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Short Circuit Analysis Case Study & Circuit

Breaker Design

Conference Paper · April 2011


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Sumit Rathor
G H Patel College of Engineering and Technology (GCET)


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Short Circuit Analysis Case Study & Circuit
Breaker Design
Sumit Rathor K Prajapati Bhavik R Patel Anil N.
Master in Power System Master in Power system Lecturer
BVM Engineering College LD collage of engineering S.P.C.E. Visnagar

Abstract: This paper presents the behavior of phenomena and the rating structures of interrupting
system under fault condition and directs us to devices. Bolted faults give the maximum short-
designing of circuit breaker. As the short circuit circuit currents and form the basis of calculations of
analysis is for designing power system with short-circuit duties on switching devices. Faults
considering all the conditions such as line loading,
involving one, or more than one, phase and ground
Circuit breaker design, relay settings, transients etc.
Basically for short circuit study we have to do load are called unsymmetrical faults. Under certain
flow analysis then with considering pre fault condition conditions, the line-to-ground fault or double line-to
short circuit analysis studied. For case study ground fault currents may exceed three-phase
simulation author have use MiPOWER (PRDC) & symmetrical fault currents. Unsymmetrical faults
PsCAD/EMTDC software. are more common as compared to three-phase
faults, i.e., a support insulator on one of the phases
Index Terms—Fault modeling, bolted fault, arc on a transmission line may start flashing to ground,
resistance, X/R ratio, symmetrical fault current* Short-circuit calculations are, thus, the primary
study whenever a new power system is designed or
I. INTRODUCTION an expansion and upgrade of an existing system are
Short circuit studies in power system are a basic planned.
step in planning of modern power grids. Based on
such results and studies, protective device (relay) II. CALCUALTIONS OF SYSTEM QUANTITY.
setting and co-ordination is being carried out,
switchgear components are constructed, A. Available line current
manufactured and installed, etc. The study is Under the fault condition the line current at
performed using computer software first by faulted bus is calculated as where
f f
f i j
modeling the system (conductors, transformers, I ij
generators, utility sources, etc.) and then by ij

