Method for Setting the Resistive Reach of
Quadrilateral Characteristics of Distance Relays
Elmer Sorrentino
Universidad Simon Bolivar, Venezuela
elmersor@usb.ve
Eliana Rojas
ABB, Venezuela
eliana.rojas@gmail.com
Jesus Hernandez
Seneca, Venezuela
jesusr.hernandez@laedc.com.ve
AbstractA new method for setting the resistive reach on
quadrilateral characteristics of distance relays is proposed in
this article. The method is based on: a) analysis of the
impedances seen by the relay (apparent impedances); and b)
explicit definition of the protection desirable attributes for each
analyzed zone (selectivity, sensitivity). In the proposed method,
the resistive reach setting is calculated assuming that the
reactive reach setting has been previously defined. The
proposed method was applied in an example with 18 distance
relays and its solution was compared with a conventional
simplified solution. The conventional simplified solution
consists in setting the resistive reach by multiplying the reactive
reach by a constant factor. The result obtained with the
proposed method is different since there is not a constant factor
among the settings of the reactive and resistive reaches.
Index TermsDistance relay setting, Quadrilateral
characteristic.
I. INTRODUCTION
Traditionally, the distance relay zones have been set
according to simple rules [14]. The nontraditional options
can be grouped according to their conceptual basics: based
on expert systems, mathematical optimisation, adaptive
protection or probabilistic methods [5]. The wellknown
traditional setting rules have been developed to have a
specific reactive reach for solid faults [15]. In the case of
relays with quadrilateral characteristics, the reactive and
resistive reaches can be set independently. For these relays,
it is desirable to defme the resistive reach by an analysis of
faults through impedance. Some traditional setting methods
consider faults through impedance, but usually just a typical
resistance value is considered [1,2]. Such methods usually
do not consider that the apparent impedances are affected by
diverse factors [6]. A still more simplistic option is to set the
resistive reach by multiplying the reactive reach by a
constant factor [7].
The main purpose of this article is to present a new
method for setting the resistive reach on quadrilateral
characteristics of distance relays. The proposed method is
based on: a) analysis of the impedances seen by the relay
(apparent impedances); and b) explicit definition of the
protection desirable attributes for each analyzed zone
(selectivity and sensitivity).
II. PROPOSEDSETIING CRITERIA
A. Preliminary basic considerations
It is considered that the reactive setting (X
R)
has been
evaluated previously by traditional rules. Such rules are not
universal, especially for the delayed zones; due to this fact,
the rule used for each zone in this article will be specifically
described here.
The time delays for zones 2, 3 and 4 are assumed to be
predefmed and fixed. Additionally, it is considered that there
are not teleprotection schemes (communicationassisted
trip), breakerfailure protection (50BF), line differential
protection (87L), or other line protection functions. These
considerations affect the criteria for setting the relay reaches.
The proposed method for setting the resistive reach (R0
can be adapted to the different ways of setting X
R
. The
criteria used in this article for X
R
setting are relatively
complex. This helps to better explain the proposed method.
B. Analyzed quadrilateral characteristics
The quadrilateral characteristics may have different
shapes; Fig. I shows the first quadrant for 3 cases. It will be
assumed that the settings are defmed by the first quadrant in
the RX plane. For the sake of simplicity, shape of Fig. la
will be used in this article. However, the techniques
developed here can be applied to other characteristic shapes
(such as those shown in Figures Ib and lc) by using an
adaptation to the geometry of each particular characteristic.
Fig. I. Examples of different shapes for quadrilateral characteristics.
C. Setting the zone 1 resistive reach
C.l. Criterion used/or the reactive reach
The first criterion states that zone I only has to operate for
faults on the line since this zone is instantaneous. Zone I
should not operate for faults at the remote bus, by
selectivity. Zone 1 reactive reach (X
R1)
will be set to 80% of
the reactance of the protected line (X
L
+): X
R1
= 0.8 XL+.
