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Chapter 4

Sub Station Engineering

4.1 Site selection for EHV substation

Substations play a critical role in an integrated power system for proper load
management, enhancing reliability & security of power supply. This is true for
all stations ranging from 765 kV grid station to a 33 kV rural distribution
centre. Size and location of substation has a direct bearing on its economy,
design, execution and subsequent O&M. It is often experienced that a
judicious site selection of a substation is pivotal for smooth project
implementation, reduces time & cost over runs and increases its service life.

With increasing constraints of transmission line corridors, difficulty in
availability of land due to urbanization and economic development,
emergence of stringent social & environmental regulations and public
awareness, the task of site selection for a substation has become more and
more complex.

The following factors often govern finalization of an optimal site for any

- Technical
- Physical
- Infrastructural
- Social & Environmental
- Commercial

4.1.1 Technical Factors

Area Requirement

For deciding the area requirement of a substation, its voltage level(s),
number of feeders, requirements of step-up/ down transformers &
reactors, infrastructural facilities like housing, associated paraphernalia
etc, for present and future expansion on a 10-15 year scenario are to
be planned. After such an assessment, a first estimate of the area is to
be made on the basis of existing practices of the Utility.

For a typical 400/220 kV Substation, the area requirement for
switchyard is around 30 to 35 acres with I-type layout for 400 kV
system and double main and transfer bus arrangement for 220 kV

Corridors for line, aeronautics and forest (or any other civic, military or
infrastructural facility for that matter) are important aspects for the
feasibility of the substation location. It is prudent to locate sites around
existing line corridors. Sometimes such locations simply do not exist
and a suitable choice will be confined to locations which have only
some of the above characteristics.


Substation location should be away from the polluted area as far as
possible. The small particles (pollutants) may deposit on the insulators
due to the pollution. As pollution levels increase, the insulator creepage
distance of equipments will also increase, which may increase the cost
of the equipments. In extreme cases, in heavily polluted area cleaning
facilities or the use of protective products may be necessary. This may
cause higher cost towards O&M. Saline and other types of industrial
pollution cause corrosion in supporting structures and protective

coating may be required. The risk of failure of equipments increases
with the pollution level.
In case there is no choice but to select a substation in a polluted area,
the alternate technology like GIS/ indoor substation options needs to
be examined. This shall of course reflect on the cost of the substation.

4.1.2 Physical Features
Following factors need to be reviewed for site selection:

Standardization is being adopted by utilities for symmetry, reduced
inventory, reduced engineering and construction time. To achieve this
objective through standardization of supporting structures, approach to
equipment, uniform equipment terminal heights and judicious space
utilization, it is advisable to level the substation land. Uniform gradual
slopes must be provided for proper drainage. Wherever, high cost of
leveling and retaining walls is anticipated, various terraces can be
formed. Generally for deciding the level of substation, the flood level of
that area must be known and substation to be located on the level
around 0.5 m higher than highest recorded flood level. It is preferable
to select the site as even as possible to save time in leveling and to
minimize not only the cost of leveling but also cost of civil foundation

In such areas leveling cost may force the reduction of substation size
which means a review of substation schemes and layouts.


The type of soil & its bearing capacity should be investigated and the
soil should be suitable of construction of roads and foundation. A high
water level may require the construction of drainage facilities which
would increase the cost and cause construction delay. The foundations
may also call for special kind of treatment. Hence cost of substation
may vary depending upon nature of soil. Similarly, if the natural soil has
a high resistivity, the earth mat becomes costly accordingly.


The location of substation should be selected away from the hazardous
area like mines, land slides, flood prone areas. They should be away
from airports and aeronautic corridors as there are usually restrictions
on the maximum height of structures and due to possible disturbance
on navigation equipment. The orientation of substations should be
selected keeping in view the line corridors orientations.

4.1.3 Infrastructural Factors

While identifying a site for a substation, availability of following
infrastructural facilities must be examined so that personnel working
and located in the substation may not face any problem during
execution and subsequent O&M

- Easy Access
- Amenities Availability
- Reliable power & water supply

Substation site should be preferred as near a city/town as possible.
Though due to transmission line corridors it may also not be always
feasible. There has been appropriate mix of proximity to an urban area
and openness for future line corridors. Further, efforts should be made

to locate the substation near a rail head for transportation of heavy
equipments like transformers and reactors. In case of access
constraints for three phase transformers and reactors, the single phase
transformers and reactors may have to be insisted.

Other amenities such as education, medical, communication facilities
etc should be reasonably available. The availability of reliable power
supplies for substation auxiliaries, for residential and construction
purpose should be examined. The water should be available be
construction of substation as well as for drinking purpose.

4.1.4 Social & Environmental Aspects
Following social aspects should be considered while selecting the site:

- Habitation
- Govt. or Private land
- Forest encroachment
- Landscaping

With more awareness amongst general public and strict laws on land
acquisition, resettlement of PAPs (Project Affected Persons), a greater
attention needs to be accorded to this aspect. It is common to see
projects languishing for years to settle related issues. It would be
essential to consult public at various stages of land identification and
acquisition to avoid disputes at a later stage. It would be wise to
develop an organizational policy dining procedures, R&R issues to
establish a transparency. This would obviate problems from PAPs to a
large extent. This any way is a prerequisite for availing multi-lateral
assistance. While selecting a site, minimum number of families should
be disturbed. It is preferable to go for a govt. land rather than private
land as the process may take less time. In case of going for private

land, we may ensure that there is minimum number of land owners so
that acquisition, negotiations could be manageable.

Forest land should be avoided unless unavoidable. Out of various
options available for locating substation, the choice which involves
minimum forest encroachment by lines should be preferred. Trees,
bushes along the substation periphery and use of natural soil instead of
gravel (if acceptable from touch and step potential point of view) may
help to improve environmental aspects. Low noise transformers and
reactors should be installed wherever station is near residential areas.

4.1.5 Commercial aspects

While selecting substation site, cost of substation considering land cost
& its development needs to be examined with respect to the cost of
transmission lines. In case of bulk power handling substations, it would
also be appropriate to take into consideration requirements of
distribution centers.

4.2 Types of substation

4.2.1 General

Substations may be categorized as distribution substations,
transmission substations, switching substations, or any combination
thereof. One design tendency is to reduce costs by reducing the
number of substations and taking advantage of economies of scale.
Conversely, practical system design and reliability considerations tend
to include many substations. One function of system studies is to
balance these two viewpoints.

4.2.2 Distribution Substations

A distribution substation is a combination of switching, controlling, and
voltage step-down equipment arranged to reduce subtransmission
voltage to primary distribution voltage for residential, farm, commercial,
and industrial loads. Rural distribution substation capacities vary.
Substations generally include one l.5 MVA to three 5 MVA
transformers. These substations may be supplied radially, tapped from
a subtransmission line, or may have two sources of supply.

4.2.3 Transmission Substations

A transmission substation is a combination of switching, controlling,
and voltage step-down equipment arranged to reduce transmission
voltage to subtransmission voltage for distribution of electrical energy
to distribution substations. Transmission substations frequently have
two or more large transformers. Transmission substations function as
bulk power distribution centers, and their importance in the system
often justifies bus and switching arrangements that are much more
elaborate than distribution substations.

4.2.4 Switching Substations

A switching substation is a combination of switching and controlling
equipment arranged to provide circuit protection and system switching
flexibility. Flexible switching arrangements in a transmission network
can aid in maintaining reliable service under certain abnormal or
maintenance conditions.

4.3 Substation Single Line Diagram

In single line diagram of a substation, the current ratings for bus bar and all
the feeder equipment are decided based on possible current flow (i.e. Kirchoff

law of summation of currents) through the feeder after deciding the suitable
bus switching arrangement as described later in this chapter. Normal current
rating as well as short time current ratings and the insulation levels for all the
equipment are marked up in the single line diagram.

4.3.1 Bay numbering and bay equipment identification

A bay is line feeder module or transformer feeder module or bus
coupler or a bus transfer module which is controlled by a breaker and
number of isolators. As there are many circuit breakers, isolators,
current transformers, capacitive voltage transformers, surge arresters,
wave traps etc., each equipment are given a code for identification
which is normally the bay number followed by equipment code. For
example, there are four isolators (one connected to Bus A, one
connected to Bus-B, one connected to Bus C and one connected to
line) in a line bay with double main and transfer scheme, one breaker,
one CT, one CVT, one surge arrester. The equipment identification can
be done as 1-52 for breaker, 1-89A for isolator connected with Bus-A,
1-89B for isolator connected with Bus-B, 1-89C for isolator connected
with Bus-C, 1-89L for line isolator, 1-CT for current transformer, 1-CVT
for capacitive voltage transformer, 1-WT for wave trap and 1-LA for
surge arrester. A single line diagram with double main and transfer bus
arrangement is shown in Fig.4.1.

Fig: 4.1: Single Line Diagram (Double Main & Transfer Scheme)

4.4 Substation Layout and Structures

4.4.1 Substation Layout


In India different types of switching schemes and layouts have been
used for EHV substation by different utilities. With the non-availability of
desired size of land at a desired location, it has become necessary to
plan the substation layout in the available land itself irrespective of
constraints of line corridors, irregular shapes of land and other site

constraints. In spite of these site constraints, it is necessary to adopt
uniform switching scheme and layout as far as possible from operation
and maintenance point of view.

Planning Aspect

Following details are required for planning the substation layout.

- Bus switching scheme to be adopted
- Details of feeders requirements
- Future/anticipated expansion of the substation
- Available size of plot

Switching schemes are selected based on techno-economic criteria. As
per established practices breaker and half schemes have been used
world-wide for voltage level 400 kV and above because of its high
reliability, safety and system security. In 220 kV voltage level, double
main and transfer bus scheme has been considered due to economic
criteria. For 132 kV & below level, single main and transfer scheme is
generally in use.

Based on feeders requirement for present and future expansion,
identification of feeders is done keeping in view minimum line crossings
and compactness of the substation. In the available land, the
substation alongwith substation buildings are to be located generally at
high leveled area with respect to the surrounding area so that these are
safe even during flood situation.

Type of layout

Based on the selected switching scheme & land size, type of layout is
to be decided. For a particular bus switching scheme, different options

of layout are available. Depending upon availability of land, simple &
understandable layout of substation should be so selected that during
operation and maintenance no problem is faced at a later date.

4.4.2 Major factors deciding a layout:

Standard Factors
a) Electrical clearances
b) Electric fields & Magnetic Fields - Heights of different conductor levels

Variable Factors
a) Shape of land & feeder orientation
b) Bus bar arrangements
c) Type of isolators used
d) Type of structures used
e) Arrangement for lightning protection
f) Location of control room building, fire fighting pump house building, DG
g) Roads and Rail tracks

Electrical Clearances

While working out the switchyard layout, the clearances between live
parts, earthed structures should ensure the following:

a) Normal operation of the equipment and safe work of the personnel
b) If a circuit is de-energised, the safe inspection, replacement and repair
of equipments
c) Possibilities of convenient equipment haulage

To meet the above requirement, following insulating electrical clearances
as mentioned in Table: 4-1 are maintained based on flashover probabilities

in case of lighting & switching impulse voltage levels and air gap
Table- 4.1Clearance of between phase to phase earth & different voltage level

132 kV 220 kV 400kV 765 kV

1. Minimum

1.a) Phase to Earth
(in meters)
1.3 2.1 3.5 4.9
(rod structure)
1.b) Phase to
(in meters)
1.4 2.1 4.0
(rod structure)
(rod structure)
1.c) Sectional
(in meters)
4.0 5.0 6.5 10.3
2. Basic Impulse
Level (KVp)
650 1050 1550 2100
3. Switching
Impulse Level
- - 1050 1550

Effect of electric field & magnetic field and height of different conductor

The regular influence of electric field may be harmful to 400 kV- 765 kV
switchyard staff health. Presently there is no well defined guideline in
India for the limits of electro static levels in substation. Researches

carried out in USSR had derived following (Table:4-2) limits of electric
field intensity tolerable by human beings within a period of time.

