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Michael E. Agudo,' Wayne Young,' Brian Kasperek,' Stanley I.

Thornpson2

dvances in relay test sets, personal computers Traditional Relay Testing


A (PC), and t h e availability of satellite clock
receivers have taken fault-simulated, end-to-end
relay testing by secondary injection to new heights. This
The common practice of relay testing is to test relays at
the component level, such as bench testing. Relays are
individually checked for their proper function and opera-
creative approach to relay testing allows relay techni- tion and for their steady-state response to a fault. When
cians and engineers t o comprehensively check line testing electromechanical relays, they are pulled out
relays and evaluate their dynamic response to faults from their cases and bench tested at the substation.
without staging actual faults on energized transmission Testing digital relays involves isolating the relays and
lines. The testing technique offers flexibility, speed, and interrogating them using portable PCs or laptops
accuracy in testing line relays. equipped with special software. The drawback of the
test is the inability t o check the overall protection
scheme. With component-level testing, the coordinated
operation and response of the relay in conjunction with
i:z"-iii::
system (GPS), clock receivers. Although secondary injec-
Advances in relay test sets, tion testing does not verify the primary side of instru-
ment transformers, it offers dependable end-to-end
GPS clock receivers, sequential testing of a relay protection scheme, including verifica-
event recorders, and PCs are tion of communication channels. At the Western Area
primarily responsible for making Power Administration Desert Southwest Region (WAPA-
DSW), this system of relay testing is referred to as Sec-
the SIMMS test possible ondary Injection Modeling and Maintenance System
-.x"-xI ,._I-. ,
(SIMMS).

Applications
other relays in the protection scheme cannot be verified. SIMMS end-to-end testing has found multiple applica-
Hence, other testing methods that can comprehensively tions at WAPA-DSW. Since 1996, the SIMMS test has
verify coordinated relay operations at the system level been applied in preventive maintenance of critical line
are required. relays, substation commissioning, and relay replace-
The traditional approach to comprehensive testing of ment projects.
relays, including verification of the effectiveness of the The most common application is to verify transmis-
protection scheme, is to perform a staged fault test. sion line protection schemes of newly installed relays.
Staged fault tests offer the benefit of dynamic evaluation The test is normally performed at the end of commis-
of the entire protection system under actual fault condi- sioning of a new substation or during relay replacement
tion. In conducting this test, a shorting conductor is projects. The objective is to perform a complete check of
placed across energized line conductors to stage the the new system protection scheme, including verifica-
actual fault. The response of the line relays to faults are tion of circuit breaker operation, communication chan-
then recorded, observed, and evaluated. Staged fault nel time, and the effectiveness of relay settings before
tests are considered the ultimate test, because all the relays are placed in service. By testing the line relay
devices within the protective zone, including current and protection at system level instead of component level,
voltage transformers, are effectively checked out. How- the new relay wiring is in effect checked out.
ever, conducting a staged fault test is costly and labori- Due to the flexibility and low cost of the SIMMS test, it
ous. The test requires extensive has become widely used in preventive
preparation and planning, and neces- maintenance and single-end trou-
sary measures have t o be taken to bleshooting of relays. Since the devices
ensure the safety of personnel involved used are portable, setting up SIMMS is
and the protection of transmission sys- easy and can be completed in minutes.
tem components from tremendous
electrical stress. Benefits
The potential benefits that the SIMMS
Secondary Injection Testing test offers include:
A viable alternative to comprehensive Staged fault test is no longer nec-
testing of line relays is by t h e sec- essary. Comprehensive testing of
ondary injection method. In this relays with simulated faults has
approach, faults are computersimuiat- proven to he sufficient in com-
et1 instead of being actually staged. pletely testing relay protection
With this approach, relay test engi- schemes of transmission lines.
neers no longer have to deal with the Using advanced relay test sets,
shortcomings of the staged fault test. transients can be generated and
Computer simulation of faults gener- injected into the relays.
ates fault quantities that are used in m Preparation is less extensive than
creating test files, which are then inject- that of a staged fault test. The test
ed into the relays using advanced relay preparation only requires genera-
test sets. To coordinate the secondary tion of test data derived from fault
injections, it is imperative that the test studies or digital fault recorder
fault data is simultaneously injected (DFR) playbacks.
into the relays at different terminals. U In most cases, t h e SIMMS test
This is accomplished by synchronizing does not require line outages or
the event trieeers on the relav test sets circuit breaker clearances. Relays
using satellite, e.g., global positioning Figure 1. SIMMS testingprocess can be isolated and tested end-to-

