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Transient Stability

Equal area criterion (EAC) is the graphical interpretation of

transient stability of the system. This method is only
applicable to a single machine connected to an infinite bus
system or a two-machine system. The concept of EAC is
derived from the fact that the stored kinetic energy in the
rotating mass tries to substantiate the imbalance between the
machine output and input. A single machine connected to a
large system such as an infinite bus is considered to explain
the EAC concept.
9.1.1 Mathematical Approach to EAC

Consider a synchronous machine connected to an infinite bus.

Neglecting the damping effect, the swing equation is rewritten

where Pa is the accelerating power, which is due to imbalance

between mechanical input and electrical power output. From
the above equation,

Multiplying both sides of the above equation by 2.

we get

The above equation can be written in the modified form as:


Integrating both sides,


Under stable conditions of the machine, the variations in the

rotor speed (or

) must be equal to zero. This is possible only

when the right hand side terms of Equation (9.3) is zero.


The Swing Curve

It is a graph indicating the variations in with time t.

Fig 9.1 Swing Curve for Stable and Unstable Power Systems

The swing equation indicates that the rotor shall either

accelerate or decelerate when there exists an imbalance
between mechanical input and electrical power output. Due to
this, the rotor may run above or below the synchronous speed,
indicating system instability as shown in Figure 9.1.

Stability/Instability Conditions

Graphical Interpretation of EAC

Consider the power-angle curve of an alternator as shown
in Figure 9.2
Initially the machine is operating at the equilibrium point A,
where Pe0 = Pm0 and =0 as shown in Figure 9.2. Now, the
mechanical input to the machine is suddenly increased
from Pm0 to Pm1. As Pm1 > Pc0, the value of accelerating
power Pa is positive and hence the rotor starts accelerating.
Due to this acceleration of the rotor, increases as shown
in Fig 9.3.

Fig 9.2 Power Angle Curve of an Alternator

Fig 9.3 Rotor Movement from Point A to B

With an increase in , Pe increases. When reaches 1 (at

point B), the accelerating power Pa becomes zero as Pe = Pm1. At

point B, the rotor speed is above synchronous speed and due

to inertia it continues to move forward beyond point B.
For > 1, Pe> Pm1, and PA is negative. Hence the rotor starts
decelerating. Beyond point B, the rotor speed is decreases due
to deceleration.
The rotor speed reaches Ns at point D. At this point, as Pe > Pm1,
the rotor continues to decelerate and starts decreasing as
shown in Fig 9.4.

Fig 9.4 Rotor Movement from Point D to B

When the rotor reaches point B from D, Pe again equals to Pm1,

hence Pa becomes zero. However, due to inertia the rotor

continues to move beyond point B towards Aand acceleration

The result is that the rotor swings from A to D via B, and
from D back to A.
Considering losses (which give damping effect to the rotor),
the rotor finally settles down at a new equilibrium
point B after performing the swing as explained.
It can be observed that the rotor accelerates when it moves
from A to B and decelerates when it is moves from B to D.
From the laws of mechanics the machine swings stably when
the excess energy stored in the rotating mass while it
accelerates is equal to the energy it gives up during
|area A1| = |area A2|

This is known as the equal area criterion.

From EAC, the condition for stability can be stated as follows:
The accelerating area (positive) under the P curve must
be equal to decelerating (negative) area.
9.1.2 Application of Equal Area Criterion

Now we consider the various types of disturbances on a single

machine connected to an infinite bus (SMIB) system and
analyse its stability by using the EAC criterion.
Case-1: Mechanical input to the rotor is suddenly
Consider the SMIB system shown in Figure 9.5

Fig 9.5 An SMIB System

Electrical power transmitted to the infinite bus is given by

Initially the system is operating stably, at which

This initial steady point is marked as point A on the P- curve

shown in Figure 9.6.

