Protection System Testing Improvements
How does Reclamation improve its maintenance and testing of power system protection systems (PTs, CTs, relays, breakers, and batteries) without significantly increasing operation and maintenance staff hours and cost?
Need and Benefit
Current O&M practices, given Reclamation's aging facilities, a deregulated market, the increased demand for additional ancillary services due to the integration of wind power, new NERC/WECC requirements, and today's tight budgets and shrinking staff, are not optimal. This is particularly evident in Reclamation's protection system testing. Much of this testing is guided by FIST 3-8. Many of the recommendations for testing in this FIST are
time-based maintenance which, in general, is inefficient, labor intensive, and results in some equipment being under maintained. This research effort will seek to find improvements that can be made to Reclamation's program. Improvements that reduce time required to perform the required tests or reduce the number of tests that are needed, which in turn reduces outages. This project will also look at improving the integrity and focus of protection system testing by looking at common failure modes and adding or improving tests that can identify these failure modes.
Improving the protection of Reclamation infrastructure is the main benefit of this project. An additional benefits include reducing NERC/WECC non-compliance, minimizing the number of staff that is needed to meet NERC/WECC requirements, and providing supporting data for many of Reclamation practices.
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