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Protection schemes are used for various applications. One of these schemes is unit protection. Unit protection operates on the principle of discrimination by comparing two quantities. These quantities can be current, voltage and/or phase angle and impedance. Unit protection protect only the unit with which they are connected to and do not provide the back-up protection which all other discrimination by time and /or current schemes provide. Disadvantage of discrimination by time and /or current schemes is that it cannot always be arranged to obtain satisfactory grading for a complex network, and secondly, the settings may lead to maximum tripping times closer to the source, which are not always desired. Unit protection resolve the disadvantage by dividing the circuits into discrete zones and each zone has its own relays and circuit breakers to allow detection and isolation of its own internal faults, Figure 1.1.

High-voltage switchgear protection Low-voltage switchgear protection Generator protection

Circuit breaker

Transmission line protection Motor protection

Power transformer protection Medium-voltage switchgear protection Figure 1.1: Single line diagram of power system illustrating zones of protection



Once power system has being split in to zones as indicated in Figure1.1, then these zones have to maintain the main functions. The main functions of protection apparatus is to make sure that the entire system maintain continuity of supply, reduce damage, repair cost at a point of a fault, and ensure safety to personnel.

These functions are carried out by adhering to certain qualities such as:

Stability - all healthy section should remain non-operative while a faulty section is being isolated. Selectivity - to differentiate and select between the healthy parts and faulty parts of the power system when a fault occurs. After differentiating, power should be maintained to healthy parts and isolate faulty parts. Sensitivity - to able to sense even the smallest fault current or system abnormalities and activate the correct operation of the protection scheme before further damage to the power system. Speed - to operate as quickly as possible when it is called upon to do so.

Above these qualities, protection must also be reliable, that is:


Dependable - the certainty of a correct operation on the occurrence of a fault. Secure - the ability to avoid incorrect operation during faults.


Main protection is the first defence if a fault occurs in its zone. Unit protection can be used as the main protection depending on the equipment to be protected such as machines, power lines, and bus bar. If the main protection fails then, backup protection should operate. Buck-up protection referred to the additional protection to clear the fault, which the main protection failed to clear. Buck-up protection relay has a sensing element that may or may not be the same to that of the main protection. Buck-up must be time delayed so that the main protection can operate and isolate the fault unit. Most form of Unit Protection is based on the Merz-Price principle. One of the common is known as Differential Protection, as its principle is to sense the difference in currents between the incoming and outgoing terminals of the unit being protected as shown in Figure 1.2. If the difference of current is greater than the set value of the relay, then the fault is in the unit and protection should trip, else the fault is not in the unit being protected. The relay should be connected within the centre point from both current transformers as indicated in Figure 1.2. Any type of relay, when connected in a certain way, can be made to operate as a differential relay. Three quantities will be discussed that are used in differential protection viz, current magnitude, voltage magnitude and phase angle between voltage and current comparison.

CT 1

Unit to be protected

CT 2


Figure 1.2: Current differential protection



The principle is shown in Figure 1.3. The relay is connected midpoint of the current transformers so that voltage across the relay is theoretically zero. The current transformers are connected in series so that the secondary current can circulate between them. The two current transformers, CT1 and CT2, should have the same turns ratio, same magnetizing characteristics and same resistance. In addition, the two connecting leads resistance between current transformers and relay should be identical. CB I1 CT 1 Unit to be protected CT 2 I2

I1 I1

I2 I2

Figure 1.3: Balanced circulating current When current I1 flows in the primary of CT1, which is the same as I2 flowing through CT2, the secondary current will be the same and no current will flow through the relay and hence no operation of the circuit breaker (CB). This condition can be the result of a through fault or normal full load. If the is an in-zone fault-fault in the protected unit-then current I1 will not be the same

as I2 and the difference of the secondary current will flow through the relay causing the circuit breaker to open. Current I2 can also change direction and feed into a protected unit increasing the magnitude of fault current. In that case, the relay will be exposed to the sum of two secondary currents. However, it is impossible to produce identical CTs and to locate the relay at equidistance from the two end of CTs. The current transformers have errors arising from magnetizing current and the interconnections between them may have unequal impedances as shown in Figure1.4. This can give rise to a spill current through the relay even without a fault being present, thus limiting the sensitivity that can be achieved. CB I1 CT 1 Unit to be protected CT 2 I2

