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Reclosing Tests on Long 275-Kv Transmission Lines

Summary: This paper discusses field tests and operating experience on long 275kv transmission lines. Successful singlepole reclosing depends upon the self-extinction of the secondary arc which persists after the interruption of the power arc upon the isolation of the faulted phase. Analysis of the test oscillograms showed the secondary arc to be inherently unstable. Operating experience during the 21 months since commissioning confirms these results as all reclosures have been successful.

THE PURPOSE of the field tests described in this paper was to investigate the feasibility of applying singlephase reclosing to two long 275-kv lines forming part of the main transmission system of the Electricity Trust of South Australia. A considerable amount of laboratory and field work has been carried out by other investigators on the behavior of low-current capacitive arcs following highcurrent fault arcs.'-12 Indications are that there exists a critical secondary arc current of about 15-20 amperes. For lower values, the secondary arc extinguishes in a few cycles, while for higher values, the arc is self -maintaining unless extinguished by some outside influence such as wind. When one phase of a transmission line is opened at each end the isolated-phase conductor still possesses a voltage to ground due to the capacitive coupling between itself and the other two line conductors, and also to ground. The magnitude of this residual voltage is a function of the capacitances involved which, in turn, depend upon the physical configuration of the phase conductors. It follows that the capacitive current which will flow after the interruption of the power arc is a function of line length. Although usually an electromagnetic
Paper 62-1100, recommended by the AIEE Transmission and Distribution Committee and approved by the AIEE Technical Operations Department for presentation at the AIEE Summer General Meeting, Denver, Colo., June 17-22, 1962. Manuscript submitted March 27, 1962; made available for printing May 7, 1962. K. H. MILNE is with The Electricity Trust of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia. The author expresses his thanks to the members of the staff of The Electricity Trust who assisted in the tests, particularly those in the substation department.

effect also exists, it is normally only of second-order significance and its influence will depend on the position at which the fault occurs. For the lines under test, theoretical calculations indicated that the value of the electrostaticallyinduced secondary arc current would be just below the critical range for self-extinction. Thus, the main objective of these tests was to investigate the stability of the secondary arc. Extensive field tests have been made on long high-voltage lines to ascertain the feasibility of single-pole reclosing.3-7

Port Augusta-Magill Installation
The two single-circuit 275-kv lines on which the tests were carried out were built to link the Playford B 240-megawatt coal-burning power station at Port Augusta with Adelaide, a distance of approximately 180 miles. The actual termination is at Magill Substation on the outskirts of Adelaide. Table I gives the pertinent details of the two circuits which are located on separate easements. The scheme has been designed to be stable even if one line remains out after a fault. For lines operating at these high voltages at least 80%, and more probably 90%, of the faults causing outages are of a transitory nature and affect only one phase. In all such instances a successful reclosure would be possible. Lightning is the prime cause of such, faults, and theoretical calculations indicated that

the lightning performance of the two lines, which traverse country having an average isokeraunic level of 18, could be expected to be 1.6 and 15.0 outages per year for the East and West Circuits respectively. The first of these figures indicates the efficacy of a continuous ground wire, as used on the East Circuit, giving a 30-degree protective angle. On the West Circuit, ground wires are only used adjacent to the two terminals, for a distance of 5 miles out of Port Augusta and 15 miles out of Magill Substation. The longer shielded zone at Magill provides added protection where the line traverses hilly country prone to lightning. Normal operation of each of the 275-kv lines is with three single-phase 8-mva (megavolt-ampere) 275-kv shunt reactors switched directly onto the line at Port Augusta. Only three tests were conducted with the reactors in service. The line circuit breakers are singlepole air-blast units with eight breaks per pole and of 3,500-mva (synnnetrical) short-circuit rupturing capacity. Protection equipment installed is a 4-zone high-speed distance type with power-line carrier intertrip.

used for the third series of tests at Port Augusta is shown in Fig. 1. For each series of tests, a temporary testing rig was erected in which a standard line suspension string of insulators, 20 10- by 53/4_ inch disks, was used and fitted with rod gaps of either 5-foot.3-inch or 10-foot spacing between tips. The 10 feet represented the clearance across the normal suspension insulator string while the 5-foot 3inch gap approximated the minimum clearance to ground in the terminal switchyards.

STAGED TESTS For the tests, the lines were fed radially from the Magill end and the single-phaseto-ground faults applied at Port Augusta and Magill in turn. The system layout

Table 1. Details of 275-Kv Lines
East Circuit

West Circuit

length, miles





Normal span, feet

(both circuits)



"Moose' ACSR* 54/7/0.139 1,450 .................. 1,050

ground clearance

mid-span, feet



Double at terminals
Overhead ground wires

Single continuous

5 miles at Point Augusta

t 15 miles at Magill
protective angle, degrees .......................... 30 Transpositions ..................................... Two complete





Conductor configuration ......

