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Notes 5: Symmetrical Components

5.0 Introduction
When performing steady-state analysis of
high voltage transmission systems, we make
use of the per-phase equivalent circuit.
For distribution systems, however, there are
two major impediments to using per-phase
equivalent circuits for steady-state analysis.
These impediments are
!. The flows are not balanced.
". The mechanical design of the conductors
is asymmetric.
The meaning of #" needs some elaboration.
$ symmetric mechanical design is one in
which each phase conductor sees e%actly the
same inductive effects as every other
conductor comprising the circuit. The
equilateral configuration, shown in Fig. !, is
a symmetric mechanical design.
!
Fig. ! &quilateral 'onfiguration
(ecause of many different influences on
design of conductor configuration )e.g., cost
of right-of-way, clearance between phases,
costs and strength of tower*pole and
corresponding supports, etc.+, the equilateral
configuration is not often utili,ed.
-onetheless, it is possible to achieve the
effect on inductance of a symmetric design
by transposing the conductors so that each
conductor resides in the same physical
location for !*. the total length of the line.
/et, transposition costs money, and because
distribution systems typically operate
unbalanced anyway, it is usually not done
for distribution feeders.
"
The effect of asymmetry is often ignored,
however, and analysis is done on the feeder
assuming the design is symmetric. $lthough
this approach does incur error, it is common
because the alternative is more laborious.
0n that case, we have only the problem of
unbalanced loading on the phases.
There is a very elegant approach available
for analy,ing symmetric three-phase circuits
that are unbalanced. The approach was
developed by a man named 'harles
Fortescue and reported in a famous paper in
!1!2. 0t is now called the method of
symmetrical components. We will spend a
little time studying this method before we
move on to a more general method.
.
5.1 Symmetrical Components: Motivation
3ef $ symmetrical set of phasors have
equal magnitude 4 are !"56 out of phase.
7oal 3ecompose a set of three
unsymmetrical phasors into
8ne unsymmetric but equal set
Two symmetrical sets
Then we can analy,e each set individually.
0n what follows, we will illustrate that
Step 1 $ unsymmetrical set, not summing
to 5, can be decomposed into two
unsymmetrical sets
oan 9equal: set and an
ounsymmetrical set that does sum to 5;
Step 2 $n unsymmetrical set that sums to
5 can be decomposed into two
symmetrical sets
<
Step 1 'onsider a set of phasors that do not
add to ,ero )because of different magnitudes
or because of angular separation different
than !"56 or because of both+. $ssume that
they have phase sequence a-b-c.
$dd them up, as in Fig. ", i.e.,
c b a R
V V V V + + =
5
)!+

a-b-c

=
c
=
b
=
a


=
>
5
=
c
=
b
=
a
a-b-c

Fig. " $ddition of ?nsymmetrical @hasors
Ao we see from )!+ that
5
5
= + +
R c b a
V V V V
)"+
3efine
5
5
.
!
R
V V =
).+
Then
5 .
5
= + + V V V V
c b a
)<+
( ) ( ) ( ) 5
5 5 5
= + + V V V V V V
c b a
)B+
B
3efine
( )
( )
( )
5
5
5
V V V
V V V
V V V
c C
b B
a A
=
=
=
)C+
Then
5 = + +
C C A
V V V
)D+
'onclusion We obtain an unsymmetrical set
of voltages that sum to 5 by subtracting =
5
from each original phasor, where =
5
is !*. of
the resultant phasor, illustrated in Fig. ..

=
'
=
(
=
$

=
>
5
=
c
=
b
=
a
a-b-c


-=
5
E-=
>
5
*.
Fig. . Aubtracting =
5
from unsymmetrical
phasors
Step 2 Fow to decompose =
$
, =
(
, and =
'
into two symmetrical setsG
'an we decompose =
$
, =
(
, =
'
into " a-b-c
symmetrical setsG
C
$s a test, try to add any " a-b-c symmetrical
sets and see what you get. Aee Fig. <.

a-b-c

=
c!
=
b!
=
a!

a-b-c

=
c"
=
b"
=
a"

=
'
=
(
=
$
=
c"
=
b"
=
a"
a-b-c

=
c!
=
b!
=
a!
Fig. < $dding " symmetrical a-b-c sets
-ote that in adding the " phasor sets, we add
the two a-phase phasors, the two b-phase
phasors, and the two c-phase phasors.
D
8ne can observe from Fig. < that the
resultant phasor set, denoted by the solid
lines, are in fact symmetricalH
0n fact, it is possible to prove
mathematically that the sum of any " a-b-c
symmetrical sets is always another
symmetrical set.
IetJs try a different thing. IetJs try to add
two symmetrical sets, but letJs have one be
a-b-c )called positive sequence+ and another
be a-c-b )called negative sequence+.
$s before, in adding the " phasor sets, we
add the two a-phase phasors, the two b-
phase phasors, and the two c-phase phasors.
The result of our efforts in shown in Fig. B.
2

a-b-c

=
c!
=
b!
=
a!

a-c-b

=
b"
=
c"
=
a"

