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Calculation of SCCR

Ch 6,7: Faults and Fault Calculations

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Short-circuit current rating (SCCR) of industrial control panels

Introduction

Article 409 on Industrial Control Panels was added to the NEC in its 2005
edition. This Article requires all Industrial Control Panels to be marked with a
short-circuit current rating. The short-circuit current rating (SCCR)
requirements for UL 508A came into force in April 2006. These changes impact
control panel builders, OEMs and end users in a number of different ways:
● The correct choice of power circuit components of a control panel

Specification of preferred device manufacturers

Design and marking of panels

Correct installation and modification of control panels

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http://www.easypower.com/videos/device-coordination-intro-video.php

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As follows, the NEC defines two acceptable methods for labeling an industrial
control panel’s short circuit current rating:

1. Short-circuit current rating of the listed and labeled assembly


2. Short-circuit current rating established utilizing an approved method

Thus, the two options for panel designers and builders are:
1. Using the SCCR of a listed and labeled assembly, which requires testing the
individual panel design and then recording the test result for each panel design.

Note: The variety of possible combinations is usually very high, and this option
therefore requires a lengthy test procedure. In addition, testing is a time-
consuming and costly undertaking, since it is “destructive” (testing is conducted
until the product fails). After testing, the results must be recorded in the panel
builder’s file.

2. Utilizing an approved method. This translates to applying the method


described in UL 508A Second Ed., Dec. 2013, Supplement SB.

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Note: The latest edition of the NEC (NEC Ed. 2014) refers to an “Informational
Note in Article 409,” “Industrial Control Panels,” which addresses the short
circuit current ratings of the standard UL508A Supplement SB, as an example
for an approved calculation method.

For many years, the UL508A Supplement SB has been the approved method
for the calculation and determination of the short circuit current rating for
industrial control panels, and one could proceed without further tests. It is
important to note that the calculation method and the rules in the UL508A
were changed in the latest edition, which was reissued in December 2013. The
calculation method and all the latest changes will be explained step-by-step
below.

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The NFPA 70: National Electrical Code includes Article 409 on the Construction
of Industrial Control Panels operating at 600 volts or less.

Section 409.110 requires a short-circuit current rating (SCCR) to be marked on


all industrial control panels. This rating must be based on the rating of a listed
and labeled assembly or on another approved method for determining the
rating. It also includes a fine print note (FPN) reference to UL 508A Supplement
SB as an example of an approved method for determining the SCCR that may
be marked on the panel.

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UL508A is the safety standard for industrial control panels. NEC Article 409
references UL508A Supplement SB as an approved method for determining the
SCCR of an industrial control panel. The specific method is outlined in Section
SB4.

Paragraph SB3.2.1 states that the primary short-circuit protective device for the
control circuit is also included in the calculation for the SCCR for the power
circuit. Therefore, the SCCR of the overcurrent protective devices (except for
supplementary protectors recognized according to UL1077 or sets of
supplemental fuses recognized according to UL248-13) are included in
calculation of the SCCR of the control panel. Control circuit components on the
load side of these devices are not included in calculation of the SCCR.
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SB4.2 – Determining the short-circuit current ratings (SCCR) of individual
power circuit components

Determining the short circuit current ratings (SCCR) of individual power


circuit components using three possible methods.

Based on device markings or component instruction sheets

Based on assumed short-circuit current ratings

Based on device markings or component instruction sheets

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NEC 2014 – Section 409.110 Marking

An industrial control panel shall be marked with the following information


that is plainly visible after installation:

Short-circuit current rating of the industrial control panel based on one of the
following:

a. Short-circuit current rating of a listed and labeled assembly


b. Short-circuit current rating established utilizing an approved method

Informational Note: UL 508A, Standard for Industrial Control Panels,


Supplement SB, is an example of an approved method.

Exception to (4): Short-circuit current rating markings are not required for
industrial control panels containing only control circuit components.

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II. Overview of the UL508A Supplement SB for Calculating the SCCR for
Industrial Control Panels

Calculating the overall SCCR of an industrial control panel


involves three essential steps:

1. Establishing the short circuit current ratings of the individual, relevant


power circuit components

2. Applying current limiting components to modify the SCCR within a


portion of a circuit in the panel

3. Determining the overall SCCR of the industrial control panel

Step 1: Establishing the short circuit current ratings of the individual,


relevant power circuit components.

