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IEEE Guide for the Application of

Protective Relays Used for Abnormal


Frequency Load Shedding and
TM

Restoration
C37.117

IEEE Power Engineering Society


Sponsored by the
Power Systems Relaying Committee

IEEE
3 Park Avenue IEEE Std C37.117-2007
New York, NY 10016-5997, USA

24 August 2007

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IEEE Std C37.117-2007

IEEE Guide for the Application of


Protective Relays Used for Abnormal
Frequency Load Shedding and
Restoration

Sponsor

Power Systems Relaying Committee


of the
IEEE Power Engineering Society

Approved 8 March 2007


IEEE-SA Standards Board

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Abstract: Information on the application of underfrequency load shedding and restoration to ac
power systems is compiled in this guide. Various system conditions that may require the use of
underfrequency load shedding and the application of protective relays to various methods of
performing underfrequency load shedding are described in this guide. Some practical examples
of underfrequency load shedding applications are also provided.
Keywords: protective relaying, relay applications, relaying, underfrequency

_________________________

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.


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Copyright 2007 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.


All rights reserved. Published 24 August 2007. Printed in the United States of America.

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Introduction

This introduction is not part of IEEE Std C37.117-2007, IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used
for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration.

This is a new guide that addresses the application of protective relays used for load shedding and
restoration during electric power system abnormal frequency conditions. It presents background
information, bibliography, and recommendations. It discusses abnormal frequency power system behavior,
existing load shedding and restoration practices, the abnormal frequency function of typical protective
relays, and possible new methods for improved load shedding and restoration. This guide is limited to
electric power system applications and does not include abnormal frequency protection for power
generating plants.

Notice to users

Errata
Errata, if any, for this and all other standards can be accessed at the following URL: http://
standards.ieee.org/reading/ieee/updates/errata/index.html. Users are encouraged to check this URL for
errata periodically.

Interpretations
Current interpretations can be accessed at the following URL: http://standards.ieee.org/reading/ieee/
interp/index.html.

Patents
Attention is called to the possibility that implementation of this guide may require use of subject matter
covered by patent rights. By publication of this guide, no position is taken with respect to the existence or
validity of any patent rights in connection therewith. The IEEE shall not be responsible for identifying
patents or patent applications for which a license may be required to implement an IEEE standard or for
conducting inquiries into the legal validity or scope of those patents that are brought to its attention.

iv
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Participants
At the time this guide was submitted to the IEEE-SA Standards Board for approval, the C9 Under-
frequency Load Shedding and Restoration Working Group had the following membership:

Alexander Apostolov, Chair


Kenneth C. Behrendt, Vice Chair

Ron Beazer Wayne Hartmann Mukesh Nagpal


Miroslav Begovic Rich Hunt Damir Novosel
Gabriel Bennmouyal Mohamed Ibrahim Murari Saha
Kenneth A. Birt Gerald F. Johnson Hong Ming Shuh
Brent Brobak Dan Karlsson Tarlocham Sidhu
Arvind Chaudhary Ali Kazemi Michael J. Thompson
Al Darlington Ljubomir Kojovic Demetrios A. Tziouvaras
Mike DeCesaris Marc Lacroix Eric Udren
Tom Domin Tom Lanigan Benton Vandiver
David Emigh David Leonhardt Don Ware
John Ferraro Vahid Madani Ray Young
Bill Feero Dean H. Miller Richard C. Young
Pratap Mysore

The following members of the individual balloting committee voted on this standard. Balloters may have
voted for approval, disapproval, or abstention.

William J. Ackerman Gary R. Engmann Mark F. McGranaghan


Steven C. Alexanderson Fredric A. Friend Gary L. Michel
Ali Al Awazi Frank J. Gerleve Dean H. Miller
Munnu Bajpai Jeffrey G. Gilbert Joydeep Mitra
Thomas M. Barnes Manuel M. Gonzalez Charles A. Morse
G. J. Bartok Stephen E. Grier Karl N. Mortensen
Michael J. Basler Randall C. Groves George R. Nail
David L. Bassett Roger A. Hedding Michael S. Newman
Kenneth C. Behrendt Gary A. Heuston Gary L. Nissen
Wallace B. Binder, Jr. Jerry W. Hohn James M. OBrien
Kenneth A. Birt Dennis Horwitz Robert D. Pettigrew
Oscar E. Bolado James D. Huddleston, III Charles W. Rogers
Stuart H. Bouchey Gerald F. Johnson M. S. Sachdev
Steven R. Brockschink Hermann Koch Steven Sano
Chris Brooks David W. Krause Bogdan Seliger
Gustavo A. Brunello Edward Krizauskas Paul B. Sullivan
Tommy P. Cooper Jim Kulchisky Richard P. Taylor
James R. Cornelison Federico Lopez S. Thamilarasan
Luis M. Coronado William G. Lowe Michael J. Thompson
Randall P. Crellin William Lumpkins Demetrios A. Tziouvaras
J. P. Disciullo G. L. Luri Joe D. Watson
Michael J. Dood Vahid Madani William P. Waudby
Randall L. Dotson Keith N. Malmedal Kenneth D. White
Paul R. Drum Omar S. Mazzoni James W. Wilson, Jr.
Donald G. Dunn Walter P. McCannon Richard C. Young
Paul R. Elkin Luis E. Zambrano

v
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When the IEEE-SA Standards Board approved this guide on 8 March 2007, it had the following
membership:

Steve M. Mills, Chair


Robert M. Grow, Vice Chair
Don Wright, Past Chair
Judith Gorman, Secretary

Richard DeBlasio Richard H. Hulett Narayanan Ramachandran


Alex Gelman Hermann Koch Greg Ratta
William R. Goldbach Joseph L. Koepfinger* Robby Robson
Arnold M. Greenspan John Kulick Anne-Marie Sahazizian
Joanna N. Guenin David J. Law Virginia C. Sulzberger*
Julian Forster* Glenn Parsons Malcolm V. Thaden
Kenneth S. Hanus Ronald C. Petersen Richard L. Townsend
William B. Hopf Tom A. Prevost Howard L. Wolfman

*Member Emeritus

Also included are the following nonvoting IEEE-SA Standards Board liaisons:

Satish K. Aggarwal, NRC Representative


Alan H. Cookson, NIST Representative
Virginia C. Sulzberger, Member/TAB Representative

Jennie Steinhagen
IEEE Standards Program Manager, Document Development

Matthew J. Ceglia
IEEE Standards Program Manager, Technical Program Development

vi
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Contents

1. Overview .................................................................................................................................................... 1

1.1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................... 1


1.2 Purpose ................................................................................................................................................ 1

2. Normative References ................................................................................................................................ 1

3. Description of system conditions addressed in this guide .......................................................................... 2

4. Normal and abnormal frequency operation of electrical power systems and its effect on equipment
in the system ............................................................................................................................................... 3

4.1 Power system dynamic ........................................................................................................................ 3


4.2 Abnormal frequency operation of power systems ............................................................................... 4

5. Underfrequency load shedding and restoration philosophy ....................................................................... 6

6. Underfrequency load shedding methods .................................................................................................... 8

6.1 Manual/SCADA load shedding ........................................................................................................... 8


6.2 Automatic load shedding ..................................................................................................................... 8
6.3 Local.................................................................................................................................................... 9
6.4 Wide area underfrequency load shedding ......................................................................................... 11

7. Load restoration methods ......................................................................................................................... 12

8. Frequency relays, measuring principles, and characteristics.................................................................... 13

8.1 Electromechanical relays ................................................................................................................... 13


8.2 Solid-state (static) relays ................................................................................................................... 13
8.3 Microprocessor (digital) relays.......................................................................................................... 14

9. Operating principles ................................................................................................................................. 14

9.1 Fixed frequency ................................................................................................................................. 14


9.2 Rate of change of frequency df/dt ..................................................................................................... 15
9.3 Average rate of change f/ t ........................................................................................................... 18

vii
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10. Scheme design........................................................................................................................................ 19

10.1 Dependability and security .............................................................................................................. 19


10.2 Redundant frequency relays sensing multiple voltage sources ....................................................... 19
10.3 Current and voltage supervision ...................................................................................................... 19
10.4 Directional power supervision......................................................................................................... 22
10.5 Rate-of-frequency-change supervision............................................................................................ 22

11. Effects of voltage change on frequency load shedding .......................................................................... 23

12. Existing frequency load shedding and restoration practices .................................................................. 24

12.1 NERC: 2003 underfrequency load shed criteria.............................................................................. 24


12.2 Nordel underfrequency load shed criteria ....................................................................................... 26
12.3 France, Electricite de France underfrequency load shedding .......................................................... 26
12.4 Ireland, Electricity Supply Board underfrequency load shedding and automatic frequency
restoration ........................................................................................................................................ 27
12.5 Industrial applications ..................................................................................................................... 28

13. Setting and performance criteria ............................................................................................................ 29

13.1 Performance criteria ........................................................................................................................ 29


13.2 Setting guidelines for abnormal frequency load shedding .............................................................. 30

14. Maintenance, testing, and reliability....................................................................................................... 31

14.1 Frequency protection elements ........................................................................................................ 32


14.2 Rate-of-change elements ................................................................................................................. 32
14.3 Average rate-of-change elements .................................................................................................... 33
14.4 Testing of load shedding schemes ................................................................................................... 34
14.5 Testing of load restoration schemes ................................................................................................ 34

15. Examples ................................................................................................................................................ 34

15.1 Practical application of load shedding............................................................................................. 34


15.2 Historical examples of underfrequency load shedding during system disturbances ....................... 36

Annex A (informative) Bibliography ........................................................................................................... 40

viii
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IEEE Guide for the Application of
Protective Relays Used for Abnormal
Frequency Load Shedding and
Restoration

1. Overview

1.1 Scope

This document serves as a guide for the application of protective relays used for load shedding and
restoration during electric power system abnormal frequency conditions. It presents background
information, a bibliography, and recommendations. It discusses abnormal frequency power system
behavior, existing load shedding and restoration practices, the abnormal frequency function of typical
protective relays, and possible new methods for improved load shedding and restoration. This guide is
limited to electric power system applications and does not include abnormal frequency protection for
power generating plants.

1.2 Purpose

There is currently no IEEE guide for the application of protective relays used for load shedding and
restoration during electric power system abnormal frequency conditions. This guide complements IEEE
Std C37.106-2003 [B35].1 It provides information to assist in the application of load shedding and
restoration schemes. Methods and examples are provided.

2. Normative references
The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated
references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced
document (including any amendments or corrigenda) applies.

