Omicron outlines the economic potential of automated protection testing

Omicron MEEThe use of modern test sets helps to avoid the costs of rectification and consequential loss at an early a stage as possible. (Image source: Jason Stephens/Flickr)Manufacturers of protection systems and Digital Control Systems are required to use testing to ensure the operation of the complete plants they supply, according to Omicron

The use of modern test sets helps to avoid the costs of rectification and consequential loss at an early a stage as possible. Investment in such test sets is particularly worthwhile if testing is carried out on a standardized and organized basis, and the possibilities offered by automated testing are fully exhausted.

The results of a study of a major manufacturer for whom its worldwide CMC pool was examined for its automation potential with the Omicron Control Centre are presented in this article. The testing time saved and the resulting cost reductions are estimated, taking regional differences into account, and the development over time of the "degree of automation" is shown. Finally, the sensible re-investment of the savings to ensure innovative growth in the future is discussed.

Omicron’s system-based testing with RelaySimTest is based on a power line and grid simulation. RelaySimTest automatically runs through a series of freely selectable fault conditions and checks whether in reality the relay actually trips correctly with its current settings, and refrains from tripping when there is no need.

In addition, the company’s simple automatic management of protection test data with ADMO allows an overview of a relay pool or projects to be created easily and maintenance cycles to be programmed, which automatically give reminders as to when and where the next measurement has to be taken. The potential for power utilities, but also for project firms and service providers, is considerable. Particularly in combination with the OCC, the option is available for regular maintenance operations of comparing the results of tests on a relay with those of previous tests, and drawing sensible conclusions from this about any changes.

According to Omicron, automated and organised testing is worthwhile, as is the investment in training and continuing education seminars for test technicians, whose competence will become an increasingly important capital asset in a successful and innovative business.

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