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Which components are relevant?
All power circuit components, including the disconnect switches, branch
circuit protective devices, branch circuit fuse holders, load controllers, motor
overload relays, terminal blocks, and bus bars

Exempt from this rule are the following components:


• Power transformers
• Reactors
• Current transformers
• Dry-type capacitors
• Resistors
• Varistors
• Voltmeters
• “S” contactor of a wye-delta motor controller

Enclosed air conditioners, multi-motor, and combination load equipment are


also exempt from having a SCCR rating, as long as one of the following
conditions is met:
• The equipment is cord-and-attachment-plug connected.
• The equipment is protected by a branch circuit protective device with a
rated current of no more than 60 A. 22
Note: The primary short circuit protective device for the control circuit is also
included in the calculation of the SCCR for the power circuit. Therefore, the
SCCR of the overcurrent protective device (i.e., a supplementary protector or
set of fuses) used on the primary side of a control power transformer is
included in the determination of the SCCR for the control panel. Control circuit
components downstream from these devices would not be included in the
calculation of the SCCR.

Where can the SCCR ratings of the individual power circuit components be
found?

Option 1: Capture this information from the device markings or component


instruction sheets. Most Siemens power control and circuit protection
components include a standard short circuit rating on the front or side label.

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Option 3: High-capacity SCCR is based on testing a combination of components
per UL508 Supplement SB, so follow those guidelines.
Within the UL508A Supplement SB, the application of previously investigated
and tested assemblies from a supplier of equipment can be utilized as described
in the manufacturer’s procedures to determine the SCCR.

Manufacturers of low-voltage protection, distribution, and control equipment


may perform tests according to UL508 “Standard for Industrial Equipment,”
which allows obtaining “high-capacity short circuit current ratings.” These high
capacity short circuit current ratings exceed the standard short circuit current
ratings, in most cases.

Note: The High Capacity Short Circuit Current Ratings for Siemens components
can be found at:

www.usa.siemens.com/sccr

All the ratings for Siemens components are conveniently summarized in Excel
spreadsheets.
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Important note for tested combinations:
If the specified protective device is a Class CC, G, J, L, RK1, RK5, or T fuse, a fuse
of a different class may be used, provided that the peak let-through current (Ip)
and the peak let-through energy (I2t) is equal to or lower than the specified fuse.
The peak let-through currents and peak let-through energy shall be taken from
Table SB4.2 in the UL508A standard.

If the specified protective device is a “current limiting” circuit breaker, a different


current limiting circuit breaker may be used, provided that the peak let-through
current and the peak let-through energy is equal to or lower than the specified
circuit breaker. The values shall be taken from the data sheets that are provided
by the manufacturer of the circuit breaker (see example).

If the specified protective device is a “non-current limiting” overcurrent


protective device, a current limiting device is able to be used at the same high
fault rating, as long as the interrupting rating of the current limiting overcurrent
device is equal to or greater than the specified overcurrent device. A graphic
explanation of Step 1 for the determination of the SCCR for individual power
circuit components is available in Figure 2.
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Step 2: Applying current limiting components to modify the SCCR within a
portion of a circuit in the panel

Which components are considered to be “current limiting”?

UL508A allows the use of one of the following components to limit the available
fault current to components downstream of the current limiting device:
1. Power transformers with an isolated secondary winding
2. Circuit breakers that are marked as “current limiting”
3. Fuses of Class CC, G, J, L, RK1, RK5, CF or T

Note: The current limiting component shall be installed in the Feeder Circuit!
A graphic explanation of the feeder circuit and the branch circuit can be seen in
Figure 1.

The following information details how to effectively apply the current limiting
components in the feeder circuit. Three scenarios are detailed.

Option 1: Use of power transformer with an isolated


secondary winding, installed in the feeder circuit
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In general, the SCCR on the line side of the transformer shall be the interrupting
rating of the overcurrent protection device on the primary side of the power
transformer, provided that the short circuit current of all the components and
overcurrent protective devices is equal to or higher than the available short circuit
current on the secondary side of the transformer.

How can the available secondary short circuit current of a transformer be


determined?

Method A: Calculation with Formulas


Single-phase Transformers

Transformer Full-Load Current (IFL) = (Transformer kVA × 1000) / Voltage*


Short Circuit Current (ISC line-to-line) = ((Transformer Full Load Current (IFL )) /
Transformer Impedance (Z)

Three-phase Transformers

Transformer Full-Load Current (IFL) = (Transformer kVA × 1000) / (Voltage** × 1.732)


Short Circuit Current (ISC line-to-line-to-line) = ((Transformer Full Load Current (IFL ))
/ Transformer Impedance (Z) 29
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Option 2: Use of circuit breaker marked as “current limiting” installed in the
feeder circuit

In General:
The SCCR on the line side of feeder circuit breaker shall be the interrupting
rating of the breaker if the following two conditions are fulfilled:
1. The components on the load side of the circuit breaker have a SCCR equal to
or higher than the peak let-through current of the feeder circuit breaker.
2. The branch protection devices have an interrupting rating equal or higher
than the interrupting rating of the circuit breaker in the feeder circuit.

