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Special Publication, Modeling and Simulation

Working Group 15.08
Modeling Guidelines for Switching Transients
Report Prepared by the Switching Transients Task Force
of the IEEE Modeling and Analysis of System Transients Working Group
Contributing Members: D.W. Durbak(Co-Chairman), A.M. Gole (Co-Chairman),E.H. Camm, M.Marz,
R.C. Degeneff, R.P. OLeary, R. Natarajan, J.A. Martinez-Velasco, Kai-Chung Lee, A. Morched, R. Sha-
nahan, E.R. Pratico, G.C. Thomann, B. Shperling, A. J. F. Keri, D.A. Woodford, L. Rugeles, V. Rashkes,
A. Sarshar
Abstract - Power Systems Switching Transients are
initiated by the action of circuit breakers and switches and by
faults. These actions include energization, de-energization,
reclosing and fault clearing. The range of frequencies of pri-
mary interest in a switching transients study vary from the fun-
damental power frequency up to about 10 kHz. Therefore the
proper representation must be chosen for the various compo-
nents such as transmission lines and cables, transformers,
source equivalents, loads and circuit breakers. Equipment mod-
eling aspects for the analysis of switching overvoltages are the
principal subject of this paper.
Keywords: Electromagnetic Transients Simulation, emtp,
Switching Transients, Transient Recovery Voltage.
Switching transients are caused by the operation of
breakers and switches in a power system. The switching
operations represent two main categories: i) energization
phenomena and ii) de-energization of the system elements.
The former category include energization of transmission
lines or cables, transformers, reactors, capacitor banks etc.
The latter category includes fault clearing and load rejections
and so on.
Due to the complexity of the mathematical repre-
sentation of the equipment involved, digital simulation using
an electromagnetic transients simulation program plays an
important role in the study of switching transients.
The results from such studies are useful for:
i ) insulation co-ordination to determine overvoltages
stresses on equipment
ii ) determining the arrester characteristics
iii ) determining the transient recovery voltage across circuit
iv ) determining the effectiveness of transient mitigating
devices, e.g., pre-insertion resistors, inductors and con-
trolled closing devices.
The level of detail required in the model varies
with the study. For example, a line may be represented by a
pi-section equivalent in some line energization studies. In
other situations a distributed parameter model with fre-
quency dependence may be necessary.
In some instances the results are highly sensitive
to the value of a certain parameter. For example, the maxi-
mum overvoltage for a line energization depends on the
exact point on the wave at which the switch contacts close.
Thus a number of runs for the same system have to be
made with the time of energization being different in each
run either in a predictable manner (i.e., for determining the
peak overvoltage) or statistically (for obtaining an over-
voltage probability distribution).
This section discusses general and specific model-
ing requirements. General requirements include a discus-
sion of the extent of the system to be modeled, frequency
ranges and simulation time-steps. Specific requirements
include the equipment models typically used for switching
transients simulation.
The most efficient and accurate transmission line
models are distributed parameter models based on the trav-
elling time and characteristic impedance Zc of the
line[1,2]. Lumped parameter models (pi-circuits) are com-
putationally more expensive (a number of cascaded short-
sections are needed to approximate the distributed nature
of the physical line) and less accurate.
In the phase domain, the current in one phase will
cause a voltage in another phase, because of the mutual
impedance. In the modal domain, the modes are uncou-
pled, and calculations are easier. The transformation
between the domains for currents is given by the equation:
where [I
] is the phase current vector, [T
] is
[ ] [ ] [ ]
e phase
i mod
the transformation matrix, and [I
] is the modal current
vector. There is a similar expression for voltage, with trans-
formation matrix [T
]. Digital programs only work with real
matrices, so it is helpful if the components of the transforma-
tion matrices do not have large imaginary parts. The trans-
formation matrix for overhead lines is nearly real, but for
cables it may have a significant imaginary part. It is also
simplest if the transformation matrices are assumed to be fre-
quency independent over the range of frequencies found in
switching surges. For overhead lines, the assumption of fre-
quency independence can usually be made; for cables the
matrices are often frequency dependent. In addition, for pipe-
type cables, the cable impedance can be a function of the
cable current, if pipe saturation occurs. The saturation is dif-
ficult to model.
The distributed parameter model consists of a
description of each mode, and the transformation matrices to
return to the phase domain. The description of each mode
will probably consist of the surge impedance, resistance,
velocity and length. More sophisticated frequency depen-
dent models will include information on the variation of the
parameters with frequency. This may be an important consid-
eration when the ground return mode (zero sequence) is
involved (e.g., during a line to ground fault). In these cases, a
frequency dependent distributed parameter line model gives
a very accurate representation for a wide range of frequen-
cies in the transients phenomenon.The parameters for the dis-
tributed parameter model (either frequency-dependent or
constant) are obtained from geometrical and physical infor-
mation (line/cable dimensions, height above ground, conduc-
tor and soil resistivity) by using a line/cable constants
program usually included with the EMTP-type programs
For secondary lines (not directly feeding the phe-
nomenon under study), and for those studies where mostly
positive sequence conditions are involved (e.g., three-phase
energization), a simple distributed constant parameters mod-
els can gives satisfactory results.
The use of nominal pi-circuits [1,3] is usually
restricted to the case of very short lines when the lines trav-
elling time is smaller than the integration step t of the sim-
ulation. However, in many instances, cascaded pi-sections
can be used without excessive loss of accuracy, for studies
such as line energization [4,5]. The number of pi-circuits
used depends on the desired accuracy, and selecting an
appropriate number is important.For overhead lines, the
parameters for the pi-section can readily be obtained from
positive and zero sequence fundamental frequency imped-
ance values that are used in load flow studies. Typical posi-
tive and zero sequence parameters of the overhead lines are
presented in Table 1. The self and mutual impedances to be
used in the pi-representation can be obtained using Eqn. 2
In many cable studies, such as disconnect switch
operation, the constant parameter assumption can be too lim-
iting. Here a frequency dependent parameter model must be
used, because the frequencies span a large bandwidth and the
cable parameters significantly vary within this range. How-
ever for solid dielectric cables, the constant parameter model
is often adequate. The calculations shown below are useful in
determining the maximum allowable pi-section length and in
estimating errors.
Consider as an example a single phase cable with an
impedance of Z per unit length and an admittance Y per unit
length. Then the propagation constant is given by
and the surge impedance is given by
Suppose the cable is lossless, and has a total length
L. Assume each pi-section is used to represent a length (x.
The surge impedance for the pi-section is Z
, given by
From this expression it is easy to see how small x
230 kV 345 kV 500 kV 765 kV
No. of ccts=2
Gnd. wires=1
=100 -m
No. of ccts=1
Gnd. wires=2
=100 -m
No. of ccts=1
Gnd. wires=2
=100 -m
No. of ccts=1
Gnd. wires=2
=100 -m
X1, /km 0.50 0.38 0.38 0.34
R1, /km 0.052 0.032 0.018 0.017
X0, /km 2.5 1.3 1.2 1.009
R0, /km 0.49 0.341 0.33 0.33
C1, F/km 0.0088 0.012 0.013 0.013
C0, F/km 0.0041 0.0083 0.0075 0.0093
Table 1: Typical Transmission Line Parameters at 60 Hz
+ ( ) =
( ) =
+ ( ) =
( ) =
= YZ
( )

