You are on page 1of 18

Static Relay

The static relay is the combination of both the static and the electromagnetic relay. In this relay,
there is no armature and moving contacts and response is developed by the components without
mechanical motion. The solid state components used are transistors, diodes, resistors, capacitor
and so on. In the static relay, the measurement is performed by electronic, magnetic, optical or
another component without mechanical motion.
The static components of a static relay are shown in the figure below. Here the relaying quantity,
i.e., the output of a CT or PT of a transducer is rectified by the rectifier. The rectified output is
given to a measuring unit constitute of comparators, level detectors, and logic circuits. The
output is actuated when the dynamic input, i.e. the relaying quantity attains the threshold value.

e output of the measuring unit is fed to the output unit devices after it is amplified by the
amplifiers. The output unit activates the trip coil only when the relay operates. The relaying
quantity such as the voltage and current is rectified and measured. When the quantity under
measurement attains certain well-defined value, the output device is energized and hence, the
circuit breaker trip is triggered.
The static relay can be arranged to respond to electrical inputs. The other types of input such as
heat, light, magnetic field, traveling waves, etc., can be suitably converted into equivalent analog
and digital signal and then supplied to the static relay

Advantages of Static Relay

The power consumption of the static relay is much lower and thereby decrease the burden
on the instrument transformer and increased its accuracy.

The static relay has the quick response, long life, shockproof, fewer problems of
maintenance, high reliability and a high degree of accuracy.

Quick reset action, a high reset value and the absence of overshoot can be easily achieved
because of the absence of thermal storage.

Ease of providing amplification enables greater sensitivity to be obtained.

The risk of unwanted tripping is less with static relays.

Static relays are quite suitable for earthquakes prone areas, ships, vehicles, airplanes, etc.,
This is because of high resistance to shock variation.

A static protection control and monitoring system can perform several functions such as
protection, monitoring, data acquisition measurement, memory, indication, etc.,

Limitations of Static Relay

Some components are sensitive to electrostatic discharges.Even small charges can

damage the components, and therefore precautions are necessary for the manufacturing of
static relays to avoid components failures due to electrostatic discharges.

Static relays are sensitive to voltage spikes or voltage transients. Special measures are
taken to avoid such problems.

The reliability of the system depends on a large number of small components and their
electrical components.

The static relay has low short-time overload capacity as compared to electromagnetic

Static relays are costlier, for simple and single function than their equivalent
electromechanical counterparts. But for multi-functional protection, static relay proves

Highly trained personnel are required for their servicing.

Static relays are not very robust in construction and easily affected by surrounding

Baised diff protection.

Generally Differential protection is provided in the electrical power

transformer rated more than 5MVA. The Differential Protection of
Transformer has many advantages over other schemes of protection.

The faults occur in the transformer inside the insulating oil can
be detected by Buchholz relay. But if any fault occurs in the
transformer but not in oil then it can not be detected by Buchholz
relay. Any flash over at the bushings are not adequately covered
by Buchholz relay. Differential relays can detect such type of
faults. Moreover Buchholz relay is provided in transformer for
detecting any internal fault in the transformer but Differential
Protection scheme detects the same in more faster way.
The differential relays normally response to those faults which
occur in side the differential protection zone of transformer.
Differential Protection Scheme in a Power Transformer
Principle of Differential Protection

Principle of Differential Protection scheme is one simple

conceptual technique. The differential relay actually compares between
primary current and secondary current of power transformer, if any
unbalance found in between primary and secondary currents the
relay will actuate and inter trip both the primary and secondary
circuit breaker of the transformer.
Suppose you have one transformer which has primary rated current Ip
and secondary current Is. If you install CT of ratio Ip/1A at the
primary side and similarly, CT of ratio Is/1A at the secondary side of
the transformer. The secondaries of these both CTs are connected
together in such a manner that secondary currents of both CTs will
oppose each other. In other words, the secondaries of both CTs
should be connected to the same current coil of a differential relay
in such an opposite manner that there will be no resultant current in
that coil in a normal working condition of the transformer. But if any
major fault occurs inside the transformer due to which the normal
ratio of the transformer disturbed then the secondary current of

both transformers will not remain the same and one resultant
current will flow through the current coil of the differential relay,
which will actuate the relay and inter trip both the primary and
secondary circuit breakers. To correct phase shift of current because
of star - delta connection of transformer winding in the case of
three-phase transformer, the current transformer secondaries should
be connected in delta and star as shown here.

At maximum through fault current, the spill output produced by the

small percentage unbalance may be substantial. Therefore,
differential protection of transformer should be provided with a
proportional bias of an amount which exceeds in effect the
maximum ratio deviation.

