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Relay Co-ordination and Settings

Scope
1.0

This design guide presents preferred practice for relay co-ordination and
settings to achieve effective tripping of the electrical auxiliaries in power and
industrial plants. Part I of this guide details relay co-ordination procedures,
while Part II indicates methods of setting for different types of relays, for
various protections. Part III, the Appendix, includes worked out examples for
relay co-ordination as well as relay settings.

Part 1

Relay Co-ordination

1.0

Recommended Practice Points for consideration for relay coordination

1.1

The co-ordination starts from the extreme downstream protection, which may
be a fuse.

1.2

The co-ordination interval for the relay immediately above the fuse is decided
by the fuse positive tolerance, relay negative tolerance, relay overshoot and
a safety margin. A minimum co-ordination interval of 0.2 second is to be
maintained between the relay and the fuse.

1.3

As far as possible, a co-ordination interval of 0.4 second is to be maintained


between the relays to ensure proper discrimination. This time includes the
breaker opening time, relay error, relay overshoot and a safety margin.

1.4

For industrial plants, the operating time of the extreme upstream relay in the
plant, considered along with its breaker opening time, at the incoming power
supply fault level. The co-ordination starting from the extreme downstream
relays shall ensure that this requirement is met.

1.5

For the power plants, the opening time of the extreme upstream relays is
determined by the switchgear rating. Since the switchgear normally has 1
second rating, the maximum relay operating time should not exceed 0.9
second at the rated fault level.

1.6

The following procedures can also be considered to simplify the relay coordination procedure.

1.6.1 Use of very inverse and extremely inverse time relays on downstream side
feeders.
1.6.2 Reduction of the co-ordination interval between to 0.35 second although this
reduces the relay margin.
1.6.3 Elimination of the co-ordination interval between two relays, which will not
cause power interruption to other loads. For example, in co-ordination of
relays on the primary and secondary side of transformers and co-ordination
of relays on the breakers at the sending and receiving ends of a tie/radial
feeder.
1.6.4 The co-ordination interval between relays provided on incoming feeders and
the bus coupler can be eliminated in cases where the bus coupler is normally
kept open.
1.6.5 A differentially connected scheme for relays on incoming feeder can be
considered in cases where selective tripping is required and where the
coordination interval is to be reduced and bus coupler is normally kept
closed.

1.7

On any particular bus, amongst relays on various outgoing feeders, the relay
with highest operating time is to be considered for co-ordination with the
relay on the incoming feeder. It shall also be ensured that the relay on the
incoming feeder does not operate for the starting condition of the largest
motor.

1.8

The instantaneous relays on the primary side of the transformer feeder shall
be set above the through-fault level on the secondary side to prevent the
relay from operating for a secondary side fault. Generally, the setting
adopted is 1.3 times the through-fault current. This value covers the CT error,
relay error as well as the over-reach of the instantaneous relay.

1.9

Where inverse time relays with instantaneous elements are provided on


outgoing transformers/motor feeders, the IDMT relay on the incoming feeder
shall be coordinated with the operating time of the instantaneous element to
bring down the bus fault clearing time. However, with the IDMT relay
characteristics selected in this manner for the incoming feeder, it should be
ensured that grading is obtained with the outgoing feeder IDMT
characteristics as well.

1.10

The operating time of the relay on an incoming feeder at the respective


switchgear fault level shall be such that the operating time of the immediate
back-up relay, considered together with its breaker opening time, shall not
exceed the short time rating of the switchgear, which is normally 1 second.
Wherever there is a substantial difference between the system fault level and
the switchgear rating at the system fault level, the incoming feeder relay and
the immediate back-up relay operating times are permitted to increase based
on the I2T criteria as may be necessary for co-ordination with downstream
relays. For example, if the fault current at the switchgear bus is X times,
which is much lower than the switchgear of 1 second rating Y can be
increased to (Y/X)2 times 1 second.

1.11

Directional relays, when used for duplicate incoming feeders, are to be set at
50% of the sending end and non-directional relays over-current setting.

2.0

Calculations of Short-circuit Levels

2.1

An impedance diagram of the plant system is to be prepared showing the per


unit impedance (considered with negative tolerances as per relevant
standard) of all the circuit elements. Using network reduction techniques, the
short-circuit levels at various voltage levels of the system can be determined.

2.2

Motor contribution to the fault is to be included as follows.

