Online Seminar 1: How to Test Overcurrent Relays: An Introduction to Protective Relaying Online Seminar (32 NETA CTDs)

7 Lessons

Are you new to relay testing and want to get a good foundation so that you are ready when you get thrown to the relay testing wolves?

Or have you already been thrown to the wolves and don’t feel confident that you have been testing relays properly?

If so, this seminar covers the basics of overcurrent protection that new relay testers should know before they start testing relays. It will also fill in gaps for self-taught relay testers who had to figure it out for themselves and want to truly understand how to test all overcurrent relays from any manufacturer with any test-set.

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Short Descriptions of Each Lesson

This seminar starts with an introduction to relays to show you how all relays from all generations have the same basic operating characteristics. Most relays on the power system are overcurrent relays that are fed by current transformers (CTs), so this lesson also includes some CT basics that every relay tester should know.

Once the theory lesson is over, we head over to the lab to show you everything I know about testing single-function, single-phase, electro-mechanical overcurrent relays. I thought this was going to be quick and easy, but one of the main goals of this seminar is to explain every aspect of relay testing that usually gets glossed over.

For example; in a normal relay testing or on-the-job training environment, you could be told something like:

  • You have to parallel channels when testing electro-mechanical relays
  • Always make 0.5% or 1.0% pickup steps
  • Use +/- 5% percent test tolerances

You usually don’t get an explanation why and many relay testers don’t ask because there isn’t enough time, or because the person makes it sound like the answer is so obvious you would be foolish to ask. So, relay testers often have gaps in their knowledge that get them into trouble when the “obvious” technique doesn’t work and they don’t know how to fix it because they don’t know why they were doing it in the first place.

The electro-mechanical relay testing lesson has over 50 topics because I wanted to fill in all of the knowledge gaps relay testers usually have so that you are able to test any relay with any test-set. Then I show you how I test a GE IAC and ABB/Westinghouse CO-9 relay with all of the major test-sets used in the industry today so that you can apply these techniques with your test-set.

Relays are constantly measuring the power system voltage and current looking for faults. Power system faults don’t change their characteristics because a different relay has been installed. Therefore, if you can simulate a realistic looking fault with your test-set, there’s no relay you can’t test. Lesson #3 shows you the different fault characteristics that will set you up for success when testing more complicated relays.

Lesson #4 will show you how you can apply all of the skills learned in the electro-mechanical relay testing lesson and apply them to single-function, multi-phase simple digital overcurrent relays like the Basler BE1-51. Once again, you will watch me test this relay from start to finish and all of these hands-on lessons include universal relay testing checklists, step-by-step testing instructions, and a test-sheet you can use to test your relays with your test-set.

I strongly believe that understanding the why and how of any relay topic will make you a better relay tester, so Lesson #5 will show you how a relay engineer uses power system study software to create relay settings. This brief introduction to relay coordination will help you find setting mistakes and show you how to get the information you need to test an overcurrent relay using information from a coordination study.

I already covered how to test a modern intelligent electronic device (IED) in the How to Test Protective Relays online seminar, but my ideas about relay testing have evolved since then. The final lesson in this How to Test Overcurrent Relays online seminar will show you how I would test an overcurrent element inside an IED today. (Hint: You don’t need to decipher all of the different codes from all the different relay manufacturers when testing IEDs, you really just need some basic information about the power system to properly test the overcurrent elements inside an IED, and I show you exactly what information you need and how to apply it in this lesson.)

Our Philosophy for Seminars

We’ve doubled down on our “Show, Don’t Tell” philosophy and tried to add more test-sets and examples. I thought publishing the last book was an epic journey, but this seminar was my sole focus for more than two years because it turns out I’m a little bit of a perfectionist😁. I’ve tried to make sure that every possible aspect of overcurrent relay testing is covered in this seminar to:

  • help new relay testers understand the why, when, and how for each of the most common relay testing techniques; and
  • fill in the gaps that most self-taught relay testers have when they are focused on getting the job done and don’t really understand why they are performing a test.

Almost all videos in this seminar are less than 15 minutes and every video has been reviewed and edited at least eight times to make sure that you get the best information and audio/video quality possible.

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How it Works:

This online seminar contains over 30 hours of videos (usually less than 15 minutes each) that you can watch at your own pace in any order with an internet connection. You have unlimited, 24/7 access to all the videos with no expiration date. Each video has closed captioning, fast-forward/rewind/play speed controls, and you can revisit the videos whenever you wish. You can learn how to use these features by clicking the Get Help menu at the top of every page.

We try to follow a “Show, Don’t Tell” philosophy in all our videos and use realistic conditions as much as possible. You can watch the instructor test different relays with different test-sets and explain what he is doing every step of the way. We didn’t cut out the mistakes he made while testing and creating the settings, so you will also see how to troubleshoot problems when they happen.

We encourage you to ask questions in the comments below each video. If you are asking about something specific in the video, please add the timestamp in the video where your question came from so that we can get you answers more quickly.

You will get a certificate of achievement when you complete all of the topics and lessons in the seminar that you can use for continuing education credits with your organization. Please let us know if you need any help getting accreditation with your organization. We will do the best we can to help you.

This course is eligible for 32 NETA Continuing Technical Development Credits (CTDs). NETA Certified Technicians (Level III and Level IV) are required to earn a minimum of 48 CTDs every three years to maintain their certification. For more information about the CTD program and requirements, please contact the NETA office at [email protected] or 888-300-6382.

Get your questions answered inside these lessons:

Introduction to Protective Relays

How to Test Electro-Mechanical Overcurrent Relays

Understanding Power System Faults

How to Test Simple Digital Overcurrent Relays

Introduction to the Power System Studies Used to Create Relay Settings

How to Test Overcurrent Elements Inside IEDs

Final Thoughts