Cigre Australia

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Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters draw international presenters to SEAPAC 17

By ANC, 30 January 2017


The Victorian Government recently undertook a world-first trial to demonstrate the capabilities of a range of fully optimised Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) technologies in reducing bushfire risk as a result of powerline faults or breakages. 

Some of the results of the trial are very encouraging and the technology looks set to help address this crucial issue. At SEAPAC 17 a number of papers are being presented by a suite of international and local experts on the wider subject. This includes the following (with some short extracts from each): 

  • The Ground Fault Neutralizer – Smart Bushfire Protection for Australia (117)
    Klaus Winter of Swedish Neutral AB and Kenneth Barber of Istana PTY Ltd 

“Basically it has been clearly established that where a bare line comes in contact with the ground or earthed object, to avoid a fire starting the fault protection needs to operate in less than 85 millisecs and the fault current needs to be limited to less than 500 milliamperes…” 

  • Compensated neutral networks and multi-frequency admittance protection (121)
    Ari Wahlroos & Janne Altonen ABB Oy, Vaasa, VAASA, Finland

 “This paper describes the fundamentals and latest developments of earth-fault protection in compensated networks i.e. networks earthed through an arc suppression coil” 

  • Sensitive ground fault detection in compensated systems (ASC) - what is influencing the sensitivity   (104) 
    Gerd Kaufmann A. Eberle GmbH & Co. KG, Nuremberg, BAVARIA, Germany

 “We have selected detection methods that require no artificial injected signal to trace the fault” 

  • Restricted Earth Fault Security and Incipient Faults: Case Study (111)
    Leonardo Torelli, CSE-Uniserve, Australia

 “This paper reviews a real field application where an incipient fault on a 22 kV underground cable was undetected for a long period of time leading the ground CTs to saturation and to the incorrect operation of two transformer REF schemes in the upstream zone substation”

 Ian Young, CIGRE’s B5 panel convenor commented on the papers;

 “It’s great to have the international perspectives on this and other topics. This of course is a traditional strength of CIGRE which is especially pertinent when combined with our local people.  We are looking forward to discussing the issues and sharing knowledge in this area”

The full SEAPAC conference programme is confirmed to include 39 papers being presented on a range of protection, automation and control subjects presented by a variety of local and international experts. Including interesting papers on protection of embedded generators and microgrids.

 Ian commented on the programme generally

 “We are excited as always by the standard of papers being presented at SEAPAC17. Despite a challenging industry environment there continues to be a high level of interest in SEAPAC and we are expecting a stimulating event, with the Q & A sessions as always one of the key components.”

You can view the full programme at:

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