C.2. Criterion used/or the resistive reach
According to the previous paragraph, zone 1 resistive
reach (RRI) must be set in a way that assures that the relay
first zone will not trip for faults at the remote bus.
Considering the effect of the fault resistances on the
apparent impedance (ZAP), there are 3 cases:
a) Faults at the remote bus whose ZAP tends to fall within
zone I (Fig. 2a). To have a safety margin, the resistive
setting will be limited to the value of the real part of ZAP
(RRIA) where the imaginary part of ZAP is 90% of XL+.
b) Faults at the remote bus whose ZAP tends to be parallel
to X
R1
(Fig. 2b). It will be assumed that the possible error of
measurement of the relay is proportional to the ZAP module.
For this reason, when the ZAP imaginary part minus 5% of
9780947649449/09/$26.00 2009 IEEE
Faults within the
protected line
RZ.MI N.l
Zona I of the adjacent
line, as it is viewed by
the analyzed relay
R
RZ.MIN.Z
R =0 9R IFaults out of the I
Z MAX ' ZRIADY .
protected lme
R
RZRIADY
Fig. 3. Limits for the settingof thezone2 resistive reach.
ZL+,ADJ
I
j)
setting for the zone 2 reactive reach (X
ZMIN

Z)
will be
computed as 110% erx., (Xz_MIN_z=I ,IXL+)'
If X
ZAVG
is greater than X
ZMINZ,
there is not conflict
between those values and the setting is: XR2=XZAVG.
IfX
zAVG
is less than X
Z

MIN

Z
, it will be assumed that it
is not possible to guaranty selectivity with that short
adjacent line and the setting will be: XR2=XZMINZ.
Actually, the solution for these cases is to implement a
unit protection scheme for the short adjacent line (line
differential and/or a scheme with teleprotection) and/or
a change in the zone 2 delay for the line in study. The
analysis of such solutions is beyond the scope of the
present work.
D.2. Criterion usedfor the resistive reach
The setting criterion of zone 2 resistive reach (RR2) is
similar to the criterion described for X
R2
. A desirable
sensitivity will be defined to cover faults in 100% of the
protected line, with the typical fault resistance value (R
FTyP)
multiplied by a safety factor (F
sl)
. An allowable minimum
sensitivity will be defmed using a smaller safety factor (F
sz):
Fsz<F
sl;
RFI=(Fsl)RF_TYP; RFZ=(Fsz)RFTYP (thus, R
FZ
< R
FI).
The desirable and allowable minimum settings (R
ZMIN I
and R
ZMINZ
, respectively) correspond to the real part of the
apparent impedance seen by the relay for faults at 100% of
the protected line, with the fault resistances that consider the
aforementioned safety factors (R
FI
and R
FZ
, Fig. 3a).
The desirable maximum setting for the zone 2 resistive
reach (R
ZMAX
) is evaluated with resistive faults at the
beginning of adjacent lines that are out of the zone I of the
adjacent line. The maximum fault resistance (RpL1MADJ) that
is able to see the relay of the adjacent line at the beginning
of its zone 1 will be found. With this fault resistance, the real
part of the apparent impedance seen by the relay of the line
in study, for faults at 100% of the protected line (RZRIADY),
will be computed: it will be considered that the desirable
maximum adjustment corresponds to 90% of this value (R
z
_
MAX=0.9 RZRIADY, Fig. 3b). The algorithm to set RR2 is
similar to the described one for X
RZ
:
If R
ZMAX
is greater than R
ZMIN h
then there is not conflict
between those values and the setting will be: RR2=R
zMIN I
.
If R
Z

MAX
is less than R
ZMIN"
the desired sensitivity is not
possible without a lack of selectivity, and:
a
c
If .Im{ZAP}=0,9X
L
+,
=>
RRI is not limited by ZAP
R
If [.Im{ZAP }0,05IZAPI1=0,85XL+,
=>
             ,
X
R1
=0,8X
L
+ :
I
I
I
I R
Fig. 2. Criteriausedfor settingthe zone 1resistivereach.
