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Method for Setting the Resistive Reach of

Quadrilateral Characteristics of Distance Relays

Elmer Sorrentino Eliana Rojas Jesus Hernandez
Universidad Simon Bolivar, Venezuela ABB, Venezuela Seneca, Venezuela

Abstract-A new method for setting the resistive reach on -The time delays for zones 2, 3 and 4 are assumed to be
quadrilateral characteristics of distance relays is proposed in predefmed and fixed. Additionally, it is considered that there
this article. The method is based on: a) analysis of the are not teleprotection schemes (communication-assisted
impedances seen by the relay (apparent impedances); and b) trip), breaker-failure protection (50BF), line differential
explicit definition of the protection desirable attributes for each protection (87L), or other line protection functions. These
analyzed zone (selectivity, sensitivity). In the proposed method,
considerations affect the criteria for setting the relay reaches.
the resistive reach setting is calculated assuming that the
reactive reach setting has been previously defined. The -The proposed method for setting the resistive reach (R0
proposed method was applied in an example with 18 distance can be adapted to the different ways of setting XR. The
relays and its solution was compared with a conventional criteria used in this article for XR setting are relatively
simplified solution. The conventional simplified solution complex. This helps to better explain the proposed method.
consists in setting the resistive reach by multiplying the reactive
reach by a constant factor. The result obtained with the B. Analyzed quadrilateral characteristics
proposed method is different since there is not a constant factor The quadrilateral characteristics may have different
among the settings of the reactive and resistive reaches. shapes; Fig. I shows the first quadrant for 3 cases. It will be
assumed that the settings are defmed by the first quadrant in
Index Terms-Distance relay setting, Quadrilateral the R-X plane. For the sake of simplicity, shape of Fig. la
characteristic. will be used in this article. However, the techniques
developed here can be applied to other characteristic shapes
(such as those shown in Figures Ib and lc) by using an
Traditionally, the distance relay zones have been set adaptation to the geometry of each particular characteristic.
according to simple rules [1-4]. The non-traditional options
can be grouped according to their conceptual basics: based
on expert systems, mathematical optimisation, adaptive
protection or probabilistic methods [5]. The well-known
traditional setting rules have been developed to have a
specific reactive reach for solid faults [1-5]. In the case of
relays with quadrilateral characteristics, the reactive and
resistive reaches can be set independently. For these relays,
it is desirable to defme the resistive reach by an analysis of
faults through impedance. Some traditional setting methods
consider faults through impedance, but usually just a typical Fig. I. Examples of different shapes for quadrilateral characteristics.

resistance value is considered [1,2]. Such methods usually C. Setting the zone 1 resistive reach
do not consider that the apparent impedances are affected by C.l. Criterion used/or the reactive reach
diverse factors [6]. A still more simplistic option is to set the The first criterion states that zone I only has to operate for
resistive reach by multiplying the reactive reach by a faults on the line since this zone is instantaneous. Zone I
constant factor [7]. should not operate for faults at the remote bus, by
The main purpose of this article is to present a new selectivity. Zone 1 reactive reach (XR1) will be set to 80% of
method for setting the resistive reach on quadrilateral the reactance of the protected line (X L+): XR1= 0.8 XL+.
characteristics of distance relays. The proposed method is
based on: a) analysis of the impedances seen by the relay C.2. Criterion used/or the resistive reach
(apparent impedances); and b) explicit definition of the According to the previous paragraph, zone 1 resistive
protection desirable attributes for each analyzed zone reach (RRI) must be set in a way that assures that the relay
(selectivity and sensitivity). first zone will not trip for faults at the remote bus.
Considering the effect of the fault resistances (~) on the
II. PROPOSED SETIING CRITERIA apparent impedance (ZAP), there are 3 cases:
a) Faults at the remote bus whose ZAP tends to fall within
A. Preliminary basic considerations zone I (Fig. 2a). To have a safety margin, the resistive
-It is considered that the reactive setting (XR) has been setting will be limited to the value of the real part of ZAP
evaluated previously by traditional rules. Such rules are not (RRI-A) where the imaginary part of ZAP is 90% of XL+.
universal, especially for the delayed zones; due to this fact, b) Faults at the remote bus whose ZAP tends to be parallel
the rule used for each zone in this article will be specifically to XR1 (Fig. 2b). It will be assumed that the possible error of
described here. measurement of the relay is proportional to the ZAP module.
For this reason, when the ZAP imaginary part minus 5% of