Table- 4.2 field intensity limits

Field Intensity (KV/M) Permissible duration (Minute per day)
5 Unlimited
5-10 180
10-15 90
15-20 10
20-25 5

International Non-ionizing Radiation committee of the International
Radiation Protection Association has suggested that continuous
occupational exposure the working day should be limited to 10KV/mtr.
Therefore, for safe working near charged equipment the electric field
should not be more than 10KV/mtr at 1.8 meter level. Electric field is
one of the selection criteria for bus bar levels, conductor configuration,
phase spacing etc. The limit the electric field & to maintain electrical
clearances, the following (Table: 4-3) conductor levels have been
generally considered.

Table- 4-3 conductor levels & different voltages

Voltage level First level Second level Third level

765kV 14.0m 27.0m 39.0m
400kV 8.0m 15.0m 22.0m
220kV 5.9m 11.7m 16.2m
132kV 4.6m 7.5/8.0m 10.8/12.0m

As per calculations and measurements carried out in 400 kV
substations with 8 meter ground clearance and with 6 meter phase to
phase distance, electric fields at various locations have been found to
be well within the limit of 10KV/mtr. To limit the electric fields in
substations, faraday cage can be provided with wire mesh above
equipment control cabinet at a height slightly above normal human
height to protection the operator.

4.4.3 Shape of Land and Feeder Arrangement:

Shape of land varies from site to site and each site has its own
constraint. The layout of substation should be so selected that lines
could be terminated easily with minimum crossings of lines. Feeder
allocation plays a vital role in exploiting the potentialities of a particular
bus scheme.

4.4.4 Bus Bar Arrangement:

The selection of bus bar arrangement has a great impact in deciding
the levels in the substation. Rigid type of bus bar would result low level
type of layout (i.e. equipment connection/ bus bar level and strung
cross over level) and flexibly bus bar arrangement would result high
level type layout (i.e. equipment connection level, strung bus bar level
and strung cross over level). Both types of layouts have its advantages
and disadvantages. The low level layout has following advantages:

Lesser height of gantry structures an associated lesser foundations
- No overhead conductor over main equipments for ease of maintenance
- Better aesthetic appearance

On the other hand, high level layout has following advantages in spite
of having high level structures and comparatively heavy foundations:

- Lesser No. of structures
- No. of equipments (CB, Isolators) may reduce depending upon
optimum utilization of feeders
- Lesser land requirement

While comparing both type of layout, lesser no. of structures and lesser
requirement of land in high level layout, the overall cost saving due to
above and associated work like leveling, fencing, road, gravel filling,
earth mat etc. would be of the order of 20-30% compared to the cost of
low level layout.

4.4.5 Type of Isolators Used:
Following different types of isolators are available:

- Horizontal Centre Break Isolator (HCB)
- Double Break Isolator (DB)
- Pantograph Isolator (Panto)
- Vertical Break Isolator (VB)

Type of isolators has great influence in bay width and level of the
substation. Using double break type of Isolators compared to
Horizontal Centre Break Isolators, bay width can be reduced by 10-
15%. Pantograph isolators are best suited for DMT scheme (with
flexible bus arrangement) but it requires proper & careful erection of
isolator and stringing of buses. By using vertical break isolators, the
height of levels increases but vertical break isolators are more
economical for voltages more than 400 kV due to lesser length of
beam, bay width and ultimately lesser requirement of land.

Type of Structures Used:

Enclosed () type of structures is generally in use upto 400 kV voltage
level. But at higher level these structures become uneconomical as bay
width (beam length) increases. For 765 kV voltage levels, pie () type
structures are generally in use because in these structures only phase
to earth spacing are required to be maintained.

Arrangement for Lighting Protection:

Depending upon type of lightning protection to be used i.e. by using
shield wire or separate lightning mast (LM), the height of structures
may vary. Use of shield wire adds to another level which increases the
structure height and makes the heavy foundations but no separate
space is required. On the other hand, lighting mast are better from
aesthetic point of view and also serves the purpose of holding lighting
fixtures which provides good uniform illumination in substation.
Lightning masts require separate space so these cannot be used in
high level layout arrangement where no space is available between the

Location of Control Room, Fire Fighting Pump House Building, DG
The location of control room building, fire fighting pump house
building, DG set in the substation play a major role for economic
design of substation. While locating control room building, following
points are to be considered:

i) Safety & Security - Location of control room should be directly
accessible without passing through the charged switchyard
ii) Clear view of substation should be visible from control room.
iii) Cable lengths should be minimum to avoid voltage drops.

4.4.6 Roads & Rail Track:
It is an important aspect from operation and maintenance point of view.
These are judiciously chosen keeping in view the cost, easy movement
of trailer/ crane for maintenance of transformer, CB etc. or
transportation of these equipments in the substation without causing
shutdown of other healthy/charged equipments.

4.4.7 Other Parameters:
Type of insulator strings, conductor, Aluminium bus, earthing etc. are
other parameters of substation design for which no compromise can be
done but they do not have much impact in the layout design of

4.4.8 Conclusion
Substation layout design is generally dependent upon the availability of
land, site constraints and system requirement but still it is preferable to
adopt uniform type of layout as far as possible as per selected
switching scheme which is very useful in a long run for operation,
maintenance and extension point of view. A typical layout (Plan &
Sections) for single line diagram shown in Fig.4.1 is mentioned below
in Fig.4.2 (a), (b), (c), (d) &(e).

Fig: 4.2 (a): Typical 220 KV DMT Layout Plan

Fig: 4.2 (b); Typical 220 KV DMT Layouts (Section-Transformer Bay)

Fig: 4.2 (c); Typical 220 KV DMT Layouts (Section-Line Bay)
Fig: 4.2 (d); Typical 220 KV DMT Layout (Section-TBC bay)

Fig: 4.2 (e); Typical 220 KV DMT Layout (Section-Bus coupler bay)

4.5 Switching Schemes
The various types of bus-bar schemes are:
- Single bus-bar
- Main and transfer bus-bar
- Double bus-bar
- Double main and transfer bus
- Ring bus-bar and mesh bus-bar
- One and half circuit breaker
- Double bus and double breaker scheme

4.5.1 Selection of bus-bar scheme
The selection of a bus-bar scheme and its possible extension is an
important initial step in substation design. The aspects which influence
this decision are operational flexibility, system safety, reliability,
availability, ability to facilitate system control and cost. An important
factor in selection of bus-bar scheme is the degree of reliability of
supply expected during maintenance or faults. Careful consideration
has also to be given regarding the amount of redundancy to be
provided so as to determine the amount of plant, which can be
permitted out of use on account of maintenance or faults. Certain

amount of sectionalisation has also to be provided in a substation so as
to ensure that in the event of a fault, a large power source does not get
disconnected. In the case of step-up substations associated with large
generating stations a fault within the substation may have serious
repercussions from the point of view of the system operating as a
whole and, therefore, a very high degree of reliability is required in
such cases as compared to step down or switching stations. Similarly,
the exposure of a substation to atmospheric hazards such as lightning,
marine and industrial pollution etc. also plays an important part in
deciding the type of the bus-bar system. Then there is the problem of
future expansion of the bus-bar system at least in a foreseeable future.

4.5.2 Single bus bar scheme

A single bus configuration consists of one main bus that is energized at
all times and to which all circuits are connected. This arrangement is
the simplest, but provides the least amount of system reliability. The
entire substation is lost in case of a fault on the bus bar or any bus-bar
isolator and also in case of maintenance of circuit breaker thereof. The
single bus configuration can be constructed by using either low or high-
profile structures and is generally limited to distribution and
subtransmission voltage levels. A typical single bus bar arrangement is
shown in Figure 4.3. One of the methods for reducing the number of
circuits lost in case of a bus fault is to sectionalize the bus as shown in
Figure 4.3(a).

Fig: 4.3 : Single Main Bus Scheme
Fig: 4.3(a) : Single Main Bus Scheme (Sectionized)

- Lowest cost
- Small land area required
- Easily expandable
- Simple in concept and operation
- Relatively simple for the application of protective relaying

- A single bus arrangement has the lowest reliability.
- Failure of a circuit breaker or a bus fault causes loss of the entire
- Maintenance switching can complicate and disable some of the
protective relay scheme and overall relay coordination.

- Maintenance at the upper elevations of high-profile arrangements
necessitates de-energization or protection of the lower equipment.

4.5.3 Main and transfer bus bar scheme

A main and transfer bus configuration consists of two independent
buses, one of which, the main bus, is normally energized. Under
normal operating conditions, all incoming and outgoing circuits are fed
from the main bus through their associated circuit breakers and
isolators. A typical main and transfer bus bar arrangement is shown in
Figure 4.4. This scheme has been used in India for 132 kV systems in
general, U.S.A. and also in some of the European countries,
particularly for step-down substations, as bus-bar faults are rare.

Transfer bus is energised from main bus bars through a bus coupler
circuit i.e. for n number of circuits it employs n+1 circuit breakers. The
additional provision of Transfer bays and Bus Coupler circuit facilitates
taking out one circuit breaker at a time for routine overhaul and
maintenance without de-energising the circuit controlled by that
breaker as that circuit then gets energised through Bus Coupler
breaker and transfer bus bar. Each circuit is connected to the main bus
bar through a circuit breaker with isolators on both side and through an
isolator to the transfer bus bar.

As in the case of single bus arrangement, this scheme also suffers
from the disadvantage that in the event of a fault on the main bus bar
or the associated isolator, there is a complete shutdown of the
substation. Complete shutdown can be avoided through sectionalizing
the main bus as shown in Figure 4.4(a) & 4.4 (b).

Fig: 4.4 : Main and Transfer Bus Scheme

Fig: 4.4(a) : Main and Transfer Bus Scheme (Sectionized)


Fig: 4.4(b) : Main and Transfer Bus Scheme (Sectionized)


- Accommodation of circuit breaker maintenance while maintaining
service and line protection
- Reasonable in cost
- Fairly small land area
- Easily expandable


- An additional circuit breaker is required for bus coupler.
- Since the bus coupler breaker has to be able to be substituted for any
line breaker, its associated relaying may be somewhat complicated.
- Failure of a circuit breaker or a bus fault causes loss of the entire
- Somewhat complicated switching is required to remove a circuit
breaker from service for maintenance.

4.5.4 Double bus-bar scheme

In this scheme a double bus bar is provided and each circuit can be
connected to either one of these through bus-bar isolators as shown in
Figure 4.5. Bus coupler breaker is also provided so that the circuits can
be switched on from one bus to the other on-load.

The scheme suffers from the disadvantage that when the circuit
breaker is taken out for maintenance, the associated feeder has to be
shutdown. This can be avoided by providing, a by-pass isolator across
circuit breaker as shown in Figure 4.5(a) (with four isolators) and
Figure 4.5(b) (with five isolators). But under this condition all the
circuits have to be transferred to one bus and protection of feeder has
to be transferred to bus coupler. This scheme has the limitation that
only one bus is available when any breaker has to be taken out for
maintenance. The double bus-bar scheme with by-pass isolator across
circuit breakers is very suitable for large generating stations.

- Bus maintenance possible. With by-pass isolator, it has the same
advantages of main and transfer bus bar scheme
- Reasonable in cost
- Fairly small land area
- Easily expandable

- Circuit breaker maintenance is not possible without shutdown of the
feeder. But with by-pass isolator scheme, circuit breaker can be taken
for maintenance with complicated switching operation.
- Lack operation flexibility.
- Complicated switching is required to remove a circuit breaker from
service for maintenance.

