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Teaching the Relationships between Harmonics and Symmetrical Components
Gary Atkinson Hope Department of Electrical Engineering Cape Peninsula University of Technology Cape Town, South Africa atkinsonhopeg@cput.ac.za
ABSTRACT
The manner in which harmonic voltages and current flows and their resolution to symmetrical components is described in literature is inadequate for comparing harmonic injections to flows in different parts of a network when balanced and unbalanced harmonic sources and loads exist. The known class descriptors, “symmetrical set” and asymmetrical set” need to be cognately divided into subclasses to improve the situation and there is a need for a “harmonic penetration analytical chart” to do comparisons. The word “set” is one of three descriptors used to develop these subclasses. Case studies are conducted and the important role of the subclasses of a “symmetrical set” (e.g., symmetrical unbalanced set) for modeling injections and the subclasses of “asymmetrical sets” (e.g., asymmetrical balanced set) and their relevance to the number of “symmetrical component sets” (one, two or three) is analyzed in a “chart”, giving an improved method for teaching harmonic penetration.
1.
INTRODUCTION
Threephase harmonic current injections and voltage and/or current flows (called harmonic penetration) in different parts of a system and their resolution to symmetrical components depends upon the magnitudes and phase sequences of the harmonic injections from a harmonic source, on the networks sequence impedances, on 3 and 4 wire connections and on whether or not an endusers linear load is balanced or unbalanced.
Threephase harmonic penetration requires a clear understanding of the relationship between symmetrical component injections from a harmonic source (e.g. adjustable speed driveASD) and their relationship to harmonic voltage and/or current flows (symmetrical components) arising from the application of a harmonic source to a linear system [1].
The relationship between harmonics and symmetrical components has been defined for balanced threephase systems [2].
The harmonics are defined in terms of positive, negative and zero sequences [1], [2], [3].
Sequences of Harmonics in a Balanced ThreePhase System 