1
The numbers in brackets correspond to those of the bibliography in Annex A.

1
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IEEE Std C37.117-2007
IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

Arrilaga, J., and Harker, B. J., Computer Modelling of Electrical Power Systems, 1st ed. New York: John
Wiley and Sons, 1983, pp. 220222.

Bjerg, G. J., System and load behavior following loss of generation IEE Proceedings, vol. 119, no. 10,
Oct. 1972.

Fink, L. H., et al., Emergency control practices, IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems,
vol. PAS-104, no. 9, pp. 23362341, Sept. 1985.

Mandozzi, M., et al., Recent improvements of emergency control of ENEL power system in
interconnected and isolated operation, Proceedings of the CIGRE Conference, Paris, France, 1992, Paper
39-302.

Ohura, Y., et al., Microprocessor based stabilizing control equipment for survival of isolated mid-city
power system, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. PWRD-1, Oct. 1986, pp. 99104.2, 3

Working Group on Methods of System Preservation During Underfrequency Conditions, A status report
on methods used for system preservation during underfrequency conditions, IEEE Transactions on Power
Apparatus and Systems, vol. PAS-94, no. 2, Mar./Apr. 1975, pp. 360366.

3. Description of system conditions addressed in this guide


The predominant system condition addressed in this guide involves the use of protective relays for
underfrequency shedding of connected load in the event of insufficient generation or transmission capacity
within a power system. When load and supply for an isolated portion of the power system are unequal, the
generators in that area will speed up if there is a surplus of generation or slow down if there is a deficit.
When the load in a power system significantly exceeds generation, the system can survive only if enough
load is separated from the system with a shortage in generation to cause generator output to be equal to or
slightly above the connected load. The generation deficiency most often results from the loss of a major
transmission line or transformer that is involved in a large transfer of power within the power system or
between interconnected systems. Unplanned loss of a major generation source may also cause the
deficiency. Frequency is a reliable indicator that such a deficiency condition exists on the power system.

Underfrequency load shedding is performed in order to minimize the risk of a further uncontrolled system
separation, loss of generation, or system shutdown. If sufficient load is shed to preserve interconnections
and keep generators online, the system can be restored rapidly. If the system collapses, a prolonged outage
will result.

Underfrequency load shedding plans are based on studies of a systems dynamic performance, given the
greatest probable imbalance between load and generation. Plans should be coordinated between
interconnected power systems as well as with underfrequency isolation of generating units, tripping of
shunt capacitors, and other automatic actions that occur in the system under abnormal frequency, voltage,
or power flow conditions.

In the case of ties to industrial and commercial customers that have local generation, underfrequency load
shedding can be used to quickly remove non-essential industrial load in an effort to match essential
industrial load to the available generation in the event the utility supply is lost.

Underfrequency relaying can also be utilized to sense disturbances and separate power systems by opening
system ties. This requires close coordination between interconnected power systems. Similar relaying can

2
IEEE publications are available from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08855-
1331, USA (http://standards.ieee.org/).
3
The IEEE standards or products referred to in this clause are trademarks of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

2
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IEEE Std C37.117-2007
IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

be utilized to separate non-utility generation from the utility power system during system disturbances, but
this must be closely coordinated with the underfrequency load shedding schemes utilized on the host
system.

After an underfrequency load shedding event, frequency relays can be utilized to automatically restore or
supervise the restoration of load to a power system. Sufficient time delay should be employed to assure that
the power system is stable prior to initiating load restoration.

In areas where isolation of a large surplus of generation relative to connected load can be anticipated,
automatic overfrequency tripping of generation may be considered to prevent excessive high frequency and
resultant uncontrolled generator tripping and equipment damage.

4. Normal and abnormal frequency operation of electrical power systems


and its effect on equipment in the system

4.1 Power system dynamic

An electric power system behaves like a mechanical system in rotation. Figure 4-1 shows a simplified
power system. Mechanical power is produced from water or steam and causes mechanical torque Tmech on
the shaft that joins the turbine to the generator. The generator transforms the mechanical power into
electrical power. The load connected to the generator causes an electrical torque Telec on the shaft. As
shown in Figure 4-1, a change in power demand or in production causes a fluctuation of the speed of the
turbine-generator, resulting in fluctuation of the frequency of the power system.

Figure 4-1Power system model

A difference between the electrical torque and the mechanical torque creates an accelerating torque Ta,
given in Equation (1) as follows:

Ta = Tmech Telec (1)

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IEEE Std C37.117-2007
IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

The equation of motion shows the relation between the accelerating torque and the resulting angular
acceleration of the turbine, given in Equation (2) as follows:


Ta = Tmech Telec = J (2)
t
where

J is the moment of inertia (kg-m2)

is the angular velocity (rad/s)



is the angular acceleration (rad/s2)
t
Ta is the resulting torque (N-m or J/rad)

For small variations:

Pmech Tmech

and

Pelec Telec

Then:


Pmech Pelec = J (3)
t

where

Pmech is mechanical power

Pelec is electrical power

From Equation (3), any variation in Pelec or Pmech affects the frequency of the power system.

4.2 Abnormal frequency operation of power systems

Subclause 4.1 described how the frequency fluctuates when there is a change in the production of, or in the
demand for, energy. If a generator trips, the frequency will decline. Depending on the prime mover and
spinning reserve, the frequency will eventually go back to its desired value (Figure 4-2). However, if
frequency drops too low, underfrequency relays may initiate load shedding to stop frequency decline and
begin frequency recovery.

If the loss of generation is greater than the spinning reserve, the frequency could eventually stabilize at a
new value lower than the desired one (Figure 4-3). However, in practice, underfrequency relaying is used
to reestablish the balance between power demand and the available production. Underfrequency load
shedding will prevent frequency from staying too low for too long. If the frequency decline is excessive,
generating units can be automatically tripped off causing an additional decline of frequency, and possible

4
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IEEE Std C37.117-2007
IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

collapse of the system. It is very important to coordinate system underfrequency load shedding with
underfrequency protection of the generator. Premature generator tripping, before system load shedding is
complete, can lead to unnecessary system collapse.

Figure 4-2Frequency changes with sufficient spinning reserve

Figure 4-3Frequency oscillation with insufficient spinning reserve

5
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IEEE Std C37.117-2007
IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

Looking again at the relation developed in Equation (3), Equation (4) follows:


P = J (4)
t

The rate of change of frequency is proportional to the power imbalance, P .

Figure 4-4 illustrates the theoretical relationship between percentage of loss of generation and the resulting
rate of change of frequency. The rate of change of frequency is an instantaneous indicator of power
deficiency. In actual power systems, rate of change of frequency has an oscillatory nature due to the
oscillatory nature of the change in machine speed. The frequency oscillations vary with the response of the
generators and interaction between the generators, and will differ by location and the power system
condition that has prompted the response. The instantaneous system frequency, and the rate of frequency
change will differ between the center of inertia of the power system, and individual buses on the power
system.

System

Figure 4-4Rate-of-change of frequency versus loss of generation

5. Underfrequency load shedding and restoration philosophy


An automatic underfrequency load shedding program is applied to restore the system frequency to an
acceptable level following a major system emergency that can cause a generation deficiency. In addition,
automatic underfrequency load shedding can prevent a total system collapse and can help achieve fast
restoration of all affected loads. The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) following the
1965 northeast blackout recommended the implementation of underfrequency load shedding in the U.S.

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IEEE Std C37.117-2007
IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

Each region within the NERC applies rules that mainly define the amount of connected load to be shed and
the threshold and operating time. As an example, the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC)
region has defined the objective [B52] as follows:

The intent of the Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding program is to stabilize the
system frequency in an area during an event leading to declining frequency while
recognizing the generation characteristics in each area. The goal of the program is to
arrest the system frequency decline and to return the frequency to at least 58.5 Hertz in
ten seconds or less and to at least 59.5 Hertz in thirty seconds or less, for a generation
deficiency of up to 25% of the load.

To ensure satisfactory voltage and loading conditions after automatic load shedding each area normally
performs studies. The shedding is accomplished system-wide by applying underfrequency relays at
distribution or transmission stations where major load feeders can be controlled by tripping breakers
automatically when frequency relays reach the setting threshold.

All generators require underfrequency tripping. This may be to protect the production facility from the
effects of underfrequency conditions, but if the generator is located in an area of the system that could
easily become islanded then the generation is tripped to prevent significant impact (over or underfrequency
and over or undervoltage) on the customers in the local area. When generators are disconnected due to an
inability to support recovery from underfrequency conditions, some regions have defined certain criteria to
maintain coordination between underfrequency tripping of generators and the automatic underfrequency
load shedding program. For example, it may be required to assign additional load shedding that is
equivalent to the amount of generation to be tripped. Some of the problems associated with premature
separation of generators during an underfrequency event is that the loss of generation reduces the system
inertia as well the reactive support often needed to stabilize system voltages near the generation source. As
a result, some NERC regions have strict guidelines for underfrequency set points to limit the amount of
generation that is allowed to trip prior to the operation of underfrequency load shedding schemes.

Automatic load shedding programs on the transmission power system provide the initial underfrequency
protection for the system turbine-generators. Load shedding programs should be designed for the
maximum possible overload conditions and should ensure that sufficient load is shed to quickly restore
system frequency to normal or to return the frequency to acceptable continuous operating range as soon as
possible. This will prevent additional loss of generation due to generator frequency relay operation.

Generator underfrequency protection is implemented based on the turbine-generator design and is a critical
input to the load shedding design studies. It is critical for the generation interconnection to recognize and
follow the regional council requirements for off-nominal frequency performance when specifying the
generator, and to make certain the generator underfrequency set points fall well within acceptable regional
council requirements. System inertia constant, percentage overload, islanding patterns, and reactive support
by generation during system disturbances are also very critical inputs in studying and designing load
shedding schemes. The result of these studies determines the number of frequency steps and the percentage
of required load to be shed at each step. Load shedding programs with fewer frequency steps, shedding
higher percentage of load, work well for some overload levels, but may result in shedding too much load
under light load conditions resulting in system overfrequency. In such cases, more steps with smaller
percentage of load shed at each step may be better suited. Time delays at each step are also determined by
the studies.

The coordination of the transmission system load shedding scheme with individual generators is critical in
maintaining the integrity of the system and should not intrude on the reliability of the electrical systems.
Conversely, it is incumbent upon the generator owners to provide facilities that can operate at frequencies
necessary to enable the load shedding schemes to operate successfully.

