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Maharashtra state
electricity transmission
co. ltd (MSETCL)
By- Group C
Girish Madavi
Krunal Tote
Shubham Urkude
Tejaswini Ramteke
Pankaj Pipare
Pravin Dube
Murli Ghode
Sonali Waghmare
Sunil Bhakre
Project Report(msetcl) 2017

Table of Contents

Serial No. Content Page No.

1. Overview 2

2. Circuit Breaker 5

3. Relays 10

4. Current Transformer 14

5. Potential Transformer 16

6. Earth Switches 20

7. Electric Isolator 22

8. Lightning Arrester 24

Project Report(msetcl) 2017

Mahapareshan or Mahatransco (Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Co.Ltd.
(MSETCL) formerly known as MSEB (Maharashtra State Electricity Board) is the major
power generating company in the state of Maharashtra, Western India. Maharashtra
State Electricity Transmission Company limited, a wholly owned corporate entity under
the Maharashtra Government, was incorporated under the Companies Act, in June,
2005 after restructuring the erstwhile Maharashtra State Electricity Board to transmit
electricity from its point of Generation to its point of Distribution.


It owns and operates most of Maharashtras Electric Power Transmission System.

MSETCL operates a transmission network of 43059 Circuit KM of transmission lines and
619 EHV Substations with 107369 MVA transformation capacity. This infrastructure
constitutes most of the inter regional as well as intra-regional electric power
transmission system in the State. Today, MSETCL is the largest state transmission utility in
the country.

The company also has the distinction of being the only power utility in the state
sector to own HVDC lines. The Company operates a 1504 CKM long, 3582 MVA, 500 KV
bi-polar HVDC line from Chandrapur to Padghe. This has been marked as a major

Project Report(msetcl) 2017

success as electric power is generated in east Maharashtra, due to easy availability of

coal, whereas the bulk use of power is in the western part of Maharashtra in and
around cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Nashik. The power losses are very low in the
HVDC line. As a result, the power received at Padghe is practically the same as what
is injected at Chandrapur.

The load dispatch center is the nerve centre for the operation, monitoring and
control of the power system. The SLDC Kalwa near Mumbai is fully computerized and
has ultra-modern facilities. Mahatransco also has a Load Dispatch center at Ambazari
near Nagpur. To keep up with the increase in Power generation in the next 5 years,
Mahatransco also has planned to establish a robust transmission network. It is
implementing an ambitious expansion plan over the period 2011-12 to 2015-16, to
meet the evacuation and grid strengthening needs of the future. The adoption of
predictive maintenance practices has helped the company to reduce interruptions
and improve the networks availability to 99.73% (HVAC) & 99.30% (HVDC).

At MSETCL, thrust is given on innovation for value creation and cost

optimization. It has installed ABT metering at 530 Sub-stations for energy accounting
purposes and implementation of FBSM. The ERP system is fully integrated and being
put into use, where functions of key departments are on line. To set up a
comprehensive communication network by utilizing existing infrastructure, an Optic
Fiber communication system of about 2801 Km is being installed. It has also
experimented with unmanned remotely controlled substations at two locations and
GIS substations at Bhandup and Hinjewadi. To raise funds from the market for equity
capital/ capex schemes and to reduce its interest burden, MSETCL is readying itself for
the launch of an IPO. It has undertaken an ambitious task of establishment of a 765 KV
substation at Aurangabad. The State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) at Kalwa and
Ambazari are being renovated and modernized with 140 Nos. of SCADA RTU.

Besides continual technical up-gradation, the company lays emphasis on

imbibing required skills in its people and therefore it has invested in creating training
infrastructure. The Company has adopted the National Training Policy and has
established fully equipped Training Centers at 7 different locations which are attached
to respective Zonal offices. These centers impart training on Technical, Safety and Soft

Project Report(msetcl) 2017

skills which are guided and monitored by the HR/Training Department. It has recently
established a Technical Training Centre - the Power System Learning Centre - at
Aurangabad where employees are trained on various power system protection and
equipment testing. Recently the Company has bagged Special Commendation
National Award 2011 for Innovative Training Practices from the Indian Society for
Training and Development, New Delhi.

