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Home / Technical Articles / Why does generator-current breaking differ from other switching devices in T&D systems

Generator-current breaking

There are few switching situations that differ from the duties standardized for switching devices in transmission and distribution systems. One of these special situations are generator-current breaking. Generator circuit-breakers are breakers applied at a rated voltage matching the rated voltage of a generator.

Why does generator-current breaking differ from other switching devices in T&D systems
Why does generator-current breaking differ from other switching devices in T&D systems (on photo: Generator Circuit-Breaker Systems type HECPS by ABB)

They are located between the generator and step-up transformer. When no generator circuit-breaker is applied, an alternative solution is a circuit-breaker at the high voltage side of the step-up transformer.

The advantage of this solution is the less complicated simple high-current connection (generator bus duct) between generator and transformer.

The advantage of having a generator circuit-breaker is the possibility to connect the auxiliary plant to the medium voltage side of the (permanently energized) step-up transformer. This is depicted later below in Figure 3.

The electrical and mechanical performances of a generator circuit-breaker are very different from standard MV distribution switchgear. The only standard available worldwide that covers specifically the requirements for generator circuit-breakers is ANSI/IEEE C37.013.

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Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.

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