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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 32, NO. 2, APRIL 2017

Triggered Current Limiters—Their Arc Flash Mitigation and Damage Limitation Capabilities

Jay Prigmore , Member, IEEE , and John S. Schaffer, Senior Member, IEEE

Abstract —Triggered current limiters (TCL) have traditionally been applied to protect overdutied switchgear in medium volt- age substations but increasing trends include the applications of damage limitation and Arc Flash mitigation. TCLs are effective at minimizing damage from short circuits due to their speed, which results in their peak current limitation capabilities. Their subcycle

response time (extinction in 1/4–1/2 cycle) can often reduce the I 2 t available in the system to less than 1% of its potential value com- pared to a fice-cycle breaker. TCLs are capable of reducing the incident energy enough to reduce the Arc Flash hazard category and required personal protective equipment for onsite personnel.

A TCL can commonly reduce the Arc Flash hazard category from

category 4 to category 2 in medium voltage. For low voltage, most

applications should be reduced to category 0 or 1. This paper aims

to address the applications of Arc Flash reduction and damage lim-

itation for substation design and generating stations, and highlights the benefits a TCL can provide.

Index Terms — Arc flash and arc blast, electrical safety, fault current limiters, occupational safety, power system faults, power system protection, substation design, substation protection.

I. I NTRODUCTION

A S electrical energy demand continues to grow, additional sources are often added to existing substations or new

substations are constructed to accommodate this increase in de- mand. These additional sources often increase fault currents to levels which can destroy system equipment even if the sys- tem is operating within its circuit breaker interrupt ratings. The

additional sources may also exceed existing installed equip- ment ratings potentially causing catastrophic failure to multiple pieces of system equipment. This may require lengthier repair times and expensive repair costs or replacement. In addition, a short-circuit event may reduce the service life of substation equipment due to through-fault damage. Not only can the in- terrupt ratings of protective devices be exceeded, but also the thermal and mechanical ratings of other equipment in the fault circuit. Furthermore, the incident energy available on the system can exceed all available Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) rat-

Manuscript received February 16, 2016; revised June 2, 2016; accepted July 30, 2016. Date of publication August 24, 2016; date of current version March 22, 2017. Paper no. TPWRD-00195-2016. The authors are with the System Protection Division, G&W Electric Co., Bolingbrook, IL 60440 USA (e-mail: jprigmore@gwelec.com; jschaffer@ gwelec.com). Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2016.2602098

ings [1], [2]. Onsite personnel can be exposed to hazardous levels of system energy when working in the vicinity, should an arc fault occur. Lowering or removing the available incident energy in the system can not only save equipment from damage but also minimize exposure of personnel. Traditional approaches for limiting fault currents and mini- mizing system damage are highlighted below [3]–[5]:

1) Upgrade system equipment 2) Addition of a current limiting reactor 3) Open bus ties or disconnect sources 4) Addition of current limiting fuses (CLFs) when <1000V or in branches of medium voltage systems [6]. Yet their effectiveness may be limited by melt characteristics or availability of sufficient continuous duty ratings.

II. TRIGGERED CURRENT LIMITER

Triggered Current Limiters (TCLs) also referred to as Com- mutating Current Limiters (CCLs) are devices which consist of a main continuous current conduction path with a parallel mounted current limiting fuse [7]. TCLs have voltage ratings up to 38 kV with continuous current capabilities up to 5000 A and interrupt ratings up to and sometimes exceeding 200 kA rms, sym. TCLs have successfully interrupted up to 311 kA rms, sym at 15.7 kV [7]. The TCL, as shown in Fig. 1, is externally powered and does not derive its control power from the bus voltage. As the control logic requires a few cycles to power up, if one closes into a short-circuit condition the TCL may not operate before the first peak current is reached and would not provide the protection the system requires. By externally powering up the TCL, this undesirable situation can be avoided and protection is provided if one closes into a fault. TCLs are commonly powered from the same station batteries that are used for tripping circuit breakers or other equipment.

A. Operation

Under normal (non-faulted) operating conditions, a high percentage of the continuous current (>99%) flows through the main conduction path with the remaining portion flowing through the parallel mounted current limiting fuse. Upon occur- rence of a short-circuit current event, the TCL senses the current and determines whether to operate or not based on its preset “trigger level.” The main conduction path consists of a copper bus bar with thin sections that are pyrotechincally cut and folded back upon themselves, creating physical gaps and associated arc

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. For more information, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

PRIGMORE AND SCHAFFER: TRIGGERED CURRENT LIMITERS

PRIGMORE AND SCHAFFER: TRIGGERED CURRENT LIMITERS Fig. 1. Typical components of a triggered current limiter voltages.

Fig. 1. Typical components of a triggered current limiter

voltages. This forces commutation of main conductor currents to the shunt current limiting fuse(s). Electrically, the cutting op- eration mimics a separation of contacts, but at extremely high speed. To pyrotechnics are used to achieve this high speed nec- essary for the TCL to function in a current limiting mode. The current limiting fuse melts and ultimately interrupts the fault current within 1/4 to 1/2 of a cycle (before the first peak current occurs) shortly before the “voltage zero” of the system [8]. The TCL uses two basic principles in determining when to operate. The first principle is instantaneous overcurrent (threshold). The second principle is an extremely brief time-delay where the cur- rent flowing must exceed the threshold value for the specific minimum time before a “short-circuit” is determined to have occurred and the TCL operates [9]. The built in time delay is a filtering means to avoid operating on non-fault system transients.

