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Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology


Investigation on Dielectric Failure of High Voltage Equipment

in Substation Caused by Capacitor Bank Switching
Warunee Srisongkram1 · Phanupong Fuangpian1 · Thanapong Suwanasri1 · Cattareeya Suwanasri2

Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 1 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018

© The Korean Institute of Electrical Engineers 2019

This paper investigates transient phenomenon of electrical stresses caused by capacitor bank switching, damaging HV equip-
ment in substation. The system of aged air-insulated 115 kV substation is modeled by using Alternative Transients Program-
Electromagnetic Transients Program. The failed current transformer (CT) was comprehensively modeled and investigated.
The comprehensive model for electrical transient simulation has been developed by using actual data and derived data from
real physical dimension of equipment. The simulated results are challenged by comparison of the results from theoretical
calculation according to international standard and the results from simulation including on-site measurement. The compari-
son results to verify the accuracy of the developed model are satisfactory. The results show that electrical stresses affecting
CT by voltage stress exceeds CT’s 123 kV rating together with the frequent switching operations as hundreds of times per
year. These lead to degradation of CT insulation, especially at the top insulation portion close to HV terminal due to non-
linear voltage distribution. Consequently, CT explosion finally occurred. This developed model is used as an effective tool
for switching transient investigation to determine electrical stresses caused by various switching operations. With the known
electrical stresses, the proper rating of equipment in HV substation can be selected.

Keywords  ATP-EMTP · Capacitor bank switching · Electrical transient · Inrush current · Restriking voltage · Transient
recovery voltage

1 Introduction restriking or reignition of switching devices from capacitor

bank switching could probably damage switching devices
Switching overvoltage, especially during energization and and another HV equipment [3–5]. In addition, the insula-
de-energization of capacitor banks in and out of electrical tion of HV equipment in substation is severely degraded,
power system, could lead to high magnitude of inrush cur- if a voltage rating of devices cannot withstand such electri-
rent and high transient overvoltage. This electrical stresses cal stresses [1–3, 7]. For instance, five current transformers
are applied to a power circuit breaker (CB) [1–3]. Therefore, (CTs) have been damaged for 3 years in several 115 kV sub-
the occurrence of inrush current (­ Iinrush), transient recovery stations in Thailand during capacitor bank switching, which
voltage (TRV), rate of rise of recovery voltage (RRRV) and caused system interruption as shown in Fig. 1.
In this paper, the conventional air-insulated 115 kV sub-
station, where the CT was damaged during the capacitor
* Warunee Srisongkram
warunee.s‑ bank switching, was modeled to investigate the electrical
transient phenomenon affecting to HV equipment in sub-
Thanapong Suwanasri station. Electric stresses on CB and the CT such as inrush
current, TRV, RRRV, and restrike of transient overvoltage
Cattareeya Suwanasri in the form of magnitude, frequency and rate of change dur-
ing energization and de-energization of a single capacitor
Department of Electrical and Software Systems Engineering, bank switching are analyzed. Therefore, the proper rating
TGGS, King Mongkut’s University of Technology North of HV equipment should be carefully considered based on
Bangkok (KMUTNB), Bangkok, Thailand
the obtained value of electrical stresses to avoid the failure
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty consequences [5, 7].
of Engineering, KMUTNB, Bangkok, Thailand

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

[5]. The simple electrical system and elements to illustrate this

situation is presented in Fig. 2 [5]. The waveform of the worst
inrush current is also presented in Fig. 3 [5].
The high inrush currents associated with the energization of
a single capacitor bank depends on source impedance, capaci-
tor rating, and configuration. In [5, 11], the source impedance,
system impedance (ZS =  Rs+ jXs) is under the short-circuit
current (Isc) of the power system at the busbar. However, the
value of Rs is much lower that of Xs, then it is negligible. Thus,
Xs and Ls are calculated by using Eq. (1) and (2). As shown
in Fig. 2 at capacitor bank busbar, there is an inductance (L)
called current limiting reactor (CLR) connected between the
busbar and the capacitor bank (C) to reduce the magnitude of
inrush current [2, 11],
Fig. 1  Damaged CT’s insulation caused electrical stresses
XS = √ S , (1)
To implement the model, practical data of all HV equip- 3 ⋅ Isc
ment in the substation based on physical dimension of each
component such as bus-bar, circuit breaker, capacitor bank,
current transformer, and etc., have been derived and applied LS = . (2)
to develop the model. The simulation was performed via the 2𝜋f
Alternative Transients Program-Electromagnetic Transient
Program (ATP-EMTP) program [8] used world-wide for the
analysis [4, 6, 9]. The accuracy of the simulation results was
verified by comparing the theoretical calculation and the on-
site measurement. Lastly, the verified model was used as a
tool to investigate the damaged CT insulation.

