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IOSR Journal of Applied Physics (IOSR-JAP)

e-ISSN: 2278-4861.Volume 7, Issue 4 Ver. III (Jul. - Aug. 2015), PP 50-53


Statistical Parameters of Voltage Collapse in Power Supply System

in Nigeria Extra-High Voltage Systems
Nweke F. U.
Department of Industrial Physics, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Abstract: Instability of electricity or power supply in Nigeria is very significant. This has led to a lot of economic losses
and sometimes has rendered life unbearable and in danger for the greater number of the citizenry. Voltage collapse in
Nigeria was investigated and possible solutions to minimize such were recommended. These collapses were
identified to be based on technical and non-technical causes. Technical causes were as a result of weak system
inertia, radial grid system/radial power link, collapse with static load, power swing, defective governor control and
faulty protection system; while non-technical causes were as result of vandalization by transmission lines (cables)
and gas pipe lines, disruption of communication and telecommunication lines and felling of lines by raffia palm,
trees, pulling down of poles with automobiles and fire outbreak. These system failures can be minimized by
maintaining steady state stability of system using a monitor that describes how the system moves, improving on the
power factor of the static load, using surge suppressor, changing the old station with the modern ones by the
government, creating security alert and cutting and felling trees that is near to transmission cables.
Keyword: Power generation, Electricity, Voltage collapse, Transformer, Turbine, Substation, Transmission
/Distribution lines and power factor.

I. Introduction
Electricity is the main source of power supply in Nigeria for our daily life activities. Any collapse of
voltage leads to system breakdown and this affect the country in many ways.
In Nigeria, mainly hydro and thermal (steam and gas) power generation are used to generate electricity.
These two systems of power generations are not steady and sometimes lead to system breakdown or collapse.
Hydropower generation utilizes potential energy of power to generate electricity. The power available from hydro
plant is supposed to be 981WH, where W is discharge M2/S through turbine [1]. The thermal power generation uses
chemical energy stored in coal or natural gas to generate electricity. The heat released by the combustion of these
substances produces steam in the boiler at high pressure and temperature which when passed through the steam
turbine gives off some of its internal energy as mechanical energy. The steam turbine acts as a prime mover and
drives the electrical generator. This gives out power that is necessary for use in the country [1, 2]. Voltage instability
occurs when the reactive power available to a portion of the gird falls below that required by consumers, circuits
and transformers in that portion of the gird [2,3]. However, the action of distribution transformer on-load- tap- changers
and self restoring load elements drag voltage even lower without any action by operators or under voltage load
shedding. The voltage instability inevitably leads to voltage collapse [4].
The causes of voltage collapse fall under two categories: Technical faults and Non- technical faults [1,4]. The
technical faults are caused by the system themselves. It includes:
(a) Abnormal tripping on transmission lines; usually caused by the system.
(b) Weak system inertia; which is experienced when the powerdemanded (Pd) is greater than the power
generated (Pg) from the source (i.e. Pd>Pg).
(c) Malfunctioning of the radialgrid system/radial power links; power flowing from one region to another
or vice versa is diverted to the other line if one line is lost
(d) Voltage collapse with composite loads
(e) Power swing due to imbalance of the three transmission lines (i.e. due to one or two being faulty)
(f) Defective governor control and
(g) Faulty protection of system.
The non-technical faults which majority of voltage collapse fall in Nigeria includes the following:
(a) Vandalization of transmission lines (cables) causing power to shunt down or reduce generation
(b) Vandalization of gas pipe
(c) Disruption by communication and telecommunication protection system
(d) Human error due to largely opening of heavily loads line from power station by mistake or lack of
(e) Pulling down of transmission poles by heavy automobiles and
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Statistical Parameters of Voltage Collapse in Power Supply System in Nigeria Extra-High


Fire outbreak on substations

Ageing of transformers and conductors
Use of substandard device like transformers and low rated conductors.

Collection of Data
Due to the statistical nature of the work, data were obtained from Power Holding Company of Nigeria,
PHCN which is in charge of power generation, transmission and distribution (now Electricity Distribution Company)
at the 133KVA installation sub-power station, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State for the period covering 2013 and 2014.
The collected data are shown in Table 1.1 and Table 1.2 respectively [5, 6]. The data report of
voltage collapse for 2013 is shown in table 1.1
Table 1.1: Voltage collapse report for 2013

Table 1.2: Voltage collapse report for 2014


Time (hrs)

Causes of collapse
Fault not identified
CT tripped at Ikeja
Fault not known
CT tripped at Ikeja
CT exploded at Egbin, fire outbreak and CT 48W tripped
CT at Oshogbo exploded due to fire out break
Tripping of CT at Egbin station
Fault not known

The data report of voltage collapse in power supply system in Nigeria and the frequency of occurrence of a
particular fault in 2013 are shown in Table 1.3.
Table 1.3
Low gas pressure due to vandalization of gas pipe line
Current transformer (CT) trip
Collapse not identified

Frequency of Occurrence

The data report of voltage collapse in power supply system in Nigeria and the frequency of occurrence of a
particular fault in 2014 are shown in Table 1.4.
CT tripped
Fire out break
Collapse not identified

Frequency of Occurrence

II. Discussion And Analysis

From table 1.3 and 1.4, it is deduced that majority of the collapse fall under the tripping of the current
transformer (CT) and fault not identified. The indiscriminate tripping of the CT is as a result of the weak system
inertia and ageing of the transformer. The power generated is less than power demanded (i.e. Pg < Pd); which results
to power drop and sometimes leads to collapse. Most of the stations are ageing and does not meet the demand of the
consumers due to modernization, urbanization and industrialization.