MSETCL are committed to do our best to achieve the national goal of power to all.

Project Report(msetcl) 2017

2. Circuit Breaker

Definition of Circuit Breaker?

Electrical circuit breaker is a switching device which can be operated manually and
automatically for controlling and protection of electrical power system respectively. As
modern power system deals with huge currents, the special attention should be given
during designing of circuit breaker for safe interruption of arc produced during
the operation of circuit breaker. This was the basic definition of circuit breaker.

Introduction to Circuit Breaker

The modern power system deals with huge power network and huge numbers of
associated electrical equipments. During short circuit fault or any other types of
electrical fault these
equipment as well as the power network suffer a high stress of fault current in them
which may damage the equipment and networks permanently.
For saving these equipment and the power networks the fault current should be
cleared from the system as quickly as possible. Again after the fault is cleared, the
system must come to its normal working condition as soon as possible for supplying
reliable quality power to the receiving ends. In addition to that for proper controlling of
power system, different switching operations are required to be performed.
So for timely disconnecting and reconnecting different parts of power system network
for protection and control, there must be some special type of switching devices which
can be operated safely under huge current carrying condition. During interruption of
huge current, there would be large arcing in between switching contacts, so care
should be taken to quench these arcs in circuit breaker in safe manner. The circuit
breaker is the special device which does all the required switching operations during
current carrying condition. This was the basic introduction to circuit breaker.

Working Principle of Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker mainly consists of fixed contacts and moving contacts. In normal
"ON" condition of circuit breaker, these two contacts are physically connected to each
other due to applied mechanical pressure on the moving contacts. There is an
arrangement stored potential energy in the operating mechanism of circuit breaker
which is released if switching signal is given to the breaker. The potential energy can be
stored in the circuit breaker by different ways like by deforming metal spring, by
compressed air, or by hydraulic pressure. But whatever the source of potential energy, it
must be released during operation. Release of potential energy makes sliding of the
moving contact at extremely fast manner. All circuit breaker have operating coils
(tripping coils and close coil), whenever these coils are energized by switching pulse,
and the plunger inside them displaced. This operating coil plunger is typically attached

Project Report(msetcl) 2017

to the operating mechanism of circuit breaker, as a result the mechanically stored

potential energy in the breaker mechanism is released in forms of kinetic energy, which
makes the moving contact to move as these moving contacts mechanically attached
through a gear lever arrangement with the operating mechanism. After a cycle of
operation of circuit breaker the total stored energy is released and hence the potential
energy again stored in the operating mechanism of circuit breaker by means of spring
charging motor or air compressor or by any other means. Till now we have discussed
about mechanical working principle of circuit breaker. But there are electrical
characteristics of a circuit breaker which also should be considered in this discussion of
operation of circuit breaker. Let's have a discussion on electrical principle of circuit
breaker. The circuit breaker has to carry large rated or fault power. Due to this large
power there is always dangerously high arcing between moving contacts and fixed
contact during operation of circuit breaker. Again as we discussed earlier the arc in
circuit breaker can be quenching safely if the dielectric strength between the current
carrying contacts of circuit breaker increases rapidly during every current zero crossing
of the alternating current. The dielectric strength of the media in between contacts can
be increased in numbers of ways, like by compressing the ionized arcing media since
compressing accelerates the deionization process of the media, by cooling the arcing
media since cooling increase the resistance of arcing path or by replacing the ionized
arcing media by fresh gasses. Hence a numbers of arc quenching processes should be
involved in operation of circuit breaker.

