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# Line-line short circuit of synchronous machine:

## illustration of computer-aided machine analysis

I. Gopal Reddy, B.E., M.Tech., and C. V. Jones, M.Eng., B.Sc, Ph.D.
Indexing terms: Synchronous machines, Short-circuit currents, Computer-aided circuit analysis

Abstract
The sudden unbalanced short circuit of the 3-phase synchronous machine constitutes one of the most
difficult problems of conventional machine analysis, whether traditional or unified. It is, however, readily
susceptible to numerical integration using digital computers. The general approach, which is believed to
have a wide application, is illustrated by the simple case of the 2-winding single-phase machine, and is then
extended to the practical problem of the salient-pole machine with damper windings. Predicted and test
results are found to be in good agreement.

List of symbols
/ = direct current
/ = instantaneous current
k = coupling factor
L = self inductance
L* = damped self inductance
M = mutual inductance
M* = damped mutual inductance
p = d\dt
R = resistance
V = direct voltage
v = instantaneous voltage
X = synchronous reactance
x' = transient reactance
x" = subtransient reactance
Z + = positive-sequence impedance
Z_ = negative-sequence impedance
6 = cut + 8 = rotor angle
8 = initial rotor angle
to = 2vf
Subscripts
a armature
d direct-axis armature
D direct-axis dampers
F field

Introduction

## approximate, and secondly, how exceptionally complicated

the whole subject is. Adkins, for example, at one point in his
standard textbook3 introduces a block of 22 parameters;
others have gone before, and more follow. Again, one of the
present authors6 devoted a long chapter to the study of (i)
the balanced short circuit and (ii) the unbalanced steady stateUnbalanced short circuits, such as the line-line short circuit
considered in this paper, he neglected as being too difficult.
The root cause of the difficulty is that the voltage equations,
which can readily be established, cannot be solved in closed
form, and the methods of conventional analysis, being
oriented towards balanced sinusoidal steady-state operation,
are really quite unsuited to problems possessing none of these
properties. An altogether different approach is required.
From the time of Euler, however, an alternative method of
solution of nonlinear simultaneous differential equations has
been well known. This is the step-by-step solution.7 Until
quite recently, this type of solution has had no engineering
value, because of the prohibitive amount of computation
involved. The increasing availability of digital computers has
eliminated this difficulty. In the present context, there is the
be used without the need for any transfomations.
In the following Section, the simplest practical case, that
of the sudden short circuit of the round-rotor single-phase
machine without dampers, is worked through in detail to
illustrate the method. The analysis is then extended to cover
the salient-pole 3-phase machine with dampers. It is assumed
that the magnetic circuit is laminated throughout, so that the
damping effects of eddy currents may be neglected. The
results are compared with test results, and also with those
obtained by using the method of Ching and Adkins.

## The sudden symmetrical short circuit of the 3-phase

synchronous generator, although simpler to analyse, is comparatively unusual, the most frequently encountered faults
being line-line and line-neutral short circuits.
The single-phase short circuit on an alternator without
dampers was first analysed by Doherty and Nickle.1 Concordia2 later extended the treatment to cover machines with
dampers, and studied each of the three types of unbalanced
short circuit. The method used by these authors was to derive
the initial values of the components of the currents by approximate methods, and to estimate a time constant appropriate
to each component.3 Ching and Adkins4 have obtained more
rigorous mathematical solutions, subject to certain assumptions about the relative magnitudes of the parameters.
Hwang5 has analysed the line-earth short circuit of a machine
without dampers by a method of successive approximations.
A study of these papers, or indeed of those dealing with
the symmetrical short circuit, leaves two clear impressions;
first, that at the end of it all the solutions are still only
Paper 6332 P, first received 6th August and in revised form 24th
September 1970
Mr. Reddy and Dr. Jones are with the Department of Electrical
Engineering & Electronics, University of Liverpool, Brownlow Hill,
PO Box 147, Liverpool L69 3BX, England

## PROC. IEE, Vol. 118, No. 1, JANUARY 1971

Fig. 1
Diagram of the single-phase machine
161

## Sudden short circuit of the single-phase

machine
The voltage equations of any 2-winding machine (see
Fig. 1) may be written down in a general form directly from
VF = RFiF + -{LFiF + MFaia)
0)
V

a = RJa + J^a'a

+ MaFiF)

