Developing an Electromechanical and Microprocessor Relay Protection Research Platform

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"By combining the benefits of the NI PXI, CompactRIO, FPGA, and processor, we developed a rugged and specialized educational system that trains students and gives them the opportunity to simulate different faults and use an electromechanical and microprocessors relay protection system."

- Ashot Minasyan, Bitlis-MEN LLC

The Challenge:
Designing a laboratory facility for the hands-on study of relay protection circuits in power generating plants and power distribution substations to allow interactive monitoring and control over any modeled processes and simulation in hardware emergency situations.

The Solution:
Creating the electromechanical and microprocessor relay protection system with power network simulation and fault simulation systems; a generator system; a CompactRIO-based microprocessor relay protection system; real electromechanical relays; real loads, switchgears, flag relays, and intermediate relays; experiments on high-voltage lines; undervoltage and overvoltage relay protection; overcurrent and current cutoff relay protections; thermal relay protection; differential line protections; circuit breaker failure detection; negative phase sequence overcurrent; phase overvoltage and phase undervoltage; under and over frequency; and reverse power protection systems.

Author(s):
Ashot Minasyan - Find this author in the NI Developer Community

Bitlis-MEN LLC, an NI Silver Alliance Partner, offers safe and simple engineering solutions for automating customers’ systems. We can provide customers with ease of operation, and they can see and manage their businesses anytime and anywhere—from home, the office, or while travelling. Our experience, competence, and the innovations and advanced technologies we use help us meet the needs of our clients all over the world. We can also provide a partial automation of the system, namely the automation of the assemblies and units

Facility Design

The automatic monitoring and control system of the facility is compatible with an NI PXI-based control system. Specialized control software is implemented in LabVIEW graphical programming language. The software visualizes a virtual operating diagram of the facility and allows interactive monitoring and control over any modeled processes and simulation in hardware emergency situations.

The power protection stand includes three modules:

1. Relay protection for power plant

2. Relay protection for power distribution substation

3. Microprocessor relay protection system

The lab comes with preconfigured experiments that can be used as they are or modified for the exact requirements of the university. The beauty of using the NI relay protection system is that it allows instructors to modify any protection logic, create other types of protections, and design advanced mixed protections. Students can dig deeper into microprocessor relay protection systems and gain an understanding of relay programming using a graphical programming language.

The whole facility connects to a central computing system (NI PXI system) for power network simulation and fault emulation. This gives students the ultimate freedom because they can generate through this approach faults that are not possible within the lab environment. The computer-based approach depicts a much more accurate model of the transmission lines and allows experimentation on high-voltage lines.

This NI power protection lab uses hardware-in-the-loop technology. The same technology is used by leading power companies to design and test new and efficient strategies for relay protection. With this technology, engineers can run a real-time and accurate model on the computer that can be interfaced with real relays for testing.

Finally and most importantly, since this facility is based on industry-standard tools, students using it have access to the same technology found in industry. Engineers can use the same hardware for research, design, and deployment on new relay protection circuits. Furthermore, they can test their circuits at the generation, transmission, and distribution levels with ease.

Electromechanical Relay Protection

  • Characterization of all types of relays of the facility
  • Relay switching speed
  • Relay switching sensitivity
  • Undervoltage protection
  • Overvoltage protection
  • Thermal relay protection of the network
  • Overcurrent protection
  • Current cutoff

 

Microprocessor Relay Protection (Based on PXI)

  • Remote protection of the network
  • Reverse power protection
  • Differential protection

Microprocessor Relay Protection (Based on CompactRIO)

  • Three-phase directional/nondirectional overcurrent
  • Earth fault directional/nondirectional overcurrent
  • Voltage-controlled overcurrent
  • Three-phase undercurrent
  • Negative-phase sequence overcurrent
  • Phase undervoltage
  • Phase overvoltage
  • Residual overvoltage
  • Directional power  
  • Under frequency
  • Over frequency
  • Circuit breaker failure detection

Lab Names

Indicating relay
Auxiliary relay
Time relay
Undervoltage relay
Overvoltage relay
Current relay
Reverse power protection
Line distance protection
Undervoltage protection
Overvoltage protection
Overcurrent protection
Current cutoff protection
Overcurrent and current cutoff protection
Transformer differential protection
Thermal relay protection

System Features and Benefits

  • Computer-based simulation as well as real-world hardware for ultimate flexibility
  • Design-based approach, which encourages students to perform hands-on experiments on the equipment
  • Handling of all major emergency states
  • Two students can work simultaneously on the facility—the first student on the Relay Protection for Power Plant and Power Distribution Substation and the second student on the Microprocessor Relay Protection System
  • Protection range from simple electromechanical to state-of-the-art microprocessor relay control
  • All protections can be studied separately
  • Students can dig deeper into microprocessor relay protection systems and understand the programming of relays using a graphical programming language (LabVIEW)
  • Students can modify any protection logic to create other types of protections and advanced mixed protections
  • Real generator and real relays
  • All relay types can be studied separately
  • Operating safety (maximum voltage 24 V)

Conclusion

By combining the benefits of the NI PXI, RIO, FPGA, and processor, we developed a rugged and specialized educational system that trains students and gives them the opportunity to simulate different faults and use an electromechanical and microprocessors relay protection system. We successfully installed the system in the Electrical Engineering Department at the NFC Institute of Engineering and Technology in Pakistan.

A National Instruments Alliance Partner is a business entity independent from National Instruments and has no agency, partnership, or joint-venture relationship with National Instruments.

Author Information:
Ashot Minasyan
Find this author in the NI Developer Community

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