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Reliable Busbar Protection With Advanced Zone Selection

Article  in  IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery · May 2005

DOI: 10.1109/TPWRD.2004.834671 · Source: IEEE Xplore

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Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.


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Reliable Busbar Protection

With Advanced Zone Selection
Armando Guzmán, Senior Member, IEEE,
Bai-Lin Qin, Senior Member, IEEE, and Casper Labuschagne
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

Abstract--Modern digital relays use innovative algorithms to caused by current transformer saturation or magnetizing
fulfill busbar protection requirements of fast operating times for inrush currents to restrain the relay from operating except
all busbar faults, security for external faults with heavy current- when a fault exists within the protected zone.” Rockefeller [6]
transformer (CT) saturation, and minimum delay for evolving
proposed a differential relay with dual slope characteristic to
faults. This paper describes a reliable protection system that
includes busbar protection and advanced zone selection; the prevent misoperations when one or more CTs saturate during
protection system is suitable for the protection of multiple busbar external faults. For many years, different devices have used
arrangements. The protection system consists of several the solutions Kennedy, Hayward, and Rockefeller proposed.
protection principles and measuring techniques, using These solutions provide adequate differential element security
instantaneous and phasor quantities in a unique combination to in most cases, but these solutions can result in relay
achieve reliable busbar protection with minimum CT
misoperations for external faults with heavy CT saturation. To
performance requirements.
provide security to the protection scheme, recent differential
Index Terms--Busbar, current-transformer (CT) saturation, relay developments [7][8] include algorithms that block the
differential, directional, fault detection, zone selection. differential protection for a short time after detecting an
external fault. However, this approach is not desirable; the
I. INTRODUCTION relay unnecessarily delays trips for faults that evolve from

B usbar protection traditionally comes in many forms. The external faults to internal faults.
most popular forms are high-impedance relays [1], Current directional relays use phase angle information to
medium-impedance relays [2], low-impedance relays [3] determine fault direction. The benefit of these relays is that
based upon electromechanical, electronic (solid state), and CTs provide adequate phase angle information even during
microprocessor-based technologies. In general, percentage heavy CT saturation conditions. Haug and Foster [9] proposed
restraint differential elements and directional elements provide an approach where the directional element supervises the
the measurements necessary for busbar protection in low- restraint differential element at all times. Unfortunately, this
impedance relays. combination is less dependable for resistive faults.
Percentage restraint differential protective relays have been A busbar protection technique that uses incremental
in service for many years [4]. Differential relays perform well voltages and incremental currents has been proposed in [10].
for external faults as long as current transformers (CTs) This proposed technique is immune to CT saturation and is
reproduce the primary current correctly. When a CT saturates, unaffected by CT ratio mismatches, but the technique requires
fictitious differential current appears in the differential relay. voltage information that is not always available in bus
The differential relay can declare an internal fault condition protection applications.
and misoperate if the ratio of the operating current to the In this paper, we propose an innovative busbar protection
restraining current is greater than the slope setting threshold. system with advanced zone selection that is secure for external
Several solutions to the CT saturation problem have been faults with heavy CT saturation and fast to detect external-to-
proposed in the past. Kennedy and Hayward [5] proposed the internal evolving faults. We also present test results showing
use of harmonics to prevent differential relay misoperations the fast response of the relay for busbar faults, security for
resulting from CT saturation. They called this the principle of external faults, and minimum delay for evolving faults.
harmonic current restraint because, “It takes advantage of the
difference in waveform between the differential current II. PROTECTION ZONE SELECTION
Protection zone selection is a basic function for busbar
© 2005 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission, from “Reliable Busbar protection. Accurate zone selection ensures that relays operate
Protection With Advanced Zone Selection,” IEEE Transactions on
Power Delivery, Vol. 20, No. 2, April 2005, pp. 625–629 (IEEE Paper
according to Kirchhoff’s current law. Zone selection assigns
No. TPWRD-00618-2003). Personal use of this material is permitted. input currents to the appropriate differential element and
However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or determines the circuit breakers to trip in the event of a busbar
promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or
redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component
fault. We apply graph theory to zone selection in power
of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. system busbar protection. Details on graphical representation

