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Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief


Table of Contents

Brief # PTB#1 PTB#2 PTB#3 PTB#4 PTB#5 PTB#6 PTB#7 PTB#8 PTB#9 PTB#10 PTB#11 PTB#12 PTB#13 PTB#14 PTB#15 PTB#16 PTB#17 PTB#18 PTB#19 PTB#20 PTB#21 PTB#22 PTB#23 PTB#24 PTB#25 PTB#26 PTB#27 PTB#28 PTB#29 PTB#30 PTB#31 PTB#32 PTB#33 PTB#34 PTB#35 PTB#36

Issue Date (4/23/90) (5/18/90) (6/7/90) (7/28/90) (7/29/90) (7/30/90) (9/29/90) (10/22/90) (1/9/91) (1/10/91) (3/1/91) (3/4/91) (3/27/91) (4/1/91) (5/24/91) (6/12/91) (7/18/91) (7/19/91) (8/26/91) (8/27/91) (12/3/91) (12/4/91) (12/5/91) (2/7/92) (2/11/92) (4/13/92) (4/14/92) (8/25/92) (8/28/92) (10/16/92) (10/18/92) (10/19/92) (12/16/92) (12/17/92) (1/14/93) (3/4/93)

Contents of Brief Fast Bus Transfer Closing and Latching Capability of Medium Voltage Power Circuit Breakers Capacitance Current Switching Capability of PowlVac Circuit Breakers Umbilical Cord Used on PowlVac Circuit Breakers Comparison of Porcelain and Cycloaliphatic Epoxy Insulation Effect of Solar Radiation on Outdoor Metal-Enclosed Switchgear Seismic Testing of PowlVac Switchgear Preventing Voltage Feedback in Synchronizing Circuits Fuses for Use in DC Control Circuits Transient Recovery Voltage (TRV) Values for Testing of PowlVac Circuit Breakers Consequences of Vacuum Interrupter Failure Continuous Current Carrying Capability of Low Voltage Circuit Breakers Future Use of Space in Powell Equipments Autotransformer Starting of Motors Directional Overcurrent and Directional Power Relays Preventing Condensation in Medium Voltage Motors Ground Lead Disconnectors on Distribution-Class Surge Arresters Operating Times of PowlVac Circuit Breakers Use of PowlVac Circuit Breakers for Continuous Currents Above 3000 Amperes Application of Dummy Circuit Breakers in Metal-Clad Switchgear Switching Capability of Rollout or Tiltout Carriages Short Circuit Currents - Crest, rms Symmetrical and rms Asymmetrical Using Design Tests to Qualify Several Ratings of Equipment Sizing Bus Bars in Switchgear and Motor Control Application of Metal-Enclosed Switchgear at High Altitude Voltage Ratings of Surge Arresters Testing of Switchgear and Motor Control Equipment Short Circuit Current Levels Used to Test Various Types of Circuit Breakers Interchangeability of Drawout Circuit Breakers in Switchgear Assemblies Static Relays and Meters Effects of Harmonics on Switchgear Replacing Older Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers with Vacuum Circuit Breakers Partial Differential Relaying Polarity Markings on Instrument Transformers Settings of Targets on Electro-Mechanical Protective Relays Epoxy Bus Bar Insulation

2001 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief


Table of Contents

Brief # PTB#37 PTB#38 PTB#39 PTB#40 PTB#41 PTB#42 PTB#43 PTB#44 PTB#45 PTB#46 PTB#47 PTB#48 PTB#49 PTB#50 PTB#51 PTB#52 PTB#53 PTB#54 PTB#55 PTB#56 PTB#57 PTB#58 PTB#59 PTB#60 PTB#61 PTB#62 PTB#63 PTB#64 PTB#65 PTB#66 PTB#67 PTB#68 PTB#69 PTB#70

Issue Date (3/5/93) (4/21/93) (4/22/93) (4/23/93) (6/3/93) (6/4/93) (7/30/93) (8/2/93) (9/22/93) (9/23/93) (11/17/93) (12/2/93) (12/3/93) (12/10/93) (6/2/94) (6/14/94) (7/5/94) (11/16/94) (12/8/94) (12/19/94) (12/22/94) (1/17/95) (1/24/95) (1/30/95) (3/7/95) (3/28/95) (6/12/95) (6/22/95) (6/29/95) (11/3/95) (11/13/95) (11/28/95) (1/5/96) (1/10/96)

Contents of Brief Testing for Loss of Vacuum in Vacuum Interrupters Using Switchgear at Frequencies Other Than 60Hz Motor Branch Fault Short-Circuit Protection Temperature of Cable Terminations and Cable Compartments in Switchgear Plating of Contact Surfaces in Switchgear and Circuit Breakers Momentary Rating and Construction of Bus in Metal-Enclosed Switchgear Device Function Numbers Preparing Foundations for Indoor Installation of Switchgear MVA Interrupting Rating of Circuit Breakers Used in Metal-Clad Switchgear Significance of K Factor in Circuit Breaker Ratings X/R Ratio Temperature Rating of Conductors Connected to Molded Case Circuit Breakers Industry Standards Covering Powell Products NEC Article 384 - Switchboards and Panelboards Arc-Resistant Metal-Clad Switchgear Wire Fill in Seal Fittings Hardware for Bus Connections Arc-Resistant Switchgear Construction or Arc-Detection Devices? Useful Life of Metal-Enclosed Switchgear Control Wire and Wire Markers in Switchgear and Motor Control Ratings of Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers Rating of Ground Bus in Metal-Enclosed Switchgear Bus Spacings in Metal-Enclosed Switchgear Switching Small Currents with Vacuum Circuit Breakers Overcurrent Definitions Choosing Current Transformers for Relaying Use Capacitance Graded Bushings Load Switching Capability of NEMA General Purpose Contactors Starting Synchronous Motors Use of Auxiliary Current Transformers Using Latched Contactors in Medium Voltage Motor Control Centers Instantaneous Ground Fault Relays (50GS) and Zero-Sequence CTs Wound Rotor Induction Motors and Starters The Importance of Transient Recovery Voltage

2001 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief


Table of Contents

Brief # PTB#71 PTB#72 PTB#73 PTB#74 PTB#75 PTB#76 PTB#77 PTB#78 PTB#79 PTB#80 PTB#81 PTB#82 PTB#83 PTB#84 PTB#85 PTB#86 PTB#87 PTB#88 PTB#89
PTB#90

Issue Date (2/9/96) (4/10/96) (4/23/96) (7/12/96) (7/29/96) (2/19/97) (2/20/97) (10/1/97) (10/1/97) (10/27/97) (10/28/97) (4/16/98) (8/3/98) (11/17/98) (8/10/99) (8/11/99) (5/12/00) (5/8/01) (7/31/01)
(9/15/01)

Contents of Brief Starting Methods for Large Medium Voltage AC Motors Open Circuit Protectors for Current Transformers Metal-Clad Switchgear or Metal-Enclosed Switchgear: Which Is It? Enclosures for Metal-Enclosed Switchgear and Motor Control Overlap and Bolting of Bus Connections Bus Duct Enclosure Material Insulation of Bus Joints Circuit Breaker Trip Defeat Switch Ferroresonance of Voltage Transformer (VT) Circuits Switchgear in a Sulfur Rich Environment Direct Control of Motor Contactors via PLC's and Distributive Control Systems Physical Installations of Surge Arresters Additional Safety Features Capacitor Trip Unit The Application of 600 Volt Class Current Transformers in Medium Voltage Switchgear Altitude De-rating of Fuses, Surge Arresters and Potential Transformers Current Transformer Grounding Standard Voltage Ranges and Ratings
The New Medium Voltage Circuit Breaker Interrupting Ratings Based on a K Factor of 1 Asymmetrical Interrupting Current Rating of Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers

2001 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #1 - Fast Bus Transfer


April 23, 1990 Fast bus transfer is normally used for transferring a bus supplying motors to an emergency power source on failure of the normal source of power. It is essential that this transfer be accomplished with a minimum of "dead time" to prevent loss of critical motors or damage to the motors on re-energization. Two schemes of operation are used for fast transfer. In the first, the trip signal to the opening breaker and the close signal to the closing breaker are given simultaneously. With this method, there is a possibility of overlap between the two sources, which may lead to the incoming breaker closing into a fault. This can be prevented by adding a few milliseconds of time delay to the closing signal. In the second scheme, the closing signal of the second breaker is initiated by a "b" contact of the opening breaker. This may be either standard "b" contact or a fast "b" contact. We have recently run timing tests on the "Dash 3" PowlVac circuit breaker to determine fast transfer dead times. The result, which apply to 5PV0250-3 and 15PV0500-3 breakers, both 1200A and 2000A, are given in the following table. Source of Closing Signal No Arcing Simultaneous Close and Trip Signals Trip Then Close, Using Fast "b" Contact Trip Then Close, Using Standard "b" Contact Possible overlap 7.0 - 17.0 53.0 - 63.0 57.5 - 67.5 Dead Time, ms With Arcing (1.0)* - 9.0 45.0 - 55.0 49.5 - 59.5

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #2 - Closing and Latching Capability of Medium Voltage Power Circuit Breakers
May 18, 1990 ANSI Standard C37.06-1987, American National Standard for Switchgear - AC High Voltage Circuit Breakers Rated on a Symmetrical Current Basis - Preferred Ratings and Related Required Capabilities, includes a column in Table 1 headed Closing and Latching Capability. In older editions of this standard, the current value in this column was given in rms kiloamperes, and was determined by multiplying the maximum symmetrical interrupting capability by 1.6. In the 1987 edition, this current is expressed in crest kiloamperes, and the value is determined by multiplying the maximum symmetrical interrupting capability by 2.7. Other standards had previously required the closing and latching current to have a crest value of 2.7 times the maximum symmetrical interrupting current, so the performance required of the circuit breaker has not really changed. Only the method of stating the requirement has changed. This change was made to bring the ANSI standard in line with the IEC standard, which also expresses closing and latching capability in crest amperes. Since many specification writers will be using older standards, or copying older specifications, we will probably see both methods of specifying closing and latching current used in specifications for many years. The following table gives both sets of values. Rated Maximum Voltage kV, rms 4.76 4.76 8.25 15.0 15.0 15.0 Rated Short Circuit Current kA, rms 29 41 33 18 28 37 Closing and Latching Capability per ANSI C37.06 1979 Edition kA, rms 250 350 500 500 750 1000 58 78 66 37 58 77 1987 Edition kA, Crest 97 132 111 62 97 130

Nominal MVA

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #2 - Closing and Latching Capability of Medium Voltage Power Circuit Breakers (Page 2)

If the specified value of closing and latching current matches a value from either edition of the standard, we can assume that a standard breaker is desired. If there is any possibility of confusion, the specifier should be contacted to determine which basis is being used to specify the close and latch rating.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #3 - Capacitance Current Switching Capability of PowlVac Circuit Breakers


June 7, 1990 We have recently had capacitance current switching tests performed on our "Dash 3" PowlVac circuit breakers, using GE interrupters. The results of these tests showed that these breakers are qualified as definite purpose circuit breakers, in accordance with ANSI Standard C37.06-1987, Table 1A, for both isolated and back-to-back switching of capacitors. Table 1 lists the maximum rating of capacitor bank that can be switched by each rating of circuit breaker when applied in accordance with ANSI/IEEE Standard C37.012-1979. The values in the table were calculated using a total current multiplier of 1.25 for ungrounded capacitor banks and 1.35 for grounded banks. These multipliers include allowances for higher than normal voltage, capacitor tolerance, and harmonic components in the current. See ANSI/IEEE C37.012-4.7.1. When PowlVac circuit breakers are used in a back-to-back switching situation, inrush currents and frequencies must be limited to the values given in Table 1A of ANSI C37.06-1987. This may require the addition of reactance between the two capacitor banks. Table 1: Capacitor Bank Switching Capability of "Dash 3" PowlVac Circuit Breakers Maximum Nameplate Rating of Capacitor Bank, MVAR Ungrounded Bank 1200A Breaker 2.4 05PV0250 4.76kV 250MVA 4.16 4.76 11.5 12.47 15PV0500 15.0kV 500MVA 13.2 13.8 14.4 2.09 3.63 4.15 10.04 10.88 11.52 12.05 12.57 2000A Breaker 3.33 5.76 6.60 15.93 17.28 18.29 19.12 19.95 Grounded Bank 1200A Breaker 1.94 3.36 3.85 9.30 10.08 10.67 11.15 11.64 2000A Breaker 3.08 5.34 6.11 14.75 16.00 16.94 17.71 18.48

Circuit Breaker Type and System Voltage Rating kV

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #3 - Capacitance Current Switching Capability of PowlVac Circuit Breakers (Page 2)


Note: This table does not apply to PowlVac circuit breakers using Mitsubishi interrupters. We have not tested those breakers for capacitance current switching capability, but we do have some data from Mitsubishi that allows us to apply them. Such applications should be referred to me for checking.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #4 - Umbilical Cord Used on PowlVac Circuit Breakers


July 28, 1990 Occasionally, customers or prospective customers question our use of a manually-operated control disconnect ("umbilical cord") on our PowlVac circuit breakers. Some of the questions asked, and our answers to them, are: Q. Why does Powell use an umbilical cord for its control disconnect? A. The use of the umbilical cord is part of our user-friendly design, which locates all circuit breaker control accessories in the front of the cell. In addition to the control disconnect, these devices include the mechanism-operated cell switch (MOC) and the truck-operated cell switch (TOC). In our PowlVac design, these devices are located where they may be observed by an operator inserting or removing the circuit breaker, allowing the operator to check alignment and operation when the circuit breaker is installed. These devices are also available for servicing without removing the circuit breaker from the cell. Q. Is this design safe? A. Yes. The umbilical cord's plug mechanism is mechanically interlocked with the circuit breaker to insure safe operation. Interlocks provided include:

The circuit breaker cannot be inserted into the cell without plugging in the umbilical cord. Once the circuit breaker racking mechanism has been operated to start the circuit breaker insertion process, the plug cannot be removed. It is therefore not possible to disconnect the control circuits of a circuit breaker that is in service. Unplugging the umbilical cord trips the circuit breaker if it is closed and discharges the closing spring if it is charged. Since the plug must be removed in order to remove the circuit breaker from its cell, these interlocks insure that the circuit breaker is open and all energy storage springs are discharged when the circuit breaker is taken out of the cell.

Q. Why does Powell differ from all other manufacturers in the method of disconnecting the control connections to the circuit breaker? A. Powell does not differ from "all other manufacturers". While the umbilical cord design has not been used frequently in the United States, other American manufacturers have used it. It is also commonly used in Europe. We chose to use this design because we think it offers superior performance in total.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #4 - Umbilical Cord Used on PowlVac Circuit Breakers (Page 2)


Q. Does the umbilical cord design meet ANSI standards? A. Yes. This design, including required interlocking, is covered in detail in ANSI/IEEE Standard C37.20.2-6.2.7. The PowlVac circuit breaker meets these requirements.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #5 - Comparison of Porcelain and Cycloaliphatic Epoxy Insulation


July 29, 1990 PowlVac vacuum circuit breakers and metal-clad switchgear use a primary insulation system of cycloaliphatic epoxy. This insulation has given excellent results in the eight years since we first introduced PowlVac, but we still have customers who request porcelain. Powell is far from alone in using cycloaliphatic epoxy insulation. The material has been in common use in Europe for a generation, and other U. S. users include Westinghouse, S&C and Square D. It is especially interesting to see the first two of these companies using cycloaliphatic epoxy. A few years ago, both were strong proponents of porcelain insulation. Although there are many formulations of cycloaliphatic epoxy and a number of varieties of porcelain, each of which has its own specific qualities and parameters, there are a number of general comparisons which can be made. First, in the physical area, the following relationships are typical:

Cycloaliphatic epoxy ("cyclo") weighs less than 70% of porcelain's weight. The thermal coefficient of expansion of cyclo is 1/20th that of porcelain. The tensile strength of cyclo is about 11 times that of glazed porcelain. The compression strength of cyclo is 4 to 6 times that of glazed porcelain. The flexural strength of cyclo is 16 to 18 times that of glazed porcelain. The Izod impact strength, unnotched, is about the same as glazed porcelain. Dimensional and shape control is much easier in cyclos than in porcelain. While the repairability of cyclos is limited, porcelain is unrepairable.

In the electrical area, you will find:


The dielectric constant of cyclo is only about two-thirds that of porcelain. The temperature class of porcelain is much higher than that of cyclo, but cyclo mixtures with temperature classes of 105 C or 130 C are readily available. The track resistance of cyclo is slightly less than that of porcelain. The water absorption of cyclo is slightly greater than that of porcelain, but is still in the range of 2/10's of 1%.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #5 - Comparison of Porcelain and Cycloaliphatic Epoxy Insulation (Page 2)


Finally, cyclo exhibits excellent resistance to common industrial chemicals, is readily washable, and has excellent erosion resistance and weathering properties. In summary, we believe that the excellent physical properties of cyclo make it the insulating material of choice in spite of some small sacrifice in electrical properties. This is especially true for applications requiring great strength under severe dynamic loading, such as support insulators in circuit breakers and switchgear.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #6 - Effect of Solar Radiation on Outdoor Metal-Enclosed Switchgear


July 30, 1990 From time to time we get questions about the rating of outdoor metal-enclosed switchgear which is exposed to solar radiation. It is fairly obvious to anyone who thinks about it that switchgear sitting out in the sun gets hotter than switchgear sitting in the same ambient air temperature inside a building where it has no solar exposure. How should we handle this extra heat? Metal-enclosed switchgear built to ANSI standards, as is all Powell switchgear, is rated in accordance with the usual service conditions set forth in those standards. All four of the ANSI product standards we commonly use (C37.20.1 for low voltage switchgear, C37.20.2 for metal-clad switchgear, C37.20.3 for interrupter switchgear, and C37.23 for bus duct) include as one of the usual service conditions that the effect of solar radiation is not significant. Thus, all testing and rating of switchgear ignores the effect of solar radiation. When switchgear is installed in a location where solar radiation is significant, there is another ANSI standard to give guidance in properly applying the switchgear. ANSI/IEEE C37.24-1986, IEEE Guide for Evaluating the Effect of Solar Radiation on Outdoor Metal-Enclosed Switchgear, gives the information necessary to allow calculating the derating of the continuous current capability of switchgear exposed to the sun. This standard is site-specific; the derating depends on the location of the switchgear installation. As a switchgear manufacturer, we assume that our customers specify switchgear ratings in accordance with the usual service conditions given in the product standards. We further assume that the specifier will do the necessary evaluation and either limit his loads or upgrade his ratings to take care of any solar radiation derating that is needed. If requested, we will be glad to discuss this derating with our customers, and to assist them with the calculations if necessary, but we should not be expected to automatically quote a 2000A circuit breaker where a 1200A circuit breaker is specified, just because the installation is outdoors in Yuma, Arizona.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #7 - Seismic Testing of PowlVac Switchgear


September 29, 1990 We often see specifications that call for switchgear "to be suitable for use in seismic zone X", where X may be any number from 0 to 4, depending on the location of the final installation of the switchgear. Unfortunately there is no ANSI standard that defines "suitable for use in seismic zone X". Seismic requirements for nuclear generating station equipment, which do exist in standards, are not stated in terms of seismic zones, but are site specific. ANSI Standard A58.1-1982, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, gives some guidance for the seismic loading that various items must withstand, using the basic formula:

where

is the lateral force to be designed for,

is the seismic zone coefficient, which varies from 0.125 for Zone 0 to 1 for Zone 4,

is the occupancy factor, which varies from 1 for Category I to 1.5 for Category III,

is the horizontal force factor, which is 0.3 for all machinery in a building,

and

is the weight of the equipment.

From basic mechanics, Force = Mass x Acceleration. In the above formula, Fp is a force. W p is a weight, which is the product of a mass and the acceleration of gravity, or g. It follows that the product of Z, I and Cp is a dimensionless coefficient for g. For a worst case situation, where the switchgear is installed in a critical occupancy in Zone 4, the value of this coefficient is 1 x 1.5 x 0.3, or 0.45. Since seismic testing is performed in terms of acceleration rather than force applied, the test level for a worst case installation should be 0.45 g. The other aspect of suitability is the performance of the equipment under the specified conditions. Here, we have absolutely no guidance from ANSI standards. Based on past experience and input from various users, Powell has decided that the following are reasonable criteria for suitability:

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #7 - Seismic Testing of PowlVac Switchgear (Page 2)


1) There shall be no structural damage that prevents normal operation of the equipment after the event. 2) No doors or covers shall open during the event. 3) The circuit breakers shall not open or close during the event except on command. 4) The circuit breakers shall not move from the fully connected position during the event. 5) After the event, it shall be possible to open and close the circuit breakers and rack them into and out of the connected position. 6) Primary and control fuses shall remain in their fuse clips. 7) Transformer rollout drawers shall not come open during the event. 8) After the event, primary circuits shall withstand a 27 kV power frequency withstand test (hipot). The value of 27 kV is chosen because it is the power frequency withstand voltage specified for field testing of 15 kV metal-clad switchgear. About four years ago, Powell had samples of PowlVac metal-clad switchgear tested for the ability to withstand Zone 4 seismic forces. These samples were single-unit equipments, to give the narrowest structure possible, and had the heaviest circuit breakers installed in the highest positions in which they are ever used. They were therefore worst-case seismic samples. Based on the requirements of ANSI A58.1-1982, we chose to use 0.45 g as the zero period acceleration (ZPA) value for these tests. The seismic experts at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio took this value and developed a required response spectrum (RRS) that peaked at about 1.8 g at 3.5 Hz for vertical acceleration and about 1.9 g at 2.5 Hz for horizontal acceleration, with a minimum value of 0.45 g (the ZPA) at frequencies above 32-33 Hz. Full seismic tests were done by Southwest Research Institute at these values of acceleration. The eight criteria listed on the previous page were used to judge the performance of the equipment under seismic test. In addition, the circuit breakers were successfully closed and tripped on command during the seismic test. Except for a minor problem with the transformer rollout drawer, the equipment performed as required. The rollout drawer fastening system was reinforced, and the equipment performed successfully on retest.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #7 - Seismic Testing of PowlVac Switchgear (Page 3)


Based on these tests, standard PowlVac metal-clad switchgear is suitable for use in seismic zones 0, 1 and 2. With the addition of holding clips at the transformer rollout drawers, PowlVac is suitable for use in zones 3 and 4.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #8 - Preventing Voltage Feedback in Synchronizing Circuits


October 22, 1990 Many synchronizing schemes use two lamps in series, connected from the incoming voltage source to the running voltage source. This "dark lamp" synchronizing indication can be used by an operator to supplement the meter and synchroscope readings to insure synchronism before closing the incoming circuit breaker. This scheme, however, can allow energizing of a supposedly dead bus if the synchronizing switch is accidentally left in the "ON" position. The two lamps will be in series with the secondary of the bus voltage transformer, and this circuit will be connected across the energized incoming voltage transformer secondary. The portion of this voltage which appears across the bus voltage transformer will be stepped up by the ratio of the bus voltage transformer, and this higher voltage will be applied to the switchgear bus. To prevent this voltage feedback, a dead bus relay (27B) should be connected in the circuit as shown in the figure below. For simple synchronizing schemes, where one or more generators are manually synchronized to a common bus, this circuit with its one 27B relay is satisfactory. For more complex schemes, involving automatic synchronizing, machine-to-machine synchronizing, or synchronizing to a utility source, a more complex circuit may be necessary to insure that no voltage feedback circuits exist. All synchronizing circuits should be reviewed carefully to prevent voltage feedback through the synchronizing lamps.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #9 - Fuses for Use in DC Control Circuits


January 9, 1991 The majority of control circuits in metal-enclosed switchgear, particularly in metal-clad switchgear, are supplied from a dc power source. For nearly half a century Powell and other switchgear manufacturers have used 250-volt cartridge fuses (so-called "Code fuses") to protect these control circuits. Typical fuse types are Bussmann Type NON and Shawmut Type OT. The application of these fuses to this type of circuit has been generally successful and has been generally accepted by our customers. From time to time, however, someone raises the question of the dc rating of these fuses. Bussmann advises me that the Type NON has been tested successfully for 10 kA interrupting capability at 250 V dc, which is the rating commonly ascribed to these fuses. Based on this test data, we can safely apply these fuses to dc control circuits where the short circuit level of the control circuit is 10 kA or less. The typical control battery used for switchgear can deliver a short circuit current of about 10 times its one-minute discharge rating, so it would be a very unusual dc control circuit that had a short circuit capability in excess of 10 kA. Another question sometimes raised is whether or not these fuses are UL listed for dc applications. The answer is no. If a fuse with a UL listing for dc use is required, we should use either Fusetron Type FRN-R or Low-Peak Type LPN-RK. These fuses are dual-element time delay types which may be used in the same fuse blocks used for Type NON fuses.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #10 - Transient Recovery Voltage (TRV) Values for Testing of PowlVac Circuit Breakers
January 10, 1991 The interrupting performance of any circuit interrupter is affected by the transient recovery voltage appearing across the first pole to interrupt. Both the absolute value of this voltage and its rate of rise are important in determining the interrupter's ability to meet its interrupting rating. The required values of transient recovery voltage are included in ANSI/IEEE C37.06-1987, along with the other ratings of circuit breakers.

The conventional way of specifying the rate of rise of the transient recovery voltage is to specify the peak value (E2) and the time required to reach that peak (T2). The rate of rise is then determined by dividing E2 by T2. The nominal values are those for a full rated short circuit interruption. For lower currents, both higher peaks and faster times are specified. Table 6 of ANSI/IEEE C37.06-1987 lists the multiplying factors to be applied to E2 and T2 for interrupting currents below the full rating of a circuit breaker.

Table 1 of ANSI/IEEE C37.06-1987, which gives the preferred ratings of indoor oilless circuit breakers, such as PowlVac breakers, calls for E2 to be 1.88 times the breaker's rated maximum voltage for tests at 100% of the circuit breaker's interrupting rating. Unfortunately, values of T2 are not standardized, leaving the manufacturer with no guidance on this subject. In order to assign some reasonable value to T2, Powell decided to use the rate-of-rise values given in Table IIA of IEC Standard 56, interpolating between the listed values to match the ANSI voltage ratings, and multiplying the rate-of-rise values by E2 to obtain T2. The values obtained by this method were used in the testing of PowlVac circuit breakers, and are given in the table below.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #10 - Transient Recovery Voltage (TRV) Values for Testing of PowlVac Circuit Breakers (Page 2)

PowlVac Transient Recovery Voltage Test Values Transient Recovery Voltage Current % of Interrupter Rating Rated Maximum Voltage = 15 kV Rated Maximum Voltage = 4.76 kV

7 to 13 20 to 30 40 to 60 100

33.00 31.86 30.17 28.20

29 29 49 73.6

1137 1098 615 383

10.47 10.11 9.58 8.95

19.8 19.8 33.1 49.4

529 510 289 181

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #11 - Consequences of Vacuum Interrupter Failure


March 1, 1991 Users and prospective users of vacuum circuit breakers frequently ask us what happens if a vacuum interrupter fails to interrupt. The short answer to this question is that the interrupter is usually destroyed and must be replaced. However, this short answer needs some additional comment to be really informative. First, failure of a properly applied vacuum interrupter to interrupt a fault current within its rating is a very rare event. In the 8 years that we have been building PowlVac vacuum circuit breakers, we have manufactured over 3200 breakers. Assuming an average of two years in service for these breakers, we have a history of nearly 20,000 interrupter-years of service. We have never heard of a failure to interrupt by any of these circuit breakers. We are proud of this history, but, based on industry statistics, we are not surprised by it. Second, even if an interrupter does fail, the consequences are not the disastrous burn down that some people imagine. During some recent design tests of a prototype of a new version of the PowlVac breaker, we drove an interrupter far past its rated contact life span and had a failure. Photo 1 shows the failed interrupter. When failure occurred, the internal shield was burned through and the ceramic envelope, exposed directly to the arc, broke apart. The arc continued for several cycles, until the circuit was opened by a backup circuit breaker. Aside from the failed interrupter, the only damage to the circuit breaker was a small area of smoke and burn discoloration on the nearby insulating material. Photo 2 shows this area, which was about 6 inches square. Five minutes with an industrial cleaner and a couple of paper towels removed all but about one square inch of this discoloration. The remaining area seemed to be singed, but there was no detectable erosion of the surface of the insulating material. Had this breaker been in service, it could have been returned to service immediately after replacing the interrupter.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #11 - Consequences of Vacuum Interrupter Failure (Page 2)

Summing up, interrupter failures are rare, and when they do happen, most are not a major disaster.

