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2006 IEEE PES Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition Latin America, Venezuela

Protection System Considerations for 400 kV

Series Compensated Transmission Lines of
the Central Western Network in Venezuela
Rogelio A. Castro and Hector A. Pineda

Index Terms-- Capacitor compensated transmission lines, Protective relaying, Subsynchronous resonance.


HE Series Compensation Project was carried out between

2002 and 2004, and contemplated the installation and
commissioning of five (5) capacitor banks in the existing 400

kV transmission lines: 1, 2 and 3 Yaracuy Tablazo, Yaracuy

Planta Centro and Yaracuy Arenosa (see Fig. 1). These
capacitor banks were installed in order to reduce the line
equivalent reactances and thus increase power transmission
Previous studies [1] carried out to verify the effects of series compensation in the existing protections, for the system
mentioned above, determined the necessity to replace those
protections since they would be affected by inherent phenomena such as voltage reversals and subsynchronous oscillations; and the necessity to adapt solid-state LZ96 protections,
for the 765 kV line Arenosa Yaracuy, through the installation of ancillary modules KR91 and EM91 designed for seriescompensated lines.
New numerical protection, designed to operate in series
compensated systems, replaced existing relays; nevertheless, it
was necessary to carry out a study to determine new settings
considering series compensation effects, emphasizing first and
second zone evaluations due to under and overreaching problems that could affect impedance measurement in distance
protections. In the present work main factors considered in the
determination of settings for the new protections of the Central
Western Network including 765 kV line Arenosa Yaracuy
are presented.

Fig. 1. 400 kV Central Western Network (First Stage).

1-4244-0288-3/06/$20.00 2006 IEEE

The phenomena that influence the performance of distance protections in series-compensated systems are described as follows.
A. Current and Voltage Reversals
Voltage reversal effect is presented when the apparent
impedance between the relay location and the fault point,
within the protected line, is mainly capacitive, as a result of
the capacitor bank influence. Under these conditions the
voltage seen by the protection will be in anti-phase to the
source voltage as may be observed in Fig. 2. On the other
hand, the current reversal phenomenon is presented when
the total impedance between the source and the fault point
is mainly capacitive. The studies determined that current
reversals are not produced in the 400 kV Central Western

Fig. 2. Voltage profile considering series capacitor effect.

B. Capacitor Bank Non-linear Apparent Impedance

Series compensation banks installed in the 400 kV Central Western Network use as a primary overvoltage protection a metal oxide varistor (MOV). When the peak voltage reaches the protective threshold level, the MOV conducts limiting excessive voltage across the capacitor. According to Goldsworthy model [2], the apparent impedance
of the capacitor/varistor arrangement, as a function of the
current flowing in the line, can be represented in the
equivalent circuit shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3. Capacitor/varistor Goldsworthy equivalent model

As the current through the capacitor bank increases, as

well as the conduction of the MOV, the capacitive reactance begins to decrease, appearing a resistive component
whose peak occurs for 2 times the threshold current (see
Fig. 4).

E q u iv a le n t R e s is ta n c e a n d R e a c ta n c e
(o h m s )










Multiples of Capacitor Bank Current

Fig. 4. Resistance and reactance equivalents

This increment of the resistance, as a consequence of

MOV conduction, should be considered in the setting criteria of zone reach of the distance protection, in series-compensated systems.
C. Subsynchronous Oscillations
In series compensated networks low frequency transients
are due to the resonant condition created between the series
capacitors and the network series inductances, which are
always subsynchronous frequency transients. The subsynchronous frequency response superimposes a subsynchronous component on the current and voltage that are
observed by the transmission line protective relays. Because the frequency is so low, it is difficult to filter the subsynchronous frequency component rapidly enough to provide a satisfactory relay speed of response. The subsynchronous frequency component can be relatively large and
the current peaks may exceed the current peaks for the uncompensated line due to the addition of the synchronous
and subsynchronous values. These higher currents may
cause capacitor overvoltage devices to bypass the capacitor.
Low frequency transients can cause problems to the
measurement elements of the protective relays, both in fault
location and directional performance.
D. Under and Overreaching problems
Voltage reversals, produced during fault conditions, can
cause a wrong directional decision of self-polarized impedance based relays, due to the fact that those relays are
polarized by the voltage of the faulty phase to perform directional decision. This problem is more critical in case of
faults close to the capacitor bank, where the apparent impedance seen by the relay is located out of the first zone of
protection, producing an underreaching effect and thereby
the fault is not cleared adequately (see Fig. 5).
On the other hand, for this type of faults there is a risk
that the first zone of remote protections, in adjacent lines,
may present overreachings, depending if the series capacitor is short-circuited or not by the overvoltage protection
scheme. It is important to consider that the reach of distance protection is affected by the series capacitor steady
state influence and by the subsynchronous oscillations pro-

duced by the compensation.

distance protection in series-compensated networks, the polarization voltage, used for fault detection and phase selection, is controlled by an impedance based non-directional
zone; this information is used for the disconnection of the
faulty phase voltage of the positive sequence filter in order
to prevent its use.
Constructively, distance protections designed for seriescompensated systems use additional filtering processes
both for high frequency transients produced by spark gap
discharges of the series compensation bank, and for very
low frequency oscillations.

