voltage on Load Magnitude
When customer voltage falls, the overall power system load magnitude will
normally fall.
Motor load magnitude does not significantly vary with the voltage magnitude. Non-
motor load magnitude will vary with the voltage.
For a typical summer mix of motor and non-motor load, the total power drawn will
decrease by 3% if the customer voltage decreases by 5%.
9.4.3 Effect of Low Voltage on Angle Stability
From a system stability perspective, the lower the system voltages are held, the
greater the risk of instability.
9.4.4 Effect of Low Voltage on Customer Equipment
The combined reactive power needs of many motors trying to recover from a
stalled condition could prevent system voltage recovery.
9.4.5 Effect of Low Voltage on Power Losses
Simple equations for active and reactive power losses are:

If the current magnitude is increased, both types of losses will increase. If the
current magnitude is decreased, both types of losses will decrease.
To minimize power losses we minimize current flow. To reduce current, maximize
voltage.

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Section 9.4 Review Questions

Q1: If customer voltage is reduced by 5%, by what percentage will total customer
load typically be reduced?
a) 1 %
b) 3 %
c) 5 %
d) 7 %

Q2: A power system is more stable if voltages are higher because:


a) Power transfers are reduced
b) Impedance can be raised
c) Power angles can be lower
d) Power angles can be greater

Q3: To minimize power losses do which of the following?


a) Reduce current flow
b) Increase system voltages
c) Reduce system impedance
d) All of the above

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9.5 Effects of High Voltages

9.5.1 General Effects of High Voltages

Effects of operating the system at severe off schedule voltage can include
equipment damage, degraded reliability and, in the extreme, system breakup with
loss of customer load.

High voltage limits protect power system equipment (both customer and system)
from exposure to voltage levels that exceed the insulating capability of the
equipment. High voltage can cause system equipment (for example, a circuit
breaker) insulation to fail resulting in internal flashovers. The equipment will then
have to be removed from service, possibly leading to customer outages and high
repair costs.

Under high voltage conditions that exceed the insulation capability of system
equipment, a fault can begin as a small leakage current. This current would pass
through the insulation to a grounded portion of the equipment that it insulates. The
leakage current would gradually increase as the insulation slowly deteriorates until
the insulation completely fails and a solid fault occurs.

While high voltages will typically have some negative impact on the power system,
many of these consequences have little effect on system operation as long as the
margin of error is kept within limits. Voltage excursions outside of this range are
generally considered significant in nature. System Operators should take
appropriate actions to maintain voltages within specified limits to insure integrity of
the network is maintained in the event of a contingency. The best insurance is to
anticipate problems as well as VAR requirements and plan a response. For
example, transmission lines can withstand long term high voltages if the magnitude
does not lead to insulator flashover. Major areas of high voltage impact include:
Transformers
Customer Equipment
System Load Magnitude
Angle Stability
Power Losses

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9.5.2 Effect of High Voltage on Power Transformers

Transformer Saturation
Transformers are very susceptible to damage from sustained high voltages.
Transformers operate based upon the principle of electro-magnetic induction. As
you recall from Section 7, a voltage is induced in one of a transformers windings
via an alternating magnetic field that links this winding to the transformers other
energized windings.
A transformer is an inductive load as it draws reactive power from the system to
support its magnetic field. The magnetic field is required to transfer active power
across the air-gap between the windings. A transformer is designed to operate at a
rated voltage level. If the rated voltage level is exceeded, the transformer will draw
additional reactive power from the system to support the spread of the
transformers magnetic field.
The magnetic field will spread out from the core of the transformer to areas that are
not designed for magnetic fields. This may lead to excessive heating in parts of the
transformer and eventually could lead to transformer failure.
Figure 9-19 illustrates the relationship between the operating voltage of a
transformer and the excitation current it draws to magnetize its core. When the
transformer is operated near its rated voltage the excitation current is small. As
voltage is increased above rated voltage, the excitation current rapidly increases.
This excitation current is a reactive current. By noting the rapid increase in
excitation current in Figure 9-19, you can see why the reactive needs of a
transformer rise sharply when it is operated at too high a voltage.

Figure 9-19 Transformer Saturation Curve

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The process in which the magnetic field of a transformer spreads from the core is
called saturation. When a transformer is saturated, the internal power losses
dramatically increase and can lead to thermal damage and eventual transformer
failure.

Transformer Over-Excitation
A transformer can be saturated even when the operating voltage is near its rated
value. Transformer saturation is a function of both the operating voltage and the
operating frequency since both voltage and frequency impact the magnetic field
strength. If the voltage is high, the transformer core is subjected to a sustained high
magnitude voltage that increases its magnetic field strength. If the frequency is low,
the transformer is subjected to longer periods of the AC voltage wave that also
increases the magnetic field strength.

The ratio of the operating voltage to the operating frequency is called the
transformer % excitation. Figure 9-20 is a graph of percentage excitation versus
time of exposure. For example, the figure tells us that a transformer can be
exposed to a 20% over-excitation (120% excitation) for less than two (2) minutes
before probable failure. The data in Figure 9-20 is for a typical transformer. For this
typical transformer, a 10% over-excitation (110% excitation) can be handled
indefinitely.

Figure 9-20 Transformer Over-Excitation

9.5.3 Effect of High Voltage on Load Magnitude

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As stated in Section 9.4.2 for low voltages (and illustrated in Figure 9-18), load
magnitude will vary with the voltage level. When voltages are high, the overall
system load magnitude will rise. Non-motor load is most impacted by voltage. In a
typical system during the summer, if customer voltages rise to 105% of normal, the
total system load magnitude will increase by 3%.

9.5.4 Effect of High Voltage on Angle Stability

The simple equation for active power transfer is repeated below:

Active power transfer depends on the voltage magnitude of the sending (VS) and
receiving (VR) buses. If either of these bus voltages rises, the power angle ( ) can
be decreased and still maintain the same active power transfer. The greater the
system voltage, the more MW can be transferred at the same angle separation.
High voltages (within operating limits) will help ensure system stability.

9.5.5 Effect of High Voltage on Customer Equipment

High voltages can destroy customer equipment. Motor load is highly susceptible to
high voltages. Motor insulation is designed to withstand specific voltage levels. If
these voltage levels are exceeded, the insulation may fail. Typically, motors are
designed to safely operate with voltages 10% above rated.
Computer equipment manufacturing process type load is easily damaged by high
voltages. Computer equipment manufacturers are paying increased attention to
their exposure to voltage deviations. The degree of that exposure is illustrated in
Figure 9-21. The data in Figure 9-21 is based on actual measurements of voltage
deviations at manufacturing sites throughout North America.

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Figure 9-21 Computer Equipment Voltage Limits

The thick lines in the figure are voltage limits. As long as voltages stay within these
limits, the typical computer manufacturing process is not susceptible to damage or
shutdown. If voltages stray outside these limits damage is possible. The figure
shows that not only is the magnitude of the voltage deviation important but also
how long the voltage deviation lasts. For example, a +6% voltage deviation can be
tolerated if it lasts less than 10 seconds.
The data gathered for this figure indicate that on average each manufacturing site
experienced 443 voltage disturbances a year. The disturbances ranged from large
over- voltages (greater than 100% increase) that lasted less than 0.0001 second to
small over- voltages (greater than 6% increase) that lasted several hours.

9.5.6 Effect of High Voltage on Power Losses

In Section 9.4.5 we developed two equations for active and reactive power losses.
These equations are repeated below:

We noted the dependence of both types of losses on the square of the current. If
the current can be reduced, both active and reactive losses can be reduced by the
square of the current reduction. For example, if current can be reduced to 95% of
its initial value, power losses can be reduced to 90% (.95 x .95) of their initial
value.

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As illustrated by Ohms Law, increasing the voltage reduces the current.


Consequently, power losses are reduced. It is not suggested that all System
Operators raise voltage levels as far as they can go. However, during normal
operations power systems should be operated towards the upper end of their
allowable voltage range.

Note: There are obviously limits as to how high the system voltage can be raised
before system equipment is damaged. In ERCOT, voltage levels of other
Transmission System Providers should be coordinated.

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Section 9.5 Summary

9.5.1 General Effects of High Voltages


High voltage can cause system equipment (for example, a circuit breaker)
insulation to fail resulting in internal flashovers.
9.5.2 Effect of High Voltage on Power Transformers
The process in which the magnetic field of a transformer spreads from the core
is called saturation. When a transformer is saturated, the internal power
losses dramatically increase and can lead to thermal damage and eventual
transformer failure.
Transformer saturation is a function of both the operating voltage and the
operating frequency since both voltage and frequency impact the magnetic field
strength.
The ratio of the operating voltage to the operating frequency is called the
transformers percentage excitation.
For a typical transformer, a 10% over-excitation can be handled indefinitely.
9.5.3 Effect of High Voltage on Load Magnitude
In a typical system in the summer, if voltages rise to 105% of normal, the total
system load magnitude will increase by 3%.
9.5.4 Effect of High Voltage on Angle Stability
High voltages (within operating limits) will help ensure system stability.
9.5.5 Effect of High Voltage on Customer Equipment
Typically, motors are designed to safely operate with voltages 10% above
rated. Computer equipment manufacturing processes are highly susceptible to
high voltage damage.
9.5.6 Effect of High Voltage on Power Losses
By increasing system voltage, power losses will be reduced.

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Section 9.5 Review Questions

Q1: The process in which the magnetic field of a transformer spreads from the core
is called?
a) Excitation
b) Induction
c) Saturation
d) None of the above

Q2: A transformer can be saturated when the voltage is normal.


True or false?

Q3: Using Figure 9-20 as a reference, how long can a typical transformer withstand
a 15% over-excitation?
a) 10 minutes
b) 30 minutes
c) 1 minutes
d) 7 minutes

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9.6 Purpose and Operation of Voltage Control Equipment

This section reviews the purpose and operation of the equipment used to control
system voltage. This section also addresses how a System Operator uses this
equipment to control voltage.

9.6.1 Use of Capacitors and Reactors

The primary sources of voltage control are the system generators. Capacitors and
reactors are an alternate, versatile method of voltage control. Capacitors and reactors
are not as expensive as generators and easier to construct and locate on the power
system. Capacitors and reactors can be designed to be a permanent part of the
systemfixed, not switchableor they can be switched in and out-of-service via
circuit breakers or load circuit switchers.
Capacitors
Capacitors are defined as two conductors separated by an insulating medium or
dielectric. These devices store, and later return, electrical energy to the system as is
illustrated in Section 5.3.1.
Since capacitors store an electrical charge in the dielectric material they essentially
store reactive power and may be viewed as a source of reactive power. Capacitors
can be connected to the power system in either a shunt or a series connection. Shunt
capacitors are used to supply reactive power to the system. Series capacitors are
used to reduce the impedance of the path in which they are inserted.

Shunt Capacitors
Shunt capacitors are installed in close proximity to the point they are needed. When a
shunt capacitor is switched in, the local voltage will rise. Shunt capacitor switching is
often used to control normal daily fluctuations in system voltage levels due to load
changes. Shunt capacitors are connected to the power system as illustrated in the
bottom of Figure 9-22. When the shunt capacitor is in-service, it effectively serves as a
source of reactive power. System voltages will typically rise as the current draw from
other reactive sources is reduced.
Shunt capacitors are installed in various power system locations including:
Transmission substations to help supply the reactive power needs of the bulk
power system.
Distribution substations and large customer locations to supply the reactive
power needs of the power system.
Distribution feeders to supply the reactive power needs of customer loads and
provide voltage support.

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Voltage Squared Output Relationship


As stated earlier in this chapter (see Figure 9-11), the reactive power output of a shunt
capacitor bank is dependent on the voltage of the system to which it is connected. For
example, if a 25 MVAR shunt capacitor normally rated at 138 KV is operated at a 5%
low voltage131 KVthe output of the capacitor will be 90% (.95 x .95) of rated or
22.5 MVAR.

Figure 9-22 Shunt and Series Capacitors

Series Capacitors
Series capacitors are installed in transmission lines to reduce the natural inductive
reactance of the line. The reactance of a series capacitor is out-of-phase with the
inductive reactance of the transmission line. The series capacitor reactance subtracts
from the inductive reactance of the line, reducing the overall line reactance.
If the inductive reactance of a line is reduced, its power transfer capability can be
increased. Series capacitors increase the power transfer capability of the transmission
system. The top portion of Figure 9-22 illustrates the connection of a series capacitor
in a transmission line.

Reactors
Reactors can be viewed as absorbers or sinks of reactive power. Reactors can be
connected to the power system in either a shunt or a series connection. Shunt
reactors are used to absorb reactive power from the system. Series reactors are used
to increase the reactance of the path in which they are inserted.

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Shunt Reactors
Shunt reactor banks are used to absorb excessive reactive power from the power
system and thereby reduce system voltages. When high voltage transmission lines are
built, fixed and switchable reactor banks are often installed to help reduce the over-
voltages caused by lightly loaded high voltage lines. The switchable reactor banks are
typically under System Operator control. Switched reactor banks are often found on
transformer tertiary windings. These reactor banks are remotely switched in and out-
of-service to control high voltages. The bottom portion of Figure 9-23 illustrates a
shunt reactor bank.

Figure 9-23 Shunt and Series Reactors

Series Reactors
Reactors can also be installed in series. Series reactors are occasionally installed in
the distribution system or within older power plants. Series reactors add inductive
reactance to a path thereby increasing the overall path impedance. The primary use of
series reactors is to limit fault current. Series reactors can also be installed in the
transmission system to reduce power flow through a transmission line.
There are series reactors installed in 138 KV transmission lines in West Texas. These
series reactors are quickly switched in-service to reduce power flow following line
outages.
The top portion of Figure 9-23 illustrates the connection of a series reactor bank.

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9.6.2 Tap Changing Transformers

Tap changing transformers are a valuable tool for voltage control. The construction
and operation of tap changing transformers are described in this subsection.

No-Load Tap Changing


Power transformers are often equipped with a means to vary the size of the primary or
secondary windings. If the winding size can be controlled, the voltage induced in the
winding can (usually) be controlled.
The ability to control the winding size gives the transformer operator a range of control
over the primary and secondary voltages of the transformer.

Figure 9-24 Illustration of a Tap Change

Figure 9-24 illustrates the control of a transformers secondary output voltage via a tap
changer in the primary winding. This transformer normally has a 10:5 turns ratio since
it normally has 10 primary turns and 5 secondary turns. If the primary voltage is 100 V,
the secondary voltage should be 50 V. Note the nine (9) tap positions on the primary
side labeled A through I. If the input connections are switched from H1 & H2 to H1
and G, the number of primary turns is changed from 10 to 7. The turns ratio is now 7:5
instead of 10:5. If the primary voltage is 100 volts, the secondary voltage should be
100 x 5/7 = 71.4 volts.
Most power transformers include tap changers that can only be adjusted when the
transformer is out-of-service. These taps are called no-load tap changers or NLTCs.
No- load tap changers are mechanical linkages within the primary or secondary
windings of the transformer. The linkages are designed to adjust and thereby change
the transformers winding turns ratio. These linkages can only be adjusted when the
transformer is out-of- service.

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A typical power transformer may have five tap positions (labeled A through- E or 1
through 5) within the no-load tap changer. For example, a 345/138 KV transformer
with a NLTC on the 345 KV winding may have five taps: 327,750 - 336,375 - 345,000 -
353,625 -362,250. (Note that the nominal or mid-point voltage is 345 KV.) The low
voltage (327,750) is 5% less than the nominal while the high voltage (362,250) is 5%
greater than the nominal. Adjustments to NLTCs are typically made following major
changes to the power system. NLTCs are used to correct long term voltage problems.

Load Tap Changing


Some power transformers possess a more powerful means for changing tap positions.
Load Tap Changing (LTC) equipped transformers are designed to change tap
positions while the transformer is under load. Figure 9-25 illustrates one form of an
LTC mechanism for a power transformer.

Figure 9-25 Load Tap Changing Mechanism

The LTC in Figure 9-25 is a 17 position LTC with a 10% voltage range. There is a
neutral position (tap position # 9), eight raise positions (taps # 1 through 8) and eight
lower positions (taps # 10 through 17). Since there are 16 possible tap adjustments
spread across a 20% total voltage control range, each tap position is rated for a 1-
1/4% voltage adjustment.
The switches labeled 1 through 9 in Figure 9-25 are used to select the different tap
positions. The switches labeled R, S, & T are used to switch between different tap

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positions. This method is used to avoid exposing the tap selector switches (#s 1-9) to
arcing. Switches R, S, & T are designed to withstand arcing. The table below the
graphic in Figure 9-25 indicates the switch positions for each of the 17 different tap
positions.
Most LTCs in ERCOT are 33 position devices. These LTCs will have a neutral
position, 16 raise and 16 lower taps. The voltage control range is typically 10% so
each tap is good for a 5/8% voltage adjustment. The advantage of a 33 position LTC
over a 17 position is better (more accurate) voltage control.
Operation of LTCs
LTCs can be operated in either a manual or an automatic mode of operation. When in
manual mode, tap positions can be adjusted via selector switches installed in the LTC
control cabinet. These selector switches can also be operated remotely if the
necessary equipment has been installed. While in manual mode a LTC does not
automatically respond to voltage changes in the system. An operator must intervene
to adjust the tap positions. An LTC can also be placed in an automatic mode of
operation. When in automatic mode the LTC automatically responds to system
conditions and adjusts its tap positions without operator intervention. For example, an
LTC may be designed to keep a constant secondary voltage. When the secondary
voltage deviates from the intended point, the LTC will automatically adjust the tap
position in an attempt to return the secondary voltage to the desired operating point.
Whether the LTC is successful in its attempt to control the secondary voltage depends
on several factors including the room left to adjust taps. An LTC can only make a
voltage adjustment if it has taps available to adjust. The LTC may go to full boost or
full buck and still be unable to control the voltage.
LTCs and Reactive Power
LTCs control voltage on the transformers winding by adjusting the number of turns in
the winding. When the turns ratio is adjusted, the flow of reactive power across the
transformer is also adjusted. Changes in reactive power flow are necessary to
accomplish the intended voltage change. Figure 9-26 illustrates the impact of tap
changes on the flow of reactive power through a transformer.
In Figure 9-26a, the 10% - 33 position LTC in the secondary winding is set at its
neutral point (flat taps). The voltages on the primary and secondary side are initially at
their nominal values of 345 KV and 138 KV. There is five (5) MVAR flowing into the
primary and two (2) MVAR flowing out of the secondary. Therefore, the transformer is
using three (3) MVAR to build its internal magnetic field.
In Figure 9-26b, the secondary taps are raised five positions. Five positions are
equivalent to a 3.125% (5/8 x 5) or a 4.3 KV voltage increaseif we assume the
voltage will change in exact relation to the turns ratio change. However, note the
voltage only rises from 138 KV to 141 KV or three (3) KV. This is typical. The amount
of voltage change a given tap change produces is dependent on the strength of the
power system connected to the LTC. The effects of tap changes on voltage will
depend on the transformer's location and the condition of the power system when the
tap change is made.

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Figure 9-26 Tap Change and Reactive Power


Note the change in reactive power flows after the tap change in Figure 9-26b. The
MVAR into the primary and out of the secondary windings has increased. Also, note
the transformers MVAR usage has increased slightly. When the secondary winding
size was increased, via the five-position tap boost, the transformer automatically pulled
MVAR from the high side in an attempt to support a higher secondary voltage.
This tap change resulted in an increase in secondary voltage because the primary side
was able to provide the needed reactive power. If the primary side was weak (no spare
reactive power), the tap change may not have resulted in a secondary voltage
increase. Spare reactive power or reactive power reserves must be available for a tap
change to be successful.
In Figure 9-26c, the secondary taps are raised 16 positions. Sixteen positions are
equivalent to a 10% change in winding size. In our example, this tap change has
resulted in a 5.7% voltage rise to 146 KV. Note the change in the reactive flows in
Figure 9-26c. The transformer is now pulling a large amount of reactive power from the
primary winding. The 345 KV voltage has dropped three (3) KV (to 342 KV) because of
this reactive power flow change.
When the secondary voltage is raised via a tap change, the primary will often drop.
Usually the voltage drop will be so small that it is not noticeable. The greater the tap

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change and the weaker the primary side, the greater the primary voltage drop.

Circulating Reactive Power


When identical transformers with tap changing equipment are electrically close
together, operating problems may develop if an attempt is made to operate the banks
at different tap positions (different voltages). Figure 9-27 illustrates this concept. Two
345/138 KV transformers (labeled A and B) are paralleled in Figure 9-27. The high
and low voltage sides of the banks are tied together by low impedance conductors.
When the tap positions (voltages) are mismatched, a circulating current flows between
the transformers. This circulating current is 90 out-of-phase with the system voltage.
This is where the circulating MVAR comes from.

Figure 9-27 Circulating Reactive Power

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In Figure 9-27a, both transformer low side tap changers, this assumes impedances are
matched, are set at identical positions. If the low sides of the two transformers were
opened their respective high and low side open-circuit voltages would be nearly equal.
Recall from Section 8 how reactive power normally flows from the high to the low
voltage. No reactive power flows or circulates between the high and low sides of the
two banks in Figure 9-27a as their voltages are equal. The two banks then share the
100 MVAR reactive load equally.
In Figure 9-27b, the A transformers tap changing equipment has been adjusted to
reduce the number of low side turns by 5%. If the low sides of both transformers were
now open circuited the A transformer would have a smaller magnitude low side
voltage then the B transformer. The A transformer would also have a greater
magnitude high side open- circuit voltage than the B transformer. Reactive power is
forced to flow between the two transformers due to these voltage differences. Reactive
power circulates from the low side of the B transformer to the low side of the A
transformer. The reactive power then continues to circulate from the high side of A to
the high side of B.
The only time the voltage differences could be seen is when the low sides are open.
When the low sides are closed, the circulating reactive power eliminates the voltage
differences.
The circulating reactive power will take up capacity in the transformer. The circulating
MVAR will also lead to an increase in the active and reactive power losses in the
transformers. The cause of the circulating reactive power was mismatched low side
tap positions (voltage differences). If the tap changers are returned to matched
positions, and voltages are matched, the circulating reactive power flow will disappear.
When two identical transformers are paralleled, it is important to match their tap
positions (have their voltages equal). Note that if the banks have different impedances
the tap positions may need to be intentionally mismatched (match voltages) in order to
eliminate circulating reactive power. Mismatched impedances lead to a mismatch in
the open-circuit voltages. The mismatch in the open-circuit voltages can be eliminated
by intentionally mismatching the transformer tap positions. In addition, during special
circumstancessuch as during system restorationtransformer taps (voltages) may
be intentionally mismatched to increase the MVAR losses in the transformers by using
circulating current. This action could be used to reduce system voltage a few KV.

9.6.3 Use of Generators

Generators are the backbone of voltage control. This section will describe the use of
generators for reactive power production and absorption. The section will also illustrate
the use of a graphical tool (reactive capability curve) for determining the power
production limits of a generator.

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Excitation Systems
The excitation systems of the generating units on the power system are used to control
the overall voltage profile of the system. Changes made to generator terminal voltage
are subsequently spread throughout the power system. Figure 9-28 illustrates the
major elements of a generators excitation system. The excitation system is used to
control the terminal voltage and MVAR production of the generator.

Figure 9-28a Block Diagram of High-side Voltage Control

The automatic voltage regulator (AVR) senses the voltage level either at the generator
terminals or on the high side of the transformer via a potential transformer (PT).
Circuitry is included in the voltage regulator to compare the voltage measured to a set-
point voltage. If the measured voltage is lower than the set point, the AVR will cause
the excitation system to increase the DC excitation current. This DC current is applied
to the generator's rotor field winding. If the voltage measured is higher than the set
point, the excitation system will lower the DC excitation current applied to the field
winding. Plant operators control the voltage level of the generator by selecting the
proper AVR set point.

Methods of Voltage Regulation


Voltage regulators can be operated in an automatic high-side mode as shown in
Figure 9-28a above. This mode is used when there is only one generator at a station.
Where there are multiple generators in parallel at a station, the operating mode is
transformer drop compensation. This is shown in Figure 9-28b. This mode prevents
each generator AVR from competing with the others. The current transformer (CT) is
used to determine the voltage drop through the transformer. This data is used to
calculate the high side voltage for the AVR to use.

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Figure 9-28b Block Diagram of Transformer Drop Compensation

Voltage regulation can also be operated in power factor mode. This control mode
provides excitation to the rotor so as to maintain the generator operation based on its
power factor. Generator output voltage (bus voltage) will fluctuate based on the power
factor of the generator.
When in automatic mode (in-service) the excitation system will try to maintain a
specified bus voltage. When in manual mode (out of service), a constant magnitude
of field current will be provided to the field winding. A voltage regulator in manual
mode does not attempt to control bus voltage magnitude.
From a system operations perspective all voltage regulators should remain in
automatic mode. This ensures the generators will assist with the control of system
voltage. When voltage regulators are placed in any mode other than automatic, a
major voltage control tool (the generator) is eliminated from the voltage control
process. Power plant operators may occasionally need to place voltage regulators in
manual mode, but the regulators should be returned to automatic mode as soon as
possible.
Reactive Capability Curves
The MVAR capabilities of each generator are defined by each units capability curve.
Figure 9-29 is an example of a generators capability curve. This graph illustrates the
limits of acceptable generator operation. The horizontal axis represents the MW
produced by the generator. The positive vertical axis represents MVAR produced by
the generator and the negative axis represents MVAR absorbed by the generator.

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Figure 9-29 Reactive Capability Curve


While generators can be very useful in supplying and absorbing MVARs, there are
certain restrictions as to how much these units can contribute to reactive power and
voltage control on the transmission system.
Generators must be operated within the limits of their capability curves. There are
three circular sections to a typical capability curve. Note the section labeled Curve A-
B in Figure 9-29. The generator cannot exceed this curve section limits or field
winding thermal damage may occur. Note the section labeled Curve B-C. The
generator must stay within the confines of this curve section or stator winding thermal
damage may occur. The final section is labeled Curve C-D. The generator must stay
within this section of the curve or thermal damage to the end-turns of the stator
winding could occur.
When operating in the upper half of the curve, the generator is supplying reactive
power to boost the system voltage. This type operation is called lagging or
overexcited. When operating in the lower half of the curve, the generator is absorbing
reactive power to lower system voltage. This type operation is called leading or under-
excited.
Also shown in Figure 9-29 is an under-excitation limit line. This line represents a limit
to how far the generator may be taken into the leading region of operation. The farther
a generator operates in the lead, the weaker the magnetic bond between the generator
and the power system. Many generators will have protective systems that prevent their
operation deep within the leading region of their capability curves.

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While the magnetic bond is weaker when a generator is leading, this does not imply
that generators cannot absorb reactive power. Modern generators have fast, powerful
exciters that allow leading operation.
Each generator in the power system has a capability curve. Plant operators are
primarily responsible for keeping the generator output within the limits of its capability
curve. Generators are often equipped with protective relays to detect operation
significantly outside of the rated capability curve of the unit. When activated, these
relays may initiate a unit alarm, automatic runback, or trip.
Thermal Unit Reactive Capability Curve
Figure 9-30 is a capability curve for an actual thermal unit. An important feature of this
capability curve is that there are actually a series of four capability curves illustrated.
This is typical for a steam unit, as the active and reactive power production capability
of the unit is a function of the stators hydrogen cooling system pressure. The greater
the hydrogen pressure, the greater the capability of the unit. Note the hydrogen
pressures of the unit illustrated in Figure 9-30 varies from five (5) psig to 45 psig.

Figure 9-30 Actual Thermal Unit Reactive Capability Curve

Also, note the series of straight lines originating at the zero point and fanning out
across the curve. These are constant power factor lines. Any point along one of these
lines has a constant power factor.

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A System Operator could use the capability curve of Figure 9-30 to estimate the
remaining reactive capability of the thermal generator. You must first know the current
hydrogen pressure of the unit and the current generation.
Plot the current generation on the curve and determine the remaining reactive
capability by noting the reactive limits from the appropriate capability curve. For
example, assume the unit in Figure 9-30 is presently operating at 375 MW and 100
MVAR lagging. Assuming a hydrogen pressure of 45 psig you can determine that the
maximum reactive capability is approximately 270 MVAR in the lagging direction and
200 MVAR in the leading direction.
The rated power factor of the unit (this units is .90) defines the break point between
the curve sections related to stator and field winding thermal limitations.
Constraints on the Capability Curve
A generators reactive capability curve is what a generator is physically capable of
producing. Unfortunately, the power system the generator is attached to and the
auxiliary equipment within the plant itself often restricts the generator to operating
within only a portion of its capability curve.
The shaded region of Figure 9-31 illustrates how a generator may be restricted to only
a portion of its capability curve. For example, operation in the upper or lagging portion
of the curve may be restricted due to high auxiliary bus voltages within the plant.
Operation in the lower or leading portion of the curve may be restricted due to unit
stability problems. The actual capability of a generator can only be determined by
testing the generator to determine what the reactive limits are. Many utilities have
generator reactive capability test programs in place to ensure they know the true
reactive capabilities of their generators.

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Figure 9-31 Reactive Production Limitations

Synchronous Condensers
A synchronous condenser is very similar to a synchronous generator with the
exception that it is not capable of producing any active power. It produces only reactive
power. Synchronous condensers do not need a prime mover (steam or water turbine)
as they are operated like a motor. The power system supplies the active power to turn
the rotor. An excitation system is used to control the amount of MVAR produced by the
synchronous condenser.
Some types of generating units can be used in a synchronous condenser mode. For
example, some ERCOT participants operate hydro units that can rapidly switch back
and forth between generator and synchronous condenser modes. When operated as a
generator, a water turbine is used to turn the units rotor. When operated as a
synchronous condenser, the power system provides energy to turn the units rotor. The
full reactive capabilities of the unit are available when operating in synchronous
condenser mode.

9.6.4 Congestion Management for Voltage Control

Each generator or load resource within ERCOT has an effect on the loading of a
constrained transmission facility. This effect is defined as Shift Factor. ERCOT
utilizes the Shift Factor and the current ERCOT Model as tools to evaluate potential
commercial congestion. To relieve congestion, transfer is reduced by increasing and/or
decreasing generation on either side of the constraint. Reducing transfer by means of
generation shift causes MVAR demand of connecting lines to drop dramatically

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resulting in marked voltage improvement.

9.6.5 Line Switching for Voltage Control

High voltage transmission lines appear to the power system as shunt capacitors when
lightly loaded. During light load periods of the year, some transmission owners are
forced to take high voltage lines out-of-service to reduce system voltage levels.
For example, a transmission owner may remove several long 345 KV lines each spring
evening and return the lines to service when the load picks up the next morning.
The lines that are removed from service will be those that contribute significant
reactive power and whose removal will not significantly reduce system reliability as
indicated by prior studies.