of bus arrangements, graph operations, and associated matrix

operations are described in [11][12]. BUS1 BUS2 BUS3 BUS4
To illustrate an implementation of zone selection in relays,
we use a hypothetical bus arrangement, as shown in Fig. 1. TM1 TM2 TM3 TM4 TM5 TM2, N TM6 TM7 TM8
There are four bus-zones (BUS1, BUS2, BUS3, and BUS4)
and eight terminals (TM1, TM2, …, TM8). We define a (A) Terminal-to-Bus-Zone Connection Status When
DS1, DS2 and DS3 Are Open
protection zone as an area of protection formed by a minimum
of one bus-zone. A protection zone can include more than one
bus-zone. Merging two bus-zones results in a single protection
zone. When no bus-zones are merged, a protection zone is BUS1 BUS2 BUS3 BUS4
indistinguishable from a bus-zone. We have three disconnect
switches (only disconnects linking busbars are shown): DS1 (B) Bus-Zone-to-Bus-Zone Connection Status
linking BUS1 and BUS3, DS2 linking BUS1 and BUS2, and When DS1 Is Closed While DS2 and DS3 Are Open
DS3 linking BUS3 and BUS4. When DS1 is closed while DS2
and DS3 are open, BUS1 and BUS3 merge into a single Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 4
protection zone; BUS2 forms a protection zone by itself, and
BUS4 forms another protection zone for differential
protection. DS1 closed represents a state in which BUS1 and
BUS3 are solidly connected. (C) Protection Zone Formation With Bus-Zones

Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 4
(Zone 1) (Zone 3) BUS1, BUS3 BUS2 BUS4

D52 DS2 I52 DS3


(Zone 2) (Zone 4)
(D) Protection Zone Formation With Terminals
F52 G52 H52 J52 K52 Fig. 2 Graphical description of a four bus-zone, eight-terminal system

From the bus-zone-to-bus-zone connection information

(BZpBZp), the relay constructs the bus-zone-to-bus-zone
TM1 TM3 TM4 TM5 TM6 TM7 TM8 connection matrix BZ[p]BZ[p] similarly to the terminal-to-
Fig. 1 Illustration of a bus arrangement with four buses and eight terminals bus-zone connection matrix. Fig. 2(A) shows all three
disconnects (DS1, DS2, and DS3) open. Closing disconnect
For this bus arrangement, the input data for zone
DS1 merges BUS1 and BUS3. Fig. 2(B) shows this condition
configuration include terminal-to-bus-zone connection
and Table II shows the bus-zone-to-bus-zone connection
programmable equations (IqBZp) and bus-zone-to-bus-zone
matrix when DS1 is closed while DS2 and DS3 remain open.
connection programmable equations (BZpBZp). For these
equations, q (terminals) = 1,2,…,8, and p (buses) = 1,2,…,4. TERMINAL-TO-BUS-ZONE CONNECTION AND CT POLARITY
The relay constructs the protection zones with the input data BUS1 BUS2 BUS3 BUS4
from the programmable equations. Fig. 2(A) through Fig. TM1 1,P 0 0 0
2(D) show how the relay determines the terminals and bus- TM2 1,P 0 1,N 0
TM3 0 1,P 0 0
zones in each protection zone, using the terminal-to-bus-zone
TM4 0 1,P 0 0
and bus-zone-to-bus-zone connection information. TM5 0 1,P 0 0
From the terminal-to-bus-zone connection information TM6 0 0 1,P 0
(IqBZp) shown in Table I, assuming that Disconnects DS1, TM7 0 0 0 1,P
DS2, and DS3 are open, the relay constructs the terminal-to- TM8 0 0 0 1,P
bus-zone connection matrix TM[ ]BZ[ ].
Note that Terminal 2 (TM2) has two entries: an entry in
BUS1 as well as an entry in BUS3. There are two entries
because Terminal 2 (TM2) is a bus-coupler that links BUS1
and BUS3. The relay uses only one CT input (Terminal 2) for
both BUS1 and BUS2, with the appropriate polarity indicated
by P (positive) and N (negative).

