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fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/TPWRD.2015.2509645, IEEE
Transactions on Power Delivery
1

Calculation of Pressure Rise in Electrical


Installations Due to Internal Arcing Taking
Into Account Arc Energy Absorbers
Kittipong Anantavanich, and Gerhard J. Pietsch

Abstract--A means to reduce thermal and pressure stress of of a fault [4, 5, 6]. Such absorbers consist e.g. of granular
electrical installations due to internal arcing is the application of porous media [7], however, most often of several layers of
arc energy absorbers. Most of them consist of layers of expanded expanded metal and are installed in the path of the hot gas
metal with a complex fine structure. The direct consideration of
flow (Fig. 1). Apart from the reduction of the pressure stress in
such devices in advanced pressure calculation methods is hardly
feasible due to the huge amount of necessary computing capacity. relief rooms e.g. switchgear installation rooms or buildings
That is why it is reasonable to replace a direct consideration of they are able to reduce the exhaust of hot gases as well as
such absorbers in the calculations by models, which describe in a glowing metal particles from the switchgear, which might
simplified way the effects of absorbers. The main effects inflame indicators during testing of the switchgear.
influencing pressure rise are heat absorption and flow resistance.
In this contribution several models describing these effects are
presented and implemented in a pressure calculation method,
which utilizes a computational fluid dynamics solver to get three-
dimensional resolved pressure results. This new approach is
applied to some applications and validated by comparing
measurement with calculation results.

Index Terms-- Arc energy absorbers, flow resistance, heat


absorption, internal arc, fault arc, pressure calculation, pressure
rise, switchgear, substations. (a)
switchgear room
I. INTRODUCTION

W
arc energy
HEN an internal arc occurs in an electrical installation, absorber
the arc will transfer energy to its surroundings through faulty
several interaction mechanisms [1]. Part of the arc energy will compartment

heat up the surrounding gas and thus leads to pressure rise in


the installation. The sudden temperature and pressure increase
may endanger personnel, seriously damage equipment, and (b)
even the installation building. Therefore, measures to reduce Fig. 1. Absorber consisting of expanded metal layers [4] (a) and example of
the location of an absorber in an electrical installation (b).
the thermal and mechanical stress in case of internal arcing
must be taken to avoid endangerment of people and/or
The proof of internal arc withstand is performed by tests in
damages in the electrical installation.
high power laboratories according to the relevant standards
In addition to classical relief measures such as pressure
e.g. IEC 62271-200 for medium voltage metal-enclosed
relief openings and buffer volumes (e.g. ducts and cable
switchgear and controlgear [8] or by pressure calculations
cellars [2, 3]), nowadays arc energy absorbers attract more and
particularly in cases where tests are not feasible e.g. during the
more attention. They are also used to reduce the thermal and
planning phase of electrical installations [9, 10].
mechanical stress particularly behind the absorber in the case
Nowadays, there exist reliable calculation methods of
pressure rise due to internal arcing [11, 12]. The most reliable
one, providing detailed spatially resolved results of all relevant
pressure effects like pressure waves, is based on the
This work was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics
and Technology via the German Federation of Industrial Research application of a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solver
Associations (AiF) project No. 15657 N. in combination with the use of real gas properties depending
K. Anantavanich was with the Transmission System Engineering Division, on pressure and temperature [10, 12]. Applying this, the mass,
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Nonthaburi, 11130, Thailand.
G. J. Pietsch is with the Institute for High Voltage Technology, RWTH
momentum and energy conservation equations are three-
Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany (e-mail: pietsch@ifht.rwth- dimensionally solved within the flow domain.
aachen.de).

