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Electrical Transmission Tower Types and Design

The main supporting unit of overhead transmission line is transmission tower.


Transmission towers have to carry the heavy transmission conductor at a sufficient safe
height from ground. In addition to that all towers have to sustain all kinds of natural
calamities. So transmission tower designing is an important engineering job where all
three basic engineering concepts, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering concepts are
equally applicable. A power transmission tower consists of the following parts,
1. Peak of transmission tower
2. Cross arm of transmission tower
3. Boom of transmission tower
4. Cage of transmission tower
5. Transmission Tower Body
6. Leg of transmission tower
7. Stub/Anchor Bolt and Base plate assembly of transmission tower.
The main parts among these are shown in the pictures.
Peak of Transmission Tower
The portion above the top cross arm is called peak of transmission tower. Generally, earth
shield wire connected to the tip of this peak.
Cross Arm of Transmission Tower
Cross arms of transmission tower hold the transmission conductor. The dimension of cross
arm depends on the level of transmission voltage, configuration and minimum forming
angle for stress distribution.
Cage of Transmission Tower
The portion between tower body and peak is known as cage of transmission tower. This
portion of the tower holds the cross arms.
Transmission Tower Body
The portion from bottom cross arms up to the ground level is called transmission tower
body. This portion of the tower plays a vital role for maintaining required ground clearance
of the bottom conductor of the transmission line.

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Design of Transmission Tower

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During design of transmission tower the following points to be considered in mind,


The minimum ground clearance of the lowest conductor point above the ground level.
The length of the insulator string.
The minimum clearance to be maintained between conductors and between conductor
and tower.
The location of ground wire with respect to outer most conductors.
The mid span clearance required from considerations of the dynamic behavior of
conductor and lightening protection of the line.
To determine the actual transmission tower height by considering the above points, we
have divided the total height of tower in four parts,

1.
2.
3.
4.

Minimum permissible ground clearance (H1)


Maximum sag of the conductor (H2)
Vertical spacing between top and bottom conductors (H3)
Vertical clearance between ground wire and top conductor (H4).

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Types of Transmission Tower


According to different considerations, there are different types of transmission towers. The
transmission line goes as per available corridors. Due to unavailability of shortest distance
straight corridor transmission line has to deviate from its straight way when obstruction
comes. In total length of a long transmission line there may be several deviation points.
According to the angle of deviation there are four types of transmission tower1. A type tower angle of deviation 0o to 2o.
2. B type tower angle of deviation 2o to 15o.
3. C type tower angle of deviation 15o to 30o.
4. D type tower angle of deviation 30o to 60o.
As per the force applied by the conductor on the cross arms, the transmission towers can
be categorized in another way1. Tangent suspension tower and it is generally A - type tower.
2. Angle tower or tension tower or sometime it is called section tower. All B, C and D
types of transmission towers come under this category.Apart from the above
customized type of tower, the tower is designed to meet special usages listed below,

These are called special type tower


1. River crossing tower
2. Railway/ Highway crossing tower
3. Transposition tower
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Based on numbers of circuits carried by a transmission tower, it can be classified as1. Single circuit tower
2. Double circuit tower
3. Multi circuit tower.
Types of Overhead Conductors
Properties of Overhead Bare Conductors:
Current Carrying Capacity
Strength
Weight
Diameter
Corrosion Resistance
Creep Rate
Thermal Coefficient of Expansion
Fatigue Strength
Operating Temperature
Short Circuit Current/Temperature
Thermal Stability
Cost

Categories of Overhead Conductors:


Homogeneous Conductors:
Copper
AAC ( All Aluminum Conductor)
AAAC (All Aluminum Alloy Conductor)
The core consists of a single strand identical to the outer strands. Since all the strands
are the same diameter, one can show that the innermost layer always consists of 6
strands, the second layer of 12 strands, etc., making conductors having 1, 7, 19, 37, 61,
91, or 128 strands.
Non Homogeneous Conductors:
ACAR (Aluminum Conductor Alloy Reinforced)
ACSR (Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced)
ACSS (Aluminum Conductor Steel Supported)
AACSR (Aluminum Alloy Conductor Steel Reinforced.
the strands in the core may or may not be of the same diameter. In a 30/7
ACSR conductor the aluminum and steel strands are of the same diameter. In a 30/19
ACSR they are not. Within the core or within the outer layers, however, the number of
strands always increases by 6 in each succeeding layer. Thus, in 26/7 ACSR, the number
of layers in the inner layer of aluminum is 10 and in the outer layer 16

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ACSR named after animals,


AAAC (All Aluminium Alloy) are named after plants (Oak, Hazel, Elm,...)
AAC (All Aluminium) after insects (Butterfly, Wasp,... )

Categories of Overhead Conductors

VR (Vibration Resistance)
Non-Specular
ACSR / SD (Self Damping)

Choices of overhead depend upon:


Power Delivery Requirements
Current Carrying Capacity
Electrical Losses
Line Design Requirements
Distances to be Spanned
Sag and Clearance Requirements
Environmental Considerations
Ice and Wind Loading
Ambient Temperatures
(1) AAC (All Aluminum Conductors)

AAC is made up of one or more strands of hard drawn 1350 Aluminum Alloy.
AAC has had limited use in transmission lines and rural distribution because of the
long spans utilized.
Good Conductivity -61.2% IACS
Good Corrosion Resistance
High Conductivity to Weight Ratio.
Moderate Strength

Typical Application
Short spans where maximum current transfer is required.
The excellent corrosion resistance of aluminum has made AAC a conductor of choice in
coastal areas.
Because of its relatively poor strength-to-weight ratio, AAC has seen extensive use in
urban areas where spans are usually short but high conductivity is required.
These conductors are used in low, medium and high voltage overhead lines.

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(2) AAAC (All Aluminum Alloy Conductors)

AAAC are made out of high strength Aluminum-Magnesium-Silicon alloy.


AAAC with different variants of electrical grade Alloys type 6101 and 6201.
These conductors are designed to get better strength to weight ratio and offers
improved electrical characteristics, excellent sag-tension characteristics and superior
corrosion resistance when compared with ACSR.
Equivalent aluminum alloy conductors have approximately the same ampacity and
strength as their ACSR counterparts with a much improved strength-to-weight ratio,
and also exhibit substantially better electrical loss characteristics than their equivalent
single layer ACSR constructions. The thermal coefficient of expansion is greater than
that of ACSR.
As compared to conventional ACSR, lighter weight, comparable strength & current
carrying capacity, lower electrical losses and superior corrosion resistance have given
AAAC a wide acceptance in the distribution and transmission lines.

Features
High strength to weight ratio
Better sag characteristics
Improved electrical properties
Excellent resistance to corrosion
Specifications
Higher Tensile Strength
Excellent Corrosion Resistance
Good Strength to Weight Ratio
Lower Electrical Losses
Moderate Conductivity 52.5% IACS
Typical Application
Transmission and Distribution applications in corrosive environments, ACSR
replacement.

(3) ACAR (Aluminum Conductor Al. Alloy Reinforced)

Aluminum Conductor Alloy Reinforced (ACAR) is formed by concentrically stranded


Wires of Aluminum 1350 on high strength Aluminum-Magnesium-Silicon (AlMgSi) Alloy
core.
The number of wires of Aluminum 1350 & AlMgSi alloy depends on the cable design.
Even though the general design comprises a stranded core of AlMgSi alloy strands, in
certain cable constructions the wires of AlMgSi Alloy strands can be distributed in layers
throughout the Aluminum 1350 strands.
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ACAR has got a better mechanical and electrical properties as compared to an equivalent
conductors of ACSR,AAC or AAAC.
A very good balance between the mechanical and electrical properties therefore makes
ACAR the best choice where the ampacity , strength , and light weight are the main
consideration of the line design.
These conductors are extensively used in overhead transmission and distribution lines.

Features
Improved strength to weight ratio
Improved mechanical properties
Improved electrical properties
Excellent resistance to corrosion Specifications
Balance of Mechanical & Electrical
Excellent Corrosion Resistance
Variable Strength to Weight Ratio
Higher Conductivity than AAAC
Custom Designed, diameter equivalent to ACSR most common.
Typical Application
Used for both transmission and distribution circuits.

