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Implementation of a New Protection Scheme on

a Real Distribution System in Presence of DG

S.A.M. Javadian, and M.-R. Haghifam, Senior Member, IEEE

units, increasing trend of load growth in distribution systems

Abstract--Conventional electric distribution systems are and the necessity for constructing new power plants as its
radial in nature, and are supplied through a main source. These consequence, tendency toward applying clean energies and
networks have a very simple protection system which is usually
independence from fossil fuels, have caused distributed
implemented using fuses, re-closers, and over-current relays.
Recently, great attention has been paid to applying Distributed generation to draw attention to a great extent. Presence of DGs
Generation (DG) throughout electric distribution systems. in distribution networks, like many other technologies, has
Presence of such generation units in a network, leads to losing some disadvantages along with so many advantages it can
coordination of protection devices. Therefore, it is required to have [1]-[8]. Among advantages of DGs one can mention
have an algorithm in hand which is capable of protecting
distribution systems that include DG, through diagnosis and
improvement in power quality and reliability and reduction of
isolation of occurred faults. In this paper, a new approach for loss, meanwhile using DGs leads to complexity in operation,
protecting of distribution networks in presence of DGs will be control and protection of distribution systems [1], [2].
presented. The algorithm is based on dividing an existing Injection of DGs currents to a distribution network results in
distribution network into several zones; each of them is capable losing radial configuration and consequently losing the
of operating in island operation.
existing coordination among protection devices [2]-[7]. The
The proposed scheme has been implemented on some part of a
real distribution network in Shiraz which is a large city in Iran extent at which protection coordination is affected depends on
and performance of the proposed scheme is tested on it. For the size, type and location of DG, in some cases coordination
simulating the distribution network and for implementing the is lost completely and in other cases the coordination range
relay algorithm, DIgSILENT Power Factory 13.2 and MATLAB diminishes [4], [5]. Regarding the influence of DGs on
are used respectively. protection of distribution systems, so many researches have
been performed so far as well as some researches concerning
Index Terms--Distribution Generation, Distributed System,
how to tackle the resultant problems of applying DGs [1], [8]-
[12]. In this paper a new protection scheme for distribution
systems in presence of DGs is proposed. In the proposed
I. INTRODUCTION scheme, systems protection is carried out through a computer-
based relay which is installed in sub-transmission substation.
R ADIAL distribution networks are the most conventional
configurations of distribution systems. In such networks,
feeders are extended from distribution substations
The relay determines system's status after it receives the
required network data, and in the case of fault occurrence it
diagnoses its type and its location and finally issues the proper
towards lateral feeders, in such a way that all service area is
commands for protection devices to clear the fault and to
supplied through feeders. In general, the main advantages of
restore the network.
radial configuration are its simplicity and its low cost. In
radial configuration, the number of disconnecting devices
reduces and design of a protection system is not complicated.
Conventional configuration of distribution systems has always The general idea of the proposed scheme is based on
been based on the fact that there is no distribution generation dividing the distribution system into several zones. Zoning is
in network. But in recent years, some issues like done through considering locations and generation capacities
environmental and geographical restrictions of generation of DGs along with network loads. After network zoning and
determining zones' boundaries, some switches which are
capable of operating repeatedly and quickly and are also able
This work was supported by Electric Transmission and Distribution to receive remote signals, are placed between each two zones
Laboratory (ETD-Lab) of Tarbiat Modares University (TMU), Tehran, Iran.
Seyed Ali Mohammad Javadian is Ph.D. student of power system of the system. These switches must also be equipped with
engineering in Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, check-synchronization relays. To implement the protection
Tehran, Iran (Email: scheme, it is required to place a computer-based relay with
Mahmood-Reza Haghifam is with Dept. of Electrical & Computer
Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, P.O. Box 14155-143, Iran high processing power and large storage capacity in supplying
(Email: substation (sub-transmission substation) of the distribution
network. The computer-based relay installed in sub-
978-1-4244-1762-9/08/$25.00 2008 IEEE transmission substation holds the main responsibility of
system protection and operates through steady monitoring of the device is cut off. Therefore, it is required to establish a
the currents flowing through some specific points of network. network zoning scheme which is capable of exploiting the
The specific points of network that their currents must be DGs located in the downstream network in island operation,
measured and monitored continuously are: as well as supplying DGs nearby loads to the maximum
1. All currents flowing through all DGs and main extent. Network zoning approach in this paper is based on
supplying source; considering one zone for each DG that begins from DGs bus
2. Currents flowing through isolating switches of zones; bar and extends toward the end of feeder. Zone extends as far
3. Currents flowing through all network laterals excluding as the total estimated average load of all the substations
those laterals containing DGs; located in the zone is equal to maximum capacity of zone's
In addition to the currents that are measured online and the DG. While zone extends toward downstream network, it must
relay is provided with them continuously, the following data be extended toward upstream network in the case that zone
must also be provided and stored in relay's memory as reaches the end of feeder and DGs generation capacity is still
permanent specifications of network: larger than total average load of substations located in the
1. Technical specifications of all network's equipment DGs zone, till the balance between DGs capacity and
such as distribution substations, transmission lines, average load is maintained. It must also be taken into account
existing protection devices and DGs; that if during zone extension toward the downstream network
2. Estimated hourly load curve for all loads of the for one DG, there exists another DG before violation of
network; maintaining the balance between DGs capacity and
3. All data regarding network zoning and the locations of substations' total average load, the second DG is regarded
isolating breakers; within the first DGs zone and the zone extends to the point
4. All data regarding operation of relay for different that substations' total average load is equal to summation of
faults; two DGs generation capacity. When zoning approach is
Fig. 1 shows general schematic of proposed algorithm. complete and zones are determined, it is required to place two
isolating circuit breakers at the beginning and the end of each
zone to separate the faulty zone from the rest of network
Z4 Z6 Z8
whenever a fault occurs. After zoning, distribution system is
divided into two categories of zones:

