You are on page 1of 28

RWE Power

d International

RWE Power

A power system fault is defined as any condition or abnormality of any part of the system which
involves the electrical failure of primary apparatus such as generators, transformers, busbars,
overhead lines, cables, motors, etc.
Electrical failure implies an open circuit or short circuit condition, the latter being by far the more
common. It not only impedes power flow but results in high levels of current (overcurrent) due to
the relatively low impedance between the fault and the rest of the system. Faults can be classified
into one of the four groups below.

(i) Short circuits faults one, two or all three phases shorted to earth, or two or three
phases shorted together.

(ii) Open circuit faults one, two or three phases open circuited.

(iii) Simultaneous faults a combination of two or more faults at the same time.

(iv) Winding faults winding faults on machines and transformers consist mainly of short
circuits, from one phase to earth, or one phase to another, or between turns on one
winding, and open circuits on any winding.

Short circuit faults are usually due to insulation failure as a result of: overvoltages, deterioration
due to ageing or overheating, faulty manufacture, or ingress of moisture.

Open circuit faults most commonly follow short circuits because the flow of fault current is often
high enough to melt conductors.
The role of Protection is to detect and clear the fault; it does not prevent their occurrence. It is the
ambulance waiting at the foot of the cliff rather than the fence at the top. The function of the
protection is to detect a fault condition and act to trip out the faulted apparatus leaving the healthy
equipment in service. This will: -

(i) minimise damage to faulty plant

(ii) prevent damage to healthy plant
(iii) preserve system stability
(iv) minimise danger to personnel.

Over the years, numerous types of protection devices and schemes have been adopted, each
designed for particular applications and a few of them are now considered.

Reducing Voltage and Current

For alternating current and voltage, this reduction can usually be achieved by using the basic
electromagnetic action of a wound transformer (although a voltage divider and current shunting
techniques are sometimes used).

Ideally the reduction should be an exact ratio with no change in phase. At the same time, the
insertion of a transformer or divider, like an instrument, should not effect the circuit to be
RWE Power
The current transformer (CT) and the voltage transformer (VT) work on the same electromagnetic
theory, but a CT is connected in series with the system supply and the VT is connected in shunt.
Their design and action are therefore, quite different.

Current Transformers (CTs)

The CT has separate primary and secondary windings to give the secondary circuit complete
electrical isolation from the system supply voltage a very important requirement.

The primary winding is connected in series with the supplys load, and must present a negligible
impedance to the supply if it is not going to affect it. It will also pass the full load current and fault
current. It should therefore possess:

A very few turns of heavy conductor (making it a wound primary CT), or

A single turn (a bar primary CT)

The bar primary CT is further simplified by using the main conductor itself as the single primary
turn giving us the slip-over ring CT, the most widely-used type at lower voltages (although post-
type bar primary CTs are common at transmission voltages).

The secondary winding will have a much larger number of turns dependant on the required turns
ratio. Most CTs have a toroid wound secondary winding on a laminated core.


Wound and bar types are insulated for their working voltage
The ring type is only insulated for the secondary inter-turn and inter-layer voltages usually relying
on the insulation of the bushing or cable it is slipped over to insulate for the working voltage. (If it
is used over bare conductors, separate insulation must be provided).

Principles of Operation

In a perfect CT, the a.c current passing through the primary winding, generates a magnetic flux in
the core, varying according to the primary current.

The flux links with the secondary windings on the core producing an e.m.f , which will drive
current through the circuit connected to the secondary windings (meters, relays and so on).

The current driven through will be a mirror image in proportion to the turns ratio following the
physical law that the ampere turns on the secondary side will match the ampere turns on the

Consider a CT where the turns ratio is 100/1.

A current of 200A through the primary winding will drive a current of 2A through the secondary

The phase of the induced secondary current will be exactly opposite to that of the primary current
(this can of course, always be made in-phase by swapping round the CT secondary connections).
RWE Power
A practical CT does not behave like this perfect model however:

The magnetic core requires some current to magnetise it

It also draws some current to supply a loss of energy due to core eddy currents
Not all the magnetic flux couples with the secondary winding some of it leaks away.

For these reasons, the secondary current of the real CT is not an exact proportion of the primary,
according to the turns ratio, nor is the phase exactly opposite.

The basic assumption we have made is that the flux in the core will increase in direct proportion to
the primary current. This only remains true within certain limits dependant on the flux-carrying
capability of the CT core. As the primary current increases, there will come a point when the core
will saturate further increases in primary current will not be followed by a proportionate increase
in core flux. The CT ceases to operate in a linear manner as shown:

C T in
P o in t
ES S a t u r a t io n
V o lt s 10%


Ie m A
F ig 1 . 5
M a g n e t is in g C h a r a c t e r is t ic o f a C T

The Knee Point

As the curve starts to bend, saturation begins to take place. This describes knee point voltage
important in defining CT performance. The actual knee point is defined as the point when a 10%
increase in voltage gives a 50% increase in current (as indicated on the diagram).

The secondary knee point voltage is directly related to core saturation nearing the practical limit
of working for the CT.

If the primary current increases, the core flux will increase.

If the impedance of the circuit connected to the secondary winding is increased, the secondary
voltage will rise to drive the same proportional current in the secondary circuit.
Too much current will drive a CT into saturation.

RWE Power
The higher the impedance of the burden, the higher the voltage required to drive the
proportional current through it forcing the CT to knee point voltage and into saturation.

In both cases, the accuracy of transformation is going to be affected.

A low burden will reduce the flux requirement and secondary voltage of the CT. A short across the
secondary terminals will minimise the burden normal practice for any unused CTs installed in live

Short time rating of CTs

CTs must be able to withstand the effects of heavy short circuit currents passing through them,
until they are cleared by circuit protection. The stresses imposed are both mechanical and

As might be expected, the CTs with the lower number of turns, output and accuracy class tend to
be the most robust for their cost.

If a current-carrying CT is left with its secondary terminals open-circuit then a serious condition
may arise:

The CT will be trying to drive into an infinitely high burden and the core will be fully saturated
The output (r.m.s) voltage from the secondary winding will be limited, as you would expect, to
just above the knee point voltage.