Photo 1 Failed Vacuum Interrupter

Photo 2 Discolored Insulation at Failure Location

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #12 - Continuous Current Carrying Capability of Low Voltage Circuit Breakers
March 4, 1991 Various types of low voltage circuit breakers have differing continuous duty capabilities. Some are rated to carry 100 percent of their trip rating continuously, while others are rated to carry only 80 percent of their trip rating continuously. It is important that we understand the difference and apply these breakers properly. The general run of molded case circuit breakers in frame sizes of 400 A and below are rated to carry only 80 percent of their rated trip current on a continuous basis. Particularly when these breakers are mounted close to each other in a panelboard, the extra heat generated by carrying 100 percent of the trip rating will both lead to false tripping and cause long-term degradation of the insulating material of which these breakers are made. On the other hand, all low voltage power circuit breakers and the general run of insulated case circuit breakers are capable of carrying 100 percent of their trip rating on a continuous basis. Some confusion can arise when using large molded case circuit breakers, in frame sizes of 600 A and above. These breakers may be rated either 80 percent or 100 percent, depending on the model and the manufacturer. As you would expect, the 100% breaker costs considerably more than the 80% breaker. Some models have both 80% and 100% ratings available. The 100% rated breaker may require a larger enclosure and/or more ventilation than the 80% rated breaker of the same model. Please observe the following application rules: 1) Apply MCCB's in 400 A frame size and smaller based on continuous loads of not more than 80% of the circuit breaker's trip rating. If trip ratings are selected by our customer, assume that they are based on the 80% load requirement. 2) Apply insulated case breakers and low voltage power circuit breakers based on continuous loads of not more than 100% of the breaker's trip rating. If trip ratings are selected by our customer, assume that they are based on the 100% load requirement., Be sure that the insulated case breakers selected are 100% rated.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #12 - Continuous Current Carrying Capability of Low Voltage Circuit Breakers (Page 2)
3) Apply large molded case circuit breakers based on either the 80% or the 100% rating, making sure that the breaker selected fits the application, and that adequate space and ventilation is provided for the breaker chosen. If trip ratings are selected by our customer, be sure that you understand which basis was used for selection.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #13 - Future Use of Space in Powell Equipments


March 27, 1991 Powell's switchgear and motor control equipments frequently include space which is not used by active switching devices, but is available for future use. This space varies in the amount of equipment present, and is called by many different names. Some of the terms used include space, future, future space, equipped space, space only, spare, and blank. Unfortunately, there are no industry standards defining these terms and their use varies widely throughout the industry, so there is often confusion between specifier and manufacturer or between engineering and shop personnel about what is desired on a particular job. In order to minimize the confusion, we have adopted the following terms and descriptions in Powell for internal use: Spare - A complete, ready-to-operate unit, including the drawout switching device (circuit breaker or motor starter) and all required secondary devices, fully wired. A spare differs from an active unit only in that the spare has no assigned function in the power system. Fully Equipped Space - A spare without the drawout switching device. Includes all required secondary devices and wiring, a finished unit door, primary buswork and disconnecting devices, and all cell parts required for inserting the drawout switching device. Equipped Space - Includes a door with cutouts for primary switching devices but not for secondary and control devices, primary disconnecting devices and riser bus connecting them to the main bus, and all cell parts required for inserting the drawout switching device. No primary or secondary devices are included, and wiring is minimal. Blank Space - A blank door, no primary or secondary devices, buswork, wiring, or cell parts required for inserting the drawout switching device. Steelwork should be done so that the blank space can be equipped in the field with little or no cutting or welding. Blank - An area that can never be used for a primary switching device. This area is made unusable by thermal limitations of the equipment, inability to bus to the area or to maintain proper isolation of bus or outgoing leads, or some similar problem. Related to these definitions but somewhat different is Mounting and Wiring for a future device or a device to be field installed by the user. Mounting and wiring may be furnished in any of the above units or in an active unit. Mounting and wiring includes the necessary space, physical supports, and primary and secondary connections to allow easy installation of the future device. This may include temporary primary and/or secondary connections or jumpers to allow use of the circuit pending the addition of the future device.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #13 - Future Use of Space in Powell Equipments (Page 2)


Where any of these conditions leave openings in the front door or in isolation barriers required by standards, the opening must be covered by a temporary cover plate.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #14 - Autotransformer Starting of Motors


April 1, 1991 One of our customers recently experienced failures of two autotransformers used in medium voltage motor starters. The circuit used was the familiar 3-contactor, 2-coil Korndorfer circuit, which has been used for many years and appears in textbooks and handbooks on motor control. The primary circuit is shown below:

An investigation of the failed autotransformers by their manufacturer showed that the failure had been a surface flashover from the line end of the winding either to another tap of the winding or to a ground point. There was no damage to the winding or the core, and the autotransformers could be easily repaired and put back into service. We consulted with both the autotransformer manufacturer and the manufacturer of the contactors used in the starter, and found that there had been previous experiences of this problem. The flashovers occurred because system transients generated during the starting sequence caused an excessive voltage to appear on the line end of the autotransformer winding. Upon analysis, we found several conditions that contributed to this problem:

The starter was located at the end of a rather weak supply line. During the starting sequence, the user switched in a rather large capacitor bank to minimize the line voltage drop. This bank was switched off automatically, during the starting sequence, when the voltage recovered to a fixed point. The autotransformer was set on the 80% tap. We are uncertain of the setting of the timer used to transfer from the starting connection to the running connection.

Although the contactors used in this particular installation were vacuum contactors, the manufacturer informs us that similar problems have been encountered with both air and vacuum contactors. The type of contactor used doesn't seem to be a factor in the occurrence of the problem.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #14 - Autotransformer Starting of Motors (Page 2)


Further discussions with our suppliers led to several suggestions to minimize the occurrence of this problem:

Insulate the transformer connection points, both the taps that are used and the unused taps. This should be done on all future starters of this type. Use a lower voltage tap on the autotransformer, such as 65% or 50%, if the motor will accelerate successfully on these taps. For induction motors, be sure that the timer that transfers to the running connection is set at a long enough time so that the motor is fully accelerated before changing to the running connection. Add an instantaneous current relay to the circuit, set to pick up at about 5 A and drop out just below that current. This relay will pick up when the motor is started and drop out when it reaches full speed. Connect the coil of this relay in any phase CT. Use the contact of this relay to bypass the timing relay contact, insuring that the motor has fully accelerated before the starter is transferred to the running connection. See the control circuit below. In the future, please include this relay in all starters of this type.

In extreme cases, it may be necessary to connect intermediate class surge arresters to the line taps of the two autotransformer coils.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #15 - Directional Overcurrent and Directional Power Relays


May 24, 1991 From time to time we experience some confusion about the difference between directional overcurrent relays, ANSI device 67, and directional power relays, ANSI device 32. Although there are some similarities between these two types of relays, they are really very different in both construction and application. Directional overcurrent relays (67) respond to excessive current flow in a particular direction in the power system. The relay typically consists of two elements. One is a directional element, which determines the direction of current flow with respect to a voltage reference. When this current flow is in the predetermined trip direction, this directional element enables ("turns on") the other element, which is a standard overcurrent relay, complete with taps and time dial, as found on a normal non-directional overcurrent relay. Because these relays are designed to operate on fault currents, the directional unit is made so that it operates best on a highly lagging current, which is typical of faults in power systems. Directional overcurrent relays are normally used on incoming line circuit breakers on buses which have two or more sources. They are connected to trip an incoming line breaker for fault current flow back into the source, so that a fault on one source is not fed by the other sources. In complex distribution or subtransmission networks, these relays may be used to improve coordination of the system. , so they operate best at a high power Directional power relays (32) measure real power factor. Various degrees of sensitivity and speed of operation are available in various models of directional power relays. There are three typical uses of these relays:

Connected to measure power flow into a generator, the relay will operate to trip the generator breaker if the generator begins to draw power from the system and act as a motor. This is usually due to loss of prime mover power. Connected to measure power flow into a transformer from the secondary side, a very sensitive directional power relay can measure core loss power input to the transformer, detecting loss of the primary source to the transformer. The transformer can then be disconnected from the system. A directional power relay can be used to limit power flow in a circuit. The relay may trip a breaker or initiate control action to change the system configuration. By using quadrature potential connections or a phase shifting transformer, these relays can be made to measure vars . A typical use would be to limit the real or reactive power drawn from a utility source to a contractual level.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #15 - Directional Overcurrent and Directional Power Relays (Page 2)


Neither the functions (67 and 32) nor the actual relays are interchangeable. Be sure to use the function and the hardware which fit the application.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #16 - Preventing Condensation in Medium Voltage Motors


June 12, 1991 Condensation or other accumulation of moisture can be very damaging to the windings and mechanical parts of a motor, especially a medium voltage motor. This is not usually a problem for a motor that is running, as the windings generate enough heat to prevent condensation. When the motor is stopped, however, supplementary heat is often required to keep the motor dry. One way of providing the required heat is to install heaters in the motor. Another way is to energize the motor windings from a low voltage source. The one-line diagram below shows the connections for this method of heating the windings. This method may be preferable to the use of heaters, as it actually heats the windings instead of relying on the transmission of heat from a separate heater.

When using this method of heating, several precautions must be observed:

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #16 - Preventing Condensation in Medium Voltage Motors (Page 2)


The heating contactor must be a full line voltage contactor, as the motor winding side of this contactor is energized at line voltage when the motor is running. The running contactor and the heating contactor must be mechanically and electrically interlocked so that only one of them can be closed at any time. There needs to be a time delay between the opening of the running contactor and the closing of the heating contactor, to allow the residual voltage on the motor to decay before the motor windings are connected to the low voltage source. Since it is not critical to apply the heating circuit immediately, it is recommended that this time delay be in the order of 2 to 5 minutes. Tests show that there is an open circuit time of approximately 75-80 milliseconds when the running contactor is picked up by a "b" contact of the heating contactor. The user should consider whether this is an adequate time period to prevent unwanted system problems. If not, a time delay of a few seconds can be inserted in the pickup circuit of the running contactor to be sure that the heating contactor has cleared before the motor is energized by the operating voltage. The voltage applied to the motor windings must be carefully selected to produce the proper heating. This value must be selected by the user, based on input from the motor manufacturer.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #17 - Ground Lead Disconnectors on Distribution-Class Surge Arresters


July 18, 1991 Many current models of zinc oxide distribution or riser pole arresters come equipped with ground lead disconnectors. This is a device which is mounted on the ground end of the arrester and which looks about like a small hockey puck. The enclosure is black, blue or green plastic, a couple of inches in diameter and an inch or so tall. The normal failure mode of these arresters is a short circuit to ground, causing ground fault current to flow. This current will cause the arrester body to fail if it is not stopped quickly. The first function of the ground lead disconnector is to disconnect the ground lead of the surge arrester in case of an internal failure of the arrester, preventing explosive failure of the arrester body. The ground lead disconnector contains a cartridge in series with a gap. The gap is shunted by a resistor. As the current rises, the voltage across the gap increases until the gap flashes over, creating an arc which ignites the cartridge, blowing the ground lead free. The ground lead disconnector is not a fault current interrupter. The arc drawn by the ground lead as it separates from the body of the arrester may or may not go out on its own. If it does not go out, a circuit breaker, recloser or fuse must operate to extinguish the arc. The ground lead disconnector is expected to create a gap which will not reignite when power is reapplied to the circuit, but the gap which will be created is a function of the length and flexibility of the ground lead. The second function of the ground lead is to give a visible indication of arrester failure for arresters mounted on overhead distribution lines. If a lineman sees an arrester with its ground lead hanging in midair, he knows that he has a failure which must be replaced. These explosive ground lead disconnectors are not suitable for use in metal-enclosed equipment. We do not want the explosion and subsequent uncontrolled arc inside equipment, where the clearances are not nearly as great as on overhead lines, and where secondary damage from the arc is much more likely to occur. The visible indication function of the disconnector is useless if the device is mounted within an enclosed equipment. All surge arresters used in Powell's equipments should be of the type without ground lead disconnectors. If a user requests that we include a surge arrester with a ground lead disconnector, we should offer an equivalent model without the disconnector.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #18 - Operating Times of PowlVac Circuit Breakers


July 19, 1991 We are frequently asked about the actual operating times of PowlVac circuit breakers. The following values may be used in application studies for these circuit breakers. Closing Time For all current production models of PowlVac circuit breakers, the time from energizing the closing coil with rated control voltage until the primary contacts touch is 80 milliseconds or less. Typical values are in the 44 to 45 millisecond range. Opening Time Opening times vary with the model of PowlVac breaker, as shown in the following table. All times are from energizing of the trip coil with rated control voltage until the primary contacts part. Breaker Model Vacuum Interrupter Opening Time, milliseconds Design Limits Typical Test Values "S" (asymmetry) Factor 1.2 1.1 25-35 26 or 27 40-50 48 or 49 "Dash 2" Mitsubishi "Dash 3" General Electric

All of these breakers are rated 5 cycles interrupting time in accordance with the preferred ratings found in Table 1 of ANSI C37.06-1987, even though they may be faster. The "Dash 2" breaker, in particular, is very nearly a 3 cycle breaker.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #19 - Use of PowlVac Circuit Breakers for Continuous Currents Above 3000 Amperes
August 26, 1991 In accordance with ANSI/IEEE Standard C37.06, the highest continuous current rating of our standard line of PowlVac circuit breakers is 3000 A. For systems that require continuous current ratings above 3000 A, we can offer two possible solutions. First, we can offer our standard 3000 A circuit breaker with cooling fans. We have a design that has been successfully tested at 3750 A, and the results of that test indicate that the fan-cooled breaker may be applied at 4000 A without overheating. This design requires a unit somewhat wider than the standard 36inch switchgear unit to include the necessary air ducts. The standard fan control equipment includes a current-actuated control to start the fans at about 2500 A and an alarm circuit which uses air flow switches to detect and alarm loss of cooling air at currents above this level. A completely redundant second set of fans can be furnished if desired. Fan cooling is our preferred method of obtaining higher continuous current ratings. A second method of providing for high continuous currents is to parallel two circuit breakers. Using this approach, we can provide for continuous currents of about 3500 A by paralleling two 2000 A breakers and about 5000 A by paralleling two 3000 A breakers. When breakers are paralleled, the interrupting rating is neither increased nor decreased. Precise timing in closing or opening the two paralleled breakers is not critical, as whichever breaker closes first can carry the continuous current for the few milliseconds until the second breaker closes, and the last breaker to open has the capability of interrupting the full fault current. Paralleling of breakers does require special circuitry to balance the currents between the two breakers and individual overcurrent protection for each breaker as well as combined overcurrent protection for the entire circuit. Main bus construction must also be very carefully balanced to insure equal impedance in both legs of the circuit. Parallel breakers should only be used for a user who refuses to use fan cooled circuit beakers. Regardless of which breaker uprating method is used, special attention must be given to the design of any portions of the switchgear bus which are rated over 3000 A. If the main bus exceeds 3000 A, standard PowlVac bus cannot be used, and the required special bus design limits the switchgear to one-high construction.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #20 - Application of Dummy Circuit Breakers in Metal-Clad Switchgear


August 27, 1991 Dummy circuit breakers are used in metal-clad switchgear to provide a method of disconnecting and isolating a circuit or circuits without using a circuit breaker. A common use of a dummy circuit breaker is as a temporary connection in a switchgear cell where a circuit breaker will be installed as part of a planned future expansion. Another use might be to isolate one end of a tie bus or cable from a switchgear bus. Because a dummy circuit breaker is really a set of three jumper bars mounted on a breaker carriage, it has absolutely no current interrupting rating. If an attempt is made to withdraw the dummy circuit breaker with current flowing, arcing will occur at the primary disconnect fingers. This may result in operator injury, equipment damage, or both. Therefore, dummy circuit breakers normally are interlocked with other switching devices so that the dummy cannot be withdrawn until the other devices are opened, insuring that no current is flowing in the dummy. A particular application that can be troublesome is isolating a tie cable that has been opened by a circuit breaker at the other end. If the cable is still attached to an energized bus through the dummy breaker, cable charging current will flow through the dummy. It only takes a few hundred feet of 15 kV cable to draw a charging current of as much as half an amp. This highly capacitive current is difficult to interrupt. It is recommended that the interlocking for any circuit involving power cable and a dummy circuit breaker be arranged so that the cable is completely deenergized before the dummy circuit breaker is removed to isolate the cable. Deenergizing the unloaded bus of a lineup of metal-clad switchgear by withdrawing a dummy circuit breaker is an acceptable application. The limited length and very low capacitance of a switchgear bus structure keeps the charging current low enough to be successfully interrupted by withdrawing a dummy circuit breaker.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #21 - Switching Capability of Rollout or Tiltout Carriages


December 3, 1991 We are often asked about the switching capability of the rollout or tiltout carriages used in medium voltage switchgear to mount voltage transformers, small control power transformers, and fuses for larger control power transformers. This question usually takes the form "How large a CPT can you handle with fuses mounted in a rollout or tiltout?" There is no industry standard to measure this switching capability, and no test data is available to certify this performance. The switching capability will vary with the details of the design, and to some extent will depend on the operator, since the speed of opening a rollout or tiltout depends on the individual opening the device. Within these restraints, however, our experience with 5 kV and 15 kV equipments over the years has led us to adopt the following limits:

Voltage transformers: A set of three wye connected VT's or two open delta connected VT's can be switched with a rollout or tiltout without any interlocking of the secondary circuit. Control power transformers: A CPT up to 50 kVA single phase or 75 kVA three phase can be switched with a rollout or tiltout provided the carriage is interlocked so that the CPT must be unloaded before opening the primary device. The CPT may be mounted on the rollout or tiltout, or the rollout or tiltout may contain only the fuses for a stationary mounted CPT. Larger CPT's must be switched with some other mechanism, such as a load break disconnect switch. Capacitors: Rollouts or tiltouts must not be used to switch capacitors.

Any other application should be reviewed by Powell's engineering department.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #22 - Short Circuit Currents - Crest, rms Symmetrical and rms Asymmetrical
December 4, 1991 The figure below shows a typical short circuit current wage form and defines the various component parts of this wave. At the moment of initiation of a short circuit the ac current wave, which is normally symmetrical about the zero axis BX is offset by some value, creating a waveform which is symmetrical about another axis, CC'. The degree of asymmetry is a function of several variables, including the parameters of the power system up to the point of the short circuit and the point on the ac wave at which the short circuit was initiated. In a 3-phase circuit, there is usually one phase which is offset significantly more than the other two phases.

It is convenient to analyze this asymmetrical waveform as consisting of a symmetrical ac wave superimposed on a dc current. CC' represents the dc current, and the value of that current at any instant is represented by the ordinate of CC'. The dc component of the current normally decays rapidly, and reaches an insignificant value within 0.1 s in most power systems. The rate of decay is a function of the system parameters. When the initial value of the dc current is equal to the initial peak value of the ac current, the resulting waveform is said to be fully offset, or to have a 100% dc component. It is possible, in some power systems, to have an offset in excess of 100%, which may result in a waveform that has no current zeros for one or more cycles of the ac power frequency. The ac component of the short circuit current will also decay, at a rate dependant on the system parameters. In general, the closer the fault is to generators or other large rotating machinery, the faster the decay will be.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #22 - Short Circuit Currents - Crest, rms Symmetrical and rms Asymmetrical (Page 2)
In the figure, IMC is the crest, or peak, value of the short circuit current. It is the maximum instantaneous current in the major loop of the first cycle of short circuit current. The rms symmetrical value of the short circuit current at any instant, such as EE', is the rms value of the ac portion of the current wave. Its value is equal to , and it is shown graphically by the distance from CC' to DD'. The rms asymmetrical value of the short circuit current is the rms value of the combined ac and dc waves, and it is calculated by the formula:

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #23 - Using Design Tests to Qualify Several Ratings of Equipment


December 5, 1991 The many variations in construction and ratings encountered in the typical switchgear or motor control product line make the planning of design and conformance test programs quite complex at times. Of course, it is possible to run every test on every possible rating of equipment but such an extensive program is very expensive and is seldom required to fully document the performance of a product line. The ANSI standards for switchgear recognize this complexity and provide for the qualification of a piece of equipment for all lower ratings provided test results show it to be qualified for the highest rating for which it is used. Some of the conformance test standards in the ANSI C37.50 series discuss the principles of testing to qualify multiple ratings. These standards also give guidance in the grouping of equipment ratings for testing. A typical example of qualifying multiple ratings by a single test is the bus structure used in PowlVac metal-clad switchgear. This bus structure is the same for all voltage and short circuit ratings, varying only for continuous current ratings. To demonstrate the momentary and short-time current ratings of this bus structure, tests are performed on the bus with the lowest continuous current rating, 1200 A, which uses the smallest, weakest bars of any continuous current rating of PowlVac bus. The tests are performed at the maximum momentary current, 132 kA crest, and the maximum short-time current, 49 kA rms, required for any rating of PowlVac switchgear. It is fairly obvious that passing these tests qualifies the 1200 A bus for this rating and for all lower momentary and short-time current ratings. What may not be quite so obvious is that successful tests on the 1200 A bus also qualify higher continuous current ratings, such as 2000 A and 3000 A. These higher bus ratings are covered because they use larger bus bars, which are mechanically stronger and which have greater thermal capacity than the bus bars used in the 1200 A bus. The grouping of ratings and the selection of which rating to test requires a thorough knowledge not only of the standards but also of the particular product line being tested. The grouping of ratings may differ for different tests. It also may differ for different products, or different manufacturers offerings in the same product line. The example given in the previous paragraph is true for PowlVac switchgear, but may not necessarily be true for other manufacturers' similar products. Although Powell and many other manufacturers have used these principles in performing their design tests for many years, not everyone in the industry understands the concept. To aid in this understanding, all future Powell test reports will document the additional ratings covered by any test.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #24 - Sizing Bus Bars in Switchgear and Motor Control


February 7, 1992 We occasionally get questions about how we select the size of bus bar for various continuous current ratings in Powell equipments. The answer is that we use temperature rise as the basic criterion. All of the ANSI, IEEE and NEMA standards for switchgear and motor control have requirements for the maximum operating temperature of various parts of the equipment. For bus bars, the requirement is generally for a temperature rise of no more than 65C, although this may vary for different classes of equipment. These requirements are designed to prevent overheating the insulation supporting and enclosing the bus bars, since excessive temperature shortens the life of the insulation. A number of factors affect the temperature rise of bus bars. Some of the major ones are:

Size and material (copper or aluminum) of the bus bar. Whether the bar is insulated. Surprisingly, a bus bar covered with insulation generally runs cooler than an equivalent bare bus bar, because the usually darker color of the insulating material is a better radiator of heat than the shiny surface of a bare bus bar. Size and material (magnetic or non-magnetic) of the enclosure around the bus. Flow of ventilating air past the bus bars or the bus enclosure. Proximity of other conductors and other heat-producing devices.