Types of Circuit Breaker

According different criteria there are different types of circuit breaker. According to
their arc quenching media the circuit breaker can be divided as-
According to their arc quenching media the circuit breaker can be divided as-

1. Oil circuit breaker.

1. Fig. 2.1 Oil circuit breaker

Project Report(msetcl) 2017

2. Air circuit breaker.

2. Fig. 2.2 Air Circuit Breaker

3. SF6 circuit breaker.

3. Fig. 2.3 SF6 circuit breaker

4. Vacuum circuit breaker.

Project Report(msetcl) 2017

4. Fig. 2.4 Vacuum circuit breaker

According to their services the circuit breaker can be divided as-

1. Outdoor circuit breaker
2. Indoor breaker.

According to the operating mechanism of circuit breaker they can be divided as-
1. Spring operated circuit breaker.
2. Pneumatic circuit breaker.
3. Hydraulic circuit breaker.

According to the voltage level of installation types of circuit breaker are referred
1. High voltage circuit breaker.
2. Medium voltage circuit breaker.
3. Low voltage circuit breaker.

Project Report(msetcl) 2017

Working Principle of Air Circuit Breaker

The working principle of this breaker is rather different from those in any other types of
circuit breakers. The main aim of all kind of circuit breaker is to prevent the
reestablishment of arcing after current zero by creating a situation where in the contact
gap will withstand the system recovery voltage. The air circuit breaker does the same
but in different manner. For interrupting arc it creates an arc voltage in excess of the
supply voltage. Arc voltage is defined as the minimum voltage required maintaining
the arc. This circuit breaker increases the arc voltage by mainly three different ways,
1. It may increase the arc voltage by cooling the arc plasma. As the temperature of arc
plasma is decreased, the mobility of the particle in arc plasma is reduced; hence more
voltage gradient is required to maintain the arc.
2. It may increase the arc voltage by lengthening the arc path. As the length of arc
path is increased, the resistance of the path is increased, and hence to maintain the
same arc current more voltage is required to be applied across the arc path. That
means arc voltage is increased.
3. Splitting up the arc into a number of series arcs also increases the arc voltage.
Air Blast Circuit Breaker

These types of air circuit breaker were used for the system voltage of 245 KV, 420 KV
and even more, especially where faster breaker operation was required.

Project Report(msetcl) 2017

3. Relays

Relay is sensing device. Relay are electrical switch. It open and closed the circuit under
normal and abnormal condition.
A relay is defined as an electrically controlled device that opens and closes electrical
contacts, or activates and deactivates operation of other devices in the same or
another electrical circuit. Two types of relay technology are available, mechanical and
solid state. A mechanical relay is essentially a combination of an inductor and a switch,
where the electromagnetic force of the inductor causes a switch to change position. A
solid state relay accomplishes the same function with semiconductor devices changing
impedance to effectively activate or deactivate a circuit open or closed.

Parts of Relay
1) Armature
2) Contact
3) Spring
4) Coil
5) Yoke
Propose of Relay
1. To isolate controlling circuit from controlling circuit.
2. Control high voltage system with low voltage.
3. Control high current system with low current.
4. Logic function.

C is common terminal
NC is Normally closed
NO normally open

NO contact connect the circuit when relay is activated; the circuit is disconnected
when the relay is inactive.

NC contact disconnect the circuit when the relay is activated ; the circuit is connected
when the relay is inactive.

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Types Of Relay
1) Electromagnetic relay

5. Fig. 3.1 Electromagnetic Relay

2) Solid State relay

Fig. 3.2 Solid State relay

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3) Microprocessor Based relay

Fig. 3.3 Microprocessor Based relay

Failure Mechanisms
The two most common failure mechanisms of relays are contamination and
mechanical wear of the internal switching elements discussed as follows:

a. Contamination is a major cause of early life failures. Sources of contamination are

numerous, but they are often from the various chemicals used in the manufacturing
operation (e.g., soldering fluxes and cleaning agents). Types of contamination can be
divided into two categories: metallic and non-metallic. Metallic contamination causes
shorted conditions or blocks the physical movement of mechanical elements. Non-
metallic or gaseous contamination creates open circuits when it periodically deposits
itself on contacts.

