Application of multiple resistive superconducting fault-current limiters for fast fault detection in highly interconnected distribution systems

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Abstract

Superconducting fault-current limiters (SFCLs) offer several benefits for electrical distribution systems, especially with increasing distributed generation and the requirements for better network reliability and efficiency. This paper examines the use of multiple SFCLs in a protection scheme to locate faulted circuits, using an approach which is radically different from typical proposed applications of fault current limitation, and also which does not require communications. The technique, referred to as “current division discrimination” (CDD), is based upon the intrinsic inverse current-time characteristics of resistive SFCLs, which ensures that only the SFCLs closest to a fault operate. CDD is especially suited to meshed networks and particularly when the network topology may change over time. Meshed networks are expensive and complex to protect using conventional methods. Simulation results with multiple SFCLs, using a thermal-electric superconductor model, confirm that CDD operates as expected. Nevertheless, CDD has limitations, which are examined in this paper. The SFCLs must be appropriately rated for the maximum system fault level, although some variation in actual fault level can be tolerated. For correct coordination between SFCLs, each bus must have at least three circuits that can supply fault current, and the SFCLs should have identical current-time characteristics.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1120-1127
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Volume28
Issue number2
Early online date4 Jan 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

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Superconducting fault current limiters
Fault detection
Electric fault currents
Networks (circuits)
Distributed power generation
Superconducting materials
Topology

Keywords

  • superconducting fault-current limiters
  • power delivery
  • electrical distribution systems

Cite this

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title = "Application of multiple resistive superconducting fault-current limiters for fast fault detection in highly interconnected distribution systems",
abstract = "Superconducting fault-current limiters (SFCLs) offer several benefits for electrical distribution systems, especially with increasing distributed generation and the requirements for better network reliability and efficiency. This paper examines the use of multiple SFCLs in a protection scheme to locate faulted circuits, using an approach which is radically different from typical proposed applications of fault current limitation, and also which does not require communications. The technique, referred to as “current division discrimination” (CDD), is based upon the intrinsic inverse current-time characteristics of resistive SFCLs, which ensures that only the SFCLs closest to a fault operate. CDD is especially suited to meshed networks and particularly when the network topology may change over time. Meshed networks are expensive and complex to protect using conventional methods. Simulation results with multiple SFCLs, using a thermal-electric superconductor model, confirm that CDD operates as expected. Nevertheless, CDD has limitations, which are examined in this paper. The SFCLs must be appropriately rated for the maximum system fault level, although some variation in actual fault level can be tolerated. For correct coordination between SFCLs, each bus must have at least three circuits that can supply fault current, and the SFCLs should have identical current-time characteristics.",
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AB - Superconducting fault-current limiters (SFCLs) offer several benefits for electrical distribution systems, especially with increasing distributed generation and the requirements for better network reliability and efficiency. This paper examines the use of multiple SFCLs in a protection scheme to locate faulted circuits, using an approach which is radically different from typical proposed applications of fault current limitation, and also which does not require communications. The technique, referred to as “current division discrimination” (CDD), is based upon the intrinsic inverse current-time characteristics of resistive SFCLs, which ensures that only the SFCLs closest to a fault operate. CDD is especially suited to meshed networks and particularly when the network topology may change over time. Meshed networks are expensive and complex to protect using conventional methods. Simulation results with multiple SFCLs, using a thermal-electric superconductor model, confirm that CDD operates as expected. Nevertheless, CDD has limitations, which are examined in this paper. The SFCLs must be appropriately rated for the maximum system fault level, although some variation in actual fault level can be tolerated. For correct coordination between SFCLs, each bus must have at least three circuits that can supply fault current, and the SFCLs should have identical current-time characteristics.

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