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Introduction and Applications of mature many users’ approach to its application is still rather
unique. GIS is used in specific types of applications only.
Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) The reliability of GIS has markedly improved since its in-
troduction 35 years ago. The overall trend shows a reduced
Phil Bolin, IEEE Substations Committee failure rate for GIS commissioned after 1985. Consequently,
Hermann Koch, IEEE Substations Committee CIGRE distinguishes between GIS commissioned before 1985
and after 1985. Table II of the CIGRE report gives an over-
A. Overview view over this data [I-1].
The table below gives the voltage class and corresponding
voltage levels.
Gas-Insulated Substations (GIS) are in use world-wide TABLE I
since more than 30 years with in general very good experi- CIGRE SURVEY 2000
ences. GIS are most common in use in Japan, the largest single VOLTAGE CLASSES
GIS market in the world, in Europe, the Middle East, and also
the Far East and South East Asia. Voltage 1: 60 ≤ Un < 100 3: 200 ≤ Un < 300 5: 500 ≤ Un <700
class kV 2: 100 ≤ Un < 200 4: 300 ≤ Un < 500 6: Un > 700
In the USA, where this technology was founded, the suc-
cess of GIS is a limited one. There are two major reasons , one
The outdoor GIS population represents about 43% of the
in that available space did not give high pressure to use GIS,
total CB-Bay-Years.
as it was the case in Japan, Europe and places in Asia, and as a
Tables III and IV of the CIGRE report provide the major
second reason some design difficulties at the beginning 30
failure characteristics of the GIS.
years ago. Some of this first days equipment is still in service
due to the long living type of technology. One increasing trend is the involvement of circuit breaker
This tutorial is meant to present and teach about all the im- failure for the newer GIS observed at all voltage levels.
provements done in the design of GIS technology and to TABLE II
report about the excellent experiences with GIS in other CIGRE SURVEY 2000
countries. MAJOR FAILURE FREQUENCY (FF) - 2ND GIS SURVEY TOTAL POPULA TION
AND COMPARISON BETWEEN THE 1 ST AND THE 2ND SURVEYS RESULTS
Restricted availability of space for new substations and the
replacement of old equipment in cities and metropolitan areas GIS in total
indicate that in the near future also in the USA a larger 2 nd GIS survey 1 st GIS survey
number of GIS will be installed and operated. Voltage No. of CB-bay- FF CB-bay- FF
Class failures years years
This tutorial is dedicated to all engineers who are or might 1 27 56884 0.05 38471 0.13
be in charge of GIS technology today or in the future. 2 465 32048 1.45 23845 1.1
The tutorial was set up by professionals all round the world 3 138 16040 0.86 12955 1.1
of leading equipment manufacturer, turnkey project executer, 4 179 6371 2.81 4735 4.3
industry consultant, operator and experiences user of GIS. 5 49 4525 1.08 3453 4.2
6 12 200 6.00 80 14.0
B. Introduction to GIS 1 to 5 855 115868 0.74 83459 0.96
TOTAL 867 116068 0.75 83539 0.97
1) GIS Reliability IEEE GIS Tutorial GIS commissioned before 1.1.1985
This chapter addresses the reliability of GIS and provides a 2 nd GIS survey 1 st GIS survey
brief comparison to an AIS substation. This information is Voltage No. of CB-bay- FF CB-bay- FF
mostly based on CIGRE publications, in particular the latest Class failures years years
one from 1998. The details can be found in the Bibliography. 1 16 28669 0.06 21304 0.17
2 351 19504 1.80 16035 1.3
The first GIS’s were put in operation in 1967 in Switzer- 3 100 10362 0.97 8596 1.5
land and Germany. The GIS in Germany is still in operation, 4 110 3694 2.98 3287 4.4
whereas the GIS in Switzerland was recently decommissioned 5 32 3252 0.98 2532 3.7
after 35 years of operation without major fault or gas leak. The 1 to 5 609 65481 0.93 51754 1.18
utility made an assessment of the gas leak over the lifetime of GIS commissioned after 1.1.1985
2 nd GIS survey 1 st GIS survey
this first GIS and concluded that overall leakage rate was
Voltage No. of CB-bay- FF CB-bay- FF
about 0.4% per year. Class failures years years
US users were among the early adopters of the emerging 1 11 28215 0.04 9792 0.06
GIS technology in the 1970’s, however, bad experience with 2 114 12544 0.91 4605 0.6
immature designs resulted in a totally different view of GIS 3 38 5678 0.67 2636 0.4
4 69 2677 2.58 970 4.0
reliability between North America (in particular the United 5 17 1273 1.34 654 1.8
States of America) and the rest of the world. 1 to 5 246 50387 0.49 18657 0.51
Reliability, the economic advantages of reduced life cycle Notes :
cost and the physical compactness have resulted in the wide- Failure frequency (FF) = No. of Failures per 100CB-bay-years
spread use of GIS over the last 35 years.
