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3, JULY 2005

Parameter Determination for Modeling System

Transients—Part I: Overhead Lines
IEEE PES Task Force on Data for Modeling System Transients of IEEE PES Working Group on Modeling and Analysis
of System Transients Using Digital Simulation (General Systems Subcommittee)

J. A. Martinez, B. Gustavsen, and D. Durbak

Abstract—Overhead line parameters are calculated, taking into

account the length of the line and the frequency range of the tran-
sient to be simulated. Depending on the frequency range and the
origin of the transient, several parts of the line (phase conductors,
shield wires, towers or poles, footing impedances, insulators) have
to be included in the model. In all cases, the most important part
is phase conductors. This paper describes an input requirement
for obtaining electric overhead line parameters and investigates the
sensitivity of these parameters with respect to some input data. The Fig. 1. Single-conductor overhead line.
aim is to conclude on the accuracy with which input values must be
specified. An illustrative example is included to support the main
conclusions. Assuming that the line conductors are parallel to ground, the
Index Terms—Modeling, overhead lines, power system tran- time-domain equations of a single-conductor line can be ex-
sients, simulation. pressed as follows:


P RESENTLY, overhead line parameters are calculated using

supporting routines available in most transients programs.
The parameters to be calculated depend on the line model to be where and are the voltage and the current of the

applied, but they invariably involve the series impedance and the line, respectively, while , , , and are the line parameters
shunt capacitance of the line. expressed in per-unit length.
Two types of time-domain models have been developed for These parameters are frequency dependent, although can
overhead lines: lumped and distributed parameter models. The be assumed constant, and can usually be neglected. Given the
appropriate selection of a model depends on the line length and frequency dependence of the series parameters, the approach to
the highest frequency to be simulated. the solution of the line equations, even in transient calculations,
Lumped-parameter models represent transmission systems is performed in the frequency domain. The behavior of a mul-
by lumped elements whose values are calculated at a single ticonductor overhead line is described in the frequency domain
frequency. These models are adequate for steady-state calcula- by two matrix equations
tions, although they can also be used for transient simulations
in the neighborhood of the frequency at which parameters were (3)
The most accurate models for transient calculations are those (4)
that take into account the distributed nature of parameters [1],
[2]. Two categories can be distinguished for this type of model: where and are, respectively, the series impedance
constant parameter and frequency-dependent parameter models. and the shunt admittance matrices per-unit length.
Fig. 1 shows the reference frame and the equivalent circuit of The series impedance can be decomposed as follows:
a differential section of a single-conductor overhead line.

where is a complex and symmetric matrix, whose elements

are frequency dependent.
Manuscript received March 1, 2004; revised August 9, 2004. Paper no. Most EMTP-like tools are capable of calculating and ,
TPWRD-00105-2004. taking into account the skin effect in conductors and ground.
Task Force Members: J. A. Martinez (Chairman), D. Durbak, B. Gustavsen,
B. Johnson, J. Mahseredjian, B. Mork, R. Walling. In some programs, this is achieved using Carson’s ground
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2005.848678 impedance [3] or Schelkunoff’s surface impedance formulae
0885-8977/$20.00 © 2005 IEEE


for cylindrical conductors [4]. Other programs base the calcu- II. DATA INPUT
lations on closed-form approximations [5], [6]. Reference [7]
gives a detailed description of the procedures. Since transient studies evolved after load flow, short circuit,
The shunt admittance can be expressed as follows: and stability studies, existing databases of transmission-line
parameters may consist of only synchronous frequency (50- or
(6) 60-Hz) line impedances. Short-circuit line data are often just
the positive, negative, and zero impedances. Load-flow line
where elements can be usually neglected, except at very low databases might contain only a per-phase positive-sequence
frequencies. representation. In all cases, line data are stored only as
Table I shows a summary of modeling guidelines for overhead impedances.
lines; it is a revised version of those guidelines proposed by LC routine users enter the physical parameters of the line,
CIGRE [2]. select the desired type of line model, and the model is created.
These guidelines are related to phase conductors only. If the Since all models are developed from physical transmission-line
aim of a transient simulation is to determine whether the line parameters, it is highly recommended that a database of physical
will flashover or not, then a representation of line insulations line parameters be created.
must be included. Specific transients are those related to stresses In order to develop line models for transient simulations, the
caused by an external source represented as a current source following input data must be available:
(i.e., a lightning stroke). In such cases, other pieces of the line • (x,y) coordinates of each conductor and shield wire;
(shield wires, towers or poles, footing impedances) must be in- • bundle spacing, orientations;
cluded in the model. • sag of phase conductors and shield wires;
The length of an overhead line that must be included in a • phase and circuit designation of each conductor;
model depends on the type of transient to be duplicated or, more • phase rotation at transposition structures;
specifically, on the range of frequencies involved in the transient • physical dimensions of each conductor;
process. As a rule of thumb, the lower the frequencies, the more • DC resistance of each conductor and shield wire (or resis-
the length of line is to be represented. For low and mid frequency tivity);
transients, the whole line length is included in the model. For • ground resistivity of the ground return path.
fast and very fast transients, a few line spans will usually suffice.
This paper deals with data input that is required for proper Other information, such as segmented grounds, can be
modeling of overhead lines in transient simulations. important.
Users of EMTP-like tools obtain overhead line parameters by Note that all of the above information, except conductor re-
means of a dedicated supporting routine that in this document sistances and ground resistivity, is from geometric line dimen-
will be denoted “Line Constants” (LC) [7]. In addition, several sions; therefore, the availability of these parameters should not
routines are presently implemented in transients programs to be a problem.
derive line models considering different approaches [8]–[10]. LC routine users can request the following models:
The next section describes the most basic input requirements of • lumped-parameter equivalent or nominal pi-circuits at the
LC-type routines. It is followed by a section that investigates the specified frequency;
sensitivity of line parameters ( , , , ) to variations in the • constant distributed-parameter model at the specified fre-
representation of an overhead line and by an example that shows quency;
the influence that some parameters can have on the transient • frequency-dependent distributed parameter model, fitted
response. for a given frequency range.

Fig. 2. A 345-kV single-circuit overhead line configuration (values between

brackets are midspan heights).

In addition, the following information can be usually

• capacitance or the susceptance matrix;
• series impedance matrix;
• resistance, inductance, and capacitance per-unit length for
zero and positive sequences, at a given frequency or for
the specified frequency range;
• surge impedance, attenuation, propagation velocity, and
wavelength for zero and positive sequences, at a given fre-
quency or for a specified frequency range.
Line matrices can be provided for the system of physical con-
ductors, the system of equivalent phase conductors, or symmet-
rical components of the equivalent phase conductors.

A. Test Line
An example case is included to illustrate
• proper input of physical parameters;
Fig. 3. Relationship between overhead line parameters and ground resistivity.
• examination of line constants output; (a) Zero-sequence resistance (ohm/mi). (b) Zero-sequence inductance (H/mi).
• benchmarking impedances , ; (c) Positive-sequence resistance (ohm/mi). (d) Positive-sequence inductance
• benchmarking for frequency response; (H/mi).
• application considerations.
Fig. 2 shows the geometry of the 345-kV transmission line B. Sensitivity Analysis of Line Parameters
studied in this example. Conductor data for this line are pre- A parametric study of sequence parameters was performed.
sented in the following table. To obtain the frequency dependence of the resistance and the

Fig. 5. Relationship between overhead line parameters and conductor heights.

Fig. 4. Skin effect. (a) Zero-sequence resistance (ohm/mi). (b) Zero-sequence (H1 = 21:67 ft; H2 = 31:67 ft; H3 = 41:67 ft). (a) Zero-sequence resistance
inductance (H/mi). (c) Positive-sequence resistance (ohm/mi). (d) Positive-
(ohm/mi). (b) Zero-sequence inductance (H/mi). (c) Positive-sequence
sequence inductance (H/mi). resistance (ohm/mi). (d) Positive-sequence inductance (H/mi).

inductance of conductors, users can assume either a solid con- tion. Skin effect entails that the highest current density is at the
ductor or a hollow conductor and apply the skin effect correc- conductor surface. To include skin effect for hollow conductors

Fig. 6. Relationship between capacitances and conductor heights.

in a LC routine, users must specify the ratio , being the

thickness and the diameter of the conductor.
The studies presented below are aimed at determining the sen-
sitivity of line parameters with respect to frequency, ground re-
sistivity, skin effect, and line geometry.
• Fig. 3 shows the dependency of the line parameters
with respect to ground resistivity and frequency.
• Fig. 4 shows results obtained when assuming a solid con-
ductor and when assuming a hollow conductor with dif-
ferent ratios.
• Fig. 5 shows the dependency of the line parameters
with respect to frequency, using the average height of the
lowest conductors above ground as the parameter. These
results were deduced by assuming a ground resistivity of
100 -m.
• Fig. 6 shows the dependence of capacitances with respect Fig. 7. Zero-sequence energization of an untransposed overhead line
(Constant distributed parameter model Source = 1 V step). (a) Parameters
to the average height of the lower conductor. Since capac- calculated at 50 Hz. (b) Parameters calculated at 5 kHz.
itances are not frequency dependent, frequency is not used
as a parameter in this case
All calculations were performed by assuming full transposi- is more important for resistance values; in fact, the posi-
tive-sequence resistance can vary more than a 50% at high
tion of phase conductors. One can deduce from these plots, the
conclusions listed below. frequencies.
• The variation of the capacitance per-unit length along a
• The dependence of the resistance with respect to frequency line span (Fig. 6) is very small.
can be significant, and it is particularly important for the From these results, one can conclude the following.
zero-sequence resistance at high frequencies, but differ-
ences between values obtained with several ground re- • Not much accuracy is required to specify line geometry
sistivities are not very significant in this example below since a rather small variation in parameters is obtained
5 kHz. for large variations in distances between conductors and
• Inductance values are also frequency dependent, but their heights above ground.
dependence is very different for positive- and zero-se- • Since accurate frequency-dependent models are not re-
quence values. The positive-sequence inductance shows quired when simulating low and midfrequency transients
no large variation along the whole range of frequencies. (below 10 kHz), the value of the ground resistivity is not
However, for the zero-sequence inductance, the frequency critical.
dependence is much larger; on the other hand, there are Except for very short lines, the distributed nature of line pa-
no significant differences with different ground resistivity rameters must be considered, and a rather accurate specifica-
values. tion of the ground resistivity can be required when simulating
• When the skin effect is included in the calculation of line high-frequency transients, as shown below.
parameters, differences obtained by assuming either a
solid or a hollow conductor are small, and negligible for C. Transient Behavior
frequencies below 5 kHz. The test line was used to illustrate the effect that the frequency
• When the average height of conductors is varied (between dependence of parameters and the value of the ground resistivity
21.67 and 40.67 ft for the lower conductors), the varia- can have on some simple transients.
tion of the inductance values is rather small, less than 2%, Results depicted in Figs. 7 and 8 show the propagation of a
in the whole range of frequencies; however, the variation step voltage on one of the outer phases of the line when this

Fig. 8. Zero-sequence energization of an untransposed overhead line

(Frequency-dependent parameter model). (a) Source = 1 V step.
Fig. 9. Zero-sequence energization of a 30-mi untransposed overhead line
(b) Source = 1 V , 20-s pulse.
(Source = 1 V step). (a) With ground wires. (b) Without ground wires.

It is obvious that significant attenuation can be obtained in

step is applied to the three-phase conductors (zero-sequence
wave propagation, even for short distances, when overhead line
energization). Calculations presented in Fig. 7 were performed
parameters are calculated taking into account their frequency
by assuming a constant distributed parameter line model and
dependence, and it is very evident when compared to the prop-
calculating line parameters at power frequency and at 5 kHz. It
agation that is obtained if this dependency is not included in
is obvious that the propagation takes place without too much
calculations. However, since the highest frequency transients in
distortion in both cases, but the attenuation is quite significant
overhead lines usually involve the simulation of a few sections
when parameters are calculated at 5 kHz. In addition, the prop-
(spans) of the line, a very accurate representation of this effect
agation velocity is faster with a low ground resistivity. When
is not usually needed. Accordingly, the IEEE Task Force on Fast
the frequency dependence of line parameters is included in
Front Transients proposes to obtain line parameters at a constant
the transient simulation, as shown in Fig. 8, the propagation is
frequency between 400 and 500 kHz for duplicating lightning
made with noticeable distortion of the wavefront. The velocity
overvoltages [11].
of propagation decreases again as the ground resistivity is
The zero-sequence resistance and inductance, respectively,
increased. This effect is due to the increase of the inductance
increase and decrease with increasing ground resistivity. This
with ground resistivity, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4.
dependence is much smaller for positive-sequence quantities.
Figs. 9 and 10 demonstrate again the effect of the ground
The influence of this effect on attenuation and velocity of prop-
resistivity on transient simulations during zero-sequence ener-
agation is not negligible. Therefore, some care is needed to
gizations. These simulations were performed by using a fre-
specify the ground resistivity when high values of this param-
quency-dependent parameter model of the line. All plots present
eter are possible.
the voltage on one of the outer phases. Both figures show that
increasing the soil resistivity by a factor of 10 leads to a notice-
able reduction of the dominant frequency. IV. DISCUSSION
If simulations are performed without ground wires, one can The above simulations were performed without including
observe that the impact of the increased ground resistivity be- the corona effect. This effect can have a strong influence on
comes much stronger. the propagation of waves when the phase conductor voltage

nonuniformities can be very important for surge propagation

Line configurations more complex than that used in this work
must be often simulated. In all cases, the input data to be spec-
ified for these lines is similar to that required for the test line.
And the main conclusions from a transient study would be sim-
ilar to those derived in this paper.
Phase conductor resistances depend on temperature. This ef-
fect can add a non-negligible increase to the resistance value. It
can be easily included by specifying the correct value of con-
ductor resistances.

When only phase conductors and shield wires are to be in-
cluded in the line model, the line parameters can be calculated
from the line geometry, as well as from physical properties of
phase conductors, shield wires, and ground. A great accuracy is
not usually required when specifying input values if the goal is
to duplicate low-frequency and slow-front transients, but more
care is needed, mainly with the ground resistivity value, if the
goal is to simulate fast transients.

[1] Modeling and Analysis of Power System Transients Using Digital Pro-
grams, A. Gole, J. A. Martinez, and A. Keri, Eds., IEEE Special Publ.
TP-133-0, IEEE Catalog no. 99TP133-0, 1999.
[2] CIGRE Working Group 33.02, “Guidelines for representation of net-
work elements when calculating transients,” CIGRE Brochure 39, 1990.
[3] J. R. Carson, “Wave propagation in overhead wires with ground return,”
Bell Syst. Tech. J., vol. 5, pp. 539–554, 1926.
[4] S. A. Schelkunoff, “The electromagnetic theory of coaxial transmission
Fig. 10. Zero-sequence energization of a 30-mi untransposed overhead line lines and cylindrical shields,” Bell Syst. Tech. J., vol. 13, pp. 532–579,
(Source = 1 V , 50-s pulse). (a) With ground wires. (b) Without ground wires.
[5] L. M. Wedepohl and D. J. Wilcox, “Transient analysis of underground
power transmission system; system-model and wave propagation char-
exceeds the so-called corona inception voltage, see, for in- acteristics,” Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., vol. 120, no. 2, pp. 252–259, Feb.
stance, [12]. This inception voltage decreases as the travel [6] A. Deri, G. Tevan, A. Semlyen, and A. Castanheira, “The com-
distance increases and depends on the propagation wave steep- plex ground return plane. A simplified model for homogeneous and
ness. Corona increases the conductor capacitance, decreases multi-layer earth return,” IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-100,
no. 8, pp. 3686–3693, Aug. 1981.
the surge impedance, increases the coupling factor between [7] H. W. Dommel, Electromagnetic Transients Program Manual (EMTP
conductors, and increases losses. Corona causes additional Theory Book). Portland, OR: Bonneville Power Administration, 1986.
attenuation and distortion, mainly on the wavefront and above [8] J. R. Marti, “Accurate modeling of frequency-dependent transmission
lines in electromagnetic transient simulations,” IEEE Trans. Power App.
the inception voltage, so a noncorona model will provide Syst., vol. PAS-101, no. 1, pp. 147–155, Jan. 1982.
conservative results. Some programs allow users to include [9] T. Noda, N. Nagaoka, and A. Ametani, “Phase domain modeling of fre-
this effect in transient simulations. Several approaches can quency-dependent transmission lines by means of an ARMA model,”
IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 401–411, Jan. 1996.
be considered. The simplest one includes corona effect from [10] A. Morched, B. Gustavsen, and M. Tartibi, “A universal model for
line geometry, although some models also consider the air accurate calculation of electromagnetic transients on overhead lines
density factor and even an irregularity factor. In fact, corona and underground cables,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 14, no. 3, pp.
1032–1038, Jul. 1999.
is a very complex phenomenon whose accurate representation [11] IEEE Task Force on Fast Front Transients, “Modeling guidelines for fast
should be based on a distributed hysteresis behavior. Perhaps transients,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 493–506, Jan.
the most important study for which corona can have a strong 1996.
[12] A. R. Hileman, Insulation Coordination for Power Systems. New
influence is the determination of incoming surges in substations York: Marcel Dekker, 1999.
[12]. When an accurate representation of the corona effect is [13] P. S. Maruvada, D. H. Nguyen, and H. Hamadani-Zadeh, “Studies on
possible, then additional input parameters are required for a full modeling corona attenuation of dynamic overvoltages,” IEEE Trans.
Power Del., vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1441–1449, Apr. 1989.
characterization of the model [13], [14]. [14] S. Carneiro and J. R. Martí, “Evaluation of corona and line models in
The concept of “nonuniform line” has been introduced to electromagnetic transients simulations,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol.
deal with line geometries where the longitudinal variation of 6, no. 1, pp. 334–342, Jan. 1991.
[15] A. I. Ramirez, A. Semlyen, and R. Iravani, “Modeling nonuniform trans-
line parameters can be significant. Examples of this type of line mission lines for time domain simulation of electromagnetic transients,”
are lines crossing rivers or entering substations. In such cases, IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 968–974, Jul. 2003.