(3) AACSR Aluminum Alloy Conductor Steel Reinforced

AACSR is a concentrically stranded conductor composed of one or more layers of


Aluminum-Magnesium-Silicon alloy wire stranded with a high-strength coated steel
core.
The core may be single wire or stranded depending on the size. Core wire for AACSR is
available with Class A, B or C galvanizing; or aluminum clad (AW).
Additional corrosion protection is available through the application of grease to the core
or infusion of the complete cable with grease.

Features
Offers optimal strength for line design
Improved strength to weight ratio
Ideal for extra long spans and heavy load conditions
Excellent resistance to corrosion
(4) ACSS Aluminum Conductors Steel Supported.

ACSS is a composite concentric-lay stranded conductor with one or more layers of hard
drawn and annealed 1350-0 aluminum wires on a central core of steel.
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In an ACSS ,under normal operating conditions, the mechanical load is mainly derived
from the steel core as aluminum in fully annealed stage does not contribute much
towards the mechanical strength.
Steel core wires are protected from corrosion by selecting an appropriate coating of the
wire like galvanizing, mischmetal alloy coating or aluminum clad. The type of coating is
selected to suit the environment to which the conductor is exposed and operating
temperature of the conductor
ACSS are suitable for operating at high temperature without losing the mechanical
properties.
The final sag-tension performance is not affected by the long term creep of aluminum.

Features
Improved conductivity
High current carrying capacity
Very low sag at high temperature
High degree of immunity to vibration fatigue
Better self damping property

(6) ACCC Aluminum Conductor Composite Core


Aluminum Conductor Composite Core (ACCC) is a concentrically stranded conductor
with one or more layers of trapezoidal shaped hard drawn and annealed 1350-0
aluminum wires on a central core of high strength Carbon and glass fiber composite.
The ACCC Conductor uses a carbon fiber core that is 25% stronger and 60% lighter than
a traditional steel core.
This allows with the help of trapezoidal shaped strands the ability to increase the
conductors aluminum content by over 28% without increasing the conductors overall
diameter or weight.
Features
Excellent Sag properties
Increased current carrying capacity
High operating temperature
Excellent strength to weight ratio
Highly energy efficient.

(7) ACSR (Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced)

Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced (ACSR) is concentrically stranded conductor with


one or more layers of hard drawn 1350-H19 aluminum wire on galvanized steel wire
core.
The core can be single wire or stranded depending on the size.
Steel wire core is available in Class A ,B or Class C galvanization for corrosion protection.
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Additional corrosion protection is available through the application of grease to the core
or infusion of the complete cable with grease.
The proportion of steel and aluminum in an ACSR conductor can be selected based on
the mechanical strength and current carrying capacity demanded by each application.
ACSR conductors are recognized for their record of economy, dependability and
favorable strength / weight ratio. ACSR conductors combine the light weight and good
conductivity of aluminum with the high tensile strength and ruggedness of steel.
In line design, this can provide higher tensions, less sag, and longer span lengths than
obtainable with most other types of overhead conductors.
The steel strands are added as mechanical reinforcements.
ACSR conductors are recognized for their record of economy, dependability and
favorable strength / weight ratio.
ACSR conductors combine the light weight and good conductivity of aluminum with the
high tensile strength and ruggedness of steel.
In line design, this can provide higher tensions, less sag, and longer span lengths than
obtainable with most other types of overhead conductors.
The steel strands are added as mechanical reinforcements.
The cross sections above illustrate some common stranding.
The steel core wires are protected from corrosion by galvanizing.
The standard Class A zinc coating is usually adequate for ordinary environments.
For greater protection, Class B and C galvanized coatings may be specified.
The product is available with conductor corrosion resistant inhibitor treatment applied
to the central steel component.

Features
High Tensile strength
Better sag properties
Economic design
Suitable for remote applications involving long spans
Good Ampacity
Good Thermal Characteristics
High Strength to Weight Ratio
Low sag
High Tensile Strength
Typical Application
Commonly used for both transmission and distribution circuits.
Compact Aluminum Conductors, Steel Reinforced (ACSR) are used for overhead
distribution and transmission lines.

(8) Trap Wire Constructions

AAC/TW (Trapezoidal Shaped 1350-H19 Aluminum Strands)


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ACSR/TW (Trapezoidal Shaped 1350-H19 Aluminum Conductor -Galvanized Zinc or


AW Coated Steel Core Wires)
ACSS/TW (Trapezoidal Shaped 1350-O Aluminum Conductor-Zinc 5% Mischmetal
Aluminum Alloy or AW Coated Steel Core wires)

Comparison of ACSR/TW Type Number with Equivalent Stranding of ACSR


Type Number
3
5
6
7
8
10
13
13
13
16

Conventional ACSR Stranding


36/1
42/7
18/1
45/7
84/19
22/7
54/7
54/49
24/7
26/7

The equivalent stranding is that stranding of conventional ACSR that has the same area
of aluminum and steel as a given ACSR/TW type. The ACSR/TW type number is the
approximate ratio of the area of steel to the area of aluminum in percent.

(8-a) ACSR/AS Aluminum Conductor, Aluminum Clad Steel Reinforced


ACSR/AS or ACSR/AWare concentrically stranded conductors with one or more layers
of hard drawn 1350-H19 aluminum wires on Aluminum Clad steel wire core.
The core can be single wire or stranded depending on the size.
The mechanical properties of ACSR/AS conductors are similar to ACSR conductors but
offers improved ampacity and resistance to corrosion because of the presence of
aluminum clad steel wires in the core.
These conductors are better replacement for ACSR conductors where corrosive
conditions are severe.
Features
Good mechanical properties
Improved electrical characteristics
Excellent corrosion resistance
Better Sag properties

(8-b) ACSS/AW Aluminum Conductors Aluminum Clad Steel Supported

ACSS/AW or ACSS/AS is a composite concentric-lay stranded conductor with one or


more layers of hard drawn and annealed 1350-0 aluminum wires on a central core of
aluminum clad steel core.

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In an ACSS/AW ,under normal operating conditions, the mechanical load is mainly


derived from the steel core as aluminum in fully annealed stage does not contribute
much towards the mechanical strength.
Aluminum Clad steel has got an excellent resistance towards corrosion.
ACSS/AW are can be safely operated upto 250oC continuously without losing the
mechanical properties.
The final sag-tension performance is not affected by the long term creep of aluminum.
Features
Improved conductivity
High current carrying capacity
Suitable for high temperature
Excellent corrosion resistance
Very low sag at high temperature
High degree of immunity to vibration fatigue
Better self damping property

(8-c) ACSR/TW Trapezoidal Shaped 1350-H19 wire Aluminum Conductor, SteelReinforced

Shaped Wire Compact Concentric-Lay-Stranded Aluminum Conductor, Steel-Reinforced


(ACSR/TW) is a concentrically stranded conductor , made with trapezoidal shaped
1350-H19 wires over a high strength steel core.
There are two possible design variants. In one case ACSR/TW conductors are designed
to have an equal aluminum cross sectional area as that of a standard ACSR which results
in a smaller conductor diameter maintaining the same ampacity level but reduced wind
loading parameters.
In the second design, diameter of the conductor is maintained to that of a standard ACSR
which results in a significantly lower conductor resistance and increased current rating
with the same conductor diameter.
manufactures ACSR/TW with Galvanized steel ( in Class A, Class B & Class C), Zn-5Al
mischmetal coated steel or Aluminum clad steel core.

Features
High Tensile strength
Better sag properties
Reduced drag properties
Low wind and ice loading parameters
suitable for remote applications involving long spans

(8-d) ACSS/TW Shaped Wire Aluminum Conductors Steel Supported

Shaped Wire Compact Concentric-Lay-Stranded Aluminum Conductor, Steel-Supported


(ACSS/TW) is a concentrically stranded conductor with one or more layers of
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trapezoidal shaped hard drawn and annealed 1350-0 aluminum wires on a central core
of steel.
ACSS/TW can either be designed to have an equal aluminum cross sectional area as that
of a standard ACSS which results in a smaller conductor diameter maintaining the same
ampacity level but reduced wind loading parameters or with diameter equal to that of a
standard ACSS which results in a significantly higher aluminum area, lower conductor
resistance and increased current rating.
ACSS/TW is designed to operate continuously at elevated temperatures, it sags less
under emergency electrical loadings than ACSR/TW, excellent self-damping properties,
and its final sags are not affected by long-term creep of aluminum.
ACSS/TW also provides many design possibilities in new line construction: i.e., reduced
tower cost, decreased sag, increased self-damping properties, increased operating
temperature and improved corrosion resistance.
The coating of steel core is selected to suit the environment to which the conductor is
exposed and operating temperature of the conductor.