CT Secondary Leads Rs1 Is RL1





Ze (exciting)


Ze (exciting)

RR (stabilizing)

Figure 1.4: Balanced circulating current with impedances If a low impedance relay is used, then a stabilizing resistor is connected in series with the relay to improve sensitivity as indicated in Figure1.4. If the is frequent transient in a network and a high impedance relay is used, then a stabilizing resistor is connected in series with the relay as well a non-linear resistor (Peterson coil) connected in parallel to the relay. The use of a stabilizing resistor has the advantage for the relay current setting to be reduced to any practical value and the use of non-linear resistor is to limit the voltage across the relay circuit to a fix voltage. The relay is now a voltage-measuring device and calibration of the relay can be in terms of voltage. There are other several types of differential-relay arrangements that could be mentioned. One of these uses a directional relay and another has additional restraint obtained from harmonics and the d.c. component of the differential current. Another type uses an over voltage relay instead of an over current relay in the differential circuit. Special current transformers may

be used having little or no iron in their magnetic circuit to avoid errors in transformation caused by the d.c. component to offset current waves.



The current transformers are connected in parallel so that the secondary induce voltage can oppose each other and cancel out. The voltage across the each relay A and relay B will be zero, if current I1 and current I2 are equal and opposite to each other so that they can cancel out as indicated in Figure 1.5, hence stable for through fault and full load condition. In-zone/internal faults lead to the difference in the magnitude of I1 and I2, hence the voltage across the relays. If this voltage is greater than the set voltage, then the relay will trip their respective circuit breakers. The only reason for having a relay at each end is to avoid having to run a tripping circuit the full length of the pilot. CB 1 I 1 I1 CT 1 Unit to be protected CT 2 I2 CB 2 I2

I1 A

I2 B

Figure 1.5: Balanced voltage systems The current transformers have errors arising from magnetizing current and the relays are connected with biasing coils in them to overcome the spill currents as shown in Figure 1.6. The restraining coils function is to prevent relay operation owing to spill currents, but should a short circuit occur on the protected section, secondary current I1 and I2 will not be the same and the fault current, IFlt , will circulate in the pilot and operate the relays at both ends as indicated in Figure 1.6. Current will also flow through the restraining coils, but, in a proper application, this current will not be sufficient to prevent relay operation. The impedance of the pilot circuit will be the governing factor in preventing the relay from operating. Balanced voltage systems are mostly used on feeder protection. A comparison between the two systems of differential protection is shown in Table 1.1.

CB 1 I 1 I1

CT 1 I1

Unit to be protected Restrainin g Pilot IFlt V1 IFlt

CT 2 I2

I2 CB 2 I2

Relay A Operating

Relay B

Figure 1.6: Balanced voltage with restraining and operating coils

Effect of open circuited pilots Opposed Voltage Circulating Current Block tripping Cause tripping

Effect of short circuited pilots Cause tripping Block tripping

Fault current fed from one end Cause tripping Cause tripping

Table 1.1: Effects of fault in the pilot wire protection used in differential protection



Phase comparison scheme used summation transformer-to add together three phase and produce single phase, signalling equipment and communication channel, phase comparator and pulse length discriminator shown in Figure 1.7. Carrier channel is made by using a relaying quantity to vary the higher frequency associated with each medium, or the light intensity for fibre-optic systems, and this process is referred to as modulation of a carrier wave. It transfers logic or on/off signal that switches

