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Seminar Report On

Digital testing of high voltage circuit breaker

Session2018 - 2019

A Seminar Report
Submitted to
SavitribaiPhule Pune University, Pune (M. H.)

In partial fulfillment of awarding the degree of

Bachelor of Engineering


Department of Electrical Engineering

Supervised by Submitted by
Prof. Mane T.G. Randive Suraj Bapurao
Roll no -28
Exam seat no -

Department of Electrical Engineering

S. B. Patil College of Engineering, Indapur
S. B. Patil College of Engineering, Indapur
Department of Electrical Engineering

Session 2018 -2019

This is to certify that the seminar entitled
Digital testing of high voltage circuit breaker
Submitted by Randive Suraj Bapurao,Roll no-(28) is a bonafide
work carried out by students under the supervision of Prof.Mane
T.G.and it is submitted towards the partial fulfillment of the
requirement of Bachelor of Engineering in Department of Electrical

Prof. Mane T.G. Prof.Deokar T.V. Prof. Karpe S.R.

Guide Coordinator HOD

Dept. of Electrical Engg. Dept. of Electrical Engg. Dept. of Electrical Engg.

Dr. P.D. Nemade

S.B.Patil College of Engineering, Indapur

Date of submission :-
S. B. Patil College of Engineering, Indapur
Department of Electrical Engineering

Session 2018 – 2019

This is to certify that seminar worksentitled
“Digital testing of high voltage circuit breaker ”
Is successfully completed by
Randive Suraj Bapurao., Roll no-(28)

Department of Electrical Engineering

Prof. Mane T.G.. Prof.Deokar T.V. Prof. Karpe S.R.

Guide Coordinator HOD

Dept. of Electrical Engg. Dept. of Electrical Engg. Dept. of Electrical Engg.


I am greatly indebted forever to my guide Prof Mane T.G.and Prof. Karpe S.R. Head of Electrical

Engineering Department, S.B.Patil College of Engineering, Indapur for his continuous

encouragement, support, ideas, most constructive suggestions, valuable advice and confidence

in me. He gave me complete freedom to pursue all my interests and also provided so many

exciting directions to explore. Behind the freedom he gave, there is his strong belief that the

best work is done. In addition to his technical powers, what helped me a lot was his passionate

approach to research, his intrepidity in attacking important hard problems, his enthusiasm for

exploring new areas, and his emphasis on bold imagination and creativity. His advice of

simultaneously working on a variety of problems ensured that work never became boring. His

openness to my decisions and confidence in my abilities made me reach much higher goals than

I could have imagined. His infectious cheerfulness, attitude of dealing with challenges, and

patience with random door-knocks would dissolve the worst of the stress. Proud to be his

student, I hope to keep in touch with his amazing mentor and friend. I sincerely thank Dr. P.D.

Nemade, Principal, S.B. Patil College of Engineering, Indapur for their continuous

encouragement and active interest in my progress that they gave throughout the work. Finally,

our parent, our family members and friends, without whose patience, encouragement, and

support this seminar work might never have been completed.

Name of Candidate,

Randive Suraj Bapurao ( Roll no -28)


The functionality of high-voltage circuit breakers is tested in high-powerlaboratories. Due to the

necessary power and the physical size of the equipment, testing is rather expensive and time

consuming. The stepsfollowed so far by the authors in order to enable the digital testing of

HVcircuit breakers are described in this seminar.With the advancement of power system, the

lines and other equipment operate at very high voltages and carry large currents. High-voltage

circuit breakers play an important role in transmission and distribution systems. A circuit breaker

can make or break a circuit, either manually or automatically under all conditions viz. no-load,

full-load and short-circuit conditions.The American National Standard Institute defines circuit

breaker as: "A mechanical switching device capable of making, carrying and breaking currents

under normal circuit conditions and also making,carrying for aspecified time, and breaking currents

under specified abnormal circuit conditions such as those of short circuit". A circuit breaker is

usually intended to operate infrequently, although some types are suitable for frequent operation.