It is not desirable to utilize rate-of-current-rise (di/dt) sensing

as it can have a higher probability of unwanted nuisance trips. Short-circuits, system transients and capacitor bank discharges all have a high di/dt characteristic and it is not always possi- ble to reliably determine, in the sub-cycle timeframe required for the TCL to operate, which system event is occurring. For timeframes greater than 1 cycle the differences between short- circuits, transients and capacitor bank discharges can be readily observed. By not using di/dt sensing, nuisance trips can be more readily avoided.

B. Energy/Damage Limitation Comparison

A more recent trend relates to Damage Limitation of failed

devices and surrounding equipment. In this case, equipment may be properly rated for its fault duty, but the catastrophic effects of

a fault are greatly limited by a TCL, as opposed to the more tra- ditional techniques using relays, breakers and current limiting reactors. It is well known that traditional current limiting fuses, in lower continuous current ratings, can be very effective in dam- age limitation. Commutating limiters, such as the TCL, can pro- vide this effectiveness for the higher continuous current ranges than traditional CLFs, especially in the medium voltage range where CLFs with high continuous current ratings do not exist.

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CLFs with high continuous current ratings do not exist. 1115 Fig. 2. Let-through I 2 t

Fig. 2. Let-through I 2 t comparison.

Fig. 2 compares the let-through I 2 t of a 5 cycle breaker, a 5 cycle breaker plus reactor combination where the reactor lim- its the current to half, a traditional 200 A continuous medium voltage current limiting fuse and the TCL with its 40 kA rms, sym interrupt rating for a medium voltage application. The let- through I 2 t for a 5-cycle breaker for a 40 kA rms, sym fault current is 133 million A 2 sec at 60 Hz. When a reactor is in- serted to provide a 50% reduction, the let-through I 2 t is reduced to one quarter of its original value or 33 million A 2 sec. A 200 A continuous current limiting fuse would reduce the let-through I 2 t to approximately 1 million A 2 sec. The TCL for this scenario can reduce the let-through energy to 0.6 million A 2 sec which is less than 1% of the let-through I 2 t as compared to a 5 cycle breaker. A quick comparison is shown by the red horizontal bar rep- resenting the relative let-through I 2 t just below each sub-plot in Fig. 2. The TCL provides the excellent damage limitation as a traditional current limiting fuse but at elevated continu- ous current ranges. Regarding damage limitation and Arc Flash mitigation, it can be seen in Fig. 3 that the worst-case exposure when using a TCL is based on the trigger level and its associated rms, symmetrical fault level, below which the breaker or similar device is expected to clear and the TCL will not trigger. Divide the TCL instantaneous trigger level by 1.414 to determine the associated rms, symmetrical fault. This rms, symmetrical value can be applied by the user in their Arc Flash analysis programs as a maximum exposure. It should also be noted that the three (3) trigger levels, in Fig. 3, represent only the maximum values for a certain oper- ating range of a TCL and that lesser values for each range will similarly reduce the exposure. The low end of each trigger level range for each interrupt rating will be the maximum trigger level for that interrupt rating divided by 3.5. Other ranges are avail- able and custom trigger levels can be set. For faults reaching the trigger level due to asymmetry of a lesser rms, symmetrical fault, this will result in a triggering at a lower value, to effec- tively mitigate those asymmetrical faults as well. In other words, the TCL will also protect against asymmetrical faults. For fault energy, similarly consider the fault currents, below which the TCL does not operate as worst-case.

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 32, NO. 2, APRIL 2017

TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 32, NO. 2, APRIL 2017 Fig. 3 Comparison of let-through I

Fig. 3 Comparison of let-through I 2 t for different protection devices based on available rms, sym current for a low voltage system.

Fig. 3 shows the let through I 2 t of a 3 cycle breaker, a 3 cycle breaker and reactor combination where the reactor limits the available short-circuit current to 50% of its available value, a 4000 A continuous high speed current limiting fuse and the TCL with multiple interrupt ratings and trigger levels. The high speed current limiting fuse performs adequately while operating in its current limiting region at limiting let-through I 2 t but performs poorly due to its long time to melt when below its current limiting region. This can be seen in Fig. 3 at 70 kA rms, sym where the graph appears to be discontinuous. Below 70 kA rms, sym, the traditional current limiting fuse quickly exceeds the maximum scale in Fig. 3. The breaker and the breaker plus reactor combination both exceed the maximum scale for Fig. 3 but they reach it at differ- ent available fault currents. The TCL is reliant on its individual trigger level setting to determine the worst-case let-through I 2 t. Fig. 3 demonstrates why the trigger level selection is very im- portant in limiting the let-through I2t. The TCL will follow the breaker curve until its trigger level is reached which acts as a step function for any available fault currents greater than the trigger level.

