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Under Excitation Limiter and Its Role in

Preventing Excessive Synchronous Generator Stator
End-Core Heating
S. S. Choi and X. M. Jia

by the armature currents adds to the flux produced by the field

current. Therefore, the end-turn llux enhances the axial flux in
the end region and the resulting heating effect may severely
limit the generator output [I].
Although SER heating problem had heen well-documented,
how the UEL is designed and used to prevent excessive SER
heating is not clearly explained in the litcraiure. Moreover, a
temporary over-voltage problem often follows the UEL actions
and this requires some consideration [4], [7]. Indeed the oper-
ation of generators under severe disturbance conditions could
result in voltage or thermal stress for which some recent rc-
search attention has been directed toward. For instance, [lZl re-
I. INTRODUCTION lates rotor heating during generator over-excited conditions. It
describes a simple mathematical model capable of replicating
0 NE MAIN function ofthe under excitation limiters (UEL)
is to prevent synchronous generators from operating be-
yond their steady-state stability limits [1]-[6]. In recent years,
the thermal response of a generaior rotor following a sodden in-
crease of rotor current.
In this paper, an attempt is made to re-examine the UEL
there has been some renewed interest in assessing the effect of
design by taking into consideration SER heating. Thermal re-
the UEL on the dynamic performance of generators [4], [71, [81.
sponse of SEI? is obtained based on ii method similar io those
The usefulness of the limiter to effect transient stability en-
of [ 121 hut directed on the statos. A thermal model which can be
hancement was examined and the conclusion is that unlike fast-
used to calculate SER hot-spot temperature is developed. Using
acting excitation system, UEL is not essential for generator tran-
sient stability enhancement [4]. Indeed the UEL output signal this model, it is shown how SER steady-state thermal limit curve
can be determined. The limit is shown to be dcpendent of the
(voltage) is typically limited to no more than 0.2 p.u. before it
generator loading and terminal voltage. The stator hot-spot tcm-
is fed into the AVR summing junction [2]. UEL is used to pro-
penture derived from the model may then be compared with that
vide relatively small adjustment to the excitation level. Conven-
specified in industrial staiidards (e.g. ANSI) goveruing stator
tionally, UEL are designed with the view to ensure steady-state
temperature rise.
stability. The block diagram of a generating unit with UEL im-
Based on the UEL design method described in 1161, the UEL
plemented is shown in the Appendix.
should then be set according to the SER heating limit or sta-
A second function of the UEL is to prevent excessive
bility limit, whichever is more restrictive. From the simulation
localized stator end-region (SER) heating which can affect the
results, it is shown that compared to conventional UEL design
capability of the generator during the under-excited condition
practice, the proposed method ensures a much more effective
[l], [2]. The end-turn leakage flux enters and leaves in a
use of the generator capability in absorbing reactive power. This
direction perpendicular to the stator laminations. This causes
is achieved without leading to SER over-heating, serious system
eddy current in the laminations, resulting in localized heating
over-voltage or compromising generator steady-state stability.
in the end region. The high field currents corresponding to the
over-excited condition keep the retaining ring saturated, so
that end leakage flux is small. However, in the under-excited II.SER T H ~ R MMODEI.
region the field current is low and the retaining ring is not the under-exciteci condition, heating effect is resulted
saturated; this permits an increase in armature end leakage from the axial flux ill the end region, The axial *lLlx density in
flux. Also, in the under-excited condition, the flux produced the end region is the vector sum of flux densities produced by
the armature and field currents.
Manilscrip1 reccived September 23, 1998; revised Lnuary 18, 1999. Denote the stator current as I , rotor current as I,jd, power
The authors are with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, factoras and rotor angle 6,A~~~~~~linearity ofjlux
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (c-mail: {esschoi;
7_I"dII ~ . " L Y,
LI ~ "A..
.'Y U..~6,.

Publisher Item ldcntifier s 0 8 8 ~ - 8 9 s n ( o n ) n 1 8 ~ 8 ~ 7 .

current, the flux density. .produced by the stator current is Da =
N,IX,l while that due to the field current is b, = N j J E , as

~ ~ x s - ~ ~ s o ~oo2000

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H is the SER thermal inertia constant.