Fig. 5. Directionality loss and overreach effect.

To determine the optimum reach of first zone, the decrease of the series reactance of the transmission line,
caused by the capacitors inclusion, should be considered:
Zl jXc ,
Where Zl is the protected line impedance, and Xc the capacitor bank reactance;
The first zone reduction should be large enough to avoid
overreachings produced by voltage inversion and/or subsynchronous oscillations in the remote protections of adjacent lines (see Fig. 6).

The setting criteria determination and validation, related

to new protections REL531 installed in 400 kV Central
Western Network, were performed among the companies
ENELVEN, CADAFE and EDELCA during OPSIS Protection Coordination and Faults Analysis Work Group
meetings. In those meetings the studies carried out by the
manufacturer, which simulated the non-linear MOV characteristic in order to calculate apparent impedance seen by
the relays in different points of the system, were revised in
order to verify the theoretical recommended adjustment. It
is important to notice that the manufacturers studies were
carried out using the computational tool PSS/E and
EDELCA, in order to validate those studies, developed an
alternative model using ATP, with similar results.
The results of the evaluations carried out for the first
zone (Z1), second zone (Z2) and ancillary zone for compensated systems (ZR) are presented subsequently, since
these are the most impacted distance protection zones by
voltage reversal and subsynchronous oscillations effects.
A. First Zone Evaluation
Due to the effect of subsynchronous oscillations caused
by series capacitor, during fault conditions, the basic
evaluation adjustment of the distance protection first zone
[3] should be reduced with respect to the conventional criteria, as it is detailed in Fig. 7.

Fig. 6. First zone reduction.

E. Relay Operation Principles for Series-Compensated

Conventional distance protection cannot perform an appropriate discrimination of the fault direction in the presence of voltage inversion phenomenon since the relay uses
the voltage of the faulty phase (which is inverted) to determine the fault direction. Relays designed for series-compensated systems use the voltages of the healthy phases as
polarization quantities for asymmetric faults, known as
cross-polarization. In the case of three phase faults, where
the three voltages can be inverted or affected by subsynchronous oscillations, memory units with positive sequence
filters are used to perform the polarization. Commonly, for

Fig. 7. First zone maximum reach as a function of the degree of compensation

C, the degree of compensation of the line is defined



C = ( Xc / Xl ) 100%

Being Xc and Xl the capacitor bank and the protected line reactance respectively.
The p value corresponds to the maximum permitted
first zone reach, due to subsynchronous oscillations, as a
percentage of the line impedance for a given value of C.
Table I details the compensation percentages of the 400
kV lines. Lines Planta Centro Arenosa do not have compensation, hence an 80% of the line impedance is used as
basic criterion. Meanwhile, relatively short lines Tablazo
Cuatricentenario use a basic setting of 75% since they have
compensation banks in adjacent lines.

In the basic setting evaluation, considering compensated

lines, the p value is applied in both extremes to the difference given by (1).
This rule is applied excepting the case in which the potential transformer location is in the line side of the capacitor bank. This is the case of the line Yaracuy Planta
Centro in the busbar Yaracuy, where p is directly applied
to line impedance.
In Table II the summary of setting criteria for the first
zone is presented.
The simulations carried out to verify the first zone reach
in 400 kV lines, showed that, in the compensated line terminals located in the opposite side of the capacitors bank,
distance protections overreach the remote busbar for some
fault conditions; thereby it was necessary to perform a considerable reduction of first zone reach. The most critical
case is presented in the line Yaracuy Arenosa in busbar
Arenosa, in which an outstanding first zone reach reduction
is shown with less than 7% of the line impedance.
For the lines Yaracuy Tablazo, in busbar Yaracuy, the
first zone reach reduction obeys to the fact that for single
phase faults in the remote busbar, considering basic criterion, overreachings are produced; nevertheless, for phase
phase faults these overreachings are not produced, so that
the first zone phase phase reach (which can be set independently) corresponds to the basic setting with a resistive
reach reduction, and for single phase faults the first zone
reach is set as shown in Table I.
The critical case of the lines Yaracuy Planta Centro
and Yaracuy Arenosa settings corresponds to three phase
faults in the remote busbar, in which overreachings may be

B. Second Zone Evaluation

The second zone of new REL531 distance protection is
used both for Permissive Overreaching Transfer Trip
(POTT) scheme and as a conventional backup delayed
In Table III the adjustment criteria for distance protection second zones of the 400 kV Central Western Network are presented.
The POTT scheme was the Pilot Protection Scheme selected due to the necessity to protect the whole line in a
non-delayed zone facing the critical underreaching problems presented by the first zone in many cases.