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However, a problem arises if conventional arc energy mechanisms such as heat conduction, convection and
absorbers are directly implemented in the calculation radiation. However, these mechanisms do not contribute in an
procedure. The fine structure of expanded metal (and layers of equal manner to pressure rise and are not easy to describe in
them) leads to an extremely large number of discretized cells detail [1].
in the flow domain and thus to unacceptable long computing As the modeling of a free burning, high current arc with its
times as well as huge memory space requirements [13]. non-predictable transient behavior is a difficult task, another
Hence, it is necessary to model only the effects of arc energy engineer-like approach is chosen here, which consists of two
absorbers on pressure rise, i.e. heat energy absorption and parts:
flow resistance. In this contribution, existing and improved (i) The arc is represented by an arc volume larger than
model approaches to describe these effects of arc energy the volume of the real arc, but small compared to the
absorbers consisting of expanded metal layers are considered dimension of the switchgear room under investigation. In
and implemented in a pressure calculation method. general the faulty compartment (the compartment with the
internal arc; Fig. 1 b) of modern, especially gas-insulated
II. CFD CALCULATION METHOD switchgear has an effective volume of typically 0.1 to less than
In order to calculate pressure rise in switchgear during 1 m3. It is taken as arc volume into which the arc energy is
internal arcing, a commercial CFD software package is fed homogeneously.
applied, which solves iteratively the full set of hydrodynamic (ii) The physical phenomena governing the arc like heat
equations at each location within the flow domain i.e. conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation of electrode
switchgear with faulty compartment and relief opening as well as well as wall material are not modeled in detail. As the
as switchgear room (see Fig. 1b) employing the finite volume interest is on pressure rise due to the input of electrical energy,
method. The hydrodynamic equations are the conservation the thermal transfer coefficient kp is introduced, which
equations of mass, momentum, and energy, which are usually determines that portion of electrical energy (power), which
expressed in terms of partial differential equations and can be leads to pressure rise. That is, kp times the electrical arc energy
written in a general form as follows [14]: is introduced in the source term of the energy conservation
equation.
( ) + ( v ) = ( ) + S (1)
t With this approach modeling is considerably facilitated and
where is the conserved variable, which is equal to one, the accelerated due to a fast convergence of the solution.
In general, kp is determined once in advance for a certain
velocity vector v , or the specific total enthalpy (h* = h + v/2)
for the mass, momentum, or energy conservation equation, switchgear (arc volume) by fitting calculated pressure
curves to measured ones. Its value is a function of gas density
respectively. S is the source term and the diffusion
and depends on the gas data applied in the calculation.
coefficient. The k- model is used to describe turbulence. The
Furthermore, there are several influencing parameters on kp
model constants are taken from [15]. Thermodynamic
such as type of insulating gas, electrode material and its
properties e.g. specific heat capacity and enthalpy are
reactions with the insulating gas [20]. If kp depending on gas
determined by minimizing Gibbs free energy with known
density is known from a test, reliable pressure calculations are
chemical potentials of the gas components [16]. In order to
possible for other test conditions and for different switchgear
consider the effect of intermolecular forces between particles
rooms.
at high pressure, correction terms according to the Debye-
Hckel theory (for charged particles) are introduced [16].
III. MODELING OF THE EFFECTS OF ARC ENERGY ABSORBERS
Transport properties e.g. thermal conductivity and viscosity
are calculated by solving the Boltzmann equation [17, 18]. In Due to the fine structures of arc energy absorbers, the direct
order to save computing time, the gas data are pre-calculated (geometrically exact) modeling is in general too time and
at certain reference pressures and temperatures and provided memory space consuming. That is why it is reasonable to
in terms of two-dimensional tables. During the iterative consider their physical effects. The main effects are heat
solution of the conservation equations intermediate values of absorption and flow resistance (Fig. 2) [4]. Heat absorption
the gas data are obtained by interpolation. When gas mixtures means heat transfer from hot gas to the absorber or more
have to be considered, which occur in gas-insulated precisely heat conduction between the gas and the surface of
switchgear during the exhaust process of SF6 through a burst the absorber. The flow resistance results from friction forces
plate, continuously changing SF6-air compositions exist [19]. within the gas flow induced by the absorber. Through heat
In order to consider gas mixtures a further continuity equation, absorption, temperature and energy of the gas behind the
concerning the air and the SF6 mass fraction is introduced in absorber decrease causing a reduction of pressure and thermal
the equation system to describe the concentration of SF6-air stress in the gas region behind the absorber (e.g. in the
mixtures [19]. switchgear room). On the other hand the flow resistance
The energy input of the fault arc is considered by the provokes a pressure rise in the gas space in front of the
source term of the energy conservation equation and set absorber. The pressure loss caused by gas friction within the
locally at the location where the fault arc occurs. In principle, absorber is converted into heat and is partly absorbed.
the arc transfers energy to its surroundings through several