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Statistical Parameters of Voltage Collapse in Power Supply System in Nigeria Extra-High

Other reasons attributed to this tripping and even those fault not identified were as of the vandalization of
the transmission lines and gas pipelines by hoodlums and tampering and illegal connection of power lines by the
unqualified and untrained staff.
Considering the days and periods of collapse of these voltages in the Nigeria, it affects the economy and life
in so many ways. This collapse sometimes stays up to weeks before it is ratified. Almost all aspects of life need
electricity to operate. However, the following solutions are suggested to minimize the indiscriminate voltage
collapse in Nigeria.
Solutions to minimize Voltage Collapse in Nigeria
(a) System maintenance or replacement
Most power stations in Nigeria are ageing and needs to be upgraded. Because the Current transformers are
old, any slight drop or increase in load leads to voltage collapse.
(b) Steady state stability
Effort should be taken by the government to install a monitor or computerized power system that will
enable the engineers to maintain the steady state stability. Steady state stability of a particular power
system is the maximum power that can be transmitted on the receiving end without loss of
Steady state stability is achieved by using the following equation [4, 7]
Pe =

E V Sin
= Pmax Sin

Pe = Electrical power, E= Electromotive force of the generator;

Xd = Machine reactance, is the torque angle.
Generally, the system is stable as long as
> 0, but if
< 0,

the system becomes unstable

Therefore in this case it leads to voltage collapse. The system controller should always provide
increments in power, thereby making
dP e
> 0, at any point in time.
(c) Improving the power factor of the static load
The power factor should be improved with shunt capacitor at the substation. This will prevent collapse
with static load variation. The static nature of collapse ensures that the voltage will recover and go to acceptable
level on switching in shunt capacitor. Since collapse is very sensitive to power factor in the region of unit power
factor, full shunt compensation may be the only solution to these kind of collapse due to static load growth.
(d) Installation of surge suppressor at the substation
Surge suppressor limit the voltage potential by turning on when a preset volt is reached and the
absorbing part of the energy of the surge, eventually diverting all surge to the ground. Once the surge has been
dissipated, the suppressor resets and waits for the next surge; thereby limiting the effect of voltage collapse [8].
(e) Security Alert
Proper sensitization should be made for people to stop vandalizing the transmission lines and gas pipe lines
and also engage in the act that will cause fire outbreak near substation. Bushes should be cleared around the
substation. Security should also be mounted to check those that engage in such devilish act and National and State
assembly should legislate on vandalization of power and come up with a proper punishment for victims. Citizenry
should be educated to know the implication of tampering on power system and the danger of illegal connection.
(f) Training of Engineers
Engineers and Technicians in power station should always be sent on training to adopt the modern technology as
to be able to maintain and service the substation appropriately.
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Statistical Parameters of Voltage Collapse in Power Supply System in Nigeria Extra-High

(h) Exploiting other areas of power generation:
Government should exploit other areas of power generation like solar, wind, biomass other than hydro and
thermal power generation which form the bulk of power generation in Nigeria. This will add to the power generated in
the country and will be added to the national grid.

III. Conclusion
The importance of electricity to the nation and humanity cannot be over emphasized. Proper and
adequate power supply and energy should be provided since insufficient of it or collapse, can lead to loss of
millions of naira in the country and sometimes life is rendered useless. Electricity is used in our homes,
industries, offices, banks hospital and schools etc.

I wish to appreciate the staff of PHCN that helped in providing data for this research to be carried and deductions made.


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Weedy, B. M. and Cox, B. R. (1968). Voltage Stability of Radial Power Links. IEEE. Vol. 115. Pp 45-54
Gary, S. B. (1945). Power System Stability. Vol 1. Wiley New York. Pp 24-35
Nagon, P. (1995). Voltage Collapse at Loads of Power System. Electrical Engineering in Japan Vol. 95. Pp 14-24
Fault Record Book (2013-2014). Power Holding Company of Nigeria PLC, Abakaliki Business Unit.
Fault Record Book (2013-2014). Operation and Maintenance repair Unit, Power Holding Company of Nigeria Enugu.
Mac Donald (1969). Power system Protection. London pp 45-71
Mason, C. M. (1956). The Art and Science Protection Relaying. Wiley, New York. Pp 75-124

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