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System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) Economic and Provision

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Automatic Under-Frequency
Load Shedding (AUFLS)
Rate of Change of Frequency
Testing & Recommendation
System Operator
20/07/2012

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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COPYRIGHT 2012 TRANSPOWER New Zealand LIMITED


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The information contained in the report is protected by copyright vested in Transpower New Zealand Limited
(Transpower). The report is supplied in confidence to you solely for your information. No part of the report
may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means including, without limitation, electronic,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Transpower. No information
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Any breach of the above obligations may be restrained by legal proceedings seeking remedies including
injunctions, damages and costs.

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Transpower make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the
information contained in the report. Unless it is not lawfully permitted to do so, Transpower specifically
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liable for, any loss of profit or any other commercial damage, including but not limited to special, incidental,
consequential or other damages.

Prepared by:

System Operator

Date
July 2012

This report and the appendices are available to download from the System
Operator website at www.systemoperator.co.nz

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1
2

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................. 4


INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................ 6

2.1

Background and Purpose .................................................................................................. 6


2.1.1

2.2

2.2.1
2.2.2
2.2.3

2.3

Providing comments to the System Operator ................................................................... 8

Survey of North Island Distributors ................................................................................... 9


The AUFLS testing process (current and future) .............................................................. 9
Cost recovery of scheme changes.................................................................................. 10
The reliable use and implementation of the RoCoF scheme .......................................... 10

Objective of the AUFLS Scheme .................................................................................... 11


2.3.1
2.3.2
2.3.3

3
4

The challenges of achieving block discrimination ........................................................... 11


The benefit of faster AUFLS operation ........................................................................... 12
Proposed benefit of RoCoF ............................................................................................ 13
INTERNATIONAL USE OF ROCOF FOR AUFLS ............................................................................................. 14
3.1.1
Use of RoCoF in Tasmania ............................................................................................ 15
CALCULATING THE RATE OF CHANGE OF FREQUENCY .................................................................................... 16
4.1.1
Frequency Calculation .................................................................................................... 16
4.1.2
Rate-of-Change-of-Frequency Calculation ..................................................................... 17
ROCOF BENCH TESTING - METHODOLOGY .................................................................................................. 18

5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
6

Initial RoCoF relay performance requirements ............................................................... 18


Test equipment arrangement and process ..................................................................... 20
Test Cases ...................................................................................................................... 21
Settings Used .................................................................................................................. 22

5.4.1
The role of the frequency guard ...................................................................................... 22
BENCH TESTING RESULTS ......................................................................................................................... 23

6.1

Bench Testing Results Summary .................................................................................... 23


6.1.1
6.1.2
6.1.3
6.1.4

Logic ............................................................................................................................... 23
Stability ........................................................................................................................... 23
Uniformity and Response Time ...................................................................................... 24
Accuracy ......................................................................................................................... 25
INACCURACY FROM POWER SYSTEM OSCILLATIONS ..................................................................................... 26

7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4

8
9

7.4.1
The Frequency Guard..................................................................................................... 31
7.4.2
Increasing the RoCoF calculation time ........................................................................... 32
7.4.3
Low-Pass Filtering .......................................................................................................... 34
ROCOF RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY ....................................................................................................... 37
SOUTH ISLAND BLOCK 2 INCREASE ............................................................................................................ 38

9.1
9.2
9.3
10
11
12
13

Limitation in calculating frequency and RoCoF ............................................................... 26


Impact of system oscillations on RoCoF Calculations .................................................... 27
Oscillations during Under Frequency Events .................................................................. 29
Mitigating the effects of power system oscillations ......................................................... 31

Background ..................................................................................................................... 38
Cost Benefit Analysis Methodology................................................................................. 39
Cost Benefit Analysis Results ......................................................................................... 41

NEXT STEPS ............................................................................................................................................. 42


SUMMARY OF QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION ........................................................................................... 42
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................................................... 43
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................................ 43

