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E - Distribution in low-voltage installations

1 LV distribution schemes

1.2 Availability of electrical power


High availability of electrical power is achieved by: c Appropriate division of the installation c Provision of replacement sources c Sub-division and duplication of important circuits c The type of earthing system (IT for example) c Discriminative protection schemes.

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Division of installations
For high power requirements, several transformers can be used to separate sensitive or disturbance-producing loads, for example: c Computer systems, which are sensitive to voltage regulation (dips and peaks) and to waveform distortion (harmonics) c Circuits that create harmonics, such as discharge lamps, electric converters of various kinds (thyristor-controlled rectifiers, inverters, motor-speed controllers, etc.) c Circuits that create excessive voltage variations, such as large motors, arc furnaces, etc. c Circuits subject to insulation resistance variations

Replacement sources
Examples include duplicate supply from two MV/LV substations, emergency generating units, private power stations, UPSs and self-contained emergency lighting units.

Subdivision of circuits
Circuits can be subdivided in accordance with applicable regulations, standards and operating requirements. In this way, a fault affecting a non-essential circuit will not interrupt the supply of power to an essential circuit (see Fig. E13 and Fig. E14 ).

Ba

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HV LV

G
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Standby generator and automatic source changeover system

MV LV

MV LV
Non-essential loads

Essential loads UPS

Essential loads

Non-essential loads

Essential loads

Non-essential loads

Sensitive load (computer, etc.)

Fig. E14 : An example of MV standby power supply

Fig. E13 : Essential and non-essential loads are separated, with automatic standby supplies provided for essential loads

Schneider Electric - Electrical installation guide 2005

E - Distribution in low-voltage installations

1 LV distribution schemes

Choice of earthing system


Where considerations of supply continuity are paramount, e.g. in continuous-process manufacturing, hospital operating theatres, etc., the IT earthing system is generally adopted. This scheme allows normal (and safe) system operation to continue in the event of an initial earth-fault (by far the most common type of insulation fault). A shutdown to trace and repair the fault can then be carried out later, at any convenient time (e.g. at the end of a manufacturing process, etc.). A second earth fault (if it occurs on a different phase or on a neutral conductor) will, however, constitute a short-circuit fault, which will cause overcurrent relays to trip the circuit(s). See section 2.3 of Chapter E for the choice of an earthing system. Note: This system can be specified for safety installations
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Selective discrimination (see Fig. E15 )


Closed

Ba

The prime objective in any scheme of automatic protection against insulation faults, over-loading, etc., is to trip the circuit breaker or blow the fuse(s) which control(s) the faulted circuit only, leaving all other circuit breakers and fuses unaffected. In radial branched installations, this means tripping the nearest upstream circuit breaker or fuse(s), all downstream loads then being inevitably deprived of supply. The short-circuit (or overload) current will generally pass through one or more circuit breaker(s) or fuse(s) upstream of the circuit breaker (or fuses) controlling the faulted cable. Discrimination means that none of the upstream protective devices through which the fault (or overload) current flows will operate before the protective device controlling the faulted circuit has operated. In general, discrimination is achieved by increasing the operating time of protective devices as their location in a network becomes closer to the power source. In this way, the failure to operate of the closest protective device to the fault means that the next upstream device will operate in a slightly longer time.

Closed

Open

Fig. E15 : The principle of selective discrimination

1.3 Quality of electrical power


Public and private power-supply networks are subject to diverse disturbances, the level and frequency of which must be controlled and maintained within acceptable limits. Among the most onerous are: c Voltage sags, or sudden peaks and dips c Overvoltages c Harmonics, particularly odd-numbered harmonics (3rd, 5th...) c High-frequency phenomena To supply applications that are particularly sensitive to these disturbances (e.g. computers), a dedicated High Quality Power distribution circuit can be installed within the normal LV distribution system.

The undesirable effects of voltage dips are countered in various ways such as the installation of UPSs or generators

Voltage drops of short duration (dips)


Types of voltage dips According to the duration of the undervoltage condition, the origin of a dip may be one of the following: c Less than 0.1 second: short-circuit faults occurring anywhere on local LV networks, and cleared by protective devices (circuit breakers, fuses, etc.). This kind of dip is the most common in standard systems, i.e. as opposed to networks close to heavy industry, where large disturbances are frequent c From 0.1 to 0.5 second: most of the faults occurring on MV systems fall into this category c Above 0.5 second: on rural networks where auto-reclosing circuit breakers are common, several successive dips may be experienced before the fault is cleared. Other reasons for voltage dips exceeding 0.5 second include the starting of local electric motors (for example lifts or central station fire-alarm sirens produce cyclic dips in the neighbouring distribution network)

Schneider Electric - Electrical installation guide 2005

E - Distribution in low-voltage installations

1 LV distribution schemes

Some consequences and solutions Among the numerous undesirable consequences of voltage dips, the following may be cited: c Depending on the severity of the dip and the type of loads in a given installation, there can be the risk of a heavy current surge when normal voltage is restored, with the consequent tripping of main circuit breakers. A possible solution is a scheme with automatic load shedding and staged reconnection of apparatuses requiring high restarting currents, e.g. cold incandescent lamps and resistive heating loads c In all computer-based applications, such as: Word processing, information technology, machine-tool control, processes and so on, voltage dips are unacceptable, since the loss of information or destruction of a programme can occur, with catastrophic consequences. Some degree of voltage variation can be tolerated and voltage-stabilising circuits are built-in for this purpose, but the universal solution for important installations is the use of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units, based on trickle-charged storage cells and inverters, associated with automaticallycontrolled diesel-generator sets c For an electric motor, the deceleration during a voltage dip (torque V2) means that its back-e.m.f. will very likely be out-of-phase with the restored voltage. This constitutes (more or less, depending on the degree of phase difference) conditions of short-circuit, with a corresponding heavy current flow. In certain cases, excessive transient torques may occur, with a risk of damaging shafts and couplings, etc. A common remedy is to install high-inertia high peak-torque motors where the driven load allows c Some types of discharge lamps (notably mercury-vapour lamps) used for public lighting, extinguish below a certain voltage level, and require several minutes (to cool) before re-igniting. The remedy is to use other types of lamp or to mix nonextinguishing lamps, in sufficient number to maintain a safe level of illumination. See Chapter M (UPSs)