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Section 9.6 Summary

9.6.1 Use of Capacitors and Reactors


Shunt capacitors are used to supply reactive power to the system. Series
capacitors are used to reduce the impedance of the path in which they are
inserted.
The reactive power output of a shunt capacitor bank is dependent on the
voltage of the system to which it is connected.
Series capacitors are installed in transmission lines to reduce the natural
inductive reactance of the line.
Shunt reactors are used to absorb reactive power from the system. Series
reactors are used to increase the reactance of the path in which they are
inserted.
9.6.2 Use of Transformers
Most power transformers include tap changers that can only be adjusted when
the transformer is out-of-service. These taps are called no-load tap changers or
NLTCs.
Load tap changing or LTC equipped transformers are designed to change tap
positions while the transformer is under load.
LTCs can be operated in either a manual or an automatic mode of operation.
While in manual mode, the LTC does not automatically respond to voltage
changes in the system. When in automatic mode, the LTC automatically
responds to system conditions and attempts to maintain a secondary voltage.
LTCs control voltage on the transformers winding by adjusting the number of
turns in the winding. When the turns ratio is adjusted, the flow of reactive power
across the transformer is also adjusted.
When similar transformers equipped with tap changing equipment are
electrically close together, circulating reactive power flows may develop if an
attempt is made to operate the banks with different secondary tap positions.
9.6.3 Use of Generators
A generators excitation system is used to control the terminal voltage and
MVAR production of the generator.
Voltage regulators can be operated in an automatic mode or in a manual mode.
When in automatic mode the excitation system will try to maintain a specified
bus voltage. When in manual mode a constant magnitude of field current will be
provided to the field winding. A voltage regulator in manual mode does not
attempt to control a bus voltage magnitude.
From a system operations perspective, voltage regulators should remain in
automatic mode.
The MVAR capabilities of each generator are defined by each units reactive
capability curve.

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The power system a generator is attached to and the auxiliary equipment within
the plant itself often restricts the generator to operating within only a portion of
its capability curve.
A synchronous condenser is very similar to a synchronous generator with the
exception that it is not capable of producing any active powerit produces only
reactive power.
Some types of generating units can be used in a synchronous condenser mode.
9.6.4 Congestion Management for Voltage Control
To relieve Congestion, transfer is reduced by increasing generation in the
importing area and decreasing generation on either side of a constraint.
9.6.5 Line Switching for Voltage Control
During light load periods of the year, some transmission line operators are
forced to take high voltage lines out-of-service to reduce system voltage levels.
The lines that are removed from service will be those that contribute significant
reactive power and whose removal will not significantly reduce system
reliability.

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Section 9.6 Review Questions

Q1. Shunt capacitors are switched in-service to?


a) Reduce a lines impedance
b) Raise system voltage
c) Increase a lines impedance
d) Lower system voltage

Q2. If a 100 MVAR rated shunt capacitor is operated at 90% of its rated voltage, what
is the actual MVAR output?
a) 100
b) 90
c) 95
d) 81

Q3. Shunt reactors are?


a) Absorbers of reactive power
b) Suppliers of reactive power
c) Short nuclear power plants
d) Fault current limiters

Q4. The tap positions in an NLTC transformer can be adjusted while under load.
True or false?

Q5. An LTC equipped transformer, while in automatic mode, will respond to system
voltage changes.
True or false?

Q6. To eliminate reactive power circulating between parallel transformers with the
same impedance you should:
a) Match the two transformers tap positions
b) Connect a capacitor to the low side of one transformer
c) Connect a reactor to the secondary of one transformer
d) Mismatch the two transformers tap positions

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Q7. A generators reactive capability curve defines the generators theoretical:

a) MW production limits
b) MVAR production limits
c) Hydrogen pressure limits
d) MW and MVAR production limits

Q8. Why should generator voltage regulators be operated in automatic mode?

a) To minimize generator production cost


b) To better control generator MW production
c) To ensure generator response to system voltage changes
d) To minimize generator reactive power production

Q9. What is the best way to relieve transmission loading between interconnected
electrical systems?
a) Reduce generation in the importing area
b) Increase generation in the exporting area
c) Increase generation in the importing area
d) Reduce transfers into the exporting area

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Section 10
Frequency Control
Table of Contents
10.0 Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 1
10.1 Fundamentals of Frequency Control ............................................................................. 1
10.1.1 The Changing Load ........................................................................................................ 1
10.1.2 Need for Frequency Control Systems ............................................................................. 2
10.1.3 Definition of a Control System ........................................................................................ 2
10.1.4 The Energy Balance Concept Consequences of Over and Under Generation ............... 3
10.1.5 Normal and Abnormal Frequency Deviations ................................................................. 5
10.1.6 The Load/Frequency Relationship .................................................................................. 6
10.1.7 Power System Inertia ...................................................................................................... 8
Section 10.1 Summary ............................................................................................................ 11
Section 10.1 Review Questions ............................................................................................... 12
10.2 Governor System Components and Operation ................................................................ 14
10.2.1 Introduction to Governors.............................................................................................. 14
10.2.2 Centrifugal Ballhead Governor ...................................................................................... 15
10.2.3 Modern Electronic Governors ....................................................................................... 16
10.2.4 Governor Droop Curves ................................................................................................ 18
10.2.5 Governor Control in an Islanded System ...................................................................... 21
10.2.6 Governor Control in the Interconnected System ........................................................... 26
10.2.7 System Frequency Response Characteristic ................................................................ 28
10.2.8 Limitations to Governor Response ................................................................................ 29
Section 10.2 Summary ............................................................................................................ 33
Section 10.2 Review Questions ............................................................................................... 36
10.3 Automatic Generation Control .......................................................................................... 38
10.3.1 Introduction to Automatic Generation Control ............................................................... 38
10.3.2 Function of an AGC System.......................................................................................... 39
10.3.3 Components of an AGC System ................................................................................... 40
10.3.4 Modes of AGC Control .................................................................................................. 43
Section 10.3 Summary ............................................................................................................ 45
Section 10.3 Review Questions ............................................................................................... 47
10.4 ERCOT Reserve Policies ................................................................................................. 49
10.4.1 Installed Reserves ........................................................................................................ 49
10.4.2 Operating Reserves ...................................................................................................... 49
10.4.3 Responsive Reserves ................................................................................................... 50
10.4.4 Regulating Reserves ..................................................................................................... 52
Section 10.4 Summary ............................................................................................................ 53
Section 10.4 Review Questions ............................................................................................... 55
10.5 Time Error Control ........................................................................................................... 56
10.5.1 Definition of Time Error ................................................................................................. 56
10.5.2 Monitoring Time Error ................................................................................................... 56
10.5.3 Correcting Time Error ................................................................................................... 56
Section 10.5 Summary ............................................................................................................ 58
Section 10.5 Review Questions ............................................................................................... 59
10.6 NERC Control Performance ............................................................................................. 60
10.6.1 NERC Control Performance Standards (CPS) .............................................................. 60
10.6.2 NERC Real Power Balancing Control Performance Standard....................................... 61
10.6.3 ERCOT Control Performance Standards ...................................................................... 63
Section 10.6 Summary ............................................................................................................ 64
Section 10.6 Review Questions ............................................................................................... 66
10.7 Impact of Frequency Deviations ....................................................................................... 68
10.7.1 Effects on Steam Turbine Blades ................................................................................. 68
10.7.2 Effects On Active Power Flows ..................................................................................... 69
Section 10.7 Summary ............................................................................................................ 71
Section 10.7 Review Questions ............................................................................................... 72
10.8 Underfrequency Protection .............................................................................................. 73
10.8.1 Power System Islands .................................................................................................. 73
10.8.2 Automatic (Under-frequency) Firm Load Shedding ....................................................... 73
10.8.3 Under-frequency Generator Protection ......................................................................... 75
Section 10.8 Summary ............................................................................................................ 76
Section 10.8 Review Questions ............................................................................................... 77
Figures and Tables

Figure 10-1 2014 ERCOT Summer & Winter Load Curves ....................................................... 1
Figure 10-2 Simple Frequency Control System ......................................................................... 2
Figure 10-3 Load / Resources Balance Analogy ........................................................................ 3
Figure 10-4 Accumulating Time Error ........................................................................................ 4
Figure 10-5 Normal Frequency Deviations ................................................................................ 5
Figure 10-6 Abnormal Frequency Deviations ............................................................................ 6
Figure 10-7 Relationship Between Load Magnitude & Frequency ............................................ 8
Figure 10-8 Inertia of a Steam Generator Rotor ........................................................................ 9
Figure 10-9 Simple System to Illustrate Governor Control....................................................... 14
Figure 10-10 Basic Centrifugal Ballhead Governor ................................................................. 16
Figure 10-11 Electro-Hydraulic Governor Block Diagram ........................................................ 17
Figure 10-12 Isochronous Governor Characteristic Curve....................................................... 19
Figure 10-13 Governor Characteristic Curve with 5% Droop ................................................... 20
Figure 10-14 300 MW Unit with 5% Droop - Frequency Rise ................................................. 21
Figure 10-15 Changing the Set-Point to 140 MW @ 60 HZ ..................................................... 22
Figure 10-16 300 MW Unit with 5% Droop - Frequency Drop.................................................. 23
Figure 10-17 Changing the Set-Point to 160 MW @ 60 HZ ..................................................... 24
Figure 10-18 Load/Frequency Relationship & Droop Curves ................................................. 25
Figure 10-19 Interconnected System Governor Response ...................................................... 27
Figure 10-20 ERCOT Interconnection ..................................................................................... 29
Figure 10-22 Operating Reserves ........................................................................................... 50
Figure 10-23 Steam Turbine Off-Frequency Limits .................................................................. 69
Figure 10-24 Formation of an Island ........................................................................................ 73
Figure 10-25 Under-frequency Load Shedding & Governor Response ................................... 75
Learning Objectives
Identify the fundamentals of load vs generation balance
Given a scenario of over or under-generation, identify the consequences on
frequency and time error
Identify normal and abnormal frequency deviations and the normal frequency range
in ERCOT
Identify the characteristics of motor loads, non-motor loads, and power system
inertia
Identify the purpose and operation of governor control systems on electric
generators
Identify the typical components of a governor
Identify typical governor droop characteristics
Identify how governors respond to changes in system frequency in both islanded
and interconnected systems as well as limitations to governor response
Identify the frequency response characteristic and typical frequency response for the
ERCOT Interconnection
Identify the purpose and operation of an Automatic Generation Control (AGC)
system
Identify the purpose and operation of ERCOTs Load Frequency Control (LFC)
system
Identify the components of an AGC system
Define the Area Control Error (ACE) and Interconnect Control Error (ICE) equations
Define the modes of AGC control and the typical AGC control mode used in ERCOT
Identify the types of reserves in ERCOT
Define the minimum ERCOT responsive reserve obligation
Define the frequency and time delay requirements for interruptible load resources
providing responsive reserve
Define how frequency affects time error
Define the entity responsible for monitoring time error for the ERCOT
Interconnection
Identify how ERCOT performs intentional corrections for accumulated time error
Define the two NERC metrics for control performance
Define the equation for CPS1
Define relationship of CPS1 to frequency error and interconnection control error
Define the performance requirements under the NERC Disturbance Control
Standard (DCS)
Identify the cumulative effects of frequency variations on steam turbines
Define typical cumulative limits of off-nominal frequency operation on steam turbines
Identify the relationship between frequency variations and active power flows
Define islanding and how islands can form in an interconnected system
Define the purpose, function, and setpoints of the Under-frequency Load Shedding
(UFLS) program in ERCOT
Define the purpose, function, and typical setpoints of under-frequency protection for
generators
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

10.0 Introduction
This Section addresses the topic of frequency control. Frequency control is very important to
ERCOT System Operators. The actions of System Operators have a direct bearing on
ERCOTs ability to maintain an acceptable (60 HZ) system frequency.

10.1 Fundamentals of Frequency Control

10.1.1 The Changing Load


Loads within the power system are constantly changing. Each time a residential customer
starts an electric clothes dryer or an industrial customer ignites a furnace, the power system
load changes. This is why the task of matching generation to load is difficult, the target is
always moving. An exact match between generation and load is only achieved for a short
period. Loads continue to change, always creating another imbalance between the generation
supply and the system load.
Figure 10-1 illustrates typical load shapes for the summer and winter seasons for the ERCOT
Interconnection. These curves are historical data from two peak days of the year. Note how the
load varies from hour to hour. If we could monitor the load change for even smaller periods
such as secondswe would see that load is constantly changing. The connected load is never
constant; it changes each hour, each minute, and each second of the day.

ERCOT Load Curves


60000

55000
System Load (MW)

50000

45000

40000

35000

30000

25000

20000
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Winter Summer Hour of Day

Figure 10-1 2014 ERCOT Summer & Winter Load Curves

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10.1.2 Need for Frequency Control Systems


In the early days of power systems, very basic control systems were used to match generation
to load. A power plant operator may have used a simple hand adjusted dial control to increase
or decrease generator output until it matched the load. As power systems have grown and
customer expectations of power system performance have increased, the equipment used to
match generation to load has also grown in complexity. Complex control systems have been
developed to maintain the desired match between generation and load.
These control systems will be introduced and described in this section of the Manual.
10.1.3 Definition of a Control System
A control system is a means to automatically control the output of a process based on
measurements of both input and output process quantities. For example, Figure 10-2 is a
block diagram of a simple control system that might be used to control the speed (output
frequency) of a generator. At point 1, the output frequency of the generator is monitored. At
point 2, the output frequency is compared to the target or scheduled frequency and a
frequency error determined. At point 3, the necessary adjustments are calculated to correct
the frequency error and make the actual frequency equal the scheduled frequency. At point
4, the speed controller adjusts a valve position to allow more or less working fluid (steam,
water, gas, etc.) into the generator.

Figure 10-2 Simple Frequency Control System

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10.1.4 The Energy Balance Concept Consequences of Over and Under


Generation
A major consequence of over or under generation is the effect on system frequency. When the
generation supply within an isolated power system or Interconnection exactly matches the
system load, the frequency will be constant. When not enough generation is supplied, the
frequency will decrease. When too much generation is supplied, the frequency will increase.
Figure 10-3 illustrates the need to achieve a balance between the power consumed (load) and
the power supplied (resources). Within ERCOT, the individual Qualified Scheduling Entities
(QSEs) respond to instructions with available resources to maintain frequency within a narrow
band about the nominal frequency of 60 HZ.

System Frequency

Figure 10-3 Load / Resources Balance Analogy


Time Error
A natural consequence of over and under generation is time error. Electric clocks (those driven
by motors fed from the power system) keep accurate time by counting the cycles of the power
system frequency. If the frequency varies from 60 HZ, the time kept by electric clocks will also
vary. Over a period, the clocks will develop errorstypically of a few seconds.
For example, if frequency decreases to 59.98 HZ and holds that value for one hour, electric
clocks will run slowerlosing 1.2 seconds in that one hour period. Figure 10-4 illustrates how
sustained frequency deviations will lead to time error. The power industry has developed
methods to correct these time errors that are the direct result of over and under generation.
The actual amount of generation adjustment is also dependent on how the system load
varies during the period.

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Figure 10-4 Accumulating Time Error

Scheduling Through a Qualified Scheduling Entity


A QSE is a part of ERCOTs interconnected power system that is responsible for scheduling
supply. Supplies of electricity are referred to as Resources. Resources may come in the form
of generation or Load Resources. Some QSE Responsibilities:
Have a control system capable of receiving digital control signals from ERCOTs control
system and of directing its contracted electric supply units to respond to the control
signals
The QSE with a Generation Resource or Load Resource that receives a Dispatch
Instruction must provide the requested service(s)
Honor bids submitted to ERCOT for Ancillary Services under the Protocols and provide
Ancillary Services (AS) in accordance with applicable emergency procedures.
When awarded AS bids, they shall provide and deploy those AS that they have agreed,
and been instructed
Provide gross or net real power *
Provide gross or net reactive power
Maintain a Current Operating Plan (COP) that provides ERCOT with all Resource
operating limits.*
Provide Real Time data to ERCOT for each Load Resource or generating unit

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In real-time operation, QSEs are responsible for ensuring that the actual resource levels are as
intended. The resources are scheduled into ERCOTs Energy Management System (EMS) of
which Automatic Generation Control (AGC) (Section 10.3) is a part. Resources may be owned
or contracted from other QSEs. Similarly, generation requirements may include contracted
customer load, losses, or contracted deliveries to other QSEs. Any difference between actual
resource levels and obligations indicates that they are failing to maintain their SCED base
points.

10.1.5 Normal and Abnormal Frequency Deviations


Definition of a Frequency Deviation
As we stated earlier, the target frequency is referred to as the scheduled frequency. When the
actual frequency (Fa) deviates from the scheduled frequency (Fs) a frequency deviation has
occurred. For example, the scheduled frequency is typically 60 HZ. If the actual frequency is
59.95 HZ then a -0.05 HZ frequency deviation has occurred.
Normal Frequency Deviation
Under normal conditions, the frequency in ERCOT varies between 59.97 and 60.03 HZ. These
variations are normal and constantly occur due to the changing nature of the load.
Figure 10-5 is an illustration of normal frequency deviations that occur in ERCOT. The goal is
to ensure that these frequency deviations are small and to ensure that the frequency stays
close to 60 HZ. Maintaining the frequency tightly around 60 HZ is achieved by adjusting the
resources MW outputs using both ERCOTs and the QSEs resource control systems.

Figure 10-5 Normal Frequency Deviations

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Figure 10-6 Abnormal Frequency Deviations


Abnormal Frequency Deviations
When emergency eventssuch as the loss of a generatoroccur in the power system, the
frequency will experience more drastic deviations. Figure 10-6 illustrates the change in
frequency following the loss and eventual replacement of a large amount of generation. The
frequency deviations of Figure 10-5 are normal and not of concern. The frequency deviations
of Figure 10-6, however, are large enough to cause concern.
As seen in Figure 10-6, the frequency has recovered to 60 HZ within a few minutes of the loss
of a generator. If frequency deviates by more than 0.2 HZ for a long period, damage to
generators and customer equipment could occur. Some types of generators and customer
equipment are designed for operation within a tight frequency band.
10.1.6 The Load/Frequency Relationship
The load that is connected to the power system will draw different amounts of MW depending
on the frequency and voltage of the system. We will divide all loads into two general types;
non-motor load (non- spinning load) and motor load (spinning load).
Non-Motor Load
Non-motor loads, such as heaters, light bulbs, and some electronic equipment, will vary in
magnitude (MW) depending on the voltage of the power system to which it is connected.
Although non-motor load may vary slightly with frequency, it is a reasonably accurate
statement to say that non-motor load magnitude does not vary as frequency is varied.
Non-motor load magnitude is very dependent on the voltage of the system. For example, if the
voltage of the power system drops 10% (to 90% of normal) the power drawn by resistive
electric heater loads will fall by approximately 19% (to 81% of nominal).

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Motor Load
Motor load makes up a large portion of a typical utilitys total load. The more populated the
service territory, the more common are motor loads. When we refer to motor loads, we
generally mean induction motors. Typical uses for induction motors are as air-conditioner
compressor motors, vacuum cleaner motors, etc. Large portions of commercial and industrial
load are induction motor loads.
Motor load is dependent upon the voltage and frequency of the power system to which it is
attached. If the voltage or frequency declines, the connected motor load magnitude will also
decline. The frequency has a greater impact than voltage on motor load. To simplify our
description of the impact of voltage and frequency on motor load magnitude we will ignore the
smaller effects of voltage and concentrate on the larger effects of frequency. An approximate
rule of thumb is that the connected motor load magnitude will decrease by 2% if the frequency
decreases by 1%.
The Load/Frequency Relationship
Figure 10-7 illustrates how the two different types of loadnon-motor and motorvary with
frequency. This figure represents a power system with a 5000 MW nominal load.
Notice that if this systems entire load were non-motor, the load magnitude would remain
constant at 5000 MW no matter how the frequency changed. In contrast, the motor load
magnitude decreases as the frequency decreases.
There is a third curve shown in Figure 10-7 called the total load characteristics. The total
system load is composed of portions of both non-motor and motor load. For example, a large
factory may have a large amount of electric heat in addition to a large amount of induction
motor load. The total load characteristic for the factory load would show the overall change of
the entire load with respect to frequency. A 1% change in frequency would typically result in a
1% change in the total load. Remember no system is typical, this is just a rule of thumb for
estimating purposes.

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Figure 10-7 Relationship Between Load Magnitude & Frequency


The importance of the load/frequency relationship will become apparent as we progress in our
description of the frequency control process. For now, just remember that the system load
magnitude is dependent on the system frequency.
10.1.7 Power System Inertia
Energy is stored in the rotating elements of the power system. This energy is typically called
inertial, stored, or rotational energy. Inertial energy has an important role in the maintenance of
a relatively constant power system frequency.
Inertia is defined as the property of an object that resists a change in the objects current speed
and direction. The inertia of a generator refers to the generators resistance to changes in its
speed of rotation. When a large turbine generator is rotating at 3600 RPM, it is not a simple
matter to change its speed. There is a great deal of energy stored in the rotating elements of a
generator that help to maintain its constant speed of rotation. To change a generators speed
you must either add rotational energy to the generator (to speed up the rotation) or remove
rotational energy from the generator (to slow the rotation). Figure 10-8 illustrates energy
storage in a large steam turbine generators rotor.

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Figure 10-8 Inertia of a Steam Generator Rotor

The inertial energy stored in an object is dependent upon the mass and diameter of the object.
Large steam turbine generators have a very large mass (the rotating elements alone may
weigh more than 200 tons) and therefore have a large inertial energy. The inertia of large
turbine generators helps maintain power system frequency at a constant value. Inertial forces
resist changes in frequency.
The power system has many sources of inertia. Any rotating equipment that is connected to
the system is a source of stored rotational energy or inertial energy. Thus, all generators and
spinning loads on the system are sources of inertial energy. For purposes of this Manual, we
will confine our description of inertia to the systems generators but remember that spinning
motors also contain rotational or inertial energy.
The natural resistance of a generator to a change in speed helps to keep the power system
frequency constant. In general, the larger the generator, the larger the inertia and the more
rotational energy that must be added or removed from the generator to change its speed of
rotation. There are several ways to add energy to or remove energy from a generator:
Increase or decrease the mechanical power supplied to the generator (for example, add more
steam to a steam turbine or increase the water flow to a hydro turbine).
Vary the load attached to the generator. If a load is removed from a generator, the generator
will initially speed upwhich is equivalent to increasing the rotational energy to the generator.
If a load is added to a generator, it is initially equivalent to removing rotational energy from the
generator.

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Small decreases in the system load will normally cause little change in frequency. This is
because the inertial forces of a typical power system are so largewhen compared to the load
decreasethat the generators and motors in the system keep rotating at almost the same
speed. When large loads are added to the power system, the utility may see a change in the
system generators speed of rotation.
For example, if a utility were to suddenly add a 100 MW load in the vicinity of a generating
station, the generators frequency (speed) monitors may detect a slight reduction in rotational
speed. Note that this reduction in speed would only be temporary, as control systems exist to
return the system frequency to normal.
Consider another example. Assume that a utility suddenly loses a large generator. This lost
energy causes an under-generation condition and must be made up by other generating
resources. Other system generating units will each supply a share of the lost power by
converting a portion of their rotational energy to electric power to help supply the generation
shortage.
These generating units would be using their inertial energy to replace the power shortage
caused by the loss of the unit. Because of sacrificing some of their own inertial energy, the
units that supply the energy will experience a decline in rotational speed.

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Section 10.1 Summary


10.1.1 The Changing Load
Loads within the power system are constantly changing. The connected load is never
constant; it changes each hour, each minute, and each second of the day.
10.1.2 Need for Frequency Control Systems
Frequency control systems have been developed to maintain the desired match
between generation and load.
10.1.3 Definition of a Control System
A control system is a means to automatically control the output of a process based
on measurements of both input and output process quantities.
10.1.4 The Energy Balance Concept
When the generation supply within an Interconnection exactly matches the system
load, the frequency will be constant. When not enough generation is supplied, the
frequency will decrease. When too much generation is supplied, the frequency will
increase.
A natural consequence of over and under generation is time error.
10.1.5 Normal and Abnormal Frequency Deviations
The target frequency is referred to as the scheduled frequency. When the actual
frequency deviates from the scheduled frequency a frequency deviation has occurred.
Under normal conditions, the power system frequency in ERCOT
varies between 59.97 and 60.03 HZ.
When emergency eventssuch as the loss of a generatoroccur in the power
system, the frequency will experience more drastic, abnormal deviations. The loss of a
large generator in ERCOT may briefly depress frequency to below 59.8 HZ.
10.1.6 The Load/Frequency Relationship
The total system load can be broken down into two general types: motor load, and
non- motor load.
The motor load that is connected to the power system will draw different amounts of
MW depending on the frequency of the system.
An approximate rule of thumb is that a 1% change in frequency will lead to a 1%
change in total load magnitude.
10.1.7 Power System Inertia
Energy is stored in the rotating elements of the power system. This energy is
commonly called inertial energy.
The inertia of the power system helps keep the system frequency constant. The
more inertia in a power system, the harder it is to change system frequency.

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Section 10.1 Review Questions


Q1. How will system frequency be affected when too much generation is supplied?
a) System frequency will rise
b) System frequency will fall
c) System frequency will remain constant

Q2. A large load is tripped off-line. How will system frequency and time error be affected?
a) Frequency will rise and time error will be faster
b) Frequency will rise and time error will be slower
c) Frequency will fall and time error will be faster
d) Frequency will fall and time error will be slower

Q3. What is the typical frequency range in ERCOT under normal conditions?
a) 59.95 to 60.05 HZ
b) 59.94 to 60.06 HZ
c) 59.97 to 60.03 HZ
d) 59.98 to 60.02 HZ

Q4. System frequency drops to 59.4 HZ. What will be the corresponding change to a 100 MW
motor load?
a) Decrease to 98 MW
b) Decrease to 99 MW
c) Increase to 99 MW
d) Increase to 98 MW

Q5. Which of the following statements is correct regarding power system inertia?
a) Inertia is typically called stored, or rotational energy
b) Inertial energy enhances a change in the objects current speed and direction
c) The inertial energy stored in an object is independent of the mass and diameter of the
object
d) Inertial energy forces the power system frequency to change

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Q6. Which of the following rules of thumb is correct regarding the relationship between load
magnitude and frequency?
a) Total load magnitude will decrease by approximately 1% for a 1% change in frequency
b) Motor load magnitude will decrease by approximately 1% for a 1% change in frequency
c) Non-motor load magnitude will decrease by approximately 1% for a 1% change in
frequency
d) Non-motor load magnitude will decrease by approximately 2% for a 1% change in
frequency

Q7. Which of the following loads is most impacted by frequency?


a) An air conditioner compressor
b) A computer
c) An electric heater
d) Incandescent lighting

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10.2 Governor System Components and Operation

10.2.1 Introduction to Governors


Electric generators use governor control systems to control shaft speed. The governor system
senses the generator shaft speed and initiates adjustments to the mechanical input power of
the generator to increase or decrease the generators speed as required. This Manual will
address a governors role in maintaining shaft speed once a unit is synchronized and carrying
load. Governors also have a role during the startup and shutdown of a generator that we will
not address.
Governor control systems control the position of input valves to the turbine of the generator. In
this text we will normally assume the turbine for the generator is a steam turbine so the
governor controls steam input to the turbine via a control valve.
Note: Governor Control systems also control wicket gate positions in a hydro unit and fuel inlet
pumps in combustion turbines.

To introduce how generator governors operate, suppose that the simple generator system in
Figure 10-9 undergoes a large load increase. This creates a system energy deficiency causing
the generator shaft speed to fall as power is quickly drawn from the stored energy in the
rotating parts of the generator. The governor senses the reduced shaft speed of its generator
and acts to further open the steam valve to the turbine.

Figure 10-9 Simple System to Illustrate Governor Control

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The further opening of the steam valve increases the steam input to the generator turbine and
adds rotational energy to the shaft. This additional steam will slow the decline in the speed of
the shaft and eventually increase the speed of the shaft. If the speed of the shaft is still less
than the desired value, the governor will further open the steam valve. The process continues
over several seconds until the desired shaft speed is attained.
All types of utility generators use governor control systems:
Hydro generators use governors to control the amount of water used to turn the hydro
turbine.
Steam generators use governors to control the amount of steam striking the turbine
blades.
Combustion turbines use governors to control the amount of fuel input to the
combustion chamber.
The next two Sections describe two common types of governor control systems: mechanical
based and electronic based.
10.2.2 Centrifugal Ballhead Governor
Figure 10-10 is a simplified diagram of a centrifugal ballhead governor. This type governor
uses a flyweight arrangement to monitor turbine/generator shaft speed. The rotating ballhead
assembly is mechanically geared or electrically driven by the turbine/generator shaft. The
spinning force from the shaft causes the flyweights to spread out or pivot a distance that is
proportional to the current turbine/generator rotational speed.
When the flyweights pivot in or out, the speeder rod moves up or down which in turn
repositions a control valve. The control valve position determines whether oil will be allowed in
or out of the oil reservoir. The oil level in the oil reservoir controls the fuel rod piston. If the fuel
rod piston moves down, the throttle valvethat controls the input (steam, water, etc.) to the
turbineis moved towards the closed position. If the fuel rod piston moves up, the throttle
valve is further opened.
The speed of the generator is directly tied to the throttle valve position. If the generator
governor detects the generator speed is rising it will close the throttle valve further and arrest
the speed increase. If the governor detects that shaft speed is falling, it will open the throttle
valve further to increase the shaft speed. Ballhead governors can be used to control steam
inlet valves to a steam turbine, wicket gates or nozzle openings in a hydro turbine, or fuel
pumps in a combustion turbine. All systems use hydraulics to amplify the small flyweight forces
to make the force large enough to drive the appropriate control valves.

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Figure 10-10 Basic Centrifugal Ballhead Governor

10.2.3 Modern Electronic Governors


Modern generators often use electronic governors. This type governor performs the same
function as a ballhead (mechanical) governorit simply uses electronic components to
perform these functions. Figure 10-11 illustratesin block diagram formatthe components of
an electro-hydraulic governor. An electro-hydraulic governor uses electronic components to
sense speed and create the desired control signals and uses hydraulics to obtain the forces
necessary to adjust steam valves or wicket gates.
As shown in Figure 10-11, a permanent magnet generator (PMG) is electrically coupled to the
turbine shaft. This small generators rotor is geared to the turbine shaft so its output frequency
is representative of shaft speed. The output frequency of the PMG is converted to an
equivalent voltage and fed to a series of electronic components. These components sample
the shaft speed and compare it to a target value. The error detected is used to drive the
hydraulic system.

