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Discussion on BusBus-bar protection for

different Bus bar arrangement of

Sub--station. Different types of problem &
its remedy.
Discussion on detail fault level and fault
calculation, per unit and % impedance.

Engr. Morshed Alam Khan

Executive Engineer
Grid Maintenance Division DhakaDhaka-North,PGCB.

At a glance:
Bus arrangements

Bus components
Bus protection techniques
CT Saturation
Application Considerations:
High impedance bus differential relaying
Low impedance bus differential relaying

Bus Bar system in Electrical subsub-station

Single Bus-bar arrangement

Double Main Bus-bar scheme
Main and Transfer bus-bar scheme
One and half breaker scheme
Ring Main arrangement scheme

Single BusBus-bar scheme

This is the simplest bus bar scheme available which consists of
single set of bus bars connected to the generators, transformers
and load feeders. All the feeders are connected by circuit breaker
and set of isolators. This arrangement helps to remove the
connecting elements (Generators, transformers, etc ) for
maintenance by opening the circuit breaker contacts and further
opening the isolators.

This bus bar arrangement enjoys less cost of installation
Less maintenance
simple operation
when Bus bar is under maintenance total supply and all
feeders should be disconnected
Least flexibility and reliability.
Fault on the bus bar all the feeders connected to the
bus bars should be disconnected.

Double Main Bus bar Scheme

Normally in double main bus-bar scheme each circuit is
connected to both the buses. In some cases half of the
circuits can be connected and operated on each bus, in
these cases bus or circuit breaker failure would cause loss
to half of the circuits. In double main bus-bar arrangement
one or two breakers can be provided for each circuit.
Double main bus-bar and double breaker scheme provides
high reliability in the case of fault or outage of one of the

Any circuit can be taken out of circuit for maintenance.
Flexibility in connecting the feeder circuit to either of
the bus-bars.
Most expensive.
Loose circuits connected to bus-bar when fault occurs
on the bus-bar.

Main and Transfer Bus-bar Scheme

Main and Transfer bus-bar scheme is similar to single bus-bar
arrangement with additional transfer bus connected. Tie circuit
breaker is provided to tie both the main and transfer bus.
During normal operation all the circuits are connected to the
main bus. When circuit breaker connected to the circuit
(transmission line) is required to trip for maintenance, tie
circuit breaker connecting the main and transfer bus is closed.
The relay protection for the circuits connected to the transfer
bus is taken care by the tie circuit breaker.

Low initial cost
Any breaker can be taken of circuit for maintenance
Requires one extra breaker for bus tie
Switching is somewhat complicated when breaker is
under maintenance

One and Half breaker Bus-bar scheme

In One and half breaker scheme, two circuits are connected
between the three circuit breakers. Hence One and Half
breaker name was coined for this type of arrangement. Under
normal operating conditions all the breakers are closed and
both the bus-bars are energized. Any Circuit fault will trip two
circuit breakers and no other circuit will be affected in this
arrangement. When a bus-bar fault occur only breakers
adjacent to bus-bars trips and no circuit will loose power. Two
bus-bars can also be taken out of service with out affecting
the power flow if the power source circuit ( alternator circuit)
and receiving circuit (transmission line) available in the same

Most flexible operation possible.
High reliability.
Bus failure will not remove any circuit from service.
High cost.
Relaying is somewhat complicated since the
middle breaker must responsible for both the
circuits on either direction and should operate.

Ring bus bar scheme

In this ring main bus bar scheme arrangement, breakers are
connected in ring and circuits are connected between the
breakers. There will be same number of circuits as the
number of breakers in the arrangement. During normal
operation all the breakers are closed. During circuit fault two
breakers connecting the circuit trips. During breaker
maintenance the ring is broken but all the lines remain in

Low cost
Flexible operation for breaker maintenance
Any breaker can be taken out of service without
interrupting load
Power can be fed from both the direction
Fault occur during maintenance will break the ring
Relaying is complex
Breaker failure during fault will trip one additional circuit.

Bus bar protection

In early days only conventional over current relays

were used for bus-bar protection. But it is desired that
fault in any feeder or transformer connected to the
bus bar should not disturb bus bar system. In viewing
of this time setting of bus bar protection relays are
made lengthy. So when faults occurs on bus bar itself,
it takes much time to isolate the bus from source
which may came much damage in the bus system.