Towers ........................................... Steel lattice



Triangular ............. Horizontal

Concrete steel pole


GMD, feet



Height of conductor above ground

support, feet.

tBottom phases, 66

Top phase, 90


Aluminum cable, steel reinforced.


Milnee-Single-Pole Reclosing Tests


275-Kv Transmission Lines


... Kv 275-Kv Shunt Reactors in Service Type of W re for Fault Initiation IlitE 1.. 39 24. 9 Magill ..3 2..5 2. West .. Cycles* Secondary Recovery Voltage on Isolated..... System layout for tests For the first four tests at Port Augusta. 5-3 .No 4. Amperes 410 . Es. Cycles* 17 .. 25 . Incorrect adjustment of the protective relays caused premature 3-phase tripping in the first two tests....2 3.3 the secondary arc persisted for the 39 cycles until reclosure when the protective equipment initiated a 3-phase trip and lockout. 17..6 .14 3.....0 . Clearing Time.5 .2t H.Iron Iron Iron Iron 5............12 1 3. Summary oF Single-Pole Reclosing Tests on 275-Kv Lines Test No.. 30+§ . prolonged secondary arcing.5 20 . the test string of insulators simulated a normal line suspension point in that it was hung from a grounded member and the lower end connected to the live buswork by a short length of copper conductor.... Phase.0 ...... No. 1 3.2 2.. This phenomenon occurred in varying degrees in all tests.. The arc was filmed by high-speed motion picture cameras in both black-andwhite and color film during the first tests at Port Augusta and Magill.. The influence on results of the type of wire used for arc initiation was investigated by substituting soft iron wire (no..... Atmospheric conditions during the tests were good except for the first four tests at Port Augusta which were conducted in the evening following a day of periodic squalls of high wind and rain....4 l9 ..... and in test no. ... No.8 ... Copper 2. j 6....7 W est . 5-3 .MAGILL EAST PT AUGUSTA WEST Analysis of Test Results Twenty-six tests were conducted. .. For the reimainder of the tests.. 16 Fault Reclosing Dead Time. Initiation of the fault was achieved by bridging the rod gap with fine wire and then switching onto the already energized line by closing a circuit breaker.. 17. 296 6. I Unsuccessful reclosure.....0 ... t Tests 1.3 West..7 3. Oscillographic records were taken of phase voltages and currents of the faulted and unfaulted phases.925 .0 21... 8...9 3.0 39 + 20.. OCTOBER 1963 Milne-Single-Pole Reclosing Tests on 275-Kv Transmission Lines 659 .... 2. 7.5 . § Oscillation of recovery voltage with high peak amplitudes.... 22 22 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 . 25 19..1 2.0j 4...4.. A summary of the test results is given in Table II.... For the remainder.... 20... In all but three tests. 550 .....0 26 26 .3 16... 9 . Table II...1 and 1. 24.0 26 it 10t.. Stages in the development and extinction of the secondary arc are shown in Fig.. anemometer readings indicating wind velocities of less than 5 miles per hour within the test area.......5 6.. 2.... . the secondary arc voltage and current were recorded to a suitable scale by using amplitude limiters to suppress the larger deflections which had existed before the actual interruption of the main fault itself. 3...No . Copper Copper Copper Iron Copper Iron ...0J . Fig..3 .0 .31 17....20... 3. These calm conditions are evident from photographic records. 4. Port Augusta ... 1.5-3 .8 10-0 .3 + 3 .15 * 570 ..... In particular... .6 2..... 5. 0-0 3.10 3.....10-0 3.No 39 4.. 21 American wire gage) for the tinned copper fuse wire (no..... 11.. 18.. Circuit Under Test . 3. the insulator string with rod gaps attached was hung vertically from a section of overhead buswork and the lower end was solidly grounded... On all occasions the test area was shielded with tarpaulins as a precaution against undesirable wind. Port Augusta .. Identical test conditions were maintained to obtain this comparison.. 15 .. Records of the secondary'arc current clearly show the pulsing effect characteristic of an unstable arc which successively restrikes until finally extinguished...0 .9..4 36 . Yes Times on basis of 50 cycles per second.. 3.570 570 . conditions were calm and clear....11 3. Copper 1 | . 5.....2 inconclusive due to premature 3-phase tripping. and selected oscillograms in Fig.. Fault Current. .. 39 . INe t Port Augiista.4 ...0 ..5 3.. 6 .7 1 r 5. 1. 20 { 15 .. as there appears to have been little or no drift of the arc products apart from that attributable to natural convection.Iron 9. Port Augusta . 24 and 27 American wire gage) used initially. 14... at both Port Augusta and Magill. self-extinction of the secondary arc followed by successful reclosure occurred.6 3... 15 25.... { 980 ....Port Augusta ......5 17..5 .. 9. 8. West ..6) t 21 .... 3. Location of Fault Feet-Inches Rod-Gap Spacing.. Cycles* Duration of Arc Current....4 26 . No .13 .