Parameter Determination for Modeling System

Transients—Part II: Insulated Cables
IEEE PES Task Force on Data for Modeling System Transients of IEEE PES Working Group on Modeling and Analysis
of System Transients Using Digital Simulation (General Systems Subcommittee)

B. Gustavsen, J. A. Martinez, and D. Durbak

Abstract—EMTP-type programs include dedicated support “cable constants” (CC). These programs have some shortcom-
routines (cable constants) for calculating an electric representa- ings in representing certain cable features. The paper provides
tion of cable systems in terms of a series impedance matrix guidelines on how to apply CC routines to the most common
and a shunt admittance matrix , based on cable data defined by
geometry and material properties. and are the basic input of types of high-voltage cable systems. The discussion considers
the various cable models that are used in time-domain transient both cables with extruded solid insulation (XLPE, PE) and ca-
simulations. This paper discusses the modeling of high-voltage bles with oil-impregnated paper.
cables: single-core, three-phase, and pipe-type cables. Material
properties are given for commonly used conductive and insulating
materials, and how to represent semiconductive screens, lossy in- II. INPUT DATA
sulation materials, and magnetic armors is shown. The significance
of the grounding condition of sheaths and armors is discussed. The basic equations used to represent overhead lines and in-
In transient calculations, it is always important to accurately
represent the core conductor, insulation, semiconductive layers, sulated cables have the following form:
and the metallic sheath. Frequency-dependent losses of paper-oil
insulation need to be taken into account for very-high-frequency (1)
transients. The significance of conductors external to the cable
depends on the shielding effect of the cable sheath, which depends
on the sheath design and the frequency content of the transient.
The conclusions are supported by numerical simulation results. where and are, respectively, the series resistance, se-
Index Terms—Insulated cables, modeling, power system tran-
ries inductance, shunt conductance, and shunt capacitance per-
sients, simulation. unit length of the cable system. These quantities are ma-
trices, being the number of (parallel) conductors of the cable
system. The variable reflects that these quantities are calcu-
I. INTRODUCTION lated as function of frequency.
and are calculated by means of CC routines, using cable
S EVERAL line models have been implemented in com-
monly available EMTP-type programs which can accu-
rately represent the frequency dependence of cable systems
geometry and material properties as input parameters. In gen-
eral, users must specify:
[1]–[3]. All of these models require the same type of input pa- 1) Geometry
rameters, namely the series impedance matrix and the shunt • location of each conductor ( - coordinates);
admittance matrix . Sufficiently accurate input parameters • inner and outer radii of each conductor;
are, in general, more difficult to obtain for cable systems than • burial depth of the cable system.
for overhead lines as the small geometrical distances make 2) Material properties
the cable parameters highly sensitive to errors in the specified • resistivity and relative permeability of all conduc-
geometry. In addition, it is not straightforward to represent tors ( is unity for all nonmagnetic materials);
certain features, such as wire screens, semiconductive screens, • resistivity and relative permeability of the surrounding
armors, and lossy insulation materials. The situation is made medium ;
further complicated by uncertainties in the geometrical data • relative permittivity of each insulating material .
as provided by the manufacturer as they define guaranteed The calculation of and from the geometry and mate-
measures, but not necessarily the actual measures. rial properties follows similar steps for all CC routines. The
Most EMTP-type programs have dedicated support routines reader is referred to [4]–[6] for details. The main challenge is
for calculating cable parameters. These routines have very sim- the impedance calculation which is based on computing sur-
ilar features, so hereinafter they will be given the generic name face impedances and transfer impedances of cylindrical metallic
shields, as well as self and mutual ground impedances. CC rou-
Manuscript received March 1, 2004; revised August 9, 2004. Paper no. tines differ in the actual expressions that are used in the calcula-
TPWRD-00106-2004. tion of these quantities. It is worth noting that these routines take
Task Force Members: J. A. Martinez (Chairman), D. Durbak, B. Gustavsen,
B. Johnson, J. Mahseredjian, B. Mork, R. Walling. the skin effect into account but neglect any proximity effects. A
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2005.848774 procedure for including proximity effects is given in [7].
0885-8977/$20.00 © 2005 IEEE


Fig. 1. Circumferential permeability. Steel wire diameter = 5 mm [8].


A. Conductive Materials
Table I shows appropriate values for the resistivity of some
common conductor materials. Fig. 2. Complex permittivity of paper–oil insulation, according to (4).
Stranded conductors need to be modeled as massive conduc-
tors. The resistivity should be increased with the inverse of the Most extruded insulations, including XLPE and PE, are
fill factor of the conductor surface so as to give the correct re- practically lossless up to 1 MHz whereas paper–oil-type in-
sistance of the conductor. sulations exhibit significant losses also at lower frequencies.
The resistivity of the surrounding ground depends strongly on The losses are associated with a complex, frequency-dependent
the soil characteristics, ranging from about 1 m (wet soil) to permittivity
about 10 k m (rock). The resistivity of sea water lies between
0.1 and 1 m. (3)
Submarine cables are normally designed with (magnetic)
where is the insulation loss factor. Presently, none of the
steel armor. The armor consists of a number of steel (round or
available CC routines allows to enter a frequency-dependent
square/flat) wires, or of steel tapes. In the case of a wired armor, loss factor, so a constant value has to be entered. However, this
the permeability depends on the wire diameter, the laying angle, leads to nonphysical frequency responses which cannot be accu-
and the intensity of the circumferential magnetic field.
rately fitted by frequency-dependent transmission-line models.
Bianchi and Luoni [8] obtained curves for the permeability
Therefore, the loss-angle should instead be specified as zero.
of round wire steel armors due to a magnetic field in the cir- Breien and Johansen [9] fitted a Debye model to the mea-
cumferential direction. Their calculations were based on mea- sured frequency response of insulation samples of a low-pres-
sured permeability in the longitudinal direction of steel wires,
sure fluid-filled cable, in the frequency range 10 kHz–100 MHz.
and an assumption of the permeability in the perpendicular di-
The permittivity is given as
rection lying between 1 and 10. Fig. 1 shows the permeability
in the circumferential direction (magnitude) as function of the (4)
circumferential magnetic field strength, for different lay angles
and depending on the assumed permeability in the perpendic-
The permittivity at zero frequency is real valued and equal to
ular direction.
3.45. It is stated in [9] that the frequency-dependent permittivity
causes additional attenuation of pulses shorter than 5 s. The
B. Insulating Materials frequency variation in (4) is shown in Fig. 2.
The relative permittivity of the cable main insulation can be Equation (4) is a rational function in frequency , so
obtained from the manufacturer. Table II shows typical values its inclusion in a CC routine would yield rational frequency
for common insulating materials at power frequency. XLPE is responses which can be accurately fitted. Therefore, CC rou-
an extruded insulation while mass-impregnated and fluid-filled tines should be modified to allow the permittivity to be speci-
denote paper–oil-based insulations. fied in a Debye model, see (4), with user-specified parameters.


Fig. 4. Three-phase cable designs.

Fig. 3. SC XLPE cable, with and without armor.

where and are the core radius and the sheath inner ra-
dius, respectively; and are the inner and outer insulation
Section IX-A shows the effect of insulation losses on a transient radii, respectively; and is the permittivity of the insulating
response. material.
The effect of semiconductive layers on the series impedance
C. Semiconductive Materials is subject to a rigorous treatment in [12].
The main insulation of high-voltage cables is always sand-
wiched between two semiconductive layers. This is the case for V. THREE-PHASE SELF-CONTAINED CABLES
both extruded insulation and paper–oil insulation. The electric Three-phase cables essentially consist of three SC cables
parameters of semiconductive screens can vary between wide which are contained in a common shell. The insulation system
limits; Table III gives indicative values for extruded insulation.
of each SC cable can be based on extruded insulation or on
For cables with extruded insulation, the resistivity is required by
paper–oil. Regarding the modeling in CC routines, most cable
norm (IEC 60840) to be smaller than 1000 m and 500 m for designs can be differentiated into the two designs shown in
the inner and the outer semiconductive layers, respectively. For- Fig. 4.
tunately, semiconductive layers can, in most cases, be taken into
Design #1: one metallic sheath for each SC cable, SC cables
account by using a simplistic approach, as shown in Section IV.
enclosed within metallic pipe (sheath/armor). This design can
be directly modeled using the “pipe-type” representation avail-
IV. SINGLE-CORE SELF-CONTAINED CABLES able in some CC routines, where “pipe” denotes the common
Single-core (SC) cable systems are comprised of three sep- metallic enclosure. See Section VI.
arate cables which are coaxial in nature (Fig. 3). The insula- Design #2: one metallic sheath for each SC cable, SC cables
tion system can be based on extruded insulation (e.g., XLPE) or enclosed within insulating pipe. None of the present CC routines
oil-impregnated paper (fluid filled or mass impregnated). The can directly deal with this type of design due to the common
core conductor can be hollow in the case of fluid-filled cables. insulating enclosure. This limitation can be overcome in one of
SC cables for high-voltage applications are always designed the following ways.
with a metallic sheath conductor (Fig. 3). The sheath conductor i) Place a very thin conductive conductor on the inside of
can be made of lead, corrugated aluminum, or copper wire. Such the insulating pipe. The cable can then be represented as
cables are also designed with an inner and an outer semiconduc- a pipe-type cable in a CC routine.
tive screen, which are in contact with the core conductor and ii) Place the three SC cables directly in earth (ignore the in-
the sheath conductor, respectively. Submarine cables are nor- sulating pipe).
mally designed with steel armor to provide additional mechan- Both options should give reasonably accurate results when
ical strength. the sheath conductors are grounded at both ends. However, these
None of the available CC routines permit the user to directly approaches are not valid when calculating induced sheath over-
specify the semiconductive layers. These must therefore be in- voltages.
troduced by a modification of the input data. As explained in The space between the SC cables and the enclosing pipe is
[10], semiconductive layers which are in contact with a metallic for both designs filled by a composition of insulating mate-
conductor can be taken into account by replacing the semicon- rials; however, CC routines only permit to specify a homoge-
ductors with the insulating material of the main insulation, and nous material between sheaths and the metallic pipe. Fortu-
increasing the permittivity of the total insulation so that the elec- nately, the representation of this medium is not very important,
tric capacitance between the core and the sheath remains un- as explained in Section VIII.
changed. The validity of this approach has been verified by mea-
surements up to at least 1 MHz [11]. VI. PIPE-TYPE CABLES
The actual conversion of the permittivity is done as follows:
Pipe-type cables consist of three SC paper cables that are laid
asymmetrically within a steel pipe, which is filled with pressur-
ized low-viscosity oil or gas (Fig. 5). Each SC cable is fitted with

1) Increasing the core resistivity increases the attenuation

and slightly decreases propagation velocity.
2) Increasing the sheath resistivity (or decreasing the sheath
thickness) increases the attenuation.
3) Increasing the insulation permittivity increases the
cable capacitance. This decreases velocity and surge
4) With a fixed insulation thickness, adding semiconductive
screens increases the inductance of the core-sheath loop
without changing the capacitance. This decreases velocity
and increases surge impedance.
Fig. 5. Pipe-type cable. Since the sheath conductors are normally grounded at both
ends, the potential along this conductor is low as compared to
a metallic sheath. The sheaths may touch each other. Most CC that of the core conductor, even in transient conditions. As a re-
routines have an input template available which is specifically sult, the simulated transients on phase conductors are insensitive
dedicated to this cable design. to the specified properties of insulating materials external to the
VII. GROUNDING OF SHEATHS AND ARMORS The magnetic flux external to the sheath is small at frequen-
cies above which the penetration depth is smaller than the
CC routines require users to specify the grounding condi- sheath thickness
tions of metallic sheaths and armors. Grounding a conductor in
a CC routine means that this conductor will be assumed to be on
ground potential at any point along the cable, which results in (6)
the conductor being eliminated from and and, thus, from
the resulting cable model. The main advantage of this option It follows that high-frequency transients are not very sensitive
over manual grounding (i.e., grounding is achieved by placing to the conductors/ground external to the sheaths. The shielding
a very small resistor between the conductor and ground) is a effect increases with decreasing resistance of the sheath.
shorter simulation time. A disadvantage is that one loses the pos- Some care is needed when modeling armored SC cables at
sibility of monitoring the current flowing through the eliminated low and intermediate frequencies as the return path of each
conductor. coaxial mode divides between the sheath and the armor. This
The armor can, in nearly all situations, be assumed to be at makes the propagation characteristics sensitive to the modeling
ground potential. In submarine cables, the armor is usually quite of the armor (and to the separation distance between the sheath
thick; thus preventing any high-frequency flux to penetrate the and armor). The armor permeability now becomes an important
armor, so no voltage drop will develop along it. Also, many parameter.
submarine cables have a wet construction where the conductive In studies of ground fault situations, a significant zero-se-
sea water is allowed to penetrate the armor. quence current at power frequency will flow in conductors ex-
Sheath conductors are usually grounded at both cable ends. ternal to the sheaths (armor, pipe) as the sheath will not shield
In this situation, the ideal grounding option usually applies be- the magnetic flux. In such situations, it is necessary to model
cause induced (transient) sheath voltages along the cables are, the armor/pipe with care as they can strongly affect the zero-
in general, very small compared to voltages on core conductors. sequence impedance of the cable and, thus, the magnitude of
Sheaths must, however, be included when high voltages can de- the fault current.
velop along them. This includes situations with a high ground
potential rise at the cable grounding point (ground fault current,
injection of lightning current), and cross-bonded cable systems. IX. CALCULATED RESULTS
Their inclusion may also be needed in situations with the sheath A. Single-Core Cable
grounded at one end through arresters. The cable sheaths must,
1) Test System: In this example, a system of three 145-kV
of course, be included in any study of sheath overvoltages.
SC cables is considered (Fig. 6). The cable design uses a copper
core and XLPE insulation, being the core radius and insulation
VIII. SENSITIVITY OF TRANSIENTS TO CABLE PARAMETERS thicknesses as those shown in Table IV. Semiconductor layers
are taken into account by using (5).
All cable designs described in this paper (single core, three- Using the so-called universal line model (ULM) [3], the
phase, pipe type) are based on three single-core cables having voltage caused by a step voltage excitation is calculated at the
a core conductor and a sheath conductor. High-frequency cable receiving end of a 5-km cable (Fig. 7). All sheaths are treated
transients essentially propagate as decoupled coaxial waves be- as continuously grounded.
tween cores and sheaths [13], [14], so the transient behavior of 2) Sensitivity to Sheath Resistance: The resulting step
the cable is sensitive to the modeling of the core, main insula- voltage is calculated for the following cable sheaths: 1, 2, and
tion, semiconductors, and the metallic sheath. The sensitivity of 3 mm Pb; 0.215 mm Cu (which represents a 50-mm wire
the coaxial wave can be summarized as follows. screen).

Fig. 6. Cable configuration.


Fig. 8. Effect of sheath design on overvoltage.

Fig. 7. Step voltage excitation.

The receiving end voltages are shown in Fig. 8, assuming Fig. 9. Effect of semiconductor thickness on overvoltage.
1-mm semiconductive layers. It can be seen that reducing the
thickness of the lead sheath from 2 to 1 mm leads to a strong simulation is performed with the following representations of
increase of the attenuation, whereas a reduction from 3 to 2 mm the main insulation:
has little effect. This can be understood by considering that
a) Lossless insulation [i.e., dc value in (4)].
the dominant frequency component of the transient is about
b) Lossy insulation by (4).
10 kHz. At this frequency, the penetration depth in lead is
2.4 mm, according to (6). Thus, increasing the thickness of the Fig. 10 shows an expanded view of the initial transient (re-
lead sheath beyond 2.4 mm will not lead to a significant change ceiving) end. It can be seen that the lossy insulation gives a much
in the response. stronger reduction of the peak value for the narrow pulse (2 s)
3) Sensitivity to Semiconductor Thickness: Assuming a than that for the lossless insulation. This reduction is an effect of
0.215-mm Cu sheath, the step response is calculated for dif- both attenuation and frequency-dependent velocity. It is further
ferent thicknesses of the semiconductor layers: 0, 1, 2, 3 mm. seen that the travel time of the lossy insulation is smaller than
The responses in Fig. 9 show that the semiconductors lead to that of the lossless insulation, which is caused by the reduction
a decrease of the propagation speed, as previously explained in in permittivity at high frequencies, according to (4).
Section VIII.
4) Sensitivity to Insulation Losses: In this example, the B. Armored Cable
XLPE main insulation is replaced by paper-oil insulation. It In this example, an armor of 5-mm steel wires and a 5-mm
is further assumed that the cable has a 2-mm lead sheath and outer insulation are incorporated into the cable design. It is fur-
no semiconductive screens. The open-end voltage is calculated ther assumed XLPE main insulation, a 2-mm lead sheath, and
by applying a 2 and a 10- s width square-voltage pulse. The 1-mm semiconductive screens. Only one cable is considered.

1) It is always necessary to accurately specify the geom-

etry and material properties of the core conductor, the
main insulation, and the sheath conductor. It is also im-
portant to take the semiconductive layers into account. A
simple procedure for achieving the latter is proposed in
Section IV.
2) Lossy effects of paper-oil insulation lead to a strong atten-
uation and dispersion of narrow pulses. Presently, none of
the existing CC routines can take this into account.
3) The representation of insulating layers external to the
sheath conductors is not very important when the sheaths
are grounded at both ends.
4) The representation of metallic conductors external to the
sheath conductors is important at low frequencies where
the penetration depth exceeds the sheath thickness.
5) Transient voltages can be strongly sensitive to the perme-
ability of any steel armoring when the magnetic field pen-
Fig. 10. Effect of insulation losses on overvoltage.
etrates the sheaths.

[1] L. Marti, “Simulation of transients in underground cables with fre-
quency-dependent modal transformation matrices,” IEEE Trans. Power
Del., vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 1099–1110, Jul. 1988.
[2] T. Noda, N. Nagaoka, and A. Ametani, “Phase domain modeling of
frequency-dependent transmission line models by means of an ARMA
model,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 401–411, Jan. 1996.
[3] A. Morched, B. Gustavsen, and M. Tartibi, “A universal model for
accurate calculation of electromagnetic transients on overhead lines
and underground cables,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 14, no. 3, pp.
1032–1038, Jul. 1999.
[4] H. W. Dommel, Electromagnetic Transients Program Manual (EMTP
Theory Book). Portand, OR: Bonneville Power Administration, Aug.
[5] L. M. Wedepohl and D. J. Wilcox, “Transient analysis of underground
power-transmission systems. System-model and wave-propagation
characteristics,” Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., vol. 120, no. 2, pp. 253–260,
Feb. 1973.
[6] A. Ametani, “A general formulation of impedance and admittance of
cables,” IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-99, no. 3, pp. 902–909,
Fig. 11. Effect of armor permeability on overvoltage.
May/Jun. 1980.
[7] Y. Yin and H. W. Dommel, “Calculation of frequency-dependent imped-
The resulting voltage of the open-circuit step response is cal- ances of underground power cables with finite element method,” IEEE
culated for different values of the armor permeability: Trans. Magn., vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 3025–3027, Jul. 1989.
[8] G. Bianchi and G. Luoni, “Induced currents and losses in single-core
, being the cable length of 50 km, see Fig. 11. It is submarine cables,” IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-95, no. 1,
seen that increasing the permeability strongly increases the ef- pp. 49–58, Jan./Feb. 1976.
fective attenuation of the voltage. The reason is that a perme- [9] O. Breien and I. Johansen, “Attenuation of traveling waves in single-
phase high-voltage cables,” in Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., vol. 118, Jun. 1971,
ability increase reduces the penetration depth in the armor, thus pp. 787–793.
increasing the resistance of the inner armor surface impedance. [10] B. Gustavsen, “Panel session on data for modeling system transients: In-
For a 5-km cable length, the significance of the armor was found sulated cables,” in Proc. IEEE Power Engineering Soc. Winter Meeting,
to be small as the magnetic field would not appreciably pene- [11] K. Steinbrich, “Influence of semiconducting layers on the attenuation
trate the sheath conductor, due to the increased frequency of the behaviour of single-core power cables,” Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., Gen.,
Transm. Distrib., vol. 152, no. 2, pp. 271–276, Mar. 2005.
transient. [12] A. Ametani, Y. Miyamoto, and N. Nagaoka, “Semiconducting layer
impedance and its effect on cable wave-propagation and transient
X. CONCLUSION characteristics,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 1523–1531,
Oct. 2004.
This paper has considered cable data for simulating transients [13] J. P. Noualy and G. L. Roy, “Wave-propagation modes on high-voltage
on phase conductors of single core cables, three-phase cables, cables,” IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-96, no. 1, pp. 158–165,
Jan./Feb. 1977.
and pipe-type cables. The main conclusions can be summarized [14] A. Ametani, “Wave propagation characteristics of cables,” IEEE Trans.
as follows. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-99, no. 2, pp. 499–505, Mar./Apr. 1980.