III. TCL A PPLICATIONS

A. Arc Flash and Arc Blast

An outgrowth of the damage limitation application and recog- nized for many years is the use of TCLs in personnel protection. This occurs not only by limiting equipment destruction to which

an individual may be exposed, but also by mitigating the effects of direct exposure to an arcing fault. Energy limitation is critical in Arc Flash Mitigation. It should be noted that the personnel and equipment are not just coping with the energy release of an Arc Flash and Arc Blast event through PPE or the routing of energy release to other locations. Instead, the TCL effectively reduces the arc fault energy by reducing the current in both time and magnitude. A large percentage of TCL applications are fo- cused on Energy Limitation for the purpose of Arc Flash and Arc Blast mitigation. The 5 main factors that determine an Arc Flash injury severity are given below. 1) Proximity 2) Temperature 3) Sound, Light, Pressure Wave 4) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 5) Duration of Arcing Fault. The majority of Arc Flash mitigation technologies are focused on limiting the duration of the arcing fault by interrupting the arcing fault as quickly as possible. The TCL minimizes the duration of the arcing fault more than conventional technologies once the TCL’s trigger level is exceeded. It has a far more pronounced effect in that it limits the magnitude of the fault, where the energy is related to the square of the current magnitude (integrated over time). A typical Arc Flash application is depicted in Fig. 4. The TCL is installed directly on the secondary of the main trans- former. Alternatively, the TCL can be installed on the incomer

PRIGMORE AND SCHAFFER: TRIGGERED CURRENT LIMITERS

PRIGMORE AND SCHAFFER: TRIGGERED CURRENT LIMITERS Fig. 4. Typical arc flash application. TCLs are installed on
PRIGMORE AND SCHAFFER: TRIGGERED CURRENT LIMITERS Fig. 4. Typical arc flash application. TCLs are installed on

Fig. 4. Typical arc flash application. TCLs are installed on the major source to cut-off a significant portion of system energy.

for a Motor Control Center (MCC). The TCL will protect all equipment downstream of its location. If installed on the MCC, it will protect the MCC and limit associated damage. The Arc Flash application is similar to the Damage Limitation applica- tion but differs in the overall protection objective and ultimately, the trigger level. For Arc Flash mitigation the criteria may be a targeted Per- sonal Protective Equipment (PPE) level. It is common to reduce exposure down a few levels from that encountered without the TCL, and in some cases to hazard level “0” for low voltage ap- plications. For these cases, the trigger level is critical, since the maximum exposure is typically at a current level just beneath that of the TCL trigger or instantaneous pick-up level. This can be readily noted on Fig. 3, where the dashed vertical lines are indicative of the rms, symmetrical current level beneath which the TCL will not operate, thus permitting the breaker or similar device to clear the fault. 1) Trigger Level Selection: Follow the steps below when selecting the appropriate TCL ratings and trigger level for an Arc Flash or personnel protection application:

Step 1 – Determine the maximum amount of fault current flowing through the TCL that will need to be interrupted in both directions. This may or may not be the total amount of fault current on the system. Select the next highest interrupt rating from the TCL interrupt ratings and corresponding standard in- stantaneous trigger levels. For example, if the system has 60 kA rms, sym available but only 40 kA rms, sym will flow through the TCL (to be interrupted by the TCL), the proper interrupt rating would be an associated interrupt rating above this 40 kA rms, sym value. Step 2 – Calculate the maximum worst-case inrush of down- stream motors or transformers by determining the maximum total KVA simultaneously energized. This can either be the highest KVA of a single motor/transformer or it can be a sum of individual motors/transformers within this KVA grouping.

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TABLE I

I NPUT DATA FOR ARC FLASH ANALYSIS

Medium Voltage

Low Voltage

Equipment Class Grounding Available Short-Circuit Current Current Through Protective Device System Voltage Gap Between Conductors

Working Distance[10], [11] Arc Duration

Switchgear

Switchgear

Grounded Grounded

38.85 kA

29.88 kA (FLA/0.07) 13.8 kV in (152 mm)

6

36

Device Specific

in (914 mm)

85.18 kA 72.16 kA (FLA/0.05) 480 V 1 in (25.4 mm) 24 in (610 mm) Device Specific

Calculate the total full-load amperes (FLA) for motors and then for transformers that makes up the maximum simultaneously energized KVA. For motors multiply the FLA by 15; and for transformers multiply the FLA by 30 for very conservative re- sults. Step 3 – Based on the inrushes, select a standard trigger level from the manufacturer that is just greater than the maximum expected inrush value, which also provides for a device with sufficient interrupt capability. If a standard trigger level is not desirable, a custom trigger level may be set. If the expected inrush exceeds the maximum trigger level for the selected inter- rupt rating, then select the next highest interrupt rating that has a trigger level above the expected maximum inrush. Step 4 – The worst-case condition occurs when the fault cur- rent is just below the TCL’s trigger level. Below this level the circuit-breaker or similar device is expected to clear over a longer period of time and the TCL will not trigger. To determine the associated rms, symmetrical fault current, divide the TCL’s instantaneous trigger level by 1.414 or 2. This rms, symmetri- cal value can be applied by the end user in their Arc Flash anal- ysis programs as a worst-case fault current let-through. Please note, a lesser magnitude rms, sym fault current offset by asym- metry could still operate the TCL. 2) Application Examples: All example calculations assume an infinite bus and ideal conductors when calculating short- circuit current and arcing fault current. The incident energy calculations and hazard level results were performed using the software package in Arc Flash Analysis by ARCAD Inc. The values used in the calculations are given below in Table I. Only the duration of interruption was modified to correspond to the appropriate protective devices. Medium Voltage:

