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500 KV SERIES CAPACITOR INSTALLATIONS IN CALIFORNIA

J. Sabath
W.N. Rothenbuhler
Southern California Edison Company
Los Angeles, California

E.J. Hubacher
J.A. Maneatis
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
San Francisco, California

ABSTRACT
Construction of the Pacific Intertie transmission system,
and other related EHV lines has included unprecedented
installations of 500 kV series capacitors. Twenty series
capacitor banks, totaling 4,465 mvar, and providing 70%
reactance compensation, have been installed in California by
Southern California Edison Company and Pacific Gas and
Electric Company.
Engineering considerations in the design, specification,
installation, and operation of these capacitor installations are
discussed. Information is presented which is generally useful
for utility planners and engineers considering similar
reactance compensation of transmission lines for improved
system stability.
INTRODUCTION

Pacific Intertie
The electric power transmission lines generally referred
to as the Pacific Intertie include two 500 kV AC lines from
the Columbia River to Souther California, and a 400 kV
DC line between these same general areas.
In addition to the high voltage lines directly associated
with the Intertie, other lines have been constructed for the
purpose of supplying power requirements in California.
There is now a total of 1866 circuit miles of 500 kV AC
lines in operation in the State. Owners of these lines in
California are:
MILES
94
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
47
Pacific Power & Light Co.
1025
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
700
Southern California Edison Co.

TOTAL

1866

Fig. 1 is a map showing the major transmission lines in


the Western region and indicating the location of principal
series capacitor installations.

Application of Series Capacitors on 500 kV Lines


The series capacitors installed on the Pacific Intertie
and associated EHV lines are principally for the purpose of
improving stability of the Pacific regional system. The
capacitor banks in California provide a compensation level
of 70% and are all located at the ends of the lines with
approximately half of the total amount of compensation at
each end. This arrangement was adopted after a careful
study of the various operating conditions. It is advantageous
from the standpoint of installation cost, operation and
maintenance. It is not essential to divide the total ohms of
compensation exactly between the two ends of a line to
realize the economic benefits of full capacitor modules.

The application of series capacitors to the 500 kV


systems of the Pacific region have a number of outstanding
features. The first 500 kV series capacitor in the Western
hemisphere was placed in operation at Tesla Substation on
January 28, 1968. The 500 kV installations were the first
use of series compensation at the 70% level on a regional
system basis. The two 323 mvar banks at Midway
Substation are the largest known installations at this voltage.
Although this paper is confined to a review of the
installations in California, comparable work has been done
on other lines in the Western region, and there are now in
operation 7450 mvar of 500 kV and 345 kV series
capacitors in 38 banks.

Operation at 70% compensation required the use of a


scheme of line relay protection that will operate properly
when the net reactance between the relay terminal and the
fault is capacitive and, in addition, will be effective whether
or not the series capacitors are in or bypassed. In order to
provide satisfactory line protection under these conditions,
phase comparison relaying is employed throughout as the
primary line protection.
It is noted from Fig. 1 that certain line sections, such
as Vaca-Tesla, Tesla-Los Banos, and Vincent-Lugo have no
series compensation. These are all moderate length line
sections, and because of their location on the Intertie
system, they are more likely to carry quite heavy loading
during regular operation. Since the kvar rating of a given
ohmic value of capacitors varies as the square of the current
rating, capacitors in these shorter line sections would be
more costly in proportion to their system benefit than
compensation in the longer line sections where a somewhat
lower current rating is adequate.

SERIES CAPACITOR EQUIPMENT


DESIGN REQUIREMENTS
Reactance Ratings

In order to provide 70% compensation for the selected


500 kV line sections, capacitor ohmic ratings were specified
as a percent of the line reactance of those sections. Table I
indicates the required series reactance compensation at each
terminal corresponding to 35% of the line inductive
reactance. The actual ohmic ratings do not exactly match
the theoretical split in compensation because of basic
differences between the two capacitor systems actually
purhcased, as well as the availability of only certain ratings
of individual capacitor units utilized in each system.
When the specifications for the California Intertie
capacitors were being developed, there were no industry
standards for 500 kV series capacitor banks. In order to
take advantage of established manufacturing techniques and
field experience with standardized shunt capacitors,
individual capacitor units rated 100-125 kvar were used.

Paper 70 TP 580-PWR, recommended and approved by the Substations Committee of the IEEE Power Group for presentation

at the IEEE Summer Power meeting and EHV Conference, Los Angeles, Calif., July 12-17, 1970. Manuscript submitted February

1970; made available for printing May 26, 1970.