b. A second major cause of early life failures in relays is mechanical wear of internal
switching elements. In fact, the life of a relay is essentially determined by the life of its
Degradation of contacts is caused from high in-rush currents, high-sustained currents,
and from high voltage spikes. The source of high currents and voltages, in turn, are

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determined by the type of load. Inductive loads create the highest voltage and current
spikes because they have lowest starting resistance compared to operating resistance.
This is especially true for lamp filaments and motors, which is why derating is more
severe for these types of loads. The life of a contact can be further degraded if
contamination or pitting is present on the contact. Physical wear can also occur to
other elements within the relay. Some relays contain springs to provide a mechanical
resistance against electrical contact when a switching current is not applied. Springs
will loose resiliency with time. Relays can also fail due to poor contact alignment and
open coils.

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It is one of the type instrument transformer.

A current transformer is an instrument transformer, used along with measuring or
protective devices, in which the secondary current is proportional to the primary
current (under normal condition of operation) and differs from it by an angle that is

The basic principle of transformer is the same as that of the power
transformer. Current transformer contain a primary and secondary winding . Whenever
an alternating current flows through the primary winding, alternating magnetic flux is
produced , which then induces alternating current in the secondary winding. In the
case of current transformer, the load impedance or burden is very small . therefore the
current transformer operate under short circuit conditions. Also the current flowing in the
secondary winding does not depend on load impendance but instead depend on the
current flowing in the primary winding.
The current transformer basically consists of an iron core upon which primary and
secondary winding are wound. The primary winding of transformer is connected in
series with load and carries the actual current flowing to the load , while the secondary
winding is connected to the measuring device or relay. The number of secondary turns
is proportional to the current flowing through the primary i.e., the larger the magnitude
of current of current flowing through the primary, more the number of secondary turns.
These transformer are used with low range ammeter to measure current in
high voltage alternating current circuit where it is not practicable to connect
instrument and meter directly to the lines. In addition to insulating the instrument from
the high voltage line, they step down the current in a known ratio.The secondary
consists of large number of turns of fine wire and is connected across the ammeter
terminal (usually of 5 ampere range).
As regard voltage, the transformer is of step up variety but it is obvious
that the current will be stepped down. Thus, if the current transformer has the primary
to secondary current ratio of 100:5 , then it step up the voltage 20 times whereas it step
down the current to 1/20th of its actual value .Hence if we know curret ratio (i1/i2)of the
transformer and the reading of the ac ammeter , the line current can be calculated. In
fact, line current is given by the current transformer ratio times the reading on the
Since the ammeter resistance is very low, the current transformer normally works short
circuited. If for any reason, the ammeter is taken out of the secondary winding, then
this winding must be short circuited with the help of short circulating switch s. If this is not
done, then due to the absence of counter amp-turns of the secondary, the unopposed
primary m.m.f. will be set up an abnormally high flux in the core which will be produce

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excessive core loss with subsequent heating and a high voltage across the secondary
terminal. This is not the case with the ordinary constant potential transformer because
their primary current is determined by the load in the secondary whereas in a current
transformer, the primary current is determined entirely by the load on the system and
not by the load on its own secondary.
Hence, the secondary of a current transformer should never be left open under any

Fig. 4.1 Current Transformer

Current transformer total five cores are present for protection purpose.
1st cor2nd core : Backup protection(upto 220 Kv)
Main 2 (for >220)
3rd core : Utilized for measuring or metering purpose.(In case of fault core is saturated)
4th core : Busbar protection
5th core : TEED Protection

1) Insulation resistance measurement: Primary to secondary Primary to earth Secondary
to earth
2) Ratio test: Current given to stud of primary p1 and p2 meter should give for 200/1A
3) Saturation: Except 3rd core and knee point voltage.
4) Tan delta measurement: Depend condition of internal resistances should always be
<.7% (.007).

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5. Potential Transformer

What is Potential Transformer?

