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Presented by:

L I C A T

I O N

G U

I D

E L I N

E S

PPLICATION
GUIDELINE
O V E RV O LTA G E P R O T E C T I O N

ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd.


Division Surge Arresters
Jurastrasse 45
CH-5430 Wettingen 1
Switzerland
Telephone
++41 56 / 205 29 11
Telefax
++41 56 / 205 55 70
Internet
salessa @ chhos.mail.abb.com

CHHOS / AR 3257.99E (D)

Please visit us on the Internet: http://www.abb.ch/hos

Dimensioning,
testing and application
of metal oxide
surge arresters
in medium voltage
networks

Foreword

The first edition of our directions for dimensioning,


testing and application of metal oxide surge arresters
in medium voltage networks, which appeared in 1994,
was received very positively. We were pleased to get
such a reception, which attested our belief that competent consulting with regard to the application of our
products is as important as the quality of the products
itself.
The technological progress made it now necessary to revise and renew the present booklet for the third
edition.
The dimensioning and the theoretical basis for the optimal application of the surge arresters are not changed
and therefore they were taken as such in the new edition. Mr. Ren Rudolph, who was at the time of the first
edition responsible for the consulting concerning application in the surge arrester division, took on the task
of revising the tables. That was necessary because of the improvement of the technical data of the surge
arresters and the enlargement of our product range. We would like to thank Mr. Ren Rudolph for his efforts.
Mr. Bernhard Richter, who is now responsible for engineering and application of the overvoltage protective
devices in the surge arrester division of ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd, took on gladly the task of the
general revision of this booklet.
Mr. Richter is a member in different working groups of IEC SC 37 A and IEC TC 81, and his activity field
includes, besides the development and testing, mainly the application of the surge arresters.

ts

in s

time interval

in V

peak value of the overvoltage of a travelling wave (mainly given in kV)

Uc

in V

maximum continuous operating voltage of the arrester (mainly given in kV, rms)

UE

in V

maximum overvoltage at the end of an open line (mainly given in kV, peak value)

UK

in V

maximum overvoltage at cable end (mainly given in kV, peak value)

Um

in V

maximum voltage between phases (mainly given in kV, rms)

Up

in V

protection level of the arrester at In (mainly given in kV, peak value)

Ur

in V

rated voltage (mainly given in kV, rms)

Uref

in V

reference voltage (mainly given in kV, rms)

UT

in V

overvoltage at the transformer (mainly given in kV, peak value)

UTOV

in V

power frequency overvoltage of a limited duration (mainly given in kV, rms)

u(t)

in V

time function of a lightning overvoltage

in m/s

speed of the travelling wave, v = 300 m / s in the air

in

surge impedance of a distribution line conductor Z = 300........450

ZK

in

surge impendance of a cable conductor ZK = 20 ...... 60


load rejection factor of a generator

1
S

angular frequency of the power frequency, at 50 Hz is = 314

The silicon technology, which is used in medium voltage by ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd, and the
further developing of the metal oxide material opens new application spheres. All these are taken into
account in the new edition.
We hope, that you as a reader will be satisfied with our new revised edition and you will find it useful for your
purpose. We welcome amendments and suggestions in order to meet all possible customer needs.

First published: November 1994


2.revised edition: September 1995
3.revised edition: July 1999

ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd


Wettingen, July 1999

All rights reserved.


Neither the booklet or parts of it may be either copied or reproduced,
transmitted in any way or translated info other languages without
the prior permission of ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd.
ABB High Voltage Technologogies Ltd
Division Surge Arresters, Wettingen, Switzerland

26

1
S

Index of symbols used

Contents

in m

conductor length

BIL

in kV

Basic Impulse Insulation Level (peak value)

in m

conductor length

in F

capacitance (given in nF or uF)


earth fault factor, Ce x Um / 3 is the maximum voltage
between phase and earth in the case of an earth fault

Ce
d

in m

in J

Ec

in J

in A

section length of an overhead line before the substation


energy absorbed by the arrester (mainly given in kJ or kJ / kVUc )
discharge energy absorbed by the arrester (mainly given in kJ)
long duration current impulse

Introduction

8.3

Networks with solidly earthed neutral systems (Ce < 1.4)

Surge arrrester technology

8.4

2.1

MO-arresters and spark-gap arresters

Networks with low-ohmic neutral transformer earthing


which do not uniformly have Ce < 1.4

Metal oxide resistors as arrester elements

8.5

Low-ohmic neutral earthing networks and Ce > 1.4

Medium voltage arresters from ABB

8.6

Arresters between phases (Neptune design)

4.1

Construction of the arrester

8.7

Operating voltage with harmonic oscillation

4.2

Insulation made of silicone rubber

Protective distance of the surge arrester

4.3

Energy absorption capability and cool-down time

9.1

Theoretical projection for the protective distance L

4.4

Nominal discharge current and energy


absorption capability

9.2

Expected steepness S from lightning overvoltages in


MV-substations

9.3

Influences on the protective distance through electrical


equipment, the types of the arresters and the arrangement
of the arresters

9.4

Fault hazards in electrical equipment and their distance


from the surge arrester

10

Some special cases

10.1

Overvoltage protection in cable sections

10.2

Cable sheath protection

10.3

Transformers at the end of cables

10.4

Transformer connected to a lightning endangered line on


one side only

In

in A

nominal discharge current (mainly given in kA, peak value)

IK

in A

50 Hz fault current (mainly given in kA, rms- value)

Special operating conditions

Iref

in A

reference current (mainly given in mA, peak value)

5.1

Network short circuit power

in A

peak current of the stroke current (mainly given in kA, peak value)

5.2

Elevated ambient temperature

i(t)

in A

time function of the stroke current

5.3

Mechanical stability

corona damping constant

5.4

Air pollution

K
L

in H

inductance of a line trap

5.5

Altitude adjustment for arrester housing

in m

protective distance

LK

in m

cable length

Protection characteristics of the surge arrester,


stability

6.1

Surge arrester protection level

6.2

Questions of stability of MO-surge arresters

10.5

Arresters in metal enclosed MV-substation

6.3

Temporary overvoltages

10.6

Generator connected to a lightning endangered MV-line

Tests

10.7

Arrester protection for motors

7.1

Type tests

10.8

Overvoltage protection in locomotives

7.2

Routine tests

10.9

Arresters parallel to a capacitor battery

7.3

Acceptance tests

10.10 Line traps (parallel protection)

7.4

Special tests

11

Arresters for d.c.voltage

Selection of surge arresters and determination


of Uc

12

Consulting concerning questions on the use of arresters

8.1

Networks with earth fault compensation or


with a high-ohmic insulated neutral system

13

Conclusions

MCOV

in V

Maximum Continuous Operating Voltage = Uc (mainly given in kV, rms- value)

in W

power losses of the arrester in the case of Uc

p.u.

per unit, 1 p.u. = 2 x Um /3

in W

heat flow from the active arrester parts to the external environment (cooling)

in V /s

maximum steepness of a voltage increase (mainly given in kV / s)

S(t)

in V / s

time function of the steepness of a voltage increase (mainly given in kV / s)

So

in V / s

steepness of the lightning overvoltage at the point of the stroke (mainly given in kV / s)

SK

in Var

three-phase reactive power of a capacitor bank

withstand strength against temporary overvoltages UTOV = T x Uc

in C

temperature

in s

time

8.2

25

Index of symbols used

Networks with high-ohmic insulated neutral


system and automatic earth fault clearing

Bibliography

1 Introduction

2 Surge Arrester Technology

Overvoltages in electrical supply networks result from the effects


of lightning strokes and switching actions and cannot be avoided.
They endanger the electrical equipment because, due to
economical reasons, the insulation cannot be designed for all
possible cases. A more economical and safe on-line network calls
for extensive protection of the electrical equipment against
unacceptable overvoltage loads. This applies to high voltage as
well as medium and low voltage networks.
Overvoltage protection can be basically achieved in two ways:

The so-called "conventional" surge arresters were exclusively


employed in MV networks (MV = medium voltage) until about the
middle of the eight decade of our century. They consisted of a
series connection of SiC resistors and plate spark-gaps. During the
overvoltage rising there emerges a short circuit to the earth when
the spark-gaps come into action. The series connection of SiC
resistors limits the follow current from the power supply and
allows in this way the disappeareance of the arcs between the plate
spark-gaps the next time the voltage reaches the zero crossing.

Avoiding

In the last years there were two fundamental improvements of


surge arresters used in MV networks. On one hand the series
connection of SiC resistors and the plate spark-gaps were replaced
with the metalloxid resistors (MO-resistors) without plate sparkgaps, on the other hand the housings of the surge arresters made
of porcelain were replaced with new ones made of polymer
material (synthetic material).

lightning overvoltage at the point of origin, for instance


through shilding earth wires in front of the substation that
intercept lightning.

Limit overvoltage near the electrical equipment, for instance


through surge arresters in the vicinity of the electrical equipment.

In high voltage networks both methods of protection are usual.


The earth wire protection in medium voltage networks is generally
not very effective. Due to the small distance between the earth wire
and the line wires, a direct lightning stroke hits usally the line wires
as well. In addition, induced overvoltages in the line wires (indirect
effects of the lightning strokes) cannot be avoided by the earth
wires.

2.1 MO-Arresters and Spark-Gap Arresters


The arresters protect the electrical equipment no matter whether
some other types of arresters are present. Therefore it is possible
to have at work in the same installation both the conventional
spark-gap arresters and the modern MO-arresters. It is not even
necessary that an electrical equipment should be protected in all
its three phases by the same type of arrester. The user can
therefore simply replace a spark-gap arrester as soon as it is out of
work with a MO-arrester. That allows the user to introduce costsaving the MO-arresters that have an elevated operating safety.

The most effective protection against overvoltages in a medium


voltage network is therefore the use of surge arresters in the
vicinity of the electrical equipment.
The magnitude of the overvoltage is usually given in p.u.
(per unit). It is defined as

A fundamental advantage of the MO-arresters is the fact that


because of their extremely non-linear characteristic of the MOresistors they do not need any spark-gaps. The current starts to
flow already through the arrester before the overvoltage achieves
the value Up. The MO-arresters reduce therefore the overvoltage
sooner as the spark-gap arresters. The last ones are able to
conduct after the overvoltage was increased to Up. That is why
their protection distance is shorter in many cases. This means that
the overvoltage to the electrical equipment is higher when a sparkgap arrester instead of a MO-arrester is installed as both types of
arresters are at the same distance from equipment to be protected.

1 p.u. = 2 x Um / 3 ,
the Um means the maximum r.m.s voltage value between the
phases in an undisturbed network operation [1].
Three types of overvoltages are essentially distinguished [2]:

Temporary overvoltages occur for instance during load rejection

or because of earth connection faults. The duration of such


operating frequency oscillating overvoltage lies between 0.1
seconds and several hours. In general the surge does not exeed 3
p.u. and therefore it is of no danger to the network operation,
however it is decisive for the dimensioning of the arrester.

The response voltage of the spark-gaps increases when the rise


time becomes steeper (< 1s). This causes a deterioration of the
protection possiblity of the spark-gap arresters in case of an
overvoltage wave with steep front .

Switching overvoltages occur during switching actions and


consist mostly of heavily damped oscillations with frequencies up
to several kHz and a magnitude up to 3 p.u.
A special case is switching in inductive electrical circuits. Here
the front time of the overvoltage lies between 0.1 and 10 s and
the peak value can reach 4 p.u.. Fast-front overvoltages are also
possible when lines or cables are switched on.The peak value lies
then below 2.2 p.u. and does not endanger the network system.

If the outside insulation of the arrester is very dirty the potential


distribution along the humid surface is very uneven. It is possible
that between the sheds partial arcings appear which can induce
overvoltages in the active part. This situation is especially critical
with a spark-gap arrester, because it can bring it regularly to spark
over and at the end destroy it. This is the reason why MO-arresters
without spark-gaps have a fundamentally higher pollution resistence.
If more spark-gap arresters are parallel connected usually only
one arrester switches on during an overvoltage. This reduces then
the overvoltage to a value that lies under the sparking voltage of
the other parallel arresters. Therefore it is not possible to distribute
the energy of the overvoltage on more spark-gap arresters which
are parallel connected. In case that this energy is too high the
arrester that switched on will be overloaded. This applies
especially to the spark-gap arresters which are parallel connected
to capacitor batteries with a higher reactive power.

Lightning overvoltages originate in atmospheric discharges.


They reach their peak value within a few s and subsequenly decay
very rapidly. The magnitude of these unipolar overvoltages in a
medium voltage network can reach well over 10 p.u.
Lightning overvoltages are the greatest threat to the medium
voltage networks. Overvoltage protection must be arranged in
such a way as to confine the overvoltage to non-damaging values.

Bibliography
[1] IEC Publication 99-5, First edition 1996-02 : Surge arresters Part 5 : Selection and
application recommendations.
[2] R. Rudolph und A. Mayer: berspannungsschutz von Mittelspannungskabeln. Bull.
SEV/VSE 76 (1985) 4, S. 204-208.
[3] R. Rudolph: Bemessung, Prfung und Einsatz von Metalloxid-Ableitern. Bull.
SEV/VSE 75 (1984) 23, S. 1407-1412.
[4] A. Mayer und R. Rudolph: Funkenstreckenlose berspannungsableiter ermglichen
optimalen berspannungsschutz. Brown Boveri Technik 72(1985) 12, S. 576-585.
[5] W. Schmidt: Metalloxid, ein fast idealer berspannungsableiter. Bull.
SEV/VSE 7 / 1998, S. 13-20.
[6] IEC Publication 60099-4, Edition 1.1, 1998-08: Surge arresters Part 4: Metal-oxide
surge arresters without gaps for a.c. systems.
[7] ANSI/IEEE Publication C62.11 1993: IEEE Standard for Metal-Oxide Surge Arresters
for Alternating Current Power Circuits.
[8] R. Rudolph: ZnO-Ableiter. Eine Alternative zu konventionellen Ableitern. Elektrotechnik
und Maschinenbau 5 (1983), S. 195-200.
[9] IEC Publication 71-1 (1993-12): Insulation coordination - Part 1: Definitions, principles
and rules.
[10] IEC Publication 71-2 (1996-12): Insulation coordination Part 2: Application guide.
[11] G. Balzer und K.H. Weck: Isolationskoordination von gasisolierten Schaltanlagen.
ETG - Fachbericht 32 (1990), S. 71-89.
[12] VDEW Strungs- und Schadensstatistik 1990. Verlags- und Wirtschaftsgesellschaft
der Elektrizittswerke m.b.H.
[13] A.J. Eriksson et al.: Guide to procedures for estimating the lightning performance of
transmission lines. Report of WG 01 of CIGRE Study Committee 33, Oct. 1991.
[14] K. Berger: Methoden und Resultate der Blitzforschung auf dem Monte San Salvatore bei
Lugano in den Jahren 1963 bis 1971. Bull. SEV/VSE 63 (1972) 24, S. 1403-1422.
[15] Surge arrester application guide. IEC 37 (Sec) 85, Jan 1992.
[16] R.B. Anderson and A.J. Eriksson: Lightning parameters for engineering application.
Electra, 69 (1980), S. 65-102.
[17] A.J. Eriksson et al.: A study of lightning stresses on metal oxide surge arresters.
Cigre paper 33-08 (1986).
[18] M. Christoffel: Der Einfluss von Kabelstrecken auf die berspannungsvorgnge in
bertragungssystemen mittlerer und hoher Spannungen. Brown Boveri Mitt. 51 (1964)
6, S. 369-376.
[19] A. Braun: Schirmspannungen und Schirmverluste bei Mittelspannungs-VPE-Kabeln.
Elektrizittswirtschaft 88 (1989) 26, S. 1898-1906.
[20] M. Darveniza und D.R. Mercer: Lightning protection of pole mounted transformers.
IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 4, No. 2, April 1989, S. 1087-1093.
[21] G. Balzer: Schaltvorgnge in Mittelspannungsnetzen und deren Bercksichtigung bei
der Planung. Brown Boveri Technik, 73 (1983) 5, S. 270-278.
[22] Non-linear metal-oxide resistor polymeric housed surge arresters without sparkgaps.
IEC 37 / 154 / CD; March 1996
[23] W.Schmidt: Die neuen POLIM -berspannungsableiter mit Silikonisolation fr
Mittelspannungsnetze. ABB Revue 2/96

24

During unusual operational conditions, for example when a


system flashover takes place, all the parallel arresters in the
network are overloaded equally by the operational frequency
overvoltage. If metal oxide arresters are in use, it is possible to
induce a particular arrester to become over-charged first, rather
than a random one. For example, an indoor arrester in a substation
building is selected with Uc approx. 10% higher than that of the
outdoor arrester. As soon as an abnormal operational frequency
overvoltage occurs, the outdoor arrester will be over-charged first.
This arrester limits the overvoltage by producing an outdoor
flashover and thus preventing arcing inside the substation
building.

The MO-resistors make up the active part of the MO-arrester. The


MO-resistors are compressed and sintered in the form of round
blocks out of different metall oxides in powder form. The diameters
of the MO-resistors of ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd, made
for the usage in the medium voltage, lie between 38 mm and 75
mm. The height of the blocks is generally between 23 mm and 46
mm. The diameter of the MO-resistors decides the carrying
capacity of the current, the height of the MO-resistors (or resistor
stack) decides the voltage in continuous operation and the energy
capability. The diameter of MO-resistors correlate with the line
discharge classes corresponding to IEC 60099-4, as shown in
Table 1.

All the parallel MO-columns of the MO-arresters without sparkgaps conduct current at the same time. The energy of the
overvoltage is in this way distributed on all the parallel arresters, so
that the energy capacity as a limiting parameter disappears.
MO-arresters can be used both with 50 Hz and with 16 2/3 Hz
because they do not conduct any follow current. On the other
hand in the spark-gap arresters the follow current flows with
16 2/3 Hz three times longer than with 50 Hz. As a result the sparkgaps and the SiC resistors are loaded with a corresponding higher
energy. In order to prevent this it is necessary to reduce the peak
value of the follow current. This asks for spark-gap arresters
with a higher nominal voltage, which however makes a considerable increasing of the protection level necessary. For the
better understanding of the facts it is necessary to add that the MOarrester may be used with d.c. voltage, the arrester with plate
spark-gaps however cannot resist this strain.

A similar situation exists when very high temporary overvoltages


are expected in a MV network, and these occur only very
infrequently. In order to avoid an over-charge on the arrester also
in this rare case, a 15% higher Uc is necessary. Such arresters
must be employed with electrical equipment. The drawback is, that
the protection is reduced by 15%.
Two sets of arresters provide an acceptable solution to the
problem. One set with 15% higher Uc is installed next to the
electrical equipment, and a second set with a lower Uc is placed
some distance away. In this way two metal oxide arresters are
switched parallel in each phase. Should a lightning overvoltage
occur, both sets would be conductive and together produce the
same protection level for the electrical equipment as would be
possible with a single arrester set with a lower Uc. During the above
mentioned very high overvoltage, only the arresters which are at
a distance from the electrical equipment become over-charged.
Therefore, the resulting flashovers cannot damage the equipment.
Furthermore, since such an overload rarely occurs, the
subsequent interruption of operation can be risked.

Up = 4 p.u

Diameter of blocks in mm

38

47

62

75

Square wave, 2000 s in A

250

550

1000

1350

3.6

5.5

9.0

13.3

MO
SiC

0
10-4

10-2

d.c. voltage measurement

2 x Uc
200A

5.66

Secondly the galvanic connection from the earth side of the


arrester to the earth of the electrical equipment must be as short as
possible. This distance must be below 2 m for lines with earthed
cross arms. The distance for wooden pole lines must be shorter
than :

The energy capability of the MO-resistors depends besides the


volume also on the construction of the arrester (carrying-off of
heat). Chapter 4 gives more details concerning this.

[kV]
13

The contact areas of the MO-resistors are metallized with soft


aluminium up to the edge of the block, the surface is passivated
with glass. In this way the MO-material of the MO-resistors
produced by ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd is completely
covered. The Figure 2 shows MO-resistors which are used in the
medium voltage arresters.

In = 10 kA

10

Table 1
Correlation between typical MO-resistors and the line discharge
classes acc. to IEC. Line discharge class 5 is important only in
high-voltage systems above 420 kV, and not mentioned here.

The voltage current characteristic of metal oxide resistors is


extremely non-linear. In Figure 1 the characteristic curve for such
resistors is plotted. In is the nominal discharge current (in Figure 1
e.g. In=10 kA). Up is the protection level. It is defined as the
maximum voltage at the resistor during the flow of In. Uc is defined
as the r.m.s.value of the Maximum Continuous Operating Voltage
(MCOV) of the resistor.

20

Energy capability in (kJ / kVUc )

3 Metal Oxide Resistors as Arrester Elements

When installing the arrester, two points must be carefully


observed. Both are equally important for achieving the best
possible protection level. The lightning endangered line must be
guided to the high voltage connection of the arrester first, and only
thereafter led to the equipment to be protected. A short distance
between the high voltage connection of the arrester and the
equipment is certainly important, but not of crucial significance.

Line discharge class


acc. to IEC 60099-4

10 2

current wave 8 / 20 ms

10 4 [A]

Semi-logarithmic plot of the current-voltage characteristics of


MO and SiC resistors for Uc = 4 kV

1 m for Um < 24 kV

Figure 1

0.6 m for Um > 24 kV


The characteristic curve in Figure 1 corresponds to a resistor with
Uc = 4 kV. In the case of a d.c. voltage load with 2 x Uc = 5.66 kV a
d.c.current in the range of 0.1 mA flows. The capacitive component
at 50 Hz and the value of Uc lies in the vicinity of 0.5 mA. The
protective level Up when In = 10 kA amounts to 13 kV.

If this is not possible, the cross arms on the last 3 poles before the
substation or the electrical equipment must be earthed or another
set of arresters must be installed one pole in front of the
substation. In this case the upper limit for the earth connection is 2
m. The connection lines to the arrester in the case of a cable must
be as short as possible.

In comparison, the diagram also shows the curve of a SiC resistor,


which has also Up =13 kV. Since SiC exhibits a considerably less
non-linearity, the continous current of a SiC arrester without sparkgaps at a nominal load would amount to about 200 A. Naturally, for
thermal reasons, such an arrester would not be feasible. Besides it
would strain the electrical network much too much. Consequently
conventional arresters need spark-gaps in series, which take over
the voltage in continuous operation.

23

Figure 2
MO-resistors (collection) produced by ABB

4 Medium Voltage Arresters of ABB


It was the wish to increase the reliability and the safety of the
arresters and correspondingly to it also the increasing of the
energy supply that brought about the development of the MOarresters with silicon housing in the 1980s. For more than 30
years is silicon known as an excellent insulation material for the
high voltage technology, as for instance the long rod insulators and
bushings. The first MO-arresters with silicon housing of the typical
ABB execution (direct moulding) were used in 1986. Now, in 1999
there are everywhere in the world more than 600 000 arresters in
use under very different ambient conditions.

Up / Uc High current E / Uc Square wave


kA
kJ / kV I in A t in ms

Arrester type

In
kA

POLIM-DN

3.33

65

2.6

150

2000

POLIM-D

10

3.5

100

3.6

250

2000

POLIM-DA

10

3.33

100

3.5

350

2000

MWK / MWD

10

3.07

100

5.5

550

2000

POLIM-I

10

3.07

100

5.5

550

2000

POLIM-S

10

3.00

100

9.0

1000

2000

POLIM-H

20

3.19

100

13.3

1350

2000

Table 2
Electrical main data of the MV-surge arresters from ABB
(most common types). E / Uc as tested in the operating duty test.

4.1 Arrester construction


Generally an arrester is made up of two parts, the active part,
consisting of one or more piled up MO-resistors, and an insulating
housing, that guarantees both the insulation and the mechanical
strength.
The MO-resistors have been shortly described in the last chapter.

The outdoor arresters have sheded housings made of silicon. The


type MWD for the use indoor has a smooth silicon housing. (see
Figure 3 and 3a)

Fundamentally there are three different possibilities of


construction:

a glass-fibre reinforced tube is shed with an insulating material.

These so called hollow insulators have the same problems as the


porcelain insulators, they need a sealing and pressure relief
system, they can have inner partial discharges under pollution.

If, for a certain arrester type, the reactive power of the parallel
capacitor bank exeeds the limiting values in Table 9, an arrester
with better energy qualities must be selected. For networks not
operating under standard voltages, the limiting values in the
column with the lower standard voltage apply for SK. If the reactive
power is very large, arresters connected parallel must be chosen.
In such a case the arrester supplier must be informed in order to
take measures to guarantee a sufficiently good current distribution
in the parallel arresters. The supplier should also be consulted
when arresters with Uc < Um are to be used.

On the other hand most of the d.c. current networks are


railnetworks. If the arresters are used on a rolling material
(locomotive) the safety is especially important (safety of persons).
The arresters produced by ABB are suitable to be used on d.c.
current networks and especially also in the railnetworks and on
locomotives and traction vehicles.
The producer has to be informed by all means if the arrester is used
in d.c. current networks. For the dimensioning of the arrester it is
also necessary to take contact with the producer.

10.10 Line Traps (Parallel Protection)


Line traps are air-core chokes which are switched in connection
with the high voltage lines. Their inductivity L is in the range of mH.
If no measures are taken, the lightning currents in the conductor
must flow through the line trap. Even relatively small current rates
of rise of several kA /s would produce overvoltages on the line
trap amounting to several 1000 kV and resulting in a flashover. In
order to prevent this, MV-arresters are connected parallel to the
line trap. These will take over lightning currents and limit the
overvoltage to its residual voltage.

