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Protection for Overvoltage of 40.

5 kV Vacuum Circuit Breaker Switching Off Shunt Reactors


Yonggang Guan, Weidong Liu, Wensheng Gao
Department of Electrical Engineering Tsinghua University Beijing, China guanyg@tsinghua.edu.cn

Junhui Wu, Wenyi Li, Tiehan Cheng


Research & Development Center Henan Pinggao Electric Co., LTD Pingdingshan, China wujh@pinggao.com

AbstractBased on the results of field tests of 40.5 kV vacuum circuit breakers switching off shunt reactors, the effects of metal oxide surge arrester (MOA) protections of several connecting types as well as C-R suppressers are compared in detail. In this switching situation, gapless combined MOAs and three-gap combined MOAs are helpful to suppress the overvoltage. Meanwhile, C-R suppressers can provide the most effective protection, and it is better to install them nearby the reactors rather than breakers. Keywords-Vaccum circuit breaker, overvoltage, shunt reactor, protection, MOA, C-R surge suppresser.

apparatuses have become more and more attractive; and the CR suppressers are not popular used in practical application [6]. The metal oxide surge arresters are generally connected in parallel with the loads to suppress the overvoltage level. MOAs were initiated for protections during the 1970s, and they have been widely applied due to their reliability, adequate sensitivity and fast response to overvoltages [7] as well as good nonlinear volt-ampere characteristics. In China, the MOAs are usually integrated in the switchgear. MOAs can be composed into different structures for different performances. Fig. 1(a) shows the gapless Yconnected MOAs with one MOA in each phase and Fig. 1(b) shows the gapless combined MOAs with an appending MOA between the neutral and ground. In order to keep the MOAs against AC aging, series spark gaps are often utilized in order to decrease the residual voltage under large currents, while keep the applied voltage ratio (AVR) nearly constant [8]-[11], such as four-gap combined MOAs as shown in Fig. 1(c), and three-gap combined MOAs as shown in Fig. 1(d), where AVR is defined as the ratio between intended operating voltage and maximum permissible operating voltage. Another type of protection called compound MOAs is a mixture of MOAs and C-R suppressers, as shown in Fig. 1(e).

I.

INTRODUCTION

Plenty of research has been done on vacuum circuit breaker (VCB) switching overvoltages since the 1970s, and it is acknowledged that the large chopping current of vacuum arcs, multi-reignitions, inter-phase coupling are the main factors of switching overvoltages. Moreover, the phenomena of voltage escalation and virtual current chopping were discovered [1][5]. However, these studies covered only the situations of 10 kV or lower system, and the reactive loads were mainly motors and transformers. The overvoltage generated by 40.5 kV vacuum circuit breakers switching off shunt reactors frequently cause insulation failures, including the breakers themselves, in recent years in China. The field tests proved that when 40.5 kV vacuum circuit breaker switching off shunt reactor, the probability of multi-reignitions is nearly 100%, which are rare in 10 kV or lower systems. Therefore, protections measures should be paid more attention. In this paper, the field tests on the protection measures for 40.5 kV vacuum circuit breaker switching off shunt reactors were carried out. The mechanisms of different measures were analyzed, and their effects were compared in detail. II. OVERVIEW OF OVERVOLTAGE PROTECTIONS

(a) Gapless Y-connected (b) Gapless combined

(c) Four-gap combined

Nowadays, the main overvoltage protection measures for vacuum circuit breaker are capacitor-resistor (C-R) surge suppressers and metal oxide arresters (MOAs) [6]-[7]. A C-R suppresser consists of a capacitor and a resistor in series. It is difficult to be integrated within the switchgear due to its large size. Furthermore, it may increase the steady earth current if the capacitance is large. Recently, oil-free electrical
(d) Three-gap combined (e) Compound Figure 1. Diagrams of various connecting types of MOA protections

Project Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (50907037).

___________________________________ 978-1-4244-9690-7/11/$26.00 2011 IEEE




III.

ANALYSIS AND COMPARISON OF OVERVOLTAGES WITH DIFFERENT PROTECTION MEASURES

All five types of MOAs and C-R suppresser were employed in the field tests in this paper. A detailed description of the circuit of the field tests was presented in [12]. A. Overvoltage Magnitudes The maximum magnitude of overvoltage at the load side under various protections measures are listed in Table I.
TABLE I. MAXIMUM OVERVOLTAGES UNDER DIFFERENT PROTECTIONS Maximum overvoltages Phase-to-ground Interphase Value Per-unit Value Per-unit (kV) (p.u.) (kV) (p.u.) 162 4.9 283 8.5 112 3.4 212 6.4 108 3.3 139 4.2 153 4.6 219 6.6 121 3.7 168 5.1 137 4.1 200 6.0 120 3.6 184 5.6 57 1.7 58 1.8

Protections* No protections Gapless Y-connected Gapless combined Four-gap combined Three-gap combined Compound C-R suppresser C-R suppresser (at reactors)

(b) Interphase voltage Figure 2. Overvoltages at the load side

* Protections were installed at the load side of VCB as a default.

