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IEEE Transactions on Electrical Insulation Vol.. EI-21 No..




December 1986


K. Hayashi, T. Yamauchi, T. Marutani, and K. Sasamori

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation


The historical progress of gas-insulated equipment in Japan
is reviewed and the trend of technologies is discussed in the
present paper.
Since gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) and gas
circuit breaker (GCB) have been widely applied to substation
equipment, advanced technologies for high realiability and
compactness of GIS are still required.
Recent progress of
analytical technologies, using digital computers, can meet
their requirements. Technologies of gas insulation have contributed to the application of the equipment for the power
transmission system and been attempted to advance GIS, such
as ultra high voltage (UHV) GIS and HVDC GIS, with electronic
diagnostic technologies.

GIS has been widely used in the past two decades and
has contributed to the modernizations of substations
in Japan. Major items of importance to Japanese utilities for substation equipment are high reliability, advanced technology, and compactness.

Progress in GIS technologies is still being made to

fulfill the above requirements, even though the reliability of existing GIS is high enough to satisfy the
utilities, as indicated in a CIGRE-Report [1]. From
the historical point of view on GIS, 66/77 kV GIS was
at first put into service in an introductory stage in
Application of higher voltage GIS has been
rapidly. The first 550 kV full GIS has been
only 7 years after the introduction of GIS.
about 40% of all the newly built substations
replacement of existing substations are GIS.

and the

This paper describes recent progress in the application of GIS in Japan. New technologies in GIS using
digital computers, and future application of GIS are
also discussed.



historical point of view, progress of GIS in

Japan is evidently the extended application of GIS.
Construction of GIS has been improved in the past two
decades, see Fig. 1. This Figure shows the user's preference in the construction of GIS, stressing the compactness of equipment. In the introductory state, construction of GIS was mainly the single-phase enclosed

Rated voltoge (kV)

Fig. 1: Progress in compactness on GIS

type, a 500 kV full-GIS was installed in 1976 as shown
in Fig. 2. After providing the high reliability through
the experience in the field, three-phase enclosure type
GIS (three-in-one enclosure) has been widely applied up
to 300 kV, since the three-phase enclosure type GIS has
significantly reduced the volume, while maintaining high
reliability, see Fgi. 3.

Space reduction has also resulted from the development

of component equipment, such as the reduction of the
number of breaks in a circuit breaker. Because of the
extremely high arc-quenching capability of SF6 gas, an
interrupting unit can be upgraded to higher and higher
voltages, see Fig. 4.


@ 1986 IEEE

IEEE Transactions on Electrical Insulation Vol. EI-21 No.6, December 1986



SF6 gas transformer and gas insulated

transmission lines were already applied in the field
[2,3]. Gas insulated reactor, gas insulated power
capacitors and gas insulated grounding resistors also
have been developed.

Japanese utilities require GIS to have rated specifications. Distinct design considerations in the application of GIS in Japan are in the following areas.

The fault rate of the substations constructed by GIS

is about one tenth compared to that of conventional
substations in Japan. This high reliability is considered to be attained by the practices and tests which
are not specified in any standards such as IEC.



500 kV ful2-GIS


of Materials

Materials for insulators, gaskets and paintings inside the enclosure should not be influenced by arc-

decomposed SF6.

es S x g

Estimation of

anticipated Life



All of the insulators to be used in a GIS have been

by a long-term accelerated voltage endurance
test. In special cases, mechanical and/or high temperature stress have been added to the endurance test.

