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Some important components/equipments in substation

As told earlier, the function of a substation is to receive power at some voltage through incoming lines and transmit it at some other voltage through outgoing lines. So the most important equipment in a substation is transformer(s). However, for flexibility of operation and protection transformer and lines additional equipments are necessary.

Suppose the transformer goes out of order and maintenance work is to be carried out. Naturally the transformer must be isolated from the incoming as well as from the outgoing lines by using special type of heavy duty (high voltage, high current) switches called circuit breakers. Thus a circuit breaker may be closed or opened manually (functionally somewhat similar to switching on or off a fan or a light whenever desired with the help of a ordinary switch in your house) in substation whenever desired. However unlike a ordinary switch, a circuit breaker must also operate (i.e., become opened) automatically whenever a fault occurs or overloading takes place in a feeder or line. To achieve this, we must have a current sensing device called CT (current transformer) in each line. A CT simply steps down the large current to a proportional small secondary current. Primary of the CT is connected in series with the line. A 1000 A/5 A CT will step down the current by a factor of 200. So if primary current happens to be 800 A, secondary current of the CT will be 4 A. Suppose the rated current of the line is 1000 A, and due to any reason if current in the line exceeds this limit we want to operate the circuit breaker automatically for disconnection. In figure 2.7 the basic scheme is presented to achieve this. The secondary current of the CT is fed to the relay coil of an overcurrent relay. Here we are not going into constructional and operational details of a over current relay but try to tell how it functions. Depending upon the strength of the current in the coil, an ultimately an electromagnetic torque acts on an aluminum disc restrained by a spring. Spring tension is so adjusted that for normal current, the disc does not move. However, if current exceeds the normal value, torque produced will overcome the spring tension to rotate the disc about a vertical spindle to which a long arm is attached. To the arm a copper strip is attached as shown figure 2.8. Thus the arm too will move whenever the disk moves.

The relay has a pair of normally opened (NO) contacts 1 & 2. Thus, there will exist open circuit between 1 & 2 with normal current in the power line. However, during fault condition in the line or overloading, the arm moves in the anticlockwise direction till it closes the terminals 1 & 2 with the help of the copper strip attached to the arm as explained pictorially in the figure 2.8. This short circuit between 1 & 2 completes a circuit comprising of a battery and the trip coil of the circuit breaker. The opening and closing of the main contacts of the circuit breaker depends on whether its trip coil is energized or not. It is interesting to note that trip circuit supply is to be made independent of the A.C supply derived from the power system we want to protect. For this reason, we expect batteries along with battery charger to be present in a substation. Apart from above there will be other types of protective relays and various meters indicating current, voltage, power etc. To measure and indicate the high voltage (say 6 kV) of the line, the voltage is stepped down to a safe value (say 110V) by transformer called potential transformer (PT). Across the secondary of the PT, MI type indicating voltmeter is connected. For example a voltage rating of a PT could be 6000 V/110 V. Similarly, Across the secondary we can connect a low range ammeter to indicate the line current.

Version 2 EE IIT, Kharagpur