2 Effecting of Capacitor Bank Switching

The purposes of the capacitor bank switching in HV substa-

tions are to compensate reactive power, control bus volt-
age, regulate power factors, and minimize losses in power
system. The capacitor bank energization causes not only
the high inrush currents flowing into the capacitor banks, Fig. 2  Equivalent circuit of a capacitor bank energization
but also the transient voltage oscillation at the busbar [2, 5,
10]. For de-energization, the voltage across opening con-
tact is subjected to twice of system voltage within half a
cycle probably leading to restriking through a small open-
ing contact gap. These situations that can cause damage of
such equipment in substation are presented to investigate the
electric transient affecting CB and CT during the switching
operation of capacitor banks.

2.1 Energization of a Capacitor Bank

Closing power CB for capacitor bank energization can cre-

ate high inrush current, which is generally much greater than
normal rated current of the equipment, together with a high
frequency oscillation of several kilohertz. In addition, the
worst inrush current will occur when capacitor bank without Fig. 3  Typical bus voltage and capacitor current during capacitor
discharging is energized at an opposite peak of system voltage bank energization

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

Normally, the CLR is used to reduce high switching cur-

( )
TRV = Vs 1 − cos(𝜔0 t) ,
rent of the system. The peak of inrush current is limited by
increasing of surge impedance (Z0) determined by Eq. (3). where ω0 is system frequency (rad/sec), and t is the instan-
The inrush current (Iinrush) and its frequency (fi) are calcu- taneous time (s).
lated by Eqs. (4) and (5) [11]. All inductances including The waveform showing the TRV during de-energizing a
cables and buses must be considered in order to improve the capacitor bank is presented in Fig. 5, [12]. After the inter-
accuracy of simulated result, ruption at the current zero (dash line), the power–frequency
√ voltage of the source (solid line) starts overshoot to overvolt-
Z0 =
L + Ls
, (3) age as TRV with a very high amplitude up to 2 times of sys-
C tem peak voltage combining with the oscillation frequency
determined by the source inductance (Ls) and the source side
capacitance (Cs) of the switching system. This oscillation

2 ⋅ Vs
Iinrush = √ , (4) decreases and finally reaches a steady-state condition due to
3 ⋅ Z0 the damping of the system resistance. This power–frequency
voltage is called Recovery Voltage (RV).
1 The RRRV is defined as peak transient recovery voltage
fi = √ . (5) divided by the total time from zero voltage to peak voltage as
2𝜋 (Ls + L)C given in Eq. (7). This could probably damage circuit breaker
because of high RRRV, even though the peak of TRV is less
2.2 De‑energization of Capacitor Bank
[12, 14],
The single-phase equivalent circuit shown in Fig. 4 is used to ΔTRV
( )
RRRV = . (7)
illustrate the electrical stresses during de-energizing a capac- Δt max
itor bank performed by opening CB. This situation causes
the high voltage across terminals of CB immediately after 2.3 Restriking Transient Voltage
current interruption. Usually after disconnection, the capaci-
tor bank remains fully charged at the peak system voltage. During the opening of CB contacts, the arc voltage is formed
Consequently, the left side of CB terminal is still con- across the contacts. Although, its value is relatively low,
nected to system voltage (Us) while on the right side of CB when the value of arc current reaches its natural current zero,
terminal is the peak of trapped voltage at the capacitor (Uc). arc voltage will swing up to its peak value to maintain the
This creates a maximum voltage across CB opening contact arc across the contacts. As the arcing current crosses zero,
of approximately 2 p.u. This voltage (Ub) appears across a high frequency transient voltage appears across the CB
the contacts of CB in half a cycle later. In this case, the CB contacts. This transient voltage called Restriking Voltage
may not be able to withstand the high magnitude of voltage [15, 16] is the transient voltage existing during the arcing
across a relatively small contact separating gap [12, 13]. time based on the natural frequency kHz shown in Fig. 6.
Dielectric breakdown may occur between contacts, and cur- After the zero current, the arc is extinguished, if the rate
rent would start to flow again as called reignition or restrik- of rise of restriking voltage between the contacts is less
ing current. The voltage across CB contact or TRV can be than the rate at which the dielectric strength of the medium
calculated by Eq. (6), between the contacts gains. Immediately after the final cur-
rent interruption, the voltage that appears across the circuit