1.1. Introduction 1

1.1.1. Origins 1

1.1.2. Operation 1

1.1.3. Arc Interruption 1

1.1.4. Short circuit 1

1.1.5.Standard current ratings

1.2.Essential qualities of HV Circuit breaker 2


1.4. Need of Testing 3

1.5. Testing of circuit breaker 3

1.6.Circuit breaker switching and arc moduling 4

1.7.Digital testing Measurement and Data analysis 4

1.8. Arc circuit interaction software 6

1.9. Application of Digital testing 6

1.9.1.Influence of parallel capacitance 7

1.9.2.Critical line length determination

1.10.Advantages of Digital testing 8






With the advancement of power system, the lines and other equipment operate at

very high voltages and carry large currents. High-voltage circuit breakers play an

important role in transmission and distribution systems. A circuit breaker can make

or break a circuit, either manually or automatically under all conditions viz. no-

load, full-load and short-circuit conditions. The American National Standard

Institute (ANSI) defines circuit breaker as: "A mechanical switching device

capable of making, carrying and breaking currents under normal circuit conditions

and also making, carrying for a specified time, and breaking currents under

specified abnormal circuit conditions such as those of short circuit". A circuit

breaker is usually intended to operate infrequently, although some types are

suitable for frequent operation.

circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect

an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current from an overload or

short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected.

Unlike a fuse, which operates once and then must be replaced, a circuit breaker can

be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal operation.

Circuit breakers are made in varying sizes, from small devices that protect low-

current circuits or individual household appliance, up to large switchgear designed

to protect high voltage circuits feeding an entire city. The generic function of a

circuit breaker, RCD or a fuse, as an automatic means of removing power from a

faulty system is often abbreviated as OCPD (Over Current Protection Device).


An early form of circuit breaker was described by Thomas Edison in an 1879

patent application, although his commercial power distribution system used fuses

Its purpose was to protect lighting circuit wiring from accidental short circuits and

overloads. A modern miniature circuit breaker similar to the ones now in use was

patented by Brown, Boveri & Cie in 1924. Hugo Stotz, an engineer who had sold

his company to BBC, was credited as the inventor on DRP (Deutsches

Reichspatent) 458392.

Interconnection of multiple generator sources into an electrical grid required

development of circuit breakers with increasing voltage ratings and increased

ability to safely interrupt the increasing short-circuit currents produced by

networks. Simple air-break manual switches produced hazardous arcs when

interrupting high voltages; these gave way to oil-enclosed contacts, and various

forms using directed flow of pressurized air, or of pressurized oil, to cool and

interrupt the arc. By 1935, the specially constructed circuit breakers used at the

Boulder Dam project use eight series breaks and pressurized oil flow to interrupt

faults of up to 2,500 MVA, in three cycles of the AC power frequency.


All circuit breaker systems have common features in their operation, but

details vary substantially depending on the voltage class, current rating and type of

the circuit breaker.

The circuit breaker must first detect a fault condition. In small mains and

low voltage circuit breakers, this is usually done within the device itself. Typically,

the heating or magnetic effects of electric current are employed. Circuit breakers

for large currents or high voltages are usually arranged with protective relay pilot

devices to sense a fault condition and to operate the opening mechanism. These

typically require a separate power source, such as a battery, although some high-

voltage circuit breakers are self-contained with current transformers, protective

relays, and an internal control power source.

Once a fault is detected, the circuit breaker contacts must open to interrupt

the circuit; this is commonly done using mechanically stored energy contained

within the breaker, such as a spring or compressed air to separate the contacts.

Circuit breakers may also use the higher current caused by the fault to separate the

contacts, such as thermal expansion or a magnetic field. Small circuit breakers

typically have a manual control lever to switch off the load or reset a tripped

breaker, while larger units use solenoids to trip the mechanism, and electric motors

to restore energy to the springs.

The circuit breaker contacts must carry the load current without excessive

heating, and must also withstand the heat of the arc produced when interrupting

(opening) the circuit. Contacts are made of copper or copper alloys, silver alloys

and other highly conductive materials. Service life of the contacts is limited by the

erosion of contact material due to arcing while interrupting the current. Miniature

and molded-case circuit breakers are usually discarded when the contacts have

worn, but power circuit breakers and high-voltage circuit breakers have replaceable


When a high current or voltage is interrupted, an arc is generated. The length

of the arc is generally proportional to the voltage while the intensity (or heat) is

proportional to the current. This arc must be contained, cooled and extinguished in

a controlled way, so that the gap between the contacts can again withstand the

voltage in the circuit. Different circuit breakers use vacuum, air, insulating gas, or

oil as the medium the arc forms in. Different techniques are used to extinguish the

arc including:

Lengthening or deflecting the arc

Intensive cooling (in jet chambers)

Division into partial arcs

Zero point quenching (contacts open at the zero current time crossing of the AC

waveform, effectively breaking no load current at the time of opening. The zero
crossing occurs at twice the line frequency; i.e., 100 times per second for 50 Hz

and 120 times per second for 60 Hz AC.)

