1

Index Terms--AC motor protection, Induction motor protection
Overcurrent protection.
I. NOMENCLATURE
I Fault current in Amps
A Conductor Transversal section in Circular
Mils
T
2
Cable Short-circuit Temperature
T
1
Cable Service Temperature
In Nominal Current in amperes
Ist Starting Current in amperes
ST Starting time assumed 3s (can be changed)
MIN
scale
Is the minimum value of decade (in amperes
or seconds on the equation)
Med Length from the minimum value of scale to
the unknown point (*)
Dim Length of a decade on hard copy catalog. (*)
(*) med and dim shall be measured in the
same unit (centimeters, inch, etc)
II. INTRODUCTION
ow voltage coordination is a very important and
fundamental tool for the analysis of an electric system in
industrial plants. The safety of the electric system’s operation
depends on this analysis as well as the security of personnel
who work at or operate an industrial plant.
Protection Coordination software is very popular these days,
but sometimes these kinds of software are very expensive, or
have limitations. For example, they only work with a group of
trademarks or sometimes the report summary cannot be
customized.
The electric department of Inelectra makes Coordination
protection analysis for many clients using Microsoft Excel
worksheets in a manual way. This paper realizes an
automation of the process, using the programming module of
Microsoft Excel called Visual Basic Application (VBA). The
use of this tool is very helpful to customize any study or
analysis. In this case, it is used to develop an application to
execute Protection Coordination for Low voltage systems. The
main reason to use Microsoft Excel is because it is the most
popular electronic worksheet.
III. THE APPLICATION
Basically it consists of a Microsoft Excel Chart with data
series plotted. Each series represents curves and points related
to the study. Figure 1 shows the application screen.
Fig. 1 – Application screen
IV. CURVE PARAMETERIZATION
The user can obtain curves from a hard copy catalog or
electronic files. Sometimes it is difficult or imprecise to obtain
data point.
Figure 2 shows two typical cases that can be presented in a
hard copy catalog. In case “A”, the current is known and time
is unknown. Time can be calculated applying the next
equation.
Current:

× =
dim
10
med
Scale
MIN t (1)
In case “B”, the time known and the current is unknown, the
current can be calculated applying the next equation.
Time:

× =
dim
10
med
Scale
MIN I (2)
Software Design for Low Voltage Protection
Coordination based on Visual Basic
Applications (VBA) for Microsoft Excel
A. Borrero, and M. Azarie
L
1-4244-0288-3/06/$20.00 ©2006 IEEE
2006 IEEE PES Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition Latin America, Venezuela
2
Fig. 2 – Parameterization Chart
V. SOFTWARE OPTIONS
The user can get trip curves from any manufacturer. These
curves can be:
A. Cables Damage Curves
The application can be represented on the drawing as the cable
damage curve for copper and aluminum cables, and a different
insulation.
Fig. 3 – Conductor properties dialog box
Copper conductor