The complex interaction of these and other factors makes it nearly impossible to calculate temperature rise, and leads to the requirement in all applicable standards for continuous current tests to determine the temperature rise of a bus design. Specifications will sometimes call for bus sized by current density, a favorite requirement being 1000 A per square inch for copper bus. This may be a good way to choose bus sizes for the mythical "single conductor in free air", but it isn't a satisfactory way to design buswork in practical equipments. Consider the following chart, based on bus sizes used in our PowlVac metal-clad switchgear: Switchgear Bus Rating Number of bus bars per phase Size of bus bar, inches Cross section area of bus, square inches Current density, amps per square inch 1200 A 2000 A 3000 A 1 1 1200 1 3 667 2 6 500 1/4 x 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 6

Maximum temperature rise, from test data 60C 59.7C 59.5C

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #24 - Sizing Bus Bars in Switchgear and Motor Control (Page 2)
The last line of the chart shows that the temperature rises of the three bus ratings are almost identical in spite of the 2.4:1 ratio of the current densities.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #25 - Application of Metal-Enclosed Switchgear at High Altitude


February 11, 1992 Both low- and medium-voltage metal-enclosed switchgear and the circuit breakers used in these equipments depend on air for both cooling and insulation. At high altitudes, the less dense air is less efficient both as in insulator and as a heat transfer medium. Because of this, the ANSI standards require derating when these equipments are used at high altitudes. The following tables show the altitude correction factors taken from the ANSI standards. Low Voltage Switchgear and Breakers Altitude (ft)* 6600 (2000 m) (and below) 8500 (2600 m) 13,000 (3900 m) Voltage Current 1.00 0.95 0.80 1.00 0.99 0.96

Medium Voltage Switchgear and Breakers Altitude (ft)* 3300 (1000 m) (and below) 5000 (1500 m) 10,000 (3000 m) Voltage Current 1.00 0.95 0.80 1.00 0.99 0.96

* Intermediate values may be obtained by interpolation. You will notice that there are different altitudes given for low voltage and medium voltage. I have never been able to get a reasonable answer as to why this is true, and I understand that the committee responsible for the standards is reviewing these values with the idea of reconciling them. In all cases, the current correction factor is applied to the continuous current rating of the switchgear and the circuit breakers. This does not usually present a problem, as we seldom design a system with load currents over 95% of the equipment rating. The current derating does not apply to interrupting current or any of the other high-current ratings of the breakers.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #25 - Application of Metal-Enclosed Switchgear at High Altitude (Page 2)


For low voltage equipments, the voltage correction factor applies to the low frequency withstand (hipot) rating of both the breaker and the equipment. It also applies to the rated maximum voltage of the circuit breaker. When derating the rated maximum voltage, the short circuit rating of the circuit breaker cannot exceed the rating at the voltage before derating. For instance, if a breaker is used on a 480 V system, as most of those in Powell equipment are, with a 0.95 rating factor the short circuit rating at 480 V may be used, since the rated maximum voltage for that system nominal voltage is 508 V, and 0.95 x 508 is 482.6 V, slightly above the 480 V service voltage. However, if this same system required a 0.80 rating factor, the breaker short circuit rating at 600 V must be used, since 0.80 x 508 is only 406 V, less than the service voltage, but 0.80 x 635 is 508 V, comfortably above the service voltage. For medium voltage equipments, the voltage correction factor applies to the low frequency withstand (hipot) rating and the impulse withstand (BIL) rating of both the breaker and the equipment. It also applies to the rated maximum voltage of the circuit breaker unless a sealed interrupter, such as a vacuum interrupter, is used. The use of surge arresters to protect the equipment should be considered for all such high altitude installations.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #26 - Voltage Ratings of Surge Arresters


April 13, 1992 Surge arresters (formerly known as lightning arresters) are applied to electrical power distribution systems to protect the equipment and the circuits from damaging overvoltages caused by lightning or other surges. It is important that surge arresters of the correct voltage rating be used. The proper voltage rating depends on the system line-to-line voltage, the method of system grounding, and the type of surge arrester used. Older designs of surge arresters generally consist of silicon carbide resistor blocks in series with air gaps. These arresters carry no current in the normal state. Each arrester model has a single voltage rating. For solidly (effectively) grounded systems, the next higher arrester rating above the system lineto-neutral voltage is used. For resistance grounded or ungrounded systems, a ground fault on one phase can raise the other two phases to line-to-line voltage above ground, so the next higher rating above the system line-to-line voltage is used. Except for a few special conditions, application seems quite simple. About a decade ago, the metal oxide surge arrester was introduced to the industry. It consists of a number of blocks of a variable resistance material, usually zinc oxide, with no gaps. It does carry some slight current at all times. It has many advantages as a surge protector, but it is somewhat more complicated to apply correctly. Instead of one voltage rating, it has three: a nominal voltage, a maximum continuous operating voltage, and a one-second temporary overvoltage capability. Although there is a slight variation with the nominal rating, the maximum continuous operating voltage is about 85% of the nominal rating and the one-second temporary overvoltage capability is about 120% of the nominal rating. For times other than one second, the temporary overvoltage capability is established by curves supplied by the surge arrester vendor. Care must be taken to avoid overstressing the arrester. As an example, let's consider a 13.8 kV system. For a solidly grounded system, the continuous operating voltage is 13,800 divided by the square root of 3, or 7970 V. This is above the MCOV of 7,650 V for an arrester rated 9 kV. Depending on the value and expected duration of system overvoltages, it may be necessary to use a 10 kV arrester with an MCOV of 8.4 kV or a 12 kV arrester with an MCOV of 10.2 kV. For an ungrounded 13.8 kV system, the 12.7 kV MCOV of a 15 kV arrester is not adequate. It is necessary to use an 18 kV arrester with an MCOV of 15.3 kV. Finally, for a resistance-grounded 13.8 kV system, the choice will be between arresters rated 12 kV, 15 kV and 18 kV, depending on the time needed to relay ground faults off the system.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #27 - Testing of Switchgear and Motor Control Equipment


April 14, 1992 Although each particular product line is governed by its own industry standards, switchgear and motor control equipment of the types built by Powell are generally subject to three major categories of tests. As defined in ANSI/IEEE C37.20.2-1987 for Metal-Clad and Station-Type Cubicle Switchgear, these categories are: Design Tests: Tests made by the manufacturer to determine the adequacy of the design of a particular type, style or model of equipment or its component parts to meet its assigned ratings and to operate satisfactorily under normal service conditions or under special service conditions if specified, and may be used to demonstrate compliance with the applicable standards of the industry. Production Tests: Tests made for quality control by the manufacturer on every device or on representative samples, or on parts, or materials required to verify during production that the product meets the design specifications and applicable standards. Conformance Tests: Conformance tests demonstrate compliance with the applicable standards. The test specimen is normally subjected to all planned production tests prior to the initiation of the conformance test program. Typical design tests for equipment and circuit breakers will include continuous current (heat runs), momentary and short time current, low-frequency withstand (hipot), impulse withstand (BIL) for mediumvoltage equipment, and mechanical tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of interlocks. In addition, circuit breakers are subjected to a series of interrupting tests to demonstrate their ability to interrupt currents of various magnitudes, operational life tests, and several types of timing tests. Many of these tests are somewhat destructive, and therefore they are run on manufacturer's prototypes, not on production equipment which is supplied to customers. Conformance tests generally include certain of the design tests, chosen to demonstrate compliance with the standards. These tests are frequently used for third-party certification of a design. Production tests include hipot to demonstrate insulation integrity and mechanical and control circuit tests to demonstrate proper operation. In addition, circuit breakers receive timing tests to show proper closing and opening speed. Records of these tests, which Powell furnishes to customers on request, can be used as baseline data for future maintenance programs.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #27 - Testing of Switchgear and Motor Control Equipment (Page 2)


Each type of test, and each test within a given type, has a particular part to play in the overall process of producing quality equipment properly rated for a user's needs. No single test demonstrates the proper design and operation of switchgear or motor control equipment. It takes a combination of tests to do the job properly.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #28 - Short Circuit Current Levels Used to Test Various Types of Circuit Breakers
August 25, 1992 When applying interrupters of various types, it is important that we understand the meaning of the interrupting rating given to these devices. Consider, for instance, the methods of making interrupting tests on various types of circuit breakers. As the breakers get smaller and less costly, the test methods in the industry standards generally get less demanding. When testing the interrupting capability of a high-voltage (over 1000V) circuit breaker, the current measured is the actual fault current flowing through the circuit breaker at the moment of the interruption. To rate a breaker of this class as a 25kA interrupter, it must actually interrupt 25kA. Momentary and short-time current requirements of the switchgear are also based on actual current flowing during the test. The reference standards are ANSI/IEEE C37.04, C37.06 and C37.09 for the circuit breakers and C37.20.2 for the switchgear. For low voltage circuit breakers, this requirement changes to rating by prospective current. The test terminals of the laboratory source are short-circuited, as indicated by point A in Figure 1, and the required current flow is established. That short circuit is then removed and the equipment to be tested is connected to the test source. A short circuit is then applied to the equipment and the test made. The location of the short varies with the type of circuit breaker or equipment being tested:

Figure 1: Fault Locations for Testing Low Voltage Equipments (A) Low Voltage Power Circuit Breakers (B) Molded Case Circuit Breakers (C) Low Voltage Motor Control Centers

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #28 - Short Circuit Current Levels Used to Test Various Types of Circuit Breakers (Page 2)

For a low voltage power circuit breaker, the fault is placed at the load terminals of the breaker, at point B in Figure 1. The reference standards are ANSI/IEEE C37.13 for the circuit breakers and C37.20.1 for the switchgear equipment. For a molded case circuit breaker, the fault is also placed at the load terminals of the circuit breaker, at point C in Figure 1. However, 4 feet of appropriately-sized conductor may be included between the test station terminals and the line terminals of the circuit breaker under test. The reference standard is UL 489. For a typical combination motor starter unit in a motor control center, the fault is placed at the end of 4 feet of appropriately-sized conductor connected to the load terminals of the starter unit, at point D in Figure 1. The reference standard is UL 845.

At each step of this chain, impedance is added to the test circuit, reducing the actual fault current the circuit breaker is required to interrupt. Several papers presented at recent IEEE conferences have raised questions about the adequacy of equipment certified to some of these test standards to interrupt all possible faults downstream of the circuit breaker. At least two IEEE subcommittees are discussing this matter.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #29 - Interchangeability of Drawout Circuit Breakers in Switchgear Assemblies


August 28, 1992 One of the key features of switchgear assemblies using drawout circuit breakers is the interchangeability of circuit breakers within an assembly. This feature allows users to make use of spare circuit breakers to replace circuit breakers which must be taken out of service for maintenance, minimizing down time when a circuit breaker problem occurs. The ANSI standard for Metal Enclosed Low Voltage Power Circuit Breaker Switchgear, ANSI/IEEE C37.20.1, addresses interchangeability in 6.11.4. This section requires that "All removable elements of the same type and rating on a given assembly shall be physically interchangeable in the corresponding stationary housings. This need not include electrical interchangeability of electrical control circuits." Switchgear of this type and the circuit breakers used in it typically have mechanical interference mechanisms for breakers of the same physical size but of different ratings. These mechanisms typically prevent interchanging breakers if either the frame size (maximum continuous current rating) or the interrupting rating differ. Trip device characteristics and ratings and electrical accessories available on this class of circuit breaker are so numerous and changeable that no attempt is made to prevent interchangeability of breakers with differences in these features. The ANSI standard for Metal Clad Switchgear, ANSI/IEEE C37.20.2, addresses interchangeability in 6.2.5. This section requires that "All removable elements of the same type and rating on a given assembly shall be physically and electrically interchangeable. Removable elements not of the same type and rating shall not be interchangeable." Since the breakers used in this class of switchgear are not provided with variable trip devices or very many optional electrical features, this is seldom a problem. Occasionally, however, a user desires to have some electrical accessory on some but not all breakers of a given rating in a particular assembly. Most commonly, this is an undervoltage device, which may be required on motor feeder breakers but not on other breakers of the same rating. When this occurs, the easiest way to solve the problem is to furnish the required modification on all breakers of that rating in the assembly. If this is not acceptable to the user, it may be necessary to make specific modifications to the control circuitry of the breaker with the accessory to prevent breaker interchangeability.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #29 - Interchangeability of Drawout Circuit Breakers in Switchgear Assemblies (Page 2)


As part of the standard design of our PowlVac circuit breakers, we provide interference mechanisms which prevent a breaker with a lower rating from being used in a cell with a higher rating, but allow a higher-rated breaker to be used in a lower-rated cell. While this feature is not strictly in accordance with the ANSI requirements, it allows users to minimize the number of spare circuit breakers required to replace all breakers in the assembly without using any breaker in a cell where it would not meet the needs of that circuit.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #30 - Static Relays and Meters


October 16, 1992 In recent years, we have seen a decided trend toward the use of metering and protective devices using solid-state components, particularly microprocessor-based digital devices. These devices are often used instead of the conventional electro-mechanical relays or analog meters. While we have no formal statistics, looking at the equipment manufactured by Powell I estimate that static devices are used for about 40-50% of the relays and meters we provide to our customers. Some of the reasons for this shift to static devices include:

In general, static devices are more accurate and more repeatable than the equivalent electromechanical devices. A single static device can perform the functions of many electro-mechanical devices. Equivalent functions can often be obtained at lower cost, particularly if a multi-function device is used. Some functions or operating characteristics which are not possible with available electromechanical devices can be done with static devices. Static devices can be provided with communications capability which is not available in electromechanical devices. Static devices can be made highly resistant to corrosive or dirty atmospheres.

However, not every engineer is happy with the idea of relying on static devices for protection functions. Some of the reasons are:

Possibility of total failure of the protective system due to failure of one component on the critical path, such as a common power supply. Long-term familiarity and satisfactory experience with electro-mechanical devices. Lack of service capabilities for static devices. Existing company standards. Concerns about possible failure in adverse environments, both physical and electrical.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #30 - Static Relays and Meters (Page 2)


As time goes on, many of the shortcomings of static devices available 10 or more years ago have been overcome by further development of solid-state components and better packaging. New static products are arriving in the marketplace with great regularity, and their capabilities are constantly being expanded. On the other hand, little if any development work is being done on electro-mechanical relays and meters. Long-term, I expect that the balance between static and electro-mechanical devices will shift to 90-95% static. I would expect this to happen in about the next 10 years, but don't hold me to the timing.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #31 - Effects of Harmonics on Switchgear


October 18, 1992 Harmonics in power systems is the current hot topic in power systems engineering. The technical programs of two recent IEEE conferences I attended were full of papers on the subject. The trade press carries article after article on harmonics. The recent survey of the readers of these Technical Briefs mentioned harmonics more than any other topic as a suggestion for a subject to be covered. However, very little if any of this flood of information concerns the effects on switchgear. This PTB will try to fill that gap. First, I have not heard any reports of adverse effects of harmonics on switchgear itself. Switchgear does not appear to be subject to the serious additional heating effects which harmonics can cause in transformers or rotating machinery. However, there are a few points which bear watching.

A highly distorted voltage wave can have a peak value much greater than the peak value of a sine wave of the same rms value. The repeated application of a higher peak value may result in premature failure of the insulating systems in the switchgear. Since the effective resistance of a conductor goes up as frequency rises, a current wave rich in harmonics may cause greater heating in the switchgear power conductors than a sine wave of the same rms value. However, since we seldom load switchgear to its maximum continuous current rating, this effect will probably not be a problem. Circuit breakers interrupt current flow at a current zero. A badly distorted current wave may contain current zeroes at locations other than the normal zero of the fundamental sine wave. If present, these spurious current zeroes could cause premature interruption and restrike during a circuit breaker opening operating. The effect of harmonics on the operation of protective and metering systems is not fully documented. Thermal devices, such as fuses or thermal elements in circuit breakers, are inherently rms sensing, as are many modern solid-state protective packages, but the heating effect of a harmonic-rich current on the protected load may require a different level of protection. Other relays may be designed to operate on certain selected frequencies and may thus operate incorrectly in the presence of a significant level of harmonics. Fortunately, high fault currents are generally not severely distorted, as the limiting impedance is that of the power system, and a level of harmonic current which may be quite significant when compared to load current is much less significant when compared to fault current.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #32 - Replacing Older Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers with Vacuum Circuit Breakers
October 19, 1992 Many older installations of metal-clad switchgear are candidates for modernizing or upgrading. The interrupting duty may have grown past the interrupting capacity of the existing circuit breakers, maintenance costs may be getting out of hand, or circuit breaker parts may no longer be available. Modernization may be accomplished by either of two methods, conversion of the existing equipment or replacement of the circuit breaker with a new, modern vacuum breaker. In some cases, modernization may involve conversion of the switchgear equipment and replacement of the circuit breaker. Modernization may also involve an increase in one or more ratings of the switchgear and/or circuit breaker. Powell offers a series of PowlVac circuit breakers, both conversions and replacement breakers, to aid in modernization. In any case, users should insist that modernization be done in accordance with applicable industry standards to insure that the modernized switchgear meets the required ratings. For replacement circuit breakers, this is fairly simple. The breakers should be tested in accordance with ANSI/IEEE C37.09-1979 and ANSI/IEEE C37.20.2-1987, just like any other new circuit breaker that is used in metal-clad switchgear. The only caution is that certain tests, including continuous current, momentary current, and BIL, should be performed in a switchgear cell of the basic design in which the breaker will be used. All of these tests involve interaction between the cell and the circuit breaker. For instance, we have performed full wave impulse (BIL) tests where both the breaker alone and the cell alone passed the test, but the combination would not pass, requiring additional work to the breaker to achieve the desired result. A new ANSI standard, ANSI/IEEE C37.59-1991, IEEE Standard Requirements for Conversion of Power Switchgear Assemblies, covers conversion of both switchgear equipments and power circuit breakers. This standard specifies the design and testing requirements for conversion, including uprating, of existing equipment. Requirements for new documentation, including nameplates and instructions, are included. Any user considering converting low-voltage or medium-voltage switchgear equipment should review this standard and insist that vendors conform to it. Powell, through our Powell Apparatus Service Division, offers both conversions and replacement breakers meeting these standards.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #33 - Partial Differential Relaying


December 16, 1992 "Partial differential" relaying is a form of overcurrent relaying frequently used to detect main bus overcurrent faults and to back up feeder overcurrent relaying. The basic circuit is shown in the one-line diagram. Note that this is a double-ended substation, with two main breakers and a tie breaker. The partial differential relaying concept cannot be used on a straight radial distribution system.

True bus differential relaying compares all currents entering and leaving a switchgear bus. Within the limits of the accuracy of the CT's and the relays, true bus differential relaying will detect all faults on the protected bus. Since all currents are taken into account, the relays can be very fast. However, bus differential relaying provides no backup to the feeder overcurrent relaying, so additional overcurrent relays are required on main and tie breakers to provide this backup function. Also, high speed bus differential relaying can be quite expensive, and many switchgear users do not feel that it is economically justified. Partial differential relaying sums the currents entering or leaving a switchgear bus through main and tie breakers. If a fault exists on the protected bus, the currents will add in the relays, but if fault current is flowing through the bus to a fault on another bus, the currents will subtract and the relays will not respond. If the fault is on a feeder, the partial differential relays will act as backup to the feeder overcurrent relays.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #33 - Partial Differential Relaying (Page 2)


Similar protection can be obtained by using separate overcurrent relays on each main and tie circuit breaker. However, proper coordination of the overcurrent protection requires that the tie breaker relays coordinate with the feeder relays and that the main breaker relays coordinate with the tie breaker relays, for a total of three steps of relaying at this bus. Using the partial differential circuit, however, eliminates one step of coordination, since the same relays serve both the main and the tie breakers without compromising coordination. This reduces the time delay required for the main breaker relays and improves the chances of getting good coordination with upstream relays, which are often on the utility system serving the substation. This improved coordination is the principal benefit of partial differential relaying.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #34 - Polarity Markings on Instrument Transformers


December 17, 1992 All instrument transformers are provided with polarity marks on certain primary and secondary terminals. In ANSI/IEEE C57.13, American National Standard Requirements for Instrument Transformers, polarity is defined as follows: polarity. The designation of the relative instantaneous directions of the currents entering the primary terminals and leaving the secondary terminals during most of each half cycle. NOTE: Primary and secondary terminals are said to have the same polarity when, at a given instant during most of each half cycle, the current enters the identified, similarly marked primary terminal and leaves the identified, similarly marked secondary terminal in the same direction as though the two terminals formed a continuous circuit. This definition relates only to the relative instantaneous direction of current flow, not an absolute direction. Since the direction of current flow reverses 120 times per second in a 60 Hz circuit, no mark can identify the absolute direction of current flow. Different kinds of switchgear mount instrument transformers, particularly current transformers, in different ways. Outdoor circuit breakers have bushing CT's mounted with the polarity mark toward the line end of the primary bushing and the non-polarity end of the winding toward the breaker contacts. This arrangement is required by the ANSI and NEMA standards for that class of circuit breaker. Most circuits shown in instruction literature by relay and meter manufacturers are based on this arrangement of CT's. In metal-enclosed switchgear with drawout circuit breakers, however, the CT's are part of the equipment, not the circuit breaker. In many cases it is more convenient to mount the CT's with the polarity mark pointing toward the breaker. In the typical drawout switchgear enclosure, mounting the CT with polarity mark toward the breaker also means that the CT nameplate is visible, which is desirable. From time to time, some users have expressed concerns that reversing the polarity marks from the arrangement shown in the relay or meter instructions would lead to improper operation of the device. This is not true. Relays or meters will work properly regardless of the direction of the polarity marks on the CT's if the connections are made properly. Great care must be taken in making these connections, especially for such things as differential relays on delta-wye transformers, but proper operation is not a function of which way the polarity marks point.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #35 - Setting of Targets on Electro-Mechanical Protective Relays


January 14, 1993 Almost all protective relays used in switchgear are equipped with targets to indicate which protective function caused the circuit breaker to trip. For the most common varieties of electro-mechanical relays, these targets take the form of small auxiliary relays which are actuated by the current flowing through the relay contacts and the circuit breaker trip coil. This auxiliary relay provides a visual, manually-reset, indication of operation. In addition, it often includes contacts which bypass the main contacts of the relay, relieving these contacts of the duty of carrying trip current. Many of these target units have tapped coils, with the choice of two pickup currents, most commonly 0.2 A and 2.0 A. Proper setting of these target coils is often neglected. The current setting must be low enough to insure actuation under all fault conditions, but not so low that the voltage drop across the target coil is excessive. This is not always an easy choice. Some of the reasons for this dilemma are:

Trip currents of modern medium voltage circuit breakers may be much lower than those of older breakers. For instance, at 125 V dc, typical trip currents are now in the 3A range, with some breakers drawing only a little over 1 A. Trip times are faster than in the past. Figure 1 is the trace of the trip current of a typical PowlVac circuit breaker. You will see that the duration of the trip current is about 41 or 42 ms, or 2 cycles on a 60 Hz basis. The target relay takes about 1 cycle to pick up.

Figure 1. Typical Circuit Breaker Trip Current


Trip current rises slowly, barely reaching its nominal rating before being cut off, as seen in Figure 1. Some faults may cause the closure of two or more relay contacts at the same time, paralleling the target coils of these relays and reducing the current through each one. One manufacturer recommends expecting two relays to close simultaneously on time delay relays and three on instantaneous relays with target coils. (Note: The instantaneous elements on most 50/51 relays have mechanical targets, and are not a problem.) Thus, the selected tap on the target coil should operate properly on no more than half of the rated trip current of the breaker.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #35 - Setting of Targets on Electro-Mechanical Protective Relays (Page 2)


For a list of trip currents and recommended relay target settings for PowlVac circuit breakers see Table 1. Table 1 - Trip Currents and Suggested Relay Target Taps for PowlVac Circuit Breakers PowlVac -0,-2,-5 Trip Voltage PV-26 PowlVac -3,-4,-6

Trip Current Target Tap Trip Current Target Tap 24 V dc 48 V dc 125 V dc 250 V dc 120 V ac 240 V ac Capacitor Trip

16.9 A 10.2 A 3.2 A 1.7 A 3.4 A 1.7 A 2.2 A

2.0 A 2.0 A 0.2 A 0.2 A 0.2 A 0.2 A 0.2 A

16.9 A 3.5 A 1.3 A 0.7 A 3.4 A * 0.6 A

2.0 A 0.2 A 0.2 A 0.2 A 0.2 A * 0.2 A

Consult factory if this rating is required.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #36 - Epoxy Bus Bar Insulation


March 4, 1993 Powell has recently installed a new process line to coat bus bars with an epoxy insulating material. Currently, this insulation is being used for bus in metal-clad switchgear equipments rated above 15 kV, and for other jobs with special requirements. As more production capability comes on line, its use will be extended to additional equipments. The process consists of preheating the copper bus bar, dipping it in a liquid epoxy mixture, removing the coating from areas where it isn't wanted (contact surfaces, etc.), and curing the coated bar at a high temperature. The coated bars have passed the tests required by ANSI/IEEE C37.20.2-1987, including the 5.2.1.3 Test for Bus-Bar Insulation and the 5.2.7 FlameResistance Tests for Applied Insulation. While this process is new to Powell, similar materials and processes have been in use in the industry for 20 years or more. It is also similar to the fluid bed application of epoxy to bus bars, which has been used on selected Powell equipments for the past several years. We chose the liquid dip process over the fluidized bed process both because the final coating is more rugged and because the process itself is less subject to interference from the ambient conditions of the factory floor. Some of the advantages of the epoxy dip process are:

The insulation is extremely rugged and has excellent dielectric properties. Conductors of any size and shape can be coated with equal ease. Using extruded rigid tubing limits the choice of conductor cross-sections to those for which the extruded tubing is available, which may not be the optimum size from a current-carrying or electric field standpoint. Already-bent bars can be coated, eliminating the need for tape or boots at bends. Unlike some heat-shrink tubings, the insulation conforms to the bar at all angles and bends. Heatshrink tubing may pull away from the bar at the inside of a bend. Since the coating conforms to the surface of the bus, there is no possibility of setting up a partialdischarge cell between the surface of the bus and the insulation. This is especially important at voltages above 15 kV.

We believe that this new insulating process is another step in our process of continuous improvement of Powell switchgear.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #37 - Testing for Loss of Vacuum in Vacuum Interrupters


March 5, 1993 In the 30 years or so that they have been used in circuit breakers, vacuum interrupters have proved to be extremely rugged, reliable devices. However, like any man-made device, they can fail. A frequentlyasked question is "How can I tell if my vacuum interrupter has lost vacuum?" Modern vacuum interrupters are evacuated to a pressure on the order of 10-7 Torr. A Torr is the pressure exerted by 1 mm of mercury, or 1/760 of a standard atmosphere. 10-7 Torr is approximately equal to the pressure of the atmosphere on the surface of the moon. Testing by manufacturers of vacuum interrupters shows that the vacuum interrupter will still interrupt its rated interrupting current at a pressure <= 10-3 Torr, but at pressure above 10-3 Torr is interrupting capability falls off. Thus, a successful loss of vacuum test must detect the difference between pressures above and below 10-3 Torr. An ideal loss of vacuum test would be an on-line test that constantly monitored the pressure within the vacuum interrupter and alarmed when this critical pressure was approached. Unfortunately, no such device is presently commercially available. The present state of the art leads Powell to recommend the use of a high voltage test across the contacts of an open vacuum interrupter. This test should be at least 25 kV, 50/60 Hz, or the equivalent dc voltage, 35 kV(1). A breakdown on this test indicates a loss of vacuum in the interrupter. If dc is used in this test, it must be supplied from a full-wave rectifier. The use of a half-wave in the power supply can lead to applying excessive dc voltage to the vacuum interrupter. In all cases, the manufacturer's instruction book for the circuit breaker should be consulted for proper procedure and cautions before making the test. At least one switchgear manufacturer is stating that loss of vacuum can be detected by disconnecting the movable contact of the vacuum interrupter from the mechanism and manually pulling on the movable contact. Atmospheric pressure (760 Torr) on the exposed side of the movable contact pushes the contact closed with a force proportional to the area of the contact. This force is about 40 pounds for a typical vacuum interrupter used in our PowlVac ( circuit breakers. If there is a complete loss of vacuum, this 40-pound force disappears, and a pull test will certainly be effective. However, partial loss of vacuum in the 10-2 Torr pressure range puts the vacuum interrupter at risk of not performing properly, but decreases the 40-pound force by only a fraction of an ounce. This minor change in contact loading would hardly be detectable by a good force gauge, much less by feel. Powell therefore does not recommend this pull test as a satisfactory loss of vacuum test. (1) revised 6-4-93

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #38 - Using Switchgear at Frequencies Other Than 60 Hz


April 21, 1993 All ANSI circuit breaker and switchgear equipment standards specify a rated frequency of 60 Hz, and all Powell switchgear is designed for and tested at 60 Hz. The nameplates of PowlVac circuit breakers carry a rated frequency of 60 Hz. However, many applications of Powell switchgear are made at other frequencies, particularly 50 Hz, and users may question the suitability of the circuit breakers and equipment at other frequency. The following paragraphs discuss the effect of frequency on various major characteristics of switchgear. BIL: Since the BIL rating is the ability to withstand a dc impulse, power system frequency has no effect on the BIL rating of switchgear equipment. Power Frequency Withstand: Although this rating is best demonstrated by a test at rated frequency, ANSI/IEEE C37.09 allows the test to be made at rated frequency 20%. This allows 50 Hz tests to establish a 60 Hz rating, and vice versa. Since the voltage level is the same, regardless of frequency, and the rate-of-rise of the voltage increases with frequency, the higher frequency test is slightly more severe than the lower frequency test. Thus, an equipment which is tested at 60 Hz is satisfactory at any lower frequency. Continuous Current: The ac resistant of a conductor, and thus the heat loss at a given current, increases with frequency. The ANSI standards require continuous current test to be made at a frequency no lower than the rated frequency. The standards actually allow the assigning of a higher continuous current rating at very low frequencies, such as 25 Hz. Momentary, Short Time and Interrupting Currents: Again, ANSI/IEEE C37.09 allows these test to be made at rated frequency (20%, so tests at either 50 Hz or 60 Hz can cover both frequencies. For lower frequencies, it may be necessary to derate the interrupting capacity of vacuum interrupters. One of Powell's vacuum interrupter suppliers has tested at various frequencies and suggests the following derating formula:

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #38 - Using Switchgear at Frequencies Other Than 60 Hz (Page 2)


Where = power system frequency, 16 2/3Hz <= f < 50 Hz = short circuit current at frequency f = short circuit current at 60 Hz Summarizing, switchgear equipment and power circuit breakers rated 60 Hz may be applied at 50 Hz without changing ratings. At lower frequencies, some derating of interrupting capacity may be required, and some increase of continuous current rating may be possible. Of course, devices in the switchgear, such as relays, instruments and instrument transformers, must be checked for application at the power system frequency.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #39 - Motor Branch Fault Short-Circuit Protection


