Electrocon shows CAPE’s Sensitivity Testing

Electrocon has added a new Sensitivity Testing capability within its CAPE software for protection engineering. With Sensitivity Testing, utilities can now take proactive steps to prevent relay miscoordinations. “Automation makes CAPE’s Sensitivity Testing more practical and more powerful than any existing tools we know of,” said Paul McGuire, Electrocon President.  The Sensitivity Testing function was developed working with Quanta Technology (www.quanta-technology.com) under a coordination review contract for a major US utility.

Sensitivity Testing evaluates phase and ground distance elements, including fault detectors, directional overcurrent elements, breaker failure fault detectors, and distance and overcurrent elements in teleprotection schemes for adequate sensitivity to faults under different contingencies. Results are presented in a color-coded table, with failing elements highlighted in red, alerting the engineer that a setting change is recommended. Protection staff can then adopt relay settings that reduce the likelihood of miscoordinations and coordination time-interval (CTI) violation problems. 

Evaluation of the NERC 8a (PRC 023) criterion is also part of Sensitivity Testing.

Sensitivity testing is a recommended first step before undertaking a companion Wide Area Coordination Review study. Wide Area Coordination Review studies help protection engineering staff evaluate whether the protection system, including teleprotection and breaker failure logic, operates as intended relative to miscoordinations or CTI violations. Different types of contingencies are applied through the study to challenge the protection system, including outage of mutually coupled lines, failure of teleprotection schemes, and stuck breaker situations.

Automating both of these types of studies allows engineering staff to conduct system-wide evaluations in times short enough to make them practical, even for large networks.  Importantly, the sensitivity criteria and contingencies used by these tools are customizable to meet the specific needs of  each utility.

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