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Figure 10-11 Electro-Hydraulic Governor Block Diagram

Also illustrated in Figure 10-11 are two inputs; AGC Signal and Manual Control Access. The
Manual Control Access input is an access point for a plant operator to assume control of the
governor system. The automatic generation control (AGC) signal is a control signal sent by a
Control Centers computer system to adjust governor settings. We will address the AGC signal
in detail in Section 10.3.
Depending on the age of the electronic governor, it may be composed of analog or digital
electronic components. Newer electronic governors use digital components. These type
governors are supplied data about the generator (speed, target MW, etc.) and use digital
computer components to perform the governor function. Access to the performance
characteristics (settings) of a digital governor is often through software. For example, the plant
operator may be able to adjust governor characteristics simply by making adjustments in a
software program.

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10.2.4 Governor Droop Curves


Governor Control & System Operations
Our goal throughout this Manual is to analyze power system behavior from a system
operations perspective. This goal affects how we view a governors operations. In actual
operation, governors monitor shaft speed and respond by changing a throttle valve position. If
the shaft speed slows below its target value, the governor will open the throttle valve further to
increase shaft speed. If the shaft speed increases above its target value, the governor will
close the throttle valve further to decrease shaft speed.
From a system operations perspective it is clearer if we equate shaft speed to system
frequency and throttle valve position to generator output power. Accordingly, from this point
forward we will use the approximation that governors monitor system frequency and adjust unit
MW output to correct for system frequency errors.

Isochronous (Flat-Line) Governor Control


The expected response of a generators governor to changes in system frequency may be
plotted to form a curve. Every governor control system has such a curve, known as its
governor characteristic curve or more commonly as its droop curve. This plot shows the
relationship between the governors generator output power and the electrical frequency of the
power system to which the generator is connected.
A governor that strives to maintain its target frequency (normally 60 HZ) for all load levels
would be called an isochronous governor. An islanded power system (i.e., a power system
that is not connected via AC lines to any other power system) may use isochronous governor
control. During the restoration of the system following a blackout, a system may have
guidelines for operating islanded sections of the power system with selected generators on
isochronous control. A Control Centers emergency generator could also employ an
isochronous governor.
A characteristic curve for an isochronous governor is shown in Figure 10-12. If the frequency
should change, the governor represented by this characteristic curve would try to adjust
generation until frequency was returned to 60 HZ. An isochronous governor will do everything
possible to maintain 60 HZ.

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Figure 10-12 Isochronous Governor Characteristic Curve

The generator illustrated in Figure 10-12 has a minimum output rating of zero (0) MW and a
maximum output rating of 300 MW. In theory, this generator could vary its output in a range
from zero (0) MW to 300 MW in response to system frequency changes. If frequency falls
below 60 HZ, this governor will move the generator output towards 300 MW to return the
frequency to 60 HZ. If frequency rises above 60 HZ, this governor will move the generator
output towards zero (0) MW.
Need for Droop
In actual practice, an isochronous governor characteristic is not practical and not used in
ERCOT. Interconnected power system generators with isochronous governors tend to be
unstable and enter into speed oscillations following sudden load changes. Isochronous
governors would continually make minor corrections in search of the target frequency of 60 HZ.
When a droop characteristic is added to a governor, it forces generators to respond to
frequency disturbances in proportion to their size. For example, a 1000 MW unit would
respond with ten times the response of a 100 MW unit if both had the same droop setting.
The droop curve of Figure 10-12 could be used by a generators governor if it were the only
generator on isochronous governor control in the Interconnection. This generator would then
provide the majority of governor control response.

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Governors with a Droop Characteristic


In practice, governors operate with a droop characteristic. Figure 10-13 illustrates this type of
governor characteristic curve. The curve droops from left to right. This means, that as power
system frequency increases, the governor will reduce generator output and stabilize at a higher
frequency than was initially held. When power system frequency decreases, the governor will
increase generation and the generator will stabilize at a frequency lower than initially held.
Droop settings on governors allow many generators to operate in parallel in the power system
while all are on governor control and not compete with one another for load changes.

Figure 10-13 Governor Characteristic Curve with 5% Droop


Governor droop is expressed as a percentage of the frequency change required for a governor
to move a unit from no-load to full-load or from full-load to no-load. For example, a 5% droop
setting means that a three (3) HZ (5% of 60 HZ) change in frequency is required to move the
generator across its entire rangefrom no load to full load or from full load to no load.
The power industrys suggested setting for governor droop is in the neighborhood of 3% 7%.
Figure 10-13 is for a 5% droop governor. If frequency changed from 61.5 HZ to 58.5 HZ (3 HZ
or 5% of 60 HZ), the governor would attempt to change the output of the unit from 0% to 100%
(300 MW) of full-load. ERCOT requires a 5% droop characteristic be maintained on governors.
The definition of a 5% droop setting does not imply that we normally operate a generator with
frequencies ranging from 58.5 to 61.5 HZ. The definition of a governors droop only describes
how a generator will behave when confronted with frequencies different from 60 HZ. In actual
operation, generators are rarely operated under load outside of a 59.5 to 60.5 frequency range.

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10.2.5 Governor Control in an Islanded System


The operation of a governor with a droop characteristic will first be described for a simple
islanded power system with only one generator. Later, the concepts of droop and governor
control will be expanded to describe operation within an interconnected power system with
multiple generators.
Governor Response to a Frequency Rise
Assume that an isolated generators governor has the characteristic curve given in Figure 10-
14. The frequency of the system suddenly increases. The governor adjusts generation
downward from 150 MW to 140 MW to stabilize the frequency at 60.1 HZ. The frequency might
stabilize at 60.1 HZ but this is an unacceptable frequency deviation and we would want to
return it to 60 HZ as soon as possible. Returning the frequency to 60 HZ is done by adjusting
the load reference set-point of the governor.

Figure 10-14 300 MW Unit with 5% Droop - Frequency Rise


The Load-Reference Set-Point
The load reference set-point of the governor represents the generation that will be produced by
the generator when the system frequency is 60 HZ. The set-point in Figure 10- 14 was initially
150 MW. The set-point is adjusted so that the generator produces the desired output MW
provided that this is within the range of the unitwhen the shaft speed is the equivalent of 60
HZ.

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Adjusting the set-point has the effect of sliding the whole governor characteristic curve. For
example, in Figure 10-15 the set-point of the governor has been adjusted from 150 MW to 140
MW and the generators output frequency has moved from 60.1 HZ back to the target value of
60 HZ. Thus, when the load reference set-point of the governor is adjusted, the MW that the
generator will produce at 60 HZ is changed.

Figure 10-15 Changing the Set-Point to 140 MW @ 60 HZ


Set-Points and Stored Energy
An alternate way to visualize a governor set-point is to think in terms of the rotational energy of
the generator. When you adjust an isolated generators governor set-point, you are changing
the stored or rotational energy in the turbine/rotor. For example, in Figure 10-15 the
movement of the set-point from 150 to 140 MW changed the turbine-rotor speed of rotation
from 60.1 to 60 HZ. Stored energy has been removed from the turbine-rotor, which results in a
reduction in frequency.
In order to decrease the system frequency you decrease the governors set-point, which in
effect decreases the stored or rotational energy in the turbine-rotor. Similarly, to increase the
system frequency you increase the governors set-point, which in effect increases the stored or
rotational energy in the turbine-rotor.

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When set-points are changed, they are changed slowly. There is no reason to disturb the unit
with rapid set-point adjustments. The load reference set-point adjustment can be made either
manually via the power plant controls or automatically via the AGC system. AGC will be
described in Section 10.3.
Governor Response to a Frequency Drop
Governor control typically occurs following a generator loss. Figures 10-16 and 10-17 will be
used to illustrate the response of an isolated generators governor to a frequency drop.

In Figure 10-16, the governor settings are such that the generator is maintaining a 150 MW
output when the system frequency is 60 HZ. Assume that a load increase causes the system
frequency to drop. Figure 10-16 illustrates the governor moving the generator down its droop
curve to arrest the frequency drop at 59.9 HZ. As a result of the governor commands, the
generator output has increased from 150 to 160 MW.

Figure 10-16 300 MW Unit with 5% Droop - Frequency Drop

The governor has done its job by arresting the system frequency decline at 59.9 HZ. The
eventual goal is to return the frequency to 60 HZ but the governor will not recover frequency on
its own. The governor will not return the frequency to 60 HZ unless its set-point is adjusted. For
the isolated generator we are studying, we will assume it is the plant operator that adjusts the
governor set-point.

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Figure 10-17 illustrates the movement of the governor set-point from 150 MW @ 60 HZ to 160
MW @ 60 HZ. Notice that as the set-point is moved, the frequency of the isolated power
system recovers from 59.9 HZ to 60 HZ.

Figure 10-17 Changing the Set-Point to 160 MW @ 60 HZ

The set-point adjustment returns lost rotational energy to the generator and allows system
frequency to recover. The movement of governor set-points may be done by a plant operator
as illustrated above, but in practice, an additional control systemautomatic generation
control (AGC)is used to adjust set-points. We will learn about this control system in Section
10.3.
Load/Frequency Relationship & Droop Curves
When we examined the governor response of an isolated generator, we stated that when the
set-point was adjusted the rotational energy of the isolated system was changed and this
resulted in a change in frequency. We did not show any MW change when in fact a MW
change does occur.
Recall the load/frequency relationship that was presented in the previous subsection. We
stated that anytime the system frequency is changed, the MW also changes as MW level is
related to frequency. A rule of thumb was given that a 1% change in frequency will typically
lead to a 1% change in total load.
The fact that the load level MW changes when the frequency changes impacts droop curves.
Figure 10.17 illustrated the adjustment of a set-point to recover the frequency to 60 HZ. Note in
this figure that as the frequency recovers, the generator MW output does not change. Figure

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

10-18 illustrates the same set-point movement as Figure 10-17 but the load/frequency
relationship is accounted for in this figure.

Figure 10-18 Load/Frequency Relationship & Droop Curves

Compare Figures 10-17 and 10-18. Note that the frequency does not drop as much in Figure
10-18 as it does in 10-17. This is due to the load/frequency relationship. As the frequency
drops, the load magnitude also drops. In Figure 10-18 if the load/frequency effect was not
accounted for frequency would drop down to point 1. Counting the load-frequency effect
means frequency only drops down to point 2. When the governor set-point is adjusted to
recover the frequency, both frequency and generator MW output increase. The generator
output increases because as the frequency is recovered to 60 HZ, the load magnitude also
rises to a higher value.
The load/frequency relationship is very important in the operation of an interconnected power
system. In a large Interconnectionsuch as the Eastern Interconnectionthe load/frequency
relationship is typically all that is needed to arrest frequency deviations.
Governor control is only necessary in a large Interconnection if the mismatch between
generation and load is large. For most mismatches, the change in load magnitude that
accompanies a frequency deviation is sufficient to arrest the frequency deviation.
We will not include the impact of the load/frequency relationship in future droop curves as it
complicates the usage of the droop curve. Just remember that the effect exists and it has a
critical impact on power system frequency control.

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10.2.6 Governor Control in the Interconnected System


The previous material described governor operation with respect to an isolated generator.
Most generators do not operate isolated but rather as part of an interconnected power system.
We will now describe the differences between isolated generator operation and operation within
the interconnected power system.
Figures 10-14 through 10-17 illustrated how the movement of a governors set-point results in
a change to the rotational energy and thus to the frequency of the generator. In our example of
an isolated generator, the governor first changed the MW output of the unit in response to a
frequency change. The set-point of the governor was then changed to return the isolated
systems frequency to 60 HZ. In the interconnected system, there are more factors to consider
since there are many generators operating at any one time.
To illustrate the differences between isolated generator governor operation and interconnected
system governor operation, first return to Figures 10-16 and 10-17. Figure 10- 16 illustrated an
isolated generator under governor control with an initial set-point of 150 MW. In response to a
declining system frequency the governor slid the unit down along its droop curve to arrest the
frequency decline at 59.9 HZ with a 160 MW output.
The frequency would stay at 59.9 HZ if we relied totally on the automatic response of the
governor. The governor had done its job by increasing the units MW output and arresting the
frequency at 59.9 HZ. Figure 10-17 illustrated the movement of the set-point to restore the
frequency to 60 HZ. This set-point movement was performed by the plant operator.
Note that the movement to the final set-point in Figure 10-17 did not involve a change in the
MW output of the generator. The set-point change was entirely a change in rotating energy and
as a result, the system frequency changed. This is trueif we ignore the load/frequency
relationshipin our isolated power system because there is only one generator. When the set-
point change was made, the unit MW had already been adjusted by the units governor. This is
not the case in the interconnected system, as we will illustrate with Figure 10-19.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Figure 10-19 Interconnected System Governor Response


Figure 10-19 illustrates two generators in an interconnected power system. Units A and B are
initially operating at 95 MW as shown in the left of the figure. Both units respond to a load
increase in the interconnected system by sliding down their respective droop curves as
illustrated in the middle of Figure 10-19. On the far right of the figure, a set-point change is
made to unit A to correct the frequency to 60 HZ. No set-point changes are made to unit A
Notice how the set-point change to the unit A governor is not a straight up and down
movement as was illustrated in Figures 10-15 or 10-17, but rather a movement of the
characteristic curve up and to the right. The set-point change is different in Figure 10-19
because both units initially responded to the frequency drop by moving down their droop
curves. However, only one of the units had its set-point changed to restore frequency. The unit
that had its set-point changed will increase its MW output to replace all of the governor
response from the other units in the interconnected system. When set-points are changed in
the interconnected system, rotational energyand unit MW outputwill change
simultaneously.
When frequency deviations occur within ERCOT, all units with governors should provide
governor response. However, only those units providing Regulation Service should have their
set-points adjusted. These few units will make up for whatever generation excess or
deficiency caused the frequency deviation in the first place. All the other units in the
Interconnection that provided governor response will slide back along their droop curves to
their original operating points as the system frequency is recovered.

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10.2.7 System Frequency Response Characteristic


A power system characteristiccalled the frequency response characteristic (FRC)can be
developed for any section of a power system. The FRC relates the MW response of the
system (or section of the system) to a change in frequency. The FRC is based on the
combined response of all the generating units and the spinning (motor) load in the system to
changes in system frequency. The FRC includes the governor response of the various units
and the frequency response of the loads. FRC data is often reported in units of MW per .1 HZ.
For example, a Control Area may report that their system typically responds with 200 MW for
each .1 HZ of frequency deviation.
The FRC of a power system will vary with the current operating conditions. The FRC of a
power system following a frequency disturbance will vary depending on the generating units
currently on line, the magnitude of the load, the transmission lines in-service, etc.
Given the same size loss of generation occurring at two different times, the FRC of the system
will be different.
The FRC is similar to a droop characteristic. Both quantities relate MW changes to frequency
changes. The FRC for a power system is sometimes referred to as a system droop. You can
produce a droop type curve for any area of the power system that describes how that area
responds to frequency changes.
Frequency Response of the ERCOT Interconnection
Figure 10-20 is based on recent frequency response data for the ERCOT Interconnection.
The figure illustrates how the ERCOT Interconnection frequency varied following a significant
generation loss. The time scales along the bottom of the figure are measured in minutes. The
frequency response of a power system takes approximately 10 to 15 seconds to develop
following a disturbance. Note in the figure that the frequency continues to improve as indicated
by the arrow denoting Automatic Generator Control (AGC) action.

Notice how an 1150 MW loss leads to a substantial frequency deviation. The ERCOT
Interconnection is a small Interconnection when compared to either the Eastern or the
Western. ERCOT can expect large frequency deviations when major generation is lost and
they design and maintain their power systems accordingly. The FRC for the ERCOT
Interconnection as calculated in Figure 10-20 is 442 MW/.1 HZ. (The FRC for the ERCOT
Interconnection typically ranges from 500 to 800 MW per 0.1 HZ of frequency deviation.)

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Figure 10-20 ERCOT Interconnection

Frequency Bias
The FRC for ERCOT is an important measure of response to a disturbance. The FRC is the
natural frequency response of ERCOT and is expressed in MW/0.1 HZ. The term frequency
bias or letter is commonly used when referring to an entitys FRC. The correct use and
importance of the frequency bias term will be described in Section 10.3.
10.2.8 Limitations to Governor Response
Governors are not designed fornor is it intended that they performperfect frequency
control. Limitations to governor control, both intentional and unintentional, include:

Droop
Responsive Spinning Reserve
Mismatch Size
Governor Dead band
Type of Generating Unit
Blocked Governors

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Droop
Governors will not return a unit to 60 HZ due to their droop settings. The droop setting is
intentionally incorporated into governor control systems. Without a droop setting, parallel
generators on governor control would compete with each other to make generation
adjustments. The result could be large power swings as different generators induce power
swings in one another. Another advantage of droop settings is that a percent droop setting
forces generators to make load changes that are proportional to their MW rating.
Responsive Spinning Reserve
If a governor is to move a unit down along its droop curve in response to a frequency drop, it
can only do so if the generator has spare MW capability. This spare MW capability is referred
to as spinning reserve. Spinning reserve is the difference between the current output level of
the synchronized generator and the maximum sustainable output level of the unit.
A generator may be carrying a large amount of spinning reserve and still not adequately
respond to governor commands. Not all spinning reserve is necessarily responsive to governor
commands. That portion of the spinning reserve that is responsive to governor commands is
called the units responsive spinning reserve. In general, the responsive spinning reserve
attributable to a generator should be responsive to governor commands and fully available
within 10 seconds.
A large portion of the spinning reserve carried in hydro units is often responsive spinning
reserve. In general, hydro units can respond quickly with more MW due to the nature of their
energy conversion process. The nature of the energy conversion process in a steam unit often
limits the responsive spinning reserve to only a fraction of the available spinning reserve.
Boiler temperatures and pressures must be maintained within certain limits in a steam unit.
These limitations restrict the maximum rate of change allowed from the unit.
Size of Mismatch
The size of mismatch refers to the percent mismatch between generation and load that causes
a frequency disturbance. The larger the percent mismatch, the greater the frequency deviation
and the more likely governors will respond.
For example, the loss of a 500 MW unit in an Interconnection the size of the Eastern (several
hundred thousand MW peak load) is barely noticeable on frequency strip charts. However, the
loss of a 500 MW unit in an Interconnection such as ERCOT (1/12 the size of the Eastern)
would result in a larger frequency reduction.
Governor Dead band
A control system (such as a governor) maintains a variable close to a target value based on a
series of measured inputs. There is a certain dead area around the target value within which
the control system does not function. Therefore, instead of a target value, a control system
actually maintains a target range. For example, if the controlled variable is frequency, instead
of maintaining exactly 60 HZ, a governor control system may maintain frequency within a band
of 60.03 HZ to 59.97 HZ. The inactive range around the target value is called the dead band.
In our example of a governor holding frequency within a range of 59.97 HZ to

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

60.03 HZ, the target value is 60.00 HZ and the dead band is 0.03 HZ.
In older mechanical governor systems, dead band was impossible to eliminate. Friction
between moving parts resulted in dead band whether it was desired or not. In newer
mechanical and electronic governor systems, dead band can be largely eliminated if so
desired. However, in practice some dead band is desired.
ERCOT requires a maximum dead band of 0.017 HZ on all generators except those steam or
hydro units with mechanical governors.
Type of Unit
The type of unit (hydro, steam, combustion turbine, etc.) has a direct bearing on governor
response. While the governor control systems used on different units may be identical, what is
more important is the MW response from the unit. If the unit cannot deliver what is asked of it
by the governor, it is of less value to the system.
Hydro
Hydro units are, in general very responsive to governor commands. Depending on the size
and type of hydro unit, high response rates can be achieved in a few seconds.
Combustion Turbine
Combustion turbines are often very responsive to governor commands. However, the most
economic operation of combustion turbines is often close to full load. This will reduce the
governor response.
Steam
Steam units make up by far the majority of ERCOT generators. The governor response of
steam units varies from very poor to very good depending on the type of steam unit. The initial
governor response from a steam unit is from stored steam. This initial response may be quite
fast. The difficulty will be in sustaining this initial response.
Approximately 30% of a generators output power is developed in the high pressure turbine of
a typical steam unit. The remaining 70% is developed in the lower pressure stages. The high
pressure turbine is very responsive to governor commands as the governor typically directly
controls the high pressure turbine control valve. The lower pressure stages are only indirectly
controlled by the governor. The lower pressure stages are fed steam via a reheat cycle of the
boiler. This adds several seconds of time delay from an initial call for MW from a governor until
the generator can actually deliver the majority of its MW response.
Gas or Coal Fired Steam Units
Gas or coal fired steam units are capable of strong governor response. A well-tuned coal fired
unit may respond with 10% of its remaining capability within 10 seconds following a frequency
disturbance. The actual response of a gas or coal fired unit will depend on the specifics of the
boiler-turbine. For example, units with a drum type boiler have significant steam storage and
this steam can be used for rapid, sustained, governor response. In contrast, supercritical
(once through type) boilers have little steam storage and, in general, cannot sustain a
significant governor response.

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Gas or Nuclear Steam Units


Nuclear units are capable of governor response much the same as coal fired units
pressurized water reactors being more capable than boiling water reactors. However, nuclear
units are often operated at full licensed output. Given a frequency deviation, nuclear unit
governors are often blocked (see below) to prevent further valve opening and MW response.
This is not to infer that all nuclear units have blocked governors. Some utilities are very
dependent on nuclear powered generation and achieve satisfactory governor response with
their nuclear units. The nuclear units in ERCOT (Comanche Peak and STP) do operate with
blocked governors.
Blocked Governors
All governor response can be prevented. By adjusting the generators controls, a utility can
intentionally prevent the unit from responding to a frequency disturbance. This is called
blocking a governor. For example, nuclear units are often operated at their maximum licensed
output. The generation owner may choose to prevent steam valves from opening further in
response to a frequency decline. In effect, the utility has blocked the governors response to a
frequency drop.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Section 10.2 Summary

10.2.1 Introduction to Governors


Electric generators use governor control systems to control shaft speed. The
governor system senses the generator shaft speed and initiates adjustments to the
mechanical input power of the generator to increase or decrease the generators speed
as required.
10.2.2 Centrifugal Ballhead Governor
A centrifugal ballhead governor uses a rotating flyweight arrangement to monitor
turbine/generator shaft speed. The flyweights pivot based on the generators shaft
speed. Mechanical linkages adjust valve positions to adjust the fuel input and the shaft
speed.
10.2.3 Modern Electronic Governors
Modern generators often use electronic governors. This type governor performs the
same function as a ballhead (mechanical) governorit simply uses electronic
components to perform these functions.
10.2.4 Governor Droop Curves
In actual operation, governors monitor shaft speed and respond by changing a
throttle valve position. From a system operations perspective it is clearer if we equate
shaft speed to system frequency and throttle valve position to generator output power.
A governor that strives to maintain its target frequency (normally 60 HZ) for all load
levels would be called an isochronous governor.
The expected response of a generators governor to changes in system frequency
may be plotted to form a droop curve.
Governors in the interconnected systems operate with a droop characteristic. A
droop characteristic forces generators to respond to frequency disturbances in
proportion to their size.
A droop characteristic means that as power system frequency increases, the
governor will reduce generator output and stabilize at a higher frequency than was
initially held. When power system frequency decreases, the governor will increase
generation and the generator will stabilize at a frequency lower than initially held.
Governor droop is expressed as a percentage of the frequency change required for a
governor to move a unit from no-load to full-load or from full-load to no-load. For
example, a 5% droop setting means that a 3 HZ (5% of 60 HZ) change in frequency is
required to move the generator across its entire range.
10.2.5 Governor Control in an Islanded System
The load reference set-point of the governor represents the generation that will be
produced by the generator when the system frequency is 60 HZ. When the load
reference set-point of the governor is adjusted, the MW that the generator will produce
at 60 HZ is changed.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

When you change an isolated generators governor set-point, you are changing the
stored or rotational energy in the turbine/rotor.
Following a generation loss, generator governors will arrest the frequency drop. The
load reference set-points must now be adjusted to restore frequency.
The load/frequency relationship is very important in the operation of an
interconnected power system. In a large Interconnectionsuch as the Eastern
Interconnectionthe load/frequency relationship is typically all that is needed to arrest
most frequency deviations. Governor control may only be necessary in a large
Interconnection if the mismatch between generation and load is large.
10.2.6 Governor Control in the Interconnected System
When frequency deviations occur within ERCOT, all units with governors should
provide governor response. However, only those units that QSEs have bid into the
system to provide response will have their set-points adjusted. These few units will
make up for whatever generation excess or deficiency caused the frequency deviation in
the first place. All the other units in the Interconnection that provided governor response
should slide back along their droop curves to their original operating points once the
system frequency has recovered.
10.2.7 System Frequency Response Characteristic
A power system characteristiccalled the frequency response characteristic (FRC)
can be developed for any section of a power system. The FRC relates the MW
response of the system to a change in frequency. The FRC is based on the combined
response of all the generating units and the Load Resources in the system to changes
in system frequency.
The FRC for the ERCOT Interconnection typically ranges from 500 to 800 MW per
0.1 HZ of frequency deviation.
The FRC for ERCOT is an important measure of response to a disturbance. The FRC
is the natural frequency response of ERCOT and is expressed in MW/0.1 HZ. The term
frequency bias or letter is commonly used when referring to an individual Control
Areas FRC.
10.2.8 Limitations to Governor Response
Governors will not return a unit to 60 HZ operation due to their droop settings.
If a governor is to move a unit along its droop curve in response to a frequency drop,
it can only do so if the generator has spinning reserve. That portion of the spinning
reserve that is responsive to governor commands is called the units responsive
spinning reserve.
The larger the percent mismatch between generation and load, the greater the
frequency deviation and the more governors will respond.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

A governor control system does not function within an inactive range about the target
value. This inactive range is called the dead band.
Governor response varies with the type of unit. In general, hydro units provide the
fastest governor response while steam unit response varies considerably depending on
the type of steam unit. Nuclear units often have blocked governors.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Section 10.2 Review Questions


System load begins to decrease. What action will the governor control system take on a
steam-driven generator?
a) The governor control system will close control valves to decrease the steam pressure to
the turbine
b) The governor control system will open control valves to increase the steam temperature
to the turbine
c) The governor control system will open control valves to decrease the steam pressure to
the turbine
d) The governor control system will open control valves to decrease the steam
temperature to the turbine

A permanent magnet generator is used for what in a modern electronic governor?


a) Sample the turbine shaft speed for input to the governor controls
b) Operate the steam control valves to the turbine
c) Provide the target reference point for the governor controls
d) Control to the governor droop

What is the governor droop setting for an isochronous governor?


a) 0%
b) 5%
c) 1%
d) 3%

A 600 MW generator is operating with a 5% droop characteristic. How far will the governor
move the unit output if the system frequency changed from 60.5 HZ to 59.5 Hz?
a) 200 MW
b) 600 MW
c) 300 MW
d) 0 MW

What is the definition of the load reference point?


a) The MW the generator will produce at a 60 HZ system frequency
b) The MW the generator will produce with a 5% droop characteristic
c) The MW the generator will produce at rated voltage
d) The MVAR the generator will produce at a 60 HZ system frequency

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

What type of governor control is used in an islanded power system?


a) Isochronous control
b) AGC control
c) Centrifugal ballhead governor control
d) Constant frequency control

With a 5% droop characteristic, a governor will?


a) Arrest frequency changes
b) Restore frequency to 60 HZ
c) Maintain frequency at 60 HZ
d) Adjust the load reference point for changes in frequency

Which of the following is the required dead-band for governor control systems in ERCOT?
a) 0.017 HZ
b) 0.025 HZ
c) 0.036 HZ
d) 0.060 HZ

What is the inactive range of the governor control system called?


a) Dead band
b) Load-reference point
c) Target value
d) Droop characteristic

What is the typical range for the frequency response characteristic in ERCOT?
a) 500 to 800 MW per 0.1 HZ
b) 100 to 200 MW per 0.1 HZ
c) 300 to 600 MW per 0.1 HZ
d) 400 to 800 MW per 0.1 HZ

Which of the following is a correct statement regarding the frequency response characteristic?
a) It is reported in MW per 0.1 HZ
b) It is independent of operating conditions
c) It is based on MVAR response to frequency deviation
d) It relates turbine speed to system frequency

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

10.3 Automatic Generation Control


10.3.1 Introduction to Automatic Generation Control
As we learned in Section 10.1, generation must be matched to load or frequency deviations will
occur. Governors on generators are used to adjust the output of the generator in response to
frequency deviations resulting from generation/load mismatches. The governors are assisted
by system inertia and the load-frequency relationship. However, not all of these effects will
maintain a relatively constant system frequency.
Governor control alone does not provide adequate frequency regulation for several reasons
including:
Governors do not return frequency to the scheduled value (normally 60 HZ) due to the
required % droop characteristic of interconnected system generator governors.
Governor control does not adequately consider the cost of power production so control
with governors alone is not the most economical alternative.
Governor control is often coarse and not suited to fine adjustment of the interconnected
system frequency

Therefore, another form of control system is required to balance generation to load and
maintain a constant system frequency. This other control system is the automatic generation
control (AGC) system. While governors control individual generators, ERCOTs Load
Frequency Control (LFC) system simultaneously sends signals to generation resources to
balance generation to load. Load Frequency Control (LFC) is defined as the deployment of
those Generation Resources that are providing Regulation Service to ensure that system
frequency is maintained within predetermined limits and the deployment of those Generation
Resources that are providing Responsive Reserve Service when necessary as backup
regulation. The function of LFC is to maintain system frequency without a cost optimization
function. ERCOT executes LFC every four seconds to reduce system frequency deviations
from scheduled frequency by providing a control signal to each QSE that represents
Resources providing Regulation Service and RRS service.
The QSEs use AGC to direct the output of generation facilities providing regulation and
responsive reserve. Some QSEs also use AGG to allow generator to follow base points.
An AGC system operates at a much broader span of control than a governor does. Where a
governor control system monitors and controls only one generator, a QSEs AGC system
monitors and controls multiple generators across the power system.
Recall from Section 10.1 how a governor arrests changes in system frequency, and how a
governor will typically not be used to restore frequency to 60 HZ. Further, recall how frequency
is restored by adjusting the load reference set-point of the governors. AGC is the control
system that normally sends signals to make these important set-point adjustments.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

With control over the load reference set-points of the generators, a QSEs AGC performs three
very important functions:
Respond to dispatch instructions (or base points) from ERCOT, performing an economic
analysis to determine which generating units to deploy.
Monitor the difference between resource output and base points and adjust to keep
them matched.
Function to allow generator governors to arrest frequency transients, and build on the
benefits of good governor response.

