In densely populated urban or industrial power systems and in rural areas with large Distributed Generation connections, networks are often run in a radial configuration, with open bus section breakers, to increase the system impedance in order limit the fault current.
This results in transformers which are normally run in parallel becoming isolated from one another causing disparate loading and reduced redundancy. It also increases losses and the duty on transformer tap changers that regulate the local distribution voltage.
The use of Fault Current Limiters allows the network to be operated in an interconnected or mesh configuration under load whilst virtually reverting back to radial operation under fault conditions. It is therefore possible to maintain the existing robust control and protection arrangements for radial networks rather than replacing them with more complex, expensive and sophisticated solutions.
Meshing the network with Fault Current Limiters releases network capacity whilst maintaining fault currents at levels to safe and manageable levels. It results in improved quality and security of supply and a more efficient distribution network with reduced losses and CO² emissions.