substation 101
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  • 1. 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.0 INTRODUCTION Gas insulated substations (GIS) have been used in power systems over the last three decades because of their high reliability, easy maintenance, small ground space requirement etc. In India also, a few GIS units are under various stages of installation. The basic insulation level (BIL) required for a gas insulated substation (GIS) is different from that of the conventional substation because of certain unique properties of the former. Gas insulated bus has a surge impedance (70Ω) more than that of the conventional oil filled cables, but much less than that of an over head line (300Ω - 400Ω). Further, the average bus run for a compact GIS is much less than that for the conventional station. In addition, the GIS is totally enclosed and therefore is free from any atmospheric contamination. Hence, in general the GIS permit lower BIL rating than the conventional one. However the life of GIS is affected by several factors such as: conductive particles, particle discharges and contamination (decomposition products, moisture, etc.). Conductive particles inside the enclosure are known to reduce the breakdown level of Gas insulated systems. Partial discharges can develop from conductive particles, contamination, and defects during the manufacturing process, etc.
  • 2. 2 The GIS require less number of lightning arresters than a conventional one. This is mainly because of its compactness. The basic consideration for insulation coordination is V-T characteristic. The V-T characteristic of SF6 is considerably flat compared to that of air. Air can withstand to very high voltages for very short time. However, as the duration of voltage increases, the withstand voltage falls off considerably. On the other hand, SF6 exhibits a flat characteristic, thus the ratio of basic lightning impulse level is close to unity for GIS, whereas for the conventional substations this ratio varies between 0.6 and 0.86. Although GIS has been in operation for several years, a lot of problems encountered in practice need further understanding. Some of the problems studied are: a. Switching operations generate very fast transient over voltages (VFTOS) b. VFTOS may cause secondary breakdowns inside a GIS and Transient Enclosure Voltages (TEV) outside the GIS c. Prolonged arcing may produce corrosive / toxic by products d. Support spacers can be weak points when arc by products and metallic particles are present e. From the reliability point of view, partial discharge detection is important. The methods of detection are of acoustic system and electric systems etc. These methods lack quality control.
  • 3. 3 For these reasons, VFTOS generated in a GIS should be considered as an important factor in the insulation design. In a GIS, Very Fast Transient Overvoltages (VFTOS) are caused by two ways: a. Due to switching operations and b. Line to enclosure faults. The switching operations may be dis-connector switch, circuit breaker or earth switch. Since, the contact speed of disconnector switches are low, restriking occurs many times before the interruption is completed. Each restrike generates very fast transient over voltages with different levels of magnitude. Further, disconnector switches are used primarily to isolate the operating sections of an HV installation from each other as a safety measure. Beyond this, they must also be able to perform certain switching duties, such as load transferred from one bus bar to another or disconnection of bus sections, circuit breakers etc. During switching operations, voltage collapse across the contacts take place within 3 to 20 nanoseconds depending on the system voltage, gas pressure, field intensity etc. Once this short time rise pulse starts at switching contacts, it travels along gas bus duct in either direction and gets reflected at different terminations. The superimposition of system with reflected pulse develops over voltages in GIS. These over voltages have been called as Very Fast Transient Over voltages (VFTOS), because of their very high frequency components in the range of MHz. The main problems associated with the VFTOS are as follows:
  • 4. 4 1. Flash over to ground at the disconnector switch contacts 2. Failure of electronic control circuits connected to GIS due to electro magnetic interference of VFTOS 3. Di-electric strength is reduced under VFTOS, if non-uniform electric field is formed by the particles (mainly metallic) 4. Effect on equipments such as bushing, power transformer and instrument transformers 5. Transient Enclosure Voltage (TEV) on external surface of the sheath. This may cause flashovers to nearby grounded objects For the above reasons, VFTOS generated in GIS should be considered as an important factor in the insulation design of not only gas-insulated components, but also for the entire substation. The levels and waveforms of VFTOS are determined by the design of the substation. To calculate the levels and waveforms of VFTOS, the Pspice/MATLAB is used. In Pspice/MATLAB simulation, a suitable equivalent circuit is necessary for each component of the substation. 1.1 GAS INSULATED SUBSTATIONS SF6 gas insulated high voltage switchgear has been in commercial operation for more than 30 years. Continuous technological and design improvements of all the components during the course of the time are characterized by appreciable savings in area and volume occupied by the substation. Gas insulated substations are in service up to the highest
  • 5. 5 voltage of 800 kV, meeting almost all the requirements in urban, industrial as well as rural areas. In the initial stages, the new SF6 gas insulated substations were almost exclusively used where space limitations, site restrictions or exponential ambient conditions made it difficult to use conventional air insulated substations. However, over the last 30 years, GIS at voltage up to 800 kV in various station configurations and with various performance requirements, have been installed in increasing numbers worldwide. The modular of design of GIS offers a high degree of flexibility to meet layout requirements of both substations, as well as power station switchgear, making efficient use of available space. GIS technology has reached a stage of application and a wide range of GIS equipment up to highest voltage of 800 kV is available with many unique features. They are: 1. Wide spread application of aluminum enclosure materials for standardized component models for all voltage ranges 2. The light weight enclosures have good conductivity, low eddy-current losses and a high resistance to corrosion 3. Easy handling, as well as reduced stresses on foundation and support structure are additional features 4. Standard arrangements can be easily modified and extended with good co-ordination between the manufacturer and the user.