Parameter Determination for Modeling System

Transients—Part III: Transformers
IEEE PES Task Force on Data for Modeling System Transients of IEEE PES Working Group on Modeling and Analysis
of System Transients Using Digital Simulation (General Systems Subcommittee)

J. A. Martinez, R. Walling, B. A. Mork, J. Martin-Arnedo, and D. Durbak

Abstract—Transformer modeling for transient simulations has

many challenges because of nonlinear and frequency-dependent
behavior. Some of the model parameters are relatively easy to ob-
tain from standard factory tests. Other parameters can only be
obtained from special tests or by estimation. This paper provides
guidelines for the estimation of transformer model parameters for
low- and mid-frequency transient simulations. The paper also dis-
cusses several transformer models that can be used for transient
Index Terms—Modeling, power system transients, simulation,


S EVERAL factors make transformer modeling a difficult

task: transformer behavior is nonlinear and frequency de-
pendent; many variations on core and coil construction are pos-
sible (Figs. 1 and 2); there are many physical attributes whose
behavior may need to be correctly represented (core configura-
tion, coil configuration, self- and mutual inductances between
coils, leakage fluxes, skin effect, and proximity effect in coils,
magnetic core saturation, hysteresis, and eddy current losses in
core, capacitive effects).
Transients during energization are a good example to illus-
trate difficulties related to transformer modeling [1]: before flux
penetrates the ferromagnetic core, the inductance is basically
that of an air core and losses are basically originated in conduc-
tors and dielectric; after flux has penetrated the core completely,
the inductance becomes that of an iron core, and losses occur in
conductors, core, dielectric and transformer tank.
The main goal of this paper is to provide guidelines for pa-
rameter estimation of two-winding transformer models to be
used in low- and mid-frequency transient simulations.
Although much effort has been dedicated to the calculation
of transformer parameters from winding and core geometric in-
formation, this information is not generally available to users
of transient simulation programs. Thus, in practice, the parame-
ters must be derived from commonly available nameplate or test
The following information is usually available for any
transformer: power rating , voltage ratings , ex- Fig. 1. Three-phase core designs. (a) Triplex core. (b) Three-legged stacked
citation current , excitation voltage , excitation core. (c) Shell core. (d) Five-legged stacked core. (e) Five-legged wound core.

Manuscript received June 21, 2004; revised August 23, 2004. Paper no. losses , short-circuit current , short-circuit voltage
TPWRD-00289-2004. , short-circuit losses . Saturation curves and capaci-
Task Force Members: J. A. Martinez (Chairman), D. Durbak, B. Gustavsen,
B. Johnson, J. Mahseredjian, B. Mork, R. Walling. tances can also be obtained from tests, but they are not always
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2005.848752 available.
0885-8977/$20.00 © 2005 IEEE

A. Matrix Representation
The steady-state equations of a single-phase multiwinding
transformer can be expressed by an impedance equation [11]
The formulation can be extended to three-phase transformers
by replacing any element of by a (3 3) submatrix


being the self-impedance of a phase (leg) and the mu-

tual impedance among phases (legs). These impedances can be
related to the direct- and zero-sequence impedances



For transient calculations, (1) must be rewritten in the fol-

lowing form:


where and are, respectively, the real and the imaginary

part of the branch impedance matrix.
In case of a very low excitation current, the transformer
Fig. 2. Winding designs. (a) Concentric design. (b) Interleaved design. should be described by an admittance formulation
(c) “Pancake” design.
For transients simulations, this expression becomes
Excitation and short-circuit currents, voltages, and losses
must be obtained from both positive- and zero-sequence mea- (6)
surements. Standards recommend procedures for measuring
the above values and provide specifications and requirements Both approaches include phase-to-phase couplings and ter-
for conducting tests [2]–[4]. However, they neither include minal characteristics, but they do not consider differences in
expressions for parameter determination nor cover all tests core or winding topology. These models are linear and theo-
retically valid only for the frequency at which the nameplate
needed to derive all parameters that must be specified in some
data was obtained, although they are reasonably accurate for
transformer models. Several authors have included procedures
frequencies below 1 kHz. For the simulation of saturable cores,
for parameter estimation at the time they have presented their
excitation may be omitted from the matrix description and at-
own models, but many of those procedures have been validated tached externally at the model terminals in the form of nonlinear
by analyzing steady-state conditions only and cannot be used elements; such core is not always topologically correct, but good
with transformers of any rating. enough in many cases.
Section III contains a review of some of the models that can
represent transformers in low- and mid-frequency transients. B. Saturable Transformer Component
For more details on modeling guidelines, see [5]–[9]. Proce-
A single-phase multiwinding transformer model can be based
dures for parameter estimation are discussed in Section IV.
on a star-circuit representation (Fig. 3 [12]). The model can be
easily extended to triplex-core transformers. Its application to
three-phase core units can be made through the addition of a
zero-sequence magnetizing inductance [13].
II. LOW- AND MID-FREQUENCY TRANSFORMER MODELS This model is of limited application, even for single-phase
units. An important aspect is the node to which the magnetizing
Low- and mid-frequency transformer models can be classi- inductance is connected. It is unimportant if the inductance is
fied into several groups. The following subsections present a not saturated, because of its high value; but it can be important
summary of those models implemented in transients programs if the inductance is saturated. The star point is not always the
[10]. correct topological connecting point.

Fig. 4. Equivalent circuit of a single-phase core.

The assembly of equivalent circuits to obtain the model of a

triplex core is straightforward.
The parameters of this circuit can be split into two groups:
series or winding parameters ( , , , and represent
Fig. 3. Star-circuit representation of single-phase N-winding transformers. the winding resistances and inductances of the high- and low-
voltage windings, respectively), and parallel or core parameters
C. Topology-Based Models (the combination of the saturable inductance and the resis-
tance represent the saturable core). Both series and par-
They can very accurately represent any type of core design
allel parameters are, however, frequency dependent, and even
in low-frequency transients. These models can be derived using
for some low-frequency transients, this dependency cannot be
two different approaches.
neglected. Capacitances between terminals, between windings,
1) Topologically correct models can be based on the fol- and from windings to the grounded tank and core structure can
lowing formulation: be required for simulation of some low-frequency transients; in
addition, their effect can be important in excitation tests.
a) Winding parameters:
The coupling between magnetic and electrical equa- • Resistances: The dc resistances of both windings are ob-
tions is made taking into account the core topology, see tainable by simple measurements; if those values are avail-
[14]–[16]. able, they must be corrected to account for frequency de-
2) The application of the principle of duality results in pendence. If winding resistances must be estimated from
models that include the effects of saturation in each factory tests, then use the following expressions (assuming
individual leg of the core, interphase magnetic coupling, that the HV side is the source side):
and leakage effects [17]–[21]. In the equivalent magnetic
circuit, windings appear as magnetomotive-force (MMF)
sources, leakage paths appear as linear reluctances, and
magnetic cores appear as saturable reluctances. The mesh (8b)
and node equations of the magnetic circuit are duals where is the percentage of the resistance to be placed at
of the electrical equivalent node and mesh equations, the high-voltage (HV) side and is the turn ratio. Only the
respectively. Winding resistances, core losses, and capac- dc resistance is accurately modeled by the simple topology
itive coupling effects are not obtained directly from the shown in Fig. 4. Representation of the frequency-depen-
transformation, but can be added to the equivalent circuit. dent winding resistance is discussed later in this paper.
• Leakage Inductances: The total leakage reactance can be
III. PARAMETER DETERMINATION estimated as follows:
A. Introduction
Transformer parameters can be estimated from test measure-
ments or from transformer geometry. Even typical values pre- For concentric winding designs, the inner winding has
sented in the literature can be useful for estimating some param- smaller reactance than the outer winding, and most often,
eters. Although a combination of these three sources is possible, the inner winding is the lower-voltage winding (Fig. 2).
the procedures presented in this paper assume by default that As shown in Fig. 4, the leakage inductance is divided
usual nameplates are available. However, there could be some among windings. When saturation is neglected, the divi-
situations for which a more detailed and accurate model should sion between primary and secondary inductance is arbi-
be used, and some additional information could be needed. The trary and determined by air-core impedances. When the
section includes some guidelines for model improvement and core saturates, this division can provide wrong results. The
estimation of additional parameters. following default assumptions can be made for leakage
split [22]:
B. Single-Phase Core Transformers 1) Assumes concentric winding with HV side as outer.
Fig. 4 shows the equivalent circuit that is usually considered 2) Put most leakage impedance on the HV side,
for representation of single-phase two-winding transformers. 75%–90% of total inductance as .

Fig. 5. Anhysteretic and dc magnetization curves.

Fig. 6. Hysteresis characteristic with capacitive effect included.

3) Adjust the slope of the saturation curve (see the fol-
lowing paragraphs), so that became a rea-
sonable estimate of (0.3 to 0.8 p.u. on self-cooled 2) Convert the voltage-current rms curve to an instanta-
base for large, high BIL transformers; 0.05 to 0.15 p.u. neous flux-current relationship. To perform this con-
for distribution transformers). version, the SATURATION supporting routine, avail-
To obtain more accuracy, winding design details able in some EMTP-like programs, can be used [12].
(height, mean diameter, turns, etc..) are required. 3) Compensate for the effect of winding capacitance.
Winding capacitance can dominate magnetizing reac-
b) Core parameters: The most usual representation is a
tance causing “cobra” flux-current curves (Fig. 6), and
parallel combination of a nonlinear inductance , representing
cancel much of the magnetizing current [23].
magnetic core saturation and a constant resistance repre-
The saturation characteristic can be modeled by a
senting core losses.
piecewise linear inductance with two slopes, since in-
• Magnetizing inductance: Transformer saturation is an creasing the number of slopes does not significantly
important component of many low-frequency electro- improve the accuracy. However, there are some cases
magnetic (EM) transient phenomena, including ferroreso- (e.g., ferroresonance, for which a more detailed rep-
nance, temporary overvoltages during load rejection, and resentation of the saturation characteristic is usually
transformer inrush. In general, it needs to be modeled required).
in transients with high flux. Many modelers are unduly Except for very specific applications, a very accu-
concerned with the details of the transformer saturation rate hysteresis model is not required. In addition, a
curve. For most phenomena, the critical transformer good knowledge of parameters to be specified in some
saturation parameters are the slope (air-core inductance) models is usually lacking.
and the zero-current intercept of the saturation curve. The • Core losses: They can also be critically important in some
location of the saturation representation in the transformer low-current phenomena involving saturation, such as fer-
model topology is also important. roresonance. These losses are a very small part of the
Saturation can be incorporated into a power transformer power rating and include magnetization losses, dielectric
model using test data/manufacturer’s curves or estimating losses, and winding losses. As a first approach, core losses
the key parameters from transformer geometry. Details can be represented as a linear resistance deduced from test
of the saturation curve are not usually critical when this measurement at the rated voltage as follows:
second approach is used. When the first approach is used,
several factors are to be taken into account: (11)
• The exciting current includes core loss and magne-
tizing components. where is the rated voltage and is the ac resistance
• Manufacturers usually provide root-mean-square to be considered in the excitation test.
(rms) currents, not crest. c) Further developments:
Winding capacitance can significantly affect low- 1) Eddy current effects in windings: Series winding losses
current data. are frequency dependent. Fig. 7 shows the frequency de-
• Hysteresis biases saturation curve (Fig. 5). pendence of a winding resistance as a function of the
The following procedure is suggested to deduce the factor , where is the leakage reactance. Winding
excitation curve: resistances must incorporate an ac component due to eddy
1) Extract loss component from excitation current for currents in windings, skin effect, and stray losses. AC re-
each current point sistance is commonly approximated by the following ex-
pression [24]:

(10) (12)

Fig. 7. Frequency dependency of the factor X=R.

Fig. 8. Simplified frequency-dependent representation of the winding.

where is the power frequency and is a factor between

1.2 and 2.
Fig. 8 shows a series-parallel circuit (Foster
equivalent) that can be used for an accurate representation
of the winding resistance and the leakage inductance in
low- and mid-frequency transients. To obtain parameters Fig. 9. Flux-current trajectories with a nonlinear resistor model for core-loss
of such a circuit, a frequency response test must be per-
formed and a fitting procedure applied [25], [26]. If such
information is not available, then effective resistance ap- shows how the flux-current trajectory that results is
proximations presented in the literature could be consid- unrealistic.
ered, see, for instance, [24]. A correction of the resistance The saturation curve is usually supplied by the manu-
value to account for the temperature effect should be also facturer; however, it can also be estimated if design details
considered. and core material data are available. However, joints in the
2) Core representation: An accurate representation can re- core structure can play a significant role which is not re-
quire a good hysteresis model. In modern transformers, flected in material data. Relationships needed to obtain a
hysteresis losses are small in front of eddy current losses. characteristic from transformer geometry (cross-sec-
At rated voltage during excitation tests, winding losses tion of core, magnetic path length, number of turns) and
are very small compared to core losses; but when the the core permeability are provided in textbooks [28]. If the
transformer is overexcited, winding losses can represent a saturation curve is not available, it can be also estimated
high percentage of total excitation losses. The equivalent using some empirical equations (e.g., the Frolich equation
core resistance shows a nonlinear behavior and its value [29]).
in overexcitation tests can be much smaller than that at 3) Capacitances: While generally thought of as being impor-
rated voltage [27]. Excitation test measurements at several tant to high-frequency phenomena, transformer winding
voltage levels are therefore desirable to obtain a more and bushing capacitances can be of critical importance to
accurate core model. Actual core losses increase more some slow transient phenomena, such as ferroresonance
rapidly than as the core reaches saturation. Unless it and other resonance situations [5], [30]. These capaci-
is accurately implemented, a nonlinear resistance model tances can confound measurements of transformer excita-
can have some serious limitations since hysteresis losses tion characteristics, as mentioned above. In addition, their
depend on maximum flux, not voltage, and loss match values increase with transformer size. Capacitance values
for 50/60-Hz excitation does not mean that the correct can be supplied by the manufacturer, although they can be
flux-current trajectory is followed. The literature reports also estimated from construction details [31], [32], or from
usage of a nonlinear resistor to represent voltage-depen- typical values listed in the literature [1].
dent core loss. While such a resistor can be determined After adding or modifying parameters, a single-phase trans-
to match fundamental-frequency excitation tests, Fig. 9 former model could be that shown in Fig. 10.

• The submatrix off-diagonal elements are calculated from

the short-circuit impedances. First, the direct and zero
values are deduced using the following expression:


Then, these values are converted using (13). Their per-unit

real parts are the per-unit load losses, while the imaginary
parts are calculated as follows:
where are the per-unit winding resistances,
Fig. 10. Improved single-phase transformer model. which can be calculated from the per-unit losses measured
in the short-circuit test.
There could be some accuracy problems with the above cal-
To obtain the model of a three-phase transformer (i.e., a culations if exciting currents are low or ignored. To solve them,
triplex-core unit), this representation is acceptable if both wind- an admittance matrix representation should be used. For a dis-
ings are grounded. However, if one winding is not grounded cussion of these problems and more details of the alternative
(e.g., a phase-to-phase connected unit), then the model has representation, see [11] and [12].
to be modified since there is also a significant capacitance to This approach has a very simple usage, as it is based on name-
ground in addition to the capacitance between terminals shown plate data. However, as mentioned in Section II-A, BCTRAN
in the figure. models are linear and theoretically valid only for the frequency
at which the nameplate data was obtained. Nonlinear behavior
C. Three-Phase Core Topology can be incorporated by externally attaching the core represen-
Guidelines on parameter estimation for three-phase core con- tation at the model terminals in the form of nonlinear elements.
figurations are presented below. They have been separated into Other aspects discussed in the original reference are the modi-
two subsections, assuming that the transformer model to be used fications to be used with delta-connected transformers.
in transient simulations can be linear or must incorporate non- 2) Topology-Based Models: Several difficulties arise when
linear behavior, respectively. modeling and simulating three-phase core configurations.
1) Matrix Representation: This representation is usually de- • These configurations include direct magnetic coupling be-
rived by using the EMTP supporting routine BCTRAN, and can tween phases (Fig. 1). Four- and five-legged transformers,
be applied to both single- and multi-phase multiwinding trans- as well as shell-type transformers, have low reluctance
formers. A detailed description of the procedure implemented for zero-sequence fluxes, as they can circulate directly
in this capability is out of the scope of this document. Only a through the core. Three-legged core-type transformers
summary of its main principles is described below. Readers are have a high reluctance path for zero-sequence fluxes,
referred to [11] and [12] for more details. which close through the air and the transformer tank.
The elements of the impedance matrix , see (1), can be • Several approaches have been proposed to date for repre-
derived from excitation and short-circuit tests. sentation of the same core configurations.
• By ignoring excitation losses, the imaginary parts of sub- • Some differences exist between models for representing
matrix diagonal elements, see (2) can be deduced from the the same core configuration, even when the same prin-
direct- and zero-sequence excitation tests ciple (e.g., duality is used). As a consequence, different
procedures for parameter estimation have been proposed
(13a) for models of the same core configuration by the model’
(13b) • Tests to obtain some characteristics values to be specified
in several models are not covered by present standards.
where are in per-unit values simply the reciprocal of Due to page limitations, only parameter estimation proce-
the imaginary part of the per-unit exciting currents dures for stacked-core transformers are analyzed in this paper.
(14) And only models derived by using the principle of duality are
studied, although the experience derived from other approaches
where and are, respectively, the per-unit values is also discussed.
of exciting currents and excitation losses. a) Three-legged transformers: Fig. 11(a) shows the core
• Excitation losses are not included in , but they can be configuration of a three-legged stacked-core transformer. The
added as shunt resistances across one or more windings. magnetic circuit is depicted in Fig. 11(b). and repre-
• Winding resistances are deduced from load losses ob- sent the MMFs at the high- and low-voltage side, respectively.
tained in short-circuit tests. This calculation is not Reluctances due to paths through iron are shown as solid rectan-
entirely correct since the resistance values are frequency gles: for the legs and for the yokes. Flux leakage paths
dependent. are shown as open rectangles, for paths between the legs and

the innermost windings, for paths between the legs and the
space between the two windings, for paths between the legs
and outside the windings, and for the leakage path through
the air in parallel with the yokes. Reluctances , also known
as zero-sequence paths, have been halved.
After using duality, reluctances due to paths through iron will
transform into nonlinear inductances, while flux paths in air will
transform into linear inductances. Fig. 11(c) shows the equiva-
lent circuit, where the effect of reluctances and has been
• and represent the winding resistances of the high-
and low-voltage windings.
• The linear inductances represent the flux leakages be-
tween both windings.
• Zero-sequence flux paths are represented by the linear in-
ductances ; eddy current losses resulting from zero-se-
quence fluxes are represented by resistances .
• The parallel combination of resistances and saturable
inductances represents the flux paths through legs.
• Each parallel combination of and represents the
yoke section between a pair of phases.
Capacitances between terminals and ground (core and tank),
between windings, and between phases could be added to the
equivalent circuit.
The elements and represent leakage fluxes and asso-
ciated losses that circulate outside the concentric coil pairs on
each phase. Dividing the flux paths into two parts results in a
more symmetric and convenient connection for the core equiv-
alent in the resulting electrical equivalent circuit.
Some discussion can be made about zero-sequence flux paths
at this point. In the case of an unbalanced excitation that in-
cludes zero sequence, the total fluxes linked by the three sets
of coils on the phase legs will not add to zero and this zero-se-
quence flux will circulate through the surrounding oil and air
and through fittings and tank walls. Following the assumptions
made in the development of this equivalent circuit, this flux flow
is distributed across the tops of the coils on the three phase
legs and is in addition to the relatively smaller amount of flux
that would flow there for balanced three-phase excitation. Alter-
nately, the zero-sequence effect might have been concentrated
all at the center phase, or divided into two parts at each of the
other phases. In any case, the total effect is the same. In the
equivalent electrical circuit, it is seen that zero-sequence oper-
ation results in an additional current (it can be seen in terms
of superposition) which circulates through the and ele-
ments. Regardless of how the and effect is distributed,
the total impedance of the zero-sequence path must be the same
as is shown in Table I, where the zero-sequence test is carried
The portion of the equivalent circuit inside the ideal trans-
formers is valid regardless of winding connections; delta or wye
connections are made up at the outside. However, procedures
for parameter determination will depend on transformer con-
Fig. 11. Duality-derived equivalent circuit of a three-legged stacked-core nections since the same zero-sequence tests cannot be applied
transformer. (a) Physical structure. (b) Magnetic circuit. (c) Equivalent circuit. to all transformers.