One-year Field Test of Prototype GIS Prior to a

~~~~~Commercial operation

To assess the practical operating performance of GIS,

prototype GIS were tested at every voltage rating for
one year in the field. Obtained data were used
to design the final


72/204 kV three


phase enclosure type



their mechanical endurance.

Unn voltage

s; 200-

\ r'










5s0 S





Progress of interrupting


Newly designed switchgears with operating mechanism

subjected to consecutive 10000 operations to prove

Dust Protection at Factory




Specification of 10000 Operations for
Developed Switchgear



To prove the high reliability of the developed GIS,

field tests on prototype models were performed for at
least one year prior to the commercial application on
each type of GIS.

After proving the high reliability of GIS in many

years of field experiences, SF6 gas-insulating technology has been applied to substation equipment other than


The cleanliness of an assembling factory has been

controlled to eliminate metal particles which may decrease the insulating strength of gas insulated equipet

Restriction of the Assembling Conditions at Site

and dust levels are specified for all the in[Weather
ternal assembling works on site. The latter has a
specified value measured by a dust counter.
Quality Control Procedure from Design to Commissioning

Rule agreed between users and manufacturers assures

the quality of every procedure in the produetion and
the insulation of GIS [4].
Since GIS has been designed for outdoor use in Japan,
from an economical point of view, GIS is not required
in the building of the substation. Weather condition
(rapid temperature change, solar radiation, typhoon,

Hayashi et al.: Gas-insulated switchgear and interrupter

snowfall, ice, etc.) and salt pollution at coastal

areas have been taken into consideration in the design
and material selection.

According to the large power to be handled in one

station and the need to meet the requirement of power
distributing complexity, the rated current of switchgear in Japan has increased to an extremely high level.
For instance, 12 kA are required as a nominal current
for 500 kV, 8 kA for 300 kV and 4 kA for 66 to 77 kV
Although the economy of GIS depends very much on current rating, adequate design which includes the newly
developed insulating material for high temperature [4]
and precise analysis of heat distribution and loss
could minimize GIS equipment size. These design considerations are believed to be the origin of the high
reliability of GIS in Japan.

Compactness on GIS is still an important factor as
shown in Fig. 1. Recent movement in this direction is
represented by the development of 300 kV three-phase
enclosure type GIS, and combined GIS up to 120 kV GIS.

Three-phase enclosure type GIS can be realized by the

increase in the voltage of an interrupting circuit
breaker. The numbers of breaks are reduced from two to
one for 300 kV gas circuit breaker.
Compactness of three-phase enclosure type GIS compared with a single enclosed type are shown in Fig. 5.
The compactness has particular advantage for EHV substations installed in underground urban area.


breaker was constructed with four breaks in the beginning. Analysis and simulation of arc-quenching in SF6
gas have been extended to dynamic conditions [5], and
adequate insulating configuration of the interrupting
chamber has been obtained by computer-aided design with
electrical field analysis.
These technologies contribute to get high interrupting capacity e.g. 300 kV, 50 kA at present as shown in
Fig. 4. As a result, 500 kV GIS can be constructed by
2 breaks. Interrupting capacity higher than 300 kV,
50 kA are still in progress and a 362/420 kV gas circuit breaker of one break will be introduced in the
near future.


Based on the high reliability and superior benefit of
GIS, many HV components in the electric power system
have been studied to use SF6 gas as an insulating

Gas insulated transmission line (GITL) which was already used in service, could be applied economically
for short transmission lines instead of power cables.
GITL has a large current capacity compared with oil
power cable, and application of GITL will increase further because of the growth in current rating. An SF6
gas transformer was developed to meet the non-flammable
requirement of urban substations and has been working
in service since 1982.
Forced gas cooling temperatures cover up to 40 MVA.
For higher rating, gas-vapor cooled type gas transformers are applied. A 275 kV, 300 MVA SF6 gas-insulated transformer has been developed and successfully


long-term energization


SF6 gas insulating substation equipment such as reactors, power capacitors and neutral (grounding) resistors are also developed recently.

SF6 gas insulation is quite promising for totally oilfree gas insulated substations [6] and to meet the environmental restrictions of urban underground substations.


Thanks to the recent progress of computer science and
information technology, computer-aided design has become an essential factor for high reliability and the
economy of GIS. The following are some typical examples
of the analytical technologies introduced in computeraided designs.

Fig. 5:

Comparison of 300 kV GIS construction.

Combined type GIS of 72/84 kV and 120 kV would be an

approach to an all-in-one substation. In comparison
to the 40 enclosures needed in a single enclosed type
GIS, only 5 are needed in a combined GIS. Besides the
compactness of the combined GIS, the reliability is increased due to the reduced number of seals.



Maximum voltage of one interrupting unit was 168 kV

40 kA, when the first SF6 gas circuit breaker was introduced in the mid-sixties. A 500 kV gas circuit

(1) Electrical field analysis for insulation design.

(2) Simulation of high current interruption estimating
the interruption capability of a circuit breaker.
(3) Surge calculation for insulation coordination within GIS.
(4) Dynamic vibration analysis for seismic design.
(5) Calculation of thermal loss and the thermal performance estimating the temperature rise in various
parts of GIS.
(6) Calculation of electromagnetic forces for mechanical design.

Three-dimensional Analysis of Electrical Field

Because of the complexity of shapes in modern GIS,
particularly that of a combined GIS, a program for

IEEE Transactions on Electrical Insulation Vol. EI-21 No.6, December 1986



three-dimensional analysis of electrical fields has

been developed recently.