978-0-947649-44-9/09/$26.00 ©2009 IEEE

ZAP module is 85% of X L+, the corresponding real part of setting for the zone 2 reactive reach (X Z-MIN-Z) will be
ZAP limits the resistive setting (~I-B)' computed as 110% erx., (Xz_MIN_z=I ,IXL+)'
c) Faults at the remote bus whose ZAP tends to separate of -If X Z-AVG is greater than X Z-MIN-Z, there is not conflict
X RI (Fig. 2c) : RRI is not limited by ZAP. between those values and the setting is: XR2=XZ-AVG.
RRI setting will be the smaller value of ~I-A and RRI-B, if -IfXz-AVG is less than XZ-MIN-Z, it will be assumed that it
both situations can happen. If the RRI setting is not limited is not possible to guaranty selectivity with that short
by ZAP, RRI could be set to a very high value. adjacent line and the setting will be: XR2=XZ-MIN-Z.
Actually, the solution for these cases is to implement a
unit protection scheme for the short adjacent line (line
differential and/or a scheme with teleprotection) and/or
a change in the zone 2 delay for the line in study . The
If .Im{ZAP}=0,9XL+, analysis of such solutions is beyond the scope of the
=> RR I .A = ~e{ ZA P } present work .

Faults within the

~:: : : ".':') .------------~

protected line

- - - - - - - - - - - - -- , If [.Im{ZAP }-0,05IZAPI1=0,85XL+, R
XR1=0,8XL+ :
=> RRI .B =~e{ ZA P } RZ.MIN.Z RZ.MIN.l
j) Zona I of the adja cent
line, as it is viewed by
c the analyzed relay

RRI is not limited by ZAP RZ· MAX=0' 9RZ·RI·ADY IFaults out of. the I
protected lme
R Fig. 3. Limits for the settingof the zone2 resistive reach.
Fig. 2. Criteriaused for settingthe zone 1 resistive reach.
D.2. Criterion usedfor the resistive reach
D. Setting the zone 2 resistive reach The setting criterion of zone 2 resistive reach (RR2) is
D.l. Criterion usedfor the reactive reach similar to the criterion described for X R2 . A desirable
It will be considered that the main objective of zone 2 is to sensitivity will be defined to cover faults in 100% of the
cover the sector of the line that is not covered by zone I . protected line, with the typical fault resistance value (R F-TyP)
This implies that the reactive reach should be set to cover multiplied by a safety factor (F sl) . An allowable minimum
more than 100% of the protected line impedance, in order to sensitivity will be defmed using a smaller safety factor (Fsz):
guaranty sensitivity for internal faults . This criterion is Fsz<F sl; RFI=(Fsl)RF_TYP; RFZ=(Fsz)RF-TYP (thus, RFZ< R FI).
frequently used; however, it is usually necessary to take The desirable and allowable minimum settings (R Z-MIN-I
precautions that guaranty selectivity when there are adjacent and R Z-MIN-Z, respectively) correspond to the real part of the
short lines at the remote bus . This is because the beginning apparent impedance seen by the relay for faults at 100% of
of zone 2 of the relay of the adjacent short line could overlap the protected line, with the fault resistances that consider the
with the zone 2 of the relay in study . The setting of the zone aforementioned safety factors (R FI and R FZ, Fig. 3a).
2 reactive reach (Xd will be done thus: The desirable maximum setting for the zone 2 resistive
-The desirable minimum setting for the zone 2 reactive reach (R Z-MAX) is evaluated with resistive faults at the
reach (X Z-MIN-I) will be computed as 120% of the reactance beginning of adjacent lines that are out of the zone I of the
of the protected line: XZ-MIN-I = 1.2 XL+. adjacent line. The maximum fault resistance (Rp-L1M-ADJ) that
-The desirable maximum setting for the zone 2 reactive is able to see the relay of the adjacent line at the beginning
reach (X Z-MAX) will be computed as 80% of the total of its zone 1 will be found. With this fault resistance, the real
reactance seen by the relay for a fault at the beginning of part of the apparent impedance seen by the relay of the line
zone 2 of the adjacent line protection at the remote bus in study, for faults at 100% of the protected line (RZ-RI-ADY),
(XL+,ADJ,SHORT). The case with the smaller additional will be computed: it will be considered that the desirable
reactance will be used: X Z-MAX = 0.8 (X L++0 ,8XL+, ADJ,SHORT). maximum adjustment corresponds to 90% of this value (R z_
-If X Z-MAX is greater than X Z-MIN-" then there is not conflict MAX=0.9 RZ-RI-ADY, Fig. 3b). The algorithm to set RR2 is
between those values and the setting will be : X R2 = XZ-MIN-I . similar to the described one for X RZ:
-If X Z-MAX is less than XZ-MIN-" the desired sensitivity is -If RZ-MAX is greater than RZ-MIN- h then there is not conflict
not possible without a lack of selectivity, and : between those values and the setting will be: RR2=Rz-MIN-I.
-The average of the previous values will be computed -If RZ-MAX is less than RZ-MIN-" the desired sensitivity is not
(XZ-AVG=[XZ-MIN-I+XZ-MAX]/2). The allowable minimum possible without a lack of selectivity, and:
-If RZ- MAX is greater than RZ-MIN-Z, then there is not of the apparent impedance (ZAP) seen by the relay in study is
conflict between those values and the setting will be: 110% of XR3, or if the imaginary part of the apparent
RR2=Rz-MAX • impedance minus 5% of the ZAP module is 105% of XRJ , the
-If RZ-MAX is less than RZ-MIN-Z, then it is not possible to corresponding real part of ZAP will be the value of resistive
guaranty selectivity for some values of fault resistance reach (Rd. As zone 1, if the RR3 setting is not limited by
and the setting will be: RR2=Rz-MIN-Z. ZAP, then RRJ could be set to a very high value.