o o

has to be for any desired matching of the surge impedance.
Next consider the phase error across the length of the cable
for any frequency f. If is the phase shift at any frequency
across one pi-section, then is the phase shift across all N
sections. It can be shown that
Since the correct phase shift is , the error in the
phase shift can be easily found.
For switching surge transient studies, the trans-
former model used is a reduced order representation with less
detail (i.e., as in the example in Fig. 21) in comparison with a
model used for insulation studies. Usually a lumped parame-
ter coupled-winding model with a sufficient number of R-L-
C elements gives the appropriate impedance characteristics at
the terminal within the frequency range of interest. The non-
linear characteristic of the core should usually be included,
although the frequency characteristic of the core is often
ignored. This may be an oversimplification as the eddy cur-
rent effect prevents the flux from entering the core steel at
high frequencies thereby making the transformer appear to be
air-cored. This effect begins to be significant even at frequen-
cies in the order of 3-5 kHz.
For swi t chi ng surge s t udi es, t he f ol l owi ng
approaches may be used:
i ) The model may directly be developed from the trans-
former characteristic e.g., nameplate information or
Doble measurements. The standard EMTP models fall
into this category. Examples are described in [6,7]
ii ) A model synthesized from measured impedance v/s fre-
quency response of the transformer as described in [8,9].
This approach is used in the Case Study of section 3.3.5
iii ) A very detailed model obtained from the transformer
geometry and material characteristics may be developed.
The model is then reduced to one that is usable in the
time domain solution. Examples of this method are
described in [7,10,11].
When possible, the following techniques can be
used to validate the model. A frequency response obtained by
simulation can be compared within the desired bandwidth
with the actual characteristic if available. This should be
done for all possible open and short circuit conditions on the
windings. Determining the fundamental frequency response
in the form of open and short circuit impedances is a standard
check. The turns ratio or induced winding voltages at funda-
mental frequency are of interest. Comparison with factory
tests if available also validates the model. If terminal capaci-
tance measurements are available a comparison between
measured and computed responses is useful.
Switchgear includes circuit breakers, circuit-
switchers, vacuum switches and other devices which make or
break circuits. In switching surge studies, the switch is often
modeled as an ideal conductor (zero impedance) when
closed, and an open circuit (infinite impedance) when open.
Transient programs allow various options to vary the closing
time ranging from one-shot deterministic closings to multi-
shot statistical or systematic closings.
Statistical Switching: Transient voltage and current magni-
tudes depend upon the instant on the voltage waveform at
which the circuit breaker contacts close electrically [12]. A
statistical switching case typically consists of 100 or more
separate simulations, each using a different set of circuit
breaker closing times. Statistical methods can be used to pro-
cess the peak overvoltages from each simulation. Fig. 1 is a
plot derived from 100 peak overvoltage magnitudes from the
line energization case study presented in section III A. This
plot shows a 10% probability (Y axis) of exceeding 2 pu volt-
age (X axis).
Circuit breakers can close at any time (angle) on the
power frequency wave. For a single phase circuit, the set of
circuit breaker closing times can be represented as a uniform
distribution from 0 to 360 degrees with reference to the
power frequency. The standard deviation for a uniform distri-
bution over 1 cycle is , where f is the frequency of
the waveform.
A three phase (pole) circuit breaker can be modeled
as three single phase circuit breakers, each with independent
uniform distributions covering 360 degrees. However, an
alternative (dependent) model can be used if the three poles
are mechanically linked and adjusted so that each pole
attempts to close at the same instant. In reality, there will be a
finite time or pole span between the closing instants of the
three poles. The pole span can be modeled with an additional
statistical parameter, typically from a Gaussian (normal) dis-
tribution. For a mechanically linked three pole circuit
breaker, the closing times use both uniform distribution
parameters and Gaussian distribution parameters. All three
dependent poles use the same parameter from the uniform
distribution, which varies from 0 to 360 degrees. Each pole
uses a unique parameter from the Gaussian distribution. The
standard deviation of the maximum pole span is typically 17
to 25 percent of the maximum pole span. For the case study
in section III A, a maximum pole span of 5 ms was assumed.
Statistical cases with pre-insertion resistors or reac-
tors require a second set of three phase switches. The first set
is modeled as described above. The closing times of the sec-

( )
3 3 2
24 24 N
x L


1 2 3f ( )
ond set (which shorts the resistors or reactors) are dependent
upon the first set plus a fixed time delay, typically one-half to
one cycle for pre-insertion resistors used with circuit break-
ers, and 7 to 12 cycles (depending on application voltage
class) for pre-insertion reactors used with circuit-switchers
closing in air through high-speed disconnect blades.
Fig. 1. Overvoltage Distribution Probability
Pre-Striking: In the model described above, a normal distri-
bution was assumed for the closing of the phase switches. In
reality, the withstand strength of the contacts decreases as the
contacts come closer. When the field stress across the con-
tacts exceeds this withstand strength, pre-strike occurs. If this
is taken into account, the distribution of closing angles is
confined to the rising and peak portions of the voltage wave-
shapes [13].
Some modern devices can control the closing angle
of the poles to close at or near the voltage zero between the
contacts. Such devices are being applied to capacitor bank
switching and can reduce overvoltages and inrush currents.
For such devices, the maximum angle in the tolerance of the
voltage zero closing control should be used. Alternatively, a
statistical switching method can be applied to the breaker
poles over the time span around the voltage zero, within the
tolerance of the closing time [13].
Opening: Typical transient studies require the switch to open
at a current zero. The dynamic characteristic of the arc is usu-
ally not important and is not modeled in most cases. How-
ever, in certain instances where small inductive currents are
being interrupted, the current in the switch can extinguish
prior to its natural zero crossing. Severe voltage oscillations
can result due to this current-chopping that can stress the cir-
cuit breaker. Modeling of this phenomenon is described in
additional detail in available literature [14,15] and is not cov-
ered here
In cases of current chopping, an arc model may be
necessary. A good description of the methodology is avail-
able in [16].
Faults: Faults are usually modeled as ideal switches in series
with other series elements if necessary. The switch can be
closed during the steady state solution or closed at a specific
time or voltage. Several runs with variations in the closing
instant should be carried out as the point on wave of switch-
ing can affect the transient.
Sometimes faults are modeled with flashover con-
trolled switches to represent a gap. The switch is operated
typically, when the gap voltage exceeds a fixed value. More
sophisticated models include a volt-time characteristic.
Faults generally involve arcs. Arcs can be modeled
by various approximations such as:
i ) Ideal Switch (R= 0, V =0)
ii ) Linear resistance R or constant voltage V
iii ) Constant V and series R
iv ) Series V and R that vary according to some assumed
v ) V and/or R that vary according to some differential
equation [17].
The most commonly used option is i) above as the
arc voltage is usually small compared with voltage drops
elsewhere (i.e., along the transmission line). Arc modeling
can be important when studying secondary arc phenomena,
such as single pole reclosing. Discussion on the modeling of
this phenomenon is available in the literature[18].
Capacitor banks are usually modeled as a single
lumped element. However, some switching transient simula-
tions require the modeling of secondary parameters such as
series inductance and loss resistance. The inductance of the
buswork is sometimes important when studying the back to
back switching of capacitor banks, or in the study of faults on
the capacitance bus. The damping resistance of this induc-
tance should be estimated for the natural frequency of oscil-
Reactors are modeled in many studies by a simple
lumped inductor with a series resistance. A parallel resis-
tance may be added for realistic high frequency damping.
Core saturation characteristic may also have to be modeled.
A parallel capacitance across the reactor should be included
for reactor opening studies (chopping of small currents). The
total capacitance includes the bushing capacitance and the
equivalent winding to ground capacitance. For series reac-
tors, there is a capacitance from the terminal to ground and
from terminal to terminal.
Gapless metal oxide surge arresters are character-
ized with a nonlinear voltage versus resistance characteristic.
Two model types are used frequently in EMTP-type studies
[19]. The pseudo non-linear model, while easy to set up, can
cause computational problems with the solution as the char-
acteristic can only change at the end of every time-step. The
preferred model is a true non-linear element which iterates at
each time-step to a convergent solution and is thus numeri-
cally robust. The V-I characteristic, usually determined from
the 36 x 90 s surge should be modeled with 5-10 (preferably
exponential as opposed to linear) segments.
Waveshape dependent characteristics are usually not
required for most switching transient simulations. Likewise,
the surge arrester lead lengths and separation effects can also
be ignored for such studies. Modeling of the older series
gapped SiC arresters is not discussed in this paper.
Power system loads are mostly resistive, indicative
of heating and lighting loads, and the active component of
motor loads. The reactive components of motor and fluores-
cent lighting loads are the other major contributors to power
system loads. In general, the power system load is repre-
sented using an equivalent circuit with parallel-connected
resistive and inductive elements. The power factor of the
load determines the relative impedance of the resistive and
inductive elements. Shunt capacitance is represented with the
resistive and inductive elements of the load if power-factor
correction capacitors are used. Whenever loads are lumped at
a load bus, the effects of lines, cables, and any transformers
downstream from the load bus need to be considered [5].
This is particularly important for the modeling of high-fre-
quency transient phenomena. In such cases, an impedance Z
in series with the parallel R-L-C load equivalent circuit is
appropriate as shown in Fig. 2. The series impedance, com-
bined with the equivalent source impedance at the load bus,
is typically in the range of 10 to 20 percent of the load imped-
Certain types of load, e.g., large motor loads, elec-
tronic loads, or fluorescent lighting loads, may require spe-
cific representat ion of cert ain l oad components (e.g.
induction motors, adjustable-speed drives, power supplies,
etc.). The need for such detailed representation will be deter-
mined by the phenomenon being investigated.
Actual power system loads are distributed through-
out the system. Some concentration of loads occur in certain
areas. Loads close to the substation can be lumped. Distant
loads can be lumped based on load concentration and repre-
sented along lines or distribution feeders described by suit-
able line or cable models.
Fig. 2. Equivalent circuit representation of power system loads
for simulating switching transients
In switching transient studies, the source is modeled
as an ideal sine-wave source. Generators are modeled as a
voltage behind a (subtransient) Thevenin impedance. Often a
network equivalent is used in order to simplify the represen-
tation of the portion of the power network not under study.
Some typical network equivalents are shown in Fig. 3
Fig. 3. Conventional Network Equivalents
The first type a) represents the short circuit imped-
ance (Thevenin equivalent) of the connected system. The X/
R ratio is selected to represent the damping (the damping
angle is usually in the range 75
). The second type b)
represents the surge impedance of connected lines. This
equivalent may be used to reduce connected lines to a simple
equivalent surge impedance and where the lines are long
enough so that reflections are not of concern in the system
under study. If the connected system consists of a known
Thevenin equivalent and additional transmission lines, the
two impedances may be combined in parallel in the manner
of Fig. 3c. It should be noted however, that this approach
may yield an incorrect steady-state solution if the equivalent
impedance of the parallel connected lines is of comparable

