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4112

IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, Vol. PAS-101, No. 10 October 1982

A NEW DC BREAKER USED AS METALLIC RETURN IRANSFER BREAKER

A. L. Courts

J. J. Vithayathil

Bonneville Power Administration

Portland, Oregon

J. W. Porter

Electric Power Research Institute Palo Alto, California

N. G. Hingorani

J. G. Gorman

C. W. Kimblin

Westinghouse R&D Center

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Abstract

When a bipolar HVDC transmission system is oper-

ating monopolar using the earth as a return path, -it

is often desired to divert the return current from the

earth to the line frot the unused pole.

To do so re-

auires either that the system be shut down temporarily

or that a dc circuit breaker be used.

This paper des-

cribes the development

er, and its application

of such a new dc circuit break--I on the Pacif ic Intertie as a

Metallic Return Transfer Breaker (MRTB).

Pole3

Celi lo

2

C.N .

sz F_ljter

z

-7uFO

846MileUne

N.O N.

Sylmar

:

D.NC.

Filter

E

1. INTRODUCT ION

'_iF S

7lMile

The majority of high voltage dc transmission sys-

tems are built as

fault in one pole of the

bipolar

systems.

If there is a

bipolar system the other pole

If neutrals of

both dc terminals are

with earth return'-is achiev-

ed automatically from the de-energization of the faul-

ted pole.

ficiency this would be the preferred mode of monopolar

operation.

could be operated in monopolar mode.

case, monopolar operation

From the point

grounded, as is usually the case

of view of transmission ef-

However, in many cases, there could be ob-I

jection to prolonged operation with earth current. If

i

the failure is in the terminal equipment anld not the

line, or if the line is still capable of low voltagel ,, ,:

transmission, an alternate mode of monopolar

Pole 4

15

operationl

would

be

to use i the

r

tormon e

faulted nole

p

as

4

D.C.9

the low voltage return circuit. This feature of mono-

availablility of the trans-

hvdc

system design is to build fewer, sometimes only

solid-state converter groups per pole.

one, 12-pulse

polar metallicteturn mode of operation could have

significant impact on the

mission system, especiallIy since the modern trend ins2A |

2 Filter |

2

4Electrode

NB rn--|Line

LnE

LA

IA

3

S

EB

XNO

1B

So

(

3B

|2B

|D.C.

Flter

D. C

r;

|

Zs

When the 1360-kmn long, + 400kV, 1600 MW Pacific

NW-SW H-VDC Intertie was

was no provision for monopolar metallic return opera-

tion.

ern California caused extensive damage. to the conver-

ter terminal at Sylmar and resulted in the shut down

of the intertie. A phased

opted to allow restoration of one pole as soon as pos

sible and the operation of this pole in monopolar met-

work on the other pole was

metallic return equipment

purpose then and the system as

comminissioned in 1970, there

In February 1971, a major earthquake in South-

rebuilding program was ad-

allic return mode while

conltinued. The monopolar

was installed for this

operated extensively

the

scheduled shut-down

in this mode in 1972. This

dw

probably the first case of bipolar dc system design

adapted to facilitate monopolar metallic return opera-

tion. Since the

times in monopolar metallic return mode either during

periods for annual maintenance of

pole equipment or when forced outages of terminl equipment required extended monopolar operation.

intertie has been operated many

Fig 1. Switching Arrangement for Monopolar Metallic Return Operation

Ths e transfer from monopolar earth return mode in-

operations. First the

converter equipment of the faulty pole is isolated

from the line and the. neutral bus

then the line of

the faulty pole is connected in.parallel with the ear-

th path

volves. a number of switchinlg

the termninals

and finally the connection to earth of one of

opened. For monopolar metallic return

operation of Pacific Intertie, the Celilo neutral bus

is floating and the Sylmar neutral is gro

example, if a failure occurs in Pole 4 (Fig. i), to

moded.

For

obtain

monopolar metallic return

operation the main

circuit is rearranged by openinprg SlA, SwB, StA, and

S2B, closit g S3A and S3B and then opening S4.

As

originally designed, the switching to change

over from earth return mode to metallic return mode

was accomplished by de-energizing the whole dc system.