  • 6. 6 5. A gas- tight barrier insulator in switchgear serve for the separation of gas compartments and prevents neighbouring switchgear parts from being affected during maintenance. A typical Gas insulated substation is shown in Fig.1.1. Fig.1.1 Gas Insulated Substation The Gas insulated substation shown in above figure comprises the following components: 1 Circuit breaker 2 Disconnector switch 3 Earthing switch 4 Current transformer 5 Voltage transformer 6 Bus bar & connectors
  • 7. 7 7 Power transformer 8 Surge arrester 9 Cable termination 10 SF6 / air or SF6 / oil bushing 1.1.1 Advantages of GIS over the conventional open air substation The application of GIS during the last fifteen years has been very rapid. The rapid growth in GIS application is due to the following special advantages: 1. Area and volume saving in construction for over or underground applications. Therefore they offer saving in land area and construction costs. 2. Insensitivity to external influences because of grounded metal enclosures. 3. Greatly improved safety and reliability due to earthed metal housing of all high voltage parts and much higher intrinsic strength of SF6 gas as insulation. 4. Short on site erection times, based on large factory assembled and tested shipping units 5. Fulfillment of aesthetic requirements with indoor applications 6. High service reliability due to non-exposure of the use of high voltage parts to atmosphere influences 7. Reduction in radio interference with the use of earthed metal enclosures
  • 8. 8 8. Use as mobile substations for transportation to load centers on standard tracks. These substations can be located closer to load centers thereby reducing transmission losses and expenditure in the distribution network. 9. More optimal life cycle costs because of lesser maintenance, down time and repair costs. 10. It is not necessary that high voltage or extra high voltage switchgear has to be installed out doors. 1.1.2 Disadvantages of GIS Although GIS has been in operation for several years, a lot of problems encountered in practice need fuller understanding. Some of the problems being studied are: 1. Switching operation generate Very Fast Transients Over Voltages (VFTOS). 2. VFTOS may cause secondary breakdown inside a GIS and Transient Enclosure Voltages (TEV) outside the GIS. 3. Field non-uniformities reduce withstanding levels of a GIS. 4. Prolonged arcing may produce corrosive/toxic by-products. 5. Support spacers can be weak points when arc by-products and metallic particles are present. 1.2 GENERATION OF VERY FAST TRANSIENT OVER VOLTAGES (VFTOS) IN A GIS Fast transient over voltages in GIS are mainly due to two reasons
  • 9. 9 1. Disconnector switch operation 2. Faults between bus bar and enclosure In case of line-to-earth faults, the voltage collapse at the fault location occurs in a similar way as in disconnector gap during restriking. By this event, step shape-travelling surges are injected. When SF6 gas breakdown occurs, it extinguishes very quickly, since it has a high electro-negative property. Breakdown in SF6 starts initially by avalanche, starting with an initiatory electron due to cosmic radiation, field emission or several other phenomenon producing electrons. These electrons are accelerated by electric field, thereby increasing its kinetic energy. As a result, number of electrons increase due to collisions. According to streamer criteria, first avalanche occurs followed by chain of avalanches bridging the gap between the electrodes and thus forming the streamer. Thus, to have the breakdown there should be sufficient electric field to produce sequence of avalanches and there should be at least one primary electron to initiate first avalanche. In the above sequence of events, there exits a time lag for initiating electron to be available in the gap after the voltage is applied. This time lag is termed as statistical time lag. Similarly, the formation of spark channel takes definite time known as formative time lag (tr) and is defined below, Rise time tr = 4.4 (S. Kr / U) nano seconds (1.1) U = Ignition voltage in kV
  • 10. 10 S = spark length in mm Kr = Toepler’s constant This time lag is of order of nanoseconds for SF6 gas. The above phenomenon suggests that the VFTOS are generated due to the voltage collapse, which occurs in few nano seconds. 1.3 TRAPPED CHARGE Several authors have described the effects of trapped charge on occurrence of VFTOS. When a disconnector switch is opened on a floating section of switchgear, a trapped charge may be left on the floating section. The potential caused by this charge will decay very slowly as a result of leakage through spacers. Particle motion under d.c conditions is much more severe than that for a.c excitation and may lead to scattering of particles onto insulating surfaces. However, such particle motion leads to appreciable (µA) d.c currents which will discharge the normally floating section in a relatively short time. The asymmetry in breakdown voltages leads to the “falling” pattern near the end of Disconnector Switch operation which continues until the potential is low enough that breakdown cannot occur during the rising portion of a power frequency cycle as shown in Fig.1.2.