There is, however, a more complex effect developing, as the waveform is chopped by the
saturation effect.

This, coupled with the winding inductance, gives rise to spikes of very high voltage
The more secondary windings (that is, the higher the CT turns ratio) the higher the voltage
spike potentially over 2kV.

These spikes can damage the CT insulation, and be a danger to personnel. Furthermore, the CT
core may overheat, and its remanence may be changed affecting its subsequent performance.

P r im a r y c u r r e n t

d .c . C o m p o n e n t

F ig 1 .6
D . C . T r a n s ie n t in a F a u lt
RWE Power
The d.c. component is caused by the asymmetry of the current waveform. The amount of
asymmetry and its duration will depend on the point of the wave when the fault was initiated, and
the physical characteristics of the primary circuit (X/R ratio). The d.c. component of the current will
add to the magnetising current on the positive wave, which could cause saturation of the CT if the
core cross-sectional area is not sufficient affecting its performance. This may not necessarily be
detrimental, but its effect on some protection schemes may need to be taken into account.

Voltage Transformers (VTs)

Wound voltage transformers for measurement and protection, are generally used on voltages up
to 66kV. Above this, they become increasingly expensive and uneconomical to use unless high
accuracy is required for voltage measurement or metering purposes. While their theory of
operation is the same as for a current transformer, their design is tailored to give the highest
accuracy of measurement with the minimum effect on the supply they are measuring.

A voltage transformer primary winding is connected in shunt across the system. It has a relatively
larger number of turns to ensure that the flux in the core generates sufficient back e.m.f. to
oppose the supply voltage presenting high impedance to the supply with its secondary winding
open circuit. The flux in the transformer core is therefore, dependent on the supply voltage, and is
thus relatively constant.

The transformer core runs at a level well below saturation so the secondary e.m.f. generated is a
true reflection of the primary e.m.f. divided by the turns ratio even with normal changes to the
supply voltage.

Theoretical e.m.f.s are exactly opposite and reflect the actual turns ratio of the primary and
secondary windings. We, however, can only see the ratio of primary input voltage to secondary
output in the transformer itself.

This will be different in value, and not exactly opposite in phase, because :

The secondary voltage is modified by the magnetising current shunted away on the primary
The voltage drop through the primary and secondary winding impedances, caused by the
current taken by the burden connected to the secondary terminals.

Measurement VTs may be constructed as combined three phase units or separate single phase
units for measuring line to line voltages or line to neutral/ground voltages, depending on the
application. At the 11kV distribution level of voltage, they are usually of three phase construction
and may be used for metering purposes, as well as protection.

At voltages above 66kV, it becomes increasingly uneconomical to produce wound type voltage
transformers. The solution is to employ capacitors connected in a voltage divider configuration
as shown in fig 1.7.

This would give a scaled-down voltage but, in itself, would not be practical it does not give
proper isolation from the mains supply, and would not produce much current for the instruments or
relays connected.
RWE Power




F ig 1 .7
C a p a c it a n c e d iv id e r

Adding a transformer (as shown in fig 1.8) will give the necessary isolation and, as the transformer
will be working at comparatively low voltage and turns ratio, it will not be too costly.


C2 L2 V S

L 1 is tu n e d b y ta p p in g s s o th a t L 1 + L 2 in d u c ta n c e
r e s o n a te s a t s u p p ly fr e q u e n c y w ith C 1 + C 2

F ig 1 . 8
C a p a c it a n c e V o lta g e T r a n s f o r m e r
RWE Power
The current drive can be increased by producing a resonant circuit between the divider capacitors,
and the transformer using the inductance of the interposing transformer and an additional
inductor with tappings on it, to tune the circuit to a series resonance at the supply frequency.

The capacitive reactance will be cancelled by the inductive reactance, leaving a comparatively low
impedance path to the relays or the instrumentation.

Capacitor transformers having highly reactive components are more prone to the affects of
transient voltages. These can excite oscillations higher than the supply frequency in the
secondary circuits. In a well-designed VT the oscillations will die away quickly not affecting the
accuracy of measurement to any great extent.

A sub-fundamental frequency can also be triggered (usually one third of the fundamental). This
phenomenon is known as ferroesonance and, with certain combinations of circuit components,
could be sustained once triggered. Again, this effect can be minimised and damped by careful
design. A relatively high secondary burden will also have a strong damping effect.

These were the earliest form of protection devised. They are essentially a fine wire element, which
is designed to melt due to the heat developed by the current flow of some predetermined value.
The older type of fuse, still in use, is merely a thin strand of wire, placed in the main circuit, and
when the fuse blows it can be renewed with a new strand of fuse wire. However, this type is
prone to failure when carrying normal current due to oxidation. The high rupturing capacity
(H.R.C.) fuse, was developed to overcome the failures. In this type the fuse wire is fully enclosed
in a ceramic cartridge body and is filled with silver sand. Because it is enclosed
it does not suffer from oxidation and the silver sand assists in the extinguishing of the arc that
develops as the wire melts. The H.R.C. fuse is more accurately calibrated and therefore offers
closer protection limits. It has the disadvantage however of being more costly as the whole
cartridge has to be replaced when it blows. Nevertheless, due to its greater accuracy and safety
features, this type is now almost universally used in power stations.

Fuses are frequently used to deal with short circuit faults in power station circuits and are
invariably fitted in series with some type of switch. For example, smaller sized motors use fused
contactor switchgear, the overload protection being fitted to the contactor, leaving the fuses to deal
with the short circuits, either in the motor or its connection. Fuses are in effect a simple form of
overcurrent protection
Each fuse is made to discriminate with other fuses further away from the point of supply. for
example, a fault on the cable supply Oil Pump 1A will blow its own 20 amp fuse rather than a much
higher rated fuse closer to the point of supply. The fuses are there to protect the system, not the
appliances connected to it seized up, the fuse would not be able to differentiate between this
condition and the pump motor starting condition, also for this reason, the fuse rating must be
greater than motor starting current. For full protection, the pump motor would have to be protected
with some form of time delay relay, such as a thermal device.