## In the present problem, the assumption of a cylindrical air gap

and appropriate slot skewing will make the self inductances
LF and La independent of the rotor position 6, and the
mutual inductance will be a simple cosine function MFa =
MaF = Mcos 6. Since suddenly switching the machine on to a
to the armature impedance, it follows that a short circuit,
va = 0, may be considered without loss of generality. The
above equations are motor equations, so that reversing the
sign of ia to apply to generator operation gives
U

VF =

'F
-.

dt

aA
a"'a
MCOSC/

dt

di

## expression 6 = iot + 8 is specified, the initial rates of change

of currents may be determined. In the present case, with, say,
IF = 1A and 8 = 45 there is dijdt = - 4600 A/s and
diFjdt = 250-7 A/s. It may be assumed that these rates of
change are maintained over a very short interval of time, say
0-05ms, so that the new values of the currents at the end of
this interval become ia = - 0-230 A and ;> = 0-987 A. The
introduction of these new currents into eqn. 3, together with
the new value of 6, gives the new rates of change, and so on.
This type of problem is ideally suited to the digital computer,
which,'if fitted with an xy plotter, can be arranged to draw
the current waves directly. The programming is straightforward, but it is important to check convergence by comparing results for different increments of time, and it may be
necessary to use a more precise method of numerical integration such as the Runge-Kutta method.
Fig. 2 shows the computed and test results for sudden short
circuits at two different switching angles.
Fig. 3 shows the comparison for sudden switching of a
resistive load. The agreement is seen to be close.
2.1

BL
(2)

## 0 = Raia + La-j Mcos 8 + wMsin 8iF

where cu = ddjdt. Rearrangement now gives

## d'a _(VF RF'F ~ wMsin 6ia)Mcos 6 (Raia + coMsin 6iF)LF

It
LFLa - M2 cos2 6
dip _ (VF RFiF wM sin 6ia)La (Raia + wM sin 6iF)M cos 6
It
LFLa - M 2 cos2 0
It is a simple matter to determine the parameters in the righthand sides of these equations. The test generator described in
Appendix 8.2 has the parameters
La = 0 00S12H
LF=\- 305H
M = 0 1005i7
The initial values of the currents are iF = IF, the d.c. value,
and ia = 0, so that, once the instant of short circuit 8 in the

Discussion

## It will be appreciated that the electromagnetic theory,

laboratory testing, numerical analysis and computer programming required for this problem are very elementary, and thus
make a remarkable contrast with the conventional treatment.

(3)

The problem can, in fact, be successfully tackled by undergraduates with virtually no previous knowledge of synchronous machines.8 On the other hand, it might be argued that
this type of solution gives no general information such as,
for example, the influence of the various parameters, and
that the classical treatment, although very difficult, does
ultimately present the result in terms of quantities, e.g. the

Fig. 2
Short-circuit currents of
the single-phase machine
VF = 21V, 1F = O-83A
predicted
experimental
a First two cycles (8 = 180)
b First two cycles (S= 103)

## extent, a matter of fashion. As an example, it was, until quite

recently, taken for granted that an understanding of the
transformer or induction motor required vector or circle
diagrams, but these are now obsolescent, and understanding
is obtained instead from a study of the equivalent circuit.
Nevertheless, with the exact solution obtained so easily, it is
worthwhile to look for a simple approximation which may
help to elucidate the mechanism. The point being made is
that the introduction of approximations at the end is significantly different from their introduction at the commencement,
when their validity may be quite difficult to judge.

## direct-axis transient reactance, which have meaningful physical

significance. It is doubtful whether this argument is valid.
In the first place, the effects of varying a parameter may be
easily found by recomputing. Secondly, arguments about
'understanding' seem to be very subjective and, to some

2.2

Approximate solution

The simplest approximation is to neglect the resistances. This implies that the voltage VF applied to the field
is also zero. After this, only derivatives remain in eqn. 1, so
that instant integration is possible, giving
LFiF M c o s 6ia = LFIF
Laia M cos diF = M cos 8lF

(4)

## These equations represent the constant-flux-linkage theorem,

the quantities on the right-hand side being the initial values.
Rearrangement gives the currents
'a