April 22, 1993 I have received several questions about ratings and settings of short-circuit protective devices used in motor branch circuits. Generally, the devices in question are instantaneous-trip molded case circuit breakers of the motor circuit protector type, but some of the questions have related to low voltage power circuit breakers. The problem is that some motors, will not start satisfactorily with these devices set at the maximum setting allowed under 430-52 of the 1993 National Electrical Code. High efficiency motors typically have lower full load currents than lower efficiency motors of the same rating, but do not necessarily have reduced starting currents. They therefore have starting currents that are higher multiples of full load current than those of the lower efficiency motors. Since all of the protective device ratings in the NEC are expressed as percentages of full load current of the motor, a high efficiency motor is more likely to have starting difficulties due to current inrush. 430-52 allows an instantaneous trip circuit breaker (MCP) to be set at up to 1300% of the motor full load current. Although the NEC does not specifically say so, this 1300% is generally interpreted as being the maximum setting of a separately adjustable instantaneous element on a power circuit breaker or a molded case circuit breaker having that feature. So what can be done to take care of the problem? As of now, I know of no good answer, but there are several possibilities:

Use a thermal-magnetic circuit breaker rather than an MCP. NEC 430-52, Exception No. 2C, allows an inverse time circuit breaker rated up to 400% of the motor full load current to be used for motors with less than 100A full load current. Small circuit breakers, up to 150A rating, have fixed instantaneous settings, with minimum pickup varying from 7.5 to 12 times rated current, so the instantaneous pickup can be from 30 to 48 time the motor full load current, rather than the 13 times required for an MCP. You have degraded the protection of the circuit, but you have met the Code. A fine print note in NEC 430-52 allows an instantaneous trip circuit breaker to include a damping means to accommodate a transient motor inrush current without nuisance tripping of the circuit breaker. If you can find one of these, you can use it, but so far as we know, no such device is commercially available.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #39 - Motor Branch Fault Short-Circuit Protection (Page 2)


Use a fused switch instead of a circuit breaker to supply your motor circuit, and find a fuse that meets the requirements of 430-52 and still allows you to start the motor. Ignore the NEC. Not a recommended move, but I understand that it is being done.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #40 - Temperature of Cable Terminations and Cable Compartments in Switchgear


April 23, 1993 One of the important features of almost all low-voltage and medium-voltage switchgear is provision for terminating power cables. Power cables are sensitive to the temperature of the surrounding air, and must be chosen carefully to operate in the various environments in which they are installed. A single run of power cable may pass through several different environments, and the effect of each environment on the cable selection must be considered. One of these environments may be within the switchgear cable area. In metal-enclosed switchgear, power cables usually terminate on buswork, not directly on the terminals of the main switching device. This is in contrast to panelboard, switchboard and motor control center construction, where power cables may terminate on the terminals of molded-case circuit breakers or starters. The allowable temperature rise of the connections to insulated cables and the allowable temperature of the air surrounding these cables is given in the ANSI switchgear standards, ANSI/IEEE C37.20.1 for low-voltage switchgear, ANSI/IEEE C37.20.2 for metal-clad switchgear, and ANSI/IEEE C37.20.3 for metal-enclosed interrupter switchgear. All three of these standards require the same temperature for these features. 4.5.5 of each of these standards limits the temperature of the air surrounding insulated power cables to 65C, when the switchgear assembly is equipped with devices having the maximum current rating for which the assembly is designed, is carrying rated continuous current, and is in an ambient temperature of 40C. Table 4 of each standard limits the temperature rise of silver or tin-surfaced connections to insulated cables to 45C, or a total temperature of 85C. The tests to demonstrate conformance with these limiting temperature rises require including appropriate sizes and lengths of power cables in the continuous current path. When cables are connected to metal-enclosed switchgear, the cable selection must take into account the air and terminal temperatures encountered in the switchgear.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #41 - Plating of Contact Surfaces in Switchgear and Circuit Breakers


June 3, 1993 The various ANSI standards covering metal-enclosed switchgear and circuit breakers used in this switchgear prescribe temperature rise limits for various parts of the equipment. Included are limitations for buses with plated and unplated joints in switchgear, and for plated and unplated contacts and connections in circuit breakers. In all cases the temperature rise allowed is considerably higher for plated connections than it is for unplated connections. Typically, the limit for unplated copper connections is 30C rise, while the limit for plated connections is 65C rise. The higher temperature rise is allowed for plated connections because plated copper does not oxidize nearly as rapidly as bare copper. Copper oxide is not a good conductor, and once the oxide forms, the resistance and the temperature rise of the conductor usually increase rapidly. Since limiting the temperature rise is 30C would require manufacturers to double the amount of copper used, joints are almost universally plated. The two materials commonly used for plating are silver and tin. The standard for high voltage circuit breakers speaks of "silver, silver alloy, or equivalent" surfaces, with "equivalent" being undefined. This standard was last revised in 1979. The low-voltage and medium-voltage switchgear standards, revised in 1987, speak of "silver surfaced, tin surfaced, or equivalent" connections. Which material is better, silver or tin? At Powell, we generally use silver, particularly for sliding contacts. Silver plating is harder than tin plating, and withstands the stress of a moving joint, such as a hinge point or a primary disconnect, better than tin plating. However, tin plating is superior in certain industrial atmospheres, such as those containing hydrogen sulfide. On request, Powell will provide tin plating on the connections of the bus bars in equipments. For various technical and manufacturing reasons, it is not practical to substitute tin for silver on surfaces within circuit breakers, or on circuit breaker primary disconnects. If the atmosphere attacks silver surfaces, they should be coated with contact lubricating grease to prevent corrosion problems.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #42 - Momentary Rating and Construction of Bus in Metal-Enclosed Switchgear


June 4, 1993 The bus in metal-enclosed power switchgear is required by ANSI standards to have a momentary current rating equivalent to the momentary rating of the circuit breaker, switch or fuse used in the particular switchgear equipment. In the case of low voltage switchgear, where the circuit breaker momentary rating may vary with the breaker frame size, a particular assembly is required to have the momentary rating of the smallest frame size of circuit breaker used in the assembly. Thus, if the circuit breakers or other switching devices are properly applied, the equipment momentary will match both the needs of the system and the rating of the switching device. Where bus duct is used in conjunction with metal-enclosed switchgear, the bus duct momentary rating should match that of the switchgear. Momentary ratings are normally proved by high current testing. The bus must withstand the test without any permanent deformation of the bus bar, of if there is permanent deformation, it must not be sufficient to prevent the equipment from passing its standard dielectric tests (hipot and impulse). There also must be no breakage of the bus supports. There are a number of design variables that enter into the ability of the bus structure to withstand a momentary current. The forces involved are quite high. For a bus consisting of one " x 4" bar per phase, on 6" phase centers, a 50 kA current creates a force on each bus bar of nearly 17,000 pounds per foot of length. Both the bus supports and the bars themselves must withstand this force. The force is directly proportional to the square of the current and inversely proportional to the phase spacing, so moving the bus bars apart decreases the force. The force is also affected to a small degree by the dimensions and shape of the bus bars. The ability of the bars to withstand the force created by the momentary current is a function of the size, shape, and material of the bar and the arrangement of the bars with respect to each other, i.e., flat-to-flat or edge-to-edge. In mechanical terms, these determine the section modulus of the bars in the phase-tophase direction. The deflection of the bars is also affected by the length of the span, or the distance between supports. The strength of the bus support structure is determined by the material and configuration of the supports and the distance between them.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #42 - Momentary Rating and Construction of Bus in Metal-Enclosed Switchgear (Page 2)
The standards require test to demonstrate the momentary rating of the bus, and most bus structures within switchgear are somewhat complex and not subject to easy analysis, so we seldom use calculations for the design of bus structures. However, for relatively simple bus configurations, such as bus duct, it may be easy to modify a design based on previous test data. For instance, if phases are spread apart further than they were in the tested sample, the allowable increase in spacing between supports can be easily calculated.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #43 - Device Function Numbers


July 30, 1993 The system of device function numbers used in switchgear schematic and connection diagrams is documented in ANSI/IEEE C37.2, IEEE Standard Electrical Power System Device Function Numbers. This system is over half a century old. (No, I haven't been using it quite that long myself, but I've seen it used on drawings dating back to the 1930's.) However, like any standard, it is revised from time to time. The latest revision is dated 1991. The issue before that was 1987, and the one before that was 1979. Listed below are some of the changes made in the last two revisions.

In the 1979 edition, device 7 was an anode circuit breaker, a device frequently used in mercury arc rectifier equipments but no longer seen in this day of solid state rectifiers. In the 1987 edition, device 7 was "Reserved for future application." In the 1991 edition, device 7 is used for a rate-of-rise current relay. For many years, the description of device 50, which is commonly thought of as an instantaneous overcurrent relay, included the rate-of-rise feature. This feature is no longer part of device 50's description. In 1979, device 11 was reserved for future application. Beginning with the 1987 edition, device 11 became a multifunction device. This is defined as a device with three or more important functions. Typical use would be for a multifunction motor protective relay. When device 11 is used, the functions included in it should be defined in the drawing legend.

11

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #43 - Device Function Numbers (Page 2)

24

In 1979, device 24 was reserved for future application. Beginning with the 1987 edition, device 24 became a volts per hertz relay. These relays are typically used to protect large generators from overvoltage during subsynchronous operation, and are seldom seen in Powell switchgear. I mention it because there are still those among us who remember the use of 24 for a bus tie circuit breaker. In the standard, the proper number for a bus tie breaker has been 52BT since some time in the 1950's, but we still see the designation 24 from time to time. Up through 1979, device 47 was a phasesequence voltage relay. Starting with the 1987 edition, this definition was expanded to read phase-sequence or phase-balance voltage relay, and the description specifically lists negative phase sequence overvoltage as one of its applications. See device 7. Up through 1987, device 82 is described as a dc reclosing relay. In the 1991 edition the description is expanded to read dc loadmeasuring reclosing relay.

47

50 82

Some other changes were made, but these are the ones most likely to affect switchgear for utility and industrial distribution systems.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #44 - Preparing Foundations for Indoor Installation of Switchgear


August 2, 1993 Nearly every manufacturer of switchgear and motor control equipment will tell users that the equipment must be installed on a level foundation. If the equipment includes drawout circuit breakers or contactors, most manufacturers will recommend that steel channels or rails be imbedded in the floor to provide support and a level surface. These recommendations lead inevitably to two questions: "How level is level?" and "Do I really have to install the floor steel?" The quick answers to these are "Damn flat!" and "No, but you'll be sorry if you don't." Some smaller equipments, like low voltage motor control centers and switchboards, either come with their own built-in base channels or are not terribly sensitive to slightly uneven floors. For larger equipments, however, a level floor is absolutely necessary to maintain the critical alignment of drawout devices. Manufacturers have been rather shy about putting a tolerance on "level" over the years, but the lore in the industry seems to be that a one-eighth inch slope, evenly spread over the front-to-back or the end-to-end dimension of the lineup, is tolerable. For indoor equipments without built-in bases, maintaining such a tolerance almost certainly requires carefully installed floor channels. Once you decide that floor steel is required, here are a few cautions about using it:

Be sure to locate the channels where the manufacturer shows them. Normally, each lineup has a channel near the front of the gear and another near the rear of the gear. These are usually located under the bolt-down holes in the equipment, so their location is important. Frequently, in deep switchgear, such as PowlVac metal-clad switchgear, a third channel is shown somewhere between the first two. Often, this channel does not match any bolt-down holes, so its location may not seem to be as important as the location of the other two channels. However, the manufacturer may have located this channel under some feature of the design which need good support, so its location may be as important as the locations of the other two channels. The concrete needs to be no higher than the floor steel. If the circuit breakers roll out on the floor, the floor on the drawout side of the switchgear needs to be flush with the top of the floor steel so the breakers will roll in and out smoothly. Once a level surface is established by the floor channels, be sure that the equipment sits flush on the surface of the channels. This may seem elementary, but I have seen installations where one side of a 36" unit was flush with the channel and the other side was " above the channel. All the effort and expense put into the level floor channels was negated by a poor installation of the equipment on the channels.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #45 - MVA Interrupting Rating of Circuit Breakers Used in Metal-Clad Switchgear
September 22, 1993 Modern medium voltage circuit breakers used in metal-clad switchgear have no MVA interrupting rating. Undoubtedly, this statement will come as a surprise to some readers of this PTB. Although it is quite common for all of us to talk about 500 MVA circuit breakers or 1000 MVA circuit breakers, this rating does not appear anywhere in the ANSI standards applying to these breakers, nor does it appear anywhere on the nameplate of the breakers. A little history is in order. The first ANSI standards covering circuit breakers, including those for use in metal-clad switchgear, were developed about 50 years ago. Under these standards, interrupting ratings were based on the total current interrupted, including the dc component. These "total current" standards included ANSI C37.4 through C37.9 and C37.12. In the rating structure used in these standards, MVA was included, and those of us who date back to that era got used to referring to breakers by their MVA rating. In 1964, a new series of ANSI standards were first published. These standards used symmetrical, rather than total, current as the basis for interrupting rating. These new standards no longer referred to MVA in their rating structure. The interrupting rating in these standards is expressed kiloamperes. After a couple of decades of development, these standards now include six documents:

ANSI/IEEE C37.04-1979 Rating Structure ANSI C37.06-1987 Preferred Ratings ANSI/IEEE C37.09-1979 Test Procedure ANSI/IEEE C37.010-1979 Application Guide - General ANSI/IEEE C37.011-1979 Application Guide - Transient Recovery Voltage ANSI/IEEE C37.012-1979 Application Guide - Capacitance Current Switching

However, so that manufacturers would not have to retest all their breakers, certain equivalences were established, and for a few years the preferred rating tables carried "nominal" MVA ratings for "identification". This last appeared in the 1971 edition of ANSI C37.06, but was missing from the 1979 edition. Unfortunately, we have continued to use these identifications informally, and sometimes we get wrapped around the axle about just what they mean, particularly when applied to circuit breakers used at a voltage considerably less than their rated maximum voltage, such as 4760 V breakers used at 2400 V. The chart below compares the nominal MVA ratings to the actual MVA ratings calculated using the rated interrupting currents established in the current standards.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #45 - MVA Interrupting Rating of Circuit Breakers Used in Metal-Clad Switchgear (Page 2)
Rated Maximum Voltage kV, rms Rated Short Nominal Circuit Current MVA kA, rms System Operating Voltage kV, rms 4.76 4.76 29 250 4.16 2.4 4.76 4.76 41 350 4.16 2.4 8.25 8.25 33 500 7.2 6.6 15.0 15.0 18 500 13.8 11.5 15.0 15.0 28 750 13.8 11.5 15.0 15.0 37 1000 13.8 11.5 Interrupting Current @ Operating Voltage kA 29 33 36 41 47 49 33 38 41 18 20 23 28 30 36 37 40 48 Actual MVA @ Operating Voltage(1) MVA 239 238 150 338 338 204 472 472 469 468 478 458 727 717 717 961 956 956

(1) Slight variations in MVA may be due to rounding of interrupting current values.

If you are interested in the development of these standards, a good history of these standards appears in the forewords of the various documents.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #46 - Significance of K factor in Circuit Breaker Ratings


September 23, 1993 The most basic interrupting ratings of a high voltage circuit breaker are a rated short-circuit current, I, and a rated maximum voltage, V, at which the breaker must interrupt I. This is a simple concept, widely understood. However, these breakers also have a rated voltage range factor, K, which is not so widely understood. (Note: This K factor has absolutely nothing to do with the K factor used to determining the suitability of a transformer for use in a circuit with high harmonic levels.) In many types of circuit breakers the physics of arc interruption are such that a given circuit breaker can interrupt a higher current at a lower voltage. In order to take advantage of this capability in the application of circuit breakers, the K factor was introduced into the ANSI standards for circuit breakers. The K factor is a dimensionless number which defines the range of voltage over which the interrupting current increases. The rated maximum voltage divided by the K factor, or V/K, gives a voltage below which no increase in interrupting current is required. The K factor also defines the magnitude of the increased interrupting requirement. The current which must be interrupted as voltage V/K is KI. Between V and V/K, the current increase is proportional to the voltage decrease, and may be calculated by the formula: Required symmetrical current interrupting capability = rated short circuit current x (rated maximum voltage/operating voltage) This formula yields a constant MVA interrupting rating, equal to the square root of three times VI, between V and V/K, and a constant current interrupting rating, equal to KI, at voltages below V/K. Two things need to be said about the K factor. First, the concept agrees with the physical reality of oilblast and air-magnetic circuit breakers. Breakers using these technologies really do have higher interrupting ability at lower voltages, and assigning a K factor other than one allows a wider application of a given circuit breaker. However, circuit breakers using vacuum or SF6 puffer interrupters are essentially constant current interrupters up to a limiting maximum voltage, so a K factor other than one does not match the physical attributes of circuit breakers using these technologies. In the latest (1987) edition of ANSI C37.06, K has been set to 1.0 for all circuit breakers except indoor oilless circuit breakers, which are the breakers used in metal-clad switchgear.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #46 - Significance of K factor in Circuit Breaker Ratings (Page 2)


Second, for a known system voltage, the K factor is unimportant. On any given system, if the voltage decreases, the available short circuit current will also decrease, not increase. If a circuit breaker is properly applied at the maximum system voltage, it will have the necessary short circuit capability for any lower voltage on that system.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #47 - X/R Ratio


November 17, 1993 What is X/R ("X over R") ratio, and why is it important? First, X/R ratio is simply the ratio of the system reactance to the system resistance, looking back to the power source from any point in a power circuit, assuming that a short circuit is applied to the system at that point. It is another way of stating the power factor of the source system. Mathematically, if Power Factor = cos theta , then X/R = tan theta. Note that this is the power factor of the system up to that point. It has absolutely no relationship to the power factor of any load on the system. Since generators, transformers and transmission lines are generally quite highly inductive, the X/R ratio is generally significantly above unity in any utility or industrial power system. Why is the X/R ratio important? Its importance is that it affects the level of short circuit current a circuit breaker is required to interrupt. When a short circuit occurs, the rms value of the symmetrical fault current is determined by the system source voltage and the total system impedance to the point of fault. However, almost all faults involve significant asymmetry in at least one phase. This asymmetry is treated in analysis as a dc component, which must be combined with the ac symmetrical component to give a new current value, the rms asymmetrical value. It is the value of the rms asymmetrical current at the moment of contact part which a circuit breaker must interrupt. See PTB #22 for further information. This dc component of a fault current decays rather rapidly, reaching an insignificant value in a matter of 3 to 5 cycles of the power frequency. However, this rate of decay is determined by the X/R ratio of the circuit at the point of fault. The higher the X/R ratio, the more slowly the dc component decays. Circuit breakers are tested using power sources with an X/R ratio prescribed by industry standards. For power circuit breakers, both low and high voltage, the ANSI standards require this X/R ratio to be 6.6 or higher, corresponding to a power factor of 15% or less. For a given level of symmetrical fault current and a given circuit breaker contact part time, this X/R ratio establishes the value of asymmetrical fault current the breaker is required to interrupt. A higher X/R ratio, with its slower decay rate, will result in a higher asymmetrical fault current at contact part time. If the X/R ratio is too high, the asymmetrical fault current may exceed the breaker's interrupting capability. Since the X/R ratio of a system is inherent in its design and cannot be changed easily, what can be done about a high X/R? The approach is taken by the ANSI standards is to establish multiplying factors for the symmetrical fault current. These factors vary with the system X/R ratio and the speed of the circuit breaker. For high voltage circuit breakers (over 1000 V), information about the values and use of these factors is found in 5 of ANSI/IEEE C37.010-1979. For low voltage power circuit breakers, this information is found in 10 of ANSI/IEEE C37.13-1990.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #48 - Temperature Rating of Conductors Connected to Molded Case Circuit Breakers
December 2, 1993 Books can be written, and probably have been written, on the subject of proper sizing of conductors to meet all the various requirements of the National Electrical Code. This PTB will address one small facet of that overall problem: the temperature rating of conductors connected to the terminals of molded case circuit breakers. The NEC, as a general principle, requires most material used in electrical systems to be listed by a thirdpart certifier, such as UL, and to be installed in accordance with the conditions attached to that listing. In UL's Electrical Construction Materials Directory ("Green Book") we find the following conditions attached to the listing of circuit breakers: 2. Circuit breakers with a current rating of 125 amperes or less are marked as being suitable for 60C, 75C only, or 60/75C rated conductors. It is acceptable to use conductors with a higher insulation rating, if the ampacity is based on the conductor temperature rating marked on the breaker. 3. Circuit breakers rated 125 amperes or less and marked suitable for use with 75C rated conductors are intended for field use with 75C rated conductors at full 75C ampacity only when the circuit breaker is installed in a circuit breaker enclosure or individually mounted in an industrial control panel with no other component next to it, unless the end use equipment (panelboard, switchboard, service equipment, power outlet, etc.) is also marked suitable for use with conductors rated 75C. 4. A circuit breaker with a current rating of more than 125 amperes is suitable for use with conductors rated 75C. In view of these rules, you might ask why anyone would want to use conductors with a higher temperature rating than the breaker rating, when these higher rated conductors are presumably more expensive than lower rated conductors. Outside of the possibility of convenience (the 90C wire was laying around doing nothing), you may find that other derating factors applying elsewhere in the conductor run will reduce the allowable ampacity so that the 60C or 75C rating at the terminal is met without difficulty. As an example, a #4/0 AWG copper conductor with 90C insulation has an ampacity of 260 A per Table 310-16 of the NEC. However, if you connect this conductor to a molded case circuit breaker terminal, its ampacity is limited to the ampacity of the same size conductor with 75C insulation, or 230 A. The MCCB terminal temperature rating is the limiting factor in this conductor application. Now, let's look at a circuit with two of these conductors per phase in parallel, with all size conductors run in the same conduit. Note 8 to Table 310-16 requires an adjustment of the ampacity to 80% of the ampacity listed in the table when there are 4 to 6 current carrying conductors in one raceway.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #48 - Temperature Rating of Conductors Connected to Molded Case Circuit Breakers (Page 2)
The two 90C cables now have an ampacity of 2 x 260 x 0.8 = 416 A. At the MCCB terminals, the allowable current is twice the 75C rating of the cable, or 460 A. Now the MCCB terminal temperature is no longer the limiting factor, and the use of the 90C insulation is advantageous. If 75C insulation were used, the wire size would have to be 250 kcmil to carry 408 A, and the conduit size would have to be increased from 2" to 3".

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #49 - Industry Standards Covering Powell Products


December 3, 1993 All Powell products are designed and tested to conform to applicable industry standards. The following is a list of the principal standards applying to each of these products. In general, each of these standards includes a list of reference standards which further define the details of products, test methods, etc. The major standards organizations whose standards are referenced below are: ANSI: American National Standards Institute IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers NEMA: National Electrical Manufacturers Association UL: Underwriters Laboratories NFPA: National Fire Protection Association PowlVac Vacuum Circuit Breakers ANSI/IEEE C37.04-1979 ANSI C37.061987 ANSI/IEEE C37.09-1979 ANSI C37.541987 IEEE Standard Rating Structure for AC High-Voltage Circuit Breakers Rated on a Symmetrical Current Basis AC High-Voltage Circuit Breakers Rated on a Symmetrical Current Basis -Preferred Ratings and Related Required Capabilities IEEE Standard Test Procedure for AC High-Voltage Circuit Breakers Rated on a Symmetrical Current Basis Indoor Alternating-Current High-Voltage Circuit Breakers Applied as Removable Elements in Metal-Enclosed Switchgear Assemblies - Conformance Test Procedures PowlVac Metal-Clad Switchgear ANSI/IEEE C37.20.2- IEEE Standard for Metal-Clad Switchgear and Station-Type 1987 Cubicle Switchgear ANSI C37.55-1989 Metal-Clad Switchgear Assemblies - Conformance Test Procedures

Medium-Voltage Switch-and-Fuse Equipment ANSI/IEEE C37.20.31987 IEEE Standard for Metal-Enclosed Interrupter Switchgear

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #49 - Industry Standards Covering Powell Products (Page 2)

Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breakers ANSI/IEEE C37.13-1990 ANSI C37.161988 ANSI C37.171979 ANSI C37.501979 IEEE Standard for Low-Voltage AC Power Circuit Breakers Used in Enclosures Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breakers and AC Power Circuit Protectors - Preferred Ratings, Related Requirements, and Application Recommendations American National Standard for Trip Devices for AC and GeneralPurpose DC Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breakers Low-Voltage AC Power Circuit Breakers Used in Enclosures - Test Procedures Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breaker Switchgear ANSI/IEEE C37.20.1-1987 ANSI C37.51-1989 UL 1558-1984 IEEE Standard for Metal-Enclosed Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breaker Switchgear Metal-Enclosed Low-Voltage Power Circuit-Breaker Switchgear Assemblies - Conformance Test Procedures Metal-Enclosed Low Voltage Power Circuit-Breaker Switchgear Bus Duct ANSI/IEEE C37.23- IEEE Standard for Metal-Enclosed Bus and Calculating 1987 Losses in Isolated-Phase Bus Medium-Voltage Motor Control Industrial Control Devices, Controllers and Assemblies, Part ICS 2-324, NEMA ICS AC General-Purpose Medium Voltage Contactors and Class E 2-1988 Controllers, 50 and 60 Hertz Low-Voltage Motor Control Centers NEMA ICS 2- Industrial Control Devices, Controllers and Assemblies, Part ICS 21988 322, AC Motor Control Centers UL 845-1988 Motor Control Centers

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #49 - Industry Standards Covering Powell Products (Page 3)


PCR Power Control Rooms There are no industry standards for these buildings themselves. Individual Powellbuilt equipments installed in PCR buildings are built per the standards listed above. Other equipments and devices installed in PCR buildings are normally manufactured per the applicable industry standards for the particular item. The only industry standard that applies to the complete assembly is ANSI/NFPA 70-1993: National Electrical Code. All electrical work within and on the outside walls of the PCR is done per the NEC.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #50 - NEC Article 384 - Switchboards and Panelboards


December 10, 1993 Every three years the National Electrical Code is revised, and a cottage industry springs up to inform all of us about the changes made in the new version of the Code. However, sometimes when you are looking for the intent for the detailed meaning of a particular section of the Code, it is just as useful to know what proposed changes were not made, and why the code-making panel rejected the proposal. This information appears in the NFPA Technical Committee Report (TCR), which is issued during each code cycle. In this document, each proposal for revision of the NEC is reproduced, along with the panel's action and the panel's reason for taking that action. In the 1992 TCR, which preceded the 1993 revision of the NEC, there were two interesting rejected proposals with regard to 384-4 - Installation. The first of these suggested adding the following text: "Where water sprinklers are in a position where they can deliver water to service equipment or service bus duct, then that service equipment and service bus duct shall be rated as raintight." The code-making panel unanimously rejected that proposal, with the following comment: "Experience has proven that if a fire activates sprinklers, the sprinklers, if properly installed and maintained, provide effective protection with virtually no hazard to personnel and with no measurable increase in damage to the equipment as compared with the damage done by heat, flame, smoke and the manual hose streams." The other proposal suggested removing the words "foreign to the electrical equipment" from the text of the section. The proposer's substantiation was: "This particular sentence in the 1990 NEC as written can be interpreted as permitting the installation of a dry type, floor mounted transformer below a panelboard. The transformer is equipment not foreign to the electrical equipment (panelboard), thus permitting the installation below the panelboard." The code-making panel also unanimously rejected the proposal, with the comment: "Such a transformer not being foreign to electrical equipment is permitted in the dedicated panelboard space provided it does not intrude into the 110-16 work space."

