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SYNCHRONOUS GENERATOR SELECTION FOR GRIDS

A thorough knowledge of the significance of various machines parameters is necessary in selecting a synchronous generator for paralleling with the grid. The size and complexity of modern power system require an accurate and detailed knowledge of the operating characteristics of synchronous generators by virtue of their being inter-connected with the power system, of which the paramount need is the stability. The stability of an electrical power system which consists of more than one generators may be defined as the ability of generators to work with another under slow changes (steady state) and rapid changes (transient state) in the operating conditions (e.g. load). A thorough knowledge of the significance of the following machine parameters would be useful. y y y y y y y y Power factor (cosf ) Synchronous reactance (Xs), Short circuit ratio (SCR) Transient reactance (Xd) Sub-transient reactance (Xd") Negative sequence reactance (X2) Zero sequence reactants (X0) Time constants (Ta)

Power Factor
For a given active power (KW), the apparent power (KVA) increases with decrease in power factor. Hence, lower power factor results in the stator loading. Therefore, for the same capacity a lower power factor machine is costlier than a high power factor machine. A turbo-generator situated close to the load area can economically supply the reactive KVA for the low p.f. loads and so a p.f. of 0.8 is common for such machines. Hydro-generators, on the other hand, are situated at a distance from the load areas and it is generally more economical and technically better to provide the necessary reactive KVA of the system by means of synchronous condensers located near the load ends and thus to specify a higher p.f. like 0.9 or 0.95 for this generator.

Synchronous Reactance
As the voltage regulation is inversely proportional to synchronous reactance, higher the reactance, poor is the regulation. But with the development of automatic voltage regulators (AVR), regulation is no more constraint and hence we can go for higher value of synchronous reactance. The value of sustained three phase short circuit is also inversely proportional to the synchronous reactance. Hence, higher the reactance, the smaller is the short circuit which is desirable. Again in the determination of steady state stability limit of the system to which the machine is connected, the synchronous reactance as modified by saturation is used and lower the synchronous reactance, the higher is the steady state stability limit. The usual value lies between 0.8 and 1.45 p.u. for synchronous generator. Usually, the performances under steady state conditions of synchronous machines especially of the salient pole type is better explained by two reactances, one applicable to the polar or direct axis denoted by xd and other to the interpolar or quadrature axis denoted by Xq.

For turbo-generator Xd is almost equal to Xq (being only 3.5 per cent less) while for salient pole synchronous machines Xq is between 65 to 75 percent of Xd.

Short Circuit Ratio


Short circuit ratio (SCR) is the ratio of field Ats (Ampere-turns) at no load and rated voltage to field Ats on short circuit with normal full load stator current. In other words it is ratio of field strength to armature strength and would be equal to 1/Xd if there are no saturation. S.C.R. is very important factor and its choice greatly effects the size, cost and performance of the machine. A high S.C.R. means field strength is high and armature strength is less. More field strength requires more number of turns on the field cross-section and hence greater amount of copper and iron and decrease in efficiency. For equal changes in load i.e. the stator current of two S.C.R.s, the one with lower S.C.R. requires much more and larger changes in excitation to accommodate for the new condition that with a higher S.C.R. Hence, S.C.R. can be considered as a measure of stability or sensitiveness of the machine to changes in stator current whether due to load changes of fault current. If it is possible to provide a low S.C.R. machine with an excitation system that is reliable, sensitive and able to provide large changes in field current it will operate as satisfactorily as machines with a high S.C.R. A machine with high S.C.R. has a larger initial as well sustained short circuit current.

Transient Reactance
The behaviour of a synchronous generator under transient conditions can be predicted from its transient reactance denoted by Xd. It determines the sudden inrush of the current just after short circuit and hence the capacity of the associated circuit breaker. Also it has its effect on the stability of generator or the system. In general, lower the transient reactance of a machine the greater will be the stability of the system to which it is connected. For turbo-generator if we neglect the effect of rotor slots, we can assume Xd = Xd which is around 0.23 pu., while for a salient pole machine Xd = 0.37 p.u. and Xq if about 0.75 p.u. Unsaturated Xd is taken as 15-20 per cent higher than the saturated one.

Sub-Transient Reactance
The word Sub indicates the transients of extremely short duration. For turbo-generator the value of Xd" is 0.12 p.u. and for hydro-generator this value is 0.24 p.u. and Xq" for turbo-generator this value is 0.24 p.u. and Xq" for turbo-generator is 0.15 p.u. and for hydro-generator 0.34 p.u. respectively. Lower Xd" means large peaks of current during initial few cycles leading towards high capacity circuit breakers. Xd" can be increased by increasing leakage reactance. This can be done by increasing the depth of slot wedge and possibly reducing the number of stator slots.

Negative Sequence Reactance


This is defined as reactance offered by the synchronous machine to the passage of negative sequence currents through its armature. The negative sequence reactance X2 would be a mean between Xd" and Xq" It is defined as: X2 = (Xd" + Xq")/2, X2 = Xd"*Xq

X2 = (2*Xd"*Xq")/(Xd" + Xq") The average value of X2 for turbo-generator is 0.12 p.u. and for hydro-generators is 0.24 p.u.

Zero Sequence Reactance


This is denoted by X0 and is defined as the reactance of the machine to zero sequence currents. Zero sequence current produce slot leakage, end winding leakage and differential leakage fluxes. Its value depends on the arrangement of the three-phase winding. It is between 15 per cent and 60 per cent of Xd".

Time Constants
Sub-transient time constant: With the presence of damper windings on the rotor, the instantaneous current I is determined by the sub-transient reactance Xd" and after a few cycles the current drops down to a much lower value determined by the transient reactance Xd. This fall in the magnitude of current is exponential with time and has a definite time constant called the sub-transient time constant Td" and Tdo" corresponding to short circuited or open circuited condition of the armature. This time constant is affected by the impedance of the armature circuit and typical values are 0.125 sec for TDO" and 0.035 seconds for Td". Transient time constant: The transient current gradually decreases till it finally reaches the steady state short circuit value. This decay is almost exponential and has a definite time constant Td or Tdo. This time constant is of larger magnitude because of comparatively low resistance in the circuit under transient condition of the order of 6 seconds for Tdo and 1.5 seconds for Td. Armature short circuit time constant: Under sudden three-phase short circuit in addition to the symmetrical A.C. component which is the same in all three phases, there is uni-directional component of current which is different in all the three phases and which decays in exponential way. This has a time constant Ta which depend on the ratio of inductance to resistance of the armature circuit ra. The average value for Ta is about 0.15 seconds.