12 Consulting Concernig Questions on the


Use of Arresters
During many discussions with the users of surge arresters it was
noticed that a profound consulting on the use of arresters is
welcome. This is necessary both by changes in technology, as for
instance from the spark-gap arresters with insulation of porcelain
to the MO-arresters with silicon housing, and by the choosing of
the arresters for additional equipment of alredy existing
installations or the planing of new installation in the medium and
low voltage networks. Especially in the new fields of application, as
for instance in the d.c. current networks, or the designs for the
protection against overvoltages and lightning danger in whole
installations it is necessary a profound observation. The evaluation
of the existing installations from the point of view of the power
transfer (higher system voltage) or the reliability and availability
stipulate clear protection concepts, taking into account an optimal
economic and technical solution.

When a short to earth occurs in a high voltage network, the fault


current IK flows through the conductor. This power frequency
current would overload the arrester. Uc must therefore be selected
so that the current flows through the line trap. It induces a
temporary overvoltage of UTOV = x L x IK, standard for Uc, at the
line trap. If the fault current duration is t < 3s, then T = 1.28. This
results in the following for Uc :
UTOV
x L x IK
Uc > ---------- = ---------------T
1.28

the active part is wrapped with glass-fibre material and is soaked

with resin, which makes up the whole into a rigid body. The
insulating polymeric housing is then thrust over the resin block or
shrunk on it. This costruction has the disadvantage that it forcible
breaks apart when the MO-blocks are overloaded. Another
disadvantage is the fact that there are different insulating
materials, which also means that there are more boundary layers.
Therefore it is necessary to take special measures for
sealing.

Hence we offer gladly consultig and calculation for the protection


against overvoltage and lightning, which exceed the above
described instructions.

IK : maximum fault current through the line trap


L : inductivity of the line trap

Figure 3
MO-surge arresters with silicone housing. (POLIM-family)

the active part is hold mechanically together with glass-fibre

reinforced loops or bands. The silicon is directly put on the MOresistors. This direct moulding has the advantage that no gas
volume stays in the arrester. Sealing problems and inner partial
discharges are in this way out of question. There are no interfaces
between polymeric materials where humidity can go in. An
explosion or a shattering of the housing is not possible.

13. Conclusions
11 Arresters for D.C. Voltage
Lightning overvoltages are a hazard for all the electrical equipment
in a MV network. However, surge arresters assure reliable protection against excessive overvoltage stresses. The closer the arrester
to the electrical equipment, the better the protection.

For the time being there are no international valid regulations or


directions for the use of the arresters in d.c.voltage networks. On
principle in d.c.voltage networks there also appear voltages
produced by lightning or other activities, which may endanger the
equipment and the insulation. In this case it is also necessary the
use of an arrester as protection against overvoltages. For such
situation the MO surge arresters are especially suitable, because
they do not conduct any follow current after the limiting of the
overvoltage, and therefore it is not necessary to extinguish any
d.c.current arc. There are two fundamental items to be taken into
consideration when using the MO-arresters in the d.c.current
networks. On one hand it is necessary to make sure that the MO
material is stable for a long period of time from the point of view of
the d.c. voltage continuous operation. This is not the case with all
the MO materials which are comercially available.

All the medium voltage arresters of ABB are build up


corresponding to the third principle (direct moulding).
The requirements to the arresters depend on the operation
necessities and the type of the equipment to be protected. That is
why ABB offers a large selection of different types of arresters for
the medium voltage network and for special applications. The
construction, the functioning and the characteristics of the
arresters are described for instance in [5]. In the Table 2 there are
the electrical main data of the medium voltage arresters to be
found.

When determining the arrester Uc, two contradictory requirements


must be considered.
On the one hand, UP must be as small as possible so that the
arrester can limit the overvoltage to the lowest possible values. On
the other hand, Uc must be selected at a value high enough to allow
the arrester to fulfill the requirements of network operation.
Modern MO-arresters with no spark-gaps meet both these
requirements and provide sufficient protection from overvoltage,
as well as simultaneously assuring safe network operation.

Figure 3a
MO-surge arresters with silicone housing
left: MWK for outdoor application
right: MWD for indoor application

22

The arrester type POLIM-H 15 is sufficient. Its protection level at I =


10 kA is 43.5 kV. This special arrester guarantees a 11% lower
protection level. In addition this arrester has also advantages with
regard to operational safety thanks to its substantially higher
energy absorption capability (see Table 2).

During this process the capacitor is charged with a higher voltage


[21]. The overvoltage of the capacitor between phase and earth
[15] reaches a max. of 3 p.u. If the capacitors are connected in a
star, they are discharged between phase and earth by the arrester
parallel to the bank. During the discharge up to a voltage of 2 x
Uc, in terms of power, the arrrester is loaded with:

Generators have a larger capacity between phase and earth. As


seen in Figure 14, this capacity results in a considerably shorter
arrester protective distance. Therefore it is especially important to
place arresters near the generator.

SK
Ec = ----------- x [3 - (Uc / Um)2]

SK : 3-phase reactive power of the capacitor bank


Ec : the discharge energy taken up by the arrester

10.7 Arrester Protection for Motors


High voltage motors can become over-stressed by multiple restarts being switched off during the run-up. This is applicable
when the cut-off current is less than 600 A. In order to protect
these motors it is recommended that surge arresters be placed
directly at the motor terminals or, alternatively, at the circuit
breaker. The layout of Uc according to the recommendations can
be seen in section 8.

Assuming that the arrester must carry out this process 3 times
with no cool down phase, it follows with Uc > Um that

In special cases, i.e. aged winding insulation, it becomes


necessary to additionally decrease the protection level of the
arrester. One way of doing this is to decrease Uc. This procedure is
justifiable when temporary overvoltages taken into account for Uc
occur very infrequently. The fact that in such a rare case the
arrester could become overloaded has been deliberately taken into
account. Resulting drawbacks, such as operation interruptions
and arrester replacement are outweighted by the advantage of
better overvoltage protection. However Uc smaller than Um / 3
may never be selected.

The power consumption capacity E of the arrester must be


adjusted to the reactive power of the bank. Table 9 shows the
maximum allowable reactive power values for different types of
ABB MV-arresters parallel to the bank.

Ec
---Uc

6 x SK
------------ x Um

>

If the neutral of the capacitor bank is insulated, the arrester cannot


discharge the charged capacitor between phase and earth. The
arrester does not get charged. It must be noted that after a re-strike
of the breaker, the neutral of the bank increases to 2 p.u. A voltage
flashover of the neutral to earth results in the arrester having to
discharge the capacitor. The arresters parallel to a bank with an
insulated neutral must, in terms of power, be adjusted to their
reactive power.

However such a decrease of Uc is not recommended in a generator.


The risk exists that this would cause a two-phase short circuit at
the generator terminals. The resulting asymmetrical short circuit
current in the windings produces an extremely high mechanical
load on the rotor.

If the bank remains disconnected from the network after a shutdown, the arresters discharge the voltage to zero, not merely to
2 x Uc. Below 2 x Ucthe discharge current through the arrester
is very small, so that the remaining discharge takes a long time.
During this time the arrester can cool down. It releases more heat
than it receives during the remaining discharge. Therefore it was
justified in the above calculation of Ec to take into account only the
energy taken up by the arrester, up to the discharge at 2 x Uc.

10.8 Overvoltage Protection in Locomotives


In the case of locomotives, the highest standards with respect to
operational safety are placed on the arresters. Therefore, the
arresters of the POLIM-H series are recommended. The strong
mechanical construction meets all the requirements for railway
operation. The completely moulding in silicon guarantees the
highest mechanical safety even during extreme shock loads. When
an arrester is overloaded the special construction of this arrester
prevents the housing from bursting. This arrester type is proved up
to a fault current in the network of 65 kA and can be considered
sure from the point of view of explosion and disintegration.
Additional advantages of this arrester type are its low protection
level and its high energy absorption capability.

10.9 Arresters Parallel to a Capacitor Bank


Normally no overvoltage occurs when a capacitor bank is
switched. The circuit breaker interrupts the current in the natural
current zero crossing and the voltage in the capacitor to earth
reaches a max. of 1.5 p.u. As a result of the network voltage varying at the power frequency, a voltage across the open circuit
breaker of 2.5 p.u. is caused. If the breaker re-strikes, a high
frequency transient effect takes place between the capacitor
voltage and the operating voltage.

Arrester type
Uc > Um

POLIM-D

MWK
MWD
POLIM-I

POLIM-S

POLIM-H

E/Uc [kJ/kV]

3.6

5.5

9.0

13.3

Um [kV]

SK[MVA]

SK[MVA]

SK[MVA]

3.6

0.67

1.03

1.69

2.50

7.2

1.35

2.07

3.39

5.01

12

2.26

3.45

5.65

8.35

17.5

3.29

5.03

8.24

12.18

24

4.52

6.90

11.30

16.70

36

6.78

10.36

16.95

25.05

SK[MVA]

Table 9
Arrester parellel to capacitor bank. Maximum allowable reactive
power SK of the bank for the indicated arrester types. Three
discharges without a cool down phase are allowed for the
arresters.
E/Uc: The arrester energy absorbtion capability in relation to Uc.

21

The diameter of the MO-resistors is proportional to the energy


absorption capability E and the nominal discharge current In. The
special arresters of the type POLIM-S and POLIM-H have resistors
like the ones of the high voltage arresters. These types of arresters
set new standards in the medium voltage network ; they are able to
resist the strongest stress and at the same time they guarantee a
low protection level. The continuous operating voltage Uc of the
MV-arresters in the Table 3 reaches from 4 kV up to 36 kV.

In the last 15 years most of the modern MO-arresters were set in


new installations in high-voltage networks [4]. Up until a few years
ago conventional arresters,consisting of SiC resistors and series
spark-gaps were still installed in distribution systems. Now a days,
MO-arresters without spark-gaps are in use, especially those with
polymer housing. The reasons for this technological change are
increasing operation efficiency, lower protection level with very
steep overvoltages and high pollution resistance [5].

In addition to the already mentioned types ABB manufactures also


the special arrester POLIM-C. This arrester is also built up
according to the already mentioned principle of direct moulding.
The nominal discharge current is In = 10 kA and the continuous
operating voltage Uc reaches from1 kV up to 7.2 kV. In the medium
voltage system this type of arrester is used among other
applications for the protection of non-earthed cable sheath.

Due to the simple construction of the active part without sparkgaps, which means a very high stability from the mechanical point
of view, and also due to the simple construction generally
speaking, such arresters can also undertake the support insulator
function and are not in danger of exploding in case of an overload.
Silicone is the best insulating material concerning dirt, and that is
why the arresters which are insulated with silicone behave
favourable especially with high pollution.

The functioning of an arrester, which consists only of series


connections of MO-resistors (without spark-gaps), is extremely
simple. During an overvoltage at the arrester terminals the current
rises continuously and without delay through the arrester corresponding to the shown U-I characteristic, Figure 4, which means
that no really spark over takes place, but the arrester goes
continuously to the conducting condition. After the decreasing of
the overvoltage the current becomes low again corresponding to
the U-I characteristic. Unlike the spark-gap arresters there flows
no follow current.

4.2 Insulation made of silicone rubber


Silicone rubber (usually referred to simply as 'silicone') is an
excellent insulating material for high-voltage components.
Comparisons with traditional insulating materials, such as
ceramic, glass and other synthetics (eg, Ethylene-PropyleneDiene Monomer, or short EPDM) show clearly the superiority of
silicone. As already short mentioned, during the manufacture of
the surge arrester the silicone insulation is bonded to the arrester
assembly through casting (or injection) of the liquid rubber in
moulds at a high temperature. Different moulds can be used to
obtain an optimum match between the insulator and the
component assembly. The arrester insulator thus produced
exhibits the following properties:

U
[p.u.]
1.0

4/10ms
1/5ms
8/20ms

No hydrocarbon is present in the main chemical chain; this

30/60ms
2000ms

property is partially the reason for the high immunity of the


insulator to serious surface pollution and is also largely
responsible for preventing carbonized creepage paths from
forming.

0.5

10-4 10-3 10-2 10-1 100 101 102 103 104

The material is water-repellent, so that even after excessive


contact with water only very few drops adhere to the surface. This
property is referred to in the industry as hydrophobicity. Drops of
water that do cling to the surface are quickly removed by the effect
of gravity or through normal exposure to wind.

I [A]

Figure 4
Normalised current-voltage ( U-I)
characteristic of a MO-surge arrester with In = 10 kA

The hydrophobicity effect is also partly transferred to any dirt


deposits on the surface, which as a result does not become coated
with layers of semiconducting material as quickly as with other
types of insulation. Because of this, the surface leakage currents
flowing on silicone insulators are extremely low. The technical
literature explains the transfer of the hydrophobicity effect to dirt
deposits as being due to low-molar silicone evaporating. The
hydrophobicity effect is temporarily reduced by strong electrical
partial discharges or extreme exposure to water, but to a lesser
degree with silicone than with other materials. This is clearly
shown by the artificial aging af EPDM and silicone in accordance
with IEC 1109, see Figure 5. After 5,000 hours of alternated
precipitation, salt-fog and UV radition, the silicone still retains 50
percent of its water-repellent properties, whereas EPDM loses
these properties. Tests have further shown that the hydrophobicity
effect can be restored to its original state by drying the silicone for
several hours.
The salt-fog test to IEC 507 also demonstrated that, assuming the
same salinity in each case, the creepage paths required for silicone
insulation are, on average, 30 percent shorter than the paths
necessary with ceramic isolators, see Figure 5a. As a result, the
creepage path of the silicone isolators could be reduced by this
amount.

The number of the resistors in a stack depends on the Uc of the


arrester. The stack of cylindrical MO-resistors is moulded in
polymeric material (silicone) as described.
The resistor stack behaves itself capacitive under Uc. The stray
capacitances of each individual resistor towards the earth cause
the nonlinearity of the voltage distribution along the axes of
arrester under Uc. This nonlinearity increases with the lenght of the
resistor stack [3]. That is why high voltage arresters need grading
rings, which compensate mainly the unfavourable influence of the
stray capacitances. Due to the relatively short length of the active
part of the distribution surge arresters the nonlinear voltage
distribution is so low that it can be neglected. These arresters do
not need any grading rings.

4.3 Energy absorption capability and cool-down time

0%=^ 7

HC Hydrophobicity

The arresters in the network can work reliable if their energy


absorption capability is bigger than the energy strain expected in
the system operation. Some examples of the stress on the
arresters in the network are shown in the Table 3. The arresters of
the line discharge class 1 have the highest energy stress with the
high current (65 kA respectively 100 kA). To prove the thermal
stability under this stress, a special type test has to be performed.

5
4
3

2
^1
100%=

Arrester type

current wave form


In
8/20 ms

200 km line 10 km cable


1000
tv

2000
test time

3000

4000

5000

Figure 5
Change of hydrophobicity of EPDM (black) and silicone (white)
in the accelerated ageing test acc. to IEC 1109.

The short-time tests acc. to IEC 507 provide the basis for the
dimensions of the insulator. In certain cases, the insulator behaviour may deviate under actual field conditions as a result of
other parameters (eg, due to the shape of the sheds). However, it is
generally true for silicone as well as for the ceramic insulators that
extreme pollution calls for a longer creepage path.
The mentioned temporary reduction in hydrophobicity was taken
into account in the design of the POLIM arresters, and the specific
creepage path was not reduced. All of the discussed surge
arresters with silicone insulation have been designed with a
specific creepage path of at least 25 mm per kV, providing a more
than adequate safety margin. Whenever possible, all the pollution
and lifetime tests were carried out on complete MO arresters. The
tests were performed to the various standards (eg, the 1,000-hour
humidity room test to IEC 1109, the 5,000-hour aging cycle test
and the salt-fog test to IEC 507) and showed that the silicone
insulation performs better after ten years in service that the other
types of insulation.

kJ/kV Uc

POLIM-DN

0.4

0.33

0.26

65

2.6

POLIM-D

0.4

0.33

10

0.55

100

3.6

POLIM-DA

0.4

0.33

10

0.53

100

3.5

MWK, MWD
POLIM-I

0.4

0.33

10

0.48

100

3.4

POLIM-S

0.4

0.33

10

0.47

100

3.3

POLIM-H

0.4

0.33

20

1.0

100

3.2

Anyway the arresters will be very strongly warmed up when they


have to carry very high lightning currents. Therefore they need
between two such stresses a suitable cool-down time. This
reduction is however not important because it is most unlikely that
the same arrester has to carry a second very high ligtning current
during its cool-down time. That is the reason why the test sample
is allowed to be cooled-down to 60 C during the type test with
high current [6] between the two surges.
The needed cool-down time of the arrester depends among other
things on the ambient temperature and the height of the operating
voltage. It increases with the ambient temperature and the operating voltage. In the most unfavourable case, with 45C air
temperature and Uc the following values are valid:
Cool-down time between two high ligtning current stresses (65 kA
respectively 100 kA):
Type POLIM-S and POLIM-H
no break necessary
The other arrester types
75 minutes

3
2

1
2.5
0

kA kJ/kV Uc kA kJ/kV Uc

kJ/kV Uc

The guaranteed energy absorption capability of the types of the


line discharge class 2 and higher can be proved by the means of
rectangular current stresses, similar to the examination of the high
voltage arresters.
The guarantee data contain a certain amount of energy reserve and
therefore do not mean the limit of the thermal stability of the
arrester.

5
4

High current
4/10 ms

Table 3
Energy load of arresters in MV-networks

8
cm/kVrms

Creapage

3.5 p.u. Charging voltage

4 5

7 10
15 20
salt content of water

30 40

kg/m3 80

Cool-down time between two energy stresses acc. the Table 2:


Type POLIM-S and POLIM-H
60 minutes
The other arrester types
60 minutes

Figure 5a
Comparison of the specific creapage distance of porcelain (black)
and silicone insulators (white), depending on the salt content in the
salt fog test acc. to IEC 507

4.4 Nominal Discharge Current and Energy Absorption


Capability

10.4 Transformer Connected to a Lightning Endangered


Line on One Side Only

Conditions are different when arresters must contain switching


overvoltages rather than lightning overvoltages. The former could
occur during switching, when an inductive current is interrupted
before it reaches its natural zero crossing. When such switching
overvoltages occur, the current load on the arrester is very low, so
that a nominal discharge current of 5 kA is sufficient. On this case
the maximum overvoltage is considerably lower than Up for MOarresters. Therefore, shorter distances between arresters and
between the arrester and earth are possible, facilitating the
installation of arresters in the cells. The lower values for these
distances are prescribed in the respective national regulations and
are sufficient for metal oxide arresters.

In general, all transformer exits which are directly linked to


lightning endangered lines must be equipped with arresters
between phase and earth. If a transformer connects a high voltage
network with a MV network, and only the line on the high voltage
side is lightning endangered, arresters are required there. Because
overvoltages occur very quickly, up to 40% of the overvoltage on
the high voltage side is capacitively carried over to the MV side
through the transformer (10). It is therefore often necessary to
foresee overvoltage protection for the transformer on the MV side,
even though no lightning overvoltages occur on the MV side,
according to the above assumptions. According to (9), this
overvoltage protection can be a long MV cable, a low-inductance
capacitor, or a combination of these two elements. They must be
connected as close as possible to the MV exit of the transformer
and together possess a capacity of at least 50 nF per phase.

The maximum voltage for arresters with spark-gaps reaches Up


also during switching overvoltages. The minimum distances for
these arresters must therefore be longer in order to prevent
flashovers. This can make arrester installation in the cells
significantly more difficult, particularly when there are especially
tight spacing conditions.

The overvoltage protection can also come from a MV arrester. This


solution has two essential advantages. First, it must be noted that
inductively transferred overvoltage can be incraesed by
capacitors. Carefully chosen damping resistors in series to the
capacitors make possible a partial decrease of this additional
voltage load on the transformers. When a MO-arrester without a
spark-gap is used, this additional load does not occur.

10.6 Generator Connected to a Lightning Endangered


Distribution Line
Overvoltage protection is the result of arresters placed between
phase and earth. If a loaded generator is suddenly disconnected
from the network, its terminal voltage increases until the voltage
regulator has readjusted itself after a few seconds. The relationship
between this temporary overvoltage and the normal operating
voltage is called the load rejection factor uL. This factor can reach a
value of up to 1.5. In the worst case, the arrresters could be
charged with a temporary overvoltage of UTOV = uL x Um, wich
must be taken into account when choosing Uc.

Secondly, primary voltage encroaches on the MV-voltage during a


voltage flashover in the transformer and can cause additional
damage there. When the MV side is protected with arresters, the
arrester sacrifices itself, causing a short to earth, and leaving the
damage essentially restricted to the transformer. The advantage of
an arrester versus a capacitor is particularly evident when the
transformer is connected to a generator, and the arrester protects
the generator from subsequent damage.

uL x Um
Uc > ---------------T

Similar conditions exist with a distribution transformer, which


connects a MV network to a low-voltage network. Again, lightning
overvoltage from the MV network is transferred through the
transformer capacitively to the low voltage side. Therefore,
arresters in the low voltage side are necessary, even when only the
MV side is lightning endangered. If, on the other hand, only the low
voltage side is endangered, frequently no arresters are mounted on
the MV side. In this case, it is assumed that the low voltage
arrester can also adequately protect the MV side from overvoltage
coming from the low voltage side. Several cases of transformer
failure caused by lightning overvoltage on the 415 volt side are
reported in [20]. The author's opinion is that these overvoltages,
when they are of long durations, are transferred inductively with
the turn ratio of the transformer to the 11 kV side. In any case, the
415 volt arresters were unable to prevent flashovers in the 11 kV
windings. In regions with high lightning activity, it is therefore
recommended to install arresters on the MV side of the
transformer.

The duration t of UTOV determines T and lies in a range from 3 to 10


seconds. In the following example, Uc of type MWK arresters is
determined:
Um = 14 kV
t = 10 s

T = 1.26

(from Figure 8)

1.4 x 14 kV
Uc > ------------------- = 15.56 kV
1.26
The arrester type needed is called MWK 16. Its Uc is 16 kV and the
protection level at In = 10 kA is 49.1 kV.

10.5 Arresters in Metal Enclosed MV Substations

The high operational safety requirements for generators make the


use of arresters with the lowest possible protection level desirable.
Therefore the special POLIM-H series arrester is recommended for
generator protection. Not only is the protection level lower, but also
at the same time is T larger.

It is often necessary to place arresters in a metal enclosed MV


substation. If a cable connects the cell with a lightning endangered
line, the nominal discharge current of the arrester at the cable head
in the cell should be 10 kA. The voltage on the arrester can be
expected to reach Up. In order to prevent flashovers in the cell, the
minimum distances between the arresters and the arresters and
earth recommended by the supplier must be observed.

For

t =10 s, T = 1.31 is permitted, which results in:

1.4 x 14 kV
Uc > ------------------ = 14.96 kV
1.31

The arresters with a nominal discharge current of 5 kA proved to be


enough reliable in the MV- network. That is why generally the type
POLIM-D respectively the type POLIM-DN are used.

uL = 1.4

20

10.3 Transformers at the End of Cables

Naturally, cables in overhead lines are lightning endangered on


both sides. Therefore it must be taken into account that in cables
with one-sided protection, overvoltage can also come from the
unprotected side. In this case, the protection effectiveness of the
arrester at the other end would be strongly reduced. The allowable
length of cables in overhead lines with one-sided protection is
therefore smaller. The length is especially short for cables in
connection with wooden pole lines, as shown in Table 7. The given
values for LK are valid for arresters with In = 10 kA. The surge
impedance across the entire cable section must be constant so that
the voltage reflections do not cause a decrease in LK. This is the
case, for example, with cable junctions or when a cable section
with a single cable is connected to a section with two parallel
cables.

According to the direction in Figure 17, a cable of at least 100 m in


length is connected on one end to a lightning endangered line. At
the other end, a bus bar consisting of sections a and b connects the
cable end on the other side with a transformer. Arrester A1 takes
over the overvoltage protection on the line side. The cable end and
the transformer must each be protected with an additional arrester
when the connecting distance between the two is especially long.
The following example indicates under what circumstances
arrester A2 offers sufficient overvoltage protection, in addition to
arrester A1.
The overvoltage reflection U at the junction from the line to the
cable causes a strong flattening of the voltage rate of rise in the
cable. However, this has practically no influence on the allowable
length of the connection b, because with increasing length of b the
voltage UK increases very quickly. Optimal overvoltage protection,
therefore, requires that arrester A2 be placed as close as possible
to the cable end, in order to shorten the distance b (see section 10.1).

10.2 Cable Sheath Protection


Due to thermal principles, the sheath for single conductor cables
are generally only earthed on one side. Under these circumstances
the sheath on the unearthed side can take on up to 50 % of the
voltage peak value of the overvoltage entering on the inner
conductor. The sheath insulation cannnot withstand this
overvoltage demand. Momentary flashovers can occur between
the sheath and the earth, consequently damaging the outer sheath
insulation.

