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The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) defines a relay as “an electric
device that is designed to interpret input conditions in a prescribed manner and after specified
conditions are met to respond to cause contact operation as similar abrupt change in associated
electric control circuits”.

Any unwanted operation or a non-operation can equally result in major system upsets. To
differentiate between these two levels, a protection engineer has to be fully conversant and
knowledgeable not only with the protection relay subject but also the protected equipments like
generators, motors, transformers, transmission lines, distribution etc. For example, if a
protection engineer is not clear about the principles of transformers, he will not be able to
handle the protection of the transformers effectively.

TNEB’s policy has always been to the modern trends on protection system then and there
and to give opportunities to its engineers to have the latest philosophy of the system. The
TNEB engineers are well exposed to the protection field and are being responsible for the
application of modern systems.

Now the experienced engineers of the TNEB in the field of protection have developed a
manual, sharing their experiences.

The objective of this manual is to help the field protection engineers carry out their works
effectively to the extent possible. There may be different opinions about some of the points
given in this manual. This is natural since protection though a science is an art by itself and any
art can not be defined or contained in a shell. It could be practically seen that decisions in
protection field are depending upon individuals mainly. This manual is to furnish a minimum
common base for the protection “art”

The topics chosen are grouped in separate chapters dealing with major area Power system
protection and the power line carrier communication. A sample calculation of fault levels of a
small substation is given to generate the idea on the very important area to be familiarised by
any protection engineer.

Subjects like design, application, principles etc are not dealt with since these are available
in various textbooks and brochures of relay manufactures. Care has been taken to include
materials, which are not normally available in text books and relay manuals. Importance has
been given to provide information and guidelines to the field engineers on the
precommissioning, commissioning, periodical maintenance and analysis of relay operations.

The provision of such a manual was suggested in response to Chairman’s D.O.Letter No.
SE/CHO/D 493223 DT 08.07.99 seeking suggestion from various officers. It is not known
which officer has actually suggested this, but the subsequent efforts taken by our Chairman
Thiru. R. Poornalingam IAS., has broughtout this publication. The engineering fraternity
should thank our chairman for having been the starter and keeping a constant drive to achieve
the goal.