Utilisation of line surge arrestors to improve overhead HVAC and EHVDC line performance under lightning conditions.
MetadataShow full item record
In high lightning areas, lightning strokes play an important role in the performance of overhead EHV AC and DC lines. A single lightning stroke, that terminate on the earth wire and/or tower can lead to back flashovers. This flashover depends on factors such as conductor type, tower, soil resistivity and magnitude of the stroke. The flashover across the insulator and the resultant fault current surge will propagate along the line, until it is extinguished or the breaker operates. This movement of the surge currents tend to damage and reduce the life span of associated equipment such and circuits breakers, insulators, transformers and impact network performance adversely. Furthermore, this operation of the protective devices leads to power interruption to consumers on that network, and loss of production, thus negatively impacting the economy. This thesis investigates the incidences of network failure due to lightining strokes occuring on Eskom HVAC network as well as HVDC networks, considering soil resistivity, tower footing resistance and factors that influence the earthing resistances. Tower footing resistance needs to be kept uniform and as low as possible to extinguish the surge across the tower and hence reducing the back flashovers across the insulator under lightning conditions. Theoretical simulations were conducted on the different methods that are available to improve the tower footing resistance values. A case study was undertaken to ascertain the tower footing resistance of an 88kV Eskom line. The crows earthing configuration was then utilized to reduce the footing resistance to a value less than 30 ohms, using line surge arrestors (LSA) which are devices that can drain power surges to ground, if placed adequately and in sufficient numbers. Furthermore the thesis determines the relationship between the magnitude of the lightning stroke, the tower top voltage, tower footing resistance and hence the back flashover voltage that would appear on the line, which would lead to power interruptions. Surge arrestors were modelled using MATLAB software. The required number of surge arrestors per phase is thus determined that is required to drain the surge current down to earth., thus preventing power interruptions. EHV AC and DC cases studies are simulated and results are presented snd discussed.