For a medium voltage application example of Fig. 4, the equipment ratings are given below. 1) Main Transformer Rating

– 50 MVA

– 60 Hz

V SECONDARY = 13.8 kV L L

– Z% = 7%

– FLA = 2,091 A

– Fault Current (I SC ) = 29.88 kA rms, sym 2) Motor Ratings

– Total Lumped MVA = 40 MVA

– FLA = 1.67 kA

– Backfeed I SC = 5 FLA = 8.37 kA

– Largest Individual Motor = 10 MVA

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TABLE II

MEDIUM VOLTAGE ARC FLASH C OMPARISON

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 32, NO. 2, APRIL 2017

TABLE III

LOW VOLTAGE ARC FLASH C OMPARISON

 

Breaker

TCL Operation up to Max Fault Current

TCL Below

Breaker +

TCL Operation up to Max Fault Current

TCL Below

+ Relay

Trigger Level

Relay

Trigger Level

Arc Duration Incident Energy (cal/cm 2 ) Hazard Level Arc Flash Boundary

83 ms

10 ms

83 ms

Arc Duration Incident Energy (cal/cm 2 ) Hazard Level Arc Flash Boundary Initial Blast Pressure (lbs/ft 2 ) TNT Mass Equivalent

50 ms

10 ms

50 ms

28

6.4

6.5

4.8

0.9

1.0

4

2

2

2

0

0

174 in (4418 mm) 171 lbs/ft 2

83 in (739 mm)

84 in (1384 mm)

61 in (1554 mm) 258 lbs/ft 2

19 in (487 mm) 53 lbs/ft 2

21 in (523 mm) 59 lbs/ft 2

Initial Blast Pressure (lbs/ft 2 ) TNT Mass Equivalent

40 lbs/ft 2 (Mainly due to Motor Backfeed) 0.25 lbs (115 grams)

40 lbs/ft 2

 
 

0.46 lbs

0.07 lbs (31 grams)

0.08 lbs

1.99 lbs

0.26 lbs

(211 grams)

(35 grams)

 

(903 grams)

(120 grams)

The arc duration for the breaker scenario may increase significantly on lower magnitude faults.

– Largest Motor FLA = 600 A rms, sym

– Highest Inrush = 6.3 kA inst. (peak)

3) Maximum Downstream Transformer Rating

– 3.5 MVA

– Primary FLA = 146.4 A

– Backfeed limited to 0.6 kA

– Highest inrush = 4.4 kA inst. at 13.8 kV

Based on the system voltage and continuous current ratings, the proper ratings for the TCL would be a 15.5 kV, 3000 con- tinuous class device without any de-rating factors due to the environment or elevation. The maximum amount of fault cur- rent required to be interrupted is 29.88 kA rms, sym. An in- terrupt rating greater than 30 kA rms, sym is required for this application ( Step 1). The maximum inrush for the downstream transformer is 4.4 kA inst. and the largest motor inrush is 6.3 kA inst. The site operating philosophy is to energize each piece of down- stream equipment individually. Therefore the maximum inrush current is 6.3 kA instantaneous and not a combination of both the largest motor and downstream transformer ( Step 2). The next highest standard trigger level is 8 kA instanta- neous, although 10 kA inst. can be selected for extra margin. In this example, the 10 kA instantaneous trigger level is selected ( Step 3). The 10 kA inst. trigger level equates to a 7.07 kA rms, sym current (Step 4). The 7.07 kA rms, sym value can be used to limit the maximum fault current output by the source as applied in an Arc Flash software package. Since a 10 kA trig- ger level is chosen, the 40 kA rms, sym interrupt rating of the TCL is the correct rating as the selected trigger level is within the standard trigger level range for this particular the interrupt rating based on the manufacturer’s data sheet. A higher rated TCL can be chosen but the peak cut-off and energy let-through will also increase. The results of the Arc Flash analysis are shown below in Ta- ble II. It is assumed the medium voltage circuit breaker requires 5 cycles to operate (83 ms). The Arc Flash relay operates in 1-4 ms and is included in the 83 ms total operation time to clear the arc fault. In this medium voltage example, Lee’s method was used as it is more conservative than the IEEE 1584 method for medium voltage [3].

The arc duration for the breaker scenario may increase significantly on lower magnitude faults.