Fig. 4  Equivalent circuit of de-energization capacitor bank Fig. 5  Successive time of RV after current interruption

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

600 80 Table 1  Parameters of equipment in 115 kV substation

60 Equipment Parameters
Current Source impedance, Rs and Ls 1.7523 Ω, 30.938 mH
Voltage (kV)

VphB 20

Current (A)
C-bank at 115 kV, 22 kV 13.2, 6.3 MVAR, 2.43 μF
0 0 Current limiting reactor 0.1 Ω and 250 mH
Current zero VphA -20 Busbar resistance and inductance 9.776 μΩ/m, 0.506 μH/m
Overhead conductor resistance and 52.2 μΩ/m and 0.6130 μH/m
Arcing -40
time inductance
-400 Complete interruption
-60 Two power transformers 115/22 kV, LTC/HV, 25 MVA
Contacts opened
Restriking voltage
-600 -80 Power circuit breaker, 115 kV 3150 A, 40 kA, SF6
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Time (ms) Transmission incoming line 56.25 km, 115 kV tower

Fig. 6  Restriking voltage during CB interruption

A single step of an ungrounded capacitor bank having a
power rating of 13.2 MVAR is modeled as 2.43 μF per phase.
breaker contacts (transient voltage) superimposed on the A current limiting reactor of 250 mH is connected in series
power–frequency system voltage (recovery voltage). It is the with the capacitor bank per phase to reduce high inrush cur-
rms voltage after final arc extinction on the normal power rent during the capacitor bank switching. The required param-
system frequency 50 Hz. eters are summarized in Table 1 as input data of the simulation
model in Fig. 8.

3 Equivalent Circuit Model 4 Model of CT under Transient Condition

Equivalent circuit model for simulation was performed by To investigate electrical stresses, the voltage along the axial
using an ATP-EMTP program. A selected case study was a length of winding insulation must be observed. The CT model
conventional air-insulated 115 kV substation in Thailand, is developed and inserted into the exact equivalent circuit in
which damages of CT during the capacitor bank switching Fig. 9. The CT technical specification [17] used with a capaci-
was used to investigate electrical stresses as shown in Fig. 7. tor bank is shown in Table 2.
The technical data, the bus structure plan, and the substation The equipment model and its behavior under transient state
schematic diagram were required. [18] can be performed to investigate the non-linear voltage
In Fig. 7, a 115 kV substation in Thailand with a main distribution along winding length shown in Fig. 10.
and transfer bus scheme and an incoming line is presented. The CT model consists of a capacitive network with capaci-
Two transformers and a capacitor bank are connected to a tance from end to end of the winding (Cs) and capacitances to
115 kV side of the main bus. This substation is supplied by ground of the entire winding (Cg) [13, 14] equal to 0.2 nF and
another substation through a single circuit ACSR transmis- 250 pF respectively according to IEEE working group [19].
sion line of 56.25 km long. Size of the busbar is 5 inches To study winding responses due to the transient condition,
aluminum tube modeled as resistor and inductor. the limped layer winding is considered and an analysis is per-
formed by using ATP/EMTP program. The non-linear volt-
age distribution along the winding (U) is calculated by using
Eq. (8) [18],
( )
V cosh 𝛼xl
U= , (8)
cosh (𝛼)

where V is applied voltage (MV). x is distance along wind-

ing (mm). l is total length of winding (mm), and the capaci-
tance ratio is denoted by the distribution constant ( 𝛼 ) or

Cg ∕Cs .