Under steady-state, temperature does not change, ( d T / d t ) =
0. So, when

. ,,...' The two quantities, W(0) and W(m) are constants of &f-
ferent values. If the amoiint of thermal energy produced is fixed,
W ( t )is a constant. Substituting TOand Y k into (3), then
Fig. 1. Phasor diagram showing armature and iicld llux displacement.

the no-load voltage E is proportional to the field current, i.e.

& = I< rid. AI, and Ai, are the number of turns ofthe windings.
Therefore, the flux density in the cnd rcgion is I?, = A , Bf + Since W ( 1 ) is a constant when t i co,W(1) = W(o0).The
and the phasor diagram is shown in Fig. I . temperature of the SER will keep on increasing as long as W >
In Fig, I , U represents the terminal voltage phasor. Thus, a(T-T,). When W = m(Y'-Y;), i.e., when the rateofthe heat
produced equals to the heat dissipation, final steady temperature
05 = O: + U? - W , H ~ cos (a
- 6 p) .
- T, will he attained. Theoretically, this state will be reached
when t is infinite. Thus,
As the production of heat, i.e., thermal energy W , is propor-
tional to the square of eddy current and the eddy current is di- T = T, - ('Tm - T o ) e - ( a / l l ) t , (4)
rectly proportional to the resultant flux density B e , W is there-
fore proportional to the square of flux density. Assume that 7b This is an exponential fiinction of 7 ' in terms of timet. It agrees
is the proportionality constant relating W and II:, t h m with the. expression for machines having exponential heating
characteristics. Qpical value of H/cy is between sevoral min-
M/ =yiH: = yb;V;E2 + 7 i , N ~ T 2 X ~ utes to scveral hours.
71 During transient state, W(t) vanes. The heat produced may
- 2TkiV,NfE:IXacos (? - 6 -y) . (1) exceed the heat dissipated. This excess energy will gradually
increase the SER temperature following (3) until a new steady
Equation ( I ) i s a nonlinear relationship of W with respect to state W ( t )is reached. At this new steady-state, the temperature
E,I , 6 , and 'p. Tk is a coefficicnt which is a constant for the follows (4) until T = T, at which point the heat produced
given generator. is again fully dissipated. Typically, the transient SER thermal
Denote, inertia II is 1-0 MW.sPC [15].
u1 = T k N ; , ii2 = T k N ,2, a3 = iv,,N~'lh,
q1 qa = I 2 x 2,
= IP, , A. Identification of [A]
In order to determine the thermal energy W, it can he as-
q3 = - 2EISd cos (a17
- 6 - p) , sumed that the thermal inertia Fl and cy are known, either as part
of the generator manufacturer's supplied data or from test mea-
then, surements. In addition, suppose temperature detectors, strategi-
cally located in the stator end region, are installed to record the
w = [q]"[il] (2) temperature. After the temperatures have stabilized, the hottest
temperature is noted, and this is called the hot-spot tempera-
where [A],' = [ a , a2 a s ] , [qIT = [ q i q z 931. ture. This is carried out including under no load condition. 7 :
The heat produced causes the SER temperature, Y', to in- is therefore determined. If a series of test measurements were
crease. The differcntial in the SER and the surrounding tein- carried out for various under-excited loading conditions so that
peratures results in the heat dissipation from the SER to the sur- for the ith measurement set, (he SER hot-spot temperature Ti is
rounding. The amount of heat dissipated is proportional to the obtained. Also, under this operation condition, I;,Ijdi, pi, and
temperature rise of the SEK, ?' - T,, where T, is the no-load 6; can be measured or evaluated. Thus, [ q ] is~ obtained. Let
SER temperature. 'Qpically, T, is 40°C [14].
Heat dissipated can be designated by the term n(T - Ta),
where cy is a proportionality constant. The rate of temperature 3hi fi e('/; - T o ) . (5)
rise is proportional to the difference in the heat produced and
From (2) and (3), it is known that under steady-state, W =
dissipated to the surrounding, i.e.
n(?'-Y;) = [qlT[A].Togetherwith(5)fori= 1, 2, . . . , n,the
il'l' test measurements can be collected to form a set of n equations
H - = MT(1) - a ( 7 ' - T"), (3) for which it is possible to determine [ A ]in the following way.