Overcurrent Relays
Two main types of overcurrent relays are used, the instantaneous, or high set (H.S.) overcurrent
relay, and the normal (inverse characteristic) overcurrent relay. Depending on the nature of a fault,
the fault current can vary from normal overload levels to many times full load amps. As its name
implies the instantaneous, high set relay operates immediately to trip the switchgear when the fault
current level is high, typical relay settings between 4 to 16 times full load current being used. The
normal overcurrent relays are set at a much lower value and have a time-lag (delay) feature
incorporated in them. A typical setting of 150 - 200% full load current is common.
RWE Power
IDMT Relay
The normal overcurrent protection is often provided by an Induction Disc relay. It is sometimes
referred to as an Inverse Definite Minimum Time, or IDMT relay, which is derived from its operating
characteristic. It will be seen from the curve that the higher the fault current the faster the operating
time until the definite minimum time is reached. The relay is fed with current via C.T.s and when
the operating setting is reached, which can be altered by using the plug bridge, the disc starts to
rotate at constant speed until the tripping contacts make. Each phase is provided with a relay and
often all three disc relays are mounted in one case.

Principles of Operation

The principle is described below. Modern relays simulate exactly the same characteristic, iusing
microprocessor techniques.
The induction principle is of two separate alternating electrical magnetic fields reacting on a thin
metal disc, produce a force on the disc to rotate it. This was first discovered by Ferraris in the late
19th century, and has a place in history as it has formed the basis of the electricity meter and the
IDMTL relay almost up to the present day (electronic equivalent designs are now taking over).
Two alternating magnetic fields from physically separated sources impinging on a rotatable disc
will induce eddy currents in the disc. The reaction of the eddy currents and fluxes acting on each
other, will produce a rotating torque T according to the following formula:
T = K12 sin

where K is a constant
1 and 2 are the low fluxes, and
is the phase angle between the fluxes

When the phase angle between the fluxes is at right angles, the torque will be a maximum and
zero when they are in phase.

If one of the fluxes is driven by load current, and the other from the supply voltage with the flux
angle shifted through 90 by some means, you have the basis of power measurement. The
direction of the torque is also determined by the relative phase of the two fluxes giving a means
of determining the direction of current flow. Design techniques, such as the use of shorted turn
conductors round magnetic pole pieces (shading rings), produce the exact desired phase shift of
flux, and thus, the electric meter and current direction element for an overcurrent relay.

The overcurrent induction relay itself produces two separate phase-shifted fluxes from the same
current. As it only requires the torque to drive the disc to be proportional to the current, the phase
shift does not need to be as much as 90. The basic and most typical design for an IDMT
induction relay is shown diagrammatically in fig 8.2.
RWE Power
E le c tr o m a g n e t
P lu g
B r id g e
P r im a r y
W in d in g

S e c o n d a ry
W in d in g

D is c
E le c t r o m a g n e t

F ig 8 .2
T y p ic a l ID M T in d u c tio n r e la y

There are two separate windings on two separate cores. The main winding on the main limb of
the upper core has a number of tappings to give different amounts of ampere-turn drive and
hence current sensitivity. The lower winding (underneath the disc) also has a few turns on the
upper core and derives its current by induction from the main winding.

The flux in the main core, which couples with these turns, passes through a large air gap, which
gives a quadrature shift of phase. The current in the lower coil impinges on the edge of the disc,
which results in a shift of phase of flux. This reacts with the leakage flux from the main core of the
upper coil giving a turning force at the disc periphery.

The torque is opposed by a phosphor bronze spiral hairspring attached to the disc. The disc will
only rotate if the current is sufficient to overcome the spring pressure. Disc rotation is also
opposed by magnetic braking achieved using a horseshoe type permanent magnet with the
pole pieces near the periphery of the disc. This magnet must have a very narrow gap between the
poles but with sufficient clearance for the disc to rotate.

These elements of the design combine to produce a disc that will rotate within limits, at a speed
proportional to the current through the main winding.

Relay sensitivity is determined by the tapping connected via a plug bridge. It is usual to have
seven equally spaced tappings. The relay is normally connected to a current transformer (which
must not be open circuited). The plug bridge (which uses a metallic plug to make the top
connection) is therefore designed so that removal of the pin will always leave the relay on its least
sensitive tap.

Surface electrical contacts rotate with the disc, and make contact at the end of its travel. The time
the relay takes to operate for any given current is determined by the amount of rotation of the disc
before reaching the point of contact. This time is varied by setting an adjustable backstop the
hairspring will reset the disc to this. The rotatable backstop is calibrated into 10 linear divisions of
the full rotation operating time. The adjustable backstop is known at the time multiplier.
RWE Power
The level of the pick up current when the relay just begins to move or creep is at a critical point of
electro-mechanical balance. To make the point of movement more positive, slots are often cut into
the edge of the disc. These tend to hold the disc at rest until a positive value of current (slightly
above the critical value) is reached. The braking magnet, which controls the forward motion of the
disc, also governs the reverse motion of the disc when it is being reset by the hairspring.

To summarise:

The disc is driven forward by the current passing through the relay.
The speed of forward rotation depends on the current and the main coil tapping.
The time of disc takes to reach its end of travel (where the tripping contacts make) is
determined by the speed of rotation and the distance it rotates which is in turn governed by
the calibrated backstop adjustment.