D.3. Comments about both criteria

In both setting criteria, if the first condition is satisfied jX (FINFEED)ZL+,AD.J
I ZAP(varyIng
. R)
(X Z-MAX>XZ-MIN-" or RZ-MAX>Rz-MIN-I), then a different action
could be taken, in order to increase still more the zone 2 XR3=O,8(X L++(f' INFEED)XR2-ADJ,SHORT)
sensitivity. For example, in such cases the setting could be
the maximum value instead of the minimum, or an average (Im( ZAP}=I,IXR3)
of both values. An analysis of those options is outside the OR
scope of the present work; however, Fig. 4 helps to illustrate ([Im( ZAP} -O,051ZAPI]=I,05XR3),
this concept. In the example of Fig. 4, it is assumed that the ~ RR3=>\'f(ZAP}
resistive setting (Rd has been limited by the allowable
minimum sensitivity (RZ-MIN-Z) ' In such case, an increase of Fig. 5. Criteria used for setting the zone 3 resistive reach.
the reactive reach sensitivity (to use XR2-CASEZ, instead of
XR2-CASEI) would imply a greater lack of selectivity for III. SYSTEM USED AS EXAMPLE
resistive faults in the adjacent line if the fault is out of the
A. Power system description
zone 1 of the adjacent line protection.
Figure 6 shows the power system used as example and its
data are in Tables I, II and III.
ZL+,ADJ ~ I Zone I of the adjacent line I
C I:26km
jx XR2-CASE2
~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ -~ - ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ B Increase er x, implies

, XR2-CASEI : a lack of selectivity if
ZL+ : ZAP .ISIn. th'ISregIon

eL+ i R
RR2-MIN-2 LCA C I:3.37km
Fig. 6. Power system used as example (II5kV).
Fig. 4. Example of a lack of selectivity by increasing XR2 sensitivity .

