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Line Protection With Distance Relays

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Line Protection

Line Protection With Distance Relays

Distance relaying should be considered when overcurrent relaying is too slow or is not selective. Distance relays are generally used for phase-fault primary and back-up protection on subtransmission lines, and on transmission lines where high-speed automatic reclosing is not necessary to maintain stability and where the short time delay for end-zone faults can be tolerated.

Overcurrent relays have been used generally for ground-fault primary and back-up protection, but there is a growing trend toward distance relays for ground faults also. Single-step distance relays are used for phase-fault back-up protection at the terminals of generators. Also, single-step distance relays might be used with advantage for back-up protection at power-transformer banks, but at the present such protection is generally provided by inverse-time overcurrent relays. Distance relays are preferred to overcurrent reIays because they are not nearly so much affected by changes in short-circuit-current magnitude as overcurrent relays are, and, hence, are much less affected by changes in generating capacity and in system configuration.

This is because, distance relays achieve selectivity on the basis of impedance rather than current.

The choice between impedance, reactance, or MHO

Because ground resistance can be so variable, a ground distance relay must be practically unaffected by large variations in fault resistance. Consequently, reactance relays are generally preferred for ground relaying. For phase-fault relaying, each type has certain advantages and disadvantages. For very short line sections, the reactance type is preferred for the reason that more of the line can be protected at high speed. This is because the reactance relay is practically unaffected by arc resistance which may be large compared with the line impedance, as described elsewhere in this chapter. On the other hand, reactance-type distance relays at certain locations in a system are the most likely to operate undesirably on severe synchronizing power surges unless additional relay equipment is provided to prevent such operation.

The mho type is best suited for phase-fault relaying for longer lines, and particularly where severe synchronizing-power surges may occur. It is the least likely to require additional equipment to prevent tripping on synchronizing-power surges. When mho relaying is adjusted to protect any given line section, its operating characteristic encloses the least space on the R-X diagram, which means that it will be least affected by abnormal system conditions other than line faults; in other words, it is the most selective of all distance relays.

Because the mho relay is affected by arc resistance more than any other type, it is applied to longer lines. The fact that it combines both the directional and the distancemeasuring functions in one unit with one contact makes it very reliable.

The impedance relay is better suited for phase-fault relaying for lines of moderate length than for either very short or very long lines. Arcs affect an impedance relay more than a reactance relay but less than a mho relay. Synchronizing-power surges affect an impedance relay less than a reactance relay but more than a mho relay. If an impedance-relay characteristic is offset, so as to make it a modified relay, it can be made to resemble either a reactance relay or a mho relay but it will always require a separate directional unit.

There is no sharp dividing line between areas of application where one or another type of distance relay is best suited. Actually, there is much overlapping of these areas. Also, changes that are made in systems, such as the addition of terminals to a line, can change the type of relay best suited to a particular location. Consequently, to realize the fullest capabilities of distance relaying, one should use the type best suited for each application. In some cases much better selectivity can be obtained between relays of the same type, but, if relays are used that are best suited to each line, different types on adjacent lines have no appreciable adverse effect on selectivity.
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