at the zero crossing points of the power frequency waveform. Comparison of a local logic signal with the corresponding signal from the remote end provides phase comparator the basis for the measurement of phase shift between power system currents at the two ends as indicted in Figure 1.7. The study of the relations between the network output voltages at both ends of the line and the carrier-current signals that are transmitted during external and internal fault conditions are shown in Figure 1.8. During full load and an external fault at H, current flowing from end G to end H, the network output voltages at stations G and H (output voltage waves at point A and point C in Figure 1.7) are 1800 out of phase in Figure 1.8. This is because the current-transformer connections at the two stations are reversed. Since an a.c. voltage is used to control the transmitter, carrier current is transmitted only during the half cycles of the voltage wave when the polarity is positive. The carrier-current signals transmitted from G and H (signal in Figure 1.8 at point B and point D in Figure 1.7) are displaced in time, so that there is always a carrier-current signal being sent from one end or the other. However, for the internal fault between G and H, due to the reversal of the network output voltage at station B caused by the reversal of the power-line currents there, the carrier-current signals (signal at B and D in FIGURE 1.8 ) are in phase, and there is no signal from either station every other half cycle. When the carrier-current signals are approximately in phase, tripping will occur wherever there is enough short-circuit current flowing. Phase comparison scheme can be improved by using the power line carrier technique. This technique uses the 'squarer' logic directly to turn a transmitter 'on' or 'off' at one end, and the resultant burst of carrier is coupled to and propagates along the power line which is being protected to a receiver at the other end. CTs at G
Protected Line

CTs at H

Summation Transform

Squar er

Signalling Equipment and Communication Channel

Transmitt er

Squar er

Summation Transform



Phase Comparator Pulse Length Discriminati on

Comparator Pulse Length Discriminati on

Figure 1.7: Components of phase comparison scheme.





Load or through fault

Internal fault


Summation voltage from CT at G 1 0 1 0

B: Squarer output from A


Summation voltage from CTs at H

D: Squarer output from C (Received at end G via ideal carrier system as D)

1 0

1 0

E: Comparator output at end G E=

1 0

1 0

1 0 F: Discriminator output at end G

1 0

Figure 1.8: Phase comparison waves and digital outputs

Stability setting

The time span of the logic '0' provides the basis for discrimination between internal and external faults, tripping being permitted only when a time delays, in degrees, exceed the stability angle and /or the setting as indicated

in Figure 1.9. This time delay is usually expressed in terms of the corresponding phase shift in degrees as in Figure 1.9. The system stability limit for a heavily loaded line prior to a fault can be displaced by up to about 50. The advantages of using the power line as the communication medium are: a) power line provides a robust, reliable, and low-loss interconnection between the relaying points and b) dedicated 'on/off' signalling is particularly suited for use in phase comparison blocking mode schemes because signal attenuation does not cause a problem. Since both the local and remote signals are logic pulses, simple time delay circuits can be used. A gap in the composite carrier signal is produced by any phase shift relative to the through fault condition and hence a corresponding '0' logic level from the detector.

= 90

= 180 Tripping

s s


= 0

= 270 Figure 1.9: Phase angle stability



Magnetization of current transformer causes error on the secondary of the current transformer. This error cause a spill current to flow through the relay. This error has to be taken into consideration when setting the differential relay else mal-operation may result. If there is wide range of fault current magnitudes, setting of differential relay to be more than or proportional to the worst spill current that may occur under through fault condition is not satisfactory. This problem is overcome by changing the operating level of the relay according to the fault current. Biasing is small at

low currents, thus enabling the relay to be made sensitive and at higher currents, which can because by inrush currents or through fault conditions, the bias used is higher, and as a result, the spill current required to cause operation is higher and therefore less likely to mal-operation as shown in Figure 1.10. Operating values: K1(I1+I2), additive if flowing in opposite direction into the protected zone or K1(I1-I2), subtractive if flowing in the same direction but differ in magnitude shown in Figure 1.10, Biasing value: K2(I1+I2)

I1 Restrain


I1 Restrain




Idiff =

Idiff =

Percentage bias k2 Operate Idiff Percentage bias k1 Is1 Restrain


Ibias =

Figure 1.10: Bias characteristics of a relay



There are many configuration of differential protection, but only a simple method of differential protection will be discussed. Current differential protection can be used to protect power transformer, bus bars, and generator so that sensitivity, selective and speed can be archived. Short lines and cables can use voltage differential protection. A brief discussion of application of differential protection in power transformer, bus bars, generator, and short lines follows.

1.8.1 TRANSFORMER Power transformers are equipment used to transform power from high level to lower manageable level. Differential protection is used mostly for transformer rated 10 MVA and above. Transformer differential relay are less sensitive as compared to the generator relay. Several factors have to be taken into consideration when applying differential protection to transformers in order to prevent mal-operation. These factors can be: Different voltage level and tap changer Mismatch of current transformer ratio A 300 phase-angle shift caused by power transformer star-delta connection. This phase shift is corrected by connection the CT`s on star side of the power transformer in delta and the CT`s on the delta side of the power transformer are in star.