6 .0

4 .0

2 .0

1 .0
S ta n d a rd In v e rs e
0 .8

0 .4
V e ry In v e rs e

0 .2

E x t r e m e ly I n v e r s e
0 .1
2 4 6 8 10 20 40 60 80 100

P lu g S e t tin g M u lt ip lie r

F ig 8 .3
C u r r e n t v T im e G r a p h
Illu s tr a t in g T y p ic a l I D M T L r e la y c h a r a c t e r is tic s
RWE Power
Earth Fault Relays
Phase-to-earth fault currents may be limited by the impedances of the plant, methods of neutral
earthing and resistance in the earth path. In consequence the earth current may often be of only a
low or moderate value such that the overcurrent protection does not detect the fault. The induction
disc relay can be used for earth fault protection, but the settings have to be much lower, typically
10-40% full load current. Often the overcurrent and earth fault protection is a combined scheme

Current Differential Relays

A current differential relay is essentially a relay with two inputs. One tends to cause operation, and
the other restraint. A typical simple circuit is shown in Fig 8.4. If the protected-plant item is healthy,
the currents in the two sets of CTs should be equal. The current in the operate coil of the relay is
zero, but the restraint coils will carry the full CT current.

P ro te c te d
P la n t It e m

I1 I2
R e s t r a in t o r B ia s C o ils

O p e ra te
I1 - I2
C o il

F ig 8 .4
T y p ic a l S im p le C ir c u it

It may, in practice, prove difficult to achieve an exact balance between the two CT secondary
currents. This could be because of differences between CT errors at large through fault currents.
If any unbalance exists, it will flow in the relay operate coil and would tend to cause the relay to
operate when it should be stable. The much larger CT current flowing in the restraint or bias coils
is designed to prevent this.

It is not satisfactory simply to increase the relay basic setting to higher than the maximum spill
current as this would require an unacceptably high basic setting. For example, if we take a
possible spill current as being 10% of the CT output, then if we had a through fault current, say of
20 times rating, the spill current would be 2 times rating. This would require a basic setting in
excess of twice rating, which would not be acceptable in most applications. By using a biased
relay, a basic setting well below circuit rating can be used the setting effectively increases as the
available fault current increases.

To operate the relay, the operate coil has to produce enough force to overcome the basic setting of
the relay, and also to cancel out any effect of the restraint coil. The restraint coils are arranged to
produce a much smaller effect for the same current, than the operate coil. This would typically be
in the range of 10 to 30 or 40% of the operate coil force. The relay normally has two restraint
coils, or one coil with a centre tap to which the operate coil connection is made.
RWE Power
The total effect of the restraint coils is therefore the sum of the effect of the current in each coil.
Similarly, the operate coil current is the difference of the CT output currents, and hence the
restraint coil currents. The relay characteristic is normally presented as a graph relating operate to
restraint coil current (Fig 8.5).

A c t u a l S e tt in g

B ia s R a t io

I1 - I2

B a s ic S e t t in g ( N o B ia s )

I1 + I2

F ig 8 .5
R e la y C h a r a c te r is tic s

When one CT current is zero, the relay has a basic setting determined by its design and in
particular, the mechanical constraint built into the relay. This determines the dotted horizontal line
indicating the basic relay setting.

As the bias current increases, the setting increases in proportion. The dotted sloping line
corresponds to the bias ratio and shows how the relay would operate if it had a basic setting of
zero. The actual setting at any current is obtained by adding together the two effects, as shown in
the sloping solid line.

Overload (Thermal) Relays

To be effective in preventing damage to a motor, it is necessary that the overload protection relay
should have a setting not greatly in excess of full load (e.g. 125% full load), but should remain
immune from the high starting current which may be up to six times full load current for several
seconds duration. The thermal overload relay satisfies these requirements. In this type of relay, the
three phase currents to the motor (or the corresponding C.T. currents) are used to heat the bimetal
spiral strips which in turn, produce movement of the contacts, these contacts being connected to
the tripping circuit of the switchgear. The movement of the bimetal spirals is
proportional to the current flow, and two scales are fitted to show the % running load, and the %
load trip setting (which is adjustable). The high starting current does not initiate the trip because of
the inbuilt time delay feature provided by the spiral movement. The setting curves are shown in
Figure 139. There are two curves because the time taken to trip from a hot or running condition is
less than it is from cold or start condition, assuming the primary current is the same in each case.

Transformer Buchholz Relay

This protection device is used on practically all power transformers. It relies on the fact that an
electrical fault within the transformer tank will be accompanied by the generation of gas and, if the
fault is severe, by a surge of oil from the tank to the conservator. Gas may be produced by thermal
or electrical breakdown of the oil, or from the breakdown of solid insulation.
The relay is mounted in the oil pipeline between the transformer tank and conservator. Inside it has
two pivoted float assemblies which each carry and operate a mercury switch. Under normal
RWE Power
conditions, both floats are tilted up so the mercury switches are open. A gradual generation of gas
in the transformer will rise up the pipework and accumulate in the Buchholz relay housing,
gradually lowering the oil level until the top assembly tilts far enough when the mercury switch
closes. This switch initiates the gas alarm annunciator.
Rapid generation of gas causes an upward surge through the relay, which impinges on the internal
baffle causing the bottom assembly to tilt so closing the mercury switch; this switch initiates the
tripping of the circuit breakers associated with the transformer.
Loss of oil due to leakage or low temperature will cause a lowering of the conservator oil level and
ultimately initiate the gas alarm. A continuing lowering oil level, or build up of gas, after the gas
alarm has been initiated will in turn cause a trip.

Fig 8.6
General Arrangement for Buchholz Relays

The relay contains a float, vane or bucket, placed directly in line with the oil pipe.

If a major fault occurs in the transformer and causes an oil surge, this causes very rapid
movement of oil along the pipe to the conservator.

Rapid oil flow along the pipe causes the float, vane or bucket to tilt.

The tilting is arranged to close a mercury switch normally connected to trip out the

The float or bucket has an advantage over the vane, in that if the oil level in the transformer should
drop due to a leak, a float would drop and so trip out the transformer before the damage is done.
Similarly, a bucket can be arranged so that when totally immersed in oil, the weight is balanced,
and the mercury switch contacts are open. However, on loss of oil, the weight of the oil in the
bucket will tilt the mechanism, so that the switch contacts close.