. _
'F

Fig. 3
VF = 51 V, Ip = 1 5 A, Pioad = 11 5 n , 8 = 177
predicted
experimental

8O-

## LFLa M cos 6 cos 8

LFLa - M2 cos 2 ^

(5)
f

8O

4O

?\ ft"
-8O

## The approximate and exact solutions for a sudden short circuit

are compared in Figs. 4a and Ab for two different switching
angles. Examination of these Figures shows that neglecting
the resistances has led to appreciable overestimates for the
first peak.
The influence of the switching angle 8 on the magnitude of
the first peak may be investigated by determining the maximum

I6O

## LpM (cos 6 cos 8)

LFLa - M2 cos 2 e

4O

27T

7TW27T

' \l
.I ! i

-I6O

8O "

"V

Fig. 4

## Comparison of exact and approximate solutions for single-phase machine

VF = 20V, IF = 0-83A)
exact
approximate
a First cycle (8 = 0)
b First cycle (8 = 90)

,163

## where j8 = {1 - y/{\ - 2 )/l + V d - k2)}. For the machine,

under consideration, k = 0 942 so that ft = 0 498 and the
relative magnitudes of the first five harmonics are 1st = 100,
3rd = 50, 5th = 25, 7th = 12, 9th = 6. This particular waveform has a higher harmonic content than is common. At
6 = 90, all the harmonics add numerically, giving the peaky
waveform which seems to be characteristic of this form of
operation.

## value of the approximate expression for the armature current

above. This occurs when 6 = TT, and is given by
(6)
The worst condition is when S = 0, i.e. when the generated
voltage is zero. The current after half a cycle then reaches
the peak value (2coMjx'd)IF, and the importance of the
leakage or transient reactance x'd = a>(La M2fLF) is clear.
x'd is a small reactance, and neglecting the resistances is not
legitimate at this point.
For the steady-state condition, the current will lag behind
the voltage by almost 90. Writing 8 = 90 in the expression
for the field current above gives iF = IFj{\ k2 sin2 cot),
where k = M/\/(LFLa)
is the coupling factor. The mean value
of this current is not IF but {l/-\/U k2)}IF, and it follows
VF

vD = 0
vQ = 0
= 0

RF + LFp
MFDp
0
_MFp sin 6

a(ss) ~

## The case of the line-line short circuit of the 3-phase

machine with damper windings is a straightforward extension
of the single-phase case. The general voltage equation of the
complete 3-phase machine is well known. 6 It may be modified
to apply to the present problem by omitting the red phase
and connecting the yellow and blue windings together, to give

MFDp
RD -f LDp

0
0

MFp sin 6
M^/7 sin 6

i? Q + JLJ3/>

MQp COS #

Af^p sin 6

MQp COS 0

## that the steady-state armature current will be given by writing

8 = 90 and replacing IF by \/(l k2)IF in eqn. 5:
l

sin a>t
1 - k2 sin2 cot Fa

-v/(l

(8)

(9)

'Q

## and the only new feature is the 2nd-harmonic component of

the armature self inductance due to saliency.
This equation may be written in matrix form

(7)

## where IFa = (MlLa)IF is the field current referred to the

armature.
This current is compared with the exact current in Fig. Ac,
and agreement is seen to be uniformly close.
Finally, eqn. 7 may be expanded as a sine series to give
= 0 + j6) (sin cot jS sin 3cot
+ )82 sin 5cot - + . . .)//

'F

'D

= RI+p(LI)
- RI + Lpl + coGI

(10)

given by
pi

= L-\V

RI - OJGI)

## Since L is a 4 x 4 inductance matrix, the determination of its

inverse algebraically would be laborious. This is, however,
unnecessary, because, once the switching angle 8 is specified,

-I2OL

Fig. 5
Currents for lineline short circuit
vF = 2ov, if = O-83A
predicted
experimental
a First two cycles (S = 96)
b First two cycles (8 = 185)

164

## numerical values can be calculated at any instant for each

term in L, and inversion can be done numerically by calling
the appropriate subroutine in the computer program.
Standstill tests were carried out on the generator described
in Appendix 8.2 to measure the parameters, and the results
were used to compute the short-circuit current waveforms.
Numerical integration was effected using the Runge-Kutta
method with a time interval of 0 0001 s.
Fig. 5 compares the predicted values of the field and armature currents with the oscillograms of the actual short-circuit

