Installing, Programming and Commissioning of Power System Protection Relays and Hardware


The continuity of the electrical power supply is very important to consumers especially in the industrial sector. Protection relays are used in power systems to maximise continuity of supply and are found in both small and large power systems from generation, through transmission, distribution and utilisation of the power. A good understanding of their application, operation and maintenance is critical for operating and maintenance personnel.

In this workshop, you will gain a thorough understanding of the capabilities of power system protection relays and how they fit into the overall distribution network. The practical sessions covering the calculation of fault currents, selection of appropriate relays and relay coordination as well as hands-on practice in configuring and setting of some of the commonly used types of protection relays used in industry will give you an excellent understanding. Simulation software and real relays (but at safe voltages) will be used to give the participants practical experience in setting up and configuring the various power parameters. Both electro-mechanical and microprocessor relays will be used to demonstrate the key configuration settings required and the major differences in the approach adopted between these two classes of relays.

The strengths and weaknesses of the latest microprocessor (or numerical) relays as compared to the older electromechanical relays will be outlined. You will also gain a solid appreciation of how the modern relay communicates not only to the central SCADA system but also between themselves resulting in a truly multifunctional system which includes protection, control and monitoring. Finally, you will gain a solid understanding of issues of reliability and security for the modern relay.



  • Receive a certificate of attendance in support of your continuing professional commitment
  • All workshops include the associated hardcopy technical manual
  • Printed workshop handouts
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Interact and network with workshop attendees and experienced instructors
  • Practical, industry driven content to assist you in your continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Attendees automatically become IDC subscribers and receive exclusive deals and technical content every month


  • Requirements of protection in an electrical system
    • Reliability, dependability, security
  • Types of faults
  • Evaluation of short circuit currents in a power system
  • Exercises in fault calculations in simple circuits
  • Earth faults and role of system earthing
  • Characteristics of protective relaying
    • Sensitivity
    • Selectivity
    • Stability
    • Speed
  • Protection using fuses
  • The protective relay/release and circuit breaker combination
  • Instrument transformers and their application in protection systems
    Practical session 1: Fault level calculations of typical power distribution networks


  • Types of protective relays (DMT and IDMT)
  • Electromechanical static relays
  • Microprocessor relays and numerical relays
  • IDMT characteristics expressed as a mathematical function
  • Comparison of electromechanical/static and numerical relays
    • Key features: flexibility/reliability/communications/SCADA interface
    • Cost
    • Integrated protection and control
      Practical session 2: Reconstructing different IDMTL characteristics using a spreadsheet graphical display


  • Need for coordination
  • Time grading
  • Current grading
  • Application of time and current grading in  power systems
  • Grading using IDMTL characteristics
  • Better grading through numerical relays
    Practical session 3: Grading between IDMT/DMT characteristics of current relays by using Excel spreadsheet
    Practical session 4: Coordination between directing trip devices used in LV circuit breakers using typical software package


  • Basic approach used in numerical protective relays
  • Typical block diagram
  • Hardware and software architecture of a numerical relay
  • Importance of sampling interval in the operation of relay
  • Examples of how waveform asymmetry and harmonic components are handled in numerical relays
  • Extension of capabilities of relays in numerical design
  • From individual protection relays to a complete protection management system
  • Structure of the Intelligent Electronic Device (IED)
  • Typical examples of the use of IEDs in functions other than protection
  • Configuring substation automation using IEDs 
    Practical session 5: Designing a substation automation system architecture using IEDs


  • Functional protection relays
  • Equipment protection systems with multiple functions
    Practical session 6: Designing the protection system of a typical HV/MV step-down substation with outgoing feeds to MV motors and MV switchboards and incoming transformer feeders and standby generator source


(Examples using industry standard protective relays)

  • Setting approach in conventional relays
  • Configuring numerical relays
  • Configuration security through passwords
  • Protection settings as a part of configuration
  • Methods adopted for setting numerical relays
  • Configuration exercises for typical relays/simulation software
    Practical session 7: Hands on configuration using the front keyboard of a typical single function numerical current relay
    Practical session 8: Hands on configuration using a PC and software with actual relays


  • Setting up a substation automation system using the communication capability of numerical relays
  • Problems of compatibility between vendors
  • DNP3 communication standard
  • The new substation standard IEC 61850
  • Logical grouping of functions
  • Intercommunication using GOOSE
  • Using IEC with Unified Modeling Language (UML)
  • Example of substation automation system with IEDs compatible with IEC 61850
    Practical session 9: Designing a wide area network protection system architecture by connecting the substation automation systems of different substations all using IEC 61850 compatible devices

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