Assessing of circuit breaker restrike risks using computer simulation and wavelet analysis

Kam, Shui-Cheong (2012) Assessing of circuit breaker restrike risks using computer simulation and wavelet analysis. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


A breaker restrike is an abnormal arcing phenomenon, leading to a possible breaker failure. Eventually, this failure leads to interruption of the transmission and distribution of the electricity supply system until the breaker is replaced. Before 2008, there was little evidence in the literature of monitoring techniques based on restrike measurement and interpretation produced during switching of capacitor banks and shunt reactor banks in power systems. In 2008 a non-intrusive radiometric restrike measurement method and a restrike hardware detection algorithm were developed by M.S. Ramli and B. Kasztenny. However, the limitations of the radiometric measurement method are a band limited frequency response as well as limitations in amplitude determination. Current restrike detection methods and algorithms require the use of wide bandwidth current transformers and high voltage dividers.

A restrike switch model using Alternative Transient Program (ATP) and Wavelet Transforms which support diagnostics are proposed. Restrike phenomena become a new diagnostic process using measurements, ATP and Wavelet Transforms for online interrupter monitoring. This research project investigates the restrike switch model Parameter „A. dielectric voltage gradient related to a normal and slowed case of the contact opening velocity and the escalation voltages, which can be used as a diagnostic tool for a vacuum circuit-breaker (CB) at service voltages between 11 kV and 63 kV. During current interruption of an inductive load at current quenching or chopping, a transient voltage is developed across the contact gap. The dielectric strength of the gap should rise to a point to withstand this transient voltage. If it does not, the gap will flash over, resulting in a restrike. A straight line is fitted through the voltage points at flashover of the contact gap. This is the point at which the gap voltage has reached a value that exceeds the dielectric strength of the gap. This research shows that a change in opening contact velocity of the vacuum CB produces a corresponding change in the slope of the gap escalation voltage envelope.

To investigate the diagnostic process, an ATP restrike switch model was modified with contact opening velocity computation for restrike waveform signature analyses along with experimental investigations. This also enhanced a mathematical CB model with the empirical dielectric model for SF6 (sulphur hexa-fluoride) CBs at service voltages above 63 kV and a generalised dielectric curve model for 12 kV CBs. A CB restrike can be predicted if there is a similar type of restrike waveform signatures for measured and simulated waveforms.

The restrike switch model applications are used for: computer simulations as virtual experiments, including predicting breaker restrikes; estimating the interrupter remaining life of SF6 puffer CBs; checking system stresses; assessing point-on-wave (POW) operations; and for a restrike detection algorithm development using Wavelet Transforms. A simulated high frequency nozzle current magnitude was applied to an Equation (derived from the literature) which can calculate the life extension of the interrupter of a SF6 high voltage CB. The restrike waveform signatures for a medium and high voltage CB identify its possible failure mechanism such as delayed opening, degraded dielectric strength and improper contact travel. The simulated and measured restrike waveform signatures are analysed using Matlab software for automatic detection.

Experimental investigation of a 12 kV vacuum CB diagnostic was carried out for the parameter determination and a passive antenna calibration was also successfully developed with applications for field implementation. The degradation features were also evaluated with a predictive interpretation technique from the experiments, and the subsequent simulation indicates that the drop in voltage related to the slow opening velocity mechanism measurement to give a degree of contact degradation. A predictive interpretation technique is a computer modeling for assessing switching device performance, which allows one to vary a single parameter at a time; this is often difficult to do experimentally because of the variable contact opening velocity.

The significance of this thesis outcome is that it is a non-intrusive method developed using measurements, ATP and Wavelet Transforms to predict and interpret a breaker restrike risk. The measurements on high voltage circuit-breakers can identify degradation that can interrupt the distribution and transmission of an electricity supply system. It is hoped that the techniques for the monitoring of restrike phenomena developed by this research will form part of a diagnostic process that will be valuable for detecting breaker stresses relating to the interrupter lifetime.

Suggestions for future research, including a field implementation proposal to validate the restrike switch model for ATP system studies and the hot dielectric strength curve model for SF6 CBs, are given in Appendix A.

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ID Code: 53144
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Ledwich, Gerard & Nielsen, Shawn
Keywords: alternative transient program, electromagnetic transient program, detection algorithm, high frequency transient phenomena, measurements, model calibration, circuit breaker diagnostics, interrupter risk condition, parameter determination, predictive interpretation technique, re-ignition, restrike switch model, wavelet analysis
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 14 Aug 2012 06:55
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 02:06

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