Impulse Testing of Electronic Controllers

This proposes to build upon the results of Project 14-4 (Surge Protection of Electronically-Controlled Devices Installed in Distribution Systems) which addressed the following issue:

"With the increased use of electronic control devices, the performance of the distribution system is more safe, reliable, and efficient while on the other hand, these control devices have become a new source of concern. Many of these electronic control devices have failed during normal operation. Power surges and overvoltages are considered the most likely cause. This situation has led to some confusion within utilities as to the required best practices relative to equipment grounding, surge protection, and installation practices. In the meantime, little guidance is provided by the manufacturers of these control devices to keep their products safe and reliable."

Project 14-4 evaluated the performance of capacitor controller installations to lightning strikes for different pole installations provided by several DSTAR members. The transient performance of the selected installations was simulated with the time-step simulation program known in the industry as the Alternate Transients Program (ATP). The flexibility of the ATP software enabled representation of a half-a-dozen DSTAR configurations as well as the ability to evaluate alternate designs or “what-if” configurations. Based on some unknown critical circuit and equipment parameters, it was recommended that the decisive results be “spot-checked” with full-scale testing.

The current project (P15-8) is a logical extension of the Project 14-4. Field impulse testing will be performed at Alabama Power's test facility to verify the simulation findings from P14-4. Based on the availability of time and resource, this project will also perform field tests on other electronic equipment, distribution equipment, and other common configurations.

Tagged: P8-15, P15, Equipment Testing/Evaluation, DER Impact, Engineering Guidelines, Engineering Analysis Software, Operational Efficiency, Industry Perspectives / White Papers, System Protection