Basic Protection Scheme

In recent days, the second zone distance protection relays on incoming

feeder, with operating time of 0.3 to 0.5 seconds have been applied for
bus-bar protection.
But this scheme has also a main disadvantage. This scheme of protection
can not discriminate the faulty section of the bus-bar.
Now days, Power system deals with huge amount of power. Hence any
interruption in total bus system causes big loss to the company. So it
becomes essential to isolate only faulty section of bus-bar during bus
Another drawback of second zone distance protection scheme is that,
sometime the clearing time is not short enough to ensure the system
To overcome the above mentioned difficulties, differential bus-bar
protection scheme with an operating time less than 0.1 sec., is
commonly applied to many bus system.

Differential BusBus-bar Protection

Current Differential Protection
Voltage Differential Protection

Current Differential Protection

The scheme of bus-bar protection, involves, Kirchoffs current
law, which states that, total current entering an electrical
node is exactly equal to total current leaving the node.
Hence, total current entering into a bus section is equal to
total current leaving the bus section.
The principle of differential bus-bar protection is very simple.
Here, secondary's of CTs are connected parallel. That means,
S1 terminals of all CTs connected together and forms a bus
wire. Similarly S2 terminals of all CTs connected together to
form another bus wire.
A tripping relay is connected across these two bus wires.

So, it is clear that under normal condition there is no current flows through
the bus-bar protection tripping relay. This relay is generally referred as Relay
Essentially all the CTs used for differential bus-bar protection are of same
current ratio.
Hence, the summation of all secondary currents must also be equal to zero.

External fault condition

Now, say fault is occurred at any of the feeders, outside the protected zone. In
that case, the faulty current will pass through primary of the CT of that feeder.
This fault current is contributed by all other feeders connected to the bus. So,
contributed part of fault current flows through the corresponding CT of
respective feeder. Hence at that faulty condition, if we apply KCL at node K, we
will still get, iR = 0.

Now consider a situation when fault is occurred on the bus itself.

At this condition, also the faulty current is contributed by all feeders connected to the
bus. Hence, at this condition, sum of all contributed fault current is equal to total
faulty current.
Now, at faulty path there is no CT.

The sum of all secondary currents is no longer zero. It is equal

to secondary equivalent of faulty current.
Now, if we apply KCL at the nodes, we will get a non zero
value of iR.
So at this condition current starts flowing through 87 relay
and it makes trip the circuit breaker corresponding to all the
feeders connected to this section of the bus-bar. As all the
incoming and outgoing feeders, connected to this section of
bus are tripped, the bus becomes dead.
This differential bus-bar protection scheme is also referred as
current differential protection of bus-bar.

Differential Protection of Sectionalized Bus

Here, bus section A or zone A is bounded by CT1, CT2 and CT3 where CT1 and
CT2 are feeder CTs and CT3 is bus CT.
Similarly bus section B or zone B is bounded by CT4, CT5 and CT6 where CT4 is
bus CT, CT5 and CT6 are feeder CT.

Therefore, zone A and B are overlapped to ensure that,

there is no zone left behind this bus-bar protection
ASI terminals of CT1, 2 and 3 are connected together to
form secondary bus ASI
BSI terminals of CT4, 5 and 6 are connected together to
form secondary bus BSI.
S2 terminals of all CTs are connected together to form a
common bus S2.
Now, bus-bar protection relay 87A for zone A is connected
across bus ASI and S2.
Relay 87B for zone B is connected across bus BSI and S2.

This section bus-bar differential protection scheme

operates in some manner simple current differential
protection of bus-bar.
That is, any fault in zone A, with trip only CB1, CB2 and
bus CB.
Any fault in zone B, will trip only CB5, CB6 and bus CB.
Hence, fault in any section of bus will isolate only that
portion from live system.
In current differential protection of bus-bar, if CT
secondary circuits, or bus wires is open the relay may be
operated to isolate the bus from live system. But this is
not desirable.

Voltage Differential Protection of Bus-bar

In voltage differential bus-bar protection the CTs of all incoming and
outgoing feeders are connected in series instead of connecting
them in parallel.
The secondary's of all CTs and differential relay form a closed loop.
If polarity of all CTs are properly matched, the sum of voltage across
all CT secondary's is zero. Hence there would be no resultant
voltage appears across the differential relay. When a buss fault
occurs, sum of the all CT secondary voltage is no longer zero.
Hence, there would be current circulate in the loop due to the
resultant voltage. As this loop current also flows through the
differential relay, the relay is operated to trip all the circuit breaker
associated with protected bus zone. Except when ground fault
current is severally limited by neutral impedance there is usually no
selectivity problem When such a problem exists, it is solved by use
of an additional more sensitive relaying equipment including a
supervising protective relay.

Voltage Differential Protection scheme.