To reqire complete shllt down of the system to change

the mode of monopolar

ture especially if the

operation

is an undesirable fea-

monopolar operation is the.re-

sult of a

the loss of half the transmission capacity.

forced outage that would have already caused

The majordiffniculty in carrying out the

grotind path.

82 WM 218-6

over without de-energizing the heathy pole is the

opening of S4 to break the

All the

IEEE Power Engineering Society for presentation at the other switching operations can be carried out on the

IEEE Transmission and Distribution Committee of the

IEEtE PES 1982 Winter Meeting, New York, New York, enerized systma without imposing heavy duty on

January 31-February 5,

A paper recommended anwd approved by the

1982. Manuscript submitted

change-

the

switches. When the terminal equipment

of the faulted

September

17,

December 28,1981.

1981;.made available for printing

pole is isolated by opening of SlA, S2Av alBr S2Bc and

the

metallic path iS connected in parallelwtth the

0018-9510/82/1000-4112$0O.75 ©C 1982 IEEE

4113

ground path by closing switches S3A and S3B, part

of the ground current will be diverted to the metallic

path.

However, the major portion (in the case of Pac-

represents switch S4 shonm in Fig. 1.

installed at this point

The MRTB is

in parallel with a motor-

This dis-

serves as a bypass switch when the

operated disconnect switch (Sw 9000).

connect switch

ific Intertie about

(17 Qi).

90%) will still flow in the ground

return

path due to the low resistance of the earth

path (1.5 Q ) compared

MRTB is to be taken out of service for maintenance.

Neutral Bus

Sw9000

to the metallic return

path

Opening of S4 under energized conditions

direct current in

requires breaking of substantial

Electrode Bus

(EB)

the earth circuit and transferring it to the

impedance metallic path.

called the Metallic

Duties on this

Return Transfer Breaker

higher

switch,

 

(NB)

-,

-

(MRTB),

would be similar to that imposed on dc breakers.

2. EARLIER EFFORTS

C

In 1973, an experimental dc breaker

using cross-

Resea-

no commercial

more recently different

field tubes was developed

rch Laboratories. 2 3

and tested by Hughes

There were

MRTB's at that time although

types of MRTB's have been installed for- the Square

Butte Projects

and the GiJ Project0, both with lower

energy requirements. Recogniz-

current and much lower

ihg the need for MRTB's for dc transmission, EPRI and

BPA sponsored the development and testing of a proto-

type MRTB based broadly

cept. An MRTB along these lines was developed and

This breaker

tested at the Gelilo

concept (Fig. 2) involved the use of an in-line switch

on the Hughes dc breaker con-

terminal in 1978.

Sl (a minimum oil breaker), which opened and trans-

ferred the current to

a cross field tube which after

S

3

Y

21

nO

S

3

conduction for a short time

a transistor and transferred

tor and a zinc oxide nonlinear resistor.

was only partially successful. The MRTB

quenched

it to a

the current like

parallel capaci-

This

effort

passed the

Fig. 3 Arrangement of the MRTB

Sx and Sz

that

remain normally closed to provide the path for direct

current

ground electrode line during bipolar and monopolar

the transverse field

between -the converter neutral bus and the

are vacuum switching devices

Sx,

tests for currents

up to 600A,

but the minimum oil

breaker failed during tests at higher currents. For

work based on

technical and other reasons further

Hughes cross-field tube was discontinued at that time. earth return operation.

1 In'-UneSwitch)

device, is a special vacuum device developed by West-

inghouse under an EPRI sponsored research. S is a

high voltage vacuum interrupter similar to the proto-

(

Cross-Field

IS

type discussed in Ref.8. A commutating capacitor and

zinc oxide

varistors are connected in parallel with

the vacuum switches.

The motor operated disconnect

switch on the left was provided to limit long-time

Tube

Tube

voltage stress on other MRTB components, especially

,the capacitor and zinc oxide varistors.

Fig. 2 Schematic of Hughes Experimental MRTB

To go

from monopolar earth return operation to metallic re-

The operation of the MRTB is as follows:

turn operation, the metallic return is first recon-

nected in parallel with the earth return. Switches

Sx and Sy through

which the earth current flows

are then opened. After

in the vacuum

several milliseconds of arcing

switches with contacts fully open, pre-

under EPRI sponsored

research on vacuum arc current limiters, had demon-

Meanwhile, Westinghouse,

strated the feasibility of commutating current from a

vacuum breaker to a parallel impedance by su4jecting

Since

vacuum arcs to a transverse

magnetic

field.