Load bus
sc R
sc R
a) Short Circuit Impedance
c) Short Circuit Impedance + Surge Impedance
b) Surge Impedance
magnitude to the source impedance. In such a case it may not
be possible to lump the source and lines into one equivalent
More complex equivalents which properly represent
the frequency response characteristic (as opposed to the ones
above that are most accurate near fundamental frequency) are
also possible [20,21]. Mutually-coupled sources are often
typical for line-fed substations.
The time step to be chosen should be small enough
to properly represent the smallest time constant in the mod-
eled system. It should also be significantly smaller (typically
1/20 th) than the period of the highest frequency oscillatory
component. Additional factors that affect the time-step are
the presence of non-linear characteristics such as arrester
characteristics, and the minimum travel time of travelling
wave cable and transmission line models. Time-steps in the
range of 5 s to 50 s (typically 20 s) are used. The simula-
tion time in typical switching surge studies ranges from 20
ms to 200 ms (typically 50 ms). Slightly larger time-steps (20
s-50 s) can be used with programs that use interpola-
tion[22], because the linear interpolation method calls for
less iteration of surge arrester characteristics and also does
not introduce spurious current chopping.
One simple method for checking the suitable time-
step is to check if no further gains in accuracy accrue from
any further time-step reduction.
Typical case studies are now presented for a practi-
cal demonstration of the modeling guidelines. Several differ-
ent examples are considered: Line energization, transient
recovery voltage determination for line and transformer
faults and the switching of shunt as well as series capacitor
Aim: The aim of such a study is to determine the overvoltage
stresses and choose the insulation strength in order to achieve
an outage rate criterion [23].
3.1.1 Phenomena:
The energization of overhead transmission lines by closing
the circuit breaker produces significant transients. It is
important to distinguish between two closely related phe-
nomena: energization and reclosing. In the former case, there
is no trapped charge. In the latter case of reclosing, the line
may have been left with a trapped charge after the initial
breaker opening. In this case, the transient overvoltages can
reach higher values (up to 4.0 pu).
3.1.2 Model
The source, transformer, overhead lines, circuit breaker and
the trapped charges (if any) on the line are to be modeled in
order to study the line energization transients. In this study a
simple power system is used to demonstrate the simulation
The network configuration of a 345 kV circuit is
shown in Fig. 4. The 345 kV source (1 pu) is connected
through a transformer to the 203 km overhead line. The line
was model ed wi th several pi -sect i ons i n t he manner
described in section 2.2.1.The parameters are given at 60 Hz
Source and transformer impedance,
= Z
= (6.75 + j127)
Line impedance, Z
= (0.04+j0.318) /km
Line impedance, Z
= (0.26+j1.015) /km
Charging capacitance, C
= 11.86 nF/km
Charging capacitance, C
= 7.66 nF/km
Fig. 4. One Line Diagram of System Used for Energization Study
3.1.3 Simulation Results
First a statistical overvoltage study is conducted in order to
evaluate the switching time at which maximum transients are
produced. The results of the statistical energization study
were presented in Fig. 1. Then the effect of various parame-
ters and related issues on the energization transients are stud-
Four, eight or sixteen pi-sections gave similar
results although the maximum overvoltage was slightly
higher with eight pi-sections. No significant improvement
was obtained by reducing the time-step below 50 s.
The overvoltages produced in the presence of
trapped charge on the line depend on the polarity and the
magnitude of the trapped charges. Therefore additional stud-
ies were carried out to see the effect of trapped charge on the
line. For reclosure operations, it is assumed that trapped
charges on phases A, B, and C are -0.9, -0.8, and 0.8 per unit
Source (1 pu, 60Hz)
203 km transmission line
TR - Transformer
CB- Circuit breaker
From Table 2 it can be seen that the highest over-
voltage magnitude due to the presence of trapped charges is
2.839 pu. The corresponding overvoltage magnitude in the
absence of trapped charges are 2.2 pu (Fig. 1). Typical ener-
gization waveforms are shown in Fig. 5.
Additional studies (not shown) that can be con-
ducted on this model include the comparison of simultaneous
and non-simultaneous closing of breaker contacts, the effect
of including a closing resistance and including the effect on
surge arrester ratings.
Fig. 5. Voltage At Open End Of Line on Energization with Trapped Charge
Aim: To determine the maximum overvoltages in the cable.
3.2.1 Phenomena
As in the case of overhead transmission line energization, the
overvoltage in the cable is a function of the point on wave of
the switching instant. The peak overvoltages are then deter-
mined using statistical switching.
3.2.2 Model
The first example that was done was a 345 kV pipe-type
(HPFF or high pressure fluid filled ) cable. A drawing of the
cable is shown in Fig. 6. The 345 kV cable has 2500 kcmil
segmented conductors with a 1.824 inch diameter, 1.035 inch
of paper insulation with a dielectric constant = 3.5. The
sheath is 0.01 inch.
Fig. 6. Geometry of HPFF cable example.
thick, and the sheath resistivity was set to = 1.0x10
m to
account for the wrapping pitch. A 10.5 inch pipe with a 0.25
inch wall thickness was used; for the pipe a = 14x10
was used. It was assumed that all shields and the pipe were
continuously grounded.
The cable was energized using the simple power
system, shown in Fig. 7. The energizing was done with a
variety of cable models, including traveling wave and pi-cir-
cuit models. A decision must be made about the number of
pi-sections to be used in the model, and the equations from
the preceding section can assist in making the choice. For
the pipe-type cable, the positive sequence propagation con-
stant is
~ 3.75x10
/km, and the zero sequence propagation
constant is
~ 7.28x10
/km. Based on these values, for the
surge impedance of the pi-circuit to be within 10% of the cor-
rect value, the pi-circuit section lengths must be less than 239
km based on positive sequence parameters and less than 123
km based on zero sequence. Therefore, the surge impedance
requirements have little impact on the pi-section length for
this short cable. Next, suppose it was desired that the one
way phase shift error be less than one radian at a frequency of
900 Hz. Then, based on the positive sequence parameters 14
pi-sections would be required for the 20 km cable. For the
zero sequence parameters, 38 pi-sections would be required
for this same phase error! A 15 section model was actually
Location Phase A
Phase B
Phase C
Source end 1.272 2.164 2.413
Open end 1.442 2.839 2.784
Table 2: Overvoltages in the Presence of Trapped Charge
used. In addition, a 3 section model was used to see the
effect of using only a small number of sections.
Fig. 7. Simple power system for cable energizing.
Table 3: Maximum switching surges in pu at each end of the cable.
3.2.3 Simulation Results
The cable was energized with no reactors installed,
to eliminate the influence of other equipment. A statistical
simulation was conducted, consisting of 100 energizations,
using a breaker with a 6 ms pole span and no insertion resis-
tors. The maximum overvoltages obtained are shown in
Table 3 for several cable models. The breaker pole closing
times that gave the maximum voltage at the open end of the
cable for the 60 Hz traveling wave model were then selected,
and deterministic simulations were run using these closing
times. Three simulations were done, using the 60 Hz travel-
ing wave model, the 15 section 60 Hz pi model, and the 3
section 60 Hz pi model. Plots of the voltage at the open cable
end are shown in Fig. 8.
The deterministic simulations were then repeated
using cable models evaluated at 1000 Hz. The results are
shown in Fig. 9. As can be seen from the table, there is little
difference in the maximum switching surge for any of the 60
Hz models. It appears that either the traveling wave model or
pi- circuit model can be used to obtain a switching surge dis-
tribution when the cable is energized. The results for the
1000 Hz model are also consistent, but the values obtained
with the 1000 Hz models are considerably smaller than those
obtained with the 60 Hz models. Therefore, it would appear
to be advisable to use a frequency dependent cable model if it
is available.
Fig. 8. Switching surge overvoltage using 60 Hz models. Traveling wave
model (top), 15 pi-section model (middle), 3 pi-section model (bottom).
Fig. 9. Switching surge overvoltage using 1000 Hz models. Traveling wave
model (top), 15 pi-section model (middle), 3 pi-section model (bottom)
Aim: As in the previous section, the aim of this study is to
determine the maximum overvoltages in the cable resulting
from energization. The effect of using different cable model-
ling options such as various numbers of pi-section or distrib-
uted parameters is also presented.
Cable Model H IN H OUT
Traveling wave model with 60
Hz parameters
2.30 2.35
15 section pi-circuit model with
60 Hz parameters
2.30 2.40
3 section pi-circuit model with
60 Hz parameters
2.25 2.35
Traveling wave model with
1000 Hz parameters
2.05 2.10
15 section pi-circuit model with
1000 Hz parameters
2.05 2.10
3.3.1 Phenomena
Eddy current losses in the iron pipe around the cables in an
HPFF system discussed above would have considerable
effect on the switching surges, resulting in lower overvolt-
ages as compared to those for the solid dielectric cables.
Therefore, another example was done using a 138 kV solid
dielectric (SD) cable.
3.3.2 Model
A 138 kV solid dielectric cable with the geometry
shown in Fig. 10 was modelled.
The three cables were installed 1.2 m underground
with a 25 cm horizontal spacing between the conductors.
The lead sheath was grounded at only one end, and the
sheaths were crossbonded at 1000 m intervals.
Fig. 10. 138 kV SD cable.
The circuit for energizing the 138 kV cable was
approximately the same as used for the 345 kV HPFF cable,
except of course the voltage levels had to be changed, and
some changes had to be made in the equipment. A typical
138 kV compact design overhead line was used, and the
autotransformer was turned around, with 230 kV used for the
high side transformer voltage. The transformer size was also
reduced to 100 MVA A sketch of the energizing circuit is
shown in Fig. 11. In the several cases simulated, various dif-
ferent models, pi-section as well as distributed parameter
models were used for the cable.
3.3.3 Simulation Results
A series of statistical energizing simulations were
done, and the maximum overvoltages are shown in Table 4.
As can be seen, the values obtained with the 60 Hz models
are very close to each other. The 1000 Hz values are also
consistent, and, unlike the HPFF cable, the 1000 Hz values
are very close to those obtained at 60 Hz. Therefore, the fre-
quency dependent model may not be necessary for the SD
Fig. 11. Simple circuit used for energizing 138 kV cable.
Table 4: Overvoltages when 138 kV cross bonded cable is energized.
The breaker pole closing times were recorded that
resulted in the largest overvoltages at the open end of the
cable when the 60 Hz traveling wave model was used. Then,
deterministic simulations were run with several cable models
using these closing times. The resulting waveforms for the
60 Hz models is shown in Fig. 12. As can be seen, all the
waveforms are very similar, probably because there is little
high frequency content in the switching surge waveform.
Fig. 12. Overvoltages when energizing 138 kV SD cable with 60 Hz models,
constant parameter (top), 15 pi-section (middle) and 3 pi-section (bottom).
Cable Model H IN H OUT
Traveling wave model with 60
Hz parameters
2.05 2.20
15 section pi-circuit model with
60 Hz parameters
2.00 2.15
3 section pi-circuit model with
60 Hz parameters
2.00 2.15
Traveling wave model with
1000 Hz parameters
1.95 2.10
15 section pi-circuit model with
1000 Hz parameters
2.00 2.15
The deterministic simulations were then rerun using
the 1000 Hz cable models. The results are shown in Fig. 13.
As can be seen, for the SD cable there is not as much differ-
ence between the 60 Hz and 1000 Hz results as there was for
the pipe-type cable. Again, this would seem to indicate that
the frequency dependent model is not as important for the SD
cable as it is for the pipe-type.
Fig. 13. Results of energizing 138 SD cable with 1000 Hz models, constant
parameter (top), 15 pi (middle) and 3 pi (bottom).
- High Frequency Unit Step
The simulations that were done with the simple
power systems did not result in much high frequency content
in the cable voltage waveform. In order to produce a wave
with more high frequency content, one phase of the 138 kV
SD cable was energized with a 1 pu unit step function. The
circuit used to do the energizing is shown in Fig. 14. Both 60
and 1000 Hz cable models were used.
Fig. 15 shows the result when 60 Hz models were
used. The top curve in the figure is when the constant param-
eter model is used, the second curve is with the 15 pi-section
model, the third with the 3 pi-section model, and the bottom
with a 100 pi-section model. Because of the high frequency
content in the wave, the limitations of the 3 and 15 section pi
models are now seen. The 100 section pi model seems to be
able to reproduce the high frequencies, but the voltage wave-
form from this pi-circuit model looks considerably damped
than does the one obtained when the constant parameter
model is used. This leads to some uncertainty about which of
the two models would be preferable.
Fig. 14. Circuit used to apply pulse to one cable phase.
Fig. 15. Results from pulse energizing for 138 kV SD cable, 60 Hz constant
parameter (top), 15 pi, (second), 3 pi (third) and 100 pi (bottom).
The results from the 1000 Hz models are shown in
Fig. 16. The limitations of the 3 and 15 section pi models are
again evident, although the 15 section model appears to give
reasonably good results. Now, however, the constant param-
eter and 100 section pi-circuit models give results that are
very close to each other. In the front edge of the first pulse, a
stair step effect can be seen. This is caused by voltages
induced in the other two cables. Some oscillation can also be
seen in these stair steps when the 100 section pi model is
used. These oscillations are probably similar to the Gibbs
phenomenon encountered with Fourier Transforms.
Fig. 16. Results from pulse energizing for 138 kV SD cable, 1000 Hz mod-
els constant parameter (top), 15 pi, (second), 3 pi (third) and 100 pi (bottom).
The following general conclusions can be drawn
from the switching studies presented in subsections 3.2
(HPFF cable) and 3.3 (SD cable):
For both the HPFF and SD cable, when statistical
energizings are done, it appears that either a constant parame-
ter traveling wave or a pi-circuit model can be used. The
overvoltage results are similar with either model. In addi-
tion, the overvoltage waveform does not appear to have
much frequency content at 1000 Hz or above, so the number
of pi-sections used for modeling can be evaluated at 1000 Hz
or below.
For the HPFF cable, there was considerable differ-
ence in the switching surge results obtained with the 60 Hz
and 1000 Hz model. Therefore, if a frequency dependent
model is available, it should be used with the HPFF cable.
However, the SD cable results did not change appre-
ciably from 60 to 1000 Hz. Therefore, it is probably accept-
able to model the SD cable with a single frequency 60 Hz
model for switching surge simulations
Consider the circuit in Fig. 17 which shows a fault
fed from a single line "L", which in turn is fed by a bus with
substantial capacity and seven connected long transmission
Aim: To find the Transient Recovery Voltage (TRV) across a
receiving end circuit breaker after clearing a fault.
3.4.1 Phenomena
When a fault at the remote end of a transmission line is
cleared, the receiving end voltage at the remote end oscillates
with a half period equal to the travel time of the line. The
peak magnitude in the lossless case, can be up to twice the
sending end voltage at the instant of fault clearing. This volt-
age now appears as the TRV across the open breaker. In the
actual case, the slope and magnitude of the TRV is dependent
on the damping present in the system.
3.4.2 Model
The network equivalent (Fig. 18) is of type c) presented in
section 2 2.7. The inductance value is obtained from the short
circuit current (30 kA) at the bus. The parallel resistance is
the combined surge impedance (parallel combination) of the
7 unfaulted lines. This representation is appropriate because
the lines are long and no reflections affect the protective
device during the transient period under consideration. Note
that as the fundamental frequency impedance of the source
(7.04 mH x 377 rad/s) is much smaller than the equivalent
parallel impedance of the transmission lines (51.57 ), the
warning in section 2 2.7 does not apply. However, when con-
sidering unbalanced faults, a full model may be necessary.
Fig. 17. System for Simulating Single-line Fed Bus Fault
Fig. 18. Equivalent Circuit for System in Fig. 17
The line "L" is represented as a low-frequency loss-
less line with lumped resistance at the midpoint and at the
end of the line. For a 138 kV substation, the available fault
Line "L"
Multiple Lines
10000 pF
7.04 mH
600 pF
138 kV
360 Surge Impedance