f f
simulating faults. V j -post fault bus voltage; Iij =current flowing
A fault usually results in high current flowing
between buses, Vif. =pre fault bus voltage at ith and
through the lines and if adequate protection is not
jth bus, Zij=impedance between two buses.
taken, may result in damages in the power
apparatus. Here the term symmetrical fault refers to The available short-circuit current is directly related
those conditions in which all three phases of a to the size and capacity of the power sources
power system are grounded at the same point. For (utility, generators, and motors) supplying the
this reason the symmetrical faults sometimes are system and is typically independent of the load
also called three-line-to-ground (LLLG) faults. One current of the circuit. The larger the capacity of the
tries to limit short-circuits to the faulty section of power sources supplying the system, the greater the
the electrical system by appropriate switching available short-circuit current (generally). The
devices capable of operating under short-circuit available short-circuit current is directly related to
conditions without damage and isolating only the the size and capacity of the power sources (utility,
faulty section, so that a fault is not escalated. The generators, and motors) supplying the system and is
faster the operation of sensing and switching typically independent of the load current of the
devices, the lower is the fault damage, and the circuit. The larger the capacity of the power sources
better is the chance of systems holding together supplying the system, the greater the available
without loss of synchronism. As the main purpose short-circuit current (generally).
of short-circuit calculations is to select and apply
these devices properly, it is meaningful for the B. Total Symmetrical Fault & short circuit
calculations to be related to current interruption current
Here symmetrical fault current is considered for analysis.
We are interested in symmetrical fault currents. If
the envelopes of the positive and negative peaks of
the current waveform are symmetrical around the tan–1(2πf .L/R). For a purely inductive circuit, the
zero axis, they are called “symmetrical current” current waveform will be displaced from the
envelopes. The total short-circuit current available voltage waveform by 90° (lagging). As resistance is
in a distribution system is usually supplied from a added to the circuit this angular displacement will
number of sources, which can be grouped into three decrease to zero. In a purely resistive circuit, the
main categories. The first is the utility transmission voltage and current will be completely in-phase and
system supplying the facility, which acts like a without an offset. In all practical circuits containing
large, remote generator. The second includes resistance and reactance, the dc component will also
“local” generators either in the plant or nearby in decay to zero as the energy represented by the dc
the utility. The third source category is synchronous component is dissipated as I2R heating losses in the
and induction motors, which are located in many circuit. The rate of decay of the dc component is a
plants and facilities. The total short-circuits current function of the resistance and reactance of the
that has steady-state ac, decaying ac, and decaying circuit. In practical circuits, the dc component
dc current components can be expressed as shown decays to zero in one to 30 cycles.
in Equation(i).
i = idc decay+iac steady state+iac decay … …i III. APPLICATION OF CURRENT SYMMERTY
− Rωt In the previous discussion, a single phase
idc . decay = ( Iacstaedy ) Sin (α − φ ) e
X current was examined to give an understanding of
Iacsteady = 2 IsSin (ω t + α − φ ) asymmetry. In a three-phase system with a bolted
− kt three-phase fault, the sum of the current at any point
Iacdecay = 2 IsSin (ω t + α − φ ) e
in time in the three phases must add to zero.
Where Therefore, if one phase has a maximum offset, then
Is - is the symmetrical steady-state rms. current the other two phases must have a negative offset to
magnitude balance current. The decay time constant of all
k - is a variable depending upon the mix and size phases is the same. The maximum magnetic force
of rotational loads produced on a circuit element, such as a breaker,
t- is in seconds occurs at the instant the fault current through the
The magnitude and duration of the asymmetrical circuit element is at a maximum. From an
current depends upon the following two equipment design and application viewpoint, the
Parameters: phase with the largest of the fault current peaks is of
a) The X/R ratio of the faulted circuit particular interest. This current value subjects the
b) The phase angle of the voltage waveform at the equipment to the most severe magnetic forces. The
time the short circuit occurs largest fault current peak typically occurs in the first
C. Description of fault current current cycle when the initiation of the short-circuit
current is near or coincident with the applied
The greater the fault point X/R ratio, the voltage passing through zero. This condition is
longer will be the asymmetrical fault current decay called the condition of maximum asymmetry. In the
time. For a specific X/R ratio, the angle of the application of equipment that can carry fault current
applied voltage at the time of short circuit initiation such as circuit breakers, switches, transformers, and
determines the degree of fault current asymmetry fuses, the total available short-circuit current must
that will exist for that X/R ratio. In a purely be determined. For correct equipment application,
inductive circuit, the maximum dc current knowledge of the minimum test X/R ratio or
component is produced when the short circuit is maximum power factor of the applied fault current
initiated at the instant the applied voltage is zero (α used in the acceptance test by ANSI, NEMA, or UL