Fig 9.6 Power Angle Curve of an SMIB System for a Sudden

Increase in Mechanical Input to the Generator

Now, the mechanical input to the generator is suddenly raised

to pm1 from pm0 by opening the steam valve. Consequent to this
change, the following sequence of changes takes place.
Stage-1: At point A
The system is under steady-state with perfect balance
between Pm0 and Pe0 and Pa =Pm0 Pc0 = 0. The speed of the
rotor equals to the synchronous speed NS . Now, the
mechanical input to is raised suddenly to Pm1 from Pm0.
Stage-2:Movement from point A to B
Though the mechanical input to the rotor is increased, the
generator cannot generate extra electrical power,
since cannot change instantly due to rotor inertia. Hence,
the extra mechanical input Pm1 Pm0 is stored as kinetic energy
within the rotor and therefore the rotor starts accelerating.
The speed of the rotor is now above NS and hence Pe now starts

increasing. But the accelerating power begins to reduce as the

imbalance between Pm and Pe starts reducing due to an
increase in the Pe value.
Stage-3:Reaching point B
On reaching point B, value equals to 1 and the electrical
power output Pe is raised and made equal to Pm1. The rotor now
stops accelerating as Pa value is zero. At this point it should be
remembered the speed of the rotor is
above NS . Though Pa value is zero, continues to increase
beyond 1 as the forward movement of rotor continues due to
inertia of the rotor.
Stage-4:From point B to C
On leaving point B, increases beyond 1. Due to this, the
machine now generates electrical power output more than Pe1.
The Pa value is now negative as Pe > Pm1. Due to this the rotor
now starts decelerating. It should be noted that though the
rotor is decelerating, it still moves in the forward direction
( increasing) as the speed is more than NS .
Stage-5:Reaching Point C

On reaching point C, value reaches 2. Now the speed of the

rotor is equal to NS.
As 2 > 1, the electrical power output is more than the
mechanical input and hence the Pa value is negative. The rotor
now decelerates in the reverse direction (decreasing) and the
negative value of Pa begins to reduce.
Stage-6:From point C to B
On leaving point C, Pe value begins to reduce as value is
decreasing. This is because the rotor is moving in the
backward direction. The decelerating power Pa begins to
reduce. However the rotor speed is now lesser than NS, as the
rotor is moving in backward direction.
Stage-7:Reaching point B
On reaching point B, the Pe value becomes equal to Pm1 and
hence Pa value is zero. The rotor speed is still less than Ns and
the rotor continues to move in the backward direction
( decreasing) due to inertia.
Stage-8:From point B to A

On leaving point B, value becomes less than 1, and

consequently, Pe value is less than Pm1. Now the Pa value is
positive and the rotor begins to accelerate with the rotor speed
again starting to increase.
Stage-9:Reaching point A
When the rotor reaches point A, value is equal to 0 and the
rotor speed rises to NS.It should be understood that while the
rotor is moving from point B to A, though its movement is
backward it is actually accelerating. Once it reaches the
point A, the movement in the backward direction stops and it
begins moving in the forward (increasing) direction.
This completes one cycle of operation and Stages 1 to 9 are
repeated again. If the system damping is considered, these
oscillations gradually die out and the machine will settle to the
new equilibrium point B
where Pm1 = Pe = Pmax sin 1
The steps related to the swinging of the rotor are depicted
in Table 9.1.
The areas A1 and A2 are given by

For the system to be stable A1 = A2

Table 9.1 Steps related to the swinging of the rotor

Condition of maximum swing

From the steady-state stability point of view, the system
reaches the critical stable point when = 90. However, the
system can maintain transient stability beyond = 90, as

long as the condition of EAC is satisfied. Figure 9.7 illustrates

Limitation to increase in Pm value
Consider the swing curve shown in Figure 9.7.
For the given value of 0, an increased value of Pm is such that,
if goes beyond mthe system loses transient stability. At
point B, Pe1 = Pm1 = Pmax sin 1. At point C, Pc1= Pm1 = Pmax sin max.
It can be easily verified that the above equations are valid only
when max = 1. Considering the P curve shown
in Figure 9.7, if Pm value is increased beyond Pm1 as shown,
then the rotor swings beyond m. However, if becomes
greater than max, then the power transfer will be lesser
than Pm and the rotor will experience further acceleration.
This will further increase and the generator will be out of
synchronism (See Figure 9.8).

Fig 9.7 The System has Transient Stability when the Rotor
Swings beyond = 90

Fig 9.8 Limiting Case for Increase in Pm

Therefore, the limiting value of Pm1 for a given Pm0 can be

computed by the condition.


Case-1: Mathematical Equations for EAC

Accelerating area

Decelerating area

The system is stable when A1 = A2 i.e., pmax(cos 0 - cos 2)

= pm1(2 - 0). Substituting pm1 = pe1 = pmaxsin 1 in the above

For the limiting case,


For the given value of 0, the value of 1 cannot be found

directly. Equation (9.13) can only solved by the iteration
Case-2: Three-Phase Fault on Feeder
Consider Figure 9.9(a) where a generator is connected to an
infinite bus bar through a radial feeder.
The p- curve is shown in Figure 9.9(b).
Let the system shown in Figure 9.9(a) be operating at point A,
where the rotor speed is equal to NS and = 0.