Potential transformer is a voltage step-down transformer which reduces the voltage of
a high voltage circuit to a lower level for the purpose of measurement. These are
connected across or parallel to the line which is to be monitored.
The basic principle of operation and construction of this transformer is similar to the
standard power transformer. In common, the potential transformers are abbreviated as

The primary winding consists of a large number of turns which is connected across the
high voltage side or the line in which measurements have to be taken or to be
protected. The secondary winding has lesser number of turns which is connected to the
voltmeters, or potential coils of wattmeter and energy meters, relays and other control
devices. These can be single phase or three phase potential transformers. Irrespective
of the primary voltage rating, these are designed to have the secondary output
voltage of 110 V.

Since the voltmeters and potential coils of other meters have high impedance, a small
current flows through the secondary of PT. Therefore, PT behaves as an ordinary two
winding transformer operating on no load. Due to this low load (or burden) on the PT,
the VA ratings of PTs are low and in the range of 50 to 200 VA. On the secondary side,
one end is connected to the ground for safety reasons as shown in figure.

Similar to the normal transformer, the transformation ratio is specified as

V1/V2 = N1/N2

Fig. 5.1 Potential Transformer

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From the above equation, if the voltmeter reading and transformation ratio are known,
then high voltage side voltage can be determined.


Compared to the conventional transformer, potential transformers or PTs use larger

conductor sizes and core. PTs designed for ensuring the greater accuracy and hence,
at the time of designing economy of the material is not considered as main aspect.

PTs are made with special high quality core operating at lower flux densities in order to
have small magnetising current so that no load losses are minimised. Both core and
shell type constructions are preferred for PTs. For high voltages, core type PTs are used
while shell type is preferred for low voltages.

To reduce the leakage reactance, co-axial windings are used for both primary and
secondary. For reducing the insulation cost, low voltage secondary winding is placed
next to the core. And for high voltage PTs, high voltage primary is divided into sections
of coils to reduce the insulation between coil layers. For these windings, vanished
cambric and cotton tape are used as laminations. In between the coils, hard fiber
separators are used.

These are carefully designed to have minimum phase shift between the input and
output voltages and also to maintain a minimum voltage ratio with variation in load. Oil
filled PTs are used for high voltage levels (above the range of 7KV). In such PTs, oil filled
bushings are provided to connect the main lines.

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Fig. 5.2 Potential Transformer

Types of Voltage or Potential Transformers

Electromagnetic or Wound Type Conventional Potential Transformer

These are similar to the conventional oil filled wire wound transformers. The figure below
shows the electromagnetic type of PT wherein tap tank is connected to the line
terminal. A plug is provided on the tank to fill the oil and this tank is mounted on an
insulator support.

At the base, ground terminal and oil drain plug is provided. In this, primary is connected
between the two phases or between one phase and ground. So one end of the
primary is connected to main line at the top and the other end is brought out at the
bottom and is grounded with other ground terminals.

The secondary terminals including earth terminal are located in the terminal box at the
bottom, further these are connected to the metering and relay circuits. These are used
up to or below 132 KV operating voltages due to insulation aspects.

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Capacitive Voltage Transformers (CVTs)

It is a capacitive potential divider connected between the phase of main line

and ground. These can be coupling capacitor or bushing type CVTs. These two types
are electrically less or more similar, but the difference is that the formation of
capacitance which further decides their rated burden (or load).

A coupling capacitor type consists of a stack of series connected capacitors which are
made up of oil-impregnated paper and aluminium foil. For desired primary and
secondary voltages, primary and secondary terminals are connected across the

The bushing type CVT uses condenser type bushings provided with tapping. CVTs are
also used for power line carrier communication and hence more economical.

Applications of Voltage Transformers-

1. Electrical Metering systems
2. Electrical protection systems
3. Distance protection of feeders
4. Synchronizing generators with grid
5. Impedance protection of generators
6. The class of potential transformers used for metering is called as measurement
voltage or potential transformers. On other hand PTs used for protection called
as protection voltage transformers. In some cases PTs are used for both
metering and protection purposes, in such cases, one secondary winding is
connected to metering and other secondary winding is used

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6. Earth Switch

Earthing switches are safety devices which are integral parts of circuit breakers. When
a circuit breaker is removed and racked out, the sections of the bus bar adjacent to
the circuit breaker are automatically earthed by means of these switches.