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v v
absorbed heat energy Q
s1
a= + +
+ + + + d d
ve d s2 + + +
b= ve
+ + + + d
flow resistance s1 + +
s2 a s2
ve = v + + +
+ + + + (a - 1) s1
gas flow
in-line staggered
p Fig. 3. Cross section of in-line and staggered tube bundles subject to cross-
flow, a and b are the transverse and longitudinal pitch ratio, respectively
Fig. 2. Effects of arc energy absorbers on gas flow.

The temperature rise of the absorber dTA within the time dt


A. Modeling of heat absorption is determined by:
Two different approaches to model heat absorption are Q! ! dt
distinguished. One is based on temperature measurement and dTA = (6)
mA ! c A
the second one on an analogy between tube bundles and
absorber grids. where mA and cA are the mass and the specific heat capacity of
1) Grid efficiency model: With this model, the absorbed the absorber, respectively. With the heat transfer rate Q from
energy is determined by the grid efficiency G, defined as the the preceding time step, dTA is determined and a new value of
ratio of absorbed heat energy Q to the electric arc energy Wel the absorber temperature is obtained. This in turn is the initial
[6]: value for the heat transfer rate calculation of the next time
! G = Q Wel (2) step. By integration of the heat transfer rate Q over time, the
absorbed heat energy can be obtained.
Q = mG ! cG ! !T (3) The CFD solver provides spatially resolved values of gas
where mG is the mass of the absorber layer (grid) and cG its density, flow velocity, temperature, etc. However, applying
specific heat capacity. If the absorber is composed of several the heat transfer model, average values of the absorber are
layers or grids, (3) must be applied to each of them. The total required (non-dimensional model). That is why those spatially
absorbed energy is then the sum of the absorbed energies of resolved values have to be averaged during each iteration step
each grid. The temperature rise of the absorber is obtained by before used to determine the values in (4) and (5) [12].
measurement. If the grid efficiency is known, the absorbed
B. Modeling of flow resistance
energy is given by (2) and can be considered as heat sink at
the location of the absorber in the flow domain. There are two approaches to model flow resistance. The
2) Heat transfer model: The heat transfer model utilizes first one is rather simple, replacing the absorber by an
the analogy between absorber grids and tube bundles. It is effective concentrated opening. The second one is more
based on the determination of the heat transfer rate between a complex. It is based on the description of the pressure loss
fluid and tube bundles, well known in heat exchanger theory analogous to that caused by crossed tube bundles. There exists
[21]. also the approach to model the pressure loss due to parallel
The heat transfer rate Q! between the gas flow and the tube bundles (Fig. 3) [21]. However, it has been found out that
surface of an absorber, which is represented by a number of the approach for crossed tube bundles is in better agreement
with measurement results [12].
tube arrays (Fig. 3), can be determined by:
1) Effective opening model: The idea of this model is to
Q! = ! * ! A! (TF " TA ) (4)
replace the numerous small openings of an actual absorber by
where ! ! is the heat transfer coefficient, A the surface area of a single concentrated one delivering the same pressure loss as
the absorber, TF the fluid (i.e. gas) and TA the absorber the absorber. Due to boundary layers resulting from friction
temperature. ! ! is given by: forces, the mass flow through the opening is reduced. In
principle, this effect is already taken into account in the CFD
! ! = Nu" " L (5) calculation method where boundary layers are simulated by a
with Nu the Nusselt number, the thermal conductivity of the turbulence model. However, the thickness of the boundary
gas and L a characteristic length, which is e.g. equal to d/2 layers depends on the shape of the opening and may differ
for cylindrical tubes (d is the tube diameter, see Fig. 3). For between mesh-like absorber and single concentrated opening
details see [21]. (orifice) resulting in a small deviation of the real effective
The absorber temperature itself plays an important role in opening. For the sake of applicability, the absorber is simply
the value of the heat transfer rate. It increases with the amount replaced by an opening with the same area as the free opening
of absorbed energy resulting in a reduced heat transfer rate. of the actual absorber. Further investigations on this are
This effect is included in the model. needed.