What is Buchholz Relay ?

Construction of Buchholz Relay

Buchholz relay in transformer is an oil container housed the

connecting pipe from main tank to conservator tank. It has mainly
two elements. The upper element consists of a float. The float is
attached to a hinge in such a way that it can move up and down
depending upon the oil level in the Buchholz relay Container. One
mercury switch is fixed on the float. The alignment of mercury
switch hence depends upon the position of the float. The lower
element consists of a baffle plate and mercury switch. This plate is
fitted on a hinge just in front of the inlet (main tank side) of
Buchholz relay in transformer in such a way that when oil enters
in the relay from that inlet in high pressure the alignment of the
baffle plate along with the mercury switch attached to it, will

In addition to
these main elements a Buchholz relay has gas release pockets on

top. The electrical leads from both mercury switches are taken out
through a molded terminal block.
Buchholz Relay Principle
The Buchholz relay working principle of is very simple.
Buchholz relay function is based on very simple mechanical
phenomenon. It is mechanically actuated. Whenever there will be a
minor internal fault in the transformer such as an insulation faults
between turns, break down of core of transformer, core heating, the
transformer insulating oil will be decomposed in different
hydrocarbon gases, CO2 and CO. The gases produced due to
decomposition of transformer insulating oil will accumulate in the
upper part the Buchholz container which causes fall of oil level in it.

Fall of oil level means lowering the position of float and thereby
tilting the mercury switch. The contacts of this mercury switch are
closed and an alarm circuit energized. Sometime due to oil leakage
on the main tank air bubbles may be accumulated in the upper part
the Buchholz container which may also cause fall of oil level in it
and alarm circuit will be energized. By collecting the accumulated
gases from the gas release pockets on the top of the relay and by
analyzing them one can predict the type of fault in the transformer.
More severe types of faults, such as short circuit between phases or
to earth and faults in the tap changing equipment, are accompanied
by a surge of oil which strikes the baffle plate and causes the
mercury switch of the lower element to close. This switch energized
the trip circuit of the circuit breakers associated with the
transformer and immediately isolate the faulty transformer from the
rest of the electrical power system by inter tripping the circuit
breakers associated with both LV and HV sides of the transformer.
This is how Buchholz relay functions.
Buchholz Relay Operation Certain Precaution

The Buchholz relay operation may be actuated without any fault

in the transformer. For instance, when oil is added to a transformer,
air may get in together with oil, accumulated under the relay cover
and thus cause a false Buchholz relay operation.

That is why mechanical lock is

provided in that relay so that one can lock the movement of
mercury switches when oil is topping up in the transformer. This
mechanical locking also helps to prevent unnecessary movement of
breakable glass bulb of mercury switches during transportation of
the Buchholz relays.
The lower float may also falsely operate if the oil velocity in the
connection pipe through, not due to internal fault, is sufficient to
trip over the float. This can occurs in the event of external short
circuit when over currents flowing through the winding cause
overheated the copper and the oil and cause the oil to expand.

Definition of Protective Relay

A relay is automatic device which senses an abnormal condition of
electrical circuit and closes its contacts. These contacts in turns close

and complete the circuit breaker trip coil circuit hence make the circuit
breaker tripped for disconnecting the faulty portion of the electrical
circuit from rest of the healthy circuit. Now lets have a discussion
on some terms related to protective relay. Pickup Level of
Actuating Signal: The value of actuating quantity (voltage or
current) which is on threshold above which the relay initiates to be
operated. If the value of actuating quantity is increased, the
electromagnetic effect of the relay coil is increased and above a
certain level of actuating quantity the moving mechanism of the
relay just starts to move.
Reset Level: The value of current or voltage below which a relay
opens its contacts and comes in original position. Operating Time
of Relay: Just after exceeding pickup level of actuating quantity the
moving mechanism (for example rotating disc) of relay starts
moving and it ultimately close the relay contacts at the end of its
journey. The time which elapses between the instant when actuating
quantity exceeds the pickup value to the instant when the relay
contacts close. Reset Time of Relay: The time which elapses
between the instant when the actuating quantity becomes less than
the reset value to the instant when the relay contacts returns to its
normal position. Reach of Relay: A distance relay operates
whenever the distance seen by the relay is less than the prespecified impedance. The actuating impedance in the relay is the
function of distance in a distance protection relay. This impedance
or corresponding distance is called reach of the relay. Power system
protection relays can be categorized into different types of relays.
Types of Relays
Types of protection relays are mainly based on their characteristic,
logic, on actuating parameter and operation mechanism. Based on
operation mechanism protection relay can be categorized as
electromagnetic relay, static relay and mechanical relay. Actually relay
is nothing but a combination of one or more open or closed

contacts. These all or some specific contacts the relay change their
state when actuating parameters are applied to the relay. That
means open contacts become closed and closed contacts become
open. In electromagnetic relay these closing and opening of relay
contacts are done by electromagnetic action of a solenoid. In
mechanical relay these closing and opening of relay contacts are
done by mechanical displacement of different gear level system. In
static relay it is mainly done by semiconductor switches like thyristor. In
digital relay on and off state can be referred as 1 and 0 state. Based
on Characteristic the protection relay can be categorized as1.