MO-surge arrester with


Up = 3.8 p.u. bei
In = 10 kA

Therefore, the unearthed cable sheath must be protected against


lightning overvoltage with an arrester [2]. The special arrester
POLIM-C is particularly well-suited for this purposes. The voltage
induced along the cable sheath during a short circuit is decisive for
Uc of the arrester. According to [19] it reaches maximum 0.3 kV per
kA of fault current and km of cable length. When T = 1.28 and the
fault current duration is t < 3 s, the following results:

IK: max. 50 Hz fault current in kA

wooden poles

earthed crossarms

30

60

30

60

Um [kV]

a [m]

a [m]

a [m]

a [m]

3.6

300

300

500

500

7.2

43

37

53

53

12

20

14

20

14

17.5

17

10

16

10

24

19

12

19

12

36

16

11

20

11

LK: length of the unearthed cable section in km


Table 8
U
K

UK

F
A1

UT

MV

Maximum permissible distance a between cable end and


transformer according Figure 17 with b=O. The cable is connected
to a lightning endangered line and protected at both ends with
MO-surge arresters (type MWK or MWD with Uc = Um)
The transformer has no additional arrester protection.
ZK: Surge impedance of the cable.

LV

A2

Transformer at the end of a cable


F:
U:
K:
A1, A2:
a, b:
UK :
UT:
MV::
LV:

lightning endangered line


lightning overvoltage
long cable
arresters
length of the connecting lines
maximum voltage at the cable end
maximum voltage at the transformer
medium voltage side
low voltage side

The line section a is different. Here UT increases more slowly with


the increasing length of a. Therefore, the transformer is adequately
protected, even at a relatively far distance from the arrester. The
maximum allowable values for a are indicated in Table 8. The
capacity of the transformer is assumed to be 2 nF. Smaller values
result in greater distances of a.

Figure 17

In porcelain housed arresters the ensuing electric arc causes the


gas pressure in the housing to elevate quickly. If the network short
circuit current is not too high, the pressure relief valve in the
arrester opens before the housing bursting pressure is reached.
On the other hand, if the current is extremely high, the possibility of
the housing exploding cannot be ruled out.
With ABB silicon-polymer arresters there is no danger of bursting
in the case of an overload. There is no air space between the active
part of the arrester and its silicon insulation, thus there is no place
for pressure to build up. In the case of an overload, holes appear in
the casing which immediately leads to initiation of the external
flashover.
The MV-arresters of the types POLIM-D, MWK and MWD are
proved with short circuit currents up to 20 kA. The types POLIM-I,
POLIM-S and POLIM-H are tested with short circuit currents up to
65 kA. Because of their special construction the arresters are also
up to the highest short circuit currents insured against explosion
and destruction.

5.2 Elevated Ambient Temperatures


The guaranteed values for Uc are valid for an ambient temperature
of up to 45 C. In the case of outdoor arresters, extreme solar
radiation (1.1 kW/m2) is taken into account. If there are other heat
sources in the vicinity of the arrester, the increase in radiation
exposure must also be taken into account and the value of Uc
increased if necessary. If the ambient temperature exceeds 45 C,
Uc must be increased by 2 % for every 5 C of temperature elevation.

This is the case in

ZK []

Uc > 0.24 x IK x LK in kV

The energy absorption capability of these types is much higher


than the expected stresses in the network, exepting the very high
ligtning currents. These currents can also be commanded by the
arresters, it is however most unlikely that they appear. Such high
lightning currents can flow through the arrester only when a
lightning hits directly the top of the arrester. The energy values are
given in Table 2 and 3.
By aerial lines with wooden poles even far away lightning strokes
can cause relatively high currents that flow through the arrester. If
the sparkover voltage of the wire against the earth is U = 3000 kV
and the characteristic wave impedance of the wire is Z = 450 W
from the equation (3) ensue that lightning currents up to13 kA are
to be expected in the arrester. This current produce in arresters
with In = 5 kA a residual stress which lies 15% over Up. In this way
the protection of the electrical equipment gets worse. For instance
if it lies at the end of an aerial line of 10 km it will be once in three
years exposed to such an increased voltage stress. That is why
ABB has also in the assortment of the MV-arresters the types
MWK, MWD, POLIM-I, POLIM-S and POLIM-H. They posses
nominal discharge currents of 10 kA respectively 20 kA. Their
employment is recommended everywhere where in terms of
stress, operation safety and protection level the highest
requirements are set.

regions with high lightning activity

arresters, which are placed on locations where people are often


to be found

erial lines with concrete or wooden poles and non-earthed


crossarms

5.3 Mechanical Stability

on lines, which set exeptional high requirements


concerning the operation safety

MV-arresters produced by ABB are operationally reliable even in


areas of high earthquake activity. Silicon arresters from ABB can
also have a support function. In the case of cantilever strength, it
must be distinguished between temporary and operational loads
according to DIN 48113. The permissible loads result from the
product of arrester altitude and maximum permissible momentum
load. In Table 4 there are the mechanical data of different arrester
types to be read.

protection of engines, generators and cables


areas with high industrial pollution, or when the arresters are
not farther than 1000 m from the sea.

In cases where the 10 kA arresters are recommended is also a


higher energy absorption capability advantageous and an arrester
type with a line discharge class 2 or more should be chosen. That is
why these arresters have a higher energy capability of at least 5.5
kJ/kVUc (MWK, POLIM-I, POLIM-S)

Arrester type

The peculiarity of some electrical equipment, as for instance

arc furnace
big capacitor batteries
very long cable sections
expensive rotating machines

can make a higher energy absorption capability necessary. In such


cases the special type POLIM-H with In = 20 kA and with 13.3
kJ/kVUc is preferred.

Vertical
Load
N

POLIM-DN

250

50

625

POLIM-D

250

50

625

POLIM-DA

350

50

1000

MWK, MWD

350

68

1200

POLIM-I

2500

100

2000

POLIM-S

4000

100

3000

POLIM-H

6000

100

4000

Table 4
Mechanical data of MV-surge arresters, produced by ABB

5 Special Operating Conditions

5.4 Air Pollution

5.1 Network Short Circuit Power

Silicon is the best insulating material against pollution. This is


mainly because the material is water-repellent. Silicon arresters
behave more favourably under conditions of heavy air pollution
than porcelain housed arresters or other polymer insulation
materials. In addition the self-cleaning feature of silicon itself is
outstanding. Pollutants and dirt cannot adhere well to the flexible
covering and are washed away by rain.

Any arrester can be overloaded. The causes are extremely high


stroke currents, a large number of multiple strokes [16, 17] or the
so-called system flashover. This is understood to be a short circuit
between two different voltage levels. The voltage at the arrester on
the lower voltage level rises above the allowable limit. An overload
of any kind causes a flashover or puncture in the resistor. An arc
results in the arrester and the current from this arc is defined by the
short circuit power of the network.
19

Canti lever strength Torsion


Nm
Nm

A true comparison with a MO-arrester necessitates a rise time


which also lies in the range of 50 ns. With such a steep front the
sparkover voltage reaches a value of at least 1.4 Up. It follows that
by a steep rise the limiting voltage of the spark-gap arrester is at
least 24 % higher than that of the MO-arrester.

Figure 6
Repelling water on silicone surface (hydrophobicity-effect)

5.5 Altitude Adjustement for Arrester Housing

In Figure 7, P is the power loss of the MO-resistors in an arrester


when Uc is applied. It is evident how P exponentially increases with
the MO temperature, which also results in an increased warming of
the active parts. The cooling of the resistors results from the flow
of heat Q from the active part to the exterior. At temperatures above
the critical point is P > Q. Here the cooling is not sufficient to
dissipate the power loss. The resistors would continue to heat up
and the arrester would be destroyed by overheating. Through
suitably dimensioning of the resistors and through design
measures that enable the cool down of the blocks, it is possible to
raise the critical point to such a level, that even if during the
operation the highest energies are likely to occur, this critical point
is impossible to be reached.
On the other hand, the mechanism described clearly shows the
limits of the energy absorption capacity of the MO-arrester. The
amount of energy fed to it must never exceed the critical point.
Then P < Q and the MO discs cool down until the stable operating
point is again reached.

6 Protection Characteristics of the Surge


Arrester, Stability
6.1 Surge Arrester Protection Level
The protection level Up is the maximum voltage at the arrester
terminals during the flow of the nominal discharge current which,
according to definition, shows a current form of 8/20 s. The peak
value of the current is reached after approx. 8 s and after approx.
20 s it has decayed to 50 % of the peak value. In the case of sparkgap arresters Up is additionally given by the standard lightning
impulse sparkover voltage. This is the lowest prospective peak
value of a standard lightning voltage impulse (1.2/50 s) which,
when applied to the arrester, causes sparkovers on every
application. Virtually the same protection level is possible through
MO and spark-gap arresters having identical continuous service
voltage Uc. It lies at about Up = 3.33 Uc or under this value. More
precise values are available in the corresponding booklets.

P,Q

when Um < 24 kV

b < 0.6 m

when Um > 24 kV

Arrester with
Up = 3.8 p.u. for MO
Up = 4 p.u. for SiC
and In = 10 kA
Type of Line

cannot be maintained, then the line is to be modified so that


regarding the overvoltage at the substation and the protective
distance, it behaves as favourably as a line with earthed cross
arms.

Arrester Type
Um
ZK
[kV]
[]
30
3.6
60
30
7.2
60
30
12
60
30
17.5
60
30
24
60
30
36
60

The necessary measures for this are relatively simple: the cross
arms of the last three poles before the station are to be earthed. The
overvoltage which runs into the station from the modified lines
now have the same form as if it came from a line with continuous
earthed crossarms. The disadvantage of this solution is that
additional lightning overvoltages cause flashovers between the
conductor and the earth owing to the reduced insulation level of the
line. A more efficient method than the earthing the cross arms
would be to install another set of arresters one pole in front of the
substation. The effect is a very strong reduction in the amplitude of
the incoming overvoltage. This in turn leads to a protective
behaviour of the arrester at the equipment which is better than that
of earthed cross arms.

10 Some Special Cases

stable
operating point

In comparison with it the front-of-wave sparkover voltage is often


referred to for spark-gap arresters. It lies at approx. 1.15 Up. In this
test the length of the rise time is adjusted to approx. 400 ns.

Figure 7
Power loss P of the MO discs and heat flow Q from the active
arrester parts to the exterior as a function of the MO
temperature T at the continuous operating voltage Uc
9

Wooden pole
MO
LK
[m]

SiC
LK
[m]

64
45
40
30
25
21
28
23
22
20

30
20
15
11
6
4
6
5
1
1

earthed
Wooden pole
crossarms
MO
SiC MO
SiC
LK
LK
LK
LK
[m] [m] [m] [m]
6
7
3
3
64
28
9
9
50
19
4
4
40
14
7
9
32
10
3
4
26
5
4
6
4
22
2
3
28
5
5
10
4
24
3
5
22
1
1
8
1
20
1
4

LK

earthed
crossarms
MO
SiC
LK
LK
[m] [m]
17
17
10
10
14
22
11
13
19
9
7
14
15
4
3
13
17
4
3
15
1
15
1
14

Junction length arrester to cable 1 m


ZK: Surge impedance of the cable
MO: Metal oxide arrester
SiC: Arrester with spark-gap

On one hand the protective distance of an arrester is, in some


cases, not especially long. This applies mostly to electrical equipment which is subject to capacitance in substations with a high
network voltage and which are connected to wooden poles (see
Figure 14), on the other hand pieces of electrical equipment in a
substation are seldom placed close together. Usually they are so
far apart from each other that one arrester could not protect several
pieces of equipment at the same time. Under this conditions, each
piece of electrical equipment requires a separate arrester set (one
arrester each per phase to earth).

Longer cables require arrester protection at both ends. For short


cables sections onesided protection is, in some cases, sufficient.
This is because an arrester at only one end can still offer sufficient
lightning overvoltage protection to the other end.
A cable which connects the overhead line with the substation is
often only endagered by lightning on the line. The arrester must
therefore be mounted to the line at the cable junction. No second
arrester is necessary at the other end of the cable, as long as the
cable length LK does not exceed the values which are given in the
Table 7. At first glance, it should be noted that LK is unlimited in 3.6
kV networks. This is because of the relatively high BIL of 13.6 p.u.
at this network level. The arrester at the line side of the cable limits
the overvoltage to approximately 4 p.u. As a result of voltage
reflections in the cable, the overvoltage at the other end of the cable
is higher, but under 10 p.u. At this level, the overvoltage is
harmless to the cable. This, however, does not apply to
equipments in the substation. With these equipments additional
voltage reflections can increase the overvoltage, so that for their
protection, in case of necessity, arresters must be provided. The
maximum allowable length for a cable section with onesided
protection is higher for MO-arresters than for those with sparkgaps. This is based on the favourable protection properties of MOarresters, which begin conducting before Up is reached.

thermal runaway

critical point

LK

Table 7
Maximum allowable length LK of cable sections with one-sided
arrester protection. The cable is connected to a lightning
endangered line.
Lightning overvoltage and momentary value of system voltage
having different polarities.

10.1 Overvoltage Protection in Cable Sections

The protection characteristics of an arrester consists not only of


the value Up, but of two additional features. The first is the
behaviour of the arrester during steep wave fronts, which is
especially important for MV equipment. The test for MO-arresters
takes place with the nominal discharge current, the front time of
which is reduced from 8 s to 1 s. The residual voltage over the
arrester reaches a maximum of 1.13 Up at this steep current wave.
Because of the non linearity of the current-voltage-characteristic
of the MO-arrester, the front time of this residual voltage lies in the
order of magnitude of 50 ns.

8 8

6.2 Questions of Stability of MO Surge Arresters

b<1m

8 8

As an orientation value one may consider that for every 1000 m


over 1800 m above sea level the flashover distance of the housing
must be enlarged by 12 %. For example, at an altitude of 3300 m
above sea level the flashover distance of the housing must be 18 %
larger than of a normal arrester.

If the transformer is connected to a wooden pole line, and if

8 8

Normal MV-arresters from ABB can be used at altitudes of up to


1800 m above sea level.
At higher altitudes the air density is so low that the withstand
voltage of the arrester housing may be no longer sufficient against
external flashovers. In this case the unaltered active parts of the
arrester (same protection level) must be placed in an elongated
housing with a larger flashover distance.

The flashover of a bus bar or a conductor of a line toward the earth


causes a short operation shutdown at the most. Subsequent
damage is, however extremly rare. In cables, flashover behaviour
is completely different. Flashovers in cable insulation can cause
disturbances and require extensive repairs. Flashovers along the
cable heads can damage these and exibit the same damage as with
insulation flashovers. Cables must therefore be treated as station
equipment and protected against lightning overvoltage with
arresters.
The arresters are to be placed directly next to the cable heads. The
junction lines should be as short as possible. It must be noted that
the earth connection of the arrester is attached to the cable sheath.

8 8

The behaviour of the arrester during switching overvoltages is a


further feature of the protection characteristics. In spark-gap
arresters the sparkover voltage reaches approx. the value of Up
with these relatively slowly rising overvoltages. MO-arresters have
no sparkover voltage. With MV-arresters the switching protection
level is given through the residual voltage at 500 A of the current
wave 30/60 ms. The residual voltage reaches 0.77.... 0.83 Up
depending on the arrester type. The limiting voltage during
switching overvoltages of spark-gap arresters is at least 20 %
higher than that of MO-arresters.
At the same continuous operating voltage the MO-arresters
therefore demonstrate a more favorable protection characteristic
than spark-gap arresters. The above mentioned figures are valid
for arresters employed in networks with high-ohmic insulated
neutral. Regarding the operational safety, MO-arresters have an
additional advantage in the fact that they can also resist temporary
overvoltages as shown in Figure 8.
MO and spark-gap arresters must be dimensioned differently in
networks with solidly earthed neutral systems [8]. The result is
that Uc can be chosen 28 % lower than the rated voltage of the
spark-gap arrester. Thereby a protection characteristic results for
the MO technology which, depending on the wave form, lies 28 %
to 42 % lower.

The shorter the sum of the connecting lines a + b compared with L


in Figure 14, the lower the failure rate. In other words, a + b must be
as small as possible , and L must be as large as possible. The latter
is achieved by choosing the proper line direction. As can be seen in
Figure 15, the line must be first connected with the arrester and
then connected with the transformer. In this case b = 0 and L
becomes maximal. The connecting line L can be held short by
placing the arrester as close as possible to the transformer. Both
measures together make it possible to fulfill the requirements of
a + b << L and therefore keep the failure rate considerably below
10%.

The essential difference between the electrical data of overhead


lines and cables is the surge impedance of their conductors to
earth. Values for overhead distribution lines are approximately
300 to 450 and for cables in the 20 to 60 range. First of all,
this difference causes a marked decrease of the lightning overvoltage as soon as the travelling wave reaches the cable entrance.
The reduced voltage wave flows through the cable and it is
reflected at the end so that the voltage is nearly doubled.
Subsequently the wave returns to the cable entrance and is once
more reflected, etc. In this way, the overvoltage in the cable is built
up gradually although the overvoltage slope in the cable is actually
lower, the peak value is near that of lightning overvoltage on the
line [18].

18

U=660 kV

C=0

20

A
C=0,5nF

10

L (m)

Arrangements for arresters and electrical equipment

evaluation of the connections:

C=2nF

2
1

UT

30

b (m)

1: poor
2: good
3: excellent

The following example should illustrate the use of Figure 8:


An arrester MWK 24 with Uc = 24 kV could be operated for as long
a time as one wishes with Uc. The environmental temperature
surrounding the arrester amounts to a maximum of 45 C. At the
time t = 0 the arrester is charged with the specified energy E = 5.5
kJ/kV Uc.
Immediately following the temporary overvoltage UTOV = 28 kV
occurs. Thus:
T= UTOV / Uc = 28 kV / 24kV = 1.17

6.3 Temporary Overvoltages

S=800 kV / ms

F:
U:
A:
T:
C:

lightning endangered line


lightning overvoltage
arrester
electrical equipment (transformer)
capacitance of T to earth

The meaning of Temporary Over-Voltages UTOV is the operating


frequency overvoltages of a limited duration. The spark-gap
arresters require special measures regarding these voltages. In
these arresters the follow current increases very strongly with the
operating voltage. If this voltage lies above the rated voltage of the
arrester, the follow current through the arrester will be too high.
Under these conditions, the spark-gaps can no longer extinguish
the arc, that is they ignite it again in each of the following half cycles
until the arrester is destroyed by overheating. In networks with
temporary overvoltages the rated voltage of the spark-gap arrester
must be raised to UTOV, which also requires the raising of the
protection level of the arrester.

1.4

7 Tests

1.35

T 1.3

Figure 15

For T= 1.17 it follows that from curve b the time t = 400 s.


Therefore the duration of UTOV is limited to 400 seconds. Following
this the arrester is again capable of bearing Uc and cools down. If it
is expected that UTOV has to occur for longer than 400 seconds on
the line, then an arrester with the corresponding elevated Uc must
be selected.

The tests for ABB arresters follow internationally agreed upon


recommendations. IEC 60099-4 has been valid for the MOarresters since August 1998 [6]. In the USA - Norm ANSI C62.111993 is applied [7], which coincides with the IEC. The MVarresters from ABB fulfill both norms.The tests are made in
accordance to type, routine, and acceptance tests.
Furthermore the arresters are submitted to special tests, which are
not mentioned in the international regulations.

1.25

Figure 14b

1.2
1.15

1.1

Arrester protective distance L in the network


level Um = 17.5 kV and 24 kV with respect to
the conductor length b.

14a):
14b):

Uc

1.05

1.0
1

If a + b L, then UT BIL / 1,2


C:

UTOV

10

100

1000

10'000

t (s)

7.1 Type Tests

Figure 8
Strength T=UTOV / Uc with respect to temporary overvoltages UTOV
as a function of their duration t at an ambient temperature (air
temperature outside the arrester) of 45C. The curve a applies to
an arrester without preload, the curve b to an arrester, preloaded
with the guaranteed energy E. t is the time duration of the
overvoltage with power frequency.
The curves apply for the MO-surge arrester type MWK.

transformer T capacitance between


phase and earth
MO-arrester
spark-gap arrester
Up= 4 p.u. when In = 5 kA
line with wooden poles
line with earthed cross arms

Figure 16
MO-surge arrester type POLIM-D 12 N with disconnector,
installed on a distribution transformer

This is of special significance in regard to arrester protection for


transformers, because they have a capacitance to earth which
should not be underestimated. Additionally noteworthy is the
marked decrease of L with the conductor length b. The connection
from the lightning endangered line to the high voltage connection
of the arrester should therefore be as direct as possible. In Figure
15, three connection possibilities are schematically represented
and evaluated.
The larger protective distance of the arrester in lines with earthed
cross arms (Figure 14 b) stems from the less magnitude of the
overvoltage running into the substation (lower flashover voltage
line to earth). From this a lower current through the arrester and a
lower limiting voltage result which enable a larger value for L.
In networks where Um = 12 kV, the protective distance of the
arrester are about 10% longer than represented in Figure 14. On
the other hand, when Um =36 kV, the distance is about 30%
shorter. At this network operating level, it should also be noted that
when S = 1550 kV / s (wooden pole lines), the value of L sharply
decreases as soon as b > 0.6
The protective properties of the arresters are somewhat reduced
with different polarity of the lightning overvoltage and the
momentary value of the phase voltage, this is taken into account in
the calculation of L. Additionally it is assumed a very short galvanic connection between the earth side of the arrrester to the
transformer tank. This is to be taken into consideration when
connecting the arrester.

Otherwise it becomes necessary to increase the length of the


conductor length b in Figure 13 due to the additional earth
connection. Branching between the arrester and electrical equipment to other electrical equipment creates additional voltage
oscillations which in most cases results in a reduction of L.

9.4 Fault Hazards in Electrical Equipment and Their


Distance from the Surge Arrester
An arrester placed at a distance L from the electrical equipment
limits the overvoltage to a value of BIL / 1.2 as long as the
overvoltage steepness S at the station is not larger than
1550 kV/s for wooden pole lines
800 kV/s for earthed cross arm lines
However, on the average this steepness will be exceeded once
every 400 years. In this case an overvoltage in the electrical
equipment can reach a value above its BIL causing permanent
damage. If the life expectancy of the equipment, e.g. a transformer,
is put at about 40 years, then in the time interval ts = 400 years
there exists a 90 % probability that no damage will occur. However
this includes a failure rate caused by overvoltages during this 40
years which amounts to 10 %. Even though an arrester is mounted
at the distance L from the transformer.
17

At the completion of the development of an arrester design, type


tests are carried out. They furnish proof that they comply with the
relevant standard. The following tests are designated for MVarresters:
Isolation withstand tests on the arrester housing: these tests
demonstrate that the external housing insulation meets the
expected voltage demands.
Residual voltage tests: The function of these tests is to certify that
the protection level of the arrester does not exceed the guaranteed
data.
Long duration current impulse withstand test: this test is
performed to prove that the MO resistors withstand possible
dielectric and energy demands without puncture, flashover and
cracking.
Time accelerated ageing test: in this test resistors are subjected
to a temperature of 115 C for 1000 hours with a voltage above Uc.
In doing so it is watched if and how intensive the power losses of
the resistors increase over their life span. The life span is
understood to be 110 years according to [7]. In this time ABB
resistors demonstrate no increase of power losses: therefore they
are not subject to any ageing process.
Operating duty tests: the following values are of significance in
this test:
Reference current Iref
This is the peak value of the ohmic current component by which the
reference voltage is measured. Iref should be large enough so that
this measurement cannot be influenced by the stray capacitance of
the arrester components. The reference current must be specified
by the manufacturer. For ABB MV-arresters the following values
are valid for Iref:

In MO-arresters there is no follow current because this is


prevented by the extremely non-linear voltage current characteristic (Figure 4). It is for this reason that MO arresters are capable
of bearing increased operational voltages over a longer period of
time. The strength T of the arrester in the presence of such temporary overvoltages is described in Figure 8.
UTOV = T x Uc
T is then a measure for the permissible height of UTOV.
The curve a in Figure 8 is valid for arresters without a significant
energy preloading. The higher T and respectively UTOV, the greater
the power generated in the arrester. Because the MO temperature
cannot exceed a certain value for reasons of stability, is the energy
supplied to the arrester also limited. For that reason the
permissible load duration t decreases with the magnitude of T
resp. UTOV. The curve b is valid for arresters which at the time t = 0
are already preloaded with the specified energy E. Naturally, curve
b lies beneath curve a. Arresters which are already preloaded with
the E / Uc values specified in Table 2 can nevertheless withstand
temporary overvoltages correstonding to curve b. This implies
that the entire energy absorption capability of the arrester exceeds
these guaranteed data. In the time interval t the energy can be
supplied to the arrester at any given moment in the form of energy
impulses. The sum of the impulses however must not exceed the
amount E.

1.4 mA
1.4 mA
1.6 mA
2.2 mA
3.6 mA
5.0 mA
10

for POLIM-DN
for POLIM-D, MVK
for POLIM-DA
for MWK, MWD, POLIM-I, POLIM-C
for POLIM-S
for POLIM-H

Reference voltage Uref


This is defined as the operation frequency voltage at the arrester at
which Iref flows. Uref is determined by the peak value of the voltage
divided by 2.

Here it is necessary to carry out long term tests in order to prove


the ageing stability of the insulation material and the
impermeability of the construction. All the arresters produced by
ABB are succesfully tested with cyclical long term tests.

Rated voltage Ur
This is the highest permissible r.m.s. value of the power frequency
voltage for which the arrester is dimensioned in order to operate
correctly under temporary overvoltage conditions as established
in the operating duty tests

It is assumed here that 8 lightning strokes per year per 100 km


overhead distribution line occur, on the premisies that multi-phase
lightning strokes appear more often than single-phase ones. On
the average, this steepness S is extended once every 400 years.
The time-function of the overvoltage increase is parabolic and has
the steepness S when the value U is reached:
t2 x S 2
u( t ) = -----------4xU

Ur is determined by the arrester supplier and lies with ABB


arresters at 1.25 x Uc. The voltages Ur and Uc applied during the
test are correspondingly to be raised if:
The resistors show an increase in the power losses in the
accelerated ageing test
The reference voltage of the test sample is higher than the
guaranteed minimum value for the arrester.
The operating duty tests serve as proof of the thermal stability of
the arrester. It does this in two steps. First the conditioning of the
resistors is carried out. This is done by applying a voltage of 1.2 x
Uc to the resistors. To this voltage 20 impulse with nominal
discharge current are superimposed. The conditioning can be
carried out at the complete arrester, too.