-this switch could serve the function

of both the in-

line switch and the cross-field tube the MRTB

ment was redirected to breaker for dc current

interruption. This

develop-

incorporate this special vacuuim

was done

charged capacitor C1 is

Following

discharged through magnetic

field-coils spaced on either side of Sx.7 The result-

ing arc

verted into commutating capacitor C2.

of this process is described in a companion paper.

instability9 causes the current to be di-

The phy 'cs

arc extinction in Sx and Sy, the voltage

rises rapidly to 80kV at which point the

across C2

zinc oxide varistor limits further increase of volt- age and the current is diverted into the zinc oxide varistor. In effect an 80kV back voltage has been in-

with minimum

energy absorbers, controls,

and installed for the

connects, and bus work

Hughes MRTB. The successful development and testing

of an MRTB using

transverse magnetic field and ZnO

energy absorbing

varistors are reported below,

3. DEVICE CHARACTERISTICS

change

to most of the

eqLipment--ZnO

dis-

serted into the ground path. The high voltage vacuum

interrupter

against

provides adequate withstand

their controls,

platform assembly,

capability

this recovery voltage. The converters, with

essentially act as constant current

a sources and continue to inject the direct currenlt

through the parallel

and earth circuit. Maximum steady state voltage drop

the metallic conductor with a resistance of 17 Q2 is less thanl 40kV for the specified ranyge

With 80kV voltage

the

along

about

circuit of metallic conductor

desig:ned

vacutum inlterrupters

subjected to

of direct current of 200A to 2160A.

across the zinc oxide in the earth return circuit,

Fig. 3 shows the arrangement of the MRTB which

4114

direct current is forced into the

metallic path.

path reaches zero the

highly inductive

When the current in the earth return

voltage across the zinc oxide

varistor drops to the steady-state voltage (40kV max).

The time required

allic path is

clipping voltage, by the self inductance of the loop

formed by the metallic conductor and the earth return

circuit and by the initial earth return current.

determined primarily by the varistor

to transfer the current to the met-

Protective circuits are provided to prevent open-

ing of the breaker in case the

circuit is open. There is also provision

paralleled

for

metallic

reclosing

Sx

and

Syr

within 100 to 200 ms if the breaker

fails to

interrupt the earth current (autoreclose).

Shortly after the

disconnect switches S3 (Fig. 3) are opened.

transfer of

the current

the

To return to

bipolar operation, the system is

earth return

operation.

closed,

Eirst returned to monopolar

To do this the disconnect switches S3 are

charging the

commutating capacitor

the

vacuumn

to the neutral bus

Sy

are

through

the

the

voltage.

closed to establish the direct current

Then

switches Sx and

designed

this

path

discharge

closing

earth.

inrush current associated with the

commutating

the earth

With the vacuum switches

The switches are

capacitor

to withstand

of

during

operation.

direct

closed, 90%

(close

the

of the

current now flows

the

and S2B in

across the

to S3A and

to transfer the

through

path.

SlA,

bypass

parallel

their

into the

procedures

The recov-

SlB,

switches

paths

opening

bypass

ered pole terminal equipments are then reconnected to

S2A

line and neutral bus

Fig.

1).

Closing

converter groups provides

S3B,

thereby

permitting

10%

current

remaining

switches.

blocking

are followed to establish

From then on, standard

the converter

groups

de-

in the recovered pole

for

bipolar operation.

4. MIRTB SPECIFICATIONS

The general technical are listed in Table 1.

specifications for the MRTB

TABLE I

Specifications for Metallic Return Transfer Breaker

*BIL to ground

-Minimum dc and surge voltage

withstand across open device

rating

'Continuous current

'Transient current

250kV

80kV

2160A (max)

carrying capacity

2MkA

2160A at 80kV

2160A at 40kV

80kV

,,Interrupting capability

in either direction

'Closing capability

'Maximum permissible

switching

surge voltage generated by MRTB

'Maximum energy absortion for the

MRTB (2 consecutive operations)

15J-U

'Outdoor installation with

controls locally at

ground potential and for operation from conver-

ter station control room. Provision for.status

indication of MRTB switch position and current.

