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I. Rendroyoko R.E. Morrison Peter K.C. Wong*

Department of Electrical & Computer Science

Monash University, PO BOX 35, CLAYTON, VICTORIA 3800
Phone: 61-03-99053465, Fax: 61-03-99053454

* United Energy Ltd., PO BOX 1185, Moorabbin, VIC 3189


Over the last ten years, many studies have been performed on voltage dip characteristics in
industrial, commercial and residential systems. The characteristic of each voltage dip is unique and
particular to each electrical system. This paper presents a study of load behaviour during voltage
dips on a low voltage distribution system, consisting of light commercial and residential customers.
The recorded voltage dip measurements were used to analyze the system voltage dip characteristic.
The Power System Blockset (PSB) from MATLAB was used in modeling the distribution system
components and simulating the voltage dips caused by faults. The influence of loads on voltage dips
during faults, especially during the winter and summer season, is presented. It is concluded that the
load may influence the voltage dip characterization and that load effects must be accounted for to
achieve high modeling accuracy.

1. INTRODUCTION This paper will discuss load behaviour on a system

during and after a voltage dip. For the purpose of this
Voltage dips have become a major concern in power paper, one sub-system in south-eastern Victoria was
quality in the past decade. The cost of economical selected. This sub-system has significant differences
loses and inconveniences caused by voltage dips have in load characteristics between the summer and winter
triggered some studies and research activities. Many season. In the summer season, there is an increase of
experts have tried to characterise voltage dips [1,2,3]. energy consumption, which is mostly due to the
The existing standard on voltage dip characterises the operation of air conditioners. Therefore, part of the
voltage dips in terms of magnitude and duration. The load consists of electrical rotating machines.
characterisation of the standard is based on the
assumption that faults will cause rectangular voltage 2. SYSTEM COMPONENTS
dips. It is also assumed that the voltage drops to a
certain low value immediately and when the fault is The distribution system under study is presented in
cleared, the voltage recovers back to normal fig. 1. A main 66kV bus bar supplies the 22kV
immediately. distribution system trough 2 66/22kV 30-MVA
transformers and the sub-system is supplied at 415 V
The assumption of rectangular voltage dips, however, from a 22/0.415kV 400-kVA transformer.
is not correct in a realistic system, which largely
consists of rotating machines or motors. When a fault The transmission and distribution systems supply
occurs, all the rotating machines in the system slow electric power to a south-east area of Melbourne in the
down and after the fault is cleared, the motors will geographical distribution area of United Energy Ltd.
accelerate to the normal condition. During (UE). The sub-system supplies mostly commercial
acceleration, motor will draw high current from the customers, and a few residential and light industrial
system and thus prolong the voltage dip. customers.
subsystem could be due to air conditioners. In
summer, the sub-system will have more rotating
Subsystem Max Load
450 KVA1
400 KVA2







