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68th Annual Conference for Protective Relay Engineers

March 31-April 2, 2015


College Station, TX

Advanced Generator
Ground Fault Protections

Wayne Hartmann
6190-118th Avenue Largo, Florida 33773-3724 U.S.A.
PHONE (727) 544-2326 FAX (727) 546-0121
whartmann@beckwithelectric.com
www.beckwithelectric.com

ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Introduction

Ground faults in generator stator and


field/rotor circuits are serious events that
can:

Lead to Damage
Cause Costly Repair
Result in Extended Outage
Cause Loss of Revenue

We will examine traditional and advanced


protection
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Field/Rotor Ground Fault Damage


Initial field/rotor circuit ground establishes a ground
reference
In the event of a second ground fault, part of the field/rotor
circuit is shorted out

Shorted portion of the rotor causes unequal flux in the air gap between
the rotor and the stator
Unequal flux in the air gap causes torsional stress and vibration, and
can lead to considerable damage in the rotor and the bearings
In extreme cases, rotor contact with the stator is possible

A second rotor ground fault produces rotor iron heating from the
unbalanced currents, which results in unbalanced temperatures
causing rotor distortion and vibration

Field/rotor ground faults should be detected and affected


generators alarmed at high resistance levels and tripped
at low resistance levels
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Field/Rotor Ground Fault


Traditional field/rotor circuit ground fault
protection schemes employ DC voltage
detection
Schemes based on DC principles are subject to
security issues during field forcing, other
sudden shifts in field current and system
transients
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Brushed and Brushless Excitation

Brushless
Brushed

ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Field/Rotor Ground Fault (64F)

To mitigate the security issues of traditional


DC-based rotor ground fault protection
schemes, AC injection based protection
may be used
AC injection-based protection ignores the
effects of sudden DC current changes in the
field/rotor circuits and attendant DC scheme
security issues

ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

DC-Based 64F

ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Advanced AC Injection Method

ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Advanced AC Injection Method: Advantages


Scheme is secure against the effects of DC transients in
the field/rotor circuit
DC systems are prone to false alarms and false trips, so they
sometimes are ignored or rendered inoperative, placing the
generator at risk
The AC system offers greater security so this important
protection is not ignored or rendered inoperative

Scheme can detect a rise in impedance which is


characteristic of grounding brush lift-off
In brushless systems, the measurement brush may be
periodically connected for short time intervals
The brush lift-off function must be blocked during the time
interval the measurement brush is disconnected
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Stator Ground Fault

Ground faults in the stator winding can cause severe


damage as the level of fault current increases
Depending on the ground fault current available, the damage
may be repairable or non-repairable

Generators are subject to prolonged exposure to stator


ground fault damage due to the fact that even if the
system connection and excitation are tripped, stored flux
remains and contributes to the arc as the generator
coasts down
Due to the exposure to this damage, several types of
generator grounding are employed
The stator circuit of a generator may be ungrounded, low
impedance grounded, high impedance grounded or hybrid
impedance grounded

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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Stator Ground Fault Damage


(only 10A for 60 cycles)

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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Generator Grounding
Ungrounded

Hybrid Impedance Grounded

Resistance Grounded

High Impedance Grounded

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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Stator Ground Fault

Traditional stator ground fault protection


schemes include:
Neutral overvoltage
Various third harmonic voltage-dependent schemes

These exhibit sensitivity, security and


clearing speed issues that may subject a
generator to prolonged low level ground
faults that may evolve into damaging faults
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Neutral Overvoltage (59G)

59G provides 95% stator winding coverage


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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

59G System Ground Fault Issue

GSU provides capacitive coupling for system ground


faults into generator zone
Use two levels of 59G with short and long time
delays for selectivity
Cannot detect ground faults at/near the neutral (very15

ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Multiple 59G Element Application


59G-1 is blind to
the capacitive
coupling by the
GSU.
Short time delay

59G-2 is set to 5%, which may include the


effects of capacitive coupling by the GSU
Long time delay
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Why Do We Care About Faults Near Neutral?