= 0° or 180° when using sine functions). The is also required. Peak fault current magnitudes are
current will then be fully offset in either the positive significant for some devices, such as low-voltage
or negative direction. Maximum asymmetry for any breakers, while asymmetrical rms. current
circuit X/R ratio often occurs when the short circuit magnitudes are equally significant for high-voltage
is initiated near voltage zero. The initial dc fault circuit breakers. This leads to the need to develop
current component is independent of whether the ac an X/R ratio dependent short-circuit calculation for
component remains constant or decays from its proper comparison to the equipment being applied.
initial value. For any circuit X/R ratio, the voltage The fault current calculation needs to take into
and current waveforms will be out of phase from account the ac component and the transient dc
each other by an angle corresponding to the amount component of the calculated fault current to
of reactance in the circuit compared to the amount determine the total maximum peak or rms. current
of resistance in the circuit. This angle is equal to the magnitude that can occur in a circuit. When the
calculated fault X/R ratio is greater than the
equipment test X/R ratio, the higher total fault
current associated with the higher X/R ratio must be
taken into account when evaluating the application
of the equipment. In this summary, it has been
shown that the effects of asymmetry are dependent
only upon the fault point X/R ratio of the circuit and
the instant of fault initiation. The references show
that the effects of the peak fault current magnitude
and the energy content of the first current cycle are
much greater than the effect of the rms. value. For
the Condition of maximum asymmetry, the rms.
value of the first cycle fault current theoretically can
be as great as 1.732 times the steady-state rms.
symmetrical fault current component. However, the
peak first cycle current for the same condition can
be up to two times the peak of the steady-state
current component, and the magnetic forces can be
four times that of the rms. symmetrical ac
component. From the equipment design viewpoint, Fig 1: GETCO 220kV substation Mehsana line
these peak currents and energy comparisons are the diagram.(AC Load Flow)(assuming incoming lines as
maximum that the equipment must withstand. For generator, specify slack bus)
ANSI rated equipment, the maximum asymmetrical
rms. current provides this measure of maximum In power system impedance has two components.
capability. It is important to know the terms The first is called reactance (X). Reactance depends
defining the characteristic short-circuit current on two things: (1) the inductance and (2) the
waveforms. The test short-circuits currents used for frequency and second component is resistance.
circuit breaker and fuse interrupting ratings have p.f. = cos(tan-1(X/R))
different test procedures and power factor (X/R If the power factor is unity (1), then the impedance
ratios) requirements. For example, high-voltage only has resistance. If the power factor is zero, then
power circuit breakers use rms. current interrupting the impedance only has reactance. Therefore, power
tests at a power factor of 6.7% (X/R = 15), while factor and X/R ratio are different ways of saying the
low-voltage circuit breakers use peak currents at a same thing. So as power factor decreases, the X/R
power factor of 15% (X/R = 6.59). Molded case and ratio increases. Right after a fault occurs, the
insulated case circuit breakers have different (from current waveform is no longer a sine wave. Instead,
6.7% and 15%) test power factors that must be it can be represented by the sum of a sine wave and
considered. If the calculated fault point X/R ratio is a decaying exponential. The decaying exponential
greater than the test X/R ratio of the interrupting component added to the sine wave causes the
device, then the calculation of equipment duty current to reach a much larger value than that of the
current is affected. sine wave alone.
The waveform that equals the sum of the sine
IV. CASE STUDY RESULT (GETCO 220KV S/S) wave and the decaying exponential is called the
As for the analysis of system under disturbance asymmetrical current because the waveform does
condition case study of 220kV GETCO Mehsana not have symmetry above and below the time axis.
(Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation) The actual waveform of the asymmetrical fault
substation is chosen. current is hard to predict because it depends on
what time in the voltage cycle waveform the fault
A. X/R Ratio occurs. However, the largest asymmetrical fault
The X/R ratio is important because it determines the current occurs when a fault happens at a point when
peak asymmetrical fault current. The asymmetrical the voltage is zero. Then, the asymmetrical fault
fault current can be much larger than the current depends only on the X/R ratio, or power
symmetrical fault current. Fault is a sudden event so factor, and the magnitude of the symmetrical fault
it subjected to a response is called a transient, which current. Figure 2 shows how the ratio of the peak
means that it lasts for only a short time asymmetrical current to the RMS symmetrical
current varies with the X/R ratio. (RMS
Data for the software simulation obtained from the GETCO symmetrical current equals the peak symmetrical
Mehsana (Gujarat energy transmission Corporation) current divided by the square root of 2.)
What Figure 2 shows is that the peak asymmetrical The peak SC components can be calculated
current increases with the X/R ratio. multiplying the initial momentary SC current by a
crest factor of 2.07. These factors depend on the
X/R ratio of the driving point impedance and the
circuit breaker contact parting time. They are
different for near-to and far-from generators faults