Fig. 7  Schematic diagram of 115 kV substation

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

CT model 2.4312 uF

CS C-Bank
13.2 MVAR

Vs=115 kV

Current Limiting Vs


Reactor 250mH Zs Isc = 6.7227kA



ct model CT model V
Other Substation
115kV busbar



Incoming Transmission Line


Circuit Breaker to Substation, 56.25km




18.5 m

Main Bus in Substation

9m 9m 9m
Load 20MW
30.75 m


Transmission Line 115kV
25.75 m
to Distribution Network
25.75 m

Reignation model of CB
Ls,Rs,Cs Power Transformer Power Transformer

SW.2 115/22kV, 25MVA KT2A
115/22kV, 25MVA



9m 9m

5m 5m 7m 2x22kV Line 7m 5m 5m

to Distribution Network

Load 15MW Load 15MW

24 kV 3x3.6 MVAR Capacitor Bank 24 kV 3x3.6 MVAR Capacitor Bank

Fig. 8  Equivalent circuit model of a 115 kV substation in ATP-EMTP program

Table 2  Specification of CT used with a capacitor bank

Technical specification Rated

Highest voltage for equipment 123 kV

Rated power–frequency withstand 230 kV
Rated lightning impulse withstand voltage 550 kV
Rated primary current 1200 A

5 Simulation Results on the Practical System

Under on-site measurement, high magnitude and fre-

quency inrush current with overvoltage during capacitor
bank switching as energization and de-energization was
Fig. 9  Section view and equivalent circuit of CT winding
investigated. In the operation, inrush current and phase

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

R(0.01ohm) ,L(0.002mH) 400 200

IphB (257.5 A)
300 186 Hz Voltage 150
Cs Cs Cs Cs Cs Cs Cs Cs Cs Cs VphB
200 100
1 MV V
+U1- +U2- +U3- +U4- +U5- +U6- +U7- +U8- +U9- +U10-

Voltage ( kV )
100 50

Current (A)

Cigre' Cg Cg Cg Cg Cg Cg Cg Cg Cg Cg 0 0
-100 -50

-200 -100
Fig. 10  CT winding with distributed model in program 108.23 kV
-300 -150
-302.47 A
-400 -200
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Time ( ms )

Fig. 12  Inrush current and overvoltage of closing at 90º

was 267.54 A (IB,inrush) computed by using Eq. (4) where

Vs is rated system voltage as equal to 115 kV, Z0 is surge
impedance as equal to 475.54 Ω (Z0) determined by Eq. (3),
Ls is system inductance equal to 299.743 mH, L is induct-
ance of current limiting reactor equal to 250 mH, and C is
capacitance of capacitor bank equal to 2.431 µF with the
frequency of 187 Hz (fi) according to (5). Thus, the peak
voltage at 90° was calculated and is equal to 93.90  kV
Fig. 11  Measuring point for on-site measurement ( V90◦ = Vm ⋅ sin 2𝜋ft).
From the simulation shown in Fig. 12, inrush currents
were measured and equal to 257.50 A for the first peak cur-
voltage at the CT terminal (­ H1) were measured by using rent and − 302.47 A for the second peak current at 186 Hz.
voltage divider and transient recorder as Fig. 11. The first peak current magnitude from the simulation result
shows the nearly identical result compared to the theoretical
5.1 Simulation results during the capacitor bank calculation. This difference of peak currents was affected
energization by coupling elements such as that of transmission lines and
stray capacitances of system that were not considered in the
5.1.1 Validation of the Simulated Results with Theoretical theoretical calculation.
Calculation The rate of change of inrush current
� � (CIC) that
√ equals
0.397 A/μs and was calculated from dti
= 2𝜔S ISC
In the simulation, switching operations of CB were per- max
[1] did not exceed the withstand capability of the CB at the
formed at different phase angles of system voltage. It is able rating of 17.77 A/μs at 115 kV, 40 kA, 50 Hz. Thus, the
to compare results with theoretical calculation. Therefore, inrush currents do not exceed the withstand capability of the
closing 3-phase switch during the energization of 3-phase equipment concerning the magnitude and its CIC.
ungrounded capacitor bank was performed and the results
were given in Table 3.
Regarding the capacitor bank switching shown in Table 3, 5.1.2 Validation of Results Between Simulation and On‑Site
the worst case occurred when switching operation is per- Measurement
formed at 90°, peak of the voltage cycle, causing the high
inrush current [1–5]. From the theoretical calculation at the The results between the simulation and the on-site meas-
switching angle of 90°, the inrush current on phase B ­(IB) urement of five closing incidents for the capacitor bank

Table 3  Simulated inrush Phase B (°) Calculation Simulation

current from capacitor bank
energization at different angles IB (A) Freq. (Hz) Vph_peak (kV) IB_Peak1 (A) Freq. (Hz) Vph_peak (kV)
of system voltage
30 133.77 187 93.90 157.56 183 100.72
60 231.69 187 81.32 228.57 185 − 111.63
90 267.54 187 93.90 257.50 186 − 108.23