'

~~~1138

16,

PORTLAND0JH
230

500 KV SERIES CAPACITOR INSTALLATIONS IN CAL.IFORNIA


SUBSTATION
OHMS
LINE
MVARS

DAY

KV- 6

JOHN DAY

CELILO

/if

ROUND BUTTE

Round Mtn.

II

Mtn.

Table

\i
I

SACRAMENTO .

VACA-

162
162

18.0

175

27.0

262

175

Tesla

Table Mtn.-Tesla

32.8

319

30 o9

30.9

237
237

33.28
33.28
23.6

323
323
181

Los

1I1.<

Midway

Banos-Midway Al
*t
"
22

Los Banos-Midway #1
i

it

42

23.6

181

Vincent

Midway-Vincent 41
V2
"
"

23.6
23.6

181
181

Lugo

Lugo-El

36.7
36.7

282
282

Dorado
" -Mohave

DIX(ON

TOTAL

METCAL F

4,465

%%

TESLAA

SAN FRANCISCO

16.64

18.0

"

TABLE ITNJ

243

Table Mtn.-Vaca Dixon

Midway-Vincent $1

TABLE

243

24.96

Vaca-Dixon

Los Banos

230KV- ROUND MTN.

24.96

16.64

-Tesla

\pMALI V

COTTONWOOD

158

Rd. Mtn.-Table Mtn.


#12
,
it
if
it
It
Table Mtn.-Vaca Dixon

Tt

158

20.6

it

Rd. Mtn.-Table Mtn. Al


#2
" "
t9

{ /5 Yt

O R 11 E \

20.6

it

GRIZZLY

Rd., Mtn.-Malin 91

LOS BANOS/

FOUR

.-

?t

D
M

r
MID

)
~~~~OHAVER

VINCENT

LOS ANGELE

0I

500KV. TRANSMISSION LINES


(EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE SHOWN)
POWER PLANT

25

50 75

230

MRA LOMWA

PiNALEVEA

5
M

%.

-_

0oo

SCALE IN MILES

1970

OL

SUBSTATION
SERIES CAPACITOR
0

/HOL

MOHAVE

LEGEND

~A

WAY~~~~~~'~~*

MOENIKOPI

\1

Fig. 1. EHV Tranmission Lines


Pacific Intertie and Adjacent Systems.
1139

These individual units were arranged in series and parallel


combinations, and for some capacitor banks, the exact
ohmic ratings for 70% compensation could not be met. By
judiciously selecting practical ohmic combinations for each
terminal, however, it was possible to matchthe desired
total ohmic values per line section very closely.

Upon the loss of one line, system studies indicated the


possibility of subsequent power swings which could produce
up to 4800 amperes on the remaining line for a period of
about 10 seconds. Following this, the current would
diminish to 2400 amperes or the equivalent of 2000 MW
loading of the Intertie. Loading on the line and capacitor
bank would be gradually reduced over a period of time to
1800 amperes or 12.5% above the bank nominal nameplate
rating. Fig. No. 2 shows the Intertie swing and overload
currents following loss of one parallel line.

Current Ratings

The continuous and overload current ratings of the


capacitor banks were specified to meet the steady state and
dynamic Intertie requirements. These ratings were based on
the assumption of loading the two 500 kV AC Intertie lines
up to 2000 MW north of Round Mountain Substation. With
power flow normally balanced on each circuit under these
conditions, 1200 amperes would be flowing through each
terminal series capacitor bank. In the event of trouble on
one circuit, the other circuit could be called on to carry as
much as 2000 MW for a short period of time until there
could be Intertie load readjustments.

Most of the capacitor banks were required to have


provision for increasing current ratings 12.5% by adding
series and parallel capacitor units without significantly
modifying the basic protective and control system for the
bank. Subsequent to the selection and award of the
capacitor bank equipment, a new capacitor manufacturing
development by one of the suppliers led to economically
increasing the current ratings of this supplier's banks by
12.5% at the outset.
BLE I

500 KV SERIES CAPACITOR COMPENSATION REQUIREMENTS

Line Data
Ohms
Miles Per Phase

Malin-Round Mtn. #1
(U.S .B R.)

94

Malin-Round Mtn. #2
(P.G.and E.-P.P.& L.)

94

Round Mtn.-Table Mtn.


#1 and #2
Table Mtn.-Vaca Dixon

Series Capacitor Ratings


for 70% Compensation
Ohms Per
Ohms Installed
Total Ohms Terminal
Per Terminal
Per Phase
Per Phase
Per Phase

No. of Modules
Per Phase and
Ohms per Module

2-8.24, 1-4.12

41.0

20.5
20.5

20.6
20.6

61.7(l)

43.2

21.6
21.6

21.6
20.6

2-10.3

89

58.4

40.8

20.4
20.4

24.96
16.64

3-8.32
2-8.32

82

51.7

36.2

18.1
18.1

18.0
18.0

2-9.0
2-9.0

Table Mtn. -Tesla

134

84.5

59. 1

Los Banos-Midway #1
and #2

29.6
29.6

27.0
32.8

3-9.0
4-8.32

144

90.6

63.4

31.7
31.7

30.9
33.28

3-10.3
4-8.32

Midway-Vincent #1 and #2

113

67.4

47.2

23.6
23.6

23.6
23.6

2-7.35, 1-8.85
2-7.35, 1-8.85

Lugo-Mohave

176

105

73.5

36. 7

36.7

4-9.18

Lugo-El Dorado

177

105.5

73.8

36.9

36.7

4-9.18

(1)

58.5

Although both lines between Round Mountain


and Malin are the same physical length, they
differ in construction.

1140

2-10.3

3-7.2

TABLE II
CAPACITOR BANK VOLTAGE RATING
AND INSULATION REQUIREMENTS

Voltage Ratings:

PG&E

SCE

Reference voltage, nominal kV


Maximum voltage, kV

500
550

500
550

1800

1800

1250

1150

840

775

975

880

432

360

Phase-to-Ground Insulation:

tIME

Fig. 2. Capacitor Bank Overload Current Requirements.


