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Power Transformer Protection Based On Transient Detection Using Discrete Wavelet Transform@WT)



Z.Q. Bo




Singap polytachnic

ALSTOM T&D protcctioa &



CmtrOlLq UK




University of Bath

Bath, UK

Z Chen


De Moatfort University


Abstrpct: This paper addresses a new relaying scheme for power Normallvthehiehtensionsideofatransformeriscoonected

scheme andproveits feasibility.

Key words powa traasfomer, differ"

protection. discrete wavelettransform, transfamainrush.

protection, transient based


One of the most important equipment in power system is the

transformer that

power transformer functions as a nude to connect two different voltage levels. Therefore the continuity of transformer operation is of vital importance in maintaining

the reliability of power supply. Any unscheduled repair work, especially replacement of faulty transformer, is very expensiveand time consuming.

changes in sizes, types, and connections. A

The differential protection provides the best overall protection for a power transformer under the power


current difference flowing through the different terminals of transformer so as to distinguish between an internal and external fault. When applied to a grounded transformer, this scheme provides satisfactory protection for both phase and ground faults. However, it can only provide the protection for phase faults if protected transformer is either unearthed or earthed via high Impedance[l]. In addition, the conventional differential protection scheme is difficult to detect the interturn fault.

frequency. In principle, this protection scheme makes use

Capacitance. The higher ratio has a transformer, the greater will be the concentration on voltage at the high tension terminal of transformer and the higher insulation stress on

the first few turns of the transformer winding. Although this insulation stress can be released by screening , by reinforcing insulation of end turns and by designing special

winding structure, the

high tension end of transformer due to impulse overvoltage is still relatively high compared with the phase-to-earth and phase-to-phase fault. The statistic survey shows that

7096-8096 of transformer failures results from interturn fault. This implies that the detection of interhm fault at early stage will minimise the failure of transformer and improveconsiderablythe reliabilityof system operation.

risk of an interturn partial discharge at

Tllis paper presents a new protection scheme for transformer fault. The proposed algorithm extracts fault and inrush generated transient signals using DWT[2]. When a fault occurs in the system, the specially designed relay captures the fault transient currents via CTs installed at the primary ard secondary sides of transformer respectively. The signals are then tuned by DWT multiresolution filter bank to filter out the unwanted components. In study, DB6(Daubcchies) wavelets are used to construct five levels filter bank to extract the transients. From the DWT outputs, the differential and average currents bemeen the primary and the secondary are derived and the spectralenergies of those cimnts are calculated to produce the operational and restraint signals. Finally the relay compares thelevels of two signals to determine whether the fault is an internal or extemal to the transformer unit. Extensive simulation studies have been conducted to verify the feasibility of piqmsed protection scheme under variety of fault conditions. In addition, investigation reveals that the technique is able to clearly distinguish an inrush current from a fault condition so as to avoid relay misoperation in occurrence of inrush.

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The majority of conventional relays in use are designed to operate under the fundamental power frequency. However over 70% of transformer faults are caused initially by internalinter-turn faults whose values are normally too low to be detectable by traditional relay. It is apparent that if such low level internal faults in a transformer can be identified at early stage, the reliabilityof power transformer will be undoubtedly improved and the failure rate will dramatically drop by adequate maintenance. To achieve this, the protection technique in this paper focuses on the features of fault transient currents instead of the fault under fundamentalfrequency.