• For wye-wye connected transformers, data can be derived

from excitation and short-circuit tests at both positive and
zero sequences.
• For delta-wye connected transformers, zero-sequence (17c)
tests from the delta side cannot be performed and excita-
tion and short-circuit tests at zero sequence provide the
where is the three-phase active power, is the turn
same results.
ratio, and is a factor that depends on the transformer
• For delta-delta connected transformers, zero-sequence connection at the source side. For wye connection
tests are meaningless. , for delta connection . As for single-phase
As for single-core units, parameters of the model depicted units, is the percentage of the resistance to be placed
in Fig. 11(c) can be split into two groups: winding parameters at the HV side.
( , , , and ) and core parameters ( , , , 2) Data from the zero-sequence test can be used to obtain
). and according to the following sequence of cal-
Tables I–III show the diagram of the tests proposed for pa- culations:
rameter estimation. Note that the tests used for winding param-
eters are the standard positive-sequence excitation test and the (18a)
zero-sequence test, respectively. Tests for core parameter esti-
mation were first proposed in [19], and they are not supported
by any standard. The procedures to obtain all parameters are de-
tailed in the following paragraphs. (18c)
• Winding parameters.
Winding resistances can be obtained by standard tests; if
these values are not available, short-circuit test data should
be used, following the same procedure that was used with
single-phase transformers. (18e)
1) Data from the short-circuit positive-sequence test is
where and are the rms values of voltage and
used to obtain , , , as follows:
current, respectively, and is the three-phase active
power, measured in the zero-sequence test.
• Core parameters


The diagram of the two tests required to obtain the pa- be used if transformer geometry is known. As illus-
rameters of the core is shown in Table III. In both tests, the trated in several works, see, for instance, [15] and [18],
delta-connected HV side is left open. an accurate enough estimation of the different core re-
1) The first one is performed by shorting one outer leg and luctances and, therefore, of the saturable inductances,
exciting the other outer leg; it will be used to determine can be performed by using some simple expressions
leg characteristic (i.e., , ). presented in textbooks [28].
2) The second test is performed by shorting the center 2) Other tests to obtain transformer parameters have been
leg and exciting an outer leg; after obtaining the com- proposed by some authors. Those tests fit the model
bined characteristic of leg and yoke characteristic, the they are using for representing a three-legged trans-
leg characteristic, deduced in the previous test, is sub- former. For instance, Fig. 13 shows the diagram of
tracted. the measurements proposed in [33] for estimation of
The tests are also used to obtain core losses and, there- the nonlinear characteristics of the three legs and the
fore, the full representation of legs and yokes. As for zero-sequence parameters. However, one can also note
single-phase units, some care is needed to account for that both types of measurements are based on open-cir-
capacitances effects during excitation (open-circuit) tests. cuit tests. Therefore, the same concern for delta-con-
Parameters and can be also derived from a zero- nected transformers still remains.
sequence open-circuit test for both transformer connec- 3) Some researchers suggest a core-loss representation
tions. As for the tests shown above, the delta side of a using nonlinear resistors in parallel with each non-
delta-wye connected transformer should also be open. In linear inductance, with the nonlinear resistance values
such a case, the equivalent circuit would be that shown in determined from test data at different excitation levels.
Fig. 12. A modified version of (18) must be used. In fact, However, as discussed earlier for single-phase trans-
only (18b) has to be modified formers, there are significant limitations of nonlinear
resistance representation because the hysteresis losses
(19) depend on the maximum flux level and not the max-
imum voltage level. A fit of nonlinear resistances to
• Discussion loss data, which is accurate for one excitation wave-
1) Tests shown in Table III cannot be always performed, form, may not provide a match for excitation of a dif-
since opening the delta side or even separating the three ferent frequency or waveform.
windings of the wye side is only possible with very 4) Eddy current effects in windings can be incorporated
special transformers. Therefore, an alternative proce- by following the same procedure suggested for single-
dure should be considered. An efficient approach can phase units. The most reliable representation should be


Fig. 12. Equivalent circuit of a zero-sequence open-circuit test (delta side must
be open in a delta-wye connection).

based on a frequency response of the windings and a

fitting procedure to obtain a model such as that shown
in Fig. 8.
5) Capacitances can affect excitation currents and have a
significant influence on some transients [5], [30]. As
for single-phase units, capacitance can dominate mag-
netizing inductance, and some compensation might be
needed to obtain a correct saturation model; this effect
is more significant for large size transformers. Man-
ufacturers can provide capacitance values, but if fac-
tory tests were not carried out, the estimation could be Fig. 13. Measurement of characteristics of a three-legged-stacked-core
based on the transformer geometry and the appropriate transformer [33]. (a) Setup for the measurement of the nonlinear leg
equations [31], [32]. Since the addition of capacitive characteristics. (b) Setup for measurement of the zero-sequence characteristic.
effects to any three-phase transformer model is a com-
plicated task [34], typical values listed in the literature stacked-core transformer. In this case, the outer limbs provide
can be assumed [1], and a sensitivity study can be per- a closed iron path for zero-sequence fluxes; these limbs and
formed to determine the influence that capacitive ef- their yokes are represented as two parallel combinations of
fects can have on a transient solution, before deciding and . Therefore, the circuit is obtained from that of a three-
whether accurate estimation is needed. legged transformer after removing the linear inductances
b) Five-legged transformers: The derivation of the equiv- representing zero-sequence flux paths and their associated re-
alent circuit is similar to that used with the three-legged trans- sistances , and adding the parallel combinations that
former. Fig. 14 shows the equivalent circuit of a five-legged represent the outer limbs.

Fig. 14. Duality derived equivalent circuit of a five-legged stacked-core


Fig. 15. Circuits for measurement of characteristics of a five-legged-

Parameter estimation can be based on measurements similar stacked-core transformer [19]. (a) Open-circuit test of center leg. (b) Open-
circuit test of outer phase. (c) Zero-sequence open-circuit test.
to those proposed for a three-legged transformer.
• Data from the short-circuit positive sequence test are used
to obtain , , , see (17).
• Core parameters can be estimated from special test mea-
surements. Fig. 15. shows the scheme of tests proposed Parameter estimation for single- and three-phase core trans-
for a five-legged stacked-core transformer [19] and formers can be performed from data deduced from factory tests
can be estimated from measurements obtained with or transformer geometry, and also estimated from values listed
the open-circuit test of the center leg; the combined char- in the literature. Nameplate data are usually available for every
acteristic of leg and yoke ( , , , ) can be ob- transformer. Depending on the approach chosen for representing
tained from the open-circuit test of the outer phase; , the transformer or which leakage fluxes are included in the mag-
can be derived from measurements obtained with the netic circuit and where they are assumed to flow, different math-
zero-sequence open-circuit test. ematical representations can be derived for the equivalent cir-
For delta-connected transformers, open-delta tests are re- cuit. As a consequence, different tests and procedures for param-
quired, but the same concerns mentioned above still remain. eter estimation can be required. This document has presented a
Other comments included in the discussion of the summary of common models that can be implemented in most
three-legged transformer are still valid. That is, the performance EMTP-like tools and proposed some guidelines for parameter
of the equivalent circuit can be improved by representing core estimation.
losses as a nonlinear resistance; compensation of capacitive Tests to estimate some parameters that must be specified in
effects should be considered to obtain a correct saturation most three-phase core models developed to date are not covered
curve, and capacitive effects should not be always neglected. in present standards. When those tests presented in this paper
For equivalent circuit derivation and parameter estimation of cannot be performed, transformer geometry could be used for
a five-legged wound-core transformer, see [19] and [21]. parameter determination.

Although accurate and detailed models require both test and [16] X. Chen, “A three-phase multi-legged transformer model in ATP using
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vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 1554–1562, Jul. 1996.
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for most transient simulations. The effect of capacitances as well cluding nonlinear effects,” Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., pt. IV, vol. 100, pp.
as the frequency dependence of some parameters should not be 129–143, 1953.
[18] C. M. Arturi, “Transient simulation and analysis of a three-phase five-
neglected, mainly for large size transformers. limb step-up transformer following an out-of-phase synchronization,”
IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 196–207, Jan. 1991.
[19] D. L. Stuehm, Three Phase Transformer Core Modeling, Bonneville
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[20] A. Narang and R. H. Brierley, “Topology based magnetic model for
steady-state and transient studies for three-phase core type trans-
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Parameter Determination for Modeling System

Transients—Part IV: Rotating Machines
IEEE PES Task Force on Data for Modeling System Transients of IEEE PES Working Group on Modeling and Analysis
of System Transients Using Digital Simulation (General Systems Subcommittee)

J. A. Martinez, B. Johnson, and C. Grande-Moran

Abstract—The identification of electrical parameters of rotating

machines for simulation of slow (i.e., electromechanical, transients)
is not an easy task. Not only have several levels of complexity been
proposed for representing the electrical part of a rotating machine,
but several data sources can be considered. This paper deals with
the calculation of electrical parameters of large synchronous and
induction machines. Given the quantity of work produced to date
on this subject, the procedures selected are those closely related to
what is proposed in current standards or implemented in widely
used transients programs. Interested readers are referred to other
approaches included in the list of references.
Index Terms—Induction machines, modeling, power system
transients, simulation, synchronous machines.


A ROTATING machine is a very complex component whose

behavior is the result of the interaction of electrical and
mechanical systems. When a machine runs as a generator, a con-
Fig. 1. Block diagram of a synchronous machine.

trol system is usually present. Fig. 1 shows a schematic diagram

of the systems involved in a synchronous machine running as a transients. This effort is reflected in standards, which are regu-
larly updated. However, it is important to make a clear distinc-
generator connected to a power system.
tion between:
As with other power components, the detail with which the
mathematical model of a rotating machine is to be specified de- • test procedures (short-circuit, open-circuit, standstill fre-
pends on the frequency range of the transients to be reproduced. quency response, load rejection, and partial-load rejection
Table I presents a summary of the modeling guidelines pro- tests);
• determination of characteristic parameters (short/open-
posed by the CIGRE WG 33.02 for representing synchronous
circuit reactances and time constants), usually supplied
machines [1]. Although these guidelines are related to a spe-
by manufacturers;
cific type of machine, they can also be applied to other types of
• determination of parameters to be specified in equivalent
rotating machines.
network models.
This paper deals with the determination of electric parame-
Test setups and testing conditions, as well as procedures
ters needed to represent large three-phase (synchronous and in- for the determination of characteristic electrical parameters,
duction) machines connected to systems running at power fre- are well described and justified in standards [2], [3]. This
quency during low-frequency transients. It is obvious that the document is aimed at conversion procedures for passing from
mechanical part and the control systems of a machine play an the manufacturer’s data to network model parameters, needed
important role during low-frequency transients; neither the de- by digital programs to construct internal equations.
termination of mechanical parameters nor the estimation of con- Procedures for the determination of equivalent circuit param-
trol system parameters are covered in this document. eters are not clearly established in standards. In addition, stan-
A significant effort has been made to derive the electrical pa- dards only cover the so-called offline tests. However, online tests
rameters needed to represent rotating machines during system are becoming very common to either determine or improve the
knowledge of rotating machine parameters. A short review of
online tests is also included.
Manuscript received April 14, 2004; revised August 23, 2004. Paper no. Another important aspect, not covered in this document, is
TPWRD-00190-2004. the determination of parameters needed to obtain the steady-
Task Force Members: J. A. Martinez (Chairman), D. Durbak, B. Gustavsen,
B. Johnson, J. Mahseredjian, B. Mork, R. Walling. state conditions of a machine, those with which the machine is
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2005.848725 operating prior to a transient.
0885-8977/$20.00 © 2005 IEEE


Fig. 2. Diagram of the electrical part of a synchronous machine.

The paper has been organized into two main sections covering
synchronous and induction machines, respectively.


A. Mathematical Model
Fig. 3. Synchronous machine equivalent circuits. (a) d-axis circuit. (b) q-axis
The electrical part of a synchronous machine can be described circuit.
by the following equations: [4]
generator representation in dynamic and transients simulations
(1a) [6].
(1b) Although some approaches have been proposed to solve these
equations in phase quantities [5], they are usually solved after
where transforming stator quantities into rotor-axis quantities, using
vector of voltages; the Park’s transformation. Fig. 3 shows the equivalent circuits
vector of currents; that result for the synchronous machine depicted in Fig. 2. The
vector of fluxes; zero-sequence circuit, to be used in the simulation of unbalanced
diagonal matrix of winding resistances; transients, is not shown. This representation has been widely
matrix of self and mutual inductances. used in many transient studies. However, equivalent circuits of
Fig. 2 depicts three stator windings plus two windings on each a higher degree of complexity have been applied. Table II shows
rotor axis. One of the windings on the direct axis corresponds the matrix of equivalent circuits with those model structures pro-
to the field circuit, the other windings represent induced current posed in IEEE Standard 1110 [6]. Note that up to 12 combina-
paths and damper bars, in both round and salient-pole rotors. tions are possible, but only seven are considered. The selection
The diagram shows the convention used in IEEE standards for of a model is usually based on the type of machine, the study

TABLE II the manufacturer (short-circuit test data) are listed below; this
SYNCHRONOUS MACHINE MODELS FOR TRANSIENT STUDIES list corresponds to Model 2.2 (i.e., a model with two circuits on
each rotor axis, as shown in Fig. 2). This model is usually the
most complex model that can be derived from short-circuit test
data. However, the same procedure can be applied to machines
with any number of rotor circuits on each axis, as presented in
[7], if the required information is available.
Short-circuit tests can be only used for the determination of
d-axis values; that is, q-axis characteristic values can be calcu-
lated but cannot be directly derived from short-circuit test data.
The sections that describe the calculation of q-axis quantities
are titled “unconfirmed” in IEC 34-4 [8] and “informative” in
IEEE Standard 115 [2].
Several procedures have been proposed for the determination
of the internal parameters from short-circuit test data. For in-
stance, an informative Appendix is included in IEEE Standard
1110 with relationships between manufacturer data and equiva-
lent circuit parameters. The procedure summarized in this sec-
tion was presented in [9]. Table IV shows the relationships upon
which the procedure is based and the steps to be performed to
SYNCHRONOUS MACHINE PARAMETERS obtain the parameters of each circuit rotor. A procedure appli-
cable to any type of ac machine with any number of circuits on
any rotor axis was presented in [7].
2) Standstill Frequency Response (SSFR) Tests: An accu-
rate identification of synchronous machine parameters can be
performed from low-voltage frequency-response tests at stand-
still. These tests are becoming a widely used alternative to short-
circuit tests due to these advantages.
• They can be performed either in the factory or in site at a
relatively low cost.
• Equivalent circuits of an order higher than Model 2.2 (
Table II) can be derived.
• Identification of field responses is possible. According to
IEEE Standard 115, measurable parameters are:
• The d-axis operational impedance .
• The q-axis operational impedance .
• The standstill armature to field transfer function .
• The standstill armature to field transfer impedance
where is the alternative to the third measurement .
In addition, the measurement of field to armature transfer
to be performed, the user’s experience, and the available infor-
impedance is occasionally required.
mation. Depending on the characteristic parameter source, the
Table V shows the test setups for each of the measurable pa-
most complex models very often cannot be used due to a lack
rameters and the main relationships derived from each test.
of data.
The procedure for the identification of d-axis parameters from
As mentioned in the introduction, these representations are
SSFR can be summarized as follows [2].
suitable for simulation of low-frequency transients, such as tran-
sient stability studies, subsynchronous resonance, load rejec- 1) Use the best available estimate for the armature leakage
tion, short circuits, generator tripping, generator synchroniza- inductance ; it could be the value supplied by the man-
tion, and inadverted energization. ufacturer.
The conversion procedures that have been proposed for de- 2) Obtain , which is the low-frequency limit of ,
termination of the parameters for these models are discussed then determine
in the subsequent sections. Two sources of data are considered: (2)
short-circuit and standstill frequency-response (SSFR) tests.
3) Find the field to armature turns ratio using the
B. Determination of Electrical Parameters armature to field transfer impedance
1) Short-Circuit Test: Table III shows the parameters to be
specified in equivalent circuits of Fig. 3, while those supplied by


For a discussion on the factors to be used for adjusting this 2) Obtain , which is the low-frequency limit of ,
value, see [2]. then determine
4) Calculate the field resistance referred to the armature
winding (6)

3) Define an equivalent circuit structure for the q-axis.
4) Use the available parameters and a fitting technique to find
5) Define an equivalent circuit structure for the direct axis. values for the unknown parameters that produce the best
6) Use the available parameters and a fitting technique to find fit for .
values for the unknown parameters that produce the best 5) Adjust to its unsaturated value .
fit for and sG(s). As with the d-axis, these equivalent circuit parameters can be
7) Adjust to its unsaturated value , see normalized to per-unit values.
Section II-B4. The most complex step in the above procedures is the appli-
8) Measure the field winding resistance, convert it to the de- cation of a fitting technique to derive those parameters of the
sired operating temperature, and refer it to the stator equivalent circuits that match the obtained frequency response.
Many techniques have been proposed for this purpose; some of
(5) the techniques presented during the last years were based on
• maximum-likelihood estimation [10];
where is the operating temperature in C, is the mea-
• noniterative parameter identification procedure [11];
sured field resistance in ohms, and is the average field
• network synthesis technique [12];
winding temperature in C during the measurement.
• vector fitting [13].
Note that and substitute the parameters used to find
unknown values during the fitting procedure. Once the param- The experience gained with SSFR testing and analysis of
eters have been determined, they can be normalized to per-unit salient pole machines was presented at a panel session held at
values. the 1997 IEEE PES WM and summarized in [14]; see also [15]
The procedure for identification of q-axis parameters could and [16]. However, SSFR tests have also disadvantages, as dis-
be as follows [2]. cussed below [17], [18].
1) Use the best available estimate for the stator leakage in- • The effect of eddy current losses on the armature resis-
ductance . tance during the SSFR is not accounted for when the


operating reactances are deduced using the following the system as near to zero as possible and the excitation
expression: system on manual control [17], [20]. The generator cir-
(7) cuit breaker is opened, and the transient in the terminal
voltage, field voltage, and current are recorded. To obtain
where is the dc armature resistance; unsaturated and saturated values, the test is carried out
• Test equipment requires very linear, very high power under both under and overexcited conditions.
amplifiers. 3) Time-domain small disturbance test: The linear parame-
• Standstill measurements are made at low currents; how- ters of the machine are identified from lightly loaded, un-
ever, and can vary up to 20% in the range derexcited conditions, while saturation characteristics are
from no load to rated current. identified from a wide range of operating conditions [21].
• Tests are conducted at unsaturated conditions. 4) Time-domain large disturbance test: A large disturbance
• Centrifugal forces on damper windings are not accounted is abruptly introduced in the excitation reference voltage
for, becoming difficult to assess the error introduced by with the machine under normal operating conditions [22].
them. The recorded variables are terminal and field voltages,
• The resistance in the contact points of damper windings armature and field currents, as well as rotor speed.
can be higher at standstill than it is during running. As with any other data conversion procedure, steps involved
3) Online Testing: To avoid some of the drawbacks and lim- when online measurements are provided are similar to offline
itations of offline tests, the so-called online tests have been de- procedures:
veloped. They can be either time-domain or frequency-domain
tests. Some of these tests are described below as follows. • select the order of every rotor circuit;
• assume initial parameter values;
1) Online frequency response test: It is carried out with the
• use an estimation or a fitting technique to adjust their
machine running at rated speed and loaded below full
load. The frequency response is obtained by applying si-
nusoidal signals to the voltage regulator reference and Approaches presented to estimate machine parameters have
measuring the steady-state changes in field voltage and been based, among others, on the Newton–Raphson method
current, the rotor speed, the terminal voltage, and active [19], the weighted least-square method, and the maximum-like-
and reactive power outputs [17], [19]. lihood method [10], [21].
2) Load rejection test: It is performed with the machine 4) Saturation: Saturation effects can significantly affect
running at synchronous speed, with power injected to some transients (e.g., transient stability). In addition, an ac-

