Sunteți pe pagina 1din 4


2019 Fault Current Withstand Capability | INMR

Wednesday, December 18,CATEGORY
     Subscribe

Your Email


Arresters   Article Archive  

Fault Current Withstand Capability

 December 14, 2019  4 min read

  

Two types of fault currents can appear on power systems: ground and phase-
to-phase. More important with regard to arresters is the former, which is
basically the current that ows through the circuit when there is a short to
ground. Maximum available fault current during such an event will vary along
the length of the circuit, with more current available when the short occurs
closer to the source. As far as arresters are concerned, the fault current of real
consequence is that which ows through a shorted or failed arrester. Ground
Read Next 
fault current that ows past the terminals of a functioning arrester to a short
somewhere down the line will have no e ect on that arrester.

When ground fault current is triggered by a failing or failed arrester, available What to Do When Molded
fault current will ow initially through and around its internal components. But Insulators Become a Home for

if that current ow is not diverted to the outside in less than a full cycle, Mold

probability of an explosive event increases signi cantly. Rapidly providing an

external path for the fault current around the arrester is the basic scheme
Report Outlined Expected
used by manufacturers to achieve good short circuit withstand capability.
Growth in T&D Equipment &
Rapid arc transfer for those arrester designs that contain substantial internal Systems
air volume, such as porcelain-housed or polymeric tube type, is achieved using
well-developed vents on the ends of the unit. Under a perfect arc transfer
scenario, these vents open rapidly and expel the evolving hot ionized gas,… 1/4
18.12.2019 Fault Current Withstand Capability | INMR

forming a lower impedance path. For solid core arrester designs, such as the
wrap type, gases generated from the event burst through the sides of the
ADVERTISE +  Subscribe

polymeric housing and form an external pathway. Both systems have been in
use for many years.

In North America, for example, 65 kA of available fault current at a substation is

presently not uncommon. However 80 kA is now becoming more common and Your Email
90 kA is ‘around the corner’. Not all arresters suppliers can o er 80 kA
withstand capability and, only a few years ago, none o ered 90 kA. For an PLEASE SIGN ME UP

arrester design to be certi ed at such higher short circuit withstand

capabilities, it must pass a series of short circuit tests, as speci ed in IEC 60099-
4 as well as IEEE C62.11. (Fortunately, these test speci cations are identical
through co-operation between the working groups that created them and
which were uni ed between 2006 and 2009).

The short circuit test

series is the most
onerous of all tests to
be performed.
Basically, each
arrester design must
be tested at two or
three current levels
and the fault current
must ow through
the arrester from 0.2
to several seconds.
At the end, no parts
are permitted to fall
Testing four 70 kV MCOV polymer-housed arresters outside a circle
side by side at 40 kA. Arc rapidly exited and found whose radius is the
home elsewhere in laboratory circuit. height of the
CLICK TO ENLARGE arrester. Moreover,
no re can be
sustained for more
than a few minutes. Three aspects of this test make it challenging: rst, the test
currents are either hard to attain or hard to maintain; secondly, set-up is
laborious; and thirdly, simulating an overloaded arrester is as much ‘art’ as
Read Next
science. Only the largest high power laboratories are able to perform this test 
and, when the test is applied to higher voltage rated samples, that number
becomes more limited still.  
What to Do When Molded
When the short circuit tests were uni ed, there were two major improvements. Insulators Become a Home for
One was that a third current level was added in the case of the test for Mold
porcelain-housed arresters. It was hoped that testing at this intermediate
current level would reduce the number of reported violent failures of certi ed
porcelain-housed arrester designs. The other improvement was that the rst Report Outlined Expected
half-cycle fault-current asymmetry was no longer required in the case of Growth in T&D Equipment &
polymeric housings with no appreciable internal gas volume. This
improvement was predicated on results of tests reported in 2004 by then INMR
columnist Dr. René Smeets of KEMA Laboratories. It was found at that time … 2/4
18.12.2019 Fault Current Withstand Capability | INMR

that the rate of energy input into the arc, still internal to the arrester just after
short-circuit initiation, was much faster with symmetrical current than with
+  Subscribe

asymmetric current. Testing with symmetrical current and higher rate of

energy input was therefore felt to impose more severe duty on polymeric
arresters with the solid core design than using asymmetric current.
Fortunately, this test is easier to run than the standard asymmetric test still
Your Email
required for porcelain arresters.

Because fault current tests can only be run at voltages well below the rating of PLEASE SIGN ME UP

most arresters, special failure schemes had to be devised. The arrester failure
sequence and the short circuit event are completed one after the other,
sometimes in separate laboratories. While there are upper and lower limits on
test parameters, these are quite broad and the nal pass/fail results of the test
can be modi ed signi cantly if the transition from one sequence to the other is
not performed consistently or correctly. When these parameters are more
constrained and the sequence more standardized, the result will be more
consistent testing from laboratory to laboratory and from one design to

Jonathan Woodworth
Co-Convenor of IEC TC37 MT4 responsible for IEC 60099-4

  

← Application of Station Posts

Application of Coatings in Power Systems: Experience with RTV

Coatings in Italy →

About Us Content Advertising in

INMR is an independent expert technical content View Past Issues
website for power engineers, testing laboratories, is visited
utilities, and equipment manufacturers. We INMR POWER by over 50,000 power
specialize in insulators, surge arresters, bushings, ENGINEERS engineers each year.
cable accessories and more. HANDBOOK Read Next
List your company in 
With over 200,000 page views online per year, the INMR BUYER’S
power engineers trust INMR to be their Wallpaper Archive GUIDE and
independent source of information. LABORATORY GUIDE
Purchase Photos
Our INMR WORLD CONGRESS events enable this to increaseWhat
your to Do When Molded
community to exchange ideas and experiences Insulators
exposure! Contact usBecome a Home for
with an international audience and with key for advertising
industry representatives. options at

Report Outlined Expected

Download Media Kit
Growth in T&D Equipment &
Contact UsSystems… 3/4
18.12.2019 Fault Current Withstand Capability | INMR

Copyright © 1993 - 2019

Zimmar HoldingsARTICLES

Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without

previous written permission of Zimmar Holdings Ltd./INMR

Your Email


Read Next 

What to Do When Molded

Insulators Become a Home for

Report Outlined Expected

Growth in T&D Equipment &
Systems… 4/4