Development of Fault Current Controller Technology Prototyping, Laboratory Testing
and Field Demonstration - Final Project Report

Cover of report

Development of Fault Current Controller Technology Prototyping, Laboratory Testing and Field Demonstration
Final Project Report. (PDF file, 149 pages, 3.4 mb).




Publication Number: CEC-500-2013-134
Report Date: June 2011

 


Abstract

Fault current controller technology, also frequently referred to as fault current limiter technology, has been identified as a potentially viable solution for expanding the capacity of the transmission system and its service life to meet the growing demand for electricity by addressing the impacts of the resulting higher fault currents. This report discusses the development and field demonstration of distribution-class fault current controller technology. The project focused on prototyping, test plan development, laboratory testing, and field testing and demonstration, with a view toward potential further technical development and application of the technology in transmission-level systems.

A full-size three-phase distribution-level high-temperature superconducting fault current controller prototype was designed, built, and field-tested. The prototype fault current controller went through several iterations of extensive testing prior to field installation. It was then installed for field demonstration from March 2009 through October 2010.

The research team completed an initial design for a fault current controller based on solid-state (power electronics) technology. Initial analysis indicated that design changes to the prototype were necessary to improve its thermal management, the immunity of the control circuits to noise and interference and to address mechanical issues. The additional cost for these items was beyond the scope and budget of this project so this prototype design did not advance to the laboratory and field test stages during the project period.

This report provided a survey of fault current controller technology development status, including both the saturable-core and solid-state types represented by this project, followed by detailed design considerations, laboratory test procedures and results, field test installation and metering, and field demonstration outcomes. The report concluded with a summary of the lessons learned and recommendations for future fault current controller research efforts and commercial industry applications.