2.2.1 For 415V motors less than 175 kW


Fault contribution = (6 x 1.2/1.5)(1) x motor rating in MVA
2.2.2 For 6.6 kV motors
For motors above 750 kW with 1500 rpm speed OR For motors rated above
175 kW with 3000 rpm speed
Fault contribution = (5 x 1.2/1.5) (1) x motor rating in MVA
2.2.3 For motors of exceptionally large rating such as BFP motors
Fault contribution = (6 x 1.2/2 x 1.5) x motor rating in MVA
(1)

The factor 1.2 relates to 20% negative sequence tolerance on the


impedance.

2.3

Wherever there is a change in circuit parameters, such as addition of motors


of large ratings or changes in the transformer rating, etc., the fault
calculations have to be mentioned and co-ordination reviewed.

Part 2
network

Settings of relay on typical feeders in power distribution

3.0

General

3.1

Three main types of feeders are normally encountered in power distribution


system as follows.

3.2

Transformer feeder

3.2.1 The transformer feeders couple two switchboards at different voltage levels
with circuit breakers at both sending (HV) and receiving (LV) ends.
3.3

Motor feeder

3.3.1 The motor feeders are meant solely for the switching and protection of either
HT or LT motors.
3.4

Tie feeder

3.4.1 The tie feeders join two switchboards of identical voltage level with circuit
breakers at both the sending and receiving ends. Power flow through these
feeders is normally unidirectional, though the bi-directional power flow can be
allowed under certain specific circumstances.
3.5

Various criteria to be considered while setting the individual relays for


different protections have been detailed under each type of feeder
protection. Procedure for setting certain miscellaneous relays, common to a
switchboard (like neutral displacement and under-voltage relays on bus
voltage transformer modules) have also been considered.

4.0

Transformer feeders

4.1

Protections are normally provided for abnormal conditions listed hereunder on


the transformer feeders.
i.

Over-current protection.

ii. Unrestricted earth fault protection.


iii. Restricted earth fault protection.
iv. Standby or back-up earth fault protection.
v. Differential protection.
vi. Gas or oil surge protection.
vii. Over-temperature protection for oil and winding.

4.2

It depends on the system configuration and rating of the transformer whether


all the above protections or a few protections are to be provided.

4.3

Over-current protection (50/51)

4.3.1 Purpose of this protection is to provide instantaneous protection to the


transformer against internal short-circuits and faults on the transformer
primary terminals as well as back-up time delayed over-current protection on
external downstream faults or excessive overloads.
4.3.2 Type of relay provided is an instantaneous over-current protection having a
low transient over-reach, whereas a definite minimum time relay having
inverse characteristics (51) is provided to get time delayed back-up
protection. Both the above relays may be mounted in a single case or may be
in different cases.
4.3.3 The instantaneous element is used on the primary side of the transformer
only, as use of this relay to the secondary side would make co-ordination
ineffective. Also the standard IDMT characteristics are used on the secondary
side for back-up over-current relay, whereas a very inverse characteristics are
applied on the primary side relay to decrease fault clearing time in case of HV
terminal faults.
4.3.4 Relay setting procedure
i.

IDMT OC relay (51) on transformer secondary


Assuming that the transformer secondary feeds a distribution
switchboard, as is normally the case, this relay has to necessarily be
coordinated with the relay on the outgoing feeder having the largest
operating time. If, there are large motors among the outgoing feeders,
then the relay settings should also be chosen so as to avoid relay
operation during starting of the largest motor when all other feeders are
supplying their normal loads. Meeting the above requirements and in
absence of any other constraint, the current setting of the relay should
be as close as possible to the full load rating of the feeders on the
transformer secondary. Above would hold good when grading with
outgoing fuse switch feeder or with feeders having IDMT relays only.
However, under certain conditions, it may be possible to adopt this
setting for the following reasons.
a. A high current setting required to avoid relay operation during
starting of largest motor.
b. A higher current setting required to reduce relay operation time,

when grading with outgoing transformer feeders with highest overcurrent elements on their primary side.
In both the above cases, two methods of setting this relay are possible.
The first with a low current setting, just above full load value, but with a
high time setting to avoid either relay operation during the motor
starting period or a high time setting to grade with the downstream
transformer feeder IDMT (51) protection on its primary (and not the
instantaneous protection).
The disadvantage with this method of setting, even though it offers a
certain degree of overload protection, is that the fault clearing time at
the system fault level would be relatively higher, thus, stressing the
system and equipment for an unnecessarily longer period.
The second, preferred alternative, is to choose a higher current setting
(which may be of the order of 2-4 times full load) to avoid the motor