If condition 1. is not fulfilled, the lowest SCCR any component on the load side
of the circuit breaker shall be the SCCR for the entire circuit on the line side of
the feeder circuit breaker.

If condition 2. is not fulfilled, the interrupting rating of the branch circuit


protective device shall be the SCCR of the entire circuit on the line side of the
feeder circuit breaker.

Note: The peak let-through values of the Circuit Breaker need to be provided
by the Circuit Breaker manufacturer. 32
Example: Siemens ED Circuit Breaker, CED 6

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Option 3:

Use of current limiting fuses installed in the feeder circuit Fuses of the Class CC,
G, J, L, RK1, RK5, or T are current limiting. The SCCR on the line side of fuse in
the feeder circuit shall be the interrupting rating of the fuse if the following two
conditions are fulfilled:

1. The components on the load side of the fuse have a SCCR equal to or higher
than the peak let-through current of the fuse in the feeder circuit.
2. The branch protection devices have an interrupting rating equal to or higher
than the interrupting rating of the fuse in the feeder circuit.

If condition 1. is not fulfilled, the lowest SCCR of any component on the load
side of the circuit breaker shall be the SCCR for the entire circuit on the line side
of the feeder circuit breaker.

If condition 2. is not fulfilled, the interrupting rating of the branch circuit


protective device shall be the SCCR of the entire circuit on the line side of the
feeder circuit fuse.

Note: The peak let-through values of the Fuse shall be taken of the table SB 4.2
in the UL508A Standard for Industrial Control Panels!
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Extract of the table SB 4.2 UL508A , Second Edition

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II. Overview of the UL508A Supplement SB for
Calculating the SCCR for Industrial Control Panels

Step 3: Determining the overall SCCR of the industrial


control panel

To do so, establish the overall rating for the industrial control panel, which
cannot exceed the rating of the lowest rated component or circuit, including

• the modified rating determined in Step 2 (applying current limiting


components to modify the SCCR within a portion of a circuit in the panel)
above, and

• the overcurrent protection device on the primary side of the control


circuit.

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Figure 1: Graphic explanation of branch circuit and feeder circuit

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Figure 2: Graphic explanation of Step 1:
Determination of the SCCR for
individual power circuit components

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Figure 3.1: Graphic explanation / example of Step 2: Use of
current limiting transformers in the feeder circuit

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Figure 3.2: Graphic explanation / example of Step 2: Use of
current limiting fuses in the feeder circuit

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Figure 3.3: Graphic explanation / example of Step 2: Use of circuit breaker
marked as “current limiting” in the feeder circuit

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V. Glossary

Available Fault Current


R.M.S. value of the current that would flow if the supply conductors to the
circuit are short-circuited by a conductor of negligible impedance located as
near as practicable to the supply terminals of the industrial control panel. The
available fault current at the point of the supply to the machine shall not be
greater than the short circuit current rating marked on the industrial control
panel nameplate.
Branch Circuit
The conductors and components following the last overcurrent protective
device protecting a load.
Current-Limiting Overcurrent Protective Device
A device that, when interrupting currents in its current limiting range, reduces
the current flowing in the faulted circuit to a magnitude substantially less than
that obtainable in the same circuit if the device were replaced with a solid
conductor having comparable impedance.
Feeder Circuit
The conductors and circuitry on the supply side of the branch circuit overcurrent
protective device.
High Fault / Capacity Short Circuit Current Rating
A marked short circuit current rating of a motor controller that is greater than the
standard fault short circuit current rating.. 48
Industrial Control Panel
An assembly of two or more components
• In the power circuit, such as motor controllers, overload relays, fused
disconnect switches, and circuit breakers
• In the control circuit, such as pushbuttons, signal lamps, selector switches,
time-delay switches/relays, switches, control relays
• In a combination of two circuits
These components are mounted in an enclosure or panel with the associated
wiring and terminals. The industrial control panel does not include the controlled
equipment

Interrupting Rating
(aka Available Interrupting Capacity – A.I.C.) The highest current at rated voltage
that a device is identified to interrupt under standard test conditions.

Overcurrent Protection
A device designed to open a circuit when the current through it exceeds a
predetermined value. The ampere rating of the device is selected for a circuit to
terminate a condition where the current exceeds the rating of conductors and
equipment due to overloads, short circuits, and faults to ground.

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Peak Let-Through Current - IP
The highest instantaneous current passed by the over-current protection device
during the interruption of the current

SCCR - Short Circuit Current Rating


A prospective symmetrical fault current at a nominal voltage to which an
apparatus or system is able to be connected without sustaining damage
exceeding defined acceptance criteria.