.l"lY 2000 33
end without de-energizing the transmission line or testing of relays became possible. Under dynamic condi-
clearing circuit breakers. This is made possible tions, the relay is tested by applying simulated prefault,
with the use of a breaker sinmlator and availability fault and postfault condition quantities using a pure sine
of backup relays. wave. The latest models of microprocessor-based, com-
Ease of simulatinz external faults. A staged fault puter-controlled, relay test sets are not only capable of
test is typically conducted in testing relays against performing steady-state and dynamic tests, but also tran-
internal faults. With SIMMS, simulating antl testing sient tests, which include dc offsets and harmonics. Tran-
relays against both internal and external faults can sient waveforms a r e generated by mathematical
be performed readily. methods, replay of actual recorded faults and fault simu-
U Low cost. Preparation and conduct of the SIMMS lation using an electromagnetic transient program
test are not as labor-extensive as a stage fault test. (EMTP), or the alternative transient program (ATP). The
Flexibility. Since the SIMMS test uses portable "IEEE Standard on Common Format for Transient Data
equipment, such relay test sets, laptop computers, Exchange (COMTRADE) for Power Systems" (IEEE Std
portable GPS antenna and clock receiver, and C37.111-1991) makes it possible to play back digital fault
portable sequential event recorders, setting up the records from two different fault recorders. Even the
test equipment and relocating them can be accom- EMTP/ATP program can output the simulation wave-

a short time period. SIMM TEST AT MEAD SUBSTATION


Accuracy. Based on 500-kVMead-Perklns Line
experience, the PCB 1092 and 1692
SIMMS t e s t h a s
proven t o generate
a c c u r a t e dynamic RELAY SetA 21-Relay FAULT LOCATION Bus fault ( 1.5%)
cTIIATIo: 3Y-3000/5 A PRE-PAULT DURATION 60 Cycles
responses of relays. p~ RATIO 3Y-287JW/63.9V FAULT DURATION 5 Cycles
U Safety. The SIMMS

Advances'in relay test


sets, GPS clock receivers,
sequential event record-
ers, antl PCs are primarily
responsible for making
the SlMMS test possible.
In the past, relay test sets
were manually controlled
and were used to evaluate
the steady-state response
of relays only. Current and
voltage values represent-
ing a steady-state system
condition were injected
into a relay t o measure
and evaluate its response
t o that particular system
condition. With the more
advanced, microproces-
sor-based relay test set,
dynamic or multiplestate Figure 2. Example of fault study results

34 IEEE Corn,~ulerApplicarioan*
in Power
,*iZz :L"**,+IJ **a:

SIMMS offersdependable
end-to-end testing o f a Test Name Results rTest Module- rResults----- I
relay protection scheme, I1 3LG c1ose-in to DLB
12 ILG close-in t o DLU
including verification o f 13 L-L
1 4 316
c l a s s - i n to
58% t o DLB
DLU
I 5 ILG 58% t o DLB
communication channels I 6 I-L 58% t o DLB
. "-a..s. ~, _-*.'-L;~~l*"l_.... I 7 3LG
I8 ILG
clo8e-in Eo
class-in t o
NGL
NGL ?Test- I-
111 I ._...
External Faults ..... II
Ei 316 DLB bus
forms in the COMTRADE format. The impor- HZ l L G DLB bus
E3 L-L DLB bur
tance of the COMTRADE format is that, with E 4 3LG NGL bus
E5 I L G NGL bus
different test sets, manufacturers' software E6 L-L NGL bus
can read the data and download it into the
test system for playback end-teend.
Using multiple-vendor relay test sets in 111 I
SIMMS, testing is possible. However, the
users have to be aware of time period dif-
II --
ferences that may exist between the test
Figare 3. SIMMS test file o f simulated internal and external faults
sets. Two of the leading- relay- test sets, for
example, vary by 2 cycles in prefault dura-
tion. A creative coordination technique
must be employed to synchronize these
test sets when used in the SIMMS end-to-
end test.
High-capacity portable PCs hosting relay
test set automation software and GPS clock
receivers are key players in performing
SIMMS tests. The portable PCs are used in
controlling the relay test set, breaker simu-
lator, and satellite clock receiver. Using the
test set software program, test files can be
downloaded automatically into the relay
test. With GPS clock receivers, multiple
relay test sets at terminals that are miles
apart are triggered within microseconds of
each other. Figure 4. SIMMS test arrangement fur digital relays

Trip Breaker
SIMMS testing has been primarily employed ait*
in dynamic or multiple-state testing of GPS Antenna
Relay Output
relays and their protection schemes. So far,
dynamic testing of relays has proved to be
sufficient for testing line relays and verifying
line protection schemes. The SlMMS test
process can be categorized into three phas-
es: pretest phase, test phase, and posttest
phase, as shown in Figure I. The first activi-
ty in the pretest phase is the development
of a test plan. After years of testing experi-
ence, a standard set of faults (ILG, 1L-G
with fault impedance, L-L, and 3L-G faults)
has been selected for typical SlMMS test
applications. Additional faults may be 1
required when a special transmission line, Figare 5. SIMMS test arrangement far electromechanical relays