10.3.2 Function of an AGC System


The function of an AGC system is most easily understood in relation to an isolated power
system. In an isolated power system, the output of all the generators should ideally equal the
total internal system loadincluding system losseswith the frequency at 60 HZ. The main
function of an AGC system in an isolated system is to maintain 60 HZ.
ERCOT is an isolated power system today, however it was created from 10 separate power
systems. In the consolidation process the AGC functions have been divided between ERCOT
and the QSEs representing generation. Keep in mind as we proceed whether the actions are
being taken by ERCOTs LFC system, which feeds the QSEs AGC. Or whether the action is
taken by the QSEs AGC.
A difference in frequency will cause the ERCOT LFC system to develop and send control
signals to selected QSEs. These QSEs are selected because they represent supporting
generation providing regulation. By offering the resources, the QSE indicates the units they
represent are able to respond to instructions, and are capable of adjusting their MW output at a
ramp rate and to the amount offered. These control signals from ERCOT would be used by the
QSEs AGC to adjust the load reference set-points of the generators.
ERCOTs LFC system tracks frequency and operates to maintain frequency at 60 Hz. It does
this by typically sending Regulation (Reg) signals to the QSEs AGC. If the frequency was
above the established standard, the ERCOT LFC system would send a Reg Down signal in
MW, calling for a decrease in generation. If frequency was below the established standard, the
ERCOT LFC system would send a Reg Up signal calling for an increase in generation.
QSEs receive two Base Point values for each Resource: one the Base Point as calculated by
SCED at every SCED execution and another Updated Desired Base Point updated every 4
seconds by LFC. The Updated Desired Base Points represent the ERCOT desired control
each LFC cycle This desired Resource control can then be used to minimize regulation
ancillary services and indicate the ramping stop condition if such control stops are required to
manage excess frequency control problems. Resources providing Regulation Service may
add the amount of portfolio dispatch control to the Updated Desired Base Point received from
ERCOT to obtain the set point for each of its Resources dispatch.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control
Q
S
10.3.3 Components of an AGC System E(
ERCOTs LFC systems have components in the s)
controlcenters and in the power system. All of

Gene
rator
Sites
the AGC data is transmitted via telemetry. The dashed line through Figure 10-21 separates
ERCOTs LFC control center equipment from the QSEs AGC control center equipment and
the resources it controls.

ER

SE
O
C

T
Q
Q
S
E(
s)

Figure 10-21 Components of an AGC System


Figure 10-21 illustrates the following basic components of an AGC system:
A frequency sensor is used to gather actual system frequency data. This data is compared to a
scheduled value of frequency (for instance, 60 HZ) and a frequency error is determined and
sent to ERCOTs LFC Control computer. The ERCOT LFC system uses the frequency error as
a determinate for the instruction to send to the appropriate QSE. The inputs for LFC include:
(a) Actual system frequency;
(b) Scheduled system frequency;
(c) Capacity available for regulation by QSE;
(d) Telemetered high and low regulation availability status indications for each
generation resource available for regulation deployments;
(e) Resource limits;
(f) Resource Regulation participation factor;
(g) Capacity available for responsive reserve by QSE;
(h) ERCOT system frequency bias; and
(i) Telemetered Resource output.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

The QSEs submit data into the ERCOT Market Information System (MIS) system and that
information is passed on to the ERCOT Energy Management System (EMS). Actual data is
gathered from all the generation meters. Telemetry channels are used to gather the data from
remote locations in the transmission system. The LFC module receives inputs from Real-Time
telemetry that includes Resource output and actual system frequency. The LFC uses actual
Resource information calculated from SCADA to determine available Resource capacity
providing Regulation and RRS services. If all regulation capacity has been deployed, ERCOT
uses the LFC system to deploy responsive reserve on generation resources.
The ERCOT LFC control computer distributes the instructions to the QSEs who represent
controlled generators. This is a complicated process. Not only must the signal be distributed to
the proper generators by the QSE AGC, but also the results of past signal distributions must
be checked to be sure the generators are moving in the direction the QSE AGC has sent them.
The process illustrated in Figure 10-21 is continuous. A new signal is calculated and new
instructions distributed to QSEs who represent controlled generators every four (4) seconds.
ACE versus ICE
A classical AGC system monitors power system conditions within an areas electrical
transmission system, formerly called the Control Area (and still is in some places outside of
ERCOT). A Control Areas AGC assesses generation supply, load demand, losses, sales,
purchases, and system frequency. The AGC system analyzes all this data and computes a
control error. This control error from the classic system is called the ACE (for Area Control
Error) signal.
ACE represents the discrepancy between the generation supply, and the total load plus
interchange based on the ACE value, the AGC system will send signals or pulses to selected
generating units within its Control Area to tell the generators what generation levels to hold
(where to adjust their set-points). In classic terms ACE was calculated using the terms:

ACE = (Actual Net Interchange Scheduled Net Interchange) + 10 x Bias


setting x (Actual Frequency Scheduled Frequency)
The term Actual Net Interchange minimum Scheduled Net Interchange
represents inadvertent interchange between control areas
Bias setting is the MWs/.1 Hertz appropriate for the system1
10 is a constant used to adjust unit values

Today ERCOT functions as a single Control Area for the entire region that was once
comprised of 10 Control Areas. ERCOT also shares no synchronous ties with other Control
Areas. Thus where ERCOT is concerned there is no Interchange, in the classic sense,
between Control Areas. So ERCOT no longer uses the Interchange terms in the error
calculation. Instead of ERCOTs LFC producing an Area Control Error (ACE), what it produces
is called the Interconnect Control Error (ICE). ICE is simply: 10 (Fa Fs)

1
per NERC Standard BAL-003-1

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

ICE = 10 x Bias setting x (Actual Frequency Scheduled Frequency)


Bias setting is the MWs/.1 Hertz appropriate for ERCOT (~740)
10 is a constant used to adjust unit values
Frequency is that of the system

The classical AGC evaluated reliability requirements and deployed instructions with economic
dispatch consideration. Today, QSE control centers are still very much concerned with
dispatching their most efficient units or those required to meet contract obligations.
This is a consideration made by ERCOTs SCED application.
Based on the ICE value ERCOTs LFC electronically sends megawatt values to QSEs. These
instructions are sent to QSEs which have scheduled regulation to tell the QSEs their real-time
(2-4 second) regulation requirements; Regulation Up or Regulation Down a specific number of
MWs. The dispatch instruction signal is received by the QSEs AGC.
A unique point in this is that although a QSEs AGC system is routinely configured such that it
does not have the role of maintaining 60 Hz frequency control, QSEs must demonstrate to
ERCOT that they have the capability to switch control to constant frequency operation.
This is as specified in the Operating Guides and requires using telemetry at the QSEs control
center. This provides the entire system a fall-back option in the event of an emergency; e.g.,
ERCOTs system fails.
ERCOT can also deploy responsive reserve for generation using a second signal which
functions in much the same way as the regulation signal. While the signal processing is
similar, the response requirements from the QSEs are significantly different with regard to
time.
Basepoint Deviation occurs when a resource fails to follow SCED base points, The QSE incurs
financial penalties if the deviations occur over a specified period of time.

The Control Centers


ERCOTs control center is located in Taylor, with a fully redundant backup control center in the
Austin area. The intelligence of ERCOTs Energy Management System (EMS) is located in the
control center. Based on the gathered data, AGC control signals are transmitted from the
control center to the various QSE control centers. This applies to QSEs representing
generators who are currently committed to receive AGC control signals.
For those QSEs control centers not committed to receive AGC control signals, they will still
receive, along the standard eXtensible Markup Language (XML) interface with ERCOT, AS
deployments and other signals
The other type of control center located within ERCOTs region is that of the Transmission
Operator (TO). The TO is charged with executing Dispatch Instructions directly, or on behalf of
represented Transmission or Distribution Service Providers (TDSPs). TO control centers:
Operate/manage transmission facilities (e.g., lines, busses, substations,) between

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

energy sources and points of delivery


Monitor the loading of transmission facilities
Notify ERCOT of the status of transmission facilities
Maintain operational metering
Implement Black Start
10.3.4 Modes of AGC Control
In order to operate within an interconnected power system where Control Areas share
synchronous ties, each Control Area must have an AGC system that satisfies the following
requirements:
Each AGC system should control enough generating capacity to supply the Control Areas
loads, losses, and scheduled interchange and also assist with maintaining the scheduled (60
HZ) Interconnection frequency.
Each AGC system should operate in such a manner that it does not cause generation changes
and/or respond to generation changes in neighboring Control Areas.
Each AGC system will maintain the actual net interchange for its Control Area within a close
range of the scheduled net interchange.
There are three possible control modes for AGC operation, namely:
1. Constant (Flat) Frequency
2. Constant Net Interchange (Flat Tie-Line)
3. Tie-Line Frequency Bias

Constant frequency control is different from isochronous governor control. Constant frequency
control is AGC control of the governor set-points to maintain frequency.
Isochronous governor control is direct control of frequency by the unit governors.
In this Manual, we will only briefly describe the last two modes of AGC control. These modes
constant net interchange and Tie-Line Frequency Biasare not used in ERCOT. We will
concentrate on the first and most common mode of AGC control in ERCOT, Constant (Flat)
Frequency. We will also define area control error (ACE) and explain how itis used in tie-line
frequency bias AGC control.
Constant Frequency
In constant frequency control, the AGC system monitors only frequency. If frequency deviates
from the scheduled value (typically 60 HZ) the AGC system will adjust the load reference set-
points of the governors on the generators under AGC control to return the frequency to the
scheduled value.
If a Control Area uses constant frequency control, the AGC system will respond to frequency
excursions caused by other Control Areas. This is not normally acceptable. An AGC system
should normally only respond to events within its own Control Area.
Constant frequency control cannot normally be used in an interconnected power system.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

If two or more Control Areas tried to control frequency this could result in instability and power
swings between the Control Areas. On the other hand, if only one Control Area in an
interconnected power system was on constant frequency control, it would take most of the
burden for responding to all of the system load changes.
A similar strategy is available to be used in ERCOT. If ERCOT loses AGC control, QSEs
should be immediately notified. ERCOT may then request that one of the QSEs in ERCOT
switch their AGC to constant frequency control.
Constant Net Interchange (Flat Tie-Line)
In constant net interchange control, the AGC system monitors only the tie-lines connecting a
Control Area to neighboring Control Areas. If the actual interchange flows deviate from the
scheduled values, the AGC system will adjust generation until the flows are returned to
scheduled values.
A serious problem with constant net interchange control is that frequency control is ignored. A
Control Area on constant net interchange AGC could end up backing off generation to correct
tie-line flows while Interconnection frequency is below 60 HZ. An overriding goal should always
be the maintenance of system frequency. Constant net interchange control does not always
satisfy this goal.
Constant net interchange control may be used by Control Areas during certain emergency
conditions. For example, if a Control Area loses its AGC frequency source, that Control Area
can temporarily use constant net interchange control.
Tie-Line Frequency Bias
Tie-line frequency bias is a combination of constant frequency and constant net interchange
and is the preferred method of AGC system operation. When a Control Area uses tie-line
frequency bias control, its AGC system will not be affected byor interfere withthe
operations of neighboring Control Areas. Under tie-line frequency bias, once governor control
has arrested the initial frequency deviation, the AGC system in the Control Area where the
disturbance occurred will assume the task of returning frequency to the desired value.
Neighboring Control Areas will adjust their generator set-points only if requested to do so by the
deficient Control Area.
When an AGC system is in tie-line frequency bias mode, the AGC system responds to both
frequency and tie-line flow errors. An AGC system in tie-line frequency bias mode is capable
of maintaining a match between actual and scheduled net tie-line flows while at the same time
assisting the Interconnection with frequency control.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Section 10.3 Summary

10.3.1 Introduction to Automatic Generation Control


Governor control does not provide adequate frequency regulation for several
reasons including the percent droop setting and a lack of consideration of economic
factors.
Where a governor control system monitors and controls only one generator, a QSEs
AGC system monitors and controls multiple generators.
Governor control is often referred to as arresting frequency control while AGC is
referred to as restoration frequency control. Governor control is also referred to as
Primary Frequency Response and AGC is commonly referred to as secondary
frequency response.
A QSEs AGC is the control system that normally makes load reference set-point
adjustments.
10.3.2 Function of an AGC System
The main function of ERCOTs LFC system is to maintain 60 HZ.
The main function of a QSEs AGC system is to process regulation signals internally,
but individual dispatch instructions are dependent on base points as created by
SCED based on Energy Offer Curves.
As Governors act to arrest a frequency transient, a QSEs AGC will sense the
frequency transient and incorporate a compensation signal to avoid impacting good
Governor action.
A QSEs AGC system must be capable of going on Constant Frequency if directed
by ERCOT.
10.3.3 Components of an AGC System
In order for an ERCOTs LFC system to perform its designed function it must be able
to continuously determine a system frequency error.
An AGC system has components feeding it information in the control center, in the
plants, and in the power system.
ERCOTs LFC system distributes the Regulation Up/Regulation Down signal to the
QSEs.
The QSEs AGC systems control the generators.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

10.3.4 Modes of AGC Control


There are three possible control modes for AGC operation:
Constant (Flat) Frequency
Constant Net Interchange Tie-Line Frequency Bias In constant frequency control,
ERCOTs LFC system monitors frequency.
In classic constant net interchange control, the AGC system monitors only the flows
on tie-lines connecting Control Areas to neighboring interconnected Control Areas.
Tie-line frequency bias is the preferred method of AGC system operation in
interconnected Control Areas, but not in ERCOT because ERCOT has no
synchronous ties with other Control Areas.
Under tie-line frequency bias, once governor control has arrested the initial
frequency deviation, the AGC system in the Control Area where the disturbance
occurred will assume the task of returning frequency to the scheduled value.
When an AGC system is in tie-line frequency bias, the AGC system responds to both
frequency and tie-line flow errors.
10.3.5 ERCOT Operations
ERCOT operates an LFC system to maintain scheduled frequency.

QSEs are responsible for ensuring that their Ancillary Service obligations are met.

Metering is required on each and all of a QSEs resources connecting to the ERCOT
grid.
The control center is the headquarters of ERCOT. All the data collected by the LFC
system is processed in the control center.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Section 10.3 Review Questions

AGC systems send signals to generators to perform which of the following functions?
a) Adjust load-reference set points
b) Adjust voltage output set points
c) Adjust target frequency set points
d) Adjust governor droop set points

Which system or equipment is responsible for restoring frequency to its normal value following
a frequency deviation?
a) Automatic generation control
b) Qualified scheduling entities
c) Generating unit output controller
d) Generating unit governors

Which generators will have their load-reference points adjusted to make up for the generation
shortfall when frequency deviations occur?
a) Generators providing regulation service
b) All generators with a 5% droop characteristic
c) All generators with governors in service
d) Generators providing non-spin service

What signals does ERCOTs LFC system send to QSEs?


a) Generator output instructions as determined by frequency error
b) Real-time system frequency
c) Frequency error
d) Generator output and ancillary service schedules

Which of the following statements is true regarding the ICE equation?


a) If ICE is negative, ERCOT is deficient in generation
b) If ICE is positive, ERCOT is deficient in generation
c) ERCOT measures the actual and scheduled interchanges through the DC ties as part of
its ICE calculation
d) The frequency bias has no effect on the ICE calculation

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

In the ACE equation, the Actual Net Interchange minus Scheduled Net Interchange represents
what?
a) Inadvertent interchange
b) Constant net interchange
c) Interconnect control error
d) Tie line frequency bias

What is the correct formula for ERCOTs interconnection control error?


a) ICE = 10B(FA FS)
b) ICE = (NiA NiS) + 10B(FA FS)
c) ICE = 10B(NiA NiS)
d) ICE = 10B(FS FA)

Calculate the ICE for ERCOT given the following conditions:


1) An 800 MW unit trips in the ERCOT control area.
2) The frequency was initially 60 HZ and recovers to 59.8 HZ.
3) Frequency bias is 600 MW per 0.1 HZ.

Where ICE = 10B(FA FS)

a) -1200 MW
b) -800 MW
c) 120 MW
d) -600 MW

Which method of AGC control is typically used in ERCOT?


a) Constant frequency control
b) Isochronous control
c) Tie-line bias control
d) Constant net interchange control

QSE A is on constant frequency control, while QSE B and C are not. Who has the primary
responsibility for controlling frequency?
a) QSE A
b) QSE B and C
c) QSE A, B, and C

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

10.4 ERCOT Reserve Policies


Reserves are MW capability above that required for serving the load. The ability of a power
system to control normal frequency deviations and to survive large disturbances is directly
related to their reserve policies. All power systems have some rules as to what constitutes
reserves and what are sufficient reserve levels. In ERCOT, obtaining the required reserves is
the responsibility of ERCOT. This section will review ERCOT reserve policies.
10.4.1 Installed Reserves
The difference between expected annual peak MW generation capability and forecasted
annual peak MW load is installed reserves. Installed reserve numbers are a rough
approximation of spare or reserve generation. The percentage difference between the annual
forecasted peak load and the installed generation capability is referred to as the Planning
Reserve Margin.
Installed reserve values are of little value to system operations. A subset of installed reserves
called operating reserves is of more value to operations.
10.4.2 Operating Reserves
Operating reserves consist of the available MW response capability over and above that
demanded by the system loads. (Loads include net interchange and losses.) Power systems
must carry sufficient amounts of operating reserves to ensure an ability to continually match
generation to load during normal conditions and to effectively respond to disturbances.
Operating reserves can be subdivided into spinning and non-spinning reserves. Figure 10-22
illustrates the subdivision of operating reserves.
Spinning Reserves
Spinning reserves consist of the unloaded generating capacity that is synchronized to the
power system. A governor cannot increase generation in a unit unless that unit is carrying
spinning reserves. An AGC system cannot increase a units output unless that unit is carrying
spinning reserves.
In ERCOT spare DC tie-line capability can be used as spinning reserve. If this spare DC tie-
line capability can be rapidly made available following a frequency deviation it can be used as
spinning reserve capability.
Not all spinning reserve capacity is responsive to governor action or able to immediately
respond to, arrest, or stabilize frequency excursions during the first few seconds of a
disturbance. This capacity is referred to as Non-Frequency Responsive Capacity (NFRC). The
predominant type of NFRC is power augmentation capacity on combined cycle generation
facilities from duct firing, inlet air cooling, or auxiliary boilers.
Physical Responsive Capability (PRC)
Physical Responsive Capability, or PRC, is a representation of the total amount of frequency
responsive capability on-line in real-time. It is calculated as the sum of generation unit spinning
reserves, hydro synchronous condenser output, responsive reserves supplied by load
resources, and controllable load resource capacity, minus NFRC.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

OPERATING
RESERVES

SPINNING NON-SPINNING
RESERVES RESERVES

REGULATION OFF-LINE GENERATION


CAPACITY
RESPONSIVE RESERVES
LOAD RESOURCES
GENERATION

LOAD RESOURCES

DC TIE

HYDRO

Figure 10-22 Operating Reserves


Non-Spinning Reserves
Non-spinning reserves are reserve MW capability composed of Off-Line Generation Resources
that can be synchronized and ramped to a specified output level within 30 minutes (or Load
Resources that can be interrupted within 30 minutes) and that can operate (or Load Resources
that can be interrupted) at a specified output level for at least one hour. Non-Spin may also be
provided from unloaded On-Line capacity that meets the 30-minute response requirements
and that is reserved exclusively for use for this service.
10.4.3 Responsive Reserves
ERCOT further defines a category of reserves called responsive reserves. Responsive
reserves are intended to:
(a) Arrest frequency decay within the first few seconds of a significant frequency
deviation on the ERCOT Transmission Grid using Primary Frequency Response and
interruptible Load;
(b) After the first few seconds of a significant frequency deviation, help restore
frequency to its scheduled value to return the system to normal;
(c) Provide energy or continued Load interruption during the implementation of the
EEA; and
(d) Provide backup regulation.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Responsive Spinning Reserves


Responsive spinning reserve consists of unloaded synchronized generator capacity that is
immediately responsive to governor control. Note that the more general category of spinning
reserve is not necessarily responsive to governor control. Sufficient responsive spinning
reserves are necessary for effective governor control.
DC Tie Responsive Reserves
DC ties are not normally responsive to frequency. However, the control systems that control
HVDC power flow can be made to act similar to a governor control system. If frequency falls, a
DC tie can be rapidly and automatically adjusted to supply more MW to the deficient area. A
portion of responsive reserve obligations can be obtained from the DC ties. To qualify as
responsive spinning reserve, the DC Tie may be used as RRS up to 30 MW subject to certain
constraints.
Load Resource Responsive Reserves
The classic use of interruptible load is for relieving a capacity emergency by shedding
customer load. For example, if frequency falls over a several hour period due to a worsening
capacity shortage, a System Operator may be forced to manually interrupt customers. The
theory is basically to cut off the arm to save the body.
A variation on this classic use of interruptible load is termed interruptible responsive reserve.
Interruptible responsive reserves are interruptible loads that are fed by circuit breakers with
automatic high-set under-frequency relays attached. If frequency falls below the trip point, the
load must be automatically shed within 20 cycles. In ERCOT, the tripping frequency can be no
lower than 59.7 HZ.
Once tripped the load cannot be restored without the approval of ERCOT. ERCOT will insist
that dependable generation capability be made available before the load is restored.
Hydro Responsive Reserves
A final category of responsive reserves is hydro responsive reserves. Hydro units can provide
responsive reserves under the following modes of operation:
(a) Synchronous condenser fast response mode
(b) Generation MW mode;
(c) Synchronous Condenser Mode in Manual Dispatch Mode.
Hydro units can typically be operated as synchronous condensers. When condensing, the
hydro unit is actually operating as a synchronous motor. Hydro units that operate in a
condensing mode can be used as responsive reserve provided the units meet specified
criteria. Certain hydro units equipped with special control systems can be rapidly (less than 10
seconds) switched from condensing mode to generating mode in response to frequency
deviations. If the unit can switch from a load to a generator rapidly, it can assist with arresting a
frequency deviation.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

ERCOT Responsive Reserve Obligation


ERCOT specifies the minimum amount of responsive reserve to be carried in the entire
ERCOT Interconnection. This responsive reserve can be carried in any of the four categories
within certain restrictions that are specified by ERCOT. The ERCOT responsive reserve
obligation varies.
Allocation of Responsive Reserve Obligation
The ERCOT responsive reserve obligation is allocated among all ERCOT Load Entities.
There are formulas published by ERCOT for determining individual responsive reserve
obligations. The formulas allocate the ERCOT responsive reserve obligation among Load
Entities based on their relative monthly peak loads.
The ERCOT ISO allocates the ERCOT responsive reserve obligation, calculating the Load
Entitiesresponsive reserve obligation at least monthly.
10.4.4 Regulating Reserves
The system must carry a sufficient amount of regulating reserves. Regulating reserves are a
subset of spinning reserves and are responsive to AGC commands. Without sufficient
regulating reserves, the system will not be able to follow normal load changes. Regulating
reserves provide capacity that can respond to signals from ERCOT within five seconds to
respond to changes in system frequency. Regulation is divided into two categories: 1) capacity
that responds to high frequency conditions (Reg-Down); and 2) capacity that responds to low
frequency conditions (Reg-Up). Regulation can be provided from both on-line generation
capacity and/or loads that can respond to the ERCOT LFC commands. Fast Responding
Regulation Service is a special category of regulation that can respond within 60 cycles of
either its receipt of an ERCOT dispatch instruction or its detection of a trigger frequency outside
its limits.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Section 10.4 Summary

10.4.1 Installed Reserves


The difference between expected annual peak MW generation capability and
forecasted annual peak MW load is installed reserves.
10.4.2 Operating Reserves
Operating reserves consist of the available MW response capability over and above
that demanded by the system loads. Operating reserves are subdivided into spinning
and non- spinning reserves.
Spinning reserves consist of the unloaded generating capacity that is synchronized to
the power system.
In ERCOT spare DC tie capability may also be counted as spinning reserve if it
meets technical requirements.
Non-spinning reserves are reserve MW capability that is not currently connected to
the system but that can be available within a specified time period.
10.4.3 Responsive Reserves
Responsive reserves are directly related to the ability of a system to respond to
frequency deviations. Responsive reserves may include spinning and non-spinning
reserves.

Responsive reserves consist of:


- On-line generation resources
- DC tie responsive reserve
- Load resources
- Hydro responsive reserve

Responsive spinning reserves consist partly of unloaded synchronized generator


capacity that is immediately responsive to governor control. DC tie capacity may also
be counted as responsive spinning reserve. To qualify as responsive spinning reserve,
the DC tie must respond with additional MW to the ERCOT Interconnection if the
ERCOT frequency falls below a specified level.
Load Resource responsive reserves are interruptible loads that are fed via circuit
breakers with automatic under-frequency relays attached. In ERCOT, the tripping
frequency can be no lower than 59.7 HZ.
Hydro units that operate in a condensing mode can be used as responsive reserve.
Only the MW that can be delivered within 10 seconds can be counted.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

The ERCOT responsive reserve obligation varies. The new methodology sets the
minimum each month and by specific hour of the day. We still use the 2300 for EEA
criteria, but in certain hours we actually procure more.

The ERCOT responsive reserve obligation is divided among the ERCOT Load
Entities based on each Load Entities monthly peak load.
10.4.4 Regulating Reserves
A system must carry a sufficient amount of regulating reserves. Regulating reserves
are responsive to AGC commands.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Section 10.4 Review Questions

What is an example of non-spinning reserves?


a) An off-line generator that can be synchronized within a specified amount of time
b) An on-line generator operating below its high sustained limit
c) Availability DC tie capability
d) A hydro unit operating in synchronous condenser mode

Which of the following is provided by Responsive reserves?


a) MW capacity to respond to frequency deviations
b) Regulation
c) Off-line MW capacity to respond to energy shortages
d) Maintain frequency within predetermined limits

What is the minimum responsive reserve obligation before an EEA level is initiated?
a) 2300 MW
b) 2500 MW
c) 2800 MW
d) 3000 MW

What are the frequency setpoint and time delay requirements for interruptible loads providing
responsive service?
a) No lower than 59.7 HZ, within 20 cycles
b) No lower than 59.7 HZ, within 30 cycles
c) No lower than 59.3 HZ, within 20 cycles
d) No lower than 59.5 HZ, within 30 cycles

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

10.5 Time Error Control

10.5.1 Definition of Time Error


When frequency deviates from 60 HZ, electric clocks driven by motors fed from the
Interconnection will experience time errors. The magnitude of the time error is dependent on
the size of the frequency deviation and the length of time the deviation occurs. If the frequency
runs fast, clocks will run faster than desired and positive time error will occur. If the frequency
runs slow, clocks will run slower than desired and negative time error will occur.
Frequency is seldom at exactly 60 HZ so time error is almost always occurring. What is
desired is that the periods in which positive time error occurs will be roughly canceled by the
periods in which negative time error occurs. For example, when entering the morning peak
negative time error typically occurs as Control Areas chase the building load. In contrast, when
load starts to drop in the evening hours positive time error will typically occur as Control Areas
chase the declining load. If positive time error cancels negative time error then over a period of
time, there will be less accumulated time error.
What happens in practice is that sometimes error does accumulate in either a positive or a
negative direction. Once the magnitude of the accumulated time error reaches a chosen
maximum, time error correction procedures will be used to reduce the accumulated time error
to an acceptable value.
Because time error accumulates due to periods of excessive over or under frequency
operation, accumulated time error is reduced by intentional periods of over or under- frequency
operation. A frequency of 60.02 HZ is targeted to reduce slow time error. A frequency of 59.98
HZ is targeted to reduce fast time error.
10.5.2 Monitoring Time Error
ERCOT is the designated time error monitor for the ERCOT Interconnection. The time error
monitor has equipment for comparing the actual system frequency to an accurate frequency
standard. This comparison detects frequency deviations from 60 HZ and allows the time
monitor to keep an accurate record of the time error accumulated.
10.5.3 Correcting Time Error
The time error monitor has the ability to monitor and record the amount of time error
accumulated. The time error monitor is also responsible for determining when time error is
excessive and initiating time correction procedures.
ERCOT has determined that once time error accumulates more than 30 seconds fast or slow,
a time correction will be initiated. The time correction will terminate once time error is reduced
to within +0.5 seconds of the target reference, system events mandate termination, or if the
period of correction reaches five hours.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Illustration of a Time Correction


To illustrate the use of time correction procedures we will step through a simple example.
Assume you are a System Operator at ERCOT. As part of your normal duties, you receive
periodic indication of accumulated time error. Further assume that you receive indication at
20:00 hours that accumulated time error has reached -30 seconds. (Time is 30 seconds slow.)
You realize that time error correction procedures are required. You initiate a time correction
notification procedure that eventually informs every QSE in the ERCOT Interconnection that a
slow time error of 30 seconds has accumulated and a time correction is needed.
After your notification, all of the QSEs in ERCOT should then respond to the dispatched
instructions, which will raise the scheduled frequency in their AGC systems. Normally, AGC
scheduled frequency is 60 HZ. The scheduled value is changed to 60.02 HZ for this time error
correction. Each hour the Interconnection is operated with a scheduled frequency of
60.02 HZ, 1.2 seconds of fast time error will accumulate. If 60.02 HZ is held for 2 hours, the
accumulated time error will be reduced from 30 seconds to 27 seconds.

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Section 10.5 Summary

10.5.1 Definition of Time Error


When frequency deviates from 60 HZ, electric clocks driven by motors fed from the
Interconnection will experience time errors.
The magnitude of the time error is dependent on the size of the frequency deviation
and the length of time the deviation occurs.
If the frequency runs fast, clocks will run faster than desired and positive time error
will occur. If the frequency runs slow, clocks will run slower than desired and negative
time error will occur.
10.5.2 Monitoring Time Error
ERCOT is the time error monitor for the ERCOT Interconnection.
10.5.3 Correcting Time Error
ERCOT is responsible for determining when time error is excessive and initiating time
correction procedures.
ERCOT has determined that once time error accumulates more than 30 seconds fast
or slow, a time correction will be initiated.
A frequency of 60.02 HZ is scheduled to reduce slow time error. A frequency of
59.98 HZ is scheduled to reduce fast time error.