and recovery voltages B-Secondary arc current. Significantly shorter durations of secondary arcing were recorded when 10-foot rod gaps were used. between the rod gaps. iron wire caused little or no residual ionization.9ampere electrostatically induced current.6 (Fig. The secondary arc resistance varied between 200 and 800 ohms.6.8 For an explanation of the relative ionization behavior of the two materials under such conditions. test 3. It would appear that the use of copper wire for arc initiation created. However. The final stage was one of sustained arcing with arc extinction being quite random. As shown in Table II. Oscillograms A-Fault. In comparison. This increase in recovery voltage at the receiving end of the radially fed line is due to the electromagnetic component induced by the charging currents in the other two phases. Oscillograms of such tests show that following the initial high-frequency oscillation.4. the latter being an unsuccessful reclosure.Fig. In contrast. Due to the early onset of restriking and the consequent irregular waveform produced. Fig. thus involving the electromagnetic as well as the electrostatic effect. the waveform of the secondary arc current is irregular although the 50cycle fundamental component predominates. as they were in excess of 30 kv. The methods of arc initiation were compared by substituting soft iron wire for the previously used copper fuse wire. Calculations for the West Circuit indicate an electromagnetically induced current of 1. 2. the slight increase in recovery voltage at the receiving end of the line would appear sufficient to prolong. the "knee point" of the voltage limiters used in the particular metering circuit. Arcing times were not noticeably altered but the recovery voltage on the isolated phase oscillated widely. The rmagnitude of the recovery voltage on the isolated phase of the West Circuit was approximately 17 kv for the Magill tests and 20 kv for those at Port Augusta. with iron wire. These measured voltages agreed well with calculated values. Oscillograms of tests 3. The peak amplitudes of the recovery voltage were considerably in excess of 21 kv obtained in the other tests without the reactors. Three tests on the East Circuit were conducted with the 275-kv shunt reactors at Port Augusta in service. Good agreement with the theoretical values was obtained although a high order of accuracy cannot be claimed. prolonged secondary arcing occurred when the fault was applied at the receiving end of the radially fed line and the arc struck across rod gaps of 5-foot 3-inch separation. 2) clearly demonstrate the effect of the two arc-initiating materials on the behavior of the secondary arc. except for minor restrikes. extinction occurred early in this restriking period. these high voltages could cause additional restriking as shown in the oscillogram of test 3.4 and 3. 3. show these three stages of the secondary arc.14. indicates that the secondary arc was stable.2 amperes as compared with a 12. the results at best are only very approximate. Since an arc exhibits nonlinear characteristics. In one test this stage of sustained arcing persisted for 29 cycles before being interrupted by reclosure. being the resultant of the 50-cycle induced voltage and the natural transient voltage of the combined line-plus-reactor circuit. Hence. shows repeated restriking throughout almost the entire period of secondary arcing. the true magnitude of the peaks cannot be ascertained. The oscillogram of test 3. Excessive ionization when using copper wire for arc initiation has been recognized by other investigators. for a period of some 24 cycles. reproduced in Fig. the magnitude of the 50cycle component of current was determined for only two tests. the duration of secondary arcing across a 5-foot 3-inch rod gap. arc. 2. Oscillograms of test no. the ground faults were located at either end of unloaded lines. for which copper wire was used. 2. the secondary arc varied from a steadycurrent condition to one of successive re- strikes at increasingly higher voltages. Unfortunately. This phenomen has been appre- 660 Milne-Single-Pole Reclosing Tests on 275-Kv Transmission Lines OCTOBER 1963 . an ionized atmosphere which greatly assisted secondary arcing. to a marked degree. considerable research into their physical chemistry is required. Duration of the secondary arc varied from 1/2 cycle to 3+9 cycles. In two tests. the lower value holding soon after isolation and increasing till final arc extinction.4. main fault current distorted by amplitude limiters In the tests.

