Assessment of Transformer Energisation Transients and Their Impacts on Power Systems

  • Jinsheng Peng

Student thesis: Phd


Transformers are essential components facilitating transmission and distribution of electric power. Energisation of transformers, however, can cause core operating at deep saturation region and thereby induce transient inrush currents of high magnitude and with rich harmonics. This can lead to undesirable effects including potential damage to the transformer itself, relay mal-operation, harmonic resonant overvoltages, and reduced power quality in the system (mainly in the form of voltage dips). This thesis investigates voltage dips caused by energising generator step-up (GSU) transformers and two types of generation connection are studied: one is a combine cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant connected to a 400 kV transmission grid and the other is a large offshore wind farm connected to a 132 kV distribution grid. To carry out the investigation, detailed network models were developed in alternative transients program/electromagnetic transients program (ATP/EMTP) and validated with the help of field measurements. For the connection of generation in the transmission grid, deterministic assessment was conducted to comparatively analyse voltage dips caused by energising large GSU transformers under different energisation conditions and different network conditions; special attention was paid to the energisation cases involving sympathetic inrush between transformers by addressing its prolonging effects on voltage dips, with sensitivity studies further carried out to identify the key influential parameters. In addition, stochastic assessment was conducted by applying Monte Carlo method, which helps identify the dip frequency pattern and the likelihood of reaching the dip magnitude resulted from the commonly agreed worst case energisation condition; their sensitivities to the variation of circuit breaker closing time span, transformer core residual flux, system condition and the number of transformers being energized together were also investigated. Furthermore, possible cost-effective operational approaches to mitigate the voltage dips were explored and compared. For the connection of large offshore wind farm, voltage dips caused by energising wind turbine transformers under different scenarios were assessed; in particular, sympathetic inrush between wind turbine transformers were studied, and the energisation sequence resulting in less sympathetic inrush was deterministically identified and stochastically validated. The simulation results of deterministic studies indicate that, when carrying out energisation of a large GSU transformer in the transmission grid under the commonly agreed worst case energisation condition, the dip magnitude can reach 9.6% and the duration 2.7 seconds; moreover, when coupled with sympathetic inrush, the duration can be prolonged by 136%, lasting for 6.4 seconds. The sensitivity studies show that transformer core saturation inductance is the key parameter determining dip magnitude and transformer copper losses is the key parameter determining dip duration. Stochastic assessment of voltage dips shows that, out of 1000 stochastic dip events, less than 0.5% of the dips can reach the worst case dip magnitude and about 80% are of magnitudes less than 0.6 pu of the worst case dip magnitude; the dip frequency pattern is found to be insensitive to the circuit breaker closing time variation but can be considerably influenced by the residual flux distribution. In terms of mitigation measures, it was proven that, by adjusting tap changer position, applying static var compensator and even opening coupler circuit breaker in the substation, the degree of voltage dip especially the dip duration can be significantly reduced. Contrasting to those observed in the transmission grid, voltage dips resulted from energising wind turbine transformers in large offshore wind farms are of less concern; dip magnitudes are no more than 1% in the case of energising a stand-alone wind turbine transformer. However, sympathetic inrush betwe
Date of Award1 Aug 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorHaiyu Li (Supervisor) & Zhongdong Wang (Supervisor)


  • Sympathetic Inrush
  • Transformer Energisation
  • Voltage Dips

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