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #50 - NEC Article 384 - Switchboards and Panelboards (Page 2)

Figure 1 - Panelboard/Transformer Arrangements (DS* is panelboard's Dedicated Space) Figure 1 shows three examples of a transformer located near a panelboard. View 1, with the transformer mounted below the panelboard, is not permitted, as the transformer intrudes into the work space required by 110-16 of the NEC. Views 2 and 3 are both installations permitted by the NEC. In View 2, the transformer is located above the work space, which only extends up to 6 feet from the floor. In View 3, the panelboard has been mounted away from the wall so that the transformer does not extend into the work space. Note that the "dedicated space" above and below the panelboard is the width and depth of the panelboard and extends from the floor to a point 25 feet above the floor, or to the structural ceiling, whichever is lower. A typical hung ceiling of drop-in panels is not considered to be a structural ceiling for this purpose.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #51 - Arc-Resistant Metal-Clad Switchgear


June 2, 1994 Powell has recently announced the availability of arc-resistant metal-clad switchgear, Type PowlVacAR. Arc-resistant switchgear has been available for some time in Europe and Canada, and is now being specified by some users in the United States. Arc-resistant switchgear is designed to minimize the likelihood of injury to a person standing nearby, in the event that an internal arc occurs in the switchgear. This equipment is sometimes erroneously referred to as "arc-proof", which is incorrect. "Arc-proof" would imply that an internal arc could not occur; arc-resistant simply means that the equipment resists the effect of the arc in the unlikely event that one does occur. Arc-resistant equipment must resist two phenomena which accompany an internal arc-increased internal pressure and burnthrough. Resistance to both of these events is demonstrated up to a height of 2 meters. Typically, arc-resistant switchgear is equipped with panels, located above the 2-meter level, which blow open under the increased internal pressure caused by the internal arc. The lower parts of the switchgear are reinforced to prevent opening or burnthrough of the enclosure parts. At the present time, no U.S. standards exist for arc-resistant switchgear, but the IEEE Switchgear Committee is working on one. Until it is available, the two generally recognized standards are International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 298, Appendix AA, and Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association of Canada (EEMAC) Standard G14-1. These two standards differ somewhat, and the major differences are shown in Table 1. Powell has designed and tested Type B switchgear in accordance with the EEMAC standard, which we consider to be more stringent. Both standards require similar tests to qualify a design. The following criteria must be met during the two tests (which may be combined into one test if desired):

Properly secured doors, covers, etc., do not open. Parts which may cause a hazard do not fly off. Arcing does not cause a hole in the surfaces covered by the type under test. Black cotton cloth indicators are placed around the equipment under test, up to a height of 2 meters, wherever flame or hot gases might escape. These indicators must not ignite. The grounding connection must remain effective.

When applying arc-resistant switchgear, several items need to be kept in mind:

The arc-resistant rating is at a particular voltage and short-circuit current level. These ratings should match the ratings of the switchgear and circuit breakers, and the requirements of the system. The area of exposure should be considered. See descriptions in Table 1.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #51 - Arc-Resistant Metal-Clad Switchgear (Page 2)


Quoting Note 4 of the EEMAC standard, "The overpressure in the electrical room caused by arcing due to an internal fault in the switchgear and the ejection of gases from pressure relief devices should be taken into consideration in the design of the building." At high arc currents, this can be a very dramatic event. Attribute Accessibility: Type A Accessibility: Type B Accessibility: Type C IEC 298, Appendix AA EEMAC G14-1

Restricted to authorized personnel only. Test Front. Arc-resistant construction at the Test sides which are readily front only. accessible. Unrestricted accessibility, including general public. Test all accessible sides. -------------------------Arc-resistant construction at the front, back and sides. Arc-resistant construction at the front, back and sides, and between compartments within the same cell or between cells. 160 ms 1 second 10 cm from unit (all types)

Duration of Tests: Pressure 0.1 second (100 ms) Withstand Duration of Tests: 1 second Burnthrough Type A: 30 com from unit Indicator Location Type B: 10 cm from unit

Type A: 150 grams per Indicator Material square meter Weight Type B: 40 grams per square meter

150 grams per square meter (all types)

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #52 - Wire Fill in Seal Fittings


June 14, 1994 NEC requirements for wire fill in seal fittings are different from the wire fill requirements in conduit. In conduits enclosing 3 or more conductors (except for lead-covered conductors), conductors may occupy 40% of the area of the conduit. See Table 1 of Chapter 9. The fill tables in Chapter 9 of the NEC, which give the number of conductors of specific types and sizes allowed in various sizes of conduit, are based on this 40% fill. For seal fittings, the fill may not exceed 25%. This is not specifically stated in the code, but is backed into by the requirement that listed items be used in accordance with their listing, and UL lists seal fittings for 25% fill. This is not unreasonable, as the packing material used in a seal fitting must be packed around each wire, separating them so that the poured sealing compound will effectively seal each wire. The UL requirements are found in UL Standard 886, Outlet Boxes and Fittings for use in Hazardous (Classified) Locations. When installing seal fittings, be sure that the 25% fill is not exceeded. A table of permissible ills by wire size and seal fitting size is found in UL 886, Table 35.1. UL also requires manufacturers of listed seal fittings to include the 25% fill requirement in their installation instruction. In some cases, this may mean using a seal fitting a size or two larger than the conduit size, with reducers to allow the conduit to fit. Any reducer or other fitting used must also comply with the listing requirements for use in a classified area. For very short runs of conduit, it may be easier to use an oversized conduit so that the seal fitting is not overloaded.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director Note: Thanks to Crouse-Hinds for the information calling industry attention to this situation.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #53 - Hardware for Bus Connections


July 5, 1994 What kind of hardware should be used for bus joints in metal-enclosed switchgear? While there may be several acceptable answers, for half a century or so the workhorse of the industry has been the Grade 5 carbon steel bolt, or, more properly, hex head cap screw. Each bolt is installed with two flat washers, a split-ring lock washer, and a hex nut. Zinc plated to retard corrosion and installed with the proper torque, this hardware has a long history of satisfactory performance with both copper and aluminum bus bars. The most common size used is 1/2-13, but 5/8-11 hardware is used for some very large joints and sizes down to 1/4-20 are used for smaller jobs, such as fastening terminals for small wire sizes.

Figure 1 -Proper Bolt Assembly Proper assembly of the hardware is vital to a low-resistance joint. The hardware should be assembled as shown in Figure 1, with the flat washers next to the bus bars on both sides of the joint and the lock washer under the nut. The bolt should be long enough that a minimum of two full threads extend out of the nut when the bolt is tightened. For the 1/2-13 size, use a bolt one inch longer than the combined thickness of the bus bars being bolted together. Other bolt sizes may take longer or shorter bolts to compensate for differences in the thickness of the nuts and washers used. The bolt should not be longer than necessary, either, as extra bolt length usually decreases the clearance from the bolt end to the nearest other phase or to ground. Proper bolt torque is vital to a good joint. Grade 5 hardware is used to allow high installation torque. Torques to be used for various size bolts are shown in the table. This information is given on a label installed in Powell switchgear near bolted field connections. Do not overtorque the bolts. Excessive torque can stretch the bolt past its elastic limit and cause failure. I've seen bolts which were barely half their original diameter in the middle removed from bus joints. Bolt Size 5/8 - 11 1/2 - 13 3/8 - 16 1/4 - 20 Torque, pounds-feet 55-70 35-50 20-30 5-7 How about other types of hardware? Some users specify aluminum hardware for aluminum bus, bronze (usually Everdur) hardware for copper bus, or stainless steel for either bus material. There are two reasons usually given for this requirement. The first is the inhibition of corrosion cells where dissimilar metals made contact. This may be a valid reason for joints that are exposed to the weather, such as

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #53 - Hardware for Bus Connections (Page 2)


open buswork, or for installation in contaminated atmospheres. However, for the usual metal-enclosed switchgear, where all the bus joints are inside the enclosure and are expected to be warm and dry, the special hardware is usually not necessary. The other reason for specifying hardware of a material similar to the bus bar is concern that differential expansion between the bus and the hardware may lead to loosening of the joint. For copper bus, which is used in almost all Powell switchgear, the difference between the expansion of the bus and the expansion of steel hardware is on the order of 0.0004 inch per inch of joint thickness, or 1 part in 2,500 over the entire 65C allowable temperature rise. Offsetting any advantage of better-matched expansion characteristics, however, is the difficulty of finding high-strength hardware made of these alloys. Lower hardware strength may require reduced torque levels on the joints. One other piece of hardware frequently requested is the spring washer, or Bellville washer. This washer is used to replace the split-ring lock washer, and is intended to compensate (within limits) for the differential expansion of the bus material and the hardware. In our experience, it may be of some value when aluminum bus is used with steel hardware, but is generally unnecessary when the bus is copper. While Powell will be glad to furnish special bus joint hardware when our customers specify it, in our experience it is not needed for the usual installation of metal-enclosed switchgear or control equipment. There are many types of equipment, which have been in service for 50 years, or more using carbon steel bus joint hardware.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #54 - Arc-Resistant Switchgear Construction or Arc-Detection Devices?


November 16, 1994 In PTB #51, I discussed the arc-resistant construction which is now available in Powell's PowlVac metal-clad switchgear. As noted in the PTB, arc-resistant switchgear must resist two phenomena increased internal pressure and burnthrough. These two phenomena operate in two different time frames. Burnthrough is a relatively long-time event. The test to prove resistance to burnthrough is of 1 second duration. Internal pressure, on the other hand, reaches its peak in 5 to 10 milliseconds after the arc begins. Any damage that is going to be done by the pressure wave will happen in that time frame. For instance, in one of our first tests of a preliminary arc-resistant design, the front door of a breaker cell was launched across the test cell at that time, digging a divot out of the concrete wall on the other side of the test cell. Several manufacturers are now offering optical arcing sensors as an alternative to arc-resistant construction. These sensors will detect an arc within the switchgear and signal a backup breaker to trip, clearing the arcing fault. However, consider the timing involved. Assuming that the sensor itself has a zero time of response to the presence of an arc, the backup breaker must still open and interrupt before the arc is extinguished. The fastest circuit breakers commonly used in metal-clad switchgear are 3-cycle breakers. This breaker takes 3 cycles, or 50 milliseconds on a 60 Hz system, to interrupt a circuit once its trip coil is energized. This time of operation will give good protection against burnthrough, but by this time the internal pressure in the switchgear has long since reached its peak, and any physical damage that pressure is going to cause has already happened. Optical arc sensors may offer excellent protection to gas-insulated substations, where the principal problem is protection against burnthrough. However, no detection system can protect metal-clad switchgear of normal, unreinforced construction against damage from arc-generated pressure because the backup breaker cannot open fast enough to prevent this damage. If resistance to damage due to arcgenerated pressure is desired, the arc-resistant design of metal-clad switchgear must be used.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #55 - Useful Life of Metal-Enclosed Switchgear


December 8, 1994 We are frequently asked how long we expect metal-enclosed switchgear to last in service; what is the design life of our products. Other than the very complex procedures used in the nuclear industry, there is absolutely nothing in any industry standard that addresses this question, for the very good reason that there is no reasonable way to test the life of a piece of switchgear other than to put it into service and see how long it lasts. However, for the over 40 years that I've been in the industry, most manufacturers have rather consistently answered this question with an estimate of 30 to 40 years of useful service life. There are numerous installations of metal-enclosed switchgear which have been in service for 40 years or more. Of course, to get this kind of service out of switchgear, there are a few ground rules you have to follow. Here are some of them.

Install it properly. Make sure the foundation is level, and that the equipment has been set level on the foundation and properly secured. Check alignment of all disconnects and interlocks on drawout circuit breakers to make sure that they fit properly into the cell. Be sure all bus splices are assembled properly, with the right size splice plates and the right size and number of bolts, properly torqued, and insulated if insulation is required. Connect cables carefully. Check out all control wire connections. Don't overheat it. Heat is one of the two great enemies of electrical insulation. Don't overload the equipment in service. Make sure that ventilation is adequate, and that any filters or other ventilating openings in the switchgear are clean and that air flow is not restricted. If artificial cooling is required to keep the ambient temperature within limits (usually a maximum of 40C), be sure it operates properly. Keep it dry. Moisture is the other great enemy of insulation. Make sure there are no leaks that will allow rain or other moisture to dampen the switchgear. For outdoor installations and indoor installations in damp climates, space heaters are recommended to deter condensation. Take care of it. The equipment should be inspected, cleaned, and lubricated on a regular schedule, and after any traumatic event, such as interrupting a major fault.

Treat your switchgear well, and it will last you a long time. Abuse it or neglect it, and it will die young.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #56 - Control Wire and Wire Markers in Switchgear and Motor Control
December 19, 1994 ANSI standards for metal-enclosed switchgear require the use of either Type TBS or Type SIS wire for control wire in this type of equipment. Further, the wire is required to have a minimum size of #14 AWG, and to be flexible (41 strand or more) where it is connected across a hinge. Powell's standard is to use Type SIS flexible wire for all switchgear wiring. The wire will be #14 AWG unless a larger wire is required by the circuit or is specified by the purchaser. Switchgear control wire has traditionally been colored gray, although this is not called for by any industry standard. Powell's standard is to use gray wire except for ground wires, which are green. Other colors may be used if specified by the purchaser, but elaborate color coding can be rather costly, as wire manufacturers require sizeable runs of special items such as unusual colors. Special wire types can also be used when required, but are also subject to special charges for nonstandard wire mill runs. Wire markers, or wire tags, are used in most equipments we produce, but are not required by standards. Therefore, they must be specified by the purchaser when desired. When wire markers are used, Powell's standard is a white tube marked with black characters. The wire marker is marked with the wire number shown on the schematic and wiring diagrams. Special wire markers can be furnished on request. Some special features requested from time to time include special sleeve materials, special colors, heat shrink installation, and special wire designations or numbering. All of these can be furnished, but at a cost.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #57 - Ratings of Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers


December 22, 1994 Based on questions I receive, there appears to be quite a bit of confusion in the industry about the meaning of various voltage and current ratings applied to circuit breakers used in metal-clad switchgear. This PTB will attempt to clarify some of the more commonly discussed ratings, as these ratings appear in the ANSI circuit breaker standards. First, there is no such thing as an MVA rating for a circuit breaker. See PTB #45 for a detailed discussion of MVA. Other important ratings are as follows: Rated Maximum Voltage V: The highest rms (root mean square) voltage for which the circuit breaker is designed, and the upper limit for operation. Rated Voltage Range Factor K: The ratio of the rated maximum voltage to the lower limit of the range of operating voltage in which the required symmetrical and asymmetrical interrupting capabilities vary in inverse proportion to operating voltage. For more on K, see PTB #46. Rated Short Circuit Current I: The highest value of rms symmetrical current which the circuit breaker is required to interrupt at rated maximum voltage. Maximum Symmetrical Interrupting Capability: The highest value of rms symmetrical current which the circuit breaker is required to interrupt. It is required to interrupt this current at a voltage of V/K and at any lower voltage. Numerically, this current is equal to KI. Interrupting capabilities at voltages between V and V/K are calculated by a formula given in PTB #46. Rated Short Time Current: This is the rms value of the current which the circuit breaker is required to carry for 3 seconds. It is not an interrupting rating; the breaker is not required to interrupt this current until it has cooled down to operating temperature. Numerically, this current is equal to KI, the maximum symmetrical interrupting capability. Closing and Latching Capability: This is the peak, or crest, current that the circuit breaker must be capable of making and immediately thereafter, latching. Numerically, this current is equal to 2.7KI. The circuit breaker must also be able to withstand this same value of current in the closed position as a part of the short time current test. This capability is sometimes referred to as the "momentary current" rating, although this term does not appear in the ANSI standards.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #57 - Ratings of Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers (Page 2)

Since interrupting ratings vary with voltage, it is absolutely imperative that purchaser and supplier communicate clearly about the voltage at which a specified interrupting rating applies.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #58 - Rating of Ground Bus in Metal-Enclosed Switchgear


January 17, 1995 All metal-enclosed switchgear built to ANSI standards is required to include a ground bus to connect together all items in the switchgear that are required to be grounded. This includes such things as the enclosures, circuit breaker frames, CT and VT secondary circuits, relay and instrument cases, etc. The purpose of the ground bus is to keep these items at a common potential under normal conditions and to carry ground fault current when a ground fault occurs. The ground bus is rated for short-circuit and short-time duty. For metal-clad switchgear, ANSI/IEEE C37.20.2, 6.12, requires the ground bus to carry the rated short-time current of the switchgear for 2 seconds. For low voltage metal-enclosed switchgear, ANSI/IEEE C37.20.1, 6.1.2, requires the ground bus to carry the rated short-time current of the switchgear for 0.5 second. Tests to demonstrate these ratings are included in the conformance test standards, ANSI C37.51 for low voltage switchgear and ANSI C37.55 for metal-clad switchgear. Ground bus is not expected to carry any continuous current. If a 4-wire system with line-to-neutral loads is in use, a neutral bus may be needed to carry any current unbalance. This is quite common in low voltage switchgear, and much less common but not unknown in metal-clad switchgear. None of the ANSI standards require a continuous current rating for ground bus, and none of these standards describe any test to demonstrate such a rating. While a ground bus, like any conductor, will carry a certain amount of current continuously without damage, just how much and under what circumstances is not defined. Therefore, specifying a continuous current rating for ground bus has little or no meaning, and should be avoided.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #59 - Bus Spacings in Metal-Enclosed Switchgear


January 24, 1995 From time to time we are asked what bus spacings are required by ANSI standards for switchgear. Those who ask are frequently surprised by the answer: None. ANSI switchgear standards are generally performance standards. Dielectric tests, power frequency withstand for all voltages and impulse withstand for medium voltage, are specified in the standards. The design must pass these tests. How a manufacturer designs equipment to meet the requirements is up to the manufacturer. If you can place bare conductors 1/2" apart and meet the test requirements for 15kV equipment, that is fine. And before you conclude that I'm being ridiculous, remember that we do this every day in vacuum interrupters. When considering bus spacings, two dimensions are important. The first is clearance, or the distance through air between conductors of opposite polarity or between an energized conductor and ground. The second is surface creepage, or the distance across an insulating surface. The distances are measured from metal to metal, and vary with voltage and also with whether or not the conductors are insulated. Phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground dimensions are the same because switchgear used on ungrounded or impedance grounded systems will have phase to phase voltage between the unfaulted phases and ground during a ground fault condition. It is not possible to test every configuration of bus used in switchgear, so every manufacturer has a working guide of dimensions to be used for configurations that aren't tested. Remember that these are dimensions used within metal-enclosed switchgear equipments. They do not apply for overhead lines, pole-top hardware, outdoor substation construction, etc. The dimensions used by different manufacturers may differ a bit, but they are usually pretty consistent. The following table shows some of the more common dimensions we use at Powell. Voltages Low-Frequency Withstand 2.2 kV 19 kV 36 kV 60 kV 80 kV Air Clearance Insulated Bare Conductors Conductors N/A 1" 2" 3 1/2" 3" 6" 6" 9" 7 1/2" 10 1/2" Surface Clearance Insulated Bare Conductors Conductors N/A 2" 3" 5" 5" 7" 9" 14" 11" 17"

Rated Maximum 635 V 4.76 kV 15 kV 27 kV 38 kV

Impulse Withstand N/A 60 kV 95 kV 125 kV 150 kV

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #60 - Switching Small Currents with Vacuum Circuit Breakers


January 30, 1995 We occasionally see a specification which requires that the medium voltage circuit breakers that are supplied should be capable of switching very small currents, in the range of a few percent of the breaker's continuous current rating. Generally speaking, switching of low currents is not a problem for vacuum circuit breakers. Air-magnetic circuit breakers, which have been successfully used for many years in medium voltage switchgear, do have some problems with switching low currents. These breakers depend on a magnetic field generated by the current flowing through auxiliary coils in the interrupter circuit to drive the arc into the arc chute for successful interruption. When the current is very low, only a small field is generated, and the necessary arc movement may not be obtained. Almost all varieties of air-magnetic circuit breakers are equipped with a "puffer" device, a small air piston driven by the opening of the breaker. This piston is equipped with a nozzle that is directed at the area where the arc is truck by the opening of the breaker, so that the arc is literally blown into the arc chute. This device is needed on air-magnetic circuit breakers to insure interruption of small currents. At least in part because of this problem with the interruption of small currents, the ANSI standard for circuit breaker rating allows the interrupting time for the interrupting of current below 25% of the required asymmetrical interrupting capability to exceed the rated interrupting time by as much at 50%. Vacuum breakers, on the other hand, handle small currents with ease. We have tested one model of PowlVac circuit breaker at inductive currents as low as 25-30 A, and some other models at capacitive currents as low as half an amp. Load current switching tests have been made on all of our present production models of PowlVac circuit breaker at inductive current levels in the 250-260 A range. All of these tests were successful, and the interruptions took no longer than high current interruptions. The oscillograms indicated no distress in the interruptions. As far as we are concerned, interruption of low currents is a non-problem for PowlVac circuit breakers.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #61 - Overcurrent Definitions


March 7, 1995 There are several terms that we use to name abnormal current in an electric power system. Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they really aren't interchangeable. Recently, I came across a set of definitions that made a lot of sense to me, so I'm passing them along to you. These are taken from a couple of standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC 439-1 and IEC 947-1.

Overcurrent: A current exceeding the rated current. Short circuit: The accidental or intentional connection, by a relatively low resistance or impedance, of two or more points in a circuit which are normal at different voltages. Short circuit current: An overcurrent resulting from a short circuit due to a fault or an incorrect connection in an electric circuit. Overload: Operating conditions in an electrically undamaged circuit which cause an overcurrent. Overload current: An overcurrent occurring in an electrically undamaged circuit. Fault current: A current resulting from an insulation failure or the bridging of insulation.

Note several relationships among these various currents:


An overload current is always an overcurrent, but not all overcurrents are overload currents. An overload is not a fault. A short circuit current is both a fault current and an overcurrent. However, not all fault currents are short circuit currents. Also, not all overcurrents are short circuit currents. A fault current is not necessarily an overcurrent. Under some fault conditions, the fault current may be much less than the rated current. A typical example is a ground fault current on a highresistance grounded system. This current may be only an amp or two, compared to a rated current of up to several thousand amps.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #62 - Choosing Current Transformers for Relaying Use


March 28, 1995 Current transformers used for relaying under high current conditions must have a relay rating. This rating is expressed as the letter "C" or the letter "T" followed by a number. The number represents the voltage output at the CT terminals with 20 times normal secondary current flowing (100A for a typical 5 A secondary CT), without exceeding 10% ratio error. Standard values are 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 400. The "C" or "T" describes the method used for determining this voltage. The voltage for CT's with a "T" designation has been determined by test, the usual method for wound primary CT's. Recent work by a working group of the IEEE Power Systems Relaying Committee has shown that lowratio CT's applied to systems with high fault current levels may saturate under fault conditions and cause improper or no operation of the overcurrent relays. Extreme saturation of the CT's can result in very narrow pulses of secondary current, only a few electrical degrees wide. Although the magnitude of the pulse may be above the pickup setting of the relay, the current does not flow for long enough at a time to operate the relay. To be sure that the CT's do not saturate, the relay rating of the CT should be twice the voltage necessary to drive the maximum fault current through the connected burden. For example, assume a bus with 24 kA available fault current and a CT rated 400/5 A (80:1 ratio). Divide 24,000 A by the CT ratio, 80, to determine the secondary current, 300 A, under maximum fault conditions. If the secondary burden is 0.33 ohms, the voltage required is 300x0.33, or 100 V. A CT with a relay rating of C200 or T200 should be chosen for this application. Where low-ratio CT's are needed on a system with a high available fault current, it may be very difficult to find a CT with the necessary relay rating. Several possible ways to improve the situation are to use higher ratio CT's, to use higher accuracy CT's, to use lower burden relays, to divide the burden between two sets of CT's, or to use separate instantaneous overcurrent relays connected to a separate set of high-ratio CT's. If you want to review the entire report of the PSRC working group, you can find it published in two different IEEE Transactions. The report title is "Relay Performance with Low Ratio CT's and High Fault Currents". It may be found in IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 8, No. 3, July 1993, pp. 884897, and in IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, Vol. 31, No. 2, March/April 1995, pp. 392-404.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #63 - Capacitance Graded Bushings


June 12, 1995 Bushings or similar structures are used in medium voltage switchgear to carry a conductor from one side of a grounded barrier to the other side. Typical uses are roof entrance bushings, to bring conductors from outside the switchgear through the roof to the switchgear interior; primary disconnect spouts, to bring the primary connections of a circuit breaker from the bus or cable compartment to the circuit breaker compartment; and main bus penetration from one unit of switchgear to the next unit. In its simplest form, a bushing consists of a conductor, some surrounding insulation, and a mounting provision of some kind. If the voltage isn't too high, and the configuration of the conductor, the insulation, and the ground plane isn't too bad, a bushing with suitable insulation characteristics and long life can be made with only these basic ingredients. However, sometimes the spacing is very tight, or the ground plane has sharp corners or protruding hardware so that the local stress on the insulation is excessive. In this case, a capacitance graded bushing may be the answer. In a capacitance graded bushing, layers of conductive or semi-conductive material are placed in the thickness of the insulation in such a manner that these layers serve as a builtin capacitor and the stress on the insulation is equalized and controlled. Proper use of capacitance grading can control both through-insulation and over-surface stress. This technique has long been used in medium voltage switchgear. For instance, GE's vertical lift Magne-Blast circuit breakers, first manufactured nearly 60 years ago, use capacitance graded top-mounted bushings to control the stress where the bushings penetrate the top frame of the circuit breaker.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #63 - Capacitance Graded Bushings (Page 2)


The figure above, shows a section view of the capacitance graded primary disconnect spout used in Powell's PV System 38 switchgear. Each line in the thickness of the insulation represents a conductive layer. The innermost layer is connected to the primary conductor, and the outermost layer is connected to ground. In addition to controlling the stress in the insulation, this particular construction provides an area around the spout shielded from the electrical field, for mounting current transformers.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #64 - Load Switching Capability of NEMA General Purpose Contactors


June 22, 1995 NEMA general purpose contactors, of the type generally used in motor control centers, have a number of different load switching ratings, depending on the type of load being switched, the duty cycle of the load, and the switching sequence being used. The table below shows the ratings assigned to size 1 through size 5 for use on 60 Hz, 480 V systems, with motors rated 460 V.