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2) Pressure loss model: The pressure loss of crossed in-line The Reynolds number Reh is given by:
and staggered tube bundles subject to cross-flow is given in Reh = ! !vh !d h,TA " (13)
2
4l # v
[21]: ! ! p = "h ! h
(7) with d h,TA = ( 4!a ! "1) !d (14)
d 2
with h the pressure loss coefficient of the crossed tube the hydraulic diameter of the tube arrays or absorber layers for
bundle, l the length of the crossed tube bundle in the flow three-dimensional arrangements and the dynamic viscosity
direction, d the diameter of a tube, the average gas density, of the gas.
and vh the average gas velocity in the tube bundle (Fig. 4).
The thickness of the crossed tube bundle in the flow IV. CALCULATION OF PRESSURE RISE WITH ARC ENERGY
ABSORBERS
direction is obtained by (for s2 = d):
l = NA d (8) The implementation of the effects of arc energy absorbers
in the calculation process means the inclusion of models for
where NA is the number of tube arrays or the number of
the description of the absorbed heat energy and pressure loss.
absorber layers. The average gas velocity in the tube bundle vh
This is realized by adding source terms in the corresponding
is defined as: vh = V!F Ah (9) conservation equations.
with Ah = A!V f V (10)
A. Absorbed heat energy
V!F is the volume flow rate of the gas, Vf the free volume in Heat accumulation by arc energy absorbers is modelled as
between the tubes, V the total volume of the tube bundle (free energy sink in the flow domain at the location of the absorber.
volume in between the tubes plus volume of the tubes), and A This is considered in the source term of the energy
the cross section of the tubes perpendicular to the gas flow conservation equation of the corresponding cells. The source
direction. Details are provided in [12]. term Sh (power/volume) of a cell with volume V reads:
v v
!Q
!V Sh "dV = # "V (15)
+ + + + + + + + + + VA " !t
s2 s2
where Q is the total absorbed heat energy at each time step
+ + + + + + + + +
and VA the total volume of the absorber in the flow domain.
The negative sign indicates an energy sink.

+ + + + + + + + + + B. Pressure loss
d s1 d s1 Friction forces FF cause a pressure loss p across the
in-line staggered absorber: FF = " 0AA ! p!dA = ! p! AA (16)
Fig. 4. Arrangement of crossed in-line and crossed staggered tube bundle.
with AA the cross section of the absorber. When applying the
For the analogy with absorbers, it is assumed that s2 = d. pressure loss model (see III. B. 2), the friction forces FF are
With this assumption the pressure loss coefficients for the determined by using (16). Then, the calculated friction force is
crossed tube bundles are given by [21]: treated in a similar way as the absorbed heat energy, i.e. it is
In-line: ! h = C f Reh0.09 (5103 Reh 105) (11) implemented in the source term of the momentum
conservation equation SM (force/volume):
Staggered: ! h = Cv Reh0.15 (4103 Reh 105) (12) (17)
"V S M !dV = # FF !V VA
The constants Cf and Cv depend on the transverse pitch ratio a The negative sign indicates that the force is directed against
= s1/d. Their values are given in Table I for a between 1.25 the gas flow direction.
and 5.0. Intermediate values are obtained by interpolation In case of the effective opening model (III. B. 1), the
absorber consisting of numerous small openings is modelled
TABLE 1 as a single concentrated opening in the flow domain
Constants Cf and Cv of the Pressure Loss Coefficients
practically with the same area as the free opening of the actual
Depending on Transverse Pitch Ratio a [21]
absorber.
a Cf Cv V. VALIDATION
1.25 0.50 0.80 Comparing measured with calculated pressure
1.50 0.38 0.62 developments; the CFD calculation method with consideration
2.00 0.55 0.75 of arc energy absorbers is validated. For this purpose, two
arrangements, for which test results are available, are chosen.
3.00 0.62 1.28
The first one is a model arrangement of medium voltage (MV)
4.00 0.61 1.74 switchgear with a typical shape and volume of the arc
5.00 0.60 2.17 compartment. The second one is a compact MV switchgear
installation.