current at the main bus is 30 kA and 3.7 kA at the fault loca-
tion. Circuit parameters were selected for a 795 MCM line of
length 40 km to the fault location with a surge impedance of
360 ohms.
Lumped bus capacitance of 10000 pF is represented
at the supply station while 600 pF, which is typical for a
small substation, is represented at the station at the end of the
3.4.3 Simulation Results
Fig. 19 shows the resultant bus voltage, fault current, and
protective device transient recovery voltage. The protective
device recovery voltage is a ramp whose magnitude, neglect-
ing damping, would be 2 times 0.88 per unit (since about
12% of the voltage is dropped across the source impedance
during the fault), or 1.76 per unit; circuit damping would
reduce this by about 5 to 10%. The time-to-peak of the recov-
ery voltage is the round-trip travel time of a voltage wave on
a single line supplying the fault. The rate-of-rise of the volt-
age ramp is determined by the product of the surge imped-
ance of the line and the rate-of-change of the fault current.
Since the first peak is typically reached in only a few hun-
dred microseconds, the rate-of-change of a symmetrical fault
current can be considered constant and equal to .It
should be noted that the TRV for a three phase to ground
fault would vary significantly from that for a three phase
ungrounded fault.
Fig. 19. Bus Voltage, Switch Recovery Voltage and Fault Cur-
rent for a Single-line Fed Bus Fault.
Aim: To find the TRV on the circuit breaker on the primary
side of a transformer after it clears a secondary side fault.
3.5.1 Phenomena
When a fault occurs on the secondary-side of a transformer,
the relatively large leakage inductance of the transformer will
limit the magnitude of the fault current through the primary-
side protective device. When the fault occurs, the source-side
bus voltage drops to a level determined by the leakage induc-
tance of the transformer and the effective source impedance
as shown in Fig. 20. At the same time, the transformer sec-
ondary-side voltage collapses to zero, dropping the bus volt-
age (reduced from its pre-fault value due to the fault) across
the leakage inductance of the transformer. When the fault is
cleared, the source-side bus voltage recovers in an oscillatory
fashion with a frequency determined by the source induc-
tance and its equivalent capacitance. If the transformer is
located at the end of a line, the source-side bus voltage will
attempt to recover to the pre-fault voltage level through a
ramp, and overshoot. This sets up a damped oscillation on
the source side of the protective device with a period deter-
mined by the positive- and zero-sequence travel times of the
line. For short lines the source inductance dominates, reduc-
ing the magnitude of oscillations that occur at a higher fre-
quency. The voltage on the transformer side of the switch
collapses to zero in an oscillatory fashion with a frequency
determined by the leakage reactance of the transformer and
its equivalent terminal capacitance. The resulting switch
transient recovery voltage rate-of-rise is very steep with a
substantial peak value (see Fig. 22).
Fig. 20. System for Study of Secondary Fault TRV
Fig. 21. The Equivalent Circuit for the Case in Fig. 20
3.5.2 Model
To illustrate the transient recovery voltage that occurs across
the primary-side protective device when a transformer sec-
ondary fault is cleared, consider the system in Fig. 27 (Case
D). Assume that a fault occurs on the secondary side of the
80 MVA 138 kV/13.8 kV radially fed transformer. Based on
the 10.7% transformer impedance, the inherent 3-phase fault
current of the transformer is approximately 3.1 kA. Because
of the source and line impedances, the 3-phase secondary-
fault current magnitude is further limited to about 1.0 kA. To
simulate the protective device transient recovery voltage, the
transformer can be represented as shown in Fig. 21. Trans-
former terminal capacitances are calculated from the trans-
former oscillation frequency when a fault on the one side of
the transformer is cleared from the other side. Representative









