Fault Current Limiter in Indian Power Sector Perspective

In the restructured environment, electrical utilities are using distributed generation sources and energy-efficient technologies to meet power shortage / power quality issues, which raised the fault level and power surges. The fault current level in many places may often exceed from their withstanding capacity of present infrastructure. Due to poor financial viability, Indian electrical utilities are interested in avoiding up gradation of existing networks with enhancement of network flexibility, sustainability and reliability. Therefore, it is needed to control fault currents to a level at which conventional protection equipment can operate safely with the consideration of financial burden on electric utilities. Looking to the Indian power sector, the fault current limiter (FCL) is a promising option to enhance the useful life of the equipment, even though exceed from their withstands capability. This blog is aimed at describing how the researcher and Best universities in Jaipur like JK Lakshmipat University can support utility engineers for the FCL application.

FCL is adaptable to electrical utility constraints such as location choice, modularity and space availability. Under normal operation, these devices have a negligible impedance until a fault event occurs. They are of two types: Superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) and solid-state fault current limiter (SSFCL). SFCL uses superconducting based material to limit fault current while SSFCL controls the same by using high-speed solid-state switching devices. On the basis of fault current limiting capacity, restoration time and voltage sag mitigation parameter, it is observed that the solid-state fault current limiter is more efficient than the solid-state fault current limiter. The Key benefits of fault current limiter are:

  • Prospective and steady-state fault current control.
  • Fail-safe, high reliability and long lifetime.
  • Elimination of overvoltage related to the FCL operation.
  • Less expensive, compact and lightweight equipment.

Crompton Greaves Ecumenical R&D and Ministry of Power, Govt. of India are conducting a joint research project for the technology development of superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) under the National Perspective Plan (NPP). This plan is committed to research and development in Indian Power Sector and aimed to identify and bridge technology gaps in various wings of the power sector on the priority basis. Thus, FCL technology is a fundamental way to evolve exist /future grid system and design a cost-effective modern fault management system. In addition to above, FCL technology also enhances smart grid technology implementation.

In the above context, the research efforts are being carried out on solid-state fault current limiter (SSFCL) at one of the top engineering college in Jaipur, Rajsthan- JK Lakshmipat University, which is committed to building competency in engineering & research, specially adapted to Indian conditions

About the Author:

Er. Jagdish Prasad SharmaEr. Jagdish Prasad Sharma

Er. Jagdish Prasad Sharma is an Ex-Gazetted officer having 11 year’s plus experience in academics and industry. He has been associated with various industries and training institutes such as Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB), Genus Power Infrastructure Limited, Power Management of Institute (PMI) and Sofcon India Pvt. Ltd. His research interests include smart grid, power distribution systems, nature inspired algorithms, modeling and simulation.