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IEEE Std C37.117-2007
IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

6. Underfrequency load shedding methods


Underfrequency load shedding must be performed quickly to arrest power system frequency decline by
decreasing power system load to match available generating capacity. Severe frequency decline can occur
within seconds. Manual or operator/SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition system) initiated
underfrequency load shedding generally cannot be accomplished fast enough to prevent partial or complete
system collapse. Automatic schemes, employing frequency-sensing relays, are therefore employed to shed
individual loads or blocks of load at discrete underfrequency set points or at specific frequency rates of
decline. These set points are predetermined based on guidelines created by power pools covering a wide
geographic area.

Several issues complicate the effectiveness of underfrequency load shedding methods. One issue is that
loads are not constant; they commonly vary with time of day, and day of the week. System loading may
also shift, with commercial, industrial, and residential load patterns shifting during the course of the day,
week, and season. Load variation makes it difficult to predict how much load will be shed at a specific time
and at a specific location on the power system. Another issue that is increasing in relevance is distributed
generation. Small generators, operating in parallel with utility sources, are being installed at customer load
sites as a source of standby power, and a source of income where customers are selling generated power to
the utility, or sharing generated power locally among cooperative groups of customers. Tripping circuits
that have active parallel generation certainly diminishes the beneficial affect of load shedding, and may
even be counterproductive because it eliminates sources of generation that are supporting the system
inertia. Market forces may not be sufficient to assure that generation is adequately distributed throughout
islands that may form during major disturbances. If the imbalance is significant, load shedding will not be
effective.

Traditional underfrequency load shedding methods are static in that they perform a specific, preset function
at a specific location. The nature of modern power systems requires dynamic and adaptive underfrequency
load shedding methods. Modern microprocessor-based relays with integrated communication offer new
possibilities to create adaptive and dynamic load shedding schemes.

Subclauses 6.1 through 6.4 discuss various traditional and new underfrequency load shedding methods.

6.1 Manual/SCADA load shedding

As discussed in Clause 6, manual- or operator-initiated underfrequency load shedding is not generally


relied on to arrest system frequency decline. However, power system operating guidelines generally permit
individual operating utilities to shed load manually, or open ties with adjacent utilities at a frequency below
which all automatic underfrequency load shedding schemes have operated. This manual intervention may
be required to prevent further frequency decline, or to recover and restore system frequency back to the
nominal frequency.

Manual load shedding may be accomplished at the substation or from a central control via a SCADA
system.

6.2 Automatic load shedding

Ideally, underfrequency load shedding should be performed as close as possible to the area deficient in
generation. This is not easily accomplished because generation and load are not uniformly distributed
throughout a power systems geographic area. Furthermore, loads supplied by multiple sources require that
each source be equipped to perform coordinated underfrequency tripping. Shedding blocks of radially fed
load is typically the most effective method to accomplish underfrequency load shedding. Power system
substations are often the focus of automatic underfrequency load shedding schemes because they present
access to tripping devices (line and feeder breakers) that supply blocks of load, and they include the

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IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

necessary infrastructure to support frequency-sensing relays. Various schemes to accomplish


underfrequency load shedding are discussed in Clause 10.

More recently, microprocessor-based circuit recloser controls have been developed that include frequency-
sensing elements. This development presents the possibility of performing distributed partial feeder load
shedding, or even individual customer load shedding.

6.3 Local

Local underfrequency load shedding implies that the load shedding is performed at the same location
where the frequency sensing is performed. This minimizes the need for communication equipment that
adds cost, may add delay, and may also decrease reliability.

Centralized underfrequency load shedding is accomplished at the substation level where frequency is
sensed on one or more busses within the substation, and a centralized decision is made to effect load
shedding by tripping devices local to the substation. Fixed or dynamic load shedding may be performed
based on the sophistication of the centralized load shedding scheme.

Distributed underfrequency load shedding is also accomplished within a substation, but the frequency
sensing and load shedding action are distributed and independent. In most cases, each circuit (feeder or
line) has its own frequency sensing relay(s) and load interrupting device.

As mentioned in 6.2, microprocessor-based recloser controls are now available that have frequency sensing
elements. These controls permit the distribution of underfrequency load shedding down to partial feeder
and even individual loads. The application of partial feeder and individual load underfrequency load
shedding should be coordinated with other load shedding methods.

6.3.1 Centralized (substation/bus)

Centralized load shedding is defined as the use of frequency measurement at one point in the substation,
combined with control logic, to initiate the shedding and possible restoration of load feeders in a
substation. It differs from distributed load shedding in that only one frequency relay is applied to perform
the frequency measurement to initiate load shedding to the substation feeders. By employing a centralized
scheme, several advanced applications may be realized that may be difficult or impossible with individual
feeder-based (distributed) load shedding schemes.

Benefits

Centralized load shedding may offer the following benefits:

The ability to supply one high accuracy frequency relay for the entire substation, compared to
supplying an underfrequency relay or element in a multifunction relay for each feeder, saving
on first cost and subsequent maintenance costs.
The ability to prioritize which feeders are shed first on a changing basis by simple software or
input commands to the centralized control logic. This feature may be used to allow same
priority loads to be shed evenly, and to equalize the associated breaker or circuit switcher wear
as a result of the shedding and subsequent restoration. The inputs may be from switches in the
substation, a human-machine interface (HMI) in the substation, or remote commands from
SCADA for greater flexibility and remote access.
Ease of possible application of an automatic restoration scheme that connects the feeders in a
planned sequence, based on the same or different frequency limits and time delays for
operation.

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Implementation

A high accuracy frequency relay is employed as the input to the centralized load shedding system. The
scheme logic should be capable of receiving the underfrequency relay signal, or multiple signals in the case
of multiple underfrequency set points being applied, and implement a shedding schedule based on the
extent of frequency excursion combined with supervising logic that may:

Determine which feeder or feeders are shed at various underfrequency set points
Apply appropriate time delays for each set point to various feeders per a schedule
Be modified by input(s) to rotate the priority of the load shedding schedule

The centralized scheme can be realized by various connection means:

Using hardwiring between the underfrequency relay, the centralized hub, and the breaker
control circuits
Using digital communication between the underfrequency relay, the centralized hub, and the
breaker control circuits
Using a combination of hardwiring and digital communication between the underfrequency
relay, the centralized hub, and the breaker control circuits

Centralized underfrequency load shedding in conventional substations is based on hardwired connections


between the underfrequency device and the breakers that have to be tripped to execute the load shedding.
In the case of large substations and the application of advanced load shedding schemes with several steps
and different combinations of feeders being tripped, the wiring becomes quite extensive and expensive to
install. If adaptive load shedding is implemented, switching between different modes using hardwiring
becomes very complex.

Substation integration and automation systems allow the development and implementation of advanced
underfrequency load shedding schemes. They are based on centralized multifunctional voltage/frequency
relays that measure the frequency, rate of change of frequency, and the average rate of change of the
frequency. They are combined in programmable scheme logic with undervoltage elements that allows the
development of a very sophisticated load shedding scheme.

6.3.2 Distributed (circuit)

Historically, underfrequency load shedding schemes have been applied at the bus level. With the
proliferation of numeric, multifunction feeder protection relays that include underfrequency tripping as an
optional setting, it has become more economical to apply underfrequency load shedding at the circuit level.
Reliability increases, as the user is no longer depending on a single relay to sense the underfrequency
condition at a station. Also, defeating underfrequency tripping for an undervoltage condition, and the
capability to drive multiple underfrequency protection elements from different voltage sources, greatly
enhances security.

Numeric circuit protection senses an underfrequency condition, and after a preset time delay, operates an
interrupting device such as a recloser or breaker, thus de-energizing only the desired circuit load. This
allows utility planners to be more precise with their selection of loads to be shed. Since most numeric
protection relays also have logic for reclosing if certain parameters are met, this logic can be customized to
fit the post load shed restoration practice.

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Resetting of the load shed scheme can be accomplished by a manual reset lockout relay or an automatic
scheme that waits for the frequency and voltage to return to an acceptable level for a specified time period.
This can be supervised by a remote SCADA input to allow remote supervision of restoration.

Benefits

Benefits include the following:

Utilize existing numeric circuit protection package.


Simplified design: Protection, redundancy, as well as interlocking associated with SCADA and
automatic restoration.
Flexibility: the settings can be activated with no additional hardware costs.
Higher reliability: several relays are used to shed load instead of one. Failure of the scheme or
measuring elements within the device affects only a limited number of devices.
Loads in a substation can be shed at different frequencies minimizing the impact to an area for
slight disturbances.
Schemes can be customized to fit utility practices.

Disadvantages

Disadvantages include the following:

Measuring elements sensitivity may cause different terminals to respond differently to system
conditions.
More time consuming to gather information and restoration, of the circuits interrupted, as each
feeder relay information needs to be verified independently.
Additional set points for each terminal: therefore, managing a larger database of terminals.
Testing the underfrequency portion of the protection package may require an outage to the
protective relay requiring switching and/or bypassing (depends on numeric relay maintenance
practices).
Adapting the sequence of load shedding for system conditions may require settings changes to
numerous relays.

6.4 Wide area underfrequency load shedding

In a wide area application of load shedding, communication circuits are a vital part of the proper operation
of the total scheme. This includes communications between relays, relays and substation control systems,
substations and control centers, and between control centers.

An example of communication used in load shedding is a wideband radio system used as the medium to
implement the load shedding process. An underfrequency relay is placed in an area of the system where
sensing is possible (for example, at a local substation). The customer circuits or load to be operated are
remotely located, approximately 3 km to 9 km away, and within radio communication distance. When the
underfrequency relay operates at the trip setting, an electrical initiation to the radio system takes place and
transmits a signal to the remote location. This radio signal is then received at the remote end thereby
tripping the intended circuit breaker(s). Implementation of this underfrequency scheme would allow
shedding non-critical loads and/or non-firm loads.

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Other communication mediums can be used to transmit signals to perform the same functionality. Some of
these schemes include communication signals over telephone wire, cable, or fiber-optic media. Also,
SCADA control signals initiated by the command of a system control center operator or dispatcher may
provide the means to operate wide area load shedding.

7. Load restoration methods


When restoring load after an underfrequency event, the primary concern must be maintaining system
reliability. Load should be added no faster than generation is added. Adequate reactive power sources must
be available to control system voltage.

In many regions, manual load restoration is preferred. This places the burden of balancing load and
generation and voltage regulation on the system operator. However, todays technology allows for
gathering the appropriate information for intelligent restoration where information is brought to the
operators as recommendations.