Fig. 2 shows the phase-to-ground and interphase overvoltages with different connecting types of MOAs, where 8 sets of experimental values are illugrated for each connecting type. The horizontal axis in Fig. 2 represents different sets of tests. For the convenience of observation, the points are sorted by magnitude of overvoltages instead of by time sequence. The dash lines indicate the specified maximum switching overvoltage for 35 kV systems, namely 132 kV for phase-toground, and 184 kV for interphase. According to the experimental results, the phase to ground overvoltages under four-gap combined and compound protections exceed the specified value, and the interphase overvoltages under gapless Y-connected, four-gap combined and compound protections exceed the specified value. C-R suppresser, gapless combined and three-gap combined protections can both suppress phase-to-ground and interphase overvoltages effectively.

B. Gapless MOA Protections MOA works when overvoltages exceed the discharge threshold, rather than prevent the emerging of overvoltages. Experimental waveforms indicate that, MOA protections can limit the overvoltage magnitude, but do not modify the frequency of the surge and the steepness of the TRV. The MOA protections can be divided into two classes according to whether utilizing gaps: the gapless MOA protection and the gap MOA protection. According to the experimental results, both gapless Yconnected and combined MOA can suppress the phase-toground overvoltages effectively, while the interphase overvoltages under gapless Y-connected MOA protections exceed the respective specified value. For gapless Y-connected MOA protections, there are two MOAs in series between every two phases. If the overvoltages of any two phases are opposite in direction, the residual voltage between these two phases shall be twice of the phase to ground value, which may cause an interphase breakdown. In case of decreasing the residual voltage of MOAs, the chargeability increases, whereas meantime, the lifetime of MOA protections will be shorten [12]. For the gapless combined MOA protections, as there are two MOAs both phase-to-ground and interphase, MOAs with lower residual voltage could be selected, and the problem of high chargeability is avoided. However, the potential of the neutral point can change during operation. Discharge sometimes occurred between the neutral point and ground during the fields test. So that the insulation of the neutral point should be paid attention when use this kind of MOA protections. C. Gap MOA Protections There were three types of gap MOA involved in the field tests, including compound, four-gap combined and three-gap combined one.

(a) Phase-to-ground voltage

Compound and four-gap combined MOAs have similar structure of four gaps, while compound one has capacitors in parallel with its gaps. As indicated in Table I and Fig. 2, the phase-to-ground and interphase overvoltages of these two types



of MOAs both exceed the corresponding specified values, and it is comparatively worse in the situation of four-gap combined MOAs without capacitors. In addition, experimental results indicate that the action voltage deviation of these two types of MOAs is large. Fig. 3 shows waveforms of the overvoltages at the load side with compound MOAs. In fact, when overvoltages are imposed on the gap MOA protections, it may cost some time for series gaps to spark, even several times of reignitions.
100 0 A -100 -200 0 100 0 -100 -200 0 200 100 C 0 -100 0 1 2 Time (ms) 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

100 0 -100 0 100 0 -100 0 100 0 -100 0 50 Time (ms) 100 150 50 100 150 50 100 150 A C Voltage (kV) B

(a) Voltage waveforms of three phases


100 0 -100 70 100 0 -100 70 100 0 -100 70 72 74 Time (ms) 76 78 80 72 74 76 78 80 72 74 76 78 80 A C A Voltage (kV) B

Figure 3. Voltage waveforms at the load side with compound MOAs.

Voltage (kV) B

(b) Partial enlargement of voltage waveforms

For four-gap combined MOAs, the neutral-to-ground gap is strongly affected by the stray capacitors [13]-[14], thus the protections become unstable and the MOA is easier to be broken. In view of this, three-gap combined MOAs were proposed in [15], in which the neutral-ground gap is removed. As indicated in the experimental results, this kind of MOA is effective on suppressing both phase-to-ground and interphase overvoltages. However, the action voltage deviation could not be avoided due to the gaps. D. C-R suppressers The surge at the load side is mainly caused by the oscillation generated by the reactance and capacitance of the cable, whose values are small, and the frequency will be extremely high. On the other hand, the energy of the highmagnitude overvoltage is from the reactors with chopping current, as the capacitance of the cable is small, the overvoltage at the load side will be high enough. Such high and steep overvoltage will cause multi-reignitions. When the C-R suppressers integrate into the circuit, the L-C parameters of the high-frequency loop will be changed, and the overvoltage caused by current chopping will be suppressed. In other words, the magnitude and slope of the overvoltage will be both decreased, and the multi-reignitions as well as overvoltages will be suppressed. Moreover, field tests prove that it is much better to install C-R suppressers near the reactors than near the breaker as shown in Figs. 4-7. When C-R suppressers are installed near the breaker, there are still mult-reignitions observed in all three poles which can be found in the TRV waveforms as shown in Fig. 5. According to Figs. 6 and 7, the maximum overvoltages are only 1.7 p.u. for phase-to-ground and 1.8 p.u. for interphase while the C-R suppressers are installed near the reactors, and there are no more reignitions in the last two poles to clear. The maximum overvoltages are also significantly lower than those with various connecting types of MOA protections.