Features
High Operating temperature
Improved current carrying capacity
Better sag properties
Excellent self-damping properties
Reduced drag properties
Low wind and ice loading parameters

Decide Number of Conductor and Layer of Conductor:


If N: number of conductors [strands], d: Diameter of strands, ,X: number of layers.
Usually the relation between N&X take as followed.
N= 3X2-3X+1
If N is given we can use the above relation get X, then we can get the total Diameter of cable
as
dT= (2X-1)d.
If Total Number of Conductor (N)=19 Than 19=32-3x+1. So Number of Layer (x)=3
Than Diameter of Cable dT = (2x-1)d =5d

What is the history behind the ACSS/TW Product?

In 1974, Reynolds Metals patented the ACSS conductor design. Its original name was
Steel Supported Aluminum Conductor (SSAC). The original patents have expired and the
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product is now known as ACSS. There are currently three major North American
conductor manufacturers that offer ACSS products both round wire and trapezoidal
wire (TW).
The TW enhancement to ACSS was transferred from existing technology developed for
ACSR (Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced) and AAC (All Aluminum Conductor) TW
conductors. ACSS/TW is typically manufactured to meet the aluminum cross-sectional
area of a standard round conductor, but allows the overall diameter to be reduced by
approximately 10 percent. ACSS/TW can also be manufactured to meet the existing
diameter of a standard conductor, incorporating 20 percent to 25 percent more
aluminum cross-sectional area.

What does ACSS or ACSS/TW look like?

From the outside, ACSS and ACSS/TW conductors look like traditional ACSR. All are
manufactured with steel cores and aluminum outer strands. The key difference is that
the ACSR aluminum is made from hard drawn aluminum, while ACSS uses soft
aluminum (i.e. annealed, or O temper). In the ACSS/TW trapezoidal conductor, the
aluminum strands are not round but trapezoidal shaped.

What is so special about using annealed aluminum strands?

Both ACSR and ACSS conductors are made from two different metals-aluminum and
steel. Consequently, the composite conductor behavior is determined by the combined
electrical and mechanical properties of the two materials that make up the conductor.
Although ACSR and ACSS are made with 1350 alloy aluminum, their electrical and
mechanical properties are very different.
Electrically, the conductivity of hard drawn aluminum in ACSR is 61.2 percent; whereas,
soft aluminum has a conductivity of 63 percent relative to copper (100 percent). This
means that the soft aluminum in ACSS is more efficient at transporting power.
Mechanically, the tensile strength (resistance to breaking) of hard drawn aluminum in
ACSR is approximately three times that of soft aluminum. This means that the aluminum
in ACSS conductor contributes much less to the overall strength, and the composite
conductor behaves more like steel.

What are the consequences of elevated conductor temperature on ACSR?

When ACSR conductors are operated at temperatures in excess of approximately 93 C,


the aluminum starts to anneal. The annealing weakens the conductor and can
potentially cause the conductor to break under high wind or ice conditions. To prevent
this from happening, utilities generally limit conductor temperatures to 75 C for an
ACSR conductor.
ACSS/TW and ACSS conductors are manufactured using soft (annealed) aluminum,
where operation at higher temperatures has no further effect on the aluminums tensile
strength. Compared to regular ACSR, predictable installation parameters can be
calculated for the ACSS/TW conductors to take into consideration the sag and tension
performance at the higher temperatures.
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What is the temperature rating of ACSS?

The original temperature limit of 200 C has been in existence for almost 30 years and
has proven itself. This was based on a 245 C temperature limit established by steel core
manufacturers for the galvanized coating of the steel. Operation of the ACSS product at
higher temperature (e.g. 250 C) warrants the use of an enhanced type of galvanizing,
which provides more durable high temperature endurance performance (Misch Metalzinc/aluminum alloy coating). Another option for high temperatures is aluminum clad
steel.

How high can the operating temperature realistically go?

Theoretically, the 250 C rating would provide the ability to carry more power through
transmission lines. However, the question must be asked, Is it wise to operate an
electrical system at that high of a temperature?
The amount of electrical current passing through the conductor combined with
environmental conditions determines the operating temperature of the conductor.
Electrical current causes the following:
A) The higher the current, the hotter the conductor and the greater the power losses.
Ideally, lines are designed to minimize these power losses and keep normal day-to-day
power loads well below the 200 C operating temperature limits.
B) The hotter the conductor, the more it will sag and to compensate, the use of larger
and/or stronger structures would be required.
C) Electrical current also passes through the conductor joints (splices) and end fittings
(dead ends), forming weak links that can mechanically and electrically fail because of
overheating. Conductor supports and insulators also become more susceptible to failure.
To sum things up, pushing the temperature limit to 250 C remains an unproven
condition.

What are the best applications for use of the ACSS and ACSS/TW products?

System reliability issues push the need for the use of ACSS. Utilities are being pressured
to demonstrate system reliability. The ACSS/TW conductor could enable a tremendous
emergency load carrying capability that the utility could call upon when needed.
Cyclic Loads and Peak Demand can be accommodated using ACSS/TW because it can
operate at temperatures higher than ACSR. ACSS/TW enables utilities to plan for future
situations of increased power requirements because ACSS/TW has power carrying
capacity already built into the system.
Utilities can also turn to ACSS products in situations where they need additional power
capacity along existing right-of-ways, but are facing the environmental challenges of
building new lines. The ACSS/TW reconductoring option may be the only solution
available to upgrade lines with minimal changes along existing routes.

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Capacitive Voltage Transformers (CVT) For HV Measurements


Capacitive voltage transformers (CVTs) are used on higher voltage levels, starting from 66
kV and upwards. The type of the CVT is always a single-pole one, thus the connection is
between phase and earth. The higher the voltage level is, the more price-competitive the
capacitive type becomes.
One of the advantages the capacitive type has, in comparison to the inductive type, is the
possibility to use capacitive voltage transformers as high-frequency coupling units towards
the primary system (over headlines).
A typical application would be to utilize the CVTs for power line carrier (PLC) highfrequency signal interface units. For the voltage measurement purposes, the behavior and
the data specification of CVTs follow the same guide lines as the inductive ones.
In addition, the possibility for high-frequency signal coupling calls for a specified value for
rated capacitance (Cn).
This value is chosen considering the following issues //

Voltage magnitude to be measured


Capacitive voltage transformer manufacturing considerations
Demands from PLC system (frequency, bandwidth, connections)

The construction of capacitive voltage transformers


The figure above shows the principle of a capacitive voltage divider on which the capacitive
voltage transformer is based. The trimming windings are used for fine tuning the output
signal to correspond with the required accuracy class requirements. The compensating
reactor compensates the phase angle shift caused by the capacitive voltage divider.

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All capacitive voltage transformers require some sort of ferro resonance damping
circuit.
The capacitance in the voltage divider, in series with the inductance of the compensating
reactor and the wound transformer (inside the electromagnetic unit EMU), constitutes a
tuned resonance circuit. Unlike with the inductive type of voltage transformers, the CVTs
usually have the ferro resonance damping circuit inbuilt in the CVT itself, as shown in the
previous figure.
At higher system voltages, the resonance phenomenon usually takes place on fundamental
or on sub-harmonic frequencies, resulting in voltage transformer heating (finally damages)
and non-selective operations of protective relaying possible protective relaying nonselective operations.
The modern CVTs are utilizing the so-called adaptive damping circuits.
The circuit consists of a saturable series reactor and a loading resistor. This circuit is
connected in parallel to one of the secondary cores. During ferro resonance conditions, high
voltages appear, saturating the reactor and turning the damping resistor on to effectively
mitigate the parasitic voltage. During normal system conditions, the reactor presents high
reactance, effectively switching off the damping resistor.
Possible triggering factors for the ferro resonance phenomena could be