This protects the maintenance personnel from accidental

voltages. The closing action of the earthing switch is of snap action type. Earthing
switches are usually dimensioned to withstand short circuit currents. Earthing switches
can also be motorised.

Earthing switches are usually used in conjunction with isolators. When the isolator isolates
the circuits, the earthing switches make contact with the busbar and discharge any
charges which may have accumulated there.

6. Fig. 6.1 Earth Switches

Fault Earth Switches

Fault Earth Switches (FES) have been installed in some locations on the 132kV system to
provide back up for primary protection schemes. When actuated they apply a
permanent, solid, single-phase earth connection to the 132kV conductors so that the
distance protection at the remote end of the circuit will see the fault and trip the
remote end circuit breaker.

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Fault Earth Switches (FES) have been installed in some locations on the 132kV system to
provide back up for primary protection schemes. When actuated they apply a
permanent, solid, single-phase earth connection to the 132kV conductors so that the
distance protection at the remote end of the circuit will see the fault and trip the
remote end circuit breaker.

Operating requirements for fault earth switches

Fault earth switches in service are OPEN. However, they must be capable of being
actuated by protection and automatically closed, therefore whilst set and ready to
operate on in service equipment, no part of a fault earth switch is to be locked.

Post fault checks

Before re-energising any circuit on which a fault earth switch is installed (possibly at a
remote substation) it is important to establish that each fault earth switch is open. A
visual inspection at site is usually required due to the lack of remote indications of fault
earth switch condition. FESs are not designed for frequent operation, and can be
damaged during the resetting process if the winding handle is overwound.

Fault earth switch under Access Authority conditions

Excluding fault earth switch from working area

Provided safe working conditions can be provided, fault earth switches should be kept
out of the designated work area (DWA) whenever work is not required on the fault
earth switch itself

Fault earth switch is in working area, but operation not required during work.

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7. Electrical Isolator

Definition of Isolator
Circuit breaker always trip the circuit but open contacts of breaker cannot be visible
physically from outside of the breaker and that is why it is recommended not to touch
any electrical circuit just by switching off the circuit breaker. So for better safety there
must be some arrangement so that one can see open condition of the section of the
circuit before touching it. Isolator is a mechanical switch which isolates a part of circuit
from system as when required. Electrical isolators separate a part of the system from rest
for safe maintenance works.
So definition of isolator can be rewritten as Isolator is a manually operated mechanical
switch which separates a part of the electrical power. Isolators are used to open a
circuit under no load. Its main purpose is to isolate one portion of the circuit from the
other and is not intended to be opened while current is flowing in the line. Isolators are
generally used on both ends of the breaker in order that repair or replacement of
circuit breaker can be done without and danger.

7. Fig. 7.1 Electric Isolator

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Types of Electrical Isolators

There are different types of isolators available depending upon system requirement
such as
1. Double Break Isolator
2. Single Break Isolator
3. Pantograph type Isolator.
Depending upon the position in power system, the isolators can be categorized as
1. Bus side isolator the isolator is directly connected with main bus
2. Line side isolator the isolator is situated at line side of any feeder
3. Transfer bus side isolator the isolator is directly connected with transfer bus.

Operation of Electrical Isolator

As no arc quenching technique is provided in isolator it must be operated when there is
no chance current flowing through the circuit. No live circuit should be closed or open
by isolator operation. A complete live closed circuit must not be opened by isolator
operation and also a live circuit must not be closed and completed by isolator
operation to avoid huge arcing in between isolator contacts. That is why isolators must
be open after circuit breaker is open and these must be closed before circuit breaker is
closed. Isolator can be operated by hand locally as well as by motorized mechanism
from remote position. Motorized operation arrangement costs more compared to hand
operation; hence decision must be taken before choosing an isolator for system
whether hand operated or motor operated economically optimum for the system. For
voltages up to 145 KV system hand operated isolators are used whereas for higher
voltage systems like 245 KV or 420 KV and above motorized isolators are used.