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19 mm
A. Model combinations
In order to describe the heat energy absorption and flow 1.5 mm
resistance of absorbers simultaneously, model combinations
(MCs) for both effects are required. For the benefit of s1 = 4.47 mm 1.0 mm

applicability, two MCs are chosen. The first one is the grid
efficiency model for heat absorption and the effective opening
s2 = 9.85 mm
for flow resistance (MC 1). The second one is the in-line tube
bundle model for heat transfer and the crossed in-line tube (a) opening of a hole in the
grid (front view)
(b) cross-section
of a grid bar
(c) arrangement of the ab-
sorber layers (side view)
bundle model for flow resistance (MC 2).
The MC 1 is chosen because the grid efficiency as well as Fig. 6. Constructional details of a three-layer arc absorber.
the effective opening approach is easy to handle delivering TABLE II
reasonable results. MC 2 is applicable, where measurement Parameters of the Arc Absorber under Consideration
data of the absorber under investigation are not available. In
this case, the in-line tube bundle model is used to determine Number of absorber layers 3
the heat transfer (similar results as with the staggered tube Mass 2.12 kg
bundle one). For the flow resistance, the more sophisticated Effective free opening area (from all 3 layers) 0.05 m
approach with crossed in-line tube bundles have been proved Effective surface area 0.30 m
to be of advantage [12]. Specific heat capacity 480 J/(kgK)
Thermal conductivity 57 W/(mK)
B. Arrangements and test conditions Transverse pitch ratio a 3.727
1) Model arrangement: In order to investigate the effects of Longitudinal pitch ration b 7.083
arc energy absorbers, the test arrangement in Fig. 5 has been Grid efficiency G 5%
used [22]. It consists of an arc room (faulty compartment) of
0.1 m (W x L x H in m = 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.4) and two relief rooms 2) Compact MV switchgear: This arrangement is a compact
each with a volume of 0.05 m (0.50 m x 0.34 m x 0.34 m). MV switchgear station. It mainly consists of a switch
The gas inside is air of atmospheric pressure. The arc room is compartment (SC), a relief room (RR), and a transformer
connected to the adjacent relief room 1 via a 108 mm diameter room (TR). Details of the TR apart from its effective volume
rupture disc, which opens at an overpressure of 1.2 bar. The and the size of the opening are not available. The arrangement
arc absorber is installed in between relief room 1 and 2 and the values of the effective volumes are given in Fig. 7.
(Fig. 5). A test has been carried out with a single-phase short- The SC is equipped with two circular rupture discs of 108 mm
circuit current of 3.8 kA and 200 ms duration. The arc voltage diameter, which open at an overpressure of 2.5 bar. In case of
was about 300 V resulting in arc energy of 178 kJ. The a fault in the SC hot gas flows through the duct below the
pressure developments in the arc room and both relief rooms rupture discs into the RR. From there, it flows through a five-
have been recorded. The gas temperature in front of and layer arc energy absorber with a cross-sectional area of
behind the absorber as well as the absorber temperature was 0.30 m (0.65 m x 0.46 m; three parallel grids and two folded
measured with special sensitive thermocouples [22], the gas ones in between) into the TR and then through the door with
flow velocity before and behind the absorber with Pitot tubes. an effective ventilation opening of 0.3 m into the
Details of the arc absorber under consideration are provided in environment. Three pressure sensors have been installed, one
Fig. 6. The parameters of the arc absorber required for the in the SC, and the further ones in the RR and TR.
calculation of pressure rise are listed in table II.

SC
0.20 m

rupture disc
ventilation
duct opening
TR
in a door
0.04 m 3 m

arc absorber

RR
0.25 m

Fig. 5. Layout of test arrangement 1 used to evaluate the effects of arc energy Fig. 7. Test arrangement 2 (compact MV switchgear) with effective volumes
absorbers [22]. SC (switch compartment), RR (relief room) and TR (transformer room).

