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Motor Protection Relay

Why we require protection of motors?

• To understand this we need to know the cost associated with the

failure of motor, i.e. Loss of production (Cost of production)

• Replacement of motor (Replacement cost)

• Cost of repair

• Cost of man hours due to this emergency

 The basic function of a protective relay is to identify the fault

and isolate it from the healthy part of the system. This will
improve the reliability of power system.

 The various causes of Motor failure are as below:

• Thermal
• Single phasing
• Earth fault
• Short circuit
• Locked rotor
• Number of hot starts
• Bearing failure

List of motor Protection –P127

• Thermal protection
• Single phasing protection
• Earth fault protection
• Short circuit protection
• Locked rotor protection
• Number of hot starts protection
• Bearing failure protection
• No load running of motor
• Excessive long start(48)
• Differential protection(87) -P122

Thermal protection

 If a motor runs continuously more than its rated capacity then this
will over heat the winding and insulation. Subsequently deteriorate
the winding insulation resulting in failure of motor. If the voltage is
less than the designed value then also it will over heat the winding
at rated load and fail the motor.

 Actually every motor does have some predetermined overload

tolerance value. That means every motor may run beyond its rated
load for a specific allowable period depending on its loading
condition. How long a motor can run safely for a particular load is
specified by the manufacturer. The relation between different loads
on motor and corresponding allowable periods for running the same
in safe condition is referred as thermal limit curve of the motor. Let’s
look at the curve of a particular motor, given below.

 In addition, We can also connect the temperature probe to the relay,
which will monitor the winding temperature and trip the motor if it
exceeds the specified value.

 Short circuit
• Every electric motor has operating limits. Overshooting these
limits will eventually destroy it and the systems it drives, the
immediate effect being operating shutdown and losses. A short
circuit is a direct contact between two points of different electric
• The range available for this element is 1 to 6 times of starting
current. Time delay is also available. We normally set at 5 times
of I starting with a time delay.
 Single Phasing Element or Unbalance
• This element will operate, if there is an unbalance in current of
three phases. It is also called as unbalance protection. The
element is set for 1/4th of starting current. If it tripped during
starting, then the parameter will changed to 1/3 of starting

• Earth Fault Protection

Measured :
For LT motors, the common method is to use a Core-Balance CT

• Derived :

This element drives the phase unbalance current of CT secondary. The

range available for this element is 0.02 to 1 times of CT primary
current. Time delay is also available up to 100S. We normally set at

 Locked rotor protection

• Stalling or locking the rotor, is a situation in which the circuits of a

motor are energized but the rotor is not turning. Motors are
particularly susceptible to overheating during starts, due to high
currents combined with low cooling air flows (due to the low speed
of the motor, cooling fans are delivering only small amounts of air).

• This is also why some larger motors have a limit on the number of
attempted motor starts before a cooling off period is required.
However, stall conditions can occur during normal operation. For
example, mechanical faults such as a seized bearing, heavy loading
or some type of foreign object caught in a pump could be possible
causes of motor stalling.

• The range available for this element is 1 to 5 times of full load
current. Time delay is also available. We normally set at 2 times of
FLC. The time delay will be more than the starting time of the motor.
"Starting time means the time require by the motor to reach its full

 Number of hot start protection

• Here we will provide the number of start allowed in specified time

duration. By this we will limit the number of hot start given to the

No load running of motor

• In case of no load running, the relay senses the motor current. If it is

less than the specified value then it will trip the motor.

Differential protection(87) -P122

Available modes in M/s Areva Make