Design and Implementation of a Frequency Response Test System for Instrument Voltage Transformer Performance Studies

  • Sen Peng Zhao

Student thesis: Phd


Power system harmonics are always an important issue in power networks as they can cause many negative impacts, such as equipment thermal stress, on installations within power networks. Recently, with the increasing connections of power electronic devices based Renewable Energy Source (RES) and High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission applications, harmonics in power networks, especially high frequency harmonics (>50th order or 2.5 kHz) are on the rise. Currently, the majority of conventional VTs, such as Wound-type Voltage Transformers (WVT) and Capacitor Voltage Transformers (CVT), are widely installed and used in High Voltage (HV) and Extra High Voltage (EHV) power networks for voltage measurement. Since most of them were mainly designed to measure voltage with the required accuracy at the fundamental frequency (i.e. 50Hz in the UK), they are limited to measuring high frequency harmonics due to the coupling of their internal inductive and capacitive elements. To achieve high frequency harmonic measurements, voltage measurement devices with wide frequency bandwidths are required. Recently, non-conventional VTs, such as optical voltage transducers, are commercially available, which could provide accurate voltage measurements over a wide range of frequency. However, before they can be considered by any power utilities, their frequency response performances must be tested at a rated fundamental voltage with required minimum harmonic injections from 100Hz to 5 kHz. This must require a test system which should be capable of providing a rated fundamental voltage up to 400kV with controllable harmonic injections at required levels from 100Hz to 5 kHz. Therefore, the objective of this project is to design and implement such a test system in the National Grid (NG) HV laboratory at the University of Manchester. However, the design and the implementation of such a test system bring many challenges; for instance, a lack of adequate equipment and considerable power to provide the required harmonic injections above 0.5% to the test object.In this thesis, an Instrument Voltage Transformer Frequency Response (VTFR) test system with three different voltage power source designs is presented; The voltage power source designs are: (i) Design 1 is based on a single power source inductive coupling method to provide both a rated fundamental voltage and controllable harmonics; (ii) Design 2 is based on two separate voltage power sources inductive coupling method to provide both a rated fundamental voltage and controllable harmonics; and (iii) Design 3 is based on two separate voltage power sources capacitive coupling method to provide both the rated fundamental voltage and controllable harmonics. A hybrid approach, which combines the VTFR test system with both the voltage power sources Design 2 and 3, is proposed for testing the frequency response of any type of VTs at their rated fundamental voltages with 1% harmonic injections from 100Hz to 5 kHz. The proposed VTFR test system with voltage power source designs were firstly validated at a relatively low voltage of 33kV in the HV laboratory. Then three different VTFR test systems were constructed based on available equipment for testing VTs from 11kV to 400kV. An 11kV, a 33kV WVT and a 400kV WVT and a 275kV CVT were tested. The test results were analyzed, compared and discussed. The models of the test systems were also established and simulated. Simulation results were analysed, compared and discussed.
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorHaiyu Li (Supervisor)


  • frequency response
  • harmonics
  • instrument voltage transformer
  • high voltage

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