The 250 kV BIL is consistent with the BIL of the neutral bus.- To meet this specification all breaker

high

voltage

circuitry is provided through an

components are mounted on a

platform supported by

insulators. Auxiliary power for the control

isolation transform-

er. Communication between controls at the platformn

potential and the ground is through optical links.

The continuous currenlt rating

of 2160A was based

on the intertie design objective of operation at 20%

above original intertie normal rating of 1800A.

In monopolar metallic return operation,

the

overvoltage protection for the neutral bus is provided

level is set at about

by a spark gap.

switching

surge voltage generated by MRIB was dictated primarily

by this overvoltage protection level for the neutral

bus. This voltage determines the clipping voltage for

choice of 80kV as the maximum

The spark gap

llSkV with minimum sparkover

the zinc oxide

level of about 100kV. The

permissible

varistors across the MRTB. The trans-

ient overvoltage appearing

the sum of

ient voltage on the electrode iine.

on the neutral bus would be

the voltage across the MRTB and the trans-

In principle,

however, specification

significance

I.

of the zinc

applica-

oxide clipping voltage is a tradeoff between the

overvoltage level and the energy requirements of the zinc oxide and the ti-me it takes to transfer current

Since the time is of no

tion, the tradeoff is between

analysis of the MRTB operation is

of the dc

pole

18.5Q1, at 2160 A, the steady state

voltage drop per pole would be 40 kV. For transfer of

the zinc

value.

least this

current from ground path to metallic path,

oxide clipping

to the metallic

are shown

in MRTB

energy and overvoltage.

A

simplified

given in Appendix

line is

If the resistance of one

Vz,

has to be at

voltage,

The effect of the

value of Vz on the time

ground

in zinc oxide

expres-

to transfer the current from

conductor and on

in Fig.

sions derived in

the energy dissipation

4.

The curves are

based on

Appendix I for Id = 2160 A, RL =

18.5Q and other line parameters given in Appendix I.

Fig.

4 shows that

increasing

Vz is

advantageous

time

The

energy and

from

the point of view of reducing the transfer

energy dissipation in the zinc oxide.

is a function of

and the

cost of the varistor

essentially independent of Vz. On the other hand,

an increase in voltage

switch

Vz increases the cost of the

and the insulation level of the neutral bus.

An additional criterion for the energy absorption

capability of the zinc oxide was that it should be ad-

equate for two consecutive operations at the maximum

current with little time in between

for cooling.

150

-

0

'

j

c

.

=

'~

10 _

50

0

Fig. 4.

\

\

W

V

T

100-

+

II

,I

40

,I

80

,I

120

,I

160

200

240

)

Zinc Oxide Clipping Voltage, V I(kV/) ;Z

TRhe Effect of the Value of Varistor Clipping

-Voltage on Switching Time and Energy Dissipation

An EPRI sponsored project at IREQ, Montreal, to

perform system studies on HVDC Circuit Breakers in-

of MRTB performance using the Pacific

cluded analysis

Intertie example.11 This study was useful in estab-

lishing or checking some of the

specifications.

5. PRELIMINARY EXPERIMENTS

The selection of the vacuum switches and commuta- ting capacitor was guided by some preliminary experi-

ments in a

high power test facility. The schematic

of the test circuit is shown in Fig. 5. The main capa-

citor bank was tuned to 12Hz to simulate dc current near the current crest. Arcing was established in a

vacuum interrupter prototype and

a current limiter prototype, previously developed un-

der another EPRI project. The arc was then extingui-

shed by applying an oscillating transverse magnetic

field to the current limiter prototype. The current

decay was monitored oscillographically to detect whe-

ther the current collapsed immediately to zero or the

current oscillated to zero. The parallel capacitance

values tested were 16 uP and 10.7

voltage with 10.7 ioF rose to a value of 76kV in 600 As

following arc interruption at 2500A. The stray induc- tance of the parallel circuit was about 17.5 yH. As

TABLE 2

RESULTS OF H.V. EXPERIMENTS WITH 10.7 AF

HF. The recovery

series-connected HV

Current(kA) Peak Rcvy. Current(kA)

Peak Rcvy.

