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Electrical systems of a grid connected 2 MW

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International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007


Electrical Systems of a Grid Connected 2 MW Mini Hydro

Power Project at Siripagama

G.R.C.B.Gamlath1), A. Arulampalam2) and I.H.D.Sumanaratne3)

1) Ceylon Electric ity Board, New town, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka

2) Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya,
Sri Lanka
3) No.49, School Lane, Nawala, Rajagiriya, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Email: and


This paper presents the electrical system design of a 2 MW Mini Hydropower Power Plant (MHPP) project
at Siripagama. Catchments area of 19.1 km2 and annual average rainfall of 3935 mm yield to 3.5 m3 /s
designed flow. Net head was found as 68 m. Plant was sized to 2 MW and accordingly structural
components and electro-mechanical system were designed. Two numbers of electro-mechanical units in
which each unit consists of Francis turbine of 1054 kW, synchronous generator of 1250 kVA, 400 V and
two number of 33 kV 1800 kVA step up transformers.

The generator systems were modeled using PSCAD simulation package to check the performance of
generator. Also the system together with the transformer was studied during the normal loading and load
rejection operations. Grid interconnection lines were modeled using SYNERGEE software. This was used
to study the line flows and voltages in the feeder from Ratnapura grid substation to the Siripagama MHPP.
The simulation results confirm the proper operation of the MHPP and the grid without violating the limits
of voltage and conductor ratings. Finally the total system was commissioned on 19th June 2006. Initially the
plant factor was about 36% and in October it rose to 56%. This is one of the projects, which confirmed the
better performance of the micro hydro plant in Sri Lanka.


One of main sources of power generation in Sri Lanka is hydroelectric. According to the statistical data
published by Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for the year 2006, 49.4% of total generation is met by
hydropower. In 1996, Sri Lanka Government encouraged private sector participation in power generation.
As a result at the end of year 2006, 60 numbers of mini hydropower plants were connected to the national
grid adding total of 109 MW with an annual generation of 346 GWh (4% of gross production) [1].

In the mini hydro power projects initially site selection is done by analyzing mean stream flow and
available head. This helps to take the decision on the plant capacity and to determine the anticipated annual
power generation. Then electro-mechanical equipments such as turbine and generator and accessories are
selected to suit with design parameters. Generators of directly coupled to turbine shafts are commonly used
[2]. Generator control unit was used to adjust the power generation according to the availability of water.

Protection system was used to isolate the MHPP when a grid fault occurs. In addition monitoring system
was also included. Embedded generators are classified into five and required protection requirements are
stipulated in the CEB guide [3]. In addition to that a generator protection was made coupled to generator

International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007

The power house site is remote from the national grid. Therefore a transmission line was designed.
Constrains used in this design are allowable voltage variations and reduced power losses. Availability of
materials is also taken into account when designing the power line.


Selection of Turbine

A mini hydropower scheme converts hydro potential energy into mechanical energy and then to electrical
energy. Energy is power delivered in unit time.
Turbine output power = ηΤ × Turbine Input Power
Turbine output power (kW) = η T ⋅ Q ⋅ ρ w ⋅ g ⋅ H net / 1000
Where: η Τ - Efficiency of turbine (90 %)
g - Gravity (9.81 m2 /s)
Hnet - Net head available at the turbine (68 m)
Q - Water volume enters into turbine per second (3.5 m3 /s)
ρw - Density of water (1000 kg/ m3 )

Turbine output power (kW) = 0.9 × 3.5 × 1000 × 9.81 × 68 / 1000 = 2101 kW
Therefore, out power of one unit = 2101 / 2 = 1050 kW

Net head, flow rate and turbine output power were furnished to the turbine manufacturers in order to select
a turbine from available standardized sizes. This head fall into the medium group and therefore it is
supposed to use impulse type turbines like Crossflow, multi-jet Pelton, Turgo or reaction type turbines like
Francis [4]. According to the manufacturers data and the site design parameters annual average power
production was calculated. It was calculated for the Francis turbine 12,560,000 kWhr and for the Crossflow
turbine 11,696,000 kWhr. The power difference of 864 000 kWhr is equivalent to Rs.4.6 million in terms of
income. Selection criterion was also based on the cost of the unit. Unit price of a Francis and Cross flow
turbine inclusive of all controls and accessories were Rs.9.6 million and Rs.10.8 million respectively. Cost
of Cross flow turbines was high due to the additional drive system. Considering all those facts, Francis
type turbine was selected in this project.