A. Principle of llault detection

The system configuration of proposed reiay as shown in Fig.1 mainly consists of analogue interface+modal mixing, wavelet filter ban& differential and average computations, spectral energy extraction, internal fault detection, inrush

identification and logic decision units. As can be seen in the

figure, the relay is interfaced with primary

two sets of CTs which are connected to high tension and low

tension side of transformer respectively in different groups,

i.e. Y and A , to compensate the phase shift of AN transformer. The signals from CTs are first combined in modal mixing unit so as to remove the background noise effectively. Meanwhile the three phase currents are converted into two modal(m0de 2 and 3) signals. In this paper, only mode 2 is applied to accomplish transformer protection. The two modal signals, I- and &,

system through

extracted from high tension and low tension side of transformer contain very rich transient components in presence of a fault. To detect the transformer fault, only dminant transients within the certain bands play the important role. Therefore the wavelet filter banks are

designed to extract the wanted transient currents from the modal signals. In fact, the wavelet transform, a powerful tool

to analyse a non-static

with differentscales. As a wavelet with a certainscalemoves along the time axis, the signal is compared with the wavelet

and the signal components matching with the wavelet are extracted. It is acknowledged that DWT is capable of

extracting both fast and slow events in a desired resolution.

Hence, DWT is an

phenomena for transformer protection. TheDWT filter bank ai shown in Fig2 is utilised to extract the and 1- from 1-, and I- respectively. The filter bank performs five levels DB6 DWT transform on the signals so that thesignal is finally decomposed into one approximation and five details. The approximation mainly contains low fresuency components, while the details constitute the transient componentswithin differentbandwidths. Each level of DWT is accomplished by high pass filter, low pass filter and downsampling units as depicted in Fig. 3. In the proposed day, D5 is used to characterise the transient fault. A5 and D3 are implemented to identify the id current.

ideal means used to capture the transient

signal, functions as a moving window

To distinguish between

differential and average transientsigaals arederived in tenas


internal and external faults, the

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Gfis different current between two sides of transformer, is average current, is transient current on high tension side 1~~is transient current on low tension side



EZ, (nAT)=


":Z (kAT)q AT


Where n is the serial number of samples, AT is the sampling step length, q is the scaling factor and M is the number of sample in the window.

The discrimination between intemal and external fault for a transformer can be achieved by comparing the operating signal with the restraint as follows[4]:


EL,& <EI,


trip or alarm no operation


Where <is scale factor the value of which is chosen as 10 in this paper.

B. Measurement of inrush current


Rg.2 the WT filter bank designed for the proposed relay

In applying different relay to transformer protection, magnetising inrush current must be considered carefully because it has the appearance of an intemal fault, i.e. inrush current flows into a transformer only from source side. To assure no operation on transformer inrush, the most commonly used method is harmonic constraint that can effectively depress the harmonics of inrush current, especially the 2nd harmonics.



The proposed relaying algorithm, based on the transient based protection, incorporates the DWT filter bank to monitor the signal distortion of magnetising inrush current when the transformer is energised. As explained previously, the WT filter bank in Fig.2 is designed to extract Ih @3)

and Ib(A5) for detecting inrush. To identify the inrush

I current, EIb, and EIh, which are the spectral energies of





1- and Ik, are calculated. Then the ratio of EIh to EIb

I that functions as inrush restraint signal is used to determine

I whether inrush current occurs. Whenever the above ratio exceeds the pre-set threshold in operation, the relay operation must be prohibited because magnetising inrush is present.



Wg.3 the dhkof DWT on each level of multi-filter

Then the spectral energies of bifand I,, are computed using the moving average process to obtain the operating signal and restraint signal I, which are given as

El, (nAT)=

Z& (kAT)q AT


The EMPT program incorporating transformer modelling subroutine BCTRAN was used for simulation studies. The subroutine is capable of modelling transformer intemal faults. An intemal fault such as inter turn fault or winding short-circuited to earth is simulated by dividing the fault coil[5]. It is important to note that at frequency above 2 W, the traditional transformer models should be broken down. This is because at high frequency, the stray capacitance of winding-to-winding and winding-to-earth becomes important. In fact, the characteristics of transformer at high frequency domain like fault generated transient and lightning impulse are dominated by capacitive parameters. Hence the shunt capacitance is added to the transformer model to

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reveal the behaviour of transformer at high frequency. In operation, the transformer currents are captured by the proposed relay. Then the specially designed DWT filter bank processes current signals at different DWT levels and consequently extract the signals in the wanted fresuency bands. Fiiy the spectral energies of transient signals are analysed to distinguish between internal and external faults, andintemalfault and iii@i%%iiiiginrush.

