Impact of distributed generation on protection of single wire earth return lines
Distributed generation (DG) inclusion within the grid system potentially introduces problems related to control, protection, harmonics, and network transients. This paper analyses one of the key issues: protection of the network, by ascertaining the impact of rotary DG inclusion on existing protection system of SWER (single wire earth return) lines and the DG sensitivity during faults. The analysis is carried out by estimating fault-sensitivity for the worst-case situation, determining the DG impact on the existing protection scheme, and comparing the network situation with and without DG during the fault. A model of arc voltage is used to represent a fault on a SWER scheme. The size of DG is selected based on the SWER capacity and SWER load. The study is conducted on an example SWER system by considering the SWER lines with and without DG and faults on the SWER backbone and laterals, and simulation results are reported. In every case studied, the fault current from the DG significantly exceeded the DG rating and the DG would have tripped. Thus the system reverts to the case with no DG. Even if DG did not trip, the fault current from the source would be largely independent of the DG, and thus the original feeder protection would continue to provide the same quality of performance. Hence, net sensitivity and existing protection system will not be adversely affected by DG inclusion in SWER lines.