Standard Fault Short Circuit Current Rating


Short circuit current rating of a motor controller as specified in Table SB4.1.
UL508A, Second Edition.

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In this case, the worst case available fault current level at the transformer’s
secondary is 53,704 amps. Upon inspecting Machine 1, it is determined by the
equipment label that Machine 1’s control panel is rated for 42kA. However, Machine
2 is older equipment and its equipment label does not list an assembly SCCR for
the control panel.

Using the worst case available fault current level, Machine 1 is not compliant (42kA
< 54kA). The facility decides to pursue a more precise available fault current
calculation at Machine 1. There are three 500MCM cables per phase running
approximately 500 feet between the substation transformer and Machine 1. Using
Eaton’s FC2 fault current calculator, they determine the calculated available fault
current to be 27,782 amps. Based on this calculation, the equipment SCCR of
Machine 1 is adequate for the available fault current at its location in the electrical
distribution system (42kA > 27.782kA). There are several options to resolve
Machine 2’s unknown equipment SCCR issue. One is to assume the minimum 5kA
equipment SCCR on the control panel and determine a more precise fault current
level calculation for the point in the electrical distribution system where Machine 2 is
located. In this case, a copper bus runs approximately 100 feet to Machine 2.

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Using Eaton’s FC2 calculator, the available fault current is 48,817 amps. This
does not resolve the issue as the assumed 5kA default equipment SCCR is less
than the available fault current (5kA < 48.817kA). Machine 2 is older and will
be replaced in a few years. Management considers a reworking and
recertification of its control panel to be a significant investment for a piece of
equipment that will soon be replaced. Machine 2 has a relatively small load,
so a decision is made to investigate lowering the available fault current level
below 5kA by installing an isolation transformer ahead of Machine 2.

It is determined that a 15kVA transformer is properly sized to support the


Machine 2’s load, and a calculation of the worst case available fault current
on the isolation transformer’s secondary resulted in an available fault current
level of 1023 amps, which is below the panel’s minimum assembly SCCR
(1.023kA < 5kA). To remedy the 5kA default equipment SCCR assumed for
Machine 2, the facility hired an electrical contractor to install a 15kVA
transformer and associated circuit protection, and the issue of the unmarked
equipment SCCR on Machine 2’s control panel was resolved.

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Now that the existing equipment SCCR has been resolved, the facility
determines its equipment SCCR specifications for any new equipment. The
substation transformer is fairly new and expected to be in service for some
time. However, some portions of the electrical distribution system have aged,
and it is expected some portions may be replaced with busway to lower
energy losses and system impedance. Thus the facility management
determines to standardize on a minimum 55kA equipment SCCR for any new
equipment purchases. This standardized 55kA equipment SCCR will provide
flexibility and accommodate any utility changes or electrical distribution
system upgrades while ensuring the required short-circuit event protection
for personnel.

Facility management wants to sustain their equipment SCCR plan it has


established for the existing and new equipment. They elect to post available
fault current labels at key points in the electrical distribution system along
with the minimum acceptable equipment SCCR for new or relocated
equipment. These labels also include warnings to maintenance personnel and
contractors that they are not to make any changes or additions to the
electrical system without prior approval from facility management. They
follow up these events with annual training for all personnel to advise them
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of these changes, associated risks, and their respective responsibilities.
Ch 6: Fault Calculations

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The operation of a power system departs from normal after the occurrence of a
fault.

Faults give rise to abnormal operating conditions-usually excessive currents and


voltages at certain points on the system-which are guarded against with various
types of protective equipment.

6.1 TYPES OF FAULTS

Various types of short-circuit faults that can occur on a transmission line are
depicted in Fig. 6-1; the frequency of occurrence decreases from part (a) to part
(f). Although the balanced three-phase short circuit in Fig. 6-1(d) is relatively
uncommon, it is the most severe fault and therefore determines the rating of
the line-protecting circuit breaker. A fault study includes the following:
1. Determination of the maximum and minimum three-phase short-circuit
currents
2. Determination of unsymmetrical fault currents, as in single
ground, line-to-line, and open-circuit faults
3. Determination of the ratings of required circuit breakers
4. Investigation of schemes of protective relaying
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5. Determination of voltage levels at strategic points during a fault
The short-circuit faults depicted in Fig. 6-1 are called shunt faults; open
circuits, which may be caused by broken conductors, for instance, are
categorized as series faults.

