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Busbar protection can be realised in different ways - notably the "reverse blocking" schemes have become an

effective means of using general over-current relays on the incomers and outgoers.
Busbar differential protection can be achieved using High Impedance (Merz-Price circulating current connection CTs)
relays or Low Impedance relays. The selection of either is very much application dependant. Here are a few key
aspects to be considered.

HiZ schemes:

LoZ schemes

HiZ schemes:

LoZ schemes

Requires all CTs to be the same WINDING


Can compensate for different ratio CTs at

different locations

CTs must be class PX the specification

requirements of PX ensure the CTs are
physically identical and hence have
identical dynamic response

Possible to use class P, although PX is still

better. Bias settings can cater for potentially
different excitation curve performance of P class

All CTs must sufficient VKP according to

the formula:
Vkp > 2 x Ifmax x (Rct + Rloop)

Vkp can be lower if the relay has CT saturation

stabilisation - remembering that stabilisation
usually means blocking/delay/biasing of relay
operation in some way.

This also means it may be better to specify

only Ifmax and Rloop and request the CT
manufacturer choose Vkp and Rct to suit
the formula
Dedicated CT cores. Not recommended to
put any other devices in the loop (as that
further increases the Vkp requirement)

Does not necessarily require dedicated CT

cores, potentially using existing CT cores.
Other relays can be in the loop as CT saturation
is "tolerable" (and hence making retrofit of
busbar prot a bit easier to existing substations if
no dedicated differential PX cores available),
but remember to consider all elements,
including the existing protection performance
when CT does saturate.

Need to be very careful if you have

schemes involving CT secondary
switching (e.g. double bus topology) where
CTs may be inadvertently open circuited or
incorrectly switched by the mechanical
contacts on the isolator/circuit breaker

Far more flexible for systems with varying bus

zone topology as the zone changes are not
involving CT switching directly, however there
is still reliance on correct operation of the
mechanical contacts on the isolator/circuit

Generally involves only one simple relay

box, maybe a stabilising resistor if it is a
current pick up type device (voltage setting
devices are generally inherently high
impedance) and possibly a metrosil

Generally involves more expensive

microprocessor relays and may involve multiple
boxes/multiple input cards associated with each
CT location

HiZ schemes:

LoZ schemes

HiZ schemes:

LoZ schemes

Can develop large voltages on CT wiring

needing metrosil voltage limitation

Less likely to need metrosils

Only one relay setting (plus in some cases

the setting of the external stabilising
resistor value)

May have lots of settings for ratio, bias .... on a

per CT basis

Exceptionally simple, reliable and fast particularly the well proven (many
decades) electromechanical relays.
The trend to use electronic/microprocessor
relays needs careful understanding of relay
pick up performance with heavily saturated
waveforms such as occur in the required
critical tripping for internal faults