## tests for two different switching angles. The steady-state

currents, which are common to all switching angles, are also
compared.
Fig. 6 gives similar comparisons for the sudden switching
immediately, there being virtually no transient phase. The
switching angle is therefore irrelevant.
In both Figures, the agreement between predicted and test
results is regarded as being very close, perhaps remarkably so
when one recalls the extreme simplicity of the approach.
4

Approximate solution
Once again, with the predicted results confirmed, it is
interesting to examine the approximate solutions obtained by
neglecting the resistances. The analysis follows the same
pattern as the single-phase case, but the detailed algebraic
work, which is now more involved, is relegated to Appendix
8.1. With VF and all the resistances zero, the voltage equations may be integrated immediately to give the four fluxlinkage equations. These are first processed to give the
currents immediately after the short circuit. In particular, the
field and armature currents are

4r

. _
la

-4 "
Fig. 6

## Currents for line-line resistive load

VP = 50V, IF = 1-5A,Rioad = 11-5 0 , 8
predicted
experimental

= - 127

~

L*F )

00

## where IF is thefieldcurrent before the short circuit, the starred

quantities are damped inductances,6 and the double-primed
quantities are subtransient reactances defined in Appendix 8.1.
Figs, la and 1b give the comparison between the exact and
approximate solutions for two different switching angles.
Initially, the results are close, and there is reasonable qualitative agreement throughout. Neglecting the resistances does,
however, lead to a serious overestimate of the first and subsequent peaks.

16 r

AAr

-8O-

-I6O-

Fig. 7

## Comparison of exact and approximate solutions for line-line short circuit

VF = 20V, IF = O-83A
exact
approximate
a First cycle (S = 90)
b First cycle (6 = 180) .

165

## The maximum armature current, from eqn. 11, is

* n win v

'- (1 + sin 8)

where Xd is the direct-axis synchronous reactance. Conventional analysis6 gives, for the r.m.s. value,
(12)

'0/

(15)

Z_

where Ko/ is the r.m.s. line voltage before short circuit. The
worst switching angle is 90, as shown in Fig. la, and the
critical parameter is the subtransient reactance x"d. This is a
very small quantity, compared with which the resistances
cannot be neglected in the machine under test.
Expressions for the steady-state currents are also derived
in Appendix 8.1. These are
sin 0

coMF{xd +

cos 2

a>Mf

1 -

(13)

## Since the positive-sequence reactance per phase can be

identified with the direct-axis synchronous reactance Xd, it
follows that the negative-sequence impedance Z_ must, in
the absence of resistance, be given by jy/(x'd'x'). Now in
the conventional approach, if the current is assumed to be
sinusoidal, the fundamental of the voltage, which is not
sinusoidal, leads to Z_ being the arithmetic mean of the two
subtransient reactances.6 Conversely, assuming a sinusoidal
voltage and taking the current fundamental leads to the
harmonic mean.3 The true value is now seen to be the geometric mean, which lies between the arithmetic and harmonic
means, and was, in fact, intuitively used by one of the
authors.6
Expanding in Fourier series, the expressions for the steadystate currents in the armature and field become

l

## Fig. 1c compares the exact and approximate solutions for the

steady-state case. Agreement here is seen to be very close.
It follows that eqn. 13 may be regarded as giving an
accurate representation of the steady-state currents, and it is
of interest to compare these expressions with those of conventional analysis. Conventional analysis is primarily concerned with the fundamental. of the armature-current wave,
and this may perhaps be regarded as a further limitation,
in view of the marked harmonic content of the actual waveform shown in Fig. 7c. The fundamental of the expression
for ia in eqn. 13 is given by

01

a(ss)

Xd
(sin 6 - j8 sin 30 + j82 sin 50- ...)

F(ss) -

(16)
2OJMFX'

where p

v/2Ko/sin0

. (14)

. ,,

-jTT

## It will be noticed that, if the two subtransient reactances were

Art

27T

-I2O 1 -

Fig.8

Comparison of computer method with that of Ching and Adkins for line-line short circuit
Vp = 20V, IF = O-83A
computer
a First two cycles (5 = 96)
b First two cycles (8 = 185)

166

## equal, the armature-current wave would be a pure sine wave,

and the field current would have only a 2nd-harmonic component superimposed on the direct current.
For the machine being considered, Table 1 gives a comparison of the harmonics obtained from the digital computer
solution with those obtained from eqn. 16. This gives a
quantitative measure of the accuracy of the approximation.