Positive 
Negative 
Zero 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
etc 
Table 1: Sequences of harmonics
In a sinusoidal system (e.g., 50Hz), the zero sequence symmetrical component is resolved only from an “asymmetrical set” existing in an unbalanced system. In a balanced system, when harmonics are present (Table 1), it is deduced (not made clear in literature) that the zero sequence component is resolved from a “symmetrical set” and not from an “asymmetrical set” as is commonly understood.
The following didactic questions arose:
a. Do zero sequence symmetrical components apply in balanced as well as unbalanced non sinusoidal systems contrary to sinusoidal systems?
b. What do the descriptors, symmetrical set, asymmetrical set, balanced, unbalanced and symmetrical components mean?
c. How should harmonics and their resolution to symmetrical components be described in balanced and unbalanced systems?
Literature does not provide an analytical tool nor answer these questions unambiguously. There is thus a need to introduce classification and use subclasses of
threephase descriptors that are cognately derived to clearly describe the relationship so that an analytical tool can be developed that makes the comparison between injections (currents) and harmonic flows (voltages and currents) meaningful and educationally
understandable.
The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel method for teaching the flow of power system harmonics in balanced and unbalanced systems. A tool called a “harmonic penetration analytical chart” is developed, based on the subclassification of threephase sets, to show how the method of symmetrical components can be extended to a system’s response to harmonic flows. The advantage of the chart is that it shows that what is injected in terms of symmetrical component sets by a
harmonic source is not necessarily received by the system, i.e., the harmonic flows may resolve to one, two
or three symmetrical component sets and this depends
upon the type of threephase set found at a given point/node in a system.
It is important to use case studies as part of one’s
teaching as they link learning to concepts and improve understanding. Software based case studies are conducted. When taught as a group, the case studies improve cognitive skills by showing that the symmetrical component responses under an unbalanced situation are different to the balanced state [1].
2. CLASSIFICATION OF THREEPHASE SETS
A threephase set (TPS) is defined as “a group of three
interrelated currents (or voltages) that have the same period” [1], [3]. At a point/node within a sinusoidal system at steadystate, a TPS is found, for example:
i
i
i
a
b
c
=
=
=
A
B
C
cos
cos
cos
( ωt + β ( ωt + β
( ωt + β
a 1
b 1
c 1
)
)
)
(1)
(2)
(3)
A system is therefore comprised of a number of TPS’s
and are either described as a “symmetrical set (SS)” or
as an “asymmetrical set (AS)”. What then is their meaning and/or the difference between these two sets?
2.1 SYMMETRICAL SET AND ASYMMETRICAL SET
The TPS equations (1) to (3) can be represented by phasors having magnitudes (I _{A} , I _{B} , I _{C} ) and phase displacements (β _{a}_{1} , β _{b}_{1} , β _{c}_{1} ), respectively and they are variables.
If each phasor of a TPS is equal in magnitude and has
120° phase displacement, the set is a SS. However, what is not made clear in literature is that if the phasors of a TPS are equal in magnitude but have a phase
displacement of 0 ^{°} , it is also a SS [3].
An important characteristic of a TPS is that it has a phase sequence and can have either an abc, acb or an in phase order of rotation for its phasors. There are thus three classes of SS’s, namely: SS _{a}_{b}_{c} , SS _{a}_{c}_{b} and a
SS inphase .
A TPS that does not have the equal magnitude for its