Two numbers of Francis turbines each 1050 kW, 96% of efficiency were used in order to increase the part
flow efficiency, increase reliability and easiness in overhauling the turbines without shutdown the plant.
Effective head was same for both units. But flow was shared equally and subsequently output power was
divided equally.

Selection of Generator

Considering the facts that the synchronous generators are of high efficiency even in partial loading,
independent control of real and reactive power and commonness, it is decided to use a Synchronous
generator as the alternator of this design. Synchronizing and operation was bit complex in the past and the
recent development has simplified it [5, 6 and 7].

The generator input power is same as the turbine output power 1050 kW. Taking the efficiency of a
generator as 95%, the output power of the generator is calculated as 998 kW and taken as 1000 kW. As the
plant is design to operate at 0.8 power factor, the apparent power rating of the generator becomes 1250
kVA. Two generators were selected to produce 2 MW output power.

Generator performance tests

Some of the performance tests were carried out to and obtained the test certificates. On top of the test
results the start-up transient and running conditions were also checked in simulations. Both generators were
modelled in EMTDC/PSCAD to examine the start-up transient and running operations of the system.
Figures 1 and 2 show simulation model and results of the two generators connected system.

International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007

Ctrl = 1
Simulation result from 2.5 seconds to 5.5 seconds
1.0 V_grid_rms
Ctrl 34.00
3 Phase
TIME 1.25 MVA, 415 V RMS 33.00

IF Siripagama Mini Hydro Plant Generator
Ef If 0.001
A A A Ia_grid A A A
HG 1.6 [MVA]
0.001 Ia_Grid Ib_Grid Ic_Grid
B B B Ib_grid B B B 0.080
Te #1 #2
TM1 C C C Ic_grid C C C
Tm 0.415 33.0

w Tm

1.0 Ctrl= 1
P_Grid Q_Grid

B 2.50
0.1 T Qgen Pgen

Ctrl 2.00
TIME 1.00
* * D + - E1 Tmechanical_Gen1 Tmechanical_Gen2
I 1.00
E2 Ctrl = 1 1.25 0.75 0.80
MVA rating Tan(cos-1(0.8)) 0.60
B 0.40

Ctrl * 0.20
TIME 1.25
MVA rating Gen1_speed Gen2_speed
Ef If P
A A A Pout_gen2
rad / s
HG 1.6 [MVA] * * +
D - E2
Te #1 #2 1.25 0.75
MVA rating Tan(cos-1(0.8)) 314.0
Tm 0.415 33.0
Pout_gen1 Qout_gen1 Pout_gen2 Qout_gen2
w Tm Tm0 * 1.80

1.0 A Ctrl= 1 MVA rating
1.25 MVA, 415 V
Siripagama Mini Hydro Plant Generator
0.1 B
0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 ...

Figure 1 Simulation Model of Siripagama MHPP Figure 2 Simulation result of the generator operation
when generated power changed from 10% to 100%

Excitation voltage (E1 and E2 ) and the torque (Tm) were the inputs to the generator. Excitation voltages are
adjusted to maintain the 0.8 power factor according to the CEB requirement. This was done by multiplying
the generator active power output by tan(cos -1 (0.8)) to calculate the reactive power corresponds to 0.8
power factor. This was compared with the measured reactive power output and the error was regulated to
find the required excitation voltage.

The torque of the 1st generator was changed from 0.1 p.u to 1.0 p.u at 0.5 seconds and the 2nd generator was
changed at 1.5 seconds. The simulation result shown in Figure 2 illustrates that the transient are within the
acceptable limits when the generator output power is changed drastically.


Generating voltage of the plant was selected as 415 V in order to avoid auxiliary transformer and related
controls. This voltage was step up to 33 kV to interconnect with national grid. Therefore, electrical system
of the power plant consisted of Low Voltage (415 V) switch boards and the Medium Voltage (33 kV)
Switchyard [8].

