The Advancement of Adaptive Relaying in Power Systems Protection

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Virginia Tech

The electrical distribution system in the United States is considered one of the most complicated machines in existence. Electrical phenomena in such a complex system can inflict serious self-harm. This requires damage prevention from protection schemes. Until recently, there was a safe gap between capacity to deliver power and the demand. Therefore, these protection schemes focused on dependability allowing the disconnection of lines, transformers, or other devices with the purpose of isolating the faulted element. On some occasions, the disconnections made were not necessary. The other extreme of reliability calls for security. This aspect of reliability calls for the operation of the protective devices only for faults within the intended area of protection. There is a tradeoff here; where a dependable protection scheme will assuredly prevent damage, it is prone to unnecessary operation which can lead to cascading outages. Where a secure scheme will not operate unnecessarily, it is prone to pieces of the system becoming damaged when relays fail to operate properly. With microprocessor based relaying schemes, a hybrid reliability focus is attainable through adaptive relaying. Adaptive relaying describes protection schemes that adjust settings and/or logic of operations based on the prevailing conditions of the system. These adjustments can help to avoid relay miss-operation. Adjustments could include, but are not limited to, the logging of data for post-mortem analysis, communication throughout the system, as well changing relay parameters. Several concepts will be discussed, one of which will be implemented to prove the value of the new tools available.

Loadability, Fault, Rate of Change, Impedance, Current, Voltage, Adaptive Protection, Supervisory Zones