A. Relay response to internal faults

To investigate the selectivity of proposed relay to the internal faults, different types of internal faults are implemented in the simulation. Figure 4 shows the operation of relay when a winding turn to earth fault at the mid-point of phase 'A' on the high tension side of transformer. Figures. 4a and 4b indicate the primary currents at both sides of the transformer. As can be seen,the currents at fault phase 'a' and 'A' possess higher distortion. Figure 4c presents the differential and average signals which areextracted by DWT filterbanksand then computed using (1). Since the spectral energy of operating signals in Fig.4d is clearly higher than











that of restraintsignal, relay will operate.

Figure 5 presents the response of relay to similar internal fault that has a 1OkQ fault path impedance.It is noted hm FigSa that the high fault path impedance reduces the differential and average signals dramatically. But the qm$ralenergy of operating signal "ins higher thanthat of restraint signal to ensure the correct operation to internal fault.

B. Relay responsetoexternalbulb

In this part, the discrimination of relay to an external fault is &"rated. Figure 6 depicts the response of relay to a pllase 'a'-toearth fault on the low tension tamid of transformer. It can be seen hm the figure that average signal in this case is much highex than differential signal. Accordingly the spectral energy of operating signal is much

of restraint signal. Referring the operating

aitcrion in (3), no relay option occurs. It proves that the

relay does not response to an external faulL

lower than that


140 1

dlfferentlrl dgnal


(c). differential Jgnel'kd'evsragesignel




(d). operatirgsignal andrestrdrt signal

Eg.4 Respollseof proposedrelay toa tum-tocarthfault at the mitl-pobtof phase 'A' 011 high tensionsi& ofl"ex

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(a). dHferentialsigneland averagesignal


@). operatingsignaland restraintsignal

pio. 5 Relay mponsetoaphase 'A' to eatth Eghimpadana fault

at themidpoint of transforma winding

C IdenMcation of magnetisinginrush

The inrusb cmnt flowing on one side of transformer has the feature of internal fault. Therefore protection device need to distinguish between inrush and internal fault to assure no operation in the presence of inrush. The simulation results as shown in Fig. 7 illustrate the response of relay to inrush and internal fault. Figure 7a presentsthe internal fault modal signals of inrush and an internal fault. It is seen that inrush currentcontainshighly saturated waveform compared with that of internal fault. The corresponding 1- and Ih

extracted by

respectively. The spectral energy levels of internal fault

restraint and inrush restraint as seen in Fig. 7d indicate the

DWT filter bank are given in Figs.7b and 7c

signal of inrush is over four timeshigher than that

of an inmad fault. Therefore the proposed relay can effectively block the relay operationupon the occurrence of




This paper introduces a novel differentialprotection scheme for a power transformer. The proposed technique concentrates on the transient currents which are energised by a fault. In the relay, the DWT. filter banks are designed to extract the transient signals effectively. The precise discrimination between internal and external faults can be assured by use of spectral energies of extracted transients. In

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addition, the proposed relay is able to discriminate inrush from internal fault successfully.


The authors would express their grateful thanksto Singapore Polytechnicfor its support.


[l]. J.kwis Blackbum,"protectivCdying- pdnciplesand applications", published by Marcel Dekker, Inc., New Yak,USA,1998. [2].0livia Rid and Martin Veltd, " wavelet and signal Proceapng".

IEEEsignalpdng magazine, 8(4), Chi% 1991.

[3]. F. Jig, ZQ.Bo, QX.Yang,"the wave&

tnnsfam applied to

distinguish between traasimt and pamanent huh",FOWBR"98.

intanatid confaena on power system techndogy.Bcijiq, Cbh,

August, 1998.