An important note, the main breaker may trip and interrupt the source contribution but it does not interrupt the backfeeds which can prolong the arc duration and increase accumulative damage and the hazard level. The TCL operation yields an approximate let-through I 2 t of 140,000 A 2 sec. Adding this let-through I 2 t to the I 2 t value of the residual 8.97 kA rms, sym yields a combined I 2 t of 7.2 million A 2 sec. The combined I 2 t value equates to 9.05 kA rms, sym for 5 cycles. This 9.05 kA rms, sym value is used as the worst case fault current when the TCL does operate and is an input to the software. When the fault current is below the trigger level, the TCL does not operate. The worst-case fault current would be the combination of the rms, sym trigger level and the residual fault current from motors and downstream transformers. If the fault is only at a percentage of the maximum prospective fault current due to arc impedance, the backfeeds will also be reduced to that same percentage. In this application, the backfeeds will be reduced to 23.66% of their prospective value. The worst-case fault current is 9.19 kA rms, sym (7.07 rms, sym trigger level plus the percentage reduced motor backfeed current of 2.12 rms, sym). Limiting the source current to the 7.07 rms, sym trigger level in any software package typically models the worst-case condition through the TCL. An alternative approach would be to implement a custom TCC with a straight line at the 7.07 rms, sym trigger level. For Arc Flash purposes, the TCL would essentially be a switch that operates above the 7.07 kA rms, sym limit and would not operate below as the TCL would already be cleared at 0.01 sec, before traditional TCCs even start. A lower asymmetrical current could still operate the TCL but exposure would be less. As shown in Table III, the TCL reduces the Arc Flash and Arc Blast exposure considerably. In this example, it reduces the hazard level from 4 to a worst-case level 2. Note that an Arc Flash relay operation is applicable only to a lineup of gear and that the TCL is effective both inside and outside of the lineup – a zone effect with further coverage. In medium voltage applications, installing a TCL in the system can typically reduce the hazard level from a level 4 to a level 2. Low Voltage: Modifying the ratings for the previous exam- ple to accommodate low voltage applications (<1000 V), the equipment ratings are given below. This is a standalone example

PRIGMORE AND SCHAFFER: TRIGGERED CURRENT LIMITERS

and does not reference any data in the previous medium voltage example. 1) Main Transformer Rating

– 3,000 kVA

– 60 Hz

V SECONDARY = 480 V L L

– Z% = 5%

– FLA = 3.608 kA

– Fault Current (I SC ) = 72.16 kA rms, sym 2) Motor Ratings

– Total Lumped KVA = 2,000 kVA

– Lumped FLA = 2.405 kA

I SC = 5 FLA = 12.02 kA rms, sym

– Largest Individual Motor = 500 kVA

– Largest Motor FLA = 600 A rms, sym

– Highest Inrush Current = 9 kA inst. 3) Downstream Transformer Rating

– 200 kVA

– FLA = 240 A

– Worst-case inrush = 7.2 kA inst.

– 1 kA rms, sym backfeed

The system voltage and continuous current determine the nominal operating ratings of the TCL. A 750 V, 4000 A con- tinuous current TCL should be used if there are no additional de-rating factors such as elevation or maximum ambient tem- perature. The total fault current available is the sum of main transformer contribution and the total contribution from all downstream sources or 85.18 kA rms, sym. Since the TCL is installed on the secondary of the main transformer, it is re- quired to interrupt the contribution from the main transformer for a downstream arc fault. Based on the short-circuit flowing through the device, an interrupt rating greater than 73 kA rms, sym must be used ( Step 1). The maximum worst-case inrush current of both the down- stream motors and the downstream transformer is shown above. However, one must be cautious to use the largest sum of mo- tors or the largest motor energized at one time to get the most accurate worst-case inrush current. In this example, the motor inrush is 9 kA instantaneous and the downstream transformer inrush is 7.2 kA instantaneous. The maximum inrush current is 9 kA ( Step 2). Looking at the standard trigger level ranges for the TCL based on its voltage rating, continuous current rat- ing and an acceptable interrupt rating, the next highest standard trigger level range is 12 kA instantaneous ( Step 3). However, the site personnel desire extra margin and agreed upon an 18 kA inst. trigger level. The 18 kA instantaneous selected trigger level equates to 12.72 kA rms, sym (Step 4). This 12.72 kA rms, sym equivalent trigger level can be used in an Arc Flash analysis program to determine the worst-case incident energy exposure. A 4000 A continuous current circuit breaker is assumed to have an operating time of 50 ms including relay time. The Arc Flash relay which is typically light and pressure sensor based is assumed to operate in 1-4 ms. The light and pressure sensor allows the Arc Flash relay to pick-up lower magnitude faults much quicker than an over current relay at that same low magnitude. The circuit breaker operating times are viewed as optimal times.

