What is “Self-Power”?
The concept “Self-Power” defines the supplying mode of electronic protection relays for Medium Voltage.
It means that there is no need for auxiliary voltage to power the relay and that the energy is obtained directly from the line that we are protecting.
This means that maintenance of transformer and distribution substations is heavily reduced. All batteries, chargers and other external power elements are made redundant.
How do we obtain power from the line?
The energy is obtained through current transformers installed in the line we want to protect.
There are two options respecting to the transformers:
- Standard transformers /1 or /5
- Specific transformers: in this case the secondary current is not standard and they provide some special feature respect the standard Cts like a higher saturation level, or a wider measurement range.
RMUs based on switches with 3 fuses are being substituted by SF6 Circuit breakers and self powered relays, but… Why?
Advantages of Self-powered Relays vs. Fuses
- Low current faults: Fuses only can break high current faults. Circuit breaker with self powered relays can detect and clear low current faults avoiding the destruction of the MV/LV transformers.
- Protection Selectivity: The discrimination with fuse curves becomes difficult. It is possible to choose the right curve in self powered relays to ensure coordination between MV and LV protection.
- Inrush current: Transformer energizing produces high transient inrush current. This is a natural phenomena and the protection should not operate. Fuses are not able to distinguish this current and the trip cannot be blocked. Circuit breaker with self powered relay allows greater flexibility to avoid the trip.
- Temperature: Fuses are weak into harsh environment and the different temperatures can provoke 2 situation:
- High temperature: Undesired trips.
- Low temperature: The trip does not happen instead the fault current is high enough.
- Saving Costs: Circuit-breaker with self power reduces costs for 2 reasons:
- Self powered relays are maintenance free.
- There is no need to keep large stocks of fuses.
Which opening mechanism will be used with self powered relays?
Self powered Relays do power themselves from the primary current and the energy is scarce, so an efficient management of this energy is indispensable.
Due to this situation using coils is not viable because they have a very high electrical consumption. The solution is to use a striker.
But what is a striker?
It’s a bistable device with a simple action. It consists on an electromagnet that is charged when the breaker is closed (To trip, it required low energy, 100 millijoules approximately) The striker shaft is moved by a spring. And activated by a polarized low power electrical signal, supplied by the relay if a fault occurs.
Could a Self-powered Relay be used if the opening mechanism is a coil instead of a striker?
Yes, it is possible to use a Self-powered Relays if the installed opening mechanism is a coil, but it is necessary to install an external device with the relay.
Fanox offers amongst its products catalogue the TCM adapter. This device is connected to the trip contact of the relay and provides the required energy to trip a coil.
How does TCM work?
TCM is an energy accumulator that can be charged, through its auxiliary supply terminals, before the installation or once the device is installed, if in the installation auxiliary supply is available. The charging time is 10 seconds approximately and once the power supply is lost the TCM has three days of autonomy.
Main advantages over other brands:
- The relays are self powered by the current measured by the CTs fitted on the lines. The MAIN ADVANTAGE comparing with other self-powered relays in the market is that Fanox relays do not required internal batteries. This means that the maintenance of transformation centers is heavily reduced.
- High electromagnetic compatibility makes FANOX relays the safest in the market. KEMA certification proves it.
- 5 years warranty al least.
- Standard CTs /1A or /5A can be used saving money due to specific CTs are not required.
- Fanox self-powered relays are able to trip all the strikers in the market. Thanks to a setting that allows the user to select the required voltage by the striker.
- Possibility of LOCAL AND REMOTE communication .
- Very intuitive menu, extremely easy to set.
- Our flexible design offers solutions for all the applications worldwide: coils, strikers, dual-powered installations…
No one in the market gives more quality and specifications with so expertise.
Besides, all models can be powered from an external battery, in order to facilitate the commissioning of the centers (the settings and configuration procedure can be carried out without installing the relay), to manage the incidents that may occur and also to manage the devices in adverse conditions.