Even though today’s GIS technology can be considered

6 0. the availability of the AIS substation in a particular configuration The expected outage frequency of the GIS feeders is 2.0214 0.8 Power Transf. As a consequence GIS is still viewed with T4 0.9 14.1985 (whole period) % % % Total number of answers 801 562 239 (reported failures) =100% =100% =100% Circuit Breaker or Switch 43.9 Disconnector 17.5 5. soil conditions.7 6.6 (7.3) 3. There are still T2 0.6 times less than in AIS. but define the required availability T4 0.9 OF (1/yr) OD [h/yr] Line 1 0.7 0.4 necting Parts SF6/Air Bushing 3.9 0.2 6 Breaker GIS 230kV Grounding Switch 4. 0.117 to their promise.5 16.5 TABLE IV CIGRE SURVEY 2000 I DENTIFICATION OF MAIN COMPONENT INVOLVED IN THE FAILURE FRO M GIS 9 Breaker AIS 230kV AGE POINT OF VIEW(5 MOST INVOLVED COMPONENTS) Main component involved GIS in total GIS before GIS after in the failure 1.4 5. Interface 0.0214 0.5 4. Parts 11.1 1. T1 0.4 (30.9 Bus ducts and Intercon.9 18.1) 54.2) 17.1985 1.8 Chamber/Bushing Surge arrester 0.432 ration that meets those requirements. Then the substation builder should evaluate a GIS less than in AIS AIS feeder: 47 yrs! GIS feeder: 123 yrs.0214 0.9 (19.0081 0.9 0.2 1.072 of the substation first and then look for the substation configu.117 cb many first generation GIS in operation.9 Cable Box/Cable Sealing 3.1. The expected outage duration of the GIS feeders is 1.702 should be noted that also in North America GIS commissioned after 1985 shows similar failure rates as observed by CIGRE during the last worldwide GIS survey.2 Other 1. It 0.5 1.0081 0.6 4. But as a substation builder one should not compare a GIS and AIS T3 0.7 29.072 There is no question that a GIS compared with the same Line 2 0.9 (17. 2 TABLE III Based on published failure rates for AIS and GIS substation CIGRE SURVEY 2000 I DENTIFICATION OF MAIN COMPONENT INVOLVED IN THE FAILURE FROM GIS by international organizations such as CIGRE it can be shown VOLTAGE CLASS POINT OF VIEW that the failure rate of a six breaker ring bus in GIS is lower than that of a nine breaker AIS in a breaker-and-a-half ar- Main component involved GIS in total Class 2 Class rangement.0 Failure outages Bus ducts.3 3.3 Voltage Transformer 5.2 Disconnector 17.5 times can be used.4 1. As an alternative.2) 4. which meets this base availability.072 availability and/or cost.2 46.117 skepticism and often not considered as a default choice.6 Current Transformer 0.2 4. Circuit Breaker or Switch 43.0214 0. indicates that GIS has a lower failure rate than a comparable AIS substation. There are several commercially available software in the failure 3+4+5 (whole period) % % % programs available to make these calculations.117 AIS 1 1/2 Users in North America might dispute this fact. The result of this reliability study is shown in the table be- . Intercon.9 6.7 1.0081 0. unless special conditions exist such as land GIS ring T2 0.0214 0.7 5. which never lived up T3 0.8 Bus bars 5.0214 0.7 2.1.072 in the same configuration.4 Bus bars 5.7) 6.2 Voltage Transformer 5.4 42. 11. configuration. Below is a Total number of answers 801 435 335 comparison of the failure rates of a six-feeder 230 kV GIS (reported failures) =100% =100% =100% substation versus a nine-breaker AIS.1 22.117 eral organizations including CIGRE.072 at first cost only. Line 1 0.2 18. environment etc.117 The worldwide experience with GIS as documented by sev- Line 2 0.4 8.0081 0.0081 0.5 (7.4 5. IEEE etc.072 configuration in AIS will always be more expensive if looked T1 0.0081 0.