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Section 10.5 Review Questions

What was the accumulated time error following a generation unit trip where the system
frequency was 59.96 Hz for 30 minutes?
a) 1.2 seconds slow
b) 2.4 seconds slow
c) 2.4 seconds fast
d) 1.2 seconds fast

System frequency had the following pattern: 59.98 HZ for 15 minutes, 59.96 for 15 minutes,
60.02 for 15 minutes, and 60 HZ for 15 minutes. What was the accumulated time error during
this 1-hour period?
a) 0 seconds
b) 1.2 seconds slow
c) 1.2 seconds fast
d) 0.6 seconds slow

Who is the time error monitor for the ERCOT Interconnection?


a) ERCOT ISO
b) Texas Reliability Entity
c) Public Utility Commission of Texas
d) NERC

The ERCOT accumulated time error is 6 seconds fast. What is the correct frequency and
duration to reduce the time error to 0 seconds?
a) 59.98 HZ for 5 hours
b) 60.02 HZ for 5 hours
c) 59.98 HZ for 2.5 hours
d) 60.02 HZ for 2.5 hours

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10.6 NERC Control Performance

10.6.1 NERC Control Performance Standards (CPS)


The North American Reliability Council (NERC) issues Standards that address acceptable
performance of generation with respect to load within Control Areas. NERC publishes
documents that address acceptable performance of keeping a balance between generation
and load. The documents address control performance during both normal and disturbance
conditions. These documents are developed to be applicable within Control Areas however,
evolving rules separating Control Areas into functional assignments expresses the "Balancing
Authority" as the entity responsible for meeting these Standards.
Tracking frequency performance is the way NERC monitors the balance between generation
and load. NERC has monitored each Interconnections historic frequency to determine an
acceptable frequency error. Though Control Performance Standard reports can be generated
on demand, the yearly report on Control Performance Standard #1 (CPS1) is an annual
assessment for control area evaluation. A similar version of CPS1 is reported monthly for
NERC Resources Subcommittee review.
Normal Conditions
During normal system conditions, the goal is to minimize Interconnect Control Error (ICE). The
question asked is how much ICE fluctuation is normally admissible? How far above and below
zero can ICE deviate? How can ERCOT ensure that the ICE deviation nets to zero over a
period of time?
Because the load in the power system is constantly changing, the Generation control systems
(governors, ERCOTs LFC, & the QSEs AGC) are designed to match resources to load and
maintain frequency within a narrow band centered around 60 HZ. For the ERCOT Control Area
(the Balancing Authority) the standard is CPS1.
ERCOTs annual CPS1 report should be greater than 100%. That is the minimum acceptable
score. When a Control Area (Balancing Authority) achieves a CPS1 of 100%, it means the
Control Area is adjusting their generation in a manner that just meets their obligation to
maintaining frequency. To be less than 100% is possible, but not desirable.
The maximum ERCOT score is 200%, as will be shown later. And, normally CPS1 should be
around 160%.
ICE is the indicator used by ERCOT to determine CPS1. ERCOT cannot hold ICE constantly at
zero. There are continuous fluctuations in system frequencyabove and below the nominal
value of 60 HZso there are continuous fluctuations in the value of the ICE above and
below the desired value. The closer ERCOT keeps the ICE to zero (0) the better, and when
ERCOT performs so that the ICE nets to zero (0) [pluses (+)s and minuses ()s cancel], that is
good. At any given time ERCOTs CPS1 value could be greater than 100% (thats good), or
less than 100% (that is not so good), but it is the monthly and annual reports by which ERCOT
will be judged.

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When CPS was established, each Interconnection was given a target or benchmark. This target
is called Epsilon 1 or 1. Epsilon 1 is nothing more than a statisticians variable that indicates
the Root Mean Square (RMS) value of the one-minute averages of frequency. As of the writing
of this section, the 1 values for the three major Interconnections were:
Eastern Interconnection 0.018 HZ
Western Interconnection 0.0228 HZ
ERCOT Interconnection 0.030 HZ

The CPS created by NERC has two components, CPS1 and Balancing Authority ACE Limit
(BAAL). CPS1 and BAAL apply during both normal and disturbance conditions.
Note: NERC defines contingency reserves as The provision of capacity deployed by the
Balancing Authority to meet the Disturbance Control Standard (DCS) and other NERC and
Regional Reliability Organization contingency requirements.

As in all areas of NERC the CPS is supplemented by a disturbance control standard (DCS)
that applies only during disturbance conditions. The DCS measures the ability to utilize
contingency reserves following a reportable disturbance. ERCOT, as a Control Area, is
required to carry sufficient Contingency Reserves to meet DCS.

10.6.2 NERC Real Power Balancing Control Performance Standard


CPS1 is intended to be an indication of a Control Areas ability to maintain stable frequency.
This is possible because of the demonstrated relationship of the Control Error (ACE or ICE)
and frequency. Thus, CPS1 is a statistical measure of the frequency control in ERCOT as a
function of the Interconnect Control Error (ICE) variability. CPS1 is a measure of 1minute
averages of ICE performance. The annual CPS1 report is a yearly measure of 1 minute
averages.
When ERCOT over generates, ICE goes positive as actual frequency goes higher. Under
generation makes ICE go negative as frequency drops. When ICE is erratic, frequency is
erratic. In all instances CPS1 reports on frequency performance. The CPS1 equation can be
simplified as follows:
CPS1 (in percent) = 100* (2 (a Constant)* (frequency error)*(ICE))
Since the ERCOT Interconnection operates as a single Control Area ICE will always be in
phase with frequency error. This means the largest CPS1 ERCOT can achieve is 200%.
Refer to the equation above. Any minute where the average frequency is exactly on schedule
or ICE is zero, the quantity (frequency error)*(ICE) is zero. Therefore CPS1 = 100* (2 0).
CPS1 is exactly 200% whenever frequency is on schedule or ICE is zero.

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The formula was developed to judge CPS1 conformance on a percentage scale. The
formula can be used to determine ERCOTs conformance to CPS1 across any time period.
NERC is most concerned with the value of CPS1 across a sliding one-year period. NERC
will also pay attention to one-month averages of the CPS1 to detect problems with
compliance to CPS1 before any major generation control problems develop.

CPS1 and MW-HZ


When the formulae for calculating CPS1 compliance are closely examined, what is actually
calculated and monitored is a MW-HZ number. ERCOT is monitoring their ICE value in
combination with the interconnections frequency error.
Balancing Authority ACE Limit (BAAL)
ERCOT must manage frequency such that its clock-minute average ACE does not exceed its
Balancing Authority ACE Limit (BAAL) for more than 30 consecutive clock-minutes. The BAAL
has both high and low frequency limits. The BAAL is referenced to the Frequency Trigger Limit
(FTL), which is based on three (3) times the Epsilon 1 value.
Currently,
FTL-high limit = 60 Hz + 3 x Epsilon 1, or 60.09 Hz for ERCOT
FTL-low limit = 60 Hz 3 x Epsilon 1, or 59.91 Hz for ERCOT

The BAAL high and low limits are calculated as:


BAAL-High = 10 x Bias x (FTL-High Fs) x (FTL-High Fs) / (Fa Fs)
BAAL-Low = 10 x Bias x (FTL-Low Fs) x (FTL-Low Fs) / (Fa Fs)
where Fs equals the scheduled frequency (60 Hz) and Fa equals the actual frequency

When the actual frequency is equal to the scheduled frequency, the BAAL-High and BAAL-
Low do not apply.
CPS and BAAL Enforcement
To pass the CPS1 measure, ERCOTs sliding one-year average must exceed 100% when
assessed each month.
The Disturbance Control Standard (DCS)
For DCS purposes, NERC defines a reportable disturbance as Any event that causes an
ACE change greater than or equal to 80% of a Balancing Authoritys or reserve sharing
groups most severe contingency.
For the ERCOT region, NERC defines a reportable balancing contingency event as any event
within a one minute interval that causes an ACE change less than the most severe
contingency, and greater than or equal to 80% of the most severe single contingency or 800
MW, whichever is smaller.

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The DCS states that ERCOT is responsible deploying appropriate reserves to recover from a
reportable balancing contingency event within 15-minutes of the start of the disturbance.
Recovery, in this case, means to restore ICE (ACE) to either zero or its pre-disturbance value.
ERCOT is also responsible to recover any reserves deployed in response to a reportable event
within 90-minutes following the recovery period.
ERCOTs ability to satisfy the DCS is strongly influenced by its available operating reserve.
ERCOT must comply with the DCS standard 100% of the time. If ERCOT fails to comply, they
will be required to carry additional reserves, or pay a financial penalty. Note that if the
disturbance is larger than ERCOTs most severe contingency, it is excludable with respect to
the DCS. For instance, if ERCOT suffers multiple generator losses due to severe weather, the
disturbance could be excludable with respect to the DCS and ERCOT may not be obligated to
restore ICE within 15 minutes.
10.6.3 ERCOT Control Performance Standards
Frequency Restoration
ERCOTs ICE only includes a frequency deviation component, since flow through the DC ties
is not treated as a scheduled interchange component. So as a variation to the NERC policy,
ERCOT requires frequency restored to the pre-disturbance value within 15 minutes, rather than
ICE (but the results are the same). In other words ERCOT, through governor action, under-
frequency relay initiation, AGC response, deployment of regulation, balancing energy,
responsive reserve, non-spin, or other corrective actions must arrest the frequency deviation
and return frequency to the value existing immediately prior to the disturbance in 15 minutes or
less.
Frequency Regulation
ERCOT will periodically conduct Regulation Surveys to evaluate the performance of AGC
equipment. Monthly performance measures for QSEs providing regulation and responsive
reserves will also be conducted.

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Section 10.6 Summary

10.6.1 NERC Control Performance Standards


NERC issues standards that address the acceptable performance of generation with
respect to system loads within a Control Area.
Balancing Authority is a term that describes the function of matching load and
generation.
NERC is transitioning to this term in place of the term control area for these criteria.
CPS1 must be 100% or greater to be acceptable.
ICE is the indicator used to determine CPS1.
CPS1 applies during both normal and disturbance conditions.
The CPS is supplemented by a disturbance control standard (DCS) that applies only
during disturbance conditions.
10.6.2 NERC Control Performance Standard 1 (CPS1)
CPS1 is a statistical measure of the ICE variability. CPS1 measures ICE in combination
with the Interconnections frequency error.
ERCOT is obligated to continually gather sufficient data to determine its control
parameter for each minute of the day.
NERC is most concerned with the value of CPS1 across a sliding one-year period.
NERC will also pay attention to one month averages of CPS1 to detect problems with
compliance before major generation control conditions develop.
To pass the CPS, ERCOT must have a sliding one-year average score for CPS1 greater
than 100%.
For DCS purposes, NERC defines a reportable disturbance as Any event that causes
an ACE change greater than or equal to 80% of a Balancing Authoritys or reserve
sharing groups most severe contingency.
In ERCOT, a reportable disturbance is defined as any event that involves or leads to a
loss of generation that is greater than or equal to 80% of the magnitude of ERCOTs
single most severe contingency, or 800 MW, whichever is smaller.
The DCS states that ERCOT is responsible for recovering from a disturbance within 15
minutes from the start of the disturbance. Recovery means to restore ICE to either zero
or its pre-disturbance value. ERCOTs ability to satisfy the DCS is strongly influenced by
its available operating reserve.
If the disturbance is larger than ERCOTs most severe contingency, it is excludable with
respect to the DCS.

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10.6.3 ERCOT Control Performance Criteria


ERCOT must return frequency to the pre-disturbance value within 15 minutes of a
disturbance.
ERCOT will periodically conduct Regulation Surveys to evaluate the performance of
AGC equipment.

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Section 10.6 Review Questions

Which of the following statements is correct regarding the NERC CPS1 frequency control
metric?
a) CPS1 applies during both normal and disturbance conditions
b) CPS1 is a function of ACE variability in ERCOT
c) CPS1 is calculated across a rolling one-year period using 1-month averages
d) CPS1 applies during normal operating conditions only

What is the variable that has the most effect on the CPS1 calculation?
a) Interconnection Control Error
b) Frequency
c) Epsilon 1
d) CPS2

What is the maximum CPS1 score that ERCOT can achieve?


a) 200%
b) 100%
c) 0%
d) 1000%

Which of the following statements is correct regarding the relationship between CPS1 and
Interconnection Control Error?
a) CPS1 moves in-phase with ICE
b) CPS1 moves in the opposite direction from ICE
c) CPS1 is not related to ICE

What constitutes a reportable disturbance under the NERC Disturbance Control Standard in
ERCOT?
a) Loss of generation greater than or equal to 80% of the magnitude of ERCOTs most
severe single contingency
b) Loss of generation greater than or equal to 80% of the magnitude of ERCOTs largest
generation site
c) Loss of generation greater than or equal to 80% of the magnitude of ERCOTs amount
of responsive reserves
d) Loss of generation greater than or equal to 100% of the magnitude of ERCOTs most
severe single contingency

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How long does ERCOT have to recover the ICE to the pre-disturbance value or zero for a
generation loss event that results in the loss of 80% of ERCOTs most severe single
contingency?
a) 15 minutes
b) 30 minutes
c) 10 minutes
d) NERC DCS is not applicable to this disturbance

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10.7 Impact of Frequency Deviations


Prolonged operation at frequencies above or below 60 HZ can damage power system
equipment. The most serious consequences are with respect to the turbine blades of steam
turbine/generators.

10.7.1 Effects on Steam Turbine Blades


Mechanical devices have a natural frequency of oscillation. When a mechanical device is
exposed to a force that oscillates at a frequency close to this natural frequency of oscillation,
the device may amplify the force or enter a resonant condition. The resonant condition can
lead to severe vibrations in the device. At times, the vibrations grow so large that the device is
damaged. Steam turbine blades have a natural frequency of oscillation.
During operation (while under load) at frequencies other than 60 HZ, the natural frequency of
oscillation of the turbine blades can be excited, resulting in severe vibration of the blades. This
vibration can lead to failure of the blades. The long blades on the low- pressure steam turbine
are most susceptible to damage from abnormal frequency operation. Once the first blade fails
other blades in the turbine stage and eventually the entire turbine may suffer severe damage.
Steam turbine blades can be exposed to only a certain amount of off-frequency operation
(while carrying load) over their entire lifetime. Utilities may track the amount of off- frequency
operation and replace turbine blades when they have reached their time limit. This helps to
avoid a blade failure.
The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid substantial off-frequency operation while
under load. Steam/turbine generators often have under and over-frequency relays installed to
trip the unit if it is operated at off-frequency for too long a period.
Figure 10-23 illustrates limits of off-frequency operation for a typical steam turbine.
These are cumulative limits. This means the limits apply for the lifetime of the turbine. For
example, the figure tells us that a typical steam turbine can be operatedunder loadfor ten
minutes at 58 HZ before damage is likely to occur to the turbine blades.
These ten minutes are over the lifetime of the turbine. For example, the ten minutes can be
reached via one - ten minute interval or via ten - one minute intervals.
Actual steam-turbine off-frequency limits will vary with the turbine manufacturer and individual
utility tolerance.

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Figure 10-23 Steam Turbine Off-Frequency Limits

10.7.2 Effects On Active Power Flows


In Section 8, a simplified equation for active power transfer was presented. The equation is
stated again below:

According to this formula for MW transfer, the largest factor in determining the level of MW flow
is the power angle, . The power angle can only change if a condition of relative acceleration
exists. If power transfer is to increase between two locations, there must briefly be relative
acceleration between the two locations.
Relative acceleration is simply a slight difference in frequency. Frequency differences between
two locations in the same Interconnection will lead to power angle changes. For example, if a
large generator trips within ERCOT, for a brief period of timea few secondsfrequency will
be slightly different throughout the Interconnection.
The short term frequency differences are necessary for active power flows to change.
Once the active power flows have reached their post disturbance levels the frequency
throughout the Interconnection will stabilize at a common value.

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As a System Operator in ERCOT, you must be aware of the relationship between frequency
deviations and active power flows. When ERCOT frequency is varying, active power flows are
also varying. These oscillations in active power flows could lead to line trips and an even more
serious system disturbance. As a System Operator, it is important that you take all possible
actions to ensure a stable frequency as close to the scheduled value as possible.

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Section 10.7 Summary

10.7.1 Effects on Steam Turbine Blades


During operation (while under load) at frequencies other than 60 HZ, the natural
frequency of oscillation of the turbine blades can be excited, resulting in severe vibration
of the blades. This vibration can lead to failure of the blades.
Steam turbine blades can be exposed to only a certain amount of off-frequency
operation (while carrying load) over their entire lifetime.
The best way to prevent this steam turbine damage is to avoid substantial off-
frequency operation while under load.
10.7.2 Effects On Active Power Flows
The power angle can only change if a condition of relative acceleration exists. If
power transfer is to increase between two locations, there must briefly be relative
acceleration between the two locations.
If a large generator trips within ERCOT, for a brief period of timea few seconds
frequency will be slightly different throughout the Interconnection. Short term frequency
differences are necessary for active power flows to change. Once the active power flows
have reached their post disturbance levels the frequency throughout the Interconnection
will stabilize at a common value.
As a System Operator, it is important that you take all possible actions to ensure a
stable frequency as close to the scheduled value as possible.

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Section 10.7 Review Questions


How do frequency variations affect steam turbines?
a) Steam turbine blades can be exposed only to a certain amount of off-frequency
operation over their lifetime
b) Off-frequency operation has no effect on the life of steam turbine blades
c) The effects of frequency variations on steam turbines is limited to individual events and
is not cumulative
d) Steam generators have over and under-frequency relays installed to detect turbine
vibration caused by off-nominal frequencies

According to the figure below, how long over its lifetime can a steam turbine be operated at a
frequency of 59 HZ?

a) 50 minutes
b) 10 minutes
c) 5 minutes
d) 1 minute

Which of the following statements is true regarding the relationship between frequency
variations and active power flows?
a) Frequency differences between two locations will lead to a power angle change
between the locations
b) A frequency difference between two locations has no effect on power flows between
them
c) System Operators do not have to be concerned with the effects of frequency variations
on power flows

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10.8 Underfrequency Protection


This section describes the use of under-frequency load shedding, under-frequency line
tripping, and under-frequency generator tripping relays. Under-frequency protection schemes
are activated if the Interconnection frequency falls below acceptable levels.
10.8.1 Power System Islands
Interconnected power systems operate at one common frequency. The systems are not,
however, uniformly distributed. Certain areas of the systems are tied closely together with
many transmission lines while other areas are tied with few lines. Figure 10-24 illustrates a
weakly connected system (A) in an Interconnection with other strongly connected systems (W,
X, Y & Z).

Figure 10-24 Formation of an Island


When severe disturbances occur in the interconnected system the consequences may be
trans-mission line tripping that leads to islanding. Islanding refers to the complete separation
of areas of the Interconnection from the remainder of the Interconnection.
When major disturbances propagate through an Inter-connection, those areas of the system
that are tied tightly together tend to stay together. Areas that are loosely tied (such as system
A in Figure 10-24) tend to form islands. The magnitudes of the frequency deviations that
occur in an islanded system are greater than those that occur in a large interconnected system.
Depending on the size of the island, frequency deviations on the order of 2 to 3 HZ are
possible.
10.8.2 Automatic (Under-frequency) Firm Load Shedding
When disturbances occur in the Interconnection, large energy imbalances can easily develop.
These imbalances will be more severe if the disturbance results in Interconnection breakup
and the formation of islands. There is no guarantee that the proper match between generation
and load will occur in the Interconnection as a whole or in the islands that form. In fact, there
will usually be a mismatch. The frequency will increase or decrease until the correct balance
exists between generation and load. If there is too much load, the frequency will drop. If there
is too much generation, the frequency will rise.

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If there is too much generationand the frequency risesthe governors on the units will begin
reducing generation. This may or may not solve the problem depending on the amount of
mismatch. If the frequency rises too highfor example above 62 HZover-frequency relays
on thermal generators may trip. This will protect the generators but, most likely, lead to a
shortage of generation.
If there is too much load and the frequency drops, governors on the units will attempt to raise
generation. Again, this may or may not solve the problem depending on the amount of
mismatch. The possibility exists that the mismatch will be too large and governor response will
not be able to arrest the frequency decline. Unless drastic measures are taken, the system
could collapse.
These drastic measures include automatic under-frequency load shedding or UFLS. UFLS is a
protection program that automatically trips selected customer loads once frequency falls below
a specified value.
At least 25% of the ERCOT System Load that is not equipped with high-set under- frequency
relays shall be equipped at all times with provisions for automatic under-frequency load
shedding. ERCOT requires three steps for the AFLS:

1. 5% of System Load Tripped at 59.3 HZ


2. Additional 10% of Load Tripped at 58.9 HZ
3. Additional 10% of Load Tripped at 58.5 HZ

Figure 10-25 illustrates the operation of these three stages of UFLS. The first stage activates
at 59.3 HZ, the second stage at 58.9 HZ, and the final stage at 58.5 HZ. Note that the rate of
frequency decline improves after each stage of UFLS. The intent of UFLS is not to recover the
frequency but rather to stop the frequency decline. Once UFLS has operated, manual
intervention by the System Operators will likely be required to restore the system to a healthy
state.
If the UFLS system activates and trips load, the load must not be restored without the approval
of ERCOT. The operation of UFLS indicates the system is weak and cannot stand further
disturbances. The restoration of tripped load is equivalent to a disturbance and must be
coordinated throughout the Interconnection.
Under-frequency Relays on Transmission Lines
Under-frequency relays may also be installed on transmission lines. The function of these
under-frequency relays is to trip interconnecting lines following major frequency disturbances.
ERCOT allows the installation of under-frequency tripping relays on Interconnections but sets
strict rules as to how these relays operate. For example, if a utility is providing much needed
governor response to a neighboring utility, we would not want under-frequency tripping of their
tie-lines if the chance exists that the entire system will recover.

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Figure 10-25 Under-frequency Load Shedding & Governor Response


Under-frequency tripping of tie-lines may be appropriate if frequency has depressed to such a
low level that the odds of recovery for the whole system are dismal. In such a case, Control
Areas may design their under-frequency tie-line tripping relays to separate themselves from the
main system in the hope that their system can recover. The relays will be calibrated to trip only
during sustained (at least 2 seconds) low frequency (58 HZ or below) conditions.
10.8.3 Under-frequency Generator Protection
If the operation of the UFLS program fails to achieve the desired match between generation
and load, the frequency may continue to decline or sustain itself at a low value. Section 10.7
described the impact of sustained low frequency operation on the low pressure steam turbine
stage blading. Many steam/turbine generators are protected with under- frequency tripping
relays. These relays are designed to trip the generator if the unit is exposed to sustained low
frequency.
ERCOT provides settings for under-frequency tripping (if installed) of steam turbine generators.
No tripping should occur as long as frequency remains above 59.4 HZ. As frequency falls
below 59.4 HZ, progressively faster time delayed tripping can occur. Once frequency reaches
57.5 HZ or below, the generator can be tripped with no intentional time delay.
If frequency declines to 59.7HZ, Under-frequency Relays (UFR) will reduce significant load. If
frequency continues to decline and generators begin tripping at less than 59.4HZ, then
additional load must be shed, thus the UFLS settings. All of this is intended to keep as much
generation on line for as long as possible to recover frequency control.

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Section 10.8 Summary

10.8.1 Power System Islands


When severe disturbances occur in the interconnected system, the consequences
may be transmission line tripping that leads to islanding. Islanding refers to the
complete separation of areas of the Interconnection from the remainder of the
Interconnection.
When major disturbances propagate through an Interconnection, those areas of the
system that are tied tightly together tend to stay together. Areas that are loosely tied tend
to form islands.
The magnitude of the frequency deviations that occur in an islanded system are
greater than those that occur in a large interconnected system.
10.8.2 Automatic (Under-frequency) Firm Load Shedding
UFLS is a protection program that automatically trips selected customer loads once
frequency falls below a specified value. ERCOT requires three steps for the UFLS:
o 5% of System Load Tripped at 59.3 HZ
o Additional 10% of System Load Tripped at 58.9 HZ
o Additional 10% of System Load Tripped at 58.5 HZ
If the UFLS system activates and trips load, the load must not be restored without the
approval of ERCOT.
Under-frequency relays may be installed on transmission lines. The function of these
under-frequency relays is to trip interconnecting lines following major frequency
disturbances.
Under-frequency transmission relays must be set to trip only during sustained (at least 2
seconds) low frequency (58 HZ or below) conditions.
10.8.3 Under-frequency Generator Protection
Many steam/turbine generators are protected with under-frequency tripping relays.
These relays are designed to trip the generator if the unit is exposed to sustained low
frequency.
ERCOT requires that no generator under-frequency tripping should occur until
frequency falls to 59.4 HZ or below. As frequency falls below 59.4 HZ, progressively
faster tripping can occur. Once frequency reaches 57.5 HZ or below, the generator can
be tripped with no time delay.

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Section 10.8 Review Questions


Which of the following statements is true regarding the following interconnected system
diagram?

a) System A is weakly connected to the Interconnection and may form an island if a severe
disturbance occurs
b) System X is weakly connected to the Interconnection and may form an island if a severe
disturbance occurs
c) All systems are strongly connected to the rest of the Interconnection
d) The magnitude of frequency deviations that occur in an islanded system is independent
from the size of the island

What is the second level of the required underfrequency load shed (UFLS) relay trip points in
ERCOT?
a) 57.5 HZ
b) 59.3 HZ
c) 58.9 HZ
d) 58.5 HZ

How much total load will be shed by underfrequency relays if the system frequency drops to
58.9 HZ, if the ERCOT total load is 40,000 MW?
a) 6,000 MW
b) 2,000 MW
c) 4,000 MW
d) 10,000 MW

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 10: Frequency Control

Which of the following statements is correct regarding underfrequency firm load shed (UFLS)
in ERCOT?
a) Loads tripped by underfrequency relay are restored only with ERCOT approval
b) Underfrequency relays cannot be installed on transmission lines
c) Underfrequency relays automatically trip selected customer loads in four steps
d) Loads tripped by underfrequency relay can be restored at customer discretion

Which of the statements is true regarding underfrequency protection for generators?


a) At frequencies below 57.5 HZ, a generator can be tripped with no intentional time delay
b) At frequencies below 59.4 HZ, a generator can be tripped with no intentional time delay
c) A generator can be tripped by underfrequency relay at frequencies above 59.4 HZ
d) Generators must remain on-line at frequencies below 57.5 HZ

Match the frequency control points with the corresponding setting:


1) Load resource UFLS trip setpoint a) 59.7 HZ

2) Generator underfrequency relay time delayed trip b) 59.4 HZ


setpoint
c) 59.3 HZ
3) Underfrequency Load Shed Step 1
d) 58.9 HZ
4) Underfrequency Load Shed Step 2
e) 58.5 HZ
5) Underfrequency Load Shed Step 3
f) 60.0 HZ
6) Scheduled frequency
7) Generator underfrequency relay instantaneous trip g) 57.5 HZ
setpoint

May, 2016 10 - 78
Section 12
System Protection
Table of Contents
12. Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1
12.1 Protection Fundamentals ............................................................................................ 1
12.1.1 Introduction To Power System Relaying .................................................................. 1
12.1.2 Purpose and Function of Protective Relays ............................................................. 2
12.1.3 Power System Faults ............................................................................................... 3
Section 12.1 Summary ........................................................................................................ 7
Section 12.1 Review Questions .......................................................................................... 8
12.2 Relay Construction & Operation .................................................................................. 9
12.2.1 Electromechanical Relays ........................................................................................ 9
12.2.2 Solid State Relays .................................................................................................. 10
12.2.3 Microprocessor-Based relays ................................................................................. 10
12.2.4 Relay Indications .................................................................................................... 11
12.2.5 IEEE Protective Relay Numbering System ............................................................ 12
12.2.6 Zones of Protection ................................................................................................ 15
Section 12.2 Summary ...................................................................................................... 19
Section 12.2 Review Questions ........................................................................................ 21
12.3 Types of Relays ........................................................................................................ 22
12.3.1 Voltage Relays ....................................................................................................... 22
12.3.2 Over-current Relays ............................................................................................... 23
12.3.3 Differential Relays .................................................................................................. 26
12.3.4 Distance Relays ..................................................................................................... 29
12.3.5 Pilot Relaying ......................................................................................................... 32
Section 12.3 Summary ...................................................................................................... 35
Section 12.3 Review Questions ........................................................................................ 38
12.4 Synchronizing Equipment ......................................................................................... 40
12.4.1 Theory of Operation ............................................................................................... 40
12.4.2 Synchroscopes ...................................................................................................... 40
12.4.3 Synch-Check Relays .............................................................................................. 41
12.4.4 Application of Synchronizing Equipment ................................................................ 41
Section 12.4 Summary ...................................................................................................... 43
Section 12.4 Review Questions ........................................................................................ 44
Figures and Tables
Figure 12-2 Power System Current Flow ............................................................................ 4
Figure 12-3 Phase-to-Ground (-G) Faults ........................................................................ 5
Figure 12-4 Phase-to-Phase (-) Faults .......................................................................... 5
Figure 12-5 Magnetic Attraction Relay Element .................................................................. 9
Figure 12-6 Induction Disc Relay Element ........................................................................ 10
Figure 12-7 Electromechanical, Solid State & Microprocessor Relays ............................. 11
Figure 12-8 Electromechanical Relay Flags...................................................................... 12
Table 12-1 Common IEEE Device Numbers .................................................................... 14
Figure 12-9 One-line Diagram Using IEEE Device Numbers ............................................ 14
Figure 12-10 Zones of Protection...................................................................................... 15
Table 12-2 Relay Protection Schemes .............................................................................. 18
Figure 12-11 Voltage Relays on a One-line Diagram ........................................................ 23
Figure 12-12 Over-current Relay - Time Characteristic Curves ........................................ 25
Figure 12-13 Normal Conditions for Differential Relay ...................................................... 27
Figure 12-14 Fault Conditions for Differential Relay ......................................................... 27
Figure 12-15 One-line with Bus Differential ...................................................................... 28
Figure 12-16 One-line Diagram with Differentials ............................................................. 29
Figure 12-17 MHO Characteristic on an R-X Diagram ...................................................... 31
Figure 12-18 Distance Relay Scheme .............................................................................. 32
Figure 12-19 Simple Pilot Scheme .................................................................................... 34
Figure 12-20 Synch Panel................................................................................................. 41
Figure 12-21 Synchronizing System For a Substation Breaker ......................................... 42
Learning Objectives

Identify the basic purposes of protective relays


Differentiate between the various types of relaying and their different
operations
Identify the different types of relays
Distinguish between the various types of synchronizing relay equipment
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

12. Introduction
This section contains a brief summary of power system protective relaying. Protective
relaying is a complex and varied subject. This section is intended only as an introduction.
The purpose and operation of protective relays is explained and the types of protective
relays are described.

12.1 Protection Fundamentals

12.1.1 Introduction to Power System Relaying


All power systems are susceptible to a large number of undesired events. These
undesired events include but are not limited to:

Lightning strikes
Aircraft and motor vehicle encroachment
Animal encroachment
Ice and wind storms
Switching errors

If any of these events occur, it can damage power system equipment, as well as disrupt
service to customers.

It is the job of power system protective equipment to detect the onset of undesired
events and take appropriate action. Appropriate action often includes the tripping of
circuit breakers. This isolates the trouble from the rest of the power system and
minimizes damage to equipment. Relays are the brains of the power system protective
equipment. Relays typically receive input voltages and currents from instrument
transformers to determine appropriate action.

Appropriate action may include tripping breakers, blocking breaker tripping, or changing
a voltage tap on a transformer. Relaying in general is illustrated in Figure 12-1.

Figure 12-1 Fundamental Principle of Relaying

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Relays can be broken down into a few major classifications:

Monitoring relays, such as high temperature or gas-in-oil relayswhich


monitor power system quantities and send an alarm to personnel if those
quantities are outside of set limits.

