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SAIEE Africa Research Journal

On-line version ISSN 1991-1696
Print version ISSN 0038-2221


KHAN, M.F.; JARVIS, A.L.L.; YOUNG, E.A.  and  STEPHEN, R.G.. A technical and economic comparison between traditionally employed and emerging fault level management solutions at distribution voltages. SAIEE ARJ [online]. 2017, vol.108, n.1, pp.31-38. ISSN 1991-1696.

Network fault levels are reported to be increasing and this is often attributed to an increase in network interconnectivity and localised generation. When the fault level at a substation increases beyond the rated value of the installed equipment, a power utility traditionally responded by either (i) replacing the equipment with higher rated equipment or, (ii) installing series reactors or, (iii) replacing the existing transformers with high impedance transformers. Using a South African case study, this paper compares both the effectiveness and financial viability of a superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) against the traditional three options. When one also considers the operational or 'energy' cost associated with all these options it was found that a high capital cost was sometimes offset by lower energy costs over a 25 year service life. Regional prices of electricity and tariffs therefore have a significant impact on a utility's choice of fault management solutions.

Keywords : fault level management; power system management; superconducting fault current limiters.

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