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6 HV circuit-breaker technology

arc

fixed contact SF6 flow

moveable contact

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Circuit-breaker technology
LV: (< 1000 V, industry, utility, domestic)
- atmospheric air, elevated arc voltage forces current zero MV (1 - 72 kV, distribution) - vacuum (majority) - SF6 - air (dc, magnet blast, airblast) - oil

HV (>72 kV, transmission)


- SF6 - oil, airblast
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HV circuit-breakers
from approx. 1900 oil circuit-breakers: bulk oil breakers development focussed to reduction of oil content:
low-oil volume ("minimum oil") circuit-breakers

parallel there was a development of compressed air


("airblast"), the pneumatic technology of which is used for:

from 1970 SF6 is the HV circuit-breaker medium


- double pressure technology (all voltages, outdated) - puffer technology (all voltages) - selfblast technology (<= 245 kV) - rotating arc technology (<= 145 kV)
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Application of quenching media at HV Circuit-Breakers

Germany (data RWE)


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increase of capacity per break


GVA / break
550 kV 63 kA

ABB

electra 2003

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(Bulk) Oil circuit-breakers

life tank

dead tank
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CIGRE

Early years
CIGRE

Water expansion CB
CIGRE

Oil CB by Kelman (1901)

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Essent

Oilbreakers

photo NUON

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Bulk oil breaker under test

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Minimum oil circuit-breaker


arcing chamber oil volume

H2 gas

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Circuit-breaker compressed air (air-blast)


Advantage:
cheap non flammable chemical little active good isolating

Disadvantage:
constant high pressure pressure control required current chopping noise

(large) breaking capacity


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Principle double-pressure breaker

derived from air blast technology disadvantage: high pressure must always be available
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Air blast technology

photo Alliander photo Alliander

150 kV 40 kA 2 / 4 chambers

150 kV 40 kA 2 chambers

"Freistrahlschalter"

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Phase to phase

1 phase of air blast 300 kV / 31,5kA CB


(re)tested KEMA 2006

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SF6 gas: HV workhorse


catches free electrons so that these cannot initiate avalanche type breakdown

high ionisation energy (19.3 eV vs 15.5 eV N2) very good heat conductor at low temperatures
(by dissociation F- atoms releases) F- atoms take away the heat

high breaking capacity (10 larger than air)


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SF6 breakdown voltage

Solvay

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SF6 heat conductivity

Reason for excellent arc extinction properties

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SF6 gas
very high electrical
conductivity at elevated temperatures (low arc voltage) S-atom ionizes easily

SF6 gas is colorless,


odorless, inert and not poisonous

technical disadvantage:
relative easy to reignite by very steep, relative low TRV values (short-line fault)

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SF6 gas, cautions


in presence of arc (or any electrical discharge) very
toxic dissociation products can arise, like: metal fluorides, metal sulphites and metal oxides in the presence of moisture, the decomposition products hydrolyse and form very aggressive corrosive HF liquefies at low temperatures, permanent heating of switchgear is necessary (Canada, Scandinavia) expensive (approx. 30 Euro / kg)

greenhouse gas (24000 x CO2)


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Circuit-breakers SF6
1e generation: double pressure SF6, derived from compressed air

Disadvantage: high pressure (f.e. 16 bar) must always be there compressor required pressure control required condensation
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SF6 double-pressure breaker


1e generation
High pressure intermediate receiver Blast valve Moving contact Interrupter unit Grading capacitor Tripping spring Insulating rod High pressure SF6 high pressure storage tank Compressor Air receiver Drive Al2O3 filter Off

Areva

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Circuit-breakers SF6
2e generation: single-pressure SF6, puffer principle Features: only one (low) pressure required extinction pressure by means of movable cylinder (exhaust) nozzle very large breaking capacity Disadvantage: heavy mechanism required
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Principal single pressure breaker (puffer breaker)

closed position

arc has been drawn SF6 is compressed

high pressure in cylinder arc heavily blasted clears at current zero


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Puffer principle
Plansee

cross section

isolator moving main contact arc fixed main contact

moving arcing contact

fixed arcing contact

compression volume

nozzle

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Puffer principle

VATech / Siemens
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Puffer principle