Connecting capacitors in parallel with contacts in DC circuits.

Finally, once the fault condition has been cleared, the contacts must again be

closed to restore power to the interrupted circuit.

Arc interruption:-

Low-voltage miniature circuit breakers (MCB) use air alone to extinguish

the arc. These circuit breakers contain so-called arc chutes, a stack of mutually

insulated parallel metal plates that divide and cool the arc. By splitting the arc into

smaller arcs the arc is cooled down while the arc voltage is increased and serves as

an additional impedance that limits the current through the circuit breaker. The

current-carrying parts near the contacts provide easy deflection of the arc into the

arc chutes by a magnetic force of a current path, although magnetic blowoutcoils

or permanent magnets could also deflect the arc into the arc chute (used on circuit

breakers for higher ratings). The number of plates in the arc chute is dependent on

the short-circuit rating and nominal voltage of the circuit breaker.

In larger ratings, oil circuit breakers rely upon vaporization of some of the oil to

blast a jet of oil through the arc.[4]

Gas (usually sulfur hexafluoride) circuit breakers sometimes stretch the arc using a

magnetic field, and then rely upon the dielectric strengthof the sulfur hexafluoride

(SF6) to quench the stretched arc.

Vacuum circuit breakers have minimal arcing (as there is nothing to ionize other

than the contact material). The arc quenches when it is stretched a very small

amount (less than 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in)). Vacuum circuit breakers are

frequently used in modern medium-voltage switchgear to 38,000 volts.

Air circuit breakers may use compressed air to blow out the arc, or alternatively,

the contacts are rapidly swung into a small sealed chamber, the escaping of the

displaced air thus blowing out the arc.

Circuit breakers are usually able to terminate all current very quickly: typically the

arc is extinguished between 30 ms and 150 ms after the mechanism has been

tripped, depending upon age and construction of the device. The maximum current

value and let-through energy determine the quality of the circuit breakers.

Circuit breakers are rated both by the normal current that they are expected to

carry, and the maximum short-circuit current that they can safely interrupt. This

latter figure is the ampere interrupting capacity (AIC) of the breaker.

Under short-circuit conditions, the calculated maximum prospective short-circuit

current may be many times the normal, rated current of the circuit. When electrical

contacts open to interrupt a large current, there is a tendency for an arc to form

between the opened contacts, which would allow the current to continue. This

condition can create conductive ionized gases and molten or vaporized metal,

which can cause further continuation of the arc, or creation of additional short
circuits, potentially resulting in the explosion of the circuit breaker and the

equipment that it is installed in. Therefore, circuit breakers must incorporate

various features to divide and extinguish the arc.

The maximum short-circuit current that a breaker can interrupt is determined by

testing. Application of a breaker in a circuit with a prospective short-circuit current

higher than the breaker's interrupting capacity rating may result in failure of the

breaker to safely interrupt a fault. In a worst-case scenario the breaker may

successfully interrupt the fault, only to explode when reset.

Typical domestic panel circuit breakers are rated to interrupt 10 kA (10000 A)

short-circuit current.

Miniature circuit breakers used to protect control circuits or small appliances may

not have sufficient interrupting capacity to use at a panel board; these circuit

breakers are called "supplemental circuit protectors" to distinguish them from

distribution-type circuit breakers.

Standard current ratings:-

Time till trip versus current as multiple of nominal current

Circuit breakers are manufactured in standard sizes, using a system of preferred

numbers to cover a range of ratings. Miniature circuit breakers have a fixed trip

setting; changing the operating current value requires changing the whole circuit

breaker. Larger circuit breakers can have adjustable trip settings, allowing

standardized elements to be applied but with a setting intended to improve

protection. For example, a circuit breaker with a 400 ampere "frame size" might

have its overcurrent detection set to operate at only 300 amperes, to protect a

feeder cable.

