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Background 15


When the Load

Becomes a Burden
Standardized testing using the
example of automatic under-
frequency load shedding
Nowadays, the electric power supply
in Central Europe is deemed reliable.
However, the task of keeping a grid
stable and shedding the right sub-grid
in the event of an error is becoming increasingly
complex. Modern grid structures are one of the
reasons for this, as they influence grid stability
due to the growing number of “small producers”.

Nowadays, we must use different measures for the evaluation

of the energy supply other than the mere presence of electric
power. In this regard, the term supply quality is becoming more
and more significant and there are several important aspects
that are related to this:

> Reliability
> Voltage quality
> Stability of the line frequency

The reliability of the energy supply and the voltage quality are
criteria at a local level there. However, the stability of the line
frequency is important for assessing the quality of the overall
grid. The lower its fluctuations, the higher the supply quality
and therefore also the grid stability. In turn, this means that
as much electrical energy is being generated as is currently
required by the consumers in the grid. However, when the
demand is higher than the energy that can be generated, then
the frequency in the grid decreases and energy providers must
react accordingly. If these measures are insufficient, then there
is an acute danger of major supply disruptions in the grid or
even the breakdown of the entire energy supply.

Magazine | Volume 8 Issue 1 2017

16 Background

In the past, when you only had large power plants, load
flows were relatively stable. Producers and consumers could
be easily allocated, the targeted load cut-off for stabilization
was easily possible.

However, the significant growth in decentralized injections has

Why standards?
changed the situation significantly. Now producers and con-
The progressive grid expansion and sumers can no longer be allocated so easily because they are
the changes in the grid operation (e.g., located more and more frequently in the same grid segment.
decentralized energy producers) require that As a result, the shedding of specific parts of the grid in the
protection concepts be modified and standar- event of frequency deviation (undershooting) are becoming
dized. When this is implemented in recognized more and more complex. When a part of the grid is still able
directives or binding standards, then the tests to provide stabilizing active power to the grid, a disconnection
themselves benefit too. must be prevented whenever possible.

We strive to swiftly integrate new Automatic under-frequency load shedding –

directives into the Protection Testing a cooperative decision
Library (PTL) and enable a significant increase Nowadays, grids also supply energy across national borders.
in testing efficiency due to test templates such That's why, for example, a cooperative directive for grid stabi-
as those for the UFLS, Q-U protection and grid lization was established and published in Austria, Switzerland
coupling protection. In the future, new inter- and Germany. It defines the technical requirements for auto-
national standards and directives will also be matic under-frequency load shedding (UFLS).
taken into account.
Background 17

High test quality is ensured when these criteria are met. Errors
in the installation are correctly uncovered during the test and
not after disruptions have occurred during operation.

The Protection Testing Library (PTL) from OMICRON provides

a standardized implementation of the directive using the
generic test template for testing the UFLS. In addition, the test
template is also automated. Therefore, changed protection
An essential part of UFLS is the frequency protection function settings are adjusted automatically in the template and it can
that is dependent on the direction of the active power. It be used for different UFLS settings.
enables grid support via producers and sub-grids that are able
to still deliver active power to the rest of the grid. Only when The respective UFLS setting parameters are input centrally,
the entire grid is deprived of active power from a sub-grid will the adjustment of the individual test then takes place auto-
the function send an OFF command to the circuit breaker to matically. In this way, the test can be adapted for other
disconnect the sub-grid. For this to happen, conditions such as parameters within seconds. The test and the test results are
under-frequency and specific criteria for the voltage and active also documented automatically.
power direction must first be met.
All clear?
Split-second adjustment An important aspect of a test is its transparency. The documen-
Because the protection function is described very precisely tation meets this requirement by ensuring that a test is clearly
by this directive, it must be precisely implemented in the understandable and traceable for others.
protection devices and also precisely tested. Using a generic
test approach that is independent of the protection device Along with the generic test template, the PTL also offers a
enables standardized tests to be developed and automated. test manual that describes in detail the individual test steps as
The most important properties of a standardized test include: well as the test values and measurements for evaluation. As
a result, the traceability of the test is guaranteed and the test
> The repeatability of the test process is simplified.
> The reproducibility of the result
> The uniformity of the test
> The comprehensibility and traceability of the test

Magazine | Volume 8 Issue 1 2017