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Fault Calculation - Per Unit System

By Steven McFadyen (/users/steven)on March 27th, 2013

Symbol Definition

- per unit method current base


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Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(11)_thumb%5B1%5D_2.png) Select, size and manage your power
- per unit method power base
cables using myCableEngineering.
(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(25)_thumb%5B1%5D_2.png)

- per unit method voltage base


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- per unit method admittance base
(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(17)_thumb%5B1%5D_2.png)

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- per unit method impedance base


(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(14)_thumb%5B1%5D_2.png) (http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image37_6.png) -
percentage impedance

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image34_4.png) - per
unit impedance

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image35_4.png) -
actual impedance

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image36_6.png) - per
unit base impedance

Per unit fault calculations is a method whereby system impedances and quantities are normalised across different voltage
levels to a common base. By removing the impact of varying voltages, the necessary calculations are simplified.

To use the per unit method, we normalise all the system impedances (and admittances) within the network under
consideration to a common base. These normalised impedances are know as per unit impedances. Any per unit
impedance will have the same value on both the primary and secondary of a transformer and is independent of voltage level.

A network of per unit impedances can then be solved using standard network analysis (see the example). From this fault
level can be readily determined.

In applying the per unit method, the first step is to select an arbitrary voltage (Vbase) and power (Pbase) base.

Tip: while the base power and voltage be any value, typically it would make sense to select values related to the
system under construction (for example 11 kV and 20 MVA may be appropriate for a distribution type system)

Contents [hide]
1. Per Unit Method
1. Three Phase Fault Example
2. Related Notes

Per Unit Method


Having selected a base power and voltage, the base per unit values of impedance, admittance and current can be
calculated from:

Per Unit Single Phase Three Phase

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit- (http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows- (http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
System_DF80/Image(11)_4.png) Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit- Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(12)_4.png) System_DF80/Image(13)_4.png)

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit- (http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
System_DF80/Image(14)_4.png) Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(15)_4.png)
System_DF80/Image(16)_4.png)

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10/19/2017 Fault Calculation - Per Unit System

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit- (http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows- (http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
System_DF80/Image(17)_4.png) Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit- Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(18)_4.png) System_DF80/Image(18)_5.png)

Dividing a system element by its per-unit base value gives the per-unit value of the element, for example

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-
Calculations_EB4F/image53_2.png)

Some times per-unit values are available for a given base kV, but the problem being solved is using a different base. In this
instance it is possible to convert the unit:

Fault calculation problems typically deal wit power sources, generators, transformers and system impedances. Per-unit
values for these elements can be quickly derived from:

Element Per-Unit Value

Source
impedance
(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image55_2.png)

Generators

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image57_2.png)

Transformers

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image58_2.png)

Impedances

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-
Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image56_2.png),
where V is in kV

Example - calculating per unit values

Consider a system of source impedance 4.48 connected to a 20 MVA transformer (11/0.4 kV) at 6% impedance. We want
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to find (HTTP://MYELECTRICAL.COM/) NOTES (HTTP://MYELECTRICAL.COM/NOTES)
the fault level at the transformer secondary. QUESTIONS (HTTP://MYELECTRICAL.COM/QUESTIONS)

Selecting
TOOLS Pbase as 20 MVA and Vbase as 11 kV andSTORE
(HTTP://MYELECTRICAL.COM/TOOLS) using the above equations:
(HTTP://MYELECTRICAL.COM/STORE) SUPPORT (HTTP://MYELECTRICAL.COM/SUPPORT)

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10/19/2017 Fault Calculation - Per Unit System

and

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(20)_4.png)

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(21)_4.png)

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(22)_4.png)

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(23)_4.png)

the Line-Neutral voltage on the secondary of the transformer is 0.4/3 = 0.230 kV, giving:

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-Calculation---Per-Unit-
System_DF80/Image(24)_4.png)

Three Phase Fault Example

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-
Calculations_EB4F/PerUnitThreePhaseFault_4.jpg)
Three Phase Fault Example

Per unit analysis can be used to calculate system three phase fault levels and the current distributions. To gain a better
understanding, it is worth running through the typical steps required to solve a fault calculation problem.

Given the system single line diagram, construct and simplify the per unit impedance diagram.

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10/19/2017 Fault Calculation - Per Unit System

The fault level at the point under consideration is given by:

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image59_2.png)

Where Zpu, is the total impedance between the source and the fault.

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-
Calculations_EB4F/PerUnitThreePhaseFaultEx1_2.jpg)

Fault flow through parallel branches is given by the ratio of impedances. As illustrated this can enable fault flows to be found
through each branch.

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-
Calculations_EB4F/PerUnitThreePhaseFaultEx2_2.jpg)

Having calculated the fault flow in each branch, it is then relatively simple to find the current distribution using:

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image60_2.png)

where:

(http://myelectrical.com/Portals/0/SunBlogNuke/2/Windows-Live-Writer/Fault-Calculations_EB4F/image61_2.png)

Related Notes
Fault Calculations - Introduction (http://myelectrical.com/notes/entryid/192/fault-calculations-introduction)
Network Theory Introduction and Review (http://myelectrical.com/notes/entryid/179/network-theory-introduction-
and-review)

Fault Calculation (http://myelectrical.com/notes?tag=fault+calculation), Power Systems (http://myelectrical.com/notes?


tag=power+systems), Theory (http://myelectrical.com/notes/tag/theory), Per Unit System (http://myelectrical.com/notes?
tag=per+unit+system), Symmetrical Components (http://myelectrical.com/notes?tag=symmetrical+components), Single
Phase Fault (http://myelectrical.com/notes?tag=single+phase+fault), Three Phase Fault (http://myelectrical.com/notes?
tag=three+phase+fault), Earth Fault (http://myelectrical.com/notes?tag=earth+fault), Short Circuit
(http://myelectrical.com/notes?tag=short+circuit), Motors (http://myelectrical.com/notes/tag/motors)

http://myelectrical.com/notes/entryid/214/fault-calculation-per-unit-system 5/8
10/19/2017 Fault Calculation - Per Unit System

More interesting Notes:


Fault Calculations - Introduction (http://myelectrical.com/notes/entryid/192/fault-calculations-introduction)
A mechanical engineering paper, some history and memories (http://myelectrical.com/notes/entryid/244/a-
mechanical-engineering-paper-some-history-and-memories)
Calculating Cable Fault Ratings (http://myelectrical.com/notes/entryid/242/calculating-cable-fault-ratings)
Photovoltaic (PV) Panel - Performance Modelling (http://myelectrical.com/notes/entryid/257/photovoltaic-pv-panel-
performance-modelling)
Photovoltaic (PV) - Electrical Calculations (http://myelectrical.com/notes/entryid/225/photovoltaic-pv-electrical-
calculations)
Steven McFadyen (/users/steven)
Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He
has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge.
About the author

(/users/steven)

(http://myelectricalengineering.co.uk)

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Joshua Minnies 2 years ago


What if you had a cable? for your Za, would you consider both R and X values or just the X to
make it j of whatever like j_pu. Because if you include both R and X values, you wont get 90
degrees but a funny angle in polar form ofcourse.
Reply Share

Steven McFadyen Mod > Joshua Minnies 2 years ago

I would consider both R and X.


The post is illustrative of the method. Using impedance magnitudes only will give you an
approximation. Using R and X will give you more accurate results.
Reply Share

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