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IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Distinguished Lecturer Program

August 27 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Event Category:

Current Interruption in Atmospheric Air

The principal function of air-break disconnectors in high voltage power systems is to provide electrical and visible isolation of a part of the system. The isolation can be related to normal day-to-day operation of the system such as to repair or carry out maintenance on transmission lines and station equipment. Because the disconnectors are operated under energized conditions, they are required to interrupt the currents associated with the switching event. The currents in question are of low magnitude and can be inductive (unloaded transformer magnetizing current), capacitive (bus or short line charging currents) or loop currents (current transfer between parallel buses with a substation or between parallel lines). The opening operation results in free burning arcs in air between the fixed and moving disconnector contacts and rules with respect to current interruption capability are empirical. Practice, particularly in North America, has been based on the ‘classic’ AIEE 1950 paper by Andrews, Janes and Anderson which related magnetizing and loop current magnitudes to the reach of the extreme point of the arc, all based on actual field tests. Later studies at BC Hydro and the Eindhoven University of Technology showed that the work of Andrew’s et al, however well-intentioned, was greatly flawed. The above-noted later studies starting in 1999 showed that very distinctive and unique features exist for each of the three current type arcs in terms how they evolve and interact with the circuit. The presentation will use mainly video material to explain the nature of the switching event when switching out unloaded transformers, breaking small capacitive currents and for loop switching. The use of auxiliary interrupting devices will also be discussed.

Biography of the speaker

Dr. David Peelo is a consultant and former switching specialist at BC Hydro. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and Eindhoven University of Technology. He worked first for ASEA in Ludvika, Sweden and then for BC Hydro for 28 years rising to the position of Specialist Engineer. As a consultant, he has clients worldwide and in particular teaches continuing professional development courses on switching in high-voltage networks and surge arrester application. He is an active IEEE and Cigre member and chairs the IEC Canadian National Committee for Technical Committee 17 and Study Committees 17A and 17C. He is an IEC 1906 Award recipient, a Distinguished Member of Cigre and an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. He is the author of a textbook on current interruption transients calculation and a co-author of a textbook on switching in transmission and distribution networks and a CIGRE Green Book on switching equipment.

Download the flyer: IEEE PES VIC_Event_DLP_Current_Interruption.PDF