(kV)

Instantaneous Voltage (kV) Instantaneous Voltage

1.4

1.8

1.4

2.1

2.2

2.2

45

56

44

65

68

68

2.3

2.3

2.4

2.4

2.5

69

70

73

73

76

600 s to Voltage Peak

indicated in Table 2, satisfactory interruptions were

observed for a

was

expected

parallel capacitance of 10.7 tF. This

from

previous

investigations

7,9 into the

dependence of current commutation on the value of par- allel capacitance for the conditions of oscillating

magnetic

field

and a series-connected conventional

dependence9

vacuuim interrupter. A typical

tion on parallel capacitance appears in Fig 6. It will

be appreciated that the capacitor

First, when the magnetic field is applied, the arc voltage experiences a sudden rise which, in the pre- sence of a parallel capacitor, causes current commuta-

of commuta-

has two functions:

tion from the arc.

Second,

immediately after commuta-

rise

of

recovery

by

voltage

I/C.

tion, it controls the rate of

across the gaps with a rate of rise given

4115

;

C

14

12

10

8

-

.

6

0

0

4

10

Commutationi

Fu

a Success

,

I

External Parallel CircuitCapacitance. C pF0)

60

Fig.

6 Dependence of Current Commutation on Parallel

a Prototype Vacuum Current Limiter

Capacitance for

6. COMPONENT CHARACTERISTICS

A photograph of the MRTB Switch Cabinet appears

7.

Both the high voltage vacuum interrupter,

in Fig.

Sy,and

the transverse field device, Sx, are actu-

fully open, a

ated by a standard single spring-loaded mechanism.

transverse mag-

the field coils.

netic field is The electronic

When the electrodes are

tor charging supply,

applied by energizing

circuitry

includes

a

a

capaci-

firing circuit, and an auto-

field coil

reclose circuit.

Make Isolation

SKh Switch

17.2 miSwtH

MRTB

|

10,800lmF?