Planned primary switchings in the system


Circuit breaker trippings caused by primary fault
High-speed auto reclosing

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Wave trap
A line trap (high-frequency stopper) is a maintenance-free parallel resonant circuit,
mounted inline on high-voltage (HV) ACtransmission power lines to prevent the
transmission of high frequency (40 kHz to 1000 kHz) carrier signals of power line
communication to unwanted destinations. Line traps are cylinder-like structures connected
in series with HV transmission lines. A line trap is also called a wave trap.
The line trap acts as a barrier or filter to prevent signal losses. The inductive reactance of the
line trap presents a high reactance to high-frequency signals but a low reactance to mains
frequency. This prevents carrier signals from being dissipated in the substation or in a tap
line or branch of the main transmission path and grounds in the case of anything happening
outside of the carrier transmission path. The line trap is also used to attenuate the shunting
effects of high-voltage lines.
Design
The trap consists of three major components: the main coil, the tuning device, and the
protective device (also known as a surge arrester). The protective and tuning devices are
mounted inside the main coil. A line trap may be covered with a bird barrier, in which case
there are four components.[2]
The main coil is the outer part of the line trap which is made from stranded aluminum cable.
The reactor coil, depending on the device, can be made up of several aluminum wires,
allowing equal distribution amongst the parallel wires. The stranded aluminum coil is wound
in one layer. However, when the application of more than one layer is necessary, separation
between layers is required to provide a cooling duct between them to avoid overheating. The
cooling duct is created with spacer bars made out of epoxy resin and fiberglass. The coil
carries rated continuous power frequency currents, therefore this is the power inductor in
this system. It provides a low impedance path for the electricity flow.[3] Since the power flow
is rather large at times, the coil used in a line trap must be large in terms of physical size.
Hence, a line trap unit is inserted between the busbar and connection of coupling capacitor
to the line. It is a parallel tuned circuit containing inductance and capacitance. It has low
impedance for power frequency and high impedance to carrier frequency. This unit prevents
the high frequency carrier signal from entering the neighboring line.[4]
The next major component is the tuning device. This device is securely installed inside the
main coil. It adjusts blocking frequency or bandwidth, and consists of coils, capacitors, and
resistors. This smaller coil is attached to both ends of the main coil. Its purpose is to create a
blocking circuit which provides high impedance. There are three types of tuning devices:
wideband tuning, single frequency tuning, and double frequency tuning. The tuned circuit is
usually a dual-circuit broadband type. If the traps are self tuned, they do not require the use
of any tuning devices. With the use of a tuning device, a line trap can be tuned to a frequency
of 1000 Hz.[4]
The last main component is the protective device, which is parallel with the main coil and
the tuning device. It protects the main coil and the tuning device by lowering the over-voltage
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levels. The bandwidth of a line trap is the frequency range over which the line trap can
provide a certain specified minimum blocking impedance or resistance.
Line traps are connected in series with power line and thus their coils are rated to carry the
full line current. The impedance of a line trap is very low at the power frequency and will not
cause any significant voltage drop.

Use
Power line carrier communication (PLCC) technology has been frequently used since 1950
by the grid stations to transmit information at high speed. Transmitting information along
high-voltage lines, at high frequency, has been one of the main means of communication in
electric power for over fifty years. This technology is finding wide use in building and home
automation, as it avoids the need for extra wiring. The data collected from different sensors
is transmitted on power lines thereby reducing the maintenance cost of the additional
wiring. In some countries, this technology is also used to provide Internet connection. In
order to communicate, high-frequency line traps are used as they allow substations to
communicate with each other through the power lines at the same time as they transmit
electrical power. In order to separate power from messages being sent, different frequencies
are used. Electrical power has a frequency of 50 Hz or 60 Hz in most places, and the
communication waves use frequencies such as 150 kHz and 200 kHz. Line traps consist of
filter circuits that allow only power frequency waves to travel to that of electrical equipment.
They also stop communication waves from traveling to equipment.
Communication is crucial for substations.
LIMITATION : High frequency line traps have a temperature limit of 115 C-180 C
depending on construction and manufacture.

Different components used in PLCC are 1.Coupling Capacitor.


2.Line trap unit/wave trap unit.
3.Transmitters and receivers.
4.Hybrids and Filters.
5.Line tuners.
6.Master oscillator and amplifiers.
7.protection and earthing of coupling equipment.
there functions are as follows1.Coupling Capacitor--Coupling capacitor connects the carrier equipment to the
transmission line. The coupling capacitors capacitance is of such a value that it offers low
impedance to carrier frequency (1/C) but high impedance to power frequency (50 Hz). For
19 | P a g e

example 2000pF capacitor offers 1.5M to 50Hz but 150 to 500kHz. Thus coupling
capacitor allows carrier frequency signal to enter the carrier equipment. To decrease the
impedance further and make the circuit purely resistive so that there is no reactive power in
the circuit, low impedance is connected in series with coupling capacitor to form resonance
at
carrier
frequency.
2.Wave Trap or Line trap--The carrier energy on the transmission line must be directed
toward the remote line terminal and not toward the station bus and it must be isolated from
bus impedance variations. This task is performed by the line trap. A parallel resonant circuit
has high impedance at its tuned frequency, and it then causes most of the carrier energy to
flow toward the remote line terminal. The coil of the line trap provides a low impedance path
for the flow of the power frequency energy. Since the power flow is rather large at times, the
coil used in a line trap must be large in terms of physical size. Hence a line trap unit/Wave
trap is inserted between busbar and connection of coupling capacitor to the line. It is a
parallel tuned circuit comprising of inductance (L) and capacitance (C). It has low impedance
(less than 0.1?) for power frequency (50 Hz) and high impedance to carrier frequency. This
unit prevents the high frequency carrier signal from entering the neighboring line.

3.Line tuners--The line tuner/coupling capacitor combination provides a low impedance


path to the power line by forming a series resonant circuit tuned to the carrier frequency.
On the other hand, the capacitance of the coupling capacitor is high impedance to the power
frequency energy. Even though the coupling capacitor has high impedance at power
frequencies, there must be a path to ground in order that the capacitor may do its job. This
function is provided by the drain coil, which is in the base of the coupling capacitor. The drain
coil is designed to be low impedance at the power frequency and because of its inductance it
will have high impedance to the carrier frequency. Thus the combination of the line tuner,
coupling capacitor, and the drain coil provide the necessary tools for coupling the carrier
energy to the transmission line and blocking the power frequency energy. One last function
of the line tuner is to provide matching of impedance between the carrier coaxial cable,
usually 50 to 75 ohms, and the power line which will have an impedance of 150 to 500 ohms.

Power-line communication (PLC)


Power-line communication (PLC) is a communication protocol that uses electrical wiring
to simultaneously carry both data, and Alternating Current (AC) electric power
transmission or electric power distribution. It is also known as power-line carrier, powerline
digital
subscriber
line (PDSL), mains
communication,
power-line
telecommunications, or power-line networking (PLN).

20 | P a g e

A wide range of power-line communication technologies are needed for different


applications, ranging from home automation to Internet access which is often called
broadband over power lines (BPL). Most PLC technologies limit themselves to one type of
wire (such as premises wiring within a single building), but some can cross between two
levels (for example, both the distribution network and premises wiring). Typically
transformers prevent propagating the signal, which requires multiple technologies to form
very large networks. Various data rates and frequencies are used in different situations.
A number of difficult technical problems are common between wireless and power-line
communication, notably those of spread spectrum radio signals operating in a crowded
environment. Radio interference, for example, has long been a concern of amateur
radio groups
Principle of Operation
Power line networking uses existing electrical wiring, whether in a building or in the utility
grid, as network cables, meaning they also carry data signals. It can be a means of extending
an existing network into new places without adding new wires.
For example, a computer could be wired to a router as follows: an adapter is connected to a
router of an existing wired local-area network, via its network port. A second adapter is
connected to an Ethernet-ready device like a computer. When both adapters are plugged into
their wall sockets they will have a network connection via the electrical wiring in between
the two wall sockets being used. Some networking devices, such as routers or switches, also
have power line connectivity built in. This adds no new wires since they need to be plugged
into the wall to operate anyway.
The power line is transformed into a data line via the superposition of a low energy
information signal to the power wave. Since electricity is 50 or 60 Hz, data is transmitted at
at least 3 kHz to ensure that the power wave does not interfere with the data signal. A
technical challenge is that, because the power wiring is unshielded and untwisted, the wiring
acts as an antenna, so that the wiring emits radio energy, causing interference to the existing
users of the same frequency band. The power lines can also act as receiving antennas, and
receive interference from radio signals. In many jurisdictions such transmissions are illegal.
The U.S. is an exception, permitting limited-power wide-band signals to be injected into
unshielded wiring, as long as the wiring is not designed to propagate radio waves in free
space.
A PLC connection has many advantages to a wireless connection, however the quality of the
connection will still depend on the quality of the domestic electrical system. Improper wiring
and circuit breakers in between the connected cables can negatively affect the performance,
and can cause connection interruptions.
Types of PLC
PLC can be broadly grouped as narrowband PLC and broadband PLC, also known as low
frequency and high frequency respectively. They may also be grouped as AC or DC.
Functionally, there are four basic forms of power line communications:
21 | P a g e