While selecting circuit breakers it is important
to make sure that none of the capabilities are
exceeded in their application. These capabilities are
basically obtained from the short circuit current
Fig2: Peak asymmetrical current as a function of calculations available at the equipment location.
symmetrical RMS current. Therefore, the starting point is the careful fault
I peak = 2 I sym
+ I dc
10ms analysis of the power system. Normally two kind of
rating considered. The first type of rating is an
Where Isym is symmetrical AC SC component at interrupt rating. Devices that would have such a
10ms after fault rating include circuit breakers and fuses. An
As from the short circuit of systems 132kV bus the interrupt rating refers to the maximum fault current
various parameters with pre fault condition the that a device can interrupt. The second type of
during fault and post fault component is computed rating is a withstand rating.
as below shows the fault data result in table and the Devices with withstand ratings are not
graph for the fault at bus number 38. intended to interrupt fault current, but rather to
“ride through” a fault without damage. The rating
B. Results reflects the device’s ability to hold up during a
fault. This is usually carried out in per unit
The results shows the current magnitude as well as
quantities although there are other methods such as
the fault MVA level of the faulted bus contributed
percentage and MVA methods available. The TRV
from the generator bus.
(transient recovery voltage) is associated with the
Table I: Result of short circuit on bus no 39 of 220kV.
so-called dielectric phase of the arc-interruption
phenomena. The overrating of high voltage circuit
breakers (CBs) is an ever growing problem as
power systems throughout the world tend to be
increasingly connected. The symmetrical and
asymmetrical short-circuit currents; the load
currents and the transient recovery voltage (TRV)
are amongst the most important parameters for the
analysis of CB overrating.
As previously explained the use of fault current It is well-known that the dielectric stresses
graph for the circuit breaker design as well as imposed within a CB are higher when symmetric
systems relay and switch gear short-circuit currents are to be interrupted. Thus,
settings. neglecting the current asymmetry will lead to
conservative TRV values. Moreover, since the
maximum TRV value occurs before the first
current-wave peak, computation can be made using
the first current half-cycle only. Most of the faults
that occur in a real power system are non
symmetric. However, the study of symmetric three
phase faults is important because, despite the fact
that its occurrence is so rare, it is more severe from
the power system transient stability point of view
than unbalanced short circuits. In addition, this
study is useful to obtain synchronous machine
dynamic parameters and to understand the transient
behavior of electric power systems under the
Fig3: Fault current with DC decaying component.
occurrence of a short circuit.
VI. SINGIFICANCE OF GRAPH FOR C.B. X/R ratio) is known sub transient current and in the
SELECTION next 8 to 10 cycles it is known as transient current
A circuit breaker has to work under different and finally steady state current. The asymmetry in
circumstances. It’s rated in term of , The no of poles the current is due to the D.C component. In case the
rated, symmetrical & asymmetrical breaking symmetrical breaking current is known, the making
capacity, short time rating , operating duty. The current can be obtained by multiplying this current
number of poles per phase of a breaker is a function by √2 to get the peak value and again by 1.8 to
of the operating voltage. The voltage levels at include the doubling effect (i.e. D.C. component at
various points in a system vary depending upon the the first peak is almost equal to the A.C.
system condition and as a result the breaker has to component). The breaking current of a breaker
operate under such variable voltage conditions. The depends upon the instant on the current wave when
breaker is expected to operate at a maximum the contacts begin to open. As shown Fig.4 the
voltage which normally is higher than the rated contacts start to separate at XY. The symmetric
nominal voltage. The rated current of a circuit breaking current is given by a/√2amp and the
asymmetric breaking current is given by
(a 2 ) + b
breaker is the maximum value of current in rms
amperes which it shall carry continuously without 2

