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Fault Analysis Using Continuation Power Flow

and Phase Coordinates
P. A. N. Garcia, Member, IEEE J. L. R. Pereira, Member, IEEE, M. P. Vinagre and E. J. Oliveira

and constant power can be adjusted as required.

I. INTRODUCTION • Shunt faults

The faults are represented as impedance or admittance
T his panel discussion addresses the problem of fault
analysis applied to unbalanced power systems. It is well
known that the effectiveness of the classical Symmetrical
matrices, in accordance with the fault type, as described in
[16]. As an example, the circuit model and corresponding
Components method of fault analysis is severely impaired admittance matrix for a general three-phase fault is given
when dealing with unbalanced systems, due to couplings that below.
appear between the sequence networks [1-3]. Simultaneous a b c
faults in balanced systems can be solved using Symmetrical
Components, but the derivations are rather cumbersome. Za Zb Zc
Distribution power systems are normally unbalanced. Several
proposals have been specifically described to deal with fault
analysis on distribution systems, which may include single- Zg
phase, two-phase and untransposed three-phase feeders [4-
This discussion describes a new tool for fault analysis, which
is based on the Three-phase Current Injection Method - TCIM Figure 1: General representation of Shunt Faults
- power flow [11]. This method solves the system of equations
on phase coordinates, using the full Newton method. The ⎡Ya (Yb + Yc + Yg ) − YaYb − YaYc ⎤
⎢ ⎥
Ybus 3φ = X ⎢ − YaYb Yb (Ya + Yc + Yg ) − YbYc ⎥ (1)
system is first solved at steady-state and then a large
⎢ − YaYc − YbYc Yc (Ya + Yb + Yg )⎥⎦
impedance is included at the fault point. To avoid ⎣

convergence problems a series of power flow calculations are Where,

performed, in which the fault impedance is decreased in steps,
until the actual fault impedance value is reached. This 1
X= (2)
methodology is known in the literature as the continuation Ya + Yb + Yc + Yg
power flow technique, and in the present case the fault 1 1 1 1
impedance is the continuation parameter. Ya = , Yb = , Yc = , Yg = (3)
Za Zb Zc Zg
The network components such as transmission lines, Assigning the appropriate values to Za, Zb, Zc and Zg, the
transformers, generators, etc, are modeled as describes in [3], impedance matrix for any type of shunt fault can be obtained
[12]. from the above equations.
The loads can be as single-phase, two-phase or three-phase
loads, each phase being represented by the ZIP model, in • Series faults
which the proportions of constant impedance, constant current Series faults can be represented using the three-phase
circuit shown in Figure 2.

Dr. Garcia is Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Federal University Busbar K Busbar M
of Juiz de Fora-Brazil. E-mail: pgarcia@lacee.ufjf.br. Z aa
Dr. Pereira is Professor of Electrical Engineering at Federal University of Juiz V ak Vam
de Fora-Brazil. E-mail: jluiz@lacee.ufjf.br .
Dr. Vinagre is Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Federal Z bb
University of Juiz de Fora-Brazil. E-mail: marvin@lacee.ufjf.br. V bk Vbm
Dr. Oliveira is Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Federal
University of Juiz de Fora-Brazil. E-mail: edimar@lacee.ufjf.br. Z cc
Vck V cm

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Figure 2: Series Fault representation 4. Compute the power flow solution;

5. If the fault impedance is equal or smaller than the
Assigning the appropriate values to Zaa, Zbb and Zcc, the specified value, stop. Else, update the fault
different types of series faults can be determined, as shown impedance value in accordance with equation (4).
in Figures 3 to 5. 6. Go to step 3.

Equivalent Circuit Impedance matrix

Busbar K Busbar K' Busbar M' Busbar M
Z ( h ) = Z ( h −1) F (4)
nZaa (1-n)Zaa
⎡∞ ⎤
⎢ ⎥ Z: fault Impedance;
nZbb (1-n)Zbb
Z= ⎢
0 ⎥
B h: Number of solved power flows;
⎢⎣ 0⎥⎦
nZcc (1-n)Zcc
F = e ( −α / n ) (5)
n: Number of iterations of previous power flow solution;
Figure 3: One Phase Opening Model
α: Continuation step.
Equivalent Circuit Impedance matrix IV. RESULTS
Busbar K Busbar K' Busbar M' Busbar M
nZaa (1-n)Zaa
The IEEE 300 Busbar balanced system has been used to

⎢ ⎥
illustrate the proposed technique. A single phase A to
nZbb (1-n)Zbb
Z= ⎢
∞ ⎥ ground fault is applied to busbar 208. As is well known,
⎢⎣ 0⎥⎦ when the conventional approach using Symmetrical
nZcc (1-n)Zcc
C Components is used, the loads have to be represented as
Figure 4: Two Phase Opening model constant impedances. Table 1 shows the percentual
differences between the phase voltages computed with the
Equivalent Circuit Impedance matrix Symmetrical Components and the proposed techniques. It is
Busbar K Busbar K' Busbar M' Busbar M seen that substantial differences may occur. For example
nZaa (1-n)Zaa
the phase A voltage at busbar 204 is 42% higher when the

SC constant impedance model is compared with the
nZbb (1-n)Zbb
Z = ⎢⎢ ∞ ⎥

B proposed approach using constant power. This illustrates
⎢⎣ the importance of a correct load representation.
nZcc (1-n)Zcc
Figure 7 shows the path followed by the solutions when
Figure 5: Three Phase Opening model the fault impedance was gradually decreased to the actual
fault impedance value; in this case solid ground fault was
• Simultaneous faults assumed. It is seen that 21 steps were needed to reach the
Simultaneous faults can be represented using the correct final solution.
combination of admittance and impedance matrices for the
types of faults involved. As an example, Figure 6 shows a Table 1: Percentual Differences Among Symmetrical Components and
Proposed Method
condition in which an open phase is present between busbars
K and M, followed by a phase-to-ground fault. Busbar Va Vb Vc
49 4.7143 3.9378 4.0022
Busbar K Busbar K' Busbar M' Busbar M
∞ 0 0 69 13.2340 2.2267 3.0324
abc abc 112 4.0436 0.18318 1.7155
Ykk ' 0 ∞ 0 Ymm '
0 0 0 189 12.28 1.0033 2.1886
Ysh Ysh 0 0 0 Ysh Ysh 193 23.648 1.0377 3.3437
0 0 0
0 0 YcYg 196 11.02 0.86042 2.3509
197 5.9846 0.41436 1.2767
Figure 6: Series and Shunt Fault Representation
199 9.7183 1.0337 1.8345
III. METHODOLOGY 200 8.7998 0.93025 1.861
201 22.29 4.8526 4.7098
The proposed implementation for the algorithm has the
202 4.2063 0.47229 0.78709
following main steps:
204 42.174 6.0388 8.0342
1. Compute the power flow for the base case; 205 31.916 3.0963 5.1849
2. Assign the appropriate fault impedance matrices 206 4.951 1.7463 2.385
in accordance with the type of fault; 209 16.245 0.55817 2.93
3. Update the network bus admittance matrix;

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Figure 7: Variation of fault impedance in the continuation power flow process.


This work has discussed a new method to compute fault

analysis in unbalanced power systems. The continuation
power flow technique has been used to solve the three-
phase power flow equations, in which the continuation
parameter is the fault impedance.
The method was applied to the IEEE 300 busbar system.
The importance of load representation was stressed. The
method can be very useful as a tool to assess voltage sag
conditions on any balanced or unbalanced power system.
Additionally, the method can be applied to the study of
distribution systems having several power sources such as
distributed generation plants.


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