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The TCL forces a current zero to occur during its interruption process. This is in contrast to a breaker in which the breaker waits for a current zero to interrupt the arc fault and allows the full sine wave and its associated peaks to be reached. For this application, when the TCL operates, it would have an approxi- mate let-through I 2 t of 525,000 A 2 sec. The residual current I 2 t plus the TCL let-through I 2 t is approximately 9 million A 2 sec which equates to a 3 cycle (50 ms) arcing current of 13.4 kA rms, sym. The 13.4 kA for 3 cycles is used as the input into the Arc Flash program. The results are shown in Table III for when the TCL operates as a breaker would have to clear the residual arcing current after the TCL operates. When the fault currents are below the trigger level and the TCL does not op- erate, the worst-case symmetrical current is 15.02 kA rms, sym (12.72 rms, sym trigger level plus the percentage reduced (17.64%) backfeed contribution of 2.3 kA rms, sym). Note at lower magnitude fault currents, the over current relay pickup time may incur a significant delay which in turn will add greatly to the exposure value. The worst-case Arc Flash exposure is not when the TCL op- erates as shown in Table III but instead just below the TCL’s trigger level as a circuit breaker must interrupt the arc fault. In this example, the trigger level is selected as 18 kA instanta- neous (12.72 kA rms, sym). Re-running the software using the 12.72 kA rms, sym trigger level as the current through the device instead of the available 72.16 kA rms, sym yields elevated expo- sure levels assuming a 50 ms breaker plus relay operation time, which may be extended at lower current magnitudes. The inci- dent energy exposure increases from 0.9 cal/cm 2 to 1.0 cal/cm 2 with an increased Arc Flash boundary limit of 21 in (523 mm). The hazard level remains at level 0. The initial blast pressure has increased to 59 lbs/ft 2 due to the larger arcing current and the TNT mass equivalent has also increased slightly to 0.08 lbs (35 grams). Overall, the PPE requirements of site personnel have been reduced from hazard level 2 with optimal assumptions before the TCL was applied to hazard level 0 after the TCL is applied. Typically a TCL can reduce low voltage applications to a hazard level of 0 or 1.

B. Damage Limitation

A typical design for damage limitation applications is shown in Fig. 5. One TCL is installed on each individual feeder. Even if equipment is rated properly to withstand the available fault duty, the let-through energy of a fault may still result in costly damage. Traditional equipment such as relays, circuit breakers and current-limiting reactors are far less effective at mitigating damage. At lower continuous currents, current-limiting fuses prevent this damage. For higher continuous currents where tra- ditional CLFs do not exist (medium voltage) or are less effective (low voltage, high continuous current), a TCL provides effec- tive current-limiting performance of a much lower rated fuse, through its electronically controlled operation. Selection of trigger levels (pick-up) for minimizing damage is more subjective. Normal, non-fault current levels that must flow through the TCL should be considered. This may be the

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1120 Fig. 5. Typical damage limitation application. TCLs are installed on each individual feeder. instantaneous peak

Fig. 5. Typical damage limitation application. TCLs are installed on each individual feeder.

instantaneous peak of a motor or transformer inrush, or instan- taneous peak fault level of equipment reflected to the opposite side of the transformer where the TCL resides. Let-through I 2 t value, peak current let-through value or similar criteria may also be targeted. Unlike traditional overdutied equipment appli- cations, in cases where there is not a distinct peak let-through (cutoff) current value required for the TCL, a minimum trigger level which avoids response to typical expected inrushes should be considered. 1) Trigger Level Selection:

Step 1 – Same as in the Arc Flash Mitigation Application. Step 2 – Same as in the Arc Flash Mitigation Application. Step 3 – Based on the inrushes, select a standard trigger level from the manufacturer’s trigger level selection table that is just greater than the maximum expected inrush value. For medium voltage sectors of a utility distribution system, the trigger level is commonly selected to prevent triggering on inrush to a network transformer and also on the peak asymmetrical instantaneous current value on the low voltage side as reflected to the medium voltage side of the system [12]. If a standard trigger level is not desirable, a custom trigger level may be set. If the expected inrush exceeds the maximum trigger level for the selected inter- rupt rating, then select the next higher interrupt rating that has a trigger level above the expected maximum inrush. Maintaining the lowest trigger level will maximize the protection. Step 4 – The worst-case condition occurs when the fault cur- rent is just below the TCL’s trigger level. Below this level the circuit-breaker or similar device is expected to clear and the TCL will not trigger. To determine the associated rms, symmet- rical fault current, divide the TCL’s instantaneous trigger level by 1.414 or 2. This rms, symmetrical value can be applied by the user, with an appropriate breaker opening time, to calculate the let-through I 2 t. This is commonly used as a measure of dam- age assessment, similar to let-through energy. This is calculated using the square of the rms, sym current value above, times

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 32, NO. 2, APRIL 2017

the operating time of the breaker in seconds (usually between .05 and .083s), depending on the combined relay plus breaker speed. Please note a lesser magnitude rms, sym fault current off-

set by asymmetry could still operate the TCL but for worst-case purposes, the rms, sym current should be used.

2) Damage Limitation Example: The main objective for the damage limitation application is to limit the available I 2 t down- stream of the TCL to protect underrated equipment. Another source of restriction may be a local municipality or utility re- quirement to not exceed a certain amount of short-circuit current

or I 2 t on specific circuits. These protected circuits maybe a crit- ical circuit feeding into downtown metro networks, or it may contain aging equipment that has been de-rated over the years and requires improved protection against the available current.