Figure 4. Voltage waveforms with C-R suppressers installed near the breaker
200 0 -200 0 200 0 -200 0 200 0 -200 0 50 Time (ms) 100 150 50 100 150 50 100 150

Voltage (kV) B

(a) Voltage waveforms of three phases


200 0 -200 70 200 0 -200 70 200 0 -200 70 72 74 Time (ms) 76 78 80 72 74 76 78 80 72 74 76 78 80 A C A Voltage (kV) B

(b) Partial enlargement of voltage waveforms Figure 5. TRV waveforms with C-R suppressers installed near the breaker
100 0 -100 0 100 0 -100 0 100 0 -100 0 50 Time (ms) 100 150 50 100 150 50 100 150

Voltage (kV) B

(a) Voltage waveforms of three phases



100 0 -100 70 100 0 -100 70 100 0 -100 70 75 80 Time (ms) 85 90 75 80 85 90 75 80 85 90 A

should be taken notice. And for three-gap combined MOAs, the action voltage deviation couldn't be avoided due to the gaps. C-R suppressers can provide the most effective protection for the situation mentioned in this paper, which is preferred in case that the field conditions permit. And it is better to install them near the reactors rather than near the breakers. REFERENCES
[1] J. Panek, and K. G. Fehrle, Overvoltage phenomena associated with virtual current chopping in three phase circuits, IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-94, no. 4, pp. 1317-1325, Jul./Aug. 1975. A. H. Moore, and T. J. Blalock, Extensive field measurements support new approach to protection of arc furnace transformer against switching transients, IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-94, no. 2, pp. 473481, Mar./Apr. 1975. M. Murano, T. Fujii, H. Nishikwa, S. Nishikawi, and M. Okawa, Three-phase simultaneous interruption in interrupting inductive current using vacuum switches, IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-93, no. 1, pp.272-280, Jan. 1974. Y. Murai, T. Nitta, T. Takami, and T. Itoh, Protection of motor from switching surge by vacuum switch, IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-93, no. 5, pp. 1472-1477, Sep. 1974. G. S. Sun, Research on multi-reignition overvoltages caused by vacuum circuit breakers switching off high-voltage motors, Master dissertation, Dept. Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua Univ., Beijing, China, 1980. R. D. Garzon, High Voltage Circuit Breakers: Design and Applications, New York: Marcel Dekker, 2002. K. Denno, High Voltage Engineering in Power Systems, Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1992. S. H. Telander, M. R. Willheim, and K. B. Stump, Surge limiters for vacuum circuit breaker switchgear, IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. PWRD-2, no. 1, pp. 107-116, Jan. 1987. W. B. Zhang, J. L. He, and Y. M. Gao, Overvoltage Protection and Insulation Coordination, Beijing: Tsinghua University Press, 2002. T. C. Xiong, Principle, Experiment and Maintenance of Arresters, Beijing: Water Power Press, 1993. Y. X. Ma, High Voltage Engineering, Beijing: Peking University Press, 2009. DU Ning, GUAN Yonggang, ZHANG Jingsheng, NIU Jirong, YAO Shuhua, XU Guozheng, Field tests of 40. 5 kV vacuum circuit breakers switching off shunt reactors, Qinghua Daxue Xuebao/Journal of Tsinghua University (Science and Technology), vol. 50, No. 4, pp. 517520, Apr. 2010. Y. M. Jia, Protection of VCB operation overvoltage, Electric Power Automation Equipment, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 37-39, Aug. 1999. S. C. Yang, and F. M. Zhang, Introduction of JPB combined overvoltage protection, High Voltage Engineering, vol. 25, n. 3, pp. 9596, Sep. 1999. Y. J. Zhang, and W. G. Wang, JPB overvoltage protection aggregate and ordinary voltage protections: a comparison of their operational principles , Zhejiang Electric Power, n. 3, pp. 61-64, 2005.

(b) Partial enlargement of voltage waveforms Figure 6. Voltage waveforms with C-R suppressers installed near the reactors
200 0 -200 0 200 0 -200 0 200 0 -200 0 50 Time (ms) 100 150 50 100 150 50 100 150 A

Voltage (kV) B

[2]

Voltage (kV) B

[3]

[4]

(a) Voltage waveforms of three phases


200 0 -200 70 200 0 -200 70 200 0 -200 70 75 80 Time (ms) 85 90 75 80 85 90 A

[5]

[6]
75 80 85 90

Voltage (kV) B

[7] [8]

[9] [10] [11] [12]

(b) Partial enlargement of voltage waveforms Figure 7. TRV Waveforms with C-R suppressers installed near the reactors

Although there are many disadvantages for the C-R suppressers like large size, oil, and possibly increasing the steady current to ground, they are still preferred to be employed in case that the field conditions permit. IV. CONCLUSIONS

[13] [14]

Based on the results of a series of field tests, the effects of several types of overvoltage protection measures have been compared in detail when 40.5 kV vacuum circuit breakers switching off shunt reactors. Among various connecting types of MOA protections, gapless combined and three-gap combined MOAs are effective to both the interphase and the phase-to-ground overvoltage. For gapless combined MOAs, the insulation of the neutral point

[15]