The Buchholz relays are also provided with a space above and out of line with the oil flow between
transformer and conservator. This will collect any small bubbles of gas, which flow out of the
transformer. As these collect, they gradually force down the oil level in the top of the relay. A
RWE Power
float or bucket placed in the top of the relay will therefore tilt giving an indication of a low-
level fault, by operating a second mercury switch. This contact of the Buchholz relay is known as
the gas contact. Normally the gas contact is arranged to generate an alarm only.

Occasionally, single-float Buchholz relays are used. Such relays have only a gas detection float,
and are mainly used on voltage transformers. The risk of explosion if the gas build up is allowed
to continue, is such, that they usually trip out the circuit automatically, or give an alarm requiring
the Control Engineer to arrange for the circuit to be switched out as soon as possible.

Static Relays
Semiconductor transistors and diodes, when used in a relay, being exceptionally robust and
requiring only low voltage, low wattage supplies, and their lack of fragile or moving parts, makes a
relay resistant to shock and vibration, and should reduce the maintenance required. A
considerable size reduction can also be achieved.
Development of transistorised relays has been carried out since the early 1950s, during which time
semiconductors themselves have improved tremendously. Modern silicon planar transistors and
integrated circuits have a reliability in excess of previous conventional components. Most existing
forms of protection have been produced in transistorised form, together with new types of
protection and control devices for which semiconductor security is particularly suitable.
Site experience with static relays has been gained since the early 1960s and the transistorised
relay is now established as a practical protective device.

Unit Protection Introduction

Protection can be made to detect a fault within given boundaries. An example of this is the
protection of a power transformer, in which case it is known as unit protection. In this case, the
protection is sensitive only to faults within the protected zone and remains stable for faults outside
the protected zone.
The boundaries of the protected zone are the position of C.T.s and the protection works on the
principle that the current flow entering the zone will be equal that leaving under healthy conditions,
but will be unequal when a fault develops within the zone, which will cause the protection relay to
operate. This principle can be applied to give an overall main protection scheme to a generator
and its generator transformer, and is referred to as the 'Circulating Current Biased Differential
Protection Scheme'. Figure 143 shows this scheme as applied to a 60 MW unit. The biased
differential relay is used to sent trip signals, when it operates, to the H.V. circuit breaker, unit
transformer circuit breaker, field switches, and stop valves.

P r o te c te d P la n t
Ite m

C o m m u n ic a t io n s C ir c u it

F ig 8 . 1
C u r r e n t b a la n c e s y s t e m u s in g c ir c u la tin g c u r r e n t p r in c ip le
RWE Power
Unit Protection of a Turbo Generator
A simple overall (unit) protection scheme originally known as Merz-Price is applied to a turbo-
generator. The boundaries of the scheme are at the high voltage circuit breaker C.T.s and the
neutral end C.T.s. The protection remains stable for faults outside these boundaries, or outside this
Under fault conditions, the circulating current relay (CCR) will operate and close its contacts.

Restricted Earth Fault Schemes

Another common form of unit protection is the 'Restricted Earth Fault (RE/F) Scheme'. It is so
called because the protected zone is restricted to the connected windings of a transformer or
Under healthy conditions, the three phase group CT outputs sum to zero; since there should be
no current in the transformer neutral, the output to the relay is zero. Only when an out of balance
occurs will the imbalance or residual current (having nowhere to go) appear in the relay. In the
protective gear jargon, this is known as a residual connection. If an earth fault occurs outside the
protected zone, the fault current passes through the neutral CT and Blue phase CT in the same
direction and with the same magnitude. Under these conditions the secondary current circulated
between the C.T.s (one sucks as the other blows) and no current (other than 'spill' appears at the
relay. If a fault occurs at B, however, a fault current will come from the high voltage system,
through the Blue phase CT but in the opposite sense to the current along the neutral, produced
from the transformer. The secondary equivalents of these currents will be additive in the relay
connections. Even if an in-zone fault occurs with the high voltage circuit breaker open (which
means it is energised from the low voltage side only) then the single output of the neutral CT
would operate the relay.

Bus Bar Protection

This is a unit protection applied to the bus bar zone of transmission sub stations but not applied
within a generating station.

Unit Protection Applied to Overhead Lines and Underground Cables

As the extremities of the protected zone become further apart, the problem of comparing what
goes in with what comes out becomes more difficult special multicore cables, which carry up to
ten times the relay setting current (for example, 10 amperes for a 1A relay; the possible order of
secondary fault current) are expensive. Furthermore, the secondary current has to circulate with
the minimum voltage drop otherwise the C.T.s would be working outside their designed burden.
Another difficulty is that the schemes we have considered up to now require at least one wire per
phase and a neutral in some cases. Because the pilots are not crossed and the relays are shunt
connected across the summator transformers, the voltages and currents in the pilots oppose each
other; the currents can only flow through the relays, causing the required operation. If the fault had
been outside the protected zone, the direction of the currents would have been such as to circulate
around the pilot circuit and not pass through the relays. The protection would be stable.

Non-Unit Protection Introduction

We have previously mentioned non-unit protection in passing, and a simple example of a current
graded scheme was given, wherein we discussed the method of discriminating by using fuses of
different rupturing level. These are essentially current graded systems. There are other ways of
grading circuit protection other than simple current grading schemes.

Time Graded Systems

Protection is provided at A, B, C, and D i.e. at the sending end of each feeder.
The protection comprises current transformers supplying the measuring coils of instantaneous
overcurrent and (or) earth fault relays. These relays are known as starting relays, and the contacts
of these are used to energise definite time lag relays. The starting relays may be simple attracted
RWE Power
armature relays. The overcurrent relay would possibly have a range of 50% to 200% of nominal
value, for the relay will, of course, depend on the rating of the primary equipment, the CT ratio, and
in some cases, the amount of fault current available. If the current transformers had a ratio of
500/1, and the 1 ampere overcurrent relay was set at 150%, then the relay would pick up when a
primary current of ampere flowed in the primary circuit. If all the relays were set at the same
current operating value and the time lag relays set for shorter times, the further they were away
from A, then a system of time discrimination would occur. However, the situation is not quite so
simple as just described. Because of the impedance of the lines A-B: B-C: C-D: D-E, the fault
current available at E will be much lower than that available at B. In this case, the overcurrent
starting relays at E will be given a much lower current setting than at A. The situation may be
further complicated since normal load current at A may be of the same order as the fault current
available at E.
The practical solution would be to use both time discrimination and current discrimination on the
same system.