Auxiliary relays, such as timers, tripping or lockout relayswhose job is to


supplement the actions of other relays.

Programming relays, such as automatic synchronizers and generator auto-


start relayswhich go through a sequence of steps before initiating an
operation (like closing a breaker).

Regulating relays, such as a voltage regulatorwhich take some action to


keep a power system quantity within a desirable range.

Protective relays, such as over-current, over-voltage or distance


relayswhich protect the power system from damage.

12.1.2 Purpose and Function of Protective Relays


A protective relay is an electric device that is designed to interpret a specific system
condition (or set of conditions) and initiate tripping of protective devices to isolate the
trouble from the remainder of the power system.

The purpose of protective relays is to minimize damage and isolate problems while
system reliability should not be affected outside the immediate problem area. An
important point to remember is that protective relays do not prevent trouble. Protective
relays respond to trouble and minimize further damage. Relays cannot keep animals out
of the bus work or lightning from striking a tower. Relays work quicklyusually in a few
cyclesto isolate the source of trouble and avoid further damage.

Electrical faults occur on systems regularly. These faults present safety concerns and
hazards to the public and utility workers and can cause extensive and expensive
damage to facilities. Limiting the effects of faults on the system can avoid wide spread or
cascading outages.

An important concept to keep in mind is that protective relays are protecting the power
system and not necessarily utility employees or the public. There are instances where
people have been fatally injured by coming into contact with energized equipment, but
the protective relays did not operate. This is because the relay is usually looking for
current levels of hundreds or thousands of amps, whereas it only takes a tenth of an amp
to fatally injure a human being. In a very high impedance fault (as will be defined shortly)
the currents could be so small as not to be detected by relays. These currents may still
be large enough to pose a significant hazard to people.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

In the application of relays to the power system, it is desirable to have the relay operate
as quickly as possible, so speed is one determining factor in relay selection. Of course,
cost will also play a part in the selection. A related factor is complexityusually the more
complex a relay system, the greater the difficulty to coordinate, the increased opportunity
for failure, and the higher cost to purchase. In judging relay performance, selectivity,
sensitivity, and reliability all play a role.
Selectivity
Selectivity is the ability of the relay to isolate the smallest area of the power system in
order to ensure that no further damage is done. It is important to not disrupt more of the
power system than is absolutely necessary. A selective relay will assist with maintaining
the integrity of the system and continued service to customers.
Sensitivity
It is vital that relays be able to detect all faults which jeopardize the power system.
Relays must be set sensitive enough to accomplish this goal. However, if set too
sensitive, a relay may initiate tripping for events which are not a real threat to the system.
For example, a relay should not operate (trip) during a short-term power flow increase.
Reliability
Reliability takes into account most of the principles already discussed. A reliable
protective relay system should operate when called upon with sensitivity and selectivity,
yet should be secure against tripping when not necessary (avoid mis-operating).

12.1.3 Power System Faults


In normal 3 power system operation, electrical power is generated at the power plant
and supplied to the load. Current flows through the transmission and distribution system
on one or more of the phase conductors. The current path is then, via the other phase
conductors or a ground path, to return to the source (the generator) to form a complete
circuit. This current path is illustrated in Figure 12-2.

A current path established on the power system that is not desireda short-circuitis
known as a fault. The closer the fault is to generatorswhich are the source of voltage
on the power systemthe greater the fault current will be. This is because the fault
current flows through less impedance. Fault current values in the tens of thousands of
amps are common on the high voltage transmission system. Faults of concern can
occur: between single phase wires and ground, from phase wire to phase wire, between
multiple phase wires, between multiple phase wires and ground or can just be an open
wire. Different types of faults are described briefly below.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Figure 12-2 Power System Current Flow

Phase-to-Ground (-G) Fault


The most common type of fault on the power system is a phase-to-ground (-G) fault. A -
G fault is also called a line-to-ground fault. One way of incurring a -G fault is illustrated in
Figure 12-3. The overwhelming majority of -G faults are caused by lightning either striking
or inducing a large voltage on the phase conductors. If the fault is an arcing fault (traveling
through air) or the path to ground is through some non-conductor as in Figure 12-3 it
is known as a high-impedance fault. High impedance faults are hard for relays to detect,
as the fault current may be very low.

-G fault current magnitudes can range from barely noticeable up to values equal to 3
faults. Equipment can be damaged due to the high current magnitudes. -G faults also
create an imbalance in the power system. Balanced power systems have equal currents
and voltages on all three phases. During -G faults, the imbalance may damage rotating
equipment such as motors and generators.
Phase-to-Phase (-) Fault
Phase-to-phase (-) faults are the next most common fault on the power system. A -
fault is also called a line-to-line fault. - faults can be caused by something as simple
as wind blowing two phase conductors together as in Figure 12-4. - faults also cause
an imbalance in the 3 system. The imbalance impact on generators is the most severe
with this type fault. Fault currents are typically high for - faults. In addition, ground
may or may not be involved. If ground is involved, the fault is called a double-phase-to-
ground (2-G) fault.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Figure 12-3 Phase-to-Ground (-G) Faults

Figure 12-4 Phase-to-Phase (-) Faults

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Three-Phase (3 ) Faults
Faults where all three phases are involved are the least likely to occur. However, 3
faults are usually the most severe as far as levels of fault current are concerned. One
way of producing a 3 fault would be energization of a transmission line with a 3
ground switch closed or protective grounds installed. Since 3 faults are the least likely
to occur and are usually of a permanent nature (a structure down, ground switch closed,
or protective grounds installed) automatic reclosing is usually not permitted on the
transmission system for this type of fault.
Note: Automatic reclosing is an automatic attempt to reenergize a
transmission line following a trip.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Section 12.1 Summary

12.1.1 Introduction to Power System Relaying


It is the job of the power system protective equipment to detect the onset of undesired
events and take appropriate action. Relays are the intelligence of power system
protective equipment.
Relays can be broken down into a few major classifications including monitoring
relays, auxiliary relays, programming relays, regulating relays and protective relays.
12.1.2 Purpose and Function of Protective Relays
The purpose of protective relays is to detect system disturbances and initiate tripping of
breakers and switches to minimize damage and isolate problems. An important point to
remember is that protective relays do not prevent troublerelays respond to trouble and
assist in minimizing damage.
Another important point to keep in mind is that protective relays detect system
disturbances to protect the power system and not necessarily utility employees or the
public.
In judging relay performance; selectivity, sensitivity, and reliability, all play a large role.
Selectivity is the ability of the relay to isolate the smallest area of the power system in
order to ensure that no further damage is done.
Relays must be set sensitive enough to detect all faults intended to be detected. If set
too sensitive, a relay may initiate tripping for events that are not a real threat to the
system.
A reliable protective relay system should operate when called upon with sensitivity and
selectivityyet should be secure against tripping when not required.
12.1.3 Power System Faults
When a path for current is established that is not desired, it is known as a short
circuit or a fault. The closer the fault is to generators, the greater the fault current.
The most common type of fault on the power system is a phase-to-ground (-G)
fault. Phase-to-phase (-) faults are the next most common fault on the power
system. If ground is involved, the fault is called a double-phase-to-ground fault
(2-G).
Faults where all three phases are involved are the least likely to occur but are usually
the most severe.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Section 12.1 Review Questions


Q1: Auxiliary relays are designed to:

a) Regulate voltage
b) Supplement the action of other relays
c) Detect low voltages
d) Detect faults

Q2: The purpose of protective relays is:

a) Prevent power system trouble


b) Protect maintenance personnel
c) Minimize damage and isolate problems
d) Protect the general public

Q3: Selectivity is the ability of a relay to:

a) Detect all faults


b) Isolate trouble quickly
c) Minimize the isolated area
d) Trip circuit breakers quickly

Q4: The most common type of fault is

a) 3
b) 3 -G
c) -G
d) -

Q5: The most severe type of fault is typically a:

a) 3
b) -
c) -G
d) 2 -G

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

12.2 Relay Construction & Operation


Relays have been applied to power systems for over 100 years. The types of relays used have
changed over the years. Advances in technology have enhanced the design and operation of
protective relays. Electronic relays were developed followed by micro-processor and computer
driven relays to replace the dependable, but limited, electro-mechanical relays. These newer
relays could be termed the do-it-all system protection device, accomplishing more functions
with fewer or no moving parts and avoiding the vibration misoperations experienced by their
predecessors. Most companies, to avoid expensive replacement, upgrade relay packages only
when conditions warrant or equipment is replaced. It is essential for System Operators to be
familiar with the different types of relays and the flags (trip indications) which relays provide.
The flags vary depending on the type of fault, type of relay, and the relay manufacturer.

12.2.1 Electromechanical Relays


Electromechanical (EM) relays were the original type of relays used for protection of the power
system. EM relays use electrical inputs (voltage or current) to control some form of
mechanical operation based on magnetic attraction or induction. Magnetic attraction relay
types are either plunger operated or hinged armature operated as illustrated in Figure 12-5.
The greater the current through the wires, the stronger the magnetic attraction to close the
contacts. Induction relay types are typically rotating discs as illustrated in Figure 12-6.
Induction relays produce circular motion. The greater the coil current, the greater the force on
the rotating disc.

Figure 12-5 Magnetic Attraction Relay Element

Note: Watt-hour meters operate on the same principal as induction


relays.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Figure 12-6 Induction Disc Relay Element


A typical EM relay is illustrated in Figure 12-7. EM relays have performed well for
decades; however, most companies no longer purchase EM relays, but rather select
solid state or microprocessor based relays.

12.2.2 Solid State Relays


Solid state relays employ electronic components and integrated circuits to detect
system conditions and initiate proper actions. Solid state relays do not include the
moving parts associated with electro-mechanical relays. Solid state relays are
generally thought of as maintenance-free and not as susceptible to shock (earthquake
or being bumped).
Modern solid state relays generally cost less than electro-mechanicals and can be
packaged with numerous relay functions inside one relay case. For example, one solid
state relay may replace three or four electro-mechanical relays. This multi-use feature
greatly simplifies the space and wiring demands of solid state relays. Any electro-
mechanical relay function (and then some) can be duplicated by solid state relays.
Figure 12-7 illustrates one type of solid state relay.

12.2.3 Microprocessor-Based relays


A recent advance in relay technology is microprocessor-based relays. Microprocessor
relays use the same technology as desktop computers to bring even more functions to
relaying. Microprocessor relays can store large amounts of fault data, perform self-
checks, monitor line conditions, and carry out the tasks of dozens of individual relays.
For example, a microprocessor-based relay could record fault data, analyze the data,
and immediately send information to the control center for System Operator action.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Figure 12-7 Electromechanical, Solid State & Microprocessor Relays


A very important feature (from an operations perspective) is that microprocessor relays
often have fault location capability built in. Fault location capabilitycombined with
telecommunications capabilitiesallows System Operators to determine the type and
location of a fault. Fault locations can be determined almost instantly, which speeds the
recovery process. Current trends are towards the purchase of microprocessor-based
relays if available. Figure 12-7 illustrates one type of microprocessor based relay.

12.2.4 Relay Indications


A critical factor for System Operators doing restoration after a fault is interpreting the
information given by the relays. This information is provided by relay flags. Relay
flags are brief descriptions of what caused a relay to operate. Relay flags are also
called relaytargets.
Electromechanical relays have flags which drop down when activated. Figure 12-8
illustrates a typical electromechanical relay flag in the reset and tripped state. When the
relay trips, a symbol is visible. Once the cause of the relay operation is identified, a
button on the relay is pushed to reset the flag. The flag for the electromechanical relay
will be visible through the front glass cover of the relay. The flag for the
electromechanical relay in Figure 12-7 is barely visible in the lower right corner of the
relay.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

The symbol T is a
relay flag. The letter
T is used as this is
an over-current relay
flag. The T means a
time over-current
fault

Figure 12-8 Electromechanical Relay Flags

Solid state relays typically use light emitting diodes (LEDs) as flags. Depending on the
reason for the relay operation, different LEDs will light. For example, the solid state relay
in Figure 12-7 is an under/over voltage relay. Note that various flag LEDs will light
depending on if the voltage is under or over a set limit. LEDs will also light depending
on how quickly the voltage changed from its normal value (time or instantaneous) to its
trip value.

Microprocessor based relays may use LEDs or character displays as flags. The
microprocessor relay in Figure 12-7 uses LEDs. Microprocessor relays are often
designed to be contacted via telecommunication systems in order to gather a wide
variety of data concerning an operation.

By proper use of relay flags, a System Operator may be able to determine the phase
involvement, type of fault, location of the fault, and if the equipment performed as desired
or if there was equipment failure.

12.2.5 IEEE Protective Relay Numbering System


In order to standardize and simplify descriptions of protective relays, the IEEE (Institute
of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) created a protective device numbering system.
This numbering system is used on power system one-line diagrams, control schematics,
etc. By using this system, a relay engineer from one Control Area would be able to
identify the protective devices shown on a one-line diagram for other Control Areas.
Since this system groups relays by function, it avoids having to identify the specific relay
since there are many different manufacturers of relays.

Following is a list and brief description of the device numbers most likely to be
encountered by System Operators. The complete list of IEEE device numbers includes
approximately 100 numbers.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

IEEE Device Function, Application or Comment


Number
21 Distance Relay Uses Impedance as Trigger. Monitors
for a combination of high current and
low voltage to operate.
25 Synchronizin Compares two AC sources in
g Relay preparation for paralleling. Checks or
matches voltage magnitude, phase
angle, and frequency difference across a
circuit breaker before allowing it to close.
27 Under- Usually Time Delayed. Operates when
voltage voltage falls below a set value. Can be
Relay used for load shedding and reactive
49 Thermal Relay equipment.
Closes a switch on sensing heat in a
protected device. Operates when the
temperature (e.g., of a winding) exceeds
set limits. Can be used to start fans and
50 Instantaneo pumps. with no time delay when
Operates
us Over- current rises above a set level. Usually
current applied where fault current is
51 Time substantial.
Operates on a time-delayed basis
Over- depending on the amount of current
59 current
Over- above
Operatesa set level.
when voltage exceeds the set
voltage limit. Common use is to trip shunt
Relay capacitor banks or trip loads to prevent
63 Pressure Relay equipment
Operates on damage.
low or high pressure of a
liquid or gas (oil or SF6) or on a rate-of-
change of pressure (sudden pressure).
Indicates a switching device should be
investigated before operating again.
67 Directional Normally used as a backup to other
Over- relaying. Operates if current is above a
current set value and flowing in the proper
direction. Commonly used on
transmission lines having relay
communication to guard against
79 transformer
Reclosing Relay Initiated back feed.relay action.
by protective
Provides automatic closing of a circuit
breaker following a trip. Often involved
with multiple trips.
81 Frequency Trips load or generation as required.
Relay Operates if frequency exceeds a set
limit.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

IEEE Device Function, Application or Comment


Number
86 Lockout Relay Common input sources are differential,
back up or sudden pressure relays. An
auxiliary relay that can perform many
functions (including tripping of
breakers). Prevents closing of a circuit
breaker until the relay is reset either by
87 Differentia hand
Sensesor aelectrically.
net difference in currents
l Relay entering and leaving power system
equipment such as lines, buses or
94 Tripping Relay generators.
Used as contact multiplier or in special
application relay schemes. An auxiliary
relay, activated by a protective relay,
which initiates tripping of appropriate
breakers such as in a sequence of
events protection scheme.
Table 12-1 Common IEEE Device Numbers

Use of the IEEE Device Numbering System


Figure 12-9 illustrates how device numbers are used in a one-line diagram to identify
the location and function of protective relays. Note that device numbers often include a
letter such as in 87T. In this case, the T means that this is a transformer
differential, as opposed to a B which indicates a bus differential. Other commonly
used letters are G for generator or ground, M for motor, and N for neutral.
Note: This one-line diagram illustrates how a section of a power system
is protected with differentials (87), directional overcurrent (67), and
distance (21) relays.

Figure 12-9 One-line Diagram Using IEEE Device Numbers

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

12.2.6 Zones of Protection


It is critical to proper operation of the power system that all areas of the system be
covered by protective relaying. To ensure complete coverage, the power system is
divided into zones of protection. Zones are formed around system equipment such as
generators, buses, transformers, transmission and distribution lines, and motors. What
defines the zones is the limit of the relays sensing ability; usually the current
transformers (or CTs).

Figure 12-10 illustrates how a simple power system is broken down into different zones
of protection. Note how the zones overlap at the circuit breakers. In this manner, no
area of the system is left unprotected. Many areas of the power system are actually in
two zones as zone overlap often takes place. When two zones overlap, redundant or
backup protection is being supplied.

Figure 12-10 Zones of Protection

Primary and Backup Relaying


It would be a perfect world if all relays correctly identified and tripped for all faults on the
system. This is not the case. Relays can be improperly set, sensing inputs can be
mistakenly disconnected, and trip outputs can be mis-wired. Relays can fail to operate
due to internal hardware problems. Circuit breakers can fail. It is important to have a
backup protective system in case of primary protective system failure.

One way of accomplishing the backup function is to have multiple relays protecting the
same area. This is especially important on high voltage (345 KV) transmission lines. For
example, 345 KV lines may have two sets of relays performing the same protective

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

function, with one set being the primary relaying and the other set backing up the first
set.

In the example just discussed, the second set of relays would be called primary backup
because they are located on the same line as the primary relays. If the backup relays are
not on the same line but in the same substation, it is known as local backup. An example
of local backup would be breaker failure relays.

Another means of applying backup relaying is through remote backup. Remote backup
means that relays at another substation will initiate tripping (usually after a time delay) if
the relays responsible fail to operate. Zone #2 and Zone #3 distance relays (described in
Section 12.3.3) will act as remote backup relays since they can sense faults on
transmission lines past the next substation.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

The following relay application chart describes how various relays are used in
protection schemes. Number designations for IEEE/ANSI standards have not been
assigned in this chart.

DEVICE LOCATION PURPOSE & DESCRIPTION

Back Relays are usually Operates independently of any


Up mounted on primary relay system & provides a
Relays adjacent panel or back-up system in the event the
location in the primary relay system fails.
control house. If back-up protection has operated
to clear a fault it is an indication
that the primary or first line
protection systems have failed.
Damage associated with fault
currents may be more severe due
to the inherent time delay built into
the back- up system.
Remote Relays located in Impedance relay zone 2
Back remote adjacent or 3 application.
Up stations Used for the situation where local
relaying has failed due to system
equipment being out-of-service.
(such as a PT failure)
More system equipment is
removed from service.
Local Back Up Relays located in Used to indicate failure of
same station as either primary relaying or a
problem breaker.
More system equipment is
Primary First line of defense, removed from
Minimum service.
breakers have operated.
Relay relays located at
System each end of the line
looking toward each
other

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Fault recorder Located at strategic Used to analyze abnormal


substations conditions. Is used to capture
throughout the waveforms after a fault has
system occurred. Analysis of fault
recorder data proves that a fault
truly occurred. Inputs may be from
current transformers (CTs),
potential transformers (PTs),
breaker status or breaker trip
signals. This is a valuable tool
Permissive POTT relays are which
If both allows
ends seeevaluation
a fault inofthe
a
Overreachin located at each end system protection
forward scheme.are
direction, signals
g Transfer of a line looking exchanged and the line is tripped
Trip forward, towards high speed at both ends.
each other. Loss of guard alarm indicates that
the signal path has failed. High
speed tripping cannot work
without the signal path. Without
the signal path, high speed
protection may be lost resulting in
a zone 3 or zone 3 time- delayed
Direct DUTT, relays are tripline
A forprotective
a fault. scheme that
Under- located at each end provides high speed tripping of all
reaching of a line looking line terminals for a line fault.
Transfer towards each other. Loss of DUTT channel causes
Trip loss of scheme. This is
considered primary protection.
Table 12-2 Relay Protection Schemes

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Section 12.2 Summary

12.2.1 Electromechanical Relays


Electromechanical relays use electrical inputs (voltage or current) to drive
some form of mechanical operation.
Magnetic attraction and induction disk units are basic electromechanical relay
elements. Most companies are now purchasing microprocessor based relays.
However, there are a large number of electromechanical and solid state relays
presently in-service.
12.2.2 Solid State Relays
Solid state relays employ electronic components and integrated circuits to
detect system conditions and initiate proper actions.
Solid state relays are generally thought of as maintenance free and not as
susceptible to shock as electromechanical relays.
12.2.3 Microprocessor-Based relays
Microprocessor relays use the same technology as desktop computers to bring
even more functions to relaying.
12.2.4 Relay Indications
Relay flags are brief descriptions of what caused a relay to operate.
By proper use of relay flags, a System Operator can determine the phase (A,
B, or C) involvement, type of fault, location of the fault, and if the protective
equipment performed as desired or if there was a failure.
12.2.5 IEEE Protective Relay Numbering System
In order to standardize and simplify descriptions of protective relays, the IEEE
created a device numbering system. Common device numbers are given in
Table 12-1.
Device numbers often include a letter, such as in 87T. In this case, the T
means this is a transformer differential. Other commonly used letters are B for
bus, G for generator or ground, M for motor, and N for neutral.
12.2.6 Zones of Protection
Zones of protection define the limits of a protective equipments protected
area. Every section of the power system should be included in a zone of
protection.
When zones of protection overlap, redundant protection of a portion of the
system is being provided.
It is important to have a backup protective system in case of primary protective
system failure.
If a transmission lines second (backup) set of relays is located on the same
line as the primary relays it is called primary backup.

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If the backup relays are not on the same line but are in the same substation, it
is known as local backup.
Remote backup means that relays at another substation will initiate tripping
(usually after a time delay) if the relays responsible fail to operate. Distance
relay zones #2 and #3 provide remote backup.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Section 12.2 Review Questions


Q1: Magnetic attraction and induction disks are relay elements for what type relays?

a) Auxiliary
b) Electromechanical
c) Solid state
d) Microprocessor

Q2. Solid state relays typically require more maintenance than electromechanical
relays.
True or false?

Q3: Relay flags are:


a) Written summaries of why a relay operated
b) Contact assemblies within a relay
c) Brief descriptions of what caused a relay to operate
d) Desired operating points for a relay

Q4: The IEEE device # for a differential relay is:

a) 86
b) 50
c) 51
d) 87

Q5: Including the entire power system in at least one zone of protection ensures:

a) All elements of system are protected


b) Redundant protection
c) Rapid tripping following faults
d) Accurate relay flags

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12.3 Types of Relays


This section will briefly describe several of the most important types of protective relays.

12.3.1 Voltage Relays

Theory of Operation of Voltage Relays


Voltage relays consist of under-voltage and over-voltage relays. In electromechanical
voltage relays, as voltage is changed magnetic forces cause relay contact movement.
If an over-voltage relay is desired, the relay contacts will be designed to close on
increasing voltage. If an under-voltage relay is desired, the relay contacts will close on
decreasing voltage.

Voltage relays can be designed to operate with no intentional time delay


(instantaneous) or with intentional time delay. Once the voltage hits the pickup value,
an instantaneous voltage relay will operate. In a time delay voltage relay, the higher the
voltage over (or under) a pickup value the faster the relay will operate.
Note: The value at which a relay begins to operate is referred to as the
pickup value for the relay.
Voltage relays can also be implemented using solid state (electronic) construction. In
a solid state relay, input AC voltages are first converted to a low magnitude DC
voltage. The DC voltages are then compared to a DC voltage representing the pickup
value. In a microprocessor-based relay, input voltages are converted to digital
quantities and decisions made from the digital data.
Application of Voltage Relays
Over-voltage relays are frequently used to protect generators and generator transformers
from prolonged exposure to high voltages. Over-voltage relays are also used to detect
faults within shunt capacitor banks.

Under-voltage relays are often utilized to protect large motors. Motors will automatically
draw more current as the motor voltage drops. This current increase can cause
overheating and eventual motor failurehence the application of under-voltage relays.
A one-line diagram illustrating the use of voltage relays is given in Figure 12-11. Under-
voltage (27) and over-voltage (59) relays are shown connected through a potential
transformer (PT) to a substation bus. The over-voltage relay will operate if the voltage
rises too high while the under-voltage relay will operate if the voltage falls too low.

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Figure 12-11 Voltage Relays on a One-line Diagram


Another common usage for under-voltage relays is to detect if equipmentsuch as a
high voltage transmission lineis energized. For example, a voltage relay may be used
to ensure a transmission line is dead prior to allowing a circuit breaker closing.

One relatively recent use of under-voltage relays is to combat the phenomena of voltage
collapse. In a voltage collapse, an entire power system can be blacked out due to a
deficiency of reactive (MVAR) power support. One way to fight the problem is to have
under-voltage relays perform load shedding (tripping of customer load) in order to
reduce system stress.

12.3.2 Over-current Relays

Theory of Operation of Over-current Relays


Over-current relays operate if current rises above a pickup value. Over-current relay
construction is basically the same as that of the voltage relays described earlier. The
major difference is the input quantity is current rather than voltage. In electromechanical
over- current relays, the input current creates magnetic forces that result in contact
movement.

Over-current relays can be designed as either instantaneous or timed. An instantaneous


relay activates once a threshold value of current is exceeded. No intentional time delay
is used prior to the relay activating. A time-over-current relay activates once a threshold
of current is exceeded after a user selected time delay. A typical over-current relay

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package will include both timed and instantaneous relays in the same case.

For the over-current relay, the amount of time it takes to operate versus the input current
level is known as an inverse time characteristic. The inverse term means that the
higher the level of current the less time it takes the relay to operate.

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Some possible time characteristic curves for over-current relays are illustrated in Figure
12-12. The protection design engineer would choose the correct relay based on how fast
they want the relay to operate for a given amount of input current. Solid state relays can
be purchased with the same time characteristics as electromechanical relays.

Figure 12-12 Over-current Relay - Time Characteristic Curves


Over-current relays are divided into two categories: non-directional and directional.
Non-Directional Over-current Relays
Non-directional over-current relays do not care what the direction of power flow is on the
protected line. Non-directional relays merely sense if the pickup level of current has been
exceeded and begin to operate if it has.
Note: Most over-current relays in distribution systems are non-
directional and are simply called over-current relays.

Directional Over-current Relays


Directional over-current relays have additional elements included to determine the
direction of power flow through protected equipment. To accomplish directional sensing
the relay checks the relationship between input current and a polarizing quantity. The
polarizing quantity is simply a reference from which the relay can determine power flow
direction.

The polarizing quantity can be a voltage or a current. For example, a CT secondary


currentabout which the direction of current flow is knowncould be used as a polarizing
quantity. If voltage is used, the relay is voltage polarized. If current is used, the relay is
current polarized. If both voltage and current are used, the relay is dual polarized.
Application of Over-current Relays
Since high current levels are strongly associated with damage to equipment, over-current
relays are applied extensively within the power system.

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Non-directional over-current relays are normally applied where power will only flow in one
direction. For example, a distribution line may leave a substation to serve a load area.

This type of line (called a radial line) is a candidate for non-directional over-current relay
protection.

Non-directional relays can be instantaneous or time delay or a combination of the two.


The relays will normally be installed to protect all three phases and the ground conductor.
Non-directional over-current relays are often used to protect distribution lines and
equipment such as motors and generators. Non-directional over-currents are also used to
perform a local backup function. The relays will be set to trip equipment such as
substation buses and transformers if primary protection fails to operate.

Directional over-current relays may be used to protect transmission lines between


substations, where power can flow in either direction. Directional over-current relays are
more selective than non-directional relays. Directional relays are used to confine a relays
operations to one particular line section. The relay will only trip for faults in the line for
which it has responsibility. Directional over-current relays are often used for ground fault
detection. Distance relays (addressed in Section 12.10) are better suited for phase fault
detection.

Note: Many high voltage line protection schemes do not use directional
overcurrent relays. Instead, distance relays are used for phase and
ground fault protection.

12.3.3 Differential Relays

Theory of Operation
The operating principle of differential relays is that all current flowing into the protected
equipment (or protection zone) must equal the current flowing out. If what flows in does
not match what flows out, an internal equipment fault is assumed present and the relay
operates. Current transformers (CTs) surround the protected area and form the boundary
of the zone of protection. The sum of all the CT currents is input to the differential relay. If
system current is flowing as it should be, no current flows through the relay as shown in
Figure 12-13.

If a fault is present within the protected zone, the current flowing into the zone will not
match what is flowing out. The difference between the input and output currents will force
current through the differential relay. The relay will operate as illustrated in Figure 12-14.

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Figure 12-13 Normal Conditions for Differential Relay

Figure 12-14 Fault Conditions for Differential Relay

Application of Differential Relays


Differential relays are normally utilized to protect important equipment such as substation
buses, transformers, and generators. Differential relays are occasionally applied to short
(a few miles) transmission lines.
Bus Differential
A substation bus is almost always protected by a differential relay. The application of a
differential relay to a bus is demonstrated in Figure 12-15. The important point is to
measure all current flows into and out of the bus. If what flows into a bus does not flow
out of the bus a fault is assumed and the relay operates. Problems can arise if the bus
configuration is changed through switching. Bus differential relays often have an
associated control switch that can change the current paths from the CTs to reflect a
new bus configuration.

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Figure 12-15 One-line with Bus Differential

Transformer Differential
Differential relaying is applied to most transformers. With transformers, however, a
percentage differential relay is normally used. A percentage differential relay requires
that the relay tripping current be a certain percentage (possibly 25%) of the transformers
load current. This helps avoid transformer tripping for external faults, but still allows the
relay to detect and operate for internal faults. Figure 12-16 illustrates the application of a
transformer differential relay. The 87T is the IEEE device number for a transformer
differential.

A problem for transformer differential protection is the high levels of current flow when a
transformer is first energized. This in-rush current lasts a very short time but can be
several times the full load current rating of the transformer. The in-rush current flows into
the transformer to magnetize the core and does not flow out the other side. In-rush current
could cause the differential relay to operate unless counter measures are taken.

Fortunately, transformer differential relays are available that can tell the difference
between load current and in-rush current. These types of differential relays are equipped
with a harmonic restraint feature. Harmonic restraint enables the differential relay to
identify and avoid tripping due to in-rush current.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Figure 12-16 One-line Diagram with Differentials

Generator Differential
Differential relays used in the protection of a generators stator windings are similar to a
transformer differential. Generator differentials typically operate based on a variable
percentage characteristic. As you recall, a percentage differential relay operates if the
relay current reaches a specified percentage of the load current. A variable percentage
relay operates on the same principle but the percentage required for relay operation
varies with the load level. A generator differential at low generator loading would require
less of a percentage of load current to trip than at high loading. Figure 12-16 also
illustrates the application of a generator differential.
Voltage Differential Relays
In addition to the current operated relays just described, there are differential relays that
operate based on a difference in voltage. Voltage differential relays are not nearly as
common and are used primarily for the detection of blown fuses in shunt capacitor banks.