## Fig. 8 compares the two sets of results. These are naturally

almost identical for the steady-state phase. In the subtransient
phase, the agreement is much closer than was the case when
the resistances were entirely neglected, but there is a measurable
difference between the results.

Conclusions
The main conclusion is undoubtedly that the lineline short circuit, which is exceptionally difficult to treat by
conventional methods, turns out to be remarkably straightforward when treated by computer-aided analysis. The analysis
is carried out in terms of the fundamental voltage equations
of the machine. No current or voltage transformations have
been employed, nor have the resistances been neglected; the
computed current waveforms are complete, not merely the
fundamental component. The computed and measured values
are in close agreement throughout. One feels that the computer has rendered obsolete the traditional approach to
transient problems of this type, since the computer approach
is general and applicable to all terminal conditions. Further,
any form of variations in the inductance parameters due to
saliency, winding distribution etc. can easily be incorporated
in the program.

Table 1
COMPARISON

OF HARMONIC

COMPONENTS

Order of
harmonic

Computer
solution

Armature
current

Fundamental
3
5
7
9

1000
0-285
0 082
0 024
0 007

1-000
0-291
0 085
0-025
0 007

Field

Direct current
2
4
6
8

1000
0-800
0-230
0 067
0019

1000
0-817
0-238
0 069
0 020

current

Vp = 2 0 V; lp =

Approximate
solution

0-83A

## Finally, the effects of saturation, which have been neglected

during the computation, may be examined. During the subtransient phase, the field flux linkages, and therefore the
saturation level, are constant at LFIF. It is shown in
Appendix 8.1 that, between the subtransient and steady-state
phases, the field flux linkages fall to

References

## Trans. Amer. Inst. Elect. Engrs., 1928, 47, pp. 457-492

2 CONCORDIA, c.: 'Synchronous machines' (Wiley, 1951)
3 ADKINS, B. : 'The general theory of electrical machines' (Chapman
& Hall, 1959)
4

xd + VO

## where x'd is the transient reactance. Although this has not

been done, there would appear to be no difficulty in taking
saturation into account throughout the short circuit, by
finding the field flux linkages during each interval of time,
and deriving the appropriate values of the inductances from
the magnetisation characteristic.

7
8

## Comparison with conventional methods

It may be of interest to compare the computational
method with the classical methods of solution. Of the methods
developed by previous authors,1"5 that presented by Ching
and Adkins appears to be the most rigourous. The appropriate values of the parameters of the machine under test
were therefore introduced into the expressions developed by

## generators under unbalanced conditions', Proc. IEE, 1954, 101,

Pt. IV, pp. 166-182
HWANG, H. H.: 'Transient analysis of unbalanced short-circuit of
synchronous machines', IEEE Trans., 1969, PAS-88, pp. 67-71
JONES, c. v.: 'The unified theory of electrical machines' (Butterworth,
1967)
HILDEBRAND, F. B.:'Introduction to numerical analysis'(McGrawHill, 1956)
JONES, c. v.: 'Computer-aided machine analysis'. Presented at
EM70 conference, Dundee, Scotland, July 1-3, 1970

Appendixes

8.1

circuit

## The assumption that all the resistances are zero implies

Vf = 0. Eqn. 10 then reduces to p(LI) = 0, so that LI = L0IQ.
To make use of the same analysis for both the steady-state
and transient conditions, it is helpful to introduce the more
general boundary conditions at t = 0, namely
t = 0

iF = I'F

iD =

I'D

'Q

' =

## Integration then gives the constant-flux-linkage equations

LF
MFD
0
MF sin

MFD
LD
0
MD sin 6

0
0
LQ

MF sin 0
M D sin 9
MQ COS 0

'F

Mo cos 0 Ld sin 0 + Lo

LFI'F + MFDI'D
MFDI'F + LDI'D
0
l(MFI'F + MDr'D) sin 8,

(18)