  • 11. 11 V(p.u) → t (micro seconds) Fig.1.2 Load side voltage waveform during opening of Disconnector switch. The end point is inevitably a transition from a large negative potential to a slightly positive potential at a gap distance for which the positive breakdown potential is 1.1 p.u (peak) and the negative breakdown potential is 1.2 p.u (peak). At this point, another positive and negative breakdown cannot occur, as a result 0.1-0.2 p.u (peak) is left on the floating switchgear. The salient features, which lead to this small trapped charge, are the asymmetry in breakdown potential and relatively long arcing time. This trapped charge can be controlled through careful design of contact geometry. The concept of using compressed SF6 gas, as the principal insulating media in metal clad substations was first implemented in the early 1970’s. The overall techno-economic advantages such as higher reliability, personal safety, compactness, ease of maintenance, improved aesthetics etc. over air insulated substations have led to an increased
  • 12. 12 demand for Gas Insulated Metal Enclosed Switchgear (GIMES) or gas insulated substations (GIS) over the last three decades. They are now available worldwide up to a voltage of 800kV. In our country too, in order to fulfill the needs of technological up gradation, a few GIS units have already gone into operation or are in various stages of installation. In a GIMES system, all energized or live parts are enclosed inside a grounded metallic encapsulation, which shields them from the environment. Compressed SF6 gas, which has excellent dielectric properties, is used as the insulating medium between the live parts and the enclosure. Early designs of GIMES followed a cautions approach and complete segregation of the three phases i.e. separate chambers were provided for each functional component such as circuit breakers, current transformers etc., of each phase. However, after gaining sufficient service experience and ability to maintain dielectric integrity three phases in one or phase integrated modules are now available. The three phase’s construction has the added advantage of having only a reduced number of gas and moving parts. Gas insulated substations occupy only about ten percent of the space required by conventional substations. They also offer saving in land area and construction costs. Their modular design provides higher degree of flexibility in the substation layout and efficient use of space. These substations can be located closer to load centers thereby reducing transmission losses and expenditure in the distribution network. Since
  • 13. 13 they are hermetically sealed units and hence are not affected by atmospheric contamination. As associated costs are reduced, when designing typical cases for which GIMES offers a more economic solution are following: a. Urban and industrial areas (space, pollution) b. Mountain areas (site preparation, altitude) c. Coastal areas (salt associated problems) d. Underground substations. e. Areas where aesthetics are of major concern. However, a transition from air insulated to gas insulated technology should require recognition of certain aspects with respect to design. The bus scheme, for example, used for GIMES is quite different from what is used for AIS. In GIMES, enclosure is the nearest earth surface with respect to the conductor. Therefore switching devices in metal enclosed systems have to fulfill their duties under conditions, which are different from those prevailing in conventional systems. More clearly, they are influenced by their close spatial neighborhood in the form of electrostatic interactions. The switching device considered under the current study is an Isolator or disconnecting switch (DS). Several of which are generally present in a GIMES. High frequency surges are generated in GIS during the operation of dis-connectors. These are steep fronted oscillatory over voltages in the
  • 14. 14 frequency ranges of several Mega hertz and known as Very Fast over Voltages (VFO). It is necessary to investigate the level of over voltages in order to assess their effect on the insulation characteristics of GIS. Even though the dielectric strength of a clean GIS may be adequate under clean conditions, under particle contaminated conditions, the dielectric strength for over voltages may become lower resulting in bus-bar to enclosure flashovers. 1.4 VFTOSS ACROSS TRANSFORMER Very fast transient over voltages (VFTOS) occur in Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) due to the operation of the disconnector switch. It has very short rise time of less than 5 nano seconds, and an oscillatory component of several MHz lasting for few microseconds. There are concerns about a possibility that the VFTOS sets of a resonance in the winding of the transformer in the system, particularly if the transformer is connected to the GIS through a gas insulated bus. The voltage oscillations in transformer winding have always been troublesome. Using the concept of ‘on-resonance’ or ‘surge-proof’ transformer, it is intended to suppress the oscillations by controlling the initial voltage distribution or capacitive voltage distribution. The device works against ordinary lighting impulses, but it may not necessarily be effective for oscillatory pulses such as VFTOS originated in GIS. It is of prime importance to investigate the underlying mechanism of VFTOS