Narrowband in-house applications: where household wiring is used for low bit rate
services like home automation and intercoms.
Narrowband outdoor applications. These are mainly used by the utility companies for
automatic meter reading and remote surveillance and control.
Broadband In-house mains power wiring can be used for high speed data transmission
for home networking.
Broadband over Power Line: outdoor mains power wiring can be used to offer
broadband internet access.
Narrowband

Narrowband PLC works at lower frequencies (3500 kHz), lower data rates (up to 100s of
kbps), and has longer range (up to several kilometers), which can be extended using
repeaters. It can be applied in the Smart Grid in smart energy generation, particularly in
micro-inverters for solar panels. Data rates and distance limits vary widely over many
power-line communication standards. Low-frequency (about 100200 kHz) carriers
impressed on high-voltage transmission lines may carry one or two analog voice circuits, or
telemetry and control circuits with an equivalent data rate of a few hundred bits per second;
however, these circuits may be many miles long.
Applications in the smart grid
Power-line carrier communication (PLCC) is mainly used for telecommunication, teleprotection and tele-monitoring between electrical substations through power lines at high
voltages, such as 110 kV, 220 kV, 400 kV.[14] This can be used by utilities for advanced energy
management techniques (such as OpenADR andOpenHAN), fraud detection and network
management, automatic meter reading (AMR), advanced metering infrastructure, demand
side management. load control, and demand response.
A project of EDF includes demand management, street lighting control, remote metering and
billing, customer specific tariff optimisation, contract management, expense estimation and
gas applications safety.
A coupling capacitor is used to connect the transmitters and receivers to the high voltage
line. Both one-way and two-way systems have been successfully used for decades. In a oneway (inbound only) system, readings "bubble up" from end devices (such as meters),
through the communication infrastructure, to a "master station" which publishes the
readings. A one-way system might be lower-cost than a two-way system, but also is difficult
to reconfigure should the operating environment change.
In a two-way system, commands can be broadcast out from the master station to end devices
(meters) allowing for reconfiguration of the network, or to obtain readings, or to convey
messages, etc. This type of broadcast allows the communication system to simultaneously
reach many thousands of devicesall of which are known to have power, and have been
previously identified as candidates for load shed. PLC also may be a component of a Smart
Grid.
A PLC carrier repeating station is a facility at which a PLC signal on a powerline is refreshed.
Therefore, the signal is filtered out from the powerline, demodulatedand modulated on a
new carrier frequency, and then reinjected onto the powerline again. As PLC signals can
22 | P a g e

carry long distances (several 100 kilometres), such facilities only exist on very long power
lines.
The Distribution Line Carrier (DLC) System technology used a frequency range of 9 to
500 kHz with data rate up to 576 kbit/s.
A project called Real-time Energy Management via Powerlines and Internet (REMPLI) was
funded from 2003 to 2006 by the European Commission.
In 2009, a group of vendors led by principal sponsor Iberdrola formed the PoweRline
Intelligent Metering Evolution (PRIME) alliance. As delivered, the physical layer is OFDM,
sampled at 250 kHz, with 512 differential phase shift keying channels from 4289 kHz. Its
fastest transmission rate is 128.6 kilobits/second, while its most robust is 5.4 kbit/s. It uses
a convolutional code for error detection and correction. PRIME supports IPv6.
In 2011, several companies including distribution network operators (ERDF, Enexis), meter
vendors
(Sagemcom,Landis&Gyr)
andchipvendors(MaximIntegrated,TexasInstruments, STMicroelectronics) founded the G3PLC Alliance to promote G3-PLC technology. G3-PLC is the low layer protocol to enable large
scale infrastructure on the electrical grid. G3-PLC may operate on CENELEC A band (35 kHz
to 91 kHz) or CENELEC B band (98 kHz to 122 kHz) in Europe, on ARIB band (155 kHz to
403 kHz) in Japan and on FCC (155 kHz to 487 kHz) for the US and the rest of the
world.[25] The technology used is OFDM sampled at 400 kHz with adaptative modulation and
tone mapping. Error detection and correction is made by both a convolutional
code and Reed-Solomon error correction. The required media access control is taken
from IEEE 802.15.4, a radio standard. In the protocol, 6loWPAN has been chosen to
adapt IPv6 an internet network layer to constrained environments which is Power line
communications. 6loWPAN integrates routing, based on the mesh network LOADng, header
compression, fragmentation and security. G3-PLC has been designed for extremely robust
communication based on reliable and highly secured connections between devices, including
crossing Medium Voltage to Low Voltage transformers. In December 2011, G3 PLC
technology was recognised as an international standard at ITU in Geneva where it is
referenced as G.9903.[26][27] Narrowband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing power
line communicationtransceivers for G3-PLC networks.
With the use of IPv6, both PRIME and G3 enable communication between meters, grid
actuators as well as smart objects.
Home automation and networking
Protocols are:

Universal powerline bus, introduced in 1999, uses pulse-position modulation.


X10
LonTalk, part of the LonWorks home automation product line, was accepted as part of
some automation standards.

Typically home-control power-line communication devices operate by modulating in


a carrier wave of between 20 and 200 kHz into the household wiring at the transmitter. The
23 | P a g e

carrier is modulated by digital signals. Each receiver in the system has an address and can
be individually commanded by the signals transmitted over the household wiring and
decoded at the receiver. These devices may be either plugged into regular power outlets, or
permanently wired in place. Since the carrier signal may propagate to nearby homes (or
apartments) on the same distribution system, these control schemes have a "house address"
that designates the owner. A popular technology known as X10 has been used since the
1970s.
Carrier current
Main article: Carrier current
PLC can be used for transmitting radio programs over powerlines in the AM radio band.
Broadband
Higher data rates generally imply shorter ranges; a local area network operating at millions
of bits per second (Mbps) may only cover one floor of an office building, but eliminates the
need for installation of dedicated network cabling.
Indoor
"Ethernet over power" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Power over Ethernet.
Broadband PLC works at higher frequencies (1.8-250 MHz), high data rates (up to 100s of
Mbps) and is used in shorter-range applications. High frequency communication may
(re)use large portions of the radio spectrum for communication, or may use select (narrow)
band(s), depending on the technology.
Power line communications can also be used in a home to interconnect home computers and
peripherals, and home entertainment devices that have an Ethernet port. Adapters allowing
for such connectivity are often marketed as "Ethernet over power" (EOP). Powerline adapter
sets plug into power outlets and establish an Ethernet connection using the existing
electrical wiring in the home. (Power strips with filtering may absorb the power line signal.)
This allows devices to share data without the inconvenience of running dedicated network
cables. Protocols are:

HomePlug AV, introduced in 2005, has speed from 20Mbit/s to 60Mbit/s. HomePlug AV
is ratified by the IEEE 1901 specification which assures interoperability between
adapters from different vendors.
Powerline AV 500 offers speeds from 90Mbit/s to 200Mbit/s.