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be rewritten as Equation (7) can be written as

U' = E' - 2UIXdsinp - / 2 x,.

5 [C][A],
From Section 111-A, as [A]is known, steady-state temperature
T, can be calculated from:

auk -T,) = [q]"[A]. (10)

Assume that A T = e(TW- 7 ; ) , (IO) becomes:
A T = ulh?+a212X~-2a3EIXdcos (? -S - p) , (11)
Knowing [TI and [C], the parameter vector [ A ] can be identified Substitute (8) into (IO):
by minimizing the error function J [131:
A T = ((11 - a3)E2 + 03U2 + ((12 - as)l2X;. (12)
J = ([TI - [C][A])T([T]
- [C][A])
Substitute (9) into (12)
For best fit, [A]should satisfy the condition ( a J / A A ) = 0, from
which AT = ((11 t a2 - 2L13)E2 + (2a3 - az)//'
+ 2(n3 - a z ) U l X d s i n p . (13)
+ = 0.
[C]T[C][A][C]"[T] (6)
For the situation where the generator is connected to a
[A]is the final solution when it can satisfy (6). A practial compu- large external electrical system as was considered in [16],
tational technique would be to use a standard function optimize- P = ( E U / X d ) sin 6'. Q = (/,'U/Xd) cos 6' - U 2 / X , ~ .
tion search algorithm to determine [A]such that .I is minimized. Therefore,

B. Calculation of SER Temperature

Knowing [A]and using (Z), thermal energy W ( t )can be cal-
culated at any timet as [q] is known. When there is a sudden Substitute (14) into (13) and as Q = U I sin p, it can be shown
change of the thermal energy away from a steady-state value, 1' that
can be evaluated iteratively using (3). When the transient period
passes, thermal energy W ( t )is a constant value again. The final
steady-sate temperature is T,,


UEL acts to boost the generator excitation whenever the gen-
From the definition of ci I , u2 and (1:) in Section 11, it is seen that
erator operation is bcyond the steady-state stability or stator
ala2 = a i . Therefore,
end-region heating limit. The steady-state stability limit with
the automatic voltage regulator (AVR) in service will actually
he beyond that under the constant excitation condition. In prac-
tice, however, the UEL setting is often still based on this con-
stant excitation stability limit. The determination of this limit is
described in 131.
+ (T)2]
As to the SER heating limit, there is much less discussion
about it in the literature, Typically, it is defined by the lower The ahove equation can also be rewritten as:
portion of the machine capability curve 121. In this section, a
more accurate SER heating limit based on the thermal model
of Section 11 is derived. The UEL limit should he set according
to the SER thermal. or stability limits, whichever is more
restrictive. The last equatiou (15) is an equation of a circle with PO= 0,
ug - a 1 U2
A. Derivution of Limit Curve Qo = a1 + a 2 - 2a3 xdas center,
From the phasor diagram in Fig. 1, the following two equa- and
tions can be derived:
9. = /-" +
al (12 - 2n3 X,I as radius.

( ~ c o s p ) ~ + ( U 8 i i i p + 1 X d=
) ~E' (7)
From the definition of (11, ( 1 2 , and as, it is clear that
a3 +
> 111, n l (12 > 2as. 7' is dependent of the steady-state
\' temperature T, while (11, (12 and a3 are independent of T,.

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Fig. 3. Generator steady-state SER thermal and stability limit C L W ~ S for

different terminal vnltagc (TI. denotes thermal limit; SL denotes stability limit).
Fig. 2. Generator steady-state stability and SER iieating limits