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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Executive Summary
Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) is vital to managing power
system security and acts as a safety net to prevent power system collapse and
blackout following large, rare system events.
New Zealands AUFLS scheme is made up of a minimum of two 16% blocks in
each island. This means that 32% of customer demand can be automatically
disconnected to restore stability to the power system. In 2009, the System
Operator determined that a technical review of these arrangements was required.
The results of the technical review concluded that the Reserve Management Tool
(RMT) and the under-frequency products available for use by the System
Operator should prevent system collapse from large defined risks (such as the
sudden disconnection of HVDC bi-pole) at all times1.
However, the results of the technical review demonstrated that the operation of
the current AUFLS scheme could result in over-frequency and potentially system
collapse from some of the defined risks. Further, the current AUFLS scheme
does not provide the System Operator with sufficient confidence that it will
prevent the system from collapsing following undefined larger risks.
The System Operator identified technically feasible options for improving the
performance of the AUFLS system and under took a cost-benefit analysis of
those options. One of the options proposed included the use of rate-of-changeof-frequency (RoCoF) relays. The analysis revealed the scheme, using RoCoF
elements, resulted in the largest benefit for North Island.
Following the cost-benefit analysis the System Operator conducted a literature
review which revealed the use of RoCoF relays for under-frequency load
shedding schemes is rare. In addition, some North Island distributors voiced
concern whether the RoCoF relays would increase risk of trip due to maloperation.
The System Operator tested several RoCoF relays to address the issue of relay
reliability and to identify the Code requirements to ensure the implementation of a
reliable AUFLS scheme. This report presents the findings and conclusions of the
RoCoF relay bench testing.
The testing process aimed to verify the logic, stability, uniformity, response time,
and accuracy of the relays to identify the requirements for reliable use of RoCoF
relays on the New Zealand power system.
Using RoCoF technology for the proposed AUFLS scheme requires a level of
logic to implement a frequency guard and backup under-frequency settings. All of
the relays tested had some form of logic programming that allowed users to
implement the required combinations of elements. Each manufacturer has a
different way of arranging and setting their logic elements and care is required to
ensure the desired result is achieved when programming and setting the various
relays.
The bench testing aimed primarily at ensuring the RoCoF relays remain stable
during a range of system disturbances that would not normally result in AUFLS
operation. The tests results indicate that the sample RoCoF relays were stable
under all of the disturbances to which they were subjected. The guard frequency
used in these tests likely plays a major role in preventing the undesired operation
of RoCoF.

This could require the transfer on the HVDC link to be limited to below its maximum capability under certain
system conditions to ensure power system security.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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A level of uniformity is required to ensure the installed AUFLS system achieves


the desired levels of operation should a range of different relays be used. The
tests demonstrated that the sampled RoCoF relays do not behave uniformly
when subjected to identical inputs. This is not necessarily a problem provided
that relays comply within a specified maximum allowed response time.
The RoCoF relays must be able to accurately calculate the rate of system
frequency decay when subjected to a variety of grid conditions to be used for
load shedding. The consequences of inaccuracy could result in the relay maloperating by tripping inappropriately. The relays performed within the specified
accuracy margins for clean frequency decays. However, the testing results did
verify that RoCoF relays are susceptible to calculation inaccuracy due to system
oscillations.
RoCoF relays use low pass filters to manage the impact of power oscillations on
the RoCoF calculation. Ideally, the low pass filters would attenuate the noise and
oscillations while leaving the slower-changing underlying RoCoF relatively
unaffected. It is recommended that a filtering standard be required for all relays,
regardless of the RoCoF settings.
The System Operator has concluded the use of RoCoF relays is feasible on the
New Zealand system provided the following requirements are specified in the
code:
1.

The required RoCoF calculation filtering to mitigate the inaccuracy caused


by an identified level of oscillations during under-frequency events.

2.

The maximum response time required for the RoCoF settings proposed so
that the various relays provide a degree of uniformity.

3.

A test regime to verify the logic elements of the installed relays meet the
performance requirements.

The System Operator requests that Industry reviews the tests results and
provides feedback on the level of confidence in the stability of the relays.
For the South Island, the System Operator believes it is prudent to hold off
proposing new AUFLS schemes until there is further clarity of the future of the
frequency band and AUFLS provision at the Tiwai grid exit point.
In the interim, the System Operator recommends the trip setting of the second
AUFLS block is increased to 46.5 Hz to improve the capability of the current
South Island AUFLS scheme.
The implementation cost for the change is assessed as low so a high level costbenefit analysis was undertaken to avoid costly studies. The cost-benefit analysis
suggests the setting increase will be economically beneficially.
The testing results and South Island benefit analysis were presented and
discussed with industry at System Operator workshops commencing on 9th July
2012. Following the workshops, the System Operator will consider industry
feedback before making recommendations to the Electricity Authority regarding
the future AUFLS arrangements in both islands.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Introduction

2.1

Background and Purpose

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AUFLS is the acronym for Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding and


describes the set of relays in New Zealand which automatically trip blocks of load
following a severe under-frequency event to seek to restore the system
frequency.
These relays are relied upon by the System Operator to prevent the collapse of
the system from under-frequency following events which have the potential to
cause a system blackout.
New Zealands current AUFLS scheme is made up of a minimum of two 16%
blocks in each island. This means that 32% of customer demand can be
automatically disconnected to restore stability to the power system.
The AUFLS obligations are set out in Part 8 Schedule 8.3 Technical Code B of
the Electricity Industry Participation Code (the Code). Distributors2 in the North
Island and Grid Owners in the South Island are required to provide a minimum of
2 x 16% blocks of AUFLS as described in Table 1 below:
Table 1 Required AUFLS settings

Trip Frequency (Hz)


Time Delay (sec)
nd
2 Trip Frequency (Hz)
Time Delay (sec)

North Island
South Island
Block 1 Block 2 Block 1 Block 2
47.8
47.8
47.5
47.5
0.4
15
0.4
15
47.5
45.5
0.4
0.4

