Saturated Core Fault Current Limiters: successful testing/service performance
Various Fault Current Limiter technologies are under development to tackle increasing fault levels in sub-stations. An FCL clips the fault current to lie within station plant capacity. The paper presents testing/service performance of pre-saturated core FCLs, currently installed in live UK substations. The proven technology uses conventional materials/manufacturing practice used in transformer industry, thereby avoiding the technical risks of High Temperature Superconducting conductor and cryogenics used in competing technologies. Maintenance and reliability levels are comparable to a transformer which is attractive to operating and maintenance staff.
Load growth, distributed generation due to renewables and increasing interconnection of networks all lead to higher system fault currents and consequent costly upgrades to sub-station equipment like switchgear, overhead lines, cables and transformers. Fault Current Limiters help limit the prospective fault current to values within plant capacity minimising upgrade costs, besides significantly aiding the integration of renewable generation.
Wilson Transformer Company has partnered with Israeli based GridON Ltd. to design, manufacture and install pre-saturated core FCLs as demonstration/commercial units rated 10 MVA,11 kV (for UK Power Networks) and 30 MVA,11 kV (for Western Power Development, UK) respectively.