12.3.4 Distance Relays

Theory of Operation
Distance relays have both current and voltage inputs. A distance relay divides the voltage
input by the current input (V/I) to calculate the systems: Z or impedance. This is the
impedance of the power system from the relays perspective. If a fault occurs close to a
distance relays location, current increases and voltage decreasesand the relays
calculated impedance shrinks. If a fault occurs far away from a relays location, the relays
impedance will not change very much.

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Note: Impedance is measured in ohms and is a measure of electrical


distance. The terms impedance and distance are often used
interchangeably to refer to relays that measure impedance.

Assume that a distance relay is installed to protect a transmission line. The impedance of
the protected line will be known and used to determine the relays settings as part of the
relays initial installation procedures. If a fault occurs on the protected line, the impedance
measured by the relay will be less than the known line impedance. The relay will then
operate and trip the line.

A distance relay is set to operate based on a certain percentage of whatever the protected
lines impedance is. This is known as the relays reach. For example, assume a line
section has an impedance of 100 . A distance relay may be set to trip for any
impedance detected that is less than 90. If a fault occurs anywhere within the first 90%
of the lines length, the relay will operate. The reach of this relay is then 90 or 90% of the
lines natural impedance (100) or length. Distance relay reaches are stated in terms of
zones of protection. For example, zone # 1 reach is usually set for 90% of the line length.
Distance relay zones of protection are covered in greater detail later in this section.
Types of Distance Relays
Distance relays can be implemented using either electromechanical, solid state, or
microprocessor relay elementsbut the operating principles are the same. The basic
types of distance relays are reactance, impedance, and MHO. All three types are
measuring system impedance, but do so in different ways. The most common distance
relay is a MHO relay.
An operating characteristic for a MHO type distance relay is illustrated in Figure 12-17.
Note: A MHO relay actually measures the inverse of impedance. MHO
is ohm spelled backwards to represent the inverse of impedance.
The relay operating characteristic is a plot of the impedance settings for the relay. In other
words, the operating characteristic is a plot of the relay reach. Recall that if a relays
calculated impedance is lower than the relays reach, the relay will operate. The reach of
the MHO relay illustrated in Figure 12-17 is the circle. If the relay calculates an impedance
that is inside the circle, it will operate. If the calculated impedance is outside the circle, the
relay will not operate.
Typical Distance Relay Protection Scheme
Distance relays are used to protect transmission lines. Distance relay protection schemes
are usually implemented using three zones of protection. Each zone is formed by a
separate distance relay. Zone #1 typically reaches 90% of the protected line and always
trips instantaneously. If a fault occurs within a zone #1 reach, it is rapidly (within a few
cycles) cleared. Zone #1 provides the primary protection of a line section.

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Figure 12-17 MHO Characteristic on an R-X Diagram


Zone #2 covers approximately 120% of the impedance of the line. Zone #2 actually looks
beyond the end of the protected line into the next line section. Zone #2 tripping is done
only after a short (perhaps second) time delay. A time delay is needed to allow both the
local and the remote terminals zone #1 relay the first chance to trip. Each zone #2 relay is
providing backup protection to its own terminals zone #1 relay in addition to protecting the
most remote 10 percent of the line.

When Zone #3 is set in the forward direction, its reach is usually 200% (or more) of the
protected lines impedance. Zone #3 may even reach the entire length of the next line
section. Zone #3 is also a time-delayed trip. A typical zone #3 time delay may be one (1)
second. Zone #3 is providing time delayed backup to both zone #2 and zone #1 for the
entire length of the protected line. Distance schemes are designed to be very reliable.

Figure 12-18 contains a one-line diagram of a simple step distance relay scheme
incorporating three zones of protection. Note that the zones are only shown for substation
A of the line. There will be a duplicate set of distance relays at substation B looking
back towards substation A. If a fault were to occur at the fault X location in Figure
12- 18 all three zones of substation A would activate or pick-up. Zones #2 and #3 are
time- delayed backups and would not cause any tripping unless zone #1 failed to clear the
fault. For the lines protection to completely fail, all three zones of protection would have to
fail to operate. This is highly unlikely.

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Figure 12-18 Distance Relay Scheme

Application of Distance Relays


Distance relays are typically applied to detect - and 3 transmission line faults.
Ground faults are typically detected using over-current relays. There are distance relays
designed for ground fault detection and their use is becoming more common.

Distance relays are almost universally applied for protection of high voltage transmission
lines. A distance relay is not as susceptible to false tripping from high load currents and
this increased reliability is important for high voltage line protection. Distance relays can
also be applied at lower voltages, but are much less common. Distance relays are often
incorporated into protection schemes that include communications between the terminals
of a transmission line. These protection schemes are called pilot relaying and are briefly
described in the next Section.

12.3.5 Pilot Relaying


Pilot relaying is widely used to achieve instantaneous tripping of all terminals of a
transmission line for any fault location on the protected line.

Faults on the high voltage transmission system often involve tens of thousands of amps. It
is imperative to clear the fault (trip the circuit breakers) in as short a time as possible.
Assume we were to rely on zone #2 to trip for faults beyond zone #1 but closer than the
end of the line. Such a fault location is illustrated as fault Y in Figure 12-18. Since
substation
A zone #2 trips only after a time delay, we would be allowing a fault to exist for
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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

whatever the zone #2 time delay is. This could result in a severe system disturbance or
equipment damage.
Pilot Relaying Theory of Operation
If a fault is somehow determined to be in a protected line section and not outside it,
distance relays at both ends of a line section can be allowed to rapidly trip their respective
breakers. Figure 12-19 contains an illustration of a very simple pilot relaying scheme. Note
the distance relays (21 device) at each substation. Each distance relays zone of
protection reaches past the substation at the far end of the line. If a fault were to occur
anywhere within the protected line section, both distance relays would detect it. If a fault
were to occur outside of the protected line section one of the distance relays would not
detect it.

If both distance relays detect the fault, we can assume the fault is within the protected line
section. However, we must be absolutely sure both distance relays see the fault before we
can allow tripping. This is the only way to ensure the fault is truly within the protected line.
To verify both relays see the fault we provide for communications between the two
substations of the line. Once each relay detects the fault it triggers a transmission of this
informationsends permissionto the other line terminal.

For tripping to occur, the relays in a substation must see the fault in the forward direction
and also receive permission from the other end of the terminal to proceed with tripping.
This detection and receipt of permission proceeds very rapidly. Pilot schemes may detect
and initiate the tripping of the circuit breakers of a line in two (2) or three (3) cycles. The
faster the better as transmission level faults are high current and capable of causing
severe damage to the power system.

Various methods are utilized for communications between the substations of a line.
Telephone lines, pilot wires, power-line carrier, microwave, and fiber-optic are a few
options. Fiber-optics has the most capability, but is also the most expensive to implement.

There are many different pilot relaying schemes used within ERCOT. Pilot scheme names
include:

Directional Comparison Blocking


Directional Comparison Unblocking
Permissive Overreaching Transfer Trip (POTT)
Permissive Underreaching Transfer Trip (PUTT)
Direct Underreaching Transfer Trip (DUTT)

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Figure 12-19 Simple Pilot Scheme


All the pilot relaying schemes have two things in common; a means to detect if a fault is
inside or outside the protected line, and a means to communicate that information to both
line terminals. A pilot schemes effectiveness is reduced if its telecommunications scheme
is out- of-service. Be very careful with disabling telecommunications schemesyou may
be compromising critical system protection.

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Section 12.3 Summary


12.3.1 Voltage Relays
Voltage relays consist of under-voltage and over-voltage relays.
Voltage relays can be designed to operate with no intentional time delay
(instantaneous) or with intentional time delay.
Over-voltage relays are frequently used to protect generators and generator
transformers from prolonged exposure to high voltages.
Over-voltage relays are used to detect faults within shunt
capacitor banks. Under-voltage relays are often used to protect
large motors.
A common usage for under-voltage relays is to detect if equipmentsuch as a
high voltage transmission lineis energized.
Under-voltage load sheddingusing under-voltage relaysis a possible
measure to combat voltage collapse.
12.3.2 Over-current Relays
Over-current relays operate if current rises above a pickup value.
Over-current relays can be designed as either timed or instantaneous. A timed
over- current relay activates if current levels rise to the trip point after a user
set time delay. Instantaneous relays activate with no intentional time delay.
In a timed over-current relay, the amount of time it takes to operate versus the
input current level is known as an inverse time characteristic. The inverse
term means that the higher the level of current the less time it takes the relay to
operate.
Over-current relays are divided into two categories: non-directional, and
directional.
Non-directional over-current relays do not care what the direction of power flow
is on the protected equipment. Non-directional relays merely sense if the pickup
level of current has been exceeded and begin to operate if it has.
Directional over-current relays have additional elements to determine the
direction of power flow on the protected line. Directional over-current
relays only operate if the power flow is in the correct direction.
To accomplish directional sensing, a directional over-current relay checks the
relationship between input current and a polarizing quantity. The polarizing
quantity is simply a reference from which the relay can determine power flow
direction.
Non-directional over-current relays are often used to protect distribution lines
and equipment such as motors and generators.
Non-directional over-currents are often used to perform a local backup function.
The relays will be set to trip equipment such as substation buses and
transformers if primary protection fails to operate.
Directional over-current relays are often used to protect transmission
lines between substationswhere power can flow in either direction.

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12.3.3 Differential Relays


The operating principle of differential relays is that the current flowing into the
protected equipment must equal the current flowing out. If the balance does not
exist, the relay will operate.

Differential relays are normally utilized to protect individual equipment such as


substation buses, transformers, and generators.
False operation of a differential relay can occur if a bus configuration is
changed through switching. Bus differential relays often have an associated
control switch which can change the current paths from the differentials CTs
to reflect a new bus configuration.
Differential relaying is applied to most transformers. With transformers,
however, a percentage differential relay is normally used. A percentage
differential relay trips based on a percentage of load current. It will take more
current to operate the relay during heavy loads.
A problem for transformer differential protection is the high levels of in-rush
current flow when the transformer is first energized. In-rush current could
cause the differential relay to falsely operate.
Transformer differential relays are often equipped with a feature called
harmonic restraint to avoid tripping due to in-rush current.
Generator differentials typically operate based on a variable percentage
characteristic. A generator differential at low generator loading would require
less of a percentage of load current to operate than at high loading.
Voltage differential relays are not as common as current differentials and are
mainly used for detection of blown fuses in shunt capacitor banks.
12.3.4 Distance Relays
A distance relay divides the voltage input by the current input (V/I) to calculate
the systems Z or impedance. This is the impedance of the power system
from the relays perspective.
Assume that a distance relay is installed to protect a transmission line. The
impedance of the protected line will be known and incorporated into the relay
as part of the relays initial installation procedures. When the distance relay is
installed it is set to operate at a certain impedance based on line length. If a
fault occurs on a protected line and the impedance measured by the relay is
less than the known line impedance, then the relay will operate to trip the line.
A distance relay is set to operate based on a certain percentage of whatever
the protected lines impedance is. This is known as the relays reach.
The basic types of distance relays are reactance, impedance, and MHO.
The most common distance relay is a MHO relay.
An R-X diagram is a plot of the operating characteristic of a distance relay.
Distance relay line protection schemes are usually implemented using
three zones of protection. Each zone is formed by a separate distance
relay.
Zone #1 typically reaches 90% of the protected line and always trips

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

instantaneously. Zone #2 covers approximately 120% of the impedance of the


line. Zone #2 tripping is done only after a short (perhaps second) time
delay. Zone #2 provides protection for the last 10 percent of the line, which is
not covered by zone #1 and provides backup protection for the 90% covered
by the zone #1 relay.
Zone #3 reach is usually 200% (or more) of the protected lines impedance. A
typical zone #3 time delay may be one (1) second. Zone #3 is providing
backup to both zone #2 and zone #1.

12.3.5 Pilot Relaying


Pilot relaying is used to achieve rapid tripping of all the terminals of a
transmission line for any fault location within the protected line.
All pilot relaying schemes have two things in common; a means to detect if a
fault is inside or outside the protected zone, and a means to communicate that
information to both line terminals.
A pilot schemes effectiveness is reduced if the telecommunications scheme is
out-of- service. Be very careful with disabling telecommunications schemes
you may be compromising critical system protection.

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Section 12.3 Review Questions


Q1: Assume an instantaneous relay has operated. This operation will occur:

a) With no intentional time delay


b) Immediately
c) With a small intentional time delay

Q2: What type of relay is often used to determine if equipment is energized?

a) Distance
b) Voltage
c) Over-current
d) Pilot

Q3: The polarizing quantity is used to make a relay:

a) Directional
b) Cold weather proof
c) Operate quickly
d) Non-directional

Q4: What piece of equipment can be used to identify the boundaries of a


differential relays zone of protection?

a) PTs
b) 87 relays
c) CTs
d) CCVT

Q5: How does a distance relay calculate impedance?

a) By dividing current by voltage


b) By dividing voltage by current
c) By monitoring line voltage
d) By monitoring line current

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Q6: Which zone typically reaches the farthest?

a) Zone #1
b) Zone #2
c) Zone #3

Q7: If a pilot protection scheme loses its telecommunications ability, the scheme will
still provide rapid fault protection. True or false?

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12.4 Synchronizing Equipment

12.4.1 Theory of Operation


When closing a circuit breaker between two energized parts of the power system, it is
crucial to match voltages on both sides of the breaker before closing. If this
synchronizing is not done properly, the power system will be disturbed and equipment
(including generators) may be damaged. In order to synchronize, three different aspects
of the voltage across the breaker must be closely matched:

The voltage magnitudes of the two systems must be matched as


closely as possible (within 5%)
The frequency of the voltages must be close to identical
The phase angle of the voltages must be as small as possible

If the voltage magnitudes are not matched, a sharp rise in MVAR flow will appear across
the breaker as it is closed. If the frequency and/or phase angle is not matched, MW will
flow across the breaker as it is closed.

A sharp change to system MW and MVAR flows will impact system equipment and
reliability. If the change in MW flow is large, generators may be exposed to forces that can
actually damage their shafts. This possibility of damage is why synchronizing is especially
critical when near power plants and not quite as critical out on remote transmission lines.

A recommended place for synchronizing is at a generating station where good control of


voltage is possible.

12.4.2 Synchroscopes
A synchroscope is one of the oldest ways of synchronizing two circuits together. It is
manualin that an operator must be watching the scope to close the breaker at the
appropriate time. The synchroscope is usually mounted on a synch panel which
typically contains two voltmeters so the voltage magnitudes on either side of the open
circuit breaker can be compared. The synchroscope itself indicates how well the
frequency and phase angles match. If the frequency is off, the direction the needle rotates
indicates which side of the circuit breaker is faster. The greater the frequency difference,
the quicker the needle spins. A needle rotation of less than one revolution per minute is
good control. The position of the needle indicates the difference in voltage phase angle
across the circuit breaker.
Synchroscopes will usually be equipped with indicating lamps used to check the accuracy
of the rotation of the needle. Lamps should be wired for full brilliance when potential

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

difference is greatest (180 out of phase).

Figure 12-20 illustrates a synch panel that reflects a small voltage magnitude mismatch (4
KV), and a stationary synchroscope with a phase angle of approximately 30. A stationary
synchroscope indicates frequency is the same on either side of the breaker.

Figure 12-20 Synch Panel

12.4.3 Synch-Check Relays


Synch-check relays electrically determine if the difference in voltage magnitude,
frequency, and phase angle falls within set limits. The allowable differences will vary with
the location on the power system. Typically, the further away from generation and load,
the more difference can be tolerated. Synch-check relays do not provide indication of the
voltage magnitude, frequency, or phase angle. A synch-check relay internal logic
determines if conditions for closing are satisfied. The synch-check will either allow or
prevent closing depending on its settings. A typical synch-check relay is generally set to
allow closing if the voltage angle across the breaker is 40 degrees or less.

12.4.4 Application of Synchronizing Equipment


At power plants, synchroscopes are routinely installed to permit manual closing of a circuit
breaker. In addition, synch-check relays can be used to supervise the closing of the
breaker and prevent a distracted or inexperienced operator from initiating a bad close.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Modern power plants may utilize automatic synchronizers. Automatic synchronizers send
pulses to the generator exciter and governor to change the voltage and frequency of the
unit. The synchronizer will automatically close the breaker when it is within an allowable
window.

Substations on the transmission system have traditionally had synchroscopes installed.


However, few substations are now manned due to the use of powerful SCADA systems.
Because of this development, newer substations may or may not have a synch panel
depending on the utility. Since most breaker operations are done remotely, utilities often
rely on synch-check relays to supervise closing of breakers.

Figure 12-21 illustrates a possible synchronizing system for substation breakers. Note the
use of a synch scope and a synch-check relay. Electrical contacts can be opened or
closed to rearrange the synchronizing system as desired.

Figure 12-21 Synchronizing System For a Substation Breaker

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Section 12.4 Summary

12.4.1 Theory of Operation


In order to synchronize, three different aspects of the voltage across the
breaker must be closely matched:
The voltage magnitudes
The frequency of the
voltages The phase angle of
the voltages
If the voltage magnitudes are not matched, a sharp rise in MVAR flow will appear
across the breaker as it is closed.
If the frequency and/or phase angle are not matched, MW will flow across the
breaker as it is closed.
12.4.2 Synchroscopes
The synchroscope indicates how well frequency and phase angles match. If the
frequency is off, the direction the needle rotates indicates which side of the circuit
breaker is faster. The greater the frequency difference, the quicker the needle
spins. The current position of the needle indicates the difference in voltage
phase angle across the circuit breaker.
12.4.3 Synch-Check Relays
A synch-check relay decides internally whether its conditions for closing are
satisfied.
The synch-check will either allow or prevent closing depending on its settings. A
synch check relay is generally set to allow closing if the voltage angle across the
breaker is 40 degrees or less.
12.4.4 Application of Synchronizing Equipment
At power plants, sychroscopes are routinely installed to permit manual closing of
a circuit breaker.
Modern power plants may utilize automatic synchronizers. Automatic
synchronizers send pulses to the generator exciter and governor to change the
voltage and frequency of the unit. The synchronizer will automatically close the
breaker when it is within an allowable window.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 12: System Protection

Section 12.4 Review Questions


Q1: All of the following quantities must be monitored to properly synchronize EXCEPT:

a) Frequency difference
b) Voltage difference
c) Voltage phase angle difference
d) Generator loading

Q2: If a synchroscope is in use and not rotating (standing still) it means:

a) A large frequency difference exists


b) No frequency difference exists
c) No phase angle exists
d) A large phase angle exists

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Section 13
Transmission Operations
Table of Contents
13.0 Introduction .............................................................................................................. 1
13.1 ERCOT Transmission Reliability Criteria ................................................................. 1
13.1.1 Description of the Reliability Criteria ..................................................................... 1
13.1.2 Conformance with the Reliability Criteria .............................................................. 2
Section 13.1 Summary .................................................................................................... 3
Section 13.1 Review Questions ....................................................................................... 4
13.2 The Switching Process ............................................................................................ 5
13.2.1 Outage Requests .................................................................................................. 5
13.2.2 Writing Switching Orders ...................................................................................... 6
13.2.3 Issuing Switching Orders ...................................................................................... 7
Section 13.2 Summary .................................................................................................... 8
Section 13.2 Review Questions ....................................................................................... 9
13.3 Responding to Transmission Outages ................................................................... 10
13.3.1 Types of Outages ............................................................................................... 10
13.3.2 Reporting Outages to ERCOT ............................................................................ 10
13.3.3 Responding to Transmission Outages ................................................................ 12
Section 13.3 Summary .................................................................................................. 13
Section 13.3 Review Questions ..................................................................................... 14
Figures and Tables
Table 13-1 The ERCOT Transmission System ................................................................ 1
Figure 13-2 Clearance Isolation Points ............................................................................ 6
Learning Objectives

Define transmission system reliability criteria


Explain design and operating requirements to conform with reliability criteria
Outline procedures and methods of the switching process
Describe steps to write proper and safe switching orders
Cite communication processes for issuing switching orders
List the types of outages
Identify the procedure for reporting outages
Specify Operator response to various types of outages
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

13.0 Introduction
This section presents a brief overview of transmission system operations within ERCOT. The
criteria used by ERCOT to ensure a secure transmission system are first described. The
switching process is then explained and the section concludes with a brief description of the
proper response to transmission line outages.
The approximate miles of the various voltage lines that compose the ERCOT transmission
system are listed in Table 13-1. The backbone of the transmission system is the 345 KV
system. Lower voltage lines (138KV and 69 KV) are critical elements of the transmission
system in certain cases but typically not as important as the 345 KV system.

Voltage Level Miles

69 KV >11,000

138 KV 20,000

345 KV 9,500

Total >40,500

Table 13-1 The ERCOT Transmission System

13.1 ERCOT Transmission Reliability Criteria


To ensure the reliability of the ERCOT transmission system, all TSPs, in conjunction with
ERCOT, must ensure that their systems are designed and operated to satisfy minimum
transmission system reliability criteria. These reliability criteria were jointly agreed upon by the
members of ERCOT. The reliability criteria are also reflected in the planning criteria that are
used by the planning engineers who designed the ERCOT power system.

13.1.1 Description of the Reliability Criteria


The ERCOT reliability criteria state that the power system will be operated in such a manner
that the occurrence of a single contingency, for example, the forced outage of two generating
units (within a short period of time) or the loss of one major 345 KV line, will not cause:
Uncontrolled breakup of the transmission system (cascading outages)
Uncontrollable system overloads
Customer outages
Unacceptable voltages in the transmission system

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

13.1.2 Conformance with the Reliability Criteria


To ensure that ERCOT meets the requirements of the transmission reliability criteria, the
power system must be designed properly and be operated correctly.
Power system design is the responsibility of the TSP and ERCOT engineering staff, although
input from system operators is a valuable resource. Proper design includes sufficient and
reliable transmission to serve the needs of the customers during normal and emergency
situations. When contingencies (outages) occur, the transmission system should operate in
conformance with the transmission reliability criteria.
Correct system operation includes limiting the stress to the power system to ensure that
contingencies do not result in unacceptable conditions. For example, power transfers may
have to be limited to ensure that the loss of a key facility does not result in unacceptable
voltages or customer outages. ERCOT calculates system operating limits to determine ERCOT
power transfer limits. These limits are used by ERCOT in operating activities including, but not
limited to, Congestion Management.
One of the ERCOT System Operators primary job functions is to monitor transmission system
conditions (power flows, voltages, etc.) and respond to events as required. ERCOT has
published guidelines and ERCOT and each TSP have operating procedures that assist the
System Operators with their monitoring and response duties. These guidelines and procedures
are designed to ensure conformance to the ERCOT transmission system reliability criteria.
Conformance to the reliability criteria when all system elements are available is typically
achievable since the system is designed in accordance with the criteria. However, when key
facilities are out-of-service, current system operating practices may need to be adjusted to
again conform to the reliability criteria. For example, if a long term outage occurs to a key
transmission linepower transfers may have to be reduced to ensure conformance to the
reliability criteria.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

Section 13.1 Summary


13.1.1 Description of the Reliability Criteria
The ERCOT reliability criteria state that the power system will be operated in such a
manner that the occurrence of a single contingency, such as the forced outage of two
generating units (within a short period of time) or the loss of one major 345 KV line, will
not cause:
o Uncontrolled breakup of the transmission system (cascading outages)
o Uncontrollable system overloads
o Customer outages
o Unacceptable voltages in the transmission system

13.1.2 Conformance with the Reliability Criteria


To ensure that ERCOT and a TSP meets the requirements of the transmission reliability
criteria the power system must be designed properly and be operated correctly.
When contingencies occur, the transmission system should operate in accordance with
the transmission reliability criteria.
Correct system operation includes limiting the stress to the power system to ensure that
contingencies do not result in unacceptable conditions.
ERCOT has published guidelines and ERCOT and each TSP has operating procedures
that assist System Operators with ensuring conformance to the ERCOT transmission
system reliability criteria.
When key facilities are out-of-service, current system operating practices may need to
be adjusted to again conform to the reliability criteria.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

Section 13.1 Review Questions


Q1: Pick the best definition for the ERCOT transmission system reliability criteria:

a) A method of dividing transmission system MW capacity


b) An element of the EECP
c) A written policy that ensures adequate responsive reserve levels
d) A written policy to ensure the transmission system performs as needed and expected

Q2: Approximately how many miles of 345 KV line are there in the ERCOT system?

a) 10,000
b) 16,000
c) 9,500
d) 5,000

Q3: The ERCOT reliability criteria states that the system will be operated in such a manner
that the forced outage of two generating units or the loss of one 345 KV line will NOT
cause any of the following EXCEPT:

a) Uncontrolled breakup of the transmission system


b) Uncontrollable system overloads
c) Governor response
d) Unacceptable voltages in the transmission system

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

13.2 The Switching Process


Within a large power system such as ERCOT, there is a constant need for repairs and
maintenance to the power systems equipment. Transmission lines and substation equipment
are often removed from service to perform work. To ensure a safe working environment and a
reliable power system, equipment switching procedures are followed by all the TSPs
responsible for the system. The procedures and methods used during the switching of
transmission lines and substation equipment are collectively called the switching process.
This section is intentionally limited to presenting only an overview of the switching process.
The details of the various switching procedures and methods vary with the TSPs and TOs
involved in the switching. While TSPs often use different terminology, procedures, and
methods during the switching processthe goals of the different TSPs are the same.

13.2.1 Outage Requests


Requests to perform work that require outages to elements of the power system may come
from many different sources. A substation maintenance crew may request a transformer
outage to check insulating oil. A transmission line maintenance crew may request a 345 KV
line outage to repair insulators. There are many other sources from which an outage request
could originate.
When the outage requests are received, the TSP must determine if the outage should proceed
and determine the earliest start, planned start, planned end, and latest end of the outage. To
determine if work should proceed, the TO must evaluate the need for and coordinate
scheduling of outages, considering the impact on the Interconnection and adjacent
Transmission Service Providers.
The TSP must submit all outages involving Transmission Facilities that are operated at 60 kV
or higher, to ERCOT for approval. The TO must follow current ERCOT Transmission Outage
Approval Procedures.
ERCOT will evaluate requests for approval of Transmission Facility Planned and Maintenance
Outages to determine if any one or a combination of proposed outages may cause ERCOT to
violate applicable reliability standards specified in the ERCOT Protocols and Operating
Guides. ERCOT will approve Planned, and Level II and Level III Maintenance Outages (refer
to Section 13.3.1, Types of Outages) of Transmission Facilities requested unless, in ERCOTs
determination, the requested outage would cause ERCOT to violate applicable reliability
standards.
Rolling 12-Month Outage Schedules
All TSPs must provide ERCOT a rolling Planned Outage schedule (program) for the next
twelve (12) months. Planned Outage scheduling data for Transmission Facilities must be
submitted by the close of the first business day of each Season. These seasonal updates must
identify all changes to any previously proposed Planned Outages and any additional Planned
Outages anticipated over the next twelve (12) months.
Some outage requests impact not only the Transmission Service Provider Area where the
outage occurs, but also other Transmission Service Provider Areas. ERCOT must be notified
of any outages of system facilities, including reactive devices such as Automatic Voltage
Regulators (AVRs) and Power System Stabilizers (PSSs). Outages should also be coordinated

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

with affected TSPs, or their affiliated TOs, in the ERCOT Interconnection.


The Outage Scheduler is used to inform all other impacted Transmission Service Providers of
the outage request.
Types of Switching
For purposes of this manual, all switching is divided into two general types: clearances and hot
work. Clearances involve the complete isolation of a piece of system equipment from the
power system. For example, assume a trans-former requires internal component maintenance.
The outage request specifies that the transformer must be completely de-energized and
isolated from the power system. Figure 13-1 contains a one-line diagram of the transformer.
The electrical isolation points are switches A and B. These two switches must be opened
and tagged for the maintenance crew to perform the required work.
Note: Tagging refers to the attachment of written instructions on the switches to inform all
parties that a clearance has been issued and these switches must remain opened.

Figure 13-2 Clearance Isolation Points


Hot work is different from a clearance in that no electrical isolation is required. When work is
performed hot, the maintenance crew uses strict procedures that allow the maintenance to be
performed without de-energizing the equipment. Hot work can only be performed in certain
circumstances, as the safety of personnel must never be jeopardized.
A key element to performing work hot is to ensure that all automatic reclosing systems are
disabled. When the reclosing is disabled, safety is enhanced as there is assurance that no
automatic reclose will occur if equipment is accidentally contacted during the hot work.

13.2.2 Writing Switching Orders


Switching orders are descriptions of the steps in a switching process. The switching orders
include steps needed to allow work to be performed safely, and steps needed to return the
equipment to service. Switching orders must be written for clearances and for hot work. For
example, assume a circuit breaker must be removed from service for repairs. A switching order
would be written to describe the sequence of steps to be followed to safely and reliably remove
the circuit breaker from service andat the completion of the workreturn the circuit breaker
to service.
The System Operator who writes the switching order must ensure (along with the personnel
who perform the switching) that the safety of the personnel who perform the switching is

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

assured and the work site is secure. The reliability of the ERCOT power system must also be
ensured.
Safety
The equipment that forms the transmission system is energized at high voltages and is
constantly exposed to high current flows. The power system working environment is a
dangerous environment. One mistake can lead to serious injury or even death. Properly written
switching orders help to ensure the safety of the personnel who will actually perform the
switching (open the circuit breakers, switches, etc.) and the safety of those who will perform
the required work.
Every TSP and TO within ERCOT has detailed safety and switching procedures to ensure that
the personnel working on their systems are not exposed to unnecessary hazards. Every
System Operator should be intimately familiar with their safety and switching procedures.
Reliability
When elements of the power system are removed from service, the reliability of the local area
power system is impacted and the reliability of ERCOT as a whole may be impacted. When
switching orders are written, the impact on system reliability must be considered. For example,
before any piece of system equipment is taken out-of-service, a System Operator should
evaluate the impact to the system:
Will local voltages be substantially reduced?
Will thermal problems occur on parallel lines?
Will parallel transformers overload?
Will customer load be interrupted?
Is the switching device capable of interrupting the current?

The TSP initiating the outage request must describe the request to ERCOT and other
impacted parties via entry into the ERCOT Outage Scheduler application. The work can only
proceed if it is necessary and arrangements can be made with regard to customer service
obligations within ERCOT reliability criteria.