Fig: 4.5 : Double Bus Bar Scheme

Fig: 4.5(a) : Double Bus Bar Scheme (with by-pass isolator)


4.5.5 Double main and transfer bus-bar scheme

In this bus bar scheme, in addition to the two main buses there is a
separate transfer bus also. Since separate transfer bus is available
there is no need of transferring the load from one bus to the other bus
unlike in a double main cum transfer bus arrangement. Other features
are similar to the one described in double bus with bypass

The limitation of double bus bar scheme with bypass isolator can be
overcome with double main and transfer bus scheme as shown in
Figure 4.6 by using additional transfer bus, transfer bus breaker and
isolators. In this arrangement, the feeder, the breaker of which is to be
maintained is transferred to the transfer bus without affecting the other
circuits. This scheme has been widely used for the highly
interconnected power networks where switching flexibility is important
and multiple supply routes are available. This scheme is also used for
splitting networks, which are only connected in emergencies.

Fig: 4.5(b) : Double Bus Bar Scheme (with by-pass isolator)


Fig: 4.6 : Double Main and Transfer Bus Bar Scheme

- Maintenance of circuit breaker is possible with the help of transfer bus
coupler feeder without shut down of the feeder
- Redundancy available
- More operation flexibility with two main buses and one transfer bus
- Failure of a circuit breaker or a bus fault does not cause loss of the
- Easily expandable

- An additional circuit breaker is required for transfer bus coupler in
addition to the bus coupler bay which increases the cost
- Reasonably more land area

4.5.6 Mesh/ring bus-bar scheme

A ring bus configuration is an extension of the sectionalized bus
arrangement and is accomplished by interconnecting the two open

ends of the buses through another sectionalizing breaker. This result in
a closed loop or ring with each bus section separated by a circuit
breaker. For maximum reliability and operational flexibility, each
section should supply only one circuit.

In this arrangement, as with the sectionalized bus configuration, only
limited bus sections and circuits are removed from service because of
line or bus faults or circuit breaker failure. For a line or bus fault, the
two circuit breakers on the sides of the affected bus section open to
isolate the fault. The remaining circuits operate without interruption. For
a breaker failure, the two breakers on the sides of the affected breaker
open, along with a transfer trip to a remote breaker, to isolate the failed
breaker and remove two bus sections from service.

The ring bus arrangement provides for circuit breaker maintenance
since any breaker can normally be removed from service without
interruption of service to any circuits. As a result, separate circuit
breaker bypass facilities are not required.

A number of equipment arrangements may be used to provide a ring
bus configuration, depending on anticipated substation expansion and
possible system modifications. Figure 4.7 illustrates a typical ring bus
configuration. The arrangement shows four circuit positions, which is a
practical maximum for a ring bus configuration. Rather than expanding
the ring bus to accommodate additional circuits, other more flexible and
reliable configurations, such as the breaker-and-a-half scheme, can be
adopted. However, the relay and control panels have to be carefully
planned to be modified later for breaker-and-a-half operation. Bay
centerline spacing should be carefully planned to permit equipment
maintenance and removal.

Fig: 4.7 : Mesh/Ring Bus Bar Scheme

- Flexible operation
- High reliability
- Isolation of bus sections and circuit breakers for maintenance without
disrupting circuit operation
- Double feed to each circuit
- No main buses
- Expandable to breaker-and-a-half configuration
- Economic design

- Ring may be split by faults on two circuits or a fault during breaker
maintenance to leave possibly undesirable circuit combinations
(supply/load) on the remaining bus sections. Some consider this,
however, to be a second contingency factor.
- Each circuit has to have its own potential source for relaying.
- This configuration is usually limited to four circuit positions, although
larger rings are in service, including 10-position ring buses. A 6-

position ring bus is usually considered as a maximum limit for the
number of terminals in a ring bus.

4.5.7 Breaker and half scheme

The breaker-and-a-half configuration consists of two main buses, each
normally energized. Electrically connected between the buses are
three circuit breakers and, between each two breakers, a circuit as
diagrammed in Figure 4.8. In this arrangement, three circuit breakers
are used for two independent circuits; hence, each circuit shares the
common center circuit breaker, so there are one-and-a-half circuit
breakers per circuit.

The breaker-and-a-half configuration provides for circuit breaker
maintenance, since any breaker can be removed from service without
interrupting any circuits.

A fault on any bus is cleared by the opening of the associated circuit
breakers without affecting continuity for supply. All load transfer is done
by the breakers and therefore, the operation is simple. However
relaying is somewhat more involved as the third breaker has to be
responsive to troubles on either feeder in the correct sequence.
Besides, each breaker has to be suitable for carrying the currents of
two circuits to meet the requirements of various switching operations,
which may in some cases increase the cost. The breaker and a half
scheme are suitable for those substations which handle large amounts
of power on each circuit. The scheme has been widely used in U.S.A.
particularly for their EHV substations operating at 330 kV and above.
This scheme has been applied widely in the 420 kV systems in India

Fig: 4.8 : Breaker and Half Bus Bar Scheme (D Type)

Fig: 4.8(a) : Breaker and Half Bus Bar Scheme (I Type)

- Flexible operation
- High reliability

- Can isolate either main bus for maintenance without disrupting service
and hence it provides active redundancy
- Can isolate any circuit breaker for maintenance without disrupting
- Double feed to each circuit
- Bus fault does not interrupt service to any circuits
- All switching done with circuit breakers
- Moreover, in case of bus fault, a feeder can also be diverted through tie

- One-and-a-half breakers are required per circuit which increases cost
- Complicated Relaying is involved, since the center breaker has to
respond to faults of either of its associated circuits.

4.5.8 Double bus & double breaker scheme

The double breakerdouble bus configuration consists of two main
buses, each normally energized. Electrically connected between the
buses are two circuit breakers and, between the breakers, one circuit,
as diagrammed in Figure 4.9. Two circuit breakers are required for
each circuit.

In the double breakerdouble bus configuration, any circuit breaker can
be removed from service without interruption of any circuits. Faults on
either of the main buses cause no circuit interruptions. Circuit breaker
failure results in the loss of only one circuit.

Use of the double breakerdouble bus configuration is usually limited
to large generating stations because of the high cost. The additional
reliability afforded by this arrangement over the breaker-and-a-half

scheme usually cannot be justified for conventional transmission or
distribution substations. Because of increase in number of breakers per
bay and higher cost, double bus double breaker scheme is suitable for
those substations, which handle large amount of power.
Fig: 4.9 : Double Bus and Double Breaker Scheme

- Flexible operation
- Very high reliability
- Isolation of either main bus for maintenance without disrupting service
- Isolation of any circuit breaker for maintenance without disrupting
- Double feed to each circuit
- No interruption of service to any circuits from bus fault
- Loss of only one circuit for breaker failure
- All switching with circuit breakers

- This configuration carries a high cost.
- Two circuit breakers are required for each circuit.


4.5.9 General Arrangement

General Arrangement of a substation is the most important engineering
plan, based on which the entire engineering of the substation proceeds
further. The location of substation, associated buildings, colony area is
identified in this plan.

Switching scheme should be finalized and areas to be earmarked
based on layout to be adopted. Different types of switching schemes
are available. For 400 kV voltage level, breaker and half schemes bus
scheme is generally in use.

For 220 kV voltage level, double main and transfer scheme has been
generally preferred. Different types of layout can be prepared for a
particular scheme. These layouts are to be selected based on available
land and techno-economic consideration.
The GA drawing broadly should include following building/facilities:

- Control Fire fighting pump house placement
- DG set placement
- LT station placement
- Placement of switchyard
- Identification of roads & rail tracks
- Identification of boundary wall and fencing
- Identification of approach roads
- Space for colony and other infrastructures

Control Room Building: The placement of this building has been made
keeping in view the following considerations: Optimization of size and
length of cables for various bays allocated for future and present
scope, centrally located for operational convenience and visibility,

avoid flooding in cable gallery during rains, reasonable security, avoid
filled up areas.

Fire Protection Room should be so located to minimize head loss at
various transformer & reactor units, optimize size of fire fighting system
and cabling works. It should preferably be outside the switchyard fence
for security reasons.

DG set location is generally governed by following considerations:

- Convenience of approach in the event of auxiliary power failure
- Handling of diesel shall be away from the yard.
- Cable length to control room is optimized.
- Vibrations of DG set do not effect equipment and other structures.
- Exhaust shall be away the from main control room building.

Roads shall be well laid out for convenience of approach during
construction and O&M. This also helps in movement of operators for
monitoring the equipments and transportation of heavy equipments
such as transformers and reactors. Filtration plant and oil tanks. In
case of switchyard terraces, only gradual slopes are to be provided for
safety of the equipments and personnel.

4.5.10 Substation earthing

Provision of adequate earthing system in a substation is extremely
important for safety of the operating personnel as well as for proper
system operation and performance of the protection devices. The
primary requirements of a good earthing system in a substation are:

- The impedance to ground should be as low as possible. In the
substations with high fault levels, it should not exceed 1 ohm and in the
substations with low fault levels it should not exceed 5 ohms.
- The step and touch potentials should be within safe limits.

To meet these requirements, an earthing system comprising an
earthing mat buried at a suitable depth below ground, supplemented
with ground rods at suitable points is provided in the substations. All
the non-current carrying metal parts of the equipments in the
substation are connected to the earthing mat so as to ensure that
under fault conditions, none of these parts is at a potential higher than
that of the earthing mat. Under normal condition, the ground rods make
little contribution in lowering the earth resistance: these are, however,
helpful in maintaining low value of rsistance under all weather
conditions which is particularly important for installations with high
system earth fault currents.

All substations should have provision for earthing the following:
- The neutral points of equipment in each separate system. There should
be independent earth for the different systems. Each of these earthed
points should be interconnected with the station earthing mat by two
different diagonally opposite connectors to avoid common mode failure.
- Equipment framework and other non-current carrying metal parts.
- All extraneous metal frameworks not associated with equipment.
- Lightning arresters: These should have independent earthing which
should in turn be connected to the station grounding grid or Earthman.

The earthing of substation fence has to be considered from the
viewpoint of touch and step potentials in the peripheral area outside the
fence. Normally the earth mat has to be extended by 2m beyond the
fence so as to ensure that the area in the vicinity of the substation
fence is safe.

Where the fence is large and mat area is small, in that case fence
earthing should be isolated from the main earth mat so that person
touching the fence is protected from danger due to transfer voltage.

Earthing in a substation must conform to the requirements of the Indian
Electricity Rules and the provisions of the relevant sections of IS: 3043-
1987. The earthing is designed as per IEEE-80 (Latest Edition). The
earthing system should be designed to have low overall impedance
and a current carrying capacity consistent with the fault current

Bare stranded copper conductor or copper strip used to find extensive
application in the construction of earth mat in the past. However, on
account of high cost of copper and the need to economise in the use of
copper, current practice in the country is based on the use of steel
conductor for earth mat.

In view of fast deterioration of GI pipe electrode, cast iron pipe
electrode is preferred for earthing. The minimum distance between the
electrodes shall be twice the length of electrode.

Design procedure

For detailed design of earth mat reference may be made to the latest
edition of IEEE-80, CBIP Technical Report on Manual on AC
substation grounding.

4.5.11 Design of earthing system in uniform soil

Required Data

The data, which ought to be determined before starting the design of
earthing system for a high voltage substation, where the soil at the site
can be considered to be uniform, are:

- Area covered by the substation
- Resistivity of the soil at the substation site
- The maximum earth fault current
- Fault clearing time for conductor size and for shock duration
- The maximum grid current
- Resistivity and depth of surface layer

Area Covered by the Substation
The area over which the earth electrode is to be placed depends on the
substation plan. The area over which the conductors of earth electrode
system are usually buried shall include all the fenced area including
switchyard, control room, DG building, fire-fighting building and LT
switchyard for supply within the fenced area. The conductors of earth
electrode may not be buried under the buildings but only on the
periphery of the buildings.
Resistivity of the Soil at the Station
The average resistivity is usually determined by the four-electrode
Wenner method. The resistivity value should be preferably obtained by
making measurements over a period of at least one year; if time is
short, measurements may be made during dry, cold season.

