Abstract The work presented in this paper deals with the investigation of circuit breaker prestrike effect that occurs during energizing a distribution transformer. An experimental test setup that consists of a supply transformer, a vacuum circuit breaker (VCB), a cable and a test transformer is built, and the prestrikes in the VCB are recorded. The test transformer is a prototype distribution transformer, with installed measuring points along transformer windings in each phase. Voltage oscillations are measured along the windings and transformer terminals. The transformer is modeled by lumped parameters extracted from telegrapher's equations in discrete form. Voltage oscillations during switching-in operations are recorded and calculated with and without a cable installed between the VCB and the transformer. Computed voltages show good agreement with the measured voltages. Described method can be used by transformer manufacturers to estimate voltage wave forms during switching or lightning, to provide useful information for insulation coordination studies, and to investigate resonance effects in transformer windings.
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