Figure 9
MO-surge arrester type MWK after overload test with
20kA (0,2 sec) short circuit current.

7.2. Routine Tests

Afterwards the resistors are installed in the arrester housing and


loaded with a first high current impulse. After the test sample has
cooled down, it is heated to 60 C and loaded with a second high
current impulse. At the latest 100ms after the second impulse the
test sample is subjected to the power frequency voltage Ur for 10 s
and then to Uc for 30 minutes. In the last phase the test must
demonstrate if the test sample remains thermally stable or
becomes unstable.
The test described here is valid for MV-arresters with a nominal
discharge current of 5 kA and 10 kA of the line discharge class 1.

Routine tests are carried out on every arrester or parts of it (e.g. on


the resisors) in order to ascertain that the product meets the
requirements of the design specification.
Reference voltage measurement: the measured value of the
reference voltage Uref must lie within the stated tolerance range
allowed by the manufacturer. The lower limit of the Uref guarantees
the termal stability of the arrester. The higher the value of Uref in the
routine test of an arrester, the smaller the power losses at Uc and
therefore better stabililty during network operation.

The arrester has passed the test if

Residual voltage test: this proves that the guaranteed protection


level of the arrester is not exceeded. Residual voltage can be
measured on the individual resistors at nominal current.

Thermal stability has been achieved


Changes in the residual voltage, measured before and after the
test, do not exceed 5 %
Examination reveals no evidence of puncture, flashover or
cracking of the resistors.

Partial discharge test: this test serves to prove that the arrester is
free of partial discharge. The measurement takes place at a voltage
of 1.05 x Uc on the entire arrester. According to IEC [6] a partial
dischage level of < 50 pC is permissible. ABB arresters are tested
more strictly though and must be kept within the 5 pC limit.

Power frequency voltage versus time characteristic: this test


serves to confirm through experimental means the curves in
Figure 8 which are generally proved mathematically. Therefore it
serves as a proof of the sufficient stability of the arrester against
temporary overvoltages.

Leakage test: this test proves that the porcelain housing


hermetically seals the active parts of the arrester. This test is not
done on silicone polymer arresters because the active parts are
directly sealed in silicone polymer.

Pressure-relief test: for arresters with a pressure-relief device.


These tests prove that the arrester housing can endure fault
current without bursting under predetermined test conditions. The
arresters with housing made of synthetic material which do not
have a pressure-relief device are tested in a special way: they are
electrical overstressed purposefully in order to watch their
behaviour in case of overloading.

In addition to the IEC recommended tests, ABB MV-arresters are


subject to the two following tests:
measurement of the continous current at Uc for every arrester
time accelerated ageing test over 300 hours on at least two
resistors in every production lot. This test insures that in every
assembly only resistors without any ageing process are
used.

Artificial pollution test: this test demonstrates that the internal


parts of the arrester get no damage through external pollution. The
elevated temperature strain of the active parts produced by the
uneven voltage distribution along the soiled external insulation are
to be observed in particular. With non-ceramic insulations like
silicone the short time tests are not significant.
11

For the configuration according to Figure 13, protective distances


of the arresters were calculated. The increase of the overvoltage
wave is assumed to be parabolic and it is assumed that the arrester
has a value of Up = 4 p.u. when In = 5 kA. With b < 1m, the result for
the network voltages up to 7.2 kV is
.
L = 20 m in the case of wooden pole lines, C = 0
L = 6 m in the case of wooden pole lines, C = 2 nF
L = 25 m in the case of earthed cross arms, C = 0
L = 15 m in the case of earthed cross arms, C = 2 nF

(2)

Equation (2) is defined for the time interval 0 < t < 2 x U/S. U = 660
kV is assumed for lines with earthed cross arms. This is
approximately the flashover voltage of a 20 kV line insulator when
there are chopped voltage impulses with a steepness of 800 kV / s
and negative polarity.
If one puts the values U and S into equation (2), then it becomes
clear that the temporal rise in overvoltage u(t) runs about the same
for both types of line. Because the arrester limits the voltage to well
below U, the higher value S in wooden pole lines has no effect
regarding the protective distance of the arrester. Nevertheless, the
protective distances for both of these line types are different. The
reason lies in the difference in height U of the incoming
overvoltage wave. The lightning current i that passes through the
arrester reaches the approximately peak value.
2 x U - Up
i = ----------------Z

UT
T

b
A

Up

Overvoltage at transformer T
U: incoming overvoltage wave
v: propagation velocity of U
S: maximum steepness of U
A: arrester
Up: protection level of A

(3)

Therefore, in the case of wooden pole lines (U = 3000 kV), when Z =


450 , a current of 13 kA can be expected through the arrester.
In regard to lines with earthed cross arms (U = 660 kV ), the current
lies below 3 kA. This difference influences the limiting voltage of
the arrester. This lies therefore higher in the case of wooden pole
lines which leads, with this sort of line, to a shorter protective
distance of the arrester.

a, b: length of the connecting lines


T: transformer
C: capacitance of T between
phase and earth
UT: overvoltage at T

Figure 13
These values apply to both MO and spark-gap arresters. The
influence of capacitance C of the electrical equipment on the length
of L is clearly seen. The protective distance of the arrester for the
network operating levels of Um = 17.5 kV and 24 kV are described
in Figure 14. Here it is also clear how L decreases with the
increasing capacitance of the electrical equipment.

9.3. Influences on the Protective Distance through


Electical Equipment, the Types of Arresters and
the Arrangement of the Arresters.

S=1550 kV / ms

Using BIL and Up from Table 5 and the above values of S in


equation (1), the following protective distances result:

L = 2.3. m in the case of wooden pole lines


L = 4.5 m in the case of earthed crossed arm lines

U=3000 kV

30

C=0
10
L (m)

b (m)
C=0,5nF

5
3

C=2nF

2
1

Figure 14a

16

20

These values are valid for the simplified assumption according to


Figure 11. Therefore they need to be corrected as depicted in
Figure 13. Generally speaking, the electrical equipment, in this
case a transformer, has a capacity C to earth. This causes voltage
oscillations in the connections a and b, with the result being that
the voltage UT increases with C. This leads to a reduction of the
protective distance. However the parabolic rise of the lightning
overvoltage has an opposite influence. The arrester limits the
overvoltage to well below its peak value. The maximum steepness,
which occurs only in the region of the voltage maximum, therefore
has no effect.
In deriving L according to equation (1) it is assumed that the
arrester will become conductive only when the voltage at its
terminals has reached the value Up. This is the case with spark-gap
arresters. MO-arresters without spark-gaps are conductive before
the terminal voltage has reached Up. Therefore the protective
properties begin working at an earlier point. Under certain
circumstances therefore, MO arresters protect remote electrical
equipment better, which is equivalent to a longer protective
distance.

UT

0,5

b (m) 1

1,5

These two arbitrarily chosen examples should show that large


voltage rates of rise occur less often than small ones. The expected
value of a steepness is always linked with the probability of the
occurrence. It is customary, instead of the probability, to indicate
the time interval ts, which on the average passes between two
events. Certainly, in the above example not all lightnings which
strike the conductor in a route section of d = 135 m cause in the
station a steepness higher than 1500 kV/s. With some of the
lightnings the steepness of the current increase is too low. Many
lightnings strike more than just one of the three conductors, which
leads to a reduction in the current rate of rise in the individual lines
and therefore lowers the voltage rate of rise.
Of further signifance is the fact that the stroke current rise is
concave [13]. That is why the highest steepness of the overvoltage
occurs in the range of the voltage maximum, as shown in the Figure 11. In voltage waves with a high stroke current peak value a
flashover from the line to earth takes place before the voltage
maximum has been reached. The upper part of the wave is thereby
cut off so that the highest steepness does not become effective.
Therefore only a fraction of the lightnings which hit the route
section d =135 m of the line generates S > 1500 kV/s at the station.
The probability of S > 1500 kV/s is therefore significantly less than
0.01 per year. This can be evaluated with the help of the lightning
current statistics from Berger [14]. Assuming a parabolic
progression of the current increase, then the values indicated in
Table 6 result for the expected steepness in a MV substation. The
lower values for S in the lines with earthed cross arms are a result of
the smaller flashover voltages of the insulators versus the flashover
voltages along the wooden poles.
The values of ts in Table 6 were determined under the assumption
that 8 lightning strokes per year and per 100 km of distribution line
would occur. For the value ts only lightnings which strike the line
within 300 m of the station are of significance. If this stretch of the
line is free standing, that is not shielded from lightning by the
neighbouring lines, buildings and woods, then the value of ts is 3
times smaller. If in addition there is an extremely high degree of
lightning activity in the vicinity, then the value is even 12 times
smaller.

Z x di / dt
S=
2
u(t) =
i(t)

i/2

i/2

Z x i(t)
2
t

u(t)

Lightning overvoltage caused by a lightning strike on an overhead Line.


F:
Z:
t:
i(t):
di / dt:
u(t):
S:

overhead Line
surge impedance of F
time
total stroke current as a function of time
maximum steepness of i(t)
lightning overvoltage as a function of time
maximum steepness of u(T)

Figure 12
In 10% of all lightnings, the maximum stroke current change di/dt
is higher than 32 kA/s. When Z = 450 , every 10th lightning
stroke will cause a maximum voltage steepness S > 7200 kV/s. A
steepness of this order is to be expected in the substation only if
the lightning strikes neareby. The probability of this happening is
relatively small. As an example, a lightning stroke with a current
rate of rise of over 32 kA/s striking within 25 m of a station would
occur on the average once every 5000 years.
Substantially smaller voltage rates of rise are to be expected at the
station when the lightning stroke occurs far from the substation.
Due to corona damping, the front of the overvoltage wave flattens
out as it proceeds from the point of the stroke towards the station.
If So is the steepness at the location of the stroke, the steepness
along the length d of the line decreases to the value
1
S = ----------------1/So + K x d

Type of overhead Wooden poles with 3000kV


distribution line flashover voltage

The constant K is dependent upon the geometry of the overhead


line. In [11] it is approximated to be K = 5 x 10-6 s/kVm for MV
lines. Supposing that the location of the stroke is d =135 m remote
from the station a lightning stroke causes an infinitely large voltage
rate of rise So. According to the above formula , the steepness S at
the substation will be less than 1500 kV/s due to the corona
damping. That means that only lightnings which strike the conductor in front of the station in a route track of d =135 m can have
the effect of S > 1500 kV/s at the station.
It can be derived from [12] that approximately 8 lightning strokes
hit a 100 km long overhead distribution line per year. This number
is valid for German MV networks of 10 , 20 and 30 kV. In Germany
the average ground flash density is 3 strokes per year per km2.
According to [13] this amounts to approximately 25 lightning
strokes per year per 100 km of distribution line. This factor 3 larger
value which was mathematically determined supposes a MV line
on a level terrain . The difference must be attributed to the fact that
MV lines are often not out in the open . Frequently they are shielded
from lightning by neighboring lines, buildings and forests . The
following demonstration uses the empirical value of 8 lightning
strokes per year per 100 km overhead line. However it is to be kept
in mind that more lightning strokes are to be expected in
unfavorable topographical conditions. In areas with extremely
high lightning activity the possibility of 100 strokes per year per
100 km overhead line cannot be ruled out.
The probability of a lightning stroke in a route section of d = 135 m
is therefore 0.01 per year. In an MV substation, lightning
overvoltages which have the steepness over 1500 kV/s can be
expected at the most once every 100 years .

20 kV network with
earthed cross arms

Time interval
ts [years]

1
S[kV/ms]

2
S[kV/ms]

1
S[kV/ms]

2
S[kV/ms]

600

1940

1850

1060

820

400

1630

1530

920

730

300

1450

1350

820

660

200

1200

1100

700

580

100

820

660

520

440

Table 6
Expected steepness S from lightning overvoltages in MV substations: The shown values of S will, on the average, be exceeded
once in the time interval ts.
1 in the case of single phase lightning strikes
2 in the case of three phase lightning strikes
Overhead line

15

Wooden poles

Earthed cross
arms

U [kV]

3000

660

S [kV/s]

1550

800

8 Selection of Surge Arresters and


Determination of Uc

7.3. Acceptance Tests


If acceptance tests are stipulated at the time of order, the following
tests are carried out on a number of the to be delivered arresters
(the number of arresters to be tested is determined by taking the
cube root of the delivery amount and rounding it down to a whole
number):

For the arrester to meet the needs of the network system, two
conditons are necessary to be fulfilled in the selection of the
maximum continuous operating voltage Uc:
Uc must be higher than the constant power frequency voltage at
the arrester terminal.

reference voltage measurement


measurement of the residual voltage of the arrester at nominal
discharge current

T x Uc must be higher than the expected temporary overvoltage at


the arrester terminal. According to Figure 8, T is determined by the
duration t of the temporary overvoltage. Thus in determining T, t is
also to be taken into account. For reasons of safety, the lower curve
in Figure 8 will generally be used.

partial discharge level measurement at 1.05 x Uc with the more


stringend value < 5 pC, as compared with the IEC.

In selecting the arresters in a three-phase network, the location of


the arrester plays the deciding role: between phase and earth,
between transformer neutral and earth or between phases. The
maximum operating voltage at the arrester terminal connection
can be calculated with the help of the maximum voltage Um
between phases. If this is not known, then Um should be replaced
with the highest voltage of the system or the highest voltage for the
electrical equipment.

7.4 Special Tests


In the newest editon of the relevant IEC instructions [6] the
performed tests refer to the arresters with porcelain insulation. In
the IEC working paper for MO-arresters with polymeric housing
[22] there are disscused tests special for arresters with polymer
housing. In conformity with this working paper and also exceeding
it ABB performed the following tests for the MV-arresters with
silicone insulation.

In three-phase networks special attention must be paid to the


temporary overvoltage UTOV. It occurs most frequently during
earth faults. Its value is given by the method of neutral system
earthing. Additionally the system management is of significance
because it determines the duration t of the temporary overvoltage
and with that it decides the value of T (t) for Uc.

Overload test: this test shows the behaviour of the arrester under
overload. During the test the arrester is loaded deliberately with
increasing voltage up to destruction and up to the appearance of
the system short current. Because of the special construction
(completely moulded) and the chosen insulation material
(silicone) the ABB MV-arresters are safe from explosion and
destruction up to the highest tested currents. Silicone is a self
extinguishing material. Fire is not caused by downfalling burning
insulation-material.

UTOV
Uc > ---------T(t)

Weather-aging test: the test shows the long time behaviour of the
insulation material and the construction in case of cyclical
environmental situations like warmth, humidity, rain, saltfog and
UV rays during the continuous voltage applied. The test extends on
a totally duration of 5000 hours.

8.1 Networks with Earth Fault Compensation or with


High- Ohmic Insulated Neutral
Under the conditions for earth-fault, the voltage increases at
"healthy phases to a maximum of Um:

UV radiation: the insulation material is exposed 1000 hours to the


UV radiation and it is additionally damp. The insulation characteristics of silicon are not negatively influenced because of it. On
the contrary, the UV radiation promotes the process of the
permanent renewal of the hydrophobicity of the silicon
surface.

Uc >

Um

for an arrester between phase and earth

The voltage at transformer neutral can reach a maximum of Um / 3:

Um
Uc > ------ for the arrester between transformer neutral and earth
3

Deep temperature: the construction as well as the materials used


of the ABB MV-arresters with silicone housing endure
temperatures up to - 60 C without changes of the electrical and
mechanical characteristics. Furthermore cyclical freezing up to
-40 C in water showed that the construction and especially the
surface of the silicon are not injured through the formation of
ice.

In every network there exists inductance and capacitance which


produce oscillating circuits. If their resonant frequency is similar
to that of the operating frequency, then the voltage between phase
and earth can basically become higher than that of Um in singlepole earth faults. The system management must avoid the
occurrence of such resonances. If this is not possible, then Uc of a
corresponding magnitude should be chosen.

Humidity: long term tests of more than 2 years, in which the


arresters were exposed to a relatively air humidity of more than
90%, showed that the electrical behaviour of the arrester was not
influenced because of the penetration of humidity, or the arrester
did not get out of order.

12

8.2 Networks with High-Ohmic Insulated Neutral


Systems and Automatic Earth Fault Clearing
Temporary overvoltages are of the same magnitude as those in
Section 8.1. Though early cut-off of earth faults enables a
reduction of Uc by the factor T. If, for example, the earth fault cutoff results after a maximum of t = 10 s, then, with the help of
Figure 8 it follows that T = 1.26.
Um
Uc > ---------- for an arrester between phase and earth
T
Um
Uc > ----------- for an arrester between transformer neutral and earth
T x 3

This concerns networks which are earthed with an impedance so


that the fault current is limited, for example, to 2 kA. In the case of
an earth fault the voltage increases for a "healthy phase to Um.
With a resistive earthed neutral the voltage can be 5 % higher than
Um. If the clearing time of the earth fault does not exceed t = 10 s,
then results T = 1.26 (for the MWK):

Harmonic currents generate harmonic oscillations under


operating voltage frequencies. For this reason it is possible that the
peak value of phase-to-phase voltage can be greater than 2 x
Um. If this difference is less than 5 % a correspondingly higher Uc
must be used as long as Uc is lower then 1.05 x Um / 3 for
arresters between phase and earth and lower than 1.05 x Um for
arresters between phases. On the other hand, if due to the
harmonic wave the voltage increase is higher than 5 % the choice
of Uc must be discussed with the arrester supplier. The same is
valid for forms of voltage which can often be seen in the vicinity of
thyristor converters: voltage steps, ignition peaks, asymmetry in
the two half cycles.

8.6 Arresters between Phases ( Neptune Design )


In special cases like, e.g. transformers in arc furnace installations,
switching overvoltages can occur which are insufficiently limited
by arresters between phase and earth. In this case arresters
between phases are to be used:

In this type of network, there are at least enough transformers in


low-ohmic neutral earthing, that during an earth fault the phase
voltage never exceeds 1.4 p.u. in the entire system (earth fault
factor Ce < 1.4 ). Therefore is UTOV < 1.4 x Um / 3. It can be
assumed that the clearing time of the earth fault amounts to at the
most t = 3 s. It follows for instance for the arrester MWK that T =
1.28, and therefore:

U c > Um

for arresters between phases.

The arrester arrangement is then composed of 6 arresters, 3


between phase and earth and 3 between the phases.
Figure 10 shows the modification of an arrester arrangement,
which is known as the Neptune design because of its
configuration. It is composed of 4 identical arresters. Two
arresters in series each are fitted between phase and earth and
between the phases. This configuration delivers overvoltage
protection between the phases. However it does have an
appreciable disadvantage compared to the above described
configuration with 6 arresters. In the case of an earth fault, e.g. in
the phase of arrester A1, arresters A1 and A4 are parallel
connected. Since the arresters behave in a capacitive manner
during continuous operating voltage, all 4 arresters together build
up an asymmetrical capacitive system. This results in arresters A2
and A3 reaching a value of 0.667 x Um. All 4 arresters must
therefore be dimensioned for

1.1 x Um

Uc > ------------- = ------------- for an arrester between phase and earth


3
1.28 x 3
The voltage of the neutral of non-earth transformers reaches a
maximum of UTOV = 0.4 x Um:
0.4 x Um
Uc > ------------- = 0.32 x Um
1.28

8.7 Operating Voltage with Harmonic Oscillation

1.05 x Um
Uc > ------------- = 0.83 Um
T

8.3. Networks with Solidly Earthed Neutral Systems (Ce < 1.4)

1.4 x Um

8.5 Low-Ohmic Neutral Earthing Networks and Ce > 1.4

for an arrester between


transformer neutral and earth.

8.4 Networks with Low-Ohmic Neutral Earthing which do


not have Uniformly Ce < 1 .4

Uc > 0.667 x U m

For arresters in the vicinity of neutral earth transformers, Uc can be


chosen according to Section 8.3, because Ce < 1.4 is applicable
here.

The protection level of this arrangement in which there are always


two arresters in series is the same as that of an arrester with Uc
1.334 x Um, whereas by a configuration with 6 arresters Uc > Um
is sufficent. The protection level of the Neptune design is
consequently 33 % higher as that of the configuration with 6
arresters.

Care is required if the arrester is located just a few kilometers from


the transformer, e.g. if there is a remote connection between an
overhead line and a cable. If the ground is dried out or consists of
rock, then it has a relatively high resistance. This can lead to a
phase voltage at the location of the arrester which approaches Um.
In this case it is recommended

Uc > U m

Um
Uc > ----------for arresters between phase and earth.
T
Generally speaking, the earth fault monitoring would switch off the
earth fault quickly (t < 3 s ): therefore T = 1.28.
Under extremely poor earthing conditions, e.g. in desert regions,
only a slight fault current flows in the case of a remote earth fault. If
this is not caught by monitoring, switching off will not take place.
The arresters in the vicinity of the earth fault are then loaded for a
long period of time with Um. In such cases it is advisable to choose
Uc > Um.

Uc > U m
a)

A1

A2

A3

b)

A4

Uc > 0,667 x Um

Overvoltage protection between phase and earth


and between phases.
T:
a):
b):
A1, A2, A3, A4

For keeping in mind: If, as in the above described network, the


arrester is located at a transformer with a low-ohmic neutral
earthing, then Uc > 1.4 x Um / 1.28 x 3 is permissible. It is
recommended that the earth connections of the arresters have a
galvanic connection to the transformer tank and these connections
should be kept as short as possible.

transformer
protection with 6 arresters
neptun design
four identical arresters with Uc > 0.667 x Um

b
A
Overvoltage at the line end E

3.6

7.2

12

17.5

24

36

BIL

kV

40

60

75

95

125

170

Up

kV

12

24

40

58.3

79.9

119.9

3.33

2.5

1.88

1.63

1.56

1.42

BIL / Up

Up

Figure 11
2 x S x (a + b)
UE = UP + -------------------- v = 300 m/s
v
Experience has shown that a safety factor of 1.2 is sufficient
between the BIL of the electrical equipment and the lightning
overvoltage UE at the electrical equipment.
BIL
2 x S x (a + b)
------ > UE = Up + -------------------1.2
v

Table 5
Withstand voltage (BIL) acc. IEC [9] and protection level of modern
surge arresters with Up = 4p.u.
The factor 1.4 is generously calculated because it is to be taken into
account that the overvoltage can exceed UP in the electrical
equipment. Reflection effects cause increasing overvoltage at the
electrical equipment with increasing distance from the arrester.
After a certain distance the arrester protection is insufficient. The
protective distance L is understood to be the maximum distance
between the arrester and the electrical equipment allowing
sufficient protection.

If the limiting value is set at L = a + b, then the required equation (1)


follows for
v
BIL
L = --------- x [ ----------- - Up ]
(1)
2xS
1.2
If the sum of the connecting lines a + b is smaller than the
protective distance L of the arrester, then the electrical equipment
is adequately protected at point E. In order to determine the
protective distance L from the equation (1), the steepness S must
be known. The expected value of S is estimated in the following
section.

In order to effectively lay out overvoltage protection, it is necessary


to know these protective distances. They will be estimated for
arresters in MV-systems below.

9.1 Theoretical Projection for the Protective Distance L

9.2 Expected Steepness S from Lightning Overevoltages


in MV Substations

On the overhead distribution line in Figure 11 an overvoltage U


runs as a travelling wave with the speed v toward the line terminal
E. At point E is the electrical equipment to be protected. For the
following example it is considered that the electrical equipment to
be protected is high-ohmic (transformator, open connection).
When the travelling wave reaches E, it is reflected and the voltage
increases to 2 x U. It is the function of the arrester A to protect
electrical equipment from reaching unacceptable high voltage
values. Under the simplified assumption that the front of wave
steepness S of the incoming overvoltage wave is time constant, the
follwing relationship is valid for the maximum value UE :

Figure 12 shows a lightnig stroke on a conductor of a distribution


line. The time function of the stroke current is designated by i(t).
From the point where the lightning hits the conductor, the lightning
current i/2 flows out in both directions. If Z is the surge impedance
of the conductor to earth, then this current generates a lightning
overvoltage u(t) with the steepness of the voltage increase S(t)
between the conductor and the earth. As indicated in Figure 12,
S(t) is not constant with time. From now on the maxiumum
steepness of the rise of an overvoltage wave will be indicated by S.