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Overvoltages
The damaging effects of overvoltages can be avoided: c For overvoltages at power-system frequency by: v Assuring adequate overvoltage withstand capability for the equipment concerned v The use of voltage limiting devices where required, in a properly co-ordinated insulation scheme. These devices are always necessary in IT earthed systems c For transient (generally impulse-type) overvoltages, by: v Effective coordination of the insulation scheme v Lightning arresters Types of overvoltages as well as their consequences and possible solutions are dealt with in Chapter J.

Harmonic currents have negative effects on the electrical installation and connected equipment

Harmonic voltages and currents


Sources and types of harmonics All non-linear loads consume non-sinusoidal currents. The principal sources of harmonics are: c Power electronics devices (static converters, power supplies, dimmers, etc.) c Electromagnetic machines and devices, such as: saturated coils, transformers (magnetising currents), motors and generators and so on c Discharge lamps and ballasts c Arc furnaces that create a continuous spectrum of disturbances. If the arc is supplied by static thyristor-controlled rectifiers (dc arc furnaces), the disturbances have a lower average amplitude but harmonics are produced by the rectifiers. Consequences The main consequences of harmonics are: c The need to oversize certain network and installation components: v Live conductors v Neutral conductors (of a 3-phase 4-wire system) particularly for discharge- or fluorescent-lighting circuits and computer load. v Alternators (e.g. in diesel-generating sets) v Capacitor banks c Local overheating of magnetic circuits in motors c Possibility of resonance between network capacitances and inductances (ferroresonance) or between capacitor banks and the system source impedance (mainly inductive)

Schneider Electric - Electrical installation guide 2005

E - Distribution in low-voltage installations

1 LV distribution schemes

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Solutions In general, an installation cannot tolerate a significant percentage of harmonics: a maximum value of 5%(1) is commonly used for voltage harmonics and 10%(1) for current harmonics. Harmonics can be attenuated by: c Installing delta/star zig-zag LV/LV transformers to isolate the 3rd harmonic and odd multiples of the 3rd-harmonic c Installing filters

The undesirable effects high-frequency disturbances can be eliminated by: c The selection of appropriate equipment c Specific studies

High-frequency phenomena
This problem concerns overvoltages and all conducted or radiated electromagnetic phenomena. Certain devices or an entire electrical installation can be sensitive to or cause such disturbances, for example in the form of: c Electrostatic discharges c Radiation, for example interference caused by radio transmitters, walkie-talkies, etc. c Disturbances transmitted by conduction in the conductors of an installation For example: the opening of contactor coils or circuit breaker tripping coils European Directive 86/339/CEE concerning electromagnetic compatibility imposes maximum emission and minimum immunity levels for electrical installations and their component parts. In practise, malfunctions due to H. F. phenomena can be avoided by installing devices that are compatible with each other and with their environment, for example in hospitals, concert halls, industrial premises where low and high currents are present). For special applications, specialist should always be consulted. For more common applications, or when precise information is not available, equipment satisfying the requirements of Figure E16 should be used whenever possible.

ck B a Disturbance

Reference IEC 61000-4-2 IEC 61000-4-3 IEC 61000-4-4 IEC 61000-4-5 IEC 60060-2 At the origin of the installation Other cases

Electrostatic discharge Radio-frequency electromagnetic fields Electrical fast transients (contact bounce) Surges Transient overvoltages

Level Minimum Level 3 Level 2 Level 2 Level 2 690 V 400 V 690 V 400 V 8/20 s 10 kV 7.5 kV 7.5 kV 5 kV 80 A

Recommended Level 4 Level 3 Level 4 Level 4

Current waves (lightning, switch closing)

IEC 61643-1

200 A

Fig. E16 : Equipment compatibility levels

To supply applications that are particularly sensitive to disturbances in electrical power (e.g. computers), a dedicated High Quality Power distribution circuit can be installed within the normal LV distribution system

High Quality Power


A dedicated High Quality Power distribution circuit can be installed within the normal LV distribution system. The objective is to supply sensitive equipment (computers, cash registers, microprocessors, etc.) from a source that is free of the disturbances discussed above, at a reasonable cost. The diagram in Figure E17 opposite page represents such a scheme at the level of the main LV switchboard. The supply of High Quality Power is achieved by means of UPS and its associated storage batteries and rectifier-charger, supplied under normal conditions from one outgoing-way of the main LV switchboard. Continuity of supply is assured by means of a diesel-generator set and automatic source changeover system, so that an uninterrupted power supply can be maintained indefinitely (if personnel are available to top up the fuel tank) or for several hours if the substation is unattended. A number of simple technical precautions make it possible to achieve very high annual availability levels (see Schneider Electric Cahier Technique no. 148 : High availability electrical power distribution and the UPS section of Chapter M of the present guide).

(1) Value of the THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) for voltage and current respectively
Schneider Electric - Electrical installation guide 2005