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Using Broken Delta Protection for Earth Faults

The Broken Delta configuration is used to protect against earth faults. It is a
configuration that works by monitoring the vector sum of the phase voltages.

It consists of a delta connection on the secondary of a potential transformer that is

open at one point as in the figure. In such a construction, when a balanced three
phase voltage is present in the star connected primary, the voltage across the
broken point of the delta connection would be zero, as it would be a vector sum of all
three voltages.

In the event of a ground fault in one phase, the phase-to-

ground voltage in the remaining two phases is now equal to the phase-to-phase
voltage with a displacement of 60 degrees. The voltage at the broken delta becomes
3Voor three times the phase-to-ground voltage.

This voltage can be measured by a relay and can be used to trip the power system.
A resistor is usually connected across the broken delta connection to
prevent Ferro resonance, a condition that occurs when the line capacitance and the
inductance in the potential transformers reach a state of resonance.

Broken delta transformers are usually marked as 11kV/3:110 volts. It means that
the transformer is designed that in the event of a ground fault in the primary side, the
secondary output will be 110 V.

Posted by Phil Corso, PE on 14 August, 2007 - 12:06 am

Responding to GY's 23-Jul (20:16) query about potential transformer (PT) connections for
generator E/F stator protection:The broken-delta connection uses three single-phase PTs. All
three primaries are connected between line and earth (ground!)Their secondaries are delta-
connected, except that one corner of the delta is left open-circuited. This arrangement is also
calleda residually-connected circuit. Its principle benefit is that the residual voltage is
much higher than that of the open-deltaconnection (described in next paragraph!) Thus, it is
more sensitive to earth-faults.The open-delta connection uses two single-phase PTs. They, too,
provide 3-phase transformation, but the resultant secondaryvoltage magnitude is about 1/3 that of
the broken-delta arrangement. Furthermore, secondary-circuit failures that could negateproper
fault detection are virtually ignored!