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Neutral Grounding & Burning Damage Considerations for Industrial Generators

Louie J. Powell, PE
Engineering Consultant Saratoga Springs, NY monophoto@nycap.rr.com
IEEE 2006

Acknowledgement
The presentation is based in part on work done by the Working Group on Generator Grounding of the IEEE Industry Application Society Protection Committee. Membership in the Working Group included:
Name David S. Baker Bruce Bailey Jim Bowen Gerald Dalke Bruce Douglas Jay D. Fischer James R. Jones Daniel J. Love Charles Mozina Parsons Energy
University of Alabama

Affiliation KBR/Consultant Siemens/Consultant Powell Electric Basler Electric

Name Neil Nichols Clifford Normand Lorraine Padden Alan Pierce Prafulla Pillai Louie Powell Norman T. Stringer David D. Shipp Ralph Young

Affiliation Kocher & Sherra/Consultant International Paper Padden Engineering Factory Mutual Engineering Kellog-Brown & Root GE Energy/Consultant Artwell Electric Eaton Electrical Eastman Chemical

Consultant Beckwith Electric

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Introduction
Grounding encompasses all matters involved in the connections between an electrical system and earth. Grounding practices establish critical system design objectives
Maximum steady-state and transient voltages imposed on insulation Maximum currents in conductors and interrupting devices Maximum potential gradients between components and structures Maximum flash energy at the point of an arc

Grounding Decisions Affect Both System Performance and Electrical Safety


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System Grounding vs. Equipment Grounding


System Grounding How is the electrical neutral connected to earth?

Equipment Grounding How is the electrical frame or enclosure connected to earth?

Focused on Different Objectives Inextricably Linked


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Central Station Practice:


High-Resistance Grounding

Generator

Generator rating 100 MVA or larger Dedicated generator step-up transformer Generator breaker at high-voltage terminals of GSU Generator neutral grounded through distribution transformer Ground fault current limited to about 5-7 amperes

Simple Application Widely Used


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Critical Differences in Industrial Applications


Generator rating 10-50MVA Generator connected to a distribution bus Distribution feeders at generator terminal voltage Supply transformer connected delta at higher voltage, wye at lower voltage Generator breaker at generator terminal voltage

Generator

Grounding Must Address Application Requirements


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Factors for consideration


Transient overvoltages Workplace safety
Arc-flash (incident) energy Potential gradients

Selective ground fault detection and clearing Burning damage at the point of the fault Circulation of third-harmonic current Stator winding mechanical bracing Unbalanced phase-to-neutral loading

Complex Array of Concerns


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Traditional Industrial Practice:


Low-Resistance Grounding
Resistor rating: 100 1200 a 400a. Rating is most typical Rationale Enough current for selective protection Minimizes potential gradients Minimizes fault-point arcing Acceptable compromise between competing objectives

Generator

75+ Year History of Applications


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Reality Strikes: Recent Failures


Serious burning damage for internal stator ground faults Required extensive stator rebuild Generator out of service for months Significant replacement energy cost Challenged traditional thinking about resistance grounding

Stimulated New Thinking About Grounding Practices


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The Physics of Stator Ground Faults:


For a ground fault inside the stator winding of a generator

Two components of fault current


Supplied from the system - Is Interrupted by opening the generator breaker Typically interrupted in about 0.1 seconds (6 cycles) Supplied by the generator itself - Ig Opening the generator breaker has no effect Requires full demagnetization of the generator field

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Energy Released at Fault Point


Energy in arc = I k dt
0 t

Two critical parameters:


1. Magnitude of ground fault current 2. Time to interrupt fault current

Value of k
2 for resistive heating 1.5 suggested for low voltage arcing Subject for further research

Analyze Two Components Separately Sum Results for Total Energy Released
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Case Study System Current


4 .104 3.5 .104 3 .104 2.5 .104 2 .104 1.5 .104 1 .104 5000 0 0.01

Energy released, watt-seconds

0.1 400 A. Lo-R system 5kA Effect. Grd system Time, seconds

10

400A. Low Resistance Grounding Provides Reasonable Damage Control Generators on Effectively Grounded Systems Exposed to Serious Jeopardy
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Case Study Generator Current