Now, a 3-phase fault occurs at point F on one of the outgoing

feeders. Since the fault is closer to the generator and as
resistance is being neglected, Pe instantly becomes zero. In
other words, no electrical power is transferred to the infinite

Fig 9.9(a) A Three-Phase Fault at Point F on an SMIB


Fig 9.9(b) p- Curve

Now, the entire Pm becomes equal to Pa, and the rotor starts
accelerating. Since Pe = 0, the operating point shifts
immediately to point B and due to rotor acceleration, starts
increasing. In time tcr (critical clearing time) when the rotor
angle reaches tocr (critical clearing angle), the circuit-breaker
installed at point F clears the fault by isolating the faulted line.
Upon removal of faulted line, the generator once again starts
transmitting power to the infinite bus. Therefore, the
operating point shifts from C to D instantly. At point D,
since Pe > Pm, the rotor now begins to decelerate and the
decelerating area A2 begins as the operating point moves
along DE.
System is stable as long as A1 A2
9.1.3 Determination of Critical Clearing Angle

For a given initial load there is a maximum value of clearing

angle, known as critical clearing angle (cr) for stability to be
maintained. If the actual clearing angle 1 is smaller than cr,

the system is stable. If 1 > cr the system is unstable. It should

be noted that when 1 = cr, the rotor swings up to max, a
permitted threshold value. Beyond max, the stability of the
system is lost. The circuit-breaker fault clearing time
corresponding to cr is known as the critical clearing time
(tcr). If the actual fault clearing time is less than tcr, the system
is stable, otherwise it is unstable.
The formulas for cr and tcr can be easily derived only for the
case when Pe = 0. For other cases it is hard to establish the

Fig 9.10 A Simple Case to Determine Critical Clearing

Angle cr

The following equation can be easily verified in the p- curve

shown in Figure 9.10

From the above,

Now, accelerating area

Since Pe is zero,

Decelerating area

For the system to be stable, A2 = A1, which yields the following


where cr = critical clearing angle.

By substituting max = 0 and Pe = Pm = Pmaxsin 0 in Equation
We get,

Note: The value of cr depend upon initial loading condition of

machine. In other words depends on the initial value of 0.
9.1.4 Determination of Critical Clearing Time [tcr]

During the fault on the system,



Integrating the above equation twice,

From the above,

Case-3: Loss of Faulted Parallel Line

Consider the power system shown in Figure 9.11. The
generator is connected to the infinite bus system through two
parallel lines.

Fig 9.11 Three-Phase Fault occurs at some Point on One

Parallel Line of the SMIB System

Now, consider a fault at point F some distance away from both

ends on one parallel line as shown in Figure 9.11.
9.1.5 Determination of Transfer Reactance Before, During and After Fault

Before fault

During fault

Let the transfer reactance during fault be Xdu. Its value can be
obtained by converting star reactances X'd, X1 and X21 into
delta. This is explained in the following figure.

Post fault:
After some duration, the faulty parallel line is removed by
circuit-breakers connected at both ends. The transfer
reactance for this condition Xpo is:

The steady-state power limits for these conditions are given

1. Before fault
2. During fault
3. Post fault

Fig 9.12 p Curve for Case-3 Study of EAC

Now consider the p- curve shown in Figure 9.12.

Assume that the input power Pm is constant and that the
machine is operating steadily, delivering power to the infinite
bus at = 0. The p- curve for the pre-fault condition is
marked as a in the figure. During fault condition, equivalent
transfer reactance between bus bars is increased, lowering the
steady-state power limit. For this condition the p- curve is
represented by the curve B. Finally curve C represents the
post-fault p- curve.
The following sequence of operations takes place.
1. The system is steadily operating at point a

2. Now a fault occurs at point F on one of the parallel line as shown

in Figure 9.11. The operating point shifts down to point b on
curve B. Due to excess mechanical input, the rotor starts
accelerating towards point C.
3. By the time when reaches cr, the faulted line is removed from
both ends.
4. Now the operating point shifts up from c to e on curve C. Now the
rotor begins to decelerate.

System is stable when A1 (accelerating)

= A2 (decelerating)

i.e., Area a b c d = Area d e f

Applying EAC, for this case e can be obtained as follows,


Integrating Equation 9.19,


Case-4: Re-Closure Operation of Circuit Breaker

Considering the fault as temporary, circuit breakers in the
faulted line are re-closed after some time. As the fault is
cleared, the line is restored into service again.
For this case, p- curves for before the fault and after reclosure are the same.