The current AUFLS arrangements are largely based on historical practice. In


2009, the System Operator determined that a technical review of these
arrangements was required. This technical review was completed in 20103.
The results of the technical review concluded that the Reserve Management Tool
(RMT) and the under-frequency products available for dispatch should prevent
system collapse from large defined risks, such as the sudden disconnection of
HVDC bi-pole, at all times4.
However, the results of the technical review demonstrated that the operation of
the current AUFLS scheme could result in over-frequency and potentially system
collapse from some of the defined risks.
There is also concern that the current AUFLS scheme does not provide the
System Operator with sufficient confidence that it will be effective to prevent the
system from collapsing following a range of undefined larger risks.
The technical review found the lack of discrimination between AUFLS blocks can
result in more AUFLS tripping than is required which leads to dangerous overfrequency conditions and potential combined cycle generators tripping, which
then can cause another under-frequency event and, without any AUFLS
remaining, system collapse.
To address the issues identified in the technical review, the System Operator
worked through a process of identifying technical feasible options aimed at
improving the performance of the AUFLS system and undertaking cost-benefit
2

The obligations includes consumers connected directly to the grid, also known as direct connects
The technical report can be found at http://www.systemoperator.co.nz/n3210,521.html.
4
This could require the transfer on the HVDC link to be limited to below its maximum capability under certain
system conditions to ensure power system security.
3

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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analyses of those options. One of the options proposed included the use of rateof-change-of-frequency (RoCoF) relays.
The economic analysis revealed the scheme using RoCoF elements resulted in
the largest benefit range for North Island5. The results of the economic analysis
were presented to industry in August 2011 and industry feedback was received
on the proposed changes.
Any changes to the AUFLS scheme will require changes to the Electricity
Industry Participation 2010 Code (Code). In November 2011, the Electricity
Authority agreed that the System Operator would complete the RoCoF testing
work required to compile code change recommendations. The System Operator
finalised the scope of the project after collecting feedback from the Electricity
Authority and industry participants.
The purpose of RoCoF testing work is to determine the requirements that will
provide a reliable, secure, and efficient RoCoF AUFLS system to deliver greater
certainty on system integrity during major under-frequency events. To make the
code recommendations the RoCoF testing work aimed at the following:

evaluating the technical requirements for the reliable use of RoCoF relays;
outlining the required installation design outcomes to provide flexibility in
meeting the requirements;
and developing a proposed implementation plan to maintain system security
during rollout.

The work also included completing a high level cost-benefit analysis of proposed
South Island setting changes. The purpose of this report is to set out the System
Operators findings on the above6 and to seek industry and stakeholder views on
such findings. A high level overview will be presented here while a detailed
technical report is attached as Appendix B. Once the System Operator has
considered any comments received in respect of this reports findings, it expects
to make any code recommendations to the Electricity Authority.

5
6

The economic report can be found at http://www.systemoperator.co.nz/aufls


This excludes the code recommendations themselves and the implementation plan which will be published
at a later date.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

2.1.1

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Providing comments to the System Operator


The System Operator requests comments on this reports findings by Friday 17
August 2012 so that it can continue the next phase of work.
The System Operators preference is to receive submissions in electronic form.
The electronic version should be emailed with the phrase Submissions on
AUFLS scheme options in the subject header to justin.blass@transpower.co.nz.
Hard copies can be posted to the following address:
Mr Justin Blass
Transpower New Zealand Limited
Level 7, Transpower House
96 The Terrace
PO Box 1021
Wellington
New Zealand
The System Operator will acknowledge receipt of all submissions electronically.
The System Operator values openness and transparency and therefore
comments will be published on the System Operators website. Those providing
comments should discuss with the System Operator any intended provision of
confidential information, prior to sending the information.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

2.2

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Survey of North Island Distributors


Following the economic review the System Operator engaged in discussions with
North Island distributors7 to ensure the concerns of the obligated parties were
captured prior to completing the next scope. The discussions were grouped into
the following categories:

Load allocation (specifically the management of critical load)


Relay ownership (specifically management of relays at the Grid Exit Point
Level)
RoCoF Feasibility and Implementation
Market Arrangements and load optimisation

The discussions helped to shape the work being carried out in the AUFLS
programme. The views presented during these discussions were varied.
However, the commonly re-occurring themes were8:
1. The AUFLS testing process (current and future)
2. Cost recovery of required scheme changes
3. The reliable use and implementation of the RoCoF scheme
In light of the industry discussion and the present scope of work the System
Operator invited industry participants to participate in an advisory group. The
purpose of the advisory group was to provide additional input into the testing of
the RoCoF relays.
Participation in the advisory group included providing comment on the testing
methodology and discussing these comments via teleconferences9. The advisory
group had nine members from different distribution companies that provided
input into the initial testing process.
The System Operator would like to thank the participants for their input and cooperation with the development of the RoCoF relay bench testing process.
2.2.1

The AUFLS testing process (current and future)