TABLE II solid connection exists between two (or more) bus-zones, the
protection zones that include these bus-zones merge, and only
BUS1 BUS2 BUS3 BUS4 one protection zone is active. The active zone after a merge is
BUS1 0 0 1 0 always the zone with the lowest number. For example, if the
BUS2 0 0 0 0 protection zones that include BUS1 and BUS3 merge,
BUS3 0 0 0 0 Protection Zone 1 encompasses Protection Zone 3.
BUS4 0 0 0 0
When the programmable equation representing a terminal-
to-bus-zone connection becomes a logical 1, the zone-
selection algorithm processes the current values associated
Based on the information from the matrix BZ[ ]BZ[ ], the with that particular terminal. When the equation is logical 0,
bus-zones included in each protection zone are identified by the current values are neither processed nor considered in the
determining the interconnections between bus-zones. differential calculations. This statement is also true for the trip
In Fig. 2(C), Protection Zone 1 encompasses BUS1 and output. When the programmable equation of a terminal is
BUS3. Protection Zone 2 includes BUS2, and Protection Zone logical 0, the differential element issues no trip signals to that
4 includes BUS4. In this case, Protection Zone 3 contains no terminal.
bus-zones because BUS3 is already included in Protection Based on the programmable equations IqBZp and
Zone 1. Table III shows the matrix relating the bus-zones and BZpBZp, the zone-selection logic determines the following:
protection zones after merging BUS1 and BUS3. • The bus-zone(s) to be included in each protection
PROTECTION-ZONE AND BUS-ZONE • The terminals to be included in each protection
BUS1 BUS2 BUS3 BUS4 • The terminals to trip for differential protection
Protection 1 0 1 0 operations in each protection zone
Zone 1
Protection 0 1 0 0
Protection 0 0 0 0
Zone 3
Busbar protection must comply with the performance
Protection 0 0 0 1 requirements of fast operating times (sub-cycle operating
Zone 4 times are highly desirable) for all busbar faults, security for
external faults with heavy CT saturation, security during
If a terminal is a bus-coupler that is part of the two merged normal switching conditions, security with subsidence current
bus-zones, this terminal is eliminated from the protection present after clearing an external fault, and minimum delay for
zone, as shown in Fig. 2(D). The protection zone and terminal evolving faults. All of these requirements must be achieved
matrix is as shown in Table IV. Note that TM2 is removed with minimum CT performance requirements. The proposed
from the matrix because it is a bus-coupler. logic, implemented in a numerical relay, meets the above
Note that disconnect and breaker auxiliary contacts performance requirements during all system operating
typically provide station configuration information through conditions.
control inputs in the form of programmable equations. The The logic includes numerous busbar protection elements.
zone-selection logic assigns the currents to the appropriate Each of the busbar protection elements consists of the
differential elements by evaluating these programmable following three elements [13]:
equations. When disconnects are closed in such a way that a • Differential element using phasor values
• Directional element using phasor values
• Fault detection logic using instantaneous values


Protection Zone 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Protection Zone 2 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0
Protection Zone 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Protection Zone 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