All capacitor equipment including protective
bypass and control devices is capable of withstanding the system fault currents. The ratings were
specified as 42, 500 amperes rms for 12 cycles on
the Pacific Gas and Electric Company system, and
41, 000 amperes symmetrical for 16 cycles for the
Southern California Edison Co.
Insulation Requirements

Specified requirements for clearances, insulation levels


and voltage ratings are shown in Table 2. Clearances to
ground and phase-to-phase were based on adequately
withstanding line-to-ground switching surge voltages of 2.3
p.U. and with opposite polarity switching surge occurring
simultaneously on each phase conductor. Due to normally
severe environmental conditions found in the P.G. and E.
service area, a 432-inch leakage distance was specified for
the capacitor bank support insulators. The minimum leakage
distance specified for the S.C.E. banks was 360-inches.
The voltage withstand levels specified were
demonstrated by factory test. They were made by
assembling a capacitor bank segment or module on a
platform supported by the specified insulators and applying
the prescribed voltages to the assembled system. The height
of the capacitor platform above grade was determined by
test because of the unknown effect of the ground plane on
the switching surge withstand strength.

Protection Characteristics and Reinsertion Requirements


The load carrying capability and the stability limits of
the Intertie are influenced by the proper Irformance of the
series capacitor banks and their protective equipment.
During normal line current flow, the series capacitors are
relatively static devices. However, when fault current flows
through the capacitors, extremely high voltages can develop
across them in direct proportion to the fault current. The
capacitor bank is equipped with control devices that can
sense overvoltages, and protective devices that can rapidly
bypass the capacitors under fault conditions and then
reinsert them as soon as the fault is cleared. The
self-protective controls are coordinated with the overload

Impulse withstand,
1.5 X- 40 .'s, minimum crest kV
Wet switching surge withstand,
100-200 X 2000-4000 &s,crest kV
Wet low frequency withstand,
60 Hz, 10 second, rms, kV
Dry low frequency withstand,
60 Hz, 1 minute, rms, kV
Support insulator,
minimum leakage distance, inches
Clearances:
Minimum live part clearance,
phase-to-ground, feet
Minimum live part clearance,

phase-to-phase, feet
Minimum centerline distance,
phase-to-phase, feet

16

--

22

20

50

45

current requirements described in Figure 2.

Automatic bypassing of the capacitors is accomplished


by sparking over a protective gap which is set to fire when
the voltage across the capacitor exceeds a predetermined
value. When gap sparkover occurs, the capacitors are
discharged through series reactors, which limits the discharge
current and prevents individual capacitor fuses from blowing
as well as reduces the voltage stresses on the capacitor units.
Protective gap devices were specified to permit power swing
currents up to 4800 amperes without sparking over and
bypassing. However, these gaps have the capability of
continuous adjustment for per unit gap flashover voltages of
from 2.5 to 3.5 with a firing tolerance of 10% of the
nominal setting of any point in that range.
After a capacitor bank has bypassed under fault
conditions, and if the bank is on an unfaulted line section,
it is desirable to rapidly restore the capacitors to the circuit.
This must be done within a few cycles to obtain maximum
benefit in maintaining system stability. Under maximum
Intertie loading conditions, the reinsertion current may
increase to 2400 amperes or double the normal continuous
load current of one circuit. Protective gap and reinsertion
devices must be capable of reinsertion under this condition.

Capacitor Switching Steps and Module Ratings


Each capacitor bank consists of 2, 3, or 4 individual
modules per phase, with the number and size dependent
upon the total bank size.
Seven basic ohmic modules were selected and
combinations of each, ranging from 7.35 to 10.3 ohms per
1141

phase, were used to obtain the required compensation at


each line terminal. For reasons of economy, preference was
given to each of the suppliers' largest ohmic module within
the requirements of the line section ohms noted in Table I.

Each module consists of an assembly of groups of


capacitors and voltage limiting devices, switches and relays
to independently provide the bypassing and insertion
switching functions.

Capacitor Bank General Arrangement


The capacitor bank modules are located on insulated
platforms, containing the capacitor units, automatic
protective equipment and controls. In addition to automatic
operation, each module bypass switch can be manually
operated from a ground control cabinet. External isolation,
bypassing, and grounding functions are provided by use of
500 kV disconnect switches. A typical arrangement and
schematic diagram is shown in Figure 3.
-INTERNAL bY-PASS
SWITCH, GAPS, AND
REACTORS. SAME FOR
OTHER M^ODULES.

--I

n--

DOUBLE MODULE PLATFORtAS

r-

-1

-r-

A-PASE

. .

.,

MWU?-A9IW)DMOOULLIi-AS
S-POUN
z

1-

I--

9 - PHASE

I MODULE

A 0--

OJ

I7

C -PHASE
j

ULlCIj

LsEGmEN-T

ITOR GROUND
LCAPAC
DISCONNECT SWITCH

-CAPACITOR STATIONH
DI SCONNECT SW ITC

Ij

MootL
L

I -C 0 1 MWAN- C 0 1

sNESm

EyTERNAL BY-PASS

LSEGMENT 3

1
L-LIE GROUND

DISOONNECT SWITCH

LINE
DISCONNECT SWITCH

- CAPACITOR

Fig. 3. Typical Arrangement and Schematic Diagram.