International Standards, IEC 60898-1 and European Standard EN 60898-1, define

the rated current In of a circuit breaker for low voltage distribution applications as

the maximum current that the breaker is designed to carry continuously (at an

ambient air temperature of 30 °C). The commonly available preferred values for

the rated current are1A,2A,4A, 6 A, 10 A, 13 A, 16 A, 20 A, 25 A, 32 A, 40 A, 50

A, 63 A, 80 A, 100 A,[5] and 125 A (similar to the R10 Renard series, but using 6,

13, and 32 instead of 6.3, 12.5, and 31.5 – it includes the 13 A current limit of

British BS 1363 sockets). The circuit breaker is labeled with the rated current in

amperes, but excluding the unit symbol, A. Instead, the ampere figure is preceded
by a letter, B, C, or D, which indicates the instantaneous tripping current — that is,

the minimum value of current that causes the circuit breaker to trip without

intentional time delay (i.e., in less than 100 ms), expressed in terms of In:


Instantaneous tripping current

Above 3 In

Above 5 In up to and including 10 In

Above 10 In up to and including 20 In

Above 8 In up to and including 12 In

For the protection of loads that cause frequent short duration (approximately 400

ms to 2 s) current peaks in normal operation.

Above 2 In up to and including 3 In for periods in the order of tens of seconds.

For the protection of loads such as semiconductor devices or measuring circuits

using current transformers.

Circuit breakers are also rated by the maximum fault current that they can

interrupt; this allows use of more economical devices on systems unlikely to

develop the high short-circuit current found on, for example, a large commercial

building distribution system.

In the United States, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certifies equipment ratings,

called Series Ratings (or "integrated equipment ratings") for circuit breaker

equipment used for buildings. Power circuit breakers and medium- and high-

voltage circuit breakers used for industrial or electric power systems are designed

and tested to ANSI or IEEE standards in the C37 series.

Types of circuit breakers:-

Front panel of a 1250 A air circuit breaker manufactured by ABB. This low

voltage power circuit breaker can be withdrawn from its housing for servicing.

Trip characteristics are configurable via DIP switches on the front panel.

Many classifications of circuit breakers can be made, based on their features such

as voltage class, construction type, interrupting type, and structural features.

Low-voltage circuit breakers[edit]

Low-voltage (less than 1,000 VAC) types are common in domestic, commercial

and industrial application, and include:

Miniature circuit breaker (MCB)—rated current not more than 100 A. Trip

characteristics normally not adjustable. Thermal or thermal-magnetic operation.

Breakers illustrated above are in this category.

Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB)—rated current up to 2,500 A. Thermal or

thermal-magnetic operation. Trip current may be adjustable in larger ratings.

Low-voltage power circuit breakers can be mounted in multi-tiers in low-voltage

switchboards or switchgear cabinets.

The characteristics of low-voltage circuit breakers are given by international

standards such as IEC 947. These circuit breakers are often installed in draw-out

enclosures that allow removal and interchange without dismantling the switchgear.

Large low-voltage molded case and power circuit breakers may have electric motor

operators so they can open and close under remote control. These may form part of

an automatic transfer switch system for standby power.

Low-voltage circuit breakers are also made for direct-current (DC) applications,

such as DC for subway lines. Direct current requires special breakers because the

arc is continuous—unlike an AC arc, which tends to go out on each half cycle. A

direct current circuit breaker has blow-out coils that generate a magnetic field that
rapidly stretches the arc. Small circuit breakers are either installed directly in

equipment, or are arranged in a breaker panel.

Inside of a circuit breaker

The DIN rail-mounted thermal-magnetic miniature circuit breaker is the most

common style in modern domestic consumer units and commercial electrical

distribution boards throughout Europe. The design includes the following


Actuator lever - used to manually trip and reset the circuit breaker. Also indicates

the status of the circuit breaker (On or Off/tripped). Most breakers are designed so

they can still trip even if the lever is held or locked in the "on" position. This is

sometimes referred to as "free trip" or "positive trip" operation.

Actuator mechanism - forces the contacts together or apart.