phasors and/or the 120° phase displacement characteristics of a SS is an AS (AS _{a}_{b}_{c} or AS _{a}_{c}_{b} ). Likewise, a TPS that does not have the equal magnitude characteristic for its phasors like a SS, but has an in phase order (phase displacement of 0 ^{°} ), is an AS (AS _{i}_{n}_{} _{p}_{h}_{a}_{s}_{e} ). Thus there are three possible classes of AS’s, namely: SS abc → AS abc , SS acb → AS acb and SS inphase →
AS inphase .
The important role that these classes play at the different harmonic frequencies as part of a harmonic
penetration study [SS’s (injections and flows/responses)
in balanced systems and SS’s (injections) and AS’s
(flows/responses) in unbalanced load systems] will be demonstrated later. As certain harmonic flows/responses have a positive sequence abc (e.g, 7 ^{t}^{h} ) and others have a negative sequence acb (e.g, 5 ^{t}^{h} ) there
is justification for having separate AS _{a}_{b}_{c} → AS ^{+} and
AS _{a}_{c}_{b} → AS ^{} classes besides an AS _{i}_{n}_{}_{p}_{h}_{a}_{s}_{e} class. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate and explain the response of a power system to harmonic source injections of different sequences.
For teaching harmonic penetration six classes of TPS’s are required, namely [1]:
Figure 1: Classes of threephase sets
2.2 MEANING OF THE TERMS BALANCED AND UNBALANCED
A TPS is said to be balanced if the three phasors (I _{A} , I _{B}
and I _{C} ) at a given point in a system have the same
magnitude and are displaced from each other by 120°. These phasors form an equilateral triangle and their sum
is zero. The term “balanced” means the phasors of a
TPS sum to zero (I _{A} + I _{B} + I _{C} = 0). “Unbalanced” thus means, the three phasors of a TPS do not sum to zero (I _{A} + I _{B} + I _{C} _{≠} 0) [1], [4]. These term descriptors also
apply to impedances. If impedances are equal in magnitude and angle they are “balanced”, if not, they are “unbalanced”.
2.3 SUBCLASSES OF SYMMETRICAL SETS AND ASYMMETRICAL SETS
From the above it is clear that there is an association between SS’s and AS’s and the terms “balanced” and/or “unbalanced”. It is therefore possible to cognately derive subclasses for the six classes of TPS’s. The developed subclasses should thus make use of some of the descriptors so far defined, namely: symmetrical, asymmetrical, balanced, unbalanced including the word “set”.
2.3.1 SYMMETRICAL BALANCED SET (SBS)
If the TPS is a SS with a 120° phase displacement, the phasors sum to zero, therefore a subclass for a SS can be developed and is described as a “Symmetrical Balanced Set” (SBS) [4]. There are thus two types of SBS’s, one with an abc order (SBS _{a}_{b}_{c} → SBS ^{+} ) and one with an acb order (SBS _{a}_{c}_{b} → SBS ^{} ).
In literature, symmetrical and balanced are often used to mean the same thing. This may be true for sinusoidal systems, but when harmonics are present it is important to understand their differences. Symmetrical means a SS whereas balanced means the phasors sum to zero. Thus, because of this difference it is acceptable to use both descriptors to develop the subclass SBS for teaching the relationship between harmonics and symmetrical components. The applications will be shown below.
2.3.2 SYMMETRICAL UNBALANCED SET (SUS)
When a TPS is a SS with a 0° phase displacement, the phasors do not sum to zero, thus another subclass for a SS can be developed and is called a “Symmetrical Unbalanced Set” (SUS) [4].
2.3.3 ASYMMETRICAL BALANCED SET (ABS)
It is possible for the phasors of an AS to sum to zero. This is a characteristic that is often overlooked in steadystate investigations. Thus a subclass can be developed for an AS and is described as an “Asymmetrical Balanced Set” (ABS) [4]. Thus there are also two types of ABS’s, one with an abc order (ABS _{a}_{b}_{c} → ABS ^{+} ) and one with an acb order (ABS _{a}_{c}_{b} → ABS ^{} ).
2.3.4 ASYMMETRICAL UNBALANCED SET (AUS)
If the phasor sum of an AS is not zero, another subclass can be developed and is called an “Asymmetrical Unbalanced Set (AUS) [4].
2.3.5 DIAGRAM OF SUBCLASSES
Figure 2 shows the subclasses of threephase sets:
TPS
SS 