starting inrush current and to choose a time multiplier setting (TMS) to


grade with the instantaneous over-current element of the downstream
transformer feeder. It may be noted that with this philosophy of setting
over-current protection is not offered by this relay, but much faster fault
clearing times are achievable. Overload protection to the transformer is
basically provided by the over-temperature protection device, which
sense the transformer winding or oil temperature. Both the above
possibilities have been illustrated in curves shown in Fig.1.
ii. IDMT OC relay (51) on transformer primary
While the current setting, i.e. the plug setting multiplier (PSM) preferred
on the primary side would be just above the transformer full current, it is
usually not practicable to choose such a low setting, as both the current
(PSM) as well as time setting multiplier (TMS) setting have to be
necessarily coordinated with IDMT relay (51) on the transformer on
secondary. For reasons detailed above, the current setting may be quite
high and as such this protection is considered as a back-up and is
expected to operate on both transformer internal faults as well as
through external faults on the downstream side (Ref Fig.1).
iii. Instantaneous OC relay (50) on transformer primary
It should be ensured that in order to maintain coordination, this relay
does not operate for any fault on the secondary side of the transformer.
The setting should therefore be chosen so as to be above the secondary
side short-circuit current (reflected on the primary side), but definitely
well below the primary side current. Also, in order to avoid spurious
operation of this relay on offset fault currents on the transformer
secondary and magnetic inrush currents, an instantaneous over-current
relay with a low transient over-reach (5% or less) is recommended.
Generally, a setting of 1.3 times the fault current is recommended to
cove the relay and CT errors as well as the relay over-reach.
4.4

Unrestricted earth fault protection (50N/51N)

4.4.1 Purpose of this relay is to provide protection in case of external earth faults in
effectively earthed and low resistance earthed systems.
4.4.2 The type of relay is same as 4.3.2, except for the setting range which is lower.
4.4.3 Setting procedure for this relay as defined in 4.3.4 for over-current relay is
generally applicable to this protection as well. However, for setting IDMT
earth fault relays, in the absence of any other constraint, the lowest setting
available may be generally chosen keeping in view the coordination
requirement detailed in 4.3.2 above and in Part 1 of this guide.
4.5

Restricted earth fault protection (64R)

4.5.1 This relay provides instantaneous earth fault protection to all internal faults in
the transformer winding to which it is applied. As it is a unit protection, the
setting of this relay does not require coordination with other protection
schemes. In resistance earthed systems, this protection also supplements the
normal differential protection, since it offers protection to a larger percentage
of the transformer winding.
4.5.2 The type of relay used is high impedance, voltage operated relay.
4.5.3 Relay setting procedure
The maximum voltage that is likely to appear across this relay (V R) during
external faults is first calculated assuming that the worst condition of
impedance, i.e. the CT on one side saturating. The total relay circuit

impedance is so adjusted by the stabilizing resistor in series with the relay so


that the current through the relay does not operate it under the condition
detailed above. The current setting chosen is normally the lowest value
available, i.e. 10%. As the current transformer designed for this protection
would have a knee point voltage equal to at least ZVR, this would develop
adequately higher voltage in case of internal faults, which would operate the
relay.
4.6

Standby or back-up earth fault protection (64S)

4.6.1 This protection is usually provided on resistance earthed systems and is


normally set to protect the earthing resistance, which is short time rated. This
may also be applied to effectively earthed systems where this relay acts as a
back-up to the unrestricted earth fault relay 51N in addition to providing for
protection of the transformer and winding faults.
4.6.2 It is an instantaneous over-current relay with timer used for this application.
AN IDMT relay with characteristics, which offers adequate protection to the
resistor can also be considered.
4.6.3 Relay setting procedure
The current and the time settings on this relay should protect the short time
rated resistor from damage. The current setting chosen should be less than
the continuous withstand current value of the resistor. The operating time of
the relay should be less than the withstand time of the resistor at the
maximum system earth fault current. In addition to matching the short time
rating of the resistor, the setting should also be coordinated with all
downstream earth fault relays.
4.7

Differential protection

4.7.1 This is a unit type protection provided against phase to phase as well as
phase to earth faults in both the transformer windings or at the transformer
terminals.
4.7.2 A percentage biased differential relay is recommended for this application.
For the transformers of large ratings, the relay should have additionally 2 nd
and 5th harmonic restraint feature as detailed in the transformer protection
guide.
4.7.3 Relay setting procedure
A biased differential relay is used to prevent operation under through fault
condition, as even under normal external fault condition, a certain differential
current can flow through the operating winding of the relay due to following
reasons.
i.