E. Setting the zone 3 resistive reach TABLE I: LINE PARAMETERS (r,x in Q/km; b in umho/km),
£.1 . Criterion usedfor the reactive reach r, x+ b+ ro Xo bo
It will be assumed that the main objective of zone 3 is to Cl 0.1211 0.4959 3.347 0.3160 1.102 1,938
operate as backup protection for faults in adjacent lines [8]. C2 0.1714 0.4928 3.421 0.3630 1.151 1.860
However, selectivity between zones 3 of different lines will TABLE II ' EQUIVALENT GENERATOR DATA
have priority because zone 3 is the faster backup function. X+=K(Q) Xo(Q) P(MW) Q(MVAR)
This criterion presupposes that the faults non-covered by a LCA 7.3 3.3 Slack Slack
zone 3 as backup will be covered by its zone 4, that is more GUA 15.9 15.9 120 74.37
sensitive (zone 4 has a greater reach or it is simply a LM 120,0 53.0 20 12.39
directional function). TABLE Ill' Loxn DATA
Zone 3 reactive reach (XR3) should be set at 80% of the LCA LM LA PMT LR PLM GUA
lowest total apparent reactance seen by the relay in study for P(MW) 73 48 31 38 56 38 30
faults at the end of zone 2 of the relays that protect adjacent cos(<!» 0.900 0.900 0.900 0.900 0.936 0.900 0.850
lines. Worst case combines the smaller zone 2 reactive reach
of the relays of the adjacent lines (XR2-ADJ,SHORT) with the B. Ground distance function description
smaller infeed (FINFEED, due to the current contributions at The apparent impedance seen by ground distance function
the remote bus): XR3=0.8 (XL++ (FINFEED) XR2-ADJ,SHORT). (ZPh-G) depends on its polarisation method [9]. It is assumed
To fmd the previous value may not be simple. For the sake that the relay uses the following form of polarisation:
of simplicity, XRJ was set to 75% of the smallest total ZPh-G = VPh-G / (IPh+KoI~ (I)
apparent reactance for faults at the end of the adjacent lines VPh-G: Phase-to-earth voltage of the faulted phase.
to the remote bus: XR3 = 0.75 (XL++XAP-ADJ-LOWEST). Base Iph: Current of the faulted phase.
Case of load flow was used; therefore, the FINFEED values IR: Residual current (IA + IB + Ie).
correspond to the Base Case. Ko: Residual compensation factor.
It is assumed that Ko is set exactly to see the positive
E.2. Criterion usedfor the resistive reach sequence line impedance for solid faults:
Zone 3 resistive reach (RRJ, Fig. 5) is set similarly to RRI. Ko = (ZLO - ZL+) / (3 ZL+) (2)
The resistive faults were computed at the end of the same ZL+: Positive sequence line impedance.
adjacent line used for the XR3 setting. If the imaginary part ZLO: Zero sequence line impedance.
c. Pre-fault loadflow The settings obtained for zone 2 are in Table VI. RR2 is, in
With fault resistance (R F), apparent impedance depends on some cases, less than RRI (it happens at bus 2 of the lines
the pre-fault load flow, measured in the relay locality [6],[9]. LM-LA, PLM-LR, LCA-PLM, LCA-LR). This result is
The determination of the worst possible condition for each illustrated in Fig. 7, it is not conventional and it happens
zone of each relay is outside the scope of the present article. since RR2 must be limited to reduce the risk of lack of
By simplicity, a simple preliminary analysis of the system in selectivity (since X R2 is greater than X R1).
study suggested the use of the following conditions of pre- The settings obtained for zone 3 are in Table VII. RR3 is,
fault load flow: in some cases, less than RR2 (it happens at bus 1 of the lines
-Base Case: It is the system described in section III-A. GUA-LM, LA-PMT, and at bus 2 of LA-PMT, LR-PMT).
-Case 1: It is the Base Case without one transmission line. This result is similar to the result described for zone 2. If RR3
For the system in study, the approximated load flow values is less than RR2' then zone 2 is more sensitive for faults with
at the relay localities are in Table IV (QMAX). fault resistance. In such cases, as zone 3 is not so sensitive,
-Case 2: This case is as Case 1 and, additionally, this case the backup function for faults with a high value of fault
presupposes that the system operators can control the resistance is the zone 4. By this reason, zone 4 would have
reactive power flow. For the system in study, a half of the to be sufficiently sensitive in these cases.
previous reactive power value was assumed; the values are In the cases where RR2 is less than RRI (or RR3 is less than
in Table IV (QMIN). RR2), this nonconventional result could be avoided if the
These cases were used thus: a) For setting zone 1, Case 1 desired condition were imposed. Such condition is: the
was used when the pre-fault load flow is positive and Case 2 greater the value of the reactive setting, the greater must be
when it is negative; for the system in study, by coincidence, the value of the zone resistive reach. There are different
P and Q have the same sign in the simulated cases. b) For ways for imposing such condition. Special care should be
setting zones 2 and 3, Base Case was used. taken to update the resistance setting values since there are
dependences among the reach settings; for example, Fig. 3b
D. Typical groundfault resistance value shows how the RR2 setting of a relay depends on the value of
The ground fault resistance value depends on multiple RRI of the relay of an adjacent line.
factors. Each R F value has a probability of occurrence [10];
however, a typical value is required in the present work in TABLE IV: PRE-FAULTLOAD FLOW, AT THE LOCALITY OF THE RELAYS IN
order to compute the desirable zone 2 reach. Such value was STUDY, FOR THE CASES 1 AND 2 (QMAX AND QMIN, RESPECTIVELY)
supposed arbitrarily (R F_TYP=50). Using safety factors, the Line Line Prefault load flow (line in study)
results are: RFl=(Fsl)RF-TYP=200; RF2=(Fs2)RF-TYP= 100. in out of PandQ P OMAX OMIN