Other companies and organizations back different specifications for power line home
networking and these include the Universal Powerline Association, SiConnect, the HD-PLC
Alliance, Xsilon and the ITU-Ts G.hn specification. Within homes, the HomePlug AV
and IEEE 1901 standards specify how existing AC wires should be used for data. IEEE 1901
products interoperate with HomePlug. Some limitations in household use are that
performance can be degraded by certain home appliances including motorized devices,
24 | P a g e

switchmode AC-to-DC converters, and fluorescent lamps; and using them in an apartment
building might lead to a security risk.[7]
In 2008, the ITU-T adopted G.hn/G.9960 for high-speed powerline, coax and phoneline
communications.[31]
Outdoor
Main article: Broadband over power lines
Broadband PLC works at higher frequencies (1.8-250 MHz), high data rates (up to 100s of
Mbps) and is used in shorter-range applications.
Broadband over power line (BPL) is a system to transmit two-way data over existing AC MV
(medium voltage) electrical distribution wiring, between transformers, and AC LV (low
voltage) wiring between transformer and customer outlets (typically 110 to 240V). This
avoids the expense of a dedicated network of wires for data communication, and the expense
of maintaining a dedicated network of antennas, radios and routers in wireless network.
BPL uses some of the same radio frequencies used for over-the-air radio systems. Modern
BPL employs frequency-hopping spread spectrum to avoid using those frequencies actually
in use, though early pre-2010 BPL standards did not. The criticisms of BPL from this
perspective are of pre-OPERA, pre-2005 standards.
The BPL OPERA standard is used primarily in Europe by ISPs. In North America it is used in
some places (Washington Island, WI, for instance) but is more generally used by electric
distribution utilities for smart meters and load management.
Direct current
Advanced techniques are needed to overcome noisy direct current environments.
Prototypes are operational in vehicles, using CAN-bus, LIN-bus over power line (DC-LIN)
and DC-BUS. LonWorks power line based control has been used for an HVAC system in a
production model bus. The SAE J1772 committee is developing standard connectors
for plug-in electric vehicles proposes to use power line communication between the vehicle,
off-board charging station, and thesmart grid, without requiring an additional pin; SAE and
the IEEE Standards Association are sharing their draft standards related to the smart grid
and vehicle electrification.
Electrical Isolator or Electrical Isolation Switch
Definition of Isolator
Circuit breaker always trip the circuit but open contacts of breaker cannot be visible
physically from outside of the breaker and that is why it is recommended not to touch any
electrical circuit just by switching off the circuit breaker. So for better safety there must be
some arrangement so that one can see open condition of the section of the circuit before
touching it. Isolator is a mechanical switch which isolates a part of circuit from system as
25 | P a g e

when required. Electrical isolators separate a part of the system from rest for safe
maintenance works. So definition of isolator can be rewritten as Isolator is a manually
operated mechanical switch which separates a part of the electrical power system normally
at off load condition.

Types of Electrical Isolators


There are different types of isolators available depending upon system requirement such as
Double Break Isolator
1. Single Break Isolator
2. Pantograph type Isolator.
Depending upon the position in power system, the isolators can be categorized as
1. Bus side isolator the isolator is directly connected with main bus
2. Line side isolator the isolator is situated at line side of any feeder
3. Transfer bus side isolator the isolator is directly connected with transfer bus.
Constructional Features of Double Break Isolators
Lets have a discussion on constructional features of Double Break Isolators. These have three
stacks of post insulators as shown in the figure. The central post insulator carries a tubular
or flat male contact which can be rotated horizontally with rotation of central post insulator.
This rod type contact is also called moving contact.

The female type contacts are fixed on the top of the other post insulators which fitted at both
sides of the central post insulator. The female contacts are generally in the form of spring
26 | P a g e

loaded figure contacts. The rotational movement of male contact causes to come itself into
female contacts and isolators becomes closed. The rotation of male contact in opposite
direction make to it out from female contacts and isolators becomes open. Rotation of the
central post insulator is done by a driving lever mechanism at the base of the post insulator
and it connected to operating handle (in case of hand operation) or motor (in case of
motorized operation) of the isolator through a mechanical tie rod.
Constructional features of Single Break Isolators
The contact arm is divided into two parts one carries male contact and other female contact.
The contact arm moves due to rotation of the post insulator upon which the contact arms are
fitted. Rotation of both post insulators stacks in opposite to each other causes to close the
isolator by closing the contact arm. Counter rotation of both post insulators stacks open the
contact arm and isolator becomes in off condition. This motorized form of this type of
isolators is generally used but emergency hand driven mechanism is also provided.
Earthing Switches
Earthing switches are mounted on the base of mainly line side isolator. Earthing switches
are normally vertically break switches. Earthing arms (contact arm of earthing switch) are
normally aligned horizontally at off condition. during switching on operation, these earthing
arms rotate and move to vertical position and make contact with earth female contacts fitted
at the top of the post insulator stack of isolator at its outgoing side. The erarthing arms are
so interlocked with main isolator moving contacts that it can be closed only when the main
contacts of isolator are in open position. Similarly the main isolator contacts can be closed
only when the earthing arms are in open position.
Operation of Electrical Isolator
As no arc quenching technique is provided in isolator it must be operated when there is no
chance current flowing through the circuit. No live circuit should be closed or open by
isolator operation. A complete live closed circuit must not be opened by isolator operation
and also a live circuit must not be closed and completed by isolator operation to avoid huge
arcing in between isolator contacts. That is why isolators must be open after circuit breaker
is open and these must be closed before circuit breaker is closed. Isolator can be operated by
hand locally as well as by motorized mechanism from remote position. Motorized operation
arrangement costs more compared to hand operation; hence decision must be taken before
choosing an isolator for system whether hand operated or motor operated economically
optimum for the system. For voltages up to 145 KV system hand operated isolators are used
whereas for higher voltage systems like 245 KV or 420 KV and above motorized isolators are
used.

Low Voltage Switchgear or LV Switchgear


Generally electrical switchgear rated upto 1 KV is termed as low voltage switchgear. The
term LV Switchgear includes low voltage circuit breakers, switches, off load electrical
isolators, HRC fuses, earth leakage circuit breaker, miniature circuit breakers (MCB) and
27 | P a g e

molded case circuit breakers (MCCB) etc i.e. all the accessories required to protect the LV
system.

.
The most common use of LV switchgear is in LV distribution board. This system has the
following parts
Incomer
The incomer feeds incoming electrical power to the incomer bus. The switchgear used in
the incomer should have a main switching device.
The switchgear devices attached with incomer should be capable of withstanding abnormal
current for a short specific duration in order to allow downstream devices to operate. But it
also be cable of interrupting maximum value of the fault current generated in the system. It
must have interlocking arrangement with downstream devices. Generally air circuit
breakers are preferably used as interrupting device. Low voltage air circuit breaker is
preferable for this purpose because of the following features
1. Simplicity
2. Efficient performance
3. High normal current rating up to 600 A
4. High fault withstanding capacity upto 63 kA
Although air circuit breakers have long tripping time, big size, high cost but still they are
most suitable for low voltage switchgear for the above mentioned features.
Sub - Incomer
Next downstream part of the LV Distribution board is sub - incomer. These sub - incomers
draw power from main incomer bus and feed this power to feeder bus. The devices installed
as parts of a sub - incomer should have the following features
1. Ability to achieve economy without sacrificing protection and safety
2. Need for relatively less number of inter - locking since it cover limited are of network
ACBs and switch fuse units are generally used as sub - incomers along with molted case
circuit breakers (MCCB).
Feeders
Different feeders are connected to the feeder bus to feeds different loads like, motor loads,
lighting loads, industrial machinery loads, air conditioner loads, transformer cooling system
28 | P a g e

loads etc. All feeders are primarily protected by switch fuse unit and in addition to that,
depending upon the types of load connected to the feeders, the different switchgear devices
are chosen for different feeders. Let's discuss in details

Motor Feeder
Motor feeder should be protected against over load, short circuit, over current up to
locked rotor condition and single phasing.
Industrial Machinery Load Feeder
Feeder connected industrial machinery load like oven, electroplating bath etc are
commonly protected by MCCBl and fswitch fuse units
Lighting Load Feeder
This is protected similar to industrial machinery load but additional earth leakage
current protection is provided in this case to reduce any damage to life and property
that could be caused by harmful leakages of current and fire.

In LV switchgear system, electrical appliances are protected against short circuit and over
load conditions by electrical fuses or electrical circuit breaker. However, the human operator
is not adequately protected against the faults occurs inside the appliances. The problem can
be overcome by using earth leakage circuit breaker. This operates on low leakage current.
The earth leakage circuit breaker can detect leakage current as low as 100 mA and is capable
of disconnecting the appliance in less than 100 msec.

