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# RHO 3 APPLICATION FOR BROKEN CONDUCTOR DETECTION ON OVERHEAD LINE FEEDERS

## Where a feeder circuit consists of overhead line

conductors, the effect of a broken conductor on one
or more phases needs to be considered.

characteristic
overrides
the
characteristic.

## Consideration is given primarily to the possibility of

one conductor (i.e. one phase) being broken. This
could result in unbalanced current and/or unbalanced
voltage at the terminals of the outgoing or incoming
feeder circuit.

## For broken conductor operation we recommend that

the relay should be set with I = 0.1 x I and the time
multiplier to 0.10. These settings will result in a
maximum operating time of 10 secs when there is a
minimal load in one phase and zero in the broken
conductor phase. For full load current in one phase
and zero in another the operating time would be fast
(i.e. 0.1sec), however the minimum operating time
can be set to avoid mal-operation during a remote
short circuit that would be isolated by other
protection. To avoid mal-operation during a system
short circuit occurance (unbalanced fault) we
recommend a minimum operating time greater than
the system protection clearance time e.g. 2 seconds.

## Where overhead line circuits form part of a three

phase distribution network, the supply source neutral
is normally solidly earthed or earthed via a tuned
reactance (e.g. Peterson coil earthing). In either case
a conductor lying on the ground may result in a low
level of earth fault current.
Unbalanced current or low level earth faults due to a
broken conductor can be detected by employing RHO
3.
Unbalance is detected by employing the Phase
Difference function. The relay calculates the phase
unbalance relative to the current setting (i.e. the
thermal overcurrent setting I), as follows:
Percentage Unbalance =
Where

I
I

time
time

## Where necessary a status input to RHO 3 can be

employed to block the unbalance protection function
should this be necessary. For example, where single
pole reclosing is provided on the same circuit,
initiation of trip and dead time from the auto reclose
system should block a 3-phase trip from the RHO 3
unbalance function.

x 100%

I = IMAX IMIN
IMAX = highest phase current
IMIN = lowest phase current

## The protection operates with an inverse time

characteristic defined by:t=

minimum
inverse

1
x tm
(I/I)2

## Where t = protection operating time

tm = time multiplier setting

## To supplement the unbalance current function for

broken conductor protection, the use of the sensitive
earth fault function is also recommended, e.g. with
settings of approximately 5% and d.t.l. of 5 seconds.
Finally, where the circuit is an incomer to a substation
from a remote source, a broken conductor is likely to
result in unbalanced voltage on the incoming
connections to the switchboard. Where a v.t. is
provided, advantage can be taken from including an
ARGUS 8 (Voltage) relay which can be supplied with
a n.p.s overvoltage function.