The p- curve is drawn for the case in Figure 9.13.

The stability of the system improves, as the re-closure unit of
the circuit breaker restores the second line back into service
for transfer of electrical power.

Fig 9.13 Case-4 of EAC: Application of the Re-Closure Unit

The following is the sequence of operations for this case study:

1. Initially the system is operating stably at Point a.

2. A fault occurs at Point F on the radial feeder and the operating

point shifts down to Point b. Due to higher value of Pm, the rotor
begins to accelerate and increases.
3. After some time, the circuit breaker isolates the faulted line. The
rotor angle reaches to c. The operating point shifts from c to e,
on the post-fault curve C. Since Pe > Pm, the rotor now begins to
4. On reaching Point f, when = r, the re-closure unit restores the
second line back to service. Due to this the operating point shifts
from f to g on the pre-faultp- curve.
The accelerating area (A1) and the decelerating area are (A2) are

marked on thep- curve. The maximum angle to which the rotor

swings is 2 and is less thanm (maximum permissible rotor
angle). Hence, the system is stable for the condition shown on
the p- curve.
Example 9.1

A generator is generating 20% of the maximum power it is

capable of generating. If the mechanical input to the
generator is increased by 250% of the previous value,
calculate the maximum value of during the swing of rotor
around the new equilibrium point.
The p- curve is shown in Figure 9.14

Fig 9.14 P- Curve

At Point a,

At Point b,

Now, we are required to find 2.

For the system to be stable,
Accelerating area A1 = Decelerating area A2

Equating (1) and (2),

The value of 2 may be found using the numerical method or

the trial and error process. Here 2 determined by the trial and
error process.
From the condition 2 > 0.5235, the starting value of 2 is
guessed as 0.55

X = 0.5 2 + cos 2

X - 1.08 = error





































From the tabulated results the approximate value of

Example 9.2

Consider the power system shown in Figure 9.15

Fig 9.15 An SMIB Power System

The p.u reactances are marked in the figure. A balanced

three-phase fault occurs at the middle point of Line-2. The
generator is delivering 1.0 p. u. power at the instant
preceding to fault. By the use of equal area criterion,
determine the critical clearing angle.

Before fault condition:

During fault condition:

For a fault at the middle of Line-2 the equivalent circuit is as
shown in Figure 9.16below.
Converting star reactances of 0.2, 0.4 and 0.2 p.u into delta,
the transfer reactance can be obtained from this equivalent

Fig 9.16 Determination of Transfer Reactance

Steady-state power limit for the condition is:

Post-fault condition:

The fault in Line-2 is removed by opening the circuit breakers

at both ends. The transfer reactance for this case is:

The three power angle curves are shown in Figure 9.17(a).

Fig 9.17(a) Power Angle Curves for a Fault at the Middle of


Under steady-state conditions prior to fault,

Now, we are required to find cr with 5 reference to Fig 9.17(b)

Fig 9.17(b) Determination SCR

The maximum angle up to which the rotor can swing for a

given value of 0 is:

Accelerating area
Decelerating area
For the system to be stable,

By integration,

Solving the above equation,

Example 9.3

In the above example, find the critical clearing angle if a

three-phase fault occurs on Line-2, close to the generator.
In this

Example 9.4

Consider the system shown in Figure 9.18.

Fig 9.18 An SMIB System

The per unit values of different quantities are:

The system is operating stably with a mechanical input

of Pm = 1.4 p.u. Now, one of the lines is suddenly switched off.
1. Comment on the stability of the system

2. If the system is stable, find the maximum value of during the

swinging of the rotor.

1. The p curve for this case is as shown in Figure 9.19.

Fig 9.19 P Curve

Before Line-2 is switched off:
Transfer reactance = 0.1 + (0.6||0.6) = 0.4 p.u

After Line-2 is switched off:

Transfer reactance = 0.1 + 0.6 = 0.7 p.u.

As the mechanical input is constant before and after Line2 is switched off, the generator generates the same
amount of electrical power output. The initial
equilibrium point is a and the final equilibrium point
is c as shown in the figure.

From the above, 1 can be determined

Or, 1 = 54.77
If stability is of interest, the rotor can swing to a
maximum of max (up to pointf).
At point c and f, the Pe generated is same.