Definite time relays

Inverse time relays with definite minimum time(IDMT)
Instantaneous relays.
IDMT with inst.
Stepped characteristic.
Programmed switches.
Voltage restraint over current relay.

Based on of logic the protection relay can be categorized as1.

Neutral displacement.
Restricted earth fault.
Over fluxing.
Distance schemes.
Bus bar protection.
Reverse power relays.
Loss of excitation.
Negative phase sequence relays etc.
Based on actuating parameter the protection relay can be
categorized as1.

Current relays.
Voltage relays.
Frequency relays.

Power relays etc.
Based on application the protection relay can be categorized as1.
Primary relay.
Backup relay.
Primary relay or primary protection relay is the first line of power
system protection whereas backup relay is operated only when
primary relay fails to be operated during fault. Hence backup relay
is slower in action than primary relay. Any relay may fail to be
operated due to any of the following reasons,

The protective relay itself is defective.

DC Trip voltage supply to the relay is unavailable.
Trip lead from relay panel to circuit breaker is disconnected.
Trip coil in the circuit breaker is disconnected or defective.
Current or voltage signals from CT or PT respectively is
As because backup relay operates only when primary relay fails,
backup protection relay should not have anything common with
primary protection relay. Some examples of Mechanical Relay are-


OT trip (Oil Temperature Trip)
WT trip (Winding Temperature Trip)
Bearing temp trip etc.
Float type
Water level Controls etc.
Pressure switches.
Mechanical interlocks.
Pole discrepancy relay.

List Different Protective Relays are used for Different Power

System Equipment Protection
Now lets have a look on which different protective relays are used
in different power system equipment protection schemes.

Functional Characteristics
of Protective Relaying
The principal function of protective relaying is to cause the prompt removal
from service of any element of the power system when it starts to operate in an
abnormal manner or interfere with the effective operation of the rest of the
In order that protective relay system may perform this function satisfactorily,
it should have the following qualities :
1. Selectivity
2. Speed
3. Sensitivity
4. Reliability
5. Simplicity
6. Economy


It is the ability of the protective system to select correctly that part

of the system in trouble and disconnect the faulty part without
disturbing the rest of the system.

A well designed and efficient relay system should be selective i.e. it

should be able to detect the point at which the fault occurs and cause the
opening of the circuit breakers closest to the fault with minimum or no
damage to the system.
This can be illustrated by referring to the single line diagram of a portion of a
typical power system shown in figure below. It may be seen that circuit
breakers are located in the connections to each power system element in order
to make it possible to disconnect only the faulty section.

If a fault occurs at bus-bars on the last zone, then only breakers nearest to the
fault viz. 10, 11, 12 and 13 should open. In fact, opening of any other breaker to
clear the fault will lead to a greater part of the system being disconnected.

Single Line Diagram of a portion of Power System

In order to provide selectivity to the system, it is a usual practice to divide the

entire system into several protection zones. When a fault occurs in a given
zone, then only the circuit breakers within that zone will be opened. This will
isolate only the faulty circuit or apparatus, leaving the healthy circuits intact.
The system can be divided into the following protection zones :

(a) generators

(b) low-tension switchgear

(c) transformers

(d) high-tension switchgear

(e) transmission lines

It may be seen in above figure that there is certain amount of overlap between
the adjacent protection zones. For a failure within the region where two
adjacent zones overlap, more breakers will be opened than the minimum

But if there were no overlap, a failure in the region between zones would not
lie in either region and, therefore, no breaker would be opened. For this
reason, a certain amount of overlap is provided between the adjacent zones.

The relay system should disconnect the faulty section as fast as possible for the
following reasons :

Electrical apparatus may be damaged if they are made to carry the fault
currents for a long time.

A failure on the system leads to a great reduction in the system voltage.

If the faulty section is not disconnected quickly, then the low voltage
created by the fault may shut down consumers motors and the generators
on the system may become unstable.