Controls and Alarms


The modular bypass switches can be remotely
controlled from a ground level control cabinet located near
the capacitor bank. The manual control of the internal
bypass switches is used in conjunction with the 500 kV
isolating and bypass disconnect switches when the capacitor
banks are placed in or removed from service.

The alarms brought from the platform to ground are


individual module lockout (bypassing requiring manual
resetting), differential operation and control battery
undervoltage. These alarms on a per module basis are

combined on a local annunciator located at the ground


control cabinet and sent to the main control building. In
addition there are visual alarms on the platforms such as the
position of the bypass switch and individual capacitor fuse
operations. Mechanical counters monitor the number of
gap-flashing operations on the platforms.

Space Requirements and Physical Arrangement in Switchyard

Fig. No. 8 shows the Los Banos-Midway 33.28

ohms-per-phase capacitor bank at the P.G. and E. Midway


Substation having four 8.32 ohm phase-modules. Line and
bus side 500 kV isolating disconnecting switches and
external manual bypass switches are shown, together with
typical line and bus termination structures. Also noted is
the space allowance for a fifth module which may be
required for possible future changes in compensation or
increase in current rating. The bypass disconnect is
interleaved with the station side disconnect switch.
The layout for the 37.7 ohm-per-phase capacitor bank
at the S.C.E. Lugo Substation is shown in Figure 9. This
design uses a pantograph disconnect switch, mounted under
the line dead-end, for external bypassing.

Interlocking Schemes
It was not practical to elevate the capacitor platforms
above grade to provide sufficient 500 kV safety clearances
for personnel walking under the energized platforms.
Instead, a personnel safety fence was provided completely
enclosing each capacitor bank. The 4 ft. entrance gate is
equipped with a removable key interlock system which is
linked with the external isolating bypass and ground
switches. The key interlock system is initiated by removing
the first key from the main control switch located in the
ground control station just outside the safety fence.
To enter the capacitor area, the main control switch
must first be operated to close all platform mounted bypass
switches (shorting all the unit capacitors on the rack). This
permits the manual sequence of external isolation, bypass
and grounding through the key interlock system, before the
gate can be opened.

Portable AC Power Supply to the Platforms

AC station service power for platform battery charging


and heater requirements is normally derived from current or
potential transformers connected to the EHV transmission
line associated with the capacitor bank. Initially, no
provision was made for meeting these requirements from
ground level in the event of extended outage of the
capacitor bank.
Final designs now include provision for the attachment
of portable cables between the base of the signal columns
and the bottom of the control cabinet to supply AC power
to the platforms. The plug receptacle arrangement provides
interlocking to prevent back feeding the normal source of
power on the platforms.

Portable shielded cable, with both ends of the shield


grounded, had to be used on those banks equipped with
solid state battery charging components to prevent damage
due to voltage transients produced when operating the
isolating disconnect switches.
OPERATION OF CAPACITORS
Initial Energization Procedures
Initial energization was accomplished by applying full
voltage to the bank isolated on the far end of a 500 kV
1142

Photographs of 500 kV Series Capacitor Bank


Installations at Midway, Tesla, and El Dorado

Substations are shown in Figures 4, 5, 6, and 7.

a!~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
0

Swe

0~~~~~~~~~~~

es

U_
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
_

0 0 S S~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~4\ :0 :0 0/ 0 01F
fl 1# S Wo~m
0 ';?S 115 W~~~:3

t fffj/X:

44

U,0

.0

Id

':e.

>.U,
-'-

< Fl1$'~im *era~~~~~~~


X tem~~~~~~~~~~
t:s
Co

'0

1143

CO

Fig. 8 Midway Substation Capacitor Bank

Fig.

Plan and Elevation.

Lugo Substation Capacitor Bank.- Plan and


1144

Elevation.

line with the on-platform module bypass switches closed.


The second step was to parallel the line to the bus at the
capacitor end of the line and schedule as much load current
as possible over the bypassed capacitors. With load current
established, each 3-phase switching segment was switched in
and out sequentially from the ground control station until
all the modules were energized. Line voltage, current, watt,
and var readings were taken at each end of the line for
each step in the switching process. It was interesting to note
how the insertion of relatively small values of series
capacitive reactance in the line produced large changes in
active and reactive power flow in that line and other
parallel lines in the system at the time of the tests. For
example, during one period of light line loading the addition
of 2.5 mvar produced a 40 mw and 45 mvar change on
that line section.

Staged Fault Tests


Factory performance testing was limited essentially to
single phase, single module configurations which were made
either at low voltage with nameplate current or at full
voltage with low current. To obtain some measure of
performance under actual three-phase system conditions
prior to final acceptance, a series of controlled fault tests
were made on two installed capacitor banks. Staged fault
tests were made by P.G. and E. at Table Mountain
Substation and S.C.E. at Vincent Substation.
Each test consisted of a two-level short circuit. The
initial short circuit was initiated by closing into a bolted
line-to-ground fault which caused the bypass gaps to fire.
After an interval of a few cycles, sequential tripping of
500 kV PCBs reduced the current to a simulated load
current level which lasted for about 10 cycles, and was then
cleared by circuit breaker operation to remove the fault
completely from the system.
Remote controlled oscillographs were mounted on each
platform to record line current, bypass current, gap
potential and other quantities. Oscillographs located in the
control and relay rooms also recorded effects on other
equipment and the performance of protective relays.