It is commonly applied to keep manhole covers from being

launched by electrical explosions in underground systems. 1) 13.8 kV System Voltage 2) 1200 A Continuous Current Rated Bus 3) 25 kA rms, sym available fault current 4) 10 kA rms, sym desired maximum limit 5) 10 kA instantaneous worst-case inrush Based on the system voltage and continuous current require-

ments, the most appropriate TCL rating is the 15.5 kV, 1200

A continuous current class ( Step 1). Any environmental ratings

have been ignored but altitude and temperature may affect the overall ratings due to their de-rating affects in dielectric strength and continuous current capability of the TCL, in agreement with

industry practice. The total current flowing through the TCL is 25 kA rms, sym. A properly rated TCL should have an interrupt rating greater than 25 kA rms, sym (Step 2). The maximum inrush current through the TCL is 10 kA instantaneous so any trigger level above 10 kA instantaneous would suffice. The goal is to select a trigger level that avoids tripping on inrush current but still meeting the I 2 t requirements. One must also balance the increased probability of operating with a lower trigger level if multiple trigger levels would meet the requirements (Step 3) . For example, the desired maximum fault current available on the system is 10 kA rms, sym. The 10 kA rms, sym tar- get value has a crest of 10 2 or 14.14 kA instantaneous. One can choose a 12 kA trigger level from manufacturer sup- plied tables to stay below the 14.14 kA instantaneous value or a less conservative 14 kA instantaneous trigger level. A 10 kA fully symmetrical fault current has an equivalent 5 cy- cle let-through I 2 t of 8,333,333 A 2 sec. Therefore the require- ment to trip the TCL must be below this value. By selecting the 14 kA instantaneous trigger level (9.89 kA rms, sym), the

worst-case let-through I 2 t when below the TCL trigger level is 8,166,667A 2 sec. If some additional margin is desired to be built

in the system, a 12 kA instantaneous (8.48 kA rms, sym) trig-

ger level may be selected. The 12 kA trigger level lowers the 5 cycle let-through to approximately 6,382,000 A 2 sec. Either the 12 kA instantaneous or 14 kA instantaneous trigger level would be acceptable for this example (Step 4). The increased trigger level has a higher let-through I 2 t but statistically has a smaller probability of operating while the 12 kA trigger level has a lower let-through I 2 t but a slightly increased probability of operating. The trade-off must be decided for each application.

PRIGMORE AND SCHAFFER: TRIGGERED CURRENT LIMITERS

IV. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS W HEN USING

ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES

Traditionally, both Damage Limitation and Arc Flash Mitiga- tion applications have been addressed by using more traditional protection technologies such as current limiting fuses, expul- sion fuses, circuit breakers, current limiting reactors and three- phase earthing switches. One must carefully consider the below design considerations if selecting one of the more traditional technologies. Traditionally a circuit breaker has much slower clearing times which allow for far greater energy let-through. Some recent low voltage, low continuous current (250 A) circuit breakers can op- erate sub-cycle but the main breakers, where the higher current TCLs would be installed, would be much slower. A relay or some other external mechanism is required to send the trip signal to the circuit breaker which may further delay circuit interruption per the relay coordination curve. A traditional current limiting fuse has reduced current-limiting capabilities at the low magni- tude currents and often provides no status feedback. It also must be able to handle motor starts, lightning surges and heavy tran- sients without damaging any of the internal meltable elements otherwise a change in performance may occur and replacement may be necessary. This is not a concern with TCLs. A current limiting reactor is physically large and may not be able to fit physically in retrofit applications or locations with little real estate. The reactor adds continuous conductor resistive losses during normal operation, imposes a regulating voltage drop and blocks VARs transfer out of generators. The three phase earthing switch eliminates the arc by inducing a 3-phase “bolted fault” on the system (typically upstream) which can add extra stress to the entire source side electrical system and may incur progressive through-fault damage and potentially reduce the life expectancy of system components. Alternative fault current limiting (FCL) technologies such as saturable core FCLs, superconducting FCLs and power elec- tronic FCLs typically only “limit” the short-circuit current and do not fully “interrupt” the current as these devices rely on a breaker to clear the current, some number of cycles later. Their I 2 t limitation characteristics are more commonly less effective as compared to the TCL due to their waiting for the breaker to clear the limited, but yet remaining currents. These devices also cannot lower the incident energy as effectively as a TCL. Their operational philosophy is to introduce an inductance or resistance in the circuit upon a short-circuit condition that is nor- mally bypassed. For saturable core FCLs, one must consider the voltage drop across the windings, the on-state losses due to the resistance in those windings, fault current backfeed into the DC biasing system, physical space, time to return from a limiting state to a nominal state and a cooling system if superconductors are used. Some design considerations when applying superconduct- ing FCLs, one must recognize the time to return from a non- superconducting limiting to a superconducting state as well as the losses and power system operation effects associated during this time, the service and maintenance of a cooling system and the operational steps if the cooling system fails.