July 2OOO 35
e.g., series compensated line, is involved. The selected then simulated and solved by running a load flow pro-
set of line faults and their locations form the basis of gram. Figure 2 presents an example of fault data generat-
the fault study. ed from a fault study. The fault data is then used in
The purpose of fault study is to simulate the selected constructing the test file for the SIMMS test. An example
faults on a computer. The line is first modeled using a of the SIMMS test file created in a relay test set applica-
commercially available fault study software program. tion program is shown in Figure 3.
The challenge in generating reliable fault study data lies The final activity prior to the test phase is the prepa-
in the accurate modeling of the transmission line sys- ration of test equipment. The current and voltage
tem. A prefault condition is assumed, which is typically quantities generated by the fault study are collected
the normal loading condition of the line. Once the pre- and entered into the portable computer that is used to
fault data is established, an iterative process of running control the relay test set during the actual test. The
the fault study application takes place. For each predc quantities are used to construct the relay test file using
termined internal and external fault, the preselected an application program special to the relay test set. At
fault types are simulated. The postfault condition is this stage, macros are written to automate the down-
loading of test files and the coordinated
triggering of secondary injections.
The test phase involves setting up test
equipment, performing t h e planned
sequence of test events, evaluating test
...............
....l........... results, and taking corrective actions
when necessary. The SIMMS test devices
-1 -110 78 31 -50.1 63.2 -13.2 ....L... ........
are set up according to Figures 4 and 5.
-2
1
110
27
-79
82
-32
-107
50.0
44.2
-63.2
21.2
13.2 ............
-65.2 ...........L...
L ........
........ An auxiliary box (aux box) was construct-
-1 -110 70 81 -50.1 63.2 -13.2 ........... L... ........ et1 to house the GPS clock receiver, circuit
breaker simulator, and portable sequence
event recorder. The aux box has made
-1 -110 78 81 -5D.1 63.2 -13.2 ...........L... ........
these devices compact, more portable,
-2 -28 -82 1 8 -44.2 -21.2 65.2 ............ L ........ and easier to transport. Two PCs are typi-
cally used. The first PC hosts the automa-
7 -1695 2016
-26 -1945 -1526
-311
2845
-3.7
-1.1
-11.1
0.2
10.1 222 .... Q...H... ....
-0.1 111 .... Q...H ... I......
I...
.
tion software program for the relay test
set, test files, and control applications for
the aux-box devices. The second PC is
used primarily to monitor the relay and
Figure 6.Partial sample oFSIMMS test results downloaded From a store relay fault data. A GPS antenna with
digital relay flexible coaxial cable is used for the GPS
clock receiver. The antenna is run to the
outside of the relay building and can be
mounted easily on top of a parked vehicle
or any support structure. Care should be
taken in handling and placement of the
GPS antenna in EHV yards. At each SIMMS
test terminal, two technicians are required
t o operate the computers. In addition to
setting up the test equipment, voice com-
munication must be established between
terminals, typically by telephone or radio.
The relay technicians must coordinate the
time to trigger a fault in their respective
relay test set.
The test file is preloaded into the relay
test set. The time agreed upon is entered
into the GPS clock receiver using the first
computer. When the event trigger time
arrives, t h e GPS clock receiver time-
Figure 7. R-Xdiagram corresponding to SIMMS test results stamps the sequence-of-event recorder
shown in Figure 5 and triggers the relay test set t o initiate

36 IEEE C o m ~ o l e r A ~ ~ l i ~ "int iPoroer


~".~
the prefault injection into the relay. After a prefault account for line outages, the SIMMS test will likely be
duration of 60 cycles, the relay test set automatically applied to realistically recreate a line outage event. In
injects the fault quantities into the relay for 5 cycles. this application, accurate DFR recordings will be
When the relay trips, it opens the circuit breaker or required in reconstructing the event and in creating the
triggers the circuit breaker simulator and sequence-of- fault test files.
event recorder. For complete end-to-end testing, where Another future application of the SIMMS test will be
proper operation of circuit breaker and integrity of in transient tests of relays. The experience and skills of
communication channels have to be verified, the cir- protection engineers will be called upon in simulating
cuit breaker simulator is not used. The purpose of the fault transients using EMTP/ATP. Such application will
breaker simulator is to minimize unnecessary circuit be useful in comprehensive troubleshooting of relays
breaker operation. and protection schemes.