The P.G. and E. tests consisted of one test on each


phase with an initial fault current level of 5360 amperes
(after bypassing) and a simulated load level of 2000 to
2600 amperes. The first two tests were made with a bypass
gap setting of 4800 amperes, and the third was made at
5600 amperes, the maximum rated gap setting.

Proper bypass action occurred on all three tests, with


the gap flashover occuring on the first half cycle of voltage
across the gaps. During reinsertion, the bypass switches
interrupted the current, but the reinsertion voltage flashed
the gaps and prevented successful reinsertion. Subsequent
studies of reinsertion harmonic over-voltages indicated the
test reinsertion voltage were near the gap sparkover values.

During the P.G. and E. tests, discharge reactor


flashovers were observed as well as some bypass switch
control malfunctions.

short circuit current level was 4080 amperes, with a


simulated load current level of 1750 amperes. Upon
recommendation of the manufacturer, surge suppression
capacitors were installed across the gaps to determine if the
reinsertion flashovers on the P.G. and E. tests were due to
high frequency transients. Modified design discharge reactors
were used on two of the three S.C.E. tests.
The results of the S.C.E. tests also indicated low
sparkover values during reinsertion attempts, however, several
successful reinsertions did occur.

The discharge reactor flashovers were eliminated by


using the. modified reactors. Misoperation of the control
circuits also occurred on several modules. A typical
oscillogram for a successful reinsertion is shown in Figure
10.
The tests showed a definite reduction in the sparkover
level of the gaps on reinsertion, and subsequent investigation
by the manufacturer has shown that this was due to
residual ionization of the gap due to the initial sparkover.
Corrective measures are now being taken to eliminate this
problem, and the control circuits are being modified to
prevent erroneous operation of the control circuits.

Additional tests are planned to confirm that the


corrective measures being taken are effective in eliminating
the problems associated with short circuit and reinsertion
performance.
Operating Experience

Operating experience with the 500 kV series capacitors


to date has been generally satisfactory. The actual number
of documented, in-service gap flashing operations has been
small. One reason for this is that, at present, a fault must
occur relatively close to a bank location in order to result
in fault current levels above the present gap settings of
4800 amperes. However, for the in-service faults to date, the
initial failure rate of unit capacitors and their individual
fuses has been above that anticipated by the manufactuers.
It is expected that initial faults will selectively eliminate
units with marginal dielectric strength, thereby resulting in a
tolerable failure rate in the future.
CONCLUSIONS
1.

Use of 500 kV series capacitor banks to provide a 70


percent line reactance compensation level on the Pacific
Intertie and associated EHV lines in California have
been described. These installations were made
principally for the purpose of improving stability of the
Pacific regional system, and have proved to be a
practical and economical method for achieving this.

2.

The location of these large installations at the ends of


the compensated line section is advantageous from the
standpoint of cost, operation and maintenance.

3.

Capacitor bank ratings are determined by the steady


state and dynamic operating requirements of the
Intertie system. Steps for selecting the specific values
of capacitive reactance as a percent of the line section

The S.C.E. tests were similar except that the initial


1145

4850 A1M PS

GAP POTENTIAL

TOTAL BYPASS CURRENT

CAP CURRENT

BYPASS SWITCH TRAVEL

11]

OPEN

C LOSE

BYPASS SWITCH CURRENT


I

ItI
I11

23

xi

If
is
7
,

Fig. 10. Typical oscillogram from staged fault test.

1.

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Single line to ground short circuit initiated. Initial current and voltage waveshapes are distorted due to closing resistors
in 500-kV PCB.
Gap flashes over limiting short circuit current to the uncompensated value. Capacitors are discharged through reactors,
with a discharge frequency of 510 Hz.
By-pass switch starts to close. Current transformers in discharge circuit initiate control signal to the switch.
By-pass switch closes. The discharge and short circuit current transfers from the gap to the switch.
Short circuit current is reduced to a load current level by system switching.
By-pass switch starts to open. This is timed to open approximately 3 cycles after the current drops below 2600 amperes.
By-pass switch current interrupted and capacitors are reinserted into line.
Peak voltage of the reinsertion transient.

demonstrate satisfactory performance under system


conditions.

be compensated have been outlined. Key


considerations noted are concerned with the expected
loading of each Intertie line during normnal and
emergency periods, and the ability of the capacitor
banks to be self-protecting and to reinsert satisfactorily.
to

4.

The modular approach to series capacitor design results


from many of the same factors responsible for the
modular design of EHV circuit breakers. Individual
modules facilitate factory testing, although full scale,
three-phase system tests are considered essential to

1146

5.

The information presented in this paper should be


useful to other utility engineers engaged in the design,
specification, and operation of similar series capacitor
installations. New applications of series capacitor banks
for controlling line loading as well as stability
improvement are being studied.

6.

A future paper will report on the results of continued


series capacitor bank operation on the Intertie system.