The Maximum Earth Fault Current
The maximum earth fault current occurs in case of either two-phase to
earth or single phase to earth fault. But because of much higher
probability of occurrence, the single phase to earth fault current may be
used to calculate the maximum earth fault current. Its magnitude
should be available from results of System Fault Studies.

Fault Duration and Shock Duration Time
Shock duration time is the fault clearing time including that of
reclosures if automatic reclosures are used. The value of 0.5 s, for
shock duration time, may be used to determine the permissible values
of E
and E
. However, to calculate the conductor cross-section,
the time should be the maximum possible fault clearing time including
backup; this can be up to 1 s. In case of small substations, 3-second
time has been used. A design engineer should choose the appropriate
value applicable at the station for which the earth electrode is

Design of Grid Earth Electrode

Design of the grid earth electrode involves the following steps:
- Selection of the material of conductors of earth electrode,
- Determination of the size of conductors of earth electrode,
- Preliminary arrangement of the conductors of earth electrode system,
Conductor length required for gradient control, and
- Calculation of earth resistance of the earthing system and the grid
potential rise.

The last phase of the design consists of

- Checking of earth fault current and grid current,
- Calculation of step voltage at the periphery of the substation and mesh
voltage, and
- Investigation of transferred potential.

Selection of Material of Conductors of Earth Electrode
The material of earth electrode should have high conductivity and low
underground corrosion. Now a days mild steel is used in India. Its use
avoids galvanic action between earth electrode and other underground

utilities, which are mostly of steel. Galvanized steel, if used, retards the
rate of corrosion in initial stages; however, if the zinc coating is
scratched/eroded at some locations, the rate of corrosion increases.
Depending on the corrosivity of soil, zinc coating may be destroyed in
two to twenty years. When designing the earth electrode for thirty to
fifty years it is preferable to increase the size to make provision for
corrosion during its life.

Determination of Size of Conductors of Earth Electrode

Proper size of the earth electrode conductor should be such that it has
(i) thermal stability to flow of earth fault current, (ii) it lasts for 30 - 50
years without causing break in the earthing circuit due to corrosion, and
(iii) it is mechanically strong.

For current of magnitude I kA, conductor size (mm
), when conductor
material is mild steel, is determined by

f c
t I 15 . 12 A =

Preliminary Arrangement of the Conductors of Earth Electrode System

The main earthing system is formed of a grid of conductors, mostly
perpendicular to each other, buried horizontally, usually at a depth of
0.6 m below the surface of earth.

Provision of Vertical Rods

The grid earth electrode may be assumed to consist of only horizontal
conductors to start with. Vertical rods may be provided at this stage at
stations where resistivity of soil is likely to vary with change of seasons.

Driven vertical earth rods of 3 m - 5 m length with their upper ends
connected to mesh junctions are suitably provided. A vertical rod is
very effective if its length is such that it can penetrate the moist subsoil.
Where the top layer of soil is dry and of very high resistivity, enough
number of vertical rods may be provided to carry current to the
underlying soil without overheating and drying of the soil. Rods on the
periphery of grid electrode are more effective than those towards
central portion.

Permissible Values of Dangerous Voltages

The spacing between conductors of the grid electrode has to be such
that the touch and step voltages are within its safe permissible value.
Safe/permissible values of step and touch voltages are obtained from

( )
s s step
116 . 0
C 6 1000 E + =
( )
s s touch
116 . 0
C 5 . 1 1000 E + =
is a reduction factor which accounts for the effect of finite depth of
surface layer on foot resistance. Its value dependent on h
, depth of
surface layer of crushed rock or stone and the reflection factor K,

( ) ( )
s s
K + =

being resistivity of stone/gravel layer and of the soil. Value of C

can be determined from the graph of Figure 4.10. The value of C
also be obtained from the relation

09 . 0 h 2
1 09 . 0
1 C



Figure: 4.10 C versus h

Determination of Magnitude of Dangerous Voltages

Figure 5.4. C versus h
s s

Empirical formulae for determining the magnitude of dangerous
voltages that will actually occur at the site of grid earth electrode are
given below. The mesh voltage and step voltage, which shall occur in
the gird earth electrode, can be calculated from the expressions

m G im m m
L / I K K E =

s G is s s
L / I K K E =

The factors K
and K
are given by

( )
( )


1 n 2
d 4
Dd 8
h 2 D
hd 16
2 2

( )

2 n
5 . 0 1
h D
h 2
1 1

D=spacing between parallel conductors, m
h= depth of conductors of earth grid electrode, m
d= diameter of grid conductor (for strip conductor d = width/2), m
= peripheral length of grid, m
= maximum length of grid in x direction, m
= maximum length of grid in y direction, m
= maximum distance between any two points on the grid, m
A = Area of the grid, m

= 1/(2n)
, for grids with no or few vertical earth rods, with none in
the corners or on the periphery; = 1 otherwise
= (1 +h)

n = n

= 2 L
/ L

= [L
/ (4 \A)]

y x
A 7 . 0
y x
[ n =

n 148 . 0 644 . 0 K K
is im
+ = =

= D
/ (L
+ L


In case of grid with only a few vertical earth rods scattered throughout
the grid, but none located in the corners or along the periphery, the
effective buried conductor length, L
, is determined from

= L
+ L

= total length of conductor in the horizontal grid, m.
= length of each vertical earth rods, m
= total length of vertical earth rods, m = N


Number of vertical rods

For grids with vertical earth rods in the corners, as well as along the
perimeter and throughout the grid, the effective buried conductor length

22 . 1 55 . 1 L L
c m


+ + =

For determining E
, for grids with or without vertical earth rods, the
effective buried conductor length L
, is

= 0.75 L
+ 0.85 L

For computing the length of conductor in the grid, with equispaced
earth conductors, required to keep touch voltage below the permissible
value. The total length required to limit the maximum touch voltage
within permissible value is

( )
s s
s G im m
C 174 . 0 116
t I K K


If the length so obtained is less than that obtained from the preliminary
layout no change in the layout of conductors is necessary; otherwise
closer meshes especially in the areas, which are frequently visited by
operating personnel, are to be adopted.

Calculation of Resistance of Grid Earth Electrode and the Maximum
Grid Potential

A simple formula is as follows



+ + + =
A / 20 h 1
A 20

is to the total length of buried conductors i.e. length of horizontal grid
conductors and the length of vertical earth rods if any, i.e. L
= L
+ L
The maximum rise in potential of the grid above remote earth, I
needs investigation if a case of transferred potential occurs. If
necessary, resistance of the electrode may be decreased by modifying
the design by increasing area of the grid; using more conductor length
without increasing area is not effective for decreasing R
to any
appreciable extent.

The following steps may be taken to decrease both step and touch
voltage and EPR:

- Diverting a part of the fault current to other parts, by overhead earth /
shield wires, which divert current to footing resistance of transmission
line towers,
- Diverting a part of fault current to another earth electrode at a distance
from the station, and
- Limiting earth fault circuit current if possible.

Steps that may be taken to provide safety against unsafe touch voltage
- Barring access to limited areas like having a narrow and deep ditch
outside the fence,
- For limiting the touch voltage inside the grid, the meshes near the
corners can be subdivided by additional conductors in between the
main conductors or by using unequally spaced conductors. This serves
to modify earth surface potential gradients and thus reduces the mesh
- Instead of using a chain link fence at the boundary of the property, a 2
m high boundary wall topped by one-meter high chin link fence can be
used to mitigate the problem of unsafe touch voltage from outside.

Investigations of Transferred Potential

Transfer of potential between the areas covered by earth grid and
outside points, by conductors such as communication signal, and
control cables, low voltage neutral wires, water or conduit pipes, rails,
metallic fences etc., is possible. Transferred potential should be
checked as a serious hazard. Earth resistance of the earthing system
should be kept as low as possible to reduce magnitude of this voltage.
However once the area of grid earth electrode and value of soil

resistivity are frozen, there is little control over earth resistance of a grid
earth electrode.

In case of communication circuits protective devices and isolating and
neutralizing transformers are used. When such circuits are routed
outside the area of grid electrode, an earth conductor should be run
along the circuit in the same trench and connected to the metal
brackets. Use of fiber optics can eliminate this hazard. Insulation level
of control circuit wires should be of proper voltage class. The rails
entering a substation can become connected to grid intentionally or
otherwise. The hazard due to them can be removed by using several
insulating joints at two places such that a metal car or the soil itself
cannot short circuit the insulating joints. A simple and practical method
to avoid transfer of potential through rails is to remove a section of
rails, which is inserted only when needed. If low voltage feeders
starting inside the station feed an outside area, the neutral connected
to the station grid and possibly earthed at a far point also creates a
hazard. In such a case either the neutral should be treated as a phase
wire with appropriate level of insulation or preferably no low voltage
supply is taken outside the station area. Piping, cable sheaths etc. if
any should be tied to the station earthing system at several points in
the station area. These can in fact greatly reduce the earth resistance.
The distance to and the manner in which voltage is transferred to
outside area depend on the propagation constant . If voltage of the
grid becomes V
volts the linearized approximate value of voltage
gradient along its length is (V
/2). If soil resistivity is 100 ohm-m in the
area, propagation constant is approximately half a kilometer. The
voltage gradient along the pipe or sheath will be approximately V

volt/km that is if the pipe is at least 1 km long; and gradient is assumed
to be linear. In water supply pipes, insulating pipe sections of concrete
or plastic capable of withstanding the potential difference equal to V

can be inserted in the pipe. If there are buildings at the station site and

they are linked to station by L.T. supply, water pipe, or telephone lines
they should be treated as part of the station area. If they are to be kept
as separate units, they should be provided with their own earthing and
outside LT supply from the local area and adequately protected against
potentials transferred from the station. Road side lighting or safety
lights outside the station area should also be energized with LT supply
from outside.

If there is metallic gate in the boundary wall/fence, it should normally
open inside. If however it opens outside, an earth mat should be laid up
to its full open position. This mat is to be connected to the earth grid.

4.5.12 Lightning protection

A substation has to be shielded against direct lightning strokes either
by provision of overhead shield wire/earthwire or spikes (masts). The
methodology followed for systems upto 145 kV is by suitable
placement of earthwires/masts so as to provide coverage to the entire
station equipment. Generally, an angle of shield of 60 for zones
covered by two or more wires/masts and 45 for single wire/mast and
45 for single wire/mast is considered adequate. For 245 kV
installations and above, normally use of electromagnetic methods is
resorted to. The most used method for determining shielded zones is
the Mousa Method and Razevig Method.

Besides direct strokes, the substation equipment has also to be
protected against travelling waves due to lightning strokes on the lines
entering the substation.

The apparatus most commonly used for this purpose is the lightning

An advance in material technology has resulted in the development of
metal oxide gapless type surge arrestors which are being most widely
used because of higher reliability.

The most important and costly equipment in a substation is the
transformer and the normal practice is to install lightning arresters as
near the transformer as possible. The fixing up of insulation level for
various equipments within a substation requires a detailed study of
insulation coordination with lightning arrester as the focal point for
providing protection to the equipment from power frequency over-
voltage exceeding the rating of the arrester. In the EHV range, there is
also the problem of switching over-voltage exceeding the rating of the
arrester. In the EHV range, there is also the problem of switching over-
voltages as the life of the arrester may be considerably reduced due to
frequent operations due to such over voltages. Sometimes it is not
possible to locate the lightning arrester very near the transformer.
However, there is no problem so long as the transformer is within the
protective distance from the lightning arrester. Besides protecting the
transformers, the lightning arresters also provide protection to the
equipment on the bus side located within certain distances. In the case
of very large substations where the lightning arrester for the
transformer does not provide adequate protection to the other
equipment, additional lightning arresters either on the bus or on various
lines have to be provided. For determination of number of lightning
arresters and their locations, each case has to be studied taking the
size and importance of the substation, isoceraunic level, anticipated
over voltages etc. into consideration.