The Code currently requires the testing of AUFLS operation every 4 years
regardless of relay type10. However, various parts of the Code stipulate the
testing requirements for analogue, non-self-monitoring digital, and self-monitoring
digital protection systems11. The self-monitoring digital protection systems are
required to be tested every 10 years while the others are every 4.
Several of the distributors suggested bringing consistency to the code
requirements by allowing AUFLS provided on self-monitoring digital protection
systems to be tested every 10 years.
In addition, some expressed concern over the clarity of roles when AUFLS
operation is provided at the Grid Exit Point (GXP) level. Distributors had a range
of experiences managing the testing and status of AUFLS relays installed inside
Transpower controlled sites.
Although the obligation for testing and operation of the relays remains with the
distributor; there appears to be no clear process to enable the coordination
required. It was suggested that a process be developed to ensure consistency

Due to availability and timing constraints the following parties were not surveyed; Centralines, Scanpower,
and Electra.
8
Other concerns included proper incentives for scheme development, .4s IL trip time proposal, and visibility of
load aggregation and AUFLS provision.
9
Minutes from the advisory group teleconferences can be found here http://www.systemoperator.co.nz/aufls
10
Schedule 8.3, Technical Code A, Appendix B, clause 6 and 7
11
Schedule 8.3, Technical Code A, Appendix B, clause 13(a),(b), and (c)

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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and clarity in managing GXP level AUFLS relays. The Grid Owner has been
notified and is establishing a person responsible for this coordination.
Further concern was expressed with the development of the testing process for
the proposed use of RoCoF elements. Many distributors suggested further work
is done to develop the testing process and to ensure the practicality of testing is
considered. The System Operator is considering the different technical
requirements and the testing process, and expects to publish guidelines with
code recommendations.
2.2.2

Cost recovery of scheme changes


Another common concern raised by the distributors was their ability to budget for
and recover the costs associated with any code changes. A two year lead time is
considered necessary to roll out changes to the AUFLS scheme.
It was suggested that any implementation plan would need to consider the cost
recovery process. Further consideration will be included as part of the code
recommendation and implementation plan.

2.2.3

The reliable use and implementation of the RoCoF scheme


The third common concern raised by distributors revolved around the use of
RoCoF elements to trigger load. Several distributors queried whether the use of
RoCoF elements would increase the risk of mal-operation of AUFLS.
In addition to mal-operation, other expressed concerns about their ability to
implement the additional RoCoF blocks. This was of particular concern where
recloses are currently used to provide AUFLS.
The System Operator completed testing work, which is outlined in this report, to
specifically address the concern of mal-operation of the RoCoF relays. The
testing methodology and results are highlighted in a further section. Concern
over implementation will be considered as part of the code design process.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

2.3

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Objective of the AUFLS Scheme


Before determining the performance requirements of the RoCoF elements for
under-frequency load shedding it is important to consider the primary objective of
the AUFLS scheme; to perform load reduction to match significant generation
loss to arrest the frequency decay and return the frequency to the normal
operating while maintaining the frequency within the safe operating range.
The performance criteria of the AUFLS scheme are:

Arrest the system frequency within the safe operating range


Return the system frequency to the normal range while remaining within the
safe operating range.

Achieving the stated objected of the AUFLS scheme relies upon two key factors:
block discrimination and speed of operation.
2.3.1

The challenges of achieving block discrimination


Ideally the AUFLS scheme will shed only the amount of load required to arrest
the system frequency and return it to normal. Excessive load shedding can cause
the frequency response to overshoot. This is of special concern for the North
Island, as there are significant amounts of thermal generation which will trip on
over-frequency protection when operating above 52 Hz.
If an over-frequency event occurred following AUFLS operation, then it is
possible some thermal units may trip and there will be a second dip in system
frequency which may not be recoverable as there may be insufficient AUFLS
remaining to balance this subsequent loss of generation.
Having a number of small blocks enables better matching of load shedding to
generation loss which reduces the potential for over-frequency and overvoltage12.
An effective AUFLS scheme made up of a number of small load shedding blocks
requires the blocks to be able to each operate before the next block triggers; this
is known as discrimination. In general, discrimination ensures the scheme sheds
only the load required to arrest and return the frequency to the normal range13.
As the rate of frequency decay increases following major system disturbances,
so does the difficulty in maintaining discrimination between AUFLS blocks.
The New Zealand system currently has only 1 Hz range (48 Hz 47 Hz) within
which AUFLS blocks must operate within. The limitation is imposed to ensure
that the AUFLS scheme does not operate for a contingent event. This limits the
ability to obtain block discrimination. The current scheme will not achieve
discrimination for most AUFLS events.

12

System Operator, Appendix C - Calculating the df/dt settings, found here:


http://www.systemoperator.co.nz/f5573,67414593/AUFLS_Stage_II_Appendix_C.pdf
13
Alternate scheme designs are feasible that may not require discrimination between blocks provided there
are numerous blocks that are small enough to achieve some level of discrimination (i.e. between every
other block). See Irelands and Tasmanias systems.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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Figure 1 Overview of requirements for block discrimination