shown in Fig. 3. 'Ib, is assumed to be 85'C, in accordance to

(C)AND MEASURED the ANSI requirement [14].
HOT-SPM'TEMPERATURES In Fig. 3, arcs 1-5 show the SER steady-state heating limit
curves when thc generator terminal voltage changes from 0.8 to
1.2 p.u. The curves are prescribed by (15). The corresponding
stability limit curves (arcs 6-10) are also shown.
Fig. 3 shows that when the terminal voltage is 1.Op. U. for in-
stance, the thermal limit is much stricter than the stability limit.
When the operating voltage is higher, the thermal limit is seen
to be even more stringent than the stability limit.
Since the output of the generator considered in [SI% is usu-
ally higher than 60% of rated capacity and as its terminal voltage
is unlikely to be below 1 p m , the suitable setting for the UEL
Equation (15) govems the operating limits of the generator for should be the SER thermal limit. For example, if the generator's
a given hot-spot temperature limit Clk) of the stator. Note that operating state is to the left of curve #3, (say) at point C as
the terminal voltage ( U ) is included explicitly in the expression. shown in Fig. 3, then an error signal A S is formed. A S is pro-
As long as the required temperature limit 3L is known, the portional to the distance between C and curve #3. This signal
capability limit of the generator in the P-& plane is, typically, is then fed into the UEL controller such that a corrective action
an arc EF, center at lagging &-axis as shown in Fig. 2, where is produced to move the generator operating state to the right of
curve #3. The detailed design of the UEL controller is described
li, = X 2 / T in 1161 and will not he repeated here.
a1 +03 a a -a12u3' a1 + a2 - 2 0 3 For comparison purpose, also shown is the existing UEL limit
line reported in [SI.This is denoted as UELl in Fig. 3. Obvi-
Also shown is the steady-state stability limit curve (AD) based
ously, the setting of UEL1 is overly conservative as it resulted
on the equations from [3].
in the considerable under-utilization of the generator reactive
power absorption capability.
B. Example
Derivation of the SER thermal limit may now be illustrated THERMAL
using the same generator and power system example considered
in [5]. The single-line diagram of the network is reproduced in Apart from the steady-state temperature limit placed on the
the Appendix, together with all pertinent parameters. Assume stator, ANSI requires the hot-spot temperature of stator not to
that the generator has the typical thermal inertia constant values exceed 13OOC at any time. ANSI also states that localized stator
given in [lS], i.e., (II/Ly x 10 minutes, H = 2 MW.sec/'C, over-heating and temperature rise may be safely withstood by a
and T, = 4OoC. Thus, stator for a specified time. For example, at 1 W C , the withstand
time is 120 seconds.
a = 1/300 M W / T To avoid rotor over-heating, inverse-time protection scheme
has been in use for many years. Similarly, the inverse-time tem-
Using the least-square method described in Section 111-A perature characteristics of stator may also be considered as:
and from the heat test results contained in 1151, [A] =
[S.lcr, 33.2a, 17.11al. Table I shows that [ A ] identified is
sutkiently accurate.
. _so determined and usina- .(15).,. the SER thermal limit
With fAl where A is the constant related to the heat input and heat dis-
curves for the different generator terminal voltage cases are as sipated of the generator. U and b are constants related to the

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I 0.02 ,

-- -01 I--, . --- ,

5 10 I5 m
Time (sec1

Pig. 4. Inverse temperiiture-withst;Ind time C U T Y ~ .

Pig. 7. Reacrivc powei o l GI


ti ‘rime

Fig. 5. A typical tcmperaturc response curve 1 I

Pig. X. Terminal vollagc of GI.


~ ~ - .~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

0.1 - ,
Fig. 6, Tcmperstum versus sustained time. 0 5 10 15 20
Time (sec)

temperaturc rise characteristics of the stator. T is the hot-spot

temperature (“C) 1 is the withstand time (sec). Pig. 9. Thermal energy d G I .
Translate the ANSI requirement into (16) produces the in-
verse-time characteristics curve VI. EXAMPLR