D. Setting the zone 2 resistive reach
D.l. Criterion usedfor the reactive reach
It will be considered that the main objective of zone 2 is to
cover the sector of the line that is not covered by zone I .
This implies that the reactive reach should be set to cover
more than 100% of the protected line impedance, in order to
guaranty sensitivity for internal faults . This criterion is
frequently used; however, it is usually necessary to take
precautions that guaranty selectivity when there are adjacent
short lines at the remote bus . This is because the beginning
of zone 2 of the relay of the adjacent short line could overlap
with the zone 2 of the relay in study. The setting of the zone
2 reactive reach (Xd will be done thus:
The desirable minimum setting for the zone 2 reactive
reach (X
Z

MIN

I)
will be computed as 120% of the reactance
of the protected line: XZMINI = 1.2 XL+.
The desirable maximum setting for the zone 2 reactive
reach (X
ZMAX)
will be computed as 80% of the total
reactance seen by the relay for a fault at the beginning of
zone 2 of the adjacent line protection at the remote bus
(XL+,ADJ,SHORT). The case with the smaller additional
reactance will be used: X
ZMAX
= 0.8 (X
L++0
,8XL+, ADJ,SHORT).
If X
ZMAX
is greater than X
Z

MIN"
then there is not conflict
between those values and the setting will be: X
R2
= XZMINI .
If X
ZMAX
is less than X
ZMIN
" the desired sensitivity is
not possible without a lack of selectivity, and:
The average of the previous values will be computed
(XZAVG=[XZMINI+XZMAX]/2). The allowable minimum
ZAP module is 85% of X
L+
, the corresponding real part of
ZAP limits the resistive setting
c) Faults at the remote bus whose ZAP tends to separate of
X
RI
(Fig. 2c) : RRI is not limited by ZAP.
RRI setting will be the smaller value of and RRIB, if
both situations can happen. If the RRI setting is not limited
by ZAP, RRI could be set to a very high value.
If R
Z

MAX
is greater than R
ZMINZ,
then there is not
conflict between those values and the setting will be:
RR2=RzMAX
If R
Z

MAX
is less than R
ZMINZ,
then it is not possible to
guaranty selectivity for some values of fault resistance
and the setting will be: RR2=R
zMINZ
.
of the apparent impedance (ZAP) seen by the relay in study is
110% of X
R3,
or if the imaginary part of the apparent
impedance minus 5% of the ZAP module is 105%of X
RJ
, the
corresponding real part of ZAP will be the value of resistive
reach (Rd. As zone 1, if the RR3 setting is not limited by
ZAP, then RRJ could be set to a very high value.
TABLE Ill' Loxn DATA
Fig. 5. Criteria used for setting the zone 3 resistive reach.
TABLE II ' EQUIVALENT GENERATOR DATA
If:
(Im( ZAP}=I,IX
R3
)
OR
([Im( ZAP} O,051ZAPI]=I,05X
R3
),
RR3=>\'f(ZAP}
R
jX (FI NFEED)ZL+,AD.J I Z ( . R ) I
AP varyIng F
X
R3
=O,8(X
L
++(f' INFEED)XR2ADJ,SHORT)
III. SYSTEM USED AS EXAMPLE
B. Ground distancefunction description
The apparent impedance seen by ground distance function
(ZPhG) depends on its polarisation method [9]. It is assumed
that the relay uses the following formof polarisation:
ZPhG = VPhG / (I)
V
PhG
: Phasetoearthvoltage of the faulted phase.
Iph: Current of the faulted phase.
I
R:
Residual current (IA + I
B
+ Ie).
Ko: Residual compensationfactor.
It is assumed that Ko is set exactly to see the positive
sequence line impedancefor solid faults:
Ko = (ZLO  ZL+) / (3 ZL+) (2)
ZL+: Positive sequence line impedance.
ZLO: Zero sequence line impedance.
LCA CI:3.37km
PLM
Fig. 6. Power system used as example (II5kV).
