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Electrical Power Quality and Utilisation, Journal Vol. XI, No.

1, 2005


Janusz BIA£EK, Andrzej W¥SOWSKI
Technical University of Radom

Summary: The criteria for estimating the asymmetry of arc furnace circuit impedances, refer- Key words:
ring to the theory of symmetrical components, have been presented. In contrast to the criteria Arc furnaces
recommended as yet by IEC and CENELEC, they give homogeneous estimation of asymmetry of Current unbalance
circuit impedances, heating powers and unbalance of arc currents. Moreover they make it Impedance asymmetry
possible to take into account functional dependences among them and, consequently, to improve Power asymmetry
the analysis of unbalanced operation states of EAF, as well as their balancing.

1. INTRODUCTION According to the Standards: International CEI/IEC 60676

and European EN 60676:2002, as well as Polish Standard PN-
During the processes of the recent enlargement of the EN 60676 estimation of supply circuit asymmetry is based on
European Union, National Standards were coordinated with the maximal difference between phase impedances, while
the Standards of EU member states, particularly with IEC and asymmetry factor Kas-z is defined by the formula:
CENELEC Standards. This creates a good opportunity to
reflect and perhaps correct some currently valid requirements.
Z max − Z min
Therefore, the authors suggest reconsidering the proposal K as − z = ⋅100% (1)
to change the estimation criteria for 3-phase arc furnace cir-
cuit asymmetry. or, respectively for reactances:
The criteria proposed by the authors are based on the
method of asymmetry differential-angular coefficients [1], re-
X max − X min
ferring to the generally applied theory of symmetrical com- K as − x = ⋅100% (2)
ponents [7, 13]. Consequently, they enable a complex analy- X
sis of asymmetry of different supply circuit parameters (im- (asymmetry of circuit resistances was also taken into consi-
pedances, source voltages), and different parameters deter- deration in the previous version of these Standards).
mining EAF unbalanced operation states (arc resistances and According to the method of asymmetry differential-angu-
currents as well as heating powers). The acceptance of these lar coefficients [1, 3, 14, 21], the value in phase j, e.g. the
criteria for estimating EAF circuit asymmetry would enable value of reactance Xj, may be treated as a sum of mean value
relatively simple and clear estimation of e.g. heating power X and differential values determined by differential modulus
asymmetry expected during furnace operation. WX (equal in each phase) and differential angle aX (aXA = aX,
aXB = aX – 120 0, aXC = aX + 1200) according to the formula:

An arc furnace circuit has been presented in a simplified

form in Figure 1. Impedances Z j = R j + jX j appearing in
each phase j (j = A, B, C) of this circuit refer to an arc supply
circuit (H.V. supply system, furnace transformer and secon-
dary heavy current line), while heating resistances rj refer to
arcs, charge and, partially, electrodes (non-linearity of arcs is
omitted for simplification).
If reactances and resistances in each phase are the same,
the circuit is symmetric and, consequently, phase currents
and heating powers are equal in each phase. However, in real
furnaces (mainly in a heavy current line) phase resistances
and reactances of supply circuit are not equal, due to diffe-
rent clearances between phase conductors and different di-
stances between a transformer and electrode clamps in each
phase. This leads to the appearance of the asymmetry phe-
nomenon in the circuit; phase heating resistances depend
Fig. 1. Simplified circuit of 3-phase arc furnace and supply system
upon the position of electrodes and may be equal or not.
1) Work supported by the Committee for Scientific Research (Warsaw) within the framework of research project No. 8 T10B 051 14