Figure 10
13

UE

U: incoming overvoltage wave


v: propagation velocity of U
S: steepness (front of wave) of U
A: arrester
Up: protection level of A
a, b: length of the connecting lines
E: line end
UE: overvoltage at E

The more the Basic Insulation Level (BIL) exceeds the protection
level UP of the arrester, the better the electrical equipment is
protected against lightning overvoltages. Modern arresters with
UP = 3.33 x UC and under this value, maintain UP < 4 p.u. even
when placed in a system with high-ohmic insulated neutral. For
electrical equipment which is subject to lightning overvoltages ,
the [9] recommends the indicated BIL values given in Table 5. In
addition, the IEC [10] recommends for MV networks BIL > 1.4 x
UP. As can be seen in Table 5, modern arresters fulfill this
requirement.
kV

9. Protective Distance of the Surge Arrester

Um

14

8.2 Networks with High-Ohmic Insulated Neutral


Systems and Automatic Earth Fault Clearing
Temporary overvoltages are of the same magnitude as those in
Section 8.1. Though early cut-off of earth faults enables a
reduction of Uc by the factor T. If, for example, the earth fault cutoff results after a maximum of t = 10 s, then, with the help of
Figure 8 it follows that T = 1.26.
Um
Uc > ---------- for an arrester between phase and earth
T
Um
Uc > ----------- for an arrester between transformer neutral and earth
T x 3

This concerns networks which are earthed with an impedance so


that the fault current is limited, for example, to 2 kA. In the case of
an earth fault the voltage increases for a "healthy phase to Um.
With a resistive earthed neutral the voltage can be 5 % higher than
Um. If the clearing time of the earth fault does not exceed t = 10 s,
then results T = 1.26 (for the MWK):

Harmonic currents generate harmonic oscillations under


operating voltage frequencies. For this reason it is possible that the
peak value of phase-to-phase voltage can be greater than 2 x
Um. If this difference is less than 5 % a correspondingly higher Uc
must be used as long as Uc is lower then 1.05 x Um / 3 for
arresters between phase and earth and lower than 1.05 x Um for
arresters between phases. On the other hand, if due to the
harmonic wave the voltage increase is higher than 5 % the choice
of Uc must be discussed with the arrester supplier. The same is
valid for forms of voltage which can often be seen in the vicinity of
thyristor converters: voltage steps, ignition peaks, asymmetry in
the two half cycles.

8.6 Arresters between Phases ( Neptune Design )


In special cases like, e.g. transformers in arc furnace installations,
switching overvoltages can occur which are insufficiently limited
by arresters between phase and earth. In this case arresters
between phases are to be used:

In this type of network, there are at least enough transformers in


low-ohmic neutral earthing, that during an earth fault the phase
voltage never exceeds 1.4 p.u. in the entire system (earth fault
factor Ce < 1.4 ). Therefore is UTOV < 1.4 x Um / 3. It can be
assumed that the clearing time of the earth fault amounts to at the
most t = 3 s. It follows for instance for the arrester MWK that T =
1.28, and therefore:

U c > Um

for arresters between phases.

The arrester arrangement is then composed of 6 arresters, 3


between phase and earth and 3 between the phases.
Figure 10 shows the modification of an arrester arrangement,
which is known as the Neptune design because of its
configuration. It is composed of 4 identical arresters. Two
arresters in series each are fitted between phase and earth and
between the phases. This configuration delivers overvoltage
protection between the phases. However it does have an
appreciable disadvantage compared to the above described
configuration with 6 arresters. In the case of an earth fault, e.g. in
the phase of arrester A1, arresters A1 and A4 are parallel
connected. Since the arresters behave in a capacitive manner
during continuous operating voltage, all 4 arresters together build
up an asymmetrical capacitive system. This results in arresters A2
and A3 reaching a value of 0.667 x Um. All 4 arresters must
therefore be dimensioned for

1.1 x Um

Uc > ------------- = ------------- for an arrester between phase and earth


3
1.28 x 3
The voltage of the neutral of non-earth transformers reaches a
maximum of UTOV = 0.4 x Um:
0.4 x Um
Uc > ------------- = 0.32 x Um
1.28

8.7 Operating Voltage with Harmonic Oscillation

1.05 x Um
Uc > ------------- = 0.83 Um
T

8.3. Networks with Solidly Earthed Neutral Systems (Ce < 1.4)

1.4 x Um

8.5 Low-Ohmic Neutral Earthing Networks and Ce > 1.4

for an arrester between


transformer neutral and earth.

8.4 Networks with Low-Ohmic Neutral Earthing which do


not have Uniformly Ce < 1 .4

Uc > 0.667 x U m

For arresters in the vicinity of neutral earth transformers, Uc can be


chosen according to Section 8.3, because Ce < 1.4 is applicable
here.

The protection level of this arrangement in which there are always


two arresters in series is the same as that of an arrester with Uc
1.334 x Um, whereas by a configuration with 6 arresters Uc > Um
is sufficent. The protection level of the Neptune design is
consequently 33 % higher as that of the configuration with 6
arresters.

Care is required if the arrester is located just a few kilometers from


the transformer, e.g. if there is a remote connection between an
overhead line and a cable. If the ground is dried out or consists of
rock, then it has a relatively high resistance. This can lead to a
phase voltage at the location of the arrester which approaches Um.
In this case it is recommended

Uc > U m

Um
Uc > ----------for arresters between phase and earth.
T
Generally speaking, the earth fault monitoring would switch off the
earth fault quickly (t < 3 s ): therefore T = 1.28.
Under extremely poor earthing conditions, e.g. in desert regions,
only a slight fault current flows in the case of a remote earth fault. If
this is not caught by monitoring, switching off will not take place.
The arresters in the vicinity of the earth fault are then loaded for a
long period of time with Um. In such cases it is advisable to choose
Uc > Um.

Uc > U m
a)

A1

A2

A3

b)

A4

Uc > 0,667 x Um

Overvoltage protection between phase and earth


and between phases.
T:
a):
b):
A1, A2, A3, A4

For keeping in mind: If, as in the above described network, the


arrester is located at a transformer with a low-ohmic neutral
earthing, then Uc > 1.4 x Um / 1.28 x 3 is permissible. It is
recommended that the earth connections of the arresters have a
galvanic connection to the transformer tank and these connections
should be kept as short as possible.

transformer
protection with 6 arresters
neptun design
four identical arresters with Uc > 0.667 x Um

b
A
Overvoltage at the line end E

3.6

7.2

12

17.5

24

36

BIL

kV

40

60

75

95

125

170

Up

kV

12

24

40

58.3

79.9

119.9

3.33

2.5

1.88

1.63

1.56

1.42

BIL / Up

Up

Figure 11
2 x S x (a + b)
UE = UP + -------------------- v = 300 m/s
v
Experience has shown that a safety factor of 1.2 is sufficient
between the BIL of the electrical equipment and the lightning
overvoltage UE at the electrical equipment.
BIL
2 x S x (a + b)
------ > UE = Up + -------------------1.2
v

Table 5
Withstand voltage (BIL) acc. IEC [9] and protection level of modern
surge arresters with Up = 4p.u.
The factor 1.4 is generously calculated because it is to be taken into
account that the overvoltage can exceed UP in the electrical
equipment. Reflection effects cause increasing overvoltage at the
electrical equipment with increasing distance from the arrester.
After a certain distance the arrester protection is insufficient. The
protective distance L is understood to be the maximum distance
between the arrester and the electrical equipment allowing
sufficient protection.

If the limiting value is set at L = a + b, then the required equation (1)


follows for
v
BIL
L = --------- x [ ----------- - Up ]
(1)
2xS
1.2
If the sum of the connecting lines a + b is smaller than the
protective distance L of the arrester, then the electrical equipment
is adequately protected at point E. In order to determine the
protective distance L from the equation (1), the steepness S must
be known. The expected value of S is estimated in the following
section.

In order to effectively lay out overvoltage protection, it is necessary


to know these protective distances. They will be estimated for
arresters in MV-systems below.

9.1 Theoretical Projection for the Protective Distance L

9.2 Expected Steepness S from Lightning Overevoltages


in MV Substations

On the overhead distribution line in Figure 11 an overvoltage U


runs as a travelling wave with the speed v toward the line terminal
E. At point E is the electrical equipment to be protected. For the
following example it is considered that the electrical equipment to
be protected is high-ohmic (transformator, open connection).
When the travelling wave reaches E, it is reflected and the voltage
increases to 2 x U. It is the function of the arrester A to protect
electrical equipment from reaching unacceptable high voltage
values. Under the simplified assumption that the front of wave
steepness S of the incoming overvoltage wave is time constant, the
follwing relationship is valid for the maximum value UE :

Figure 12 shows a lightnig stroke on a conductor of a distribution


line. The time function of the stroke current is designated by i(t).
From the point where the lightning hits the conductor, the lightning
current i/2 flows out in both directions. If Z is the surge impedance
of the conductor to earth, then this current generates a lightning
overvoltage u(t) with the steepness of the voltage increase S(t)
between the conductor and the earth. As indicated in Figure 12,
S(t) is not constant with time. From now on the maxiumum
steepness of the rise of an overvoltage wave will be indicated by S.

Figure 10
13

UE

U: incoming overvoltage wave


v: propagation velocity of U
S: steepness (front of wave) of U
A: arrester
Up: protection level of A
a, b: length of the connecting lines
E: line end
UE: overvoltage at E

The more the Basic Insulation Level (BIL) exceeds the protection
level UP of the arrester, the better the electrical equipment is
protected against lightning overvoltages. Modern arresters with
UP = 3.33 x UC and under this value, maintain UP < 4 p.u. even
when placed in a system with high-ohmic insulated neutral. For
electrical equipment which is subject to lightning overvoltages ,
the [9] recommends the indicated BIL values given in Table 5. In
addition, the IEC [10] recommends for MV networks BIL > 1.4 x
UP. As can be seen in Table 5, modern arresters fulfill this
requirement.
kV

9. Protective Distance of the Surge Arrester

Um

14

These two arbitrarily chosen examples should show that large


voltage rates of rise occur less often than small ones. The expected
value of a steepness is always linked with the probability of the
occurrence. It is customary, instead of the probability, to indicate
the time interval ts, which on the average passes between two
events. Certainly, in the above example not all lightnings which
strike the conductor in a route section of d = 135 m cause in the
station a steepness higher than 1500 kV/s. With some of the
lightnings the steepness of the current increase is too low. Many
lightnings strike more than just one of the three conductors, which
leads to a reduction in the current rate of rise in the individual lines
and therefore lowers the voltage rate of rise.
Of further signifance is the fact that the stroke current rise is
concave [13]. That is why the highest steepness of the overvoltage
occurs in the range of the voltage maximum, as shown in the Figure 11. In voltage waves with a high stroke current peak value a
flashover from the line to earth takes place before the voltage
maximum has been reached. The upper part of the wave is thereby
cut off so that the highest steepness does not become effective.
Therefore only a fraction of the lightnings which hit the route
section d =135 m of the line generates S > 1500 kV/s at the station.
The probability of S > 1500 kV/s is therefore significantly less than
0.01 per year. This can be evaluated with the help of the lightning
current statistics from Berger [14]. Assuming a parabolic
progression of the current increase, then the values indicated in
Table 6 result for the expected steepness in a MV substation. The
lower values for S in the lines with earthed cross arms are a result of
the smaller flashover voltages of the insulators versus the flashover
voltages along the wooden poles.
The values of ts in Table 6 were determined under the assumption
that 8 lightning strokes per year and per 100 km of distribution line
would occur. For the value ts only lightnings which strike the line
within 300 m of the station are of significance. If this stretch of the
line is free standing, that is not shielded from lightning by the
neighbouring lines, buildings and woods, then the value of ts is 3
times smaller. If in addition there is an extremely high degree of
lightning activity in the vicinity, then the value is even 12 times
smaller.

Z x di / dt
S=
2
u(t) =
i(t)

i/2

i/2

Z x i(t)
2
t

u(t)

Lightning overvoltage caused by a lightning strike on an overhead Line.


F:
Z:
t:
i(t):
di / dt:
u(t):
S:

overhead Line
surge impedance of F
time
total stroke current as a function of time
maximum steepness of i(t)
lightning overvoltage as a function of time
maximum steepness of u(T)

Figure 12
In 10% of all lightnings, the maximum stroke current change di/dt
is higher than 32 kA/s. When Z = 450 , every 10th lightning
stroke will cause a maximum voltage steepness S > 7200 kV/s. A
steepness of this order is to be expected in the substation only if
the lightning strikes neareby. The probability of this happening is
relatively small. As an example, a lightning stroke with a current
rate of rise of over 32 kA/s striking within 25 m of a station would
occur on the average once every 5000 years.
Substantially smaller voltage rates of rise are to be expected at the
station when the lightning stroke occurs far from the substation.
Due to corona damping, the front of the overvoltage wave flattens
out as it proceeds from the point of the stroke towards the station.
If So is the steepness at the location of the stroke, the steepness
along the length d of the line decreases to the value
1
S = ----------------1/So + K x d

Type of overhead Wooden poles with 3000kV


distribution line flashover voltage

The constant K is dependent upon the geometry of the overhead


line. In [11] it is approximated to be K = 5 x 10-6 s/kVm for MV
lines. Supposing that the location of the stroke is d =135 m remote
from the station a lightning stroke causes an infinitely large voltage
rate of rise So. According to the above formula , the steepness S at
the substation will be less than 1500 kV/s due to the corona
damping. That means that only lightnings which strike the conductor in front of the station in a route track of d =135 m can have
the effect of S > 1500 kV/s at the station.
It can be derived from [12] that approximately 8 lightning strokes
hit a 100 km long overhead distribution line per year. This number
is valid for German MV networks of 10 , 20 and 30 kV. In Germany
the average ground flash density is 3 strokes per year per km2.
According to [13] this amounts to approximately 25 lightning
strokes per year per 100 km of distribution line. This factor 3 larger
value which was mathematically determined supposes a MV line
on a level terrain . The difference must be attributed to the fact that
MV lines are often not out in the open . Frequently they are shielded
from lightning by neighboring lines, buildings and forests . The
following demonstration uses the empirical value of 8 lightning
strokes per year per 100 km overhead line. However it is to be kept
in mind that more lightning strokes are to be expected in
unfavorable topographical conditions. In areas with extremely
high lightning activity the possibility of 100 strokes per year per
100 km overhead line cannot be ruled out.
The probability of a lightning stroke in a route section of d = 135 m
is therefore 0.01 per year. In an MV substation, lightning
overvoltages which have the steepness over 1500 kV/s can be
expected at the most once every 100 years .

20 kV network with
earthed cross arms

Time interval
ts [years]

1
S[kV/ms]

2
S[kV/ms]

1
S[kV/ms]

2
S[kV/ms]

600

1940

1850

1060

820

400

1630

1530

920

730

300

1450

1350

820

660

200

1200

1100

700

580

100

820

660

520

440

Table 6
Expected steepness S from lightning overvoltages in MV substations: The shown values of S will, on the average, be exceeded
once in the time interval ts.
1 in the case of single phase lightning strikes
2 in the case of three phase lightning strikes
Overhead line

15

Wooden poles

Earthed cross
arms

U [kV]

3000

660

S [kV/s]

1550

800

8 Selection of Surge Arresters and


Determination of Uc

7.3. Acceptance Tests


If acceptance tests are stipulated at the time of order, the following
tests are carried out on a number of the to be delivered arresters
(the number of arresters to be tested is determined by taking the
cube root of the delivery amount and rounding it down to a whole
number):

For the arrester to meet the needs of the network system, two
conditons are necessary to be fulfilled in the selection of the
maximum continuous operating voltage Uc:
Uc must be higher than the constant power frequency voltage at
the arrester terminal.

reference voltage measurement


measurement of the residual voltage of the arrester at nominal
discharge current

T x Uc must be higher than the expected temporary overvoltage at


the arrester terminal. According to Figure 8, T is determined by the
duration t of the temporary overvoltage. Thus in determining T, t is
also to be taken into account. For reasons of safety, the lower curve
in Figure 8 will generally be used.

partial discharge level measurement at 1.05 x Uc with the more


stringend value < 5 pC, as compared with the IEC.

In selecting the arresters in a three-phase network, the location of


the arrester plays the deciding role: between phase and earth,
between transformer neutral and earth or between phases. The
maximum operating voltage at the arrester terminal connection
can be calculated with the help of the maximum voltage Um
between phases. If this is not known, then Um should be replaced
with the highest voltage of the system or the highest voltage for the
electrical equipment.

7.4 Special Tests


In the newest editon of the relevant IEC instructions [6] the
performed tests refer to the arresters with porcelain insulation. In
the IEC working paper for MO-arresters with polymeric housing
[22] there are disscused tests special for arresters with polymer
housing. In conformity with this working paper and also exceeding
it ABB performed the following tests for the MV-arresters with
silicone insulation.

In three-phase networks special attention must be paid to the


temporary overvoltage UTOV. It occurs most frequently during
earth faults. Its value is given by the method of neutral system
earthing. Additionally the system management is of significance
because it determines the duration t of the temporary overvoltage
and with that it decides the value of T (t) for Uc.

Overload test: this test shows the behaviour of the arrester under
overload. During the test the arrester is loaded deliberately with
increasing voltage up to destruction and up to the appearance of
the system short current. Because of the special construction
(completely moulded) and the chosen insulation material
(silicone) the ABB MV-arresters are safe from explosion and
destruction up to the highest tested currents. Silicone is a self
extinguishing material. Fire is not caused by downfalling burning
insulation-material.

UTOV
Uc > ---------T(t)

Weather-aging test: the test shows the long time behaviour of the
insulation material and the construction in case of cyclical
environmental situations like warmth, humidity, rain, saltfog and
UV rays during the continuous voltage applied. The test extends on
a totally duration of 5000 hours.

8.1 Networks with Earth Fault Compensation or with


High- Ohmic Insulated Neutral
Under the conditions for earth-fault, the voltage increases at
"healthy phases to a maximum of Um:

UV radiation: the insulation material is exposed 1000 hours to the


UV radiation and it is additionally damp. The insulation characteristics of silicon are not negatively influenced because of it. On
the contrary, the UV radiation promotes the process of the
permanent renewal of the hydrophobicity of the silicon
surface.

Uc >

Um

for an arrester between phase and earth

The voltage at transformer neutral can reach a maximum of Um / 3:

Um
Uc > ------ for the arrester between transformer neutral and earth
3

Deep temperature: the construction as well as the materials used


of the ABB MV-arresters with silicone housing endure
temperatures up to - 60 C without changes of the electrical and
mechanical characteristics. Furthermore cyclical freezing up to
-40 C in water showed that the construction and especially the
surface of the silicon are not injured through the formation of
ice.

In every network there exists inductance and capacitance which


produce oscillating circuits. If their resonant frequency is similar
to that of the operating frequency, then the voltage between phase
and earth can basically become higher than that of Um in singlepole earth faults. The system management must avoid the
occurrence of such resonances. If this is not possible, then Uc of a
corresponding magnitude should be chosen.

Humidity: long term tests of more than 2 years, in which the


arresters were exposed to a relatively air humidity of more than
90%, showed that the electrical behaviour of the arrester was not
influenced because of the penetration of humidity, or the arrester
did not get out of order.

12

Reference voltage Uref


This is defined as the operation frequency voltage at the arrester at
which Iref flows. Uref is determined by the peak value of the voltage
divided by 2.

Here it is necessary to carry out long term tests in order to prove


the ageing stability of the insulation material and the
impermeability of the construction. All the arresters produced by
ABB are succesfully tested with cyclical long term tests.

Rated voltage Ur
This is the highest permissible r.m.s. value of the power frequency
voltage for which the arrester is dimensioned in order to operate
correctly under temporary overvoltage conditions as established
in the operating duty tests

It is assumed here that 8 lightning strokes per year per 100 km


overhead distribution line occur, on the premisies that multi-phase
lightning strokes appear more often than single-phase ones. On
the average, this steepness S is extended once every 400 years.
The time-function of the overvoltage increase is parabolic and has
the steepness S when the value U is reached:
t2 x S 2
u( t ) = -----------4xU

Ur is determined by the arrester supplier and lies with ABB


arresters at 1.25 x Uc. The voltages Ur and Uc applied during the
test are correspondingly to be raised if:
The resistors show an increase in the power losses in the
accelerated ageing test
The reference voltage of the test sample is higher than the
guaranteed minimum value for the arrester.
The operating duty tests serve as proof of the thermal stability of
the arrester. It does this in two steps. First the conditioning of the
resistors is carried out. This is done by applying a voltage of 1.2 x
Uc to the resistors. To this voltage 20 impulse with nominal
discharge current are superimposed. The conditioning can be
carried out at the complete arrester, too.

Figure 9
MO-surge arrester type MWK after overload test with
20kA (0,2 sec) short circuit current.

7.2. Routine Tests

Afterwards the resistors are installed in the arrester housing and


loaded with a first high current impulse. After the test sample has
cooled down, it is heated to 60 C and loaded with a second high
current impulse. At the latest 100ms after the second impulse the
test sample is subjected to the power frequency voltage Ur for 10 s
and then to Uc for 30 minutes. In the last phase the test must
demonstrate if the test sample remains thermally stable or
becomes unstable.
The test described here is valid for MV-arresters with a nominal
discharge current of 5 kA and 10 kA of the line discharge class 1.

Routine tests are carried out on every arrester or parts of it (e.g. on


the resisors) in order to ascertain that the product meets the
requirements of the design specification.
Reference voltage measurement: the measured value of the
reference voltage Uref must lie within the stated tolerance range
allowed by the manufacturer. The lower limit of the Uref guarantees
the termal stability of the arrester. The higher the value of Uref in the
routine test of an arrester, the smaller the power losses at Uc and
therefore better stabililty during network operation.

The arrester has passed the test if

Residual voltage test: this proves that the guaranteed protection


level of the arrester is not exceeded. Residual voltage can be
measured on the individual resistors at nominal current.

Thermal stability has been achieved


Changes in the residual voltage, measured before and after the
test, do not exceed 5 %
Examination reveals no evidence of puncture, flashover or
cracking of the resistors.

Partial discharge test: this test serves to prove that the arrester is
free of partial discharge. The measurement takes place at a voltage
of 1.05 x Uc on the entire arrester. According to IEC [6] a partial
dischage level of < 50 pC is permissible. ABB arresters are tested
more strictly though and must be kept within the 5 pC limit.

Power frequency voltage versus time characteristic: this test


serves to confirm through experimental means the curves in
Figure 8 which are generally proved mathematically. Therefore it
serves as a proof of the sufficient stability of the arrester against
temporary overvoltages.

Leakage test: this test proves that the porcelain housing


hermetically seals the active parts of the arrester. This test is not
done on silicone polymer arresters because the active parts are
directly sealed in silicone polymer.

Pressure-relief test: for arresters with a pressure-relief device.


These tests prove that the arrester housing can endure fault
current without bursting under predetermined test conditions. The
arresters with housing made of synthetic material which do not
have a pressure-relief device are tested in a special way: they are
electrical overstressed purposefully in order to watch their
behaviour in case of overloading.

In addition to the IEC recommended tests, ABB MV-arresters are


subject to the two following tests:
measurement of the continous current at Uc for every arrester
time accelerated ageing test over 300 hours on at least two
resistors in every production lot. This test insures that in every
assembly only resistors without any ageing process are
used.

Artificial pollution test: this test demonstrates that the internal


parts of the arrester get no damage through external pollution. The
elevated temperature strain of the active parts produced by the
uneven voltage distribution along the soiled external insulation are
to be observed in particular. With non-ceramic insulations like
silicone the short time tests are not significant.
11

For the configuration according to Figure 13, protective distances


of the arresters were calculated. The increase of the overvoltage
wave is assumed to be parabolic and it is assumed that the arrester
has a value of Up = 4 p.u. when In = 5 kA. With b < 1m, the result for
the network voltages up to 7.2 kV is
.
L = 20 m in the case of wooden pole lines, C = 0
L = 6 m in the case of wooden pole lines, C = 2 nF
L = 25 m in the case of earthed cross arms, C = 0
L = 15 m in the case of earthed cross arms, C = 2 nF

(2)

Equation (2) is defined for the time interval 0 < t < 2 x U/S. U = 660
kV is assumed for lines with earthed cross arms. This is
approximately the flashover voltage of a 20 kV line insulator when
there are chopped voltage impulses with a steepness of 800 kV / s
and negative polarity.
If one puts the values U and S into equation (2), then it becomes
clear that the temporal rise in overvoltage u(t) runs about the same
for both types of line. Because the arrester limits the voltage to well
below U, the higher value S in wooden pole lines has no effect
regarding the protective distance of the arrester. Nevertheless, the
protective distances for both of these line types are different. The
reason lies in the difference in height U of the incoming
overvoltage wave. The lightning current i that passes through the
arrester reaches the approximately peak value.
2 x U - Up
i = ----------------Z

UT
T

b
A

Up

Overvoltage at transformer T
U: incoming overvoltage wave
v: propagation velocity of U
S: maximum steepness of U
A: arrester
Up: protection level of A

(3)

Therefore, in the case of wooden pole lines (U = 3000 kV), when Z =


450 , a current of 13 kA can be expected through the arrester.
In regard to lines with earthed cross arms (U = 660 kV ), the current
lies below 3 kA. This difference influences the limiting voltage of
the arrester. This lies therefore higher in the case of wooden pole
lines which leads, with this sort of line, to a shorter protective
distance of the arrester.

a, b: length of the connecting lines


T: transformer
C: capacitance of T between
phase and earth
UT: overvoltage at T

Figure 13
These values apply to both MO and spark-gap arresters. The
influence of capacitance C of the electrical equipment on the length
of L is clearly seen. The protective distance of the arrester for the
network operating levels of Um = 17.5 kV and 24 kV are described
in Figure 14. Here it is also clear how L decreases with the
increasing capacitance of the electrical equipment.

9.3. Influences on the Protective Distance through


Electical Equipment, the Types of Arresters and
the Arrangement of the Arresters.