Figure 1 demonstrates the challenge for the current AUFLS scheme to achieve
discrimination. Relays equipped for AUFLS utilise a time delay to ensure the
calculated frequency stays at or below the trip point for a set amount of time; this
is represented in Figure 1 by td1. The time delay is often adjustable and is
chosen by the obligated parties when tested (test reports show it can range from
120-280ms). Once the time delay expires, and the conditions are met, the relay
sends a trip signal. Time taken for the signal to be processed and the circuit
breaker to open is represented by td2.
The time from the relay signal sent to circuit breaker operation is not tested and
so assumptions are made by obligated parties to ensure the code requirements
are met (anywhere from 80ms -120ms has been assumed).
For an event that causes the frequency to fall at a rate of 1 Hz/s the second block
of AUFLS has already initiated its time delay before the first block of AUFLS has
tripped. If the frequency does not increase above the block 2 trip point (47.5 Hz)
before the time delay has expired block 2 will trip. The system has very little time
to recover and prevent the second block of AUFLS from triggering, which will
likely result in frequency over-shoot.
2.3.2

The benefit of faster AUFLS operation


In addition to block discrimination, the speed of operation was shown in the
AUFLS technical review to be critical to arrest the system frequency following
major system disturbances.
Increasing the speed of operation enables additional time for generators to
respond which will assist in arresting the frequency. Tripping load at higher
frequencies increases the minimal frequency reached following disturbances and
enables the system to respond to larger disturbances.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

2.3.3

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Proposed benefit of RoCoF


The existing AUFLS scheme uses under-frequency elements to trigger the
AUFLS blocks. This means the AUFLS will trip once the frequency has dropped
below a set frequency for a set period of time.
Another way to trigger AUFLS is to use rate of change of frequency (RoCoF)
elements, often referred to as df/dt. These elements will trip the AUFLS blocks
once the frequency fall has reached a certain speed.
One of the benefits of utilising the RoCoF elements is that it enables AUFLS to
be triggered at frequencies higher than the current contingent event target
frequency; 48 Hz14. Triggering above 48 Hz increases the speed of operation and
will raise the minimum frequency following most large events. This enables the
AUFLS scheme to cover for larger events while maintaining the system
frequency above 47 Hz limit.
Triggering AUFLS blocks above 48 Hz also enables additional blocks to be
added and maintain block discrimination. A critical factor in block discrimination is
the rate of frequency fall. RoCoF elements enable the AUFLS blocks to be
arranged to better match of load shed and generation loss15. This should reduce
the amount of unnecessary load shed and also reduce the amount of frequency
over-shoot that can follow AUFLS operation.
The cost benefit considered the reduction in load shed as the key benefit for
using RoCoF relays and resulted in a net benefit range of $16 million to $89
million over 15 years. In addition increasing the minimum frequency following
AUFLS operation enables greater levels of DC transfer, without the procurement
of additional reserves.

14

15

This ability requires discrimination from CE events. Previous recommendations suggest increasing the
speed of interruptible load to ensure greater difference between the speed of frequency fall for CE and
ECE/Other events.
Articles in the literature review outline that the initial rate of frequency fall after an event is an indicator of
the power system imbalance. If factors such as the system inertia can be calculated there is potential
future of AUFLS scheme to have an adaptable method to load shedding [1][2].

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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International Use of RoCoF for AUFLS


An investigation was carried out to identify systems utilising RoCoF elements in
their under-frequency load shedding schemes and to learn from their experience.
The systems investigated revealed that the use of RoCoF elements for underfrequency load shedding schemes is rare. The majority of systems rely on underfrequency triggering elements and do not report the same drivers (i.e. low system
inertia and narrow AUFLS frequency band) that would necessitate the use of
RoCoF elements.
A more common use of RoCoF elements is for generator unit islanding
protection. However, there are systems that have employed RoCoF for underfrequency load shedding and others that are investigating RoCoF as a potential
option16. Most notable, for the current investigation, is the Tasmanian power
system.
The Tasmanian system provides an ideal case study as their grid is similar to the
New Zealand grid. They have been using RoCoF in their AUFLS system since
the late 1980s17.
The literature review did reveal that Transpower considered the use of RoCoF
elements in the 1990s. However, the reasons the relays were not utilised could
not be found [3].

16

17

Other systems investigating or using RoCoF for under-frequency load shedding include Sri Lanka, Qatar,
and regions of India.
The information summarised comes from D. E. Clarke, Tasmanian experience with the use of df/dt
triggering of UFLSS. See reference [4] for further information.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

3.1.1

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Use of RoCoF in Tasmania


Tasmania began developing an under-frequency load shedding scheme following
a system wide black out in 1979 caused by the mal-operation of protection
equipment. They sought to develop a scheme that would protect their system
from a collapse following what they classified as reasonably foreseeable
contingencies while not operating for events covered by reserves.
In 1986, they formally defined reasonable foreseeable contingencies, which
included system disturbances up to 60% of total system load and events that
result in system splits creating small sub-systems with 50% island load to
generation deficit. The initial AUFLS scheme designed to provide this level of
protection included the use of RoCoF elements.
The initial RoCoF settings were identified by:

investigating the worst case RoCoF following events covered by reserves to


ensure discrimination; and
identifying a RoCoF measurement initiation frequency (similar to a frequency
guard) to reduce the possibility of mal-operation.
identifying back-up under-frequency settings to cater for slow decaying
disturbances.