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6.2 SYMMETRICAL FAULTS

A balanced three-phase short circuit [Fig. 6-1(d)] is an example of a


symmetrical fault. Balanced three-phase fault calculations can be carried
out on a per-phase basis, so that only single-phase equivalent circuits need
be used in the analysis. Invariably, the circuit constants are expressed in
per-unit terms, and all calculations are made on a per-unit basis. In short-
circuit calculations, we often evaluate the short-circuit MVA (megavolt-
amperes), which is equal to

3 Vl If
where Vl is the nominal line voltage in kilovolts, and If is the fault current in
kiloamperes.

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An example of a three-phase symmetrical fault is a sudden short at the
terminals of a synchronous generator. The symmetrical trace of a short-
circuited stator-current wave is shown in Fig. 6-2. The wave, whose envelope
is shown in Fig. 6-3, may be divided into three periods or time regimes: the
subtransient period, lasting only for the first few cycles, during which the
current decrement is very rapid; the transient period, covering a relatively
longer time during which the current decrement is more moderate; and
finally the steady-state period. The difference Δi' (in Fig. 6-3) between the
transient envelope and the steady-state amplitude is plotted on a logarithmic
scale as a function of time in Fig. 6-4, along with the difference Ai" between
the subtransient envelope and an extrapolation of the transient envelope.
Both plots closely approximate straight lines, illustrating the essentially
exponential nature of the decrement.

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The currents during these three regimes are limited primarily by various
reactances of the synchronous machine (we neglect the armature resistance,
which is relatively small). These currents and reactances are defined by the
following equations, provided the alternator was operating at no load before
the occurrence of a three-phase fault at its terminals:

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where lEgl is the no-load voltage of the generator, the currents are rms
currents, and O, a, b, and c are shown in Fig. 6-2. The machine reactances
Xs, X’d, and X’’d are known as the direct-axis synchronous reactance, direct-
axis transient reactance, and direct-axis subtransient reactance,
respectively. The currents I, i', and i" are known as the steady-state,
transient, and subtransient currents. From (6.1) through (6.3) it follows
that the fault currents in a synchronous generator can be calculated when
the machine reactances are known.

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Suppose now that a generator is loaded when a fault occurs. Figure 6-5(a)
shows the corresponding equivalent circuit with the fault to occur at point P.
The current flowing before the fault occurs is IL, the voltage at the fault is Vf,
and the terminal voltage of the generator is Vt. When a three-phase fault
occurs at P, the circuit shown in Fig. 6-5(b) becomes the appropriate
equivalent circuit (with switch S closed). Here a voltage E’’g in series with X’’d
supplies the steady-state current IL when switch S is open, and supplies the
current to the short circuit through X’’d and Zext when switch S is closed. If we
can determine E’’g, we can find this current through X’’d ,which will be i".
With switch S open, we have

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which defines E’’g, the subtransient internal voltage. Similarly, for the transient
internal voltage we have

Clearly E’’g and E’g are dependent on the value of the load before the
fault occurs.

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6.3 UNSYMMETRICAL FAULTS AND SYMMETRICAL COMPONENTS

Unsymmetrical faults such as line-to-line and line-to-ground faults (which occur


more frequently than three-phase short circuits) can be analyzed on a per-
phase basis. For such faults the method of symmetrical components is used.
This method is based on the fact that a set of three-phase unbalanced phasors
can be resolved into three sets of symmetrical components, which are termed
the positive-sequence, negative-sequence, and zero-sequence components.
The phasors of the set of positive-sequence components have a
counterclockwise phase rotation (or phase sequence) abc, the negative-
sequence components have the reverse phase sequence acb; and the zero-
sequence components are all in phase with each other.

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Short Circuit Fault Calculations

A power system functions normally until after the occurrence of a fault in


the system. The good news is fault events can be minimized or avoided
through diligent electrical design, accurate record keeping information on
equipment/devices/motors, proper installation, and use of agency-certified
equipment.

There are three major sources of fault current: an electric utility power
system, a generator, and a motor. Short circuit faults are called shunt faults.
An open-circuit condition is known as a series fault. Any phase/circuit to
ground condition is called a ground fault. Among all faults, a balanced 3-
phase short circuit is the most critical and serious. However, it is one of the
least likely of faults to occur. The elements in a power distribution system
that limit or impede the fault current value include: cables, transformers,
and reactors.

The NEC requires protection to personnel and electrical systems against


damage during short circuit conditions. Generally, circuit breaker ratings are
determined for the worst-case fault situation.
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You typically perform short circuit calculations when working with complex
and interactive power distribution systems; however, manual calculations
can be used for more simplified systems. A short circuit calculation
determines the amount of current that can flow at certain points in the
distribution system. An electrical device or piece of equipment can then be
selected for appropriate rating (withstand or interrupting rating) based on
these calculations.

Let's work through a few simple examples to show how you can quickly and
easily calculate fault currents.