Solving, max = 1 = 2.186 rad or 125.3

The accelerating area A1 is:

System stability depends on whether or not there is

sufficient decelerating areaA2 available. In other words,
for the system to stable the condition is A1 A2

Maximum decelerating area available, A2,max, can be found


Since A2max > A1 the system is stable.

2. The actual value of rotor swing i.e., 2 can be found by the

The above equation cannot be solved directly.

Iterative methods are required to obtain 2. An
approximate value 2 is obtained by the trial and error
process. The value of 2 is such that 1 < 2 < max.

Let us begin with 2 = 1.57 rad (approximately the

middle point)

The approximate value of 2 = 1.585 rad = 90.82


There is a need to solve the swing equation for as a function

of time in order to know the critical clearing time by the
numerical technique. The equal-area approach enables us to
calculate the critical clearing angle alone.
The evaluation of power system stability can be made effective
by solving the swing equation for critical clearing time. This
data is used in the design and selection of circuit breakers.
There are various methods available for solving swing
equation, including the powerful Range-Kutta method.
However, we shall illustrate the conventional and
approximate method known as the point-by-point method,
which is well-tried and prevalent.

We shall discuss the point-by-point method for one machine

connected to the infinite bus bar. The procedure is however
general, and can be applied to every machine in a multimachine system.
Consider the swing equation

The solution of (t) is obtained at discrete intervals of time
with the interval spread of t remaining uniform throughout.
The change in accelerating power which is a continuous
function of time is described as follows:
1. The accelerating power Pa calculated at the beginning is assumed
to remain constant from the middle of the preceding interval to
the middle of the interval under study (see Figure 9.20(a))
2. The angular rotor velocity (
over and above the synchronous
velocity s, is calculated at the middle of the interval under
study, (see Figure 9.20(b)).

In Figure 9.20(b), the numbering on

axis refers to the

end of intervals. At the end of the (n 1)th interval, the

acceleration power is

Fig 9.20(a-c) Plot of Acceleration, Speed and Rotor Angle:

Point-by-Point Method

where n1 has been previously calculated.

The change in velocity (
constant over t from

caused by Pa(n1), assumed to be

is given as

The change in during the (n 1)th interval is

and during the nth interval

Subtracting Equation (9.26) from Equation (9.27) and

using Equation (9.25), we get

Using this, we can write

The process of computation is now repeated for Pa(n),

n+1 and n+1.
The time solution in discrete form is worked out for the
required length of time, which is normally 0.5 seconds. The
solution for the continuous form is obtained by drawing a
smooth curve through discrete values as shown in Figure

9.20(c). The solution can be obtained with greater accuracy by

reducing the time duration of intervals.
The occurrence or removal of a fault or the initiation of any
switching event causes a discontinuity in the accelerating
power Pa. If such a discontinuity occurs at the beginning of an
interval, then the average of the values of Pa before and after
the discontinuity must be used. Thus, for calculating the
increment angle occurring during the first interval after a fault
is applied, at t = 0 Equation (9.26) becomes,

where Pao+ is the accelerating power immediately after

occurrence of the fault. The system is in steady state just
before the occurrence of the fault so that Pao = 0 and0 is a
known value. If the fault is cleared at the beginning of
the nth interval, for calculating this interval, one has to use
for Pa(n1) the value

is the

accelerating power immediately after clearing the fault. If the

discontinuity occurs at the middle of the interval, a special

procedure is required.
The increment of angle during such an interval is calculated,
as usual, from the value of Pa at the beginning of the interval.
The procedure of calculating the solution of a swing equation
is illustrated in following example.
Example 9.5

A power system is shown in Figure 9.21

Fig 9.21 Power System for Example 9.5

Consider the following data

The generator is operating stably and supplying 50 MW

power to an infinite bus via two transmission lines. Now, a
three-phase symmetrical fault occurs at the middle of Line-2.
1. Plot the swing curve if the fault is sustained for 0.5 second.
2. Plot the swing curve if the fault is cleared in 0.1 second by both
end circuit breakers.
3. Find the critical clearing angle and the critical clearing time.

Taking the rating of the equipment as base, for base MVA =
50, G = 1.0 p.u

Before fault:
Transfer reactance X = 0.4 p.u

Under steady-state:

During fault:
Transfer reactance X = 1.0 p.u

Transfer reactance X = 0.6 p.u

Taking t = 0.05 seconds,

(a) Sustained fault:

A discontinuity exists at t = 0. Therefore, the average value
of Pa used at

All the calculated values are tabulated in Table 9.2.

