A methodology for performance and compatibility evaluation of an all-digital substation protection system
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A power system protection system consists, at least, of an instrument trans- former, a protective device (relay), and a circuit breaker. Conventional instrument transformers bring currents and voltages from power network levels to much lower scaled-down replicas that serve as input signals to protective relays. The relay's function is to measure input signals (or a relationship among them in some cases) and compare them to defined operating characteristic thresholds (relay settings) to quickly decide whether to operate associated circuit breaker(s). Existing protection systems within a substation are based on a hardwired interface between instrument transformers and protective relays. Recent development of electronic instrument transformers and the spread of digital relays allow the development of an all-digital protection system, in which the traditional analog interface has been replaced with a digital signal connected to digital relays through a digital communication link (process bus). Due to their design, conventional instrument transformers introduce distortions to the current and voltage signal replicas. These distortions may cause protective relays to misoperate. On the other hand, non-conventional instrument transformers promise distortion-free replicas, which, in turn, should translate into better relay performance. Replacing hardwired signals with a communication bus also reduces the significant cost associated with copper wiring. An all-digital system should provide compatibility and interoperability so that different electronic instrument transformers can be connected to different digital relays (under a multi-vendor connection) Since the novel all-digital system has never been implemented and/or tested in practice so far, its superior performance needs to be evaluated. This thesis proposes a methodology for performance and compatibility evaluation of an all-digital protection system through application testing. The approach defines the performance indices and compatibility indices as well as the evaluation methodology.
Portillo Urdaneta, Levi (2006). A methodology for performance and compatibility evaluation of an all-digital substation protection system. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from