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Design of data acquisition system and fault current limiter for an ultra fast protection system

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This research work describes the design of a fault current limiter (FCL) using digital logic and a microcontroller based data acquisition system for an ultra fast pilot protection system. These

This research work describes the design of a fault current limiter (FCL) using digital logic and a microcontroller based data acquisition system for an ultra fast pilot protection system. These systems have been designed according to the requirements of the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) system (or loop), a 1 MW green energy hub. The FREEDM loop merges advanced power electronics technology with information tech-nology to form an efficient power grid that can be integrated with the existing power system. With the addition of loads to the FREEDM system, the level of fault current rises because of increased energy flow to supply the loads, and this requires the design of a limiter which can limit this current to a level which the existing switchgear can interrupt. The FCL limits the fault current to around three times the rated current. Fast switching Insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) with its gate control logic implements a switching strategy which enables this operation. A complete simulation of the system was built on Simulink and it was verified that the FCL limits the fault current to 1000 A compared to more than 3000 A fault current in the non-existence of a FCL. This setting is made user-defined. In FREEDM system, there is a need to interrupt a fault faster or make intelligent deci-sions relating to fault events, to ensure maximum availability of power to the loads connected to the system. This necessitates fast acquisition of data which is performed by the designed data acquisition system. The microcontroller acquires the data from a current transformer (CT). Mea-surements are made at different points in the FREEDM system and merged together, to input it to the intelligent protection algorithm that has been developed by another student on the project. The algorithm will generate a tripping signal in the event of a fault. The developed hardware and the programmed software to accomplish data acquisition and transmission are presented here. The designed FCL ensures that the existing switchgear equipments need not be replaced thus aiding future power system expansion. The developed data acquisition system enables fast fault sensing in protection schemes improving its reliability.

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  • 2011