Chapter No.

05 Distribution Equipment

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Circuit Breakers & their Types Reclosers Sectionalizers Fuses Lightening protection Protective Relay Introduction Disconnect Switches Metering Equipment

Circuit breakers are high voltage, high current devices that automatically disconnect faulted equipment to protect people, prevent damage to equipment and minimize the effects of damage. Range in size from 125V,15A to over 800kV,thousands of Amperes.

Opening of the contacts of circuit breaker causes ionization of gas present between contacts, as a result, producing arc. It is due to the presence of high electric field between the current carrying contacts. Severe in case of inductive loads(Mostly Industrial & faulted lines). Arc must be extinguished to interrupt the current in case of Fault.

but can be extinguiushed using the same principles.  . Firstly. by lengthening the arc which causes rise in resistance. Oil or an Insulating gas. DC arcs are harder to break than Ac.g Air.  Using an arc quenching medium e. thus reducing the arc. drop in current & temperature rise.

3.1. Convection Arc Trip Arc Horn Interrupting Fins . 2. 4.

to rise if the contacts are properly oriented.   It causes an arc. Increased surface area is exposed to cooler air due to stretching in rising arc. . easier it is to extinguish. causing its temperature to drop. Longer an arc can be drawn. which is hot.

Works on same principle as Convection. Only difference is that. also called arcing contacts. Prevents pitting of the main contacts. .    Arc tips. it spreads the arc further. thus making it extinguish earlier. break after the main contacts break.

Stretch the arc further Cool it more Extinguish it faster.    These are placed in the path of rising arc. .


These are driven open by strong springs compressed by rachet mechanism.   . Used mostly as low voltage breakers. Use air as arc interrupting medium.

Used at voltages between 14.5kV. Opening mechanism is provided by powerful springs.4kV and 34.      Special purpose medium voltage breakers. . Contacts are closed either by a motor or compressed air. Blast of compressed air(800 psi) is blown across breaker contacts as they are open. Must have a resistor across the arc to dampen high voltage oscillations which may re-ignite the arc.


Available for voltages from 480V to 34. Operated by spring force. No significant arcing can occur because no air is present to be ionized.    Contacts are enclosed in a container with a high vacuum. .5V.


Can be used up to voltage levels of 230kV.000 MVA. Opening of contacts in oil causes the oil to disassociate which absorbs energy. to 10. . Oil has a dielectric strength far in excess of air. Use of arcing chamber increases capacity by a factor of 500. Hydrogen is used as a product of disassociation.      Use oil as arc interrupting medium.


. above 345kV) applications.   SF6 is used as an arc quenching medium. These are usually live tank designs supported on insulators. Used for extremely high voltage(EHV.


 Maximum Fault Current. .  Continuous Current Rating.  Mechanical considerations such as size.  Continuous Voltage Rating(Decrease at altitudes above 3000 ft.).User must consider a number of ratings to select a circuit breaker.  Rated Impulse Voltage.  Interrupting Time. foundation and space required.

 Interrupting medium monitoring.  Monitoring of trip signal from protective relays. .  Equipment to start compressor when pressure is low.  Monitoring sensors for compressed air.Controls must include.  Status of the breaker must be relayed.

      Reclosers are special purpose. Reclosers allow temporary faults to clear. open. Time between reclosures and time of reclose can also be programmed. . Much smaller. lighter and cheaper than power circuit breakers. Sense an over current. reclose after a preprogrammed time and after a preset number of operations remain open(lock out). light duty circuit breakers. Can interrupt overloads but not severe faults.


    Electronic Reclosers.R) Hydraulic Reclosers. E. .R but more expensive.R are more flexible.R) Times are controlled by pistons in hydraulic cylinders and by electronic circuitry in electronic reclosers.(E.(H. accurate and easily tested than H.

Protection of taps on feeders. Protection of feeders.   . Sectionalize faulted distribution lines.

It depends on.  Voltage  Continuous current  Minimum fault current in protected zone  Interrupt capacity  Ground fault sensing capability  BIL rating for transient protection .

   It s a device used to automatically isolate faulted line segments from a distribution system. After a preset number of de-energizations. Senses any current above its actuating current followed by de-energizing by recloser. . it opens and locks out.


   Small ones which are hydraulically operated in a manner similar to reclosers. and sectionalizers are used together to provide better protection of lines. Circuit breakers. Higher capacity ones which are electronically operated. . reclosers.

A metallic element is used which melts when an over current passes. Fuses are one-time devices that must be replaced each time they open a fault.  .