The same power system considered in Section IV-B is again

used here to illustrate how the proposed UEL with variable
In this equation, t is the withstand time for the hot-spot tempcr- circle boundary setting may have help in more fully utilizc the
ature of Y C . The inverse temperature-withstand time curve is rcactive power absorbing capability of the generator.
shown in Fig. 4. The power network was described in [5] whereby it shows
A higher value of temperature implics a shorter permissible that under light load conditions, the generators are forced to op-
withstand time. erate close to the leading power factor region. A small distnr-
If the SER temperature calculated based on the approach bance i n the network could cause the generator operating state
shown in Section 111-B is to be compared with the inverse tetn- to move into thc UEL boundary curve. The UEL will then be
perature withstand time curve shown in Fig. 4, it is necessary to activated.
determine the time interval during which the SER temperature The design of the UEL controllcr is that reported in 1161. The
exceeds a given level. Fig. 5 shows a typical SER temperature UEL model considered i n 1161 is denoted here as UELl and
response curve following an increase in W ( t ) . has the linear limit line shown in Fig. 3. As a comparison, the
From the figure, it is noted that the time interval during which UEL with the setting limit governed by (15) is included. This is
the SER temperature is above Tj is t i , It is then relatively easy denoted as UELZ.
to plot ‘I; versus t, for the range of temperature from l & ‘ I k x , The disturbancc considered is the tripping of the two reactor
In this way, a curve similar to that shown as curve 2 in Fig. 6 banks (4.5 MVAr each) at the terminal bus of the generator GI
is obtained. Also shown in Fig. 6 is the temperature-withstand shown in Fig. 13. One of the reactors is assumed tripped at t = 1
time curve of Fig. 4. This is denoted as curve I. second, followed by the second reactor trip at 1 = G second.
At a given sustained time ti, the SER temperature margin Figs. 7-10 show typical response of the system,
(‘/&rgin) is the distance between curves I and 2. For the suc- Also, from the temperature curves shown in Fig. 10, it is pos-
cessful (16) of the UEL, it is necessary that T;r,i,rRinbe positive. sible to derive the temperature versus sustained time curves. Thc

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which a new UEL design is proposed. Simulation results show

that the new UEL makes a more effective use of the gener-
ator capability of absorbing reactive power without causing SER
over-heating, system over-voltage or stability problem.


Fig. IO. G1 SER temperature.

r I
Fig. 12. Generator system with UBL.
E Ii5
1 9 5 , - N o UEL

Fig. 1 I . SBR temperiiture-sustained time curve.

Fig. 13. Thc single-milchine-iiifiiiitebus model of [5]

result is as shown in Fig. 11. The withstand curve of Fig. 4 is
also included.
The simulation results show that without the UEL, the reac-
tive power absorbed lead to SER over-heating problem. This
is seen in Fig. 10. Indeed, the generator would be in danger of
being damaged following the reactor trip as its SER steady-state
temperature reaches above 104OCfor a duration of over 190 sec.
It exceeds the 8 Y C steady-state temperature limit specified by
ANSI. See Fig. 11. The conventional straight-line setting of
UEL (UELI) has effected a significant decrease in the SER
over-heating temperature but at the expense of driving the ter- Fig. 14. AVR model of GI
minal voltage high. This is indicated by UELl curve in Fig. 8.
Clearly, the proposed UEL setting (UELZ) makes a more effec- TABLE 11
tive use of the generator capability of absorbing reactive power SYSTBM PARAMBTBRS (ALL p.u. VALUES ARB ON 100 MVA BASE)
without causing SER over-heating. The generator over-voltage
problem has also been alleviated significantly.

This paper considers the relationship between the UEL action
and the SER hot-spot temperature. A procedure for determining
the SER thermal response is proposed. Based on the stator and
rotor flux consideration, a computational method to identify the
hot-spot temperature curve has been developed from which the
SER temperature can be evaluated readily.
The thermal model is then used to determine the SER temper-
ature Coollowing a disturbance and when the generator is forced
to operate into the under-excited region. From the temperature ACKNOWLEDGMENT
curve, it is possible to derive the temperature versus sustained The hot-spot test was carried out in EPPI (Electric Power Re-
time curve. search Institute), China. The field measurements were recorded
The function of the UEL is then examined. The design of the in an EPRI report [ H I . S. Jiayan, L. Zuozhong, and L. Guiqing
UEL is based on a classical frequency response method [16]. were responsible for the practical details during the field mea-
An expression governing the SER heating limit is derived from surements. The authors gratefully acknowledge their assistance.

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binc generating station: Ficld tests and validation of compiler simula- tong University in I 962, China, and her M.S. degree lrom the Graduate School
lion resdtS,"in ltiEE/PE,Y WinlerMectirig,Columbia. OH, Jan. 31-Peb. of Electric Power Research Institute in 1997, China. She joined the Nanyang
5, 1993. Technological University i n I997 and is now pursuing lher PhD. degree.

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