Switching Transient Analyses: A Worthwhile Investment!

5 July, 2016 | Blog

MAURICE BRISSON, P.Eng., M.A.Sc.

Engineer, Founding Partner and Electrical Expert

Power systems can incur temporary and transient disruptions (e.g., rapid voltage changes or over/under voltages) when switching major equipment, such as power transformers, transmission lines and capacitor banks.

Switching transient analyses are more and more required to:

  • avoid operations problems or the failure of new or refurbished power system equipment from as early as the design stage
  • correct incompatibility issues between the power supply and electrical devices
  • resolve equipment failure problems

These types of studies…

  • analyze system behavior during switching conditions
  • identify possible damaging voltage transients by quantifying the magnitude of possible disruptions compared with equipment specifications (BIL rating)
  • foresee the need for mitigation before incurring production losses or costly equipment failure
  • specify mitigation equipment (surge arresters and snubbers) for added protection against switching transient overvoltage generated by vacuum circuit breakers

A switching transient analysis performed in a timely manner, at the design stage during equipment selection and specification, is a worthwhile investment if it avoids pricey equipment failure, health and safety hazards for personnel and loss of revenue due to unexpected shutdowns. Furthermore, these analyses are becoming increasingly required by electric utilities and power suppliers.

Electric Utility Standards and Requirements

More and more, electric utilities and power suppliers require that their clients meet power quality standards, limiting pollution and disruption to the public utility grid to ensure consistent and compliant power quality to all its clients and thus avoid:

  • unintentional shutdown of sensitive equipment
  • excessive rapid voltage changes when energizing transformers, capacitor banks and motor loads
  • degradation of power quality caused by harmonic resonance phenomena

Performing preliminary analyses of these disruptions is therefore increasingly required by electric utilities and power suppliers to anticipate the impact of increased load and to foresee the required mitigation, such as harmonic filters or Point-of-Wave (POW) controllers for synchronous commutation of capacitor banks and power transformers. A properly performed preliminary analysis optimizes investments by avoiding unpleasant surprises and excessive solutions for truly necessary mitigation.

A Leading Expertise

Whether through preventive or corrective measures or to meet standard requirements, switching transient analyses are becoming essential in addition to conventional system studies, such as short-circuit, arc-flash hazard, power flow and protection studies. However, contrary to these conventional studies that analyze steady-state conditions, transient analyses employ specialized software that requires cutting-edge expertise and advanced knowledge of data and of models used in transient-state conditions.

BBA’s advantage is having seasoned, experienced personnel on board, whose expertise comes from extensive experience in measurements and interpreting transients

After these studies and analyses, BBA also frequently carries out detailed engineering mandates that consist of specifying, installing, commissioning and/or measuring the performance of deployed solutions.

Contact our experts to find out more.

This content is for general information purposes only. All rights reserved ©BBA

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