Contacts - allow current when touching and break the current when moved apart.


Bimetallic strip - separates contacts in response to smaller, longer-term

overcurrents Calibration screw - allows the manufacturer to precisely adjust the

trip current of the device after assembly.

Solenoid - separates contacts rapidly in response to high overcurrents

Arc divider/extinguisher

High voltage circuit breakers play an important role in transmission and distribution
Systems. They must clear faults and isolate faulty sections rapidly and reliably.
In short , they must possess the following properties.

 In closed position they are good conductors .

 In open position they are excellent insulators.

 They can close a short circuit quickly and safely without unacceptable contact


 They can interrupt a short circuit current or lower current quickly without

generating an abnormal voltage.

The only physical mechanism that can change in a short period of time from a

conducting state to insulating state at a certain voltage is the arc.


The first circuit breaker was developed by J.N. kelman in 1901. It was the
Predessor of the oil circuit breaker and capable of interrupting short circuit Currents of
200 to 300 Ampere in a 400 KV system. The circuit breaker was made of two
wooden barrels containing a mixture of oil and water in which the contacts were
immersed. Since the circuit breaker design has undergone a remarkable development.
Now a days one pole of circuit breaker is capable of interrupting 63 KA in a 550 KV

network with SF 6 gas as the arc quenching medium.


Almost all people have experienced the effects of protective devices


frequently. When an overload or short circuit occurs in the home, the result
is a blown

fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Fortunately few have the misfortune to see
the results of a defective device, which may include burned winding, fires ,
explosions , and electrical shock.

It is often assumed that the fuses and the circuit breaker in the home or

industry are infallible, and will operate safely when called upon to do so ten, twenty or

more years after installation. In the cases of fuses, this may be a safe assumption, because
a defective fuse usually blows too quickly, causing premature opening of the circuit , and

forcing replacement of the faulty component . circuit breakers , are however, mechanical

devices, are subjected to deterioration due to wear , corrosion and environmental

contamination , any of which could cause the device remain closed during a faulty

condition . At the very least , the specified time delay may have shifted so much that

proper direction is no longer afforded to devices on the circuit , or improper co-ordination

causes a main circuit breaker or fuse to open in an inconvenient location.


The design of circuit breaker is not only an science but an art. Because of
the Complex phenomena involved , circuit breakers need to be verified by
practical tests in the laboratory. There are two types of tests of circuit
breakers , namely routine and type tests. Routine tests are performed on
every piece of circuit breaker in the premises of the manufacturer. The
purpose of the routine test is to perform proper functioning of the circuit
breaker . These types of tests are performed in a high voltage laboratory,
such types of tests are performed on sample pieces of circuit breakers of
each type to conform their characteristics and rated capacities according to
their design. These tests are not performed on every piece of the circuit
breaker. All routine and type tests are performed according to Indian
Standard (IS) codes , or International Electomechanical commission codes
(IES) codes or British Standard (BS) codes.

In High- power laboratories , the ability of the circuit breakers to interrupt

the circuit currents is verified in test circuits which is infact the lumped element
representation of the power system. These test circuits must produce the corrected forms
of the short circuit currents as well as the final voltage that strikes the circuit breaker
immediately after the breaker has interrupted the test current. The forms of voltage and
current to which the test object must be subjected are laid down in ANSI and
International Electromechanical commission (IEC) standards . These standardized
Waveforms represent 90% of the possible conditions in the real time system .


The switching action , the basic function of the circuit breaker refers to the
from conductor to insulator at a certain voltage . Before interruption , the short circuit
flows through the short circuit arc channel . Because of non zero resistance of the
channel , the short circuit current causes a voltage across the contacts of the circuit
breaker , the arc voltage . The arc behaves as a non-linear resistance . Thus both arc

voltage and arc current cross the zero value at the same time instant . If the arc is
cooled at the time current goes through zero the circuit breaker interrupts the current
because the electrical power input is zero . During current interruption , the arc resistance
increases partially from zero to infinity in milli seconds . Immediately after current
interruption, the transient recovery voltage builds across the circuit breaker . As the gas
mixture in the interelctrode space does not change to a completely insulating state

instantaneously, the arc resistance is finite at that time and a small current can flow , the
post arc current.