4.6 EHV Power Transformers

A transformer is a static piece of apparatus with two or more windings which,
by electromagnetic induction, transforms a system of alternating voltage and
current into another system of voltage and current usually of different values
and at the same frequency for the purpose of transmitting electrical power.
Various components of transformer are shown in Figure 4.11.

The primary function of a power transformer is to transform system voltage
from one nominal level to another. The transformer has to be capable of
carrying the power flow for its particular location in the system under various
operating conditions and contingencies, such as line or transformer outages.

Transformer is the largest piece of equipment in a substation and it is,
therefore, important from the point of view of station layout. For instance on
account of large dimensions, it is generally not possible to accommodate two
transformers in adjacent bays. One of the problems is the installation of
radiators which makes the width of the transformer much more than bay
width. In order to reduce the risk of spread of fire, large transformers are
provided with stone metal filled soaking pits with voids of capacity adequate to
contain the total quantity of oil. Besides, separation walls are provided in-
between the transformers.

Silicagel Breaher
Oil Temperature
Magnetic Oil
Level Gauge
Main Conservator
I.V. Bushing
Neutral Bushing
Lifting Bollard
Tertiary Bushing
Neutral Earthing
Upper Tank
OLTC Drive
Lower Tank
Rating & Diagram
Plate (English)
Roller Assembly
Jacking Pad
Storage Instructions
Rating & Diagram
Plate (Hindi)
Flexible Separator
Instruction Plate
In Line oil
Oil Flow
Cooling Fans
Cooler Bank
Expansion Joint Marshalling Kiosk Buchholz Relay O.L.T.C. Conservator Pressure Release
H.V Bushing

Fig: 4.11: Various parts of a Transformer

4.6.1 Basic Design & constructional details

Core and magnetic circuit

There are two basic types of transformers categorised by their core/
magnetic configuration: (a) shell type and (b) core type.

In a shell-type transformer the flux-return paths of the core are external
to and enclose the windings. Core-type transformers have their limbs
surrounded concentrically by the main windings.

The following is considered to be important for core and magnetic

- 3 limb or 5 limb
- core grade selection
- core diameter, leg height & phase centre
- over fluxing consideration
- flux density selection
- no load loss
- specific weight (W/kg)
- Noise

A three-phase transformer can often be more economical to build by
enclosing one core and coil structure inside one transformer tank
instead of building three separate core and coil structures and tanks.

The first basic design for three-phase transformers is the core form
design. This design includes the three-legged core form design and the
five-legged core form design. In the three-legged core form design,
three sets of windings are placed over three vertical core legs. Each

core leg and its set of windings is corresponds to one phase. Each core
leg is joined to a top yoke and a bottom yoke, which complete the
magnetic circuit. The general layout of the three-legged core form
design is shown in Figure 4.12. The set of windings on the center
phase are cut away to show the placement of the LV and HV windings
around the center core leg.

Fig: 4.12: Three-legged core form transformer.

In large power transformers, third harmonic flux and stray 50 Hz flux
from unbalanced voltages may leave the iron core and enter free space
inside the transformer. This induces currents in the internal metal parts
of the transformer and may cause severe localized overheating. The
five-legged core form design solves this problem by providing flux
paths around the three core legs between the top and bottom yokes.
The layout of the five-legged core form transformer is shown in Fig:
4.13. Residual flux is the total flux arriving at the top core yoke from the
core legs of the three phases. A fourth and fifth core leg provide two
return paths for the residual flux from the top to the bottom yoke. The
top and bottom core yokes are often made with a reduced cross

sectional area because they do not have to carry the full complement
of flux from each phase. This has the advantage of reducing the overall
height of the transformer. The disadvantage of reducing the cross-
sectional area of the yokes is that a portion of the normal flux from the
outer phases must now flow through the fourth and fifth core legs. This
makes the actual flux path uncertain and makes calculating core losses
difficult. The five-legged core form design has electrical characteristics
that are very similar to a bank of three single-phase transformers; i.e.,
the three phases operate more or less independently with a relatively
small magnetic interaction between the phases.

Fig: 4.13: Five-legged core form transformer.

The core is made of thin steel laminations that are stacked together.
The cross section area of the yokes must be sufficient to carry the full
flux of each phase. There has been a steady development of core steel
material from non oriented steels to scribed grain oriented steels. The
major development in core material is the introduction of grain oriented
silicon steel which possesses excellent magnetic properties in the
rolling directions and is indispensable as the core material for

One of the ways to reduce the core losses (i.e no load loss or iron loss)
is to use better and thinner grades of core steels. Presently, the lowest
thickness of commercially available steel is 0.23 mm. Although the loss
is lower, the core-building time increases for the thinner grades. The
price of the thinner grades is also higher. Despite these disadvantages,
core materials with still lower thicknesses will be available and used in
the future. Commonly available CRGO core materials are M4, M6,
M2H, MOH, and ZDKH.

One of the major problems with large power transformers is audible
noise that can be loud enough to be very annoying. Essentially all
transformer noise is due to a phenomenon called magnetostriction.
When a strip of steel is magnetized, it contracts very slightly. Due to
the fact that magnetostriction is not linear with respect to the flux
density there are also harmonics of 100 Hz present in the noise. If any
part of the transformer is in resonance with any of the harmonics, the
noise can be amplified hundreds of times. Therefore, part of the core
design and the overall transformer design is an analysis of the
resonant frequencies.

The shell form design is a completely different design from the three
phase core form design. In a shell form transformer, the windings are
constructed from flat coiled spirals that are stacked together like
pancakes. For this reason, the windings in a shell form design are often
referred to as pancake windings. In a two-winding shell form
transformer, the low-voltage winding is usually split into two windings
with the high-voltage winding sandwiched between the two halves of
the low-voltage winding. Instead of a circular shape, the pancake coils
are actually square shaped with the outer corners rounded off. The
centers of the pancake coils are hollow and square-shaped. Core legs
with square cross sections pass through the centers of the pancake
coils. The core legs are laid horizontally so the coils are stacked

horizontally on edge. The return paths for the core go around the coils
forming a shell around the windings; hence the name shell form. The
basic shell form design is shown schematically in Figure 4.14. The core
without windings is shown on the left hand part of Figure 4.14. The
core is divided into two halves with each half carrying approximately
50% of the total flux. The three sets of windings are placed around the
longitudinal sections of the core as shown in the middle part of the
figure as viewed from above the transformer. The top part of the figure
shows the end cut away, clearly illustrating that the pancake coils are
square-shaped with rounded corners. The edges of the core
laminations are also seen in this view. The right part of the figure is an
exploded end view of the pancake windings divided into three sections:
The low-voltage winding is split into two halves, which sandwich the
high-voltage winding in the middle. The electrical characteristics of the
shell form transformer are similar to a five-legged core form
transformer or a bank of three single-phase transformers

Fig: 4.14: Three-Phase Shell Form Transformer.

4.6.2 Winding

Schematically, it is depicted the primary and secondary windings as
being wound around a common core but located on opposite core legs.
In any transformer design, however, the primary and secondary
windings are always mounted in close proximity to each other in order
to maximize the mutual coupling between the windings and thereby
increase the overall efficiency. Fig: 4.15 illustrate part of a two winding
core form transformer as a cut away view from the side and the end.
This configuration has one set of low-voltage and high-voltage
windings mounted over a vertical core leg. Note that the core leg and
the top and bottom core yokes are stepped to approximate a circular
cross section. The laminations are too thin to be seen individually in the
edge view. By convention, the HV winding is usually called the primary
and the LV winding is called the secondary; however, either the HV or
the LV winding can be the input winding.

Fig: 4.15 Cross section of a transformer with primary and secondary windings on a
common circular core leg.

Primary function of the copper (or aluminum) conductor of transformer
windings is to carry current. The flow of current produces load losses,
commonly known as copper losses. The copper losses comprise d.c
R losses, conductor eddy current and other eddy current losses (stray

Windings are subject to non-linear transient voltage distribution under
lightning and switching impulse voltage withstands tests. Windings
have to withstand dielectric stresses under one minute power
frequency induced over potential tests as well as one minute power
frequency separate source voltage withstand tests. It is also expected
that the windings shall demonstrate PD characteristics within
permissible levels during one hour induced over voltage test at 1.5 p.u.
The primary and secondary windings in a core type transformer are of
the concentric type only, while in case of shell type transformer these
could be of sand-witched type as well. The concentric windings are
normally constructed in any of the following types depending on the
size and application of the transformer

1. Cross over Type.
2. Helical Type.
3. Continuous Disc Type.

Cross-over type winding is normally employed where rated currents are
up-to about 20 Amperes or so. In this type of winding, each coil
consists of number of layers having number of turns per layer. The
conductor being a round wire or strip insulated with a paper covering. It
is normal practice to provide one or two extra lavers of paper insulation
between lavers. Further, the insulation between lavers is wrapped
round the end turns of the lavers there by assisting to keep the whole
coil compact. The complete windings consists of a number of coils
connected in series. The inside end of a coil is connected to the

outside end of adjacent coil. Insulation blocks are provided between
adjacent coils to ensure free circulation of oil.

In helical winding, the coil consists of a number of rectangular strips
wound in parallel racially such that each separate turn occupies the
total radial depth of the winding. Each turn is wound on a number of
key spacers which form the vertical oil duct and each turn or group of
turns is spaced by radial keys sectors. This ensures free circulation of
oil in horizontal and vertical direction. This type of coil construction is
normally adopted for low voltage windings where the magnitude of
current is comparatively large.

The continuous disc type of windings consists of number of Discs
wound from a single wire or number of strips in parallel. Each disc
consists of number of turns, wound radically, over one another. The
conductor passing uninterruptedly from one disc to another. With
multiple-strip conductor. Transpositions are made at regular intervals to
ensure uniform resistance and length of conductor. The discs are
wound on an insulating cylinder spaced from it by strips running the
whole length of the cylinder and separated from one another by hard
pressboard sectors keyed to the vertical strips. This ensures free
circulation of oil in horizontal and vertical direction and provides
efficient heat dissipation from windings to the oil. The whole coil
structure is mechanically sound and capable of resisting the most
enormous short circuit forces.

The windings coils after manufacture are subjected to drying out in an
oven by circulation of hot air at around 80 degree centigrade. The pre
drying and shrinking of coils is achieved in this process. The coils are
further dried UN-till the required insulation resistance is achieved. In
case of larger distribution and power transformers, the assembled core
and windings are further subjected to drying out at about 100C and

730mm absolute pressure to drive out water vapor and gas from the
windings. Appropriate clamping arrangements in the form of rings are
provided on the windings to adjust for any shrinkage of insulation. The
clamping rings could be either metallic with suitable earthing
arrangements or of insulating material. The insulation of the windings
comprises of insulating cylinders between LV windings and core and
between HV winding. Also insulating barriers are provided where
necessary, between adjacent limbs, in some cases and between core
yoke and coils.

The leads from top and bottom end of windings and from such tapings,
as may be provided, are brought out to a few centimeters length only.
The electrical connection from these leads to the terminals or bushings
consist of either copper rod or strips depending on the current to be
carried. Copper rods are insulated with bakelite tubes and supported
by cleats. Which in turn are supported from the vertical tie rods passing
through the top and bottom yoke clamps. When copper strips are used
for low voltage leads no insulation need to be provided, except the
cleats, which hold the strip in position. The strips are however wrapped
with linen or varnish cloth at the point where it passes through the
leads. Leads from tapings are brought out to a point just below the top
oil and so arranged that tapings may be readily changed by means of
off load Tap changer.

4.6.3 Insulation
Insulation design is one of the most important aspects of the
transformer design. It is the heart of transformer design, particularly in
high voltage transformers. Sound design practices, use of appropriate
insulating materials, controlled manufacturing processes and good
house-keeping ensure quality and reliability of transformers.
Comprehensive verification of insulation design is essential for
enhancing reliability as well as for material cost optimization.