0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Fault current
Bus voltage
Switch transient recovery voltage
T ime(milliseconds)
138 kV/13.8 kV
80 MVA
10.7% Z
frequencies for power transformers are reported by Harner
and Rodriguez [24]. For the 138-kV winding, the frequency
of oscillation is approximately 9.6 kHz, while that of the
13.8-kV winding is approximately 72.3 kHz. The high-fre-
quency capacitive coupling ratio (i.e., ) is
generally lower than 0.4 and was selected to be equal to 0.2
for the simulation. As described in section 2.2.2, the capaci-
tance is calculated from the known winding frequencies.
The effective terminal capacitances can be deter-
mined based on the frequency of oscillation of each winding
by using the equation ,where f is the
frequency of oscillation of each of the windings in Hz, L
(Henries) is the transformer leakage inductance (referred to
the winding of interest) and C (Farads) is the effective capac-
itance. For the high-voltage winding:
and, for the low-voltage winding:
Based on the winding frequencies, and the trans-
former leakage inductance of 67.48 mH (referred to the high-
voltage winding), the winding terminal capacitances are:
Due to high-frequency winding resistance and eddy
current losses, the oscillations are damped. This damping is
represented by the resistance to ground in the equivalent cir-
cuit shown in Fig. 21. For most transformers the damping is
usually such that the damping factor (i.e., the ratio of succes-
sive peaks of opposite polarity in the oscillation) is on the
order of 0.6 to 0.8. A conservative value of 0.8 was selected
for this simulation. The time between peaks (of the same
polarity) of the oscillation is: , hence, for an
assumed damping factor, , the high-frequency damping
resistance, , can be calculated using the equation:
where L is the effective leakage inductance of the trans-
former (referred to the winding of interest) and C is the effec-
tive capacitance of the winding of interest.
Based on the transformer leakage inductance of
67.48 mH and the terminal capacitances, the high-voltage
winding damping resistance is equal to 57.3 k and that of
the low-voltage winding is 7.48 k.
3.5.3 Simulation Results
Fig. 22 shows the transient recovery voltage for the switch-
ing device, the source-side and transformer-side voltages,
and the 138 kV substation bus voltage for interrupting a fault
on the secondary side of the transformer.
Fig. 22. Source, Transformer Side and 138 kV substation Bus Voltages for a
Secondary Side Fault on a 80 MVA 138 kV/213.8 kV Transformer
Aim: To present by example, modeling guidelines that should
be observed when simulating capacitor switching transients.
A brief discussion of the transient phenomena associate with
capacitor switching is presented as background to the case
study used to illustrate modeling guidelines. Understanding
the transient phenomena associated with any simulated event
will allow a model of sufficient accuracy to be created while
avoiding needlessly complicated models that waste computer
and engineering time.
3.6.1 Phenomena
Capacitor switching can cause significant transients at both
the switched capacitor and remote locations. The most com-
mon transient problems when switching capacitors are (1)
overvoltages at the switched capacitor during energization,
(2) voltage magnification at lower voltage capacitors during
capacitor energization, (3) transformer phase-to-phase over-
voltages at a line termination during capacitor energization,
(4) arrester energy duty during capacitor breaker restrike, (5)
breaker current due to inrush from capacitors at the same bus
as a capacitor being energized and (6) breaker current due to
outrush from a capacitor into a nearby fault. Although all of
these phenomena can be initiated by capacitor switching or
fault initiation near a capacitor, they each produce different
types of transients that can adversely affect different power
system apparatus. Some of the phenomena also have differ-
ent modeling requirements. Each phenomena is briefly dis-
cussed before being illustrating by example.
3.6.2 Switched Capacitor Overvoltages During Energization
Energizing a shunt capacitor from a predominately inductive
source results in an oscillatory transient voltage at the capac-
itor bus with a magnitude that can approach twice the peak
bus voltage prior to energization. The characteristic frequency
+ ( )
C 1 2f ( )
[ ] =
+ =
+ =
2.64 nF =
1.44 nF =
5.75 nF =
1 f 2 LC =