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8. Lighting Arrestor

A lightning arrester is a device used on electrical power systems and

telecommunications systems to protect the insulation and conductors of the system
from the damaging effects of lightning. The typical lightning arrester has a high-voltage
terminal and a ground terminal. When a lightning surge (or switching surge, which is
very similar) travels along the power line to the arrester, the current from the surge is
diverted through the arrestor, in most cases to earth.
If protection fails or is absent, lightning that strikes the electrical system introduces
thousands of kilovolts that may damage the transmission lines, and can also cause
severe damage to transformers and other electrical or electronic devices. Lightning-
produced extreme voltage spikes in incoming power lines can damage electrical
home appliances or even produce death.

8. Fig. 8.1 Lightning Arrester

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Types of Lighting arrester-

The lightning arrester protects the electrical equipment from lightning. It is placed very
near to the equipment and when the lightning occurs the arrester diverts the high
voltage wave of lightning to the ground. The selection of arrester depends on the
various factors like voltage, current, reliability, etc.
The lightning arrestor is mainly classified into twelve types. These types are;
1. Road Gap Arrester
2. Sphere Gap Arrester
3. Horn Gap Arrester
4. Multiple-Gap Arrester
5. Impulse Protective Gap
6. Electrolytic Arrester
7. Expulsion Type Lightning Arrester
8. Valve Type Lightning Arresters
9. Thyrite Lightning Arrester
10. Auto valve Arrester
11. Oxide Film Arrester
12. Metal Oxide Lightning Arresters

. Metal Oxide Lightning Arrester

Such Types of diverter are also known as gapless surge diverters, or Zinc oxide diverter.
The base material used for manufacturing metal oxide resistor is zinc oxide. It is a
semiconducting N-type material. The material is doped by adding some fine power of
insulating oxides. The powder is treated with some processes and then it is compressed
into a disc-shaped. The disc is then enclosed in a porcelain housing filled with nitrogen
gas or SF6.
This arrester consists a potential barrier at the boundaries of each disc of ZNO. This
potential barrier controls the flow of current. At normal operating condition, the
potential barrier does not allow the current to flow. When an overvoltage occurs, the
barrier collapse and sharp transition from insulating to conducting take place. The
current start flowing and the surge is diverted to ground.

Construction of Zinc Oxide Lightning Arrester

This type of arrester comprises of numbers of solid zinc oxide disc. This discs are
arranged one by one to form a cylindrical stack. The number of zinc oxide discs used
per lightning arrester depends upon the voltage rating of the system. This stack is kept
inside a cylindrical housing of polymer or porcelain. Then the stack is placed inside the
housing and highly pressed by heavy spring load attached to end cap at top. The
equipment connection terminal for line is projected from top cap and connection
terminal for earth is projected from the bottom cap.
Working Principle of Lightening / Surge Arrestor:

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When system voltage is applied on the surge arrester at continuous operating voltage,
about 80% of the rated voltage, the arrester experiences some leakage current. The
amplitude of the leakage current depends on the condition of the surge arrester. The
leakage current consists of the capacitive and the resistive current component. This
leakage current generates heat. This generated heat should be dissipated properly
otherwise the temperature of the LA may rise which further increases the leakage
current. Because of this the proper thermal design of surge arrester housing plays an
important role.

When a high voltage surge is impressed on the surge / lightening arrestor, the resistance
of the ZnO becomes low and as can be seen from the voltage-current characteristics,
the current through the Lightening / Surge Arrestor becomes high of the range of kA.
The voltage, beyond which the current through the LA becomes such high, is known as
reference voltage and the current at reference voltage is known as reference current.
As LA is connected in between phase and ground, the high voltage surge is discharged
to ground by low resistance offered by the Zinc Oxide blocks and in this way prevents
the equipment from damage due to voltage surge.

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