The resulting design of the AUFLS scheme included six load shedding steps18.
RoCoF elements were utilised on the first two steps and were connected to major
industrial load, as their load profiles are relatively constant.
In 2003, the AUFLS scheme was reviewed for changes to the Tasmanian
frequency standards to incorporate modern gas turbines and wind generation.
The operating range of AUFLS was reduced from 2.2 Hz to 1.5 Hz.
Tasmania noted that the reduction was only achieved with acceptable
discrimination and acceptable over-shoot by using rate of change of frequency
settings to operate early and slow down the frequency decline for large
disturbances.
Further re-design of the AUFLS system took place with the installation of the
Basslink (HVDC connection to Australia). The review found that the Tasmanian
power system is prone to oscillations during large disturbances and the use of
average RoCoF was required. This concept will be discussed in more detail later
in this report.
Tasmania reported the benefit of using of RoCoF elements together with higher
under-frequency settings improved the minimum system frequency reached for
AUFLS events and resulted in at least one less block of load shed.
The review of the RoCoF scheme in 2008 reported that there have been no
recorded instances of the RoCoF elements of relays not operating correctly [4].

18

The load shedding steps are not a set percentage of load as in New Zealand. The size of load shed in each
step is different and appears to be organised around load type (major industrial and retail load) with the
majority of load provided by major industrials.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 16 of 43

Calculating the rate of change of frequency


The current AUFLS scheme uses relays to calculate the system frequency in real
time and then shed load when a set frequency level has been met. The system
frequency is not a measurable value; it must be calculated from another
waveform (generally voltage). The rate of change of frequency is also a
calculated value.
The RoCoF calculation methods are important as they can impact the reliability
of the relays. To better understand the calculation limitations of RoCoF relays the
methods were investigated and necessary tests were constructed to ensure their
reliability.

4.1.1

Frequency Calculation
There are many methods to calculate the system frequency. A more detailed
analysis of calculation methods exists in Appendix C to illustrate the concept.
The following section will provide a very brief summary of a common method.
Most relays calculate the system frequency from the voltage waveform. The
method each relay uses to calculate frequency is often not specified. A simple
method is called the zero crossing method. The relays measure the time
between the points where the voltage sine wave transitions through the zero
value, as displayed in Figure 2.

Figure 2 Example of zero crossing calculation method


No matter what method a relays uses to calculate the frequency it is important to
note that frequency is a calculated value. Every calculation method will have a
degree of inaccuracy associated with it.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

4.1.2

Page 17 of 43

Rate-of-Change-of-Frequency Calculation
The rate of change of frequency is generally calculated from the frequency value
rather than directly from the original voltage waveform. Similar to the frequency
measurement, relay manufacturers do not make it transparent how they calculate
the rate of change of frequency values.
The simplest form of RoCoF calculation is based on two successive frequency
calculations with a set time difference between the frequency calculations. The
difference between frequency calculations is divided by the time difference to
calculate the RoCoF. However, relay manufacturers do not make it clear how
they calculate RoCoF and it is unlikely any would rely on the crude method
describe above.
Frequency is calculated quantity so the RoCoF is derived from a calculated
quantity. Further, it is well known that differentiation is generally an unstable
operation, especially in the presence of noise. This can make the calculation of
RoCoF unstable and filtering is required for it to work well. The limitation of the
calculation method is outlined in greater detail in Section 7.1.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 18 of 43

RoCoF Bench Testing - Methodology


The objective of the RoCoF relay bench testing is to evaluate the technical
requirements for the reliable use of RoCoF relays. The testing methodology was
developed to verify the following performance criteria:

the relays are capable of operating the required logic;


the RoCoF calculation is stable during a range of expected system
disturbances;
the variety of RoCoF calculation methods used deliver a predictable response
within a range of uniformity when subjected to the same inputs;
the RoCoF calculation responds within a sufficient timeframe to frequency
changes; and
the RoCoF calculation is accurate when subjected to a wide variety of input
waveforms.

The testing work is not seeking to approve the use of any particular relay but to
better understand what requirements need to be specified to ensure reliable
operation of RoCoF relays.
This section outlines the steps taken and assumptions made to complete the
RoCoF relay testing. The bench testing included the following steps:
1. Establish initial RoCoF performance requirements to create a sample relay
selection
2. Develop test equipment arrangement and process
3. Design test cases objectives and generate required files
4. Carry out bench testing
5. Review results and identify next steps
6. Complete additional testing iterations as required

5.1

Initial RoCoF relay performance requirements


The first step was to propose a set of initial RoCoF relay performance
requirements that would enable selection of sample RoCoF relays to be used in
the bench testing process.
The investigation included an analysis of additional user requirements (i.e.
Transpower and lines companies). The initial performance requirements are set
out in Appendix A. A selection of the requirements for the sample relays is
provided below in Table 2.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 19 of 43

Table 2 Selection of the RoCoF Relay Performance Requirements


Feature

Minimum requirement

Purpose

Fixed f + t (81U)
element

Traditional RoCoF

Trip logic

Setting range 45.0 to 50.0 Hz


At least 4 stages or levels or
elements
Setting range 0.0 to 2.0 Hz/s
At least 4 stages or levels or
elements
Boolean internal, programmable