Table 9.2 Calculated values for sustained fault

A sample calculation at t = 0.1 second is given below.

Sample calculation:
The swing curve is plotted as in Figure 9.22.

Fig 9.22 Swing Curve for Sustained Fault

Table 9.3 Calculated values when the fault is cleared in 0.1


It is evident that the system is unstable.

(b) Fault cleared in 0.1 second:
The swing curve till 0.05 second is the same as that for a
sustained fault. As the fault is cleared, Pm changes from 1.05
p.u at t = 0.10 to 1.75 p.u at t = 0.10+. Since the discontinuity
occurs at the beginning of an interval, it is required to

calculate the average value of Pa at t = 0.1 second and use this

value in computing at this time. The procedure for
computing the values remains the same as before.

Fig 9.23 Swing Curve for a Fault Cleared in 0.1 Second

Through tabulated results it can be concluded that the system

is stable.

Using the equation,


The following methods can be used to improve transient

1. Increase of system voltage:

It is important to note that the steady-state stability

limit is always higher than the transient stability limit.
Systems having higher steady-state stability limits are
generally guaranteed for better transient stability.
However, though inertia of the machine plays a vital
role in transient stability, the converse is not true. By
improving steady-state power limit, it can be seen in
the p- curve that the rotor can swing in such a way that
it can attain higher accelerating and decelerating areas.
With this, transient stability can be improved. The
value of Pmax in the p-curve is directly proportional to

the internal voltage E of the machine. An increase in

voltage increases the stability limit.

2. Increase in inertia of the machines:

A heavy-weight machine has higher inertia and is more

stable than a light-weight machine. This can be verified
through the swing equation as:

If the machine has a higher inertia constant M, then

during the transient period the rotor cannot swing for
higher values. Generally a salient pole machine
swings for lower load angles and is preferred over
cylindrical rotor generators. The present practice of
generating higher power with larger number of small
machines is not recommended from the stability point
of view.
3. Quick-acting governors:

The instability of a system is mainly due to excess

kinetic energy stored in the rotating mass during
disturbance. The problem can be avoided if the prime
mover (turbine) output is quickly adjusted. This
requires quick valve opening and closing action of the
speed-governing system. This method is quite difficult
to be implemented with conventional mechanical
governors since they are too slow to respond on account
of their high time constants. Electronically operated
governors may be suggested for this purpose.
4. Quick-responding excitation systems:

Whenever a fault occurs in a system, reactive power

demand increases while there is a reduction in active
power generation. Reduction in active power is mainly
due to a rapid dip in terminal voltage as the generator

experiences demagnetization armature reaction. Fastfield excitation systems quickly respond to the situation
and improve the electric power output of generator,
reducing the acceleration of the rotor during the
disturbance period. Thus exciters help to improve the
stability of the system.

5. Reduction in transfer reactance:

As stated earlier, systems having better steady-state

stability margins are guaranteed for better transient
stability limits. By reducing transfer reactance, steadystate power limit can be improved. Reduction in
transfer reactance can be achieved by:
using bundled conductors
using conductors with larger diameter
using series capacitors.
2. Use of high-speed circuit breakers:

As seen in Section 9.1, if the circuit breaker clears the

fault before the critical clearing time, the system can
maintain transient stability.
3. Use of auto re-closing circuit breakers:

Most of the faults that occur in a system are temporary

in nature. Auto re-closing circuit breakers connect the
faulted lines back into service after the fault
has disappeared in the system. This improves the power
transfer capability, and thereby the stability of the
4. Single-pole switching circuit breakers:

A majority of faults occurring in a system are of the

single-line to ground type. If the circuit breaker is
equipped with single-pole switching facility, the faulted
single phase can be isolated and switched off. Power
generation cannot be zero in this case and hence the

stability improves. However, prolonged operation of

generator with less number of phases is not advisable.
Necessary precautions should be taken to counter this

5. Use of breaking resistors:

When a fault occurs in a generator, breaking resistors

are automatically inserted across the generator
terminals. The generator continues to generate power
treating these resistors as load. The imbalance between
mechanical input and power output is reduced, and
hence the system shall be able to maintain stability.
Questions from Previous Question Papers