We'll first use the concept of admittance to calculate the fault current in the
system shown in Fig. 1. Admittance is a measure of how easily a circuit or
device will allow a current to flow. It is the inverse of impedance, which is
defined as a measure of opposition to current.

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Step 1: Because the electric utility can't provide us with fault information
at this particular site, we assume it to be infinite. We calculate the
maximum amount of power that the transformer (XFMR) will allow to
flow to its secondary (i.e., load side) using this formula.

XFMR let through power = XFMR kVA rating ÷ [% Impedance ÷ 100]


= 5,000kVA ÷ [5 ÷ 100]
= 100,000kVA

Step 2: Now we can calculate the cable let-through power. This is defined
as the amount of power that the cable would let through from an infinite
source to the load side of the XFMR. The formula we use for this step is
as follows:

Cable let through power = [1,000 x (kV phase-phase)2] ÷ [cable


impedance (ohms) per phase, per 1,000 ft x total distance (ft)]
= [1,000 x (12kV)2] ÷ {0.15 ÷ 1,000 ft} x 100,000 ft
= 9,600kVA let through

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Step 3: Next, we calculate the total let-through fault power by using the
following formula:
Net fault power = 1 ÷ [(1 ÷ XFMR let through power) + (1 ÷ cable let
through power)]
= 1 ÷ [(1 ÷ 100,000kVA) + (1 ÷ 9,600kVA)]
= 8,759kVA

Step 4: Now we can find the fault current using the following formula:
Fault current = net fault power ÷ (secondary XFMR voltage rating x √3)
= 8,759kVA ÷ (12kV x √3)
= 421A

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Let's work through another sample calculation where the electric utility fault
power level is known. The given value is 50,000kVA. In this situation, we
assume cable length to be minimal and therefore neglect its effect since the
impedance is minimal.

Step 1: XFMR let through power = 2,000kVA ÷ [5 ÷ 100]

= 40,000kVA

Step 2: Net fault power = 1 ÷ [(1 ÷ 40,000kVA) + (1 ÷ 50,000kVA)]

= 22,222kVA

Step 3: Fault current = 22,222kVA ÷ (0.48kV x √3)

= 26,729A

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For our third and final example calculation, we'll work a problem where
generator data is available to us. When working with generators, we introduce a
new value known as sub-transient reactance, which is referred to as X"d. This
value is typically shown on the generator nameplate or can be obtained directly
from the manufacturer.

Step 1: The short circuit kVA available at the generator is calculated using the
following formula:

Generator fault power (MVA) = generator MVA rating ÷ X"d


= 800 MVA ÷ 0.17
= 4,706 MVA

Step 2: XFMR let through power = 1,000 MVA ÷ [10 ÷ 100]


= 10,000 MVA

Step 3: Net fault power = 1 ÷ [(1 ÷ 10,000 MVA) + (1 ÷ 4,706 MVA)]


= 3,200 MVA

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As you can see, simplified short circuit fault calculations can be performed
using a basic understanding of sources of fault power and current and
impedance values that impede the short circuit power flow.

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Electrical networks, machines and equipment are often subjected to various
types of faults while they are in operation. When a fault occurs, the
characteristic values (such as impedance) of the machines may change from
existing values to different values till the fault is cleared.

There may be lot of probabilities of faults to appear in the power system


network, including lighting, wind, tree falling on lines, apparatus failure, etc.

A fault in an electric power system can be defined as any abnormal condition


of the system that involves the electrical failure of the equipment, such as ,
transformers, generators, busbars, etc. The fault inception also involves in
insulation failures and conducting path failures which results short circuit
and open circuit of conductors.

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Under normal or safe operating conditions, the electric equipment in a
power system network operate at normal voltage and current ratings. Once
the fault takes place in a circuit or device, voltage and current values
deviates from their nominal ranges.

The faults in power system causes over current, under voltage, unbalance of
the phases, reversed power and high voltage surges. This results in the
interruption of the normal operation of the network, failure of equipment,
electrical fires, etc.

Usually power system networks are protected with switchgear protection


equipment such as circuit breakers and relays in order to limit the loss of
service due to the electrical failures.

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Symmetrical and Unsymmetrical Faults
As discussed above that faults are mainly classified into open and short circuit
faults and again these can be symmetrical or unsymmetrical faults.

Symmetrical Faults
A symmetrical fault gives rise to symmetrical fault currents that are displaced
with 1200 each other. Symmetrical fault is also called as balanced fault. This
fault occurs when all the three phases are simultaneously short circuited.
These faults rarely occur in practice as compared with unsymmetrical faults.
Two kinds of symmetrical faults include line to line to line (L-L-L) and line to line
to line to ground (L-L-L-G) as shown in figure below.