Rapid and excessive load restoration can cause a repeat of the underfrequency condition that caused the
original load shedding operation. However, an overfrequency condition can occur if too much load has
been shed. Automatic load restoration may be necessary to arrest the overfrequency condition in a timely
fashion. As with load shedding, sufficient studies should be performed to determine where and how load
would be restored.

When systems have islanded from neighboring systems, automatic load restoration may be inhibited until
the system interties are restored. It may be preferable to let governor action on frequency-biased generator
controls operate first to bring the system frequency back into normal operating range. However, generators
are often set to trip on overspeed, so it may be preferable to perform automatic overfrequency load
restoration before the frequency gets to that point where generation is tripped automatically.

The load shedding and load restoration schemes must be designed to work in concert with the protection
and control schemes that trip and close the line or feeder breakers. The load restoration scheme must reset
any lockouts operated by the load shedding scheme, or otherwise create a permissive condition to allow
manual/SCADA-controlled breaker closing. This can be supervised by a SCADA contact to allow central
supervision of restoration.

As with load shedding, microprocessor-based relays used with a communication system can allow
supervisory load restoration schemes to be modified to adjust for variations in system conditions. With the
long time delays between load restoration steps, this function can be controlled manually by the system
operators or it can be controlled by an automatic SCADA routine.

Single frequency relays used for load shedding can do nothing more than reset their trip output when the
power system frequency rises back above the trip frequency set point. Multiple frequency relays provide
the opportunity to define an acceptable frequency range for manual restoration, and even perform an
automatic overfrequency load restoration, as shown in Figure 7-1.

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Figure 7-1Discrete frequency set points for load shedding and load restoration

8. Frequency relays, measuring principles, and characteristics


There are three basic types of underfrequency relays available for application in load shedding schemes.
They are electromechanical relays, solid-state (or static) relays, and digital (microprocessor) relays.
Although different relay manufacturers may utilize different measurement methods, 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3
describe representative measuring principles and characteristics of the various relay types.

8.1 Electromechanical relays

Electromechanical underfrequency relays are typically high-speed, induction cup relays. The basic
principle of operation is the use of two separate coil circuits that provide increasing phase displacement of
the fluxes as the frequency decreases. This flux phase displacement causes torque to be developed in the
cup unit, closing the tripping contacts. As the frequency decays, the angular displacement increases, and
torque is produced. The strength of the torque produced is proportional to the sine of the angle between the
fluxes. Electromechanical relays contain a settable time delay to prevent misoperation when ac input
voltage is suddenly applied or removed. A typical minimum delay would be six cycles. Electromechanical
underfrequency relays typically contain no intentional undervoltage supervision and will operate at
voltages as low as 50% of nominal.

Because of the measuring principal employed, the operating time of an electromechanical relay is a
function of the rate of change in the measured frequency. As an example, at a 1 Hz/s rate of change the
operating time of one manufacturers relay is 0.65 s, while the operating time at a 2 Hz/s rate of change is
0.40 s.

8.2 Solid-state (static) relays

Like their electromechanical counterparts, solid state over or underfrequency relays are single-phase
devices designed to detect underfrequency conditions and, after a preset time delay, provide an output to
actuate external control circuits and/or alarms. Major advantages of the solid-state design include the
ability to provide multiple over or underfrequency set points, and the incorporation of undervoltage inhibit
circuits, which improves overall security of underfrequency load shedding schemes. Also, multiple
definite-time delays and/or an inverse-time delay are possible with solid-state designs.

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Static underfrequency relays utilize digital counting techniques to measure system frequency. These relays
contain highly stable oscillators that supply a known high frequency pulse to a binary counter. The relay
counts the pulses occurring during a full cycle of power system voltage. If the number of pulses is greater
than the number at normal frequency, the relay indicates an underfrequency condition. For security
reasons, it is typical to require a minimum of three cycles of consecutive underfrequency indication before
the relay produces an output. If the frequency recovers for even one cycle during the timing period, the
relay resets.

Static relays may incorporate an undervoltage setting below which the relay will not operate. The voltage
inhibit circuit prevents the relay from tripping due to transient underfrequency conditions during normal
equipment startup or shutdown, during fault conditions, or after the trip of a spinning load that backfeeds
decaying frequency voltage to the substation as the machine slows down mechanically.

Because of the measuring principal employed, the operate time of the relay is independent of the rate of
change in system frequency.

In most cases, the output timing circuit is an adjustable definite time, but some products offer an inverse
time option. Timing range is from a few cycles to hundreds of cycles with optional ranges available in
seconds.

8.3 Microprocessor (digital) relays

The typical digital relay approach is to utilize a microprocessor to measure the period of the measured
voltage input. The frequency derived from that period is compared to the frequency limit, and the decision
is made to trip when the frequency exceeds the limit for a minimum number of cycles, typically three.
These relays also provide an undervoltage setting below which the relay will not trip. Redundant
measurements may be utilized in certain designs to obtain added security.

Because of the measuring principal employed, the operate time of the relay is independent of the rate of
change in system frequency.

9. Operating principles

9.1 Fixed frequency

Load shedding uses underfrequency relays, designed to operate on the instantaneous value of system
frequency. These relays operate any time the frequency drops below the set point of the relay. Operating
times of less than six cycles are typically achieved in underfrequency relays. These relays are typically
applied in any of the load shedding methods discussed in Clause 6. Time delays used in these load
shedding schemes may be internal to the relay, or may be an external timer in the control circuit.

There are several factors to consider when applying underfrequency relays. The system frequency must
already be low before the relay can operate. This can delay load shedding and the frequency recovery of
the system. Also, voltage waveform distortion may obscure the zero crossings of the waveform, impacting
underfrequency relays that operate by measuring the time between zero crossings.

Restoration uses overfrequency relays. These relays measure the instantaneous value of the frequency, and
operate any time the frequency rises above the set point of the relay. In restoration schemes, these relays
are used to add small blocks of load to the system, trying to increase load to match additional generating
capacity. Though the relay will not respond until the system frequency is already high, the slow response
time is not critical to the health of the power system.

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9.2 Rate of change of frequency df/dt

9.2.1 Introduction

The rate of change of frequency (df/dt) is an instantaneous indicator of power imbalance and is presently
used with the frequency function to provide a more selective and/or faster operation. To rely on the rate of
change of frequency to detect the megawatt imbalance, additional information (voltage, spinning reserve,
total system inertia, load, etc.) about the system is required. Such information may be communicated to the
relay or may be available if system separation can be predicted. It is easier to determine system separation
for industrial and urban areas where it is simpler to predict development of a disturbance.

While the system frequency is a final result of the power deficiency, its rate of change (df/dt) is an
instantaneous indicator of power deficiency and can enable incipient recognition of MW imbalance.
However, the change in machine speed is oscillatory by nature. These oscillations depend on the response
of the generators and differ by location. While load shedding initiated by the frequency drop has a robust
response to oscillations, the df/dt function is very sensitive to oscillations.

9.2.2 Example of the rate of change of frequency function

The effect on rate-of-change function, using examples of simulations on the New England 39-bus system,
is shown in Figure 9-1. The test system has been separated into three islands (by removing lines) to initiate
oscillations. The island of interest (with generators 1, 2, 3, and 10) has a total of 2469.7 MW generation
and 3529.5 MW load. Because of the power deficit of about 43%, the net frequency fc (frequency of the
center of inertia) decays. Instantaneous frequencies for buses in the island differ from fc. Oscillations of
df/dt are shown in Figure 9-2 for the center of inertia fc, marked C, and for bus 39, farthest from fc. bus 4,
electrically closest to fc, has a behavior similar to the center of inertia.

System inertia (H) is an important system characteristic. While lower system inertia has the undesirable
effect of increasing the peak-to-peak value of df/dt oscillations, conversely, it has the desirable effect of
decreasing the frequency of df/dt oscillations. This enables faster calculation of the average df/dt (the relay
requires less time to calculate df/dt).

The proper estimate of df/dt should be the one associated with the center of inertia dfc/dt. How fast the
relay can calculate df/dt depends on the oscillations seen in Figure 9-2. The oscillations and their peak-to-
peak values are shown in Table 9-1. Two cases, one with the base system inertia (HT) and the other one
with lower system inertia (HT/2), are investigated.

Measurements at load buses close to the electrical center of the system (e.g., bus 4) are less susceptible to
oscillations (smaller peak-to-peak values) and can be used in practical applications. A high peak-to-peak
value requires calculation of average df/dt to avoid measurement errors due to oscillations.

As shown in Table 9-1, for the inertia constant of HT/2 s, the frequency of oscillations is approximately
1.45 Hz (or 0.69 s). For the relay to accurately calculate the actual df/dt, more than 0.5 s is required.
Furthermore, higher df/dt value (due to smaller HT) causes larger frequency drop. For example, for a df/dt
of 2 Hz/s (bus 4, HT/2), 0.5 s represents a frequency drop of 1 Hz.

Additional simulations, including full generator model and 20% spinning reserve, show that the response
of the generators in the island should be considered to properly estimate the actual power deficit using the
df/dt function.

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Figure 9-1New England 39bus test system

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Figure 9-2Frequency df/dt oscillations

Table 9-1Oscillations of the rate of change of frequency for bus 39 and bus 4

Frequency of
oscillations Peak-to-peak (Hz/s)
Bus (Hz)

HT HT/2 HT HT/2

4 ~1.05 ~1.45 ~0.2 ~0.4

39 ~1.05 ~1.45 ~1.3 ~2.5

9.2.3 Conclusion

Power system load shedding based on frequency drop is a quick, simple, and reliable strategy, but has
several disadvantages. The rate of change of frequency (df/dt) function is an immediate indicator of the
power imbalance; however, the oscillatory nature of df/dt can make the measurement unreliable. It is
preferable that relays are located at the buses where df/dt is close to the center of inertia to avoid larger
df/dt oscillations. As such location may change with the type of disturbance, this is not easy to assure. If
high peak-to-peak oscillations are expected at the measurement points, average value of df/dt needs to be
calculated. Required time for average calculation (regardless of the measurement technique used) may be
too long, particularly if df/dt oscillates at a low frequency.

Even if rate of change of frequency relays can adequately measure the average dfc/dt value throughout the
network, it is difficult to set them properly, unless typical system boundaries and MW imbalance can be
predicted. If these parameters can be predicted (e.g., industrial and urban systems), the rate of change of
frequency relays may improve a load shedding scheme (the scheme can be more selective and/or faster).

