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20 Products and technology

Products and technology

Simulation-based testing
New RelayLabTest CMC software revolutionizes type
and acceptance testing for protective relays

OMICRON Magazine | Volume 3 Issue 1 2012

Products and technology 21

With RelayLabTest, OMICRON is getting ready to launch a new

and unique software product that fundamentally changes the
type and acceptance testing of protective relays. For the first
time, in-depth system tests can be performed based on a net-
work simulation by those without expert knowledge or program-
ming skills. Diverse evaluation functions and integrated statistical
analyses provide valuable assistance when performing compre-
hensive assessments of protective devices.

relay is treated like a kind of black box, In addition to the practical, real-world
which grants no access or insights into its evaluation of protective equipment,
inner workings. Therefore, the only thing another objective of the IEC 60255-121
that is assessed is behavior that can be standard is to make it easier to compare
observed from outside of it. devices that have been produced by dif-
ferent manufacturers with one another.
Ideally, tests using this method should be Particularly when it comes to distance
performed under conditions that are as protection, different tripping characteris-
realistic as possible. A transient network tics are employed and different definitions
model is ideal for such applications. It concerning operating speed, etc. exist. The
allows test quantities to be generated that goal is to make it easier for users to com-
Modern, highly integrated protective relays reflect reality far more accurately than pare different protective relays through
present test engineers with major chal- those based on sine waves, which are systematic testing with results that can be
lenges. Complimentary and sometimes traditionally used. documented uniformly. This should give
overlapping protection functions can make them a proper overview that will assist
it extremely difficult to isolate and test A new standard for type testing them in finding the most suitable device in
certain individual functions. Comparing The practical problems associated with each case.
protective relays can also be made difficult testing modern relays have been discussed
by the fact that each manufacturer is fo- many times at industry conferences. The development of RelayLabTest
cused on something different that relates Standardization committees have also IEC 60255-121 represents an important
to specific individual functions. recognized this problem and devised new starting point in the development of
procedures for testing protective relays. For RelayLabTest. OMICRON’s goal was to
Answers provided by a new approach example, the IEC 60255-121 standard for create a solution that was capable of
Testing methods that are not focused on type testing of distance protection relays is performing all of the simulation tests and
individual functions but rather examine currently in the process of being approved. evaluations prescribed by this standard.
the overall behavior of a protective device In the future, this standard will require the However, another important aspect was
can offer a way out of this scenario. The use of transient network models. for users to be able to define and perform

OMICRON Magazine | Volume 3 Issue 1 2012

The flexible Network Editor in RelayLabTest
allows networks/grids to be modeled freely in
order to reflect real-world configurations.

Even complex fault scenarios and auto-

reclosure sequences are easy to simulate.

Integrated analysis functions allow conclusions

to be drawn regarding any weaknesses
in the protective device. (This screenshot shows
an SIR diagram in line with IEC 60255-121.)

OMICRON Magazine | Volume 3 Issue 1 2012

Products and technology 23

»Networks can be freely modeled

using the intuitive editor.«

similar tests not included in the standard. highlight any weaknesses that may exist Faster and easier
The ease of use should also guarantee in the algorithms employed by the protec- RelayLabTest makes the practical evalua-
that protection engineers are able to work tive devices. The test variables are output tion of protective relays faster and easier
effectively with the software without par- directly via the OMICRON CMC testing than ever before. The unique integration
ticipating in tedious training. devices and optional amplifiers. Protective of simulation, testing and analysis allows
systems comprising multiple relays (e.g. manufacturers to perform fast, compre-
Modern testing equipment for line differential protection) can be tested hensive type testing.
modern relays together as a complete system. This repre-
The use of simulation-based testing with sents a major advantage when addressing Power supply companies in particular, can
RelayLabTest not only offers a wide range more complex issues. now benefit from the ability to be able to
of opportunities for manufacturers of analyze the behavior of protective equip-
protective relays, it also supports electricity Evaluation and analysis ment in their own grid configurations.
supply companies who want to conduct Definable time values allow the reaction Comparative tests can also be performed
accurate investigations into the behavior of a test object in a defined scenario to be easily every time the relay’s settings are
of devices in different situations. The evaluated automatically. This allows users changed or its firmware is updated.
functional scope of the software covers to quickly determine whether the respec- RelayLabTest also provides valuable as-
everything that is needed to define tests, tive protective requirements have been sistance in selecting the most suitable
control the CMC testing device and to met or not. The analysis functions offered protective equipment for a particular
evaluate the results. by the software demonstrate their true application.
potential when performing extensive test-
Tests that are quick and ing. The statistical distribution of the trig- Additional services
easy to set up ger time allows conclusions to be drawn In addition to the RelayLabTest software,
Networks can be modeled freely using about the algorithm being employed by OMICRON also offers complementary
the intuitive editor. The events are then particular protective devices. The display of services at its laboratories in Erlangen /
defined in the network plan, examples measured times based on varied param- Germany. Relay tests can be performed for
include fault inception, switching to exist- eters (e.g. Off command time against manufacturers and power supply compa-
ing faults or autoreclosure cycles. Even the fault location) also offers insights into any nies in line with IEC 60255-121, including
way circuit breakers react to the com- fundamental weaknesses in the protection. special customer requests. The service offer
mands from their associated relays can be is rounded out by including consulting
simulated realistically. This allows complex Within the scope of the analyses, different services and training courses that cover
fault scenarios and switching sequences to test cases can easily be compared with one protective relay type and acceptance tests.
be created readily. another. Examples of this include cases
with high and low power feed, with and
Automatic parameter adjustment without transformer saturation, or with
When performing extensive testing, fault old and new firmware. All of the results
or network parameters can be selected from the individual tests, as well as all
freely and then varied between test shots of the statistically determined data, is
automatically. In certain circumstances, available for use in documentation or for
this kind of in-depth testing can include further evaluation (e.g. in Microsoft Excel)
thousands of individual tests intended to via the export function.

OMICRON Magazine | Volume 3 Issue 1 2012