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PRINCIPLES

OF POWER SYSTEM
PROTECTION
Part 1
Bob Coulter
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Principles
Power System
Protection
PowerofSystem
Protection

Purpose of Protection Engineering

Protection engineering is the branch of electrical power


engineering concerned with the design and operation of
protection schemes

The purpose of protection is to minimise the effects of faults


on electrical power systems - note faults can never be
entirely avoided

Protection schemes are specialised control systems that


monitor the power system - detect faults or abnormal
conditions and then initiate corrective action

In this context the power system is considered all the plant


and equipment necessary to generate, transmit, distribute
and utilise electrical power
Principles of Power System Protection

The Electrical Power System


GENERATION

TRANSMISSION
500kV, 330kV
275kV, 200kV,
132kV

SUBTRANSMISSION
132kV, 110kV,
66kV, 33kV, 22kV

Terminal Station or
Transmission Substation

Power Station

Embedded
Generation

Zone
Substation

Standby Generation

Embedded
Generation
Distribution

Embedded
Generation

Substation

CUSTOMER
LOAD
415/240V, 480/240V

CUSTOMER
INSTALLATION

SECONDARY
or LV DISTRIBUTION

33kV, 22kV, 11kV, 6.6kV, SWER

PRIMARY or HV DISTRIBUTION

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Principles of Power System Protection

Power System Secondary Systems include

Protection

Auto control for voltage, frequency, reactive power compensation,


power flow, network configuration and stability

Metering for billing, operational control and statistical data

Local manual control (plant status, voltage level reactive power


support, network configuration)

Remote manual control via communications links (SCADA)

Plant condition monitoring and alarming (temperature,


malfunction, maintenance need, operating duty)

Communications infrastructure

Instrument transformers current and voltage transformers

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Principles of Power System Protection

Types of Fault and Abnormality

Short-circuit faults (3, 2, g, 2g)

Open-circuit faults (open conductor)

Complex faults (inter-circuit, broken conductor, cross-country etc)

Inter-turn faults in windings

Abnormalities:

Overload and excessive operating temperature

Real power deficit - underfrequency

Power swings

Power frequency overvoltage or undervoltage

Underexcitation of synchronous machines

Overfluxing of power transformers

Asynchronous operation of synchronous machines

Overfrequency

Mechanical defects ie. leaking oil, tapchanger mechanism faults etc

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Principles of Power System Protection

Causes of Short
-Circuit Faults
Short-Circuit

Insulation breakdown due to inherent weakness

Lightning

Birds and animals bridging insulators

Dig-ups for underground cables

Poles collapsing

Conductors breaking

Willful damage

Vehicle impact

Wind borne debris

Incorrect operation by personnel

etc

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Principles of Power System Protection

Effects of Short
-Circuit Type Faults
Short-Circuit

Large or very large currents can flow through parts of the network
thousands or tens of thousands of Amps can be involved

These large currents can only be allowed to flow for a very short
time otherwise equipment and generators would be damaged,
most likely terminally allowable short-circuit current flow
duration could range from as short as 10 milliseconds up to say 3
seconds.

Arcs, sparking and the heating effect of short-circuit currents can


start fires involving non-electrical assets/property

Very large mechanical forces can be caused by short-circuit


currents which have potential to break or damage equipment

Electric current can escape from the network conductors and


flow through paths where they could create a hazard to people or
livestock and cause damage to non-electrical assets/property
Principles of Power System Protection

Large Transformer Fire

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Principles of Power System Protection

Short
-circuit Type Faults
Short-circuit
R

3 Fault

2 Fault

-e Fault

2-e Fault
Principles of Power System Protection

Short
-circuit Type Faults with Fault Impedance
Short-circuit
R

Zf1

Zf2

Zf3

Zf

3 Fault

2 Fault

B
Zf1

Zf2

Zf

Zf3

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-e Fault

2-e Fault
Principles of Power System Protection

Some Causes of Fault Impedance

Arc resistance

Pole, tower or structure footing resistance to earth

Resistance things that may come in contact with a


line i.e. tree, crane etc

Contact resistance where a conductor falls to the


ground

For protection design it is important to recognise that


fault impedance can significantly reduce the
magnitude of fault currents and take this into account
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Principles of Power System Protection

Series Type Faults


R

1 Open

12

2 Open

Zf1

Zf2

Zf

Series impedance in 1

Series impedance in 2s
Principles of Power System Protection

Some Complex Fault Types


R

R
W
B
Circuit 1

R
W
B
Zf

R
W
B

Zf

Broken conductor fault

Inter-circuit fault
R
W
B

-e Fault at
Location 1

13

Circuit 2
R
W
B

Cross country fault

-e Fault at
Location 2

R
W
B

Principles of Power System Protection

Faults in Windings

Short-circuited
turns

Fault

If
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Principles of Power System Protection

Protection Function - Components


Bus
CB

PR

Protection Relay

CB

Circuit Breaker

Equip

Protected Item

CT

Current Transformer

VT

Voltage Transformer

DC Aux

DC Auxiliary supply

HMI

Man-machine interface

PCL

Communications Link

Tr

CB trip coil

Equip

CT

Tr
PR
VT
DC Aux

HMI

P
C
L

Control

Basic Arrangement of a
Protection Scheme
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Principles of Power System Protection

Protection Schemes Key Factors

Automatic and correct diagnosis of faults and abnormalities

Quick response measured in milliseconds to a few


seconds at the most

Must operate reliably

Can be viewed as a form of active insurance intended to


maintain high degree of service continuity and limit losses
through equipment and plant damage

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Principles of Power System Protection

