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connected to the same supply bus bars on the primary side and to a

common bus bar/load on the secondary side. Such requirement is

frequently encountered in practice. The reasons that necessitate

parallel operation are as follows.

1. Non-availability of a single large transformer to meet the total load

requirement.

2. The power demand might have increased over a time necessitating

augmentation of the capacity. More transformers connected in parallel

will then be pressed into service.

3. To ensure improved reliability. Even if one of the transformers gets

into a fault or is taken out for maintenance/repair the load can

continued to be serviced.

4. To reduce the spare capacity. If many smaller size transformers are

used one machine can be used as spare. If only one large machine is

feeding the load, a spare of similar rating has to be available. The

problem of spares becomes more acute with fewer machines in service

at a location.

5. When transportation problems limit installation of large transformers

at site, it may be easier to transport smaller ones to site and work

them in parallel. Fig. 37 shows the physical arrangement of two single

phase transformers working in parallel on the primary side.

Transformer A and Transformer B are connected to input voltage bus

bars. After ascertaining the polarities they are connected to

output/load bus

Parallel Operation of Two Single Phase Transformers – Physical bars.

Certain conditions have to be met before two or more transformers are

connected in parallel and share a common load satisfactorily. They are,

1. The voltage ratio must be the same.

2. The per unit impedance of each machine on its own base must be

the same.

3. The polarity must be the same, so that there is no circulating current

between the transformers.

4. The phase sequence must be the same and no phase difference

must exist between the voltages of the two transformers. These

conditions are examined first with reference to single phase

transformers and then the

three phase cases are discussed.

Same voltage ratio Generally the turns ratio and voltage ratio are

taken to be the same. If the ratio is large there can be considerable

error in the voltages even if the turns ratios are the same. When the

primaries are connected to same bus bars, if the secondaries do not

show the same voltage, paralleling them would result in a circulating

current between the secondaries. Reflected circulating current will be

there on the primary side also. Thus even without connecting a load

considerable current can be drawn by the transformers and they

produce copper losses. In two identical transformers with percentage

impedance of 5 percent, a no-load voltage difference of one percent

will result in a circulating current of 10 percent of full load current. This

circulating current gets added to the load current when the load is

connected resulting in unequal sharing of the load. In such cases the

combined full load of the two transformers can never be met without

one transformer getting overloaded. Per unit impedance Transformers

of different ratings may be required to operate in parallel. If they have

to share the total load in proportion to their ratings the larger machine

has to draw more current. The voltage drop across each machine has

to be the same by virtue of their connection at the input and the

output ends. Thus the larger machines have smaller impedance and

smaller machines must have larger ohmic impedance. Thus the

impedances must be in the inverse ratios of the ratings. As the voltage

drops must be the same the per unit impedance of each transformer

on its own base, must be equal. In addition if active and reactive power

are required to be shared in proportion to the ratings the impedance

angles also must be the same. Thus we have the requirement that per

unit resistance and per unit reactance of both the transformers must

be the same for proper load sharing. Polarity of connection The polarity

of connection in the case of single phase transformers can be either

same or opposite. Inside the loop formed by the two secondaries the

resulting voltage must be zero. If wrong polarity is chosen the two

voltages get added and short circuit results. In the case of polyphase

banks it is possible to have permanent phase error between the

phases with substantial circulating current. Such transformer banks

must not be connected in parallel. The turns ratios in such groups can

be adjusted to give very close voltage ratios but phase errors cannot

be compensated. Phase error of 0.6 degree gives rise to one percent

difference in voltage. Hence poly phase transformers belonging to the

same vector group alone must be taken for paralleling.