62. B. R. "galloping. but 5 cycles proved adequate in one of the tests. Report to Study Committee No. In practice. INSULATOR FLASEIOVER DE-IONIZATION TIMES SPEED RECLOSING CIRcUIT BREAKERS. Minard. References AS A FACTOR IN APPLYING HIGH Operating Experience During the first 21 months of operation of the West Circuit. 13. there must be adequate time between the extinction of the secondary arc and the reclosure for deionization and re-establishment of the dielectric strength between the arc electrodes. Maikopar. self-extinction of the secondary arc occurred in all cases except one-when a fault at the receiving end of the radially fed line was initiated by copper fuse wire across a 5-foot 3-inch rod gap. Gow. V. 2. For the more practical case of flashover across a 10-foot rod gap and with minimum ionization by using iron wire for arc initiation. The experience gained from various test spans is presented. S. 3. Elektrichestvo. E. Mason. 13 single-phase operations occurred. 4. Prolonged secondary arcing is possible upon the isolation of the faulted phase following a single-phase-to-ground fault across a 5-foot 3-inch rod gap at the receiving end of 275-kv lines. RATKOWSKI is with the Commonwealth Edison Company. 1961. Paper no. Thunderstorm activity has been markedly below the average isokeraunic level of 18 used in the initial estimation of line outages. January 28-February 2. W. Skeats.3 A-Commencement of secondary drcing after interruption of main fault current B-Secondary arcing between rod gaps C-Secondary arc fully extended D-Final extincticn of secondary arc1 less thdn 1 cycle after (C) (B) Conclusions The single-pole reclosing tests carried out on the 275-kv lines have shown: 1. CIGRE. A. For successful single-phase reclosing. A. 1950. Lightning was the suspected cause in each and all reclosures have been successful. VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION Dietsch. 358-67. 1948. 1959. B. Report to Study Committee No. Chicago. F. SINGLE POLE RECLOSING-FIELD TESTS IN SWEDEN ON A 380 KV 415 KM TRANSMISSION LINE. Baden. W. 13. The Brown Boveri Review. Paper no. Boisseau. Admitting the uncertain accuracy of drawing conclusions after so limited a time. A determination of the minimum required time was not sought. 3. Ill. The line-protective equipment has been set to give an effective reclosing dead time of 25 cycles. the outages are of the same order as predicted. Wyman. RESIDUAL CURRENTS AND VOLTAGES WITH SINGLE POLE RAPID RECLOSING. 135. C. 5. USSR. C.7 In a total of 24 tests in which singlepole reclosing took place. Paris. self-extinction of the secondary arc can be expected within a few cycles. 8. test no. 1943. Based on these tests and limited operating experience to date. Manuscript submitted October 16.4 cycles. 1.ciated elsewhere and experiments have shown that under unfavorable resonault conditions it might not be possible to quench the arc at all. Swanson. Amstutz. SINGLE POLE RECLOSING-RELAYING PROBLEMS AND ARC EXTINCTION TIMES. Switzerland. if flashover occurs across the normal 10-foot suspension insulator string. No faults have occurred on the East Circuit during the 11 months since its commissioning. W. Wolfe. 1954. the longest recorded duration of secondary arcing was 7. Gosenergoizdat. 7. Dobson. RATKOWSKI MEMBER IEEE H IGH-AMPLITUDE low-frequency vibration of transmission lines. pp. CIGRE. 6. 5. Y. SINGLE POLE RECLOSING-FIELD TESTS IN SWEDEN ON A 220 KV 480 KM TRANSMISSION LINE.5 second). Paper no. 6. CIGRE. (A) (C) (D) Fig. OF AUTOMATIC RECLOSING. FAULT TESTS OF RELAYING AND STABILITY ON KANSAs-NEBRASKA 270-MILE 154KV INTERCONNECTION. made available for printing July 11. recommended by the AIEE Transmission and Distribution Committee and approved by the AIEE Technical Operations Department for presentation at the AIEE Winter General Meeting. Divan. W. STAGED MINIMUM TIME no. CIGRE. The secondary arc resistance varied between 200 and 800 ohms. A.. N." is a recognized problem which has been studied for a number of years. A. This phenomenon occurs most often when the wires are coated with an Paper 62-62. V. Oscillographic records revealed the secondary arc to be inherently unstable. 1. A. 2. 316. CIGRE. The input energy and the energy dissipation of a full-scale span is investigated for a hypothetical conductor cross section. 3. W. JAMES J. it is intended to continue to apply single-phase reclosing on these 275-kv lines with an effective dead time of 25 cycles. May 1953. This has been quite adequate to allow for secondary arc extinction and subsequent deionization. Moscow. 1962. New York. May 1954. DOnS THE LENGTH OF LINE LIMIT THE APPLICATION OF SINGLE PHASE RECLOSING IN VERY HIGH SYSTEMS? Cabanes. France. AIEE Transactions. Development of secondary arc. July/Aug. P. 14 . 1962. A discussion of the role that torsional motion plays in galloping is also included in this paper. 4. vol. Summary: The energy imparted to a galloping span by the wind and the energy dissipated by frictional sources in the span are investigated. Experiments with Galloping Spans JAMES J. 1952. and a short-span experimental line fitted with air foils is used to verify the method of calculating the wind and friction energies. Single-phase reclosing was successful with a reclosing dead time of 25 cycles (0. OCTOIBER 1963 RatOowski-Experiments with Galloping Spans 661 .