Power System Protection Applications and Performance Analysis

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Course Overview

Learn about protection practices and view presentations of field oscillograms that illustrate disturbances that trigger protective action and response.

Who Should Attend?

  • Electric utility engineers involved in applying, simulating, and testing protective relaying devices
  • Technicians, project managers, managers, and others involved in electric power systems and interfacing with relaying and substation communications and automation

Additional Information

3-day Course: earn 2 CEUs, 20 PDH

5-day Course: includes 3-day course plus 2 more days on advanced topics; earn 3 CEUs, 30 PDH

Course Outline

Days 1, 2 and 3

Introduction to the Course

  • Course organization
  • Role of relaying theory
  • Field experiences

Relaying Fundamentals

  • The nature of relaying
  • Relay terminology
  • Protection system design – redundancy, backup
  • Relay upgrades
  • Application of IEC 61850 station bus and process bus

Protection System Accessories

  • Current transformers
  • Wire wound and capacitive potential devices
  • Batteries
  • Circuit breakers
  • Teleprotection systems
  • Human machine interface

Fault level calculations and symmetrical components

  • Short circuit fault calculations
  • Symmetrical components and calculations

Distribution Protection - Overcurrent Protection

  • Principles (why overcurrent protection works)
  • Neutral grounding
  • Fuses
  • Overcurrent relays
  • Circuit reclosers
  • Impact of power electronic converter sources

Distribution System Protection

  • Feeders
  • Fuse saving
  • Small tapped substations
  • High side breakers, circuit switcher, fuses, or nothing
  • Substation and feeder protection coordination

Distribution Overcurrent Settings Exercise

  • Problem setup by instructor
  • Attendees create settings and share with class

Bus and Transformer Protection

  • Bus arrangements
  • Zone interlocking protection
  • Bus partial and full differential protection
  • Magnetizing inrush
  • Transformer protection
  • Application examples

Non-Pilot Line Protection of Transmission Lines

  • Relay setting philosophy
  • 3-terminal lines
  • Setting examples

Pilot Line Protection of Transmission Lines

  • Communication channels
  • Directional comparison
  • Transfer trip
  • Phase comparison
  • Wire pilot
  • Settings

Operating Problems Affecting Human Safety

  • Miscoordination of relays
  • Misapplied operating procedures
  • Equipment failures and arcflash
  • Backup protection failures

Interpreting Oscillograms

  • Reading oscillograms
  • Filtered or unfiltered oscillograms
  • Examples of various short circuits
  • Bus differential protection


Days 4 and 5

Response of Distance Relays

  • Phasor diagrams
  • Distance relay response
  • Loading and fault conditions

Fault Location

  • Digital relays and digital fault recorders
  • Limit to the accuracy of fault location
  • Complexity of data input requirements
  • GPS signals for record synchronization

Capacitor and Reactor Protection, Grounding Banks

  • Capacitor bank connections
  • Unbalanced protection
  • Dry-type and oil-immersed reactors
  • Reactor differential protection
  • Grounding banks

Rotating Machinery Protection

  • Phase and ground protection
  • Unbalanced voltage and current
  • Loss of field
  • Motor protection
  • Start-up, inadvertent energization

Protection Practices for Wind and Solar Plants

  • Review of fault detection and discrimination
  • Windplant fault current sources
  • Collector station protection zones
  • Turbine tower protection
  • Protection coordination
  • Applications to solar plants

Protection and Power System Dynamics

  • Loss-of-field relaying
  • Phasor diagrams during stability swings
  • Out-of-step relaying
  • Frequency dynamics (catastrophic changes)
  • Under-frequency load shedding

Voltage Stability

  • Description of phenomena
  • Voltage collapse incidents
  • Reactive power control
  • Load shedding

Blackouts: Causes and Countermeasures

  • Rare events
  • NERC statistics
  • More intelligent controls
  • Remedial action schemes
  • Effects of open access, deregulation, and new regulations

Phasor Estimating and the Smart Grid

  • Motivation for GPS synchronized measurements
  • State estimation with synchronized phasors
  • Improved control with synchronized phasors
  • Applications to adaptive protection


"Charlie Henville is a pleasure to listen to. His presentations are very detailed yet clearly delivered and easy to follow."