Table I
Milestones in U.S.A. Series Capacitors

Discussion

L. E. Bock, C. R. Craig (General Electric Company, Hudson Falls,


N.Y.), and I. B. Johnson (General Electric Company, Schenectady,
N.Y. 12305): The authors have presented a timely concise report on the
engineering features in the design, specification, installation and operation of some unprecedented installations of series capacitors in the
550 kV lines of the Pacific Intertie. Of note is the fact that they are
applied principally for the purpose of economically improving the
transient stability power transfer capability of the Intertie. For this
purpose, these capacitors required high speed reinsertion protective
devices to restore those capacitors to the lines which were bypassed for
protection against the incidence of a line fault. Particularly noteworthy
is the comment that the operating experience has been generally
satisfactory.
This successful operating experience stimulates continued interest
in further applications. Increased costs of rights-of-way, reduced capacitor costs, favorable experiences, and continued resort to long distance
transmission all point to a wider application of series capacitors to
achieve not only high line loadings for an economical ac transfer of
power, but also for a desired economical and/or technical proportioning
of load flow among two or more circuits in a system. Since the first
world-wide application of series capacitors in 1928 in a 33 kV line of
the New York Power and Light Corporation for "the control of load
distribution over loop circuits,"1 the trend in rate-of-growth in the
installed MVAR of series capacitors in the utilities of the USA has been
as shown in Fig. 1. The current 20% trend line based on past installations is supported in its extrapolation by the results of two surveys of
electric utilities concerning planning on the future use of series capacitors. The current trend is to be compared with the initial comparable
growth trend for shunt capacitors as shown in the same figure and with
that of about 7.6 per cent growth rate for installed MW of electric
utility generating capacity.
GE CO. 550kV
BAW AT TESLA
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1928-First World-wide Installation - Load Division - NYP & L


33 kV - 1.25 MVAR Bank -Tungsten Faced Electrode Air
Gap - High Speed Bypass Switch - 10 kA Short Circuit Capability - 10 KVAR Capacitor Unit 1
1951-First at 242 kV - Stability - BPA
25 MVAR - High Pressure, High Speed Reinsertion and Bypass,
Air Gap - 10 kA Short Circuit - 15-25 KVAR Capacitor Unit2
1954-First at 300 kV - Stability - LADWP
7.5 MVAR - Low Pressure, High Speed Reinsertion and Bypass,
Air Gap -10 kA Short Circuit -25 KVAR Capacitor Unit3
1958-First at 362 kV - Load Division - BPA
1 13 MVAR - Low Pressure, Low Speed Reinsertion and Bypass Carbon Air Gap - 15 kA Short Circuit - 50 KVAR Capacitor

Unit4,5

1968-First and Largest at 550 kV - Stability - PG & E


320 MVAR - Triggered Vacuum Gap - High Speed Reinsertion
and Bypass Vacuum Switch - 41 kA Short Circuit - 100 KVAR
Capacitor Unit - Plastic Film Dielectric - Solid State Control6

During the past, there have been significant milestones in the


installation and use of series capacitors in the USA as system voltage
levels have increased. Some of these are shown in Table I, listing
applications which were first applied at voltage levels from 33 kV
through 550 kV. Of interest between 1928 and 1968 are the increase
in capacitor unit ratings from 10 KVAR to 100 KVAR; the increase in
the short circuit capability of the high speed protective device from a
10 kA symmetrical air gap and high speed air bypass switch to the
41 kA Triggered Vacuum Gap, and Bypass and Reinsertion Vacuum
Switch; and the introduction of solid state control and synthetic film
dielectric in the series capacitor module at 550 kV.
It is to be noted in Table I that all were equipped with high speed
protective devices except the installation at 362 kV. Here a low speed
protective device was found adequately sufficient for the primary purposes of increased sharing by the compensated line in the line loadings
of the system and of reduced system power and reactive losses. Such an
installation benefits economically from a simpler protective device.
Messrs. Hubacher, Maneatis, Rothenbuhler and Sabath indicate in
the section on Current Ratings that upon loss of one line, system studies
showed the possibility of subsequent power swings which could produce
up to 4800 amperes on the remaining line for a period of about 10
seconds. What is meant by a period? Is it the time for one cycle of an
electromechanical system oscillation or the duration of a rectangular
pulse of continuous current of 4800 amperes for 10 seconds? Figure 2
of the paper shows two cycles of damped oscillations which are suddenly interrupted at the end of 10 seconds. Previously it was understood that the ringdown of the electromechanical oscillation would
encompass about 30 seconds as shown in Fig. 2 of this discussion.6
Depending on the interpretations there appear to be significant differences in the overload current requirements.

-C

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1900

1920

1940
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1960

1980

2000

Fig. 1. (a) Trends in installed capacitor banks MVAR in the utility industry for shunt and series capacitors. (b) Trend in MVAR rating
of capacitor bank.

SECONDS

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Fig. 2. Intertie swing currents and abnormal current periods after fault
clearing.

Manuscript received September 3, 1970.