S=1550 kV / ms

Using BIL and Up from Table 5 and the above values of S in


equation (1), the following protective distances result:

L = 2.3. m in the case of wooden pole lines


L = 4.5 m in the case of earthed crossed arm lines

U=3000 kV

30

C=0
10
L (m)

b (m)
C=0,5nF

5
3

C=2nF

2
1

Figure 14a

16

20

These values are valid for the simplified assumption according to


Figure 11. Therefore they need to be corrected as depicted in
Figure 13. Generally speaking, the electrical equipment, in this
case a transformer, has a capacity C to earth. This causes voltage
oscillations in the connections a and b, with the result being that
the voltage UT increases with C. This leads to a reduction of the
protective distance. However the parabolic rise of the lightning
overvoltage has an opposite influence. The arrester limits the
overvoltage to well below its peak value. The maximum steepness,
which occurs only in the region of the voltage maximum, therefore
has no effect.
In deriving L according to equation (1) it is assumed that the
arrester will become conductive only when the voltage at its
terminals has reached the value Up. This is the case with spark-gap
arresters. MO-arresters without spark-gaps are conductive before
the terminal voltage has reached Up. Therefore the protective
properties begin working at an earlier point. Under certain
circumstances therefore, MO arresters protect remote electrical
equipment better, which is equivalent to a longer protective
distance.

UT

0,5

b (m) 1

1,5

U=660 kV

C=0

20

A
C=0,5nF

10

L (m)

Arrangements for arresters and electrical equipment

evaluation of the connections:

C=2nF

2
1

UT

30

b (m)

1: poor
2: good
3: excellent

The following example should illustrate the use of Figure 8:


An arrester MWK 24 with Uc = 24 kV could be operated for as long
a time as one wishes with Uc. The environmental temperature
surrounding the arrester amounts to a maximum of 45 C. At the
time t = 0 the arrester is charged with the specified energy E = 5.5
kJ/kV Uc.
Immediately following the temporary overvoltage UTOV = 28 kV
occurs. Thus:
T= UTOV / Uc = 28 kV / 24kV = 1.17

6.3 Temporary Overvoltages

S=800 kV / ms

F:
U:
A:
T:
C:

lightning endangered line


lightning overvoltage
arrester
electrical equipment (transformer)
capacitance of T to earth

The meaning of Temporary Over-Voltages UTOV is the operating


frequency overvoltages of a limited duration. The spark-gap
arresters require special measures regarding these voltages. In
these arresters the follow current increases very strongly with the
operating voltage. If this voltage lies above the rated voltage of the
arrester, the follow current through the arrester will be too high.
Under these conditions, the spark-gaps can no longer extinguish
the arc, that is they ignite it again in each of the following half cycles
until the arrester is destroyed by overheating. In networks with
temporary overvoltages the rated voltage of the spark-gap arrester
must be raised to UTOV, which also requires the raising of the
protection level of the arrester.

1.4

7 Tests

1.35

T 1.3

Figure 15

For T= 1.17 it follows that from curve b the time t = 400 s.


Therefore the duration of UTOV is limited to 400 seconds. Following
this the arrester is again capable of bearing Uc and cools down. If it
is expected that UTOV has to occur for longer than 400 seconds on
the line, then an arrester with the corresponding elevated Uc must
be selected.

The tests for ABB arresters follow internationally agreed upon


recommendations. IEC 60099-4 has been valid for the MOarresters since August 1998 [6]. In the USA - Norm ANSI C62.111993 is applied [7], which coincides with the IEC. The MVarresters from ABB fulfill both norms.The tests are made in
accordance to type, routine, and acceptance tests.
Furthermore the arresters are submitted to special tests, which are
not mentioned in the international regulations.

1.25

Figure 14b

1.2
1.15

1.1

Arrester protective distance L in the network


level Um = 17.5 kV and 24 kV with respect to
the conductor length b.

14a):
14b):

Uc

1.05

1.0
1

If a + b L, then UT BIL / 1,2


C:

UTOV

10

100

1000

10'000

t (s)

7.1 Type Tests

Figure 8
Strength T=UTOV / Uc with respect to temporary overvoltages UTOV
as a function of their duration t at an ambient temperature (air
temperature outside the arrester) of 45C. The curve a applies to
an arrester without preload, the curve b to an arrester, preloaded
with the guaranteed energy E. t is the time duration of the
overvoltage with power frequency.
The curves apply for the MO-surge arrester type MWK.

transformer T capacitance between


phase and earth
MO-arrester
spark-gap arrester
Up= 4 p.u. when In = 5 kA
line with wooden poles
line with earthed cross arms

Figure 16
MO-surge arrester type POLIM-D 12 N with disconnector,
installed on a distribution transformer

This is of special significance in regard to arrester protection for


transformers, because they have a capacitance to earth which
should not be underestimated. Additionally noteworthy is the
marked decrease of L with the conductor length b. The connection
from the lightning endangered line to the high voltage connection
of the arrester should therefore be as direct as possible. In Figure
15, three connection possibilities are schematically represented
and evaluated.
The larger protective distance of the arrester in lines with earthed
cross arms (Figure 14 b) stems from the less magnitude of the
overvoltage running into the substation (lower flashover voltage
line to earth). From this a lower current through the arrester and a
lower limiting voltage result which enable a larger value for L.
In networks where Um = 12 kV, the protective distance of the
arrester are about 10% longer than represented in Figure 14. On
the other hand, when Um =36 kV, the distance is about 30%
shorter. At this network operating level, it should also be noted that
when S = 1550 kV / s (wooden pole lines), the value of L sharply
decreases as soon as b > 0.6
The protective properties of the arresters are somewhat reduced
with different polarity of the lightning overvoltage and the
momentary value of the phase voltage, this is taken into account in
the calculation of L. Additionally it is assumed a very short galvanic connection between the earth side of the arrrester to the
transformer tank. This is to be taken into consideration when
connecting the arrester.

Otherwise it becomes necessary to increase the length of the


conductor length b in Figure 13 due to the additional earth
connection. Branching between the arrester and electrical equipment to other electrical equipment creates additional voltage
oscillations which in most cases results in a reduction of L.

9.4 Fault Hazards in Electrical Equipment and Their


Distance from the Surge Arrester
An arrester placed at a distance L from the electrical equipment
limits the overvoltage to a value of BIL / 1.2 as long as the
overvoltage steepness S at the station is not larger than
1550 kV/s for wooden pole lines
800 kV/s for earthed cross arm lines
However, on the average this steepness will be exceeded once
every 400 years. In this case an overvoltage in the electrical
equipment can reach a value above its BIL causing permanent
damage. If the life expectancy of the equipment, e.g. a transformer,
is put at about 40 years, then in the time interval ts = 400 years
there exists a 90 % probability that no damage will occur. However
this includes a failure rate caused by overvoltages during this 40
years which amounts to 10 %. Even though an arrester is mounted
at the distance L from the transformer.
17

At the completion of the development of an arrester design, type


tests are carried out. They furnish proof that they comply with the
relevant standard. The following tests are designated for MVarresters:
Isolation withstand tests on the arrester housing: these tests
demonstrate that the external housing insulation meets the
expected voltage demands.
Residual voltage tests: The function of these tests is to certify that
the protection level of the arrester does not exceed the guaranteed
data.
Long duration current impulse withstand test: this test is
performed to prove that the MO resistors withstand possible
dielectric and energy demands without puncture, flashover and
cracking.
Time accelerated ageing test: in this test resistors are subjected
to a temperature of 115 C for 1000 hours with a voltage above Uc.
In doing so it is watched if and how intensive the power losses of
the resistors increase over their life span. The life span is
understood to be 110 years according to [7]. In this time ABB
resistors demonstrate no increase of power losses: therefore they
are not subject to any ageing process.
Operating duty tests: the following values are of significance in
this test:
Reference current Iref
This is the peak value of the ohmic current component by which the
reference voltage is measured. Iref should be large enough so that
this measurement cannot be influenced by the stray capacitance of
the arrester components. The reference current must be specified
by the manufacturer. For ABB MV-arresters the following values
are valid for Iref:

In MO-arresters there is no follow current because this is


prevented by the extremely non-linear voltage current characteristic (Figure 4). It is for this reason that MO arresters are capable
of bearing increased operational voltages over a longer period of
time. The strength T of the arrester in the presence of such temporary overvoltages is described in Figure 8.
UTOV = T x Uc
T is then a measure for the permissible height of UTOV.
The curve a in Figure 8 is valid for arresters without a significant
energy preloading. The higher T and respectively UTOV, the greater
the power generated in the arrester. Because the MO temperature
cannot exceed a certain value for reasons of stability, is the energy
supplied to the arrester also limited. For that reason the
permissible load duration t decreases with the magnitude of T
resp. UTOV. The curve b is valid for arresters which at the time t = 0
are already preloaded with the specified energy E. Naturally, curve
b lies beneath curve a. Arresters which are already preloaded with
the E / Uc values specified in Table 2 can nevertheless withstand
temporary overvoltages correstonding to curve b. This implies
that the entire energy absorption capability of the arrester exceeds
these guaranteed data. In the time interval t the energy can be
supplied to the arrester at any given moment in the form of energy
impulses. The sum of the impulses however must not exceed the
amount E.

1.4 mA
1.4 mA
1.6 mA
2.2 mA
3.6 mA
5.0 mA
10

for POLIM-DN
for POLIM-D, MVK
for POLIM-DA
for MWK, MWD, POLIM-I, POLIM-C
for POLIM-S
for POLIM-H

A true comparison with a MO-arrester necessitates a rise time


which also lies in the range of 50 ns. With such a steep front the
sparkover voltage reaches a value of at least 1.4 Up. It follows that
by a steep rise the limiting voltage of the spark-gap arrester is at
least 24 % higher than that of the MO-arrester.

Figure 6
Repelling water on silicone surface (hydrophobicity-effect)

5.5 Altitude Adjustement for Arrester Housing

In Figure 7, P is the power loss of the MO-resistors in an arrester


when Uc is applied. It is evident how P exponentially increases with
the MO temperature, which also results in an increased warming of
the active parts. The cooling of the resistors results from the flow
of heat Q from the active part to the exterior. At temperatures above
the critical point is P > Q. Here the cooling is not sufficient to
dissipate the power loss. The resistors would continue to heat up
and the arrester would be destroyed by overheating. Through
suitably dimensioning of the resistors and through design
measures that enable the cool down of the blocks, it is possible to
raise the critical point to such a level, that even if during the
operation the highest energies are likely to occur, this critical point
is impossible to be reached.
On the other hand, the mechanism described clearly shows the
limits of the energy absorption capacity of the MO-arrester. The
amount of energy fed to it must never exceed the critical point.
Then P < Q and the MO discs cool down until the stable operating
point is again reached.

6 Protection Characteristics of the Surge


Arrester, Stability
6.1 Surge Arrester Protection Level
The protection level Up is the maximum voltage at the arrester
terminals during the flow of the nominal discharge current which,
according to definition, shows a current form of 8/20 s. The peak
value of the current is reached after approx. 8 s and after approx.
20 s it has decayed to 50 % of the peak value. In the case of sparkgap arresters Up is additionally given by the standard lightning
impulse sparkover voltage. This is the lowest prospective peak
value of a standard lightning voltage impulse (1.2/50 s) which,
when applied to the arrester, causes sparkovers on every
application. Virtually the same protection level is possible through
MO and spark-gap arresters having identical continuous service
voltage Uc. It lies at about Up = 3.33 Uc or under this value. More
precise values are available in the corresponding booklets.

P,Q

when Um < 24 kV

b < 0.6 m

when Um > 24 kV

Arrester with
Up = 3.8 p.u. for MO
Up = 4 p.u. for SiC
and In = 10 kA
Type of Line

cannot be maintained, then the line is to be modified so that


regarding the overvoltage at the substation and the protective
distance, it behaves as favourably as a line with earthed cross
arms.

Arrester Type
Um
ZK
[kV]
[]
30
3.6
60
30
7.2
60
30
12
60
30
17.5
60
30
24
60
30
36
60

The necessary measures for this are relatively simple: the cross
arms of the last three poles before the station are to be earthed. The
overvoltage which runs into the station from the modified lines
now have the same form as if it came from a line with continuous
earthed crossarms. The disadvantage of this solution is that
additional lightning overvoltages cause flashovers between the
conductor and the earth owing to the reduced insulation level of the
line. A more efficient method than the earthing the cross arms
would be to install another set of arresters one pole in front of the
substation. The effect is a very strong reduction in the amplitude of
the incoming overvoltage. This in turn leads to a protective
behaviour of the arrester at the equipment which is better than that
of earthed cross arms.

10 Some Special Cases

stable
operating point

In comparison with it the front-of-wave sparkover voltage is often


referred to for spark-gap arresters. It lies at approx. 1.15 Up. In this
test the length of the rise time is adjusted to approx. 400 ns.

Figure 7
Power loss P of the MO discs and heat flow Q from the active
arrester parts to the exterior as a function of the MO
temperature T at the continuous operating voltage Uc
9

Wooden pole
MO
LK
[m]

SiC
LK
[m]

64
45
40
30
25
21
28
23
22
20

30
20
15
11
6
4
6
5
1
1

earthed
Wooden pole
crossarms
MO
SiC MO
SiC
LK
LK
LK
LK
[m] [m] [m] [m]
6
7
3
3
64
28
9
9
50
19
4
4
40
14
7
9
32
10
3
4
26
5
4
6
4
22
2
3
28
5
5
10
4
24
3
5
22
1
1
8
1
20
1
4

LK

earthed
crossarms
MO
SiC
LK
LK
[m] [m]
17
17
10
10
14
22
11
13
19
9
7
14
15
4
3
13
17
4
3
15
1
15
1
14

Junction length arrester to cable 1 m


ZK: Surge impedance of the cable
MO: Metal oxide arrester
SiC: Arrester with spark-gap

On one hand the protective distance of an arrester is, in some


cases, not especially long. This applies mostly to electrical equipment which is subject to capacitance in substations with a high
network voltage and which are connected to wooden poles (see
Figure 14), on the other hand pieces of electrical equipment in a
substation are seldom placed close together. Usually they are so
far apart from each other that one arrester could not protect several
pieces of equipment at the same time. Under this conditions, each
piece of electrical equipment requires a separate arrester set (one
arrester each per phase to earth).

Longer cables require arrester protection at both ends. For short


cables sections onesided protection is, in some cases, sufficient.
This is because an arrester at only one end can still offer sufficient
lightning overvoltage protection to the other end.
A cable which connects the overhead line with the substation is
often only endagered by lightning on the line. The arrester must
therefore be mounted to the line at the cable junction. No second
arrester is necessary at the other end of the cable, as long as the
cable length LK does not exceed the values which are given in the
Table 7. At first glance, it should be noted that LK is unlimited in 3.6
kV networks. This is because of the relatively high BIL of 13.6 p.u.
at this network level. The arrester at the line side of the cable limits
the overvoltage to approximately 4 p.u. As a result of voltage
reflections in the cable, the overvoltage at the other end of the cable
is higher, but under 10 p.u. At this level, the overvoltage is
harmless to the cable. This, however, does not apply to
equipments in the substation. With these equipments additional
voltage reflections can increase the overvoltage, so that for their
protection, in case of necessity, arresters must be provided. The
maximum allowable length for a cable section with onesided
protection is higher for MO-arresters than for those with sparkgaps. This is based on the favourable protection properties of MOarresters, which begin conducting before Up is reached.

thermal runaway

critical point

LK

Table 7
Maximum allowable length LK of cable sections with one-sided
arrester protection. The cable is connected to a lightning
endangered line.
Lightning overvoltage and momentary value of system voltage
having different polarities.

10.1 Overvoltage Protection in Cable Sections

The protection characteristics of an arrester consists not only of


the value Up, but of two additional features. The first is the
behaviour of the arrester during steep wave fronts, which is
especially important for MV equipment. The test for MO-arresters
takes place with the nominal discharge current, the front time of
which is reduced from 8 s to 1 s. The residual voltage over the
arrester reaches a maximum of 1.13 Up at this steep current wave.
Because of the non linearity of the current-voltage-characteristic
of the MO-arrester, the front time of this residual voltage lies in the
order of magnitude of 50 ns.

8 8

6.2 Questions of Stability of MO Surge Arresters

b<1m

8 8

As an orientation value one may consider that for every 1000 m


over 1800 m above sea level the flashover distance of the housing
must be enlarged by 12 %. For example, at an altitude of 3300 m
above sea level the flashover distance of the housing must be 18 %
larger than of a normal arrester.

If the transformer is connected to a wooden pole line, and if

8 8

Normal MV-arresters from ABB can be used at altitudes of up to


1800 m above sea level.
At higher altitudes the air density is so low that the withstand
voltage of the arrester housing may be no longer sufficient against
external flashovers. In this case the unaltered active parts of the
arrester (same protection level) must be placed in an elongated
housing with a larger flashover distance.

The flashover of a bus bar or a conductor of a line toward the earth


causes a short operation shutdown at the most. Subsequent
damage is, however extremly rare. In cables, flashover behaviour
is completely different. Flashovers in cable insulation can cause
disturbances and require extensive repairs. Flashovers along the
cable heads can damage these and exibit the same damage as with
insulation flashovers. Cables must therefore be treated as station
equipment and protected against lightning overvoltage with
arresters.
The arresters are to be placed directly next to the cable heads. The
junction lines should be as short as possible. It must be noted that
the earth connection of the arrester is attached to the cable sheath.

8 8

The behaviour of the arrester during switching overvoltages is a


further feature of the protection characteristics. In spark-gap
arresters the sparkover voltage reaches approx. the value of Up
with these relatively slowly rising overvoltages. MO-arresters have
no sparkover voltage. With MV-arresters the switching protection
level is given through the residual voltage at 500 A of the current
wave 30/60 ms. The residual voltage reaches 0.77.... 0.83 Up
depending on the arrester type. The limiting voltage during
switching overvoltages of spark-gap arresters is at least 20 %
higher than that of MO-arresters.
At the same continuous operating voltage the MO-arresters
therefore demonstrate a more favorable protection characteristic
than spark-gap arresters. The above mentioned figures are valid
for arresters employed in networks with high-ohmic insulated
neutral. Regarding the operational safety, MO-arresters have an
additional advantage in the fact that they can also resist temporary
overvoltages as shown in Figure 8.
MO and spark-gap arresters must be dimensioned differently in
networks with solidly earthed neutral systems [8]. The result is
that Uc can be chosen 28 % lower than the rated voltage of the
spark-gap arrester. Thereby a protection characteristic results for
the MO technology which, depending on the wave form, lies 28 %
to 42 % lower.

The shorter the sum of the connecting lines a + b compared with L


in Figure 14, the lower the failure rate. In other words, a + b must be
as small as possible , and L must be as large as possible. The latter
is achieved by choosing the proper line direction. As can be seen in
Figure 15, the line must be first connected with the arrester and
then connected with the transformer. In this case b = 0 and L
becomes maximal. The connecting line L can be held short by
placing the arrester as close as possible to the transformer. Both
measures together make it possible to fulfill the requirements of
a + b << L and therefore keep the failure rate considerably below
10%.

The essential difference between the electrical data of overhead


lines and cables is the surge impedance of their conductors to
earth. Values for overhead distribution lines are approximately
300 to 450 and for cables in the 20 to 60 range. First of all,
this difference causes a marked decrease of the lightning overvoltage as soon as the travelling wave reaches the cable entrance.
The reduced voltage wave flows through the cable and it is
reflected at the end so that the voltage is nearly doubled.
Subsequently the wave returns to the cable entrance and is once
more reflected, etc. In this way, the overvoltage in the cable is built
up gradually although the overvoltage slope in the cable is actually
lower, the peak value is near that of lightning overvoltage on the
line [18].

18

10.3 Transformers at the End of Cables

Naturally, cables in overhead lines are lightning endangered on


both sides. Therefore it must be taken into account that in cables
with one-sided protection, overvoltage can also come from the
unprotected side. In this case, the protection effectiveness of the
arrester at the other end would be strongly reduced. The allowable
length of cables in overhead lines with one-sided protection is
therefore smaller. The length is especially short for cables in
connection with wooden pole lines, as shown in Table 7. The given
values for LK are valid for arresters with In = 10 kA. The surge
impedance across the entire cable section must be constant so that
the voltage reflections do not cause a decrease in LK. This is the
case, for example, with cable junctions or when a cable section
with a single cable is connected to a section with two parallel
cables.

According to the direction in Figure 17, a cable of at least 100 m in


length is connected on one end to a lightning endangered line. At
the other end, a bus bar consisting of sections a and b connects the
cable end on the other side with a transformer. Arrester A1 takes
over the overvoltage protection on the line side. The cable end and
the transformer must each be protected with an additional arrester
when the connecting distance between the two is especially long.
The following example indicates under what circumstances
arrester A2 offers sufficient overvoltage protection, in addition to
arrester A1.
The overvoltage reflection U at the junction from the line to the
cable causes a strong flattening of the voltage rate of rise in the
cable. However, this has practically no influence on the allowable
length of the connection b, because with increasing length of b the
voltage UK increases very quickly. Optimal overvoltage protection,
therefore, requires that arrester A2 be placed as close as possible
to the cable end, in order to shorten the distance b (see section 10.1).

10.2 Cable Sheath Protection


Due to thermal principles, the sheath for single conductor cables
are generally only earthed on one side. Under these circumstances
the sheath on the unearthed side can take on up to 50 % of the
voltage peak value of the overvoltage entering on the inner
conductor. The sheath insulation cannnot withstand this
overvoltage demand. Momentary flashovers can occur between
the sheath and the earth, consequently damaging the outer sheath
insulation.

MO-surge arrester with


Up = 3.8 p.u. bei
In = 10 kA

Therefore, the unearthed cable sheath must be protected against


lightning overvoltage with an arrester [2]. The special arrester
POLIM-C is particularly well-suited for this purposes. The voltage
induced along the cable sheath during a short circuit is decisive for
Uc of the arrester. According to [19] it reaches maximum 0.3 kV per
kA of fault current and km of cable length. When T = 1.28 and the
fault current duration is t < 3 s, the following results:

IK: max. 50 Hz fault current in kA

wooden poles

earthed crossarms

30

60

30

60

Um [kV]

a [m]

a [m]

a [m]

a [m]

3.6

300

300

500

500

7.2

43

37

53

53

12

20

14

20

14

17.5

17

10

16

10

24

19

12

19

12

36

16

11

20

11

LK: length of the unearthed cable section in km


Table 8
U
K

UK

F
A1

UT

MV

Maximum permissible distance a between cable end and


transformer according Figure 17 with b=O. The cable is connected
to a lightning endangered line and protected at both ends with
MO-surge arresters (type MWK or MWD with Uc = Um)
The transformer has no additional arrester protection.
ZK: Surge impedance of the cable.

LV

A2

Transformer at the end of a cable


F:
U:
K:
A1, A2:
a, b:
UK :
UT:
MV::
LV:

lightning endangered line


lightning overvoltage
long cable
arresters
length of the connecting lines
maximum voltage at the cable end
maximum voltage at the transformer
medium voltage side
low voltage side

The line section a is different. Here UT increases more slowly with


the increasing length of a. Therefore, the transformer is adequately
protected, even at a relatively far distance from the arrester. The
maximum allowable values for a are indicated in Table 8. The
capacity of the transformer is assumed to be 2 nF. Smaller values
result in greater distances of a.

Figure 17

In porcelain housed arresters the ensuing electric arc causes the


gas pressure in the housing to elevate quickly. If the network short
circuit current is not too high, the pressure relief valve in the
arrester opens before the housing bursting pressure is reached.
On the other hand, if the current is extremely high, the possibility of
the housing exploding cannot be ruled out.
With ABB silicon-polymer arresters there is no danger of bursting
in the case of an overload. There is no air space between the active
part of the arrester and its silicon insulation, thus there is no place
for pressure to build up. In the case of an overload, holes appear in
the casing which immediately leads to initiation of the external
flashover.
The MV-arresters of the types POLIM-D, MWK and MWD are
proved with short circuit currents up to 20 kA. The types POLIM-I,
POLIM-S and POLIM-H are tested with short circuit currents up to
65 kA. Because of their special construction the arresters are also
up to the highest short circuit currents insured against explosion
and destruction.

5.2 Elevated Ambient Temperatures


The guaranteed values for Uc are valid for an ambient temperature
of up to 45 C. In the case of outdoor arresters, extreme solar
radiation (1.1 kW/m2) is taken into account. If there are other heat
sources in the vicinity of the arrester, the increase in radiation
exposure must also be taken into account and the value of Uc
increased if necessary. If the ambient temperature exceeds 45 C,
Uc must be increased by 2 % for every 5 C of temperature elevation.

This is the case in

ZK []

Uc > 0.24 x IK x LK in kV

The energy absorption capability of these types is much higher


than the expected stresses in the network, exepting the very high
ligtning currents. These currents can also be commanded by the
arresters, it is however most unlikely that they appear. Such high
lightning currents can flow through the arrester only when a
lightning hits directly the top of the arrester. The energy values are
given in Table 2 and 3.
By aerial lines with wooden poles even far away lightning strokes
can cause relatively high currents that flow through the arrester. If
the sparkover voltage of the wire against the earth is U = 3000 kV
and the characteristic wave impedance of the wire is Z = 450 W
from the equation (3) ensue that lightning currents up to13 kA are
to be expected in the arrester. This current produce in arresters
with In = 5 kA a residual stress which lies 15% over Up. In this way
the protection of the electrical equipment gets worse. For instance
if it lies at the end of an aerial line of 10 km it will be once in three
years exposed to such an increased voltage stress. That is why
ABB has also in the assortment of the MV-arresters the types
MWK, MWD, POLIM-I, POLIM-S and POLIM-H. They posses
nominal discharge currents of 10 kA respectively 20 kA. Their
employment is recommended everywhere where in terms of
stress, operation safety and protection level the highest
requirements are set.

regions with high lightning activity

arresters, which are placed on locations where people are often


to be found

erial lines with concrete or wooden poles and non-earthed


crossarms

5.3 Mechanical Stability

on lines, which set exeptional high requirements


concerning the operation safety

MV-arresters produced by ABB are operationally reliable even in


areas of high earthquake activity. Silicon arresters from ABB can
also have a support function. In the case of cantilever strength, it
must be distinguished between temporary and operational loads
according to DIN 48113. The permissible loads result from the
product of arrester altitude and maximum permissible momentum
load. In Table 4 there are the mechanical data of different arrester
types to be read.

protection of engines, generators and cables


areas with high industrial pollution, or when the arresters are
not farther than 1000 m from the sea.

