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Current Transformers

CT Basics
Construction Theory of Operation Polarity Equivalent Model Open Circuit Voltage Accuracy

CT Transient Performance

CT Construction
A fixed insulated straight conductor that is a single primary turn passing through a core assembly with a permanently fixed secondary winding.

Bushing Type
A secondary winding insulated from and permanently assembled on an annular core with no primary winding or insulation for a primary winding.

CT Construction
Window Type
A secondary winding insulated from and permanently assembled on the core with no primary winding but with complete insulation for a primary winding.

Wound Type
A primary and secondary winding insulated from each other consisting of one or more turns encircling the core. Constructed as multi-ratio CTs by the use of taps on the secondary winding.

Theory of Operation
Op Ip Np
Ip - Primary Current Np - Primary Winding Turns Is - Secondary Current Es - emf Induced p - Magnetic Flux Due to Primary Ip s - Magnetic Flux Due to Secondary Is e - Magnetic Flux Due to Exciting Ie Zb - Burden Impedance

Is Zb Vs Ns



Theory of Operation
When a time varying current Ip flows, a magnetomotive force Fp (mmf) is developed by: Fp = Ip * Np. The primary mmf creates a magnetic flux p in the core given by: p = Fp/Rm where Rm is the core reactance. The direction of p is determined by the right hand rule. p Links the secondary winding, inducing an electromotive force Es (emf), resulting in a secondary current Is flowing through burden Zb.

Theory of Operation
The magnetomotive force Fs developed is due to Is and given by: Fs = Is * Ns. Fs creates an opposing flux s to p by Lenzs law resulting in a magnetic flux e in the core by: e = p s. e is sufficient to maintain Es at a given Ip and load impedance. Since the magnetic flux is proportional to the mmf we get: Fe = Fp - Fs or Ie * Np = Ip * Np - Is * Ns dividing by Ns Ie * Np/Ns = Ip * Np/Ns - Is Is = Ip * Np/Ns if Ie is small

The CT primary and secondary terminal is physically marked with a polarity. The marking indicates the instantaneous direction of the secondary current in relation to the primary current. When current flows in at the marked primary, current is flowing out of the marked secondary:


Hint: Direction of the secondary current can determined as if the two polarity terminals formed a continuous circuit

Equivalent Model
The transformation of current induces errors. Some energy form the primary winding is used to:
Establish magnetic flux in the core. Change the direction of the magnetic flux in the core named hysteresis losses. Generate heat due to eddy currents. Establish leakage flux.

To account for losses a fictitious component is introduced, the exciting current Ie.

Equivalent Model
Ip/n 1:n Zpn**2 Ic/n Ie/n Im/n Zb Rcn**2 Xmn**2 Zs Is

The primary current Ip is stepped down in magnitude by 1:n through a no-loss transformer.
Zpn**2 - primary winding impedance Zs - secondary winding impedance Rcn**2 - hysteresis and eddy current losses referred to the secondary Xmn**2 - magnetic reactance accounting for losses to establish flux referred to the secondary

Equivalent Model
Ip/n 1:n Ie/n Ic/n Im/n Es Rcn**2 Xmn**2 Us Zb Rs Is

If the secondary winding is uniformly distributed on the core, Zs is resistive = Rs. The voltage drop across the primary winding is negligible to the source voltage to which it is connected and does not effect current flow, Zp/n**2 = 0. The secondary current is reduced by the shunting current of the exciting branch. The greater Ie the less accurate Is represents Ip.

Equivalent model
Ie' Ip'

Vector relationship from equivalent model


Oe Es IsXb

Is is reference. Voltage across burden is: Us = Is * Zb. emf induced is: Es = Us + Is * Rs = Is * (Zb + Rs) The angle between Us and Is defines the burden power factor Treating the exciting reactance as linear, Im lags Es by 90 The magnetic flux e from Im lags Es by 90 The Vectorial sum Im and Ic define Ie Ip is the Vectorial sum of Is and Ie Is is less then Ip by a delta I and with a phase angle error of .




Ic' Im'

Open Circuit Voltage

Open secondary causes s to go to zero. Ip drives the core to saturation each half cycle. The action of Ip changing from maximum to zero back to maximum causes p to change from saturation in one direction to its saturated value in the opposite direction. The rapid rise of p induces high voltage spikes in the secondary winding. A formula for peak voltage derived from CT tests is:

Vpeak = 35 Zb Ip / n .
Tests have shown values ranging fron 500 to 11,000 volts.

Definition: Ability to reproduce the primary current in secondary amperes in both wave-shape and magnitude. ANSI/IEEE C57.13 designates two rating classes C or T describing capability. C: the ratio can be calculated, leakage flux is negligible due to uniform distribution of secondary winding. T: the ratio must be determined by test, leakage flux is appreciable due to undistributed windings. Designations are followed by a terminal voltage rating that the CT can deliver to a standard burden at 20 times rated secondary current without exceeding 10% ratio correction. Voltage classes are 100, 200, 400, 800

The burdens are in ohms and at a .5 pf. Standard burdens are B-1, B-2, B-4, B-8 Example: C800: 800 V/ 5 A * 20 = 8 If current is lower the ohmic burden can be higher in proportion. Accuracy applies to the full winding. If a lower tap of a multiratio CT is used the voltage capability must be reduced proportionally.

