VOLTAGE SWELLS : POWER QUALITY PROBLEM



WHAT ARE VOLTAGE SWELLS?

A“swell” is the converse of the sag, and is a brief increase in the rms line voltage. A swell is defined as an increase to between 1.1 and 1.8 pu in rms voltage or current at the power frequency for durations from 0.5 cycle to 1 min.

As with sags, swells are usually associated with system fault conditions, but they are not as common as voltage sags. One way that a swell can occur is from the temporary voltage rise on the unfaulted phases during an SLG fault.


Figure 2.8 illustrates a voltage swell caused by an SLG fault. Swells can also be caused by switching off a large load or energizing a large capacitor bank.


Swells are characterized by their magnitude (rms value) and duration. The severity of a voltage swell during a fault condition is a function of the fault location, system impedance, and grounding. On an ungrounded system, with an infinite zero-sequence impedance, the line-to-ground voltages on the ungrounded phases will be 1.73 pu during an SLG fault condition.

Close to the substation on a grounded system, there will be little or no voltage rise on the unfaulted phases because the substation transformer is usually connected delta-wye, providing a low-impedance zero-sequence path for the fault current.

Faults at different points along four-wire, multigrounded feeders will have varying degrees of voltage swells on the unfaulted phases. A 15 percent swell, like that shown in Fig. 2.8, is common on U.S. Utility feeders.

Swells are not as common as sags and their main causes are

- switching off of a large load,
- energizing a capacitor bank, or
- voltage increase of the unfaulted phases during a single line-to-ground fault [10].

In some cases the term "momentary overvoltage" is used as a synonym for the term swell. As in the case of sags, UPS or power conditioners are typical solutions to limit the effect of swell.


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