International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007

a. Low voltage system and controls

To Grid
Generator capacity = 1250 kVA connection

Panel 2
= 1250 × 1000
Mains Panel 1
Maximum current Monitoring
3 × 415
= 1739 A
Synchronous cope
Therefore, rated current of each breaker
connected to a generator was selected as Protection
2000A. Rated voltage was selected as 440V. Module Generator
Air Circuit Breaker was considered due to Monitoring
comparatively low cost. A motorized switch
gear was used since the system was
automated. Auxiliary contacts were used for From
LV Switch Gear Generator
indications and control circuit. This breaker
was used in synchronizing the generator
with the grid. Figure 3 Single line diagram of LV Electrical system

The panel was made with synchronoscope, volt meter, generator voltage controls, manual synchronizing
controls, emergency stop push button, generator run hour meter, surge arrestor for switch yard side of
breaker, meters for active power, reactive power, apparent power, power factor, kWh, kVArh, line to line
voltages, line to ground voltage, current in each phase, indicators for mains and generator supply, indicators
for breaker position etc. [9 and 10].

Protection for each Generator and Turbine unit were provided. Synchronous generators was operated with
0.8 power factor lagging to make sure that it supplies reactive power to the network as per utility
requirement. Reverse power protection was made with minimum power setting. Minimum flow
requirement to rotate the turbine is 0.05m3 /s, which is about 3% of the rated turbine flow, was made as
threshold to trip. Therefore reverse power relay was set to operate trip circuit at 30 kW while making 5
seconds alarm at 40 kW output. Negative sequence current protection prevents unbalanced current flow in
the generator, which causes overheating. Generally, generators are able to withstand for operation with
short time negative sequence current. Typical set value of 4% of generator full load current for 10 seconds
was used. Therefore, negative sequence current of 65 A was set to trip while 10 seconds alarm set at 80 A.

Loss of excitation operates the generator with drawing the reactive power from the network. Field failure
protection relay operates and gives an alarm in order to restore excitation or initiate shutdown. The relay
operation was based on the impedance detection. Operating impedance value was set to 0.7 times of
synchronous reactance plus transient reactance of generator. Surge protection was made by installing 33
kV, 10 kA lightning arresters at the end of the Circuit Breaker. This diverts surge voltages entered into the
LV side.

The electrical over-current protection is generally set to higher values and cannot sense the continuous
overloads of less value. Continued over-loading may increase the winding temperature to such an extent
that the insulation will be damaged and lifetime will be reduced. Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD)
was embedded in the stator slots to sense the winding temperature for thermal protection. Thermal
protection was set to activate an alarm at 1200 C according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Temperature detectors were also inserted into bearings to prevent damages due to temperature rise caused
by failure of cooling system. This temperature indicator was set to give an alarm at 950 C.

3.2 Medium voltage (33 kV) system

Generated voltage of 415 V was stepped up to 33 kV as the plant supply to 33 kV distribution system of
national grid. Two numbers of transformers were used to step up the generated voltage of each generator.

International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007

Figure 4 shows the single line diagram of the To National Grid

medium voltage system. The outdoor switch yard
was mainly equipped with two transformers of
33kV/415V 1600kVA, SF6 Circuit Breaker of
33kV 25kA/1sec 630A, horizontal manual
operated isolator with earth switch of 33kV Lightning Energy
25kA/1sec 630A, NVD transformer of 33kV Arrestor Metering
/110/110V, three current transformers of 33kV
100/1A, six DDLOs of 33kV 25kA/1sec 50A,
three lightning arrestors with surge counter of
33kV 40kA, and earthing system. Circuit
G 59
Rating of the generator is 1250 kVA. protection
Considering the reliability of the transformer, Metering
partial loading of 80% of a transformer was
taken. Therefore 1600 kVA rated transformer
was selected. The Circuit Breaker was installed
before connecting to the CEB grid to isolate the
system during maintenance and any abnormal To NVD
conditions such as faults. Based on 1250 kVA protection DDLO Lightning
and DDLO Arrestor
load the maximum current flow in the breaker is
44 A. Short time withstand current is taken as Metering
525 A (12x44). Available 33 kV breakers are
Transformer Transformer
630 A, and it was selected. Lightning 1 2
Network Protection System was made according
to the CEB requirements guide [3]. In this
project ratio between maximum installed From Generator Breaker
capacity (2.0 MW) and maximum captive load
(1.5 MW) was greater than 0.8. Therefore, the
MHPP project felt under case 3 of the guide and Figure 4 Single line diagram of MV Switchyard
following protection requirements were installed.