r_ ft-


Fig. 6 shows an example of the finite element structure produced by computer for calculating the electrical field around an insulator in GITL. Electric field
strength calculated by the analysis on this structure
was about 20% lower than the value obtained by postulating the axial symmetry at point A as shown in Fig.
6. By using the three-dimensional electric field
strength analysis, a precise insulating designing can
be obtained economically.



C- 1

.P i,d'




.-541 -b.
-102 -4
-15X _

Ti-, (.)

Fig. 7:

(1) Arc model. (2) Examprle of simulation

result for 0.9x50 kV interrupting.

Advanced GIS

Fig. 6:

The finite element structure.

Simulation of Current Interruption

the development of a HV circuit breaker, an accuof the arc interruption phenomenon is required. Advanced simulating technologies for the arc
phenomena have been developed to evaluate if the arc
interruption is successful or not. Namely, the analysis
can estimate the interruption capability of a given interrupter, relating the behavior of SF6 gas in an arc
chamber to the performance of the operating mechanism
and the duty in the current interruption.

rate analysis

The successful experience in GIS technology in the

past two decades is extended to the development of reliable equipment of future systems such as UHV-GIS and
DC-GIS. An ultar high voltage (UHV) transmission project was started in 1978 in Japan for long-distance
transmission of large electric power. The project concluded to apply GIS for a 1200 kV UHV substation having
reduced space, high reliability, and economy.
A reduced insulation level is specified for the UHVGIS postulating the future advancement of ZnO technology. Development of UHV-GIS are in progress. A prototype has been subjected to a long-term encurance test
as shown in Fig. 8.

Fig. 7 shows an example of the simulation for 0.9xI

SLF interruption. The result of this simulation is in
good agreement with the experimental results. By the
help of this simulation, a new interrupter of 300 kV,
one break, and 550 kV, two breaks, have been developed.
Surge Analysis
Surge voltage distribution in a GIS caused by a lightning stroke is estimated by surge calculation program
using Electro Magnetic Transient Program (EMTP). In
order to find out an economical configuration of a GIS
from insulation coordination point of view, the surge
calculation is applied to locate surge arresters in adequate positions in the GIS.
The analysis is a powerful tool particularly with the
application of dead tank zinc oxide surge arresters to
reduce lightning impulse withstand level (LIWL) and make
the substation economical and compact. The surge analysis is also applicable to the study of fast transient
overvoltages due to the switching of the disconnecting



GIS technology is still under further development for
its extended application in future systems.

Fig. 8:

UHV-GIS prototype.

Thanks to the recent advance in ZnO arresters together

with the precise analysis of insulation coordination by
using digital computers, the reduction of insulating
level has been discussed in the joint committee of utility companies and the manufacturers. The outcome of the
committee work is promisingly showing the possibility
to reduce LIWL by adequate placement of surge arresters
in the substation.

Hayashi et al.: Gas-insulated switchgear and interrupter

Application of SF6 gas insulation to dc transmission
equipment has been studied to obtain reliable, compact
and economical equipment for HVDC convertor station.
The fundamental study of dc gas insulation and development of HVDC-GIS at voltage levels up to +500 kV have
been carried out. It was found that the charge accumulation on solid insulators and the influence of
metallic particles in the condition of dc electric
field and magnetic field by load current are the important factors in the HVDC gas insulation.
A prototype of +500 kV HVDC-GIS was built and subjected to a long-term endurance test. Practical feasibility of the HVDC-GIS has been verified in the

test [7].

Application of Electronics Technology

Though GIS has proved its very low failure rate,
once an internal fault is produced in GIS, repair time
of GIS would take longer than that of conventional
open-air equipment. The location of the failure is
essential for quick recovery of the system.
The diagnostic system for monitoring GIS is inevitable to upgrade its reliability. The sensing devices
and data processing systems to detect any anomalies in
the GIS are investigated and a prototype on-line diagnostic system with sensors has been installed recently.
Sensors which include piezo-electric acceleration sensors for detecting partial discharges, electronic
monitoring devices for checking the operation time of
switchgear, and optical acceleration sensors for fault
location, have been developed.

The output of the sensors are processed primarily by

individual microprocessors and the processed data are
sent to the display and the printer at the central control desk periodically, or at any time on request. The
system has proved to be feasible technically and economically in advanced digitally controlled GIS with
optical data transmission system.

GIS has been applied widely in Japan and contributed
to improve the high reliability of switchgears. Extended application of gas insulating technology and
advanced technologies in GIS have been developing further for future systems.



[1] T.

Kawamura et al., "Operating Experience of Gas

Insulated Switchgear (GIS) and Its Influence on
the Further Substation Design", CIGRE 23-04,


K. Tokoro et al., "Development of 77 kV 40 MVA

Gas Vapor Cooled Transformer", IEEE 83WM 83WM
193-1, 1982.


Y. Watanabe et al., "Construction of First Gas

Insulated Transmission Line in Japan", IEEE 81
WM 118-9.

[4] M. Tsuchihashi et al., "Mechanical Properties of

Particulate-Filled Epoxy Resins for Gas Insulated

Substations", IEEE Electrical Insulation, 1981.


H. Kuwahara et al., "Investigation of Dielectric

Recovery Characteristics of Hot SF6 Gas After
Current Interruption for Developing New 300 kV
and 550 kV Gas Circuit Breaker", IEEE 83SM 502-2.


T. Kawamura et al., "Extention and Renewal of an

Existing Substation by Applying Gas Insulated
Switchgear (GIS)", CIGRE 23-06, 1984.


T. Nitta et al., "Development of SF6 Gas

Insulation for + 500 kV HVDC Switchgears", IEEE
Electrical Insulation XIAN, pp. 340-345, 1985.

Manuscript was received on 16 June 1986, in revised

form 12 August 1986.