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An Example of the Effectiveness of Directional Overcurrent


Relays (ANSI 67, 67N)

An Example of the Effectiveness of Directional Overcurrent Relays (ANSI 67, 67N) (photo credit: ashidaelectronics.com)

When fault currents can flow in more than one direction


When fault currents can flow in more than one direction with respect to the load current it is often desirable to
determine which direction the fault current is flowing and trip the appropriate devices accordingly. This is usually due
to the need to de-energize only those parts of the power system that must be de-energized to contain a given fault.
Standard overcurrent relays cannot distinguish the direction of the current flow. Directional relays (67, 67N)
are required to perform this function.
An important concept in the application of directional overcurrent relays is polarization. Polarization is the
method used by the relay to determine the direction of current flow. For phase directional overcurrent relays, this
is accomplished by the use of voltage transformers, which provide a voltage signal to the relay and allow it
to distinguish the current direction.
The details of polarization methods are not discussed here.

Because the voltage on a faulted phase can be unreliable, each phase is restrained via the voltage
from a different phase. Care must be used when defining CT polarities as each manufacturer typically

defines a preferred polarity to match the their standard connection diagrams.

Polarization for a 67N relay is more difficult. They must be polarized with zero-sequence current or zero-sequence
voltage. Electromechanical 67N relays must be polarized via either a CT in the source transformer neutral (zerosequence current polarization) or three VTs connected with a wye-connected primaries and broken-delta connected
secondaries.
Solid-state 67N relays usually must
be polarized the same way but
do sometimes offer a choice of either
method. Microprocessor-based
relays typically offer a choice of
either method and, in some cases,
can self-polarize by calculating the
zero-sequence voltage from the
measured three-phase line voltage.

An Example
As an example of the effectiveness of
directional overcurrent relays,
consider the primary-selective
system arrangement. The primary
main and tie circuit breakers and an
example of protective relaying for
those circuit breakers are shown in
Figure 1 below.

BASLER overcurrent solid-state relay

Figure 1 Example protective relaying arrangement for closed-transition primary-selective system

In Figure 1 the bus tie circuit breaker is normally-closed, paralleling the two utility feeds. Each main circuit breaker
and the bus tie circuit breaker are protected via 51 and 51N relays. The mains also have 67 and 67N relays. Note that
the 67 relays are polarized via the line voltage transformers, and auxiliary voltage transformers connected in wyebroken delta are supplied for polarization of the 67N relays.
The polarization results in the indicated tripping directions for these relays.
The need for the 67 and 67N relays can be demonstrated by considering a fault on one of the utility feeds. Should
utility feed #2, for example, experience a fault, the fault current will be supplied both from the upstream system
feeding utility feed #2 and from utility feed #1 through circuit breakers 52-M1, 52-T, and 52-M2. Because the 51 and
51N relays for 52-M1 and 52-M2 are likely set identically, they will both respond to the fault at the same time, tripping
52-M1 and 52-M2 and de-energizing the entire downstream system.

To avoid this, the 67 and 67N relays are set to coordinate with the 51 and 51N relays , respectively,
so that the 67 and 67N relays trip first.

For a fault on utility feed #2, the 67 and 67N relays for 52-M1 will not trip due to the fact that the current is flowing in
the direction opposite to the tripping direction.
However, the 67 and 67N relays on 52-M2 will sense current in the tripping direction and trip 52-M2. The downstream
system is still energized by 52-M1 and 52-T after 52-M2 trips.
Reference: System Protection Bill Brown, P.E., Square D Engineering Services

About Author //
Edvard Csanyi
Edvard - Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for
design of LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, buildings and
industry fascilities. Designing of LV/MV switchgears. Professional in AutoCAD programming
and web-design. Present on Google+

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3 Comments
1.
sounder
Dec 17, 2014
Thanks for your guidance for 50 67
(reply)
2.
vivek sharma
Oct 18, 2014
Hi,
I am always having confusion about earth directional fault. on what behalf the polarization is selected in
different relays and how to test this protection.
Please suggest me its basic. (my mail id is saindlya.vivek@gmail.com)
Thankyou
(reply)
3.
Cama
Oct 10, 2014
Hello,
How will the phasorial diagram of Voltage and Current will look for the directional relay of 52-M2 will look like in
case of earth-fault upstream of 52-M2 CB ?
(reply)
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