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Original document: 4 June 2001. 30 Sept. 03: changed cos to sin in (8), (9), (10); RP to 1/RP in (12) and (13)

C37.110 "IEEE Guide for the Application of Current Transformers Used for Protective Relaying Purposes"

Introduction

The spread sheet “CT Saturation Calculator” is intended to provide quick indication not only

of whether or not a CT will saturate in a particular application, but also an accurate

indication of the actual waveshape of the secondary current so that the degree of saturation

as a function of time is apparent. Furthermore, the data is available to the user to use as input

to a digital relay model, if such is available. The user can convert the data into a COMTRADE

file, for example.

There are many technical papers on the subject of modeling the behavior of iron-cored

current transformers used for protective relaying purposes. One of the difficulties in using an

elaborate model (in any field of engineering) is in getting the parameters in a particular case in

order to implement that model easily, efficiently and accurately. For example, the excitation

current in the region below the knee-point is a complex combination of magnetizing,

hysteresis and eddy-current components, the parameters of which are usually not known in a

particular case.

It turns out (can be shown) that, if the excitation current waveform reaches into the saturated

region, the part of the waveform in the below-knee-point region has negligible effect on the

overall solution. This simplifies the solution greatly, with little effect on accuracy.

If errors under low current, low burden conditions are of interest, a more elaborate model

must be used.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Because this model is new and quite different from

those in the literature, testing against real high-current laboratory results was important. To

this end, two laboratory examples published in reference (1) were compared against results

1

from this program. The agreement was very close. [Note the comment at the end of reference

(1).]

In addition, the program has had widespread circulation, and to date there are two utility-

user reports of agreement with previous results and no reports of disagreement.

2

Circuit model

1:N ideal Rw Rb Lb

+

i1 is

ie N_ ve i2 = is - ie

l nonlinear

inductance

The symbols used in Fig.1 as well as those used in what follows and on the spread sheet are

listed in the next section.

Symbols

All units are SI: volts, amps, weber-turns, ohms, henries, radians, seconds.

IP rms symmetrical primary fault current λrem remanence (per unit of Vs)

Off dc-offset magnitude (per unit) S inverse of slope of Ve vs Ie curve

τ1 system time constant A parameter of ie vs λ curve

i2 instantaneous secondary current RP factor defined as Ie /Ipk

is instantaneous ideal secondary current ω radian frequency = 2π60

ie instantaneous excitation current T one period: 2π radians

Ie rms excitation current Rw winding resistance

Ipk peak excitation current Rb burden resistance

ve instantaneous excitation voltage Rt Rw + Rb

Ve rms excitation voltage Lb burden inductance

Vs rms ‘saturation voltage’

The excitation characteristic of the CT is invariably a plot of secondary rms voltage versus

secondary rms current, on log-log axes, as shown in Fig. 2.

3

For this model, only two parameters need to be extracted from the curve: S and VS . See Fig.

3.

4

Measured points:

Ve

volts

rms

Ie amps rms

Vs

slope

= 1/S

actual

Ve data

log-log plot,

volts equal

model

rms used here decade

spacing

10

Ie amps rms

for the saturation curve used in the model.

The reason for choosing the saturation voltage, Vs , at the point where the excitation current is

ten amps, is that this is the definition used in the standard. For example, a C400 CT is one

in which the excitation voltage is 400 volts rms (or more) for an error current of 10 amps.

Caution: in setting up a particular case, use the actual value for Vs rather than the rating value

because a CT rated C400 may actually supply, for example, 423 volts at 10 amps.

In order to check the validity of ignoring the high-slope low-end of the saturation curve, two

models were compared: one the model of Fig. 3, and another the model of Fig. 4. As long as

5

the condition was at or near saturation, there was no visible difference in the saturation

curves, because the below-the-knee-point currents are very small by comparison with even

mild saturation currents. The decided advantage of eliminating this region from the model is

that the hysteresis and eddy current parameters are very difficult to determine. They are not

included in standard data for CT’s.

Vs

Ve test

model

volts

rms

10

Ie amps rms

The straight line curve with slope 1/S shown in Fig. 3 is not linear. It is a curve defined

mathematically as

1

log Ve = log I e + log Vi (1)

S

where Vi is the value of Ve for Ie=1, that is for log Ie=0. Removing the logs:

1

Ve = Vi I e S . (2)

Remember that these are all rms quantities, presumably measured with “true-rms” voltmeters

and ammeters. [A study has shown that if rms-calibrated meters were used, with either peak-

sensitive or rectified-average-sensitive elements, the effect on accuracy is not substantial.]