(a) Over and under voltage: Embedded generator is maintained the system voltage by means of AVR.
Tolerance level of the 33kV system of CEB is ± 6%. Therefore, over voltage protection was set to alarm at
+6 % and trip at +10 % and the under voltage protection was set to alarm at –6% and trip at –10 %.

(b) Over and under frequency: Partial or total loss of the grid supply to the local network may overload the
embedded generator. Under frequency relays send tripping signal, if the power frequency drops from set
value for a defined time. However, the under-frequency settings of embedded generators should be below
the same setting of feeders of the grid as it helps to recover overloading of the grid with load shedding of
some feeders. The under -frequency setting of CEB in stage I is 48.75 Hz. The set value of the plant was
47.8 Hz with 30s delay for alarming and 47.7 with 2s delay for trip signal. Over-frequency relay give
signals to trip off the breaker when over speeding of the generator taken place due to loss of load. This
provides back-up protection for speed control governor. The over-frequency setting was 50.5Hz.

(c) Neutral Voltage Displacement (NVD): In a balanced three phase system, under normal conditions the
sum of the phase to neutral voltages will be nearly zero for an unearthed system. Under earth fault
condition, a voltage difference is produced between the system neutral and earth, which is called as Neutral
Voltage Displacement and detects by the NVD relay. NVD relay was an over voltage relay connected to
trip Circuit Breaker installed in the switch yard. The NVD relay detects three times of neutral voltage.

International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007

(d) Loss of mains protection: Islanding of an embedded generator result an unearthed a section of the CEB
network. With the removal of grid supply, embedded generators should be automatically disconnected and
remain disconnected until the supply restored. Since this islanded section is unearthed, fault level is
inadequate to operate protection relays. The other reason is restoration of power may do without check
synchronizing which could result severe damages to the network. Disturbances due to islanding are used to
detect loss of mains.


a. Power flow studies

Power flow studies were carried out to check the normal operating status of the distribution network after
connecting an embedded generator. Voltage at every point in the distribution network should be within the
acceptable limits for all expected loading conditions and with and without the embedded generator.
Thereby the interconnection line of the embedded generator to the distribution network was determined.
Computer package called SYNERGEE-version 2.1 developed by Stoners Electric, USA was used in this
simulation [11].

Siripagama MHP was connected to the feeder no.2 of the Ratnapura Grid Substation. This feeder was
modeled in SYNERGEE giving all data of feeders, conductors, embedded generators and load. Feeder was
divided into several line sections for ease entering of load data. Figure 5 shows the modeled feeder.

Figure 5 Feeder No.2 of Ratnapura Grid Substation

The feeder 2 of Ratnapura Grid Substation run towards Balangoda and it was tapped at Malwala to feed
Siripagama area. There were three other embedded generators connected to this feeder and two were in this
section. Loads were modeled as PQ buses and the net active and reactive power was entered. Generators
were modeled as PV busses where it was taken that the AVR of the generator keeps the voltage at set value.
Ratnapura Grid Substation was taken as the reference bus. Feeder, conductor and existing embedded
generator data were taken from CEB. There loads were entered in two sets. Six months average values of
maximum demands of each heavy consumer were calculated and entered as spot loads. Distribution loads

International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007

were the ordinary consumers of single phase and three phase supplies connected to low tension distribution
system at each transformer.

Generally, loading pattern of National grid shows two peaks during 6.00pm to 9.00pm and 9.00am to
11.00am. Therefore, the network was analyzed for both of peak and off peak loading conditions. The night
load peak gives the highest value and distributed load data was measured during this period manually.
Nineteen distribution transformers were connected to the modeled Feeder 2 of Ratnapura grid substation
and load data were measured for all low tension feeders. The off load was collected with measurements and
calculations and found that the off load is around one fourth of peak load. Therefore, the model was run for
two loading conditions 100% and 25% of peak time load.

Results showed that the both loading conditions were acceptable with conductors’ ratings. The demand of
the feeder (30A) during peak load is less than the demand (51A) at off peak load. It was also notice that
during the peak load, feeder fed power to the distribution system and during off peak load, power was fed
back from distribution network due to the embedded generators in this feeder.