The transformer insulation system can be categorized into major
insulation and minor insulation. The major insulation consists of
insulation between windings, between windings and limb/yoke, and
between high voltage leads and ground. The minor insulation consists
of basically internal insulation within the windings, viz. inter-turn and
inter-disk insulation.

Internal/minor insulation consists of all the insulation components
within the winding, viz. conductor paper covering, insulation between
layers in the radial direction, insulation between turns or disks in the
axial direction, and special insulating components that are placed close
to the insulated conductors.

Removal of moisture and impurities from the insulation is one of the
most important processes of transformer manufacture. With the
increase in the size of transformers, the time taken for processing of
their insulation also increases.

4.6.4 Cooling System
The magnetic circuit and windings are the principal sources of losses
and resulting temperature rise in various parts of a transformer. Core
loss, copper loss in windings (I
R loss), stray loss in windings and stray
loss due to leakage/high current field are mainly responsible for heat
generation within the transformer. Sometimes loose electrical
connections inside the transformer, leading to a high contact
resistance, cause higher temperatures. Excessive temperatures due to
heating of curb bolts, which are in the path of stray field, can damage
gaskets. The heat generated due to all these losses must be dissipated
without allowing the core, winding and structural parts to reach a
temperature which will cause deterioration of insulation. If the insulation
is subjected to temperatures higher than the allowed value for a long

time, it looses insulating properties; in other words the insulation gets
aged, severely affecting the transformer life.

Accurate estimation of temperatures on all surfaces is very critical in
the design of transformers to decide the operating flux density in core
and current densities in windings/connections. It helps in checking the
adequacy of cooling arrangements provided for the core and windings.
It also helps in ensuring reliable operation of the transformer since the
insulation life can be estimated under overload conditions and
corrective actions can be taken in advance.

The values of maximum oil and winding temperatures depend on the
ambient temperature, transformer design, loading conditions and
cooling provided. The limits for ambient temperature and the
corresponding limits for oil temperature rise and winding temperature
rise are specified in the international standards.

Almost all the types of transformers are either oil or gas filled, and heat
flows from the core and windings into the cooling medium. From the
core, heat can flow directly, but from the winding it flows through the
insulation provided on the winding conductor. In large transformers, at
least one side of insulated conductors is exposed to the cooling
medium, and the heat flows through a small thickness of the conductor
insulation. But in small transformers the heat may have to flow through
several layers of copper and insulation before reaching the cooling

Depending upon the size of the transformer, the cooling can of ONAN
(Oil Natural and Air Natural) type or ONAF (Oil Natural and Air Forced)
or OFAF (Oil Forced and Air Forced)
The radiator bank can be of 2x50% or 3x33.3% or 1X100% or 2x100%

4.6.5 Mechanical Design
Transformer tanks commonly used are of the following types;
- Plain sheet steel tank.
- Sheet steel tank with external cooling tubes.
- Radiator banks.
- Tanks with corrugated wall panels.

Plain sheet steel tanks are used where the size of the tank provides
adequate cooling surface to dissipate the heat generated on account of
losses inside the transformer. Normally transformers up-to 50KVA
could be manufactured without external cooling tubes. For transformers
of higher rating, tanks are constructed with external cooling tubes to
provide additional surface for heat dissipation. The cooling tubes could
be circular or elliptical. Elliptical tubes with smaller width are employed
where one of the sides of the transformer is fully occupied by on load
tap changer. This ensures more tubes on the given surface thereby
providing more area for heat dissipation. In larger tanks, stiffeners are
also provided on the sides of the tank to prevent bulging of the tank
under oil pressure. The tubes are welded on the inside of the tank,
while all other joints are welded both, inside and outside.

Large size transformers, above 5 MVA rating are normally provided
with detachable Radiator banks to provide required cooling surface.
The radiator bank consists of series of elliptical tubes or a pressed
steel plate assembly welded into top and bottom headers. The radiator
bank is bolted on to the tank wall and two isolating valves are fitted into
the oil inlet and outlet. In case of very large transformers, even
detachable radiator banks mounted onto the tank walls do not provide
adequate cooling surface. IN such cases, separate self supporting
coolers are provided which are connected to the main transformer
through large detachable pipes. This type of arrangement is good for
naturally cooled transformers, as well as, for forced cooled

transformers. Forced air cooling could be provided by means of
suitable fans located below the cooler banks. Similarly, forced oil
cooling could be provided by installing an oil pump in the return cold oil
pipe connecting the main transformer tank to the cooler bank. For
outdoor transformers, the transformer has to be water-tight. For this
purpose, the cover bolts are closely spaced and a substantial tank
flange of ample width is provided. Further a Neoprene bonded cork
gasket is provided between the tank flange and the cover. The bushing
insulators are selected considering the maximum system voltages
encountered in the system and pollution conditions prevailing at site.
The joints are made water-tight by use of Neoprene bonded cork

Transformers of rating 1 MVA or more are also normally provided with
a conservator tank connected to the main tank. The conservator tank
has a capacity of about 10% of the oil content of the main tank.

4.6.6 Transformer Fittings & Accessories

Fittings listed below are normally provided on the transformers for the
correct and safe operation of the unit.

1. Rating and terminal marking plate.
2. Tap Changing arrangement
- Off circuit tap changing switch
- Off circuit tap changing link
- On Load tap changer
3. Two earthing terminals
4. Lifting Lugs
5. Drain cum filter valve
6. Pressure Relief Device
7. Silicagel dehydrating breather.

8. Oil Level Indicator.
9. Thermometer Pocket.
10. Conservator with drain plug and filling hole.
11. Air Release plug.
12. Jacking lugs
13. Filter valve (top tank)
14. Under base unidirectional flat rollers.
15. Terminal arrangement
16. Winding temperature indicator
17. Oil temperature indicator
18. Gas and oil actuated (Buchholz) relay
19. Conservator drain valve
20. Shut off valve between conservator and tank.
21. Magnetic oil level gauge
22. Explosion vent
23. Filter valve (Bottom of tank)
24. Skid under base with haulage holes
25. Junction box.

Rating and Terminal marking plate
The transformer is supplied with rating and terminal marking plate of a
non corrosive metal or metal with protective covering on which all
information concerning the rating. Voltage ratio, weights, oil quality etc.
along with the serial number of the unit is engraved.

Tap changing arrangement
- Off - circuit tap changing switch
The transformer is fitted with an off-circuit tap changing switch to obtain
required tap voltage. It can be hand operated by a switch handle
mounted on the tank. Locking device is fitted to the handle to padlock it
on any tap position and also to prevent any unauthorized operation of
switch. The switch mechanism is such that it can be locked only when

it is bridging two contacts on any particulars tapping position and
cannot be locked in any intermediate position. It is important that the
transformer should be isolated from the live lines, before moving the
switch. Operating the switch when transformer is energized, will
damage the switch contacts due to severe arcing between the
contacts, and may damage windings also.

- Off circuit tap changing links
Contact bridging links are provided inside the transformer tank, to
obtain required tap voltage. Links are required to be unbolted and are
fixed in any required position of the tap. Links are approachable from
inspection holes in tank cover. In case of conservator units, oil level
has to be dropped below the inspection opening before unbolting
inspection covers.

- On Load tap changer
On load tap changer is normally mounted on the tank is a separate
housing and connected to winding leads through copper studs fixed on
a insulated terminal board Terminal board is on leak proof. Oil in the
tank need not be lowered down for a attending to OLTC gear. Please
see OLTC leaflet for the operation and maintenance instructions.

Earthing Terminals
Core laminations assembly is connected to core clamping frame by a
cu. strip which is in turn connected to the tank. Two earthing terminals
are provided on the tank which should be connected to the earthing
system of supporting structure of transformer or the station.

Lifting Lugs
Two / Four lifting lugs of adequate capacity are provided on tanks to lift
completely assembled transformer filled with oil. All lugs are designed
for simultaneous use and should be used simultaneously to lift the

transformer. Two/Four lifting lugs are provided on core clamps for UN
tanking the core and windings. All heavy fittings are also provided with
individual lifting lugs.

Valves and drain plugs
- Valves
Transformer is equipped with Drain cum filter valve at bottom of tank.
Filter valve at top of tank. Valves are fitted with plugs / blanking plates
to stop the dirt or moisture entering inside the valve and avoid the
contamination of the transformer oil.

- Drain Plugs
Drain Plug is provided on conservator to drain out oil.

Silicagel dehydrating breather
Silica gel breather is fitted with silica gel which absorbs moisture from
the air entering the transformer, thus preventing deterioration of oil and
insulation due to moisture condensation. The breather contains oil unit
at the bottom which prevents the entry of dust solid particles present in
the air. The colour of silica gel is blue when dry and turns pink when it
has absorbed a certain percentage of moisture by weight. The change
in colour of gel can be observed through window on a container.
Breather when fitted should examined to ascertain, that the silica gel is
dry (blue in colour) the frequency of inspection of gel depends upon
local climate and operating conditions. This dehydrating breather is
used in conventional type of transformer where breather in transformer
is applicable. In case of hermetically sealed transformer, silica gel
breathers are not required, there is no breathing in this transformer.

Oil Level indicator
Plain Oil level gauge Indicates oil level in tank or conservator, window
opening is fitted with grooved Perspex sheet and metal frame to give
clear indication of oil level.

Thermometer Pockets
This pocket is provided to measure temperature of the top oil in tank
with a mercury in glass type thermometer. It is essential to fill the
pocket with transformer oil before inserting the thermometer, to have
uniform and correct reading. One additional pocket is provided for dial
type thermometer (OTI) with contacts.

Conservator with drain plug and filling hole
Conservator is normally provided on all ratings of transformers which
provides the space for the expansion / contraction of oil on account of
the variation of oil temperature during service. It prevents the oil in the
tank from coming in direct contact with the atmosphere and protects it
from deterioration. Conservator is provided with silica gel breather, oil
level gauge, oil filling hole with blanking plate and drain plug for
draining/ sampling of oil contaminated by moisture and sludge.

Air release plug
Air release plug is normally provided on the tank cover for transformer
with conservator. Space is provided in the plug which allows air to be
escaped without removing the plug fully from the seat. Plug should be
unscrewed till air comes out from cross hole and as soon as oil flows
out it should be closed. Air release plugs are also provided on radiator
headers and outdoor bushings.

Jacking lugs

Four jacking lugs are normally provided for transformers above 1600
KVA. All lugs should be used simultaneously to avoid damage to
jacking pads and tank. Suitable hydraulic or mechanical jacks may be
used to jack up the transformer.

Four rollers, plain or flanged type, are provided on e4very transformer.
Suitable arrangement of track for the rollers should be made at site, to
facilitate movement of the transformer. The track provided should be
leveled properly so that all wheels rest on the track. Rollers are
normally detached from the tank base at the time of transport.

Terminal Arrangement
i) Draw through bushing (oil flood type)
Winding lead is soldered to the stem of bushings which is drawn
through the hole in porcelain and is fixed outside the porcelain with
leak proof gasket. Oil is flooded through the hole of the porcelain which
acts as an insulation between the lead and earth in addition to the
porcelain insulation.

ii) Solid Bushing (through stem type)
Through stem protruding out of porcelain on either side is provided with
nuts and washers to take windings lead on one side and supply cable
on the other side. Bushing is completely sealed on one end for oil

Winding temperature Indicator
The windings temperature indicator indicates Hot spot temperature
of the winding. This is a Thermal Image type indicator. This is
basically an oil temperature indicator with a heater responsible to raise
the temperature equal to the Hot spot gradient between winding and
oil over the oil temperature. Thus, this instrument indicates the Hot

Spot temperature of the windings. Heater coil is fed with a current
proportional to the windings current through a current transformer
mounted on the winding under measurement. Heater coil is either
placed on the heater bulb enveloping the sensing element of the
winding temperature indicator immersed in oil or in the instrument. The
value of the current fed to the heater is such that it raises the
temperature by an amount equal to the hot spot gradient of the
winding, as described above. Thus temperature of winding is simulated
on the dial of the instrument. Pointer is connected thought a
mechanism to indicate the hot spot temperature on dial. WTI is
provided with a temperature recording dial main pointer. Maximum
pointer and re setting device and two sets of contacts for alarm and

Oil Temperature Indicator
Oil temperature indicator provides local temperature of top oil.
Instruments are provided with temperature sensing bulb, temperature
recording dial with the pointer and maximum reading pointer and
resetting device. Electrical contacts are provided to give alarm or trip at
a required setting (on capillary tube type thermometer).