Typical medium voltage generator reactances and time constants
1 .10
4

Energy released, watt seconds

1 .10

100

10

0.1 0.01

0.1

1 Time, seconds

10

ig = I

400A. LoR ground 10A. HiR ground

10A. High Resistance Grounding Provides Reasonable Damage Control 400A. Grounding Exposes Machines to Jeopardy
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The Issue: Fault Current Decrement


Tripping the generator breaker DOES NOT remove fault current (IG) Current persists until field has collapsed Single-line-to-ground fault time constant ~ 1 second
1 .10
3

ig = I

Energy release, joules:

100 10 1 0.1 0.01

Time - seconds

Damage is Mainly Self-Inflicted


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What has changed?


Technical considerations: Economic considerations: Generators returned to manufacturer for repair Higher cost of replacement energy well, duh?

New Economic Framework Drives Different Technical Solutions


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Evolving New Practices


Dedicated generation systems (with GSU transformer)
High resistance grounding (< 10a)

Generators embedded in resistance grounded industrial distribution systems


10a. High-resistance grounding on generator, 400 a. grounding on system
Ideal but not practical in all cases Requires careful consideration of all potential operating modes

Hybrid grounding

Neutral switch N:1 400a.

10a. High resistance package R

Predictive diagnostics (eg. partial discharge monitoring)

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Further Work:
Evaluate potential for switching transients with hybrid grounding Enhance understanding of arc-flash burning mechanism
Understand how arc damage occurs Quantify threshold of safety
Joules 6000 5000

Energy Release Comparison

4000

3000

Enhance on-line predictive & diagnostic capabilities

2000

1000

0
High- resist ance Hybrid ( 2 cycle swit ching) Hybr id (6 cycle swit ching) Low r esist ance (400a)

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(10a)

Discussion

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References
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. IEEE Guide for Generator Ground Protection, IEEE Standard C37.101, 1993. IEEE Recommended Practice for Grounding of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems (The Green Book), IEEE Standard 142, 1991. IEEE Recommended Practice for Protection and Coordination of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems (The Buff Book), IEEE Standard 242, 2001. American National Standard General Requirements for Synchronous Generators, ANSI C50.10, 1990. NEMA Standard for Motors and Generators, NEMA Standard MG1-1998 (Rev. 1, 2000). P. G. Brown, Generator Neutral Grounding, General Electric Co., Schenectady, NY, Application Engineering Information GET 1941A, p. 5. L. J. Powell, The impact of system grounding practices on generator fault damage, IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, vol. IA-34, , Sept./Oct. 1998, pp. 923-927. L. J. Powell, Stator Fault Damage Considerations for Generators on Solidly Grounded Systems IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, vol. IA-37, Jan/Feb 2001, pp. 218-222. IEEE Working Group Report, P. Pillai, Chair, Grounding and Ground Fault Protection of MultipleGenerator Installations in Industrial and Commercial Power Systems (a four-part paper), IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, vol IA-40-1, Jan/Feb 2004, pp 11-32 Moody, D,. V. Beachum, T. Natali, W. Vilcheck and DD Shipp, Application of a hybrid grounding scheme to a paper mill 13.8kV generator, Conference Record, 2003 Pulp & Paper Industry Technical Conference, pp 107-116. M. Zielichowski,, Uszkodzenia zelaza czynnego w stojanie turbogeneratora przy zwarciach doziemnych (Stator core damage due to grounds in a turbine-generator), Energetika, No 8, pp. 263-267, 1970. L. J. Powell, Influence of third harmonic circulating currents in selecting neutral grounding devices, IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, vol. IA-9, Nov./Dec. 1973, pp. 672-679. E. M. Gulachenski and E. W. Courville, New England Electrics 39 years of experience with resonant neutral grounding of unit-connected generators, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 6, Jul. 1991, pp. 1016-1024.

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