  • 15. 15 phenomena in the transformer and to provide a means to accurately predict the over voltages in the winding. Two kinds of induced voltages are reported in transformers, one is high frequency component induced electro statically and the other is lower frequency component traveling along the winding. Initially this phenomenon was analyzed using simple ladder circuit network model. They have showed that the inter turn voltage can be explained by a simple transmission line model. They have developed a generalized analytical method applying the single transmission line model. They have successfully applied this model to the VFTOS phenomena in transformer winding. Since the analysis requires a large scale computation, they have limited the computation area by the use of a terminal admittance representing the rest of the winding. Most of the time overvoltages cause a flashover from the winding to core or between the turns. The inter turn voltage is particularly vulnerable to the high frequency oscillation and therefore the study of over voltages is of interest. The VFTOS produced by switching in GIS depend not only on connection between the GIS and transformer, but also on the transformer parameters and type of the winding. 1.5 VFTOSS ACROSS BUSHING The distribution of voltage across the layers of SF6 / air capacitively graded bushing is not uniform under these fast transients, particularly the voltage across the first few layers. Further, the voltage
  • 16. 16 distribution across the layers depends on frequency components of the VFTOS. Hence work has been carried out, to estimate the effect of different rise time step pulse on SF6 / air capacitively graded bushing connected to GIS. 1.6 VFTOSS ACROSS DISCONNECTOR SWITCH The basic function of disconnecting switches is to isolate sections of a GIS for ensuring safety of the operations. In the process of isolations, trapped charges may be left on certain sections of the GIS on the capacitance to ground sections, resulting in large differential voltages across the disconnecting switches and also in the presence of AC-DC conditions across the poles of the switches. A switching operation such as re-energisation under such condition leads to switching charging current results in steeper oscillations which travel through the components of the system and suffer multiple reflections. These surges may cause internal flashovers to nearby grounded objects. Therefore overvoltages generated in GIS is a major parameter to be considered in insulation designs as it has bearing on many vital components of the installation such as insulating spacers, bushings, transformers etc. The electromagnetic interference (EMI) caused by overvoltages in electronic control circuitry is another problem to reckon with. Discussed under the present scope is a study of switching overvoltages under trapped charge or AC-DC conditions across the disconnector, the
  • 17. 17 magnitude and rise time of overvoltages generated and a method of controlling them. For the above reasons, VFTOS generated in a GIS should be considered as an important factor in the insulation design. For designing a substation it is essential to know the maximum value of VFTOS. Moreover, this VFTOS in turn generates Transient Enclosure Voltages (TEV) outside the GIS, hence studies are carried out on estimation of the VFTOS and TEV levels. Since the contact speed of disconnect switches is low, re-striking occurs many times before the interruption is completed. Each re-strike generates VFTOS with different levels of magnitude. Disconnect switches are used primarily to isolate the opening sections of an HV installation from each other as a safety measure. Beyond this, they must also be able to perform certain switching duties, such as load transfer from one busbar to another or disconnection of bus bar, circuit breaker etc., step shaped traveling wave generated between the disconnect switch contacts propagates in the both directions, reflecting at the components of GIS, thus resulting in a complex waveform. 1.7 SUPPRESSION OF VFTOSS ACROSS FLANGE Discussed under the present scope is a study of transient enclosure voltages across insulating flange and enclosure using MATLAB. The magnitudes of over voltages across flange and enclosure are suppressed by various techniques such as by the use of capacitors, shunting bars (copper strips) etc.