Writing /> = (i> - I'F) + I'F, iD = (iD - I'D) + I'D, and re-

## arranging the order of the rows and columns, leads to

lvl
0
Jup
JvipSHiu
FD
M\fF sin 9 Ld sin 2 0 + Lq cos 2 0 M D sin 9 M e cos 9
M FD
f, sin 0
0
0
-AfG cos 0
0
Le

iF I'F

~V2ia
>D I'D
-

'Q

0
0

(19)

## The currents in the damper windings may now be eliminated

in the normal way to give
M* sin 6
\_M* sin 9 L*, sin2 d + L* cos2 0
P/?OC. IEE, Vol. 118, No. 1, JANUARY 1971

## -(Mpl,J'P + MDI'D) (sin 0 - sin S)J

(20)
167

upon simplification, to be

where
r*

iY

LF - LF

Fl>

M* =

MF-

MDMFD

'-'d ^d

f x'd

(21)

J-T)

F F

1 y

dXq

\.*d
where x'd Ld M}fLF\?, the direct-axis transient reactance.

## are the damped inductances. 6 The solution of eqn. 20 is

iF I'F = (y^r)w(M / r/^. + MDI'D)
\LF /
(sin 6 sin S) sin 6
x"d sin2 6 + x'q' cos 2 d

8-2

(22)

## Parameters of the test machine

A laboratory generalised machine which satisfied
required conditions was chosen as both the single-phase
3-phase machine. The resistances were measured by
tests. The remaining parameters were determined from
W, or W

sin 6 sin 5

V2ia =

the
and
d.c.
a.c.

where
(23)

## The damper currents, if required, may be recovered from

nD - rD~\ _ r-(M /L )
L iQ \ " L 0
FD

-(MD/LD)

sin ei

(M G /L e ) cos

riF F - - iFi

V2/J
(24)

## The subtransient currents in eqn. 11 are obtained by writing

the true initial conditions J'F IF and I'D = 0 in eqn. 22.
In the steady-state condition, it is not the initial values of
iF and iD, which are IF and 0, respectively, but their mean
values over a cycle. The mean values of iF and iD may be
obtained by integrating eqns. 22 and 24. Equating these
mean values to JF and 0 then enables the currents at the
start of the steady-state cycle to be determined. These are
: = /, i-

r^j

Xd + -v

(25)

MFDMp
Introducing these values into eqn. 22 with 8 = 0 gives the
From eqn. 18, the flux linkages with the field are given by
LFJ'F + MFD1'D. The initial value of this expression at / = 0
is LF1F, so that, throughout the subtransient phase, the
saturation corresponds to a field current of IF, the value
before the short circuit was applied. With the aid of eqn. 25

Fig. 9
Circuits for a.c. standstill tests
a Test circuit
b Equivalent circuit

standstill tests. With the notation of the test circuit of Fig. 9a,
the results obtained are tabulated in Table 2.
On the assumption of an equivalent circuit of the type
shown in Fig. 9b, the armature and field tests both lead to
the same value of mutual inductance, which confirms that
similar saturation conditions have been attained. Tests for
various rotor angles showed that the harmonic content of
the mutual inductance between the armature and the field was
less than 1 %; this was neglected. The complete list of parameters is given in Table 3. The total field-circuit resistance,
which differed between tests, is indicated in the individual
figure captions.
Table 3
MACHINE PARAMETERS

Table 2

Winding 1

Winding 2

V\

/.

Vl

W21

462- 5
86- 4
86- 6

800
120
125

armature

field
f/damper
q damper

40 14 65

w
85

field

armature
^/damper

482

1 18

75

37- 3
84- 2

r/damper

armature

60-2 3 04

34

18- 35
219- 5

7-0
117-5

60-2 3 04

33

18- 25

70

90

fieJd

^damper

168

armature

-phase machine

Single-phase machine

4-25
10

deg

0
0
90

La == 0-00872H
== 1-305H
M == 01005H
= 01500

Ld =

LF

L = 0-00436 H
n
LF = 1305 H

MF =
LQ =
MFD =
MD == Mp =
Ra =
RD = RQ =
LD

007106H
00635H
0-229H
OO1361H
O-O75fi
1-40O

## A point of interest is that the dampers were accessible, so

that their parameters could be measured directly. In general,
the dampers would be inaccessible, so that their properties
would have to be deduced from inductance-bridge and a.c.
standstill tests. 6