Distance Protection Relay

Distance protection relay is the name given to the protection, whose action depends on the distance of the feeding point to the fault. The time of operation of such protection is a function of the ratio of voltage and current, i.e., impedance. This impedance between the relay and the fault depends on the electrical distance between them. The principal type of distance relays is impedance relays, reactance relays, and the reactance relays.

Distance protection relay principle differs from other forms of protection because their performance does not depend on the magnitude of the current or voltage in the protective circuit but it depends on the ratio of these two quantities.  It is a double actuating quantity relay with one of their coil is energized by voltage and the other coil is energized by the current. The current element produces a positive or pick-up torque while the voltages element has caused a negative and reset torque.

The relay operates only when the ratio of voltage and current falls below a set value. During the fault the magnitude of current increases and the voltage at the fault point decreases. The ratio of the current and voltage is measured at the point of the current and potential transformer. The voltage at potential transformer region depends on the distance between the PT and the fault.

If the fault is nearer, measured voltage is lesser, and if the fault is farther, measured voltage is more. Hence, assuming constant fault impedance each value of the ratio of voltage and current measured from relay location comparable to the distance between the relaying point and fault point along the line. Hence such protection is called the distance protection or impedance protection.

Distance zone is non-unit protection, i.e., the protection zone is not exact. The distance protection is high-speed protection and is simply to apply. It can be employed as a primary as well as backup protection. It is very commonly used in the protection of transmission lines.

Distance relays are used for both phase fault and ground fault protection, and they provide higher speed for clearing the fault. It is also independent of changes in the magnitude of the short circuits, current and hence they are not much affected by the change in the generation capacity and the system configuration. Thus, they eliminate long clearing times for the fault near the power sources required by overcurrent relay if used for the purpose.

Application of Distance Protection Relay

Distance protection relay is widely spread employed for the protection of high-voltage AC transmission line and distribution lines. They have replaced the overcurrent protection because of the following reasons.

  • It provides faster protection as compared to overcurrent relay.
  • It has a permanent setting without the need for readjustments.
  • Direct protection relay has less effect of an amount of generation and fault levels.
  • Their fault current magnitude permits the high line loading.

Distance protection schemes are commonly employed for providing the primary or main protection and backup protection for AC transmission line and distribution line against three phase faults, phase-to-phase faults, and phase-to-ground faults.

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