Black box arc models are mathematical description of the electrical

Properties of the arc. This type of model does not stimulate the complicated physical
Process inside the circuit breaker but describes the electrical properties of the circuit

Breaker . Measured voltage and current traces are used to extract the parameters for the
Differential equations describing the non linear resistance of the electrical arc for that
Specific measurement.

The functionality of high voltage circuit breakers is tested in high power

laboratories .
Due to necessary power and the physical size of the equipment , testing is rather
expensive and time consuming . In order to obtain as much information as possible
about the degradation and operating of the circuit breakers from cost intensive tests , a
project started with the following parties .

1. KEMA high power laboratories , THE NETHERLANDS .

2. Delft university of technology , THE NETHERLANDS .

3. Siemens AG, GERMANY.

4. RWE energy , GERMANY .

The project is aimed at developing digital testing of high voltage circuit breakers
i.e., a software product for testing a model of such a device , once its

characteristic finger prints are obtained from refined measurements during standard
tests. Digital offers a wide range of new possibilities for users , manufacturers ,
standardizing bodies and test laboratories for fine tuning circuit braker abilities in
realization with standard and real power systems . The steps followed so far to
enable digital testing are described in the following section .

High resolution measurements of current and voltage in the critical period around

Short circuit current zero must supply the necessary parameters characterizing the breakers

behavior . A tailor made high frequency measuring system was realized for this purpose .

This system consists a number of battery powered , single channel 40 MHZ 12 bit AD

Converters each storing data temporarily in on board local RAM ( 256 k samples each)

The concept of on site data storage is necessary for reaching a maximum overall system

Bandwidth . Cables to the current and voltage sensors can thus be kept very short and the

system can operate on floating potenial . The arc voltage is measured with standard broad

band RCR type voltage dividers . current is measured with a special Rogowski coil . After

the remote RAM is filled , data is transmitted serially through optical fibres to the

processing unit in the command centre. The greatest challemge with respect to developing

the equipment in this application design lies in the electromagnetic compatibility , since the

microelectronics has to function in an extremely hostile environment of intense

electromagnetic fields of various origin .

The system relies heavily on digital signal processing methods for reconstructing the

actual voltage and current signals from the raw sensor output . on the other hand , this has

to do with suitable frequency sensors and on the other hand with corrections needed for the

reproducible induced voltage and capacitive current that distort the measured signal .
Data analysis software has been produced to carry out the signal reconstruction practically

on line during the tests (figure 1 ) and to evaluate the performance of the test object . Even

the newest professional multipurpose mathematical or laboratory software is not competitive

to this custom made software considering flexibility and speed in visualizing and data

processing of practically unlimited measured data in a user friendly way .

After an extensive series of the most critical fault interruption duty for circuit brakers ,
test data base from various types of commercially available circuit breakers was set up . It is
observed from total number of ( more than 250) interruption attempts , the result of the

attempt failure or success was predicted correctly in more than 90% of cases by evaluating

the characteristics of arc behaviour with model .

The model has a set of three parameters , which are extracted automatically during the

evaluation of each test . see figure 2 .Automated analysis of the collection of all the

parameter sets , obtained from the whole series of tests makes it possible to evaluate various

physical quantities as a function of test conditions .The main aim is to quantify the breaker
performance (the margin of interruption M , ) indicating how successful the breaker passed

the test ( M>O) or how it is off from passing it ( M<O)

An example is given in figure 3 where the degradation of three poles ( A , B and C) is

presented during a succesive steps . It can be seen clearly that the margin of breaker

decreases with every test . the rate of margin decay is a measure of the endurance of the

breaker with these type of tests.


At the final stage of realistation of digital testing , measured arc model

parameters will be

used as input for the arc model . of course , this arc model behaves as a non –linear element

in the electrical circuit and must therefore be analysed with a dedicated computer program .

The analysis of arc – current involving non linear elements in relation to stiff differential

equations makes it necessary to perform the calculations with a variable step size and

adjustable accuracy of the computed currents , voltages and conductances . Because they have

fixed size solvers , EMTP and comparable programs are less suitable for this purpose , and

therefore a new approach , the integration of the Differential algebric equations (DAE) by

means of the backward differential formula (BDF) has been choosen in developing new

software for electrical transients computation . This new transient program , X-Trans has

been developed at the Delft university of technologies , especially for arc-circuit interaction

studies . The program runs on a pc with the MS Windows operating system and fully

graphically as shown in the figure 4. The program is in use at high voltage and high power

laboratories in the world .

