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Protection and Relay Schemes

Chris Fraser Amanda Chen Wang Group#4

October 5, 2005


Introduction of Protective Relays Electrical System Protection with Protective Relays Conclusion

What are Relays?

Relays are electrical switches that open or close another circuit under certain conditions.

Relay Purpose

Isolate controlling circuit from controlled circuit. Control high voltage system with low voltage. Control high current system with low current. Logic Functions

Relay Types

Electromagnetic Relays (EMRs)

Solid-state Relays (SSRs)

EMRs consist of an input coil that's wound to accept a particular voltage signal, plus a set of one or more contacts that rely on an armature (or lever) activated by the energized coil to open or close an electrical circuit. SSRs use semiconductor output instead of mechanical contacts to switch the circuit. The output device is optically-coupled to an LED light source inside the relay. The relay is turned on by energizing this LED, usually with low-voltage DC power.

Microprocessor Based Relays

Use microprocessor for switching mechanism. Commonly used in power system monitoring and protection.

How a Relay Works

Sold-State Relay


Electromagnetic Relays (EMRs) Simplicity Not expensive Mechanical Wear Solid-state Relays (SSRs) No Mechanical movements Faster than EMR No sparking between contacts Microprocessor-based Relay Much higher precision and more reliable and durable. Improve the reliability and power quality of electrical power systems before, during and after faults occur. Capable of both digital and analog I/O. Higher cost

Why A System Needs Protection?

There is no fault free system. It is neither practical nor economical to build a fault free system. Electrical system shall tolerate certain degree of faults. Usually faults are caused by breakdown of insulation due to various reasons: system aging, lighting, etc.

Electrical Faults

majority are phase-to-ground faults phase-to-phase phase-phase-phase double-phase-to-ground

Advantages for Using Protective Relays

Detect system failures when they occur and isolate the faulted section from the remaining of the system. Mitigating the effects of failures after they occur. Minimize risk of fire, danger to personal and other high voltage systems.

Protective Devices Comparison


Circuit Breakers


Acquisition Detection

Protective Devices Comparison

Circuit Breakers V.S. Relays Relays are like human brain; circuit breakers are like human muscle. Relays make decisions based on settings. Relays send signals to circuit breakers. Based the sending signals circuit breakers will open/close.

Protective Devices Comparison

Fuses V.S. Relays Relays have different settings and can be set based on protection requirements. Relays can be reset. Fuses only have one specific characteristic for a individual type. Fuses cannot be reset but replaced if they blow.

Protection and Relay Schemes

Motor Protection Transformer Protection Generator Protection

Motor Protection

Timed Overload Locked Rotor Single Phase and Phase Unbalance Other

Motor Protection Timed Overload

Solution: Thermal overload relays

Plunger-type relays Induction-type relays

Motor Protection Timed Overload Protection

Timed Overload Definition: Continuously operate motor above its rated value will cause thermal damage to the motor.

Thermal Overload Relays

Use bimetallic strips to open/close relay contacts when temperature exceeds/drops to certain level. Require certain reaction time Inverse time/current relationship

Thermal Overload Relays

Plunger-type Relays

Fast reaction time Use timer for time delay

Such as oil dash pot.

Inverse time/current relationship

Plunger-Type Relays

Induction-type Relays

Most frequently used when AC power presents Change taps to adjust time delay

Induction-Type Relays

Motor Protection Stalling

Some Definitions Motor Stalling:

It happens when motor circuits are energized, but motor rotor is not rotating. It is also called locked rotor. Effects: this will result in excessive currents flow given the same load. This will cause thermal damage to the motor winding and insulation.

Motor Protection Stalling

Similar types of relays that are used for motor timed overload protection could be used for motor stalling protection.

Motor Protection Single Phase and Phase Unbalance

Some definitions Single Phase:

three-phase motors are subject to loss of one of the three phases from the power distribution system.

Motor Protection Single Phase and Phase Unbalance

Some definitions Phase Unbalance:

In a balanced system the three lineneutral voltages are equal in magnitude and are 120 degrees out of phase with each other. Otherwise, the system is unbalanced.

Motor Protection Single Phase and Phase Unbalance

These conditions will cause

Motor winding overheating Excessive vibrations Cause motor insulation/winding/bearing damage

Motor Protection Single Phase and Phase Unbalance

These conditions will cause

Motor winding overheating Excessive vibrations Cause motor insulation/winding/bearing damage

Motor Protection Single Phase and Phase Unbalance

Motor Protection Other

Instantaneous Overcurrent

Differential Relays
Electromagnetic Relays Differential Relays


Ground Fault

Transformer Protection

Gas and Temperature Monitoring Differential and Ground Fault Protection

Transformer Protection
Gas Monitoring Relays: These relays will sense any amount of gas inside the transformer. A tiny little amount of gas will cause transformer explosion. Temperature Monitoring Relays: These relays are used to monitor the winding temperature of the transformer and prevent overheating.

Transformer Protection Ground Fault

For a wye connection, ground fault can be detected from the grounded neutral wire.

Transformer Protection Ground Fault and Differential Relay

Generator Protection

Differential and Ground Fault Protection Phase Unbalance

Generator Protection Differential and Ground Fault

Generator Protection Phase Unbalance

Some Definitions.. Negative Sequence

Voltage example:

Generator Protection Phase Unbalance

Some Definitions.. Negative Sequence:

The direction of rotation of a negative sequence is opposite to what is obtained when the positive sequence are applied. Negative sequence unbalance factor:

Factor= V-/V+ or I-/I+

Generator Protection Phase Unbalance

Negative Sequence Relay will constantly measure and compare the magnitude and direction of the current.

Relays control output circuits of a much higher power. Safety is increased Protective relays are essential for keeping faults in the system isolated and keep equipment from being damaged.


IEEE Red Book Ontario Power Generation Training Course (Electrical Equipment)