Fig. 3 shows a block diagram of busbar protection logic CTRMAX = Highest CT ratio of the terminals used in
that includes a differential element, a directional element, the terminal-to-bus-zone settings
and fault detection logic. The figure shows only two of the INOM = Nominal CT secondary current (1 A or 5 A)
current inputs (I01 and I02) connected. Because the relay CTRnn = CT ratio of the specific terminal
accepts current inputs from CTs with ratio mismatch, the
calculations for the differential elements are performed on Through use of the Knn factors, the relay calculates the
per unit values. The relay uses the highest CT ratio current in per unit values for each terminal as follows:
(CTRMAX) of the installed CT ratios as a reference value in
converting the input currents from ampere to per unit ⎛ Inn ⎞
values. Using (1), the relay calculates a normalization InnCR = ⎜ ⎟ (2)
⎝ Knn ⎠
factor value (K) for each terminal: Where:
InnCR = Per unit current for Terminals 01 through
⎛ CTRMAX • I NOM ⎞ NN in per unit
Knn = ⎜ ⎟ (1)
⎝ CTRnn ⎠ Inn = Current in amperes for Terminals 01
Where: through NN
Knn = K normalization factor for each terminal to The following description corresponds to Protection
convert current from ampere to per unit, nn Zone 1. For example, FDIF1 refers to the output from the
= 01 through NN (NN denotes the maximum filtered differential element of Protection Zone 1. I01 and
number of configured terminals) I02 refer to current inputs from Terminal I01 and Terminal

1 I01CR I01CF
I01 DBPF SLP2 87ST1 P87R1
K 01 FDIF1 Adaptive
87O1 1 Security 87R1
1 I02CR I02CF 087P SLP1 Timer



Fault FAULT1
Detection (Internal Fault)
(External Fault)
Fig. 3 Block diagram showing the logic for Protection Zone 1

After the per unit conversion, the normalized currents ⎡ 2 •π ⎤

(I01CR and I02CR) follow two separate paths, as shown in CFC k = cos ⎢ • (k + 0.5)⎥ (3)
⎣ N ⎦
Fig. 3. One path is through a digital band-pass filter
(DBPF) to the filtered differential element and the
k = 0, …, N–1
directional element; the other path brings the instantaneous
N = is the number of samples per cycle.
values to the fault detection logic.
The digital band-pass filter (DBPF) is a one-cycle
The filtered differential element uses the currents from
cosine filter. The cosine filter has its coefficients (CFC)
each terminal in a protection zone. Using the output
evenly sampled from a cycle of a cosine waveform as
quantities from the digital band-pass filter, the element
calculates the restraint quantity (IRT) and the operating

quantity (IOP). Fig. 3 shows the differential element •

The slope of the differential characteristic changes
characteristic consisting of two slopes: SLP1 and SLP2. from SLP1 to SLP2.
SLP1 is effective for internal faults, and SLP2 is effective • The instantaneous differential element requires the
for external faults. The filtered differential element has two operating point to be inside the differential
outputs. Output FDIF1 indicates that IOP is greater than element characteristic during two consecutive half
IRT • SLPn. The second output (87O1) indicates that IOP is cycles.
greater than the differential element threshold (O87P). • The delay time of the adaptive security timer
Assertion of these two outputs indicates that the operating increases.
point is in the tripping region of the filtered differential Note that the logic includes no dedicated check zone;
element characteristic. In addition to being inside the any one of the protection elements can be readily
tripping region of this characteristic, the logic requires configured as a check zone. This flexibility makes possible
assertion either of the directional element (DE1F) or the the configuration of the dual differential (main zone and
internal fault detection (FAULT1) to declare an internal check zone) element combination.
fault (P87R1 assertion). This assumes that there is no CT
trouble (87ST1 deasserted). The P87R1 bit drives a IV. RELAY PERFORMANCE EXAMPLES
security timer that controls the final output (87R1) of the
The proposed method has been implemented in a
protection element.
microprocessor-based relay that provides differential
The directional element and the internal fault detection
protection for single bus, double bus, double bus with
logic provide additional security to the filtered differential
transfer, breaker-and-a-half, triple bus arrangements,
element during external faults with heavy CT saturation.
generators, motors, shunt capacitor banks,
The filtered differential elements provide security in the
autotransformers, and reactors. Many tests have
presence of subsidence current that may be present after a
demonstrated the ability of the relay to provide fast
heavy current fault clears.
operating times for all busbar faults (Fig. 4), security for
The directional element selects one of the terminals in
external faults with heavy CT saturation (Fig. 5), and
the protection zone as a reference and compares the
minimum delay for evolving faults (Fig. 6). In test cases,
direction of the current at this reference terminal with the
the relay has provided fast operation for high-current
direction of current at all other qualifying terminals in each
faults, low-current faults, and external-to-internal evolving
protection zone. A qualifying terminal is a terminal with a
faults. For external faults, the relay was secure even with
current value greater than a pick-up threshold. For each
severe CT saturation, while providing sub-cycle resetting
calculation, the relay uses the real part of the product of the
of the filtered differential elements in the presence of
terminal current and the conjugate of the current of the
subsidence current. The relay requires primary CTs that
reference terminal [14]. When the angle between each one
reproduce the primary current without saturation for at
of the selected terminals and the reference terminal is
least 2 ms after external fault inception.
inside the directional element operating region (hatched
area in Fig. 3), the directional element asserts DE1F to
declare an internal fault. 150