Janusz BIA£EK, Andrzej W¥SOWSKI: Advantages of Changing 3-phase Arc Furnaces Asymmetry Estimation Criteria... '!
X j = X + WX cos α Xj treated as equivalent. However in the case of asymmetrical
circuit, the criteria proposed by the authors, apart from esti-
mation of circuit impedance asymmetry, make it possible to
The values of WX and aX can be calculated from the formulas
carry out a detailed analysis of current unbalance and he-
ating power asymmetry generated during furnace operation.
X B − XC
WX cosα X = X A − X , WX sinα X = (4a)
Additionally, the differential coefficient of reactance asym-
metry kX =WX/X can also be introduced. Similarly, we have R, For the circuit presented in Figure 1 full circuit phase vol-
WR, kR, aR for circuit resistances and r, Wr, kr, and ar for tage in phase j equals:
heating resistances.
The mean value of supply circuit impedances can be defi-
ned from the obvious formula
U fj = I j Z j + r j = I j Z fj) (9)

Expressing supply phase voltages (balanced) by means

Z = Ze jϕ z = R + jX (5) of positive sequence component Uf1, currents by means of
positive sequence component I1 and negative sequence com-
while differential modulus D and differential angle d defined ponent I2, and total phase impedances together with heating
below have been proposed for evaluation of their asymmetry resistances, by mean value:

D = De jδ = WR e jα R + jWX e jα X (6a) Z f = Z +r (10)

In accordance with propositions of the authors [3, 19, 21] and their asymmetry (for both phase sequences) by:
one can estimate the asymmetry of circuit supplying EAF
impedances by means of asymmetry differential-angular co-
jδ f
efficient kZ, treated as compound of two factors: differential D f = Df e = De jδ + Wr e jα r (11a)
coefficient kZ (kZ =D/Z) and differential angle d:

jδ "f (11b)
D j@ = D" e jδ + Wr e − jα r
kZ = kZ e j@ = e (7a) D"f = D"f e

One can generalize this proposition also in the case of we obtain the following two equations from (9):
phase sequence A,C,B (apart from A,B,C). Then some cor-
rections should be accepted: differential angle aX”= – aX U f 1 = I 1 Z f + 0 ,5I 2 D"f (12a)
instead of aX (for each phase aXj”= – aXj ), determined from
0 = 0 ,5 I 1 D f + I 2 Z f (12b)
X B − XC
WX cosα X " = X A − X ; WX sinα X " = − (4b)
3 From equation (12b) we obtain the relation determining
current unbalance generated in the circuit:
(similarly aR”= –aR and ar”= –ar), and consequently:
ψ I2 jϕ
k i = ki e i = = −0,5(De jδ + Wr e jα r )/(Z f e f )
D = D" e jä" = WR e jα R " + jWX e jα X " (6b)

from which it results immediately that operation with equal

D" j@ ” heating resistances in each phase provokes current unba-
kZ” = kZ”e j@ ” = e (7b)
Z lance defined by unbalance factor ki = 0,5D/Zf and angle of
phase shift between positive- and negative-sequence com-
These parameters are closely connected with the theory ponents ψ i = δ − ϕ f ± 180o , operation with current balance
of symmetrical components and they may be determined from requires introduction of asymmetry of heating resistances
the formulas: defined by Wr = D and ar = d ± 180o.
Heating power in phase j is defined by:
D = 2 Z A + aZ B + a 2 Z C / 3 ) (8a)
Pj = I 2j r j (14a)
D = 2 Z A + a Z B + aZ C / 3
) (8b)
or, applying the proposed method:
In the case of ideal symmetry of supply circuit the values
Pj = P + WP cosα Pj = P(1 + k P cosα Pj ) (14b)
of asymmetry estimation criteria – both Kas-z (formula 1) and
kz or kz” (formulas 7a and 7b) equal zero; hence, they can be

