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Restricted Earth Fault Protection
Filed in [Power Systems] By Steven on March 25th, 2012 The windings of many medium and small sized transformers are protected by restricted earth fault (REF) systems. The illustration shows the principal of REF protection.

Basic Operation
Under normal conditions and by application of Kirchhoff’s laws the sum of currents in both current transformers (CTs) equals zero. If there is an earth fault between the CTs then some current will bypass the CT's and the sum of currents will not be zero. By measuring this current imbalance faults between the CTs can be easily identified and quickly cleared. Fault detection is confined to the zone between the two CTs hence the name 'Restricted Earth Fault'. REF protection is fast and can isolate winding faults extremely quickly, thereby limiting damage and consequent repair costs. If CTs are located on the transformer terminals only the winding is protected. However, quite often the secondary CT is placed in the distribution switchboard, thereby extending the protection zone to include the main cable.

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Restricted Earth Fault Operation

Without REF, faults in the transformer star secondary winding need to be detected on the primary of the transformer by the reflected current. As the winding fault position moves towards the neutral, the magnitude of the current seen on the primary rapidly decreases and could potentially not be detected (limiting the amount of winding which can be protected). As the magnitude of the Our website uses cookies so that we currents remain relatively large on the secondary (particularly if solidly earthed), nearly the entire provide a better experience. winding can be protected using can REF. It should be remembered that the protection as ANSI illustrated covers only the secondary To learn of more the about transformer. what cookies areDesignation and Continue Sometimes REF protection is added to the primary as AboutCookies.org how to manage them visit Often 87N or 64REF are used to well (although if primary protection is required I would denote restricted earth fault prefer to consider full differential protection). protection. The intent is that both mean the same thing. As it is essential that the current in the CTs be balanced during normal conditions (and through faults), historically REF has been implemented using High Impedance Relays. CT's have also been specified as matched pairs and the impedance of leads/wires and interconnecting cables has had a large influence on the functioning of the relay. Measurement errors associated with these issues have been responsible for nuisance tripping and the system can be difficult to commission. This may be the reason some people avoid the use of REF. Recent advances in numerical relay technology have all but eliminated these issues, making the implementation of REF relatively easy, ensuring no nuisance tripping and simplifying commissioning. In the diagram 87N is the ANSI Device Number for restricted earth fault. Which is the correct or better to use may be open to interpretation. To me, 87N is more appropriate as REF is a differential type protection (ANSI 87 – differential protection relay). I think 64 is strictly more relevant to detecting earth/ground faults due to breakdown of insulation. This was a question asked below (in the discussion). If anyone has any views, please join that thread.
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does operation of REF be connected to trip both primary and secondary Breakers. Can you please clarify? Thanks Steven says: 7/27/2012 2:52 PM REF is a fault in the winding and you need to isolate the transformer . Protection. You have explained it in simple terms.  Ugly's Electrical References. does the operation of REF relay be wired to trip the primary HV side or secondary LV side Breaker? For parallel operation system. If you have two in parallel you could isolate only the faulty transformer. Trackback Print Permalink Wiring Simplified: Based on the 2011 . Third Edition: . but as soon as I do I will look at updating the schematic. years experience working on Steven McFadyen $69.trip the MV/HV side.. The REF is unit protection and restricted to one transformer.9/12/13 Restricted Earth Fault Protection See Also ANSI (IEEE) Protective Device Numbering Return Top Ugly's Black & Hawkins Electrical Electrical Electrical Decker The Electrical Engineering Engineering References...46 Power Systems. Electrical Engineering Bibliography  About the author Your Email: « How to Write an Electrical Note ► Electrical ► Protection ► Transformer Wiki Depreciation » ► Relay We res p ect y our email p rivacy Co mme nt s You need to log in to comment.05 Black & Decker The Complete Guide to . 2011 Edition $12. $23.05 versus Unearthed Systems Fault Calculations . Number One . REF. Earth Fault More interesting Notes: Electrical Engineering 101...46 $12.com/notes/entryid/150/restricted-earth-fault-protection 2/6 . Can you also Please clarify the following : For a radial transformer feeder provided with REF protection on LV side.Earthed Edition $17. $11.. $17.. Just make sure the other transformer can support the full load... Raman says: 7/27/2012 12:14 PM Thank you. Complete Guide... Cables for MV Power Distribution .48 One .? It would be great if the breaker linkage is shown as part of the schematic. Steven says: 1/26/2013 5:28 AM myelectrical. . Integrated Steven has over twenty five .69 some of the largest construction projects. I don't have access to my normal computer at the moment.98 for A .Introduction How to refer fault levels across a transformer Differential protection... Bibliography Sampler: Guide to . Li... He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. Number Baker...48 Hawkins Electrical Guide.. the good old days Frame Leakage Protection The Electrical Electrical Standard Wiring Motor Electrical Residential Controls Dictionary $65.