Gas and oil actuated Buchholz relay
In the event of fault in an oil filled transformer gas is generated, due to
which buchholz relay gives warning of developing fault. Buchholz relay
is provided with two elements one for minor faults (gives alarm) and
other for major faults (tripping). The alarm elements operates after a
specific volume gets accumulated in the relay.

Magnetic Oil Gauge
This is a dial type gauge, mounted directly on the conservator to
indicate oil level. This is supplied with low level alarm contacts (if asked

for) and the electrical connections of which are brought out to a
terminal box of the oil gauge. Suitable alarm circuit may be connected
to these terminals. This oil gauge is not dispatched separately, but is
mounted on the conservator, with float arm adjusted to correct length.

Explosion Vent
Explosion vent is provided to give protection against the excessive
pressure that may developed inside the transformer due to internal
fault. On specific requirement the explosion vent is provided with two
diaphragms one at the bottom (near tank) and the other at the top. If
excessive pressure is developed in the tank, both diaphragms will
rupture and oil in tanks will be thrown out through the vent. One
pressure equalizer pipe is provided between explosion vent and the
conservator to maintain equal pressure in the empty spaces of vent
and conservator. In this case oil level indicator is provided on the
explosion vent to indicate rupture of bottom diaphragm.

Skid under base
Skid under base with haulage holes is provided at the bottom of tank.
The holes provided in the under base arrangement are suitable for
towing the complete transformer.

Junction Box
Terminal blocks are provided in the box to take the incoming and
outgoing cable leads from various instruments fitted on transformers
e.g. Buchholz relay, Winding temperature indicator, Oil temperature
indicator, Magnetic oil gauge etc. Box is provided with Blank gland
mounting plate, which should be drilled suitably to receive glands.

Temperature indicators with capillary tubes and electrical contacts are
mounted inside the box, when asked for.

4.6.7 Selection Criteria

Power transformers may be either autotransformers or multi winding
conventional transformers. A three-phase installation may consist of a
three-phase unit or three single-phase units. The decision as to what
type of transformer to purchase depends on such factors as initial
installed cost, maintenance costs, operating cost (efficiency), reliability,
etc. Three-phase units have lower construction and maintenance costs
and can be built to the same efficiency ratings as single-phase units.
The initial cost of a three-phase transformer is usually approximately
one-third less than four single-phase units. Additionally, the exposure
of three-phase units to long outages can be minimized system-wide
when a mobile substation or transformer is available for backup in case
of failure.

The MVA ratings for various sizes of transformers are covered by the
standards e.g Manual on Transformers (CBIP Publication), IEEE Std.
The selection of substation transformer MVA capacity should also be
based on an acceptable up-to-date engineering study. The selection
should consider the effects of load cycle, load factor, and ambient

The choice between conventional two or three-winding transformers
and autotransformers involves their basic differences as they may
affect the application and cost factors. In general, autotransformers are
considered primarily because of cost advantages where the voltage
transformation ratio is favourable, up to possibly 3/1.

Other advantages of autotransformers are smaller physical size, lighter
weight, lower regulation (voltage drop in transformer), smaller exciting
currents (easier no-load switching), and lower losses. The main
disadvantages of autotransformers are lower reactance (impedance),
more complex design problems, and adverse affect on ground relaying.
These problems can usually be resolved.

4.6.8 Testing And Commissioning

It is important that tests shall be carried out to ensure reliable and
efficient performance of the transformer during its lifetime. The
followings tests are carried out on transformers as per national /
international standards.

Routine Tests
1. Voltage Ratio Measurement
2. Winding Resistance Measurement
3. Insulation Resistance & Polarization Index Measurement
4. Capacitance and tan delta Measurement of winding & bushings
5. Load Loss & Short circuit Impedance Measurement
6. Magnetic Balance & Magnetizing Current Measurement
7. Measurement of Vector Group Test
8. Full Wave Lightning Impulse Test on windings
9. Transfer Surge Test
10. Induced Over Voltage withstand Test with PD measurement
11. No- Load Loss & No Load Current Measurement
12. Test on OLTC
13. Auxiliary Loss measurement
14. Sweep Frequency Response Measurement
15. 2.5 kV AC insulation Test
16. Dimensional Verification
17. Test on PRD

18. Oil Leakage Test
19. Over excitation Test
20. High Voltage withstand test on auxiliary equipment & wiring after
21. Gas-in-oil analysis

Type Tests
1. Temperature Rise (Heat Run) Test
2. Zero Phase Sequence Impedance Measurement
3. Sound Level measurement
4. Harmonics measurements
5. Lightning Impulse Test on Neutral
6. Dynamic Short circuit Test
7. Tank vacuum & Pressure Test

Pre Commissioning Test at Site

1. Voltage Ratio Measurement
2. Winding Resistance Measurement at all taps
3. Insulation Resistance & Polarization Index Measurement
4. Capacitance and tan delta Measurement of winding & bushings
5. Magnetic Balance & Magnetizing Current Measurement
6. Measurement of No-load current with 415V,50 Hz AC on LV side
7. Measurement of Vector Group Test
8. Test on Oil
9. DGA of oil just before commissioning and after 24 hours energization
at site.
10. Observation of the transformer operation at no load for 24 hours.
11. FRA test

4.6.9 Oil Testing & DGA

Insulating oil which is also known as mineral oil is used as coolant as
well insulating medium in transformer & Reactors. Crude oil is the raw
material from which Insulating oil is produced. Following are the types
of insulating oil.

- Crude oil Divided into two (Light and Heavy)
- Paraffinic (rich in gas oil, gasoline, and gases, light)
- Naphthenic (rich in bitumen & heavy)

The insulating oil is tested to conform to all parameters specified
below, while tested against their acceptance norms as mentioned

Property Test Method Limits

1a Viscosity at 40degC ISO 3104 (Max.)12 mm2/s
1b Viscosity at -30degC ISO 3104 (Max.)1800 mm2/s
2 Appearance A representative
sample of the oil
shall be examined in
a 100 mm thick
layer, at ambient
The oil shall be
clear, transparent
and free from
suspended matter
or sediment
2 Pour point ISO 3016 (Max.)- 40degC
3 Water content
a) for bulk supply
b) for delivery in
IEC 60814

30 mg/kg
40 mg/kg

4 Electric strength
(breakdown voltage)
IEC 60156 (Min.) 30 kV/ 70 kV

5 Density at 20 deg C ISO 3675 or ISO
(max)0.895 g/ml
6 Dielectric dissipation
factor (tan delta) at
90 deg C
IEC 60247 or IEC

B Refining / Stability
1 Acidity IEC 62021-1 (Max)0.01 mg
2 Interfacial tension at
ISO 6295 (Min)0.04 N/m

Total sulfur content BS 2000 part 373 or
0.15 %

3 Corrosive
CIGRE test method
(TF A2.32.01
Revision of tests
and specifications
for corrosive sulfur
in Transformer Oils)

4 Presence of
IEC 60666 Not detectable
5 2-Furfural content IEC 61198 Max 0.1 mg/kg
C Performance
1 Oxidation stability
-Total acidity

IEC 61125 (method
Test duration 164 h
Max 0.3 mg KOH/g
Max 0.05 %

2 Dielectric dissipation
factor (tan delta) at
IEC 60247 Max 0.05


Gassing IEC 60628 A No general
however, negative
Tendency is not
D Health, Safety and
Environment (HSE)

1. Flash point ISO 2719 (Min.)135degC

2. PCA content BS 2000 Part 346 Max 3%

3. PCB
IEC 61619 Less than 1 mg/kg

4. Negative Impulse
testing KVp
ASTM D-3300 > 145

Prior to energisation at site, Oil shall be tested for following properties
& acceptance norms as per IS 1866 (2000):

1. BDV (kV rms) 70 kV (min.)
2. Moisture content 10 ppm (max.)
3. Tan-delta at 90degC 0.01 (max.)
4. Resistivity at 90degC 6 x 1012 ohm-cm (min.)
5. Interfacial Tension 35 mN/m (min.)

Dissolved Gas Analysis is a very powerful technique to find out
incipient faults within the transformer. Certain gases are produced by
decomposition of oil and/or paper insulation when transformer
undergoes abnormal thermal or electrical stresses. These gases come
out and get collected in buchholz relay when their quantity is more. But
when the fault is in very small area or if the severity of fault is less

these gases get dissolved in oil. As the composition and quantity of the
gases generated is dependent on type and severity of the fault, regular
monitoring of these dissolved gases reveals useful information about
healthiness of a transformer and prior information of fault can be had
observing the trend of various gas contents.

Information from the analysis of the gases dissolved in insulating oils is
valuable in a preventive maintenance program. Data from a DGA can

1. Advance warning of developing faults
2. A determination of the improper use of units
3. Status checks on new and repaired units
4. Low detection limits
5. Improved reproducibility
6. Detection of faults during the warranty period
7. Essential information for your Asset Management program
8. Recommendations for Additional Tests or Inspections

4.6.10 Fault gases are classified into three groups.





A) OIL CH4, C2H6 C2H4, H2 (CH4, C2H2)

3. ARCING H2, C2H2 (CH4, C2H6, C2H4)

The solubility of gases in transformer oil by volume is given below.

OXYGEN 16.0%
ETHANE 280.0%

4.6.11 Failure analysis and DGA

1. Instantaneous failures like flashover with power flow through cannot be
prevented by DGA.

2. Serious failures, developing within Seconds cannot be detected by

- Broken or loose connection in a winding which lead to small arc which
burns the solid insulation
- Deteriorated conductor insulation paper leading to inter turn fault
- Broken loose or damaged draw rod in a bushing causing sparking and
arcing within tube
- Bushing explosion leading to fire

3. Detectable faults by DGA

Within winding
- Shorting of parallel wires in a bunch conductor within a common paper
- Lost potential connections to shielding rings, torroids- floating
potentials, sparking to grounds
- Conditions partial discharges between discs or conductors due to
contaminated local oil-leading to flashover

Cleats and leads
- Bolted connections, particularly between aluminium bus bars, if the
spring washers do not sustain the needed high pressure
- All gliding moving contacts forming bad joints due to ageing
In the tank

- Heating of tank part, bolt etc. Due to magnetic field
- Overheating due to double grounding of the core
- Damaged insulation between cover support point due to closed loop

Selector switch
- Carbonisation of selector switch contacts and hotspot formation
- Gap between selector switch contacts


- Shorting at burrs of laminations
- Failure of bolt insulation

DGA interpretation is done by various methods mentioned in CIGRE
guidelines, IEEE STD. C57.104 -1991.

4.7 EHV Circuit Breakers
Circuit Breakers (CB) are the switching and current interrupting devices.
Basically a circuit breaker comprises a set of fixed and movable contacts. The
contacts can be separated by means of an operating mechanism. The
separation of current carrying contacts produces an arc. The arc is
extinguished by a suitable medium such as dielectric oil, air vacuum and SF6
gas. The CBs are necessary at every switching point in the substation.

A circuit interrupting device operates in an electrical environment which
imposes a unique set of criteria on the device. There are three major
operating conditions - Closed, Open and the transition from closed to open. In
the closed position the device must conduct the continuous rated current
without exceeding the temperature limits. While closed, the complete
insulation system is stressed by system voltage and transient over voltage
caused by lightening, switching and system changes. In open position,
insulation across the open contacts is stressed in addition to the insulation to

If fault occurs, the Circuit Breaker is expected to interrupt the fault
current within rated interrupting time to minimize any disturbances to the
system. At some point during the opening operation the current is interrupted,
resulting in an electrical separation of the system at the Circuit Breaker
location. Immediately after current zero, the contacts are stressed by transient
voltages produced by the system as it reacts to the new operating state.