1. List the assumptions made in the transient stability solution

2. What is the swing equation? Derive the expression for swing
3. Device and explain the concept of equal area criterion for stability
analysis of a power system.
4. What are the factors that affect transient stability?
5. What is equal area criterion? Explain how it can be used to study
6. Draw a diagram to illustrate the application of equal area
criterion to study transient stability when there is a sudden
increase in the input of generator.
7. Discuss the limitations of equal area criterion of method of
stability study.
8. Draw the diagrams to illustrate the application of equal area
criterion to study transient stability for the following cases:

a. A switching operation causing the switching out

of one of the circuits of a double circuit line
feeding an infinite bus.
b. A fault on one of the parallel circuits of a twocircuit line feeding an infinite bus. The fault is

very close to the sending end bus and is

subsequently cleared by the opening of the
faulted line.
2. What are the methods used to improve the transient stability
3. Discuss the methods to improve steady state and transient state
stability margins.
4. Discuss why?

the use of automatic enclosing circuit breakers improve

system stability.
5. A generator is delivering 1 p.u. power to infinite bus system
through a purely reactive network. A fault occurs on the system
and reduces the output is zero. The maximum power that could
be delivered is 2.5 p.u. When the fault is cleared, the original
network conditions exist again. Compute the critical clearing
6. (a) A generator operating at 50Hz delivers 1 p.u. power to an
infinite bus through a transmission circuit in which resistance is
ignored. A fault takes place reducing the maximum power
transferable to 0.5 p.u. whereas before the fault this power was
2.0 p.u., and after the clearance of the fault it is 1.5 p.u. By the
use of equal area criterion determine the critical clearing angle.

(b) Derive the formula used in the above problem.

7. Discuss how equal area criterion can be employed for

determining the critical clearing angle.
8. A generator operating at 50Hz delivers 1 p.u. power to an infinite
bus through a transmission circuit in which resistance is
neglected. A fault takes place reducing the maximum power
transferable to 0.3 p.u., whereas before the fault this power was
2.0. p.u. and after the clearance of the fault it is 1.5. p.u. By the
use of equal area criterion determine the critical clearing angle.
9. Exaplain the point-by-point method for solving the swing

Competitive Examination Questions

1. A generator is supplying 1 per unit power to an infinite bus

through the system shown in figure. Following a fault at F, circuit
breakers B3 and B4 open simultaneously. The P relationships
in per unit are given by

Pre-fault condition: p = 2 sin

During fault condition: When B3, B4 remain closed: p =
0.2 sin After B3, B4open: p = 1.5 sin
Calculate the critical angle before which
breakers B3 and B4 must open so that synchronism is
not lost. Also show this on a P diagram.
[GATE 1991 Q.No. 8]

2. The transient stability of the power system can be effectively

improved by

a. excitation control
b. phase shifting transformer
c. single pole switching of circuit breakers
d. increasing the turbine valve opening
[GATE 1993 Q.No. 3]

2. During a disturbance on a synchronous machine, the rotor

swings from A to B before finally settling down to a steady state
at point C on the power angle curve. The speed of the machine
during oscillation is synchronous at point(s)


A and B
b. A and C
c. B and C
d. only at C
[GATE 1995 Q.No. 1]

2. A generator is delivering rated power of 1.0 per unit to an infinite

bus through a lossless network. A three-phase fault under this
condition reduces Pmax to 0 per unit. The value of Pmax before fault
is 2.0 per unit and 1.5 per unit after fault clearing. If the fault is
cleared in 0.05 seconds, calculate rotor angles at intervals of 0.05
seconds from t = 0 seconds to 0.1 seconds. Assume H = 7.5
HJ/MVA and frequency to be Hz.

[GATE 1996 Q.No. 13]

3. A 100 MVA,11 kV, 3-phase, 50 Hz, 8-pole synchronous generator
has an inertia constant H equal to 4 seconds. The stored energy
in the rotor of the generator at synchronous speed will be H
= E/G.


100 MJ
b. 400 MJ
c. 800 MJ
d. 12.5 MJ
[GATE 1997 Q.No. 4]

2. The use of high-speed circuit-breakers


Reduce the short circuit current

b. Improve system stability
c. Decrease system stability
d. Increase the short circuit current
[GATE 1997 Q.No. 5]

2. A power station consists of two synchronous generators A and B

of ratings 250 MVA and 500 MVA with inertia 1.6 p.u. and 1 p.u.,
respectively on their own base MVA ratings. The equivalent p.u.
inertia constant for the system on 100 MVA common base is:

a. 2.6
b. 0.615
c. 1.625
d. 9.0
[GATE 1998 Q.No. 7]
2. An alternator is connected to an infinite bus as shown in figure. It
delivers 1.0 p.u. current at 0.8 pf lagging at V = 1.0 p.u. The
reactance Xd of the alternator is 1.2 p.u. Determine the active
power output and the steady state power limit. Keeping the active
power fixed, if the excitation is reduced, find the critical
excitation corresponding to operation at stability limit.

