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Application Experience with Line Current

Differential Relays on Three Terminal Series

Compensated Lines

Tom Roseberg

Aaron Martin

Ilija Jankovic
ABB Inc.

ABB Inc.

Outline of Presentation
Series compensated line challenges
Distance relay Protection
Line current differential protection
Bonneville Power Administration line protection
BPA Testing
BPA Results

Series compensated line

Capacitive nature of the fault
Metal Oxide Varistor operation
Spark Gap operation
Voltage inversion
Current Reversal

Series Capacitor installation


Apparent impedance of line

Distance Relay challenges

Three terminal lines
Under-reach effect for internal faults due to current infeed at
the T point
Over-reach effect for external fault due to outfeed at one

Series compensated lines

MOV Operation
Voltage inversion
Current reversal
Subharmonic oscillations

MOV operating characteristics

Series compensated line

impedance diagram

Voltage Inversion

Current inversion

Subharmonic Oscillations

Line current differential scheme

Line current differential

Not subject to

Voltage Inversions
Power Swings
CCVT transients

Simple Kirchoffs law : If Ilocal Iremote > 0, then

internal fault
However, it is communication dependent !

Current differential operating


Line charging current

Multi terminal line

BPA Service Territory

BPA 500kV operation

Use series compensated lines with MOV to limit voltage
across capacitor to 2.0 2.5 per unit.
Bypass breaker closes when accumulated energy or
MOV current exceeds preset threshold
Bypass breaker remains closed during single pole trip
and reclose operation ( 1.4 1.7 seconds)
Series capacitors on unfaulted phases remain in service
leading to short term load current unbalance which
relays must allow.

BPA reliability criteria at 500kV

Two redundant sets of relays
Two redundant communications systems
1 cycle operation for close in, high magnitude faults
Additional cycle for communication aided tripping

Relays being replaced

2 redundant sets of static travelling wave relays
Each operating in parallel with static distance relay
Logic for single pole operation done with e/m auxiliary
relays with static timers

Single pole communication independent Zone 1

Communication independent mode wave detectors
Permissive zone 2
Permissive travelling wave detectors

Single pole communication independent:
Zone 1 distance
wave detectors

Permissive Communications aided:

zone 2
travelling wave detectors

Back up time delayed protection

Directional overcurrent

Travelling wave units no longer available

Replacement all in one microprocessor unit
BPA replacing analog microwave with digital communications channel
Line current differential now viable

BPA Protection Challenge

New relays had to combine fully functional single pole
line distance relay for series compensated line with a
fully functional single pole line current differential relay.
Since not practical to upgrade communications
equipment with relay replacement, new relays at some
locations had to operate with older communications
equipment till upgraded.
When the digital communications is available, the relays
are connected for relay to relay communications and
line current differential function is turned on.

Operation of new BPA protection

Primary single pole trip
Line current differential relay
Communications independent Zone 1
Permissive Zone 2

Back up three pole tripping

Time delayed ground and phase distance element
Directional ground overcurrent

Back up three pole tripping uses

Multi phase faults
Evolving faults
Failure to reclose
Reclose into fault
For a fault that occurs after successful reclose but
before reset time
External events such as breaker failure
Reclosing is blocked for all back up trips

Fault data from EMTP studies used to test settings,
programming, and performance of the protection
EMTP fault files are created to explore relay operations
for difficult system conditions

Heavily loaded systems with maximum series compensation

Longer lines
Terminals that have weak sources
Three terminal lines
Lines that share the same corridor with heavy mutual coupling

All fault types studied

Modeled protected line

Faults chosen
Faults were simulated on the line side of the series capacitors at both ends of the
line. For these cases the series capacitors will bypass during the fault operation.
Faults were simulated on the line near each terminal, but far enough out on the
line such that the series capacitors are fully in service.
High resistive line to ground faults similar to one that occurred on the BPA in 2006
was also included for testing.
The faults were rotated between phases to provide a more thorough test of the
internal logic in the relays.
The faults were run with an average line load of 1000 megawatts and also with an
emergency line load of 2100 to 2300 megawatts.
The ground faults were run with varying values of ground resistance up to 100