1147

The foregoing pertains to the loss of one parallel line. Is there a


comparable swing and overload current requirement following the loss
of the HVDC line?
The authors indicate a capability to withstand system fault currents of 41,000 to 42,500 amperes symmetrical which are in the order
of the circuit breaker symmetrical fault interrupting rating. Are these
the fault current requirements through protective devices in the unfaulted line sections prior to a reinsertion operation of a bypassed
capacitor?
It is stated that for bypassed capacitors in the unfaulted line
sections following a fault it is desirable to restore the capacitors to the
circuit within a few cycles to obtain maximum benefit in maintaining
system stability. Since few means a "small number," how small is the
number; and what is the anticipated reduction in stability level per
cycle of increased reinsertion time following fault interruption? Differences in reinsertion times between those less than three cycles and those
greater than five cycles can have a significant bearing on the complexity
of the series capacitor protective equipment.
It is assumed that the indicated reinsertion current of 2400
amperes is the post steady state reinsertion current component of the
reinsertion transient which flows immediately after all bypassed capacitors in the system have been reinserted. Presumably this would include
some increase due to system swing which at the time of maximum
reinsertion overvoltage is greater than at the moment of initial reinsertion of the bypassed capacitors.
In the Staged Faults Tests section, it is stated that modified design
discharge reactors were used on two of the three S.C.E. tests, replacing
those originally installed. The replacements were of modified manufacture and not of design. In the subsequent S.C.E. tests after replacement
there were no flashovers of these modified reactors as had occurred on
some in some of the previous tests. The special design selected for
application in the capacitor modules had been thoroughly tested
satisfactorily both individually and as a component in the series
capacitor module in the High Power Laboratory tests prior to installation in service and to the field tests.
The residual ionization of the gap mentioned as the cause of the
reduced sparkover levels experienced during reinsertion in the S.C.E.
tests were found to be in the pilot gap and not in the main Triggered
Vacuum Gap. This difficulty, as indicated, has been solved.
The authors mention that the actual number of documented-inservice gap flashing operations has been small because a fault must
occur relatively close to a bank location in order to result in fault
current levels above preset gap settings. Another factor which may be
particularly significant to gap sparkovers in the unfaulted parallel line
section is the speed of fault interruption by the circuit breakers and
relaying. A characteristic of the compensated systems in the Intertie as
observed on Transient Network Analyzer investigations is the subharmonic or near resonance circuit response, requiring relatively long
time buildup of voltages to sparkover levels of the gaps. Fast fault
interrupting times in the order of 1-2 cycles should lower and minimize
gap sparkover occurrences from those which may be experienced with
fault switching times in the order of 5 cycles. Would the authors care
to comment on the actual switching times in the documented cases?

REFERENCES

[1] E. K. Shelton, "The series capacitor installation at Ballston, N.Y.,

General Electric Review, vol. 31, pp. 432434, August 1928.


[2] R. E. Marbury and F. D. Johnson, "A 24,000-kilovar series capacitor in a 230-kV transmission line," AIEE Transactions, vol. 70,
pp. 1621-1626, 195 1.

[31 S. B. Crary, "High voltage series capacitors show more promise,"

Electrical World, pp. 44-45, 1960.


[4] From News of Manufacturers, "Huge bank of series capacitors
used by BPA," Electrical World, p. 86, January 196 1.
[5] F. G. Schaufelberger, E. V. Harrington and E. C. Starr, "Cut loss,
add power with 345-kV capacitors," Electrical World, pp. 46-47,
February 1962.
[6] C. R. Craig, I. B. Johnson, W. S. Moody and J. A. Sainz, "Series
capacitor innovations for the 550-kV Pacific NW-SW Intertie,"
Transmission and Distribution, February and March 1968.

L. C. Grove and R. E. Kennon (Westinghouse Electric Corporation,


Bloomington, Ind.): The authors have contributed greatly to the
demystification of a subject that is sometimes approached on an emotional rather than a rational basis. Series capacitors as an economic tool
have come of age thanks to the willingness of the authors, their employers and the other Pacific Intertie partners to pioneer on a large
scale. Their boldness and foresight will benefit the whole industry for
many years.
One problem touched upon by the authors is the tailoring of bank
characteristics to make use of available standard shunt capacitors. While
this may sometimes be desirable it is not now nearly as much so as it
was when these banks were specified. Computer assisted design techniques are available today to tailor the capacitor unit design to the bank
requirements and select the proper ratings on a combination engineering/economic basis. This gives some flexibility for the application of
new series banks not heretofore available. Unit and bank designs are
importantly affected by the time-current load profile which must be
carried by the series capacitors. These characteristics have been clearly
spelled out by the authors' Figure 2. While manufacturers may be able
to offer users greater flexibility from the capacitor unit design standpoint, it should not be forgotten that certain economic factors may
influence bank characteristics away from the optimum engineering
characteristics. This subject was touched upon in an earlier magazine
article. [ 1 ]
The whole subject of the correlation between staged fault tests,
laboratory tests and actual service conditions must be continuously
explored jointly by users and manufacturer. The users can be extremely
helpful in this process by reporting detailed operating data back to the
manufacturer on a regular basis. Since this type equipment is not in
continuous production, the normal flow of information back to the
manufacturer is not sufficient. We would therefore urge the authors
and other series capacitor users to adopt a somewhat formalized
approach to the feedback of operating information to the suppliers
while continuing the type of reporting to the industry as a whole
which this paper exemplifies.
Manuscript received October 13, 1970.

[1] A. B. Pyle, "Series Capacitors Boost EHV System


Electrical World December 26, 1966.