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When applying power electronic FCLs, one must consider the constant voltage drop across the semiconductor themselves, their associated losses, the ability of the power electronic devices to switch the fault current over to the parallel resistance or inductance, its transient withstand capability, rate of current rise (di/dt) and rate of voltage rise (dv/dt). The end user must also have an operational plan if the FCL should fail as a short.

V. CONCLUSION

In conclusion, TCLs can provide effective damage limita- tion and Arc Flash mitigation for substations. Their sub-cycle response and energy absorption capabilities make them an at- tractive solution to utility and industrial power systems for the purpose of Arc Flash and Arc Blast mitigation in addition to damage limitation. PPE only addresses the Arc Flash (heat) and does not substantially protect personnel against the Arc Blast (concussion). A TCL effectively mitigates both the Arc Flash and the Arc Blast, thereby providing improved protection for site personnel as compared to the slower operating devices such as circuit breakers and relays. The TCL can protect equipment by selecting the trigger level based on the desired let-through I 2 t to accommodate regulatory mandates and limit damage to downstream equipment. A TCL can avoid splitting buses to lower fault currents while keeping reliability unchanged. These are predictable devices over their wide range of trigger levels and available fault currents within their ratings.

REFERENCES

[1]

Safety in the Workplace,” 2015. [2] National Fire Protection Association, “National Electrical Code(R) (NEC(R)), 2014 Edition,” 2014. [3] A. C. Parsons, W. B. Leuschner, and K. X. Jiang, “Simplified arc-flash hazard analysis using energy boundary curves,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Appl., vol. 44, no. 6. pp. 1879–1885, Nov./Dec. 2008. [4] C. Rapids, “Arc-flash application guide arc-flash energy calculations for circuit breakers and fuses,” Energy, vol. 2, pp. 1–16, 2006. [5] J. R. Prigmore, J. A. Mendoza, and G. G. Karady, “A neodymium hy-

National Fire Protection Association, “NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical

brid fault current limiter,” Int. Trans. Elect. Energy Syst. , vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 1366–1380, 2015. R. L. Doughty, T. E. Neal, T. L. Macalady, V. Saporita, and K. Borgwald,

[6]

“The use of low-voltage current-limiting fuses to reduce arc-flash energy,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Appl., vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 1741–1749, Nov./Dec. 2000. [7] J. S. Schaffer, “Triggered current limiters for closing bus ties, bypassing reactors and improving power quality,” in Proc. 44th Annu. Rural Electr. Power Conf. Pap., 2000, pp. 1–6.

[8]

J. S. Schaffer and T. Hazel, “Ensuring switchgear integrity in High-Power

[9]

installations,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Appl., vol. 51, no. 3. pp. 2641–2650, May/Jun. 2015. G&W Publication, Guide to the methodology of trigger level selection for the G&W CLiP., Bolingbrook, IL, USA, G&W Publ., 2010, pp. 1–8.

[10] Guide for Performing Arc-Flash hazard Calculations, IEEE 1584-2002,

2002.

[11] K. J. Lippert and C. W. Kimblin, “Understanding arc flash hazards,” in

Proc. IEEE IAS Pulp Paper Ind. Conf. , 2004, no. 2, pp. 120–129. B. Deal, “Improving urban safety by installation of current limiting fuses

[12]

on network feeders,” in Proc. Southeast Elect. Exchange Conf. Paper Ind. Excellence Award , Atlanta, GA, USA, 2009. [13] J. R. Prigmore, “A neodymium based hybrid fault current limiter,” Ph.D. dissertation, School Elect., Comput. Energy Eng., Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ, USA, 2013.

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Jay Prigmore (M’07) received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Lamar University, Beau- mont, TX, USA, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA. Currently, he is with G&W Electric Co. in the System Protection Division. Dr. Prigmore is a Member of the Power and Energy Society, the Power Electronics Society, Industrial Ap- plications Society, and the Magnetics Society. He is a Member of Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi. He is the Chair for the IEEE IAS Executive Subcommittee for Early Career Professionals. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Illinois.

a registered professional engineer in the State of Illinois. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 32,

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 32, NO. 2, APRIL 2017

John S. Schaffer (SM’90) received the BSEE and BSME degrees from Marquette University, Milwau- kee, WI, USA, in 1974 and 1976, respectively, and the MBA degree from Lewis University, Romeoville, IL, USA, in 1988. He has been with G&W Electric Co. since 1982 and he has been the General Manager of its Sys- tem Protection Division since 1992. Prior to join- ing G&W, and he was affiliated with Allis-Chalmers Corp. for 7 years, in the engineering of high volt- age circuit breakers, motors, and DC traction sys- tems. He has authored and coauthored numerous technical papers on fusing and switchgear topics for IEEE, the American Power Conference, CIGRE, and CIRED. He is a holder of four U.S. patents and their foreign counterparts. Mr. Schaffer is a member (now primarily inactive) of the IEEE High Voltage Fuse Subcommittee, and a number of its working groups, in the IEEE promul- gation of associated fuse standards. He has also been a member of the NEMA High Voltage Fuse Technical committee. He has been a registered professional engineer in the State of Wisconsin for more than 30 years.

Fuse Technical committee. He has been a registered professional engineer in the State of Wisconsin for