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In the case of system instability or overload conditions, the intelligent and adaptive load shedding to avoid
system separation is favorable to the underfrequency load shedding (with and without the rate of change of
frequency function). As communication and computer technology continue to improve, and protection and
control become more integrated, the application of the adaptive wide area disturbance protection concept is
becoming more feasible.

9.3 Average rate of change f/ t

Due to the complex dynamics of power systems, variations in frequency during disturbances do not follow
any regular patterns. Frequency profiles of contingencies in general are highly non-linear.

The relays rate of change of frequency (df/dt) measurement is an instantaneous one, in line with the
definition of derivative of a function. Monitoring only the instantaneous value can be misleading
sometimes, since the rate of change in frequency may be non-linear also. Hence some abnormal frequency
monitoring relays provide an element for monitoring the average rate of change of frequency (see
Figure 9-3). By monitoring the frequency change trend, a more secure decision can be made during
contingencies.

Figure 9-3Average rate of change of frequency

After time t, regardless of the outcome of the comparison, the element is blocked from further operation
until the frequency recovers to a value above the supervising frequency.

In many applications it is possible to implement a combination of different criteria, for example, frequency
and rate of change of frequency or frequency and the average rate of change of the frequency.

The load shedding decisions in the above scheme are made by monitoring the frequency change over
periods of several hundred milliseconds. Hence tripping takes place slower than in schemes employing the
rate of change or frequency supervised rate of change element. If the delay is unacceptable for the system
stability, then the scheme can be speeded up by using the independent fixed-frequency setting of the
element.

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10. Scheme design


In order to increase the security and selectivity of the underfrequency load shedding schemes, the
underfrequency load shedding element may be supervised by a voltage, current, directional power, or rate-
of-frequency change element.

10.1 Dependability and security

The design of a load shedding protection scheme should be both dependable and secure. Since, by its very
nature, it is used to disconnect loads from the power system, the design should be secure to prevent
unnecessary outages. The design should consider misoperation due to motor load back electromagnetic
force (emf) during a load rejection situation, transients caused by faults on a bus, or faults on a voltage
transformer circuit. Subclauses 10.2 through 10.5 discuss means of improving security from false operation
of the scheme without seriously compromising dependability.

10.2 Redundant frequency relays sensing multiple voltage sources

One means to improve the security of the load shedding protection system is to use two frequency relays
connected to different voltage sources. Alternatively, some multifunction relays include multiple frequency
sensing circuits that can be connected to different voltage sources. By combining the outputs of the two
independent frequency protective elements, monitoring independent voltage transformer inputs, load
shedding can only occur if the frequency excursion is sensed on both voltage transformer sources.

If possible, it is desirable to locate the voltage transformer circuits on different buses, as true system wide
frequency excursion will appear on all buses of the facility. At any rate, connecting the relays to sense the
frequency on different phases ensures a fault or other disturbance on the primary or secondary of one phase
does not affect both elements. Redundant relays also prevent misoperation due to individual relay
malfunction. Selecting frequency relays with different operating philosophies or hardware platforms can
increase security further.

10.3 Current and voltage supervision

When a bus is suddenly separated from the source, motor loads can cause the voltage and frequency on the
bus to take longer to decay due to the back emf of motors as they spin down. Modern frequency relays
include an undervoltage inhibit function that helps prevent misoperation due to this condition. If the
frequency decays more rapidly than the voltage, the frequency relay can misoperate and open the load
breakers, preventing automatic load restoration when the source is restored. To prevent this,
underfrequency tripping can be supervised by a current or power relay to block tripping unless there is load
current flowing from the source into the bus where the frequency is being sensed. Sensing from separate
buses, as described in 10.2, can improve security when faced with back emf conditions.

10.3.1 Voltage supervision

The voltage supervision of the underfrequency load shed element ensures that the underfrequency element
is blocked from operating when the sensing voltage is below a given threshold.

With discrete components (see Figure 10-1), a voltage relay is used to monitor the bus voltage. The output
contact from the undervoltage relay (27) is wired in series with the output contact of the underfrequency
relay. The undervoltage relay breaks the trip circuit when the bus voltage drops below its set point. The
underfrequency relay (81) will not be able to trip the breaker(s) as long as the bus voltage remains below
the voltage set point.

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Figure 10-1Voltage supervision using discrete components

Most microprocessor-based underfrequency relays have an internal voltage-blocking element that


supervises the underfrequency element. The undervoltage element can be set up to block either the
frequency element or output of the timer associated with the frequency element (Figure 10-2).

The undervoltage inhibit setting should be as low as possible to ensure that load is shed when necessary,
even during voltage collapse incidents, but not so low that the underfrequency relay operates during faults
or normal shutdowns, hindering restoration. A typical setting is between 50% and 70% of normal voltage.

Figure 10-2Voltage supervision using microprocessor-based relays

10.3.2 Current supervision

When running motors are de-energized by tripping the breaker feeding them, they tend to retard the
collapse of the voltage on the circuit, making coordination of a voltage supervision relay difficult. In those
cases, current supervision may be a better means of preventing unnecessary operation of the
underfrequency relay. The current supervision relay would typically be installed on the main source into
the bus where the frequency is being sensed. If an underfrequency condition is sensed, but there is no load
flowing, the underfrequency element is blocked, since it is likely the result of loss of the source, rather than
a system-wide underfrequency event.

Another purpose of current supervision is to allow for selectivity in the tripping logic. Only feeders or
stations that are loaded above a given set point are tripped.

The overcurrent supervision can be set up at the feeder level or at the substation level. At the substation
level an instantaneous overcurrent relay is applied on the incoming feeder or transformer per Figure 10-3.
The underfrequency element (81) is then supervised by the output contact of the current supervision relay
(50).

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IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

Figure 10-3Current supervision at substation level

At the feeder level an instantaneous phase overcurrent relay needs to be applied to each feeder that is to be
set up in the underfrequency load shed scheme. Figure 10-4 shows three feeders that are set up with
individual overcurrent supervision.

Figure 10-4Current supervision at feeder level

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Current supervision of the frequency element in microprocessor relays can be set up through the internal
logic of the relay per Figure 10-5.

Figure 10-5Current supervision in microprocessor-based relays

10.4 Directional power supervision

Directional power supervision of the underfrequency load shed element is similar to the overcurrent
supervision discussed in 10.3.2. Here a directional power element supervises the frequency element at
either the substation level or the feeder level.

10.5 Rate-of-frequency-change supervision

Wide area underfrequency conditions exhibit a much slower frequency decay rate than local disturbances
caused by motor load back emf, faults, and other power system transients. One method used to guard
against underfrequency relay operation during transient conditions is to supervise the underfrequency trip
output with a rate-of frequency-change detector that blocks tripping for very fast frequency changes, but
permits tripping for typical power system frequency decay rates.

For those modern microprocessor-based relays that include both fixed and rate-of-change frequency
measurement, the rate-of-change element can be programmed to supervise the fixed frequency setpoint
output. Typical power system decay may be as high as 10 Hz/s for very low inertia systems. Transient
frequency decay rates are typically higher than 10 Hz/s. Setting the rate-of-frequency-change supervision
to block the fixed frequency tripping if the frequency decay rate is greater than 10 Hz/s provides security
against tripping on transient frequency swings.

Another technique uses multiple frequency set points and a timer to supervise fixed frequency tripping.
One frequency element is set just below nominal frequency, F1 = 59.9 Hz on a nominal 60 Hz system, for
example. When the frequency decays below 59.9 Hz, this element picks up and starts a timer, T1. The logic
is designed so the second, lower frequency element, F2, cannot trip unless the first element timer has timed
out. The time delay, T1, started by the first element, F1, and the frequency difference between the first and
second elements establishes a maximum frequency decay rate, given in Equation (5) as follows:

Max frequency decay rate = (F1 F2)/T1 (5)

Reversing terms, the time delay, T1, can be calculated as follows in Equation (6):

T1 = (F1 F2)/Max frequency decay rate (6)

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11. Effects of voltage change on frequency load shedding


Overloading of a generator is followed by change in system voltage, affecting the magnitude of the active
(MW) and reactive (Mvar) power. This behavior can be modeled (Bjerg) (Arrilaga and Harker)4 as follows
in Equation (7) and Equation (8):

Pl = Pl0 (V/Vn)pv* (f/fn)pf (7)

Ql = Ql0 (V/Vn)qv* (f/fn)qf (8)

where

Pl is active power
Ql is reactive power
Pl0 is active power before a disturbance
Ql0 is reactive power before a disturbance
Vn is nominal voltage
fn is frequency
V is the measured voltage
f is the frequency
pv, pf, qv, qf are parameters quantifying dependency of active and reactive power with voltage and
frequency

Table 11-1 (Bjerg) (Arrilaga and Harker) shows load behavior with voltage and frequency for typical
loads.

In general, for loads with pv larger than 1, active load power has larger than linear decrease as load voltage
decreases. As a result, for those types of load, voltage reduction can significantly reduce active power
consumption and, consequently, reduce the power deficit. By reducing the power deficit, frequency drop is
reduced as well. For example, light bulb and heater load are significantly reduced by voltage reduction.

Reduction in voltage could be used to reduce power deficit during underfrequency conditions. However,
this approach is rarely used in practice. One example is an 8% voltage drop initiated by underfrequency
relaysan action that takes about 14 s (Working Group on Methods of System Preservation During
Underfrequency Conditions).

Typical values for selected loads are shown in Table 11-1.

Other effects of voltage change are as follows:

Underfrequency load shedding with simultaneous unloading of transmission lines can cause
overvoltages (Fink et al.) (Mandozzi et al.) and diminish results of load shedding.
In cable networks with high shunt capacitance, uncontrolled load shedding may cause a voltage
increase, which can make load shedding ineffective (Ohura et al.).

4
For information on references, see Clause 2.

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Table 11-1Effects of voltage and frequency change on active and reactive load power

Load type pv pf qv qf
Light bulb 1.6 0 0 0.1
Fluorescent bulb 1.2 1.0 3.0 2.8
Heater 2.0 0 0 0
Asynchronous motor,
0.2 1.5 1.6 0.3
one-half load
Asynchronous motor,
0.1 2.8 0.6 1.8
full load
Aluminum plant 1.8 0.3 2.2 0.6
Arc furnace 1.9 0.5 2.1 0

12. Existing frequency load shedding and restoration practices


Information was gathered for most of the NERC regional coordinating councils shown in Figure 12-1 and
several additional entities in the U.S., France, Ireland, and Nordel, which coordinates operations in
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The information is summarized in Table 12-1 to tabulate
the entity, stages of load shed, pickup frequencies, time delays, and percent of load to be shed in each step.
It should be kept in mind that this is only a sample of the possible settings and many others may need to be
determined based on dynamic stability studies.

