RING BUS SUBSTATION SCHEME – BASIC INFORMATION AND TUTORIALS



In this scheme, as indicated by the name, all breakers are arranged in a ring with circuits tapped between breakers. For a failure on a circuit, the two adjacent breakers will trip without affecting the rest of the system.  


In the ring-bus scheme, the breakers are arranged in a ring with circuits connected between breakers. There are the same number of circuits as there are breakers.

During normal operation, all breakers are closed. For a circuit fault, two breakers are tripped, and in the event that one of the breakers fails to operate to clear the fault, an additional circuit will be tripped by operation of breaker-failure backup relays. During breaker maintenance, the ring is broken, but all lines remain in service.

Similarly, a single bus failure will only affect the adjacent breakers and allow the rest of the system to remain energized. However, a breaker failure or breakers that fail to trip will require adjacent breakers to be tripped to isolate the fault.

Maintenance on a circuit breaker in this scheme can be accomplished without interrupting any circuit, including the two circuits adjacent to the breaker being maintained. The breaker to be maintained is taken out of service by tripping the breaker, then opening its isolation switches.

Since the other breakers adjacent to the breaker being maintained are in service, they will continue to supply the circuits.

The circuits connected to the ring are arranged so that sources are alternated with loads. For an extended circuit outage, the line-disconnect switch may be opened, and the ring can be closed. No changes to protective relays are required for any of the various operating conditions or during maintenance.

In order to gain the highest reliability with a ring bus scheme, load and source circuits should be alternated when connecting to the scheme. Arranging the scheme in this manner will minimize the potential for the loss of the supply to the ring bus due to a breaker failure.

Relaying is more complex in this scheme than some previously identified. Since there is only one bus in this scheme, the area required to develop this scheme is less than some of the previously discussed schemes. However, expansion of a ring bus is limited, due to the practical arrangement of circuits.

The ring-bus scheme is relatively economical in cost, has good reliability, is flexible, and is normally considered suitable for important substations up to a limit of five circuits. Protective relaying and automatic reclosing are more complex than for previously described schemes.

It is common practice to build major substations initially as a ring bus; for more than five outgoing circuits, the ring bus is usually converted to the breaker-and-a-half scheme.  

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