Publication Details

T. J. Browne, V. J. Gosbell, S. Perera, D. A. Robinson, L. M. Falla, P. J. Windle & A. C. D. Perera, "Experience in the application of IEC/TR 61000-3-6 to harmonic allocation in transmission systems," in 41st International Conference on Large High Voltage Electric Systems 2006, CIGRE 2006, 2006,


Technical report IEC/TR 61000-3-6 is widely used as a guide to harmonic management in HV and MV networks, assisting in coordination of harmonic levels between utility and customer. In 2001, Australia and New Zealand adopted the harmonic standard AS/NZS 61000.3.6, which closely follows the above IEC technical report. As a result, transmission utilities and connected loads are required by government regulations to abide by the harmonic allocations set by the standard. The technical report contains some useful general principles which can be applied to the harmonic management of power systems. However, unexpected difficulties can be found when attempts are made to apply them to large power systems. The formal procedure recommended by the standard for calculation of harmonic emission levels limits the voltage at the point of connection. There can be situations where the highest harmonic voltages are remote from the PCC. This can be accounted for by taking into account interactions between each injecting load and all other busbars in one single step. This leads to the development of a harmonic "allocation constant", which will apply to the entire transmission network, as a measure of the ability of the network to absorb harmonics without violating a set planning limit. At present, the allocation procedure given in the standard implies consideration of only a single network operation scenario. However, substantial variations have been identified in the harmonic behaviour of transmission networks, including harmonic absorption capacity, with changes in generator commitment and switching configuration. The proposed approach accounts for variations by taking data from multiple network scenarios. For the specification of an easily-measurable harmonic current emission level - rather than a harmonic voltage level - for a particular customer, the network harmonic impedance is necessary. This quantity can vary substantially at the one busbar in a transmission network. The application of a standardised hth harmonic impedance is proposed which is based on the fundamental frequency fault level at the PCC. IEC/TR 61000-3-6 gives no guidance as to methods of treating harmonic resonances in transmission systems. Resonances will occur in any transmission system with sufficient line lengths, and will impose substantial constraints on harmonic allocation if computer calculations are accepted without modification. It is unclear if these resonances are of practical importance, and it is proposed that resonance amplifications be limited to allow useful allocations until their importance has been established by field results.