Surge Protection of Rotating Machine
A rotating machine is less exposed to lightning surge as compared to transformers. Because of the limited space available, the insulation on the windings of rotating machines is kept to a minimum. The main difference between the winding of rotating machine and transformer is that in case of rotating machines the turns are fewer but longer and are deeply buried in the stator slots. Surge impedance of rotating machines in approx. 1000 Ω and since the inductance and capacitance of the windings are large as compared to the overhead lines the velocity of propagation is lower than on the lines. For atypical machine it is 15 to 20 metres/ μ sec. This means that in case of surges with steep fronts, the voltage will be distributed or concentrated at the first few turns. Since the insulation is not immersed in oil, its impulse ratio is approx. unity whereas that of the transformer is more than 2.0.
The rotating machine should be protected against major and minor insulations. By major insulation is meant the insulation between winding and the frame and minor insulation means inter-turn insulation. The major insulation is normally determined by the expected line-to-ground voltage across the terminal of the machine whereas the minor insulation is determined by the rate of rise of the voltage. Therefore, in order to protect the rotating machine against surges requires limiting the surge voltage magnitude at the machine terminals and sloping the wave front of the incoming surge. To protect the major insulation a special lightning arrester is connected at the terminal of the machine and to protect the minor insulation a condenser of suitable rating is connected at the terminals of the machine as shown in Fig. 1.15.
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