The program makes use of libraries that contain information about the behaviour
of element

models . The program structure is depicted in figure 5 . The structure has been realised

with object orient programing. The compiled code of element models is placed in dynamic

link libraries (DLL) . The models are therefore separate from the main program , which

makes it easy to create new models and use them in main program .


Powerful possibilities with digital testing are created with the arc

model, validated as described in sections on Measurements and Data Analysis is coupled

with a circuit analysis package .Then the performance of a circuit breaker , the finger

prints of which are obtained from real tests can be estimated in circuits other than test


For example, the influence of various standard substation components on the breakers

capabilities can be estimated by digital testing .

Here the influence of parallel capacitance is calculated ( for example , the parasitic

capacitance of a current transformer , CT) in the substation . In Table 1, the performance of

a short line fault interruption is compared in presence of two types of CTs ; CT 1 having
200 pf of parasitic capacitance and CT 2 having 400 pf . These CTs are located near the

circuit breaker or remote to the breaker . Table 1 shows the difference between two

types of CTs is rather small when compared to gain obtained by the CT that was

installed to the breaker as closely as possible .


One of the most severe currents for a circuit breaker to interrupt is the short line fault

(SLF) . In the case of a short line fault, the short circuit points is on high voltage

Transmission line a few kilometers away from the breaker terminals . Ater current

interruption a very steep triangle shaped waveform stresses the extinguishing medium

between the contacts . The percentage SLF indicates to what extent the current can be

reduced by the transmission line .

As an example of digital testing , the critical line length , the short line fault percentage

that stresses the circuit breaker most , will be determined by 145KV , 31.5 KA SF 6

circuit breaker. A direct SLF test circuit is shown in figure 6 . three differeent indicators

active at different time intervals are used to quantify the stress on circuit breaker model .

 Before current zero: The time before current zero where the arc resistance equals

the surge impedance of the transmission line (R=Z) . The closer is the value to

current zero , the more severe the breaker is stressed by test circuit .

 At current zero: The arc resistance is R0. The lower the arc resistance value at

the current zero crossing , the stronger is the breaker stressed by the test circuit .

 After current zero: The post arc energy is Epa . This value is the integral of the
multiplication of the small post arc current and the recovery voltage .It is clear

that only for succesful interruptions an Epa value can be calculated. The higher

the Epa value is , the more severe the breaker is stressed by the test circuit .

The actual computation is based on 75 current zero recordings of the circuit

breaker of which the parameters are determined. The stresses at various short line

percentages is computed . The overall stresses is shown below

All three indicators show that the circuit breaker is stressed most severely at 93% SLF,
whereas a 90% SLF is prescribed in the IEC standard . This shows that digital testing can

be applied to use the information obtained from laboratory tests for the development of

future standards .

 Evaluation of relevance of future standards with respect to real power systems .

 Evaluation of the relevance of future standards for different circuit breaker

technologies and extinguishing media .

 Estimation of circuit breakers interrupting limit .

 Reduction of full scale testing in high-power laboratories .

 Identification of network topologies that can pose special difficulties to a circuit


 Acceleration at development of new circuit breaker design .

 Monitornig the aging process of circuit breaker in service

 Expansion of services for high-power laboratories


 Testing is costlier


Digital testing gives precise information about the breaker , as obtained from

laboratory tests. This is useful for the development of future standards . powerful

possibilities with digital testing are created when arc model and data analysis is coupled

with a circuit analysis package . The performance of a circuit breaker whose finger prints

are obtained from real tests can be estimated in other circuits also .

1. Digital testing of high voltage circuit breakers by Pieter Schavemaker, Lou

Vandersluis, IEEE Computer Applications in Power Systems .

2. Evaluation of HV circuit breakers performance with a new arc model by R.P.P.

Smeets , V.Kertesz , IEEE Preceedinds on generation transmission and distribution .

3. Circuit breaker testing technology by Paul E. Schoen , President PS technology , INC .

March 26, 1997.