Necessity of Voltage Differential Schemes

The current differential scheme is sensitive only when the CTs do not get
saturated and maintain same current ratio, phase angle error under
maximum faulty condition. This is usually not perfect, particularly, in the
case of an external fault on one of the feeders. The CT on the faulty feeder
may be saturated by total current and consequently it will have very large
errors. Due to this large error, the summation of secondary current of all
CTs in a particular zone may not be zero. So there may be a high chance of
tripping of all circuit breakers associated with this protection zone even in
the case of an external large fault. To prevent this mal-operation of current
differential bus-bar protection, the 87 relays are provided with high pick
up current and enough time delay.
The greatest trouble some cause of CT saturation is the transient dc
component of the short circuit current.
This difficulties can be overcome by using air core CTs. This CT is also
called linear coupler. As the core of the CT does not use iron the secondary
characteristic of these CTs, is straight line.

Bus components

Low Voltage circuit breakers

High Voltage circuit breakers

Disconnect switches & auxiliary contacts










Contact Input F1a On

Contact Input F1c On

CB 1






Contact Input F1a On

Contact Input F1c On

Current Transformers




Gas (SF6) insulated current

Oil insulated current transformer
(35kV up to 800kV)
CB 1

Bushing type (medium

voltage switchgear)

Protection Requirements
High bus fault currents due to large number of circuits
CT saturation often becomes a problem as CTs may not be sufficiently
rated for worst fault condition case
large dynamic forces associated with bus faults require fast clearing
times in order to reduce equipment damage

False trip by bus protection may create serious problems:

service interruption to a large number of circuits (distribution and subtransmission voltage levels)
system-wide stability problems (transmission voltage levels)

With both dependability and security important, preference is

always given to security

Bus Protection Techniques

Interlocking schemes
Over current (unrestrained or unbiased)
Over current percent (restrained or biased)
Linear couplers
High-impedance bus differential schemes
Low-impedance bus differential schemes

Interlocking Schemes








Blocking scheme typically

Short coordination time
Care must be taken with
possible saturation of feeder
Blocking signal could be sent
over communications ports.
This technique is limited to
simple one-incomer
distribution buses

A simple protection for distribution busbars can be

accomplished as an interlocking scheme. Over current (OC)
relays are placed on an incoming circuit and at all outgoing
feeders. The feeder OCs are set to sense the fault currents
on the feeders. The OC on the incoming circuit is set to trip
the busbar unless blocked by any of the feeder OC relays. A
short coordination timer is typically required to avoid race
Modern relays provide for fast peer-to-peer communications
using protocols such as the UCA with the GOOSE
mechanism. This allows eliminating wiring and sending the
blocking signals over the communications.
The scheme although easy to apply and economical is
limited to specific (simple) busbar configurations.

Over current (unrestrained) Differential


Differential signal formed by

summation of all currents feeding
the bus
CT ratio matching may be
On external faults, saturated CTs
yield spurious differential current
Time delay used to cope with CT
Instantaneous differential OC
function useful on integrated
microprocessor-based relays

Typically a differential current is created externally to a current

sensor by summation of all the circuit currents. Preferably the
CTs should be of the same ratio. If they are not, a matching CT
(or several CTs) is needed. This in turn may increase the
burden for the main CTs and make the saturation problem
even more serious.
Historically, means to deal with the CT saturation problem
include definite time or inverse-time over current
Although economical and applicable to distribution bus bars,
this solution does not match performance of more advanced
schemes and should not be applied to transmission-level bus

Linear Couplers

ZC = 2 20 - typical coil impedance

(5V per 1000Amps => 0.005
@ 60Hz )

40 V

10 V

10 V


20 V

If = 8000 A
2000 A

2000 A


4000 A



Linear Couplers
Esec= Iprim*Xm - secondary voltage on relay terminals
IR= Iprim*Xm /(ZR+
ZC) minimum operating current
Iprim primary current in each circuit
Xm liner coupler mutual reactance (5V per 1000Amps => 0.005
@ 60Hz )
ZR relay tap impedance
ZC sum of all linear coupler self impedances
If = 8000 A

Internal Bus

40 V


10 V

2000 A

10 V

2000 A



20 V

4000 A


Linear Couplers

Fast, secure and proven

Require dedicated air gap CTs, which may not be used for
any other protection
Cannot be easily applied to reconfigurable buses
The scheme uses a simple voltage detector it does not
provide benefits of a microprocessor-based relay (e.g.
oscillography, breaker failure protection, other functions)
A linear coupler (air core mutual reactor) produces its output
voltage proportional to the derivative of the input current.
Because they are using air cores, linear couplers do not