Motor HP rms Amperes Full Voltage Peak Starting, CircuitNEMA Switching Rating NonClosing Size of Contactor plugging Amps and Non- (Inrush) Continuous Tungsten Resistance Current jogging Lamps Loads & duty (300V Discharge max.) Lamps 1 2 3 4 5 10 25 50 100 200 288 483 947 1581 3163 27 45 90 135 270 15 30 60 120 240 27 45 90 135 270

Transformer Primary Switching kVA

Inrush Inrush >20x <= 20x <=40X Full Full Load Load 8.5 14 28 47 94 4.3 7.2 14 23 47

These values are taken from tables in NEMA Standard ICS2-1988. Other tables in this standard give ratings for other sizes of contactors, other voltages and frequencies, single phase, other motor duties and starting methods, etc. In most cases, the rating limit is established by the contactor's ability to close a certain peak current. Loads with high inrush characteristics require oversized contactors to handle the inrush current without damage. For instance, consider a 15 kVA, 480 V, 3 phase transformer, which has a full load current of 18 A. This is well within the continuous current rating of a size 1 contactor, but switching the primary of this transformer required a size 3 contactor if the inrush current is <= 20 x full load, and a size 4 contactor if the inrush current is between 20 x and 40 x full load.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #65 - Starting Synchronous Motors


June 29, 1995 Starting synchronous motors is a two-step process. The first step is to accelerate the motor to near synchronous speed. Most synchronous motors are equipped with a squirrel cage winding on the rotor for starting purposes. This differs from an induction motor squirrel cage in that it is not rated to carry load, but only to assist in starting. The synchronous motor is started as a squirrel cage induction motor, and can use any starting method that is used on a squirrel cage induction motor: full voltage, autotransformer, reactor, capacitor, etc. Protection required for the motor's stator and this first stage of its starting sequence is the same as required for an induction motor of similar size and starting method. Once the motor reaches near synchronous speed, usually defined as about 95% speed, d.c. is applied to the rotor's field winding, pulling the rotor into step at 100% of synchronous speed. This is the second step of the starting process. During the acceleration stage, the field winding is shorted through a field discharge resistor, which is removed from the circuit before the d.c. is applied. There are two basic types of fields used on synchronous motors, brush type and brushless. For either type, much detailed information about the motor's characteristics is required for proper application of starting equipment. On brush type motors, which are an older design, the two ends of the field winding are brought to slip rings, which are contacted by brushes, giving this type its name. D.c. from an external supply is applied to the field using external switching devices, usually a field contactor. The external supply may be a rotating exciter, either shaft-driven or a separate m-g set; an excitation bus; or the output of a solid-state excitation package. Speed is sensed by measuring the frequency of the induced a.c. current which flows in the field winding and the field discharge resistor. This frequency decreases as the motor speed increases. When an appropriate speed is reached, the control closes the field contactor, opening the discharge resistor circuit and closing the main field circuit. The control may be electromechanical or solid-state, and includes protection against loss of field and incomplete starting sequence. Brushless motors have the armature of an a.c. generator, a rectifier package, the field discharge resistor, and a solid-state sensing and switching package mounted on the rotor of the synchronous motor. The a.c. generator serves as the exciter, and its field winding is stationary, and requires no slip rings or brushes. A small d.c. supply is required for this field winding, and is usually supplied by a solid-state package. Controls are also usually solid-state. Protective relays are unable to measure the d.c. field of the synchronous motor directly, so loss of field protection is provided by relays looking at the power factor of the motor, which changes suddenly when field is lost.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #66 - Use of Auxiliary Current Transformers


November 3, 1995 There are several applications for auxiliary current transformers in switchgear, including matching ratios of main CTs, stepping up the secondary current of main CTs for greater sensitivity in metering or relaying, and combining several main CT secondary circuits for totalized metering. Since makers of auxiliary CTs will provide almost any ratio you might need, these devices can be a very useful tool in complex or specialized CT circuits. However, their use may create a burden problem for the main CTs if care is not used in the application of auxiliary CTs.

A typical auxiliary CT circuit is shown in the figure above. The auxiliary CT secondary burden,

, is

reflected into the main CT secondary circuit by the square of the current ratios, per the following formula:

where

is the total burden on the main CT and

is the burden of the auxiliary CT itself.

From this equation you can see that using an auxiliary CT to step the main CT secondary current up increases the burden on the main CT by the square of the step-up ratio, whereas using the auxiliary CT to step the main CT secondary current down decreases the burden by the square of the step-down ratio. From this, it would seem that, if you are matching two main CT ratios by using an auxiliary CT, it would always be preferable to step down the higher main CT secondary current, which is the current from the main CT with the lower ratio.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #66 - Use of Auxiliary Current Transformers (Page 2)


Unfortunately, it is not always that simple. A couple of other considerations come into play:

The higher ratio CTs may have a higher burden capability than the lower ratio CTs, and thus be capable of handling a larger burden with the same accuracy. The lower current resulting from the step-down transformation may require a lower relay setting to achieve the desired sensitivity, and this lower setting may greatly increase the relay burden.

As always, the best solution is to do a complete burden calculation to see which way, step-up or stepdown, gives the best results. "Best results" means that all of the devices, including the main CTs, the auxiliary CTs, and the relays or meters connected in the circuit, are operating within their capabilities, and that the overall circuit will give the performance desired under all operating conditions.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #67 - Using Latched Contactors in Medium Voltage Motor Control Centers
November 13, 1995 The motor starting contactors used in medium voltage motor control are usually held closed by an operating coil, which is energized to close the contactor. When the coil is deenergized, the contactor opens. Since the contactor's coils is usually energized from a control power transformer connected to the primary circuit of the starter, this design provides automatic undervoltage protection for the motor. For loads other than motors, however, it is sometimes desirable to maintain the circuit during an undervoltage condition. This is commonly done for transformer feeders originating in the medium voltage MCC. To handle this type of circuit, latched contactors are available. When closed by its operating coil, a latched contactor will remain closed even if the closing coil is deenergized. The latched contactor is opened by energizing a trip coil, something like a circuit breaker is opened. Latched contactors may be equipped with manual closing and/or tripping operators if desired. These may be in addition to or in place of the operating coils, leading to quite a few possible combinations of operators. Several cautions are in order when latched contactors are used:

For non-motor loads, such as transformers or capacitors, the motor starting current-limiting fuses should be replaced with general purpose current-limiting fuses. These fuses may stand alone as the overcurrent protection, or they may be supplemented with overcurrent relays for better overload protection. Since automatic undervoltage protection disappears when a latched contactor is used, separate undervoltage relays must be provided if undervoltage protection is needed. There is a major difference between the control circuit for a latched contactor and the control circuit for a circuit breaker. The latched contactor has no anti-pump feature. If a latched contactor is presented with simultaneous, maintained close and trip signals, it will cycle closed and open until one of the signals is removed or until the contactor destroys itself. A circuit breaker, on the other hand, will close once and open once, then remain open until the closing signal is removed and reestablished. Control and interlocking circuits used with latched contactors should be investigated very carefully to make sure that there is not a circuit that could result in damage to the contactors.

Properly applied latched contactors are useful devices, but they don't work just like circuit breakers. Be sure you understand the differences and take them into account when using latched contactors.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #68 - Instantaneous Ground Fault Relays (50GS) and Zero-Sequence CTs
November 28, 1995 In PTB #62, I discussed the problem of low-ratio CTs used on systems with high fault current, and I mentioned the IEEE working group report on this subject. Because of the emphasis in this report on making sure that CTs do not saturate, a number of people have become concerned about the operation of instantaneous ground fault relays connected to zero-sequence, or core balance, CTs. Because of this concern, Powell recently ran a series of tests to check the operation of typical CT-relay combinations. Two different relays were tested with each of two CTs. The relays were the GE HFC and the ABB IT. Electro-mechanical relays were chosen for the test because their higher burden places a greater load on the CTs. The CTs used were both made by ITI. The first Model 141-500, 50/5, C10 accuracy. The second was Model 143-500, 50/5, C20 accuracy. The test results are given in the table below. Relay Under Test HFC IT Relay Pickup Setting 0.5 A 0.15 A Current Transformer 141-500 143-500 141-500 143-500 Primary Pickup Current 15.8 A 13.6 A 6.5 A 5.4 A Time to trip at indicated current (ms) Pickup 600 A 1200 A 1800 A 39.3 36.35 95.2 132.4 34.85 33.75 61.3 56.3 24.05 27.05 67.7 60.0 36.9 31.95 72.6 68.9

Both of these relays operated correctly and reliably with both CTs. However, we also tested a third relay, the ABB ITH, a high dropout version of the IT. We found that this relay was not reliable in this service. It picked up at quite low values, and operated well with primary currents up to about 150 A. At the higher currents, 600 A and up, it chattered quite badly and did not close its contacts for long enough to operate a circuit breaker. Asking around, I found that this relay had been recommended for 50 GS service some years ago, but its manufacturer (Westinghouse at that time) changed the recommendation when the chattering problem was discovered. Based on this information and the tests, Powell strongly recommends that the ITH relay not be used as a 50GS relay. Summarizing, both the HFC and the IT work quite well at primary ground fault currents up to 1800 A, even though the CTs are badly saturated at that current level. This circuit, with these CTs and relays, should not be used on solidly grounded systems with high ground fault current. For these systems, residually-connected relays should be used, or the zero-sequence CTs should have higher ratios.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #69 - Wound Rotor Induction Motors and Starters


January 5, 1996 The garden variety of induction motor used in industry is the squirrel cage induction motor. Many of the characteristics of these motors, such as starting inrush current, starting torque, and slip, are fixed. Although a motor designer can vary these characteristics at the design stage, once the motor is manufactured these characteristics are fixed. The wound rotor induction motor has a rotor winding that is not short-circuited on the rotor, like a squirrel cage motor, but is brought to slip rings so that the rotor circuit can be modified by inserting external resistance. This added resistance can accomplish two things:

Since the starting torque developed in an induction motor by a given starting current is proportional to the rotor resistance, adding resistance during the starting cycle can increase the starting torque, or lower the starting current for the same torque. By decreasing the rotor resistance as the motor accelerates, the torque can be controlled to provide a smooth acceleration of the load, sometimes called a "soft start". This can be very helpful for loads such as cranes, hoists, and loaded conveyors. Since the slip of an induction motor increases as the rotor resistance increases, some speed control is possible using a wound rotor motor and varying the rotor resistance while running.

Controllers for wound rotor motors include for the stator the same protection and switching functions that are used for squirrel cage motors. For the rotor, a multi-step resistor and switching means for that resistor are required. For a soft start application, the resistor is switched out of the circuit step by step as the motor accelerates. Once it reaches full speed, the resistor is completely shorted out, and the motor runs like a squirrel cage motor. The number of steps varies, depending on the motor size and the starting characteristics desired, but generally falls in the range of 3 to 7 steps. The switching may be done by a manual drum switch or by a series of contactors activated by timers. For speed control, some resistance remains in the rotor circuit for all speeds except maximum speed. The running resistor may be further steps of fixed resistance, like the starting resistors, or a continuously variable resistance, like a liquid rheostat.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #69 - Wound Rotor Induction Motors and Starters (Page 2)


Wound rotor motors have some drawbacks. Both the motor and the controller are more complex and cost more than a similar squirrel cage motor and its controller. The added running resistance in the rotor circuit of the motor on speed control increases losses, and thus operating costs, and the maximum speed is limited to something less than synchronous speed for the number of poles in the motor. Because of these limitations, many users now turn to squirrel cage motors and variable frequency drives to meet their needs for both soft start and speed control.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #70 - The Importance of Transient Recovery Voltage


January 10, 1996 In PTB #10 there is some information about transient recovery voltage (TRV) and some data about the TRV values used by Powell in testing PowlVac circuit breakers. I'll try to answer some additional recent questions about TRV in this PTB. Q. Just what is transient recovery voltage: A. As circuit breaker contacts part during the interrupting process, an arc is created between them. The contact-to-contact voltage is the arc voltage, typically about 600V in a 15kV circuit. When the current passes through zero, conduction ceases, and the contact-to-contact voltage moves toward the difference in system voltages on the two sides of the open circuit breaker. This change in voltage is the transient recovery voltage. Q. How is TRV determined? A. TRV is an inherent function of the parameters of a power system, and of the location and magnitude of the fault being interrupted. Since the circuit breaker is part of the system, it may have some minor effect on the TRV, but this effect is usually unimportant. Q. Why should I care about TRV? A. TRV withstand capability is a rating of a circuit breaker, just like continuos current, maximum voltage, and interrupting current. If the TRV withstand rating is exceeded by the system TRV, the circuit breaker may fail to perform properly. Q. How do I know what my TRV will be? A. This may take a computer-based system study. Computer programs designed for power system analysis can usually calculate TRV at selected points on the system. Q. What TRV will my breaker withstand? A. ANSI Standard C37.06 defines the requirements. The rating is stated in terms of a peak voltage, E2 , and a time to reach that voltage, T2 , at full rated short circuit current for a fault at the terminals of the breaker. For lower values of short circuit current, the voltage is higher and the timer is shorter. The curve between O,O and E2,T2 is defined as a "1-cosine" curve, shown visually in the figure below. For circuit breakers used in metal-clad switchgear, E2 is required to be 1.88 times the breaker's rated maximum voltage. The present standard does not specify T2, but a proposed revision lists values from 50s for breakers rated 4.76kV to 125s for breakers rated 38kV. Both E2 and T2 increase as the breaker's rated voltage increases. Breakers rated 121kV and above also use a different curve shape.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #70 - The Importance of Transient Recovery Voltage (Page 2)

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #71 - Starting Methods for Large Medium Voltage Motors


February 9, 1996 Most ac motors, both synchronous and induction , are started "across the line"; that is, the starting contactor or circuit breaker connects the 3-phase motor winding directly to the 3-phase power supply. However, when motors are large with respect to the capacity of the power system it is often necessary to use a starting method that reduces the impact on the power system caused by starting the large motor. Several methods of accomplishing this task are available. This reduced-impact starting is frequently referred to as reduced voltage starting because most of the common methods involve applying a reduced voltage to the motor winding. Some of the more common methods are described below.

Autotransformer: An autotransformer is connected between the power source and the motor during the starting period. Motor starting autotransformers usually have taps that apply 80%, 65%, or 50% of the line voltage to the motor to start. Line current is reduced by the square of the tap; that is, using the 80% tap on the autotransformer requires only 64% of the across the line starting current. Starting torque is also 64% on the 80% tap. Unless otherwise requested, the autotransformer will be the medium duty type, allowing 3 starts, followed by an hour's rest before repeating the three starts. Modern starters use the closed transition switching sequence, in which the autotransformer winding is converted briefly to a series reactor near the end of the starting sequence, then shorted out. This sequence requires three switching devices (circuit breakers or contactors). Reactor: A reactor is connected in series with the motor. These reactors usually have taps that apply 80%, 65%, or 50% of the line voltage to the motor to start. Line current is reduced to the tap value; that is, using the 80% tap on the reactor requires 80% of the across the line starting current. Starting torque is reduced by the square of the tap, and is 64$ on the 80% tap. The reactor may be placed on the line side of the motor or in the neutral. Reactor start requires only two switching devices. Capacitor: A bank of capacitors is connected in parallel with the motor during starting, canceling out the large reactive current drawn by the motor on starting. The motor thinks it is seeing a full voltage start, while the power system thinks it is seeing a running motor. The capacitors are removed from the circuit as the motor reaches running speed. Two switching devices are required. Wound Rotor: For induction motors only. See PTB #69 for further information. Solid-state Drives: A wide variety of starting and speed control performance can be obtained through the use of modern solid-state drives.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #72 - Open Circuit Protectors for Current Transformers


April 10, 1996 Current transformers should never be operated with an open secondary circuit. If the secondary of a CT carrying primary current is open circuited, a high voltage can be developed across the CT terminals. Depending of the characteristics of the particular CT, this voltage may be several hundred volts if the primary current is high enough. This voltage may be dangerous to personnel servicing the equipment and damaging to the CT itself or to devices connected to the CT. To guard against this possibility, devices used in CT secondary circuits are designed to prevent open circuits. For instance, ammeter switches have overlapping contacts so that the circuit is never opened as the ammeter is transferred from phase to phase, and drawout relay cases have shorting contacts in current circuits so that the CT circuits are shorted before the relay coil is removed from the circuit. Also, CT secondary circuits are often wired to special terminal blocks which allow a short circuit to be placed on the CT secondary if it is necessary to service the secondary circuit. For those users who wish even further protection against the possibility of an accidental open circuit in a CT secondary, open circuit protectors are available. These are useful especially where the CT secondary leads are long and subject to possible damage, such as in substations where CT leads from high voltage circuit breakers or transformers may runs as much as several hundred feet to reach the secondary devices. Some users require these devices in metal-enclosed switchgear, but only about 5% or less of the switchgear we build has these protectors. There are two basic types of protectors available - variable resistance and electronic. They both work by limiting the CT secondary voltage, but in very different ways. The variable resistance type carries enough current to limit the voltage across the protector, much in the manner of an MOV or a surge arrester. However, in order to protect itself, this device includes a heater element in series with the variable resistor and a bimetallic contact which will short out the CT secondary before the variable resistor element is damaged. The electronic type monitors instantaneous voltage, and shorts the CT secondary through an SCR if the instantaneous voltage exceeds the set point. This short remains for the rest of the half-cycle of the voltage wave on which it occurs, and is then removed. Each half cycle is separately monitored and acted upon. Both types of protector come in several voltage classes. It is very important when applying these protectors that the proper voltage class be chosen, and coordinated with the operation of the relays at maximum fault current. This is especially important for CTs connected to high impedance bus differential relays, which are normally voltage actuated. The protector must operate for a true open circuit, but must not operate to short circuit the CTs under fault conditions, preventing desired relay operation.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #73 - Metal-Clad Switchgear or Metal-Enclosed Switchgear: Which Is It?


April 23, 1996 Would you be surprised if I said it might be both? Metal-clad switchgear is one of three common types of metal-enclosed switchgear, as defined in ANSI standards. Before I confuse you further, a definition is in order. Metal-enclosed power switchgear: A switchgear assembly completely enclosed on all sides and top with sheet metal (except for ventilating openings and inspection windows) containing primary power circuit switching or interrupting devices, or both, with buses and connections. The assembly may include control and auxiliary devices. Access to the interior of the enclosure is provided by doors or removable covers, or both. This definition appears in all three of the ANSI/IEEE standards covering the types of metal-enclosed power switchgear: C37.20.1, Metal-Enclosed Low Voltage Power Circuit Breaker Switchgear; C37.20.2, Metal-Clad Switchgear and C37.20.3, Metal-Enclosed Interrupter Switchgear. Let's look at some of the things that define each of these types. Metal-enclosed low voltage power circuit breaker switchgear is obviously for use on low voltage systems. The maximum ratings in C37.20.1 are 635 V for ac switchgear and up to 3200 V for dc switchgear. The interrupting device is a low voltage power circuit breaker, either withdrawable or stationary. It may be either manually or electrically operated, fused or unfused. Each circuit breaker is enclosed in a grounded metal compartment, but other isolation, such as between buses and cable connections, is not required. Shutters are not required over bus connections when drawout breakers are used, and bare bus is standard. While some of these features may be available as options (Powell can provide all of them), they are not required by the standard. Under the ANSI standards, low voltage switchgear cannot be considered metal-clad. Metal-clad switchgear requires that the main switching and interrupting device be drawout. It may be either a circuit breaker (usual) or a load-break interrupter switch (unusual). Circuit breakers are always electrically operated. Extensive barriering, shutters over the primary circuit elements when the interrupter is withdrawn, and insulation-covered bus are all required. The minimum rated voltage listed in C37.20.2 is 4.76 kV. This rating is commonly used on 2400 V ac circuits, but is seldom used at lower voltages. Ratings are available up to 38 kV. Metal-clad is usually considered the top of the line of medium-voltage metal-enclosed switchgear.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #73 - Metal-Clad Switchgear or Metal-Enclosed Switchgear: Which Is It? (Page 2)


Metal-enclosed interrupter switchgear covers the same voltage range as metal-clad, but is of simpler construction. The main switching device is an interrupter switch, usually load-break, which may be stationary (usual) or drawout (unusual). Overcurrent protection is usually provided by fuses. Bare bus is standards and required barriering is minimal. Although electrical operators are available, the switches are usually manually operated.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #74 - Enclosures for Metal-Enclosed Switchgear and Motor Control


July 12,1996 The enclosures which are a part of metal-enclosed switchgear and motor control equipment furnished by Powell serve two major purposes. First, they protect users of this equipment from injury by preventing access to live parts by foreign objects, including parts of the human body. Second, they protect the working parts of the equipment from the effects of the environmental conditions in which the equipment is installed. However, while performing these two duties the enclosures also allow reasonable access to parts for operation and maintenance, and must allow ventilation adequate to keep the equipment within its temperature limitations while operating. There are three major sources of enclosure information applicable to metal-enclosed switchgear and motor control: ANSI/IEEE, NEMA, and IEC standards. ANSI/IEEE C37 Series: C37.20.1, C37.20.2, and C37.20.3 are the basic standards for metal-enclosed switchgear. These standards recognize only two types of enclosure, indoor and outdoor. NEMA 250: This standard lists numerous varieties of enclosures for electrical equipment, but applies only to equipment rated 2000 V maximum. It is the source of the definitions for the familiar NEMA 1, NEMA 3R, NEMA 4, etc., enclosures. IEC 529: This standard also lists numerous varieties of enclosures for electrical equipment, and there is no voltage limitation. It is often referred to as the "IP Code", because each enclosure type number is preceded by the letters "IP" (for International Protection). IEC 694: This standard covers high-voltage switchgear and controlgear. It refers to IEC 529, but specifically limits high-voltage switchgear and controlgear enclosures to enclosure types with no degree of protection against harmful ingress of water (second characteristic numeral X). Outdoor equipment uses the suffix W. Each standard defines its various enclosure types and prescribes appropriate tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of the enclosure. Unfortunately, there is no exact equivalence between the enclosure types in the various standards, but the following table shows a comparison of the closest types in each standard.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #74 - Enclosures for Metal-Enclosed Switchgear and Motor Control (Page 2)

ANSI/IEEE C37 Series Indoor Outdoor

NEMA 250 NEMA 1 NEMA 3R

IEC 529 IP20 IP24

IEC 694 IP2X IP2XW

In addition to the standard indoor and outdoor enclosures, Powell offers arc resistant indoor enclosures for PowlVac metal-clad switchgear and weather-proof Power Control Room (PCR) enclosures for all types of equipment.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #75 - Overlap and Bolting of Bus Connections


July 29, 1996 From time to time questions arise about bus overlap dimensions and the number of bolts required in a bus joint. As pointed out in PTB #24, the factor which determines the adequacy of bus work is the temperature rise. If the temperature rise is less than the limits given by the relevant product standard, the buswork and its joints are satisfactory. If the temperature goes too high, no amount of overlap or number of bolts makes the joint okay. When two bus bars are bolted together, the current transfer from one bar to the other takes place at a number of locations where microscopic projections on the surface of the two bars are deformed by the pressure of the bolted joint. The great majority of these points of deformation take place under the hardware. If you project a line outward a 45 from the edge of the flat washer through the thickness of the bus bar, as shown by the dotted line in figure 1, you define a surface area where effective bar-to-bar conduction takes place. This is shown by the heavy line in Figure 1. As long as the overlap of the two bus bars is sufficient to cover this area, the bolted joint will be effective, and additional overlap area is of little importance.

Figure 1. Bolted Bus Connection In order to create the pressure necessary to deform the microprojections on the bus bars, the bolt torque must be rather high. Proper torques are given in PTB #53. To achieve high torques and large contact areas, it is preferable to use a few large bolts rather than many small ones. For most main buses in switchgear and motor control, we prefer to us 1/2" bolts. It is our experience, based on numerous temperature rise tests, that 1/2" bolts make a very satisfactory joint for bus rated up to 4000 A. Since most joints are made by bolting a bus bar to a splice plate or a riser bus, and then bolting the next section of bus to this same splice plate or riser bus, the complete bus-to-bus splice will normally have four bolts. Copper bus bars are normally plated with silver, tin, or nickel at all joints in order to prevent the formation of copper oxide in the joint. Copper oxide is a semiconductor, and its presence leads to increased resistance and high temperature in the joint.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #76 - Bus Duct Enclosure Material


February 19, 1997 Bus ducts built by Powell are metal-enclosed, in accordance with ANSI/IEEE Standard C37.23. The metal enclosure of the bus duct, like the metal enclosure of switchgear units, performs several functions. First, it protects personnel from the hazard of contact with energized electrical conductors. Second, it provides mechanical support for the conductors and their insulation system. And third, it protects the conductors from mechanical damage and environmental distress. The first material we think of when talking about metal enclosures is steel ordinary, every-day hotrolled carbon steel. However, steel has some drawbacks as an enclosure material. Most importantly, it is magnetic, and the magnetic field surrounding the conductors induces circulating currents in the enclosure. These currents have a couple of ill effects. They represent energy losses as they flow through the resistance of the steel. This, in turn, raises the temperature of the enclosure, reducing its effectiveness in dissipating the heat generated in the bus bars, making the entire bus duct run hotter. This effectively reduces the continuous current rating of the bus duct, since the continuous current rating is determined by the temperature rise of both the conductors and the enclosure. The usual method of reducing these magnetic effects is to make at least one side of the bus duct enclosure of a non-magnetic material, often aluminum. Powells usual practice is to make the top cover of bus ducts rated over 1200 A of aluminum. At some very high ratings, the entire bus duct enclosure may be made of aluminum. Another drawback of steel is that, even with a good paint job on galvanized steel, it may not stand up well in some harsh environments. Powell routinely uses galvanized steel for all outdoor bus duct enclosures. To a lesser degree, aluminum may also have environmental problems. If steel is not suitable, but aluminum is, an all-aluminum bus duct enclosure is preferred. However, if neither galvanized carbon steel nor aluminum is suitable for the environment, a third alternative is to make the bus duct enclosure of stainless steel, which withstands bad environments well and is also non-magnetic. The drawback to using stainless steel is its cost. The basic raw material is much more costly than either carbon steel or aluminum, and considerably greater effort is required to fabricate it. If the circumstances require it, Powell will furnish bus duct with stainless steel enclosures, at an appropriate price adder. Because of this increased price, a stainless steel bus duct enclosure should not be specified unless there is a real need for the material.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director Emerititus

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #77 - Insulation of Bus Joints


February 20, 1997 One of the defining features of metal-clad switchgear built according to ANSI/IEEE Standard C37.20.2 is that all power circuit buswork, including both factory-made and field-made joints, is covered with insulating material. The insulated bus, including the joints, must pass a power-frequency voltage test for one minute at rated voltage. This voltage is applied between the insulated conductor and an electrode, usually a foil wrapping, on the surface of the insulation. The insulation decreases the likelihood of accidentally starting a fault with a misplaced tool (or body part). If a fault does occur, due to a break in the insulating system, the fault is usually kept from traveling the length of the bus because the insulation keeps the arc rooted in one place. And, finally, the insulation allows reduced spacings between the bus bars for a given B.I.L. rating, allowing more compact switchgear. However, taking advantage of this smaller size equipment requires insulation of all joints, both in the main bus and at cable or bus duct terminations in the switchgear. Over the years a number of methods of insulating joints have been used, including the following: 1. Taping. This is probably the oldest method of insulating a joint, and it is still used in some cases. It is slow, often taking several hours per joint, and a good joint is highly dependant on the skill and care of the person doing the taping. However, some joints are so complex that taping is about the only way to insulate them. 2. Asphalt-filled plastic boxes. 45 to 50 years ago, many main bus joints were insulated by enclosing them in hard plastic boxes and pouring the box full of an asphaltic compound. This was a messy process, and the materials used were neither flame retardant nor track resistant. It was especially messy when a joint had to be opened and cleaned for some reason. The method was abandoned before 1960 for new equipment, but there are probably many of these joints still in service in older switchgear. 3. Flexible boots. Boots, molded to fit the shape of the joint, are the most common method of joint insulation in switchgear up to 15 kV. The great majority of these boots are molded of PVC, but other materials have been used. The boots can be installed quickly and easily, removed readily, and reused. At voltages above 15 kV, however, it is very difficult to get these boots to pass the test for bus bar insulation required by the standard. 4. Heat and cold shrink materials. There are a number of heat shrink and cold shrink products available. These generally do a good job on straight in-line joints, but can be difficult to use on joints with a more complex shape.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #77 - Insulation of Bus Joints (Page 2)


5. Poured joints. For our PV System 38 switchgear, Powell has developed a system of poured joints, using removable molds and a clear urethane insulating material. This joint insulation method does meet the bus bar insulation test at 38 kV, and provides for visual inspection of the bus joint. Please be sure to insulate the bus joints when you install your metal-clad switchgear.

