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Overcoming the Difficulties in Field Testing

Series Compensated Line Protection Schemes

Benton Vandiver III, Alexander Apostolov
OMICRON electronics Corp USA
68th Annual Conference for Protective Relay Engineers
Tx A&M


AGENDA(without Time Information)


Traditional Test Methods
Method Analysis and Solutions
Remote Test Devices via Network
Series Comp Case Study
Summary / Conclusions

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> Series capacitors applied to long HV transmission lines is a proven
technology for reducing the transfer reactance and increasing loadability
> The known side affect is the effective shortening of the apparent line
length, making traditional distance protection more challenging to apply
> This means the testing of these schemes is likewise complicated
> Distance relays implement special schemes for Series Compensated
Protection depending on the status of the capacitors being in or out
> They also utilize various signal filters for the transients that are generated
> Proving these schemes has required EMTP level digital models to properly
generate the internal and external fault waveforms
> Full field testing of these schemes typically required extensive use of EtoE
COMTRADE test cases and manual analysis.
> We use a case study of a 345kV SC Line to evaluate improving the test
method and reducing the effort to perform the needed tests
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Common Test Methods

Local Relay Injection - Test Cases based on:
1. Benchtest approach using manually calculated quantities
2. Software based calculations of these same basic quantities
3. Software / Hardware simulation with test set simulating remote
relay and communications channel operations

End to End Testing Test Cases based on:

4. Software / Hardware simulation with typical sequencer tool and
GPS sync
5. Software / Hardware simulation with typical two ended fault
model and GPS sync
6. Software / Hardware simulation using COMTRADE playback of
EMTP test cases and GPS sync
Lab Based Tests Test Cases based on:
7. EMTP/ATP system model and transient fault simulation
generated COMTRADE events
8. Real Time Simulator system model and transient fault simulation

Traditional Field Test Methods

For field testing of Series Compensated Line Protection the
most common approach is to segregate the testing into two
Series Capacitors Bypassed
The protection scheme should react the same as a normal line
Testing can typically be accomplished with normal fault
Local relay injections should result in typical non-comm trip
End to End tests should result in normal scheme coordination

Series Capacitors & Scheme In Service

Almost exclusive use of COMTRADE files for End to End tests
Test Cases are a subset of those used in EMTP/ATP or Real Time
Simulator testing

Challenges of Traditional Field Test Methods

If we want to cover a reasonable spread of test cases, then we
could require testing at -20%, 10%, 50%, 90%, 120% of Line
Length each for A-N, B-C, ABC fault types. And this might be
extended to include CA-N and ABC-N faults if crucial to know.
For the Series Capacitors Bypassed Test Cases (15-25)
Manual calculations are tedious for the above number of test
cases and prone to error
Typical two ended models are adequate and more consistent
Simulation should include DC offset for closer operate times

For one Series Capacitor & Scheme In Service (15-25)

COMTRADE files from Lab Testing should be available
Organization, file naming, correct sequencing, recording of event
logs, reporting and analysis of results are required for the test
cases defined.

Time sync for the End to End testing requires knowledge, setup,
monitoring, and constant coordination between the terminals.

Field Testing What Could Go Wrong?

If you believe in Murphy....
As-built issues (i.e. different CTs),
Substitution of a VT for a CVT, or ratio compensation
Temporary switching of circuits where the prepared test
cases do not apply,
Change in test equipment used, (operational range)
Physical GPS setup issues (antenna, cabling, distance)
Manpower experience issues,
Protection device failures/substitutions,
Protection Device firmware upgrades, and
Last minute setting changes!

Test Method Improvements

If one identifies the major issues in the processes used
we should be able to also identify potential solutions.
What if we could....

simplify the time sync chores plug-n-play?

provide a single point of test execution and control for multiple
easily detect and adapt different test equipement?
improve the simulation model to handle Series Comp
provide automatic coordination of the End to End test
easily adapt any system parameters or apparatus changes?
automatically collect test results from both terminals?
include pass/fail criteria for each test case executed so
assessment is automatic?
consolidate reporting for both terminals?

E2E Traditional Setup

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Case Study of Compensation to Triggers

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Replace traditional Portable GPS with PTP

Using PTP directly in the test kit embedded system allows several
key advantages:
Elimination of extra hardware (both external and internal)
Precise internal clock synch (+/- 0.2uS) to external source
Simplified application software
Key Advantages of PTP Portable clock:
Direct Ethernet connection
Time lock to +/- 200 nanoseconds
No power supply needed (PoE)
Auto boot and Sync
300m capable lead length

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Leverage Modern Networks Upgrade PC Apps

Utility Ethernet networks or similar systems like UMTS can
provide for easy remote access, upgrading the test kit
communications system allows several key advantages:

Use common HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) traffic

Secure remote control proxy app with code/password
Exchange of test data/results minimum delay
Single point of control (Master PC) ease of use


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Leverage Modern Networks Upgrade PC App

Key Advantages of flexible system model:
Model any system configuration
Apparatus placement flexibility
Monitor nominal system values
Monitor fault values anywhere
Define relay scheme response
Easy modification of parameters

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POTT Scheme Results Measure Propogation Delay

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Series Comp Case Study

In order to make a fair comparison it was important to find a recently
commissioned Series Comp Line that was fully documented. The host
utility is very experienced in Series Comp Protection and testing. The
subject 345kV line had series capacitors at both ends and had just gone
through both an extensive EMTP lab test and field commissioning. All test
files and results plus the duplicate lab setup were available.

