Overcurrent protection is protection against excessive currents or current beyond the acceptable current rating of equipment. It generally operates instantly. Short circuit is a type of overcurrent. Magnetic circuit breakers, fuses and overcurrent relays are commonly used to provide overcurrent protection. There is always a need to protect expensive power equipment. Protective relaying is a very important part of any electric power system that comes into play during trouble, fault or abnormal condition. The purpose is to isolate unhealthy part of electrical power system while the rest continue their normal operation. The entire electric power system from source to load centers is exposed and subject to natural hazards. The effects of these hazards are capable of interrupting normal operations of the system. Since these hazards cannot be prevented, precautions are taken to minimize or eliminate their effect on the system. The relay is a basic component of any protection scheme. The information (or signals) received from the power system actuates the relay, when necessary, to perform one or more switching actions. The signals are proportional to the magnitudes and phase angles of power system voltages and currents. When the relay receives these signals, it decides to close (or open) one or more sets of normally open (or closed) contacts, and consequently, the trip coil of a circuit breaker will be energized to open the power circuit. This paper investigates over-current relay protection scheme applied to medium-voltage electrical network. Methods of current and time grading have been applied in the coordination of the overcurrent relays in a radial network. Different time/current characteristics of relays such as the normal inverse (NI), very inverse (VI), and extreme inverse (EI) have been examined in order to obtain optimum discrimination.
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