• Only one flux is subjected to saturation, and the degree of

saturation is a function of the total air-gap flux linkage


where subscripts and refer to mutual and unsaturated,

• The saturated mutual fluxes are derived from the unsatu-
rated values by using the same ratio

Fig. 4. Saturation characteristic.
• Since an ideal machine is assumed, saturation does not af-
fect the sinusoidal space distribution of the magnetic field
curate representation of saturation is not only important for or the sinusoidal waveform of the induced voltage.
transient simulations; it can be also important for exciter design If the saturation curve is represented as a two-slope piece-
and sizing [6]. wise linear curve, see Fig. 4, the saturation effects can be im-
According to IEEE Standard 1110–1991, the main concerns plemented by using the following coefficient:
for saturation representation can be summarized as follows.
• Saturation is assumed to affect only direct axis parameters
in salient pole machines, while in solid rotor machines, its
effect can be significant in both direct and quadrature axis where and are the slopes of the unsaturated and satu-
parameters. rated region, respectively.
• Saturation correction can be limited to adjustment of the The coefficient is set to 1.0 in the unsaturated region, but
magnetizing inductances and during the simula- whenever the solution moves to the saturated region, it is used
tion of large disturbances (i.e., disturbances that vary sig- to obtain the saturated values of the mutual inductances
nifycantly from steady-state values).
• During small disturbances, generally related to oscillation
modes in the 0.1-to-10-Hz range, the - path in a solid (11)
iron rotor is different from the path followed during steady
state; therefore, circuit constants are different also; the Much attention has been paid during the last years to the
analysis can be done by replacing the steady-state perme- cross-magnetizing phenomenon: a magnetic coupling exists be-
ability by the corresponding incremental permeability in tween the direct and the quadrature axis when the machine is
every region of the rotor. saturated [24]–[30].
The open-circuit saturation curve can be obtained with the The cross-magnetizing effect was illustrated in [31] using a
machine running offline at synchronous speed. First, set the flux phasor diagram. Fig. 5(a) shows the different saturation
field current to zero. Then give the excitation a small step in- curves. Assume that is a point of the d-axis satura-
crease and measure the steady-state field current and terminal tion curve, is a point of the q-axis saturation curve, and
voltage. Increase the excitation a number of times until 105% is a point of the air-gap saturation curve that is the satura-
of the rated voltage is reached. The set of measured field cur- tion characteristic deduced when the machine is simultaneously
rents and terminal voltages can be plotted to show the saturation excited from both axes. Resolving into its components, it can
characteristic. be found that and are not equal to and [Fig. 5(b)].
The differences are due to the cross-magnetizing effect.
The usual practice in many EMTP-like tools has been to de-
The determination of the saturated reactances including the
termine saturated parameters from the open-circuit saturation
cross-magnetizing phenomenon has been studied by many au-
curve. The representation of saturation effects has been based
thors, see, for instance, [31], [32] and [33]; the procedure de-
on the following simplifying assumptions [4], [23].
scribed below was presented in [34]. This paper includes also
• The flux linkage of both direct and quadrature axis is a method for calculation of the q-axis saturation characteristic
the sum of a mutual flux and leakage flux; saturation from the d-axis characteristic.
affects only mutual fluxes, its effects on leakage fluxes If the total magnetizing current is split into its components
are ignored.
• The rotor is isotropic (i.e., hysteresis effects are
neglected). (12)

where and are the static magnetizing in-

ductances, while and are the dynamic
magnetizing inductances. Under unsaturated conditions
and become and , respectively, while and
become zero.
The values of the unsaturated mutual inductances and
, derived from the SSFR test, are also affected by the iron
nonlinearities. Since SSFR tests are done using very low cur-
rents, compared to rated armature current, the values of the in-
ductances derived from SSFR will be lower than the unsaturated
values [35]. The adjustment to obtain unsaturated values will
depend on the test current and can be based on the following


where and define a point on the air-gap line; is the

peak voltage, line-to-neutral; is a dc value; and is the
rated rotor speed, in electrical radians.
The unsaturated value of the quadrature axis inductance is
determined using a similar approach.


A. Introduction
A treatment similar to that for synchronous machines can be
considered for induction machines. According to a recent work
in this field [36], methods for estimation of induction motor pa-
rameters can be classified into five categories.
1) Calculation from construction data: It is based on a field
calculation method (e.g., the finite-element method, and
requires geometry and material data. It can be very accu-
rate, but it is also costly.
Fig. 5. Illustrating the cross-magnetizing effect by means of the flux phasor
diagram [31]. (a) Saturation curves. (b) Flux phasor diagram. 2) Estimation based on steady-state models: It is the most
common approach since input data (i.e., nameplate data),
is usually available [36]–[38].
the cross-magnetizing effect can be illustrated by means of 3) Estimation based on frequency-domain tests: Similarly as
the time derivatives of the fluxes, which can be expressed as for synchronous machines, induction machine parameters
follows: can be derived from SSFR tests [39].
4) Estimation based on time-domain tests: It is a costly ap-
proach and data are usually not available [40]–[42].
(13) 5) Online testing: It is based on a simplified model and gen-
erally used to tune the controllers of a drive system [43],
where and are the magnetizing inductances including [44].
cross saturation, is the -axis mutual inductance for the
-axis flux, and is the -axis mutual inductance for the B. Equivalent Circuit
-axis flux. Equivalent circuits of an induction machine are the same for
The inductances, when this effect is included, can be obtained both axes, and it is generally accepted that a third-order equiv-
from the following equations: alent circuit model, as shown in Fig. 6, is accurate enough to
represent the dynamic behavior of the electrical part of an in-
duction machine. In fact, it is suitable for representing deep bar
or double-cage machines, but it can also be adopted for more
conventional machines. The model is the same for both d- and
q-axis equivalent circuits due to the rotor symmetry.
The performance of an induction machine is dominated by
the stator and rotor total leakage reactances and the rotor re-
sistance [37]. These quantities are not constant but vary with
slip; rotor resistance variation is caused by eddy currents, while

Fig. 8. Induction machine-modified equivalent circuit.

Fig. 6. Induction machine equivalent circuit—deep-bar or double-cage rotor

Fig. 7. Induction machine-simplified equivalent circuit.


leakage inductance variation is caused by eddy currents and by

the magnetic saturation of the leakage flux path. The equivalent
circuit of the induction machine must therefore include the ef-
fect of eddy currents in rotor bars and the saturation of leakage

C. Parameter Estimation Procedure This algorithm ignores the core losses and the leakage reac-
As mentioned above, it is common to estimate the electrical tance of the outer cage represented in Fig. 6 by and , re-
parameters from standard specification data [3]. Among the pro- spectively. Therefore, the simplified circuit of an induction ma-
cedures based on standard data, that presented in [37] has be- chine will be that shown in Fig. 7.
come very popular. It was originally developed for implemen- The standard specifications are split into two parts:
tation in the universal machine module of the Electromagnetic • those which define the normal operating conditions at full
Tranisents Program (EMTP) [4]. load: efficiency, power factor, slip;

and in Table VII are the reduced starting voltage and

current, respectively. is the saturation threshold current.
The value of derived from the formula shown in
Table VII is usually too small and can lead to incorrect predic-
tion of full-load performance.
An iterative procedure is usually required for parameter im-
provement and to provide an accurate prediction of full-load
performance since the saturation threshold current used in
this algorithm is not usually known. Fig. 9 depicts the flowchart
of the procedure suggested in [37].
The results of an example of parameter determination were
presented in [37].

A significant effort has been made during the last 30 years to
determine rotating machine parameters from test measurements.
Only machine models for low-frequency and switching tran-
sients have been analyzed, in all cases considering a terminal
machine model (i.e., models can be used to simulate the inter-
action between electrical machines and the power system).
Although many reliable conversion procedures aimed at
obtaining electrical machine parameters for the most adequate
model have been developed to date, very few of these proce-
dures are presently implemented in EMTP-like tools.

Fig. 9. Procedure for induction machine parameter estimation.
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when calculating transients, in CIGRE Brochure 39, 1990.
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Parameter Determination for Modeling Systems

Transients—Part V: Surge Arresters
IEEE PES Task Force on Data for Modeling System Transients of IEEE PES Working Group on Modeling and Analysis
of System Transients Using Digital Simulation (General Systems Subcommittee)

J. A. Martinez and D. W. Durbak

Abstract—The performance of surge arresters during elec-

tromagnetic transients on power systems can be simulated with
Electromagnetic Transient Program (EMTP)-type computer
programs. This paper discusses the steps to be performed for
deriving the parameters needed to represent gapless metal-oxide
surge arresters in transient simulations. The paper includes a
summary of the mathematical representation, guidelines for
choosing appropriate parameters, and the conversion procedures
used to obtain parameters.
Index Terms—Modeling, power system transients, simulation,
surge arresters. Fig. 1. MO varistor nonlinear voltage versus current characteristic.

with series or parallel spark gaps can also be represented with
T HE functions of a surge arrester are to do nothing, which
is to conduct little or no current for normal operating volt-
ages, or conduct current during overvoltages, without causing
the model described below where the device has two curves:
1) prior to sparkover, and 2) after sparkover.
a fault. Thus, the surge arrester must have an extremely high MO varistor materials have a temperature dependence that is
resistance during normal system operation and a relatively low evident only at low current densities. Temperature dependence
resistance during transient overvoltages. In other words, it must does not need to be represented in simulations for typical over-
have a nonlinear voltage versus current (V-I) characteristic. voltage studies where the arrester currents exceed 10 A. The
Early overvoltage protective devices used spark gaps con- temperature dependence factors into the selection of arrester rat-
nected in series with discs made with a nonlinear silicon-car- ings for steady-state and temporary overvoltages. The tempera-
bide (SiC) material. The spark gaps provide the high impedance ture-dependent V-I characteristic is important only for the eval-
during normal conditions while the SiC discs impede the flow of uation of energy absorbed by the surge arrester, and should not
current following sparkover. The V-I characteristic of SiC-type influence the insulation protective margins.
surge arresters is a combination of both the SiC disc and the gap
The V-I characteristic depends upon the waveshape of the
arrester current, with faster rise times resulting in higher peak
The metal-oxide (MO) varistor material used in modern high-
voltages. Table I shows modeling guidelines derived from
voltage surge arresters has a highly nonlinear voltage versus
CIGRE WG 33–02 [1]. The commonly used frequency-inde-
current characteristic as shown in Fig. 1. This characteristic ob-
pendent surge arrester model is appropriate for simulations
viates the need for series spark gaps. Therefore, the electrical
characteristics are determined solely by the properties of the containing low and most switching frequencies (Groups I and
MO blocks. A higher voltage rating is achieved by adding disks II). However, a frequency-dependent model should be used
in series. Higher energy ratings are achieved by using larger di- when very high frequencies are simulated (Groups III and IV);
ameter discs or parallel columns of discs. such a model has to incorporate the inherent inductance of the
Several manufacturers of medium-voltage applications also surge arrester. A lumped inductance of about 1 H per meter
market MO surge arresters with spark gaps. MO surge arresters for the ground leads should also be included in models for high
The subsequent sections present the rationale for models rep-
resenting MO surge arresters in low- and high-frequency tran-
Manuscript received March 1, 2004. Paper no. TPWRD-00107-2004. sients simulations. Model characteristics, parameter determina-
Task Force Members: J. A. Martinez (Chairman), D. W. Durbak, B. Gus-
tavsen, B. Johnson, J. Mahseredjian, B. Mork, R. Walling. tion, if needed, and an illustrative example are presented for
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2005.848771 each model.
0885-8977/$20.00 © 2005 IEEE



A. Model Mathematics
The V-I characteristic of a surge arrester has several exponen-
tial segments [2], where each segment can be approximated by


where is the exponent, is the multiplier for that segment, and

is an arbitrary reference voltage that normalizes the equa-
tion and prevents numerical overflow during exponentiation.
The first segment can be approximated by a linear relation- Fig. 2. Sample V-I characteristic for a 36/90-s wave.
ship to avoid numerical underflow and speed the simulation.
The resistance of this first segment should be very high since • The 8/20- s characteristic applies for typical lightning
the surge arrester should have little effect on the steady-state surge simulations.
solution of the network. Surge arrester currents during normal • The front-of-wave (FOW) characteristic applies for tran-
steady-state operation should be less than 0.1 A. The second sients with current rise times of less than 1 s.
segment is defined by the parameters , and , which is • The 36/90- s characteristic applies to switching surge
the minimum voltage for that segment. Multiple segments are simulations.
typically used to enhance the accuracy of the model since the • The 1-ms characteristic applies to low-frequency phe-
exponent decreases as the current level increases. Each segment nomena.
has its own values for , and . Manufacturers may supply minimum and maximum curves
for each test waveshape. The maximum curve is generally used
B. Model Construction since it results in the highest overvoltages and the most conser-
The following data must be obtained from the manufacturer’s vative equipment insulation requirements. The minimum curves
literature to construct a surge arrester model are used to determine the highest energy levels absorbed by the
• manufacturer's ratings and characteristics; arrester. Fig. 2 shows the set of six V-I points selected from a
• manufacturer's versus curves. sample V-I characteristic for a 36/90- s wave.
Manufacturers test each disc with a current pulse and record a An EMTP supporting routine converts the set of manufac-
reference voltage. A typical test current pulse has a 10 kA peak turer’s V-I points to a set of , and values. A different
with an 8/20- s waveshape. The resulting peak voltage is the curve should be created for each waveshape and manufac-
reference voltage , the voltage at 10 kA for a single column turing tolerance (maximum or minimum). The voltages are
surge arrester. The V-I curves often use the value as the usually given in a per-unit fashion where the reference voltage
1.00-p.u. value. The V-I curve can be determined by multiplying (1.00 p.u.) is either the voltage rating or , the peak voltage
the per-unit arrester voltages by the for that rating. for a 10-kA, 8/20- s current wave.
The next step is to select
• reference voltage proportional to the arrester rating ; C. Model Testing
• number of parallel columns of discs; The surge arrester model can be tested in the test circuit of
• voltage versus current (V-I) characteristic in per unit of the Fig. 3 prior to its use in a realistic power circuit. The current
reference voltage. source is a ramp function with a peak magnitude equal to the
The choice of arrester V-I characteristic depends upon the largest current point of the V-I characteristic. The parallel re-
type of transient being simulated since current waveshapes with sistor is in place for computational reasons and has a large value
faster rise times will result in higher peak voltages. Manufac- (e.g., 1E9). The results from the printed output can be compared
turers often publish several curves. to the manufacturer’s data.

Fig. 3. Test circuit for a surge arrester model.

Fig. 5. MOV surge arrester model for fast front surges [6].

is approximately the same as the surge voltage because the

voltage drop across the surge impedance is nearly zero.
When the surge arrester draws significant current, the voltage
drop across the surge impedance increases, resulting in a lower
voltage at the arrester. At 5 s, the peak current of 162.3 A
results in a voltage drop across the resistor of
kV and a peak arrester voltage of kV.


The surge arrester model described above does not incorpo-
rate time or frequency dependence. With reference to Fig. 4(b),
the instantaneous V-I characteristic for the period between 0 and
5 s is the same as the period between 5 and 10 s. Therefore,
these waveshapes have symmetry about the 5- s point in time.
The surge arrester waveshapes would be skewed if they were
physically measured in a laboratory. The peak of the arrester
voltage would occur before the peak of the current. For a given
peak current, the peak voltage increases as the front time de-
creases. The percentage increase is only slightly proportional to
the current magnitude. The fast front phenomenon appears to be
an inductive effect, but it is not a simple linear inductance.
The dynamic performance of MO surge arresters was de-
scribed in the late 1970s [3]. Since then, several models have
been developed to account for a frequency-dependent behavior
[4]–[13]. Basically, all of these models incorporate a nonlinear
resistor to account for the V-I characteristic of MOV materials,
and an inductor to include frequency-dependent behavior. The
model used in this paper is that proposed by D. W. Durbak [6]
and adopted by the IEEE, including committee papers [11] and
standards [14].
Fig. 4. Example simulation. (a) Test circuit. (b) Surge arrester V-I
characteristic with the units of kilovolts and kiloamperes. (c) Voltages and
current. A. Arrester Model
It is shown in Fig. 5 that it incorporates two time independent
nonlinear resistors ( and ), a pair of linear inductors (
D. Example
and ) paralleled by a pair of linear resistors ( and ) and a
The simple circuit of Fig. 4(a) demonstrates the function of a capacitor . The V-I characteristic of is slightly less than the
surge arrester. The surge voltage has an arbitrary triangle wave- 8/20- s curve while is 20% to 30% higher. and form
shape that peaks at 100 kV. The 300- linear resistance repre- a lowpass filter that sees a decaying voltage across it. A lumped
sents the surge impedance of an overhead line. Fig. 4(b) shows inductance of about 1 H per meter for the ground leads should
the V-I characteristic of the surge arrester, which has a rating also be included in series with the model.
typical for 34.5-kV applications with a of 67.7 kV. Fig. 4(c) In transients simulations, the nonlinear resistors should be
shows the surge voltage, the arrester voltage, and the arrester modeled as exponential segments as described above. Fig. 6
current. shows V-I characteristics of and , see also Table II, where
The surge arrester draws little current until the voltage voltage values are in per unit of . is presented as five seg-
reaches about 45 kV. Until that time, the surge arrester voltage ments and as two segments.

Fig. 7. MO surge arrester model for fast front surges [12].

Fig. 6. V-I characteristics for nonlinear resistors [6].

Fig. 8. Simplified MO surge arrester model for fast front surges [13].
1) Determine linear parameters from
the previously given formulas, and derive the nonlinear
characteristics of and .
2) Adjust and to match the switching surge discharge
voltage for current with a time-to-crest of about 45 s.
3) Adjust the value of to match the voltages.