Capability"

J. A. Maneatis, W. N. Rothenbuhler, E. J. Hubacher, and J. Sabatlh: We


wish to thank Messrs. Bock, Craig and Johnson for their interest in the
Paper, the historical information presented on series capacitor installations and their specific discussions on well-chosen points. It is evident
that the increased interest in nationwide Interties at EHV levels has
established series capacitors as a primary transmission tool to be considered by System planners. The General Electric Company engineers
are to be complimented on the innovative approach they undertook on
the design aspects of their EHV series capacitor control schemes. In
regards to the question of what was meant by a power swing "period"
of 4800 A. for ten seconds, it is true that the typical current swing is
more nearly approximated by Fig. #2 of the discussion. Fig. #2 of the
Paper shows an interrupted time scale at ten seconds. A typical swing
would ring down for at least 30 seconds and the actual "period" of the
damped wave is approximately three seconds, which also was not shown
to scale. The capacitor bank overload requirements described in Fig. #2
of the Paper were based on studies made over five years ago. Recent
studies, using all available data and considering the loss of the HVDC
line along with one A-C line, still confirm the 4800 Amp. swing current
requirements. The envelope of the swing curve varies with System conditions and could be nearly of constant amplitude for ten seconds.
The 41,000 to 42,000 Amp. fault current requirements do pertain
to the ability of the protective devices on the capacitor platforms to
successfully handle short circuit currents on the unfaulted line until
they are cleared by line breaker operations.
Reinsertion time requirements described as a "few" cycles for
stability purposes mean 3 or less on our System. We have not determined a reduction in stability level per cycle for times greater than
3 cycles.

1148

Manuscript received August 31, 1970; revised October 5, 1970.

The reinsertion current of 2400 Amps. is the post steady state


reinsertion current component of the reinsertion transient which flows
on the unfaulted line section immediately after all bypassed capacitors
in the System have been reinserted. To compensate for the expected
increase due to System swing components possible at this time, we
have chosen to set the controls which recognize the clearing of fault
currents to a level of 3000 Amps. to allow the maximum margin available between steady state reinsertion current levels and initiation of
bypass switch opening signals on the unfaulted line section.
In connection with documented fault interrupting times, we are
experiencing switching times (relays plus breaker) in the range of two
to four cycles.
We appreciate the comments made by Messrs. Grove and Kennon
in their discussion. They pointed out that it is now possible for the
manufacturer to offer a unit capacitor KVAR and voltage rating
tailored to specific line section compensation requirements. This will
certainly be helpful in the design, selection and application of future
series capacitor banks.
We agree it would be highly advisable to report operating data and
field performance to the manufacturers to enable better correlation with
laboratory performance. In this way improvements to the capacitor
system design can take place. Based on operations to date, we foresee a
need for more signalling and communication channels from the insulated
capacitor bank platforms to the ground level control cabinet. This will
permit monitoring and logging successful gap flashing operations which
are required without taking the bank out of service.

In 1962 he was appointed Supervising Electrical Engineer in charge of


design for high voltage transmission substations. He has served on the
Design and Construction Task Force of the Pacific Intertie Transmission System. He is the author of numerous technical papers on substation design.
Mr. Maneatis is Chairman of the IEEE Transmission Substation
Subcommittee and a member of the American National Standards
Institute, the Steering Committee for the High Power Test and Research
Center, Grand Coulee, the Pacific Coast Electrical Association, and is a
Registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.

E. J. Hubacher

cisco, Calif.,

on

(M'58)

was

born in San Fran-

April 15, 193 1. He received the

B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the


University of California, Berkeley, in 1958.
In 1958 he joined the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Francisco, on a two-year
engineering training program, after which he
joined the Department of Electric Generation
and Transmission Engineering in Transmission
Substation Design. Presently he is a Supervising
Substation Engineer in the Department of Electric Operations. He was also engaged in design
work connected with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company portion of
the 500 KV Pacific Northwest-Southwest Intertie.
Mr. Hubacher is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of

California.
was born in Lawrence,
Mass., on May 2, 1921. He received the B.S.
degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, Mass., in 1943 and graduated fromthe Advanced Power Systems Engineer

IJ. A. Maneatis (M'52)

-i

---

W. N. Rotdenbuhler (M'62) was born in Bellingham,Wash., on September 25, 1934. He received


the B.A. degree in electrical engineering from the
University of Washington, Seattle, in 1956.
Since 1956 he has been with the Southern
California Edison Company, Los Angeles, where
he has been involved in substation design, specification preparation, and switchgear evaluation
and testing.
Mr. Rothenbuhler is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.

ing Courseat General Electric Company, Schenectady,N.Y., in 1955.


From 1943 to 1946 he served as an engithe rank of Lieutenant Sr.
neering officer withStates
Gr. in the United
Navy, where he was
engaged in the development and testing of
acoustic countermeasures systems and ship de-

gaussing techniques. In 1967 he retired from the Navy with the rank of
Commander. In 1947 he joined the Pacific Gas and Electric Company,
San Francisco, Calif., as an Engineering Designer for thermal and hydroelectric generating stations and substations. In 195 1 he was advanced to
Assistant-Engineer in the Department of Generation and Transmission
Engineering with responsibilities for design of transmission substations.

J. Sabath (SM'62), for a photograph and biography, please see page


992 of this issue.

1149