Use of Directional Relays

Because the radial system has only one feeding point, the current and power flows can only be in
one direction. With this simple arrangement then, the relays need not be direction sensitive, i.e.
the relays can see both directions as indicated by the double headed arrows. In an integrated
network, such as operated by the CEGB there are busbars with infeeds from generators and/or
other parts of the system so that relays used for line protection must only see in the direction of
the faulted line.

Generator and Generator Transformer Protection

Figure 2a & 2b show the primary connections, associated protection arrangements and tripping
classes for a typical generator, Station/Unit transformer and generator transformer, which is
connected to a transmission substation.
Briefly, the purpose of each protection and the items of equipment that each protection trips are
given. Also see Figure 3 which shows the tripping logic for a large turbogenerator.
RWE Power
International O v e r a ll D if f e r e n t ia l P r o te c tio n
a n d H V B a la n c e d E a r th F a u lt

H V O v e r c u r r e n t P r o te c tio n

B u s b a r P r o te c tio n

B B u c h h o lz S u r g e
U n it
T ra n s fo rm e r W T W in d in g T e m p e r a tu r e
O v e rc u rre n t

U n it
T ra n s fo rm e r
L o w B o ile r P r e s s u r e
Low V acuum
E m e r g e n c y T r ip L e v e r
L u b r ic a tio n O il F a ilu r e

N e g a t iv e P h a s e
S ta n d B y E a r t h F a u lt
S e q u e n c e P r o t e c t io n
O v e r a ll D if f e r e n t ia l
P r o te c tio n

S ta to r E a r th F a u lt
P r o te c tio n

U . T . O v e r a ll D if f e r e n t ia l
P r o t e c t io n & L .V B a la n c e d
E a r th F a u lt

F ig 2 A
T y p ic a l P r o te c tio n A r r a n g e m e n ts fo r G e n e r a to r U n it T r a n s fo r m e r
a n d A s s o c ia te d U n it A u x ilia r y T r a n s fo r m e r
RWE Power
H ig h V o lta g e

O th e r B usbar
C ir c u it B a c k T r ip 1 s t M a in G e n . F d r . P r o tn .
B re a k e rs S y s te m
2 n d M a in G e n . F d r . P r o tn .
B r e a k e r F a il
P r o te c t io n H .V . O v e rc u rre n t

Permissive Interlock
To B u s b a r P ro tn .
B u s w ir e s
V .T .

G e n . O v e r a ll B ia s D if f e r e n tia l
H .V . R E F

G e n e ra to r
T ra n s fo rm e r B u c h h o lz
W in d in g T e m p e r a tu r e

U n it T r a n s . O v e r c u r r e n t
P o le S lip p in g P r o t n .
V .T .
U n it T r a n s . O v e r a ll B ia s D if f .
L .V . R E F

B u c h h o lz
U n it T r a n s .
L .V . S ta n d b y E /F

L o s s o f R e la y F lu id P r e s s u r e
L o s s o f B o ile r W a te r
Boiler & Turbine Protection

U n it L o s s o f I.D . F a n
B o ile r
T ra n s fo rm e r
F ir in g L o s s o f F .D . F a n
T u r b in e T r ip L e v e r
O v e r s p e e d T r ip
R e la y L o w S te a m In le t P r e s s u r e
S to p
F lu id
R o to r E /F G V a lv e P re s r. L o s s o f L u b r ic a t in g O il
A la r m H ig h C o n d e n s e r W a te r L e v e l
F ie ld E x c e s s iv e O v e r f ir in g
S w itc h V a c u u m T r ip

N e g a tiv e P h a s e S e q u e n c e
L o s s o f G e n . E x c it a t io n

L o s s o f S t a t o r W a te r F lo w

S ta to r E a r t h F a u lt ( 2 S t a g e s )

E m e rg e n c y P u s h B u tto n
Class 1

Class 2

G e n e ra to r
A u x ilia r ie s C .T . C ir c u its


D . C . C ir c u it s
F ig 2 b .
B a s ic A r r a n g e m e n t o f G e n e r a to r P r o te c tio n
E le c tr ic a l S o le n o id
RWE Power O n T u r b in e T o R e le a s e
F lu id & T r ip T u r b in e
International S te a m V a lv e s

Turbine & Boiler

R e la y
F lu id
P re s s u re
S w itc h

R E M O TE E le c tr ic a l S ig n a l
& LO C A L M e c h a n ic a l/H y d r a u lic
S ig n a l


G E N . S T A T O R E /F IN V E R S E

G E N . P O L E S L IP P IN G P R O T.

G E N . TR A N S . W D G . TE M P E R A TU R E
& H.V. Connections

G E N . TR A N S . O V E R A LL P R O T.

G E N . TR A N S . B U C H H O LZ S U R G E

G E N . T R A N S . H .V . O V E R C U R R E N T
G E N . T R A N S . H .V . R E F
F IR S T M A IN G E N . F E E D E R P R O T .
A - C o n ta c t w h ic h c lo s e s o n
S E C O N D M A IN G E N . F E E D E R P R O T . o p e r a tio n o f s e n s itiv e p o w e r
IN T E R L O C K E D O V E R C U R R E N T r e la y fo r d e t e c tin g c u t- o ff
B R E A K E R F A IL o f s te a m s u p p ly to tu r b in e

U N IT T R A N S . L .V . S T A N D B Y E /F TR A N S .

U N IT T R A N S . L .V . R E F L .V .C .B .

U N IT T R A N S . O V E R A LL P R O T.
U N IT T R A N S . H .V . O V E R C U R R E N T S W IT C H E S

H .V . B U S B A R P R O T E C T IO N G E N .
H .V .C .B .

