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DifferentialProtection
Differentialprotectionisaunitschemethatcomparesthecurrentontheprimarysideof
atransformerwiththatonthesecondaryside.Whereadifferenceexists(otherthan
thatduetothevoltageratio)itisassumedthatthetransformerhasdevelopedafault
andtheplantisautomaticallydisconnectedbytrippingtherelevantcircuitbreakers.
Theprincipleofoperationismadepossiblebyvirtueofthefactthatlargetransformers
areveryefficientandhenceundernormaloperationpowerinequalspowerout.
Differentialprotectiondetectsfaultsonalloftheplantandequipmentwithinthe
protectedzone,includinginterturnshortcircuits.
PrincipleofOperation
TheoperatingprincipleemployedbytransformerdifferentialprotectionistheMerzPrice
circulatingcurrentsystemasshownbelow.UndernormalconditionsI1andI2areequal
andoppositesuchthattheresultantcurrentthroughtherelayiszero.Aninternalfault
producesanunbalanceor'spill'currentthatisdetectedbytherelay,leadingto
operation.

DesignObjectives
Anidealschemeisrequiredtobe:
Extremelystableunderthroughfaultconditions
Veryfasttooperateforaninternalfault
DesignConsiderations
Anumberoffactorshavetobetakenintoaccountindesigningaschemetomeetthese
objectives.Theseinclude:
ThematchingofCTratios
Currentimbalanceproducedbytapchanging
Dealingwithzerosequencecurrents
Phaseshiftthroughthetransformer
Magnetisinginrushcurrent
Eachoftheseisconsideredfurtherbelow.

TheMatchingofCTRatios
TheCTsusedfortheProtectionSchemewillnormallybeselectedfromarangeof
currenttransformerswithstandardratiossuchas1600/1,1000/5,200/1etc.Thiscould
meanthatthecurrentsfedintotherelayfromthetwosidesofthepowertransformer
maynotbalanceperfectly.Anyimbalancemustbecompensatedforandmethodsused
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includetheapplicationofbiasedrelays(seebelow)and/ortheuseoftheinterposing
CTs(seebelow).

CurrentImbalanceProducedbyTapChanging
Atransformerequippedwithanonloadtapchanger(OLTC)willbydefinitionexperience
achangeinvoltageratioasitmovesoveritstappingrange.Thisinturnchangesthe
ratioofprimarytosecondarycurrentandproducesoutofbalance(orspill)currentinthe
relay.Asthetransformertapsfurtherfromthebalanceposition,sothemagnitudeofthe
spillcurrentincreases.Tomakethesituationworse,astheloadonthetransformer
increasesthemagnitudeofthespillcurrentincreasesyetagain.Andfinallythrough
faultscouldproducespillcurrentsthatexceedthesettingoftherelay.However,none
oftheseconditionsis'inzone'andthereforetheprotectionmustremainstableie.it
mustnotoperate.Biasedrelaysprovidethesolution(seebelow).

DealingwithZeroSequenceCurrents
Earthfaultsdownstreamofthetransformermaygiverisetozerosequencecurrent,
dependinguponwindingconnectionsandearthingarrangements.Sincezerosequence
currentdoesnotpassthroughatransformer,itwillbeseenononesideonlyproducing
spillcurrentandpossiblerelayoperationforanoutofzonefault.Topreventsuch
occurrence,zerosequencecurrentmustbeeliminatedfromthedifferentialscheme.
ThisisachievedbyusingdeltaconnectionsonthesecondarysideofanyCTsthatare
associatedwithmaintransformerwindingsconnectedinstar.

WhereCTsecondariesareconnectedinstarononesideofatransformeranddeltaon
theother,allowancemustbemadeforthefactthatthesecondarycurrentsoutsidethe
deltawillonlybe1/3ofthestarequivalent.

PhaseShiftThroughtheTransformer
Havingeliminatedtheproblemofzerosequencecurrents(seeabove)throughfaultswill
stillproducepositiveandnegativesequencecurrentsthatwillbeseenbytheprotection
CTs.Thesecurrentsmayexperienceaphaseshiftastheypassthroughthe
transformerdependinguponthetransformervectorgroup.CTsecondaryconnections
mustcompensatetoavoidimbalanceandapossiblemaloperation.

MagnetisingInrushCurrent
Whenatransformerisfirstenergised,magnetisinginrushhastheeffectofproducinga
highmagnitudecurrentforashortperiodoftime.Thiswillbeseenbythesupplyside
CTsonlyandcouldbeinterpretedasaninternalfault.Precautionsmustthereforebe
takentopreventaprotectionoperation.Solutionsincludebuildingatimedelayfeature
intotherelayandtheuseofharmonicrestraintdriven,typically,bythehighlevelof
secondharmonicassociatedwithinrushcurrent.

OtherIssues

BiasedRelays
Theuseofabiasfeaturewithinadifferentialrelaypermitslowsettingsandfast
operatingtimesevenwhenatransformerisfittedwithanonloadtapchanger(see
above).Theeffectofthebiasistoprogressivelyincreasetheamountofspillcurrent
requiredforoperationasthemagnitudeofthroughcurrentincreases.Biasedrelaysare
givenaspecificcharacteristicbythemanufacturer.

InterposingCTs
ThemainfunctionofaninterposingCTistobalancethecurrentssuppliedtotherelay
wheretherewouldotherwisebeanimbalanceduetotheratiosofthemainCTs.
InterposingCTsareequippedwithawiderangeoftapsthatcanbeselectedbytheuser
toachievethebalancerequired.

Asthenamesuggests,aninterposingCTisinstalledbetweenthesecondarywindingof
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themainCTandtherelay.Theycanbeusedontheprimarysideorsecondarysideof
thepowertransformerbeingprotected,orboth.InterposingCTsalsoprovidea
convenientmethodofestablishingadeltaconnectionfortheeliminationofzero
sequencecurrentswherethisisnecessary.

ModernRelays
Itshouldbenotedthatsomeofthenewerdigitalrelayseliminatetheneedfor
interposingCTsbyenablingessentialssuchasphaseshift,CTratiosandzero
sequencecurrenteliminationtobeprogrameddirectlyintotherelay.
TutorialIndex

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