com/notes/entryid/150/restricted-earth-fault-protection 3/6 . Imag of the Neutral CT and phase CT to be the same? if Vkp and Imag of both CT not the same. Vkp and excitation current. vishal says: 12/22/2012 6:25 AM I want to just ask that how we can restrict the earth fault detection of a Particular Critical System let us consider an alternator and what is the Logic Behind that?what are the things to keep in mind and what is the difference between Overcurrent Earth Fault and REF ?How the CTs are arranged in Differential Protection what is the logic behind the arrangement . LYH says: 8/21/2012 2:10 AM Further question: Is REF protection should be implemented on a small 6/0.9/12/13 Restricted Earth Fault Protection Image now updated. At 500 kVA.4kV. I would tend to think the cost may not be justified (unless the transformer were particularly important). It would be interesting if other site users have opinion on this and can add to the discussion. PS class CT are used for high accurecy and for SEF 5P10 type CTs are used. waji says: 9/26/2012 6:42 AM Can you please explain how a transformer can detect an earth fault by using using phase CTs? rajadurai says: 10/19/2012 11:33 AM What class of cts used for REF and SEF protection of transformers Amit says: 10/23/2012 4:52 AM For REF protection. 500kVA oil type transformer? Steven says: 8/24/2012 7:25 AM There is a cost to REF and at some stage it becomes expensive in relation to the transformer size. what will be the consequences on the Bias Differential and REF protection? Anybody can advise me on these? Thanks myelectrical. Daniel says: 1/5/2013 2:29 AM Hi. Is it a MUST that the knee point voltage.

selinc. are programmed correctly in to the relay and that your polarities/wiring are fine. There is also a technical comparison on the two types here which should help you: https://www. To me.com/notes/entryid/150/restricted-earth-fault-protection 4/6 . A common reason could be unbalanced/incorrectly selected CTs causing false residual current and nuisance tripping. I think 64 is strictly more relevant to detecting earth/ground faults due to breakdown of insulation. High impedance relays have a high input impedance and draw very little current under normal conditions.aspx?id=5562 Freddie says: 5/30/2013 8:57 AM What can cause 64REF to trip off a transformer during disturbances from the grid Steven says: 6/2/2013 4:37 AM It could be many things. kindly please assaist with what is the difference between high impendance REF and low impedance REF Steven says: 5/22/2013 5:37 AM The primary difference is in the type of relay used. Similarly. etc. logic. Which is the correct or better to use may be open to interpretation. You should also make sure that the CT ratios. It is difficult to remotely diagnose this type of issue. 87N is more appropriate as REF is a differential type protection (ANSI 87 – differential protection relay). It's simpler. there is more flexibility in the CTs and inputs and coupled with all the functions of a modern numerical relay it eliminates a lot of problems that exist in high impedance systems. if your CTs are becoming saturated they can become unbalanced and give problems. There is a lot of debate on which to use and some theory. Skara says: 5/21/2013 4:03 PM goodday gents. You need to work through the myelectrical. phase shift. My view is that low impedance is preferred. Low impedance relays are the opposite.9/12/13 Restricted Earth Fault Protection black mamba says: 4/4/2013 2:45 PM what's the difference between ANSI 87N and ANSI 64REF? Is the polarity of connection samefor both protection schemes? Steven says: 4/7/2013 12:27 AM I think the intent is that both mean the same thing.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.

.? (using the concept that current flows only in a closed circuit) For faults outside the Zone SEF will operate. SEF. I am bit confused between the operation of REF and Standby earth fault relay. You need to work through the circuits/issues logically until you can narrow it down.. (i mean when a current flows in the primary (neutral) a proportional current in the secondary)? Please clarify my doubts. By writing an electrical note.com/notes/entryid/150/restricted-earth-fault-protection . Can you please explain why. you can read our How to Write an 5/6 Equipment Data Equipment Ratings Equipment Sizing Fundamentals History IEC Standards Motor Control Motor Starting Motors myElectrical Off-Topic Protective Devices Scientists Power Systems Protection Standards Switchboards Testing Theory Voltage Writing View All T ags myelectrical. the magnitude of the current seen on the primary rapidly decreases and could potentially not be detected (limiting the amount of winding which can be protected)". My query is that is it possible to use only one type of (PS Class) CT for all the protections.? Query 3. In our area we use separate CTs for REF and SEF+ OC protection. We use separate relays for REF.? Is it possible to use a single relay(if the relay is capable of) to incorporate all the protections. Can you help me in understanding with some diagrams or any links to refer.Can I use Class PS CT for OC or SEF protection or for metering purpose. REF will not operate. you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community. why not consider sharing this with our community. If you are also able to get a recording of the voltages and currents during an incident this will help you a lot. "As the winding fault position moves towards the neutral. For Faults inside the Zone the REF will operate When an earth fault happens inside the zone will the CT provided for SEF sense the fault current.. SYAM says: 9/3/2013 12:23 PM Hi Steven. Query 1. & OC For SEF we use Induction (disc type) relay.It may sound silly or stupid but I would like to know why and how.9/12/13 Restricted Earth Fault Protection It is difficult to remotely diagnose this type of issue. When a fault occurs between one phase and the ground will the fault current travel back from the ground through the neutral to the fault point.? Query 2. i.? Query 4.? I have a few queries also (it may sound stupid). To get started and understand our policy.e 4 or 5 nos PS class CTs (3 in Phases 2 in Neutral) along with 4 no 5P10 class CT ( 3 in Phases 1 in Neutral for SEF+OC. Thanks in advance Regards SYAM Popular Tags Automation Batteries Buildings Cables Control Systems Education Electronics Energy Equipment Have some knowledge to share If you have some expert knowledge or experience.

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