B. Other Models
Interested readers should also consult other models presented
in the literature, see [4]–[13]. All models incorporate an in-
Note that values presented in Fig. 6 and Table II have been ductor to represent a frequency-dependent behavior.
scaled from those presented in [6], by using the factor 1.6 pro- • One of the first models was presented in [4]; the equivalent
posed in the original reference. circuit consisted of a series combination of a nonlinear
Formulas to calculate parameters of the circuit shown in resistor and a nonlinear inductor (Fig. 7). An alternative
Fig. 5 were initially suggested in [6]. They are based on the approach for parameter determination was later presented
estimated height of the arrester, the number of columns of MO in [12].
disks, and the curves shown in Fig. 6. • The model initially presented in [9] was later simplified
The information required to determine the parameters of the and adopted by a CIGRE Working Group [10]. The equiv-
fast front model is as follows: alent circuit was reduced to a series combination of a linear
• height of the arrester (in meters); resistor, a nonlinear resistor, and a linear inductor.
• number of parallel columns of MO disks; • A simplified version of Durbak’s model was proposed in
• discharge voltage for a 10 kA, 8/20 s current (in [13] (Fig. 8). According to the authors of this model, the
kilovolts); capacitance can be eliminated since its effect is negli-
• switching surge discharge voltage for an associated gible, and the two resistances and can be replaced
switching surge current (in kilovolts). by a single resistance of about 1 M , placed between
Linear parameters are derived from the following equations: model terminals.
A procedure to determine parameters was presented for all of
(2) the above models.

(3) C. Parameter Determination From Field Measurements

(4) The estimation of parameters to be specified in the above ar-
rester models is usually based on manufacturer’s data and ar-
These formulas do not always give the best parameters, but rester geometry. A technique based on the measured residual
provide a good starting point. The procedure proposed by the voltage derived from 8/20- s input current test was presented
IEEE Working Group to determine all parameters can be sum- in [15]. The proposed optimization procedure was applied to
marized as follows [11]. models presented in [6], [11]–[13] (Figs. 5, 7, and 8).

Fig. 9. Fast front arrester model with IEEE example parameters [11].

Fig. 11. Test results with a concave lightning surge current waveshape.
(a) 10-kA, 8/20-s time-to-crest current surge. (b) 10-kA, 2/20-s time-to-crest
current surge.

MO surge arrester for different discharge current waveshapes.

The test circuit in all cases was similar to that shown in Fig. 4.
Simulations with a concave current source were performed
by using the Heidler model [15]. If the definition of the light-
ning surge parameters is according to [16]; an adjustment of
values is previously needed to derive the parameters of the con-
cave waveshape. Therefore, some care is advisable when using
this waveshape. Voltage waveshapes shown in Fig. 11 were de-
Fig. 10. Test results with a sinusoidal surge current waveshape. (a) 10-kA,
2-s time-to-crest surge. (b) 10-kA, 4-s time-to-crest surge. duced by assuming that the time to crest of the current surges
was 8 and 2 s, respectively. However, this time should not be
used as a measurement of the rise time. Fig. 12 shows the re-
D. Example sults obtained, respectively, with a time to crest of 2 s and a
A summary of the example included in [11] is presented rise time of 5 kA/ s; one can observe that
below; readers are referred to the original paper for more the difference between voltage peaks is about 2%, and that the
details. The procedure to calculate parameters of the fast front peak corresponding to the maximum slope current surge is in
model will be applied to a one column arrester, with an overall advance.
height of 1.45 m, being kV, and kV
for a 3-kA, 300/1000- s current waveshape. The nonlinear
resistances and were deduced from values shown in
Table II, and no adjustment was necessary since the voltage Limited experience is presently available on modeling and
peak for the switching surge resulted in good agreement with validation of an MO surge arrester for very fast front transients
that provided by the manufacturer for the associated surge simulation. An interesting discussion on this subject was pre-
current. After some adjustments of , the final model was that sented in [9]. Basically, the recommended models are similar to
shown in Fig. 9. those proposed for modeling surge arresters in fast front surge
Figs. 10 and 11 show the performance of the model. Simu- simulations, but representing frequency-dependent behavior by
lated results depict the discharge voltage developed across the means of distributed parameter components (e.g., lossless line).

A more sophisticated representation is needed to duplicate ar-

rester performance in high-frequency transients, due to its fre-
quency-dependent behavior. Several models have been devel-
oped to date. This paper has detailed that proposed by Durbak,
which was adopted by the IEEE, and summarized the proce-
dure required to adjust the parameters of its equivalent circuit.
This model provides good enough results for surge currents with
times to crest in the range of 0.5 to 45 s. However, it has also
some limitations as too much drop is shown in the tail of the dis-
charge voltage. This performance can be unimportant in some
insulation coordination studies, but it can be of limited applica-
tion when the energy discharged by the arrester is of concern.
Simplified models can also be considered in some applications.

[1] CIGRE Working Group 33.02, “Guidelines for representation of net-
work elements when calculating transients,” CIGRE Brochure 39, 1990.
[2] H. W. Dommel, Electromagnetic Transients Program Manual (EMTP
Theory Book). Portland, OR: Bonneville Power Administration, 1986.
[3] E. C. Sakshaug, “Influence of rate-of-rise on distribution arrester pro-
tective characteristics,” IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-98, no.
2, pp. 519–526, Mar./Apr. 1979.
[4] S. Tominaga et al., “Protective performance of metal oxide surge arrester
based on the dynamic v-i characteristics,” IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst.,
vol. PAS-98, no. 6, pp. 1860–1871, Nov./Dec. 1979.
[5] M. V. Lat, “Analytical method for performance prediction of metal oxide
surge arresters,” IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-104, no. 10, pp.
2665–2674, Oct. 1985.
[6] D. W. Durbak, “Zinc-oxide arrester model for fast surges,” EMTP
Newslett., vol. 5, no. 1, Jan. 1985.
[7] C. Dang, T. M. Parnell, and P. J. Price, “The response of metal oxide
surge arresters to steep fronted current impulses,” IEEE Trans. Power
Del., vol. PWRD-1, no. 1, pp. 157–163, Jan. 1986.
[8] D. W. Durbak, “The choice of EMTP surge arrester models,” EMTP
Newslett., vol. 7, no. 3, Sep. 1987.
[9] W. Schmidt et al., “Behavior of MO-surge-arrester blocks to fast tran-
Fig. 12. Influence of the current slope. (a) Current surges. (b) Arrester sients,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 292–300, Jan. 1989.
voltages. [10] A. R. Hileman, J. Roguin, and K. H. Weck, “Metal oxide surge arresters
in AC systems. Part IV: Protection performance of metal oxide surge
arresters,” Electra, no. 133, pp. 132–144, Dec. 1990.
V. ELECTROTHERMAL MODELS [11] IEEE Working Group on Surge Arrester Modeling, “Modeling of
metal oxide surge arresters,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 7, no. 1, pp.
All previous models were mainly developed to determine 302–309, Jan. 1992.
residual voltages between arrester terminals. The energy ab- [12] I. Kim et al., “Study of ZnO arrester model for steep front wave,” IEEE
sorption capability is another important issue when selecting Trans. Power Del., vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 834–841, Apr. 1996.
[13] P. Pinceti and M. Giannettoni, “A simplified model for zinc oxide surge
an arrester. The thermal behavior can therefore be of concern. arresters,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 393–398, Apr.
Several models based on an analog electrical equivalent circuit 1999.
have been proposed to include the thermal part of the arrester, [14] IEEE Guide for the Application of Metal-Oxide Surge Arresters for Al-
ternating-Current Systems, IEEE Std. C62.22, 1997.
see, for instance, [5] and [18]. Parameter determination for [15] H. J. Li, S. Birlasekaran, and S. S. Choi, “A parameter identification
these models is based on experimental measurements. technique for metal-oxide surge arrester models,” IEEE Trans. Power
Del., vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 736–741, Jul. 2002.
[16] F. Heidler, J. M. Cvetic, and B. V. Stanic, “Calculation of lightning cur-
VI. CONCLUSION rent parameters,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 399–404,
Apr. 1999.
An adequate model of an MO surge arrester for low-fre- [17] IEEE TF on Parameters of Lightning Strokes, “Parameters of lightning
quency and slow front overvoltages can be described by its strokes: A review,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 346–358,
nonlinear V-I characteristic. The implementation of such a Jan. 2005.
[18] A. Petit, X. D. Do, and G. St-Jean, “An experimental method to de-
model in a transients program is straightforward from the termine the electro-thermal model parameters of metal oxide arresters,”
manufacturer’s ratings and characteristic curves. IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 715–721, Apr. 1991.

Parameter Determination for Modeling System

Transients—Part VI: Circuit Breakers
IEEE PES Task Force on Data for Modeling System Transients of IEEE PES Working Group on Modeling and Analysis
of System Transients Using Digital Simulation (General Systems Subcommittee)

J. A. Martinez, J. Mahseredjian, and B. Khodabakhchian

Abstract—A detailed dynamic arc model may be used to roughly transient recovery voltage (TRV) withstand capability for
evaluate the interrupting capacity of a breaker and its influence the breaker.
on the deformation of the interrupted current. In some cases 2) A more elaborate model considers the arc as a time-
the correct computation of the actual arcing time is of crucial
importance for assessing the first current-zero crossing of the varying resistance or conductance. The time variation
breaker. Arc models in conjunction with surrounding network is determined ahead of time based on the breaker char-
details are also used to understand complex arc instability prob- acteristic and perhaps upon the knowledge of the initial
lems. This paper recalls gas circuit breaker models and presents interrupting current. This model can represent the effect
data requirement for such models. The document includes some of the arc on the system, but requires advanced knowl-
illustrative examples and typical data.
edge of the effect of the system on the arc. Arc parameters
Index Terms—Circuit breakers (CB), modeling, power system are not always easy to obtain and the model still requires
transients, simulation. the use of precomputed TRV curves to determine the
adequacy of the breaker.
I. INTRODUCTION 3) The most advanced model represents the breaker as a dy-
namically varying resistance or conductance, whose value

A CIRCUIT-BREAKER (CB) is a mechanical switching de-

vice, capable of making, carrying, and breaking currents
under normal circuit conditions and also making, carrying for a
depends on the past history of voltages and currents in
the arc itself. This model can represent both the effect
of the arc on the system and the effect of the system on
specified time and breaking currents under specified abnormal
the arc. No precomputed TRV curves are required. Most
circuit conditions such as those of a short circuit. In normal oper-
of these models rely on a first-order differential equation.
ating conditions, a CB is in the closed position, and some current
This type of model is generally developed to determine arc
is usually flowing through the closed contacts. The CB opens its
quenching capability. Most models can be used to study
contacts when a tripping signal is sent to it. The separation of the
the thermal period, some can be used to determine arc
contacts causes the generation of an electric arc, which consists
reignition due to insufficient voltage withstand capability
of metal vapor surrounded by an ionized environmental gas. The
of the dielectric between breaker contacts. Their most im-
arc is established within a limited space so that it can be quickly
portant application cases are short-line-fault (SLF) inter-
cooled by the gas.
ruption and switching of small inductive currents. They
Several levels of model complexity can be available in tran-
are exclusively applied to gas CBs (air, ). Models for
sient analysis applications [1]–[5].
other types of CBs have also been proposed [6], [7].
1) The simplest model considers an ideal breaking action Several models can be used to represent a CB in closing
that is completely independent of the arc. The breaker is operations.
represented as an ideal switch that opens at the first cur-
1) The simplest model assumes that the breaker behaves as
rent-zero crossing after the tripping signal is given. The
an ideal switch whose impedance passes instantaneously
model may include a current margin parameter for ap-
from an infinite value, when open, to a zero value at the
proximate modeling of possible current chopping. Such
closing time. This performance can be represented at any
a model is applicable in studies where the interaction be-
part of a power cycle. A closing operation can produce
tween the breaker arc and the surrounding network can be
transient overvoltages whose maximum peaks depend on
neglected. It can be used to obtain the voltage across the
several factors; for instance, the network representation
breaker; this voltage is to be compared with a prespecified
on the source side of the breaker, or the charge trapped
on transmission lines in a reclosing operation. One of the
Manuscript received April 14, 2004; revised August 27, 2004. Paper no. factors that has more influence on the maximum peak is the
IEEE PES TF on Data for Modeling System Transients of IEEE PES WG on instant of closing, which can be different for every pole of
Modeling and Analysis of System Transients Using Digital Simulation (General a three-phase breaker.
Systems Subcommittee). Most transient programs allow users to analyze the in-
Task Force Members: J. A. Martinez (Chairman), D. Durbak, B. Gustavsen,
B. Johnson, J. Mahseredjian, B. Mork, R. Walling. fluence of this factor and obtain a statistical distribution
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2005.848726 of switching overvoltages, usually provided in the form of
0885-8977/$20.00 © 2005 IEEE


a cumulative distribution function. Two types of switches

can be represented.
• The closing time of a switch is systematically varied
from a minimum to a maximum instant in equal incre-
ments of time; this type is known as systematic switch.
• The closing time is randomly varied according to ei-
ther a normal (Gaussian) or a uniform distribution; this
type is known as statistical switch. Data required to
represent these switches are the mean closing time, the
standard deviation and the number of switching oper-
ations. When a preinsertion resistor is used to mitigate
switching overvoltages, the closing time of both main
and auxiliary contacts is statistically determined.
2) The breaker model assumes that there is a closing time Fig. 1. Breaker current for a three-phase-to-ground fault [10].
from the moment at which the contacts start to close to
the moment that they finally make. The withstand voltage
breaker and its influence on the interrupted current, a detailed
decreases as the separation distance between contacts de-
arc model must be used. This test case was taken from a Hydro-
creases; an arc will strike before the contacts have com-
Québec 735 kV series-compensated network study [10]. It ap-
pletely closed if the voltage across them exceeds the with-
pears that a sufficiently high arc voltage can force the interrupted
stand voltage of the dielectric medium. Modeling of the
current to cross zero earlier than an ideal switch model. With
prestrike effect and its influence on the switching overvolt-
the ideal switch model, the current crosses zero after 113 ms
ages produced during line energization has been analyzed
compared to only 63 ms when the air-blast breaker arc model is
in [8].
used. The arcing time is of crucial importance for assessing the
Table I shows modeling guidelines proposed by the CIGRE arc quenching capability of a given breaker type.
WG 33-02 for representing CBs in both closing and opening The main objectives of a CB model are:
operations [9].
• from the standpoint of a system, to determine all voltages
and currents that are produced within the system as a result
II. ARC MODELING of the breaker action;
Fig. 1 illustrates the importance of arc modeling. The usual • from the breaker viewpoint, to determine whether the
breaker model used in the simulation of transients is an ideal breaker will be successful when operating within a given
switch that is allowed to open at current-zero crossing and may system under a given set of conditions.
include a current margin parameter used for an approximate rep- Arc models differ in the type of dependence of the parameter
resentation of possible current chopping. Such a model is appli- functions and in the way the latter are determined.
cable in studies where the interaction between the breaker arc Several arc models are available in the literature; some are
and the surrounding network can be neglected. In other studies, derived from Cassie and Mayr equations, some are a combina-
where it is needed to evaluate the interrupting capacity of a tion of both models. Most models keep the basic idea of de-

scribing arc behavior using parameters with different physical cooling power. An extra parameter is needed to specify the
interpretation. number of breaks per pole.
Basic descriptions of arc behavior were first described by Parameters for this model have been derived from experi-
Cassie and Mayr. mental tests and this model has been successfully used and val-
• The Cassie model is given by the following equation: idated in [5], [10], [12], and [13].
This model can be used to represent thermal failure near cur-
rent interruption and conductivity in the post-arc region. Re-
(1) sistance instability near current interruption can cause current
chopping. Although parameters for this model are best derived
It assumes an arc channel with constant temperature, cur- from short-line fault (SLF) breaking tests, it is, however, feasible
rent density, and electric field strength. Changes of the arc to provide some typical data. It has been observed through prac-
conductance result from changes of arc cross section; en- tical cases that the applicability range of (4) is actually longer
ergy removal is obtained by convection. than the near current-zero region.
• The Mayr model is given by the following equation: Although in some cases it is feasible to simulate arc model
equations using control diagram blocks and sufficiently small
time steps, the best solution is achieved using a hard-coded arc
model with sophisticated iterative techniques, as explained in
[5]. The highly nonlinear model of (4) still requires a small
This model assumes that changes of arc temperature are integration time step to correctly account for its time constants
dominant, and size and profile of the arc column are con- and achieve nonlinear solution method convergence. Such
stant. Thermal conduction is the main mechanism of en- a small time step (0.1 s typically) requires a prohibitive
ergy removal. computer time for statistical studies. Another difficulty is the
where is the arc conductance, is the arc voltage, is the availability of parameters from the breaker manufacturer. This
arc current, is the arc time constant, is the steady-state is why a simplified arc model must be used in statistical studies
power loss, and is the constant part of the arc voltage. The [10], [17]. Such a model combines a current-arc voltage char-
is in the region of 1 s and the is between 0.1 and acteristic per break and a time-dependent function
0.5 s . These parameters are not strictly constant for an to account for blast pressure, arc length, and arcing time.
actual arc, but observations indicate that during the brief time Contrary to the Avdonin equation, this simplified model cannot
around current-zero, these parameters vary sufficiently slowly account for thermal reignition, but it can correctly compute
to assume them to be constant. A combination of both models the breaker’s arcing time with a larger integration time step
gives the Cassie-Mayr model (typically 70 s). The functions and must be
provided by the manufacturer.
Other arc models are presented in the Appendix.

This is justified by the fact that at high currents, the entire

voltage drop takes place in the Cassie equation, but before cur- III. PARAMETER DETERMINATION
rent-zero, the contribution from the Mayr equation increases,
while the Cassie part goes to zero. The identification of arc models has to be made in close con-
Another widely used model was proposed by Avdonin [11]. nection with the specific methods of arc parameter evaluation.
It is an adequate model for air-blast and breakers. The arc Although some methods are presented in the literature, there are
resistance of this model is expressed by no readily accessible general-purpose methods. In most cases,
it is needed to start from experimental data.
Actual tests provide traces of arc voltage and current during
(4) the thermal period. The analysis of these results is based on a
specific arc equation and additional assumptions regarding par-
which is derived from the modified Mayr model ticular parameters functions. The main subject of this analysis is
the procedure of arc parameter evaluation. Equation and param-
(5) eters define the arc model established on an experimental basis.
A laboratory test case of noninterruption of a delayed current-
zero using both air-blast and breakers is shown in Fig. 2,
with see [10].
It is apparent from these type of tests that the time sequence
(6) of events during the opening process in a CB can be repre-
(7) sented as in Fig. 3, [5]. The initial contact parting occurs at time
. It is used as a manual input or controlled by a fault detec-
where , and are the arc resistance, voltage, and current tion signal. The nonlinear arc equation zone is normally entered
respectively, is the arc time constant, and is the breaker shortly after reaching .

of the blasting period. The 35 ms is considered as the

safe breaking window, but breaking may still occur out-
side this window if the interrupted current is sufficiently
small. The average arc resistance of the blasting period is
0.6 per break. Repetitive breaking tests indicate that the
maximum current amplitude that air-blast circuit breakers
can safely force to zero is 1500 A with an arcing time
of 32 ms. Equation (4) can correctly reproduce the 5-kV
value, but cannot account for the voltage drop occurring
at the end of the blasting period. Air-blast arc parameters
for (4) are given by

• breaker: This breaker produces an average arc voltage

of 1.5 kV. The characteristic drop from 1.5 kV to 600 V in-
dicates the end of the arcing period. At this instant, after an
arcing time of 29 ms, the arc could be drawn along an un-
desired path and damage vital parts of the CB. The average
arc resistance is 0.25 per break. Repetitive breaking tests
indicate that this type of breaker can force to zero a max-
imum of 400 A for an arcing time of 30 ms. Typical
arc parameters for (4) are given by

These parameters indicate that an breaker has a much

faster behavior than in the air-blast case.
The setting of and is not simple and is best achieved
by using experimental results. In the air-blast case, the max-
imum voltage is reached after approximately 1 to 3 ms and the
nonlinear region is entered after approximately 2 to 4 ms. En-
tering the nonlinear region almost immediately after reaching
the maximum voltage (around 5 kV) will also provide accept-
able results in most simulation cases. The single-pressure
—N2 can be set to reach a voltage maximum of around 1.5 to
2 kV after 10 ms and enters the nonlinear arc equation region
after 0.50 ms.
Other breaker parameters are available in [12]. For an air-
blast breaker
Fig. 2. Non interruption of a delayed current-zero [10]. (a) Air blast
breaker—Arcing time over 35 ms, (b) SF breaker—Arcing time exceeding
29 ms.