Transformer tap changing: If the transformer has a tap changer of +___%


to - ___%, then the maximum mismatch due to this would be x%, since
CT ratios are designed considering the transformer principle tap.

ii.

Mismatch between CT secondary currents.

iii.

A certain degree of mismatch between the CT magnetization


characteristics of the CTs on the transformer primary and secondary. This
value can be computed at the secondary fault level from the CT
characteristics.

iv.

Transformer magnetizing currents during switching.

4.8

Gas or oil surge protection

4.9

Over-temperature protection

5.0

Motor feeders

5.1

Procedure for setting of various protections usually provided on the motor


feeders of different ratings is detailed hereunder.

5.2

Bi-metallic thermal overload relay

5.2.1 The purpose of this relay is to provide protection against overloading and to
certain extent against single-phasing to all the motors generally up to 120 kW
rating.
5.2.2 The relay is three phase, bi-metallic, temperature compensated, thermal
relay, either operated directly by the motor current or through CT for the
motors of large ratings. The relay shall be hand reset or auto-reset type.
5.2.3 Relay setting procedure
The operating value of this relay is generally set at the motor full load current
or at marginally lower current.
5.3

Locked rotor or stalling protection (50 LR)

5.3.1 The relay works as back-up protection to the motors under stalling condition.
The motors of 100 kW and above are considered to cover under this
protection depending on their criticality. In case where thermal protection is
not effective under stalling, i.e. where thermal withstand characteristics of
the motor lies below the relay operating characteristics in either the cold or
hot condition, this relay becomes the main (and only) protection under
stalling condition.
5.3.2 Two instantaneous relays having high drop off to pick up ratios (above 80%)
in R and B phases with one common timer (on delay type) is used for this
protection.
5.3.3 Relay setting procedure
In case where a detailed relay application check is not carried out, i.e. for the
motors of less than 125 kW rating, the current setting chosen on each
instantaneous OC relay shall equal twice the motor full load current. The
common timer shall be 1 sec more than the starting time of the motor at the
minimum permissible voltage during starting, i.e. 80% off rated voltage for
the motors rated more than 125 kW, a detailed relay application check for
thermal overload shall be carried out. Procedure for this check is detailed
under thermal overload protection.
i.

If after plotting the motor thermal withstand characteristics and relay


operating characteristics, it is observed that the relay operating
characteristics under both hot and cold conditions, the current settings
as detailed above can be retained, as this relay provides back-up
protection only under stalled condition. The time setting shall be 1 sec
more than the starting time of the motor at 80% of rated voltage, but
shall be les than the stalled current withstand time of the motor under
hot conditions at 110% of the rated voltage.

ii.

If however, the relay hot and cold characteristics cuts the corresponding
motor withstand curve, at any point, which is say X time the full load
current then the current setting shall be twice the full load current of the
motor. (X x IFL) multiplied by 0.9, whichever is lower. The time setting
chosen shall be detailed under i. above.

iii.

In case where the locked rotor withstand time under hot condition is less
than or nearly equal to the starting time of the motor, at either 80%,

100% or 110% of the rated voltage and arrangement as shown in Fig.2


with a speed switch on the motor and an additional on delay timer is to
be utilised. Normally, chosen contact of the speed switch provided shall
open out at above the set time.
a. Time IR2 shall be set as usual, i.e. more than the starting time of the
motor.
b. Timer IR1 shall be set below the locked rotor withstand time under hot
conditions.
c. The speed switch on the motor shall be set to operate at a speed
attained by the motor under normal starting condition in a time less
than the setting on the timer TR1.
This arrangement, if the starts normally, the speed switch NC contact
provided in series with the timer TR1 would be energised if before it
could operate. However the motor stalls, the speed switch remaining in
the in-operative condition, timer TR1 would operate and trip the motor
before the locked rotor hot withstand time is reached.
5.4

Thermal overload protection (49)

5.4.1 Purpose of this relay is to provide protection to the motor against overheating
due to either overloads or presence of negative sequence components under
hot and cold conditions.
5.4.2 A thermal relay with inverse characteristics, sensing and compensating for
load current simulate a thermal image of the motor under hot and cold
condition is used. The relay senses current from at least twp phases. A choice
of characteristics is available with a wide range of time constants to match
the varied motor withstand curves encountered. As an alternative, an inverse
relay sensing only total load current can be used with a separate
instantaneous negative sequence relay.
5.4.3 Following procedure may be followed for deriving the relay setting.
i.