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

Table 4  Simulated inrush Voltage phase angle Results of inrush current measurement (A)
current from energization
of capacitor bank at various A&B (°) C (°) On-site test Simulation result
switching angles
Phase A Phase B Phase C Phase A Phase B Phase C

40 78.48 n/a n/a 257.6 140.39 − 215.69 262.56

83.5 140.94 n/a − 297.6 n/a 212.78 − 301.2 − 167.8
90.7 141.66 n/a − 301.6 n/a − 212.9 − 327.35 − 172
176.4 209.84 n/a n/a − 325.2 185.44 295.4 − 333.5
242.3 304.54 n/a 200 n/a − 208.62 198.33 142.32

800 200
Simulation result
600 150
400 100

200 50

Voltage (kV)
Current (A)

0 0

-200 -50
IphA IphC
-400 -100
IphB (-301.2 A)
-600 -150
IphA IphB IphC VphB
-800 -200
0 10 20 30 40 50
Time (ms)
Fig. 14  Measured waveforms of inrush current
Fig. 13  Simulated waveforms of inrush current
Simulation result VphA VphB VphC
energization were shown in Table 4. In the closing opera- 7.6 kHz

tion, switching conditions were performed at different phase 50

Voltage (kV)

angles regarding a power cycle. However, the switching of

phase A and B voltages was performed at the similar phase
angle. Then, inrush current during the energization of the -50
capacitor bank was observed. Inrush current magnitudes
between the results of the on-site measurement and the simu-
lation are nearly identical as shown in Table 4. -150
6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10
Measurement of inrush current through CT: Refer to the
Time (ms)
available on-site recorded data, the simulation cases of the
switching operations at phase angles of 83.5° at Phases A
Fig. 15  Simulated phase voltage at H1 to ground during capacitor
and B and 140.94° at phase C was selected and to compare bank energization
results with the on-site measurement.
In this case, measured from the on-site test, the inrush
current was 297.6 A at phase B and that measured from was performed at 90° of voltage cycle. It is lower than the
the simulation was 301.2 A on phase B shown in Table 4. rated primary current during the normal operation of CT of
Moreover, the simulated waveform of the inrush current in 1200 A from the CT specification as summarized in Table 2
Fig. 13 agrees well with the on-site waveform of the same [17].
switching condition as shown in Fig. 14. Investigation on CT phase voltage: The phase voltage at
Like those of other cases in Table 4, the inrush current point H1 to ground of the CT between the simulation and the
magnitudes between the on-site measurement and the simu- on-site measurement was compared during the energization
lation results were nearly similar and are satisfying; further- of the capacitor bank.
more, the results can be confirmed to verify the accuracy of In Figs. 15 and 16, the voltage waveforms from the two
the simulation model of this study. cases were compared. In the simulation, the pole discrepan-
During energization of the capacitor bank, the highest cies of the CB closing operation were 6.75 ms, 6.714 ms and
inrush current of − 327.35  A occurred when switching 9.15 ms for phases A, phase B and phase C respectively, the

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

Fig. 16  Measured phase voltage at H1 to ground during capacitor Fig. 18  Phase voltage at H1 of CT when disconnecting the
bank energization ungrounded capacitor bank from on-site

Simulation result 200
VphC (157.75 kV) VphA
150 VphB
VphA VphB VphC 100

Voltage (kV)
Voltage (kV)