[GATE 1998 Q.No. 12]

3. A synchronous generator, having a reactance of 0.15 p.u., is

connected to an infinite bus through two identical parallel
transmission lines having reactance of 0.3 p.u. each. In steady
state, the generator is delivering 1 p.u. power to the infinite bus.
For a three-phase fault at the receiving end of one line, calculate
the rotor angle at the end of first time step of 0.05 seconds.
Assume the voltage behind transient reactance for the generator
as 1.1 p.u. and infinite bus voltage as 1.0 p.u. Also indicate how
the accelerating powers will be evaluated for the next time step if
the breaker clears the fault

a. at the end of an interval

b. at the middle of an interval
[GATE 2000 Q.No. 14]
2. A synchronous generator is connected to an infinite bus through
a lossless double circuit transmission line. The generator is
delivering 1.0 per unit power at a load angle of 30 when a
sudden fault reduces the peak power that can be transmitted to
0.5 per unit. After clearance of fault, the peak power that can be
transmitted becomes 1.5 per unit. Find the critical clearing angle.

[GATE 2001 Q.No. 13]

3. A synchronous generator is to be connected to an infinite bus
through a transmission line of reactance X=0.2 pu, as shown in
figure. The generator data is as follows:

x = 0.1p.u, E = 1.0p.u, H = 5MJ/MVA, mechanical

power Pm = 0.0p.u, B = 2 50 rad/sec. All quantities
are expressed on a common base.
[GATE 2002 Q.No. 10]

The generator is initially running on open circuit with

the frequency of the open circuit voltage slightly higher
than that of the infinite bus. If at the instant of switch
closure = 0 and = d/dt = init, compute the
maximum value of initso that the generator pulls into
Hint: Use the equation

4. A generator delivers power of 1.0 p.u. to an infinite bus through a

purely reactive network. The maximum power that could be
delivered by the generator is 2.0 p.u. A three-phase fault occurs
at the terminals of the generator which reduces the generator
output to zero. The fault is cleared after tc second. The original
network is then restored. The maximum swing of the rotor angle
is found to bemax = 110 electrical degree. Then the rotor angle in
electrical degrees at t = tc is

a. 55
b. 70
c. 69.14
d. 72.4
[GATE 2003 Q.No. 15]
2. A 50 Hz, 4-pole, 500 MVA, 22 kV turbo-generator is delivering
rated megavolt amperes at 0.8 power factor. Suddenly a fault
occurs reducing is electric power output by 40%. Neglect losses
and assume constant power input to the shaft. The accelerating
torque in the generator in MNm at the time of the fault will be

a. 1.528
b. 1.018
c. 0.848
d. 0.509
[GATE 2004 Q.No. 14]
2. A generator feeds power to an infinite bus through a double
circuit transmission line. A 3-phase fault occurs at the middle
point of one of the lines. The infinite bus voltage is 1 pu, the
transient internal voltage of the generator is 1.1 pu and the
equivalent transfer admittance during fault is 0.8 pu. The 100
MVA generator has an inertia constant of 5 MJ/MVA and it was
delivering 1.0 pu power prior to the fault with rotor power angle
of 30. The system frequency is 50 Hz.

(A) The initial accelerating power (in p.u) will be

a. 1.0
b. 0.6
c. 0.56
d. 0.4
[GATE 2006 Q.No. 13]
2. If the initial accelerating power is X p.u, the initial acceleration in
elect deg/sec , and the inertia constant in MJ-sec/elect deg
respectively will be

a. 31.4X, 18
b. 1800X, 0.056
c. X/1800, 0.056
d. X/31.4, 18

[GATE 2006 Q.No. 14]

2. A lossless single machine infinite bus power system is shown

The synchronous generator transfers 1.0 per unit of

power to the infinite bus. Critical clearing time of circuit
breaker is 0.28 s. If another identical synchronous
generator is connected in parallel to the existing
generator and each generator is scheduled to supply 0.5
per unit of power. Then the critical clearing time of the
circuit breaker will
a. reduce to 0.14 s
b. reduce but will be more than 0.14 s
c. remain constant at 0.28 s
d. increase beyond 0.28 s
[GATE 2008 Q.No. 53]