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Apart from the number of absorber layers, its mass, 2.4


model combination 1
effective free opening area, surface area and grid efficiency, model combination 2
2.2
all parameters are the same as described for the previous measurement
arrangement. The mass of the absorber is 7.2 kg, the effective 2.0

Pressure (bar)
free opening area 0.1 m, and the surface area 1.58 m. The 1.8
grid efficiency G is 4 %, which has been determined
experimentally. The absorber is located far from the heat 1.6

source compared to the first arrangement. 1.4


Two tests have been carried out, one with air in the switch
1.2
compartment and another one with SF6. During the air test, an
arc of 12.7 kA and duration of 0.76 s (three-phase short 1.0

circuit) was ignited between copper electrodes in the switch 0.8


compartment at atmospheric pressure. The effective volume of 0 50 100 150 200
the switch compartment is 0.2 m. The SF6 test was performed Time (ms)
in nearly the same switchboard, however, with another Fig. 9. Measured and calculated overpressure developments in the arc room
effective volume of the switch compartment (0.3 m). Its of test arrangement 1 using the model combinations 1 and 2 to describe heat
filling pressure was 1.3 bar. This test was performed without absorption and flow resistance of the absorber.
transformer room. The grid efficiency G was 2 %, the arc
current 16 kA (three-phase short circuit) and its duration 1 s.
1.10
The arc energy for the air and SF6 test is similar (about model combination 1
model combination 2
10 MJ). In Fig. 8 the arc power is given for both tests. measurement

1.05
30 Pressure (bar)
air-insulated switchgear
S F 6-insulated switchgear
25
1.00
Arc power (MW )

20

0.95
15

10
0.90
75 100 125 150 175 200
5
Time (ms)

0 Fig. 10. Measured and calculated pressure developments in the relief room 1
of test arrangement 1 using model combination 1 and 2 to describe heat
0 200 400 600 800 absorption and flow resistance of the absorber.
Time (ms)
2) Compact MV switchgear: Due to the large number of
Fig. 8. Measured arc power of two tests in test arrangement 2.
absorber layers (three parallel layers with two folded ones in
between), which makes the estimation of the effective free
C. Calculation results and discussion
opening of the absorber rather difficult, calculations are
1) Model arrangement: In Fig. 9 and 10 the measured and performed with MC 2 (in-line and crossed in-line tube
calculated overpressure developments in the arc and relief bundles).
room with MC 1 and 2 for the absorber effects are shown, In Fig. 11 the measured and calculated pressure
respectively. developments in the air-insulated switch compartment and
The calculation results in Fig. 9 are in good agreement with relief room (in front of the absorber) are shown. In the switch
measurement values. The calculated overpressure develop- compartment, a good agreement between calculation and
ments are nearly identical due to the low influence of the measurement is given. After the rupture discs opens, the
absorber on pressure rise in this room. In relief room 1 the pressure immediately decays and a pressure increase in the
calculated first pressure peak is also in reasonable agreement relief room is observed. The difference of the maximum
with measurement (Fig. 10). The pressure maximum obtained pressure values is only 4.2 %. The corresponding pressure
with MC 1 is only slightly higher than that of measurement developments in the transformer room are depicted in Fig. 12.
and with MC 2. This probably results from a slight A good agreement of the pressure pulse is obtained as well.
overestimation of the flow resistance when applying the The temperature developments in front of and behind the
effective opening model. In tendency, the flow resistance of a centre of the absorber are depicted in Fig. 13 for the air-
grid is smaller than that of an orifice with the same size of the insulated switch compartment. In general, good agreement
free opening due to the smaller thickness of boundary layers between calculation and measurement is given. In this case,
of strong turbulent flows [6]. The achieved result is however the heat transfer to the temperature sensor is quite effective
on the safe side when designing the compartment in front of due to relatively high arc energy during the test resulting in a
the absorber.