In cases where the 10 kA arresters are recommended is also a


higher energy absorption capability advantageous and an arrester
type with a line discharge class 2 or more should be chosen. That is
why these arresters have a higher energy capability of at least 5.5
kJ/kVUc (MWK, POLIM-I, POLIM-S)

Arrester type

The peculiarity of some electrical equipment, as for instance

arc furnace
big capacitor batteries
very long cable sections
expensive rotating machines

can make a higher energy absorption capability necessary. In such


cases the special type POLIM-H with In = 20 kA and with 13.3
kJ/kVUc is preferred.

Vertical
Load
N

POLIM-DN

250

50

625

POLIM-D

250

50

625

POLIM-DA

350

50

1000

MWK, MWD

350

68

1200

POLIM-I

2500

100

2000

POLIM-S

4000

100

3000

POLIM-H

6000

100

4000

Table 4
Mechanical data of MV-surge arresters, produced by ABB

5 Special Operating Conditions

5.4 Air Pollution

5.1 Network Short Circuit Power

Silicon is the best insulating material against pollution. This is


mainly because the material is water-repellent. Silicon arresters
behave more favourably under conditions of heavy air pollution
than porcelain housed arresters or other polymer insulation
materials. In addition the self-cleaning feature of silicon itself is
outstanding. Pollutants and dirt cannot adhere well to the flexible
covering and are washed away by rain.

Any arrester can be overloaded. The causes are extremely high


stroke currents, a large number of multiple strokes [16, 17] or the
so-called system flashover. This is understood to be a short circuit
between two different voltage levels. The voltage at the arrester on
the lower voltage level rises above the allowable limit. An overload
of any kind causes a flashover or puncture in the resistor. An arc
results in the arrester and the current from this arc is defined by the
short circuit power of the network.
19

Canti lever strength Torsion


Nm
Nm

4.3 Energy absorption capability and cool-down time

0%=^ 7

HC Hydrophobicity

The arresters in the network can work reliable if their energy


absorption capability is bigger than the energy strain expected in
the system operation. Some examples of the stress on the
arresters in the network are shown in the Table 3. The arresters of
the line discharge class 1 have the highest energy stress with the
high current (65 kA respectively 100 kA). To prove the thermal
stability under this stress, a special type test has to be performed.

5
4
3

2
^1
100%=

Arrester type

current wave form


In
8/20 ms

200 km line 10 km cable


1000
tv

2000
test time

3000

4000

5000

Figure 5
Change of hydrophobicity of EPDM (black) and silicone (white)
in the accelerated ageing test acc. to IEC 1109.

The short-time tests acc. to IEC 507 provide the basis for the
dimensions of the insulator. In certain cases, the insulator behaviour may deviate under actual field conditions as a result of
other parameters (eg, due to the shape of the sheds). However, it is
generally true for silicone as well as for the ceramic insulators that
extreme pollution calls for a longer creepage path.
The mentioned temporary reduction in hydrophobicity was taken
into account in the design of the POLIM arresters, and the specific
creepage path was not reduced. All of the discussed surge
arresters with silicone insulation have been designed with a
specific creepage path of at least 25 mm per kV, providing a more
than adequate safety margin. Whenever possible, all the pollution
and lifetime tests were carried out on complete MO arresters. The
tests were performed to the various standards (eg, the 1,000-hour
humidity room test to IEC 1109, the 5,000-hour aging cycle test
and the salt-fog test to IEC 507) and showed that the silicone
insulation performs better after ten years in service that the other
types of insulation.

kJ/kV Uc

POLIM-DN

0.4

0.33

0.26

65

2.6

POLIM-D

0.4

0.33

10

0.55

100

3.6

POLIM-DA

0.4

0.33

10

0.53

100

3.5

MWK, MWD
POLIM-I

0.4

0.33

10

0.48

100

3.4

POLIM-S

0.4

0.33

10

0.47

100

3.3

POLIM-H

0.4

0.33

20

1.0

100

3.2

Anyway the arresters will be very strongly warmed up when they


have to carry very high lightning currents. Therefore they need
between two such stresses a suitable cool-down time. This
reduction is however not important because it is most unlikely that
the same arrester has to carry a second very high ligtning current
during its cool-down time. That is the reason why the test sample
is allowed to be cooled-down to 60 C during the type test with
high current [6] between the two surges.
The needed cool-down time of the arrester depends among other
things on the ambient temperature and the height of the operating
voltage. It increases with the ambient temperature and the operating voltage. In the most unfavourable case, with 45C air
temperature and Uc the following values are valid:
Cool-down time between two high ligtning current stresses (65 kA
respectively 100 kA):
Type POLIM-S and POLIM-H
no break necessary
The other arrester types
75 minutes

3
2

1
2.5
0

kA kJ/kV Uc kA kJ/kV Uc

kJ/kV Uc

The guaranteed energy absorption capability of the types of the


line discharge class 2 and higher can be proved by the means of
rectangular current stresses, similar to the examination of the high
voltage arresters.
The guarantee data contain a certain amount of energy reserve and
therefore do not mean the limit of the thermal stability of the
arrester.

5
4

High current
4/10 ms

Table 3
Energy load of arresters in MV-networks

8
cm/kVrms

Creapage

3.5 p.u. Charging voltage

4 5

7 10
15 20
salt content of water

30 40

kg/m3 80

Cool-down time between two energy stresses acc. the Table 2:


Type POLIM-S and POLIM-H
60 minutes
The other arrester types
60 minutes

Figure 5a
Comparison of the specific creapage distance of porcelain (black)
and silicone insulators (white), depending on the salt content in the
salt fog test acc. to IEC 507

4.4 Nominal Discharge Current and Energy Absorption


Capability

10.4 Transformer Connected to a Lightning Endangered


Line on One Side Only

Conditions are different when arresters must contain switching


overvoltages rather than lightning overvoltages. The former could
occur during switching, when an inductive current is interrupted
before it reaches its natural zero crossing. When such switching
overvoltages occur, the current load on the arrester is very low, so
that a nominal discharge current of 5 kA is sufficient. On this case
the maximum overvoltage is considerably lower than Up for MOarresters. Therefore, shorter distances between arresters and
between the arrester and earth are possible, facilitating the
installation of arresters in the cells. The lower values for these
distances are prescribed in the respective national regulations and
are sufficient for metal oxide arresters.

In general, all transformer exits which are directly linked to


lightning endangered lines must be equipped with arresters
between phase and earth. If a transformer connects a high voltage
network with a MV network, and only the line on the high voltage
side is lightning endangered, arresters are required there. Because
overvoltages occur very quickly, up to 40% of the overvoltage on
the high voltage side is capacitively carried over to the MV side
through the transformer (10). It is therefore often necessary to
foresee overvoltage protection for the transformer on the MV side,
even though no lightning overvoltages occur on the MV side,
according to the above assumptions. According to (9), this
overvoltage protection can be a long MV cable, a low-inductance
capacitor, or a combination of these two elements. They must be
connected as close as possible to the MV exit of the transformer
and together possess a capacity of at least 50 nF per phase.

The maximum voltage for arresters with spark-gaps reaches Up


also during switching overvoltages. The minimum distances for
these arresters must therefore be longer in order to prevent
flashovers. This can make arrester installation in the cells
significantly more difficult, particularly when there are especially
tight spacing conditions.

The overvoltage protection can also come from a MV arrester. This


solution has two essential advantages. First, it must be noted that
inductively transferred overvoltage can be incraesed by
capacitors. Carefully chosen damping resistors in series to the
capacitors make possible a partial decrease of this additional
voltage load on the transformers. When a MO-arrester without a
spark-gap is used, this additional load does not occur.

10.6 Generator Connected to a Lightning Endangered


Distribution Line
Overvoltage protection is the result of arresters placed between
phase and earth. If a loaded generator is suddenly disconnected
from the network, its terminal voltage increases until the voltage
regulator has readjusted itself after a few seconds. The relationship
between this temporary overvoltage and the normal operating
voltage is called the load rejection factor uL. This factor can reach a
value of up to 1.5. In the worst case, the arrresters could be
charged with a temporary overvoltage of UTOV = uL x Um, wich
must be taken into account when choosing Uc.

Secondly, primary voltage encroaches on the MV-voltage during a


voltage flashover in the transformer and can cause additional
damage there. When the MV side is protected with arresters, the
arrester sacrifices itself, causing a short to earth, and leaving the
damage essentially restricted to the transformer. The advantage of
an arrester versus a capacitor is particularly evident when the
transformer is connected to a generator, and the arrester protects
the generator from subsequent damage.

uL x Um
Uc > ---------------T

Similar conditions exist with a distribution transformer, which


connects a MV network to a low-voltage network. Again, lightning
overvoltage from the MV network is transferred through the
transformer capacitively to the low voltage side. Therefore,
arresters in the low voltage side are necessary, even when only the
MV side is lightning endangered. If, on the other hand, only the low
voltage side is endangered, frequently no arresters are mounted on
the MV side. In this case, it is assumed that the low voltage
arrester can also adequately protect the MV side from overvoltage
coming from the low voltage side. Several cases of transformer
failure caused by lightning overvoltage on the 415 volt side are
reported in [20]. The author's opinion is that these overvoltages,
when they are of long durations, are transferred inductively with
the turn ratio of the transformer to the 11 kV side. In any case, the
415 volt arresters were unable to prevent flashovers in the 11 kV
windings. In regions with high lightning activity, it is therefore
recommended to install arresters on the MV side of the
transformer.

The duration t of UTOV determines T and lies in a range from 3 to 10


seconds. In the following example, Uc of type MWK arresters is
determined:
Um = 14 kV
t = 10 s

T = 1.26

(from Figure 8)

1.4 x 14 kV
Uc > ------------------- = 15.56 kV
1.26
The arrester type needed is called MWK 16. Its Uc is 16 kV and the
protection level at In = 10 kA is 49.1 kV.

10.5 Arresters in Metal Enclosed MV Substations

The high operational safety requirements for generators make the


use of arresters with the lowest possible protection level desirable.
Therefore the special POLIM-H series arrester is recommended for
generator protection. Not only is the protection level lower, but also
at the same time is T larger.

It is often necessary to place arresters in a metal enclosed MV


substation. If a cable connects the cell with a lightning endangered
line, the nominal discharge current of the arrester at the cable head
in the cell should be 10 kA. The voltage on the arrester can be
expected to reach Up. In order to prevent flashovers in the cell, the
minimum distances between the arresters and the arresters and
earth recommended by the supplier must be observed.

For

t =10 s, T = 1.31 is permitted, which results in:

1.4 x 14 kV
Uc > ------------------ = 14.96 kV
1.31

The arresters with a nominal discharge current of 5 kA proved to be


enough reliable in the MV- network. That is why generally the type
POLIM-D respectively the type POLIM-DN are used.

uL = 1.4

20

The arrester type POLIM-H 15 is sufficient. Its protection level at I =


10 kA is 43.5 kV. This special arrester guarantees a 11% lower
protection level. In addition this arrester has also advantages with
regard to operational safety thanks to its substantially higher
energy absorption capability (see Table 2).

During this process the capacitor is charged with a higher voltage


[21]. The overvoltage of the capacitor between phase and earth
[15] reaches a max. of 3 p.u. If the capacitors are connected in a
star, they are discharged between phase and earth by the arrester
parallel to the bank. During the discharge up to a voltage of 2 x
Uc, in terms of power, the arrrester is loaded with:

Generators have a larger capacity between phase and earth. As


seen in Figure 14, this capacity results in a considerably shorter
arrester protective distance. Therefore it is especially important to
place arresters near the generator.

SK
Ec = ----------- x [3 - (Uc / Um)2]

SK : 3-phase reactive power of the capacitor bank


Ec : the discharge energy taken up by the arrester

10.7 Arrester Protection for Motors


High voltage motors can become over-stressed by multiple restarts being switched off during the run-up. This is applicable
when the cut-off current is less than 600 A. In order to protect
these motors it is recommended that surge arresters be placed
directly at the motor terminals or, alternatively, at the circuit
breaker. The layout of Uc according to the recommendations can
be seen in section 8.

Assuming that the arrester must carry out this process 3 times
with no cool down phase, it follows with Uc > Um that

In special cases, i.e. aged winding insulation, it becomes


necessary to additionally decrease the protection level of the
arrester. One way of doing this is to decrease Uc. This procedure is
justifiable when temporary overvoltages taken into account for Uc
occur very infrequently. The fact that in such a rare case the
arrester could become overloaded has been deliberately taken into
account. Resulting drawbacks, such as operation interruptions
and arrester replacement are outweighted by the advantage of
better overvoltage protection. However Uc smaller than Um / 3
may never be selected.

The power consumption capacity E of the arrester must be


adjusted to the reactive power of the bank. Table 9 shows the
maximum allowable reactive power values for different types of
ABB MV-arresters parallel to the bank.

Ec
---Uc

6 x SK
------------ x Um

>

If the neutral of the capacitor bank is insulated, the arrester cannot


discharge the charged capacitor between phase and earth. The
arrester does not get charged. It must be noted that after a re-strike
of the breaker, the neutral of the bank increases to 2 p.u. A voltage
flashover of the neutral to earth results in the arrester having to
discharge the capacitor. The arresters parallel to a bank with an
insulated neutral must, in terms of power, be adjusted to their
reactive power.

However such a decrease of Uc is not recommended in a generator.


The risk exists that this would cause a two-phase short circuit at
the generator terminals. The resulting asymmetrical short circuit
current in the windings produces an extremely high mechanical
load on the rotor.

If the bank remains disconnected from the network after a shutdown, the arresters discharge the voltage to zero, not merely to
2 x Uc. Below 2 x Ucthe discharge current through the arrester
is very small, so that the remaining discharge takes a long time.
During this time the arrester can cool down. It releases more heat
than it receives during the remaining discharge. Therefore it was
justified in the above calculation of Ec to take into account only the
energy taken up by the arrester, up to the discharge at 2 x Uc.

10.8 Overvoltage Protection in Locomotives


In the case of locomotives, the highest standards with respect to
operational safety are placed on the arresters. Therefore, the
arresters of the POLIM-H series are recommended. The strong
mechanical construction meets all the requirements for railway
operation. The completely moulding in silicon guarantees the
highest mechanical safety even during extreme shock loads. When
an arrester is overloaded the special construction of this arrester
prevents the housing from bursting. This arrester type is proved up
to a fault current in the network of 65 kA and can be considered
sure from the point of view of explosion and disintegration.
Additional advantages of this arrester type are its low protection
level and its high energy absorption capability.

10.9 Arresters Parallel to a Capacitor Bank


Normally no overvoltage occurs when a capacitor bank is
switched. The circuit breaker interrupts the current in the natural
current zero crossing and the voltage in the capacitor to earth
reaches a max. of 1.5 p.u. As a result of the network voltage varying at the power frequency, a voltage across the open circuit
breaker of 2.5 p.u. is caused. If the breaker re-strikes, a high
frequency transient effect takes place between the capacitor
voltage and the operating voltage.

Arrester type
Uc > Um

POLIM-D

MWK
MWD
POLIM-I

POLIM-S

POLIM-H

E/Uc [kJ/kV]

3.6

5.5

9.0

13.3

Um [kV]

SK[MVA]

SK[MVA]

SK[MVA]

3.6

0.67

1.03

1.69

2.50

7.2

1.35

2.07

3.39

5.01

12

2.26

3.45

5.65

8.35

17.5

3.29

5.03

8.24

12.18

24

4.52

6.90

11.30

16.70

36

6.78

10.36

16.95

25.05

SK[MVA]

Table 9
Arrester parellel to capacitor bank. Maximum allowable reactive
power SK of the bank for the indicated arrester types. Three
discharges without a cool down phase are allowed for the
arresters.
E/Uc: The arrester energy absorbtion capability in relation to Uc.

21

The diameter of the MO-resistors is proportional to the energy


absorption capability E and the nominal discharge current In. The
special arresters of the type POLIM-S and POLIM-H have resistors
like the ones of the high voltage arresters. These types of arresters
set new standards in the medium voltage network ; they are able to
resist the strongest stress and at the same time they guarantee a
low protection level. The continuous operating voltage Uc of the
MV-arresters in the Table 3 reaches from 4 kV up to 36 kV.

In the last 15 years most of the modern MO-arresters were set in


new installations in high-voltage networks [4]. Up until a few years
ago conventional arresters,consisting of SiC resistors and series
spark-gaps were still installed in distribution systems. Now a days,
MO-arresters without spark-gaps are in use, especially those with
polymer housing. The reasons for this technological change are
increasing operation efficiency, lower protection level with very
steep overvoltages and high pollution resistance [5].

In addition to the already mentioned types ABB manufactures also


the special arrester POLIM-C. This arrester is also built up
according to the already mentioned principle of direct moulding.
The nominal discharge current is In = 10 kA and the continuous
operating voltage Uc reaches from1 kV up to 7.2 kV. In the medium
voltage system this type of arrester is used among other
applications for the protection of non-earthed cable sheath.

Due to the simple construction of the active part without sparkgaps, which means a very high stability from the mechanical point
of view, and also due to the simple construction generally
speaking, such arresters can also undertake the support insulator
function and are not in danger of exploding in case of an overload.
Silicone is the best insulating material concerning dirt, and that is
why the arresters which are insulated with silicone behave
favourable especially with high pollution.

The functioning of an arrester, which consists only of series


connections of MO-resistors (without spark-gaps), is extremely
simple. During an overvoltage at the arrester terminals the current
rises continuously and without delay through the arrester corresponding to the shown U-I characteristic, Figure 4, which means
that no really spark over takes place, but the arrester goes
continuously to the conducting condition. After the decreasing of
the overvoltage the current becomes low again corresponding to
the U-I characteristic. Unlike the spark-gap arresters there flows
no follow current.

4.2 Insulation made of silicone rubber


Silicone rubber (usually referred to simply as 'silicone') is an
excellent insulating material for high-voltage components.
Comparisons with traditional insulating materials, such as
ceramic, glass and other synthetics (eg, Ethylene-PropyleneDiene Monomer, or short EPDM) show clearly the superiority of
silicone. As already short mentioned, during the manufacture of
the surge arrester the silicone insulation is bonded to the arrester
assembly through casting (or injection) of the liquid rubber in
moulds at a high temperature. Different moulds can be used to
obtain an optimum match between the insulator and the
component assembly. The arrester insulator thus produced
exhibits the following properties:

U
[p.u.]
1.0

4/10ms
1/5ms
8/20ms

No hydrocarbon is present in the main chemical chain; this

30/60ms
2000ms

property is partially the reason for the high immunity of the


insulator to serious surface pollution and is also largely
responsible for preventing carbonized creepage paths from
forming.

0.5

10-4 10-3 10-2 10-1 100 101 102 103 104

The material is water-repellent, so that even after excessive


contact with water only very few drops adhere to the surface. This
property is referred to in the industry as hydrophobicity. Drops of
water that do cling to the surface are quickly removed by the effect
of gravity or through normal exposure to wind.

I [A]

Figure 4
Normalised current-voltage ( U-I)
characteristic of a MO-surge arrester with In = 10 kA

The hydrophobicity effect is also partly transferred to any dirt


deposits on the surface, which as a result does not become coated
with layers of semiconducting material as quickly as with other
types of insulation. Because of this, the surface leakage currents
flowing on silicone insulators are extremely low. The technical
literature explains the transfer of the hydrophobicity effect to dirt
deposits as being due to low-molar silicone evaporating. The
hydrophobicity effect is temporarily reduced by strong electrical
partial discharges or extreme exposure to water, but to a lesser
degree with silicone than with other materials. This is clearly
shown by the artificial aging af EPDM and silicone in accordance
with IEC 1109, see Figure 5. After 5,000 hours of alternated
precipitation, salt-fog and UV radition, the silicone still retains 50
percent of its water-repellent properties, whereas EPDM loses
these properties. Tests have further shown that the hydrophobicity
effect can be restored to its original state by drying the silicone for
several hours.
The salt-fog test to IEC 507 also demonstrated that, assuming the
same salinity in each case, the creepage paths required for silicone
insulation are, on average, 30 percent shorter than the paths
necessary with ceramic isolators, see Figure 5a. As a result, the
creepage path of the silicone isolators could be reduced by this
amount.

The number of the resistors in a stack depends on the Uc of the


arrester. The stack of cylindrical MO-resistors is moulded in
polymeric material (silicone) as described.
The resistor stack behaves itself capacitive under Uc. The stray
capacitances of each individual resistor towards the earth cause
the nonlinearity of the voltage distribution along the axes of
arrester under Uc. This nonlinearity increases with the lenght of the
resistor stack [3]. That is why high voltage arresters need grading
rings, which compensate mainly the unfavourable influence of the
stray capacitances. Due to the relatively short length of the active
part of the distribution surge arresters the nonlinear voltage
distribution is so low that it can be neglected. These arresters do
not need any grading rings.

4 Medium Voltage Arresters of ABB


It was the wish to increase the reliability and the safety of the
arresters and correspondingly to it also the increasing of the
energy supply that brought about the development of the MOarresters with silicon housing in the 1980s. For more than 30
years is silicon known as an excellent insulation material for the
high voltage technology, as for instance the long rod insulators and
bushings. The first MO-arresters with silicon housing of the typical
ABB execution (direct moulding) were used in 1986. Now, in 1999
there are everywhere in the world more than 600 000 arresters in
use under very different ambient conditions.

Up / Uc High current E / Uc Square wave


kA
kJ / kV I in A t in ms

Arrester type

In
kA

POLIM-DN

3.33

65

2.6

150

2000

POLIM-D

10

3.5

100

3.6

250

2000

POLIM-DA

10

3.33

100

3.5

350

2000

MWK / MWD

10

3.07

100

5.5

550

2000

POLIM-I

10

3.07

100

5.5

550

2000

POLIM-S

10

3.00

100

9.0

1000

2000

POLIM-H

20

3.19

100

13.3

1350

2000

Table 2
Electrical main data of the MV-surge arresters from ABB
(most common types). E / Uc as tested in the operating duty test.

4.1 Arrester construction


Generally an arrester is made up of two parts, the active part,
consisting of one or more piled up MO-resistors, and an insulating
housing, that guarantees both the insulation and the mechanical
strength.
The MO-resistors have been shortly described in the last chapter.

The outdoor arresters have sheded housings made of silicon. The


type MWD for the use indoor has a smooth silicon housing. (see
Figure 3 and 3a)

Fundamentally there are three different possibilities of


construction:

a glass-fibre reinforced tube is shed with an insulating material.

These so called hollow insulators have the same problems as the


porcelain insulators, they need a sealing and pressure relief
system, they can have inner partial discharges under pollution.

If, for a certain arrester type, the reactive power of the parallel
capacitor bank exeeds the limiting values in Table 9, an arrester
with better energy qualities must be selected. For networks not
operating under standard voltages, the limiting values in the
column with the lower standard voltage apply for SK. If the reactive
power is very large, arresters connected parallel must be chosen.
In such a case the arrester supplier must be informed in order to
take measures to guarantee a sufficiently good current distribution
in the parallel arresters. The supplier should also be consulted
when arresters with Uc < Um are to be used.

On the other hand most of the d.c. current networks are


railnetworks. If the arresters are used on a rolling material
(locomotive) the safety is especially important (safety of persons).
The arresters produced by ABB are suitable to be used on d.c.
current networks and especially also in the railnetworks and on
locomotives and traction vehicles.
The producer has to be informed by all means if the arrester is used
in d.c. current networks. For the dimensioning of the arrester it is
also necessary to take contact with the producer.

10.10 Line Traps (Parallel Protection)


Line traps are air-core chokes which are switched in connection
with the high voltage lines. Their inductivity L is in the range of mH.
If no measures are taken, the lightning currents in the conductor
must flow through the line trap. Even relatively small current rates
of rise of several kA /s would produce overvoltages on the line
trap amounting to several 1000 kV and resulting in a flashover. In
order to prevent this, MV-arresters are connected parallel to the
line trap. These will take over lightning currents and limit the
overvoltage to its residual voltage.

12 Consulting Concernig Questions on the


Use of Arresters
During many discussions with the users of surge arresters it was
noticed that a profound consulting on the use of arresters is
welcome. This is necessary both by changes in technology, as for
instance from the spark-gap arresters with insulation of porcelain
to the MO-arresters with silicon housing, and by the choosing of
the arresters for additional equipment of alredy existing
installations or the planing of new installation in the medium and
low voltage networks. Especially in the new fields of application, as
for instance in the d.c. current networks, or the designs for the
protection against overvoltages and lightning danger in whole
installations it is necessary a profound observation. The evaluation
of the existing installations from the point of view of the power
transfer (higher system voltage) or the reliability and availability
stipulate clear protection concepts, taking into account an optimal
economic and technical solution.