Operating range

45 to 55 Hz

Accuracy (81U)

0.05Hz of reference frequency*

Accuracy (81R)
Repeatability

0.1mHz/s of reference frequency*


Precision of trip settings
Trip within 20.0 ms over three tests Predictability of trip
using the same input waveforms and
trip settings

df/dt (81R) element

To enable frequency guard


To combine 81x with 27 elements
Precision of trip settings

From the list of relay requirements a survey was done of major manufacturers.
The investigation resulted in the final sample set of relays provided in Table 3.
Table 3 Relays used in RoCoF Bench Testing
Manufacturer

Relay
model

Description

Target markets*

SEL

751

Multifunctional feeder protection

Transmission /
Distribution

SEL

351-7 PS

Multifunctional feeder protection

Transmission /
Distribution

GE

SR760

Multifunctional feeder protection

Transmission /
Distribution

Siemens

7SJ64

Multifunctional feeder protection

Transmission

Siemens

7SJ80

Feeder protection

Distribution

ABB

RED670

Line differential protection

Transmission

ABB

REU615

Voltage protection

Distribution

These are all multifunctional numerical relays that can be programmed to provide
a range of different protection functions in addition to frequency protection.
Two additional relays were also provided for testing, namely a RMS 2H34-S
frequency relay and an Alstom P145 feeder protection relay. The RMS relay was
found to have a bug that prevented settings from being changed reliably, and the
Alstom relay arrived half way through the second round of testing. Neither of
these relays were tested as a result. However, the Alstom relay will likely be
tested at a later date since, unlike all the other relays tested, its averaging
window can be explicitly set.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

5.2

Page 20 of 43

Test equipment arrangement and process


To identify the requirements for reliable use of RoCoF relays on the New Zealand
power system, a testing process was developed to verify each element of the
performance criteria. The testing simulated specific system events and conditions
through the relays and observed the effect on the relays RoCoF calculation and
behaviour.
Most of the relays tested do not provide a readily accessible output of their
calculated frequency or rate of change of frequency. Therefore, determining
these calculated values requires some reverse engineering.
The relays trip signal was used as it is a readily accessible output and directly
relates to the function of the relay. The point at which the relay signals to trip can
be referenced against the voltage waveform to better understand the calculated
RoCoF value.
The testing work involved injecting voltage waveforms into the sample relays to
allow the relay to calculate the RoCoF and then observing if the relay responds
with a trip signal. Figure 3 provides an overview of the arrangement used to test
the relays.

Figure 3- Relay bench testing configuration19

19

The Omicron test set is used to convert data files into actual voltage waveforms injected into the relay.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 21 of 43

A typical test will involve:

5.3

Creating a voltage waveform to inject into the test relay


Loading the selected voltage waveform into the Omicron
Programming the test relay with the desired settings
Playing the selected voltage waveform into the test relay
Recording when the test relay operates
Running the same voltage waveform through Matlab to calculate frequency
and RoCoF using a known algorithm
Comparing the operating point with the voltage waveform and Matlab
calculated frequency and RoCoF on the same time axis.

Test Cases
Several test cases were created specifically to understand each aspect of the
performance criteria (logic, stability, uniformity, response time, and accuracy).
Each test case required a voltage waveform and, depending on the objective of
the test, a waveform was either generated or taken from real system events.
A sample waveform used to test the logic of the relays can be seen in Figure 4.

Figure 4 - Example waveform used to test the relay logic elements


One of the areas of greatest concerned outlined by the Distribution Companies
was around the stability of the relay. Several test cases were created to verify the
stability of the relay during system disturbances which included;

a noisy bus waveform (Glenbrook);


HVDC Commutation failures;
loss of phase;
no volts;
abnormal frequencies; and
islanding.

The literature review gave particular focus to the effect of power system
oscillations effect on the accuracy of the RoCoF calculation. Multiple test cases
were developed to further investigate this potential issue.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

5.4

Page 22 of 43

Settings Used
The testing work utilised the AUFLS settings proposed in the last stage of the
AUFLS review20 for the majority of test conducted21. The settings are in Table 4.
Table 4 - Proposed NI AUFLS operation criterion
Accelerated element

Block 1
Block 2
Block 3
Block 4

5.4.1

Df/dtset
fguard
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
-0.8 Hz/s 48.5 Hz
-1.5 Hz/s 48.8 Hz

Td3
N/A
N/A
0.4s
0.4s

Under
frequency
element 1
fset1
Td1
47.8 Hz
0.3s
47.5 Hz
0.3s
47.3 Hz
0.3s
47.3 Hz
0.3s

Under
frequency
element 2
fset2
Td2
N/A
N/A
47.8 Hz
15s
47.5 Hz
15s
47.5 Hz
15s

Block
Size

8%
8%
8%
8%

The role of the frequency guard


The proposed AUFLS scheme utilises different elements to achieve the designed
logic output. One of the key elements is the frequency guard. The frequency
guard prevents the relay from tripping on the calculated RoCoF value alone. The
relay will only operate if the RoCoF is greater than or equal to the set level AND
the frequency measured is less than or equal a set level for specified duration. A
high level logic diagram is displayed in Figure 5.