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1400
fast response of the temperature sensor. It is observed that the
temperature in front of the absorber rises continuously until its
1200
maximum at around 1,250 K and then drops after 500 to
800 ms (calculation). Behind the absorber the calculated gas

Temperature (K)
temperature shows a small peak simultaneously with the 1000

pressure peak in the transformer room and then temperature


slowly rises until arc extinction. This short peak is attributed 800 calculation (in front of)
calculation (behind)
to the first jet of the hot gas passing the absorber before the measurement (in front of)
gas flow from the transformer room to the environment is 600
measurement (behind)
fully developed. It should be noted that the gas temperature in
front of the absorber (at low gas density) is much higher than 400

behind the absorber. The temperature drop results from two


reasons: (i) due to the flow resistance the gas density behind 200
0 200 400 600 800 1000
the absorber increases and (ii) part of the energy content of the
Time (ms)
gas flow is absorbed. Fig. 13. Measured and calculated gas temperatures in front of and behind the
In Fig. 15 the temperature developments in front of and absorber, calculation with model combinations 2 (air test).
behind the centre of the absorber are shown for the SF6-
insulated switch compartment. Compared to the case with air The pressure developments in the relief room (without
insulation, a considerable delay in temperature rise is transformer room) and behind the absorber (environment) for
observed. This is due to the later response of the rupture disc an SF6 test are given in Fig. 14. The maximum pressure values
because of the higher heat capacity of SF6. in front of and behind the absorber are in good agreement.

1.25
3.5
relief room (calculation)
switch compartment (calculation)
behind the absorber (calculation)
relief room (calculation) 1.20
relief room (measurement)
3.0 swtich compartment (measurement) behind the absorber (measurement)
relief room (measurement)
Pressure (bar)

1.15
Pressure (bar)

2.5

1.10
2.0

1.05
1.5

1.00
1.0

0.95
0 100 200 300 400 0 200 400 600 800 1000
Time (ms) Time (ms)
Fig. 11. Measured and calculated pressure developments in the switch Fig. 14. Measured and calculated pressure developments in the relief room
compartment and relief room of the compact MV switchgear with model and behind the absorber of the compact MV switchgear (without transformer
combinations 2 (air test). room) with model combinations 2 (SF6 test).

1800
1.04
1600
calculation (in front of)
calculation
1.03 1400 calculation (behind)
measurement
measurement (in front of)
Pressure (bar)

1200 measurement (behind)


Temperature (K)

1.02
1000

1.01 800

600
1.00
400

200
0.99
0 100 200 300 400
Time (ms) 0 200 400 600 800 1000
Time (ms)
Fig. 12. Measured and calculated pressure developments in the transformer Fig. 15. Measured and calculated gas temperatures in front of and behind the
room of the compact MV switchgear with model combinations 2 (air test).
absorber, calculation with model combinations 2 (SF6 test).

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Transactions on Power Delivery
8