Figure 12-12003 map of NERC regions

12.1 NERC: 2003 underfrequency load shed criteria

In the U.S. and Canada, load shed and restoration criteria are determined by the various energy reliability
councils, power pools, and system operators. Additional criteria may be set forth by individual utilities;

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however, those will not be listed in this guide. Load shed frequencies and load shed levels for the U.S. and
Canada, based on 2003 regional coordinating entity documents, are shown in Table 12-1.5 In no area was a
rate of change of frequency (df/dt) discussed as a criterion for action.

In general, three to five frequency/load levels are utilized by the various entities. The range for the first
load shed step is a decay of 0.3 Hz to 0.9 Hz with 0.7 Hz being the most prevalent. Step sizes range from
0.2 Hz to 0.5 Hz with load percentages varying from 5% to 15% of system load per step. In one case, the
system load was designated as direct service and non-direct service to allow tripping of large blocks of
industrial load. Typically, there are more steps for the smaller step size with lower percentages of load
being shed per step.

Table 12-1Summary of 2003 coordinating entity underfrequency load shed criteria

Load shed

F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
Entity (Hz) Load (Hz) Load (Hz) Load (Hz) Load (Hz) Load
Western Electricity
Coordinating Council (WECC) 59.1 5.3% 58.9 5.9% 58.7 6.5% 58.5 6.7% 58.3 6.7%
(See Note 1)
Mid Continent Area Power Pool
59.3 10% 59 10% 58.7 10%
(MAPP)
Electric Reliability Council of
59.3 5% 58.9 10% 58.5 10%
Texas (ERCOT)
Mid America Interconnected
59.3 10% 59.0 10% 58.7 10%
Network (MAIN)
Southwest Power Pool (SPP) 59.3 10% 59.0 10% 58.7 10%
East Central Area Reliability
59.5 5% 59.3 5% 59.1 5% 58.9 5% 58.7 5%
coordination agreement (ECAR)
Northeast Power Coordinating
59.3 10% 58.8 15% Manual
Council (NPCC)
Mid Atlantic Area Council
59.3 10% 58.9 10% 58.5 10%
(MAAC)
Florida Reliability Coordinating
Council (FRCC) 59.7 9% 59.4 7% 59.1 7% 58.8 6% 58.5 5%
(See Note 2) (See Note 2)
Northwest Power Pool
(NWPP)non -DSI load 59.3 5.6% 59.2 5.6% 59.1 5.6% 59.0 5.6% 58.8 5.6%
(See Note 3)
NWPP direct service industry
59.3 25% 59.2 25% 59.1 25% 59 25%
load
Ireland ESB (50Hz) 48.5 13% 48.4 13% 48.3 13% 48.2 26%
Nordel (50Hz) 48.8 10% 48.6 10% 48.4 10% 48.2 10% 48.0 10%

NOTE 1WECC has additional load shed criteria from 59.5 Hz to 59.3 Hz.
NOTE 2FRCC has intermediate steps at 0.3Hz down to 59.1 Hz with a time delays of 8 s to 10 s shedding an additional 5%
per step.
NOTE 3NWPP has one additional step of 5.6% non-DSI load at 58.6 Hz.

5
Notes in text, tables, and figures of a standard are given for information only and do not contain requirements needed to implement
this standard.

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Few of the criteria directives established trip times for each of the steps. Trip times, when included in the
criteria, ranged from 0.1 s to 0.4 s. Criteria for Nordel, France, and Ireland indicated a decay range of
1.2 Hz to 1.5 Hz to begin load shed with step sizes of 0.1 Hz to 0.2 Hz. Time delays are in the range of
0.15 s with percentages of system load shed ranging from 10% to 13% per step.

12.2 Nordel underfrequency load shed criteria

The frequency on the Nordel system (at the time this standard was prepared) is allowed to vary between
49.9 Hz and 50.1 Hz without any specific action. Situations with a stable frequency below 49.5 Hz may not
appear more frequently than once every third year.

Table 12-2 shows the actions taken on certain frequency levels within Nordel.

Table 12-2Nordel frequency control program

Frequency, f (Hz) Action


f > 50.6 Emergency actions on the HVDC connections to continental Europe
50.1 > f > 49.9 Normal operation, frequency control reserve
49.9 > f > 49.5 Production loss reserve activated, action on one HVDC connection
49.5 > f Action on the rest of the HVDC connections, automatic start of some gas turbines
49.0 > f > 47.0 Load shedding, system islanding (See Table 12-3)
47.5 > f Disconnection of large thermal plants, system break down

Non-discriminative load shedding is used as a final system protection scheme to avoid a system break
down after an extreme loss of generation. In Sweden, the load shedding comprises about 50% of the load
in the middle and south, where the main part of the load is located. The load shedding is activated in five
steps, each with two different time delays.

Table 12-3Underfrequency load shedding steps

Step Set point 1 Set point 2


1 48.8 Hz @ 0.15 s 49.0 Hz @ 20 s
2 48.6 Hz @ 0.15 s 48.6 Hz @ 20 s
3 48.4 Hz @ 0.15 s 48.4 Hz @ 20 s
4 48.2 Hz @ 0.15 s 48.2 Hz @ 20 s
5 48.0 Hz @ 0.15 s 48.0 Hz @ 20 s

The purpose of the short time delay of set point 1 is to stop the frequency decay and the delayed step at set
point 2 is intended to return the frequency to an acceptable level.

12.3 France, Electricite de France underfrequency load shedding

The experience of Electricite de France (EDF) in operating small power systems shows that
underfrequency load shedding is essential as a first barrier before the generator underfrequency protections
operate. In large systems these schemes are not often triggered as long as the system remains
interconnected, because the mechanical inertia and the spinning reserve in the system are high relative to

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system load. However, once an islanded subsystem is formed, underfrequency load shedding is critical to
maintaining system stability.

In the EDF system, the triggering criterion is purely based on frequency. The derivative of the frequency
(df/dt) is not used. Four steps of load shedding are defined to limit the underfrequency, with homogeneous
setting parameters (frequency, the amount of load to be shed, time delay) throughout the EDF main system.
The time delay has to be as short as possible. The equipment is located in the high and medium voltage
substations and in industrial substations supplied from the high voltage system. The scheme triggers on a
frequency threshold, but remote manual action from the system operating center is also possible.

This underfrequency load shedding scheme has been used for several years in the EDF main system, and
has also been used in the smaller systems operated by EDF (e.g., islands).

12.4 Ireland, Electricity Supply Board underfrequency load shedding and


automatic frequency restoration

The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is responsible for the generation, transmission, distribution, and
supply of electrical energy in the Republic of Ireland. The ESB System is an island network with a
maximum system demand of 4400 MW. There is a single interconnection with Northern Ireland and the
combined maximum system demand of both systems is about 6000 MW.

On an island system, frequency is very sensitive to a sudden loss of generation. In an effort to maintain
system (frequency) stability and avoid uneconomically large spinning reserve margins, the following
underfrequency relay schemes are implemented; the main one being an automatic underfrequency load
shedding with automatic restoration (UF/AFR). Outlined in Table 12-4 is a schedule of frequency settings
at which various types of automatic system rescue action takes place.

Table 12-4ESB rescue actionnominal frequency (50 Hz)

Frequency Action

Gas turbines peak (above max load) triggered by rate of change of frequency (the set-point for the
49.98 Hz
rate of change varies based on the generator capabilities)
49.90 Hz Automatic restoration starts when frequency recovers and stabilizes at this value
49.60 Hz First pumped storage pump tripsturbine starts if no other unit pumping
49.30 Hz Interruptible tariff customers automatically disconnected (about 60 MW)
49.25 Hz Reactors (100 Mvar) automatically switched-in to reduce voltage
49.24 Hz Second pumped storage pump tripsturbine starts if no other unit pumping
49.14 Hz Third pumped storage pump tripsturbine starts if no other unit pumping
Fourth pumped storage pump tripsturbine starts
49.00 Hz
All standby modegenerators synchronize and go to full load
48.50 Hz Block 1 of UF load shedding begins (12% of system load)
48.40 Hz Block 2 of UF load shedding begins (12% of system load)
48.30 Hz Block 3 of UF load shedding begins (12% of system load)
48.20 Hz Block 4 of UF load shedding begins (24% of system load)
48.00 Hz Automatic disconnection of interconnector with Northern Ireland.
47.50 Hz Generators start to trip off system

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There are in excess of 300 underfrequency relays in service throughout the ESB distribution system. They
are installed mainly on 38 kV and 20 kV outlets in 110/38 kV and 110/20 kV stations and are set to operate
and trip customer load when system frequency falls to preset levels (usually after the loss of more than one
generator). This combination of underfrequency load shedding and automatic frequency restoration helps
to preserve system stability and minimize the duration of customer outages. Although the underfrequency
relays are installed in the distribution system, they are set to manage the UF/AFR scheme for maximum
security of supply. These relays are capable of shedding about 60% of the system demand at any time,
provided that frequency falls sufficiently low.

Each group is further divided into four subgroups. For example, in Block 1, the relays have settings of
48.425 Hz, 48.450 Hz, 48.475 Hz, and 48.500 Hz, and so on through the other groups. This is to facilitate
the smooth shedding of load (3% to 4% blocks) across the country.

Following load shedding on the system, the automatic frequency restoration facility operates after system
frequency has recovered and stabilizes at 49.9 Hz or higher. This facility provides for the orderly
restoration of all shed loads in periods ranging from 0 min to 6 min.

12.5 Industrial applications

Underfrequency load shedding in industrial facilities is most commonly applied as one element in a larger
scheme to preserve critical loads. Such a scheme can be used at facilities with distributed generation (DG)
as well as those with no internal sources, and its application must be integrated with the processes for
which the protection is being provided.

12.5.1 Facilities with no generation

Underfrequency protection may be applied at facilities without generation to mitigate the effects of a
frequency excursion on the industrial process. Such excursions affect motor speeds and torque levels,
process flows, machine timing/synchronization, etc.

12.5.2 Facilities with generation

In facilities with generation, load shedding under abnormal frequency conditions is generally used as a
means to match in-plant loads to the available in-plant generation (assuming that isochronous operation of
the facility is possible) upon the loss of supply from the local utility. This loss of supply and subsequent
frequency excursion might be the result of operation of an interconnecting circuit breaker, or isolation from
the supply substation while in parallel with other utility-customer loads and/or generation, or from a wide-
area disturbance that affects frequency in the local area. Whatever the cause, frequency variations may be
the earliest means for detecting the impending loss of supply. As a result, underfrequency protection can be
used to isolate the generation from the utility to prevent exposing utility customers to abnormal operation.