A. Power system description
Figure 6 shows the power system used as example and its
data are in Tables I, II and III.
CI:26km
TABLE I: LINE PARAMETERS (r, x inQ/km; b in umho/km),
r, x+ b+ ro Xo
b
o
Cl 0.1211 0.4959 3.347 0.3160 1.102 1,938
C2 0.1714 0.4928 3.421 0.3630 1.151 1.860
X+=K(Q) Xo(Q) P(MW) Q(MVAR)
LCA 7.3 3.3 Slack Slack
GUA 15.9 15.9 120 74.37
LM 120,0 53.0 20 12.39
LCA LM LA PMT LR PLM GUA
P(MW) 73 48 31 38 56 38 30
cos(<! 0.900 0.900 0.900 0.900 0.936 0.900 0.850
RR2MIN2
ZL+,ADJ I Zone I of the adjacent line I
j x XR2CASE2
Increase erx, implies
XR2CASEI : a lackof selectivity if
ZL+ : Z . . h' .
AP ISIn t ISregIon
eL+ i R
E.2. Criterion usedfor the resistive reach
Zone 3 resistive reach (RRJ, Fig. 5) is set similarly to RRI .
The resistive faults were computed at the end of the same
adjacent line used for the X
R3
setting. If the imaginary part
Fig. 4. Example of a lack of selectivity by increasing XR2 sensitivity.
E. Setting the zone 3 resistive reach
.1. Criterion usedfor the reactive reach
It will be assumed that the main objective of zone 3 is to
operate as backup protection for faults in adjacent lines [8].
However, selectivity between zones 3 of different lines will
have priority because zone 3 is the faster backup function.
This criterion presupposes that the faults noncovered by a
zone 3 as backup will be covered by its zone 4, that is more
sensitive (zone 4 has a greater reach or it is simply a
directional function).
Zone 3 reactive reach (X
R3)
should be set at 80% of the
lowest total apparent reactance seen by the relay in study for
faults at the end of zone 2 of the relays that protect adjacent
lines. Worst case combines the smaller zone 2 reactive reach
of the relays of the adjacent lines (X
R2ADJ
,SHORT) with the
smaller infeed (FINFEED, due to the current contributions at
the remote bus): X
R3=0.8
(XL++ (FINFEED) X
R2ADJ
,SHORT).
To fmd the previous value may not be simple. For the sake
of simplicity, X
RJ
was set to 75% of the smallest total
apparent reactance for faults at the end of the adjacent lines
to the remote bus: X
R3
= 0.75 (XL++XAPADJLOWEST). Base
Case of load flow was used; therefore, the FINFEED values
correspondto the Base Case.
D.3. Comments about both criteria
In both setting criteria, if the first condition is satisfied
(XZMAX>XZMIN" or RZMAX>RzMINI), then a different action
could be taken, in order to increase still more the zone 2
sensitivity. For example, in such cases the setting could be
the maximum value instead of the minimum, or an average
of both values. An analysis of those options is outside the
scope of the present work; however, Fig. 4 helps to illustrate
this concept. In the example of Fig. 4, it is assumed that the
resistive setting (Rd has been limited by the allowable
minimum sensitivity (R
ZMINZ)
' In such case, an increase of
the reactive reach sensitivity (to use XR2CASEZ, instead of
XR2CASEI) would imply a greater lack of selectivity for
resistive faults in the adjacent line if the fault is out of the
zone 1 of the adjacent line protection.
c. Prefault loadflow
With fault resistance (R
F),
apparent impedance depends on
the prefault load flow, measured in the relay locality [6],[9].
The determination of the worst possible condition for each
zone of each relay is outside the scope of the present article.
By simplicity, a simple preliminary analysis of the system in
study suggested the use of the following conditions of pre
fault load flow:
Base Case: It is the system described in section IIIA.
Case 1: It is the Base Case without one transmission line.
For the system in study, the approximated load flow values
at the relay localities are in Table IV (QMAX).