Transformers having −30◦ angle can be paralleled to that having +30◦

angle by reversing the phase sequence of both primary and secondary

terminals of one of the transformers. This way one can overcome the

problem of the phase angle error. Phase sequence The phase

sequence of operation becomes relevant only in the case of poly phase

systems. The poly phase banks belonging to same vector group can be

connected in parallel. A transformer with +30◦ phase angle however

can be paralleled with the one with −30◦ phase angle, the phase

sequence is reversed for one of them both at primary and secondary

terminals. If the phase sequences are not the same then the two

transformers cannot be connected in parallel even if they belong to

same vector group. The phase sequence can be found out by the use

of a phase sequence indicator. Performance of two or more single

phase transformers working in parallel can be computed using their

equivalent circuit. In the case of poly phase banks also the approach is

identical and the single phase equivalent circuit of the same can be

used. Basically two cases arise in these problems. Case A: when the

voltage ratio of the two transformers is the same and Case B: when the

voltage ratios are not the same. These are discussed now in sequence.

Case A: Equal voltage ratios

Always two transformers of equal voltage ratios are selected for

working in parallel. This way one can avoid a circulating current

between the transformers. Load can be switched on subsequently to

these bus bars. Neglecting the parallel branch of the equivalent circuit

the above connection can be shown as in Fig. 38(a),(b). The equivalent

circuit is drawn in terms of the secondary parameters. This may be

further simplified as shown under Fig. 38(c). The voltage drop across

the two transformers must be the same by virtue of common

connection at input as well as output ends. By inspection the voltage

equation for the drop can be

Equivalent Circuit for Transformers working in Parallel -Simplified

circuit and Further simplification for identical voltage ratio

If the terminal voltage is V = IZL then the active and reactive power

supplied by each of the two transformers is given by

From the above it is seen that the transformer with higher impedance

supplies lesser load current and vice versa. If transformers of dissimilar

ratings are paralleled the trans- former with larger rating shall have

smaller impedance as it has to produce the same drop as the other

transformer, at a larger current. Thus the ohmic values of the

impedances must be in the inverse ratio of the ratings of the

transformers. IAZA = IBZB, therefore

IA / IB = ZB / ZA

Expressing the voltage drops in p.u basis, we aim at the same per unit

drops at any load for the transformers. The per unit impedances must

therefore be the same on their respective bases. Fig. 39 shows the

phasor diagram of operation for these conditions. The drops are

magnified and shown to improve clarity. It is seen that the total

voltage drop inside the

different phase angle due to the difference in the internal power factor

angles _A and _B. This forces the active and reactive components of the

currents drawn by each transformer to be different ( even in the case

when current in each transformer is the same). If we want them to

share the load current in proportion to their ratings, their percentage

( or p.u) impedances must be the same. In order to avoid any

divergence and to share active and reactive powers also properly, _A =

_B. Thus the condition for satisfactory parallel operation is that the p.u

resistances and p.u reactance must be the same on their respective

bases for the two transformers. To determine the sharing of currents

and power either p.u parameters or ohmic values can be used.

One may not be able to get two transformers of identical voltage ratio

in spite of ones best efforts. Due to manufacturing differences, even in

transformers built as per the same design, the voltage ratios may not

be the same. In such cases the circuit representation for parallel

operation will be different as shown in Fig. 40. In this case the two

input voltages cannot be merged to one, as they are different. The

load brings about a common connection at the output side. EA and EB

are the no-load secondary emf. ZL is the load impedance at the

secondary terminals. By inspection the voltage equation can be written

as below:

EA = IAZA + (IA + IB)ZL = V + IAZA ·

EB = IBZB + (IA + IB)ZL = V + IBZB·

Solving the two equations the expression for IA and IB can be obtained

as

ZA and ZB are phasors and hence there can be angular difference also

in addition to the difference in magnitude. When load is not connected

there will be a circulating current between the transformers. The

currents in that case can be obtained by putting ZL = 1 ( after dividing

the numerator and the denominator by ZL ). Then

If the load impedance becomes zero as in the case of a short circuit,

we have,

be easily determined

( from Eqns. 93 ) as

If more than two transformers are connected across a load then the

calculation of load currents following the method suggested above

involves considerable amount of compu- tational labor. A simpler and

more elegant method for the case depicted in Fig. 41 is given below. It

is known by the name parallel generator theorem.