VI. CONCLUSIONS arcing in 2001 Proc. 16th Int. Conf. on Electricity Distribution CIRED
(Amsterdam, Netherlands), pp 1.12.11.12.5
Pressure rise due to internal arcs in electrical installations [4] A. B. Wahle and G. J. Pietsch, Effect of energy absorption system on
can reliably be calculated solving the basic set of internal arc testing of medium voltage switchgear in 2008 Proc. 17th
Int. Conf. on Gas Discharges and their Applications (Cardiff, UK), pp.
hydrodynamic equations with a CFD solver in connection with
193196.
real gas data. However, if arc energy absorbers from expanded [5] M. Eiselt, G. Mahn and A. Milbich, Electrical installation comprising a
metal are installed, this method approaches its limits due to the decompression channel, European Patent 1 371 121 A1, 2002.
complex fine structure of such absorbers. The fine structure [6] M. Schmale and G. J. Pietsch, On arc energy absorption by cooling
devices in electrical installations in 2006 Proc. 16th Int. Conf. on Gas
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an extreme large number of cells and thus requires [7] D. Rochette, S. Claim, W. Bussire, P. Andr, and C. Besnard, Porous
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appropriate to model the physical effects of absorbers instead
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of direct (geometrically exact) consideration in the flow [8] High-voltage switchgear and controlgear Part 200: AC metal-
domain. The main physical effects of absorbers on pressure enclosed switchgear and controlgear for rated voltages above 1 kV and
rise are heat energy absorption and flow resistance. up to and including 52 kV, IEC Standard 62271-200: 2003.
[9] P. Duquerroy, G. Friberg, G. Pietsch, C. Herault and P. Chvrier,
In order to describe heat absorption, two model approaches Safety in the event of an internal arc: modelling or test? in 1997 Proc.
are introduced. The first one is based on the determination of 14th Int. Conf. and Exhibition on Electricity Distribution CIRED
the absorbed heat energy by the absorber applying the grid (Birmingham, UK), pp. 1.11.11.11.5.
[10] G. Friberg and G. J. Pietsch, Calculation of pressure rise due to arcing
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the electric arc energy. In this case, the grid efficiency must be [11] CIGRE publication, Working Group A3.24, Tools for the simulation of
determined prior to calculation by temperature measurements. the effects of the internal arc in transmission and distribution
The second approach is based on the determination of the heat switchgear, Technical Brochure 602 (ISBN: 978-2-85873-303-3), 2014.
[12] K. Anantavanich, Calculation of pressure rise in electrical installations
transfer rate of absorber grids (layers) analogous to that of due to internal arcs considering SF6-air mixtures and arc energy
tube bundles well known in heat exchanger theory. The absorbers, Ph.D. dissertation, RWTH Aachen University, 2010.
implementation of these models is accomplished by [13] K. Anantavanich, G. J. Pietsch, N. Uzelac, P. Milovec, and B. Wang,
Effect of arc energy absorber in a wind turbine switch unit, IEEE
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approaches are presented as well. The first one is the effective Hemisphere, 1980.
[15] W. Rodi, Turbulence models and their application in hydraulics,
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[19] K. Anantavanich, G. J. Pietsch, M. Schwinne and A. Schnettler, 2007
approaches is required. Due to applicability reasons, two Modelling of SF6-air mixtures in MV switchgear during internal arcing
model combinations are proposed. The first one is the using a CFD tool in 2007 Proc. 15th Int. Symp. On High Voltage Eng.
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[20] X. Zhang, J. Zhang and E. Gockenbach, Calculation of pressure and
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The results of these approaches are in sufficient agreement RWTH Aachen University, 2007
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VIII. BIOGRAPHIES
VII. REFERENCES
[1] A. Dasbach A and G. Pietsch, Investigation of the power balance of Kittipong Anantavanich was born in Bangkok
high current fault arcs in 1988 Proc. 8th Int. Conf. on Gas Discharges in Thailand, on January 1, 1977. He received the
B. Eng. degree in electrical engineering from
and their Applications (Venice, Italy), pp. 1518.
Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand in 1998
[2] N. Deb, T. Tricot, P. Baily and L. T. Falkingham, Design of a new
and the M. Sc. degree in electrical power
generation of internal arc resistant switchgear in 2004 Proc. IEEE-
engineering from RWTH Aachen University,
IAS/PCA 46th Cement Industry Technical Conf. (Chattanooga, USA),
Aachen, Germany, in 2004. In 2010 he
pp. 2128.
completed his Ph.D. on internal arc phenomena
[3] A. Even, Y. Tits, D. Goossenaert, D. Tenret , J. Vansantvoort, G. Pietsch
at this university.
and C. Humpert, Design of distribution cabins to withstand internal
In 1998, he joined Electricity Generating
Authority of Thailand (EGAT), where he has

0885-8977 (c) 2015 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission. See http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index.html for more information.
This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/TPWRD.2015.2509645, IEEE
Transactions on Power Delivery
9

been responsible for high voltage equipment in the Transmission System


Engineering Division of EGAT. He was a member of CIGRE SC A3 (High
Voltage Equipment) from Thailand. Recently he passed away.

Gerhard J. Pietsch (M83) received the


Diploma and PhD degree in physics from the
Christian Albrechts University in Kiel,
Germany, in 1967 and 1971 respectively. From
1972 to 1975, he was with AEG High Voltage
Laboratory, Kassel, Germany, before he became
Professor at RWTH Aachen University in
Aachen, Germany. His special interests are on
the field of gas discharges e.g. dielectric barrier
discharges and high current arcs.
Dr. Pietsch is a member of several
professional organizations and a consultant in the field of internal arcs in
electrical installations.

0885-8977 (c) 2015 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission. See http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index.html for more information.