Siemens

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Contact system (puffer breaker)


VAtech

main contact arcing contact nozzle

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Blast technologies

axial blast (most common)

radial blast (double nozzle)


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Circuit-breakers SF6
3e generation: self-blast principle

Features: arc energy supports pressure build up in arc chamber, result: less heavy mechanism required (10-20% from puffer) smaller puffer required Disadvantage: less pressure at low (short-circuit) currents in transition area: critical current (?)
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Selfblast outdoor type CB

ABB

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Self-blast breaker principle


Contact separation Closed position Arc extinction

s [mm]

Travel curve

Open position

p [MP a]

Pressure course

I [kA]

Current

Areva

10

20

30

40

t [ms]
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Self-blast breaker principle


Fixed contact Nozzle Arc Moving contact

Simulation of Gas Flow

Guide element Pressure chamber

Areva

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Auto puffer CB

ABB
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Self-blast technology
Motivation: reduction of drive energy and therefore more simpler drives and a significant cost reduction The puffer cb generates a quenching pressure during the openingoperation, which is sufficient for the interruption of a short-cirucit current (= high drive energy) The selfblast cb uses the energy of the arc to generate the quenching pressure necessary for the interruption of a short-circuit current, less energy from the drive is needed The selfblast principle is well known since decades. Basis of the success was the target not to interrupt all currents, but to interrupt short-circuit currents only The result is a load -breaker, which interrupts normal currents with a small puffer. The quenching pressure for the interruption of short-circuit currents is partly generated by the energy of the arc
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Rotating arc technology

1. Connection

2. Coil

3. Fixed contact 8. Sliding contact

4. Arcing contact 9. Arc

5. Moving contact 7. Connection

Arc rotates electro dynamically in cool background gas


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Rotating arc principle 145 kV

VAtech

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Double motion technology


Motivation: additional reduction of drive energy The basic design is the same as for normal
selfblast circuit-breakers, but the two contact areas are moving with half speed in the opposite directions The total speed is still 100% for the interruption, but both contact parts (breaking-chamber and upper contact) are moving with 50% of the speed, therefore no change of the interrupting capability But the drive energy is reduced down to appr. 33% due to the lower speed of the breaking-chamber Mechanically more complicated
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Double motion technology


1 2 3 Fixed contact system
1 Break with pressure chamber

Fixed piston

VD Volume of pressure chamber VH Volume of auxiliary puffer

2 VD VH

Areva

a b c d

Closed position Interruption of short-circuit currents Interruption of small currents Open position
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Double speed (single motion) technology

EnergoInvest
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Contact system of modern CB


ABB

old type

new type
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Development: reducing drive energy


drives are very important, simplification is highly
wanted
most failures in circuit breakers are due to mechanism (43 %)
ABB

use the thermal energy of the arc


to build up the necessary pressure self blast / auto expansion / self compression type breaker attach new functions to drives (motion adapted to fault)
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Realized reduction of drive energy

Areva
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Examples of spring drives


1934 1998

1984

Areva
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Principle of spring drive mechanism

Siemens
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Modern spring drive

Siemens

CIGRE WG A3.06 2007

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Modern (hydrau) spring drive

ABB
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(Hydraulic) spring operated 400 kV - 63 kA breaker

Tennet

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550 kV single break CB

Mitsubishi
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Gas Insulated Substation (GIS)



all conductors completely enclosed three phases in single enclosure (up to 245 kV) very little environmental influence low maintenance very compact more expensive high volume SF6 very fast switching transients VFTO (GIS enclosure acts as a transmission line)

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SF6 reduction in GIS results

Areva

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Space reduction by GIS application

IEEE Switchgear Committee


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Three-phase GIS

Vatech/ Siemens

Three-phase enclosed, double busbar

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UHV kV - GIS

Toshiba

single-phase enclosed, double busbar

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