29 | P a g e

A typical diagram of low voltage switchgear is shown above. Here the main incomer comes
from LV side of an electrical transformer. This incomer through an electrical isolator as well
as an MCCB (not shown in the figure) feeds the incomer bus. Two sub-incomers are
connected to the incomer bus these sub incomers are protected by means of either switch
fuse unit or air circuit breaker. These switches are so interlocked along with bus section
switch or bus coupler that only one incomer switch can be put on if bus section switch is in
on position and both sub incomer switches can be put on only if bus section switch is at off
position. This arrangement is fruitful for preventing any mismatch of phase sequence
between the sub - incomers. The different load feeders are connected to any of the both
sections of the feeder bus. Here motor feeder is protected by thermal overload device along
with conventional switch fuse unit. Heater feeder is protected only by conventional switch
fuse unit. The domestic lighting and AC loads are separately protected by miniature circuit
breaker along with common conventional switch fuse unit. This is most basic and simple
scheme for low voltage switchgear or LV distribution board.

Medium Voltage Switchgear


From 3 KV to 36 KV switchgear system is categorized as medium voltage switchgear or MV
switchgear. These switchgears are of many types. They may metal enclosed indoor type,
metal enclosed outdoor type, outdoor type without metal enclosure, etc. The interruption
medium of this switchgear may be oil, SF6 and vacuum. The main requirement of MV power
network is to interrupt current during faulty condition irrespective of what type of CB is used
in the MV switchgear system. Although it may be capable of functioning in other conditions
also. A medium voltage switchgear, should be capable of,
1. Normal ON/OFF switching operation.
2. Short circuit current interruption.
3. Switching of capacitive currents.
4. Switching of inductive currents.
5. Some special application.
All the above mentioned function must be carried out with high degree of safety and
reliability.
Short Circuit Current Interruption
The main focus of circuit breaker design is to that all circuit breaker should be capable of
interrupting short circuit current with high degree of reliability and safety. The number of
faulty tripping occurred during total life span of a circuit breaker mainly depends upon
location of the system, quality of system and environment condition. If the number of
tripping is much high, the best choice is vacuum circuit breaker as it may not require any
maintenance up to 100 faulty trippings with short circuit current up to 25 KA. Whereas other
circuit breakers require maintenance after 15 to 20 faulty trippings with same short circuit
current of CB.

30 | P a g e

The substations reunited in rural areas are generally of outdoor type, and most of them are
unattended type. Hence for this type of applications maintenance free outdoor type, medium
voltage switchgear is most suitable. Porcelain clad vacuum circuit breaker meets this
demand against the conventional indoor kiosks.
Switching of Capacitive Current
The capacitor bank is used in medium voltage power system to improve power factor of the
system. Unloaded cable and unloaded overhead lines has also capacitive charging current.
The capacitor bank and unloaded power lines should be disconnected from the system safely
without re-ionization. Re-ionization in the contact gap causes over voltage in the system.
Vacuum circuit breaker meets the requirement. While switching on a capacitor bank, a high
rate of rise of making current will flow through the CB contacts. Circuit breaker with liquid
quenching medium and tulip contacts may suffer from contact pin retardation. Vacuum
medium voltage switchgear is most perfect choice for this purpose, as vacuum circuit
breaker has low arcing during short pre arcing time.
Switching of Inductive Current
Older VCB had current chopping level of 20 A when these breakers were used to switch
transformers, special surge protection device were required. Modern VCB has very low
chopping current which is about 2 - 4A. Hence modern vacuum medium voltage switchgear
is very much suitable for switching unloaded transformer. As the modern VCB chops the
current at very low level, there is no risk of additional surge protection devices. Hence VCB
is suitable for very low inductive load switching. But when the inductive current in the
system is low but not very low VCB is the best choice.

Special Application of Medium Voltage Switchgear


Arc Furnace
An arc furnace is required to be switch off and on frequently. The current to be switched may
be from 0 to 8 times of the rated current of the furnace. An arc furnace to be switched on and
off at its normal rated current up to 2000A, around 100 times per day. A normal, SF6 circuit
breaker, air circuit breaker and oil circuit breaker is not at all economical for this frequent
operation. Standard vacuum circuit breaker is most suitable alternative for this frequent
high current circuit breaker operation.
Railway Traction
Another application of medium voltage switchgear is single phase railway track system. The
main function of the circuit breaker associated with railway traction system, is to interrupt
short circuit, on the overhead catenary system which occur frequently and are transient in
nature. Hence circuit breaker used for this purpose should have, short breaking time for
small contact gap, short arcing time, quick breaking, and VCB is the best possible solution.
Actually arcing energy is much higher in the single phase CB than 3 phase CB. It is still much
lower in a vacuum circuit breaker than that in conventional circuit breaker. The number of
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short circuit occurs in the overhead catenary system is much higher than those occurring on
electrical transmission system. Medium voltage switchgear with vacuum circuit breaker is
most suitable for traction application.
It can be concluded that, in medium voltage system where tripping rate is very high, MV
Vacuum Switchgear is most suitable solution.
High Voltage Switchgear
The power system deals with voltage above 36KV, is referred as high voltage. As the voltage
level is high the arcing produced during switching operation is also very high. So, special care
to be taken during designing of high voltage switchgear. High voltage circuit breaker, is the
main component of HV switchgear, hence high voltage circuit breaker should have special
features for safe and reliable operation. Faulty tripping and switching operation of high
voltage circuit are very rear. Most of the time these circuit breakers remain, at ON condition,
and may be operated after a long period of time. So CBs must be reliable enough to ensure
safe operation, as when required. High voltage circuit breaker technology has changed
radically in the last 15 years. Minimum oil circuit breaker, air blast circuit breaker and SF6
circuit breaker are mostly used for high voltage switchgear.

Vacuum circuit breaker is rarely used for this purpose as till date vacuum technology is not
adequate for interrupting very high voltage short circuit current. There are two types of SF6
circuit breaker, single pressure SF6 breaker and two pressures circuit breaker. The single
pressure system is the state of art for high voltage switchgear system, in present time. Now
days SF6 gas as arc quenching medium, has become most popular for high and extra high
voltage electrical power system. Although, SF6 gas has strong impact on the greenhouse
effect. It has 23 times stronger impact on the greenhouse effect, than that of CO2. Hence,
leakage of SF6 gas during the service life of circuit breaker must be prevented. In order to
minimize the emission of SF6 gas, the N2 - SF6 and CF4 - SF6 gas mixture, may be used in circuit
breaker in future, as substitute of pure SF6. It must always be taken care of that, no SF6 gas
comes out in atmosphere during maintenance of the CB.On the other hand, SF6 circuit
breaker has the major advantage of low maintenance.
High voltage switchgears are categorized as,

1. Gas insulated indoor type,


2. Air insulated outdoor type.
Again, outdoor type air insulated circuit breakers are classified as,
1. Dead tank type circuit breaker
2. Live tank type circuit breaker

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In dead tank type CB, the switching device is located, with suitable insulator supports inside
a metallic vessel(s) at ground potential filled with insulating medium. In live tank circuit
breaker, the interrupts are located in an insulated busing, at the system potential. The live
tank circuit breakers are cheaper and required less mounting space. There are mainly three
types of circuit breaker, as we said earlier, used in high voltage switchgear system i.e. air
blast circuit breaker, SF6 circuit breaker, oil circuit breaker. And vacuum circuit breaker is
rarely used.
Air Blast Circuit Breaker
In this design, a blast of high pressure compressed air is used to quench arc between two
detaching contacts, when the arc column ionization is least at currents zero.
Oil Circuit Breaker
This is further classified as bulk oil circuit breaker (BOCB) and minimum oil circuit breaker
(MOCB). In BOCB, the interrupting unit is placed inside an oil tank of earth potential. Here
oil is used as both insulating and interrupting medium. In MOCB on the other hand, the oil
requirement can be minimized by placing the interrupting units in an insulating chamber at
live potential on an insulator column.
SF6 Circuit Breaker
SF6 gas is widely used as arc quenching medium in HV applications today. Sulfur hexafluoride
gas is a high electronegative gas having excellent dielectric and arc quenching properties.
High dielectric and insulating properties of SF6, make it possible to design high voltage circuit
breaker with smaller overall dimension, shorter contact gap. Excellent insulating property
helps to design and construct indoor type high voltage switchgear.
Vacuum Circuit Breaker
In vacuum, there is no further ionization between two separated current carrying contacts,
after current zero. The initial arc is caused by it will die as soon as next zero crossing but as
there is no provision of further ionization once the current is crossed its first zero, the arc
quenching is completed. Although the arc quenching method is very fast in VCB, but till it is
not a suitable solution for high voltage switchgear, as VCB made for very high voltage level
is not economical at all.
The essential features to be provide in high voltage circuit breaker, to ensure safe and
reliable operation the breakers used in high voltage switchgear, must be capable of being
operated safely for,
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Terminal faults.
Short line faults.
Transformer or reactors magnetizing current.
Energizing long transmission line.
Charging capacitor bank.
Switching of out of phase sequence.