F ig 3
T r ip p in g L o g ic fo r a la r g e tu r b o g e n e r a to r
RWE Power
Purpose of Each Protection Relay (Device) and Plant item being tripped

N.P.S.: Unbalances on the system caused by failure of individual circuit breaker phases
failing to close, and tap changers not completing travel can give rise to Negative phase sequence
voltage on the system. The lack of transposition in supergrid system and single-phase load, e.g.
British rail, are the largest contributions. The consequent negative sequence currents in the
generator give rise to rotor surface heating and damage. Low level is set to give alarm. High level
is set to trip in time to grade with the generator thermal capability of withstanding the negative
phase sequence current. The level is in the order of 10% of continuous rating i.e. =10% where
I1 and I2 are positive and negative phase sequence currents respectively.
This is to trip the turbine Stop Valve, generator LV circuit breaker direct, and the generator
excitation direct.

SEF: Stator Earth Fault caused by degradation of insulation and can lead to extensive core
damage, the enormity of which depends on the fault current level.
SEF protection is energised by a current transformer in the neutral point of the generator and
designed to trip the turbine Stop Valve, the generator LV circuit breaker direct, and the generator
excitation direct. For a directly connected generator, SEF is unrestricted and care must be taken
where and when a generator transformer is used, as it constitute an electrically isolated system.

LOE: Complete or partial Loss Of Excitation can cause pole slipping, losing synchronism and
running above synchronous speed. Complete loss of excitation will cause a generator to be run as
an Induction Generator. This gives rise to slip frequency currents in the rotor damper windings. As
the generator is not designed as induction machine, the damper windings are not adequate to
carry the rotor slip frequency current, so this could result in overheating of the rotor and
overloading of the stator winding.
This protection trips the turbine Stop Valve, the generator LV circuit breaker via the Low Power
relay, and the generator excitation via the Low Power relay.

LFP: The Low Forward Power relay works as an interlock for some tripping functions, to prevent
over-speeding i.e. for less urgent tripping, the risk of over-speeding is avoided.
Where tripping can be so delayed without causing damage to the generator, then the turbine stop
valve is first shut, and the generator is only isolated from the system when the power flow into the
system is reduced to a very small level (about 1%).

CBF: When a circuit breaker is called upon to trip by a protection, and fails to interrupt the
current, then the CBF protection is arranged to trip all the circuits on the busbar where the failed
circuit breaker is connected. This is to ensure that the faulty circuit breaker is isolated from the
RWE Power
EF: The field circuit of a generator, comprising the winding and the armature of the
exciter with any associated field circuit breaker is an isolated DC circuit which in itself need not be
earthed. Rotor Earth Fault is used to detect earth fault in the rotor winding, and issues an alarm
only. No tripping is initiated. This is because a generator can tolerate a single earth fault on the
rotor. Double earth faults would be disastrous and result in shorted rotor windings, and also cause

R o to r E a rth
F a u lt R e la y

G e n e ra to r
F ie ld

M a in Shunt
E x c ite r

T 1

- +
T 2

+ -

A la r m +

F ig 4
G e n e r a t o r F ie ld F a ilu r e P r o t e c t io n U s in g S e n s it iv e R e la y
( D ia g r a m a ls o s h o w s s im p le r o t o r E / F s c h e m e )
damage to the rotor body. Hence monitoring of the deterioration of the rotor on single earth faults
is important. See figure 4.

Biased Differential: This is set to detect faults within the generator or the generator transformer
zone by comparing the current flow into and out of the zone. Where high impedance earthing is
used, the differential protection can be expected to operate only for phase to phase faults. The
generator transformer will have some tap variation, it is usual to apply a through current biased
relay. Although the transformer will be of double wound design, the problem associated with
magnetising inrush current will not be present as voltage is never applied suddenly and therefore
there is no need for special harmonic restraint.
This is arranged to trip so as to isolate the fault. Depending on the zone covered by the
protection, this means tripping the turbine Stop Valve, the generator HV circuit breaker, the
generator LV circuit breaker direct, and the generator excitation direct.

HV OC Generator Transformer: The overcurrent is provided as a back up to operate for

uncleared faults. It protects the system against uncleared generator fault. Its function for protecting
the generator against system faults is limited by the fact that the fault current delivered by a
generator for a system fault decays very rapidly.

HV HS O/C: The HS O/C is the high set and is normally used as an instantaneous protection for
heavy terminal faults on the HV terminals of the Generator transformer. For other lower level
faults, the time delayed HV Overcurrent with SI (standard inverse) characteristic is normally used.
Where this protection is used to detect faults fed by generators, then the generator decrement
curve needs to be considered.
RWE Power
The overcurrent by virtue of the zone covered has to trip the turbine stop valve, and
simultaneously directly trip the HV, LV and the generator circuit breakers and the field switch.

Generator DOC: The Generator Directional Overcurrent is normally used to detect faults
within the generator, the normal infeed is from the generator to the generator transformer.
However the DOC will detect fault infeeds from the generator transformer to the generator
windings. It trips the generator circuit breaker, the field switch and the turbine stop valve.

Generator Transformer HV REF: This is used to provide sensitive instantaneous protection for
faults particularly in the HV side of Generator transformer windings, which would not otherwise be
detected by the transformer differential protection. Such faults could for example be those close to
the neutral point of the winding which may draw small currents from the source but have large
currents flowing in the transformer neutral.

Unit Transformer SBEF: The Unit Transformer SBEF is again connected to the current
transformer in the neutral of a unit transformer especially on resistance earthed systems, and is
used to back up other earth fault protections on the system.

Transformer Protection

Transformers are used to connect together various parts of the system, and to connect generators
to the system or to supply consumer load where the voltages are different on each side. Many
different types of transformers are used, but they generally fall into two main types:

Double-wound transformers, which are used to connect the generating plant to the system,
and to supply consumer load.
Autotransformers, which are used to connect the 400kV to 275kV Supergrid systems, or to
connect the 400kV or 275kV Supergrid system to the 132kV distribution system.