[41. FJig, ZQ.Bo, P.SM.chin, G.WeIlcr, "A nonunnadcatiaa

transmission line protetim using wavela transformd tMsieat

p" technique", proceeding

of the 13* Powa Systcm

computntioacoafaence(pscc'99), 7h"* "my, Jdy. 1999. [5]. A.G. phadke and J.S. Thap, " computer Relay fa Powa System".

Researdl StudieaPressLtd, 1988


JLmg Fpn was graduated from Electrical Engincuing Departmnt of

Rh UnivaSity, P.R.of China in 1982 He achieved MSc dcp from

Electrical Power Research htitutc of chi^ in 1985 and hD. km The

Rtm Gardoa Univasity, UK in 1995. Recently hc is a lcctllrer in tbe

Dzptmeat of Electricpl Eagineaing. Singapore Fblytechnic. Hc has


worked as an assistant electrid engineer for two years, an electrical engineerfa five years and
worked as an assistant electrid engineer for two years, an electrical
engineerfa five years and a researchengineerforone year.His main areas
and Singapore. Presently. he is the Direan ofthe Department of Elecbical
are electrical power system protection,
wind energy application, high
Engineering at theSingaporePolytechnic, and servesasAdjunct R.oleswr
at the Queensland Univasity of Tcchnology and CUrtiD UnivaSity of
voltage engineain& applicatim of microprocessor and computer in the
Twhnology, Austtalia, and
powm system and developmeat
of micraprocessor based inslnunent.
an Honorary
professor at the Mongolian Technicat University, Mmph
Bo obtained his BSc degree from the Natheastern Univasity,
He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineus in Singapolc, Hag Koag and
Fkllow of the Institute of Mcasuremtot and thU01, UK, Pellow of
bstitution of Radio and Electrunic Engineers, Ausbralip, and
chinein 1982 and PhD degree fromThcQueen'sUnivaSityofBelfasf
UK in 1988. Rom 1989 to 1997, he worked at the Power Systems cfroup
at thc Udv&ty of Bath. Dpring this time, he published n"s
Presently, he is saving as Chairman of the Sinsapore Natianl carmnitue
papers and caahibuted m significant innodom in the field, as well as
acting as a CDaSulEBnt to leading Companies and government departments
and as a Visiting pmfesm to academic institutions. presently, he is with
ALSIOMT&D protection& ControlLtd.His main reseapch interrsts are
of the World Energy Council, Resident of the hrsmtatia coaod
Society, Sigapore and the chairmsn of the Singapon Chpm of tbe
Rofibus Association ofsouthEast Asia.
powa system pmtcction and control. He is also intaested in and takes an
He has authored and co-authored over ugh9 papas 011 Optidm~oa,
active role in projects involving international technicalcollahtim,
joint vcnbure~andmanagementin scienceand technology.
Stability, Poww Systems.Technology Transfer, Alternate Fuel Vehifles.
Battery Ttchnology. Renewable Eoergy appUcathS and Fieldbus
Philip S.M. Chin obtained his Bachelor of Electrical Engineesing, Master
of Engineaing Science in Mechanical
Engineering and Doctor of
Phiksqhy at the University of Melboume, AustnliaHe has many ycar~of
professional, managerial as well as academic experience both in Australia
approximate Jgml of inruoh'A5'
signalof internal fault current
daaiidgnaiof Inrudt'D3'
(c). signalsextractdon theievdaof
Mad D3
(a). modalslgnaisofinternalf ault andinrush
restraint signalforminternatfault
Zpproximateslgnalof internalfault 'AS' I
,- -.
(b). signairextracted on the leveisof AS and D3
tromanInternalfault modalslam1
t ime(ms)
(d). inrushrestraint algnalaf or an Internaif autt andhrU*
Fig. 7 Investigation of relay responses to an intd fault and iruuah t"t
when transformerIsswltchedtosupply source
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