First category includes the zones that encompass DGs and

the following condition applies to them:
S CB1 Z1 CB2 Z2 CB3 Z3 P DGi = PLi , average (1)
i i

The significant point concerning this category of zones is

that at least one DG in each zone must be equipped with load
Z5 Z7 Z9 frequency control system to control the frequency of the island
in the case of fault occurrence. Regarding the technical point
that only synchronous generators have frequency control
Diagnosing Type capability, in this paper it has been assumed that all connected
Dividing and Location of
Network into the Fault
DGs to distribution system are synchronous generators and
Zones other types of DGs such as induction generators and inverter-
Offline Sending
based systems have not been modelled.
System Online
Calculation Required Signals Second category of zones comprises those zones with no
Modeling Calculation
Results for Restoration DG in them and are located among the zones with DGs, loads
Measurements in such zones is supplied through adjacent zones and the main
Performing source of supply.
Load Shedding
The reason to consider zoning procedure from the
Fig. 1. General view of proposed protection scheme.
beginning of feeder toward its end is to allow more loads to be
supplied through upstream network. This approach increases
III. DIVIDING NETWORK INTO ZONES network reliability and decreases total ENS of the system. Of
course, when DGs capacity is higher than the loads located in
Network zoning is performed to tackle with occurred faults
its downstream network, zone extension border should be
considering two major targets, first having the ability to
considered upward.
separate faulty zone from the rest of the system, and second
The reason to support the idea of considering average load
supplying the network as far as it is possible. Having in mind
in zoning is that in distribution systems, daily consumers'
the point that after connecting DGs to a radial distribution
loads are variable to a great extent. In other words, hourly
system, the physical structure of the system still remains
curve of consumers loads, and consequently substations loads,
radial, consequently when a protection device trips, electrical
have so many maximum and minimum points in such a way
connection between upstream and downstream networks of
that peak load might be four times of base load. Regarding the summation of these values is always equal to network load. If
fact that duration of peak load is short, if zoning is done based a fault occurs in some point of network, this summation
on peak load, vastness of zones containing DGs will be very suddenly increases and is greater than whole network load. In
small, and therefore more consumers will face power cut when this situation, the main relay installed in sub-transmission
a fault occurs in the system. On the contrary, if average load is substation diagnoses the fault. The situation in which
considered as the basis of zoning instead of peak load, summation of currents is zero shows that the occurred fault is
vastness of zones containing DGs will increase which will within the protection zone of one of DGs (between DG and
result in giving distribution system consumers more chance of the location that its current is measured). In these
being supplied in the case of fault occurrence. It is required to circumstances, the main relay will not issue any command to
mention that if this procedure is chosen for zoning; all let its own protection system isolate it from the rest of
distribution system loads (i.e. all distribution substations) must network. To detect fault location, currents of DGs, main
be equipped with load break switch. This enables central relay source and lateral branches are compared with the values of
to supply system loads regarding their importance and to the table that was provided through offline calculations. This
disconnect some of them to maintain the balance between idea was introduced in [1] for the first time, but it has some
generation and consumption in the case of fault occurrence in problems in diagnosis of exact location of fault and sometimes
the peak-load time. Obviously these switches must be capable encounters error and inaccuracy regarding this issue.
of receiving remote control commands as well. However, the inaccuracy in detection of fault location
decreases when number of DGs increases. But, in this scheme,
IV. OFFLINE CALCULATIONS currents flowing through lateral branches with no DG are
Offline calculations consist of load flow studies and short monitored as well, in order to ensure whether the location of
circuit analysis for all types of faults and in all points of fault has been determined correctly. This monitoring has two
network. Then for all faults, currents flowing through all DGs, advantages: first, provides main relay with more quantitative
main source and laterals are determined. Also characteristics values for doing required comparisons and consequently the
of Minimum Melting (MM) and Total Clearance (TC) of all error in determination of fault location decreases considerably,
fuses in network must be stored. Using the above second since measurements are carried out in the laterals