Additional requirements are inductive and capacitive current switching by
limiting over voltages within allowable limits.

These wide varieties of operating conditions impose conflicting constraints on
a circuit breaker.

The part of CB connected in one phase is called the pole. A circuit breaker
suitable for 3 phase system is called triple pole CB. Each pole of CB
comprises one or more interrupters or arc extinguishing chambers.

4.7.1 Basic Design
Circuit Breakers are classified in following categories based on arc
quenching medium.


In the air break circuit breakers, the contact separating and arc
extinction takes place in air at atmospheric pressure. As the contacts
are opened, arc is drawn between them. By cooling the arc, the
diameter of arc core is reduced; the arc is extinguished by lengthening
the arc, cooling the arc, splitting the arc. The arc resistance is
increased to such an extent that the system voltage can not maintain
the arc and arc gets extinguished.


Oil used as an arc extinguishing medium and dielectric material. The
contact separation takes place in steel tanks filled with oil. The gases
formed due to the heat of the arc expand and set the turbulent flow in
the oil.

Arc is extinguished by the virtue of following process.

1) Cooling of arc The heat of the arc is carried away by the gas.
2) Turbulent flow of oil
3) Rapid building of dielectric strength.
4) High pressure gas has better dielectric strength.

To assist the arc extinction process arc control devices are fitted to the
contact assembly (these are semi-enclosed chamber of dielectric

In the bulk oil Circuit breaker as a large quantity of oil is required for
clearance between the earthed tank and the live parts within the tank.
For rated voltages above 72.5 kV bulk oil circuit breaker become bulky,
difficult to transport erect and maintain.


In MOCB current interruption takes place inside interrupters. The
enclosure of the interrupter is made of insulating material like porcelain.
Hence the clearance between the live parts and the enclosure can be
reduced and lesser quantity of oil required for internal insulation.

Two chambers separated from each other but both filled with oil, upper
chamber is arc extinction chamber, lower chamber acts like a dielectric


In ABCB high pressure, air 20 kg /cm 30 kg /cm is forced on the arc
through a nozzle at the instant of contact separation. The ionized
medium between the contacts is blown away by the blast of the air.
After the arc extinction the chamber is filled with high pressure air
which prevents restrike.

Opening and closing are fast because air takes a negligible time to
travel from reservoir to the moving contact. The arc is extinguished
within a cycle (Fast in breaking the current).Problem of current
chopping and re-ignition in case of small current breaking.


A metallic bellow is fixed to the moving contact so that housing can be
sealed and the movement of the movable contact can be permitted.
The chamber is evacuated to high vacuum of the order of 105 mm of
mercury. The high vacuum has high dielectric strength and is good arc
extinguishing medium. After arc extinction dielectric strength of vacuum
is recovered at a very fast rate.

4.7.2 Selection Criteria And Constructional Details of Circuit
Selection Criteria
The selection of the type of circuit breakers is governed mainly by the
following important factors:

1. Use of pre-insertion resistors (PIR) to control the switching surge
2. Requirement of inherent restrike-free operation under all conditions

3. Consistent characteristics ;
4. Simple and reliable mechanism ;
5. Operating speed ;
6. Ease in maintenance ;
7. Reliability and life of plant in view of future developments.

Use of Pre insertion Resistors:
The importance of pre-insertion resistor in reducing over-voltages is of
extreme significance and is well-known. It must, therefore, have the
greatest reliability so far as switching-in action is concerned. Failure of
this item will mean outage of breaker besides the possible damage
which might result due to over voltages. The sequence of operation,
control of insertion time and synchronizing the complete action are
matters of great precision.
Requirement of inherent Re-strike free operation under all conditions:
The principal requirement of a circuit breaker for 400kV system is its
inherent ability to interrupt the charging current of the line.

The world practice is towards such design whose characteristics are
well defined. To this category comes the SF
breaker whose
performance practically for all types of duties out class air blast. The
natural choice is SF

Simple and reliable mechanism:
The performance of circuit breaker depends quite a lot upon the
operating mechanism to close and open the contacts.

Operating Speed:
Not only from the considerations of transient stability but also because
of less system disturbances, less damage to the plant involved in a
fault and less wear and tear on the breaker contacts, shorter total
break time has been preferred. The high speed breakers have

assumed special importance both in the weak system having remotely
situated power station loosely connected and in the system stiffly
connected with strong sources. It is felt that reliability and high speed
operation must go together.

The other importance aspect is of pole span. The influence of non-
synchronous opening and closing of three poles when higher than five
millisecond is quite significant and is considered important from over-
voltages due to energization and re-energization. With increase in pole
span the over voltages are higher but after a certain limit there is no
noticeable increase. This occurs when all the unfavorable closing
moments are with in the pole span. With closing resistors it must,
however, be ensured that pre-insertion time is more than pole span of
the breakers.

Maintenance problem:
It has been the experience that most of the equipment induced major
failures has been caused by the mal functioning of very minor
components owning to defects which originated during equipment
design and modification stages. The second factor contributing to
trouble has been the installation problem. The lack of good
workmanship and skill causes many inherent failures.

4.7.3 Constructional details of Circuit Breaker

Interrupter houses the fixed, moving and arcing contacts and the
linkage mechanism for operating moving contacts.

Fig: 4.16 Interrupting chamber

Main Contacts conduct the current in closed position of the breaker. It
has low contact resistance and is silver plated. Arcing contact are hard,
heat resistant and are usually of copper alloy. While opening the
contacts, the main contacts dislodge first. The current is shifted to the
arcing contacts. The arcing contacts dislodge later and arc is drawn
between them. This arc is forced upwards by the electro-magnetic
forces and thermal action. The arc ends travel along the arc runner
(arcing horns). The arc moves upwards and is split by arc splitter
plates. The arc is extinguished by the lengthening, cooling, splitting. In
some breakers, the arc is drawn in the direction of the splitter by
magnetic field.

There are different types of interrupters depending upon the type of
nozzle design and arc extinction method:

1. Mono blast
2. Double blast
3. Partial double blast
4. Self blast
5. Double motion type

Grading capacitor is connected across the individual contacts of
interrupters with multiple breaks to ensure equal distribution of voltage
across individual contacts.

Where ever required, the closing resistor or Pre insertion resistor (PIR)
chambers also are attached along with the Interrupting Chamber. PIR
is generally used on CBs meant for switching of long transmission lines
or capacitor banks to control the switching over voltages


It is used for live tank type CB only. It houses the operating rod which
is an insulated rod connecting operating mechanism with Interrupter.


Operating mechanism drive including trip coil, closing coil, auxiliary
switch etc.


a) Spring assisted motor mechanism
b) Pneumatic operating mechanism
c) Hydraulic mechanism
d) Combination of spring & pneumatic mechanisms.

a) Motor is used for charging the closing spring (manual charging in
addition to motor charging).
b) Preferred stations where compressed air supply is available i.e., where
air blast circuit breakers are installed.

c) Compressed air at high pressure is used for closing High pressure air
is stored in the receiver of the breaker. Air comes to reservoir from
compressed air system. While closing the air at high pressure (15 30
kg/cm) is admitted in the Pneumatic cylinder.
d) Hydraulic mechanism motor driven hydraulic pump accumulators

- Hydraulic valves and piping.
- Oil tank
- Hydraulic cylinder piston

(Oil is maintained at high pressure in the accumulators 200 300
kg/cm) Piston movement with high pressure by opening of hydraulic


SF6 gas density monitor, pressure gauges, counter etc. control cubicle/
Marshalling box.

Pumps, Compressors, drives etc., for the operating mechanism.



This feature is introduced to detect cases in which one or more poles of
a 3 phase CB remains in open condition where as the other poles are
closed. This may arise due to mal-operation or sluggish operation of
one or more poles. It essentially is a timer connected to a series
parallel connection of Auxiliary switch.


Anti pumping feature blocks the closing of a CB more than once
(multiple closing) with a single pro-longed closing impulse (say, the
operator keeps on giving a closing impulse without releasing the
closing handle).


Circuit Breaker shall be capable of performing auto-reclose operation in
case of a transient fault.


- SF6 alarm and L/O
- Operating mechanism alarm / lock out
- Trip circuit supervision


1. CB shall be suitable for operation from Remote (control
Room/Remote control centre) as well as from local MB depending on
position of Local/Remote switch. The protection trip will be normally
directly extended (bypassing local selection)

2. Two trip coils and one close coils normally provided.

3. No interlocks from other equipments like Isolator and Earth switch for
local trip. But CB local close normally allowed only if associated earth
switches are closed.

4. For remote closing and required interlocks from other equipments like
Isolator and Earth switch are provided from CR panels.

5. Auto-reclose is done from CR panels only.

4.7.4 Properties of SF6 Gas

- Colourless, Odourless, non-toxic and non-flammable.

- BOILING POINT = - 60 at atm. (760 mm)

- Sonic conductivity of SF6 is low (Speed of sound) = 138.5 m/s i.e.,
41% of that in air


- SF6 is chemically inert upto 150 C and will not attack metals, plastics
and other substances commonly used in the construction of H.V.
Circuit breaker.

- However, at the high temperature caused by Power arcs it
decomposes into various components (SF4, SF2 etc. and Fluorine).

- Complete absence of carbon in the SF6 molecule major advantage for
an arc interrupting medium.

- All the chemically active impurities formed by the arc at various
temperature recombine in the extremely short time of 10
after extinction of the arc.

- Remaining traces of impurities can be to eliminate by means of
absorbing material (activated alumina).

- Alumina also absorbs moisture and contribute to the SF6 stability.

- Absence of air eliminates contact oxidation. Contact abrasion
extremely small compared to contact in air.

- Contact service life is greatly increased and replacement is rarely


- Ability to recover dielectric strength quickly after arc extinction (electro-
negative gas).
- (Electrons of electronegative gases get attached to the molecules and
thereby the dielectric strength of the gas is regained).

4.7.5 Testing of Circuit Breaker

Governing standards for testing CB in general are IEC-60694, and


1. Insulation Tests :

a. Power Frequency withstand
b. Lightning Impulse withstand
c. Switching Impulse Withstand

2. Short Time Current

3. Temperature Rise Test

4. Mechanical Endurance Test (Duty M1 & M2)

5. Electrical Endurance (for distribution class )

6. Short Circuit tests

7. Capacitive Current switching tests.(line charging/cable charging)

8. Capacitive Current switching Duty C1 & C2

9. Reactor switching test.

10. Seismic withstand test

11. RIV/Corona extinction voltage tests.

12. Special tests

- Critical current test
- Low and high temperature test
- Out of phase closing test
- Power Frequency withstand at zero gauge pressure & at lockout
pressure with CB in open condition (POWERGRID specification

4.7.6 Salient Features Of Powergrid Specification

- Applicable Standard 62271 -100

- Only SF6 type

- C1-M1 class.

- Solidly earthed system considered.

- First pole to clear factor (depends on System earthing) - 1.3(for solidly
earthed system).

- CB suitable for auto-reclosures and for out of phase closing.

- PIR for 400kV line breakers.

- Shunt Reactor switching for 400kV CBs.

- Guaranteed SF6 leakage 1% per year.

- Separate SF6 monitoring for each poles for 145kV and above.

- Operating duty 0-0.3S CO 3 min. CO.

- S.C. rating 40KA (for 400kV & 220KV)

- 31.5 kA for 145KV

- Line charging interruption Capability 600A for 420kV, 125A for
245kV (IEC), 50A for 145kV (IEC).

- Operating Mechanism Pneumatic/Spring/Hydraulic.

- Aux. DC (220V) supply variation 70 -110% for trip of 85 110% for

- 2 Independent trip circuits, each having separate pressure switches.