High-Impedance Fault Detection with the F60 Universal Relay

Bruce Buxkemper Optima Systems, Inc. College Station, Texas Consultant to GE Power Management

Agenda
• • • • • Definition of a high-impedance (HiZ) fault Theory of operation Security and sensitivity analyses Settings Field tests to date

Optima Systems, Inc.
• • • • • Specialize in software and embedded systems Designed research prototypes for Texas A&M Designed first GE HiZ product Consultant to GE for integrating HiZ in UR Located in College Station, Texas (www.Optima-Systems.com)

Definition
A high-impedance (HiZ) fault is one that draws too little current to operate conventional overcurrent protection (fuses, relays, etc.).

Feeder Currents 10.000 1.000 A M P S 100 10 1 HiZ Fault Load Bolted Fault .

200 A Fuse: 30K (no operation) Test Duration: 12-1/2 minutes Ia Ib Ic In .Typical Fault Current Behavior 200 R M 150 S 100 A M P 50 S 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 TIME (SECONDS) 90 100 110 120 Bolted Fault Current: 2.

) • Broken line on ground .Causes • Contact with tree limb or other object • Broken hardware allowing primary to sag • Contaminated or failing equipment (insulators. etc.

Reality: HiZ faults often draw less current than loads.Misconception #1 Misconception: Properly set. making overcurrent protection impossible. overcurrent protection will clear all faults. .

.Misconception #2 Misconception: Sensitive ground protection will clear HiZ faults. Reality: Unbalanced loads limit sensitivity of ground protection.

moisture evaporates. fault current decreases as conductor burns.Misconception #3 Misconception: Over time. . O/C protection seldom operates after first minute or so. sand fuses. fault current will increase and operate protection. etc. Reality: In most cases.

Misconception #4 Misconception: Faults always clear on my system. but line crews report many downed conductors are still hot when they arrive on scene. Reality: Engineering staffs believe HiZ fault rate is low. .

but no known technology can detect all HiZ faults reliably and securely.Misconception #5 Misconception: TAMU/GE technology will solve all my HiZ problems. . Reality: This technology will detect many faults that overcurrent technology cannot.

Primary Protection Philosophies • Overcurrent protection – Protect power system • HiZ protection – Protect people and property .

substation monitoring • Texas A&M University looked at nonfundamental frequency current • Seven patents • GE licensed technology in early 1990s .Research History • EPRI targeted problem in late 1970s • Constraint: Passive.

Detection Requirements • • • • Driven by utility workshops High speed operation not desired Allow conventional protection to operate Distinguish arcing on pole from downed conductor • Don't false operate! .

Characteristics of Arcing Faults • • • • Little effect on voltage Small fault current Current not steady state Significant harmonic and non-harmonic current • No single parameter uniformly responsive .

Detection Concepts • Monitor multiple parameters simultaneously • Use multiple detection techniques • Use time to distinguish arcing from transients .

4th. 2-1/2. …) – Small ambient level – Affected by inrush • Non harmonics (1/2. …) – Small ambient level . 1-1/2. 5th. …) – Largest increase – Smallest relative increase • Even harmonics (2nd.Detection Parameters • Odd harmonics (3rd.

Normal System Behavior .

Normal System Behavior .

Fault Behavior .

Fault Behavior .

Basic Arc Algorithms • Energy algorithm – Monitor parameter continuously – Look for sudden sustained increase • Randomness algorithm – Monitor parameter continuously – Look for sudden increase in variability .

Expert Arc Detector Algorithm • Monitor outputs of basic arc algorithms • Increase confidence level… – Based upon multiple algorithms' indications – Based upon persistent indications • Operate on per-phase basis .

Load Pattern Analyzer Algorithm • Monitor output of Expert Arc Detector • Monitor load flags – Overcurrent – High rate of change – Three-phase events • Perform coordination • Require continued arcing • Distinguish downed conductor from arcing .

Simplified Block Diagram Ia Ib Ic Parameter 12 Processing (DSP) 1/0 Energy Algorithm 12 % % Expert Arc Detector % % Load Pattern Analyzer Arcing In Randomness 12 Algorithm 12 Overcurrent High Rate of Change Loss of Load Three-phase Event Coordination Timeout Even Harmonic Level Voltage Downed Conductor .

High-Level Logic Behavior .

High-Level Logic Behavior .

Sensitivity Tests • Texas A&M University's facility – 12. overhead – 2000+ amps available fault current – 30K fuse to coordinate with upstream protection • Substation monitoring point – 1-3 MVA nominal load – UR connected to existing CTs. PTs – UR installed long-term .47/7.2 kV multi-grounded wye.

Sensitivity Tests (cont'd) • Three sets of tests to date – September 27. 2000 – October 26. 2000 – November 8. 2000 • Tests remaining (tentative dates) – November 1. 2000 – October 5. 2000 .

Sensitivity Test Summary (Three-Day Totals) Total Tests Blew 30K Fuse Quickly 34 (17) No Fault Current Total Detectable Total Detected (2) 15 11 (73%) .

Test Surfaces Used • • • • Grassy ground Bared ground Reinforced concrete Non-reinforced concrete .

Response Procedure • Factors suggesting tripping – Heavily populated areas (especially schools.) – Highly flammable conditions • Reasons to delay tripping • Need written procedure . etc.

Response Procedure • Factors suggesting tripping • Reasons to delay tripping – – – – Loss of traffic signals. Personal injuries (darkened stairways. etc.) Hospitals Location difficulty when circuit not energized • Need written procedure . etc.

org/groups/td/dist/documents/highz.pdf) .Response Procedure • Factors suggesting tripping • Reasons to delay tripping • Need written procedure – IEEE Power System Relay Committee WG D15 (http://grouper.ieee.

Levels of Alarms • Downed Conductor – Arcing following O/C or loss of load – Most serious • Arcing Alarm • Arcing Suspected Alarm .

– May indicate downed conductor on lightly loaded lateral • Arcing Suspected Alarm . etc. failing equipment.Levels of Alarms • Downed Conductor • Arcing Alarm – May indicate tree contact.

Levels of Alarms • Downed Conductor • Arcing Alarm • Arcing Suspected Alarm – Possible intermittent tree contact. etc. – Least serious .

HiZ User Settings • • • • • • Arcing Sensitivity OC Protection Coordination Timeout Phase/Ground OC Min Pickup Phase/Ground Rate of Change Loss of Load Threshold 3-Phase Event Threshold .

HiZ User Settings (cont’d) • • • • Phase/Ground Event Count Event Count Time Voltage Supervision Threshold Even Harmonic Restraint .

Arcing Sensitivity Setting • • • • Range 1-10 (10 = most sensitive) Determines arc confidence threshold Determine how many times to confirm Indirectly affects speed of operation .

so timeout must be short enough that significant arcing still exists .OC Coordination Timeout Setting • Determines minimum operating time • Arcing must continue after timeout • Need to balance speed with reliability – Long enough to allow conventional protection to sectionalize – Fault current often decreases over time.

O/C Min Pickup Setting • Used to recognize downed conductor • Determines current at which to inhibit arc detection (temporarily) .