characteristics and storing them in relay, it is possible to containing no DG, for those faults that do not occur in these
perform software coordination of fuses and the re-closing laterals the measured current is equal to load current and this
operation; this will be discussed in section XIII. The time determines that no fault has occurred in laterals. Thus it is
before fuses to be melted is calculated out of MM possible to increase considerably the accuracy of proposed
characteristics and short circuit results. It is also needed to scheme in [1], through applying this capability.
update all calculation results for any network change. For
instance, when there is a change in network configuration, like VI. ISOLATING THE FAULTY ZONE AND RESTORING REST OF
disconnection of a line, it is required to update network THE NETWORK
admittance matrix and redo load flow and short circuit After relay diagnoses fault location and faulty part of
analysis. network is detected, it is time to isolate the faulty zone from
To have DGs currents, laterals and main source for all the rest of network and restore the network. Needed data is
types of faults and in all network buses, a table can be available in database to designate those breakers that must
provided and through comparing the above values in this issue tripping signals. The general approach is that after
table, it will be possible to diagnose the exact location and detection of faulty zone, the relay sends disconnection signal
type of fault. After diagnosis of location and type of fault, to its isolating breakers, its downstream networks CBs and all
which leads to diagnosis of faulty zone, relay sends DGs located in the faulty zone. In this situation, upstream
disconnection signals to appropriate breakers to isolate the network of faulty zone is entirely supplied through main
zone from other zones of network and consequently the faulty source and its DGs, the faulty zone faces power outage and
zone is isolated from network. In brief, procedure of offline downstream zones of faulty zone are supplied through DGs
calculations can be stated as follows: within them, if that specific zone has DG or DGs, otherwise
1. Receiving network data; faces power outage.
2. Performing load flow calculations; Considering the fact that 80 percent of faults that occur in
3. Performing short circuit analysis for all types of faults distribution networks are transient in nature (In this paper,
and in all network buses; faults lasting less than few seconds are classified as the
4. Extracting all required fault currents for each type of transient faults.), network must be capable of letting transient
fault and in each network buses; faults to be cleared. In conventional distribution systems this
5. Extracting the time which is needed network fuses not is done using re-closers, and in the proposed scheme re-
to be blown, out of MM curves; closing operation is carried out using zones isolating switches,
through main relay control. The operation procedure is that
V. ONLINE CALCULATIONS after isolation of faulty section, re-closing is performed
As it was pointed out before, synchronized three-phase through connecting zone breaker to its upstream network at
current vectors for all DGs and main source are available and the command of main relay. After each re-closing operation,
the main relay investigates network status and if the fault still monitoring of currents in the most appropriate points of
exists, relay issues disconnection command. In the case that network to make the best decision, regarding facing the lowest
fault is transient and is removed during re-closing operation, possible power cut in zones as well as maintaining the balance
relay issues re-closing as well as synchronization and between generation and consumption. In this paper, this
restoration commands. To have a successful process, it is algorithm has been implemented using continuous monitoring
required to perform re-closing operation before fuses of of currents flowing through circuit breakers that form zones.
network are beginning to melt. Regarding the point that MM This is done using the fact that at each time the whole load of
curves of all fuses are available in relay database, and the time each zone can be calculated using (2):
to avoid fuse blowing has been determined as a result of
offline calculations, consequently relay can perform re-closing PL = PCBi + PDGj ( 2)
i j
operation at proper time. Besides, re-closing operation must be
coordinated with fuses' characteristics. To achieve this In this equation PCBi indicates the whole power flows into
coordination, MM and TC curves of all fuses are stored in zone and PDGj indicates the whole power of all DGs placed
relay and relay determines and issues the best disconnection in that zone. It is obvious that negative value of PCBi for a
time of related breaker using different types of faults, their specific zone shows that generation in that zone is higher than
respective currents and curves of fuses. load of that zone and the zone exports energy to other zones.