Case 2: This case is as Case 1 and, additionally, this case
presupposes that the system operators can control the
reactive power flow. For the system in study, a half of the
previous reactive power value was assumed; the values are
in Table IV (QMIN).
These cases were used thus: a) For setting zone 1, Case 1
was used when the prefault load flow is positive and Case 2
when it is negative; for the system in study, by coincidence,
P and Q have the same sign in the simulated cases. b) For
setting zones 2 and 3, Base Case was used.
D. Typical groundfault resistance value
The ground fault resistance value depends on multiple
factors. Each R
F
value has a probability of occurrence [10];
however, a typical value is required in the present work in
order to compute the desirable zone 2 reach. Such value was
supposed arbitrarily (R
F_TYP=50).
Using safety factors, the
results are: RFl=(Fsl)RFTYP=200; RF2=(Fs2)RFTYP= 100.
IV. RESULTS FOR THE RELAY SETTINGS
The settings obtained for zone 1 are in Table V. The X
R1
values are identical to those obtained in another study [11]
since the used criterion is exactly the same. However, in that
study a unique factor of RIJX
R
was used (RIJX
R=2).
Table 5
shows clearly that RIJX
R
is not constant with the developed
method: RIJX
R
varies between 0.77 and 33.41.
On the other hand, the maximum value of fault resistance,
at the remote bus, for which the adjustment of the RRI was
defmed, varies between 0.970 and 17.390. However, there
are 5 cases where the resistive reach was limited by the line
thermal capability and not by the apparent impedance locus.
The settings obtained for zone 2 are in Table VI. RR2 is, in
some cases, less than RRI (it happens at bus 2 of the lines
LMLA, PLMLR, LCAPLM, LCALR). This result is
illustrated in Fig. 7, it is not conventional and it happens
since RR2 must be limited to reduce the risk of lack of
selectivity (since X
R2
is greater than X
R1).
The settings obtained for zone 3 are in Table VII. RR3 is,
in some cases, less than RR2 (it happens at bus 1 of the lines
GUALM, LAPMT, and at bus 2 of LAPMT, LRPMT).
This result is similar to the result described for zone 2. If RR3
is less than RR2' then zone 2 is more sensitive for faults with
fault resistance. In such cases, as zone 3 is not so sensitive,
the backup function for faults with a high value of fault
resistance is the zone 4. By this reason, zone 4 would have
to be sufficiently sensitive in these cases.
In the cases where RR2 is less than RRI (or RR3 is less than
RR2), this nonconventional result could be avoided if the
desired condition were imposed. Such condition is: the
greater the value of the reactive setting, the greater must be
the value of the zone resistive reach. There are different
ways for imposing such condition. Special care should be
taken to update the resistance setting values since there are
dependences among the reach settings; for example, Fig. 3b
shows how the RR2 setting of a relay depends on the value of
RRI of the relay of an adjacent line.
TABLE IV: PREFAULTLOAD FLOW, AT THE LOCALITY OF THE RELAYS IN
STUDY, FOR THE CASES 1 AND 2 (QMAX AND QMIN, RESPECTIVELY)
Line Line Prefault load flow (line in study)
in out of PandQ P OMAX OMIN
study service direction MW MVAR MVAR
GUALM PLMLCA GUA>LM 90 56 28.0
LMLA PMTLR LM>LA 70 33 16.5
LAPMT PMTLR LA>PMT 38 18 9.0
LAPMT LMLA LA>PMT 31 15 7.5
PMTLR PMTLR LR>PMT 70 33 16.5
LRPLM PLMLCA PLM>LR 87 36 18.0
LRPLM LCALR PLM>LR 38 18 9.0
PLMLCA LCALR LCA>PLM 125 54 27.0
LCAGUA GUALM LCA>GUA 90 56 28.0
LCALM GUALM LCA>LM 68 33 16.5
LCALR PLMLCA LCA>LR 125 54 27.0
S.
(*): These values were only limited by the line thermal capability (Fig. 2c).