Parallel Generator Theorem

Combining these equations

From this V can be obtained. Substituting V in Eqn. 98, IA, IB etc can be

obtained. Knowing the individual current phasor, the load shared by

each transformer can be computed.

Transformers

.

Introduction

In this section we will look at the conditions under which transformers can be connected in parallel and their

loading considerations when turn ratios, impedances, and kVA ratings are different. Generally when

transformers are installed in parallel they have the same kVA, turn ratios, and impedances. As systems

change over time, and transformers are replaced or added, users need to conceptualize the role of

circulating currents and load sharing and understand the impact of paralleling transformers using different

parameters. Paralleled transformers have used in electrical distribution systems for many years.

Transformers are generally paralleled in industrial and commercial facilities to

• Make power systems more reliable

• Provide better power quality

• Prevent voltage sags

• Add load requirements.

Electrical utilities are ideal examples of these applications. Their main objectives are reliability and power

quality, along with keeping consumers on-line. Many times auto-tap transformers are used to adjust voltage

levels due to loading conditions. Often these tap changes produce circulating current in parallel-operated

transformers. Though most engineers may know that these parameters are important when paralleling

transformers, there are some misconceptions of when circulating currents actually exist. We shall discuss

these issues in the following sections.

Principles of Paralleling

Transformers connected in parallel have the same voltage on each primary and the same voltage on each

secondary. The difference in the voltage between the primary and secondary windings is the turn ratios. For

these terminal voltages to be the same for the paralleled transformers, their impedance should also be

identical to ensure that under any condition of load, the current will be divided such that the voltage drop in

one transformer is equal to voltage drop in the other transformer.. Also, if the turn ratios of the transformers

are different, but the primary and secondary terminal voltages are the same in both transformers, then

circulating currents must flow between the transformers, even at no load

Limiting Conditions and Transformer Parallel Connection Types

Transformers are suitable for parallel operation when their turn ratios, percent impedances, and X/R ratios

are the same. Connecting transformers when one of these parameters is different results in either circulating

currents or unwanted current division. Both of these situations lower the efficiency and reduce the maximum

amount of load the combined transformers can carry. Typically, transformers should not be operated in

parallel when:

• The division of load is such that, with the total load current equal to the combined kVA rating of the

transformers, one of the transformers is overloaded.

• The no-load circulating currents in any transformer exceed 10% of the full load rating .

• The combination of the circulating currents and full load current exceed the full load rating of either

transformer.

From the list above, the circulating currents represent the current flowing at no load in the high and low

voltage windings, excluding exciting currents. Full load current is the current flowing in the transformer with a

load connected, absent of exciting and circulating currents. Table 1 is an overall summary of different

connection types of parallel transformers. Refer to the appropriate section in the following pages for

explanations and calculations specific to these different connection types.

connection loading loading concerns currents connections

-Equal Yes No No No Yes

impedances

-Equal ratios

-Same KVA

-Equal No Yes No No Yes

impedances

-Equal ratios

-Different KVA

-Unequal No Yes Yes No No

impedances

-Equal ratios

-Same KVA

-Unequal No Yes Yes No No

impedances

-Equal ratios

-Different KVA

-Unequal Yes No Yes Yes No

impedances

-Unequal ratios

-Same KVA

-Unequal No Yes Yes Yes No

impedances

-Unequal ratios

-Different KVA

The standard method of connecting transformers in parallel is to have the same turn ratios, percent

impedances, and kVA ratings. Paralleling is typically accomplished by maintaining a tie breaker in the

normally closed (N.C.) position. Connecting transformers in parallel with the same parameters results in

equal load sharing and no circulating currents in the transformer windings.

Figure 1: Typical Parallel Operation

It can be seen by using equations (1) and (2) below, that if the percent impedances in each transformer are

the same, as shown in Figure 1, that there will be equal current division and load sharing on each

transformer

Where:

I1 = load current from transformer 1

I2 = load current from transformer 2

Z1 = impedance of transformer 1

Z2 = impedance of transformer 2

The total load current IL = I1 + I2

Substituting for Z1 and Z2 below into equations (1) and (2) produces the

following equations (3) and (4).