0 RRRV = 0.025
TRV =250 kV
dt = 10 ms
CB Swithcing (48 ms) 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130
-150 Time (ms)
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Time (ms)
Fig. 19  Simulated voltage across opening contact of CB
Fig. 17  Simulated phase voltage at H1 of CT when disconnecting
ungrounded capacitor bank closed. Therefore, after the first phase is opened, the voltages
of remaining two phases affect the first phase by raising the
highest frequency occurred on phase C is equal to 7.6 kHz voltage up to 1.5 p.u. Thereafter, it remained constant. As
for the simulation and is equal to 5  kHz for the on-site shown in Figs. 17 and 18 for both simulation and on-site
measurement. measurement results, the ­VphC of capacitor bank that was
The highest overvoltage magnitude measured from the firstly interrupted and that continues increasing from 1 p.u.
on-site test was 124 kV as shown in Fig. 16. Although it (93.897 kV) to 1.68 p.u. (157.75 kV) within 5 ms before the
was almost equal to the highest nominal voltage rating of remaining phases were interrupted. This overvoltage always
CT (123 kV) in substation, the value was still lower than occurs with the ungrounded capacitor bank.
the rated power–frequency together with lightning impulse It is concluded that the highest overvoltage (157.75 kV)
withstand voltage rating as 230 and 550 kV respectively. was over the nominal voltage rating of CT (123 kV), but it
was still lower than the power–frequency withstand voltage
5.2 Simulation Results during Capacitor Bank as well as lightning impulse withstand voltage rating as of
De‑energization 230 and 550 kV.
Investigation on TRV and RRRV: For disconnecting the
During capacitor bank de-energization, voltages from the capacitor bank, the voltage across opened contacts of CB
simulation and on-site measurement performed at the ter- ­(VCB) after the current interruption is presented in Fig. 19.
minal H1 of the CT to ground are illustrated in Fig. 8. In The phase C recovery voltage across the opening contact
Fig. 17, the simulation result shows that the highest voltage of CB reached the peak of 250 kV or about 2.6 p.u. of the
occurred at phase C ­(VphC) is 158 kV. It was comparable to nominal voltage. After the interruption when current is equal
the on-site measurement result of the V ­ phC that was nearly to zero, the power–frequency voltage at busbar, oscillating
158 kV as shown in Fig. 18. with the TRV frequency, appears across opening contacts of
Practically, all three poles of CB in Fig. 8 do not open the CB in half a cycle later [1, 5]. Similarly, phase A and
simultaneously. In this case, the first phase of the ungrounded phase B recovery voltages of the CB reached the peak value
capacitor bank is opened whereas the other phases are still of 1.9 p.u.(180 kV). The RRRV was calculated from the

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

maximum ( rise ) of TRV within half a cycle as pole to open consists of trapped charges on the capacitors
RRRV = ΔTRV equal to (250 kV)/(10 ms) = 0.025 kV/ because of ungrounded capacitor bank and the variation in
Δt max the 50 Hz system voltage. This overvoltage across open-
µs as shown in Fig. 19. The result showed that the RRRV of
ing CB contact causes residual current flow maintained in
0.025 kV/μs was much lower than the limit of equipment
form of an arc voltage as presented in Fig. 19. When the
capability of 2 kV/µs according to IEEE C37.06-2010 stand-
switching model is switched to simulate under arc extin-
ard [12].
guishing stage of CB, it is found that the highest restriking
Investigation of restriking voltage: To investigate restrik-
voltage of 525.5 kV (peak of phase to neutral) as given in
ing voltages in the simulation, the CB is opened to discon-
Fig. 21 or 5.59 p.u. occurred on the voltage of phase A
necting the capacitor bank. The switching device model rep-
measured at the CT terminal on the capacitor side.
resenting of a CB was developed for simulation by using two
Like those of measured voltage from on-site in Table 5,
switches. Two switches is connected in parallel with each
the highest restriking voltage also occurred at the peak
other, and incorporates four main stages of CB’ operating
voltage of phase A as 526.83 kV or 5.61 p.u.
processes [20, 21]. Firstly, the contact of the first switch was
From this result, the simulation results of investigation
closed as a closed stage of a CB. Then, it is opened at its nat-
on the restriking phenomenon of switching device agree
ural current zero at 25.3 ms representing arc burning stage
well with the on-site measurement. As shown in Fig. 22,
of CB. To investigate the restriking voltages, the reignited
the restriking voltage of 398.2 kV appeared at the neutral
electrical arc considered as one of the physical phenomena
of capacitor bank. Thus, the restriking voltage and recov-
is conducted based on the second switch [21] illustrated in
ery voltage can be a critical factor for insulation damages
Fig. 8. The second switch is subsequently closed at half a
of the CT including the switching device and capacitor
cycle later [20] of the system voltage (10 ms) as 35.3 ms.
bank, especially for ungrounded installation if the insula-
The equivalent parameters of the CB opening gap during the
tion of HV equipment cannot withstand these voltages.
simulation of the burning arc in a circuit breaker referred to
[21] are Rs= 50 Ω, Ls= 50 nH and Cs= 200 pF, represent-
ing the unsuccessful arc extinguishing stage of CB. Since,
Rs is represented the arc resistance to provide the damping
of peak voltage magnitude, Ls effect to transient oscillating
voltage and Cs is propose to allow high frequency passed.
Finally, the second contact is opened at 37.3 ms, which rep- 600 80
resents the extinguishing of the restriking phenomenon. As VphA VphB VphC IphB
the result, the restriking voltages across the contacts, at the
instant of arc extinction until the complete interruption or 200
Voltage (kV)