The high speed relay system decreases the possibility of development of

one type of fault into the other more severe type.
The ultimate goal of protective relaying is to disconnect a faulty system
element as quickly
as possible. Sensitivity and selectivity are essential to assure that
the proper circuit breakers
will be tripped, but speed is the 'pay-off'.

It is the ability of the relay system to operate with low value of
actuating quantity.
Sensitivity of a relay is a function of the volt-amperes input to the coil of the

The smaller the volt-ampere input required to cause relay operation, the
more sensitive is the relay.

Thus, a 1 VA relay is more sensitive than a 3 VA relay. It is desirable that relay

system should be sensitive so that it operates with low values of volt-ampere


It is the ability of the relay system to operate under the predetermined conditions. Without reliability, the protection would be
rendered largely ineffective and could even become a liability.
That protective-relaying equipment must be reliable is a basic requirement.
When protective relaying fails to function properly, the allied mitigation
features are largely ineffective. Therefore, it is essential that protectiverelaying equipment be inherently reliable, and that its application,
installation, and maintenance be such as to assure that its maximum
capabilities will be realized.

The relaying system should be simple so that it can be easily maintained.
Reliability is closely related to simplicity. The simpler the protection
scheme, the greater will be its reliability

In an over current relay or o/c relay the actuating quantity is

only current. There is only one current operated element in the relay,
no voltage coil etc. are required to construct this protective relay.
Working Principle of Over Current Relay
In an over current relay, there would be essentially a current coil.
When normal current flows through this coil, the magnetic effect
generated by the coil is not sufficient to move the moving element
of the relay, as in this condition the restraining force is greater than
deflecting force. But when the current through the coil increased,
the magnetic effect increases, and after certain level of current, the
deflecting force generated by the magnetic effect of the coil, crosses
the restraining force, as a result, the moving element starts moving
to change the contact position in the relay.

Although there are different types of over current relays but

basic working principle of over current relay is more or less
same for all.

Types of Over Current Relay

Depending upon time of operation, there are various types of Over
Current relays, such as,

Instantaneous over current relay.
Definite time over current relay.
Inverse time over current relay.
Inverse time over current relay or simply inverse OC relay is
again subdivided as inverse definite minimum time (IDMT), very
inverse time, extremely inverse time over current relay or OC
Instantaneous Over Current Relay

Construction and working principle of instantaneous over current

relay quite simple.

Here generally a magnetic core is wound by current coil. A piece of

iron is so fitted by hinge support and restraining spring in the relay,
that when there is not sufficient current in the coil, the NO contacts
remain open. When current in the coil crosses a present value, the
attractive force becomes sufficient to pull the iron piece towards the
magnetic core and consequently the no contacts are closed.
The preset value of current in the relay coil is referred as pick up
setting current. This relay is referred as instantaneous over
current relay, as ideally, the relay operates as soon as the current
in the coil gets higher than pick up setting current. There is no
intentional time delay applied. But there is always an inherent time
delay which can not be avoided practically. In practice the operating
time of an instantaneous relay is of the order of a few milliseconds.

Definite Time Over Current Relay

This relay is created by applying intentional time delay after

crossing pick up value of the current. A definite time over current
relay can be adjusted to issue a trip output at definite amount of
time after it picks up. Thus, it has a time setting adjustment and
pick up adjustment.
Inverse Time Over Current Relay

Inverse time is a natural character of any induction type rotating

device. This means the speed of rotation of rotating art of the
device is faster if input current is increased. In other words, time of
operation inversely varies with input current. This natural
characteristic of electromechanical induction disc relay in very
suitable for over current protection. This is because, in this relay, if
fault is more severe, it would be cleared more faster. Although time
inverse characteristic is inherent to electromechanical induction disc
relay, but the same characteristic can be achieved in microprocessor
based relay also by proper programming.
Inverse Definite Minimum Time Over Current Relay or IDMT O/C Relay

Ideal inverse time characteristics can not be achieved, in an over

current relay. As the current in the system increases, the secondary
current of the current transformer is increased proportionally. The
secondary current is fed to the relay current coil. But when the CT
becomes saturated, there would not be further proportional increase
of CT secondary current with increased system current.
From this phenomenon it is clear that from trick value to certain
range of faulty level, an inverse time relay shows exact inverse
characteristic. But after this level of fault, the CT becomes saturated
and relay current does not increase further with increasing faulty
level of the system. As the relay current is not increased further,
there would not be any further reduction in time of operation in the

relay. This time is referred as minimum time of operation. Hence,

the characteristic is inverse in the initial part, which tends to a
definite minimum operating time as the current becomes very high.
That is why the relay is referred as inverse definite minimum
time over current relay or simply IDMT relay