Testing of primary injections, busbars and transformer stability (Demo)

Primary Current Injection Test

Primary Current injection test is useful for high voltage and current substations or circuits. It is simple flowing of rated current in the circuit being tested. If the rated current of circuit is 2000 A (say), then 2000A of current needs to be flown through the circuit to ensure overall, healthiness of equipment and performance of protection scheme.

Importance of Primary Injection Test

Primary Injection Test is the last commissioning check to ensure that all the equipment and protection schemes are healthy and working as per the design. Connected CTs polarity is checked by stability Test / Check which can only be carried out with primary Injection Test.

Stability Test

Let us consider a circuit having differential protection (87) as shown in figure below. The CTs in the circuit are assumed to be of ratio 2000/1A. A current of 2000A is supposed to be flowing through the circuit.

Under normal condition there will be no differential current through the relay. This is what we expect. But during commissioning the CTs may have been connected with wrong polarities. In such case, under normal condition primary there will be a flow of net differential current (sum of individual CT secondary current) through the relay and if this value exceeds the setting value then differential protection will operate to trip the breaker. Perhaps this is not expected.

Protection Scheme Test

Protection Scheme is generally tested by Secondary Current Inject Test. Secondary Current Inject Test requires less current for testing protection relay functionality. This test is undoubtedly very helpful. But this test does not guarantee the overall connected performance of protection scheme. Let us take an example. Suppose during commissioning, commissioning engineer made incorrect setting of over current relay to 20% instead of 120%. What will happen?

Obviously the relay will trip as soon as the current through the circuit is more that 20% i.e. 200A (CT ratio is assumed 2000/1A). This mistake can be found and rectified during primary injection test. Next suppose, commissioning engineer made incorrect setting of a relay to 120% instead of 20%. What will happen? The relay won’t trip during primary current injection test as the rated current flowing through the circuit. Thus even during fault condition primary when relay is supposed to trip, it won’t as setting is 120% by mistake. This is a very dangerous condition. Fortunately you can suspect of non-operation of relay when the current through the circuit is more than 20% i.e. rated current and hence check & correct the setting.

 Loose Connection

 Loose connection can easily be found if there is sparking in the connection/ joint provided rated current is flowing during primary injection test. If low current is flowing during the test then it is likely to have no spark.


Busbar protection is a protection scheme meant to protect the busbar from electrical fault.  Various feeders are connected to a busbar through circuit breaker in any of the bus configuration viz. Double Busbar arrangement or one and half breaker scheme. The main purpose of this busbar is to increase the reliability of power system by maintain the evacuation of power in case of tripping of any feeder due to fault. Let us understand this in detail.

Figure below depicts a single bus to which four feeders are connected. Feeder -1 is generator feeder. This means that the generator power is evacuated by remaining three feeder i.e. Feeder-2,3,&4. In case there occurs any fault in any feeder (say in feeder-2), the respective breaker CB-2 will trip. Under this case, the generator power will be evacuated through busbar by Feeder-3&4. Thus the generator will remain stable. But if it happen so thatball the feeders i.e. 2,3&4 trips, the generated power will not be evacuated. In this case, the station will either run on house load or will trip its generator. Thus it is clear from above discussion that, busbar arrangement improves the reliability of system.

To protect the bus from faults, it is mandatory to disconnect it from all the power sources as soon as possible. This means that, breaker CB-1, 2, 3 & 4 must open during actuation of busbar protection. You might think that only CB-1 should open. But actually it is not so. Since all the feeders-2, 3, & 4 are connected to grid, they may feed as grid is an immense source of power. Thus to summarize, all the connected feeders to the bus must open on actuation of busbar protection. The functional requirement of busbar protection is to isolate the busbar in case of bus fault. Busbar protection is thus very important as it leads to disconnection of all connected feeders.


Busbar protection scheme incorporates busbar differential relay (87) which may either be high impedance or low impedance differential relay. When high impedance differential relay is used, it is called low impedance busbar protection. Anyhow, differential relay is used to detect the bus fault.

Let us consider one and half breaker scheme to understand busbar protection. In one and half breaker scheme, there are two main buses: Bus-1 and Bus-2. Two feeders are connected to the bus through two main CBs and one tie CB as shown in figure below. In the figure below, CB-1A & CB-1B are main breaker and CB-1C is tie breaker.

Two feeders 1 & 4 are connected to Bus-1 and Bus-2 respectively. Thus in this breaker arrangement, two different busbar protection are to be implement to protect Bus-1 and Bus-2. The protection adopted to protected Bus-1 is called Zone-1 BB protection and that meant for Bus-2 is called Zone-2 busbar protection. The protection scheme for Zone-1 and Zone-2 are identical in all respect. Therefore for better understanding, we will only focus on zone-1 BB protection.