Fault I1 A Ground 9.4 miles from Grizzly


Test I1
Single line to ground fault near one terminal
1000 MW load
1 set of series capacitors in service
Under heavy load line is nearly 100% compensated, this limits the ability
to set zone 1.
For most faults zone 1 will not operate
Distance relay will operate by permissive tripping logic
Line differential will operate normally
During reclose dead time line will have to loaded phases on one open
phase creating 3IO on this line and adjacent lines
A four reactor scheme is used at terminal 1 to extinguish the secondary

I1 results


Differential trip time = 20ms

Differential trip time = 17.5 ms

Permissive trip time = 37 ms

Permissive trip time = 37 ms

Breaker trip output = 20ms

Breaker trip output = 17.5 ms

Summer Lake
Differential trip time = 17 ms
Permissive trip time = 37 ms
Breaker trip output = 17ms

Grizzly Trip Test I1

Grizzly Trip and Reclose Test I1

I 16 BC-G Fault near Summer Lake


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Test I16

B phase to C phase to ground fault

Zone 1 will not operate for most faults

Distance will operate by permissive trip logic

Line differential will operate normally

Since this is multi phase fault all terminals will

trip 3 pole and block reclosing

Back up three pole trip will be sent to all


Test I16 Results



Differential trip time = 23ms

Differential trip time = 19ms

Permissive trip time = 50ms

Permissive trip time = 39ms

Breaker trip output = 23ms

Breaker trip output = 19ms

Summer Lake
Differential trip time = 19ms
Permissive trip time = 48ms
Breaker trip output = 19ms

Grizzly Trip Test I16

I28 North of Sand Spring B phase to ground , 100

Ohm fault resistance



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Test I 28

Phase B to ground fault with 100 Ohm ground resistance

Heavily loaded line 2300MW

All series compensation in service

Zone 2 settings limited by load and sub harmonic


As fault resistance increases Zone 2 elements have

difficulty detecting the fault.

If more than one Zone 2 elements fail to detect the fault,

then the distance elements will not trip

Time delayed directional ground overcurrent element

provides back up to distance elements

Test I28 results



Differential trip time = 26ms

Differential trip time = 26ms

Permissive bit transmit = 37ms

(no permissive trip)

Permissive trip time = NA

Breaker trip output = 26ms

Breaker trip output = 26ms

(no permissive trip)

Summer Lake
Differential trip time = 26ms
Permissive trip time = NA (no permissive trip)
Breaker trip output = 26ms

Grizzly trip Test I28

External Fault E13 on Ponderosa 500kV TX1 A -G



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External fault E13 on Ponderosa 500kV

Phase A to ground fault at Ponderosa on the bus

side of the line breaker

Zone 2 at both terminals will operate and transmit

the permissive signal to Ponderosa.

At Ponderosa, zone 3 will pick up and block

permissive tripping at all terminals.

Test check coordination between remote zone 2

and local zone 3 relays.

Differential will not operate because this is an

external fault

External fault E13 results



Differential trip time = did not op

Differential trip time = did not op

Permissive bit transmit = 42ms

Permissive bit transmit = 17ms

Breaker trip output = did not op

Breaker trip output = did not op

Summer Lake
Differential trip time = did not op
Zone 3 pick up time = 14ms
Breaker trip output = did not op

Ponderosa Test E13



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Distance elements are used along with line

current differential elements for this protection

The line current differential complements the

distance function

Line current differential has no setting or

operational issues when a series compensated
line is either adjacent to or in the zone of

Line current differential has the same operating

quantities at each terminal, so the tripping time
is the same for each terminal.



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EMTP results have shown the line current

differential relays are stable at the more
sensitive settings and give proper single pole
operation for ground faults with higher values of
fault resistance.

Ground faults that used to be cleared by time

delayed back up three pole tripping are now
properly cleared single pole with reclosing.

The addition of the line current differential

element significantly improved the overall
performance of the new protective relay system.

Questions ?


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