The case study would involve the following:

Use the same lab relays and POTT scheme with original SC settings
Time all test steps to compare to the recorded commissioning log
Build the model on site with the simulation tool and data provided
Perform a verification of system values at defined known test points
Perform testing for each operational topology matching EMTP TCs:

No series capacitors, both ends bypassed (35 TCs)

Local end series comp in service (15 TCs)
Remote end series comp in service (15 TCs)
Both ends series comp in service (30 TCs)

Compare all results for accuracy and efficiencies

Produce a comparable final report
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Series Comp Case Study

Building the SC Model onsite required the following steps:
Use the system data to define the Sources, Line, Series Cap Bank,
CTs and CVTs
Define the Relay Protection Scheme (4 Zone POTT)
Modify the graphical model of the library series comp example
CVTs relocated to line side of SCs
Revise Source 1 & 2 to include 20% reverse line impedance

Library SC Example

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Series Comp Case Study

Model Notes:
The Series Capacitor model omits the varistor and active spark gap
this limits the transient simulation of these variables.
The CT and VT/CVT models are not transient either this too limits the
overall transient waveform simulation.
The spark gap can be simulated with manual test cases after verifying
which faults would be suffcient to cause them to fire.
Final SC Model

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Series Comp Case Study

Test Case Comparisons
No Series comp A-N @ 50% LL
Verified EMTP files Prefault,
Fault, DC offset, Max currents
for both terminals
Simulator tool matched to 99.9%
of analogs
Correct relay scheme operations

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Series Comp Case Study

Test Case Comparisons
Local End (PP) Series Comp,
3Ph-N Fault @ 90% LL (fLE)
Verified EMTP files Prefault,
Fault, DC offset, Max currents for
both terminals
Simulator tool matched to 99.85%
of analogs
Correct relay scheme operations

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Series Comp Case Study

Test Case Comparisons
Remote End (FG) Series Comp,
Ph-Ph Fault @ 10% LL (fLE)
Verified EMTP files Prefault,
Fault, DC offset, Max currents for
both terminals
Simulator tool matched to
99.75% of analogs
Correct relay scheme operations

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Series Comp Case Study

Test Case Comparisons
Remote End (FG) Series Comp,
3Ph Fault @ 10% LL (fLE)
Verified EMTP files Prefault,
Fault, DC offset, Max currents
for both terminals
Simulator tool matched to
99.55% of analogs
Correct relay scheme operations

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EMTP vs Field Simulator Tool

Comparing results from start to finish:
The simulator tool was comparable for 89 of 95 field test cases. (93.7%)
Model accuracy for calculated values averaged 99.8% of EMTP values.
If test cases were limited to normal commissioning suite, (60 tests) the
simulator tool would satisfy 100% of field testing requirements.
Continued model improvement and adding transient apparatus response
will close the simulation gap for the few known deficiencies.
Based on utility documentation, man-hours required for the traditional EMTP
model design, COMTRADE files generation, field setup of the test
equipment, coordination of the test execution, event/log file downloads, and
post analysis of comparing the COMTRADE files to event files and final
report generation account for 10 days for 3 FTEs. (30 man-days)
The simulator tool tests performed required 3 man-days to setup, execute,
analyze, and report. That represents a savings of 90%.

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Leveraging network communication technologies and
precision time from PTP with a modern software
application opens a lot of new possibilities in the field
testing of complex protection systems.
The tester can simulate fault scenarios from a single
integrated application and calculate the injected5 min
2 min
quantities for all terminals.
10 min

GPS time sources via PTP networks can be near

4 min
plug-n-play for client test devices, bridging even5 long
distances into substations.
1 min
0.5 h
Mobile computers with Internet access in the field
can be used to control remote test devices without
complex network set-up.
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A single software application can control multiple test
devices via a network connection, so that executing a
synchronized shot is as simple as for a singleterminal test and the results for all terminals are
available immediately after.
5 min
2 min
Further improved field simulator models can provide
EMTP quality tests for complex power system 10 min
4 min
5 min

A central control, synchronized simulator tool with

1 min
network access can provide an order of magnitude
0.5 h
reduction in field testing time.

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5 min
2 min


10 min
4 min
5 min
1 min
0.5 h

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