major components such as drive mechanisms num casted parts. Reliability starts with the right design. as well as resistance to all kinds breaking capability of environmental influences. dielectric. comprising mechanical. manufacturing. in independent laboratories. deliv- ery and erection and after sales service. As a result very compact GIS substations designs are available on the market with the following changes in comparison to These development tests will be followed by prototype older equipment: testing. For some manufacturers it is already common 245 kV practice today to conduct up to 10000 operations or even more • leakage rates down to less than 0. if 60 requested. operating rods. In this way the components can be • design of integrated components with several functions subjected intentionally to a higher load than encountered in the such as combined disconnect and grounding switches switchgear itself during normal operation in order to within one gas compartment determine their safety reserves. driven by gas -insulated switchgear. which allowed the use of minimized are tested on a hydraulic test rig independently from the shapes and volumes switchgear but using the previously measured loads given as • use of computerized production and testing equipment stress level. 50 Special attention will be given to the life time behavior of 40 30 insulating material. Thousands of operating cycles will be performed with high quality standards in just a few hours. 3 low. 0 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 As a result of tests and more than 35 years of service expe- Year Fig. In this respect particular • progress of circuit-breaker technology. statistics (IEC. Based on the failure rate the 6 breaker GIS ring bus sub. Due to the dominance of me- • progress of casting and machining technology of alumi. it is also specified by several utilities to extend the number of successful short circuit interruptions beyond the 110 requirements of the applicable standards for power type test- [%] 100 ing. heat run and • up to 98% of space reduction in comparison to air insu.half switchgear equipment has become an ever increasing topic scheme and should be the preferred choice due to all the over recent years. After the design stage. which allowed to significance is given to long-term strength even at extremely reduce the number of interrupter units despite increasing high numbers of operations. power. The importance of quality and reliability of all kind of station is superior to the 9 breaker AIS in a breaker-and-a. CIGRE) has reached levels of 400 to 1000 Many years of experience in switchgear design and usage years depending on the kind of switchgear and its voltage have allowed to optimize test and measurement techniques to level. are well known methods to meet the users’ expectations. design. complex process which includes design. materials and components are sub- Main steps of the development were as follows: jected to thorough development tests. using the three phase encapsulated designs.5% per compartment on one or several test objects for mechanical type testing. 90 The testing during development and type tests are per- 80 70 formed in the manufacturer’s own certified test fields or. up to the lated switchgear limits. Quality and reliability are the result of a advantages of GIS. This method of testing is • use of intelligent monitoring and diagnostic tools to post- proven for contact systems. For higher voltage levels single-phase encapsulation is a control. Especially for the GIS insulators an exten- Size of building 20 Space requirement sive test program has been in place ever since the first delivery 10 Packing volume of GIS. chanical failures. I-14. For the distribution voltage relevant testing procedures and the appropriate manufacturing level up to 145/170 kV mainly three phase enclosures are techniques and all that accompanied by a stringent quality used. drive components pone maintenance activities and avoid unnecessary tasks etc. the appropriate severity of the duty of the components with . environmental tests even such as seismic testing. Progress of GIS Development (145 kV) rience it can be concluded that the life time of GIS insulators will reach more than 50 years without a failure. optimization of parts and components and failure In the last years the development of SF6 insulated switch. dynamic calculations of arc gear was mainly aimed at reducing the use of material and e xtinction and drive behavior accompanied by quality checks costs while maintaining the extremely high reliability. and year Furthermore. and that they The mean time between failures according to international are nearly insensitive to aging. type tests were run at dif- • delivery of completely sealed and tested bays up to ferent levels. Using the very latest procedures for computer aided standard. There are single phase and followed by the choice of the suitable materials. 2) Design Features Quality and reliability have to be already an integral part of The use of SF6 within the power delivery system is mainly development activities. and has enabled considerable improvement in their reliability. mode effective analysis (FMEA). on several test objects in parallel. • up to 75% reduction of SF6 volume Although specified very clearly.