T : ONE SETTINGS. HE FAULT RESISTANCE THAT DEFINED THE RESISTIVE REACH SETTING (FIG. 2) IS SHOWN. VALUES IN PRIMARY OHM
Line Bus 1 Bus 2
(Bus 1
Bus2J X
R1 RRl R
F MAX RR1/
XRl X
R1 RRl R
F MAX RR1/
XRl
GUALM 10.31 12.11 3.86 1.17 10.31 18.06 5.56 1.75
LMLA 4.81 7.75 8.71 1.61 4.81 88* N/A 18.30
LAPMT 2.41 4.39 4.98 1.82 2.41 5.06 5.92 2.10
LRPMT 2.71 4.95 5.67 1.83 2.71 88* N/A 32.49
PLMLR 1.34 2.98 2.70 2.23 1.34 104.79 17.39 78.38
LCAPLM 3.95 8.30 8.62 2.10 3.95 132* N/A 33.41
LCAGUA 10.31 16.60 6.16 1.61 10.31 7.89 0.97 0.77
LCALM 8.73 14.17 8.77 1.62 8.73 132* N/A 15.12
LCALR 3.98 8.39 8.54 2.11 3.98 132* N/A 33.17
. .
TABLE V Z
TABLE VI: ZONE 2 SETIINGS (SEE FIG. 3). VALUES INPRlMARY OHMS.
Line Bus 1. Bus 2
(Bus 1.
Bus2J X
R2 RR2 X
R2 RR2
GUALM 14.82 25.28 15.47 46.42
LMLA 6.98 15.75 7.21 40.39
LAPMT 3.61 42.03 3.61 27.97
LRPMT 4.06 11.14 3.92 88*
PLMLR 2.01 19.34 2.01 31.33
LCAPLM 5.47 13.77 5.93 42.20
LCAGUA 14.47 31.42 14.47 60.14
LCALM 12.83 22.19 12.49 132*
LCALR 5.51 14.62 5.97 76.59
(") : These values were only limited by the line thermal capability.
x
.I X
R2
I I
I I
8L+ :: R
R R2 R RI
Fig. 7. Example of a nonconventional result: XR2 can be smaller than XRl.
TABLE VII: ZONE 3 SETIINGS(SEE FIG. 5), VALVES INPRlMARY OHMS.
Linea Ext. 1. Ext. 2
(Ext. 1.
Ext.2J XR3 RR3 XR3 RR3
GUALM 18.01 19.58
21.92(1)
132*
LMLA 7.55 19.88 44.89 88*
LAPMT 5.18 11.32 7.36 15.32
LRPMT 5.33 14.28 4.39 39.25
PLMLR 8.26 43.46 4.19 132*
LCAPLM 5.57 132*
8.43(1)
132*
LCAGUA
21.92(1)
50.24 33.16 132*
LCALM 22.34 67.41
13.47(1)
132*
LCALR 6.05 132*
8.43(1)
132*
(*): These values were only limited by the line thermal capability.
(1): These values were not found by the criterion indicated in
section IlE, since it was not being possible (the reactances would
be negative). To find them, the smaller reactance ofadjacent lines
was added to XL+ and the total value was multiplied by O. 75.
V. CONCLUSION
A novel method for setting the resistive reach of
quadrilateral characteristics in distance relays was presented.
The method is based on the analysis of the apparent
impedance seen by the relay, and the explicit definition of
the protection desirable attributes for each analyzed zone.
The proposed method was applied to an example with 18
distance relays and the resistive reaches for 3 relay zones
were calculated. The results obtained with the proposed
method were compared with a conventional simplified
solution. The conventional simplified solution is to set the
resistive reach by multiplying the reactive reach by a
constant factor . The results obtained with the proposed
method are substantially different since there are particular
solutions for each relay location.
In the future, this work could be complemented of diverse
ways. For example, an analysis of other criteria to set the
reactive and resistive reaches could be done in order to study
the variations in the results. On the other hand, the effect of
the inclusion of more cases for the prefault load flows
should be studied.
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