When a short to earth occurs in a high voltage network, the fault


current IK flows through the conductor. This power frequency
current would overload the arrester. Uc must therefore be selected
so that the current flows through the line trap. It induces a
temporary overvoltage of UTOV = x L x IK, standard for Uc, at the
line trap. If the fault current duration is t < 3s, then T = 1.28. This
results in the following for Uc :
UTOV
x L x IK
Uc > ---------- = ---------------T
1.28

the active part is wrapped with glass-fibre material and is soaked

with resin, which makes up the whole into a rigid body. The
insulating polymeric housing is then thrust over the resin block or
shrunk on it. This costruction has the disadvantage that it forcible
breaks apart when the MO-blocks are overloaded. Another
disadvantage is the fact that there are different insulating
materials, which also means that there are more boundary layers.
Therefore it is necessary to take special measures for
sealing.

Hence we offer gladly consultig and calculation for the protection


against overvoltage and lightning, which exceed the above
described instructions.

IK : maximum fault current through the line trap


L : inductivity of the line trap

Figure 3
MO-surge arresters with silicone housing. (POLIM-family)

the active part is hold mechanically together with glass-fibre

reinforced loops or bands. The silicon is directly put on the MOresistors. This direct moulding has the advantage that no gas
volume stays in the arrester. Sealing problems and inner partial
discharges are in this way out of question. There are no interfaces
between polymeric materials where humidity can go in. An
explosion or a shattering of the housing is not possible.

13. Conclusions
11 Arresters for D.C. Voltage
Lightning overvoltages are a hazard for all the electrical equipment
in a MV network. However, surge arresters assure reliable protection against excessive overvoltage stresses. The closer the arrester
to the electrical equipment, the better the protection.

For the time being there are no international valid regulations or


directions for the use of the arresters in d.c.voltage networks. On
principle in d.c.voltage networks there also appear voltages
produced by lightning or other activities, which may endanger the
equipment and the insulation. In this case it is also necessary the
use of an arrester as protection against overvoltages. For such
situation the MO surge arresters are especially suitable, because
they do not conduct any follow current after the limiting of the
overvoltage, and therefore it is not necessary to extinguish any
d.c.current arc. There are two fundamental items to be taken into
consideration when using the MO-arresters in the d.c.current
networks. On one hand it is necessary to make sure that the MO
material is stable for a long period of time from the point of view of
the d.c. voltage continuous operation. This is not the case with all
the MO materials which are comercially available.

All the medium voltage arresters of ABB are build up


corresponding to the third principle (direct moulding).
The requirements to the arresters depend on the operation
necessities and the type of the equipment to be protected. That is
why ABB offers a large selection of different types of arresters for
the medium voltage network and for special applications. The
construction, the functioning and the characteristics of the
arresters are described for instance in [5]. In the Table 2 there are
the electrical main data of the medium voltage arresters to be
found.

When determining the arrester Uc, two contradictory requirements


must be considered.
On the one hand, UP must be as small as possible so that the
arrester can limit the overvoltage to the lowest possible values. On
the other hand, Uc must be selected at a value high enough to allow
the arrester to fulfill the requirements of network operation.
Modern MO-arresters with no spark-gaps meet both these
requirements and provide sufficient protection from overvoltage,
as well as simultaneously assuring safe network operation.

Figure 3a
MO-surge arresters with silicone housing
left: MWK for outdoor application
right: MWD for indoor application

22

During unusual operational conditions, for example when a


system flashover takes place, all the parallel arresters in the
network are overloaded equally by the operational frequency
overvoltage. If metal oxide arresters are in use, it is possible to
induce a particular arrester to become over-charged first, rather
than a random one. For example, an indoor arrester in a substation
building is selected with Uc approx. 10% higher than that of the
outdoor arrester. As soon as an abnormal operational frequency
overvoltage occurs, the outdoor arrester will be over-charged first.
This arrester limits the overvoltage by producing an outdoor
flashover and thus preventing arcing inside the substation
building.

The MO-resistors make up the active part of the MO-arrester. The


MO-resistors are compressed and sintered in the form of round
blocks out of different metall oxides in powder form. The diameters
of the MO-resistors of ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd, made
for the usage in the medium voltage, lie between 38 mm and 75
mm. The height of the blocks is generally between 23 mm and 46
mm. The diameter of the MO-resistors decides the carrying
capacity of the current, the height of the MO-resistors (or resistor
stack) decides the voltage in continuous operation and the energy
capability. The diameter of MO-resistors correlate with the line
discharge classes corresponding to IEC 60099-4, as shown in
Table 1.

All the parallel MO-columns of the MO-arresters without sparkgaps conduct current at the same time. The energy of the
overvoltage is in this way distributed on all the parallel arresters, so
that the energy capacity as a limiting parameter disappears.
MO-arresters can be used both with 50 Hz and with 16 2/3 Hz
because they do not conduct any follow current. On the other
hand in the spark-gap arresters the follow current flows with
16 2/3 Hz three times longer than with 50 Hz. As a result the sparkgaps and the SiC resistors are loaded with a corresponding higher
energy. In order to prevent this it is necessary to reduce the peak
value of the follow current. This asks for spark-gap arresters
with a higher nominal voltage, which however makes a considerable increasing of the protection level necessary. For the
better understanding of the facts it is necessary to add that the MOarrester may be used with d.c. voltage, the arrester with plate
spark-gaps however cannot resist this strain.

A similar situation exists when very high temporary overvoltages


are expected in a MV network, and these occur only very
infrequently. In order to avoid an over-charge on the arrester also
in this rare case, a 15% higher Uc is necessary. Such arresters
must be employed with electrical equipment. The drawback is, that
the protection is reduced by 15%.
Two sets of arresters provide an acceptable solution to the
problem. One set with 15% higher Uc is installed next to the
electrical equipment, and a second set with a lower Uc is placed
some distance away. In this way two metal oxide arresters are
switched parallel in each phase. Should a lightning overvoltage
occur, both sets would be conductive and together produce the
same protection level for the electrical equipment as would be
possible with a single arrester set with a lower Uc. During the above
mentioned very high overvoltage, only the arresters which are at
a distance from the electrical equipment become over-charged.
Therefore, the resulting flashovers cannot damage the equipment.
Furthermore, since such an overload rarely occurs, the
subsequent interruption of operation can be risked.

Up = 4 p.u

Diameter of blocks in mm

38

47

62

75

Square wave, 2000 s in A

250

550

1000

1350

3.6

5.5

9.0

13.3

MO
SiC

0
10-4

10-2

d.c. voltage measurement

2 x Uc
200A

5.66

Secondly the galvanic connection from the earth side of the


arrester to the earth of the electrical equipment must be as short as
possible. This distance must be below 2 m for lines with earthed
cross arms. The distance for wooden pole lines must be shorter
than :

The energy capability of the MO-resistors depends besides the


volume also on the construction of the arrester (carrying-off of
heat). Chapter 4 gives more details concerning this.

[kV]
13

The contact areas of the MO-resistors are metallized with soft


aluminium up to the edge of the block, the surface is passivated
with glass. In this way the MO-material of the MO-resistors
produced by ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd is completely
covered. The Figure 2 shows MO-resistors which are used in the
medium voltage arresters.

In = 10 kA

10

Table 1
Correlation between typical MO-resistors and the line discharge
classes acc. to IEC. Line discharge class 5 is important only in
high-voltage systems above 420 kV, and not mentioned here.

The voltage current characteristic of metal oxide resistors is


extremely non-linear. In Figure 1 the characteristic curve for such
resistors is plotted. In is the nominal discharge current (in Figure 1
e.g. In=10 kA). Up is the protection level. It is defined as the
maximum voltage at the resistor during the flow of In. Uc is defined
as the r.m.s.value of the Maximum Continuous Operating Voltage
(MCOV) of the resistor.

20

Energy capability in (kJ / kVUc )

3 Metal Oxide Resistors as Arrester Elements

When installing the arrester, two points must be carefully


observed. Both are equally important for achieving the best
possible protection level. The lightning endangered line must be
guided to the high voltage connection of the arrester first, and only
thereafter led to the equipment to be protected. A short distance
between the high voltage connection of the arrester and the
equipment is certainly important, but not of crucial significance.

Line discharge class


acc. to IEC 60099-4

10 2

current wave 8 / 20 ms

10 4 [A]

Semi-logarithmic plot of the current-voltage characteristics of


MO and SiC resistors for Uc = 4 kV

1 m for Um < 24 kV

Figure 1

0.6 m for Um > 24 kV


The characteristic curve in Figure 1 corresponds to a resistor with
Uc = 4 kV. In the case of a d.c. voltage load with 2 x Uc = 5.66 kV a
d.c.current in the range of 0.1 mA flows. The capacitive component
at 50 Hz and the value of Uc lies in the vicinity of 0.5 mA. The
protective level Up when In = 10 kA amounts to 13 kV.

If this is not possible, the cross arms on the last 3 poles before the
substation or the electrical equipment must be earthed or another
set of arresters must be installed one pole in front of the
substation. In this case the upper limit for the earth connection is 2
m. The connection lines to the arrester in the case of a cable must
be as short as possible.

In comparison, the diagram also shows the curve of a SiC resistor,


which has also Up =13 kV. Since SiC exhibits a considerably less
non-linearity, the continous current of a SiC arrester without sparkgaps at a nominal load would amount to about 200 A. Naturally, for
thermal reasons, such an arrester would not be feasible. Besides it
would strain the electrical network much too much. Consequently
conventional arresters need spark-gaps in series, which take over
the voltage in continuous operation.

23

Figure 2
MO-resistors (collection) produced by ABB

1 Introduction

2 Surge Arrester Technology

Overvoltages in electrical supply networks result from the effects


of lightning strokes and switching actions and cannot be avoided.
They endanger the electrical equipment because, due to
economical reasons, the insulation cannot be designed for all
possible cases. A more economical and safe on-line network calls
for extensive protection of the electrical equipment against
unacceptable overvoltage loads. This applies to high voltage as
well as medium and low voltage networks.
Overvoltage protection can be basically achieved in two ways:

The so-called "conventional" surge arresters were exclusively


employed in MV networks (MV = medium voltage) until about the
middle of the eight decade of our century. They consisted of a
series connection of SiC resistors and plate spark-gaps. During the
overvoltage rising there emerges a short circuit to the earth when
the spark-gaps come into action. The series connection of SiC
resistors limits the follow current from the power supply and
allows in this way the disappeareance of the arcs between the plate
spark-gaps the next time the voltage reaches the zero crossing.

Avoiding

In the last years there were two fundamental improvements of


surge arresters used in MV networks. On one hand the series
connection of SiC resistors and the plate spark-gaps were replaced
with the metalloxid resistors (MO-resistors) without plate sparkgaps, on the other hand the housings of the surge arresters made
of porcelain were replaced with new ones made of polymer
material (synthetic material).

lightning overvoltage at the point of origin, for instance


through shilding earth wires in front of the substation that
intercept lightning.

Limit overvoltage near the electrical equipment, for instance


through surge arresters in the vicinity of the electrical equipment.

In high voltage networks both methods of protection are usual.


The earth wire protection in medium voltage networks is generally
not very effective. Due to the small distance between the earth wire
and the line wires, a direct lightning stroke hits usally the line wires
as well. In addition, induced overvoltages in the line wires (indirect
effects of the lightning strokes) cannot be avoided by the earth
wires.

2.1 MO-Arresters and Spark-Gap Arresters


The arresters protect the electrical equipment no matter whether
some other types of arresters are present. Therefore it is possible
to have at work in the same installation both the conventional
spark-gap arresters and the modern MO-arresters. It is not even
necessary that an electrical equipment should be protected in all
its three phases by the same type of arrester. The user can
therefore simply replace a spark-gap arrester as soon as it is out of
work with a MO-arrester. That allows the user to introduce costsaving the MO-arresters that have an elevated operating safety.

The most effective protection against overvoltages in a medium


voltage network is therefore the use of surge arresters in the
vicinity of the electrical equipment.
The magnitude of the overvoltage is usually given in p.u.
(per unit). It is defined as

A fundamental advantage of the MO-arresters is the fact that


because of their extremely non-linear characteristic of the MOresistors they do not need any spark-gaps. The current starts to
flow already through the arrester before the overvoltage achieves
the value Up. The MO-arresters reduce therefore the overvoltage
sooner as the spark-gap arresters. The last ones are able to
conduct after the overvoltage was increased to Up. That is why
their protection distance is shorter in many cases. This means that
the overvoltage to the electrical equipment is higher when a sparkgap arrester instead of a MO-arrester is installed as both types of
arresters are at the same distance from equipment to be protected.

1 p.u. = 2 x Um / 3 ,
the Um means the maximum r.m.s voltage value between the
phases in an undisturbed network operation [1].
Three types of overvoltages are essentially distinguished [2]:

Temporary overvoltages occur for instance during load rejection

or because of earth connection faults. The duration of such


operating frequency oscillating overvoltage lies between 0.1
seconds and several hours. In general the surge does not exeed 3
p.u. and therefore it is of no danger to the network operation,
however it is decisive for the dimensioning of the arrester.

The response voltage of the spark-gaps increases when the rise


time becomes steeper (< 1s). This causes a deterioration of the
protection possiblity of the spark-gap arresters in case of an
overvoltage wave with steep front .

Switching overvoltages occur during switching actions and


consist mostly of heavily damped oscillations with frequencies up
to several kHz and a magnitude up to 3 p.u.
A special case is switching in inductive electrical circuits. Here
the front time of the overvoltage lies between 0.1 and 10 s and
the peak value can reach 4 p.u.. Fast-front overvoltages are also
possible when lines or cables are switched on.The peak value lies
then below 2.2 p.u. and does not endanger the network system.

If the outside insulation of the arrester is very dirty the potential


distribution along the humid surface is very uneven. It is possible
that between the sheds partial arcings appear which can induce
overvoltages in the active part. This situation is especially critical
with a spark-gap arrester, because it can bring it regularly to spark
over and at the end destroy it. This is the reason why MO-arresters
without spark-gaps have a fundamentally higher pollution resistence.
If more spark-gap arresters are parallel connected usually only
one arrester switches on during an overvoltage. This reduces then
the overvoltage to a value that lies under the sparking voltage of
the other parallel arresters. Therefore it is not possible to distribute
the energy of the overvoltage on more spark-gap arresters which
are parallel connected. In case that this energy is too high the
arrester that switched on will be overloaded. This applies
especially to the spark-gap arresters which are parallel connected
to capacitor batteries with a higher reactive power.

Lightning overvoltages originate in atmospheric discharges.


They reach their peak value within a few s and subsequenly decay
very rapidly. The magnitude of these unipolar overvoltages in a
medium voltage network can reach well over 10 p.u.
Lightning overvoltages are the greatest threat to the medium
voltage networks. Overvoltage protection must be arranged in
such a way as to confine the overvoltage to non-damaging values.

Bibliography
[1] IEC Publication 99-5, First edition 1996-02 : Surge arresters Part 5 : Selection and
application recommendations.
[2] R. Rudolph und A. Mayer: berspannungsschutz von Mittelspannungskabeln. Bull.
SEV/VSE 76 (1985) 4, S. 204-208.
[3] R. Rudolph: Bemessung, Prfung und Einsatz von Metalloxid-Ableitern. Bull.
SEV/VSE 75 (1984) 23, S. 1407-1412.
[4] A. Mayer und R. Rudolph: Funkenstreckenlose berspannungsableiter ermglichen
optimalen berspannungsschutz. Brown Boveri Technik 72(1985) 12, S. 576-585.
[5] W. Schmidt: Metalloxid, ein fast idealer berspannungsableiter. Bull.
SEV/VSE 7 / 1998, S. 13-20.
[6] IEC Publication 60099-4, Edition 1.1, 1998-08: Surge arresters Part 4: Metal-oxide
surge arresters without gaps for a.c. systems.
[7] ANSI/IEEE Publication C62.11 1993: IEEE Standard for Metal-Oxide Surge Arresters
for Alternating Current Power Circuits.
[8] R. Rudolph: ZnO-Ableiter. Eine Alternative zu konventionellen Ableitern. Elektrotechnik
und Maschinenbau 5 (1983), S. 195-200.
[9] IEC Publication 71-1 (1993-12): Insulation coordination - Part 1: Definitions, principles
and rules.
[10] IEC Publication 71-2 (1996-12): Insulation coordination Part 2: Application guide.
[11] G. Balzer und K.H. Weck: Isolationskoordination von gasisolierten Schaltanlagen.
ETG - Fachbericht 32 (1990), S. 71-89.
[12] VDEW Strungs- und Schadensstatistik 1990. Verlags- und Wirtschaftsgesellschaft
der Elektrizittswerke m.b.H.
[13] A.J. Eriksson et al.: Guide to procedures for estimating the lightning performance of
transmission lines. Report of WG 01 of CIGRE Study Committee 33, Oct. 1991.
[14] K. Berger: Methoden und Resultate der Blitzforschung auf dem Monte San Salvatore bei
Lugano in den Jahren 1963 bis 1971. Bull. SEV/VSE 63 (1972) 24, S. 1403-1422.
[15] Surge arrester application guide. IEC 37 (Sec) 85, Jan 1992.
[16] R.B. Anderson and A.J. Eriksson: Lightning parameters for engineering application.
Electra, 69 (1980), S. 65-102.
[17] A.J. Eriksson et al.: A study of lightning stresses on metal oxide surge arresters.
Cigre paper 33-08 (1986).
[18] M. Christoffel: Der Einfluss von Kabelstrecken auf die berspannungsvorgnge in
bertragungssystemen mittlerer und hoher Spannungen. Brown Boveri Mitt. 51 (1964)
6, S. 369-376.
[19] A. Braun: Schirmspannungen und Schirmverluste bei Mittelspannungs-VPE-Kabeln.
Elektrizittswirtschaft 88 (1989) 26, S. 1898-1906.
[20] M. Darveniza und D.R. Mercer: Lightning protection of pole mounted transformers.
IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 4, No. 2, April 1989, S. 1087-1093.
[21] G. Balzer: Schaltvorgnge in Mittelspannungsnetzen und deren Bercksichtigung bei
der Planung. Brown Boveri Technik, 73 (1983) 5, S. 270-278.
[22] Non-linear metal-oxide resistor polymeric housed surge arresters without sparkgaps.
IEC 37 / 154 / CD; March 1996
[23] W.Schmidt: Die neuen POLIM -berspannungsableiter mit Silikonisolation fr
Mittelspannungsnetze. ABB Revue 2/96

24

Index of symbols used

Contents

in m

conductor length

BIL

in kV

Basic Impulse Insulation Level (peak value)

in m

conductor length

in F

capacitance (given in nF or uF)


earth fault factor, Ce x Um / 3 is the maximum voltage
between phase and earth in the case of an earth fault

Ce
d

in m

in J

Ec

in J

in A

section length of an overhead line before the substation


energy absorbed by the arrester (mainly given in kJ or kJ / kVUc )
discharge energy absorbed by the arrester (mainly given in kJ)
long duration current impulse

Introduction

8.3

Networks with solidly earthed neutral systems (Ce < 1.4)

Surge arrrester technology

8.4

2.1

MO-arresters and spark-gap arresters

Networks with low-ohmic neutral transformer earthing


which do not uniformly have Ce < 1.4

Metal oxide resistors as arrester elements

8.5

Low-ohmic neutral earthing networks and Ce > 1.4

Medium voltage arresters from ABB

8.6

Arresters between phases (Neptune design)

4.1

Construction of the arrester

8.7

Operating voltage with harmonic oscillation

4.2

Insulation made of silicone rubber

Protective distance of the surge arrester

4.3

Energy absorption capability and cool-down time

9.1

Theoretical projection for the protective distance L

4.4

Nominal discharge current and energy


absorption capability

9.2

Expected steepness S from lightning overvoltages in


MV-substations

9.3

Influences on the protective distance through electrical


equipment, the types of the arresters and the arrangement
of the arresters

9.4

Fault hazards in electrical equipment and their distance


from the surge arrester

10

Some special cases

10.1

Overvoltage protection in cable sections

10.2

Cable sheath protection

10.3

Transformers at the end of cables

10.4

Transformer connected to a lightning endangered line on


one side only

In

in A

nominal discharge current (mainly given in kA, peak value)

IK

in A

50 Hz fault current (mainly given in kA, rms- value)

Special operating conditions

Iref

in A

reference current (mainly given in mA, peak value)

5.1

Network short circuit power

in A

peak current of the stroke current (mainly given in kA, peak value)

5.2

Elevated ambient temperature

i(t)

in A

time function of the stroke current

5.3

Mechanical stability

corona damping constant

5.4

Air pollution

K
L

in H

inductance of a line trap

5.5

Altitude adjustment for arrester housing

in m

protective distance

LK

in m

cable length

Protection characteristics of the surge arrester,


stability

6.1

Surge arrester protection level

6.2

Questions of stability of MO-surge arresters

10.5

Arresters in metal enclosed MV-substation

6.3

Temporary overvoltages

10.6

Generator connected to a lightning endangered MV-line

Tests

10.7

Arrester protection for motors

7.1

Type tests

10.8

Overvoltage protection in locomotives

7.2

Routine tests

10.9

Arresters parallel to a capacitor battery

7.3

Acceptance tests

10.10 Line traps (parallel protection)

7.4

Special tests

11

Arresters for d.c.voltage

Selection of surge arresters and determination


of Uc

12

Consulting concerning questions on the use of arresters

8.1

Networks with earth fault compensation or


with a high-ohmic insulated neutral system

13

Conclusions

MCOV

in V

Maximum Continuous Operating Voltage = Uc (mainly given in kV, rms- value)

in W

power losses of the arrester in the case of Uc

p.u.

per unit, 1 p.u. = 2 x Um /3

in W

heat flow from the active arrester parts to the external environment (cooling)

in V /s

maximum steepness of a voltage increase (mainly given in kV / s)

S(t)

in V / s

time function of the steepness of a voltage increase (mainly given in kV / s)

So

in V / s

steepness of the lightning overvoltage at the point of the stroke (mainly given in kV / s)

SK

in Var

three-phase reactive power of a capacitor bank

withstand strength against temporary overvoltages UTOV = T x Uc

in C

temperature

in s

time

8.2

25

Index of symbols used

Networks with high-ohmic insulated neutral


system and automatic earth fault clearing

Bibliography

Foreword

The first edition of our directions for dimensioning,


testing and application of metal oxide surge arresters
in medium voltage networks, which appeared in 1994,
was received very positively. We were pleased to get
such a reception, which attested our belief that competent consulting with regard to the application of our
products is as important as the quality of the products
itself.
The technological progress made it now necessary to revise and renew the present booklet for the third
edition.
The dimensioning and the theoretical basis for the optimal application of the surge arresters are not changed
and therefore they were taken as such in the new edition. Mr. Ren Rudolph, who was at the time of the first
edition responsible for the consulting concerning application in the surge arrester division, took on the task
of revising the tables. That was necessary because of the improvement of the technical data of the surge
arresters and the enlargement of our product range. We would like to thank Mr. Ren Rudolph for his efforts.
Mr. Bernhard Richter, who is now responsible for engineering and application of the overvoltage protective
devices in the surge arrester division of ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd, took on gladly the task of the
general revision of this booklet.
Mr. Richter is a member in different working groups of IEC SC 37 A and IEC TC 81, and his activity field
includes, besides the development and testing, mainly the application of the surge arresters.

ts

in s

time interval

in V

peak value of the overvoltage of a travelling wave (mainly given in kV)

Uc

in V

maximum continuous operating voltage of the arrester (mainly given in kV, rms)

UE

in V

maximum overvoltage at the end of an open line (mainly given in kV, peak value)

UK

in V

maximum overvoltage at cable end (mainly given in kV, peak value)

Um

in V

maximum voltage between phases (mainly given in kV, rms)

Up

in V

protection level of the arrester at In (mainly given in kV, peak value)

Ur

in V

rated voltage (mainly given in kV, rms)

Uref

in V

reference voltage (mainly given in kV, rms)

UT

in V

overvoltage at the transformer (mainly given in kV, peak value)

UTOV

in V

power frequency overvoltage of a limited duration (mainly given in kV, rms)

u(t)

in V

time function of a lightning overvoltage

in m/s

speed of the travelling wave, v = 300 m / s in the air

in

surge impedance of a distribution line conductor Z = 300........450

ZK

in

surge impendance of a cable conductor ZK = 20 ...... 60


load rejection factor of a generator

1
S

angular frequency of the power frequency, at 50 Hz is = 314

The silicon technology, which is used in medium voltage by ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd, and the
further developing of the metal oxide material opens new application spheres. All these are taken into
account in the new edition.
We hope, that you as a reader will be satisfied with our new revised edition and you will find it useful for your
purpose. We welcome amendments and suggestions in order to meet all possible customer needs.

First published: November 1994


2.revised edition: September 1995
3.revised edition: July 1999

ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd


Wettingen, July 1999

All rights reserved.


Neither the booklet or parts of it may be either copied or reproduced,
transmitted in any way or translated info other languages without
the prior permission of ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd.
ABB High Voltage Technologogies Ltd
Division Surge Arresters, Wettingen, Switzerland

26

1
S

Printed in Switzerland (99-09-1000 D/E)

EN ISO 9001

Presented by:

L I C A T

I O N

G U

I D

E L I N

E S

PPLICATION
GUIDELINE
O V E RV O LTA G E P R O T E C T I O N

ABB High Voltage Technologies Ltd.


Division Surge Arresters
Jurastrasse 45
CH-5430 Wettingen 1
Switzerland
Telephone
++41 56 / 205 29 11
Telefax
++41 56 / 205 55 70
Internet
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Please visit us on the Internet: http://www.abb.ch/hos

Dimensioning,
testing and application
of metal oxide
surge arresters
in medium voltage
networks