Baldwin Bridger, P.E. Technical Director Emerititus

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #78 - Circuit Breaker Trip Defeat Switch


October 1, 1997 (corrected) The Circuit Breaker Trip Defeat Switch allows the owner to take the functional testing of the protective relay scheme and extend it all the way to the trip coil without opening the circuit breaker. Thus confirming that the relays output contacts will indeed pick-up the lockout relays and that the lockout contacts will energize the trip coil of the circuit breaker. This action combined with a healthy coil monitor device or a healthy coil light tests the circuit to the final element without opening the circuit breaker. With the increased reliability of relaying and the pressure for extending the maintenance intervals: more equipment owners are asking for the capability to do final element functional testing on the circuit breakers feeding loads that they can not afford to de-energize on a regular basis. As the failure rate of relays goes down, the equipment owner would prefer to functionally check the protective relay scheme and setpoint yearly, and then pull the relays for a full calibration check every second or third year. The Circuit Breaker Trip Defeat Switch requires a two position control switch (95 device). Position one is the normal trip mode (see sketch). In this position the trip coil is in the circuit. The second position is the trip defeated mode. In the trip defeated position the circuit breakers trip coil is cut out of the circuit and replaced with an indicating light and a dropping resistor. The dropping resistor is sized to make the circuit draw the same amount of current as the trip coil. Due to the critical nature of defeating the trip coil a separate contact should be wired to the substation annunciator and to an amber light mounted in the front of the breaker panel to indicate when the breaker is in the trip defeated mode. With the switch in the trip defeated position the technician can function the relays -- tripping lockouts and see that the lockout would have energized the trip coil via the indicating light. Once the testing is complete the technician confirms that the lockouts are reset and the trip light is de-energized then transfer the Circuit Breaker Trip Defeat Switch back to the normal mode. Now for my note as a circuit breaker manufacturer. This scheme allows a much more comprehensive check of the protection system than we have done in the past, but dont forget the circuit breaker, Yes, we have tested the protective logic all the way to the trip coil but the breaker has just gone another year without functioning and the grease without exercise hardens over time. Granted in an air-conditioned substation the interval between maintenance can be extended but not indefinitely. If we can help with this or any other topic please don't hesitate to call.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #78 - Circuit Breaker Trip Defeat Switch (Page 2)

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #79 - Ferroresonance in Voltage Transformer (VT) Circuits


October 1, 1997 (corrected) In the last couple of months we have received several different questions as to what is ferroresonance in a VT circuit, when does it occur and how do we protect against it. Ferroresonance can occur when the primary of a voltage transformer is connected line to ground in a ungrounded circuit. This configuration results in the magnetizing reactance of the VT being in a parallel loop with the coupling capacitance to ground of the system (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

The coupling capacitance is primarily made up of the capacitance of the system dielectric between the phase conductor and ground. The value of the voltage transformers magnetizing reactance varies as a function of the amount of flux going through the iron. This results in an LC circuit and requires only a simple voltage transient to excite the resonant frequency. Once the ringing begins the voltage across the individual components of magnetizing reactance and coupling capacitance can reach high levels and the ringing can go undamped if the voltage transformer is lightly loaded. The loading of the VT has a very important part to play in limiting the magnitude of current in the oscilation circuit since the resistance of the load will act as a current divider and send a portion of the current to ground. This graph from the IEEE Red Book shows the impact of load on the magnitude of the current in the ringing circuit (see Figure 2).

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #79 - Ferroresonance in Voltage Transformer (VT) Circuits (Page 2)

Figure 2 During the oscillation, the current can drive the magnetizing force to saturate the VT. When the VT is saturated, the reactance to ground will diminish and the current to ground through the primary of the VT will go high. At the end of the sinusoid the VT will drop out of saturation, but with a low loss system the stored charge remains relatively high across the system coupling capacitance. As the polarity of the sinusoid changes the process repeats itself. The current surges, through the VT primary during the periods of saturation, can be much greater than full load rating but not approaching fault current levels, making it very difficult for the fuses on the primary of the VT to interrupt. Thus current surging may result in a blown VT fuse but often results in a shorted VT. To keep the resonance magnitude down, the secondary side of the VT circuit can be artificially loaded. There are two common methods of loading used to minimize the effects of ferroresonance. One is to install the VTs with their secondary windings connected in a broken delta and with a resistor completing the broken delta circuit. The watts of the resistor should equal 50% of the VA of a single VT.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #79 - Ferroresonance in Voltage Transformer (VT) Circuits (Page 3)


The second and most popular method is to put a resistor across the secondary of each VT. The rule of thumb from several old references is that the resistive loading should range between the VA required to excite the core at no load and 50% of the thermal rating of the VT. For specific VTs, the manufacturer can recommend a precise value of resistance. Due to the varying frequency of the transient and the magnetizing reactance this is not a problem that occurs in every system or even every time a voltage transformer is connected to ground on an ungrounded system. If the resonant frequency of the LC circuit is excited the swamping resistor will dampen the ringing to prevent long term effects. If we can be of help on this or any other topic please don't hesitate to call.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #80 - Switchgear in a Sulfur Rich Environment


October 27, 1997 Sulfur rich environments such as those found in paper and refinery processes have a special problem with the silver plating in Switchgear and Motor Control Centers. Silver plating is used throughout switchgear because of the superior conductivity and longevity. The silver is found on the bus, in the circuit breaker, in protective relays, auxiliary relays, control switches, and test switches. In and around process units with sulfur present it is very common to open up the switchgear and see fine black hairs commonly referred to as whiskers growing from any and every silver plated surface, - be it a relay contact or a breaker stab. These whiskers and the black tarnish forming under them are silver sulfide. The whiskers are semi conducting and the tarnish is highly resistive. The silver sulfide tarnish grows in areas of the switchgear where the highest concentrations of sulfur is exposed to heat and since the hottest areas are bus joints and sliding contacts, such as the bus stabs, this is not good. The tarnish at the splices and sliding contacts result in a high resistance connection, which produces more heat, which accelerates the tarnishing and the growth of the semi conducting whiskers. This death spiral continues on until you clean the surfaces or the whiskers get long enough to reach a ground plane. How does the sulfur get in? The sulfur from the process combines with air to form Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) with some Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Sulfur Trioxide ( SO3) by-products. ISA Standard 70.01 defines a harsh environment as a concentration of 50 ppb (parts per billion) of H2S or 300 ppb of SO2 and SO3. Your nose can give you some idea whether sulfur is present. The odor threshold is down around 8 ppb for the H2S. But the best way to detect sulfur is by surveying the existing gear for the problems described above and in the case of grass roots facilities discussing with your environmental people the types of fugitive emissions expected from the new units. To combat the effects of sulfur on switchgear there are a couple of steps that can be taken. These include: Chemical Filtration One of the most effective ways of combating the whiskers is to filter the H2S, SO2 and SO3 out of the air in the switchgear room. If the Switchgear and MCCs are going into a separate Power Control Room the air conditioning can be fitted with activated carbon filters. These filters are housed in a separate box about the size of one of the air conditioning units and reduce the ISA harsh environment levels such as the 50 ppb of H2S to an H2S concentration of 3 ppb and SO2 and SO3 to 10 ppb. The unit does require some maintenance and the filters have to be changed approximately once a year. The next level of protection is to fit individual active carbon filters over all switchgear louvers. These individual filters are disposable and can do a good job of filtering whatever portion of the air that goes

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #80 - Switchgear in a Sulfur Rich Environment (Page 2)


through the louvers. While the individual filters do have a significant impact on how often the switchgear has to be maintained it will not protect the equipment in the instrument compartment or cubicles where there is not a definite air entry, so their overall effectiveness is limited. Exposure Avoidance The other strategy commonly used is to minimize the amount of silver exposed to the sulfur by specifying tin plated bus in place of the silver and gold plated contacts or hermetically sealed relays where available. Conducting grease applied at any sliding contact points can help to seal out the sulfur and stiffer springs to improve the wipe can also assist in fighting the problem. In the areas where we replaced the silver with either tin or gold we have eliminated the chance for the whiskers to grow. But there are difficulties with this strategy, many control switches, test switches and protective relay contacts are not available with gold plated contacts. And tin has a couple of problems such as galling and softness that make it less than ideal for sliding contact applications. See Powell Technical Brief # 41 "Plating of Contact Surfaces in Switchgear and Circuit Breakers". It is well worth while to evaluate the cost of these different options on any job where H2S or SO2 and SO3 may be present. For those, who have experienced these problems first hand you know that this is more that just a shorter maintenance interval. The whiskers are not only a threat to the power circuit they can be rather insidious in affecting the functionality of the protective scheme. If we can help with this in any way please give us a call.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #81 - Direct Control of Motor Contactors via PLC's and Distributive Control Systems
October 28, 1997 As we automate the process systems more and more we are looking for direct control of the motor starters with PLCs and Distributive Control Systems (DCS). A commonly asked question is whether the interposing relay situated between the two systems is really needed or not. I have gone through and looked at the more common systems and put together this technical brief to highlight some of the concerns involving the interposing relay. Digital Outputs Modules The electro-mechanical and the solid state (triac) output modules are commonly available for either PLCs or DCSs. Both of these digital output modules are listed in the vendor literature as having a 120 Vac rating of such and such current. Two amps seems to be the most popular for the electro-mechanical value and amp for the solid state output. The thing I had difficulty finding was the expected power factor of the load. A power factor of 0.5 seemed to be the most common although I did find one manufacturer who based his rating on a power factor of 1.0. The expected power factor obviously changes from one manufacturer to the next for both PLC and DCS. The normal contactor coil has a power factor of 0.1, at this level the output rating should be derated by 50%. This is without the consideration of the wire impedance connecting the two systems. In addition to confirming the make and break capability, the application engineer should realize that the turn off of the standard starter results in an inductive kick that sends a significant voltage spike though the system. The output relay ends up with contact pitting and the contactor coil receives a steep fronted voltage spike which shortens the life of the insulation. The spike can be limited by installing a snubber circuit across the output contacts. For solid state outputs the snubber is a 0.1 microfrad capacitor and a 100 ohm resister series together. The cap should have about a 400 Vdc rating for a 120 volt control system. For the electromechanical output internal protection is usually provided for loads up to 1 amp after that you need to provide it separately. In most cases the manufacturer has a kit available as an option. The triac outputs add an additional level of possible problem due to the triacs leakage current during turn off and forward bias requirements. The forward bias means that the triac must maintain some minimum current flow to keep the device in the on state. The leakage current is a small quantity of current that trickles through the device even after turn off. This few milli amps will be in parallel with the distributed wire capacitance of the wire between the control system and the MCC to make the turn off a significant problem. This appears to make the triac an undesirable combination with the standard contactor. Smart Motor Control When using many of the new smart motor control centers the control circuit is no longer interrupting the coil current directly, if it is wired properly! So the concerns relative to interrupting a large inductive load

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #81 - Direct Control of Motor Contactors via PLC's and Distributive Control Systems (Page 2)
are eliminated. The electro-mechanical relay output is less likely to have problems getting the two systems to match-up. The reliability of the triac output module will allow it to do more operations successfully than the electromechanical, but since the coil is not operated directly, you may have to add a swamping resistor in parallel with the MCC input to make sure the circuit draws sufficient current to keep the triac forward biased. In addition, the high relay input impedance of the smart MCC and the distributed wire capacitance may begin to play a part in the functionality of the stop circuit. The longer the length of the control circuit the higher the leakage current and the more likely resistance may need to be added to assure that the circuit will recognize a stop command. A separate concern about doing away with the interposing relay you may want to discuss with the end user is the safety aspects of bringing 120 volt control power from the MCC starter drawers into the PLC or DCS. The way most plant treat the insides of their PLC and DCS is as though there is no voltage level greater that 50 volts to ground. At 50 volts and below OSHA Standard 1910 and NFPA 70Es Electrical Safe Work Practices & Working Space Requirements need not apply. But by bringing the 110 Vac into the control system the rules identified in OSHA 1910 are applicable. In some cases this can have a tremendous impact on the cost of doing work. Based on the legwork I have done the interposing relay still makes good sense until the confidence in the twisted pair communication allows us direct communication between the smart MCC and the PLC or DCS, with a stop station in the field next to the load. If we can help with this or any other topic please do not hesitate to call.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #82 - Physical Installations of Surge Arresters


April 16, 1998 Surge arresters are commonly used in switchgear today to clamp transient voltages at levels below the allowable BIL of the equipment being fed and the switchgear feeding it. The arrester plays a special part for motors and generators in extending the equipment life under certain system configurations. Metal Oxide Varistors (MOV) are commonly used in switchgear and medium voltage motor control centers (MV MCC). The metal oxide arresters offer smooth turn-on and turn-off at lower surge current levels than the older valve type silicon-carbide technology. To install MOV surge arresters in switchgear and MV MCC there are several physical aspects to be considered to assure reliable operation. The most significant of these are ambient temperature, the lead length of the conductor connecting the arrester to the equipment being protected, and the spacing between the arrester in two separate phases. Ambient temperature The Metal Oxide Varistors are rated for a -40C to 40C ambient with a temporary maximum air temperature of 60C. As the temperature of the device increases -- the leakage current continues to climb. The increase in leakage current causes the surge arrester temperature to exceed the temperature rating of the MOV. The internal resistance of the surge arrester begins to drop off and the device turn-on voltage is lowered. If the temperature exceeds the thermal capability of the arrester, thermal runaway occurs and the arrester turns on at the system operating voltage and will not turn off, thus resulting in a line to ground fault. Cable connection tail length It is critical that the length of the leads connecting the surge arrester to the protected equipment and the arrester to the ground bus must be minimized. The wave continues to travel down the system past the surge arrester near the speed of light at the original surge voltage until the arrester turns on to clamp the voltage at the arrester discharge voltage. The voltage drop of the lead wire connecting the arrester to the equipment being protected and the arrester to the ground plane adversely effects the discharge voltage of the surge arrester. A rule of thumb is that the arrester discharge voltage is decreased by 1.6 kV/ft. for every foot of lead length between the phase conductor and the ground bus. The decreased discharge voltage becomes more important in systems above 15 kV where BIL coordination margin is reduced below the 20% protection margin recommended by ANSI. Skirt to skirt distances The surge arrester is made up of two dielectric materials in parallel. The outer surface is typically a polymer insulating material that creates a voltage gradient along the length of the arrester. This surface distance is commonly referred to as the creepage distance. The second part is the inner portion of the arrester, the MOV disk, an insulator at nominal voltage and a conductor at higher voltages. To prevent conduction across the surface (tracking), adequate phase to phase and phase to ground spacing must be maintained. A skirt to skirt spacing of 1 inch/30 kV of BIL is recommended. Conductor to conductor distances -- In additional to skirt to skirt spacing, it is important that phase spacing be maintained between the conductors throughout the lineup. The conductor connected to the lug on top of the arrester is at line potential and must maintain the same phase spacing as the bus phase conductors (see PTB #59 for distances). If the switchgear spacing is based on insulated phase distances, the lug connection on top of the arrester must be booted. The boot fit should barely cover the

1998 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #82 - Physical Installations of Surge Arresters (Page 2)

first skirt ring, and should form a continuous path from the conductor to the first ring of the arrester. To keep from "shorting out" the creepage distance, the boot may not make contact with more than the first skirt. These physical considerations play an important part in assuring that the arresters are able to function properly.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1998 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #83 - Additional Safety Features


August 3, 1998 There are several optional features that our clients specify to enhance the overall safety of the switchgear for the individual electrical technician. This PTB will begin a series highlighting some of these features so that others might benefit from the collective experience. Three of these topics that were discussed at the last PCIC Safety Workshop were: Shutter labels: The simplest enhancements to add to a switchgear line-up are shutter labels. The shutter label indicates to the technician performing testing or grounding on a vertical section the destination of the top and bottom stabs. The shutter is the moveable guard that drops in front of the breaker stabs as the breaker is racked to the disconnected position. The labels are decals mounted on the shutters in front of the circuit breaker stabs. The labels identify whether the stabs are "Load Side", "Line Side" "Bus Side A" or "Bus Side B". Tasks often require an electrical technician to open the shutters on an energized cell. Whether the shutters need to be opened to megger a motor feeder or to insert a ground and test device it is important that the technician be given visual confirmation of which set of stabs are energized. Yes, the safe-work practice requires that the stabs be checked for voltage prior to hooking up the test equipment. But, this simple label offers a valuable confirmation to the technician in the field that has proven to be effective. Shutter locks: The shutter mechanism is the last level of protection between the stabs and a person doing work in the cell. By padlocking the shutter closed you protect technicians from mistakenly opening a shutter on an energized set of stabs. Our existing shutter mechanisms have a set of holes to allow the shutters to be padlocked in the closed position. We also have an optional design that brings a bar from the shutter mechanism to the very front of the cell. This extension design allows the shutter to be the primary point of Lock and Tag out. Once again this is something that is covered by the plants safe-work practices. Every safe-work practice says assume everything is energized before you touch a conductor. But we have had another case here in the Gulf Coast region just recently of a individual getting electrocuted on an energized stab while doing preventative maintenance. The lead technician was performing preventative maintenance on a secondary selective system. He had performed the proper isolation and lock out procedure. As planned, he had left a load side CPT energized via a down stream emergency generator to provide station service power for the shut down. The technician was going down the line up cleaning all the breaker stabs when he mistakenly went into the cubicle with the load side stabs energized and was killed when he came in contact with the stabs. Because of other work going on, the group required access to the cubicle so they had to be able to leave the cubicle door unlocked. A simple lock and tag on that particular set of shutters would have prevented the technicians mistake. There is a pair of 3/8" holes through the moving and fixed portion of the shutter mechanism that permit the locking of the shutter. This locking mechanism also proves to be useful with

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #83 - Additional Safety Features (Page 2)


any main-tie-main system. The shutter lock is the best system available for protecting people when the switchgear has a tie cubicle and half of the system is out of service for maintenance. The shutter lock is also a very effective point for locking out the breaker and cell. Cell locks: The most discussed topic when drafting a site Lock-out and Tag-out Procedure is where to place the locks on metal-clad switchgear. Locking out the cell is replacing locking out the circuit breaker due to the increased safety. Locking out the cell assures that a spare breaker cannot be racked in and mistakenly energize downstream loads. A cell lock allows full access to the breaker out of the cell on the floor for maintenance purposes while people continue to work under their lock-out and tag-out on downstream loads. The cell lock absolutely prevents any breaker from being racked onto the stabs. In all cases the shutter labels, shutter locks, and cell locks can play an important part in how the switchgear is operated. Every site has different skill levels and site procedures that determine when and if these features should be incorporated into the site safety program.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #84 - Capacitor Trip Unit


November 17, 1998 A capacitor trip unit is a prepackaged module that supplies power for tripping an AC controlled circuit breaker with discrete relays following the loss of the AC control voltage. DC control utilizing a charger and battery bank is the more reliable method of supplying tripping power but, in installations of only one or two circuit breakers, sometimes it is difficult to justify the higher cost of the battery system. The capacitor unit has a blocking diode to maintain the storage capacitor charged at the peak AC voltage. In case of loss of AC the blocking diode prevents the capacitor from discharging due to upstream loads. The standard product holds sufficient charge to trip the breaker for 12 seconds after loss of AC voltage. The capacitor trip units are also available in a battery-assisted model. This model protects against losing power for time period up to 2 days by having a small gel cell battery support the voltage. Due to the long charge retention time these unit are usually supplied with a toggle switch to disconnect the unit and discharge the capacitor to allow trip circuit maintenance. Once the load is connected, the stored 30 watt-seconds of energy dissipates very quickly. The load is typically either a lockout relay or a circuit breaker trip coil. One capacitor trip unit should be provided per coil load. For example if you have two lockout relays and a trip coil -- this circuit requires three of the cap trip units. The unit can not support indication lights, healthy monitoring relays or any other such load continuous loads, as they would drain the energy stored in the capacitor when the source voltage is lost. There are no set points to the cap trip unit and most of the designs do not permit monitoring relays to warn that the capacitor is still working. It can hold a charge for a surprisingly long period of time, therefore it is important that the user have a written procedure for discharging the unit and jumping out the capacitor prior to working on the control circuit to prevent an electric shock hazard. The most effective way of discharging the capacitor is to utilize the unit energy to open the circuit breaker. To accomplish this, disconnect the AC control power and operate the circuit breaker via the cap trip unit. In so doing not only do you partially discharge the capacitor but you also get a functional test as a bonus. The capacitor may still have some residual charge and needs to be discharged prior to touching any conductor in the trip circuit. Discharge the additional stored energy by installing a jumper with a resister in series. The battery assisted units have a disconnect switch wired into the front of the unit. Obviously for you to disconnect the AC you need a disconnecting means for the AC. This can be the pullapart fuse block, the circuit breaker panel or a local knife switch depending on how the circuit is set up.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #84 - Capacitor Trip Unit (Page 2)


If site safety requirements make it difficult for you to install the jumper on a circuit that may be in excess of 50 volts to ground you may decide to have a push button installed to discharge the remaining capacitor charge. I do not recommend a maintained switch, as there is too great of a chance of energizing the circuit with the capacitor trip circuit shorted. In closing remember there is a limited life to the battery assisted capacitor trip units. With either type of device it is critical that you include this device into the site maintenance plan.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #85 - The Application of 600 Volt Class Current Transformers in Medium Voltage Switchgear
August 10, 1999 ANSI Medium Voltage Switchgear commonly uses 600-Volt Class window type current transformers in medium voltage circuits. For many years manufacturers have installed 600-volt class current transformers in medium voltage switchgear. The preferred location for the current transformers is the circuit breaker spouts. To certify the dielectric capability of the equipment the switchgear type tests are performed with the maximum number of current transformers mounted on the circuit breakers cells feed through bushings. A typical configuration of the switchgear with the smallest air gaps is then subjected to the series of Basic Impulse Levels Tests required by ANSI. The success of the BIL testing in the area around the circuit breaker feed through bushings relies on the following combination of insulation:

The solid dielectric of the circuit breakers feed through bushings The air gap between the conductor and spout The air gap between the spout and the case of the current transformer The 600 volt class insulation of the current transformer

This series combination of various insulating mediums provides an insulating system that goes through the dielectric testing along with the entire switchgear system. During the power frequency test (high potential) and the impulse test required in ANSI C37.20.2, it is proven that the system dielectric strength exceeds the nominal BIL rating for the voltage class. Bus Mounted Current Transformers Occasionally the clients current transformer requirements exceed the physical mounting capacity of the circuit breaker spouts. In these cases it becomes necessary to add additional window type current transformers. These additional current transformers are mounted in the cable compartment around the run-back bus. Since these are non-standard components, they do not get included in the switchgear BIL testing. To maintain the BIL of the equipment an industry rule of thumb for both factory and field installations requiring bus mounted window type current transformers is to allow a 1 inch air gap between the insulated bus and the current transformer housing. Powell went through the process of testing the 1-inch air gap rule of thumb with various bus insulation systems that we use in the manufacture of the switchgear. We have established an internal matrix that applies to the various insulating systems, the associated standard current transformer and a special "increased dielectric" current transformer. The table below indicates what configurations were acceptable when tested for 95kV BIL.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #85 - The Application of 600 Volt Class Current Transformers in Medium Voltage Switchgear (Page 2)
Table of BIL Tests on 6.5 Inch Bus Mounted Window Type Current Transformer Number of Bus Insulation Standard Current Increased Dielectric Bars per Phase Material Transformer Current Transformer and Size (inches) Hipoxy-2000 (1) 1/2 x 3 (1) 1/4 x 4 (1) 3/4 x 4 (2) 1/2 x 3 (2) 1/2 x 4 (2) 3/4 x 4 GE-Noryl (1) 1/4 x 4 (2) 3/4 x 4 Scotch BBI-4A Passed Failed @ 82kV Failed @ 78kV Failed @ 94kV Failed @ 74kV Failed @ 72kV No Test No Test Passed Passed Passed Passed Passed Passed Passed Failed @ 94kV

(3) 3/4 x 4 No Test Passed (sandwiched) Note: Standard current transformers would be suitable for all switchgear designs requiring 60kV.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #86 - Altitude De-rating of Fuses, Surge Arresters and Potential Transformers
August 11, 1999 As a dielectric dry air works satisfactorily. However as the altitude at which we apply our electrical equipment increases, the effectiveness of the dielectric property decreases. An increased altitude also decreases the continuous current carrying capability of electrical equipment due to the reduced thermal conductivity of the lower density air. In the past we have discussed the altitude de-rating factors for switchgear (see Powell Technical Brief #25). The IEEE Standard for Metal Clad Switchgear (C37.20.2) explains that switchgear assemblies, which depend on air as an insulating medium, will have a lower dielectric withstand capability when operating in altitudes above 3300 feet. This Powell Technical Brief will explain how altitude de-rating effects the installation of medium voltage fuses, surge arresters, and voltage transformers. Fuse De-rating The IEEE Standard for Conditions and Definitions for High Voltage Fuses, Distribution Enclosed Single Pole Switches, Fuse Disconnecting Switches, and Accessories (C37.40 section 2.3) offers de-rating factors for high voltage fuses. The de-rating is a function of the ability of the fuse to clear a fault and achieve a dielectric across the fuse element gap faster than the system voltage across the fuse can be established. This de-rating would be applicable for non-sealed fuses like expulsion fuses and current limiting fuses, where the outside air is the insulating means used to isolate the line and faulted load. Since the dielectric strength of air is reduced as the altitude is increased, the fuse has to be de-rated in accordance with the published chart. (see Table) The thinner air also results in lower thermal conductivity, which requires a de-rating of the continuous current. To compensate for the reduced thermal conductivity the standard allows for a reduction in either the maximum ambient temperature or the continuous current rating, but not both. Rated Dielectric Ambient Altitude in Feet Continuous Strength Temperature Current 0 to 3,330 3,301 to 5,000 5,001 to 10,000 1.00 0.95 0.80 1.00 0.99 0.96 1.00 0.98 0.92

10,001 to 16,000 0.65 0.92 0.848 When the dielectric strength of the fuse is de-rated, the application engineer is often required to choose a fuse of higher voltage class. This approach may result in higher current chopping and associated voltage transients. An alternate solution is the hermetically sealed fuse, which does not require de-rating of the internal operating mechanism. Note that hermetically sealed fuses are both expensive and may have a long delivery time. Care must also be taken to confirm that the outer creepage distance is acceptable within the de-rated values.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #86 - Altitude De-rating of Fuses, Surge Arresters and Potential Transformers (Page 2)
Surge Arrester De-rating There are two types of surge arresters in common use today -- the expulsion-type arrester and the metal oxide arrester. The expulsion-type arresters have an internal system that depends on ambient air as a dielectric and, as such, must be de-rated as a function of altitude just as fuses. The metal oxide surge arresters are sealed and outside air does not play a part in the isolating process, so the surge arrester does not require de-rating for the internals to operate properly. However, air also plays a part in the external surface creepage distance of the housing. The outer surface has a certain creepage distance that prevents the surge arrester housing from tracking across the surface of the arrester. Powell Technical Brief # 59 describes the acceptable surface creepage distance for various impulse levels given insulated conductors. The insulated conductor distances can only be used if an insulating boot properly covers the ferrule at the top of the arrester. Care must be exercised when applying the altitude de-rating factor. To maintain the desired discharge level of the arrester and the required creep distance, it may be necessary to have special arresters manufactured with a standard duty cycle arrester in a housing with higher creep levels. A special caution when applying de-rated higher voltage current limiting fuses. Each fuse has a characteristic current chop that results in a maximum allowable voltage transient of three times the rated fuse voltage. The transients that result from applying a higher voltage class fuse due to altitude de-rating can often result in the surge arrester conducting during a fuse interruption. This should be avoided for line side station class and intermediate class arresters as the conducting impedance of this arrester is low enough that conducting during a fault will cause serious damage. Distribution class arresters have a high enough conducting impedance that this is not a problem.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #86 - Altitude De-rating of Fuses, Surge Arresters and Potential Transformers (Page 3)
Voltage Transformer De-rating When voltage transformers are applied at higher altitudes, ANSI C57.13, section 4.3, identifies the derating factors. This de-rating requires use of a higher voltage class transformer with the appropriate primary voltage and the ratio to maintain the desired secondary voltage. For example: Given a line-up of switchgear operating at 4.16kV at an altitude of 10,000 feet, the appropriate choice is a voltage transformer with a primary voltage of 4200 Volts and a secondary of 120 Volts. The transformer would have an insulation class of 8.7kV with a BIL at sea level of 75kV. When the 80% de-rating factor is applied due to the altitude, this VT has a BIL of 60kV. This Powell Technical Brief should clarify some of the concerns expressed by customers on recently shipped substations installed at higher altitudes. If I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to call.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #87 - Current Transformer Grounding


May 12, 2000 With the new PowlVac-AT Model ATSB outdoor substation circuit breakers recently introduced by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company, several questions should be addressed regarding the ground point for the Current Transformer (CT) circuits. This Powell Technical Brief investigates the preferred ground location of typical CT circuits such as transformer and bus differential relays. IEEE standard C57.13.3 serves as the ANSI guide to standardize instrument transformer grounding practices. The grounding of current transformers is important to both safety and the proper operation of the protective relays. To assure the safe and reliable operation, the neutral of the current transformer secondary should have a single ground location for each circuit. The single ground is irrespective of the number of current transformers or the chosen grounding location. Utilizing a single ground eliminates the risk of redundant ground loops and associated problems. During normal operation more than one ground on a CT circuit is not an obvious problem other than the difficulties it may cause during testing. However during a fault condition, multiple grounds allow a different ground potential rise for each current transformer. The result is a significant current flow through the CT circuit that is not representative of the primary current. This ground loop typically creates a potential across the operating coil of the differential relay causing the relay to pick up as though a fault exists in the relay's protective zone. Tripping a differential relay due to a fault external to the zone of protection, is one of the more popular nuisance trips. These nuisance trips may not only shut down the load, but may require a maintenance crew to spend days in testing to determine that no real problem exists in the differential zone. Further, the actual problem may go uncovered until the system is reenergized into the original fault.

