The installation of Fault Current Limiters to keep the fault level below design limits allows the network operators to avoid replacement of network components before the end of their useful lifetime.
Additionally, reducing the fault level causes the life expectancy of network components to be extended thanks to the lower:
- Mechanical stress - proportional to current squared, i.e. halving the current reduces forces to ¼.
- Thermal stress - proportional to current squared, i.e. halving the current reduces heating to ¼.
- Arc energy - at the point of the fault reducing the risk of fire and in circuit-breakers extending the life of the contacts.
Furthermore, fitting Fault Current Limiters allows the network to be operated with a greater degree of interconnection. Sharing the load more evenly reduces the stresses associated with uneven loading, i.e. local over heating due to high load current.
Mobile Fault Current Limiters are containerised and can be moved. For example a unit could be installed at one site to defer reinforcements. When the reinforcement becomes unavoidable, the Fault Current Limiter can be relocated and used at another site on the network. This flexibility allows the network operator to utilise the equipment to optimise its reinforcement or asset replacement programmes.