In order to solve the differential equations implied by the circuit of Fig. 1, one needs the

instantaneous λ versus ie curve. It is postulated here that a curve defined as

ie = A ⋅ λS (3)

6

is suitable as long as the exponent S is an odd integer. In order to allow S to be any positive

number, and keep the function odd, we can use the following more general expression:

i e = A ⋅ sgn( λ )⋅ | λ | S (4)

where sgn(λ) is the sign of λ . See Fig. 5 showing a sample plot of this function.

7

λ

wb-turns

ie amps

First, the flux-linkages λ are related to the instantaneous excitation voltage v e by Faraday’s

law (The error due to ignoring Rw here is very small - less than the measurement errors

involved in determining the Ve vs Ie curve):

dλ

ve = (5)

dt

The excitation curve is found using sinusoidal voltage, which implies that the flux-linkages

are also sinusoidal:

1

λ = ∫ v e dt = ∫ 2Ve cos(ωt ) dt = 2Ve sin( ωt ) . (7)

ω

S S

2Ve 2Ve

ie = Aλ = AS

sin(ωt ) = A sin S

(ωt ) (8)

ω ω

The rms value of this current is, by definition:

8

2S

2 2Ve

1 2π 1 2π

Ie = ∫ e

i 2

dt = ∫ A sin 2S (ωt ) dt

2π 0 2π 0 ω

S

2Ve 1 2π 2S

= A ∫ sin (ωt ) dt (9)

ω 2π 0

Next, we define the ratio of rms-value-to-peak-value of the excitation current as RP :

rms

RP = .

peak

1 2π 2

∫ I pk sin (ωt )dt

2S

2π 0 1 2π 2S

RP = = ∫ sin (ωt ) dt (10)

I pk 2π 0

The above definite integral, (and hence RP) can best be evaluated using numerical

integration, and in fact this is done directly on the spread sheet - using trapezoidal

integration - for the particular S entered by the user.

Fig. 6 illustrates the difference between rms/peak for a sinusoid and rms/peak for the

assumed excitation current waveform: the form factor RP gets smaller as the value of S

increases.

v e or peak ie peak

rms

rms

9

Fig.6 Comparison of the rms/peak relationship for two waveshapes.

Left: excitation voltage or flux-linkages. Right: excitation current.

S

2Ve

I e = A RP (11)

ω

S

2Vs

10 = A RP .

ω

Solving for A:

10ω S 1

A= . (12)

( 2Vs )

S RP

10ω S 1

ie = sgn( λ ) ⋅ | λ |S as illustrated in Fig. 5. (13)

( 2Vs )

S RP

The circuit of Fig. 1 is solved simply by writing Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law around the right-

hand loop:

v e − (i s − i e ) ⋅ Rt − Lb

d

[is − ie ] = 0 (14)

dt

10

2 ⋅Ip

is =

i1

N

=

N

[Off ⋅ e − t / Tau1

− cos(ωt − cos −1 Off ) ] (15)

di s 2 ⋅ I p − Off −t / Tau1

= ⋅e + ω ⋅ sin( ωt − cos −1 Off ) (16)

dt N Tau1

Note that

di e di e dλ

= ⋅ (17)

dt d λ dt

and

die

= A ⋅ S ⋅ | λ | S −1 . (18)

dλ

dλ

dt

[ ] di

⋅ 1 + Lb ⋅ A ⋅ S ⋅ | λ | S −1 = − Rt ie + Rt i s + Lb s

dt

(18)

This first-order nonlinear differential equation is solved for λ(t) using standard numerical

analysis techniques, such as trapezoidal integration, Runge-Kutta integration, or simple step

increments. The latter is used in the spread sheet program, for simplicity, since the accuracy is

sufficient for this application.

Then the excitation(error) current ie is given by equation (3), and the actual secondary

current - the goal of this exercise - by

i2 = is − ie (19)

Remanence

With the single-valued saturation curve assumed here, conventional remanence is not

possible because non-zero λ cannot occur for zero ie . However, remanence can be

approximated very closely by simply assuming that the initial excitation current is non-zero.

A quite small initial excitation current will accomplish this, even for a large remanence. For

convenience, λrem is expressed in per unit of Vs since the “knee-point” itself is not defined in

this model. See Fig. 7. In order to specify λrem accurately, x must be specified no greater

11

than Vknee in Fig. 7. In other words, if Vknee is 80% of VS then the value of λrem cannot

exceed 0.8 per unit.

Vs

Vknee

Ve

volts y

rms remanence x

rem = x/y

10

Ie amps rms

References

(1) Tziouvaras, D.A., et al, Mathematical Models for Current, Voltage, and Coupling

Capacitor Voltage Transformers, Working Group C5 of PSRC, IEEE Trans. on Power

Delivery, Jan 2000, pp. 62-72. (Note that there is an error in figures 4a and 5a of this

paper: there was actually non-zero remanence for this case, as confirmed with the

authors.)

12

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