study service direction MW MVAR MVAR

The settings obtained for zone 1 are in Table V. The X R1 LM-LA PMT-LR LM->LA 70 33 16.5
values are identical to those obtained in another study [11] LA-PMT PMT-LR LA->PMT 38 18 9.0
since the used criterion is exactly the same. However, in that LA-PMT LM-LA LA->PMT -31 -15 -7.5
study a unique factor of RIJX R was used (RIJXR=2). Table 5 PMT-LR PMT-LR LR->PMT 70 33 16.5
shows clearly that RIJX R is not constant with the developed LR-PLM PLM-LCA PLM->LR 87 36 18.0
method: RIJX R varies between 0.77 and 33.41.
LR-PLM LCA-LR PLM->LR -38 -18 -9.0
On the other hand, the maximum value of fault resistance,
PLM-LCA LCA-LR LCA->PLM 125 54 27.0
at the remote bus, for which the adjustment of the RRI was
defmed, varies between 0.970 and 17.390. However, there LCA-GUA GUA-LM LCA->GUA 90 56 28.0
are 5 cases where the resistive reach was limited by the line LCA-LM GUA-LM LCA->LM 68 33 16.5
thermal capability and not by the apparent impedance locus. LCA-LR PLM-LCA LCA->LR 125 54 27.0