Once a facility is isolated from the utility grid, in many facilities an intelligent load shedding scheme can
shed selected loads to match plant load to the available generation. This can even work with the routine
variations in generation and equipment operation. While preserving the operation of the generation on in-
plant loads is usually feasible, the industrial processes will need to be addressed in a fashion similar to
those facilities without generation.

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13. Setting and performance criteria

13.1 Performance criteria

Load shedding is performed over several stages. Total amount of load assigned over all shedding stages is
based on a credible but worst-case scenario of maximum loss of generation. Since the actual amount of
generation lost is never known, the number of stages and the load shed in each stage must be properly
assigned to avoid the following undesirable consequences:

Excessive load shedding in the initial stages resulting in overfrequency conditions, or


unnecessary loss of service continuity and revenue
Too little shedding in the initial stages resulting in failing to arrest the frequency decline, which
may in turn lead to further loss of generation on underfrequency or even system wide blackout

It is, therefore, generally preferable to have more stages and less load shed per stage rather than fewer
stages and more load shed per stage. While relay manufacturers provide set points in increments of
0.01 Hz, practical considerations suggest that it is not beneficial to have steps too close between the load
shedding stages. This is because there is typically 10 to 14 cycles of delay (including relay and circuit
breaker operating times) from the instant frequency reaches the set point to the instant of actual load shed.
During this delay, the frequency continues to drop; that is, the frequency at which load actually sheds is
below the set point. If the spacing between the shedding stages is too close, the load shed initiated by a
stage could actually shed the load while the frequency decline is continuing through the following stages
due to the inherent delay. Another reason to space the frequency settings of the stages of load shedding is
that during a system disturbance the frequency at different locations of the interconnected system will not
be the same. This variation in the frequency between different points in the system will continue until a
new steady state condition is reached. The variation in frequency has been observed to be as great as
0.2 Hz.

The number of stages and amount of load in each stage are determined with help of static simulations
followed by dynamic simulations to optimize the performance of the overall scheme. Static analysis is
widely used in the design of underfrequency load shedding schemes. In such analyses, the equivalent
inertia (including neighboring utilities) is obtained, the effects of voltage variations are ignored, and the
whole system is assumed to be a single mass with parameters such as load damping, approximated by
lumped values. Governor response of connected generation is also ignored since it is assumed to operate
beyond the time frame of interest. The simplicity of static analysis makes it useful for rapid evaluation of
numerous load shedding schemes (various stages and load in each), which results in good performance
over a wide range of loss-of-generation scenarios. Once a short list of candidate schemes is identified, it is
subjected to more rigorous analysis using software tools implementing dynamic simulations wherein the
various system components are individually modeled to simulate accurately the systems dynamic electrical
and electromechanical behavior and to review the extended time frame during which the effect of governor
action can be observed. Based on this detailed analysis the underfrequency load shedding scheme is
finalized and its performance is assessed.

During setting analysis, it is important to know the off normal frequency limitation of the generating units,
and the underfrequency protection settings applied to those units. The system load shedding and the plant
protection must be coordinated so that load is shed to arrest the frequency decay before any additional
generation is lost due to operation of the plant underfrequency protection.

Since generating units can operate continuously within 0.5 Hz of nominal, a load shedding and
restoration plan can be designed to settle the post disturbance frequency within this range. However, it is
preferable to have the post-disturbance frequency settle above nominal as opposed to below. If the
frequency settles out above nominal (but less than 0.5 Hz above it), then in short order the governors will
automatically act to restore the system to nominal. This facilitates restoration of ties in case of islanding. If

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frequency levels settle out below nominal (by less than 0.5 Hz), then governors will act to increase
generation, however longer time delays are possible because additional fuel must be added to boilers
before the increased generation can be supported. There is also the possibility that increased generation
may not be available, and load must be manually shed to achieve the nominal system frequency. A post-
disturbance frequency at or slightly above nominal is judged to maximize the dispatchers ability to initiate
restoration activities.

Under certain scenarios of loss of generation and load shedding, it is possible that the frequency fails to
recover and stalls at a level less than 0.5 Hz below nominal. Additional load shedding stages may be
provided with deliberate time delay in an effort to bring the steady state frequency back up to nominal.
Least important loads are assigned to the higher frequency load shedding stages whereas more important
loads are assigned to the lower frequency stages.

13.2 Setting guidelines for abnormal frequency load shedding

In order to minimize the effects of an underfrequency disturbance on a system, a multi-stage load shedding
scheme may be used. To implement underfrequency load shedding, the substation loads should be
prioritized and grouped according to their importance and the type of loads fed by the system. Frequency
relays can control a single group or multiple groups of loads. During an underfrequency condition, the load
groups are disconnected sequentially, depending on the level of underfrequency prevailing. The highest
priority group should be the last one to be disconnected.

The effectiveness of a stage of load shedding depends on what proportion of the power deficiency it
represents. Each stage of load shed should contribute to the survival of the system during a contingency. If
the stage load is too small compared to the prevailing generation deficiency, then the improvement in
frequency may be nonexistent. This aspect should be considered while forming the load groups. The total
amount of load for each group should be determined based on a worst-case load condition in order to
ensure effective load shedding.

Time delays for load shedding stages should be based on the recommendations of the area coordination
council and sufficient to override any transient dips in frequency, as well as to provide time for the
load/frequency controls in the system to respond. This requirement should be balanced against the system
survival requirement; if the loads are shed with long delays, then system stability may be in jeopardy.

Time delay settings range from a few cycles to several seconds, even tens of seconds, depending on the
number of load-shedding stages, and the expected rate of frequency decline. The relatively long time
delays are intended to provide time for the system controls to respond. This will work well in a situation
where the decline of system frequency is slow. For contingencies where rapid decline of frequency is
expected, the load shedding scheme mentioned previously could be supplemented by rate of change of
frequency monitoring elements or use shorter delay times for each stage. When using rate of change of
frequency elements for supervision, it is recommended that the (f + df/dt, frequency with rate of frequency
change) element be used in conjunction with the (f + t, frequency with time delay) element of the stage. An
independent frequency setting can be variable for the (f + df/dt) element. This feature can be used to speed
up the load shedding even further in severe cases.

In the previously mentioned scheme, the frequency pickup of the (f + df/dt) elements is set a little higher
than the frequency pickup of the (f + t) elements. The difference between these pickup frequencies
approximately accounts for the measuring time of the relay, assuming a rate of frequency decline equal to
that used in the settings. Thus, the stage load may be shed at or just above the frequency pickup setting for
the (f + t) element. In this scheme, the slow-decline contingencies and the fast-decline contingencies are
independently monitored, and the tripping logic is optimized for each. Since the frequency pickups are
independent, it is possible to set the pickup of the (f + t) element somewhat lower, without sacrificing
system security.

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It is recommended that the (f + df/dt) element be used in conjunction with the (f + t) element of the stage.
The element can be set to measure the rate of change over a short period (as low as one cycle) or a
relatively long period (up to 100 cycles). At the lower end, the combined element becomes similar to a
rate-of-change monitoring function with a fixed time delay.

The fast load shed decisions in the scheme mentioned previously can be made by monitoring the frequency
change over a period of 500 ms. Hence tripping takes place more slowly than in schemes employing the
(f+df/dt) element, but the difference is not significant at this setting. If the previously mentioned delay is
unacceptable for the system stability, then the scheme can be accelerated by using the independent f
setting of the element.

One of the most common ways of preventing the undesirable operation of an underfrequency relay for the
loss of the source to the substation where the underfrequency relay is installed is to use an undervoltage
inhibit function in the relay. The theory is that when the primary source is lost the voltage will decay below
the undervoltage inhibit level before the frequency decays below the underfrequency trip level and the time
delay has expired for the trip. With the typical time delays used and a reasonable mixture of resistive and
motor loads this solution can work.

The higher the setting on the undervoltage element the more secure the underfrequency load shedding relay
becomes against undesirable tripping for loss of source. Unfortunately, during system wide disturbances
when the underfrequency load shedding relays are expected to operate, the system voltage could also be
reduced. To prevent blocking of the underfrequency load shedding during system wide disturbances a
compromise setting must be reached. This is usually possible if a large part of the load connected to the
substation is not comprised of motors and that there are no distributed resources connected to lines fed out
of the substation. On a system with large motors or distributed resources the voltage will not decay fast
enough to block the underfrequency load shedding for the loss of the primary source to the substation.

Raising the undervoltage inhibit level could be done in these cases but the functionally of the
underfrequency load shedding might be lost by doing so. The guidelines for underfrequency load shedding
in some regions specify the maximum level that the undervoltage inhibits functions can be set. A maximum
level of 80% of the normal voltage is used in some areas.

14. Maintenance, testing, and reliability


All protection functions and control logic affecting the power system operation require verification during
commissioning and normal periodic maintenance to ensure reliability. Testing the underfrequency portion
of the protection package may require an outage to the protective relay requiring switching and/or
bypassing of the circuit breakers.

Individual testing and verification of protection functions and control logic has been a traditional technique
in the industry limited by field-testing technology. New field test technology allows much more
comprehensive testing where both protection functions and control logic can be tested and verified
simultaneously with automated test routines or dynamic simulations. Discrete testing of the frequency
elements used in load shedding schemes follows typical functional element testing with pickup and dropout
accuracy specifications, which the device should meet as defined by the manufacturer. Electromechanical
frequency relays have an accuracy of 0.05 Hz, but do not respond predictably to variable rates of change.
Normal test specifications for modern digital frequency relays require a minimum step size of 0.01 Hz with
a minimum resolution of 0.005 Hz. These often include rate-of-change and average rate-of-change
functions, which are supervised by voltage or current elements plus external preprogrammed control logic.
This makes their testing much more complicated if all contributing elements are taken into consideration.

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IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

14.1 Frequency protection elements

Typical frequency elements respond within defined limits and response time. They are easily tested by
holding the voltage magnitude constant and stepping the frequency and time delay steps greater than the
operate time. Figure 14-1 shows the basic ramp function with the element operating at 59.3 Hz within the
allotted step time of 250 ms. Some relays will not respond well to a step-change-in frequency test. They
have a supervisory feature that resets the measurements, thinking a step change in system frequency is not
possible. These relays require a ramped test.

