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The impact of inrush currents on the mechanical stress of high voltage power transformer coils

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2 Author(s)
M. Steurer ; High Voltage Lab, Swiss Fed. Inst. of Technol., Zurich, Switzerland ; K. Frohlich

From failure experience on power transformers, it was very often suspected that inrush currents, occurring when energizing unloaded transformers, were reason for damage. In this paper, it was investigated how mechanical forces within the transformer coils build up under inrush compared to those occurring at short circuit. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer modeling for a real 268 MVA, 525/17.75 kV three-legged step up transformer was employed. The results show that inrush current peaks of 70% of the rated short circuit current cause local forces in the same order of magnitude as those at short circuit. The resulting force summed up over the high voltage coil is even three times higher. Although inrush currents normally are smaller, the forces can have similar amplitudes as those at short circuit however with longer exposure time. Therefore, care has to be taken to avoid such high inrush currents. Today controlled switching offers an elegant and practical solution

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 1 )