Figure 1 To demonstrate what happens with a second ground on the current transformer circuit, Figure 1 shows a typical differential relay with two current transformers. The recommended method of grounding is to install a single ground point at the first point of application (switchboard or relay panel) of the current transformer secondary circuit.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #87 - Current Transformer Grounding (Page 2)

Figure 2 A substation circuit breaker should have the wye or delta connections made-up at the CT terminal blocks in the equipment. If the protective relay is mounted in the breaker the wye connection is grounded at the circuit breaker. If the protective relays are mounted in a separate building, then the wye connection is in the breaker but is grounded at the relay house. The same applies for current transformers in the transformer tank. The CTs are grounded at the place where the metering or relaying is located (see Figure 2).

Figure 3 Note: For a fault, external to the protective zone, insufficient voltage develops across the operating relay to pick up the coil. For an external fault (see Figure 3), this allows the current flowing through the current transformer on the line side of the protected zone and the current flowing through the load side current transformers to develop a voltage of opposite polarities. The result is a voltage of very small magnitude across the

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #87 - Current Transformer Grounding (Page 3)


operating coil of the relay. The relay coil does will not operate without sufficient applied voltage. In the case of a fault internal to the protective zone, the voltage developed by the current transformers is of the same polarity. The magnitude of voltage drop across the operating coil is sufficient to operate the relay (see Figure 4).

Figure 4 Note: With a fault in the protective zone, sufficient voltage develops across the operating relay coil to pick up the coil. In the final example (Figure 5) there is a second ground is on a current transformer mounted near where a ground fault occurs. If the fault creates a ground potential rise of 100 volts, then the protective relay will experience sufficient voltage across the operating coil to cause the relay to nuisance trip even though the fault was outside the fault zone. Just as with any other event there is an exception to this standard. Many of the new multifunction relays (ABB, Schweitzer, GE/Multilin, and Basler) are designed to connect all current transformers coming into the relay in a wye connection. Each wye has to be grounded. The most desirable way to do this is to bus the wye points together at the relay panel and have a single conductor to ground, to make certain the relay has but one ground potential. As you can see, there are significant considerations in the proper grounding of current transformer circuits.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #87 - Current Transformer Grounding (Page 4)

Figure 5 Note: With a second ground at a remote location, the voltage across the operating coil is sufficient to result in a miss-operation for an external fault and cause a nuisance trip situation.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #88 - Standard Voltage Ranges and Ratings


May 8, 2001 Standard equipment voltage ratings and the associated tolerance limits are established by ANSI Standard C84.1 for electrical systems from 100 volts through 230kV. The question is often asked, How do established equipment ratings relate to utilization voltage? This Powell Technical Brief explains equipment voltage ratings, where they come from and how they are related to the utilization voltage. The voltage variation of a distribution system as a function of the actual load and the impedance between the source point and the point of voltage measurement are well understood. C84.1 identifies several of definitions necessary to understand the equipments voltage ratings and the systems operating ranges. These definitions include: System Voltage The voltage bounded by the step-up and step-down transformer voltage, e.g. 240V, 480V, and 600V. Maximum System Voltage The highest voltage at which the system will operate under normal conditions. It is the greatest voltage for which the equipment is designed to operate continuously without de-rating of other values such as short circuit rating. Utilization Voltage The voltage at the terminals of the equipment, e.g. 230V, 460V, and 575V. Service Voltage The voltage at the utility, or source of supply, boundary. The attached chart identifies the allowable voltage ranges in per unit values with a base voltage of 120V per unit. The chart shows two different ranges of voltage. The Range A portion of the chart illustrates the range over which voltage systems are designed to operate under normal conditions. The Range B portion of the chart is the allowable level of overshoot and droop that will happen while trying to regulate the system to the Range A values. It is the intent of ANSI C84.1 that operator intervention will compensate for extended operation at voltages outside Range A boundaries. Range B also defines the range of voltage variation within which equipment must be designed to operate satisfactorily. The equipment nameplates vary in which voltage is used as Rated Voltage. For low voltage power circuit breakers and the metal-clad switchgear the voltage rating is the maximum system voltage as required by ANSI C37.12 and C37.20.2. For insulated case circuit breakers and molded case circuit breakers NEMA ICS-1 allows either the utilization voltage or the nominal system voltage to appear on the nameplate. For example, a motor control center will carry a nameplate listing the nominal system voltage, while the close-connected switchgear carries a nameplate listing maximum system voltage, and the motor is rated based on the utilization voltage as required in NEMA Standard MG1. Why the differences? The differences in the Standards are set to match up to the way the equipment fits into a system design. Switchgear is often operated at close to maximum voltage, since transformers are tapped to maintain the utilization voltage high in order to increase motor torque in the field. The motor control center can be close coupled to the switchgear or remotely located, so the same design may have a utilization voltage approaching either the maximum service voltage or the system voltage.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #88 - Standard Voltage Ranges and Ratings (Page 2)

An example of how the chart works: For a 480V system the maximum voltage will be proportional to the new systems nominal system voltage by the ratio of the maximum per unit voltage (127 per unit) to the nominal voltage (120 per unit). X 127 per unit Maximum Voltage Rating = = 480 120 per unit Maximum Voltage Rating for 480V is 508V. Therefore, the 508V will appear on the nameplate of the low voltage power circuit breaker as the maximum voltage. The motor control center will list the system voltage of 480V. The motors connected to the motor control center will list the utilization voltage of 460V.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #88 - Standard Voltage Ranges and Ratings (Page 3)


The difference between minimum service and minimum utilization voltages is the intended voltage drop within the wiring system. This difference is greater for services greater than that of 600Vac which allows for a transformer voltage drop between service voltage and utilization equipment. The Range B utilization voltage limits for 6900Vac and 13800Vac are 90% and 110% of the voltage rating of the standard motor and thus vary slightly from the chart. I hope this helps to clarify the different voltage ratings. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further help.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief

PTB #89 - The New Medium Voltage Circuit Breaker Interrupting Ratings Based on K Factors of 1
July 31, 2001 The ANSI Standard for Medium Voltage Circuit Breaker Test Procedures, IEEE C37.09 was revised in 1999. This standard defines the short circuit tests required to certify a medium voltage circuit breakers interrupting rating. In the past the interrupting rating changed as a function of the voltage at which the breaker was applied. The new standards are an effort to recognize that modern vacuum and SF6 interrupting technologies more closely represent a constant current interrupting device, independent of the nominal system voltage. The standards evolved from the 1945 revision when breakers were rated based on interrupting MVA (see figure below). In 1968 the standards established varying k factors to adjust interrupting rating as a function of the voltage. The k factor reflects the performance of the oil and air interrupting technologies available at that time. This practice ended with the 1999 change, where circuit breaker k factors were all set at to a value of one. The k factor of 1 results in all medium voltage breakers, tested to the 1999 version of C37.09, having a constant interrupting rating irrespective of nominal system voltage. The changes in interrupting rating at the system voltage can be seen in the graphs below.

Using the 1968 standards, the 250MVA breaker had a 29kA interrupting rating if applied at 4.76kV while the same breaker applied at 4.16kV had a 33kA interrupting rating and when applied at 3.85kV it had a 35.5kA rating. Using the 1999 standards, a newly certified 36kA breaker with a k factor of 1 will retain the 36kA interrupting rating independent of the applied voltage.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #89 - The New Medium Voltage Circuit Breaker Interrupting Ratings Based on K Factors of 1 (Page 2)

Important Note: Circuit breaker short circuit interrupting rating is the symmetrical RMS current at the time power contacts part. These new rating structures do not change the rating of circuit breakers certified prior to the 1999 revision. They only impact breakers that are certified to the new testing standards. The new 1.0 k factor ratings will simplify breaker application and align with the long-standing IEC nomenclature. It is important that we do not make the mistake of trying to apply a short circuit rating that varies as a function of the voltage to circuit breakers certified to have a k factor of 1.

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #89 - The New Medium Voltage Circuit Breaker Interrupting Ratings Based on K Factors of 1 (Page 3)

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #90 - Asymmetrical Interrupting Current Rating of Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers
September 15, 2001 As discussed in the last Powell Technical Brief, the 1999 revision of ANSI Standard C37.04 and C37.09 changed several definitions relating to the rating structure of medium voltage circuit breakers. The earlier revision of the circuit breaker standards utilized the S factor as a multiplying factor that defined the total current a breaker was rated to interrupt at contact part. The newest revision of C37.04 replaced the S factor with the %dc as the method of evaluating the asymmetrical current offset. The %dc is utilized to calculate the total interrupting current. The asymmetrical current is an important component of the total fault current. It is critical that not only the symmetrical interrupting current, but also the circuit breaker total interrupting rating be greater than the system worst-case available fault condition. In the past, we have been able to pay very little attention to the possibility of a system x/r ratio higher than the nominal value of 17 and the resulting total current. Today, with more generation being installed, the momentary rating and the total current capability play a greater role in the sizing of equipment because local generation increases system x/r ratio.

The maximum fault current occurs during the first loop of sinusoidal current after the instant of fault initiation. An asymmetrical offset containing a dc component of as much as 160% of the symmetrical

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #90 - Asymmetrical Interrupting Current Rating of Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers (Page 2)
current can be impressed on top of the symmetrical ac current in one or two of the three phase currents. This dc component quickly decays and the fault current is greatly reduced in magnitude by the time the contacts part on the circuit breaker (see figure on structure of an asymmetrical current wave). The speed at which this dc component decays is a function of the system x/r ratio. A high x/r ratio means a greater system inductance will dominate the fault current and slow the attenuation of the dc offset.

The %dc that circuit breakers are certified to interrupt, is based on the contact part time and a standard x/r decrement curve. (Refer to Figure 1 above). The combination of the contact part time and the nominal x/r value, results in the maximum value for % dc that the circuit breaker must interrupt. The nominal x/r of 17 coincides well with the typical 60 Hz industrial substation and utilities distribution systems. The %dc is then used to compute the total interrupting current of the circuit breaker at the moment of contact part. The following equation shows how this total current is computed.

Utilizing the chart and this formula we can compute the total current. An illustration will help clarify the calculation. To find the asymmetrical interrupting capability of a 36kA, 3-cycle rated breaker with a published opening time of 25msec, a contact part time of 33msec is used. The contact part time includes

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Powell Technical Brief

PTB #90 - Asymmetrical Interrupting Current Rating of Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers (Page 3)
cycle of minimum relaying time added to the opening time of the breaker. Using the 33msec contact part time of our sample, we find the breaker is capable of interrupting the 36kA symmetrical current with a 50% dc component riding on top of the symmetrical current when these values are plugged into the formula above, the total rms current is 44kA. Since, this breaker is certified as a 3-cycle breaker it is certified to interrupt a total current of 44kA at time from 3 cycles to 2 seconds. Note that if a 5-cycle breaker was certified, the contact part time is 50 msec. The total interrupting current rating would be 40kA, whether it clears in 5-cycles or 2 seconds. Where does this all become significant? With more and more generation being installed we find that the system x/r ratio plays a much more significant part in applying equipment properly. In many generator bus cases the equipment may have to be oversized to handle the higher level of total current or the tripping of the breaker may have to be delayed a few cycles to allow the dc to decay to an acceptable level.

Jim Bowen Technical Director

1997 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief


Index

This index covers Powell Technical Briefs #1 through #90.


**A** Altitude, High See High Altitude Altitude De-rating of Fuses, Surge Arresters and Potential Transformers #86 ANSI Standards See Industry Standards Arc Detection #54 Arc-Resistant Switchgear #51, #54 Arresters, Lightning See Surge Arresters Arresters, Surge See Surge Arresters Asymmetrical Current Ratings #90 Asymmetrical Short Circuit Currents #22 Autotransformer Starting of Motors #14 Auxiliary Current Transformers See Current Transformers, Auxiliary **B** Bolt Torque #53 Bowen, Jim Biography Bridger, Baldwin Biography Bus Bar Insulation #36 Bus Bars, Sizing #24 Bus Construction #42 Bus Duct #76 Bus, Ground #58 Bus Joints #53, #75, #77 Bus Momentary Rating #42 Bus Overlap #75 Bus Spacings #59 Bushings, Capacitance Graded #63 **C** Cable Terminations, Temperature #40, #48 Capacitance Current Switching #3 Capacitance Graded Bushings See Bushings, Capacitance Graded Capacitor Trip Unit #84 Cell Locks #83 Circuit Breakers, Interchangeability #29 Circuit Breakers, Low Voltage, Continuous Current Carrying Capability #12 Circuit Breakers, Medium Voltage Power, Asymmetrical Current Rating #90 Closing and Latching Ratings #2 Interrupting MVA #45 K Factor #46, #89 Ratings #57 Circuit Breakers, Modernization #32 Circuit Breakers, Molded Case #48 Circuit Breakers, PowlVac Capacitance Current Switching #3 Continuous Currents > 3000 A #19 Fast Bus Transfer #1 New Rating #89 Operating Times #18 Relay Target Settings #35 Replacement Circuit Breakers #32 Seismic Testing #7 Switching Small Currents #60 Transient Recovery Voltage #10 Umbilical Cord #4 Vacuum Interrupter Failure #11 Circuit Breakers, Testing #28 Circuit Breakers, Transient Recovery Voltage See Transient Recovery Voltage Circuit Breakers, Trip Defeat Switch #78 Clearance #59 Closing and Latching Ratings #2 Comparison of Porcelain and Cycloaliphatic Epoxy Insulation #5 Condensation in Motors, Preventing #16 Conduit Fittings, Wire Fill #52 Contactors, Medium Voltage Latched #67 Continuous Current Carrying Capability of Low Voltage Circuit Breakers #12 Continuous Currents > 3000 A #19 Control Circuits, Fuses #9 Control Wire, #56 Creepage, #59 Crest Short Circuit Currents #22

2001 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief


Index (cont.)

Current Transformers, Application of 600 Volt Class in Medium Voltage Switchgear #85 Auxiliary #66 Burden #66 Grounding #87 Relaying #62 Saturation #62, #68 Secondary Circuits #72 Zero-Sequence #68 Cycloaliphatic Epoxy Insulation See Insulation, Epoxy **D** Design Tests #23 Device Function Numbers #43 Differential Relays, Partial #33 Direct Control of Motor Contactors #81 Directional Overcurrent Relays #15 Directional Power Relays #15 Distributive Control Systems (DCS) #81 Dummy Circuit Breakers in Metal-Clad Switchgear #20 **E** Effects of Harmonics on Switchgear #31 Enclosures #74, #76 Epoxy Insulation See Insulation, Epoxy Equipment Design Tests #23 **F** Failure, Vacuum Interrupter #11 Fast Bus Transfer #1 Fault #61 Ferroresonance in Voltage Transformer Circuits #79 Field Application, Synchronous Motors #65 Floor Preparation #44 Floor Steel #44 Frequency other than 60 Hz #38 Fuses for dc Control Circuits #9 Fuses, Altitude De-rating #86 Function Numbers, Device #43 Future Use of Space #13

**G** Ground Bus, Rating #58 Ground Lead Disconnectors in Distribution-Class Surge Arresters #17 Ground Sensor Relaying #68 Grounding, Current Transformers #87 **H** Hardware #53 Harmonics #31 Harsh Environment Application #80 High Altitude Application of Switchgear #25 **I** IEEE Standards See Industry Standards Induction Motors #69 Industry Standards #49, #89 Installation of Switchgear #44 Instrument Transformers Altitude De-rating #86 Polarity Markings #34 Insulation, Bus Joints #77 Insulation, Epoxy #5 , #36 Insulation, Porcelain #5 Interchangeability of Drawout Circuit Breakers #29 Interrupter Failure #11 Interrupter Switchgear #73 Interrupting Rating #45 IP Enclosures See Enclosures **J** **K** K Factor #46, #89 **L** Labels, Shutter #83 Latched Contactors #67 Life of Switchgear #55 Lightning Arresters See Surge Arresters Locks, Cell and Shutter #83

2001 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Technical Brief


Index (cont.)

Loss of Vacuum Testing #37 Low Voltage Circuit Breakers See Circuit Breakers, Low Voltage Low Voltage Switchgear See Switchgear, Low Voltage **M** Medium Voltage Contactors See Contactors, Medium Voltage Medium Voltage Motor Control See Motor Control, Medium Voltage Medium Voltage Power Circuit Breakers See Circuit Breakers, Medium Voltage Power Medium Voltage Switchgear See Switchgear, Medium Voltage Metal Enclosed Switchgear See Switchgear, Metal Enclosed Metal-Clad Switchgear See Switchgear, Metal-Clad Meters, Static #30 Modernization of Switchgear #32 Molded Case Circuit Breakers See Circuit Breakers, Molded Case Momentary Rating, Bus #42 Motor Branch Fault Short-Circuit Protection #39 Motor Control, Enclosures #74 Medium Voltage #67 Sizing Bus Bars #24 Testing #27 Wiring of #56 Motors, Autotransformer Starting #14 Induction #69 Large #71 Medium Voltage #71 Preventing Condensation #16 Starting #65, #71 Synchronous #75 MVA Rating #45, #89

**N** National Electrical Code #50, #52 NEMA Contactors, Switching Capability #64 NEMA Enclosures See Enclosures NEMA Standards See Industry Standards **O** Open Circuit Protectors #72 Operating Times of PowlVac Circuit Breakers #18 Overcurrent #61 Overload #61 **P** Panelboards, Cable Termination Temperature #48 Installation #50 Partial Differential Relaying #33 Plating #41 Polarity Markings on Instrument Transformers #34 Porcelain Insulation See Insulation, Porcelain PowlVac Circuit Breakers See Circuit Breakers, PowlVac PowlVac Switchgear See Switchgear, PowlVac Preventing Condensation in Medium Voltage Motors #16 Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) #81 **Q** Qualifying Equipment by Design Tests #23 **R** Ranges and Ratings, Standard Voltage #88 Ratings of Circuit Breakers #57 Relaying Accuracy of CTs #62 Relays, Directional Overcurrent #15 Ground Sensor #68 Partial Differential #33 Power Directional #15 Setting Targets #35 Static #30

2001 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief


Index (cont.)

Replacement Circuit Breakers #32 Rollout Carriages, Switching Capability of #21 **S** Safety Features #83 Seal Fittings, Wire Fill #52 Seismic Testing #7 Setting Targets on Relays #35 Short Circuit #61 Short Circuit Current Levels Used to Test Various Types of Circuit Breakers #28 Short Circuit Currents - Crest, rms Symmetrical and rms Asymmetrical #22 Short-Circuit Protection, Motor Branch Fault #39 Shutter Locks and Labels #83 Silver Plating #41 Sizing Bus Bars in Switchgear and Motor Control #24 Small Currents, Switching #60 Solar Radiation #6 Space, Future Use #13 Spacings, Bus #59 Standards See Industry Standards Standard Voltage Ranges and Ratings #88 Starters, Motor #69 Starting Methods for Motors #71 Starting of Motors, Autotransformer #14 Static Relays and Meters #30 Sulfur Rich Environments #80 Surge Arresters, Altitude De-rating #86 Ground Lead Disconnectors #17 Voltage Rating #25 Physical Installation #82 Switch, Circuit Breaker Trip Defeat #78 Switchboards, Installation #50 Switchgear, Arc-Resistant #51, #54 Cable Termination Temperature #40 Conversion #32 Frequency other than 60 Hz #38

Harmonics Effects #31 High Altitude Applications #25 Installation #44 Life of #55 Low Voltage #73 Medium Voltage #73 Metal-Enclosed #73 Metal-Enclosed, Bus Spacings #59 Metal-Enclosed, Enclosures #74 Metal-Enclosed, Ground Bus, Rating #58 Metal Enclosed, Solar Radiation #6 Metal-Enclosed, Useful Life #55 Metal-Clad #73 Metal-Clad, Dummy Circuit Breakers in #20 Metal-Clad, Arc-Resistant #51, #54 Modernization #32 Momentary Rating #42 Plating #41 PowlVac, Seismic Testing #7 PowlVac, Umbilical Cord #4 Sizing Bus Bars #24 Testing #27 Wiring of #56 Switching Capability of Rollouts and Tiltouts #21 Switching with NEMA Contactors #64 Symmetrical Short Circuit Currents #22 Synchronizing Circuits #8 Synchronous Motors, Starting #65 **T** Targets, Relay #35 Testing for Loss of Vacuum #37 Testing of Switchgear and Motor Control Equipment #27 Tiltout Carriages, Switching Capability of #21 Tin Plating #41 Transformers, Instrument See Instrument Transformers Transient Recovery Voltage #10, #70

2001 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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Powell Technical Brief


Index (cont.)
**U**

Umbilical Cord #4 **V** Vacuum Interrupter Failure #11, #37 Voltage Feedback in Synchronizing Circuits #8 Voltage Rating of Surge Arresters #26 Voltage, Standard Ranges and Ratings #88 Voltage Transformers, Circuit Ferroresonance #79 **W** Wire, Control #56 Wire Fill #52 Wire Markers #56 Wound Rotor Induction Motors #69 **X** X/R Ratio #47 , #90 **Y** **Z**

2001 by Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company


R

PO Box 12818 Houston Texas 77217-2818 713-944-6900 713-947-4453 fax www.powellelectric.com info@powellelectric.com

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company PO Box 12818 Houston, TX 77217-2818 Phone: (713) 944-6900 Fax: (713) 947-4453 info@powellelectric.com www.powellelectric.com
Products & Services PowlVac Metal-Clad Switchgear 5-15kV PV System 27 Metal-Clad Switchgear 27kV PV System 38 Metal-Clad Switchgear 38kV Vacuum Circuit Breakers 5-38kV PowlVac-AR Arc Resistant Metal-Clad Switchgear Low Voltage Metal Enclosed Switchgear Power Control Rooms (PCR) Secondary Unit Substations Load Interrupter Switchgear LV and MV Motor Control Centers High Resistance Grounding DC Switchgear Systems Vacuum Circuit Breaker Modules Station Circuit Breakers Transit Power Systems Traction Power Substations

Traction Power Systems, Inc. 8967 Pleasantwood Avenue NW North Canton, OH 44720-4761 Phone: (330) 966-1750 Fax: (330) 966-1787 info@tractionpower.com www.tractionpower.com
Products & Services Transit Power Substations Project Management Field Engineering and Testing Turn-Key Installation

Powell Electrical Manufacturing CompanyNorth Canton Division 8967 Pleasantwood Avenue NW North Canton, OH 44720-4761 Phone: (330) 966-1750 Fax: (330) 966-1787 info@powellncd.com www.powellncd.com
Products & Services Metal Enclosed Capacitor Banks Metal Enclosed Harmonic Filter Systems Mobile Capacitor Banks DC Switchgear

Powell Apparatus Service Division Texas Office 8550 Mosley Houston, TX 77075-1180 Phone: (713) 944-6900 Fax: (713) 948-4569 info@powellservice.com www.powellservice.com Arizona Office Scottsdale, AZ Phone: (480) 998-7718 Fax: (480) 998-0238 Pennsylvania Office Bromall, PA Phone: (610) 544-8600 Fax: (610) 544-8609 California Office Los Angeles, CA Phone: (818) 363-5666 Fax: (818) 368-9228
Products & Services Service for All Products Field Startup Services Turn-Key Projects Retrofill Products Replacement Breakers Field Testing Spare Parts, Components Field Modifications Match and Line Equipment Engineering Support Emergency Assistance Factory Refurbishment

Powell Industries Offshore 16535 Jacintoport Boulevard Houston, TX 77015-6540 Phone: (281) 452-4885 Fax: (281) 452-9956 info@powelloffshore.com www.powelloffshore.com
Products & Services Custom Packaged Modules Custom Designed Modules Single Lift Modules Power Control Modules Generator Packages Living Quarters

Powell Power Electronics Company, Inc. 5669 Gibraltar Drive Pleasanton, CA 94588-8547 Phone: (925) 225-0505 Fax: (925) 225-0606 info@ppeco.com www.ppeco.com
Products & Services Solid State Power Electronics Rectifiers Rectifier Transformers DC Protective Relays

2001

Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company

PTB-4