Extended Range CTs vs High Accuracy CTs

Extended Range CTs vs High Accuracy CTs

By Stephen Schaefer Stephen is a guest author for Peak Demand’s Knowledge Center and editor of Learn Metering found at www.learnmetering.com.

Peak Demand Alta Series Current TransformersExtended range CT’s are all the rage with CT sales people now. But what exactly are they? Don’t we already have high accuracy CT options out there? Is there a difference in extended range CTs and high accuracy CTs? I will try and break these terms down and explain what the difference is between extended range CTs and high accuracy CTs.

What are Extended Range CTs?

To understand what extended range CTs are we need to understand what standard range CTs are. Standard range CTs have a measurement range from 0 amps through their rating factor. However, notice that I said measurement and not accuracy. That is because if we remember correctly that standard CTs are only certified as being accurate to 0.6% from 10% of their nameplate rating through the nameplate rating. Furthermore, at the nameplate rating up through the rating factor they are accurate to within 0.3%.

So, obviously an extended range CT would be better than that right? Well, yes. However, there is a caveat. That being that there is no standard when it comes to the term “extended range CT.” These extended ranges are noted in the literature that comes from the manufacturer of the CT. This means that the CT could be accurate down to 3% of the nameplate value or even down to 1%. This however all depends on the manufacturer. Which leads us to our next point.

Don’t we Already Have High Accuracy CTs?

The answer to that question is yes. But let’s remember that to be classified as a high accuracy CT that there are certain guidelines that must be adhered to. The IEEE is the body that defines that standard. If you want to learn more about high accuracy CTs follow the link. So the next question then is why do we have extended range CTs if high accuracy CTs already exist and is there a difference?

What is the difference between extended range CTs and high accuracy CTs?

The first difference is that high accuracy CTs actually have a standard that must be met to be called high accuracy. Extended range CTs however do not have this standard. However, most extended range CTs are high accuracy CTs. The reason for this is because manufacturers need a way to separate themselves from the competition. It is not good enough for them to just meet the standard. They need to go above and beyond the standard to attract more customers.

This is good for utilities because it means that in the end they have access to more choices and better products. Utilities who want high accuracy CTs will find that not only are they available but they are available with more extended ranges than the standard requires. Just remember also that an extended range CT is not always high accuracy. Check and make sure that the CT has a rating for high accuracy before believing the salesman. Extended range is something that the manufacturer decides.

Conclusion

Extended range CTs can be used anywhere standard CTs are used. They allow you the ability to meter lower levels of current than you would have before now. This also permits greater revenue over the life of the CT. However, make sure that the CT is high accuracy before you jump on the extended range bandwagon.

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