A scheme of bus protection offering advantages in simplicity, speed, and

size uses linear couplers (air-core mutual reactances) in place of current
transformers. This solves the troublesome problem of saturation and
provides a linear relationship between secondary voltage and primary
current. The coupler secondaries for a given bus are connected in a series
loop with the relay. When the currents entering and leaving the bus are
equal, the net induced voltage in the relay loop is zero. For a fault on the
bus, however, the net induced voltage, proportional to the fault current,
operates the relay. The problems are: 1. To utilize effectively the smaller
available energy. 2. To build couplers of sufficiently equal mutual
reactance and unaffected by stray fields.
A toroidal coil solved the latter problem. Through tests have shown that
the performance is strictly linear with respect to primary current,
practically unaffected by the primary d-c transient, and thus can be
calculated accurately and simply.

High Impedance Differential

Operating signal created by
connecting all CT secondary's in
CTs must all have the same ratio
Must have dedicated CTs


Overvoltage element operates

on voltage developed across
resistor connected in secondary
Requires varistors or AC
shorting relays to limit energy
during faults

Accuracy dependent on
secondary circuit resistance
Usually requires larger CT cables
to reduce errors higher cost

Cannot easily be applied to reconfigurable buses and offers no

advanced functionality.

Fault Level Calculation

When a short circuit occurs in an electric system, heavy
current flows through all the sections of the system which
are in the path between the power source and the
equipment. The short circuit current is limited only by the
impedance of the system.
This heavy current can damage the components of the
electric system if they are not properly rated. If circuit
breakers are not able to interrupt the high short circuit
currents in a system, arcing and explosions may occur

Fault Level Calculation

The Rating of the components is done based on the maximum
short circuit current. The short circuit current is calculated from
the fault level KVA of the System. The Fault Level in a
distribution system is a very important parameter. The kVA at
the instant of a Fault should be correctly calculated and the
components of the distribution system such as bus bars, circuit
breakers, isolators, etc should be properly sized.
To calculate the fault current in a system it is first necessary to
calculate the MVA during a fault.
The MVA during a fault is given by

Fault Level Calculation

From this, the maximum current during the fault can be
deduced as

All the equipments should be rated to withstand this

current. The fault level should be calculated every five
years and after any modification to the system such as
the addition of any load or the installation of further
sources of power such as transformers and alternators.

Per unit fault calculations

Per unit fault calculations is a method whereby system
impedances and quantities are normalized across different
voltage levels to a common base. By removing the impact of
varying voltages, the necessary calculations are simplified.
In applying the per unit method, the first step is to select an
arbitrary voltage (Vbase) and power (Pbase) base.

Important Notations
: per unit method current base
: per unit method power base
: per unit method voltage base
: per unit method admittance base
: per unit method impedance base
-Percentage Impedance
- Per unit Impedance
- Actual Impedance
-Per unit base Impedance

Per Unit MethodMethod-Important Formulas

Having selected a base power and voltage, the base per unit values of
impedance, admittance and current can be calculated from:
Per Unit

Three Phase

Dividing a system element by its per-unit base value gives the per-unit
value of the element
Some times per-unit values are available for a given base kV, but the
problem being solved is using a different base. In this instance it is possible
to convert the unit

Fault calculation problems typically deal wit power sources,

generators, transformers and system impedances. Per-unit
values for these elements can be quickly derived from :

Per Unit Value

Source Impedance
where V is in kV

Example - calculating per unit values

Consider a system of source impedance 4.48 connected to a
20 MVA transformer (11/0.4 kV) at 6% impedance. We want
to find the fault level at the transformer secondary.

as 20 MVA and

as 11 kV and using the above

Fault (single phase)Calculation.


(0.74 +0.06 =0.8)

the Line-Neutral voltage on the secondary of the transformer is 0.4/3 = 0.230 kV, giving:

Three Phase Fault Example

Per unit analysis can be used to calculate system three phase fault levels and the current
distributions. To gain a better understanding, it is worth running through the typical steps
required to solve a fault calculation problem.
Given the system single line diagram, construct and simplify the per unit impedance diagram.

Where Zpu, is the total impedance between the source and the fault.
Fault flow through parallel branches is given by the ratio of impedances. As illustrated this can enable
fault flows to be found through each branch.