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Protection Devices against Faults
When the fault occurs in any part of the system, it must be cleared in a very
short period in order to avoid greater damage to equipment and personnel and
also to avoid interruption of power to the customers. The fault clearing system
uses various protection devices such as relays and circuit breakers to detect and
clear the fault. Some of these fault clearing or faults limiting devices are given
below.

Fuse
It opens the circuit whenever a fault exists in the system. It consists of a thin
copper wire enclosed in a glass or a casing with two metallic contacts. The high
fault current rises the temperature of the wire and hence it melts. A fuse
necessitates the manual replacement of wire each time when it blows.

Circuit Breaker
It is the most common protection device that can make or break the circuit
either manually or through remote control under normal operating conditions.

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Circuit Breakers

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Protective Relays
These are the fault detecting devices. These devices detect the fault and
initiate the operation of the circuit breaker so as to isolate the faulty circuit.
A relay consists of a magnetic coil and contacts (NC and NO). The fault
current energizes the coil and this causes to produce the field, thereby the
contacts get operated.

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Ch 7: General Methods for
Network Calculations

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General Methods for Network Calculations
In this chapter we develop general solution methods that are amenable to the
computer solution of power system network problems. We begin from the
basic network theorems.
7.1 SOURCE TRANSFORMATIONS
The voltage source of Fig. 7-1(a) may be transformed to the current source of
Fig. 7-1(b) and vice versa, provided that

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7.2 BUS ADMITTANCE MATRIX

The four-bus system that corresponds to the one-line diagram of Fig. 7-


2(a) may be represented by the network of Fig. 7-2(b). In terms of the
node voltages V1, 112, V3 and V4 and the given admittances, Kirchhoff's
current law yields

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Rearranging these equations and rewriting them in matrix form, we obtain

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Each admittance Yii (i = 1, 2, 3, 4) is called the self-admittance (or driving-point
admittance) of node i and is equal to the algebraic sum of all the admittances
terminating on the node. Each off-diagonal term Yik (i, k = i, 2, 3, 4) is called the
mutual admittance (or transfer admittance) between nodes i and k and is equal to
the negative of the sum of all admittances connected directly between those
nodes. Further, Yik = Yki.

For a general network with N nodes, therefore, Kirchhoff's current law in terms of
node voltages may be written as

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is called the bus admittance matrix, and V and I are the N-element node
voltage matrix and node current matrix, respectively.

In (7.6), the first subscript on each Y indicates the node at which the current is
being expressed, and the second subscript indicates the node whose voltage
is responsible for a particular component of the current. Further, the
admittances along the diagonal are the self-admittances, and the off-diagonal
admittances are the mutual admittances. It follows from (7.5) and (7.6) that
the current entering a node k is given by

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A Short Circuit analysis is used to determine the magnitude of short circuit
current the system is capable of producing and compares that magnitude with
the interrupting rating of the overcurrent protective devices (OCPD). Since the
interrupting ratings are based by the standards, the methods used in
conducting a short circuit analysis must conform to the procedures which the
standard making organizations specify for this purpose. In the United States, the
America National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes both the standards for
equipment and the application guides, which describes the calculation
methods.

Short circuit currents impose the most serious general hazard to power
distribution system components and are the prime concerns in developing and
applying protection systems. Fortunately, short circuit currents are relatively
easy to calculate. The application of three or four fundamental concepts of
circuit analysis will derive the basic nature of short circuit currents. These
concepts will be stated and utilized in a step-by step development.

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The three phase bolted short circuit currents are the basic reference
quantities in a system study. In all cases, knowledge of the three phase bolted
fault value is wanted and needs to be singled out for independent treatment.
This will set the pattern to be used in other cases.

A device that interrupts short circuit current, is a device connected into an


electric circuit to provide protection against excessive damage when a short
circuit occurs. It provides this protection by automatically interrupting the
large value of current flow, so the device should be rated to interrupt and
stop the flow of fault current without damage to the overcurrent protection
device. The OCPD will also provide automatic interruption of overload
currents.

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Listed here are reference values that will be needed in the calculation of
fault current.

Impedance Values for Three phase transformers

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TRANSFORMER FAULT CURRENT

Calculating the Short Circuit Current when there is a Transformer in the circuit.
Every transformer has “ %” impedance value stamped on the nameplate. Why
is it stamped? It is stamped because it is a tested value after the transformer
has been manufactured. The test is as follows: A voltmeter is connected to the
primary of the transformer and the secondary 3-Phase windings are bolted
together with an ampere meter to read the value of current flowing in the 3-
Phase bolted fault on the secondary. The voltage is brought up in steps until
the secondary full load current is reached on the ampere meter connected on
the transformer secondary.

So what does this mean for a 1000KVA 13.8KV – 480Y/277V.