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Terminal Fault
Generally the load connected to the power system is inductive in nature. Due to this
inductance, when short circuit current is just interrupted by a circuit breaker, there is a
chance of high restriking voltage of high frequency oscillation in order of few hundred Hz.
This voltage has two parts
1. Transient recovery voltage with high frequency oscillation immediately after the arc
extinction.
2. After die down this high frequency oscillation, power frequency recover voltage
appears across the CB contacts.
Transient Recovery Voltage
Just after extinction of arc transient recovery voltage appears across the CB contacts, with
high frequency. This transient recovery voltage ultimately approaches to open circuit
voltage. This recovery voltage can be represented as

The frequency of oscillation is governed by the circuit parameter L and C. The resistance
present in the power circuit damps out this transient voltage. The transient recovery
voltage has not a single frequency, it is combination of may different frequencies due to
complexity of the power network.
Power Frequency Recovery Voltage
This is nothing but open circuit voltage appears across the CB contacts, just after the
transient recovery voltage damped out. In three phase system the power frequency recovery
voltage differs in different phase. It is highest in first phase. If the network neutral is not
earthed, the voltage across the first pole to be cleared is 1.5U where U is the phase voltage.
In an earthed neutral system it will be 1.3U. By using damping resistor, the magnitude and
rate of rise of transient recovery voltage can be limited. The dielectric recovery of the arc
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quenching medium and rate of rise of transient recovery voltage has great influence on the
performance of the circuit breaker used in high voltage switchgear system.
In air blast circuit breaker, once ionized air is deionized very slowly, thus air takes long time
to recover dielectric strength. That is why it is preferable to used low value breaker resistor
to slow down rate of rise of recovery voltage. On the other hand ABCB is less sensitive to the
initial recovery voltage because of high arc voltage in SF6 circuit breaker, the interrupting
medium (SF6) has faster rate of recovery of dielectric strength, than air. Lower arc voltage,
makes SF6 CB more sensitive to the initial recovery voltage.
In oil circuit breaker, during arc having pressurized hydrogen gas (produced during
recombination of oil due to arc temperature) provides quick recovery of dielectric strength
immediate after current zero. Hence OCB is more sensitive to rate of rise of recovery voltage.
It is also more sensitive to initial transient recovery voltage.
Short Line Fault
Short line fault in transmission network is defined as the short circuit faults occurred, within
5km of the line length. Double frequency being impressed on the circuit breaker and the
difference of source and line side transient recovery voltage. Both voltages start from
instantaneous values at the opposition of the circuit breakers prior to the interruption. On
the supply side the voltage will oscillate at supply frequency and ultimately approaches to
open circuit voltage. On the line side, after interruption, trapped charges initial traveling
waves through the transmission line, since there is no driving voltage on the driving side, the
voltage ultimately becomes zero because of the line losses. The network diagram and the line
side and supply side voltage wave forms are shown in the figure below.

Surge Impedance Loading (SIL)


Surge impedance loading (SIL) of a transmission line is the MW loading of a transmission
line at which natural reactive power balance occurs. The following brief article explains the
concept of SIL.
Transmission lines produce reactive power (MVar) due to their natural capacitance. The
amount of MVar produced is dependent on the transmission lines capacitive reactance (XC)
and the voltage (kV) at which line is energized. In equation form the MVar produced by a
transmission line is:

Transmission lines also use reactive power to support their magnetic fields. Magnetic field
strength is dependent on the magnitude of the current flow through the line and the lines
natural inductive reactance (XL). It follows then that the amount of MVar used by a
transmission line is a function of current flow and inductive reactance. In equation form
the MVar used by a transmission line is:
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A transmission lines SIL is the MW loading (at unity power factor) at which the
lines MVar usage is equal to the lines MVar production. In equation form SIL occurs when:
MVarUsed = MVarProduced

Rearranging terms:

If the square root of both sides of the above equation is taken and then substitute in the
formulas for XL =
arrive at:

Rearranging variables yields:

The term in the above equation is called the surge impedance. The significance of the
surge impedance is that if a purely resistive load that is equal to surge impedance were
connected to the end of a transmission line with no resistance, a voltage surge introduced to
the sending end of the line would be absorbed completely at the receiving end. The voltage
at the receiving end would have the same magnitude as the sending end voltage and would
have a phase angle that is lagging with respect to the sending end by an amount equal to the
time required to travel across the line from sending to receiving end.
The concept of a surge impedance is more readily applied to telecommunication systems
than to power systems. However, we can extend the concept to the power transferred across
a transmission line. The surge impedance loading or SIL (in MW) is equal to the voltage
squared (in kV) divided by the surge impedance (in ohms). In equation form:

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Note in this formula that SIL is dependent only on the kV the line is energized at and the lines
surge impedance. The line length is not a factor in the SIL or surge impedance
calculations. Therefore the SIL is not a measure of a transmission lines power transfer
capability as it does not take into account the lines length nor does it consider the strength
of the local power system.
The value of SIL to a System Operator is realizing that when a line is loaded above its SIL it
acts like a shunt reactor absorbing MVar from the system and when a line is loaded below
its SIL it acts like a shunt capacitor supplying MVar to the system.
Figure 1 contains a graphic of the concept of SIL. This particular line has an SIL of 450
MW. Therefore if the line is loaded to 450 MW (with no MVar) flow, the MVar produced by
the line will exactly balance MVar used by the line.

Figure 1
Surge Impedance Loading of a Transmission Line
Ferranti Effect in Power System
In general practice we know, that for all electrical systems current flows from the region of
higher potential to the region of lower potential, to compensate for the electrical potential
difference that exists in the system. In all practical cases the sending end voltage is higher
than the receiving end, so current flows from the source or the supply end to the load. But
Sir S.Z. Ferranti, in the year 1890, came up with an astonishing theory about medium
distance transmission line or long distance transmission lines suggesting that in case of light
loading or no load operation of transmission system, the receiving end voltage often
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increases beyond the sending end voltage, leading to a phenomena known as Ferranti effect
in power system.
Why Ferranti Effect occurs in a Transmission Line?
A long transmission line can be considered to composed a considerably high amount of
capacitance and inductor distributed across the entire length of the line.
Ferranti Effect occurs when current drawn by the distributed capacitance of the line itself is
greater than the current associated with the load at the receiving end of the line( during light
or no load). This capacitor charging current leads to voltage drop across the line inductor of
the transmission system which is in phase with the sending end voltages. This voltage drop
keeps on increasing additively as we move towards the load end of the line and subsequently
the receiving end voltage tends to get larger than applied voltage leading to the phenomena
called Ferranti effect in power system. It is illustrated with the help of a phasor diagram
below. Thus both the capacitance and inductor effect of transmission line are equally
responsible for this particular phenomena to occur, and hence Ferranti effect is negligible in
case of a short transmission lines as the inductor of such a line is practically considered to
be nearing zero. In general for a 300 Km line operating at a frequency of 50 Hz, the no load
receiving end voltage has been found to be 5 % higher than the sending end voltage. Now for
analysis of Ferranti effect let us consider the phasor diagrame shown above. Here, Vr is
considered to be the reference phasor, represented by OA.

This is represented by the phasor OC.


Now in case of a long transmission line, it has been practically observed that the line
electrical resistance is negligibly small compared to the line reactance, hence we can assume

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the length of the phasor Ic R = 0, we can consider the rise in the voltage is only due to OA OC = reactive drop in the line.
Now if we consider c0 and L0 are the values of capacitance and inductor per km of the
transmission line, where l is the length of the line.

Since, in case of a long transmission line, the capacitance is distributed throughout its length,
the average current flowing is,

Thus the rise in voltage due to line inductor is given by,

From the above equation it is absolutely evident, that the rise in voltage at the receiving end
is directly proportional to the square of the line length, and hence in case of a long
transmission line it keeps increasing with length and even goes beyond the applied sending
end voltage at times, leading to the phenomena called Ferranti effect in power system.

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