A fault at or near the neutral shunts the high resistance that saves the stator
from large currents with an internal ground fault
A generator operating with an undetected ground fault near the neutral is a
accident waiting to happen
We can use 3rd Harmonic or Injection Techniques for complete (100%)
coverage

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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS
rd

Generator Capacitance and 3 Harmonics


3rd harmonics are
produced by some
generators
Amount typically small
Lumped capacitance on
each stator end is CS/2.

CT is added at terminal
end due to surge caps
and isophase bus
Effect is 3rd harmonic
null point is shifted
toward terminal end and
not balanced

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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

3rd Harmonic Undervoltage (27TN)

A fault near the neutral shunts the 3rd harmonic near the
neutral to ground
Result is a third harmonic undervoltage
Security issues with generator operating mode and power
output (real and reactive)
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

3rd Harmonic Ratio or Difference (59R or 59D)

A fault near the neutral or terminal shunts 3rd harmonic


This upsets the difference or ratio between the neutral or terminal ends of the stator

Reliability may be an issue with low levels of 3 rd harmonic (element blocks with low
values)
Security issues with generator operating mode and power output (real and
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reactive) as that can change ratios in unpredictable ways

ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

3rd Harmonics at Neutral Variations with Loading

Example Plot on Gas Turbine (Midsize, 180MVA)

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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Use of Symmetrical Component Quantities


to Supervise 59G Tripping Speed

Both V2 and I2 implementation have been applied


A ground fault in the generator zone produces primarily zero sequence
voltage
A fault in the VT secondary or system (GSU coupled ) generates
negative sequence quantities in addition to zero sequence voltage
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Intermittent Arcing Ground Fault Turned Multiphase

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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

59G/27TN Timing Logic

Interval and Delay Timers used together to detect intermittent pickups


of arcing ground fault
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Subharmonic Injection: 64S


20Hz injected into
grounding transformer
secondary circuit
Rise in real component of
injected current suggests
resistive ground fault
Ignores capacitive current
due to isophase bus and
surge caps
Uses it for self-diagnostic and
system integrity

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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Subharmonic Injection: 64S

Functions on-line and off-line


Power and frequency independent
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Summary and Conclusions


Field/Rotor Ground Fault

Use of AC injection offers greater security than traditional


DC systems, and also affords brush lift-off protection

95% Stator Ground Fault Protection


Use of the 59G element is a time-tested method of
protecting 95% of the stator for generator ground faults
Traditional approach to cope with GSU capacitive coupling and
interference with the 59G element is using two elements, one long with a
long time delay coordinated system ground protection, and the other with
a short time delay for in-zone ground faults.
An advanced method of using sequence component supervision allows
determination of external ground faults, and allows the 59G element to
quickly clear ground faults in the generator zone.
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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Summary and Conclusions

100% Stator Ground Fault Protection


3rd harmonic protection implementations are available to
complement the 59N element to provide 100% stator
ground fault protection.
3rd harmonic protections may not work with all generators, and
may not work at all times on a given generator.
3rd harmonic values available for the protection vary with
operational mode and power (real and reactive) output.
Both security and dependability issues may develop.

Transient ground faults can be detected with the use of an


interval timing scheme on the 59G and 27TN protections.
This enhancement affords the ability to detect transient ground
faults before a permanent ground fault develops.

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ADVANCED GENERATOR GROUND


FAULT PROTECTIONS

Summary and Conclusions


100% Stator Ground Fault Protection

The use of subharmonic injection affords the ability to detect


ground faults anywhere in the stator or in the unit-connected
zone regardless of the generator operation and loading
If the element uses the real component for fault declaration, it
is very sensitive
As long as external signals at or near the subharmonic
injected frequency are balanced, the element is highly secure.
The element only responds to zero sequence current in the
generator neutral, not positive sequence current from an external
balanced system such as:
Another generator during back-to-back starting
Static converter employed in starting combustion gas turbine generators

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68th Annual Conference for Protective Relay Engineers


March 31-April 2, 2015
College Station, TX

Advanced Generator
Ground Fault Protections

Questions?