Basic Objectives of a Network Protection System

Detect faults and unacceptable abnormalities and


isolate faulty section of network as quickly as
possible

Minimise extent of damage at fault point

Minimise effect fault has on rest of power system

Minimise danger to life and property

Minimise extent and duration of outage

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Principles of Power System Protection

Protection Application Concepts


Substation A

PR

PR

Substation B

PR
PR

Source
Network
PR

PR

Short-circuit fault
on Line B-C
Substation D

Substation C

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Fault current flow

Circuit Breaker

Circuit breaker to be opened


Principles of Power System Protection

Protection Application Concepts - continued

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Protection relays are associated with each network plant


equipment item or circuit (ie line, cable, transformer, generator,
busbar etc)

Protection relays closest to the fault location should operate first

Circuit breakers closest to fault should be opened first

Fault current components will flow in other (unfaulted) circuits


protection relays associated with these should not operate in the
first instance

As protection relays or circuit breakers may fail to operate during


a fault on occasions, back-up is necessary

Concepts of protection function

Security

Availability, Reliability and


Principles of Power System Protection

Protection Application Concepts - continued


Protection
Relay for
Busbar

PR

Unprotected
Zone

PR

Protection
Relay for
Circuit

Protection
Relay for
Busbar

PR

PR

Circuit

Circuit
Busbar

Busbar

Fault

No overlap of current transformers


Protection
Relay for
Busbar

PR
Fault

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PR

Protection
Relay for
Circuit

Protection
Relay for
Circuit

Fault

Overlapped current transformers


correct practice
Protection
Relay for
Busbar

PR

PR

Protection
Relay for
Circuit

Circuit

Fault between current transformers


and circuit breaker

Current transformers on both


sides of circuit breaker
Principles of Power System Protection

Impacts of Protection Scheme Performance on


Power System Performance

Reliability of supply

Quality of supply voltage dip severity

Danger to public and livestock step and touch potentials

Hazards to other utilities assets gas, water and


telecommunications

Fire ignition bushfires, equipment fires and customer


installation fires

Operator safety

Network damage and repair cost

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Principles of Power System Protection

Performance Requirements of Protection


Systems - 1

Discriminate between load (normal) and fault (abnormal)


conditions

Not be confused by non-damaging transient conditions

Be selective coordinate with other protection systems

Fast enough to prevent damage and hazards but not too


fast

Have no blind spots i.e. unprotected zones

Be able to handle maximum fault current duty

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Principles of Power System Protection

Performance Requirements of Protection


Systems - 2

High degree of reliability and availability

Secure against incorrect operation (security)

An acceptable compromise between reliability and security


is required reliability should take precedence

Should not restrict rating of primary plant and equipment

Should be affordable

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Principles of Power System Protection

Methods of Detecting Faults

Magnitude of current Overcurrent protection

Magnitude of current in earth or neutral Earth Fault protection

Magnitude and Phase Angle of current Directional Overcurrent protection

Magnitude and Phase Angle of current in earth or neutral Directional Earth Fault
protection

Magnitude and Angle of Impedance (Ratio V/I) Impedance protection

Difference between two or more currents Differential protection

Difference between Phase Angles of two currents Phase Comparison protection

Magnitude of negative sequence current

Magnitude of Voltage Overvoltage or Undervoltage protection

Magnitude of Frequency Over or Underfrequency protection

Temperature Thermal protection

Specials i.e. transformer gas protection,

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Principles of Power System Protection

Types of Protection Relay

Electromechanical

Electronic analogue using discrete components

Electronic analogue using ICs

Microprocessor

Microprocessor + DSP (Digital Signal Processor)

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Principles of Power System Protection

Digital Protection Relays

Input measured quantities conditioned, filtered and digitised

All protection functions done via software in


microprocessor(s) or DSP(s)

Communications processors for HMI, control interfacing


and data transfer

Digital I/O for protection communications aspects

Software driven HMI

Relays for circuit breaker tripping

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Principles of Power System Protection

Enhanced Performance Provided by Digital


Relays

Better accuracy of protection function measurements i.e.


less margin required for measuring errors (time, current,
voltage, impedance, phase angle)

True RMS sensing and unaffected by transient components


of fault voltage and current signals

Tuning or rejection of non-power frequency currents in


sensitive earth fault protection

Complete catalogue of timing functions

Result better protection coverage, shorter operating times,


better load carrying capability and enhanced security

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Principles of Power System Protection

New Functions

Protection functions done in software


Once input voltages and currents are digitised, new and
additional functionality can be added at low cost
For example:

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Negative sequence protection for distribution feeders


Impedance measurement instead of current
Circuit breaker fail logic
Thermal modelling
Circuit breaker duty
Directional features

Other input signals can be added

Can use improved fault detection techniques


for much lower cost
Principles of Power System Protection

Communication Links

Needed to exploit power of digital protection

For relay to relay protection functionality such as blocking,


acceleration schemes digital I/O

For protection operation principle such as line differential

For interfacing into substation digital control schemes

For operation command use such as resetting,


suppression/restoration, setting group selection

For data retrieval event logs, metered quantity logs,


oscillographic records

For maintenance, i.e. downloading new


software or settings remotely

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Principles of Power System Protection

Communications Links Used for Protection

Utility owned metallic communications cables (called


supervisory or pilot cables

Optical fibre cables

Power Line Carrier (PLC)

UHF or Microwave radio

Leased links from a Telco

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Principles of Power System Protection

Summary

Protection systems are critical elements of the power


system and their and their operating performance
impacts directly on the power systems safety and
reliability

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Principles of Power System Protection