--- -
DF ln
--------------- =



2.5 2.7 2.9 3.1 3.3 3.5 3.7 3.9
Time (milliseconds)
T rans former-side voltage
S ource-side voltage
Protective device transient
recovery voltage
138 kV S ubstation bus voltage
of the energization transient is:
where: L
= source inductance (Henries)
C = capacitor bank capacitance (Farads)
This energization transient can excite system resonances or
cause high frequency overvoltages at transformer termina-
tions. The magnitude and duration of the energizing voltage
transient is dependent upon a number of factors including sys-
tem strength, local transmission lines, system capacitances,
and switching device characteristics. Voltage transient magni-
tudes increase as system strength is reduced, relative to capac-
itor size. In addition to reducing system surge impedance and
increasing system strength, transmission lines provide damp-
ing. These three characteristics of transmission lines help re-
duce capacitor energizing transients. Other capacitors in the
vicinity of a switched bank help reduce capacitor energizing
transients because they reduce system surge impedance.
Switching devices can be designed to reduce transients by us-
ing closing control, pre-insertion resistors, or pre-insertion in-
ductors. The closer to zero voltage at which a capacitor is
energized, the lower the resulting transients. The optimum
closing resistor size is approximately equal to the surge imped-
ance of the source inductance and capacitor bank capacitance
as calculated below:
where: L
= source inductance (H)
C = capacitor bank capacitance (F)
3.6.3 Voltage Magnification at Lower Voltage Capacitors
Normal capacitor bank energizing transients, which are limited
to twice the pre-switch capacitor bus voltage, are not a concern
at the switched capacitor location. Significant transient voltag-
es can occur at remote capacitors or cables when magnification
of the capacitor energizing transient occurs. The simple circuit
in Fig. 23 illustrates the voltage magnification phenomena.
Fig. 23. Circuit Illustrating Voltage Magnification
The highest transient voltages, on a per unit basis, occur at the
lower voltage capacitance (C
) during capacitor C
tion when (1) the capacitive Mvar rating of C
is significantly
greater than that of C
and (2) the natural frequencies f
and f
(as defined below) are nearly equal.
The magnitude of the voltage magnification transient at C
dependent on switched capacitor size, source impedance, the
impedance between the two capacitances, system loading, and
the existence of other nearby low voltage capacitors. Moderate
increases in distribution system loading can significantly re-
duce voltage magnification transients. Because transformer
losses increase significantly at higher frequencies, modeling
the frequency dependence of transformer losses, or simply
modeling the transformer X/R ratio at the capacitors natural
frequency, can improve model accuracy and reduce the sever-
ity of the voltage magnification simulated. Controlled breaker
closing, pre-insertion resistors, or pre-insertion inductors can
be used to reduce voltage magnification related transients.
Voltage magnification can also cause excessive
energy duty at arresters protecting distribution capacitors.
High energy arresters may be necessary if other methods of
reducing voltage magnification are not implemented.
3.6.4 Transformer Termination Phase-to-Phase Overvoltages
Capacitor energization can initiate traveling waves that will in-
crease in magnitude when reflected at transformer termina-
tions. These reflected surges will be limited to approximately
two per unit by the transformer line-to-ground arresters. Four
per unit phase-to-phase voltage transients can be caused by 2
pu surges of opposite polarity appearing simultaneously on
different phases. This four per unit switching transient may ex-
ceed a transformers switching surge withstand capability.
IEEE standards do not specify transformer phase-to-phase
switching surge withstand capability. As a worst case assump-
tion, the phase-to-ground withstand could be used, but a value
closer to 3.4 pu is probably more realistic. The transformer
manufacturer should be consulted to determine the phase-to-
phase switching surge withstand voltage of a specific trans-
System short circuit capability and the number of lines at the
switched capacitor location do not significantly affect this phe-
nomena. Switched capacitor size affects the frequency of os-
cillation that occurs when a capacitor is energized, and thus the
voltage that the traveling wave component of the transient
rides on, but no generalization relating capacitor bank size and
reflected phase-to-phase transient can be made. Radial line
length may have a more predicable effect. Higher phase-to-
phase transients often occur on longer lines as the traveling
wave oscillation peak begins to match up with the natural fre-
quency of the capacitor energization transient. Oscillations
that occur on very short lines may also be important, as they
have the potential for exciting transformer internal resonances.
2 L
------ =
2 L
-------------------- = f
2 L
-------------------- =
As with other capacitor switching related transients, these
transients can be reduced by the use of synchronous closing
control, pre-insertion resistors, or pre-insertion inductors.
3.6.5 Capacitor Breaker Restrike Arrester Energy Duty
Arresters applied at large shunt capacitors should be evaluat-
ed for their energy duty during capacitor breaker restrike. This
is true even when the capacitor breakers are designed to be
restrike free.
There are several methods of determining arrester
energy requirements during the first capacitor breaker
restrike. The energy during subsequent restrikes can be much
higher, but is usually not considered when sizing arresters.
The chart shown in Fig. 24 [25] can be used to determine
arrester energy duty based on arrester protective level and
capacitor size. Hand calculations which include the effects of
capacitor size, can be used to more accurately determine
arrester energy requirements. The equations for hand calcu-
lating arrester energy during restrike of a grounded capacitor
is shown below. The details of the hand calculation for both
grounded and ungrounded capacitor can be found in [25].
where: C = Capacitor Capacitance (farads)
= Arrester Protective Level (volts)
= Peak Line-to-Ground Voltage (volts)
Fig. 24. MOV Arrester Duty for Capacitor Switch Restrike
Because both the chart and hand calculation methods do not
include the effects of system losses, loads, or transmission
lines, the arrester energy requirements determined by them
will be conservatively, but not excessively, high. The most ac-
curate method of determining arrester energy requirements
during capacitor breaker restrike is to simulate the restrike
event using a detailed transient model. The transient simula-
tion should model the system in detail at least two busses in
each direction from the capacitor.
It has been reported that the energy handling capa-
bility of an arrester during capacitor restrike is significantly
less than the published arrester energy handling capability.
Some derating of arrester energy ratings may be required
because of the high magnitude currents which may be associ-
ated with capacitor restrike transients. The arrester manufac-
turer should be consulted to determine the level of arrester
energy derating, if any, is necessary.
3.6.6 Inrush from Another Capacitor During Energization
The inrush currents associated with back-to-back
capacitor switching must be evaluated with respect to the
capacitor switch capabilities and overvoltages on CT second-
aries. A circuit illustrating back-to-back switching is shown
in Fig. 25.
The equations for calculating current magnitude and frequen-
cy are shown below.
where: V
= Voltage across C1 as switch closes
L1, L2 = Self Inductances of Capacitor Banks
L3 = Inductance between Capacitor Banks
Z = Surge Impedance = , L
= L1 + L2 + L3,

ANSI Circuit Breaker Standard C37.06 contains
specific inrush current magnitude and frequency limits for
general and definite purpose breakers. Although hand calcu-
lations are very accurate in determining inrush currents, a
simple model that includes all impedances between the ener-
gized and switched capacitors is all that is necessary to simu-
late back-to-back switching inrush currents. If the inrush
currents calculated are excessive current limiting reactors can
be used to bring them within acceptable limits. The size of
the current limiting reactor necessary to limit the inrush cur-
rent to an acceptable level can be estimated by rearranging
the equation for I x f above as shown below and using peak
pre-switch current and voltage values:

2 V
( )
--------------------------- 4V
( )
= joules ( )
, f
eq eq

, I f
-------------------- =
3.6.7 Current Outrush into a Nearby Fault
Current outrush from a capacitor can be a concern
when a breaker closes into a fault. For general purpose break-
ers, ANSI standards indicate that the product of the outrush
current peak magnitude and frequency is limited to less than
2 x 10
. The limitation for definite purpose breakers is less
severe, generally 6.8 x 10
. Fig. 26 illustrates the capacitor
current outrush phenomena
The equations necessary to calculate peak current
and frequency are shown below.
where: V
= Voltage across C1 when Switch Closes
L1 = Self Inductance of Capacitor Bank
L3 = Inductance between Capacitor Banks
Z= Surge Impedance = ,
= L1 + L3, C
= C1
If outrush currents are a concern, they can be
brought within limits by the use of outrush reactors. The
reactor size can be quite accurately determined by the fol-
lowing equation when peak pre-switch voltage and current
values are used:
3.6.8 Additional Concerns
In addition to the capacitor switching phenomena
listed above, which will be illustrated in the example later in
this paper, there are two other capacitor switching phenom-
ena that should be considered. The first is dynamic overvolt-
age. Dynamic overvoltage may occur when energizing a
capacitor and transformer simultaneously during fault clear-
ing and line re-energization. During line faults, even if the
capacitors are normally switched separately, the bus trans-
former and capacitor bank may be de-energized and subse-
quently reenergized together with the line. The resulting long
term, low magnitude, but high energy, overvoltage cannot be
effectively limited by surge arresters. It must be controlled
by using an acceptable switching scheme.
Fig. 25. Circuit Illustrating Back-to-Back Switching
Fig. 26. Circuit Illustrating Outrush Switching
) ( 2
f I