The oil-filled version has

Another breaker is given

Fig. 3. Opening sequence in a circuit breaker.

A. Parameter Determination Procedures
A short description for each breaker type follows: Arc equations with two parameters are at most possible; a
• Air blast breaker: When the contacts are completely large number of free parameters requires additional assump-
parted, the arc voltage is approximately 5 kV. The char- tions. The evaluation of arc parameters can follow different
acteristic voltage drop from 5 to 1 kV indicates the end principles [3]:

• The parameter functions are calculated directly from

measured voltage and current traces applying the specific
arc equation. A typical example is based on making one
parameter constant and finding the remaining parameter
function from the arc equation model.
• Special test circuits may be applied in order to produce sin-
gular conditions in arc current or arc conductance suitable
for direct parameter evaluation. Singular points are found
by separating the parameter functions. Setting
in (2) allows finding , and leads to an expres-
sion of .
• Parameter functions may be defined in general form (e.g.,
). The free parameters , and can
be determined by curve-fitting techniques. In some cases,
this approach can become very precise.
A testing and measuring setup for one air-blast and two
breakers is given in [12]. The digitized arc current and voltage
records are used in [12] for determination of the modified Mayr
model parameters . It is using an integration method
which allows global minimum search of an error function of
variables. The error function is
Fig. 4. A 400=63-kV substation.

To find the error, the experimental data must be divided into

sections for integration purposes. For the total time interval, the
total error is given by

Total error (9)

where is the error of section . The best results are obtained

when the total error is divided by the factor with being the
arc resistance. This operation reduces this error in the region of Fig. 5. Kilometric fault test of a 420-kV CB.
high arc resistance and extremely low arc current, which can
originate inaccurate calculations of the resistance value.
of the breaker, were responsible for its thermal failures and,
thus, the noninterruption of the low 50-Hz reactor current by
Considerable amount of information about the phenomenon The whole substation is modeled in detail using frequency-
of arc instability exists in the literature. Arc instability in CBs dependent models for busbars and lines. The 150- and 500-VA
may occur only at high frequencies (from few tens up to hun- CTs are modeled using a series inductance of 55 and 200 H,
dreds of kilohertz) and near current zero (up to few tens of am- respectively, lead to ground capacitances of 0.25 nF and resis-
peres). As the variable dc arc voltage excites all of the circuit tances are added in order to take into account their frequency de-
natural frequencies, arc instability happens at the frequencies pendence. The CT modeling is complex and represents a weak
where the amount of negative resistance it introduces cancels point in this type of study, due to uncertainties about the losses,
out the total frequency-dependent resistance of the circuit, thus mainly at those frequencies that govern arc instability. Param-
creating a negatively damped current oscillation. It is of cru- eters of the Cassie–Mayr model (3) were adjusted and checked
cial importance to represent the surrounding network in details for thermal capabilities under kilometric faults using the test cir-
and through frequency-dependent models. The following ex- cuit of Fig. 5. The fault is successfully cleared when the source
ample demonstrates that complex problems can be studied by inductance is 10 mH, but thermal failure occurs when 9 mH
fine-tuning data and performing sensitivity analysis. is used. The TRV shapes for both cases are shown in Fig. 6,
More details on this case can be found in [18]. The paper re- clearing at 28.9 A/ s and failing at 31 A/ s.
ports the case of an breaker (BR 9832 on phase a) repet- The study of the substation breaker must be started by per-
itive failure during the opening of 100-MVAR shunt reactor in forming a frequency scan for finding the poles and zeros of the
a 400-kV substation shown in Fig. 4. Simulation results show network impedance seen by the arc. The initial simulations do
that opposite-polarity high-frequency arc-instability-dependent not show a particular problem. Sensitivity analysis is performed
oscillations, caused mainly by current transformers on each side by decreasing the cooling power of the arc, which decreases the

Although some of the parameters involved in the simulations

were not too accurate, these results prove that the thermal failure
of shunt-reactor CBs can occur under certain conditions.

The resistance of a CB dynamic arc during the thermal period
can pass from zero to infinity in a few microseconds. Several
models have been developed and implemented for duplicating
the performance of a CB near current zero.
Modeling of such nonlinear behavior must be based on pa-
rameters determined from accurate measurements. Validation
must be also carried out with accurate models of the test cir-
cuits. In addition to the arc model, it is essential to correctly
model the network surrounding the breaker. Sensitivity analysis
approaches must be used to observe complex arc-network inter-
Fig. 6. Kilometric fault strength of the modeled arc.
action problems.
Some default values of arc model parameters are provided in
the literature. However, users must be warned about the validity
of these values; they should be considered as an initial estima-
tion or just a reference.

1) The Urbanek model can represent arc interruption and
both thermal and dielectric failure [14]. Both current
chopping and reignition are also represented. It is charac-
terized by the following equation for the arc conductance:


where is the arc voltage for high arc currents, is the

minimum power to maintain the arc, and is the dielec-
tric breakdown voltage for cold arc channel. For param-
Fig. 7. Chopped current near current zero. eter determination and validation of this model, see [13]
and [15]. Typical data for this model can be found in [12].
An air-blast breaker is given:
level of chopped current, without showing any special phenom- kV, and kV (Fig. 3).
enon. The following set of simulations is based on increasing 2) Another model for simulation of thermal breakdown is
the damping of the CTs at high frequencies and those of the the Kopplin model, which is mostly suitable to represent
circuit elements (the two power transformers and the shunt re- generator CBs. It is also characterized by an equation for
actor). These simulations lead to the observation of a second the arc conductance [16]
simultaneous arc instability at a higher frequency in the last cur-
rent loop before current zero (Fig. 7). All simulations were per- (11)
formed with a time step of 5 ns.
The lowly damped arc-circuit interaction at a frequency of where
66 kHz excites a second arc instability. The current spike near
0.955 s corresponds to the instability created at 400 kHz due
to the second low zero impedance of the circuit. This second (12)
high-frequency arc instability creates a high of 14.5 A/ s
near current zero. It is shown in [18] that a negative dynamic arc
resistance of 500 (corresponding to the circuit impedance at where and are model parameters.
400 kHz) is present for a short period of time. Testing and validation of this model were presented in [16].
The injected excites the 210-kHz parallel resonance
(impedance main pole) seen across the breaker and creates a REFERENCES
high of 7.3 kV/ s. The fact that the arc produces a 0.4-
[1] CIGRE Working Group 13.01, “Practical application of arc physics in
post-arc current after the current zero is another indication that circuit breakers. Survey of calculation methods and application guide,”
indeed the breaker is thermally stressed by this phenomena. Electra, no. 118, pp. 64–79, 1988.

[2] L. van der Sluis, W. R. Rutgers, and C. G. A. Koreman, “A physical arc [11] A. V. Avdonin et al., Some problems of EHV and UHV air-blast circuit
model for the simulation of current zero behavior of high-voltage circuit breakers, in CIGRE 1980 Session. Paper 13-04.
breakers,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 1016–1022, Apr. [12] G. St-Jean, M. Landry, M. Leclerc, and A. Chenier, “A new concept in
1992. post-arc analysis to power circuit breakers,” IEEE Trans. Power Del.,
[3] CIGRE Working Group 13.01, “Applications of black box modeling to vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 1036–1044, Jul. 1988.
circuit breakers,” Electra, no. 149, pp. 40–71, Aug. 1993. [13] G. St-Jean and R. F. Wang, “Equivalence between direct and synthetic
[4] J. A. Martinez-Velasco, “Circuit breaker representation for TRV calcu- short-circuit interruption tests on HV circuit breakers,” IEEE Trans.
lations,” in EEUG Meeting, Hannover, Germany, Nov. 13–15, 1995. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-102, no. 7, pp. 2216–2223, Jul. 1983.
[5] J. Mahseredjian, M. Landry, and B. Khodabakhchian, “The new EMTP [14] L. Blahous, “The problem of defining a test circuit for circuit breakers
breaker arc model,” in Proc. IPST, Seattle, WA, Jun. 22–26, 1997, pp. in terms of prospective voltage,” Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., vol. 126, no. 12,
245–249. pp. 1291–1294, Dec. 1979.
[6] J. Kosmac and P. Zunko, “A statistical vacuum circuit breaker model for [15] , “Derivation of circuit breaker parameters by means of Gaussian
simulation of transients overvoltages,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 10, approximation,” IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-101, no. 12,
no. 1, pp. 294–300, Jan. 1995. pp. 4611–4616, Dec. 1982.
[7] M. T. Glinkowski, M. R. Gutierrez, and D. Braun, “Voltage escalation [16] E. Thuries, P. Van Doan, J. Dayet, and B. Joyeux-Bouillon, “Synthetic
and reignition behavior of vacuum circuit breakers during load shed- testing method for generator circuit breakers,” IEEE Trans. Power Del.,
ding,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 219–226, Jan. 1997. vol. PWRD-1, no. 1, pp. 179–184, Jan. 1986.
[8] D. A. Woodford and L. M. Wedepohl, “Impact of circuit breaker [17] B. Kulicke and H. H. Schramm, “Clearance of short-circuits with de-
pre-strike on transmission line energization transients,” in Proc. IPST, layed current zeros in the Itaipu 500 kV substation,” IEEE Trans. Power
Seattle, WA, Jun. 22–26, 1997, pp. 250–253. App. Syst., vol. 99, no. 4, pp. 1406–1414, Jul./Aug. 1980.
[9] CIGRE WG 33.02, Guidelines for Representation of network elements [18] B. Khodabakhchian, J. Mahseredjian, M.-R. Sehati, and M. Mir-Hos-
when calculating transients, in CIGRE Brochure 39, 1990. seini, “Potential risk of failures in switching EHV shunt reactors in some
[10] Q. Bui-Van, B. Khodabakhchian, M. Landry, J. Mahseredjian, and J. one-and-a-half breaker scheme substations,” in Proc. IPST, New Or-
Mainville, “Performance of series-compensated line circuit breakers leans, LA, Sep. 28–Oct. 2, 2003.
under delayed current-zero,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 12, no. 1,
pp. 227–233, Jan. 1997.

Parameter Determination for Modeling System

Transients—Part VII: Semiconductors
IEEE PES Task Force on Data for Modeling System Transients of IEEE PES Working Group on Modeling and Analysis
of System Transients Using Digital Simulation (General Systems Subcommittee)

B. Johnson, H. Hess, and J. A. Martinez

Abstract—Power-electronics converters are presently used at user to view it as a “black box.” In some transient simulations,
all voltage levels. The representation of power converters and detailed modeling of the power semiconductor devices is re-
their control units in transient simulations may be made using quired to accurately assess switching transients, device stresses,
different modeling levels, from a detailed representation of each
semiconductor device to an average representation of the con- and losses. However, in many cases, simpler, “ideal” switch
verter without explicitly modeling semiconductor devices at all. models can be used for modeling the power semiconductor
When semiconductors are included, data specification can be a devices [1], [4].
critical step. Gathering data required to model power converters The objective of this paper is to present the data requirements
in transient simulations can be a difficult task. This paper deals for modeling power-electronic devices within power converters
with data requirements for modeling power semiconductors when
using an EMTP-like tool. The document includes a summary of for transient simulation studies. Different levels of models for
guidelines for modeling power converters, proposes a procedure power converters and their power-electronic devices will be pre-
for creating approximate semiconductor models and includes a sented along with guidelines for choosing the appropriate level
detailed study of two common semiconductor devices. A discus- of modeling detail. As part of this discussion, detailed device
sion on the application of very detailed models using specialized models will be presented. This will be followed by a discus-
software packages is also included.
sion on where to get appropriate device data for different levels
Index Terms—Modeling, power system transients, semiconduc- of modeling and how to convert these data for use in the device
tors, simulation.
models. This paper targets applications of power semiconductor
devices commonly used in medium-to-high-power applications:
I. INTRODUCTION power diodes, insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), thyris-
tors (SCR), and gate turn-off thyristors (GTOs). Low-power,
P OWER converters are used in many applications in power
systems, both in the power delivery system and as part
of end-use applications [1], [2]. Power delivery applications
single-phase loads are beyond the scope of this paper.


include HVdc transmission, flexible ac transmission system
(FACTS) devices at the transmission level, and custom power A. Nonswitching Models
devices at the distribution level [1], [3]. Many distributed gen- For many studies, averaged or steady-state models of the
eration and storage devices also incorporate power-electronic converters can be used. The power semiconductor devices are
interfaces. Load-based applications include motor drives, unin- not modeled explicitly in these studies; although the internal
terruptible power supplies, and reactive compensators. device characteristics can be incorporated into the converter
Power converters and their controls need to be modeled for model. Instead, an averaged behavioral model for the converter,
transient simulations using the appropriate degree of detail as based on terminal characteristics, is developed. The converter
is the case with other power system components [4], [5]. The is often represented as either a dependent current source or a
switching of power-electronic devices introduces nonlineari- dependent voltage source. In some cases, the converter will
ties to the computer simulation. Representing this nonlinear be viewed as a current source when seen from one side and a
behavior in sufficient detail to produce results with the desired voltage source when seen from the other direction. For example,
degree of accuracy represents a significant challenge. In many a voltage-source converter (VSC) will appear as a controlled
cases, approximations in the converter modeling can be made current source when viewed from the dc bus and a controlled
without degrading accuracy too significantly. In other cases, voltage source when viewed from the ac load. An example of
more detailed modeling is needed. In some situations, sufficient this is the VSC-driven induction motor equivalent circuit model
data to appropriately model the power semiconductor devices in Fig. 3.19 on page 132 of [6]. These models are typically used
and related components lack. Often, this results from using a for steady-state operation and to study the response of slower
converter built and installed by another party who prefers the converter control schemes for power system dynamic studies
where large simulation time steps are often preferred. Exam-
Manuscript received March 1, 2004; revised August 27, 2004. Paper no. ples include fundamental component and harmonic component
TPWRD-00108-2004. models for converters under steady-state and slow transient
Task Force Members: J. A. Martinez (Chairman), D. Durbak, B. Gustavsen,
B. Johnson, J. Mahseredjian, B. Mork, R. Walling. conditions, where the transient response of the converter and
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2005.848764 its faster controls are not the focus of the simulation [7].
0885-8977/$20.00 © 2005 IEEE


B. Switching Models are within an order of magnitude of the switching frequencies.

For example, when seeking the dynamic or transient response
The degree of detail in the converter model often depends on of the converter, a converter model that represents the switching
the relationship between the frequency of interest in the sim- of the power-electronic devices is used. The control model must
ulation results and the switching frequencies in the converter. now include the gating circuits and the synchronization scheme.
Switching models are needed when the frequencies of interest In some cases, a model of the snubber circuits is also appro-

priate. In other cases, the snubber circuit can be ignored, al- IV. SWITCH MODELING
though a numerical snubber may be needed as part of the switch
model with some transients programs. An example is any of the A. Ideal Device Models
standard library diode models in SPICE-based simulators; to en- The converter terminal characteristics are often sufficient for
able the dc analysis requires a numerical snubber. many simulations involving power converters. In such cases,
Similarly, the degree of detail in the power-electronic device it is often appropriate to model series and parallel-connected
model depends on the relationship between the time periods power-electronic devices as one or two equivalent devices. For
of the frequencies of interest and the switch transition times example an HVdc converter could have 60 thyristors connected
of the power semiconductor devices. The latter are usually in series in each switch location, but the converter could be rep-
much shorter than the intervals between converter switching resented with a single thyristor modeled in each switch loca-
operations. There will be transients associated with these tion. It is sometimes sufficient to represent a converter made
turn-on/turn-off transitions. If these transients (or transients up of many converter modules as a simpler converter. For ex-
with similar frequencies) are of interest, then more detailed ample, a 48-pulse VSC could be represented with a simpler,
device models will be required. When the slowest transition lower pulse-order model if the response is sufficient for the
time of the power semiconductor device (which is often at studies to be performed. If the converter is connected to a system
turn-off) approaches the period between switch operations, where the time scales of the dynamic response of interest are
more detailed device turn-on and turn-off models are required. very long compared to the device turn-on and turn-off times,
ideal switch models can be used [1]. In this case, the power-elec-
Use of these models also requires more detail in modeling the
tronic device is assumed to open or close in one time step, as the
parasitic inductances and capacitances in the converter.
simulation progresses (essentially instantaneously as far as the
Simpler or aggregate device models can be used in many
external system is concerned).
cases when performing most power systems transients simula-
The behavior of an ideal switch device models can be sum-
tions [1]. In these cases, the converter can be reduced to a sim- marized as follows (Table I and [1]):
pler equivalent as discussed in Section IV-a.
• when the device is off, it behaves as an open circuit;
• when the device is on, it behaves as a short circuit;
• the device turns on at the next time step after a firing com-
The following power semiconductor devices are most • the device turns off at the next time step after a firing com-
common in power system simulations: mand, or for diodes and thyristors at the next time step
after the next current zero crossing;
• power diodes; • switch transition time is equal to one simulation time step.
• thyristors;
These models can be applied when:
• GTO thyristors;
• frequencies of interest are much slower than switch
• IGBTs.
turn-on and turn-off times;
The following semiconductor devices may see increased use
• series/parallel combinations of devices into one equivalent
in the near future: switch are acceptable;
• gate commutated thyristors (GCT/IGCTs); • converter losses, device voltage stresses, and device cur-
• MOS-controlled thyristors (MCTs); rent stresses are not important.
• MOS turn-off thyristors (MTOs);
• static induction transistor/thyristor (SIT/SiTh). B. Detailed Device Models
Each type of device listed above has specific turn-on and
More detailed device models are required in other circum-
turn-off characteristics that are visible in the voltage and current stances, usually in cases where the transient response of the con-
characteristics. See Table I for typical characteristics of some verter and the immediate converter subsystems are of interest.
commonly used devices. Each will have conduction losses while Examples of situations where more detailed switch models are
the device is turned on. In some devices, the conduction losses needed include:
are best modeled as a steady-state voltage drop; in others, it
• studies for switching and conduction loss prediction;
appears more as a somewhat nonlinear, temperature-dependent • simulations to evaluate voltage and current stresses on the
resistance. power-electronic devices;
Models representing these characteristics can be added to • simulations of converters with high switching frequencies
EMTP-like programs. However, some degree of approximation and slow devices;
will be necessary in most cases to work within the constraints • electromagnetic-interference (EMI) studies;
of these programs. In some cases, resistances, inductances, and • thermal analysis;
dependent voltage sources are sufficient to represent device be- • design of device protection.
havior. In other cases, more detailed equations describing de- In these cases, a reasonably accurate switch model is critical
vice behavior are used to create device models to include in the to the performance of the study. Note that the cases mentioned
circuit. above are usually of more interest to the converter designer.