Double-wound transformers usually have earthed star HV windings and delta-connected LV

windings (LV connected in star at 66kV). However, star or zig-zag connected LV windings are
sometimes used for various reasons, and the latter most often as an earthing transformer. Faults
within transformers can take many forms, but the breakdown of insulation, which eventually results
in a flashover, is the cause of most damage. Short circuits can be between phases, between
turns, between windings, from a winding to earth, within a tap changer or a bushing, or within the
connection zone.

Double-Wound Transformers

Double-wound transformer main protection is usually provided by biased differential relays with
associated high-impedance restricted earth fault relays. These latter relays will usually provide the
maximum sensitivity to most types of electrical faults within the transformer windings, with the
exception of turn to turn faults. The overall differential relays must have load bias and harmonic
restraint. The former effectively de-sensitises the relay when the transformer is carrying high load
currents, and the latter is necessary to avoid relay operation during switch-on, due to magnetising

Faults sometimes occur within the transformer core due to breakdown of the insulation between
laminations or clamp bolts. Such faults are often slow to develop, and result in the accumulation
of gas in the Buchholz relay, which is mounted in the oil pipe connecting the main tank to the
associated conservator tank. The gas is analysed, to give an indication of the possible fault type.
Buchholz protection operates to alarm for a slow collection of gas and to trip for a surge of oil or
RWE Power
gas. International
An oil pressure relief device is often fitted to a transformer tank. For more detail see

Backup protection of transformers is usually by a two-stage HV inverse time overcurrent relay,

which is connected to trip the LV circuit-breaker, and to start a timer. This timer will trip the HV
circuit-breaker if the overcurrent condition persists for over 300ms. High-set instantaneous HV
phase overcurrent protection is also provided for faults which are closer to the HV end of the
transformer windings, for which the more rapid clearance is necessary in order to limit damage.
This protection trips both the HV and LV circuit-breakers. LV earth fault protection is provided by
IDMT relay. Long-time standby earth fault protection is provided where required on the LV winding
or earthing transformer neutral connection as appropriate. Winding temperature protection is
usually applied to each winding, and is arranged to alarm from the first stage, and to trip the load-
side circuit-breaker from the second stage. For more detail see Appendix.

Generator transformers are often run at, or close to, full rating for long periods. Because of this,
the continuity of cooling is extremely important and the coolant flow failure is often arranged to trip.

With the exception of some of the new combined cycle power stations where the generators are
synchronised at the generator voltage circuit-breaker, most generators are directly connected to
their associated generator and unit transformers. There is then a danger during the generator run
up of overfluxing the transformers. This is usually prevented by delaying the application of
generator field until the speed is almost synchronous. Overfluxing protection is applied to modern
generator/transformer units in order to prevent core damage, which would result from energisation
at low voltages well within the transformer rating, but where the frequency is also low.

Tap change equipment is usually short-time rated, therefore, some protection is required to alarm if
the mechanism is stuck between taps. In addition, Buchholz protection is usually provided for the
tap changer tank.
RWE Power
Driven Machine: Pump
Motor type code HXR 450LG2
Machine type Squirrel cage motor
Mounting designation IM 1001
Protected by enclosure IP 55
Method of cooling IC 411
Insulation Class F
Standards IEC
Ambient temperature, max. 40 C
Altitude, max. 1000 m.a.s.l.
Duty type S1
Temp. rise Class B
Connection of stator winding Star
Rated output 468 kW
Voltage 11000 V 5 %
Frequency 50 Hz
Speed 2984 rpm
Current 29 A
Relat. starting current 6.8
Relat. starting torque 0.6
Relat. maximum torque 2.8
No load current 8A
Rated torque 1497 Nm
Load characteristics Load % Current A Efficiency % Power Factor
100 29 95.9 0.89
75 22 95.5 0.87
50 16 94.4 0.80
Direction of rotation Uni-directional
Sound pressure level: (sinus supply, no load) 85 dB(A), tol. + 3 dB(A), 1 m
Inertia rotor / load Approx.13 kgm / 0.97 kgm
Maximum stalling time 20 s (warm)
Starting time 4.5 s (U=Un)
10 s (U=0.80 Un)
Number of consec. starts 3 / 2 (cold/warm)
Maximum number of starts 1000 / year
This performance data is final and the motor will be manufactured accordingly. All motor data is
subject to tolerances in accordance with IEC.
RWE Power
Motor type code: HXR 450LG2
Rated output 468 kW Power Factor 0.89
Voltage 11000 V 5 % Rated torque 1497 Nm
Frequency 50 Hz Relat. starting current 6.8
Speed 2984 rpm Relat. starting torque 0.6
Current 29 A Relat. maximum torque 2.8

Torque and Current as a Function of Speed

7 3.5

6 3

5 2.5

4 2

I/In T/Tn

3 1.5

2 1

1 0.5

0 0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1


I, U=100% I, U=80% Load Torque

T, U=100% T, U=80%
RWE Power
Motor type code: HXR 450LG2
Rated output 468 kW Power Factor 0.89
Voltage 11000 V 5 % Rated torque 1497 Nm
Frequency 50 Hz Relat. starting current 6.8
Speed 2984 rpm Relat. starting torque 0.6
Current 29 A Relat. maximum torque 2.8

Power Factor and Efficiency as a Function of Load

100 1

99 0.9

98 0.8

97 0.7

96 0.6
EFF [%]

95 0.5 PF

94 0.4

93 0.3

92 0.2

91 0.1

90 0
0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 1.1 1.2 1.3


Pow er factor Efficiency

RWE Power
Motor type code: HXR 450LG2
Rated output 468 kW Power Factor 0.89
Voltage 11000 V 5 % Rated torque 1497 Nm
Frequency 50 Hz Relat. starting current 6.8
Speed 2984 rpm Relat. starting torque 0.6
Current 29 A Relat. maximum torque 2.8

Time - Current Curves

10 000

1 000

Time [s]


1 2 3 4 5 6

Stator current / Rated current

Thermal capability, running (cold) Thermal capability, locked (cold) Time-current, U = 100%
Thermal capability, running (w arm) Thermal capability, locked (w arm) Time-current, U = 80%