----------- = f ,
2 L
I f ,
---------------- = =
) ( 2
f I

Another concern when switching shunt capacitor banks is in-
ternal overvoltages at remote transformers. These overvoltag-
es are a function of the switching transient and transformer
internal resonance characteristics. Transformer terminal ar-
resters may not adequately protect for this condition. Possible
solutions include (1) capacitor switch pre-insertion resistors
or reactors and (2) capacitor bank reactors.
3.6.9 The Model
A one line diagram of a three-phase transient model assem-
bled to illustrate capacitor switching phenomena is shown in
Fig. 27. The individual components of the model are dis-
cussed below.
Source: The system source is modeled as an ideal voltage
source behind a system equivalent impedance. The equivalent
impedance consists of both positive and zero sequence induc-
tance and resistance. The ideal voltage source magnitude is
set so that the 138 kV bus voltage prior to capacitor energiza-
tion will be 1.025 pu. The actual magnitude can vary depend-
ing upon system loading and capacitor operating procedures.
In this case the positive sequence equivalent impedance is 5.8
ohms reactive and 0.58 ohms resistive and the zero sequence
system equivalent impedance is 5.0 ohms reactive and 0.50
ohms resistive. This results in a 138 kV bus three phase fault
current of approximately 13.7 kA and a single line-to-ground
fault current of approximately 14.3 kA.
Fig. 27. One Line Diagram of Transient Model
Capacitors: Three capacitors are modeled. There are two 40
Mvar (5.571 microfarad) capacitors located at the 138 kV
equivalent source bus. These capacitors are each equipped
with 0.15 mH reactors to limit back-to-back switching cur-
rents and a common 1 mH reactor to limit outrush currents.
How these reactor sizes were determined is presented in sub-
section 3.6.10. The third capacitor (3.6 Mvars or 50.10
microfarads) is located on the low voltage side of the 138/
13.8 kV transformer located at the 138 kV equivalent bus.
All three capacitors are grounded.
Loads: Two loads are modeled, each half the peak system
load. Both are modeled as parallel resistance and inductance
elements. The first load (90 +j40 MVA) is modeled at the 138
kV equivalent source bus. This load contains series as well as
parallel components to represent the impedances of trans-
formers not explicitly modeled. The load fed from this bus is
assumed to have a uncorrected power factor of about 90% and
a corrected power factor of 100% when both 40 Mvar capac-
itors are in service. This full load condition is represented by
parallel resistive and reactive loads of 180 Mvars (105.8
ohms) and 80 Mvars (238.05 ohms) respectively. Full load is
represented by half this load when one 40 Mvar capacitor is in
service or to be switched into service.
The second load (1.8 + j1.8 MVA) is modeled on the low side
of the 138/13.8 kV transformer located at the same equivalent
source bus. This load has an uncorrected power factor of
70.7% and a corrected power factor of unity. With a 3.6 Mvar
capacitor placed at this bus, this means that the resistive and
reactive components of the load at this bus are both equal to
3.6 Mvars (52.9 ohms).
Load modeling is very important because loads help attenuate
and damp out capacitor switching transients. Simulations with
no loads modeled will produce transients that are much higher
than those found on the actual system. Similarly, models with
the entire load modeled at higher voltage busses rather than
dispersed at lower voltage busses will simulate transients low-
er than those on the actual system. Because of the limited size
of the model used to illustrate capacitor switching phenome-
na, accurate load modeling is not possible. The model would
have to be expanded about two busses out in all directions to
model loads with reasonable accuracy. To help compensate
for this, loads half the size of those described above are placed
at the appropriate busses.
In a real study the effect of load modeling and
model size must be analyzed. The best way to optimize the
size and detail of a model is to keep adding to the modeled
area until the transients are no longer affected by additional
components. Because this can be time consuming, rules of
thumb, such as modeling the system one or two busses from
all locations of interest, are often used when assembling tran-
sient model.
Transformers: Two transformers are modeled. They both in-
clude 138/13.8 kV transformations, but their locations and
winding configurations are different. The transformer at the
equivalent source bus is an 18 MVA rated three winding
transformer with primary (138 kV) and secondary (13.8 kV)
grounded wye windings and a delta tertiary (4.8 kV). The
high, low, and tertiary impedances are represented as 39.44%,
0.01%, and 17.78% on a 100 MVA base. The transformer X/
R ratio was assumed to be 20. Saturation was modeled with a
knee point of approximately 1.15 pu. The remote transformer
is an 80 MVA rated two winding transformer with grounded
wye primary (138 kV) and delta secondary (13.8 kV) wind-
138 kV
13.8 kV
13.8 kV
0.15 mH 0.15 mH
40 MVar 40 MVar
ings. The transformer impedances is 10.7% on its 80 MVA
base. Half this impedance is modeled on each winding. The
transformer X/R ratio was assumed to be 20. Saturation was
modeled with an approximately 1.2 pu knee.
Line Model: The line modeled is a 40 km long 138 kV line
connecting the equivalent source bus with the remote bus
labeled TRTER. The line uses 477 ACSR Hawk conduc-
tor in a horizontal configuration. The conductor has 27 alu-
minum strands and 6 steel strands, a DC resistance of 0.1221
ohms per km at 25 degrees C, and a geometric mean radius of
0.884 cm. Because of the need to accurately model voltage
reflections at transformer terminated lines, this line was mod-
eled using a frequency dependent distributed parameter
transmission line model.
Surge Arrester Model: Following normal practices on solidly
grounded 138 kV systems, a 108 kV station class gapless
MOV surge arrester was included at the capacitor location.
The non-linear arrester characteristic is modeled by a number
of exponential segments based on the arresters 36/90 sec
current/voltage characteristics. Arrester energy was moni-
tored during capacitor breaker restrike.

Fault Model: The fault model used in the outrush simula-
tions is a 0.1 milliohm resistance in series with an ideal
switch. When the fault is initiated, the switch is closed and
when the fault is cleared the switch is opened.
3.6.10 Simulation Results:
Simulations were run to illustrate four different capacitor
switching events: capacitor energizing, capacitor breaker re-
strike during de-energization, back-to-back capacitor inrush,
and capacitor outrush into a fault. Each of these events are dis-
cussed below.
Capacitor Energization: Capacitor energization was simu-
lated to demonstrate three different phenomena. The first is
the transient overvoltage at the switched capacitor location.
The second is voltage magnification at a lower voltage
capacitor. The third is phase-to-phase overvoltage at a trans-
former terminated line.
The capacitor energizing simulation used 100 statistical
switching events to determine the worst case overvoltage.
With the half load model, the worst overvoltage simulated at
the 138 kV capacitor location was 1.805 pu (Fig. 28). This
transients peak value was 2.032 pu in the no load case and
1.695 pu in the full load case.
Fig. 28. Maximum 138 kV Cap Bus Voltage (Half Load)
The voltage at the 13.8 kV bus was 3.06 pu in the half load
case (Fig. 29), indicating a voltage magnification condition.
This voltage was 4.202 pu in the no load case and 2.364 pu in
the full load case. These three cases demonstrate the effect of
system load modeling.
Fig. 29. Voltage Magnification (Half Load Model)
As discussed before, for voltage magnification to
occur, there must be two circuits resonant at about the same
resonant frequency. The first circuit is usually the source
impedance and switched capacitor and the second is usually
a low voltage capacitor and a transformer. The resonant fre-
quency of the first circuit in this example is 544.1 Hz as
shown below. The 138 kV 40 Mvar capacitor has a capaci-
tance of 5.571 F and the syst em equi valent posi tive
sequence impedance has a inductance of 15.39 mH (5.800
) .
The resonant frequency for the second circuit, the low voltage
capacitor and the capacitor connecting it to the switched ca-
pacitor bus is 543.6 Hz as calculated below. The 13.8 kV 3.6
Mvar capacitor has a capacitance of 50.1 F and the trans-
former has an impedance of 1.711 mH (0.6452 ).
f 1 . 544
571 . 5 36 . 15 2