R-*

|

|

Vlltage

~~~~Voltage

DIvIdIr

DivIder

1

|

I8cm

1c

|

,i1,

lii

1

r_CVR2

/ . IFig. 7.

ll

Internal Viewi of MRTB Switch Cabinet

10.6pF

l i 23cm||l |

T

|

1

URI

|

1

|

llClI

i

I

A

vacuu m

a

smaller liameter (18cm) than the

in Ref.

8(23cm) was chosen since the arc current was

prototype discussed

less than 2.5kA. The high voltage vacuum interrupter

specifications

design

are shown in Table

3,

Column A. The

of the transverse field device was based on

and was built to the

current limiter experience,

specifications shown

in Table 3, Column B.

ZCP

L

CMT

C

Fig. 5. Schematic of the Test Circuit

Two field coils are employed to generate the

magnetic field coils

transverse magnetic field. The

4116

TABLE 3

7. LABORATORY TEST RESULTS

A

B

Table 4 summarizes all of the tests performed on

18cm

23cm

the MRTB that involved current through the breaker.

39cm

35cm

All tests were successful.

The sequence of tests was

'3cm

'3cm

(a) to check the overall circuitry by obtaining one

t

It

interruption at each of the current

1200A and

tion to detect the complete tests at 200,

the test program following the 1200A tests in order

to perform

levels 600A,

1800A; (b) to add additional instrumenta-

speed of interruption, and then

600 and 1200A (c) to interrupt

"capacitor-closing" experiments and "auto-

2160A

reclose"; (d) to perform six interruptions at

and (e) finish with

an "auto-reclose."

Sample oscillograms showing interruption at 1800A

Fig. 8 (a) shows the electrode

transverse field device. The electrodes

during the rise of the 12Hz current wave, and

are shown in Figure 8.

the B

field is triggered at full stroke by the switch

high speed oscillograms

during the B field rise.

connected to the mechanism. The current immediately

falls to zero, and a recovery voltage of 65kV (Fig.8

(b)) appears across the series-connected devices. Sep-

showed that the current

arate

collapsed to zero in 15 us

For final "auto-reclose" test at 2200A, this test

failure was simulated by shortening the with a conductor. The breaker was con-

This circuit was

interrupter

interrupters

nected to the 12Hz L-C circuit.

then permitted

to ring down through the shorted inter-

rupters,

instant

with the breaker programmed

to open at the

of current initiation. The magnetic field po-

wer supply, charged to 7.7kV

was pulsed at maximum electrode

shows the oscillogram associated with this test. The

prior to current flow,

separation. Fig.8(c)

TABLE 4

Type of Test

Current(amps)

# of Tests

Interruption

Interruption

200

600

3

17

Interruption

1200

6

Close-in Tests Peak Close-in Current

20,30,40 kV

26,44,54 kA

3

Auto Reclose

+ 150A

w/dc Current

to + 1500A

25

Interruption

Interruption

1800

+2200

3

3

Interruption

-2200

3

Auto Reclose

2200

1

Envelope diameter

Length from end plate

Stationary

Movable stem diameter

to end plate

electrode stem diameter

Stroke

2cm

"2cm

Opening speed

150cm/sec 150cm/sec

Electrode diameter

IOcm

%'15cm

Continuous current

2160A dc

2160A dc

D.C. voltage

withstand

80kV dc

Arcing

current

2160A

Current interruption with 10 PF Arc shields

3 floating

2160A dc

None

were designed with a coil diameter approximately equal

to the distance between the coils.

are connected in series having 6 MH and a total resistance of

This produces

maximum transverse magnetic field in the interelectr-

The coils

are two turn coils with a diameter of 29cm, and they

ode region of the transverse field device.

a total inductance of

36mQ .

The magnetic field coil power supply provides an

The power

oscillating current to the field coils.

supply utilizes a charged capacitor to provide the re-

quired fast rise time, high voltage and high current

pulse. This 140 uF capacitor in the power supply is

rated at lOkV and is

only charged when the station op-

erator requires operation of the MRTB. A 15V trigger

pulse is required to trigger the ignitron firing cir-

cuit of the power supply in order to eliminate false

electrical noise. The transverse mag-

netic field is triggered from a pulse generated by a

triggering from

mechanical switch connected to the actuator. The con-

tacts of this switch are closed when the MRTB reaches

its fully open position. When the capacitor discharges

the coil current oscillates at the frequency of 5.2k

Hz and peak value of about 30 kA. According to calcu-

field reaches a maximum value

of 0.24T with an

lations, the magnetic

initial rate of rise of 8000T/sec.

The 10.6 MF commutation capacitor bank consists

of two series groups of 13,280V

capacitors, with 7

units in parallel per group. Special current limiting

fuses were designed for this application. The capaci-

tor bank was installed on top

of the switch cabinet.

A control circuit responds to 3 signals from the

control room operator:

2. Open ground path,

1. Activate charging

circuit,

and 3. Close ground path.

a travel of the

separate

Breaker

Breaker _Tae

Closed

-Travel

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Actuator

1800A -

Current

Zero

10 ms/DIV

(a) Travel of central pull

shaft

(upper trace) and circuit current

(lower trace) as observed in CVRI

of Fig. 5.

65 k'J-

Voltage

Zero _

50 ms/DIV

(b) Recovery voltage waveform -

peak value of 65kV falling to 30kV

at a time of 300 ms after

interruption.

Breaker_

Current~

50 ms/DIV

(c) Automatic reclose of the breaker

due to simulated continued current

flow.

2200A.

The first current peak is

=XXif==f:-=zX=~~3.3M.F9=f

8.

FIELD TESTS

Note

and the breaker

Two series of switching tests were

Test

No.

1I-1

I-2

I-3

I-4

II-1

II-2

II-3a

II-3b

II-4

Id

Installation at Celilo

Hz-

(a)

e.

_

=

E_

=

:

81-

-

--98-k-

kV: XX=-t

- -- -

13 Hff

':-1 -d

_-

-1600

A

-

r

J

Q 4117

upper trace records the

travel indicator, and the low-

except for power

in

flow direction and minor differences

switching sequence.

er trace shows the ringing of the 12Hz current.

caused an automatic

reclose.

the capacitor bank was disconnected,

3 seconds and 50kV for 30 minutes.

During

both series the MRTB was tested at progressively