The basic criterion of the second zone should consider

providing protection to the whole line even in the case of

capacitor banks being out of service, in a preliminary consideration. For all the 400 kV lines a basic adjustment of
120% of the line impedance without compensation was
In the performed simulations could be determined that
the basic criterion does not permit providing protection to
the whole line for some conditions.
As may be observed, the cases in which second zone
reach was increased, with respect to basic adjustment, correspond to relatively short lines Cuatricentenario El
Tablazo, close to compensated long lines Yaracuy El
Tablazo; and, lines Planta Centro Arenosa close to highest compensation degree lines.

resulted insufficient in line protection; thereby it was

necessary to enlarge second zone reach regarding recommended value.
The protection scheme selected for all 400 kV lines
was Permissive Overreaching Transfer Trip, implying
a greater dependency of teleprotection equipments.

The authors gratefully acknowledge to A. Garcia
(ENELVEN), E. Lugo (ENELVEN), L. Perdomo
(CADAFE) and E. Quintero (OPSIS), whose contribution
in a cooperative effort permitted the development of this

C. Ancillary Zone for Compensated Systems Evaluation

The ancillary zone for compensated systems ZR should
be larger than the compensation bank capacitance and at the
same time larger than the first (Z1) and second (Z2) zones,
which are the most impacted ones by voltage reversals. For
the protection REL531 the adjustment criterion selected for
the ancillary zone ZR was:

ZR > Z 2 ZR = 120% Z 2

Where M2 is the overreaching zone of LZ96 solidstate relay. Then,

ZR = 150% M 2
During the simulations performed it was verified that the
ancillary zone for series-compensated systems, with the
proposed adjustments, operate correctly during any voltage
inversion; being guaranteed the correct directional decision
of the relay for any faults in the protected line.





In the 765 kV line Arenosa Yaracuy was installed a

complementary directional unit composed of 2 modules
(KR91+EM91) being applied the following criterion of
ZR > M 2 ,


Series compensation produces, during fault conditions,

voltage reversals and subsynchronous oscillations both
in the 400 kV Central Western Network and in the
765 kV line Arenosa Yaracuy.
Due to series compensation effects it was necessary to
replace the existing distance protections in the 400 kV
Central Western Network by new protection
REL531; and to adapt LZ96 protections of 765 kV line
Arenosa Yaracuy.
The protection first zones in the line terminals located
in the opposite side of the capacitor bank were reduced
considerably due to overreaching problems.
The basic second zone adjustment, in several cases,


L. Messing, Investigation Report Distance Protection in Series

Compensated Systems, Enelven ABB Power Systems. Sweden.
Apr. 2002
Goldsworthy, Daniel L., A Linearized Model for MOVProtected
Series Capacitors IEEE Trans. on Power Systems, p. 953-58 Nov.
Asea Brown Boveri, REL 531*2.3 High speed line distance protection terminal. ABB Publication 1MRK 506 107-UEN, p. 54105. Jul. 2001.
Alexander, G.E., J. G. Andrichak; S.D. Rowe, and S.B. Wilkinson,
Series Compensated Line Protection: A Practical Evaluation, a
paper presented to the Pennsylvania Electric Association, Pittsburgh, PA., January 26-27, 1989.
GE Power Management Series Compensated Line Protection:
Evaluation & Solutions. GE Publication GER-3736. 1998.
Stan Wilkinson Series Compensated Line Protection Issues. GE
Publication GER-3972. 1999.
P.M. Anderson and R.G. Farmer. Series Compensation of Power
Systems. PBLSH! Inc. Apr. 1996. pp. 151-224.
W.A. Elmore, Protective Relaying Theory and Applications,
Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, 1994, p. 256-259.

Rogelio A. Castro graduated in electrical engineering from the Simon Bolivar University, Caracas, Venezuela in 1998.
Since 1999 he works for CVG Electrificacin
del Caron, C.A. (EDELCA), Puerto Ordaz,
Venezuela in the Transmission Protection Maintenance Department. His employment experience
includes studies, coordination and commissioning of protection systems in several new substations, and; fault analysis development, improvement projects and protection systems maintenance of EDELCA Transmission Network.
Hctor A. Pineda graduated as electrical engineer in the Carabobo University, Valencia, Venezuela in 1986.
He holds, in EDELCA, the head of Protection
Systems Engineering Section, in the Transmission Protection Maintenance Department, responsible to carry out and supervise the faults
analyses, studies and coordination and improvement projects of the protections related to
EDELCA Transmission System.