Having calculated the fault flow in each branch, it is then relatively simple to find the
current distribution using :

Sequence Network
Electrical power and voltage are generally taken as base quantities. In
three phase system, three phase power in MVA or KVA is taken as base
power and line to line voltage in KV is taken as base voltage. The base
impedance of the system can be calculated from these base power and
base voltage, as follows,

Per unit is an impedance value of any system is nothing but the radio of
actual impedance of the system to the base impedance value.

Percentage impedance value can be calculated by multiplying 100 with

per unit value.

Again it is sometimes required to convert per unit values referred to new

base values for simplifying different electrical fault calculations. In that

The choice of impedance notation depends upon the complicity of the

system. Generally base voltage of a system is so chosen that it requires
minimum number of transfers.
Suppose, one system as a large number of 132 KV over head lines, few
numbers of 33 KV lines and very few number of 11 KV lines. The base
voltage of the system can be chosen either as 132 KV or 33 KV or 11 KV,
but here the best base voltages 132 KV, because it requires minimum
number of transfer during fault calculation.

The above fault calculation is made on assumption of three

phase balanced system. The calculation is made for one phase
only as the current and voltage conditions are same in all three
phases. When actual faults occur in electrical power system,
such as phase to earth fault, phase to phase fault and double
phase to earth fault, the system becomes unbalanced means,
the conditions of voltages and currents in all phases are no
longer symmetrical. Such faults are solved by symmetrical
component analysis. Generally three phase vector diagram may
be replaced by three sets of balanced vectors. One has opposite
or negative phase rotation, second has positive phase rotation
and last one is co-phasal. That means these vectors sets are
described as negative, positive and zero sequence, respectively.

Sequence Impedance
Positive Sequence Impedance
The impedance offered by the system to the flow of positive sequence
current is called positive sequence impedance .
Negative Sequence Impedance
The impedance offered by the system to the flow of negative sequence
current is called negative sequence impedance .
Zero Sequence Impedance
The impedance offered by the system to the flow of zero sequence current
is known as zero sequence impedance .
In previous fault calculation, Z1, Z2 and Z0 are positive, negative and zero
sequence impedance respectively. The sequence impedance varies with
the type of power system components under consideration

In static and balanced power system components like transformer and lines, the
sequence impedance offered by the system are the same for positive and negative
sequence currents. In other words, the positive sequence impedance and
negative sequence impedance are same for transformers and power lines.
But in case of rotating machines the positive and negative sequence impedance
are different.
The assignment of zero sequence impedance values is a more complex one. This is
because the three zero sequence current at any point in a electrical power system,
being in phase, do not sum to zero but must return through the neutral and /or
earth. In three phase transformer and machine fluxes due to zero sequence
components do not sum to zero in the yoke or field system. The impedance very
widely depending upon the physical arrangement of the magnetic circuits and
The reactance of transmission lines of zero sequence currents can be about 3 to 5 times the
positive sequence current, the lighter value being for lines without earth wires. This is because
the spacing between the go and return(i.e. neutral and/or earth) is so much greater than for
positive and negative sequence currents which return (balance) within the three phase
conductor groups.
The zero sequence reactance of a machine is compounded of leakage and winding reactance,
and a small component due to winding balance (depends on winding tritch).
The zero sequence reactance of transformers depends both on winding connections and upon
construction of core.

Percentage Impedance
The percentage impedance of a transformer is the volt drop on
full load due to the winding resistance and leakage reactance
expressed as a percentage of the rated voltage.
It is also the percentage of the normal terminal voltage required
to circulate fullfull-load current under short circuit conditions.
The impedance is measured by means of a short circuit
test. With one winding shorted, a voltage at the rated frequency
is applied to the other winding sufficient to circulate full load

The percentage impedance can then be calculated as follows :

Z% = Impedance Voltage x 100
Rated Voltage

The Effect of Higher and Lower Impedances

The impedance of a transformer has a major effect on
system fault levels. It determines the maximum value of
current that will flow under fault conditions.
It is easy to calculate the maximum current that a
transformer can deliver under symmetrical fault
conditions. By way of example, consider a 2 MVA
transformer with an impedance of 5%. The maximum
fault level available on the secondary side is:
2 MVA x 100/5 = 40 MVA
and from this figure the equivalent primary and
secondary fault currents can be calculated.

A transformer with a lower impedance will lead to a higher fault

level (and vice versa)
The figure calculated above is a maximum. In practice, the actual
fault level will be reduced by the source impedance, the
impedance of cables and overhead lines between the transformer
and the fault, and the fault impedance itself.
As well as fault level considerations, the impedance value also
Determines the volt drop that occurs under load - known as
'regulation' affects load sharing when two or more transformers
operate in parallel.

For Your Attention