+
+
⋅ =

5 . 234
5 . 234
log 0297 . 0
1
2
10
2
T
T
A
I
(3)
Aluminum conductor

+
+
⋅ =

228
228
log 0125 . 0
1
2
10
2
T
T
A
I
(4)
B. Molded Case Circuit Breaker
The application has a data base loaded, with typical trip curves
for a magnetic-only circuit breaker and thermo-magnetic
circuit breaker. The user can load another trip curve from any
other manufacturer by just obtaining points from the minimum
curve and the maximum curve.
Fig. 4 – Fixed Breaker properties dialog box
Also the user can add trip curves from an adjustable circuit
breaker modifying values such as: long time pickup, long time
delay, short time pickup, short time delay and instantaneous
pickup.
3
Fig. 5 – Adjustable breaker properties dialog box
C. Motor Starting Curve
A low voltage motor starting curve is very difficult to obtain
from the manufacturer and a design engineer needs to obtain
this information to start the protection coordination. The
application considers seven points to construct the motor
starting curve.
TABLE I
POINTS TO CONSTRUCT MOTOR STARTING CURVE
Point Current Time
1 In 1000s
2 In ST x 1.2
3 In x 1.2 ST
4 Ist x 0.8 ST
5 Ist ST x 0.8
6 Ist 0.03s
7 Ist x 1.6 x 1.1 0.01s
Fig. 7 – Motor properties dialog box
D. Transformer Damage Curves
The application can represent the transformer damage curve
based on [4]. The through-fault protection curves presented in
IEEE Std C57.12.00-2000 takes into consideration the fact
that transformer damage is cumulative, and the number of
through faults to which a transformer can be exposed is
inherently different for different applications.
TABLE II
TRANSFORMERS CATEGORY
Category kVA
One Phase
kVA
Three phase
I 5-500 15-500
II 501-1667 501-5000
III 1668-10000 5001-30000
IV > 10000 > 30000
For unbalanced faults, consider the ANSI factors and the
connection type as well, this through-fault protection curve
can be represented for ANSI factors..
Fig. 6 – Transformer properties dialog box
E. Thermal Relay Operation Curve
On industrial plants, it is very common to use thermal relay
based on a bimetallic device. It’s operation curve is an inverse
time type. Manufacturers often represents this curve in
multiples of a current called “Ir”. This current is set by the
designer and it depends on nominal load current and
restrictions made by National Electric Code.
Also plotted is the in-rush current for transformers and
nominal current.
TABLE III
TYPICAL INRUSH CURRENTS
Power
(kVA)
Time
(s)
Current
x In
500-2500 0.1 8 In
> 2500 0.1 10 – 12 In
4
F. Fuse melting curves
Low voltage fuse curves can be plotted from an existing data
base. Also, new manufacturer’s curves can be added.
Fig. 8 – Fuse properties dialog box
G. Special curves
Sometimes it is required to show special data on the protection
coordination drawing. This information can be obtained from
a hard copy catalog or any computer report. The application
has an option called “Dispositivo de Usuario”, which allows
the user to represent any curve or any points not contained into
the group of curves mentioned from A to F.
VI. EXAMPLE
The example shows a typical one-line section. The intention of
this example is to show the low voltage coordination of a
20Hp induction motor.
Industrial plants use several numbers of induction motors, in
this example, a 20Hp motor will be connected to an existing
motor control center. The application will be used to adjust the
protective devices located into a typical full voltage non-
reverse starter. The starter is equipped with a thermal relay to
protect the motor against overloads and a molded case circuit
breaker to protect the feeder against short-circuits currents.
Fig. 8 – One-line Example
First it is necessary to obtain all the required data.
- Motor: Induction type, nominal power 20Hp, 3 phase,
nominal voltage 460V, nominal current 27A (taken from table
430.150, NEC), starting current 145A (taken from table
430.151(B), NEC). Starting time assumed 3 sec.
- Feeder: Assumed length 200m, #2 AWG, insulation XLPE,
600V
- Thermal Relay: Telemecanique, Class 10, current range 23A
– 32A. Model: LRD-32
- Molded Case Circuit Breaker: Square-D, Only magnetic
circuit breaker, Mag-Gard Model: FAL3605016M
- Motor Control Center: Square-D, 480VAC, 3 phase +
Ground, Short-circuit withstand 65kA at 1 second.
- Main Breaker: Micro Versa trip, Circuit Breaker, 150A,
65kA, Current Sensor: 150A, Rating Plug: 60A, Long Time
Pickup: 1 x (Rating Plug), Long Time Delay Band: 4, I^2t: In,
Sort Time Pickup: 9 x (Long Time Pickup), Sort Time Delay
Band: 1, INST: None
- Transformer: 500 kVA, 4.16 kV / 0.48 kV, ∆-Y, solid
grounded, Z = 7%
- Short circuit currents: Typical values for short circuit current
at 480V motor control centers are between 20kA and 45 kA.
The assumed value is 38kA.
After completing all the required data, the designer engineer is
ready to star the study. Start by filling in the general
information: project name, elements to coordinate, date,
project number, revision, document number, one-line drawing
5
number, one-line image file, client image file, time and
currents limits to plot.
Fig. 9 – General properties dialog box
VII FINALREPORT
Figure 10 shows the final report for the current study. From
the report it is possible to verify that the 20 Hp new motor is
successfully added to a system. The settings for the thermal
relay are appropriate to allow the motor start. And the setting
for the circuit breaker provides an integral protection against
high currents until the real short circuit level (38kA). The
motor’s feeder is totally protected and the existing settings for
the motor control center main breaker keeps selectivity with
the downstream circuit breaker
Thermal Relay: Ir = 33.75A (Class 10)
Breaker: In = 20A, A, Trip 1300%
VIII. CONCLUSIONS ANDFUTURE WORK
This paper has discussed one of many protection coordination
studies. Protective and damage curves are shown in different
colors and the user can manage the labels, colors, line width,
one-line figure and add any other note or drawing.
This application can be performed to be used in medium
voltage systems. It is a starting point of motivation for many
design engineers to maximize the potential of the information
tools.
As a future work, the incorporation of a new module that will
verify the coordination and selectivity between protective
devices or curves has been contemplated.
The migration of this application to be used online into the
INELECTRA’s Intranet and will be accessible for all
engineers who work in Inelectra, S.A.C.A.
IX. REFERENCES
[1] IEEE, (2001) IEEE Recommended Practice for Protection
and Coordination of industrial and Commercial Power
Systems 242, ANSI/IEEE
[2] IEEE, (1990) IEEE Recommended Practice for Power
System Analysis 399, ANSI/IEEE
[3] NFPA, (2005) National Electric Code, NFPA-70.
X. BIOGRAPHIES
Alfredo Borrero was born in Caracas -
Venezuela, on December 21, 1976. He
graduated from the Simon Bolivar
University.
His employment experience includes
Inelectra, S.A.C.A., working in
hydrocarbon industry.
Michel Azarie was born in Anzoátegui -
Venezuela, on July 16, 1983. He graduated
from the “Universidad de Oriente”.
His employment experience included
Inelectra, S.A.C.A., as engineer assistance
6
0.001
0.010
0.100
1.000
10.000
100.000
1000.000
10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000
Current (Amp.)
T
i
m
e

(
s
e
c
.
)
20HP/480V/3F
MOTOR 1
RELÉ TÉRMICO
Clase 10
RELÉ MAGNÉTICO
AJUSTE - 1300
CONDUCTOR
CALIBRE: 2 - ICC: 38KA
M-VERSATRIP
S:150- RT:60
LTC: 1- LTD:4
I^2t In- STC:9- STD:1
INST: None
ICC TRIFÁSICA
Valor: 38 KAmp.
TX 1-TR3F-500KVA
CURVA DE DAÑOS
TX 1-TR3F-500KVA
1er Pico
TX 1-TR3F-500KVA
2do Pico
TX 1-TR3F-500KVA
CURVA DE DAÑOS - ANSI
TX 1-TR3F-500KVA
CORRIENTE NOMINAL
Fig.10 – Final report for current study