"An excellent overview of the various protection schemes."

"I've been to UW–Madison's EPD courses twice. I think you offer the best professional development experience I can find. This includes topics, instructors, facilities, technology, meals, etc. Thanks for a great effort. You have thought about a lot of extras and details. Well done."

"Jim Niemira's presentation on wind and solar plants was interesting and very informative."


John Bettler

John Bettler’s responsibilities include setting all distribution relays (line, bus & transformer), running fault or coordination studies and the field in troubleshooting. He was previously the Cogeneration relay engineer, and has also worked in marketing and on field engineering assignments. John is a registered PE in the state of Illinois and holds a MSEE from IIT and a BSEE from Iowa State.

Miroslav Begovic

Dr. Miroslav M. Begovic is Carolyn S. & Tommie E. Lohman ’59 Professor and Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is also Director of Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), and has served as IEEE Power and Energy Society President in the past. Previously, Prof. Begovic served as Professor and Chair of the Electrical Energy Technical Interest Group at Georgia Institute of Technology and is an affiliated faculty member of the Brooks Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems and the University of Excellence on Photovoltaic Research.

Dr. Begovic received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and joined the faculty at Georgia Tech in 1989. Dr. Begovic’s research interests lie in wide area monitoring, protection and emergency control using smart grid apparatus; sustainable and resilient energy infrastructures; and managing large assets in energy infrastructure. He has participated in several collaborative research projects for energy industry, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, resulting in more than $10 million of funding in collaborative research over the last five years. Begovic is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Power and Energy (PES), Computer, and Circuits and Systems Societies. He is also a Fellow of IEEE, an IEEE PES Distinguished Lecturer and a member of Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu, Phi Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Pi. Begovic has published over 200 journal and conference papers and has presented nearly 100 keynote speeches, invited talks and presentations.

Charles Henville

Charles Henville is a native of the island of St. Kitts in the West Indies. His early education was in Jamaica, and he later graduated from the University of Cambridge in England in 1969. He has also received a Master of Engineering degree from the University of British Columbia in 2000.

After a thirty-year career with BC Hydro in Canada, he retired in 2005 from the position of principal engineer in protection planning. Since 1977, he has been responsible for the application and setting of protection systems for generation, transmission and distribution equipment with voltages ranging from 600 V to 500 kV. He now runs his own consulting company in power system protection. Charles is well experienced in training engineers in power systems. In addition to teaching at the University of Wisconsin, he is adjunct faculty at Gonzaga University and the University of British Columbia, and has presented training courses to working engineers world wide. He is well recognized in the IEEE, being a Fellow grade member, a past chairman of the Power Systems Relaying Committee and a past distinguished lecturer of the Power and Energy Society.

James Niemira

James K. Niemira, P.E., is a Principal Engineer of S&C Electric Company in the Power Systems Solutions organization. He has over 30 years of professional experience in the electric power industry. Present responsibilities include oversight of analysis and design work in the Engineering Services and Consulting & Analytical Services. Mr. Niemira has performed design work, field start‐up, and commissioning of wind power plant substations and data center substation sites; expansions of existing substations; distribution system protection and automation projects with protective relays; substation design, and collector system design for renewable energy generation sites (wind and solar); and the analytic studies to support these designs.

He is active in the IEEE/PES Power System Relay & Control Committee; a member of the Technical Committee of the NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace; and is a licensed Professional Engineer in 31 states.

Shalini Bhat

Shalini Bhat, PE, is a program director at the Office of Engineering Professional Development at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has over 15 years of experience in the power industry. Previously, she has worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Cooper Power Systems. Most recently, she was a Senior Distribution Protection Engineer for seven years at We Energies in Wisconsin.

Upcoming dates (2)

Jun. 7-9, 2021

Madison, WI
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Jun. 7-11, 2021

Madison, WI
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Program Director

Shalini Bhat


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