exceeding the temperature limits of the various

parts of the breaker. The rated frequency of a The breaking capacity of a breaker is the product
breaker is the frequency for which it is designed to of the breaking current and the recovery voltage.
operate. application at frequencies other than the The symmetrical breaking capacity is the product of
designed, need special considerations. asymmetric breaking current and the recovery


To perform a TRV study in digital simulation, the
first step is to build up the power system model of
the study subject (The power plant substation in this
case). The detailed representation of the substation
and nearby power system is required. The time
varying voltages at the breaker in question will be
computed, displayed and examined.
Depending on whether the user selects a 1- pole, 2-
pole or a 3-pole circuit breaker the calculation for
the circuit breaker varies.
3 pole =
3 * 80% * ( P − P )V
(P-P)V= Line to line voltage
Fig 4: shows the fault current and C.B operation.
The recovery voltage is the voltage which appears
The making current is the peak value of the across the terminals of a pole of a circuit breaker.
maximum current loop, including dc component, in This voltage may be considered in two successive
any phase during the first cycle of current when the time intervals: one during which a transient voltage
circuit breaker is closed. Then making current exists, followed by a second one during which a
corresponds to the ordinate IASYM. The capacity of a power frequency voltage alone exists. Within a few
breaker to make currents depends upon its ability to microseconds after current zero, current stops
withstand and to close successfully against the flowing in the circuit. The power system response
effect of electromagnetic forces. The maximum to the current interruptions is what generates TRV.
force in any phase is a function of the square of the The difference in the power system response
maximum instantaneous current occurring in that voltage from the source side to the load side of the
phase on closing. It’s therefore, the practice to circuit breaker is the TRV. The breaking operation
specify making current in terms of peak value rather is successful if the circuit breaker is able to
than in terms of rms value. The making capacity is, withstand the TRV and the power frequency
carry instantaneously at the rated service voltage. It recovery voltage. TRV is then related to the power
is known that in a particular phase the current is system response to an interruption of current in a
maximum right at the instant short circuit takes circuit very close to a power frequency current zero.
place, after which the current decreases. The current The nature of the TRV is dependent on the circuit
in the first one or two cycles (depending upon the being interrupted, whether primarily resistive,
capacitive or inductive.
Study of this phenomenon is extremely important to ACKNOWLEDGMENT
ensure that breaker electrical insulation limits, as Authors would like to acknowledge thanks GETCO
defined by the appropriate standards, are not for the allowing project work in company and kind
violated due to power system characteristics. The support during the project work.
procedure for TRV verification and the TRV
capabilities are outlined in the IEEE standard REFERENCES
[1] IEEE Std 551™-2006 IEEE Recommended Practice
for Calculating Short-Circuit Currents in Industrial
and commercial power system.
[2] ANSI\IEEE Std. 241-1990 "Recommended Practice
for Electric Power Systems in Commercial
[3] Vladimir V. Terzija “Short Circuit Studies in
Transmission Networks Using Improved Fault
[4] IEEE Std 141-1993” IEEE Recommended Practice
for Electric Power Distribution for Industrial Plants”
[5] Shui-cheong Kam “Modeling of Restriking and
Reignition Phenomena in Three-phase Capacitor
Fig: 5 TRV waveform across the 132kV C.B and Shunt Reactor Switching”
[6] A.M. Gole, O.B. Nayak. T.S. Sidhu, M.S. Sachdev,
"A Graphical Electromagnetic Simulation
As in Fig.5 the TRV across the pole of the C.B of Laboratory for Power Systems Engineering
132kV size is simulated of the EMTDC/PSCAD Programs", IEEE PES.
software for the fault current of 9420A of [7] ”EMTDC - The Electromagnetic Transients &
symmetrical kind of fault. The detailed result shown Controls Simulation Engine”, User’s Guide,
in Table II. Manitoba HVDC Research Centre Inc., 2005
[8] R. Orama, ”Breakdown Phenomena of a Vacuum
Table II: Result of simulation for C.B wave on PSCAD. Interrupter after Current Zero”, International
Rating Value Conference on Power System Transients 2001, Rio
Rated Voltage 132kV de Janeiro, Brazil, June 2001,
Interrupting Short Circuit Current 9.4kA [9] K. Ngamsanroaj and W. Tayati,” An analysis of
switching overvoltages in the EGAT 500 kV
Rated Peak(E2) 219kV
transmission system”, in proc. 2003 IEEE
Rated Time to Peak(T2) 14micro
Conference on Power Engineering, pp. 149.

Short circuit studies are performed to determine
the magnitude of the current flowing throughout the
power system at various time intervals after a fault.
The magnitude of the current through the power
system after a fault varies with time until it reaches
a steady state condition. During the fault, the power
system is called on to detect, interrupt and isolate
these faults, The duty impressed on the equipment
is dependent on the magnitude of the current, which
is a function of the time of fault initiation. Such
calculations are performed for various types of fault
such as three-phase, single line to ground fault,
double line to ground fault and at different location
of the system. The calculated short circuit results
are used to select fuses, circuit breakers and
protective relays. As from the simulation on both
MiPower and PSCAD user can model any power
system for design point of view and with accurate
modelling the result get approaches to be accurate
as verified with case study.

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