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Loadbreaking and the Bazooms Curve

Carlo DeLuca, PE, MBA

This course will discuss power connectors capable of manual live connection and disconnection of high voltage, high amperage circuits. This connector system offers a versatile and economical application to convenient load switching operations in confined areas. Some applications will be discussed.

Originally, the objective was to connect and disconnect 15 kV primary distribution circuits with switching voltages at 8.3 kV; however, the voltages were later increased to include 25 and 35 kV. Connector manufacturers not only had to be thoroughly concerned with long term connection at amperages of at least 200 amperes, but also had to study the switching performance and details of the connector itself. The connector is designed to be manually connected and disconnected at the end of a hot stick (an insulated live line pole) by a lineman.

Our discussion analyzes the performance of the switching system based on data received from power testing. It will describe some constraints that had to be applied to performance and standards of performance for the connector system. Basically, the requirements were to be able to switch at the high voltage and high currents for a prescribed amount of switching and also be able to safely connect (fault close) a high current (10,000 amperes RMS) in the event of a fault. Even though the connector was not required to be used again, this operation had to be done safely by a lineman. As we continue through the discussion, it will also be realized that there are other constraints that the user (primary electric utilities) would require from this connecting system. The analysis of the fault close operation was a key in evaluating the connector system inasmuch as most of the early failures of the system occurred during fault close. A unique system is described to analyze real time occurrences at the point that the connector connects fault close at the higher voltages, and also to determine the most critical area. In addition, equipment is described to be able to produce such a connection with a good sense of predictability in order to limit the amount of samples being tested.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.