Current (A)
VphB 20
opened stage of CB, also appears at the CB or CT terminals
on the capacitor side. Individual stages of current interrup- 0

tion are shown in Fig. 20. -200

Current zero VphA -20

In Fig. 20, when CB was interrupted at the current zero -40

crossing for de-energization of a capacitor bank based on -400
Restriking voltage -60
Contacts opening time
an arc burning stage, the recovery voltage across the first 525.5kV(VphA)
-600 -80
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Time (ms)

400 80 Fig. 21  Simulated restriking voltage at the CT terminal

300 60

Vc-bank/CB terminal
40 Table 5  Measured overvoltage from on-site during de-energizing a
capacitor bank
Voltage (kV)

100 Current 20
Current (A)

0 0 Day/time Switching off Phase CT voltage
-100 -20
No. L–N peak
Closed stage
Arc extinguishig stage (kV)
-200 stage Opened stage -40

Closed SW.2
(35.3 ms)
Opened SW.2 (Fully Interrupted)
(37.3 ms) -60
23-Mar-2018 20.33 155 A 158.60
Opened SW.1 (25.3 ms) 24-Mar-2018 21.41 156 B 174.29
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 25-Mar-2018 17.05 158 B 175.31
Time (ms)
25-Mar-2018 20.51 159 A − 169.14
26-Mar-2018 16.33 160 A 526.83
Fig. 20  Current interruption stages of circuit breaker

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

400 80 70
300 VphB-CB 60 60
200 40 50
Vsys&Vcb IphB-CB
Voltage (kV)

100 20

Current (A)

Voltage (kV)
0 0 30

-100 -20 20
Current zero Vsystem
-200 -40 10
-300 Contacts opening time Restriking voltage at neutral -60 0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 -10
U1 U2 U3 U4 U5 U6 U7 U8 U9 U10
Time (ms) Voltage distribution along CT winding

Fig. 22  Restriking voltage at the neutral of capacitor bank Fig. 24  Simulated voltage distribution of CT winding

5.3 Simulation Results of Switching Overvoltage 6 Analysis on Electrical Transient

Affecting with HV Equipment When Switching and Dielectric
Electrical stresses, transient situation, by capacitor bank
The voltage distribution and the electrical stress along the switching in the substation were analyzed and the investi-
CT winding were concluded as follows: gation of deterioration was summarized as follows:
The simulation results showed that the 64 kV highest
voltage occurred at the CT winding close to the HV termi- 6.1 Analysis on Electrical Stresses
nal (U1) having the peak voltage as 93.90 kV. Whereas the
lowest voltage of 5 kV appears at the winding end close For analysis of the electrical stress occurring in the substa-
to ground (U4) as shown in Fig. 23. Likewise, the voltage tion, the simulation model using the ATP-EMTP program of
stress along the winding of the CT plotted in Fig. 24 shows the 2 samples 115 kV substation was verified by comparing
the exponential form of voltage distribution. Therefore, the the simulated results with the theoretical calculation and
switching overvoltage from the capacitor bank switching the on-site measurement during capacitor bank switching.
could probably lead to insulation damages, usually at the The results of magnitude, frequency and waveform of inrush
line end portion, as a result of the non-linear voltage dis- current, and the HV magnitude agree well with each other
tribution along the CT winding insulation. as shown in Tables 2, 3 as well as Figs. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,
17, and 18 with on-site measurements. Thus, the obtained
results are very satisfactory.
The results between the theoretical calculation and the
on-site measurements are slightly different due to some neg-
ligible parameters in the substation to simplify the theoreti-
cal calculation. In Table 3, during closing and opening of the
CB in the simulation, the inrush current of 303.2 A and TRV
U1 U1 U2 U3 U4 of 250 kV result in RRRV as 0.025 kV/μs. By comparing the
occurred and specified RRRV in the IEEE C37.011 standard,
U2 it does not exceed 2 kV/µs [12, 22]. Therefore, the 115 kV
CB should be able to withstand the magnitude of RRRV.
Voltage ( kV )