factory assembled and pre-filled double-bays The long time service experience and extensive tests have (245 kV) and triple-bays (145 kV) with shortest erection time shown that there is no difference between three-pole and sin. in terms of technical specifications. It is made from photopolymer and semi-cured with a UV laser. and the data can be used basically for mechanical and electrical optimization. For the dielectric tests the models ments. Stereo-lithography is a method for the manufacturing of testing models based on 3D CAD design. minimum-maximum distribution the other. and field distribution calculation for the predetermination of the dielectric stress allow optimizing the components of the HV equipment very precisely. The field assurance milestones to make sure that the same level of distribution analysis programs are linked to the CAD system reliability will be reached with every single piece of and allow iteration procedures for the optimization of the di- equipment. which offers several advantages such as re. By extensive research and using the new technologies of Design and in Verification Service 3D-CAD and finite element method (FEM) the enclosure has been designed and optimized including testing the worst case scenarios. In general the bus conductors are A further possibility offered by the space saving design is arranged symmetrically with insulating and supporting ele. ments like spacers made of cast resin. high corrosion resistance and negligible resistive and eddy current losses. A customer’s order will The effective dielectric design receives considerable sup- be entered into an electronic data processing system. finite-element method for the mechanical safety of enclo- sures and housings. stereo-lithography for producing test mod- els. today’s activities hint at future changes. such technological demands while being produced in few and small equipment offers the advantage that it can be shipped as simple manufacturing steps. Reliability lowing paragraphs provide some highlights of the future Fig. available The development of ever smaller and more compact sub- machinery. duces the contours. With the use of 3D CAD-systems 3-dimensional modeling is simple. on site. Experience The design of a modern GIS substation looks similar to the fig ures given above without significant differences between Monitoring Maintenance the individual manufacturers. Manufacturing has also changed. I-15. facturing of casting pattern. The circuit diagram in following figure describes the feed The enclosures nowadays are no longer made of steel but of back loop to development and production and is the basis for aluminum alloy. The same data is also the basis for the computerized machining process and measurement system of quality control. This experimental model can be used for All these activities were accompanied by parallel theoreti. used materials. mechanical and dielectric tests and eventually for the manu- cal calculations and ever more exact definitions of require. The finite element method is an ideal tool for complex components or shapes in the design and for the calculation of critical areas of component stressing either on internal loads such as pressure or on external loads such as seismic activities. The enclosure design is adequate to withstand the electrical Stresses Basic Realisation Application arc. The stations seems to be limited by the needs of the utilities for optimal point has been reached when the module meets all the convenient service and maintenance access. the single parts. the installation within a container for mobile use. gle-pole bus arrangements. The steps of the manufacturing processes are Values of field strength along given contours are one result defined by a process map and accompanied by quality obtained. logistics and personnel is highly complex. excellent gas tightness due to excellent sealing facturer of high voltage switchgear. Failure Rates/ However. are coated with silver. The interdependence of manufacturing processes electric design. complete. Field Experiences . which pro- . which port from basically two field distribution analyzing programs: details the substation down to the components and finally into the equivalent charge method and the finite element method. 4 respect to their material and functional characteristics. The fol. New techniques such as 3D CAD as a computerized design tool. area surfaces. However. an efficient cost benefit optimization between user and manu- duced weight. The result is a level of safety far greater than that Field required by the IEC and IEEE standards.Feed Back for the Development trends of GIS development.