For example, in Fig. 1, if a transient fault occurs in Z2, Considering the point that at each time relay monitors powers
relay first sends disconnecting signal to CB2, CB3, CB6, CB7, following through DGs and isolating breakers of zones, it can
CB8, CB9 and all DGs located in Z2 and then sends re-closing determine instantaneous difference between generation and
signal to CB2 to diagnose transient fault. In the end, after load of each zone, through calculating instantaneous PCBi.
clearance of fault, relay sends closing signal along with Therefore, when network faces a fault, relay can determine
synchronization to CB3, CB6, CB7, CB8, CB9 and all DGs whether there is shortage or excess of load in zones including
located in Z2 to restore the network completely. DG, using these values for the time exactly before occurrence
of fault. For those zones that must operate in island status and
VII. LOAD SHEDDING ALGORITHM their generation is more than their consumption, relay does not
There are different methods of load estimation in shed any loads and lets zones' DGs maintain the balance
distribution networks. For instance, among which one can between generation and consumption through frequency
mention installing load recorders in different points of control system existing in each zone. But, relay performs load
network that measure load at specific times and estimate shedding operation when there is overload within the zone.
network load for other times. Relay sends disconnection command to load break switches of
Due to the vastness of load estimation topic in distribution loads through considering a safety factor (for instance 1.1),
systems, this paper has not dealt with it, and for network and also considering importance of loads as well as the
zoning and operation of load shedding it is assumed that estimated values of loads at the time that fault occurs. The
hourly load curves for all substations of distribution network following equation shows the load that must be disconnected
have been estimated before, and are available for performed in each zone:
studies. Pcut = SF PCBi (3)
When it came to zoning issue, it was stated that operation i
of load shedding must be performed when network faces two
It might be possible to implement this idea through
conditions. First, a fault occurs in a zone where there exists at
modeling only some part of network loads and placing load
least one zone in its downstream network, including one or
break switches for those loads (The loads that have lower
more DGs, and the zone goes into island operation status due
importance and their summation is equal to the difference of
to the disconnection command issued by relay and consequent
peak and average loads of each zone). Obviously, this is
operation of the circuit breakers. Second, a fault occurs when
simpler and regarding economic considerations, it has lower
the load of an island zone is higher than the generation
costs. But, it is important to note that through placing load
capacity of DG or DGs within that zone, in other words the
break switches for all loads of those zones that contain DG,
load is higher than zone's average load. In these conditions if
flexibility of protection scheme increases considerably, in
disconnection of load does not happen, frequency of the zone
such a way that if generation capacity of DGs of a zone
operating in island status drops considerably and this leads the
decreases (for any reason) or even if DGs go out of operation
zone encounters power cut problem.
(due to forced outage or for maintenance), there is no need to
To perform load shedding accurately, it is required to have
change the protection algorithm of relay and the designed
all loads of substations at each time as well as their degree of
protection system will be still effective. For instance if there
importance, in order to be able to determine priority of loads
are two DGs located in one zone, and one of them goes out of
disconnection and maintain the balance between generation
operation, it is possible the remaining DG not to be able to
and consumption. This needs precise loads monitoring of each
supply load, even in minimum load regime. In this situation,
and every single of the existing substations in a distribution
the main relay disconnects loads till the balance between
network, which is very costly and is practical in no network.
generation and consumption is achieved. Of course, for this
Thus, it is required to apply some approximate approaches and
situation, and for the situation in which there is only one DG including 3 ground and 31 aerial substations. Fig. 3 shows
in a zone, and the DG has gone out of operation for any geographical position of the feeder in its surrounding network.
reason, it is needed to update network data and redo offline
calculations for the new network in order the relay avoids
wrong diagnosis of fault location. Apparently, for the situation
in which there is only one DG in a zone and that DG has gone
out of operation, the zone can be regarded as second type of
zone (zones without DG) to be needless of operation of load
shedding in that zone.
Fig. 2 illustrates the load shedding algorithm of the main