If you carefully observe the above bus arrangement, you will notice that two CT cores are provided just after CB-1A. Each of the CT secondary cores is connected together in parallel and to the relay in high impedance differential scheme as shown in figure below.

Care must be taken of CT polarity while the secondary in parallel otherwise the relay will operate under normal condition. Let us now consider two cases for better understanding of working of busbar differential protection scheme.

Case-1: A fault in feeder 1

In this case, the fault will be fed by the connected feeders. The flow of current through various feeders is shown by dotted thin blue line in the figure below.

It can easily be seen in the above figure that, (I2+I3) is flowing through the CT-1A but in opposite direction i.e. from 1S2 to 1S1. Therefore the resultant of the currents (I1+I2+I3) will be zero. This can also be obtained from Kirchoff’s current law at the busbar, the sum of current will be zero. This means I1+I2+I3=0

This means that, no current will flow through the relay and hence busbar differential relay will be stable.

Case-2: A fault in bus-1

In this case, the flow of current to feed the bus fault is shown by orange color dotted line in figure below

In this case, different amount of current is flowing through CT-1A, Ct-2A and CT-3A in the same direction i.e. from 1S1 to 1S2. Therefore their summation (I1+I2+I3) will not be zero as evident from kirchoff’s current law when applied to the point of fault. Therefore a net current equivalent to fault current IF= (I1+I2+I3) will flow through the relay. This will cause busbar differential relay to operate. This in turn will issue trip command to all the connected breaker to the Bus-1 viz. CB-1A, CB-2A and CB=3A.

The main purpose of providing two CT core is make two zones of protection i.e. main zone and check zone. The busbar protection will only operate if both main zone and check zone protection operates. This is so done to eliminate any chance of spurious operation of busbar protection.


Main Zone and Check Zone in Busbar Protection

Since busbar protection leads to complete disconnection of connected feeders, there is no scope for giving a change of spurious actuation of this protection relay. To avoid any spurious actuation, two zones i.e. main zone and check zone scheme are implemented in each of the zone-1 (for Bus-1) and Zone-2 (for Bus-2) using two different cores of same CT. The wiring and protection scheme is so done that, busbar protection is only actuated when both main zone and check zone relays are operated. This is achieved by DC control scheme of busbar protection.

DC Scheme of Busbar Protection

The DC scheme incorporated in busbar differential protection is shown below. The actual scheme may vary but it shows the typical scheme to fulfill the functional requirement of the protection.

Two selection switched CSA and CSCH is provided. The function of CSA is to take main zone busbar protection out of service. When selection switch CSA is operated, the main zone CT cores are shorted and thus bypassed. Similarly, when CSCH is operated, check zone CT cores are shorted and bypassed. Thus the purpose of CSCH is to take check zone out of service.

When CSA and CSCH are in service and main zone busbar protection relay (87-1) and check zone busbar protection relay (87-2) operates, relay 96 gets energized as positive and negative supplies are extended to it. Upon energization of relay 96, its output contact changes their status from NO (normally open) to NC (normally close). These output contacts are wired to breaker trip coils (there are two trip coils in a breaker, TC-1 & TC-2). Thus on energization of 96 relay, breaker gets trip. Since 96 relay is provided for every feeders, all feeders breaker gets trip due to actuation of respective 96 relay.In the above DC scheme, only one 96 relay corresponding to one feeder is shown for simplicity.

Now suppose, we want to take preventive maintenance checks on main zone busbar differential relay (87-1). So what will we do? We will take main zone busbar protection out of service by operating selection switch CSA. Suppose during this period, when main zone relay is out of service a bus fault take place. What will happen? Under this case, on actuation of check zone busbar differential relay (87-2) the relay 96 will be actuated as negative supply is actuation of 87-2 and positive supply is already extended through CSA at out position. Thus even through the main zone relays is out, busbar check zone busbar differential is taken out of service and bus fault take place.

There is one more relay 50Z in the above DC scheme. This relay is actually the LBB Relay. You might think why LBB relay contact is wired to busbar differential protection scheme. Actually this is required when there is a fault in a feeder and main breaker (like CB-1A) fails to open. This condition is as good as a bus fault as the bus is connected to the feeder fault through stuck close main breaker. Therefore to isolate the fault, it in case main breaker is stuck close it is necessary that the tie breaker (like CB-1C) along with all the connected feeders to the bus should open. This is the reason, LBB protection relay contact of all main breakers are wired to busbar protection DC scheme. It can be seen in the DC scheme that, upon actuation of LBB relay contacts, 96 relay gets actuated to trip all connected breakers to the bus.

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