In this study it was observed that voltage variation was significant. The base voltage was taken as 33 kV.
Feeder 2 of Ratnapura grid Substation was divided into several sections. Voltages of tw o sections were
higher than the acceptable limit (106%) of CEB. Conductor type and length are given in the Table 1.

Section Conductor type Line length / km % Voltage

BA07-034 7/0.102 1.70 109.9
BA07-035,36 7/0.102 7.20 109.9
BA07-029 LAB 7/0.161 3.10 102.5
Total length/km 12.0
Table 1 Section data

The over voltage can be solved either by changing the conductors with low impedance or reducing the line
length. Usually Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforce (ACSR) conductors are available in Sri Lanka for
long span distribution lines. Changing of line length was also not possible as it was through a fairly difficult
terrain and many land constrain exists. Therefore, only option was to have a higher diameter conductors to
reduce line reactance and hence losses. Conductors were changed to 7/0.102 to 7/0.161 and run the model
again. Then the all parameters were within the acceptable limits.

Siripagama Siripagama
Malwala B F

Ratnapura GSS

Figure 6 Grid interconnection line route of Siripagama MHP

Accordingly the grid interconnection line was made as follows;

1. Existing 7/0.102 conductors to be replaced by 7/0.161 conductors and necessary rehabilitation of the
line section, 8.90 km from Malwala to Guruluwana (tapping point of Siripagama MHP)
2. New 1/0.161 line 3.10 km from tapping point to Switchyard.
3. Installed a switch break disconnector at tapping point.

International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007

b. Fault Studies

There can be faulty conditions such as failure of insulators, broken or touching bare conductors, which
creates short circuit between conductors or between conductors and earth. The distribution system was
designed in such away that fault currents are large enough to be detected under all operating conditions.
Before accommodating an embedded generator to the distribution network, Fault Level (FL) calculations
are also made to check whether the existing switchgear capacities in the grid substation can withstand the
FL with the embedded generator. The configuration of the system has a significant effect on the FL.
Synchronizing additional generators or connecting parallel lines, reduces the impedance of the network and
hence increase its FL. This affects the ratings of the grid substation components. Therefore, FL calculation
was done in order to check whether the present switchgear ratings are sufficient to connect the embedded

Figure 7 shows the generator at Siripagama MHPP connected to the grid through the distribution network.
Fault level calculation at Ratnapura Grid Substation due to interconnection of this generator is given below.

Grid Substation

Zs Zf

S Vg=1<0 G

3 phase

Figure 7 System configuration for the fault studies

It was taken that the common base parameters as 100 MVA and 33 kV. All resistive parts of impedances &
link charging capacitances were neglected. Fault level at the Grid Substation was taken from the forecasted
CEB reports. Fault level at Ratnapura Grid Substation without Sripagama MHP is 7.2 kA. Existing switch
gear capacity is 25 kA. Reactance of 7/0.161 conductor line is 0.375 Ω/km. Therefore with the 12 km line
and the MHP generator and transformer transient impedances, the fault level will not be increased by more
than 4.23 kA. It shows that the fault level at the Ratnapura Grid Substation with Sripagama MHP will not
exceed the switchgear rating.


Sri Lanka Government changed its policy of power generation change to overcome power crisis in the
country and encourage private sector in this field. Sri Lanka has many renewable energy sources all over
the country. Since the south-west monsoon region gets high rainfall, Ratnapura area has a high potential for
hydro power generation. Country benefits in many ways with an implementation of a mini hydropower
project especially in means of improving infrastructure and the standard of living in these remote villages.
Plant sizing, selection of electro-mechanical equipments were done in proper manner. Adequate protections
for the network as well as for the generator and the personnel were accommodated. Control system for
power flow and synchronizing were also accommodated as per the practical applications. Monitoring
system give a better transparency on operation. Generator performances were tested even by modeling the
system. Power line was design in such a way that to satisfy utility constrains and to minimize line losses.
In overall this design comprised of a complete electrical system and it confirmed the performances of the
project. In October 2006, plant factor was 56% which is fairly good even with the power interruptions.

International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007


This design is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of degree of Master of the
Science of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering conducted by University of Peradeniya.

The Authors would like to thank project developer for the cooperation and the panel of examiners of thesis
evaluation for their valuable comments and corrections.


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