More detailed switch models are also important for studies on

the impact of device switching transients on machine or trans-
former insulation. The device turn-on and turn-off for IGBT-
based VSCs produce repetitive steep wavefront transients that
Fig. 1. Forward model of a diode [16].
can interact with cable impedances and lead to insulation fail-
ures in motors [8], [9]. As VSCs move to more custom power
and distributed generation applications, it could become neces- an ideal diode, with a turn-on time of one time step when it is for-
sary to perform insulation coordination studies for these appli- ward biased (voltage greater than setting for ignition voltage).
cations, especially for stresses experienced by transformers. The switch model will turn off at the next time step after cur-
Detailed switch models can also be used to evaluate the rent through the switch passes zero, and can exhibit the same
efficiency of converters used for reactive compensation or to problems with numerical oscillations as seen with conventional
study the round-trip efficiency of power converter-based energy switch models turning off at natural a current zero. This switch
storage systems if they become more widespread. model can also behave as an ideal thyristor when a gate pulse
More accurate device models must include device turn-on/ is applied. This model implements a latching device, so a short
turn-off behavior and conduction behavior while the device is pulse is sufficient to turn the device on, and it will stay on as
on or off. In addition, if one is going to the effort to model long as the conduction conditions are met. The switch will nor-
the characteristics of the switching devices, then more detail in mally turn off like the diode model. However, most EMTP-like
other aspects of the switching circuit is also needed, including: programs also have the ability to add a second pulse to force
parasitic inductances and capacitances, wire and lead resistance, turn off at the next time step and interrupt current, representing
snubber circuit characteristics, and accurate gate circuit models. the action of an ideal self-commutating switch such as a GTO
Also, smaller simulation time steps are needed when more ac- or an IGBT.
curate device models are used in the case of faster devices, such In addition, another controlled switch model is available to
as IGBTs and metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors represent a self-commutated switch. This switch model is able
(MOSFETs), than would be the case if ideal switch models are to turn on or turn off immediately at the next time step following
used. application of a gate command, thus interrupting current. Since
The type of detailed device model used will vary with the the interruption in current always occurs at a simulation time
device in question. The appropriate degree of detail also varies step, this switch does not create numerical oscillation problems.
with the application and the capabilities of the software tool. This switch model will carry current in both directions.
Very detailed power semiconductor device models are available
as precompiled libraries for software tools, such as SPICE and B. Creating Approximate Models
Saber. These models can be largely viewed as a “black box” More accurate device representations can be implemented
from the user’s point of view [10]–[12]. through some simple approximations without implementing a
highly detailed switch model [13]–[15]. These approximations
V. EMTP MODELING can also be made using data readily available from the manu-
facturer’s specifications and do not require extensive device test
A. EMTP Built-In Models data.
There are several built-in models in EMTP-like programs that A very simple, but imperfect approximation to represent the
can be used for switching models of power converters. Most device forward voltage drop is implemented by adding a resis-
EMTP-like programs have a switch model that can be used to tance or a constant voltage source in series with a switch model.
model either a diode or a thyristor (when a controlled gate pulse For example, such a model of a diode is shown in Fig. 1. Adding
is added). The switch can carry current in only one direction and either element has limitations. A linear resistance is not an accu-
will normally turn off like a diode. The original model was de- rate representation of the forward voltage drop in many devices,
veloped for the BPA EMTP to represent the mercury arc valves where the resistance will vary with current. This type of model
in the HVdc Pacific Intertie. This is largely an ideal switch with will tend to be accurate only over a narrow range of currents. The
some ability to approximate the nonideal behavior of mercury series voltage source also poses some problems if the forward
arc valves. The user can specify a minimum ignition voltage voltage drop varies with current. The voltage source should only
(with a default value of zero), a minimum holding current for represent a voltage drop as a loss component; it must not be able
maintaining continuous conduction, and a deionization time. Of to supply power to the circuit [16].
these, the minimum ignition voltage can be useful when mod- A somewhat better approximation for the device on-state
eling diodes to ensure the device does not turn on before the for- model would be to use a controlled voltage or current source
ward voltage exceeds the device’s forward voltage rating. How- to represent the switch. Now the user can include turn-on
ever, the voltage drop across the switch drops to zero after it and turn-off times from a look-up table to control the source
turns on, so this may not adequately represent the on-state for- behavior. The challenge with this representation is creating
ward voltage drop. an approximation that is valid over the voltage and current
This switch model can be used with or without gate pulses ap- operating ranges of interest. A well-known example of this is
plied (some EMTP-like programs refer to this as a grid signal, the small-signal model of a bipolar junction transistor (BJT)
again using terminology from mercury arc valves). If no gate that PSPICE uses. A circuit representation is shown in Fig. 2.
signal is applied to the switch, the switch model will behave as This model is suitable only for a fairly narrow operating range

Fig. 3. Switching circuit model of an IGBT.


Fig. 2. Small-signal PSPICE model of a BJT [17]. A. Introduction

The first step is to determine the level of detail needed for the
of voltage, current, and frequency. Again, another challenge is simulation studies to be performed. For studies of the impact
to ensure that these sources do not supply energy to the rest of the power converter on real or reactive power flows, voltage
of the system, unless they actually do. The controlled voltage magnitude control, or motor control, ideal device models are
source shown in Fig. 1 should not supply energy to the system, often sufficient [1]–[4]. In such studies, the choice of appro-
but instead consumes energy because its current only flows in priate converter topology and control scheme to model is the
the direction indicating energy consumption. The controlled main concern. EMTP-like programs have built-in switch models
current source in the BJT model shown in Fig. 2 does supply adequate to represent diodes, thyristors, and self-commutating
energy to the system, drawing that energy from the dc biasing devices such as IGBTs, GTOs, and GCTs.
network of its parent circuit. If studies requiring detailed converter and device models are
A better approximation is to model the device using a to be performed, obtaining device data can be more difficult.
nonlinear passive circuit element, either in combination with Simulations conducted by the parties designing and building
an ideal switch or as a stand-alone element that has a large the converter include knowledge of the specific devices used,
impedance while the device is off. This nonlinear circuit ele- and the manufacturers’ specification sheet values of resistance,
ment incorporates feedback of circuit conditions and possible inductance, and capacitance for the passive components added
gate signals. The most common built-in nonlinear circuit ele- to the circuit. Manufacturers provide tabular data describing
ments were designed to represent either magnetic saturation or turn-on and turn-off behavior and on-state conduction behavior.
the resistance of a surge arrester, and are not well suited to this The turn-on and turn-off characteristics are generally approx-
sort of model. Some EMTP-like programs allow the user to imated with piecewise linear approximations of the curves or
insert a nonlinear circuit element based on user-specified data. with equation models. It will also be necessary to include the ex-
Such an element is essential to creating this class of an approx- ternal snubber circuits, along with any circuits to control voltage
imate device model. The nonlinear element approximates the sharing in series-connected devices and current sharing in par-
device characteristic more appropriately, especially the on-state allel connected devices.
voltage drop. With a little more effort, modifications could be The data necessary to model the power converters for detailed
made to include turn-on and turn-off. The nonlinear element transient simulations can be difficult to obtain without access to
can be an extension of an ordinary circuit element. For ex- the details of the converter topology and design. In some cases,
ample, Hefner’s IGBT model uses three nonlinear capacitances the devices themselves are visible in the package or on design
to better approximate charge storage phenomena [18]. He also drawings. Then model data can again be determined by looking
uses nonlinear resistances that are a function of input current at the device manufacturer’s specifications. However, data on
level to model the effects of conductivity modulation. The the resistances, inductances, and capacitances may be more dif-
nonlinear element can also be a switch, either passive or active. ficult to obtain without contacting the converter manufacturer.
The diode model shown in Fig. 1 is an example of the former; Approximations can be made, but these values can have a signif-
the circuit model shown in Fig. 3 is a simple circuit model to icant impact on voltage and current stresses seen by the devices
address the problem of latch-up of an IGBT [2]. and external circuit.
More accurate modeling of turn-on and turn-off behavior usu- If the device data are lacking, it may be possible to develop a
ally requires greater care in designing and supervising the sim- reasonable approximation based on converter voltage and cur-
ulation. For example, more accurate modeling, in general, re- rent ratings. With this knowledge, one can estimate the voltage
quires a significantly smaller time step, often in the tens of and current ratings of the devices and look up the specifications
nanoseconds when modeling fast devices such as IGBTs. Par- for similar devices. This approximation can lead to significant
asitic circuit elements, particularly inductances, become some- errors, depending on how well matched the substitute models
what more significant and must be modeled carefully. are.

Fig. 5. Detailed diode model.

approximation. The value of the resistance is computed by a

linear approximation of the slope of the diode’s voltage versus
current characteristic. The forward voltage, in that case, is the
Fig. 4. Approximate diode reverse recovery characteristics. intercept on the voltage axis of the same linear approximation.
Some data sheets will list values for the slope, though most will
give a graph from which the user can calculate a value appro-
B. Diode Model priate for the application. Further complexity can be added in the
For modeling a diode, much of the necessary data are readily form of series inductance, typically 2.5 nH/mm of lead length.
available from the manufacturers’ data sheets. The following Junction capacitance, both forward and reverse, is also given in
items are appropriate for models that have sufficient detail for most data sheets and can be added in parallel with the junction
most modeling and simulation. model. Fig. 5 illustrates a circuit model of a diode with these
a) Forward voltage drop: A nominal value is usually given circuit elements.
among the numerical specifications on the data sheet. Ex- Because this model is linear, it fits nicely into an ordinary
cept in the case of Shottky diodes, this value is typically circuit model of the power converter topology at hand. A strict
somewhat greater than the 0.7 V that is considered nom- Boltzmann model of a power diode tends to be inaccurate.
inal for signal diodes. The forward voltage drop of a power Power diodes usually have an lightly doped or intrinsic center
diode is sensitive to temperature and, in particular, to cur- layer between the and layers, a center layer that exhibits a
rent level. Often, data sheets will show a graph of this dominant resistive behavior. For this reason, most power diodes
voltage versus current characteristics, usually with con- exhibit a nearly linear voltage versus current behavior for all
tours for different operating temperatures. but the very smallest forward current levels.
b) Reverse recovery: Power diodes exhibit a significant re- From these models, currents and voltages can be readily
verse recovery transient, drawing a large reverse current calculated using linear circuit theory. Calculation of losses is
while their stored charge is being removed and recom- a matter of finding the product. For example, conduction
bined at turn-off. Data sheets list several quantities to de- losses in the case of periodic excitation are the product of the
scribe this behavior. The reverse recovery characteristic forward voltage , the forward current , and the duty
may be approximated as shown in Fig. 4. Peak reverse cur- cycle ratio of conduction time to the excitation period
rent and total recovery time are found on most (1)
power diode data sheets. Both values are sensitive to the
slope of the current. Nominal conditions of measurement The time is the time that the diode conducts or the product
are usually given with these values. Total recovery time of the duty ratio and period for the switching cycle .
is often divided into two time intervals and , as Voltage overshoots are dominated by the behavior due
shown in Fig. 4. Data sheets often give a snap factor, which to the lead inductance. Reverse recovery losses are cal-
is the ratio of to . Data sheets may also show a total culated using (2), which is derived from an approximation of the
charge , the area within the - triangle. This is typical timing and levels of diode voltage and current during re-
often given as a function of the initial slope of the current verse recovery. and are the peak forward and reverse volt-
transient. ages during recovery, respectively. and are the charges
Nonswitching diode models can be expressed using esca- stored in the and portions of the recovery time shown in
lating levels of complexity. Normally, only the forward conduc- Fig. 4, and is the switching frequency
tion portion of the diode’s behavior is considered for detailed
modeling. Leakage currents are usually small enough to be ig-
nored, making the reverse model merely an open circuit. The In the event that data for the device at hand are not available,
ideal model is the simplest forward conduction model: a short then some approximations may still yield reasonable results.
circuit. The next level of complexity includes a constant forward Most diodes have a particular application or class of applica-
voltage. A further step in complexity is to include a series resis- tions: fast recovery, rectifier, etc. Values of most parameters tend
tance with the voltage source; in other words, a linear Thevenin to be within a fairly narrow range in each class of diode. Hence,

Fig. 6. IGBT circuit model using voltage and current sources [19].

reasonable approximations may be obtained by comparing the

values for several devices within the appropriate class. If a diode
is paired with an active switch, as is the case in the common
six-switch inverter topology, then a reasonable approximation of
the diode turn-off speed is a value slightly faster than the turn-on Fig. 7. Turn-on input models for MOSFET and IGBT.
time of the respective switch.

C. IGBT Model and fall is approximated as being linear with time. Occasionally,
two time segments are employed [1], but data sheets ordinarily
The IGBT is a hybrid device, behaving at its input like a do not give enough information for such a model. Such data may
MOSFET and at its output, like a BJT. Hence, the models tend be gathered empirically if needed [1].
to be the same as common models for those two devices as il- Because the IGBT exhibits MOSFET behavior on its gate
lustrated in Fig. 3. The IGBT turns on by first turning on the side, gate capacitance may be important in finding storage be-
MOSFET section of the device, which draws a base current haviors. A simple series RC model formed by the gate-emitter
through the IGBT section. (The parasitic BJT shown in Fig. 3 capacitance of the IGBT and the series resistance of the
is normally not conducting and will turn on only at very high drive circuit may be appropriate. is the input capacitance
values of current through the main IGBT.) To turn the IGBT on some data sheets. Some gate drive models also use the
off, a similar procedure to turn-on occurs. The MOSFET sec- Miller capacitance ( on the data sheet). Fig. 7 illustrates
tion is gated off, which extinguishes the base current in the BJT these elements. The notation is similar to MOSFETs, and the
section. An ideal device model may be appropriate in situations circuit is the same.
described in Section IV of this paper.
Model calculations are a sequence of piecewise linear circuit
Piecewise linear RC models are common. Appropriate
calculations. As conditions are met for transition from one cir-
switching models of this nature are found in [1]. A fairly simple
cuit approximation to the next, the appropriate changes in the
example of an IGBT model in forward conduction, illustrating
linear circuit models must be made. Otherwise, calculations are
voltage- and current-source models, is shown in Fig. 6. A
governed by linear circuit theory. Under blocking conditions, for
circuit model of the input of an IGBT under turn-on conditions
example, the small leakage current allows an IGBT to be mod-
is shown in Fig. 7. There are four sequential modes of operation
eled as an open circuit. During turn-on, current rise is modeled
during turn-on; conduction progresses from one mode to the
as a ramp current source. Rise transients may be influenced by
next depending on the state of charge of the two capacitors.
antiparallel diodes, particularly during diode reverse recovery
The model and the degree of complexity chosen depends upon
and also in the case in which the diode is significantly slower
what behaviors the user wants to simulate.
than the IGBT. Transitions between piecewise linear modes can
As was the case for the diode, it is also true that most of the
be governed by a number of conditions or inputs, for example
necessary data is available from data sheets. Forward voltage
drops are usually given both as nominal values and as a graph • passive switching (as shown in the diode model of Fig. 5);
against current with temperature contours. Because device pro- • active switching (as shown in the case of the parasitic BJT
tection methods often use forward voltage drop as an indicator in Fig. 3);
of overcurrent, it is important to capture a good representation • conditions on circuit elements (such as the charge on the
of the voltage versus current behavior, particularly for slight to capacitors of Fig. 7);
moderate overcurrents. Rise and fall times of the currents are • recognition of crossing a current or voltage level (such as
prominently listed on IGBT data sheets. These are more signif- what terminates most turn-on or turn-off piecewise linear
icant than voltage rise and fall times because current behavior modes).
is normally so much slower as to render voltage rise and fall As was the case for the diode, average conduction losses in
times nearly instantaneous. For most IGBT models, current rise the IGBT are the product of the switching frequency (or the

switching period T, which is the inverse of the switching fre- expressed as a set of nonlinear first-order differential equations.
quency), the forward voltage drop , the forward current MATLAB/SIMULINK works best on simulations of system dy-
, and the duty cycle namics and control algorithms. These simulators work on other
types of problems and often do quite well, but their power is
(3) usually best manifested within the class of problems for which
they are designed.
The time the product of the duty ratio and the switching These models provide remarkably accurate predictions of cir-
period . cuit behavior. Loss estimates and voltage and current transients
Switching losses are the product of the IGBT output voltage obtained from simulations based on these models are usually
and the IGBT collector current during switching quite good and match up with experimental results closely.
The most significant tradeoff involved in using these detailed
(4) models, as one might expect, is the simulation time required.
It does not require many devices in a circuit to lengthen the
where and are the rise time and the fall time of the current simulation time excessively. It is often necessary (and worth
through the device during turn-on and turn-off, respectively. the effort) to simplify the rest of the circuit as much as possible
If a constant bus voltage and a linear rise and fall of current to reap the benefits of the detailed models and sophisticated
are assumed, then the average switching losses are the product simulation techniques available in these software packages.
of the bus voltage, the load current, and half the sum of the rise
and fall times. Instantaneous losses are, as always, the product VIII. CONCLUSION
of the device voltage and current at hand.
Thyristors and GTOs tend to exhibit behaviors of both passive Several different levels of detail are available when mod-
and active switches. The concepts in building models for them eling power-electronic converters. In some cases, average, non-
appear as a combination of the models for the diode and IGBT. switching models will suffice. However, switch-based models
In the interest of brevity, the details are presented in Chapters are required in many cases. The ideal switch models available in
23 and 24 of [1]. most EMTP-like programs are sufficient for most power system
simulations requiring switching models.
In cases where a more detailed switch model is required,
VII. MORE DETAILED MODELS the user can employ an approximate model or a highly de-
If piecewise linear models are inadequate for finding switch tailed equation-based model. Several options for implementing
behavior and its effect upon system behavior, more detailed approximate models were described. Approximate models
models exist in specialized software packages, such as SPICE are often easier to implement in fixed time-step simulation
and Saber. Both of these programs can utilize variable time step packages.
numerical integration models that are better suited to the accu- These approximations may also be sufficient since the appro-
rate modeling of turn-on and turn-off behavior of power semi- priate data on the devices, passive circuit elements, and controls
conductor devices than a fixed time step method. SPICE also for a specific converter may be difficult to obtain. When the spe-
serves as the engine for several circuit capture software pack- cific device type and model numbers are known, parameter data
ages, such as Electronics Workbench. Most device manufac- for the devices are available through the manufacturers specifi-
turers will send a SPICE or Saber model upon request; some cation sheets. If the specific device model numbers are not avail-
post the most commonly requested models to their company able, model data can be approximated by assuming: 1) the kind
websites. These models tend to be “plug and play.” The inter- of device, 2) voltage, current, speed class of the device, and then
face is usually quite simple, often merely being an icon in a using data for similar devices. Very detailed device models are
schematic capture. The specifics of how these models were de- available for Saber and SPICE, but these models will not port
veloped sometimes appears in the literature, such as when stan- to EMTP-like programs easily and will require very small inte-
dards agencies develop the models [13]–[15]. Unfortunately, gration time steps.
this information is more often proprietary when developed by However, approximate device models are often adequate
private individuals or companies. Nonetheless, a little under- for most applications where EMTP-like programs will be
standing of the fundamental purposes and methods of the sim- used. Keys for the program user are 1) know the application
ulation software at hand lends a great deal of flexibility to the and define the level of detail well and 2) if a detailed power
simulation. For example, understanding a SPICE netlist yields semiconductor device model is used, is the rest of the model
an ability to modify the model under changing conditions (e.g., accurate enough now?
temperature, voltage,and current levels, etc.). An understanding
of the underlying simulation algorithms helps one to identify REFERENCES
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