'" Power Quality and Utilization, Journal • Vol. XI, No 1, 2005

For estimation asymmetry of heating powers the authors The apparatus for measurements and control as well as
propose a differential coefficient of asymmetry kP=WP/P, computerized control systems used in steelworks provide all
enabling evaluation of the size of power asymmetry, i.e. diffe- the necessary metrological information and no new additio-
rences between phase heating powers and the mean value of nal measurements are necessary [2].
them, and differential angle ap determining the manner of The proposed criteria and iteration method may be easily
division these differences among three phases (e.g. the gre- adapted for the estimation of operation conditions ensuring
atest heating power appears in phase A when ap = –60…60o) e.g.
creating together differential-angular coefficient of heating — dynamic symmetrisation of refractory wear (indexes of
power asymmetry: Schwabe) – experimentally verified by thermographic
measurements on the 50-ton furnace [20],
k P = k p e jα P (15) — maximisation of heating powers or minimisation of unit
losses [17, 18],
Asymmetry of heating powers depends upon current — choice of phase transformation ratios of Yd11 transfor-
unbalance and heating resistance asymmetry, according to mer supplying carbide furnace for the purpose of he-
the formula: ating powers symmetrisation [14, 22], (importance of such
subjects can be confirmed by the Thesis [10] presented
recently in Germany), or supply network currents balan-
I12 r
kp = [2k i + (1 + ki2 )k r + k i k r ]
* *
(16) cing [14, 16].

and their mean value: 5. CONCLUSION

P = I12 r[1 + ki2 + ki kr cos (yi – ar)] (17) It seems that a convincing argument for the acceptance of
the proposed criteria for the estimation of supply circuit im-
It follows from the formulas above that operation with pedance asymmetry of 3-phase EAF is their connection, by
equal heating resistances will lead to generation of heating functional relations, with parameters defining current unba-
power asymmetry defined by differential modulus WP = lance and heating power and resistance asymmetry (if neces-
2I12rki or differential coefficient kP = 2ki/(1+ki2 ) and diffe- sary, also voltage unbalance or asymmetry of other conve-
rential angle aP = yi. Whereas operation with current balan- nient parameters), so they would be more useful indeed for
ce will be connected with heating power asymmetry defined arc furnace users, than the criteria currently recommended in
by WP = I12D or kP=D/r and aP = d +180o. International, European and National Standards.
Formulas (16), (17) and (13) make it possible also to deter- An additional argument is a possibility to extend these
mine operation conditions ensuring the symmetry of heating criteria on other 3-phase receivers and arrangements – for
powers or, if necessary, their favourable asymmetry (e.g. to instance they make considerably easier the choice of trans-
decharge preheated phase A it is recommended to decrease formation ratios in each phase of a transformer supplying
power in this phase: PA<PB=PC, it corresponds to condition asymmetrical 3-phase receivers in order to decrease voltage
aP =180o). An iteration method [15,17], has been proposed unbalance in power supply systems (EMC problems) [16].
to solve this and similar problems.


The proposed method for the estimation of the asymme- a 120o turn operator
try of 3-phase circuit parameters is connected with the tradi- A, B, C phases of furnace
tional method of symmetrical components, in effect, they give D, D” differential modulus of supply circuit phase
similar and compatible criteria for the evaluation of asymme- impedance asymmetry (phase sequence ABC
try of circuit impedances and heating powers and unbalance or ACB)
of arc currents (also asymmetry of other parameters if ne- Df, Df” differential modulus of full circuit phase
eded). The need for this homogeneity is confirmed by asym- impedance asymmetry (phase sequence ABC
metry factors in the form analogical to formulas (1) and (2), or ACB)
recommended in various publications, concerning phase in- Ij current of any phase (j = A, B, C)
ductances [11], heating powers [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], RMS values I1, I2 positive and negative sequence components
of arc currents and voltages [6], and even the values of ne- of currents
twork voltages [12]. j quadrature operator
The essential advantage of the acceptance of the new criteria ki unbalance coefficient of currents
would be obtaining functional dependences among parameters kP differential coefficient of heating power asymmetry
defining circuit impedance, heating resistance and power asym- kr, kR, kX differential coefficient of heating resistance and
metry and current unbalance – see formulas (16) and (13). In of supply circuit resistance and reactance
effect, the furnace user can quickly perform a preliminary analy- asymmetry
sis of furnace unbalanced operation states in a more simple and kz, kz” differential coefficient of supply circuit impedance
clear way than it is possible using previous criteria. asymmetry (phase sequence ABC or ACB)