=
'
=
(
=
b"
=
c"
=
a"
a-c-b

=
c!
=
b!
=
a!
=
$
Fig. B $dding a symmetrical a-b-c set to a
symmetrical a-c-b set
The resultant phasor set is unsymmetricalH
We can guarantee that these unsmmetrical
phasors sum to ,ero, since we just added
two phasor sets that sum to ,ero, i.e.,
1
=
a!
K=
b!
K=
c!
E5
=
a"
K=
b"
K=
c"
E5
------------------- )2+
=
$
K=
(
K=
'
E5
-ow consider Fig. B again. $ssume that
someone hands you the unsymmetrical set of
phasors =
$
, =
(
, and =
'
.
'an you decompose them into the two
symmetrical setsG
'an you be assured that two such
symmetrical sets e%istG
The answer is yes, you can be assured that
two such symmetrical sets e%ist. FortescueJs
paper contains the proof.
0 will simply argue that the three phasors
given in Fig. C, =
$
, =
'
, and =
'
, are quite
general, with the single e%ception that they
sum to ,ero.
!5
'laim We can represent $-/
unsymmetrical set of . phasors that sum to 5
as the sum of " constituent symmetrical sets
$ positive )a-b-c+ sequence set and
$ negative )a-c-b+ sequence set.
7iven this claim, then the following theorem
holds.
Theorem We can represent $-/
unsymmetrical set of . phasors as the sum of
. constituent sets, each having . phasors
$ positive )a-b-c+ sequence set and
$ negative )a-c-b+ sequence set and
$n equal set
These three sets we will call, respectively,
@ositive
( )
! ! !
, ,
c b a
V V V
-egative
( )
" " "
, ,
c b a
V V V
,ero
( )
5 5 5
, ,
c b a
V V V
sequence components.
!!
The implication of this theorem that any
unsymmetrical set of . phasors =
a
, =
b
, =
c
can be written in terms of the above
sequence components in the following way
" ! 5
a a a a
V V V V + + =
" ! 5
b b b b
V V V V + + =
)1+
" ! 5
c c c c
V V V V + + =
We can write the equations of )1+ in a more
compact fashion, but first, we must describe
a mathematical operator that is essential.
5.2 The a-operator
To begin on familiar ground, we are all
conversant with the operator 9j: which is
used in comple% numbers.
>emember that 9j: is actually a vector with
a magnitude and an angle
= 15 ! j
)!5+
!"
0n the same way, we are going to define the
9a: operator as
= !"5 ! a
)!!+
0t is easy to show the following relations
= !"5 !
"
a
)!"+
= 5 !
.
a
)!.+
a a = = !"5 !
<
)!<+
We also have that
= = + C5 ! !
"
a a
)!B+
as illustrated in Fig. C
Fig. C 0llustration of !Ka
-ote that
= = C5 ! "<5 !
"
a
)!C+
Aimilarly, we may show that
= = + C5 ! !
"
a a
)!D+
= .5 . ! a
)!2+
!.
= .5 . !
"
a
)!1+
= !B5 . ! a
)"5+
= !B5 . !
"
a
)"!+
$nd there are many more relations like this
that are sometimes helpful when dealing
with symmetrical components. )Aee the te%t
called 9$nalysis of faulted power systems:
by @aul $nderson, pg. !D.+
5. Symmetrical components: the math
We repeat equations )1+ below for
convenience
" ! 5
a a a a
V V V V + + =
" ! 5
b b b b
V V V V + + =
)1+
" ! 5
c c c c
V V V V + + =
We can relate the three different quantities
having the same subscript.
Lero sequence quantities These quantities
are all equal, i.e.,
!<
5 5 5
c b a
V V V = =
)""+
@ositive sequence quantities The relation
between these quantities can be observed
immediately from the phasor diagram and
can be e%pressed using the a-operator.

a-b-c

=
c!
=
b!
=
a!
Fig. D @ositive sequence components
! !
! " !
a c
a b
aV V
V a V
=
=
)".+
-egative sequence quantities The relation
between these quantities can be observed
immediately from the phasor diagram and
can be e%pressed using the a-operator.
!B

a-c-b

=
b"
=
c"
=
a"
Fig. 2 -egative sequence components
" " "
" "
a c
a b
V a V
aV V
=
=
)"<+
-ow letJs use equations )""+, )".+, and )"<+
to e%press the original phasor =
a
, =
b
, =
c
in
terms of only the a-phase components
" ! 5
, ,
a a a
V V V
,
i.e., we will eliminate the b-phase
components
" ! 5
, ,
b b b
V V V
and the c-phase components
" ! 5
, ,
c c c
V V V
!C
This results in
" ! 5
a a a a
V V V V + + =
" ! " 5
a a a b
aV V a V V + + =
)1+
" " ! 5
a a a c
V a aV V V + + =

Ao we have written the abc quantities )phase
quantities+ in terms of the 5!" quantities
)sequence quantities+ of the a-phase. We can
write this in matri% form as

"
!
5
"
"
!
!
! ! !
a
a
a
c
b
a
V
V
V
a a
a a
V
V
V
)"B+
3efining

=
"
"
!
!
! ! !
a a
a a A
)"C+
we see that eq. )"B+ can be written as

"
!
5
a
a
a
c
b
a
V
V
V
A
V
V
V
)"D+
We may also obtain the 5!" )sequence+
quantities from the abc )phase+ quantities

c
b
a
a
a
a
V
V
V
A
V
V
V
!
"
!
5
)"2+
!D
where

a a
a a A
"
" !
!
!
! ! !
.
!
)"1+
&quations ""-"1 hold for
Iine-to-line voltages
Iine-to-neutral voltages
Iine currents
@hase currents
!2