13.2.3 Issuing Switching Orders


Once a switching order has been written, it must be issued to the parties who will actually
perform the switching. Those who receive the switching order must verify that the switching
order is correct and accomplishes the desired goals. The switching order may include the
issuance of a clearance or the assurance that all reclosing has been disabled (hot work). The
switching order is then carried out and the required work performed. Once the work is finished,
additional steps in the switching order are followed to return the system to its normal state.
System Operators shall issue switching orders in a clear, concise, and definitive manner; shall
ensure the recipient repeats the information back correctly; and shall acknowledge the
response as correct or repeat the original statement to resolve any misunderstandings.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

Section 13.2 Summary


13.2.1 Outage Requests
The procedures and methods used during the switching of transmission lines and
substation equipment are collectively called the switching process.
The details of the various switching procedures and methods vary with the TSPs and
TOs involved in the switching.
Requests to perform work that require outages to elements of the power system may
come from many different sources. When outage requests are received, the TSP and/or
TO must determine if the outage should proceed, obtain ERCOT approval, and must
also schedule the work.
Neighboring TSPs, TOs, and ERCOT must be notified of outage requests that may
impact other portions of the ERCOT system.
For purposes of this manual, all switching is divided into two general types: clearances,
and hot work. Clearances involve the complete isolation of a piece of equipment from
the power system. Hot work is different from a clearance in that no electrical isolation is
required. The key element to performing work hot is to ensure that all automatic
reclosing systems are disabled.

13.2.2 Writing Switching Orders


Switching orders are descriptions of the steps in a switching process.
Properly written switching orders help to ensure the safety of the personnel who will
actually perform the switching and the safety of those who will perform the required
work.
Every System Operator should be intimately familiar with their entitys safety and
switching procedures.
When switching orders are written, the impact on system reliability must be considered.

13.2.3 Issuing Switching Orders


Once a switching order has been written, it must be issued to the parties who will
actually perform the switching. Those who receive the switching order must verify that
the switching order is correct and accomplishes the desired goals. Switching orders
must be issued, repeated and acknowledged as correct (3-part communications) before
proceeding.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

Section 13.2 Review Questions


Q1: If a transformer is to be removed from service that will impact power flows in the
ERCOT system, who must be made aware of the transformer outage?

a) The ISO and impacted TSPs


b) ERCOT
c) All ERCOT Entities via the ERCOT Outage Scheduler
d) The Entity that owns the transformer

Q2: All the following are true about hot work EXCEPT:

a) Always requires the approval of ERCOT CAA


b) No isolation points are required
c) Requires any applicable automatic reclosing be disabled
d) Requires a switching order

Q3: A System Operator who writes a switching order must ensure (along with the personnel
who do the switching) that the _______ of the personnel who perform the switching and
related work is ensured.

Q4: All the following must be true before the 345 KV work described in an outage request
can be accomplished EXCEPT:

a) The work must be necessary


b) The TSP or TO must initiate the outage request via the ERCOT Outage Scheduler
c) All automatic reclosing be disabled
d) Suitable arrangements must be made for service to customers

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

13.3 Responding to Transmission Outages


When elements of the power system are lost, an outage has occurred. For example,
transmission lines or transformers may trip causing an outage of that element. System
Operators must often respond to the element outage in order to limit the impacts of the outage.
The speed and intensity of the response depends on the importance of the element that is out-
of-service. If a key 345 KV line is lost, it is much more important to respond rapidly and
decisively than if a 138 KV line of secondary importance is lost. The exact nature of a System
Operators response depends on the procedures of ERCOT and their TSP and TO.

13.3.1 Types of Outages


The ERCOT Protocols and Operating Guides define three types of outages: Planned Outage,
Maintenance Outage, and Forced Outage. Each type is described below.
Planned Outage
A Planned Outage is an outage that can be preplanned for a future date. This includes Level II
and Level III Maintenance Outages
Maintenance Outage
A maintenance outage is the removal of an element from service to perform maintenance on
that element. A maintenance outage is taken to prevent a forced outage from occurring. For
example, the insulator strings on a 345 KV line may have been damaged due to gunshots. A
Maintenance Outage is taken to repair the damage and avoid a forced outage. The TO shall
notify ERCOT of any Maintenance Outage of Transmission Facility according to the following
classification system:

Level I Outage Equipment must be removed from service within 24 hours to prevent a
potential Forced Outage
Level II Outage Equipment must be removed from service within 2-7 days
Level III Outage Equipment must be removed from service within 8-30 days

Forced Outage
A Forced Outage is an outage initiated by protective relay, or manually in response to an
observation by field personnel or the TO System Operator that equipment poses a threat to
personnel or equipment. The TO may remove such equipment from service immediately and
notify ERCOT of its action. Forced Outages may require ERCOT to review and/or withdraw
approval of previously approved Planned Outage(s) or Maintenance Outage(s) of
Transmission Facilities to ensure reliability.

13.3.2 Reporting Outages to ERCOT


When Forced Outages and Level I Maintenance Outages to any element of the Transmission
System occur, the outage must be communicated immediately by voice to the ERCOT
Transmission & Reliability Operator. The TO must provide supporting information justifying the
classification.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

When scheduled outages are in the planning stages, all parties in ERCOT must be informed
via the ERCOT Outage Scheduler. ERCOT is the clearinghouse for all transmission system
outages. ERCOT shall coordinate all proposed Planned and Maintenance Outages of all lines
or equipment that affect power flows or transfer capability of the ERCOT System.
ERCOT, jointly with the TOs, shall attempt to minimize the effect of simultaneous outages of
lines upon reliability of the system. ERCOT will review and approve or reject requested
Planned and Maintenance Outages to ensure that ERCOT system reliability is maintained.

13.3.3 Responding to Transmission Outages


The primary goal to guide a System Operators response to transmission system outages is to
maintain the safety of personnel and the public, and reliability of the ERCOT power system. At
times, the needs of a local area must be sacrificed for the good of the ERCOT power system
as a whole. For example, instructions may be issued in order to reduce ERCOT power
transfers. If the transfers were not reduced (or re-dispatched) system reliability would suffer. In
this instance, specific entities would make adjustments to ensure the system was not unduly
harmed.
How a System Operator responds to an outage depends on the type of outage. When a
planned outage occurs, the response to the outage is planned in advance. For example,
computer programs called load flows may be used by the TOs and ERCOT to predict the
impact of the outage and to help plan the actions to reduce the outages impact. The response
to a forced outage is more difficult as the exact outage is seldom anticipated and the response
is difficult to plan ahead of time.
If a forced outage impacts the ERCOT systems reliability or power transfer capability, an
immediate response is often needed. The response should be such that further impact on the
ERCOT system is mitigated and the system is restored to a reliable state. For example,
assume a key 345 KV line between Dallas and Houston is lost. ERCOTs power transfer
capability between the north and south is reduced as a result of the outage. System Operators
may need to implement remedial action plans or congestion management instructions to effect
an immediate reduction in south to north power transfers to avoid thermal overloads on the
underlying 138 KV system lines.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

Section 13.3 Summary


13.3.1 Types of Outages
The speed and intensity of an outage response depends on the importance of the
element that is out-of-service. The exact nature of a System Operators response
depends on their applicable procedures.
The ERCOT Protocols and Operating Guides define three types of outages; Planned
Outage, Maintenance Outage, and Forced Outage. A Forced Outage typically results
from an element failure. The failed element is normally removed from service
immediately.
A Maintenance Outage is the removal of an element from service to perform
maintenance on that element. A maintenance outage is usually taken to prevent a
forced outage from occurring. When maintenance work is planned well ahead of
schedule, it is processed as a Planned Outage. Planned Outages are the preferred
route for all maintenance work requiring outages.

13.3.2 Reporting Outages to the ISO


When unplanned outages (Forced and Level I) occur, the outage must be immediately
reported to the ISO and entered into the ERCOT Outage Scheduler. ERCOT will review
and approve or reject all Planned and Level II and III Maintenance Outages to ensure
that ERCOT system reliability is maintained.
13.3.3 Responding to Transmission Outages
The primary goal to guide a System Operators response to transmission system
outages is to maintain the safety of personnel and the public, and reliability of the
ERCOT power system.
How a System Operator responds to an outage depends on the type of outage. When a
planned outage occurs, the response to the outage is planned in advance. The
response to a forced outage is more difficult as the exact outage is seldom anticipated
and the response is difficult to plan ahead of time.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 13: Transmission Operations

Section 13.3 Review Questions


Q1: Which type of outage is typically the result of a transmission system element failure?
a) Forced
b) Maintenance
c) Planned
d) Scheduled

Q2: Which type of outage is typically taken to avoid a future forced transmission outage:
a) Forced
b) Maintenance
c) Planned
d) Scheduled

Q3: Which type of outage is scheduled well ahead (possibly many months) of time:
a) Forced
b) Maintenance
c) Planned
d) Scheduled

Q4: Any 138 KV system outage must be reported to ERCOT.


True or false?

Q5: Any 345 KV system outage must be reported to ERCOT.


True or false?

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Section 14

Emergency
Operations
Table of Contents

14. Introduction ....................................................................................................... 1


14.1 Generation Resource Emergencies ................................................................ 1
14.1.1 Generation Resource Outages .................................................................... 1
14.1.2 Emergency and Short Supply Operations .................................................... 3
14.1.3 Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) ................................................................... 3
14.1.4 Loss of Control Systems .............................................................................. 5
Section 14.1 Summary ........................................................................................... 7
Section 14.1 Review Questions .............................................................................. 9
14.2 Transmission Emergencies .......................................................................... 10
14.2.1 Transmission Contingencies ...................................................................... 10
14.2.2 Transmission Contingency Analysis .......................................................... 11
Pre-contingency load shedding to avoid Post contingency cascading ............... 11
14.2.3 Responding to Transmission Contingencies .............................................. 12
14.2.4 RATINGS ................................................................................................... 13
Section 14.2 Summary ......................................................................................... 14
Section 14.2 Review Questions ............................................................................ 15
14.3 Communication under Emergency Conditions .............................................. 16
14.3.1 Operating Condition Notice ........................................................................ 17
14.3.2 Advisory ..................................................................................................... 17
14.3.3 Watch ........................................................................................................ 19
14.3.4 Emergency Notice ..................................................................................... 20
Section 14.3 Summary ......................................................................................... 21
Section 14.3 Review Questions ............................................................................ 22
14.4 System Restoration ...................................................................................... 23
14.4.1 Principles and Strategies of Restoration .................................................... 23
14.4.2 Priorities During System Restoration ......................................................... 24
14.4.3 Preparing for System Restoration .............................................................. 24
14.4.4 Responsibilities During System Restoration .............................................. 25
14.4.5 ERCOT Black Start Plans .......................................................................... 26
14.4.6 Guidelines for Restoring Transmission Lines............................................. 27
14.4.7 Guidelines for Restoring Customer Load ................................................... 28
Section 14.4 Summary ......................................................................................... 30
Section 14.4 Review Questions ............................................................................ 32
Figures and Tables
Figure 14-1 Simple Transmission System for Analyzing Contingencies .................. 12
Learning Objectives
Identify the primary goal of restoration, to return the ERCOT System to a reliable
operating state.
State the types of communication notices ERCOT may issue prior to an
Emergency Condition.
List the types of Generator Outages that may affect emergency operations.
Identify the entity responsible for maintaining reliability in normal and emergency
conditions.
Identify the three levels of an Energy Emergency Alert.
Explain when ERCOT can declare an Energy Emergency Alert.
Identify which entity is obligated to Shed Load.
State possible results of a multiple contingency event.
Identify the principles and strategies of system restoration.
Identify what entity coordinates the restoration efforts of all black Start Plans.
ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

14. Introduction
This section briefly introduces the principles and practices used during emergency
operations within ERCOT. Effective response to generation and transmission system
emergencies requires knowledge of the ERCOT system and the procedures and
methods of emergency response. This section of the Manual only introduces
emergency operations. Extensive experience as a System Operator in all areas of
ERCOT system operations is the best training for effective response during an
emergency.

14.1 Generation Resource Emergencies

Sufficient on-line generation must be available to serve load (including schedules) and
meet responsive reserve obligations. Generation Resource emergencies do
occasionally occur. For example, generators may suddenly be unavailable for rated load
or may suddenly trip off-line.

14.1.1 Generation Resource Outages


Generation Resource outages can be either forced or scheduled. Scheduled outages
include both maintenance outages and planned outages. A maintenance outage is
taken to avoid a probable forced outage. A planned outage is typically scheduled well in
advance. When scheduled outages occur, those impacted will have planned for any
deficiencies in their generating capacity. A generation emergency should not be caused
by a scheduled generator outage.

ERCOT reserves the option of approving or rejecting a Planned Outage or


Maintenance Outage. Also, prior to the removal of a Reliability Must Run (RMR)
unit, a Synchronous Condenser Unit, or Black Start Resource from service,
ERCOT should be contacted to provide authorization.

All information regarding Outages must be processed through the ERCOT Outage
Scheduler. Some additional information must be updated by the QSE via the
Current Operating Plan (COP).

In the event of a Forced Outage, ERCOT must be notified as soon as practicable.


Resources must change the telemetered Resource status appropriately, including
a text description when it is becomes known, of the cause of the Forced Outage,
update the COP, and update Outage Scheduler.

When a Forced Outage occurs, ERCOT reviews previously approved or accepted


outages to ensure reliability. This may result in the need for additional supporting

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

information regarding the outages. If the Forced Outage is going to last longer
than two hours, it must be entered into the Outage Scheduler.

Forced generator outages may result in capacity shortages. For example, a large
generator may be forced out of service. This could result in creating a capacity
shortage in ERCOT. This capacity shortage may impact the entire region, or it
may impact a specific zone. Ancillary Services (AS) have been arranged in
advance to prevent a significant capacity shortage, but with a major generation
source tripping off line there may be sympathetic trips of other components or
generating units, causing a capacity shortage.

Ancillary Services are those services necessary to support the transmission of


energy from Resources to Loads while maintaining reliable operation of the
transmission system. In ERCOT, those services include, Regulation Service,
Responsive Reserve Service, Non-Spinning Reserve Service, Voltage Support
Service, Black Start Service, Reliability Must-Run Service, and Emergency
Response Service.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

14.1.2 Emergency and Short Supply Operations


ERCOT, as the single Control Area Operator, is responsible for maintaining
reliability in normal and emergency operating conditions. A Short Supply situation
exists when ERCOT experiences an insufficient amount of bids in any Ancillary
Services market. This is a key indicator that there will be insufficient generation to
support forecasted load and Ancillary Service obligations, thus jeopardizing
stability and reliability of the system.

ERCOT evaluates Ancillary Service requirements and capacity sufficiency using


evaluation tools including the Ancillary Services Capacity Monitor throughout the
Adjustment Period and Operating Period.

ERCOT utilizes the Day-Ahead process, the Adjustment Period process, and the Real-
Time process before ordering Resources to specific output levels with Emergency Base
Point instructions. The market-based tools available to ERCOT will avert most threats to
the reliability of the ERCOT System. However, the ERCOT may take any action to
preserve the integrity of the ERCOT System.

14.1.3 Energy Emergency Alert (EEA)


At times it may be necessary to reduce ERCOT System demand because of a
temporary decrease in available electricity supply. The reduction in supply could be
caused by emergency outages of generators, transmission equipment, or other critical
facilities; by short-term unavailability of fuel or generation; or by requirements or orders
of government agencies. To provide orderly, predetermined procedures for curtailing
Demand during such emergencies, ERCOT initiates and coordinates the
implementation of the Energy Emergency Alert (EEA).

ERCOT is responsible for monitoring system conditions, initiating the EEA levels,
notifying all Qualified Scheduling Entities (QSEs) and Transmission Operators (TOs),
and coordinating the implementation of the EEA conditions while maintaining
transmission security limits.

The goal of the EEA is to provide for maximum possible continuity of service while
maintaining the integrity of the ERCOT System to reduce the chance of cascading
outages. The ERCOT Operating Guides and Procedures are used to guide this process.

ERCOT, at managements discretion, may at any time issue an ERCOT-wide appeal


through the public news media for voluntary energy conservation.

During the EEA, ERCOT may obtain energy from non-ERCOT Control Areas using the
DC Ties or by using Block Load Transfers (BLTs) to move load to non-ERCOT Control
Areas. ERCOT maintains the authority to curtail energy schedules flowing into or out of
the ERCOT System across the DC Ties in accordance with NERC scheduling
guidelines.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

There may be insufficient time to implement all EEA levels in sequence, however, to the
extent practicable, ERCOT shall use Ancillary Services that QSEs have made available
in the market to maintain or restore reliability. ERCOT may immediately implement EEA
Level 3 any time the steady-state system frequency is below 59.8 Hz and will
immediately implement EEA Level 3 any time the steady-state frequency is below 59.5
Hz.

Percentages for EEA Level 3 Load shedding will be based on the previous years TSP
peak Loads, as reported to ERCOT.

Prior to EEA Operations

Prior to declaring EEA Level 1, ERCOT may perform the following operations:
o Issue Emergency Base Point Instruction to Generation Resources
o Commit Resources that can respond in the timeframe of the emergency.
o Start RMR Units available in the time frame of the emergency.
o Deploy Resources providing Non-Spin services
o Use Physical Response Capability (PRC) to determine the appropriate
Emergency Notice and EEA levels.

Alert Levels

EEA Level 1 Maintain a total of 2,300 MW of PRC MW


EEA Level 2 Maintain system frequency at 60 Hz or maintain a total of 1,750
MW of PRC
EEA Level 3 - Maintain System frequency at 59.8 Hz or greater.

Load Shed Obligation

Obligation for Load shed is by DSP. Load shedding obligations need to be represented
by an Entity with 24x7 operations and Hotline communications with ERCOT and control
over breakers. Percentages for Level 3 Load shedding will be based on the previous
years TSP peak Loads, as reported to ERCOT.

Load Shed obligation to be shed by registered entities in ERCOT is reviewed by


ERCOT and modified annually. Load Shed percentage is in MWs per 100 MW load
shed blocks issued by ERCOT Directive during an EEA Level 3 Alert.

The following requirements apply for an ERCOT instruction to shed firm Load:
Load interrupted by SCADA must be shed without delay and in a time period not
to exceed 30 minutes;
Load interrupted by dispatch of personnel to substations to manually shed Load
must be implemented within a time period not to exceed one hour;

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

The initial clock on the firm Load shed shall apply only to Load shed amounts up
to 1000 MW total. Load shed amount requests exceeding 1000 MW on the initial
clock may take longer to implement; and
If, after the first Load shed instruction, ERCOT determines that an additional
amount of firm Load should be shed, another clock will begin anew. The time
frames mentioned above will apply.

Each TSP, or its designated agent, will provide ERCOT a status report of Load shed
progress within 30 minutes of the time of ERCOTs instruction or upon ERCOTs
request.

EEA Termination

ERCOT shall:
o Continue EEA until sufficient Resources are available to ERCOT to eliminate the
shortfall and restore adequate reserves;
o Restore full reserve requirements (normally 2300 MW);
o Terminate the levels in reverse order, where practical;
o Notify each QSE and TO of EEA level termination; and
o Maintain a stable ERCOT System frequency when restoring Load.

QSEs and TOs shall:


o Implement actions to terminate previous actions as EEA levels are released in
accordance with these Operating Guides;
o Notify represented Market Participants of EEA levels changes;
o Report back to the ERCOT System Operator when each level is accomplished;
and
o Loads will be restored when specifically authorized by the ERCOT.

14.1.4 Loss of Control Systems


Loss of Load Frequency Control (LFC) and/or Automatic Generation Control
(AGC)

ERCOT has back-up facilities in place for Loss of LFC and/or AGC. In the event that
these backup facilities also fail to perform, ERCOT shall direct a QSE providing
regulation to implement Constant Frequency Control (CFC) for the duration of the
control loss. ERCOT will direct the QSE providing CFC to enter the appropriate bias into
their control system. If a QSE on CFC develops a problem with regulating room,
ERCOT will order additional regulation energy from another QSE to create regulation
room.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

ERCOT conducts unannounced testing to verify a QSEs capability to operate in CFC


mode. Only QSEs with at least 350 MW of spinning reserve room will be tested. QSEs
are tested at least once every three years. ERCOT will direct the QSE to operate under
CFC mode. Once instructed by ERCOT, the QSE will have five minutes to switch to
CFC mode. The duration of this test shall be no more than 15 minutes. ERCOT shall
maintain the list of QSEs that have successfully demonstrated their capability to operate
in CFC mode.

Regulation Provider Loss of AGC

If a QSE providing Regulation Services or Responsive Reserve Services loses its AGC
for any reason, it notifies ERCOT as soon as practicable of the reason for and
estimated duration of the loss. ERCOT will then assess whether additional action should
be taken to maintain system frequency. This action would come in the form of opening a
Supplemental Ancillary Service Market (SASM) for the period of anticipated loss.

Failure of the Security Constrained Economic Dispatch (SCED) Process

When the SCED process is not able to reach a solution, ERCOT shall issue a Watch.

Once ERCOT issues a Watch for a SCED process failure, ERCOT may use any of the
following measures:
Direct the SCED process to relax the active transmission constraints and/or the
HASLs and LASLs for specific Resources and resume calculation of LMPs, Real-
Time On-Line Reliability Deployment Price Adders, Real-Time On-Line Reserve
Price Adders and Real-Time Off-Line Reserve Price Adders by reducing the
Ancillary Service Schedules for the affected Resource, if sufficient supply exists
to manage total system needs.
Issue Emergency Base Points for Resources
Manually issue Emergency Base Points for a Resource and must communicate
the Resource name, MW output requested, and start time and duration of the
Dispatch Instruction to the QSE representing the Resource
Issue an instruction to hold the previous interval
Instruct a Qualified Facility (QF), a hydro Generation Resource, or a nuclear-
powered Resource to operate below its LSL only after all other Resource options
have been exhausted.

The Watch continues until the SCED process can reach a solution without using the
measures stated above.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

Section 14.1 Summary


14.1.1 Generation Resource Outages
Generator outages can be either forced or scheduled.
Scheduled outages include both maintenance outages and planned outages. A
maintenance outage is taken to avoid a probable forced outage. A planned
outage is typically scheduled well in advance. Forced generator outages may
result in capacity shortages. ERCOT shall be advised of all forced outages of any
energy resource with a capacity greater than 10 MWs within one minute.
All information regarding Outages must be processed through the ERCOT
Outage Scheduler.
Forced Outages lasting longer than two hours must be entered in ERCOT
Outage Scheduler.

14.1.2 Emergency and Short Supply Operations


ERCOT, as the single Control Area Operator, is responsible for maintaining
reliability in normal and emergency operating conditions, and directing
emergency actions.
Short Supply situation exist when ERCOT experiences an insufficient amount of
bids in any Ancillary service market.
The market based tools available to ERCOT will avert most threats to the
reliability of the ERCOT System.

14.1.3 Energy Emergency Alert (EEA)


The EEA is initiated and coordinated by ERCOT in response to providing orderly,
predetermined procedures for curtailing demand during emergencies.
The goal of the EEA is to provide for maximum possible continuity of service
while maintaining the integrity of the ERCOT power system to reduce cascading
outages.
ERCOT is responsible for monitoring system conditions, initiating the EEA levels,
notifying all QSEs, TOs of the EEA.
EEA Levels
o EEA Level 1 Maintain a total of 2,300 MW of PRC
o EEA Level 2 Maintain system frequency at 60 Hz or maintain a total
of 1,750 MW of PRC
o EEA Level 3 - Maintain system frequency at 59.8 Hz or greater.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

14.1.4 Loss of Control Systems


If a QSE providing Regulation Services or Responsive Reserve services loses
their Automatic Generation Control for any reason, they should notify ERCOT.
ERCOT may arrange for a QSE to switch their AGC control mode to constant
frequency control to ensure the ERCOT system maintains the scheduled
frequency.
When the SCED process is not able to reach a solution, ERCOT shall issue a
Watch.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

Section 14.1 Review Questions


Q1: Scheduled generation resource outages include both:

a) Forced and maintenance outages


b) Maintenance and planned outages
c) Forced and unforced outages
d) Forced and planned outages

Q2: Which type of generation resource outage is more likely to result in a generation
capacity shortage?

a) Planned
b) Scheduled
c) Maintenance
d) Forced

Q3: A Forced Outage lasting longer than ______ must be entered in the ERCOT
Outage Scheduler?

a) one hour
b) two hours
c) three hours
d) thirty minutes

Q4: A Short Supply situation exists when ______ experiences an insufficient amount
of bids in any Ancillary Services market?

a) ERCOT
b) QSE
c) TDSP
d) DSP

Q5: If a QSE providing Regulation Services or Responsive Reserve services


loses its AGC for any reason, which of the following entities should it notify as
soon as practicable?

a. ERCOT
b. TO
c. Generator Operator
d. NERC

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

14.2 Transmission Emergencies

Transmission emergencies occur when critical elements of the ERCOT transmission


system are lost. When multiple transmission line outages occur, portions of the system
or the entire system may collapse. Recovery from a widespread power system collapse
is addressed in Section 14.4 System Restoration. This section assumes that the
transmission line outages do not result in a system collapse.

Forced Outages

In the event of a Forced Outage, after the affected equipment is removed from service,
TSP must notify ERCOT as soon as practicable of its action by:

Changing the telemetered status of the affected Transmission Elements and Updating
the Outage Scheduler with the expected return-to-service time.

Forced Outages may require ERCOT to review and withdraw approval of previously
approved or accepted, as applicable, Planned Outage or Maintenance Outage
schedules to ensure reliability.

14.2.1 Transmission Contingencies


A contingent event is one that happens by chance, or has unforeseen causes. When
a transmission line suffers a forced outage, it is called a contingency. The
transmission system is designed to survive a single contingency. A System Operator
may have to make adjustments to the system following a single contingencybut the
single contingency should not cause a system collapse. For example, a key 345 KV
line may trip requiring a System Operator to reduce generation in one area while
increasing generation in another area. This adjustment of generation is done to
relieve power flow levels on overloaded lines that resulted from the single
contingency in the system.
A Credible Single Contingency is defined as:
The Forced Outage of any single Transmission Facility or, during a single fault,
the Forced Outage of multiple Transmission Facilities (single fault multiple
element);
The Forced Outage of a double-circuit transmission line in excess of 0.5 miles in
length;
The Forced Outage of any single Generation Resource, and in the case of a
Combined Cycle Train, the Forced Outage of the combustion turbine and the
steam turbine if they cannot operate separately as provided in the Resource
registration process; or
For transmission planning purposes, contingencies are defined in the Planning
Guide.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

When multiple contingencies (multiple line outages) occur there is no assurance the
system will not experience cascading outages. Regardless, a more extensive response
may be required from the System Operator. When two or more key elements of the
ERCOT transmission system are lost, there is a chance that the system has been so
weakened that further loss of lines could soon occur unless effective remedial actions
are taken. For example, assume that two key 345 KV lines trip due to simultaneous
faults. If immediate action to reduce power flows on the remaining area 345 KV and
138 KV lines is not taken, more lines could soon trip due to overload.

Every System Operator should be knowledgeable of the impact of outages to key


elements of the transmission system. A System Operator should know the most
effective response to outages of these key elements. For example, a System Operator
should know what line outage or circuit breaker failure would most disturb the ERCOT
grid and how to properly respond to that situation. An effective System Operator is
constantly monitoring the transmission system. If outages occur to key elements, the
System Operator knows the correct response and does not hesitate to implement it.

14.2.2 Transmission Contingency Analysis

To properly monitor and manage transmission constraints ERCOT uses Real-Time


contingency analysis. ERCOT Operators evaluate Real-Time contingency analysis upon
a major topology change by running State Estimator/Real Time Contingency Analysis
tool and monitoring the system. Constraints would be entered into the system to
manage real-time contingencies.

Pre-contingency load shedding to avoid Post contingency cascading

If load shedding is the only option to prevent a cascading condition the ERCOT
Operator notifies the Operation Support Engineer and reviews with the affected TO the
amount of load to shed to remain below the load shed rating of the first overloaded
facility (verifying if it is location specific) and the ERCOT Operator will issue a
Transmission Emergency for Cascading conditions.

Other Emergency notices ERCOT may issue for Transmission Emergencies are:
Emergency for Valley Area
Emergency for North to Houston Interface
Emergency for Energy & Market Management System (EMMS) Failure

Post Contingencies Overloads are managed by activating constraints to reduce the


predicted post-contingency loading.

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

14.2.3 Responding to Transmission Contingencies


Figure 14-1 illustrates a very simple 345 KV transmission system. This system will be
used to illustrate possible responses to single and multiple contingencies.

Figure 14-1 Simple Transmission System for Analyzing Contingencies

Assume that line #1 trips. The power that was flowing on line #1 (285 MW)
automatically redistributes to lines #2 and #3. Assume that line #2 loads to 400 MW and
line #3 to 600 MW. Both lines of this simple system are within their power flow limits
(see the table in Figure 14-1) following the single contingency. The System Operator
may still need to respond even though there is no immediate threat. For example, if line
#1 cannot be quickly returned to service the system must now be operated to absorb
the next single contingency. Power flows across this system would have to be reduced
to ensure the system can survive the next contingency.

Instead of line #1 tripping, assume both lines #1 and #2 trip. The system is now in a
dangerous condition. All the power flow (1000 MW) must move to line #3. The line #3
flow of 1000 MW would far exceed its power flow limit of 700 MW. Depending on what
factor limits the power flow on line #3, an immediate response from the System
Operator is likely required. For example, if a protective relay automatically trips line #3
at 800 MW, the System Operators response is one of restoring a blacked-out system. If
the thermal limit of line #3 is 700 MW, the System Operator may have only a few
minutes to reduce power transfers before line damage occurs.

The proper response to transmission contingencies depends on the design of each


Transmission system and on how this system is operated. Every System Operator in

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ERCOT Fundamentals Training Manual Section 14: Emergency Operations

ERCOT studies their system to determine safe operating practices. Each System
Operator must be knowledgeable of these safe operating practices (power flow limits,
voltage limits, etc.) and of how to effectively respond to key element outages.

14.2.4 RATINGS
Transmission Operators should be familiar with rating of the elements they control.

ERCOT defines ratings for the following categories:


Conductor/Transformer 2-Hour Rating
The two-hour MVA rating of the conductor or transformer only, excluding substation
terminal equipment in series with a conductor or transformer, at the applicable ambient
temperature. The conductor or transformer can operate at this rating for two hours
without violation of National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) clearances or equipment
failure.
Emergency Rating
The two-hour MVA rating of a Transmission Element, including substation terminal
equipment in series with a conductor or transformer, at the applicable ambient
temperature. The Transmission Element can operate at this rating for two hours without
violation of NESC clearances or equipment failure.
15-Minute Rating
The 15-minute MVA rating of a Transmission Element, including substation terminal
equipment in series with a conductor or transformer, at the applicable ambient
temperature and with a step increase from a prior loading up to 90% of the Normal
Rating. The Transmission Element can operate at this rating for 15 minutes, assuming
its pre-contingency loading up to 90% of the Normal Rating limit at the applicable
ambient temperature, without violation of NESC clearances or equipment failure. This
rating takes advantage of the time delay associated with heating of a conductor or
transformer following a sudden increase in current.
Normal Rating
Th