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Published by Kwong Hwo Tiang

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Published by: Kwong Hwo Tiang on Dec 03, 2012
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It is essential that any time graded protection fully resets during the dead time, so that
correct time discrimination will be maintained after reclosure on to a fault. For high
speed autoreclose, instantaneous reset of protection is required. However at
distribution level, where the protection is predominantly made up of overcurrent and
earthfault relays, the protection reset time may not be instantaneous (e.g. induction
disk relays). In the event that the circuit breaker re-closes on to a fault and the
protection has not fully reset, discrimination may be lost with the downstream
protection. To avoid this condition the dead time must be set in excess of the slowest
reset time of either the local relay or any downstream protection.
Typical 11/33kV dead time settings in the UK are as follows;
1st dead time


5 – 10 seconds

2nd dead time


30 seconds

3rd dead time


60 – 180 seconds
4th dead time (uncommon in the UK, however used in South Africa) = 1 – 30
minutes Reclaim timer setting

A number of factors influence the choice of the reclaim timer, such as;

• Supply continuity – Large reclaim times can result in unnecessary lockout for
transient faults.

• Fault incidence/Past experience – Small reclaim times may be required where
there is a high incidence of lightning strikes to prevent unnecessary lockout for
transient faults.

• Spring charging time – For high speed autoreclose the reclaim time may be set
longer than the spring charging time to ensure there is sufficient energy in the
circuit breaker to perform a trip-close-trip cycle. For delayed autoreclose there is
no need as the dead time can be extended by an extra CB healthy check window
time if there is insufficient energy in the CB. If there is insufficient energy after the
check window time the relay will lockout.

P14x/EN AP/B43

Application Notes

Page 110/164

MiCOM P141, P142, P143

• Switchgear Maintenance – Excessive operation resulting from short reclaim times
can mean shorter maintenance periods. A minimum reclaim time of >5s may be
needed to allow the CB time to recover after a trip and close before it can
perform another trip-close-trip cycle. This time will depend on the duty (rating) of
the CB.

The reclaim time must be long enough to allow any time delayed protection initiating
autoreclose to operate. Failure to do so would result in premature resetting of the
autoreclose scheme and re-enabling of instantaneous protection. If this condition
arose, a permanent fault would effectively look like a number of transient faults,
resulting in continuous autoreclosing unless additional measures were taken to
overcome this such as excessive fault frequency lockout protection. It is possible to
have short reclaim times by blocking the reclaim time from the protection start
signals. If short reclaim times are to be used then the switchgear rating may dictate
the minimum reclaim time. The advantage of a short reclaim time is that there are
less lockouts of the CB, however, there will be more CB operations and so
maintenance periods would be reduced.
Sensitive earth fault protection is applied to detect high resistance earth faults and
usually has a long time delay, typically 10 – 15s. This longer time may have to be
taken into consideration, if autoreclosing from SEF protection, when deciding on a
reclaim time, if the reclaim time is not blocked by an SEF protection start signal. High
resistance earth faults, for example, a broken overhead conductor in contact with dry
ground or a wood fence, is rarely transient and may be a danger to the public. It is
therefore common practice to block autoreclose by operation of sensitive earth fault
protection and lockout the circuit breaker.
A typical 11/33kV reclaim time in the UK is 5 – 10 seconds, this prevents unnecessary
lockout during thunderstorms. However, times up to 60 – 180 seconds may be used
elsewhere in the world.

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