abc/acb 

SBS 

SS 
inphase 

SUS 

AS 
abc/acb 

ABS AUS 

AS 

inphase 
AUS
Figure 2: Subclasses of threephase sets
3. SYMMETRICAL COMPONENT SETS RESOLVED FROM SYMMETRICAL AND ASYMMETRICAL SETS
It is deduced that the symmetrical component method provides that any of the six classes of TPS’s (I _{A} + I _{B} + I _{C} ), provided that they are sinusoidal, and this includes harmonics, may be resolved into symmetrical component sets (SCS) by applying Fortescue’s transformation (T).
Thus SS’s and AS’s can be resolved to SCS’s by applying the transformation (T), namely [3]:
(4)
Three SCS’s are expected, a positive sequence SCS ^{+} , a negative sequence SCS ^{} as well as the zero sequence SCS ^{Z} .
As harmonics are sinusoidal quantities, the method can be extended to the subclasses of TPS’s at harmonic frequencies. [3], [5], [6].
Thus, if the subclass of the TPS in equation (4) is a:
(i) SBS or SUS
The SBS or SUS will resolve to only one SCS after applying Fortescue’s mathematical transformation (T). The other two traditional SCS’s are absent.
If the SBS is abc, it resolves to a SCS ^{+} , whereas if it is acb it resolves to a SCS ^{} . If the set is SUS, it resolves only to a zero sequence SCS ^{Z} .
Thus a SS resolves only to one SCS [1].
(ii) ABS or AUS
If the set is ABS _{a}_{b}_{c} (e.g, 7 ^{t}^{h} harmonic) or ABS _{a}_{c}_{b} (e.g, 5 ^{t}^{h} harmonic) and the transformation (T) is applied, they each resolve to two SCS’s, one SCS ^{+} and one SCS ^{} . However, the two SCS’s of the ABS _{a}_{b}_{c} has a different harmonic frequency to the two SCS’s of the ABS _{a}_{c}_{b} . If the set is AUS, it resolves to three SCS’s, a SCS ^{+} , SCS ^{} and a SCS ^{Z} .
Figure 3 shows a developed “Block Diagram” of the relationship between subclasses of TPS and SCS’s:
characteristic harmonic components (hch = 6k±1 k=1,
2, 3
is inversely proportional to (I _{h} = I _{1} /h), where (h) is the harmonic number, namely [10]:
and the magnitude of each harmonic component
n)
i _{A} = I _{1}_{m} cos(ωt)  I _{5}_{m} cos(5ωt) + I _{7}_{m} cos(7ωt) –
I _{1}_{1}_{m} cos(11ωt) + I _{1}_{3}_{m} cos(13ωt)  I _{1}_{7}_{m} cos(17ωt) +
I _{1}_{9}_{m} cos(19ωt)
(5)
i _{B} = I _{1}_{m} cos(ωt 120°)  I _{5}_{m} cos(5ωt  240°) + I _{7}_{m} cos(7ωt  120°)  I _{1}_{1}_{m} cos(11ωt  240°) + I _{1}_{3}_{m} cos(13ωt  120°)  I _{1}_{7}_{m} cos(17ωt  240°)+
I _{1}_{9}_{m} cos(19ωt  120°)
(6)
Under ideal conditions a threephase 6pulse convertor has a periodic waveform in each phase. The Fourier series is comprised of a fundamental component and
Figure 5: Balanced harmonic source model
4.2 UNBALANCED HARMONIC SOURCE
If a convertor is not fired symmetrically it injects 3 ^{r}^{d} , 9 ^{t}^{h} , etc (triplen harmonics) besides hch’s [6]. The magnitudes of the TPS’s are based on measurements or published data, therefore [5]:
As the source partly injects SUS’s it can be called an “Unbalanced Harmonic Source” [8]. For example, for the 1 ^{s}^{t} , 3 ^{r}^{d} and 5 ^{t}^{h} frequencies the model for simulation studies could be:
Model
5. ANALYSIS OF CASE STUDIES USING A HARMONIC PENETRATION CHART
Figure 8: Threeline harmonic penetration diagram of the system investigated.
HARMONIC PENETRATION ANALYTICAL CHART INJECTIONS FROM HARMONIC SOURCE COMPARED TO HARMONIC FLOWS CASE 1 UNBALANCED HARMONIC SOURCE SUPPLYING A BALANCED CUSTOMER LOAD 