= =

Voltage magnification results from the fact that the two reso-
nance frequencies are so close together.
The third phenomena of concern during capacitor energiza-
tion is excessive phase-to-phase voltages at the end of a trans-
former terminated line. As previously discussed, if this value
exceeds 3.4 pu there should be some concern for the trans-
former insulation. In the half load case, the maximum phase-
to-phase voltage simulated at the remote transformers 138
kV terminals was 4.895 pu (Fig. 30). Phase-to-phase overvolt-
ages of 5.286 and 4.673 were simulated under no load and full
load conditions. All of these voltages were simulated without
arresters modeled. If arresters were modeled at the transform-
er terminals, the phase to phase overvoltage would be limited
to twice the arrester discharge voltage, approximately 4 pu.
Breaker Restrike: The most severe energy duty for arresters
applied at capacitor bank locations is often when a breaker re-
strikes as a capacitor is taken out of service. For capacitor
switching transients, an arresters kJ/kV rating may be have to
be derated. The arrester manufacturer should be consulted to
determine the derating for a specific arrester. Since a properly
functioning breaker will always open at a current zero, statis-
tical simulations are not required when simulating capacitor
restrike. Generally only one phase of a breaker will restrike
and, while the phase may reopen soon after the restrike, re-
strikes are often simulated as being permanent. Restrike is
most severe when it occurs at the time of peak breaker tran-
sient recovery voltage (TRV). The breaker TRVs simulated
when a restrike occurs as both 40 Mvar capacitors in the half
load model are opened is shown in Fig. 31.
Fig. 30. Ph-to-Ph Voltage at Remote Transformer (Half Load)
Fig. 31. Restrike Breaker TRV (Half Load Model)
The 108 kV Station Class arrester modeled has a switching
surge protective level of 200 kV line-to-ground, 1.775 pu on
the 138 kV system. According to Figure 2, this arrester would
have to be able to dissipate about 6 kJ/kV of arrester rating.
This may be excessive after derating the normal 7.2 kJ/kV of
rated voltage (8.9 kJ/kV of MCOV) of a station class arrester
energy used for capacitor protection. Under this condition
transient simulation is necessary.
Simulated arrester voltages during capacitor breaker restrike
are shown in Fig. 32.
The simulated energy duty of the capacitor arrester,
263 kJ, is shown in Fig. 33. A 108 kV station class arrester
can be expected to be able to dissipate about 778 kJ under
normal conditions. Derating the arrester energy handing
capability by half for capacitor breaker restrike still gives 389
kJ of capability, well above the 263 kJ required. Although
not examined in this case, arrester energies at remote capaci-
tors where voltage magnification may occurred should also
be monitored.
Fig. 32. Arrester Bus Voltages During Capacitor Breaker Restrike
f 6 . 543
1 . 50 711 . 1 2

= =

Fig. 33. Arrester Energy During Breaker Restrike
Capacitor Inrush During Back-to-Back Switching: The con-
cern during back-to-back switching is that capacitor inrush
currents will exceed breaker ratings. The magnitude and fre-
quency of the inrush current can exceed breaker capabilities
if the impedance between the two capacitors is too low.
Breakers applied between two capacitor banks at a single bus
are usually definite purpose breakers. According to Table 3A
of ANSI/IEEE C37.06, the product of the breaker current
magnitude and frequency must be less than 6.8 x 10
(16 kA
times 4250 Hz) for definite purpose breakers.
An equation for calculating the inductance necessary to limit
the I x f product to an acceptable level was given in subsection
3.6.6. With V
equal to the peak line-to-ground voltage,
times a conservative 1.05 pu voltage, the inductance neces-
sary to meet the 6.8 x 10
breaker rating can be calculated to
be 0.277 mH or 0.139 mH per capacitor as shown below.
Some of this inductance may be supplied by the buswork be-
tween the two capacitors. Buswork rated for use on 138 kV
systems is usually considered to have an inductance of 0.9 H
per meter.
Back-to-back capacitor switching inrush currents are inde-
pendent of load or nearby system components. Inrush currents
were simulated with a with a 0.15 mH reactor in series with
each 40 Mvar 138 kV capacitor. This resulted in a peak cur-
rent of 12 kA at a frequency of 5.5 kHz, giving an I x f product
of 6.6 x 10
, below the 6.8 x 10
Capacitor Outrush into a Fault: The concern during capaci-
tor outrush into a fault is again breaker I x f ratings, but
because the fault current may go through a general purpose
breaker rather than a definite purpose breaker, the breaker I x
f rating will probably be a much lower 2.0 x 10
rather than
6.8 x 10
. The equation derived in subsection 3.6.7 can be
used, but the I x f product will be different and the reactor
must placed so that the fault current discharged from both
capacitors will have to flow through the reactor to get to the
main bus, as shown between busses CAP40 and CPOUT in
Figure 5. In this case the reactor size was calculated to be
0.942 mH, as shown below.
An outrush reactor value of 1.0 mH was used to simulate this
event. This simulation gave a peak current (first current peak)
of 1,966 amps at a frequency of 9,454 Hz. This results in an I
x f product of 1.86 x 10
, which is below the 2.0 x 10
Series capacitors may be installed on transmission
lines to increase power transfer capability. Electromagnetic
transient studies are required to determine the impact of the
series compensation on the existing system to ensure safe
and reliable operation.
Aim: To evaluate several aspects of system performance,
including the following:
Surge Arrester Sizing: Establish surge arrester duty and
related protection settings for the capacitor bank.
Line Protection: Investigate relay requirements.
Line Breaker Transient Recovery Voltage (TRV): Deter-
mine the transient recovery voltage for the transmission
line breakers of the compensated line.
Line Energization: Investigate system behavior when the
compensated line is energized.
Bank Insertion and Bypass: Investigate system behavior
when the series capacitor is bypassed or inserted.
Single-Phase Reclosing: Determine line end arrester
duty for single-phase reclosing operation.
Simulated events include varying size and location
of the series capacitor. However, these are generally deter-
mined by steady-state, transient stability and subsynchronous
resonance studies and by relaying requirements which are
not applicable to this document. Additionally, minimum and
maximum generator conditions may also be considered.
3.7.1 Model
Fig. 34 shows a representative system to be studied.
The system model typically includes lines and transformers
at least one bus back from the switching locations of interest.
Transmission lines are modeled as distributed parameter
lines considering their positive and zero sequence character-
istics. Transformers are modeled using the saturable trans-
former component model which represents each winding of
the transformer as well as its saturation characteristics. One
bus away are equivalent sources modeled as mutually-cou-
pled elements considering their positive and zero sequence
characteristics. Series capacitors and other system compo-
nents are modeled as lumped circuit elements with typical
quality factors represented. Also pertaining to series capaci-
f I
L 277 . 0
) 10 8 . 6 ( 2
31 . 118
) ( 2


f I
L 942 . 0
) 10 2 ( 2
31 . 118
) ( 2


tor modeling are its associated components such as the
bypass breaker with its series reactor and the surge arrester
connected across the series capacitor. The surge arrester
model uses the 36x90 s voltage-current characteristic.
3.7.2 Phenomena and Simulation Results
The worst case fault conditions that keep the capac-
itor bank inserted determine the maximum surge arrester
energy requirements. The case list includes three-phase, dou-
ble-phase and single-phase faults. Also considered are sin-
gle-phase reclosing events under fault conditions: the line
end breakers open on the faulted phase only to clear the fault,
and then one end recloses.
Line protection may be evaluated by monitoring
currents that would flow in the line relays during three-phase
and single-phase faults which are internal or external to the
capacitor bank.
The maximum TRV of line breakers may be evalu-
ated by applying three-phase and single-phase faults at vari-
ous locations along the line and at the series capacitor. In
some cases arresters or pre-insertion devices may be required
to reduce the TRV to acceptable levels.
The effect of energizing the series compensated line
with and without the capacitor bypassed can be evaluated.
The impact of capacitor bank insertion and bypass
should be simulated under varying power flow and other
operating conditions. The bypass switch TRV is evaluated
from the simulation of capacitor bank insertion. The simula-
tion of capacitor bypass determines the inrush currents.
Results are compared to the withstand ratings at the breaker
and its series reactor.
Waveforms of sample results are shown 5 for these
switching transients cases:
i ) Single-Phase Fault, Clearing, and Reclosing (Fig. 35)
ii ) Three-Phase Fault at Middle of Line and Clearing (Fig.
36 and Fig. 37)
iii ) Series Capacitor Bank Insertion (Fig. 38)
This report presented general rules for the study of
switching surges using electromagnetic transients simulation.
The main goal is to have as simple a model as possible with-
out a significant loss in accuracy. In addition to the modeling
representations, general concerns such as the time-step to be
used and the extent of the system to be studied were also
addressed. The modeling techniques were illustrated with
case studies on line energization, TRV, shunt capacitor bank
switchings and series capacitor bank switchings.
Fig. 34. System Model for Series Capacitor Study
115 KV
115 KV
69 KV
69 KV
Fig. 35. Simulation Results: Single-Phase Fault, Clearing, and Reclosing
Fig. 36. Simulation Results: Three-Phase Fault at Middle of Line and Clearing
Fig. 37. Simulation Results: Three-Phase Fault at Middle of Line and Clearing
Fig. 38. Simulation Results: Series Capacitor Bank Insertion
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