1 : Winter 01 load
2 : Summer 00 load
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Figure 1
One-line diagram of the sub-system under study Figure 2
Summer and Winter Max Load Variation
The circuit parameters of the distribution system
under study are shown on table 1.
Circuit Voltage PostvSeq-%on100MVA ZeroSeq-%on100MVA
Faults in the distribution system might cause voltage
From To No kV Type R1 X1 B1 R0 X0 B0
dips. The location of fault, type of fault, fault clearing
time and the electrical system configuration will also
Source NW66kV 66 Generator/Source 2.05% 6.99% 2.11% 17.95%
affect the voltage dip [3].
NW66kV NW22kV 1 66/22 Trfr - 20/30MVA 1.98% 51.36% 7.92% 20.54%
NW66kV NW22kV 2 66/22 Trfr - 20/30MVA 1.93% 50.96% 7.72% 20.38% A Voltage dip is normally characterised by a
NW22kV WHORSE-SVLE 1 22 O/H- 19/3.25AAC 0.19 0.33 1.75 0.34 1.59 0.67 magnitude and duration, however, another researcher
22kV/433V 400kVA 1 22/0.433 Trfr - 400KVA 4.00% 4.00% also mentioned phase angle jump and post fault dip as
CapBanks NW22kV 1 22 4.7Mvar a further important characteristics [4]. A voltage dip
CapBanks NW22kV 2 22 6.0Mvar
occurring in a system that has resistive loads, will
have rectangular shaped dips. When the fault occurs,
the voltage directly reduces to a particular value, and
Table 1
when the fault is cleared, the voltage recovers back to
Sub-system's Circuit Parameters
its original level immediately [1].
For monitoring and measurement purposes, UE has
This does not happen when parts of the load consist of
installed power quality monitoring equipment at the
rotating machines such as induction motors or air
22kV bus and 415V bus. Thus, every fault occurring
conditioner motors.
in the system will be recorded.
One of the results of the voltage dip recording is
3. SUMMER AND WINTER LOADS shown in figure 3. Figure 3 shows 415V bus voltage
due to a fault of 200ms on a 22kV distribution system.
The subsystem under study has a specific The fault which has occurred on the 22kV system is a
characteristic in load trend. To some extent, the single phase to ground fault. However, it is seen in the
amount of load is different between summer and low voltage side as a two phase to ground fault
winter seasons. Usually, in summer, the system has because of transformer vector connection (delta/star).
more loads than in winter. The load variation between The voltage dip was recorded at 20:51:34, on 10
summer and winter is shown in fig. 2. December 2000.
Since, the subsystem consists of residential, When the fault occurred, the bus voltage dip did not
commercial and light industrial customers, the follow step change but instead decreased to a certain
difference of load between summer and winter in this point and then decaying to a lower rapidly voltage
levels during the short circuit period. After the fault is 5.1 Balanced Fault
cleared, the voltage did not directly recover to its level
before fault. The voltage need a longer time to recover During a 3Ph-G fault in the 22kV system, the 415V
back and this could be caused by air conditioning bus bar voltage also drops in magnitude. Some of the
motor loads. simulation results are shown below:
Voltage Dips Voltage Dips
270 500
400 V3



Voltage (V)
Voltage (V)




220 −300

1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2
210 time (s)
0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4 0.45 0.5
time (s)

Figure 4
Figure 3 Voltage dip for a 3Ph-G fault
Voltage dips in the subsystem
Load Current during Voltage Dips

In order to evaluate and analyse the rotating machine's
influence to the sub-system, a simulation model of the 200
Current (A)

sub-system has been developed. The simulation uses

the power system blockset tools within the MATLAB
package. For simulation purposes, a SLGF and −200

a 3Ph-G fault are simulated at both 22kV and 415V.


In the model, the subsystem mimics the real

subsystem shown in figure 1. There are six feeders
supplying electricity to consumers consisting of −800
1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2
resistive loads and rotating motor load models. The air time (s)

conditioning motor load is 27% of the load in the

subsystem. The typical air conditioning motor Figure 5
parameters used in the simulation are given below: Load current during 3Ph-G fault

Figure 4 and 5 show the 415V-bus voltage and load

Phase 1 Ph Motor 3Ph Motor current during a 3Ph-G fault in the 22kV system.
At the 3Ph-G fault, the bus voltage will be suppressed
Rated Capacity 1 Hp 8 HP
until the fault is cleared. The characteristics of the air-
Power Supply 240 V 415 V
50 Hz 50 Hz
conditioning motor load affects the voltage drop and
Rs (stator resistance) 1 0.2 voltage recovery. The subsystem voltage may swing
Xs (stator reactance) 4.14 1.8 for a few cycles before returning to normal. These
Rr (rotor resistance) 0.9 0.4 swings lengthen the duration of the recovery
Xr (rotor reactance) 4.14 1.8 process [3].
Xm (magnetizing reactance) 69.11 38.2
J (rotor inertia) 0.146 1 5.2 Unbalanced Fault

Table 2 Most of the faults on a medium voltage system are

Air conditioning motor parameters single-phase to ground faults [5]. Single-phase faults
often result from lightning, wind, tree-branch contact The results of this process are shown in figure 8 and 9
or insulator failure. The behaviour of the sub-system below.
under study during an unbalanced fault is more
complicated than during a three-phase to ground 400
Voltage Dips

balanced fault.