Sort all loads located in the

zone regarding their priority
Fig. 3. Geographical position of the studied distribution feeder in its
surrounding network.
P = PCBi
i Hourly Load curve of the studied distribution network in a
Q = QCBi typical day and load of the feeders buses in its average load
regime can be seen in Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 respectively.
P (kW)
L=1 1000 Q (kVar)

Stop P>0 or Q>0? 600

Yes 400

Select the Load NO. L and 200

Disconnect it
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

L =L+1 Fig. 4. Hourly Load curve of the studied distribution network in a typical day.

Fig. 2. Load shedding algorithm of the main relay.

P (kW)
Q (kVar)

Proposed algorithm in this paper has been implemented 100

using MATLAB and a software application has been provided 80

to implement designed protection scheme and to simulate 60

operation of main relay installed in sub-transmission
substation. To show the accuracy in operation of proposed
protection scheme, this part deals with real data of an existing 20

distribution network which belongs to some part of a large 0

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43
distribution system of a city named Shiraz in Iran. The studied BUS NO.
part of network in question has been simulated using the
provided software application and operation of designed Fig. 5. Load of feeders buses in its average load regime.
protection scheme has been investigated on this network. The
sample distribution network is named Sanayeh 4 which is a Three scenarios have been defined for testing the operation
medium voltage feeder with 12335m in length and is supplied of the designed protection approach, which are as follows:
through a 63/20 kV sub-transmission substation named 1. Connecting a 350 KVA diesel generator to the bus 26;
Sanayeh Substation, located in the northern Shiraz. 63/20 2. Connecting a 500 KVA diesel generator to the bus 12,
kV substation is located near to Sanayeh in Shiraz and its and a 150 KVA diesel generator to the bus 40;
forth feeder supplies three parts of Shiraz named Moali 3. Connecting a 500 KVA diesel generator to the bus 12,
Abad, Shahrak-e-Bahonar, and Farhang Shar. This a 350 KVA diesel generator to bus 23, and a 150 KVA
feeder supplies 34 20/0.4 kV distribution substations, diesel generator to the bus 40;
In all defined scenarios, all kinds of faults, in various
points of the feeder, and in different times have been during re-closing operation, the network must be restored. To
simulated and operation of the system has been tested for each make restoration, first, connection signal is sent to CB3, then,
situation. Simulation results show that the proposed protection CB4 is closed with network synchronization operation, and
system has acceptable performance in diagnosing the occurred finally connection signal with network synchronization
fault location and faulted zone and is also applicable for all operation is sent to CB5.
kinds of distributed networks with different level of To evaluate relay's load shedding algorithm, the above fault
distributed generation penetration. has to be simulated for two conditions, peak load and
Fig. 6 shows the single line diagram and zoning approach minimum load conditions. Simulation results indicate that at
of the studied distribution feeder as well as required circuit minimum load condition, relays load shedding unit sends no
breakers and their location for dividing the network into command, but at peak load condition sends disconnection
protection zones in the second scenario. command to load break switches of substations 21, 22, and 23
In this paper, in order to presenting the sequence of the in order to maintain the balance between generation and
main relays operation in case of fault occurrence along the consumption in Z2. Output result of relay simulation software
feeder, the operations of the main relay in the case of application is as follows:
following two faults are presented:
1. Single-phase to ground fault on the line connecting
The fault is single phase to ground fault.
buses 16 and 17; The faulted section is section 16 which connects bus 16 to 17.