The fault detection logic distinguishes between external

and internal faults. The external fault detection takes
advantage of the fact that, for external faults, only the 87R Assertion
restraint current increases before CT saturation begins [15].
Secondary Amps

The logic compares the change in the operating current to 50

the change in the restraint current to detect external faults
(CON1 assertion). The internal fault detection logic
consists of a differential element that uses instantaneous 0

quantities in the differential element calculations. When the

operating point is inside the instantaneous differential
characteristic for a certain amount of time, the logic
declares an internal fault (FAULT1 assertion). The external
fault detection logic controls the relay operating mode. -100
0 0.05 0.1 0.15
During normal operating conditions, CON1 is deasserted. Seconds
After an external fault, CON1 asserts and switches the Fig. 4 Fast operating times for an internal busbar fault
relay to a high-security mode. During high-security mode,
the following occurs:


No 87R [1] H.T. Seeley and F.V Roeschlaub, “Instantaneous bus-differential
Assertion protection using bushing current transformers,” AIEE Transactions,
vol. 67, pp. 1709–1718, 1948.
Secondary Amps

[2] T. Forford and J.R. Linders, “Application of a high speed differential

relay for buses, machines and cables,” in Proc. 3rd Annual Western
Protective Relay Conference, Spokane, WA, Oct. 18, 1976.

-50 [3] A. Kumar and P. Hansen, “Digital bus-zone protection,” IEEE

Computer Applications in Power, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 29–34, Oct. 1993.
-100 [4] R.E. Cordray, “Percentage-differential transformer protection,”
Electrical Engineering, pp. 361–363, vol. 50, May 1931.
-150 [5] L.F. Kennedy and C.D. Hayward, “Harmonic-current-restrained
relays for differential protection,” AIEE Transactions, vol. 57, pp.
-200 262–271, 1938.
0 0.05 0.1 0.15
Seconds [6] G.D. Rockefeller, “Fault protection with a digital computer,” IEEE
Fig. 5 Security for external faults with heavy CT saturation Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, vol. pas-08, no. 4,
pp. 438–464, April 1969.
[7] J.G. Andrichak and J. Cardenas, “Bus differential protection,” in
400 Proc. 22nd Western Protective Relay Conference, Spokane, WA,
87R Assertion Oct. 24, 1995.
[8] F. Andow, N. Suga, Y. Murakami, and K. Inamura,
“Microprocessor-based busbar protection relay,” IEEE 5th
200 International Conference on Developments in Power System
Secondary Amps

Protection, 1993. Publication No. 368, pp. 103–106.