Janusz BIA£EK, Andrzej W¥SOWSKI: Advantages of Changing 3-phase Arc Furnaces Asymmetry Estimation Criteria... '#
Kas-z, Kas-x asymmetry factor of supply circuit 10. O b e n a u f N . - D .: Regelung für Drehstrom Lichtbogenoefen
bei die Lichtbogenspannungen und unsymmetrisch einstellbare
impedances and reactances Transformatorspannungen. Dissertation. T. U. Clausthal 1992.
Pj, P heating power in any phase j and their mean 11. S w i n d e n D . J . : The arc furnace. Monograph, The Electrici-
ty Council. London 1980.
value 12. T s a y M . T . , C h a n S . Y.: Improvement in system unba-
rj, r heating resistance in any phase j and their mean lance and loss reduction of distribution feeders using transfor-
value mer phase rearrangement and load diversity. Electrical Power
and Energy Systems. 25, 2003.
Rj, R supply circuit resistance in any phase j and 13. UIE: Guide to Quality of Electrical Supply for Industrial Instal-
their mean value lations. Part 4. Voltage Unbalance. “Power Quality” UIE Wor-
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Ufj phase voltage of any phase j 14. W ¹ s o w s k i A . : Current and voltage unbalance balancing
Uf1, positive sequence component of phase operation of arc or arc-resistance furnaces. ETEP, 3, 1999.
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tition désirable de la puissance aux arcs dans un four a arc UHP.
WP differential modulus of heating power IEEE Conference MONTECH’86. Montréal 1986.
asymmetry 16. W ¹ s o w s k i A . : Choice of the phase transformation ratios of
a Yd11 transformer with the view of symmetrizing the load of a
Wr, WR, WX differential modulus of heating resistance and mains by a carbide furnace (in Polish). Przegl¹d Elektrotech-
of supply circuit resistance and reactance niczny. 8, 1995.
asymmetry 17. W ¹ s o w s k i A .: Possibilities of heating power increase of an
arc furnace at operation with a current unbalance (in Polish).
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Xmax, Xmin maximal and minimal value of supply circuit balance. 3rd European Electric Steel Congress. Bornemouth 1989.
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criterion of assessment on a three-phase arc furnaces in Polish
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Zfj, Zf impedances of full circuit in any phase j and techniczny, 4, 1999.
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Begründung eines Anderungsvorschlags für des Kriterium zur
aP differential angle of heating power asymmetry Beueurteilung des Asymmetrie von Lichtbogenöfen in den inter-
ar, aR, aX differential angle of heating resistance and nationalen Normempfehlungen. Elektrowärme International. B4,
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asymmetry (phase sequence ABC or ACB)
df, df” differential angle of full circuit impedance Acknowledgement
asymmetry (phase sequence ABC or ACB) The authors would like to thank Mr. Eugeniusz Wilusz for
yi angle of phase shift between positive and revising the manuscript.
negative sequence components of currents
Dr Janusz Bia³ek (1947-2003)
_ , _* (under symbol) complex value, complex was senior assistant at the Faculty of Transport of
conjugate value. Politechnika Radomska in Radom/Poland. He rece-
ived his Doctor’s degree in Electrical Engineering
from Politechnika Warszawska in Warsaw in 1981.
7. REFERENCES His field of interest were balancing of arc furnace
operation, measurement of unbalanced and distor-
ted electrical sizes in 3 phase circuits, application of
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1980. worked as ”Gast-Dozent” at Technical University Clausthal-Zellerfeld
2. B i a ³ e k J . : Measurement of current and power asymmetries where, under the guidance of Professor K.- H. Bretthauer, he develo-
with the aid of a minicomputer. 3rd Conference “Sources and ped and studied the model of 50-ton EAF. He was a member of the
Effects of Power Systems Disturbances”. London 1982. Polish Committee on Electroheat. He died in Radom in May 2003.
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'$ Electrical Power Quality and Utilization, Journal • Vol. XI, No 1, 2005