Figure 14-1Ramp function for testing relay pickup

These elements are often used with timers to control the load shedding coordination. Testing the frequency
set point plus time delay (f + t) requires only two states; a normal power system state of time T1 switching
to the frequency operation state of T2. The T1 state must be long enough to initialize the relay element and
the T2 state must be longer than the time delay setting of the control timer. Figure 14-2 shows the basic test
for a relay set with f = 59.3 Hz and a time delay of 2.5 s.

Figure 14-2Step function for testing relay pickup

14.2 Rate-of-change elements

Rate-of-change frequency elements (f + df/dt) do not respond to just the frequency set point. The speed at
which the frequency declines becomes the second criteria for the element to operate as specified. Therefore

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IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

two tests are required to verify this element, a negative test and a positive test. Two consecutive ramps can
accomplish this as shown in Figure 14-3; one with a ramp rate too slow to operate the df/dt element, and
one with a ramp rate sufficient to operate the df/dt element.

Figure 14-3Ramp functions to test rate-of-change elements

14.3 Average rate-of-change elements

Similar to the rate-of-change element, the average rate-of-change element responds to a moving window
that averages the frequency rate of change. This method normalizes any frequency fluctuations due to
system stability issues and avoids overshoot during load shedding. Once the time delay of the window has
expired, the element must be reset by the frequency rising above a preset supervision frequency setting.
Testing of this element is best accomplished with a dynamic test that simulates actual power system
responses. Conventional ramp tests can approximate and verify each individual element action but not the
complete control logic. Figure 14-4 gives one example of variable ramp rates that will allow the element to
pick up due to the overall average.

Figure 14-4Ramp functions to test average rate-of-change elements

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14.3.1 Effects of the voltage level on the frequency measurement

The technique for measuring frequency varies based on the type of relayelectromechanical, static, or
digital. Voltage levels are most important for the electromechanical relay because it requires a minimum
voltage to produce correct flux in the element. For static and digital relays, minimum voltage levels are just
as critical, requiring a filtered and clean waveform for whatever technique is used. It is recommended that
the manufacturers instruction manual be reviewed to note the appropriate minimum levels for testing.

14.4 Testing of load shedding schemes

It is recommended to test the chosen scheme as a system to be able to analyze the coordinated response
from all pickup elements and time delayed outputs. A series of dynamic test cases from the actual power
system or mathematical model would be preferred. However, a series of well thought out conventional tests
can also prove the scheme being used. Testing the scheme all the way through to operation of individual
feeder breakers is not usually necessary. Feeder breakers operate somewhat routinely, and the physical
diversity of the underfrequency load shedding schemes lends itself to inherent reliability (assuming a
responsible maintenance program is in place). A centralized scheme in its simplest form can be described
with a typical distribution substation with multiple transformers and feeders that are prioritized for load
shedding. One frequency element is used with multiple time-delayed outputs for each group of feeders.

14.5 Testing of load restoration schemes

Testing of load restoration schemes is similar to the testing of the load shedding schemes. The main
difference is that instead of testing underfrequency elements, overfrequency functions and schemes are
being tested.

15. Examples

15.1 Practical application of load shedding

Figure 15-1 shows an example of interconnected systems within a reliability council region. The bubbles
indicate a local area with generation (G) and loads (L). The lines indicate tie lines for transfers between
power systems. As is typical within a region, some areas generate more than their load and export the
excess to other parts of the control area. Loss of generation in one area will affect the entire interconnected
system. In practice, power flow on some tie lines is controlled by phase shifting transformers, unified
power flow controllers or DC-DC ties which limit the transfers to a set magnitude. Other tie lines are
limited by capacity or voltage restraints and may trip if overloaded. The tie line restrictions may result in
some parts of a system seeing more or less of the underfrequency event.

For the system of Figure 15-1, assume that Area 3 had a plant emergency resulting in a sudden loss of
3400 MW of generation, spinning reserve is near the margin and is only able to contribute 400 MW, and
the interconnected system starts an underfrequency excursion. Under the guidelines for this interconnected
system, each utility should shed load in 5% increments until load matches generation and the frequency
decay stops. With a total of 35 000 MW of load now matched with 32 000 MW of generation,
approximately 3000 MW or 8.6% of load must be shed to achieve balance. Since load is shed in 5%
increments, each utility would be expected to shed 10% of its load, if it experiences sufficient
underfrequency.

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It is up to the interconnected utilities to perform sufficient studies to determine where and how within their
system the load will be shed. If the frequency is decaying slowly, the system operators may make the
decisions on which loads to shed. However, if frequency is decaying rapidly, the load shedding scheme
must be automatic to drop sufficient load in a short period to balance load with generation. In extreme
cases, the load shedding relaying may need to match load with generation in an islanded system. In other
cases, islanding the area with sufficient internal generation capacity may be the only way to protect it from
collapse with the interconnected system.

Figure 15-1Example interconnected system

Most automatic frequency based load shedding schemes are activated by individual frequency relays,
which trip large industrial load centers or individual feeder breakers. The problem that the utility faces is to
match these aggregate load blocks with load shedding requirements when the loads could vary depending
on time-of-day and time-of-year demand. Consequently, an underfrequency event could result in more or
less load being shed than necessary, if the loads are higher or lower than those used in the studies and
guidelines.

Assume that Area 6 in Figure 15-1 has to shed 1500 MW in two steps at 1pm. It has 400 MW of
interruptible rate industrial customers that have a 95% load factor. It has 500 MW of non-interruptible
customers on ten feeders with a 70% load factor between 8 AM and 5 PM and a 20% load factor between
5 PM and 8 AM. The remaining load is non-interruptible customers on feeders with a 50% load factor. This
utility could configure its load shed scheme in many ways. Some possible schemes within Area 6 follow:

a) Stage 1, trip all 400 MW of interruptible load and 350 MW of non-interruptible load by feeder,
based on a 50% feeder load factor, selecting feeders that do not vary drastically by time of day
or time of year. Stage 2, trip additional feeders adding a safety factor for feeder loads that vary
significantly depending on time of day to total 750 MW.
b) Stage 1, trip all 400 MW of interruptible load and 350 MW of non-interruptible load by feeder,
based on a 70%/20% feeder load factor accounting for time of day. Stage 2, trip additional
feeders using the same allocation method as Stage 1 with the addition of feeders with a 50%
load factor to total 650 MW.

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c) Monitor feeder and substation loads over SCADA. Stage 1, trip 400 MW of interruptible load
and 250 MW of feeder load based on measured load updated every hour. Stage 2, trip additional
feeder load. As load increases/decreases over time of day or time of year, automatically switch
to preselected alternate feeders to interrupt 5% of the load in each stage to minimize the number
of customers affected.

15.2 Historical examples of underfrequency load shedding during system


disturbances

Western Electric Coordinating Council (WECC) experienced three major disturbances on December 14,
1994, July 2, 1996, and August 10, 1996. Table 15-1 describes some consequences of these disturbances.

Table 15-1WECC frequency disturbances

12-14-94 7-2-96 8-10-96

Customers affected, million 1.71 2.25 7.5

Lowest frequency, Hz 58.5 59.1 58.3

Load shed, MW 9 300 12 000 30 500

Generation lost, MW 11 300 11 455 27 300

The disturbance on August 10, 1996, had the biggest impact as 7.5 million customers experienced power
loss ranging from a few minutes to about 7 h. Four electrical islands were formed as cascading outages
developed, as shown in Figure 15-2.

Figure 15-2Four islands formed during August 10, 1996, disturbance


(A: Alberta, N: Northern, NC: Northern California, S: Southern)

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These four islands experienced the following consequences:

Southern island (S): Arizona, New Mexico, El Paso, N. Baja California, S. Nevada,
S. California, and W. Texas. 4.2 million customers experienced power loss for few minutes to
6.5 h. System frequency dropped to 58.5 Hz and further decline was arrested by automatically
shedding 15 820 MW of load using underfrequency relays. During the cascading event, 48% of
generation or 13 500 MW (90 units) tripped.
Alberta island (A): 192 000 customers experienced power loss for few minutes to 1.5 h. System
frequency dropped to 59.0 Hz and further decline was arrested by automatically shedding
968 MW of load using underfrequency relays. During the cascading event, 6% of generation or
146 MW (6 units) tripped.
Northern California island (NC): North of Los Angeles extending to the Oregon border:
2.9 million customers experienced power loss for few minutes to 5.5 h. This island experienced
the lowest system frequency of all islands, 58.3 Hz at 8 min into the disturbance.
Underfrequency schemes prevented further frequency decline by shedding 11 602 MW of load.
During the cascading event, 50% of on-line generation or 7937 MW (40 units) tripped.
Northern island (N): British Columbia, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, W. Nebraska, N. Nevada,
Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming: 210 000 customers experienced power
loss for few minutes to 2.5 h. System frequency did not drop under 60 Hz. However, 11% of
generation or 5689 (60 units) tripped and 2100 MW load was shed.

Analysis of the above shows that three islands experienced frequency decline that was arrested by
underfrequency load shedding schemes. In conclusion, automatic actions prevented disturbance
propagation and prevented complete collapse.

Example of frequency behavior for the Northern California island is shown in Figure 15-3.

Figure 15-3System frequency in the Northern California island, August 10, 1996

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As Figure 15-3 shows, underfrequency scheme was effective in preventing complete blackout of the island.
However, more load was shed than necessary, causing frequency to reach 61.2 Hz. As a result, additional
generation was tripped to recover frequency to the nominal value. Figure 15-4 and Figure 15-5 show the
voltage and frequency of an island generator at that stage of the disturbance.

Figure 15-4Generator voltage for a Northern California island unit


during the August 10, 1996, disturbance

Figure 15-5Generator frequency response for a Northern California island


generator during August 10, 1996, disturbance

On May 15, 2003, lightning struck and damaged a high voltage 345 kV transmission circuit near a large
power plant in North Texas. The subsequent events following the initial disturbance resulted in the loss of
about 4500 MW of electric generation, which caused the frequency to drop to about 59.25 Hz.

Automatic control systems located all across the ERCOT Region operated to reduce load and prevent a
more damaging disturbance. Approximately 420 000 customers, about 2020 MW of interruptible and firm
loads were tripped off line in ERCOT and helped to minimize the loss of load and generation. All
customers were restored within 3.5 h.

Frequency behavior measured within the ERCOT Region is shown in Figure 15-6.

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Figure 15-6Frequency behavior measured within the ERCOT region


during disturbance of May 15, 2003

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Annex A

(informative)

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1331, USA (http://standards.ieee.org/).
7
The IEEE standards or products referred to in this clause are trademarks of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

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IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration

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