harmonic 
customer (enduser) 
transformer 

source 
injections 
induction motor 
balanced load 
low voltage bus (amps) 
low voltage bus (LL volts) 
high voltage bus (amps) 

(amps) 
3wire (amps) 
4wire (amps) 

spectrum 
SS 
scs 
SS 
scs 
SS 
scs 
SS 
scs 
SS 
scs 
SS 
scs 

_{3} 
rd 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
none 
none 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
none 
none 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
_{5} 
th 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
_{7} 
th 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
_{9} 
th 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
none 
none 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
none 
none 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
11 
^{t}^{h} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
13 
^{t}^{h} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
Chart 1: Case 1
HARMONIC PENETRATION ANALYTICAL CHART INJECTIONS FROM HARMONIC SOURCE COMPARED TO HARMONIC FLOWS CASE 2 UNBALANCED HARMONIC SOURCE SUPPLYING AN UNBALANCED CUSTOMER LOAD 

harmonic 
customer (enduser) 
transformer 

source 
injections 
induction motor 
balanced load 
low voltage bus (amps) 
low voltage bus (LL volts) 
high voltage bus (amps) 

(amps) 
3wire (amps) 
4wire (amps) 

spectrum 
SS 
scs 
AS 
scs’s 
AS 
scs’s 
AS 
scs’s 
AS 
scs’s 
AS 
scs’s 

_{3} 
rd 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
abs 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
abs 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
_{5} 
th 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
abs ^{} 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
abs ^{} 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
_{7} 
th 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
abs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
abs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
_{9} 
th 
sus 
scs ^{Z} 
abs 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
abs 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
11 
^{t}^{h} 
sbs ^{} 
scs ^{} 
abs ^{} 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
abs ^{} 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
13 
^{t}^{h} 
sbs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} 
abs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
abs ^{+} 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} 
aus 
scs ^{+} scs ^{} scs ^{Z} 
Chart 2: Case 2
Figure 8 shows the harmonic penetration diagram of the threephase distribution system used for the two case studies reported. The customer (enduser) in the system is comprised of a harmonic source (6pulse convertor), induction motor load (3wire) and a 4wire linear load. The customer is supplied by a star/star transformer via a distribution network fed from a threephase sinusoidal voltage source (shortcircuited during penetration studies).
The SUPERHARM software package is used because both balanced and unbalanced nonsinusoidal systems can be modeled and analyzed in the threephase domain by means of SS’s and AS’s, enabling injections to be compared to corresponding harmonic flows in terms of SCS’s [9].
For Cases 1 and 2, the harmonic source is modeled as an unbalanced harmonic source comprising 6k±1, k = 1 and 2 only plus triplens (3 ^{r}^{d} and 9 ^{t}^{h} ). The customer’s 4 wire load is balanced for Case 1 and unbalanced for Case 2.
The subclasses of TPS’s and their corresponding SCS’s for cases 1 and 2 are reported in “Harmonic Penetration Analytical Charts”, chart 1 and 2, respectively. For example, for case 1, the TPS for the 3 ^{r}^{d} harmonic injection is 4.05∠101°, 4.05∠101°, 4.05 ∠101° and is therefore a SUS and a SCS ^{Z} . For example, for case 2, the TPS for the 3 ^{r}^{d} harmonic in the induction motor (3 wire) is 0.054∠79.4°, 0.027∠100.27°, 0.027∠100.27° = 0.
Now applying Transformation (T), namely:
The TPS thus resolves to two SCS’s, a SCS ^{+} and a
SCS ^{} and this demonstrates that the TPS is an ABS.
For case 1 (chart 1), the injections and corresponding harmonic flows are single SCS’s. Thus, the SCS ^{+} and SCS ^{} that are injected penetrate through the 3 and 4 wire parts of the system, this is expected as load is balanced. The triplens injected and the flows are SUS’s
and are SCS ^{Z} ’s. No SCS ^{Z} appear in the LL voltages nor
in the 3wire motor part of system.
For case 2 (chart 2), the source injects a 5 ^{t}^{h} and 11 ^{t}^{h} harmonic TPS that are sbs ^{} (scs ^{_} ) and penetrate into the
system and give rise to abs ^{} in the 3wire part and the L
L voltage part, both resolving to two scs’s, a scs ^{+} and
scs ^{} and to AUS’s in the other parts of the system resolving to three scs’s, respectively. Likewise, the source injects a 7 ^{t}^{h} and 13 ^{t}^{h} harmonic TPS, both sbs ^{+} that penetrate giving rise to abs ^{+} in the 3wire and LL voltage parts, resolving to scs ^{+} and scs ^{} and to AUS’s in the other parts giving three scs’s, respectively. Unlike for case 1, where triplen harmonic injections and flows are sus ^{Z} ‘s, in case 2 the injections remain sus ^{Z} ‘s, but their penetrations give rise to ABS’s and AUS’s resolving to two and three scs’s, respectively.
When harmonics are present and the harmonic source and load are unbalanced, triplen penetration is no longer purely zero sequence SS, becoming ABS’s or AUS’s that can resolve to two or three SCS’s, respectively and this is different to balanced systems. In the harmonic source model the SCS’s have different frequencies.
6.
CONCLUSIONS
The symmetrical set plays an important role when modeling harmonic sources. The developed block diagram representing the cognately derived sub classes of threephase sets and its application, as well as the development of a “Harmonic Penetration Analytical Chart” is found to be a novel method for teaching the relationship between harmonics and symmetrical components and for comparing harmonic injections to harmonic flows in a power system in a manner to improve cognitive skills.
The results from the case studies recorded in the charts show that what is injected in terms of single symmetrical component sets is not necessarily received by the system, that is, harmonic flows may resolve to one, two or three symmetrical component sets and this depends on the threephase set found at a given point/node in a system.
REFERENCES
[1] 
Atkinson – Hope, G. “Relationship between Harmonics and Symmetrical Components”, International Journal of Electrical Engineering Educators, IJEEE, Vol. 41, No. 2, Apr 2004. 
[2] 
IEEE Recommended Practice for Electric Power Distribution for Industrial Plants, IEEE Standard 141, pp 447  448, 1993. 
[3] 
IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical and Electronic Terms, IEEE Standard 100, pp 73, 74, 681,768, 796, 976,1073, 1215,1996. 
[4] 
V. Del Toro, A Electric Power Systems@ , Prentice Hall, New Jersey, pp 372, 1992. 
[5] 
R.C. Dugan, M.F. McGranaghan & H.W. 
Beaty, A Electrical Power Systems Quality@ , McGrawHill, New York, pp 172  174, 

1996. 

[6] 
J Arrillaga, B.C. Smith, N.R. Watson & A.R. Wood, APower System Harmonic Analysis@, John Wiley & Sons, England, pp 2, 35, 136, 
1997. 

[7] 
IEEE Recommended Practices and Requirements for Harmonic Control in Electrical Power Systems, IEEE Standard 519, pp 27, 35 1992. 
[8] 
DIgSILENT PowerFactory Software Manual Version 11.1, pp 12  6, 1999. 
[9] 
Electrotek Concepts, A Superharm User= s 
Guide, Version 4.0, pp 3  14, 3  16, 3  29,
1999.
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