CT Transient Performance
CT Saturation CT Burden CT Parallel Operation Residual Magnetism

CT Saturation
Type C class CTs performance can be calculated from the excitation characteristics. The excitation curve specifies the relationship of the exciting current Ie to exciting voltage Vs. The point of the curve where the tangent is at a 45 to the abscissa is called the knee. Above the knee is the saturated region where the change in Ie no longer results in an appreciable change to Es. Below the knee is the unsaturated region where Ie is negligible.

CT Saturation
Type T class CTs performance must be determined from test curves of primary to secondary current at standard burdens. Factors influencing the threshold of saturation under steady state are Zb and Is. Transformer operation is given by: substitute e = AB max Es = 4.44 fNAB max e = Es / 4.44 fN where
Es = Is( Zb + Rs)

Decrease Zb or Is (through the turns ratio) will limit Es and thus e.

CT Saturation
Steady State Analysis Saturation by the AC component is avoided by selecting the proper turns ratio, decreasing the burden, or choosing the proper CT accuracy class. Criteria: The product of Is and Zb does not exceed the saturation or knee point voltage of the CT. Procedure: Determine the secondary current(Ip/n) from the primary fault current at the desired turns ratio. Determine the total secondary burden, Zt = Zb + Zlead + Zct. Calculate the required secondary voltage, Vs = (Ip/n) * Zt. Determine the secondary excitation current Ie required for the value of Vs from the excitation characteristic curve. Determine the approximate burden current Is by subtracting Ie from Ip/n. Check the effective ratio with the desired ratio to see if the performance is within the intended accuracy.

CT Saturation
Steady State Example: CT ratio 500:5 C100, If = 12000 A
Ip/n = 12000/100 = 120 Zct = 80*.005 = .4 Zlead is 200 feet of full circuit run of #10 Awg, Zl = e**(.232(10)-2.32)*200/1000 = .2 Relay burden of .15 Zt = .4 + .2 +.15 = .75 Vs = 120 * .75 = 90 Vs of 90 is approximately Ie = 18 Is = 120 - 18 = 102 Effective ratio is 12000/102 = 117.6 or 588.23:5

CT Saturation
Steady state analysis An alternate procedure to check CT performance is to use Ks the saturation factor and a criteria of Ks = Vk/Vs. Where Vk is the effective knee point voltage of the CT from the excitation characteristic curve and Vs is the voltage across the CT secondary. Determine Vk from the excitation characteristic curve and CT ratio. Calculate Vs from (Ip/n)*Zt. Determine Ks and check criteria.

CT Saturation
DC Saturation
When a fault occurs the current usually contains a DC component. The total flux required to produce the offset drives the CT into saturation. Flux reaches a saturation during the positive cycle and the exciting reactance decreases shunting the primary current thus distorting the secondary. During the negative cycle of the primary current, the core becomes unsaturated. As the DC component decays the negative cycle of the primary current and flux become greater and the core eventually runs out of saturation during a complete cycle returning to steady state. The DC component time constant is the X/R ratio of the primary circuit.

CT Saturation
DC Saturation Analysis If saturation is to be avoided the secondary voltage requirement Vs must be (1 +X/R) times the voltage required for the AC component. Example: CT 2000:5 C800 tap 1500:5, If = 19349 A with a source impedance of 81 deg. Ip/n = 19349/300 = 64.5 Zct = 300 * .0025 = .75, Zlead = .2, Zb = .15 Zt = .75 + .2 +.15 = 1.1 X/R = tan(81) = 6.31 Vs = (6.311 +1) * 64.5 * 1.1 = 518.9 Vs of 518.9 is approximately Ie = 20 Is = 64.5 - 20 = 44.5 Effective ratio is 19349/44.5 = 434 or 2175:5 Due to 1500:5 tap the voltage must be reduced by the proportional amount giving the CT a 600 volt rating.

CT Burden
Burden is defined as the total impedance of the secondary circuit. This includes: CT winding resistance Leads resistance from CT to relay and back Impedance of the connected relays CT winding resistance Higher ratio CTs (3000:5) resistance is .0025 /turn Lower ratio CTs (300:5) resistance is .005 Ohms/turn Resistance of leads is based on the AWG gage given by:
/ 1000' = e

residual relays. Note: Most microprocessor relays calculate I residual.

CT Burden
Relay Impedance Microprocessor based relay almost negligible Electromechanical given in VA @ rated I Burden is also influenced by CT connection and type of fault. Example: Y-connected CTs 3Ph fault is balanced, current through the phase relay is the only burden. SLG fault is unbalanced, current must go through the phase and

Parallel Operation
Parallel interconnection increases the burden seen by each individual relay.
The increase is dependent upon the type of connection, number of transformers, and distribution of current between transformers.

Parallel interconnection can be used to supply a high burden when low ratios are required.
Primaries are connected in series and secondaries in parallel.

Residual Magnetism (Remanence)

Caused by current interruption and the magnetizing force becoming zero while the flux density in the core is operating at a high level. Occurs when:
Direct current is passed through a winding Application of a high overcurrent interrupted at a peak magnitude

Effect of residual magnetism is the accuracy of the secondary when the CT is next energized. How effects:
The flux changes start at the remnant value near saturation distorting the waveform. The primary current is required for the excitation reducing the secondary output and increasing the CT error.