Voltage Dips
V1 300
400 V3

Voltage (V)

Voltage (V)


−100 V0

−200 0
1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2
time (s)

Figure 8
1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2
time (s) Positive, negative and zero sequence voltage for the
single phase to ground fault shown in fig. 6
Figure 6
Voltage dip for a 1Ph-G fault I1
Load Current during Voltage Dips
I1 600
400 I3

Current (A)


Current (A)



−100 100

−200 0
1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4
time (s)

−400 Figure 9
1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2
time (s) Positive, negative and zero sequence current for the
single phase to ground fault shown in fig. 7
Figure 7
Load Current during 1Ph-G fault After fault initiation, the positive-sequence voltage
decreases while the negative-sequence voltage
The busbar voltage during a single phase to ground increases. In fig. 9, the positive-sequence current
fault at 22kV line is shown in fig. 6. The 22/0.415kV drops after fault initiation and suddenly jumps to
transformer connection makes the voltage dip seen as almost three times than normal load current before its
a 2Ph-G fault at the 415V busbar voltage. slowly decays to a steady level during the fault.

Single phase to ground faults give less severe This phenomenon is caused by the air conditioning
problems to motor loads than 3Ph-G faults. However, motor characteristics. When the fault occurs, the
voltage recovery after the fault is still affected. motors slow down causing a decrease in positive-
sequence impedance. This decrease in positive-
Using symmetrical components, the characteristics of sequence impedance is the cause of the increase in
the voltage waveform can be clearly seen by dividing positive-sequence current and the decrease in positive-
them into positive, negative and zero sequence voltage
sequence voltage. The effect is probably due to speed 1973 to 1983 and at Staffordshire University from
reduction of the motor. 1983 to 1997. He joined Monash University, Australia
in 1997 as director of The Centre for Electrical Power
6. CONCLUSIONS Engineering.
Peter KC Wong received his BSc in Electrical
It has been reported that voltage dips which occur on a Engineering from the University of Hong Kong in
system with no rotating machines result in a 1983. He is currently the Protection & Planning
rectangular profile dip. The voltage directly drops to a Manager, United Energy, where he is responsible for
particular level during fault. After the fault is cleared, protection strategy and long-term system planning of
the voltage returns to the level present before the fault the electricity and natural gas distribution networks.
occurred. He is a member of IEE and IEAust.

A different phenomenon can be found in a system

with rotating machine loads. When a fault occurs, the
voltage does not directly drop to its minimum level
but it decays until reaching a steady condition before
the fault is cleared. At that time, the voltage does not
directly return, but recovers slowly until reaching its
original level.

From these two results, it can be concluded that load

influences the voltage dip characteristization.

1. Math H.J Bollen, "Understanding Power Quality
Problems: Voltage Sags and Interruptions", IEEE
Press, New York, 2000.
2. Math H.J Bollen, The Influence of Motor
Reacceleration on Voltage sags, IEEE Trans. on
Ind. Applicat., Vol. 31, No. 4, July/August 1995.
3. J.C Das, The effects of momentary voltage dips
on the operation of induction and synchronous
motors, IEEE Trans. Ind. Applicat., vol.26,
pp.711-718, 1990.
4. Lidong Zhang; Math H.J. Bollen, Characteristic
of Voltage Dips (Sags) in Power Systems, 8th
International Conference on Harmonics and
Quality of Power ICHQP’98, 1998, pp. 555-560.
5. McGranaghan, Mark F., Mueller, David R.,
Samotyj Marek J., Voltage Sags in Industrial
Systems, IEEE Trans. on Ind. Applicat., Vol. 29,
No. 2, March/April 1993
6. Shaffer, John W., Air Conditioner Response to
Transmission Faults, IEEE Transactions on Power
Systems, Vol.12, No.2, May 1997

Ignatius Rendroyoko, a student member of IEEE,

was born in Indonesia in 1970. He graduated from the
Institute Technology of Bandung, Indonesia in 1994
and served as an electrical engineer in PLN since
1995. He is currently working towards a M.Eng.Sc.
degree at Monash University, Australia.
Professor RE Morrison was born in Stoke on Trent,
United Kingdom in 1951. He received his BSc degree
and PhD degree from University of Staffordshire
University, UK in 1973 and 1981 respectively.
Professor Morrison worked for ALSTOM (UK) from