0 For energization of the capacitor bank, the highest inrush
current occurring in the CT when switching at 90 degree of
voltage cycle is equal to − 327.35 A lower than the rated
primary current of CT as 1200 A. However, the highest over-
65 kV voltage was equal to 124 kV that was slightly higher than the
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 nominal voltage rating of the CT equal to 123 kV. Similarly,
Time ( ms ) for disconnecting the ungrounded capacitor bank as given in
Figs. 17 and 18, the highest overvoltage was equal to 158 kV
Fig. 23  Simulated voltage distribution along the CT winding versus above the nominal voltage rating of the CT that is equal to
time 123 kV. All of those, including occurred restriking voltage

Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology

during CB switching, the restriking voltage of 525.5 kV was The results of investigation on the electrical stresses
measured at the CT or CB terminal on the capacitor side. affecting damages of the CT show that the occurred over
Moreover, the restriking voltage of 398.2 kV was appeared voltage stress in the simulation is greater than voltage rating
at the neutral of capacitor bank as well, which could prob- (123 kV) of the equipment. Moreover, the frequent number
ably exceed the insulation level of aged 115 kV HV equip- of capacitor bank switching, occurring multiple times per
ment. Although, the result showed the RRRV of 0.025 kV/ day and hundreds times per year was required from power
μs on the normal frequency that was much lower than the system to regulate the voltage and control reactive power as
limit of equipment capability of 2 kV/µs. well as the aging of CT after several years in service. These
These can be concluded that the equipment operating high electrical stresses could lead to the gradual degradation
under high overvoltage stress could lead to the faster ageing of the CT insulation especially at the top portion close to line
of the insulation. Finally, the HV equipment in such substa- side terminal, and finally the CT explosion can occur. This
tion could have high probability of damage. was confirmed by the actual investigation by opening the
damaged CTs caused by such severe transient overvoltage.
Therefore, the electrical transient related to currents and
6.2 Investigation of Damaged Dielectric voltages at the capacitor bank switching seems to be one
of major problems of HV equipment failures, and should
Causes of the damaged CT insulation were analyzed as be carefully considered in order to avoid the damage con-
follows: sequences. The developed model can be used as an effec-
CT operates under overvoltage resulting in faster ageing tive tool for system study to determine the critical electrical
of the CT insulation. Moreover, the actual operation for the stresses caused by various switching operation cases. The
capacitor bank switching in this substation is twice daily obtained electrical stresses are further used to consider the
with the switching voltage frequency ~ 7 kHz as shown in selection of a proper rating for the equipment in the substa-
Fig. 14. tion under severe switching operation as well as a proper
It can be concluded that the electrical stresses from selection of switching device rating to cope with capacitor
switching operations that often result in a higher rate of the bank switching in HV substation.
insulation degradation leading to a shorter lifetime of the CT
could especially appear on the top of its insulation due to Acknowledgements  The authors would like to thanks the HV Testing
Department of Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)
non-linear voltage distribution along the winding. for data support through the Rajamangala University of Technology
The real case on the CT damage was investigated by a Suvarnabhumi, Thailand for financial support to Ms. Warunee Srisong-
utility as shown in Fig. 1. Most of the damaged CT was kram during her doctoral program at TGGS, KMUTNB.
located at the top portion of paper insulation. In addition,
under the highly aged substation more than 25 years, the
insulation of the equipment is mainly deteriorated due to
its operational stresses leading to frequent damages with a References
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Brochure 39 ment of Software System Engi-
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Cattareeya Suwanasri  received
her B.Eng. from Asian Institute
Warunee Srisongkram  received of Technology, Thailand, with
her B.Eng. from Rajamangala the Sandwich Program at Insti-
Institute of Technology, Thai- tute of Power System and Power
land in 1996, M.Sc. from King Economics (IAEW), RWTHA
Mongkut’s University of Tech- Aachen University, Germany, in
nology North Bangkok in 2001, 1998, 2002 and 2007, respec-
M.Eng. from Rajamangala Uni- tively. Currently she is an Assis-
versity of Technology Than- tant Professor and a lecturer at
yaburi in 2008. Currently, she is Department of Electrical and
a Ph.D. candidate at the Sirind- Computer Engineering, Faculty
horn International Thai-German of Engineering, King Mongkut’s
Graduate School of Engineering, University of Technology North
KMUTNB, Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand.
Her research interests are electri- Her research interests include
cal stress investigation and insu- electric power system management, power system analysis, power eco-
lation coordination of HV equip- nomics, asset management, and HV engineering.
ment in substations.