1.7.2 BUS BAR Bus bars are critical points in the power system as they contain all feeders and incomers. If a fault occurs in them, high currents will flow and the can be a huge loss of power to consumers. Selectivity, sensitivity, and high-speed operation are required. Differential protection is the most sensitive and reliable method for protection bus- bars. All the phazor summation of the measured currents entering and leaving the bus bar must be zero. However, if the measured current exceed a pre-determine setting, the protection will operate and trip all associated circuit breakers. 1.7.3 FEEDERS PROTECTION

Feeders can be cables or transmission lines depending on the type of application required. Unit protection can be used to protect the line or cable. Since the distance between the two ends of the line or cable can be very long, then the method of differential protection that in preferred is voltagebalanced system using pilot wires. These pilot wires are used to provide the communication channel for conveying the information, to and from, to the ends of the feeders to protective relays. These relays use the information provided by pilot wire to compare between the local and remote condition and make a decision for an in-zone internal fault or not. Each relay trips only its associated circuit breaker. Pilot wire protection is used in protection of power cables and short transmission lines.

1.7.4 GENERATOR Generators are the source of power to the network and require the best protection. In practice, most of the generator manufacturers recommend differential protection for generators rated 1MVA or higher. Percentagedifferential relaying is the best for this function base on economical reasons. In order to obtain the most effective form of generator differential protection, the neutral of the generator should be well earth, either solidly or via a resistor or a reactor. Differential protection should satisfy the following requirements:

It must operate as quickly as possible so that the generator is disconnected before any serious damage can occur. It must be sensitive to detect damage in the windings of the generator stator and be stable for faults outside the generator. Should be designed so that the main breaker is opened as well as the neutral breaker and the field circuit breaker during an in-zone/internal fault. If the neutral of the generator is taken out as shown in Figure 1.11, then differential protection will protect only earth faults. Other forms of CT connection for delta and star connection will be discussed under generator protection.

Circuit breaker

Restraining coils

Generator windings Operating coil

Differential relay

Figure 1.11: Differential protection for a star connected generator with neutral brought out

1. 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Fill in the blanks by inserting appropriate words or Figures: Unit protection protects only the ______ , which they protect. In _______ protection, the principle is to ______ the difference in currents between the incoming and outgoing terminals of the unit being protected. A stabilizing resistor is connected in _____ with the relay and a non-linear resistor is connected in _____ to the relay. Stabilizing resistor limits relay _____, while a non-linear resistor limits the ______. Pilot wires are used for _____ between two stations. A three phase balanced differential earth fault protection for a generator consists of ______ current transformer. It is limited to protect earth faults between the ______ and the ______ current transformer. A summation transformer is device that reproduces the poly-phase line currents as a ______ phase. The ideal scheme of protecting the line is _______ protection. Pilot wire protection is used in protection of _____ and ____.

1.7 1.8 1.9

1.10 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

The two most common schemes used to protect the bus bar are ______ and ______ protection. Mention five quality of a protection system. Mention main disadvantages of other discrimination protection schemes as compared to unit protection. Why would unit protection be used in some protection schemes? Explain two methods of unit protection. A transmission line with two terminals is protected by a unit protective system. Draw and explain the unit protective circuit for a circulating current system. A transmission line with two terminals is protected by a unit protective system. Draw the unit protective circuit for the line where the current transformers are connected with their secondary windings opposed. What are the advantage and disadvantage of this type of system? Explain why it is called balanced voltage system. 7. Differentiate between factors for differential protection used to protect a transformer and a generator. 8. A transmission line with two terminals is protected by a unit protective system. Draw and explain the unit protective circuit for phase comparison system. Explain what is meant by phase angle stability. When connecting current transformer in differential protection, the may be errors on the secondary current. What causes errors in current transformer and how can these errors be overcome? Which type of unit protection can be used for a) generator protection, b) transformer protection, c) feeder protection and d) bus bar protection?

9. 10.