Defining the role of wide area adaptive protection in future networks

Cao, Xue and Abdulhadi, Ibrahim Faiek and Booth, Campbell and Burt, Graeme; (2012) Defining the role of wide area adaptive protection in future networks. In: 47th International Universities Power Engineering Conference (UPEC), 2012. IEEE, GBR. ISBN 9781467328548 (

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Recent increases in generation diversity, use of renewable energy resources and HVDC, as well as the increasing electricity demand may act to push power systems closer to their operating limits, not to mention the increasing likelihood of hidden failures or severe contingencies. It has never been easy for conventional protection with fixed relay settings to deal with such complicated scenarios. That, inevitably, led to some protection performance issues, including sensitivity and coordination issues. Accordingly, to maintain a reliable and robust power system, a protection system which is potentially immune to changes and aforementioned challenges plays an important role in future networks. Adaptive protection, capable of real-time signal processing and timely adjustment of relay settings for the prevailing system conditions, is seen as a potential approach to cope with these system issues. This paper will define wide area adaptive protection (WAAP) and discuss why and how adaptive protection can be best utilized to improve protection performance, particularly during system-level disturbances. The potential challenges and drawbacks of WAAP are also analysed.