100 [9] H. Haug and M. Forster, “Electronic bus zone protection,” CIGRE,
1968, Session 31–11, Paris, June 10–20, 1968.
[10] M.S. Sachdev, T.S. Sidhu, and H.S. Gill, “A busbar protection
technique and its performance during CT saturation and CT ratio-
-100 mismatch,” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 15, no. 3,
July 2000, pp. 895–901.
[11] B.L. Qin, A. Guzmán, and E.O. Schweitzer, “A new method for
protection zone selection in microprocessor-based bus relays,” IEEE
-300 Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 876–887, July
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
Fig. 6 Fast operating times for evolving faults [12] B.L. Qin and A. Guzmán, “System for protection zone selection in
microprocessor-based relays in an electric power system,” Foreign
patents: pending, US Patent 6 411 865, June 25, 2002.
[13] A. Guzmán, “Restraint-type differential relay,” Foreign patents:
1. Dynamic zone selection assigns current inputs pending, US Patent 6 341 055, Jan. 22, 2002.
dynamically to the correct differential element. [14] A. Guzmán and L. S. Anderson, “Restricted earth fault protection for
Instead of disabling bus protection during disconnect transformers using a directional element,” Foreign patents: pending,
switching, use this feature to provide bus protection US Patent 5 963 404, Oct. 5, 1999.
during switching operations when the safety of [15] M. Ilar, “Verfahren und einrichtung fur den differentialschutz von
personnel is at high risk. elektrischen anlagen,” European Patent 0045105, Nov. 28, 1984.

2. When a protection philosophy calls for an overall

check zone, any protection zone can be configured as a
check zone.
Armando Guzmán (M ‘95, SM ‘01) received his BSEE with honors from
3. A second trip criterion is incorporated into each of the Guadalajara Autonomous University (UAG), Mexico, in 1979. He
protection zones. This criterion consists of the logic received a diploma in fiber-optics engineering from Monterrey Institute of
OR combination of a directional element in parallel Technology and Advanced Studies (ITESM), Mexico, in 1990, and his
MSEE from University of Idaho, USA, in 2002. He served as regional
with a fault detection element. supervisor of the Protection Department in the Western Transmission
Region of the Federal Electricity Commission (the electrical utility
4. Innovative differential protection switches the relay to company of Mexico) Guadalajara, Mexico, for 13 years. He lectured at
a high-security mode during through-fault conditions. UAG in power system protection. Since 1993 he has been with Schweitzer
While in the high-security mode, the algorithm does Engineering Laboratories in Pullman, Washington, where he is presently a
not block the differential elements, thus avoiding Fellow Research Engineer. He holds several patents in power system
protection. He is a senior member of IEEE and has authored and
unnecessary time delays for clearing faults evolving coauthored several technical papers.
from external to internal faults.

Bai-Lin Qin (M ‘93, SM ‘01) received his BSEE and MSEE degrees from Casper Labuschagne has 20 years of experience with the South African
Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China, in 1983 and 1986, respectively, utility Eskom, where he served as senior advisor in the protection design
and his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Washington State department. He began work at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in
University in 1993. From 1986 to 1989, he was a Faculty Member in the December 1999 as a product engineer in the Substation Equipment
Department of Electrical Engineering at Xi’an Jiaotong University. During Engineering group and is presently a power engineer. He earned his
1993 through 1995, he worked on research projects at Washington State Diploma (1981) and Masters Diploma (1991) in Electrical Engineering
University that were funded by the U.S. Army, U.S. Department of from Vaal Triangle Technicon, Van der Bijl Park, South Africa. He is
Energy, and the Electric Power Research Institute. Since 1995, he has been registered as a Professional Technologist with the Engineering Council of
with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc., in Pullman, Washington, South Africa (ECSA).
where he is presently a senior software engineer. He is a senior member of
IEEE and the Power Engineering Society of IEEE. He holds several
patents in high-voltage applications and power system protection.


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