Acknowledgment
"r.*rrrC""" *I--r-v.* **-: /11***_ "*XC.X_"*." 'The authors acknowledge the contribulions of Dan Hamai anti Eulace
lhomas of Western Area Power Administration.
Satellite clock receivers make
it possible to inject the test For Further Reading
S.R. Francis, N. Farrar, and S.I. Tliompson, "GPS satciiite synchronized
fault data into the relays using test system simulates faults on transmission lines,'' in Proceerlirrgs of
ltie 19g5 TexusA&MRekry Conference, 1995.
advanced test sets
_._ .
.
L_ ..LX. ___ M. Lillian and S.I. Thompson, "GPS satellite synchronized test sys-
tems recreate fault conditions to troubleshoot protective relay
schcmes," in Proceedings of llie 2 3 ~ A,siuol
1 Weslem Pmecrioe Relay
Conference,October 1996.
R. Pretasky and W. Young. "Practical applications of GPS synchm-
After the fault duration expires, the relay test set nizeti test sets (end-toend testing)," iii I'roceerlings oflhe AVO lntemn
automatically injects the postfault quantities for a cer- rionnl9th Annuul Tecleiicol Conference, Dallas, 'Texas. 1997.
tain period and then terminates the injection. The sec- PULSAR Applicntiorc Guide for Eml-Tohrtd Tes1.s. AVO Internationill.
ond computer is used to monitor and evaluate the Web iittp://www.avointl.comillroductsirelvyi~t~a/ guides/end.html.
response of the relay. Test results, such as shown in
Figures 6 and 7, are immediately evaluated and com- Biographies
pared to expected values. With the use of a PC, test Mike Agudo received his BSEE, MEE, anti DSc(X) degrees from U.S.
results can be displayed in text and graph formats. The Naval Academy. Catholic University of America, and George Washing-
ton University, respectively. He is presently working for WAPA.DSW as
sequence-of-event recorder monitors and records the 1protection engineer. Hc spent 4 years with PEPCO as substation trsl
relay response. It is useful in determining the timing of engineer. 7 years with Naval Surface Wilrfarc Center, and over a year
relay operation and tracking of events. In testing with Rural lltilities Service, USDA, as Chairman of Technical Standards
electromechanical or solid state relay, a digital "watch- Coininittee for i'ower Systems. He is a regislered praicssional cngioerr
in Washington, DC and Virginia and is a mcmiier of IF,F,E.
dog" relay is used in conjunction with the tested relay.
Waylie Young is presently a Meter-Rclay Foreman ii with WAPA-
The watchdog relay is set as close as possible to the DSW meter and relay strop. He has nvcr 30 years cxperiencr in power
settings of the tested relay. The primary purpose of the systcms metering, protectivc relaying, anti control. He worked for AVO
watchdog relay is to provide a digital relay record that inteniational as a Senior Training Engincer, Arizona Public Service as a
can be used to compare and evaluate the dynamic Senior Tcst Engineer, BBC as I'roduct Manager (Protectivc Reiaying)
response of the electromechanical or solid-state relay. anti Salt Rivcr I'roject et various lewis from relay tcciinician to Assis-
tant Superintenrirnt.
The posttest phase involves more in-depth analysis Brian Kasperek reccived his DSEE from Casc Western I<eselve Uni-
of SIMMS test results, which is typically performed versity. He has silent 20 years with WAPA-IISW as proteclion engineer.
when the results do not meet expectations. In this situ- He rcceived his MUA from Arkansas Statc University and is a membcr
ation, protection engineers are involved in reviewing "I IEEE.
the fault study and relay settings and then investigating Stanley Thompson received his BSEL: degree from the University of
Texas at Arlington (UTA) i n 1974. After gradualing from UTA, he
causes of discrepancies. In this phase, test results are received his Coinmission in the United States Army. After leaving
documented, and reports are prepared when required. Active Uuty he joined AVO Mulli-Ami, in 1977. Stan has worked exten-
sively In the field ai protective relays. He has wrilleii numerous papers
Future Applications on the mainlenance and testing of protective relays for such confer-
cnces 8s thc Western I'rotectivc Relay Conference, Washington, the
So far, SIMMS tests have been performed on a variety of
Minnesota Power Systems Conference. Protective Ibiay Conference at
system protection schemes. However, with the versatil- Texas A & M University, The iEE International Conlerencc in Amster-
ity of the SIMMS test, its application will be broadened dam and the AVO Technical Conference in Ilaiias, Texas. Stan is a
in the future. In this era of electric utility restructuring, Senior Member o f the iEE:I( Power F,nyineering Society and Several
particularly when transmission line providers have to working groups i n the Power Systcni Relaying Committce.

July 2000 37