Power System Protection

In designing, configuring and implementing protection systems, protection engineers aim to provide validated systems that operate with reliability, security, speed and selectivity. Testing is necessary to ensure that systems meet performance criteria, but the increasing complexity of interconnected equipment has made comprehensive testing more challenging. Testing of complex protection schemes and coordinated wide-area protection poses still greater challenges. What is more, the need for increased power grid resilience and smarter grids capable of handling separation of the bulk transmission system into separate microgrids, protection and control systems, requires tools capable of delivering realistic and high-fidelity test conditions for a broad range of system configurations.

Benefit of Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing for Protection Relay

Traditional Relay Testing Approach

Good and proven method for traditional scenarios.

Limitations: Open loop, Fixed V/I and ramp up, No data alteration/loss

Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing Approach

Proven for R&D testing as well as validation of new protection algorithm.

Advantages: Closed Loop, detailed EMT simulation, see effect of the relay on the grid.

The OPAL-RT HIL Configuration for Power System Protection

OPAL-RT provides a range of portable, high-performing real-time simulators specifically designed for protection engineers. The company’s simulation environment is capable of providing large and complex model-based or basic functional test scenarios, while simultaneously supporting an array of inputs and outputs for uncompromised connectivity. OPAL-RT’s supported connection types are future-ready providing systems capable of emulating numerous IEDs with IEC 61850 GOOSE and Sampled Values streams or other communication protocols such as DNP3 and Modbus.

Test protection equipment via analog and digital interfaces, and use amplifiers to include the effects of equipment current and voltage transformers or connect directly to a low-level interface. The high voltage interface panel is used to match the right voltage level with a relay for digital signals.

Test protection equipment via analog for PT and CT signals, and use the amplifier to match the voltage and current transformer. System information is connected via IEC61850 GOOSE via publishers and subscribers.

Connect protection systems with IEC61850 Sampled Value and GOOSE via publishers and subscribers. Use a GPS clock to obtain high-precision simulation synchronization and time-stamping.

Hardware-in-the-Loop Protection Relay in Action

IEC 60255-121 Distance Relay Testing

This video provides guidelines for systematic type testing of distance relays and uniform test reporting to facilitate comparing different protection relay manufacturers.

Testing Protection Relays and PMU with HYPERSIM

This video demonstrates how to build protection systems with HYPERSIM. Manual and batch tests are shown using TextView and Excel.

Introducing the World’s First Sub-Microsecond HIL Traveling-Wave Test System

OPAL-RT has achieved the first FPGA-based Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) test of traveling wave fault locators using a three-phase power grid model simulated at a time step of 500 ns. OPAL-RT’s objective is to bring to the protection market an advanced traveling-wave test system. The successful and accurate operation of two SEL-T400L in protective relays in OPAL-RT labs using an OP4510 Real-Time Simulator is a major breakthrough towards that goal.

Recommended OPAL-RT solutions

The Power Systems Simulator of Tomorrow

Easily create detailed power system models thanks to a rich components library of over 300 items. With nearly two decades of experience working directly with the Hydro-Québec Research Institute (IREQ) and other protection system leaders worldwide, HYPERSIM is the most complete solution for real-time simulation and model-based testing.

Proven Protection Testing Expertise

OPAL-RT offers extensive commercial technology studies, evaluations and recommendations, including analysis of various power systems specific to customers requirements. OPAL-RT services include dynamic testing of protection relays (according to IEEE and CIGRE work group recommendations) and coordination of protection relay studies.

Customer Success Stories

Gentech uses HYPERSIM to test their ALP 4000 relay. Read about their setup, latest experiments and results.

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Alstom performed tests with HYPERSIM and their P746 busbar differential protection relay. Read about the experiment results.

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CONECTA increased the reliability, safety and strength of its SIPS by conducting PHIL tests with an OPAL-RT real-time simulation platform.

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