Transient modeling of saturated core fault current limiters



Publication Details

S. M. Gunawardana , P. A. Commins, J. W. Moscrop & S. Perera, "Transient modeling of saturated core fault current limiters," IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 31, (5) pp. 2008-2017, 2016.


A saturated core fault current limiter (FCL) essentially utilizes the dynamic and nonlinear magnetic behavior of steel cores to operate as a variable reactor. However, the nonlinear characteristic of magnetic materials has made modeling this unique device a difficult task. Hence, experimental measurements and finite-element method (FEM) analysis are the most common techniques used to characterize the transient behavior of the device. Both of these techniques, while accurate, cannot be used to analyze the transient electrical behaviour of FCLs in complex power systems, particularly when investigating power system switchgear behavior during fault events. FEM-based FCL modelling, despite its usefulness as a design verification tool, cannot be easily coupled to all electromagnetic transient programs that are in use today. This paper presents two modeling approaches to represent the saturated core FCL in transient network simulators: 1) the nonlinear reluctance model and 2) the nonlinear inductance model. Both models are implemented in PSCAD/EMTDC and are validated by experimental results of a single-phase prototype saturated core FCL, where excellent agreement between the experimental and the modelling approaches is achieved.

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