DISADVANTAGES OF Y-Y (WYE-WYE) TRANSFORMER CONNECTION TUTORIALS

The Y-Y transformer connection was poorly understood in the early days of power engineering and it received a very bad reputation when it was first used; in fact, this connection was avoided for a long time until its limitations were overcome by good engineering practice.

Some of the inherent disadvantages of the Y-Y connection are discussed below:

1. The presence of third (and other zero-sequence) harmonics at an ungrounded neutral can cause overvoltage conditions at light load. When constructing a Y-Y transformer using single-phase transformers connected in a bank, the measured line-to-neutral voltages are not 57.7% of the system phase-to-phase voltage at no load but are about 68% and diminish very rapidly as the bank is loaded.

The effective values of voltages at different frequencies combine by taking the square root of the sum of the voltages squared. With sinusoidal phase-to-phase voltage, the third-harmonic component of the phase-to-neutral voltage is about 60%, so the effective voltage across the winding is calculated as follows:
E = [0.577^2 + (0.6*0.577)^2]^1/2 = 68%

2. There can be a large voltage drop for unbalanced phase-to-neutral loads. This is caused by the fact that phase-to-phase loads cause a voltage drop through the leakage reactance of the transformer whereas phase-to-neutral loads cause a voltage drop through the magnetizing reactance, which is 100 to 1000 times larger than the leakage reactance.

3. Under certain circumstances, a Y-Y connected three-phase trans-former can produce severe tank overheating that can quickly destroy the transformer. This usually occurs with an open phase on the primary circuit and load on the secondary.

4. Series resonance between the third harmonic magnetizing reactance of the transformer and line to-ground capacitance can result in severe overvoltages.

5. If a phase-to-ground fault occurs on the primary circuit with the primary neutral grounded, then the phase-to-neutral voltage on the unfaulted phases increases to 173% of the normal voltage. This would almost certainly result in overexcitation of the core, with greatly increased magnetizing currents and core losses.

6. If the neutrals of the primary and secondary are both brought out, then a phase-to-ground fault on the secondary circuit causes neutral fault current to flow in the primary circuit. Ground protection relaying in the neutral of the primary circuit may then operate for faults on the secondary circuit.

The obvious remedy for some of the disadvantages of the Y-Y transformer connection would be to simply solidly ground both the primary and secondary neutrals. In fact, this is standard practice for virtually all Y-Y transformers in systems designed by utility companies.

Unfortunately, solidly grounding the neutrals alone does not solve the problem of tank overheating, ferroresonance, and operating primary ground protection during secondary faults.

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