Where:

%Z1 = % impedance of transformer 1

%Z2 = % impedance of transformer 2

kVA1 = kVA rating of transformer 1

kVA2 = kVA rating of transformer 2

The total load current IL = I1 + I2

Since current has a direct relationship with kVA, substituting kVA for current into equation (3) and (4) above,

the same comparison can be made using load kVAL as shown in equations (5) and (6).

The above equations are arithmetically correct only when the ratios between the reactances and resistances

of the transformers are equal. They give accurate results when X/R ratios are large. In other cases, the sum

of the individual load current will be greater than the current in the line. This is because of the phase

difference between the currents in the different transformers.

Frequently in practice, engineers try to enhance their plant power system by connecting existing

transformers in parallel that have the same kVA rating, but with different percent impedances. This is

common when budget constraints limit the purchase of a new transformer with the same parameters. What

the engineer needs to understand is that the current divides in inverse proportions to the impedances, and

larger current flows through the smaller impedance. Thus, the lower percent impedance transformer can be

overloaded when subjected to heavy loading while the other higher percent impedance transformer will be

lightly loaded.

Seldom are transformers in industrial and commercial facilities connected to one common bus with different

kVA and unequal percent impedances. However, there may be that one situation where two single-ended

substations may be tied together via bussing or cables to provide better voltage support when starting large

motors. If the percent impedances and kVA ratings are different, care should be taken when loading these

transformers. As with the unequal percent impedances shown in “Unequal Impedances—Equal Ratios—

Same kVA” on page 5, the load current carried by the combined transformers will be less than their rated

kVA

A good example of a system with circulation currents would be a double-ended substation (similar to Figure

1 on page 3) that normally has the tie breaker "open." The operator has decided to close the tie breaker to

provide loading and voltage support for a heavily loaded transformer on the right side. The heavily loaded

transformer's taps have been adjusted to raise the operating voltage, and the transformer on the left side

has been lightly loaded. What happens when these two transformers are paralleled without changing the tap

on the right transformer to match the left? See Figure 3 for a single-phase diagram of circulating currents

described above with no load connected. To calculate the circulating currents, the difference in ratios must

be expressed in the percentage of the normal ratio. The circulating current is obtained by dividing this value

by the sum of the impedances of the two transformers. This would be the total impedance through which the

circulating current is flowing.

Unequal Ratios

To calculate the circulating currents, the difference in ratios must be expressed in the percentage of the

normal ratio. The circulating current is obtained by dividing this value by the sum of the impedances of the

two transformers. This would be the total impedance through which the circulating current is flowing.

Using the following equation (7)

%Z', %R", and %Z" are the percentage resistances and reactances based on the X/R ratio on units kVA' and

kVA".

k = kVA' / kVA"

%e = difference in voltage ratio expressed in percentage of normal.

The following approximate expression is accurate for most cases. It is exact when the X/R ratios in the

transformers are equal1.

Although it appears highly unlikely that all of these parameters would be different in practice, we will address

this situation by looking at circulating currents. “Unequal Impedances—Equal Ratios—Different kVA” on

page 5 addressed different kVA, but ignored the X/R ratios of the transformer. If both the ratios and the

impedances are different, the circulating current (because of the unequal ratio) should be combined with

each transformer's share of the load current to obtain the actual total current in each unit. For unity power

factor, 10% circulating current (due to unequal turn ratios) results in only half percent to the total current. At

lower power factors, the circulating current will change dramatically1.

Conclusions Loading considerations for paralleling transformers are simple unless kVA, percent

impedances, or ratios are different. When paralleled transformer turn ratios and percent impedances are the

same, equal load division will exist on each transformer. When paralleled transformer kVA ratings are the

same, but the percent impedances are different, then unequal load division will occur. The same is true for

unequal percent impedances and unequal kVA. Circulating currents only exist if the turn ratios do not match

on each transformer. The magnitude of the circulating currents will also depend on the X/R ratios of the

transformers. Delta-delta to delta-wye transformer paralleling should not be attempted.

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