Current setting
The current setting chosen would be calculated as follows.

I Rel I FL x

CTS R
x
CTP

Where,
IRel = current setting on relay
IFL = full load current of motor in amp
CTP = rated CT primary current
CTS= rated CT secondary current
R = overload factor of motor, if any (R = 1for CMR motor)
= pick-up value of relay in terms of number of times current setting
In case the relay has current setting is available steps, next higher
setting (with respect to the calculated setting) would be chosen.
ii. Setting of time constant

The time constant of the relay chosen would be less than the time
constant of the motor being protected.
iii. Selection of relay characteristics
Relay application checks are to be carried out on all motors above 125
kW. This check consists of plotting he motor withstand curves and relay
operating characteristics under both hot and conditions together with the
motor starting current Vs time characteristics on the graph.
Normal relay available in the market have a choice of various operating
characteristics under both hot and cold conditions. Ideally, the motor
curves and relay curves should be chosen as follows.
(a) Case I
(i)

Both the relay hot and cold characteristics lie completely below
corresponding motor withstand curves up to the locked rotor
value.

(ii) Follow the corresponding motor withstand characteristics as


closely as possible with safe time difference, considering the
positive tolerance applicable on the relay curve and negative
tolerance on the motor curve.
(iii) The relay hot operating characteristics lies above the motor

starting current Vs time characteristics (Ref. Fig.3.) if these


conditions are met than the usual stall protection acts only as a
back-up protection. However, as the withstand curves of motor
vary widely with both ratings and makes, following possibilities
can be encountered, even after selecting the most optimum
relay characteristics available.
(b) Case II
Where either or both the relay characteristics interact with the
corresponding motor withstand curves.
In this case, the point of intersection x is determined after plotting
the curves (refer Fig. 4). The thermal relay does not protect the
motor beyond this point and as such the locked rotor relay set as
described under Clause 5.3.3.(ii) would protect the motor under
stalling conditions.
(c) Case III
Where the motor starting current Vs time characteristics or is very
close to relay operating characteristics (hot).
Where separate relays are provided for different protections, the
thermal relay only shall be blocked during starting using on delay
timer and auxiliary relay as shown in Fig.5b. With this arrangement,
it would be ensured that the relay cold characteristics would be
applicable even in case of hot restart. As a certain degree of
overload protection and stalled protection would still be available in
this condition, this is acceptable.
5.5

Instantaneous over-current protection (50)

5.5.1 Purpose of this relay is to provide protection against inter-phase winding


short circuits and terminal/cable faults.

5.5.2 Type of relay used is instantaneous over-current relay, one on each phase
having low transient overreach (less than 5%) to prevent pick-up during
transient inrush currents when the motor is started.
5.5.3 The relay shall be set at 1.5 times the motor starting current. The additional
factor of 0.5 takes care of the current transformer and relay errors, transient
overreach of the relay and tolerance on the starting current.
5.6

Earth fault protection (50N)

5.6.1 Purpose of this relay is to provide protection against inter-phase winding


short circuits and terminal/cable faults.
5.6.2 Type of relay used is instantaneous over-current relay, one on each phase
having low transient overreach (less than 5%) to prevent pick-up during
transient inrush currents when the motor is started.
5.6.3 The relay shall be set at 1.5 times the motor starting current. The additional
factor of 0.5 takes care of the current transformer and relay errors, transient
overreach of the relay and tolerance on the starting current.

5.6.4

relay works as back-up protection to the motors under stalling condition. The
motors of 100 kW and above are considered to cover under this protection
depending on their criticality. In case where thermal protection is not
effective under stalling, i.e. where thermal withstand characteristics of the
motor lies below the relay operating characteristics in either the cold or hot
condition, this relay becomes the main (and only) protection under stalling
condition.