2. Symmetrical three-phase fault on the line connecting The faulted zone is zone 2.
buses 37 and 38; CB2 ==> Opened
CB3 ==> Opened
A. Single-phase to ground fault on the line connecting buses CB4 ==> Opened
16 and 17 CB5 ==> Opened
CB2 ==> Re-closed (fast mode)
In this situation, the relay sends disconnection commands
For Transient Fault:
to CB2, CB3, CB4, and CB5 immediately after it diagnoses CB3 ==> Closed
fault type as well as it determines fault occurrence in the CB4 ==> Closed (with synchronizing function)
second zone (Z2). Thus, Z2 and Z3 face power cut and Z4 go on CB5 ==> Closed (with synchronizing function)
operating as an electric island. Then, to diagnose whether fault For Permanent Fault:
CB2 ==> Opened
is transient re-closing operation is done by CB2, this operation
CB2 ==> Re-closed (slow mode)
is also coordinated with F1 by the main relay. Obviously, there If F1 blew then:
is no need to synchronize the network during re-closing CB3 ==> Closed
operation, since Z2 has faced power outage. If the fault is CB4 ==> Closed (with synchronizing function)
permanent, F1 cuts the faulty branch and during slow re- CB5 ==> Closed (with synchronizing function)
If F1 did not blow then:
closing operation, Z2 is supplied with power and then closing
CB2 ==> Opened
signals are sent to CB3, CB4 (in parallel with network Load21==> Shed
synchronization operation), and CB5 (in parallel with network Load22==> Shed
synchronization operation). However, in the case if F1 is not Load23==> Shed
able to isolate the faulty section, CB2, CB3, CB4, and CB5 >>
remain open. Also, if the fault is transient and is cleared

Fig. 6. Single line diagram of the studied distribution feeder and its zoning after connection of DGs in the second scenario.
B. Symmetrical three-phase fault on the line connecting buses X. REFERENCES
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In this paper, an algorithm for protection of distribution Seyed Ali Mohammad Javadian Firoozabadi was
networks in presence of DG was proposed. The algorithm uses born in Iran in 1982. He received his B.Sc. degree in
Electrical Engineering in 2005 from Tehran
network zoning approach, in which each zone is an University, Tehran, Iran, and his M.Sc. degree in
independent section, capable of island operation whenever Power System Engineering from Tarbiat Modares
needed. In the proposed algorithm, after dividing distribution University, Tehran, Iran, in 2007. Now, he is Ph.D.
student of power system engineering in Islamic Azad
system into several independent zones, computer-based relay University-Science and Research Branch, Tehran,
that has been installed in sub-transmission substation, Iran. He is interested in designing protection systems
diagnoses exact fault location through making comparison for power systems, especially distribution systems
including DG as well as developing software
between needed measured currents and results of offline applications for electrical distribution systems.
calculations and sends required commands and signals to
protection devices in order to isolate the faulty zone from the Mahmood-Reza Haghifam was born in Iran in
rest of network. 1965. He received B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees
all in electrical engineering in 1988, 1990, and 1995
Besides, the algorithm has the ability to perform re-closing respectively. He is a professor of electrical
operation as well as coordination with fuses of network using engineering at Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran,
software procedures. In the end, when fault is cleared, network Iran. His main research interests are power system
restoration in addition to synchronization operation is done restructuring, electric distribution system, power
system reliability and soft computing application in
through sending re-closing commands to circuit breakers. power system. He has been published more than 200
In the end, the proposed algorithm was implemented on a technical papers in these areas. He is a Senior
real distribution network and performance of the main relay Member of IEEE and research fellow of Alexander Von Humboldt.
was tested.