residential and office neighborhood in an often used 4 The compactness of GIS and its modular structure allows breakers. 5 C. nicely into the neighborhood. 2) Taylor Street. The bus coupling bays allow to separate the ring bus in up to 4 segments. Safety to the public is given by GIS because of its metallic enclosure. Beside the overhead lines This outdoor GIS solution is placed on a small spot in the nothing reminds the public that there is a 138 kV switchyard. Even .and outgoing line. Jacksonville. I-21. Applications 1) Jacksonville. USA. The design voltage is 145 kV and the operation voltage today is 115 kV with a current rating of 2000 A. The Is 63 kA outdoor GIS is three phase insulated. In this side view it can be seen how the GIS is positioned on the steel structures and how the overhead line is connected to the three phase insulated GIS. I-19. two at the end and two in the middle. Florida. Fig. Easy to see the 4 feeder bay sections and the 4 couple bays. two overhead line feeders and two cable feeders. UBIL 950 kV The size of the installation is about 6 m by 10 m. Puget Sound. The use of GIS to solve the single line requirements allows a very compact substation as this bird‘s eye view shows. and on each side of the circuit breaker of the coupling bays. USA Ratings Ur 138 kV Ir 2500 A UBIL 650 kV Is 40 kA Fig. USA Ratings Ur 145/115 kV Ir 2000 A Fig.and outgoing line. Each feeder bay has a circuit breaker. Chicago. The Puget Sound Project at Bow Lake Substation in The GIS substation is placed inside buildings which fits Oregon USA. Disconnectors are placed at each feeder bay towards the ring bus. USA The local control cubicles are placed at the center walkway. the use of small buildings and offer a space saving solution. The small size and the metallic encapsulation offer great advantages of GIS in locations like Puget Sound. Bow Lake Substation. USA UBIL 650 kV Is 40 kA The single line shows a ring bus with 4 bus coupling bays and 16 feeder bays. two overhead line connections Ur 362 kV Ir 4000 A and two cable connections. towards the in. I-20 Taylor Street 3) Puget Sound. ComEd The Plan View shows the physical arrangement of the GIS Ratings ring bus with 6 circuit breakers. grounding switches before and after the circuit breaker. towards the ring bus and towards the in.

Sargans. Switzerland Mainly due to very small footprint and also for aesthetic Fig.8 kV Ir 2000 A UBIL 550 kV Is 31. Ur 110 kV Ir 2500 A 6) Braintree UBIL 650 kV Ratings IS 40 kA Ur 115/13.Rio de Janeiro.Switzerland Potential Transformers have been installed on the module Ratings itself. I-25. There is no advanced condition monitoring installed. Brazil Ratings Ur 245 kV Ir 2000 A UBIL 1050 kV IS 40 kA Fig. The small size of the GIS equipment also improves the Modules have been selected by customer as optimized esthetics of this outdoor installation. I-22. 4) Sargans Substation . 6 if someone (children searching for their play ball) is jumping Fig. solution for retrofitting the existing AIS substation. Braintree purpose. Barbana The GIS and Transformers are located under an public park. 5) Termobahia . The substation supplies the inner city with energy . There is no advanced condition monitoring installed. Ratings Transformers are located into the building and connection Ur 145 kV between GIS and transformer is through indoor SF6/Air Ir 2000 A bushing.5 kA Fig. I-23. 7) Barbana Relative cost is high for 110 kV substation. UBIL 650 kV That is an interesting possibility for 115 kV stations in the Is 40 kA US as it enables to have the surge arresters mounted conventionally. I-24. Termobahia over the fence he is not in immediate danger.