Line Bus 1 Bus 2
(Bus 1-
GUA-LM 10.31 12.11 3.86 1.17 10.31 18.06 5.56 1.75
LM-LA 4.81 7.75 8.71 1.61 4.81 88* N/A 18.30
LA-PMT 2.41 4.39 4.98 1.82 2.41 5.06 5.92 2.10
LR-PMT 2.71 4.95 5.67 1.83 2.71 88* N/A 32.49
PLM-LR 1.34 2.98 2.70 2.23 1.34 104.79 17.39 78.38
LCA-PLM 3.95 8.30 8.62 2.10 3.95 132* N/A 33.41
LCA-GUA 10.31 16.60 6.16 1.61 10.31 7.89 0.97 0.77
LCA-LM 8.73 14.17 8.77 1.62 8.73 132* N/A 15.12
LCA-LR 3.98 8.39 8.54
. .
2.11 3.98 132* N/A 33.17
(*): These values were only limited by the line thermal capability (Fig. 2c).
TABLE VI: ZONE 2 SETIINGS (SEE FIG. 3). VALUES INPRlMARY OHMS. the variations in the results. On the other hand, the effect of
Line Bus 1. Bus 2 the inclusion of more cases for the pre-fault load flows
(Bus 1.- should be studied .
Bus2J X R2 RR2 X R2 RR2
GUA-LM 14.82 25.28 15.47 46.42 REFERENCES
LM-LA 6.98 15.75 7.21 40.39 [I] Areva T&D, "Network protection & automation guide," 2002.
LA-PMT 3.61 42.03 3.61 27.97 [2] G. Ziegler , "Numerical distance protection . Principles and
4.06 11.14 3.92 88* application s," Siemens AG, 1999.
[3] ABB, "Protective relaying. Theory and applicat ions," Marcel Dekker
PLM-LR 2.01 19.34 2.01 31.33 Inc, 1994.
LCA-PLM 5.47 13.77 5.93 42.20 [41 R. Mason, 'T he art and science of protective relaying," John Wiley &
Sons Inc, 1956.
LCA-GUA 14.47 31.42 14.47 60.14 [5] V. De Andrade, E. Sorrentino, "Revision bibliografica sobre los
LCA-LM 12.83 22.19 12.49 132* metodos para ajustar el alcance de los reles de distancia" (in
LCA-LR 5.51 14.62 5.97 76.59 Spanish), Proceedings of the I CVREE , Lecheria, Venezuela, 2007.
[6] T. Rodolakis , D. Crevier , "Effect of loads, shunts and system
(") : These values were only limited by the line thermal capability.
uncerta inties on short circuit relay settings," IEEE Trans. on PAS,
Dec. 1981, pags, 4701-4709 .
.I·x X R2 [7] ABB Relay, "Distance Relay Type Razoa," 1985.
i~: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - : [8] S. Horowitz , A. Phadke, "Third zone revisited," IEEE Trans. on
PWRD,Jan. 2006, pags. 23-29 .

- - - -x;~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - t - - - - - - - -: [9] E. Sorrentino , "Polarizacion de la funcion de distancia ante fallas a
tierra y su efecto sobre el alcance resistivo en zonas cuadrilateras" (in
Spanish), Proceedings of the XII ERIAC, Foz do Iguazu, Brasil,
8 L+ : : R 2007.
[10] J. Barnard, A. Pahwa, "Determination of the impacts of high
R R2 R RI impedance faults on protection of power distribution systems using a
probabilistic model ," EPSR, 1993, pags. 11-18.
Fig. 7. Example of a nonconventional result: XR2 can be smaller than XRl. [11] E. Rojas, "Coordinacion de las protecciones de distancia del sistema
a 115 kV de Seneca incluyendo El Guamache " (in Spanish), Final
TABLE VII: ZONE 3 SETIINGS(SEE FIG. 5), VALVES INPRlMARY OHMS. Project for BEE, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Venezuela, 2007.
Linea Ext. 1. Ext. 2
(Ext. 1.-
Ext.2J XR3 RR3 X R3 RR3

GUA-LM 18.01 19.58 21.92(1) 132*

LM-LA 7.55 19.88 44.89 88*
LA-PMT 5.18 11.32 7.36 15.32
LR-PMT 5.33 14.28 4.39 39.25
PLM-LR 8.26 43.46 4.19 132*
LCA-PLM 5.57 132* 8.43(1) 132*
LCA-GUA 21.92(1) 50.24 33.16 132*
LCA-LM 22.34 67.41 13.47(1) 132*
LCA-LR 6.05 132* 8.43(1) 132*
(*): These values were only limited by the line thermal capability.
(1): These values were not found by the criterion indicated in
section Il-E, since it was not being possible (the reactances would
be negative). To find them, the smaller reactance ofadjacent lines
was added to XL+ and the total value was multiplied by O.75.

-A novel method for setting the resistive reach of
quadrilateral characteristics in distance relays was presented.
The method is based on the analysis of the apparent
impedance seen by the relay, and the explicit definition of
the protection desirable attributes for each analyzed zone.
-The proposed method was applied to an example with 18
distance relays and the resistive reaches for 3 relay zones
were calculated. The results obtained with the proposed
method were compared with a conventional simplified
solution. The conventional simplified solution is to set the
resistive reach by multiplying the reactive reach by a
constant factor . The results obtained with the proposed
method are substantially different since there are particular
solutions for each relay location .
-In the future, this work could be complemented of diverse
ways. For example, an analysis of other criteria to set the
reactive and resistive reaches could be done in order to study