First you will need to know the transformer Full Load Amps
Full Load Ampere = KVA / 1.73 x L-L KV
FLA = 1000 / 1.732 x 0.48
FLA = 1,202.85
The 1000KVA 480V secondary full load ampere is 1,202A.

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When the secondary ampere meter reads 1,202A and the primary Voltage
Meter reads 793.5V. The percent of impedance value is 793.5 / 13800 =
0.0575. Therefore:

% Z = 0.0575 x 100 = 5.75%

This shows that if there was a 3-Phase Bolted fault on the secondary of the
transformer then the maximum fault current that could flow through the
transformer would be the ratio of 100 / 5.75 times the FLA of the transformer,
or 17.39 x the FLA = 20,903A.

Based on the infinite source method at the primary of the transformer. A quick
calculation for the Maximum Fault Current at the transformer secondary
terminals is

FC = FLA / %PU Z FC = 1202 / 0.0575 = 20,904A.

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This quick calculation can help you determine the fault current on the
secondary of a transformer for the purpose of selecting the correct
overcurrent protective devices that can interrupt the available fault current.
The main breaker that is to be installed in the circuit on the secondary of the
transformer has to have a KA Interrupting Rating greater then 21,000A. Be
aware that feeder breakers should include the estimated motor contribution
too. If the actual connected motors are not known, then assume the
contribution to be 4 x FLA of the transformer. Therefore, in this case the
feeders would be sized at 20,904 + (4 x 1202) = 25,712 Amps

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GENERATOR FAULT CURRENT
Generator fault current differs from a Transformer. Below, we will walk through a
1000KVA example.

800KW 0.8% PF 1000KVA 480V 1,202FLA


KVA = KW / PF
KVA = 800 / .8
KVA = 1000
FLA = KVA / 1.732 x L-L Volts
FLA = 1000 / 1.732 x 0.48
FLA = 1,202
(As listed in the table for generator subtransient X” values is 0.16)
FC = FLA / X”
FC = 1202 / 0.16
FC = 7,513A

So, the fault current of a 1000KVA Generator is a lot less then a 1000KVA
transformer. The reason is the impedance value at the transformer and
Generator reactance values are very different. Transformer 5.75% vs. a
Generator 16%
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SYSTEM FAULT CURRENT

Below is a quick way to get a MVA calculated value. The MVA method is fast
and simple as compared to the per unit or ohmic methods. There is no
need to convert to an MVA base or worry about voltage levels. This is a
useful method to obtain an estimated value of fault current. The elements
have to be converted to an MVA value and then the circuit is converted to
admittance values.

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Utility MVA at the Primary of the Transformer
MVAsc = 500MVA

Transformer Data
13.8KV - 480Y/277V
1000KVA Transformer Z = 5.75%
MVA Value
1000KVA / 1000 = 1 MVA
MVA Value = 1MVA / Zpu = 1MVA / .0575 = 17.39 MVA
Use the admittance method to calculate Fault Current
1 / Utility MVA + 1 / Trans MVA = 1 / MVAsc
1 / 500 + 1 / 17.39 = 1 / MVAsc
0.002 + 0.06 = 1/ MVAsc
MVAsc = 1 / (0.002 + 0.06)
MVAsc = 16.129
FC at 480V = MVAsc / (1.73 x 0.48)
FC = 16.129 / 0.8304
FC = 19.423KA
FC = 19, 423 A
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The 480V Fault Current Value at the secondary of the 1000KVA transformer based
on an Infinite Utility Source at the Primary of the transformer as calculated in the
Transformer Fault Current section in this article is 20,904A.

The 480V Fault Current Value at the secondary of the 1000KVA transformer based
on a 500MVA Utility Source at the Primary of the transformer as calculated in the
System Fault Current section in this article is 19,432A.

The 480V Fault Current Value at the secondary of the 1000KVA transformer based
on a 250MVA Utility Source at the Primary of the transformer the calculated value
is 18,790A.

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When the cable and its length is added to the circuit the fault current in a 480V
system will decrease to a smaller value. To add cable into your calculation use the
formula.

Cable MVA Value MVAsc = KV2/ Z cable. Use the cable X & R values to calculate
the Z value then add to the Admittance calculation as shown in this article.

The conclusion is that you need to know the fault current value in a system to
select and install the correct Overcurrent Protective Devices (OCPD). The
available FC will be reduced as shown in the calculations when the fault current
value at the primary of the transformer is reduced. If the infinite method is
applied when calculating fault current and 4 x FLA is added for motor
contributions, then the fault current value that is obtained will be very
conservative. This means the calculated value in reality will never be reached, so
you reduce any potential overcurrent protection device failures due to fault
current.

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