One element is a normal fault interrupting to open in case of short circuit. copper or silver as metallic element.      Use zinc. Two element fuses are also available for loads with high inrush current such as motors. . Current limiting fuses limit the peak fault current in less than one-half cycle. Current limiting is important because heating and mechanical damage due to fault are proportional to square of cirrent. Second element is an overloaded sensing element which opens only if a current of about five times the rating remains for one second.


continuous current ratings over 1000A and interrupt capacities over 12.5A. when blowing. Expulsion fuses links are usually tin. Available with voltage ratings to over 34.5kV. Sounds like a shotgun when they blow. use the heat generated by melting element to decompose a material on the inner fuse wall.    Expulsion fuses. .


Voltage Continuous current Interrupt Capacity Current Limiting Time-Current Fuse Coordination . 3.1. 4. 5. 2. 6.

 At very high electric fields. lightning occurs. as a result of which. large droplets get polarize. .  Ions get attached with the dust particles and small water droplets.Lightning:  Cloud charge distribution is the key to lightning formation.  Clouds are filled with ions.  Larger ions are positive and small ones negative.


and a good conductor at any voltage above to pass the energy of the strike to ground. Newer ones use enclosed spark gaps plus a ceramic valve block. It should be an insulator at any voltage below the protected voltage. .     It is used to clip the induced voltage transient caused by a lightning stroke. First. Silicon Carbide and Zinc Oxide is mostly used as low voltage transient suppression material. lightning arresters were spark gaps which break down at a voltage governed by the voltage between the electrodes.


5kV and above use shield wires. Almost all lines 34. Used to protect the load carrying conductors from lightning strokes. These are conductors strung above the load carrying conductors.   .


Other type of relays that perform function other than fault sensing include  Monitoring relays  Programming relays  Regulatory relays  Auxiliary relays  . transformers.It is an electromechanical or microprocessor controlled electronic system that senses an abnormal or fault condition. motors and lines.  Used for the protection of generators.

    Microcomputer Controlled Relays Over Current Relays(Type 50/51 ) Under Voltage Relays Differential Relays(Type 87) .

It is being included mostly in new electrical systems.     It is a single relaying economical package. . Microcomputer calculate additional parameters and send trip signal to relay. Current and potential transformers provide current and voltage information to the relay. Works under program control that are stored in read only memory.


An Induction Disc(Type CO). An Indicating unit(ICS) to indicate time trip. . Type 50 are instantaneous over current relays. 3.   1. 2. 50/51 relay has consists of three relay mechanisms. Instantaneous unit(IIT) for High Value. Type 51 are inverse-time over current relays.


ICS contacts then carry the bulk of trip current to circuit breaker trip coil.      A high over current causes IIT to trip. IIT indicator drops the red flag indicating an instantaneous trip. Low value over current starts CO disc turning. . Some common CT ratios are 300:5. CO contacts allow current through ICS coil causing it to pull in. 600:5 and 2000:5.


The relay is designed so the coil torque holds the moving contact away from stationary contact. . The relay is energized at normal line voltage holding the contacts open but can not hold in at low line voltage.   An induction disc with voltage coils can be used as under voltage relays.

Relay operates only if the difference is above a preset limit. It provides better protection than an IIT connected differentially. In case of faults. to produce opening torque when current is same. opening torque weakens and current through operating coil provides closing torque. wound so.     It responds to the difference in two currents. It has a restraining coil. .


the CT currents are no longer the same and the current through IIT no longer equals zero. Equal and opposite phase voltages form the CT.s result in zero potential across IIT under normal conditions. If a fault occurs. .   Differential relays operates only when there is a difference in the current between the two CT’s.

Air gap of about 11 feet is required at 230kV. Cannot open a fault.    . Designed to open and close a circuit. Must have a large gap when open.

Non-load Break Disconnect Switch:      High and medium voltage disconnect switches are designed to isolate a section of a circuit after the protective device has de-energized the circuit. three pole. Allow disconnecting the circuit while rest is in protection zone. insulated lever or manually by using hook stick. Available in single phase. single pole and three phase. Can be operated by motors. Can open very small charging currents to unloaded equipment. .

Use interrupters built into the switch to break the load current before switch disconnecting arm is swung open. New high voltage switches are equipped with SF6 interrupters. . Motors are commonly used to open and close the switch blades. Wall switch is most common load break switch.     Can interrupt normal load currents only.

Metering equipment provides power use information for planning of future needs from power use trends and billing for revenue.      Power metering equipment records the amount of power used in a Particular Area Sent Down a Particular Line Used in Particular Structure. 1. . The equipment uses a current and potential coil and an induction disc. Disc rotation is proportional to the power passing through the metered line. High voltage must be fed through instrument transformers. Low voltage meters are directly mounted on metered lines. 3. 2.

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