RoCoF Calculation

AND

Guard frequency
and time delay

OR

Trip

Backup frequency
and time delay

Figure 5 High Level Logic Overview


The frequency guard helps prevent spurious operation from frequency
fluctuations not resulting from large system disturbances. Therefore, the
frequency guard helps to minimize the risk of mal-operation.

20
21

See Appendix C of the AUFLS Stage II review.


It is noted that some test utilised other settings that were being investigated for possible scheme
improvements prior to Pole 3 commissioning.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 23 of 43

Bench Testing Results


The purpose of the testing work was to provide greater visibility of the strengths
and weakness of RoCoF relays for the purpose of triggering AUFLS load. Seven
numerical relays fitted with RoCoF elements were tested to help determine their
suitability. The tests devised focussed on understanding the logic capability,
stability, uniformity, response time, and accuracy of the RoCoF relays.
This section highlights the observations made from the test results and makes
recommendations to ensure the installed RoCoF relays deliver the desired
outcomes. The detailed tests and results are in Section 6 of Appendix B; the
main points are summarised below.

6.1

Bench Testing Results Summary

6.1.1

Logic
The proposed AUFLS scheme using RoCoF requires a level of logic including a
frequency guard and backup under-frequency settings. The testing aimed to
ensure the relays are capable of operating the required logic.
All of the relays tested had some form of logic programming that allowed users to
implement various combinations of RoCoF, frequency, and time delay elements
to achieve a desired tripping response.
Each manufacturer has a different way of arranging and setting their logic
elements and care is required to ensure the desired result is achieved when
programming and setting the various relays. This was illustrated in test 3 where
the two of the relays exhibited an unexpected response to a simple logic test.
It is suspected that this could be addressed by adjusting the logic arrangements
used in these relays.
It is recommended that the Code specifies a test outcome to verify that the logic
elements of the installed relays meet the performance requirements.

6.1.2

Stability
A primary aim of the bench testing was to ensure the RoCoF relays remain
stable during a range of system disturbances that would not normally result in
AUFLS operation.
The tests results indicate that the sample RoCoF relays were stable under all of
the disturbances to which they were subjected. This indicates that the RoCoF
algorithms are designed to reject noise and fast transient events which will help
to avoid undesired operation of the RoCoF.
The guard frequency used in these tests is likely to play a major role in
preventing the undesired operation of RoCoF. The above stability tests were
carried out using the RoCoF settings that were available at the time of testing.
The results of these tests may change if different settings are used (i.e. if the
frequency guard is set to a higher frequency).
It is recommended that RoCoF relays are stable for use. It is suggested that
Industry reviews the tests results and provides feedback on the level of
confidence in the stability of the relays.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

6.1.3

Page 24 of 43

Uniformity and Response Time


A level of uniformity is required to ensure the installed AUFLS system achieves
the desired levels of operation with a range of different relays.
The tests demonstrated that the sampled RoCoF relays do not behave uniformly
when subjected to identical inputs. This lack of uniformity was reflected in all of
the tests, and it indicates that different relay manufacturers use different
algorithms for calculating RoCoF.
The nature of the algorithms used in these relays means that it will always take a
finite amount of time to detect a change in frequency because it involves
calculating over a set number of cycles. The response times of the relays are
dependent on the RoCoF settings.
The tests demonstrate that the closer the rate of change is to the set point, the
longer the response time, the greater the difference, and the faster the relay
operates. Depending on the RoCoF settings used, the relays use different
lengths of time (numbers of cycles) for the RoCoF calculations, as shown in
Figure 6.

Figure 6 Example of response time


The lack of uniformity means relays operate over a range of different response
times during the frequency excursions. This results in AUFLS load tripping at
different times even though all relays have identical settings. This is not
necessarily a problem provided that relays comply within a maximum allowed
response time.
It is recommended that the Code specifies the maximum response time allowed
for RoCoF relay operation.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

6.1.4

Page 25 of 43

Accuracy
The ability to rely on RoCoF relays for load shedding requires the relay to be able
to accurately calculate the rate of system frequency decay when subjected to a
variety of grid conditions. The consequences of inaccuracy could result in the
relay mal-operating by tripping inappropriately or not tripping when needed.
As stated previously, frequency is a calculated value from which the RoCoF is
derived. The RoCoF is derived (differentiated) from a calculated value. It was
assumed that most relays would simply calculate the RoCoF from two
successive frequency calculations with a set time difference between the
frequency calculations. However, the testing revealed the calculation method
from most RoCoF relays are more complicated and it is difficult deduce the exact
method used.
The relays performed within the specified accuracy margins (0.05 Hz/s) for
clean frequency decays. However, the test results did verify that RoCoF relays
are susceptible to calculation inaccuracy due to system oscillations. The impact
of power system oscillations is dependent on the relays settings used.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Inaccuracy from Power System Oscillations

7.1

Limitation in calculating frequency and RoCoF

Page 26 of 43

Ideally, the frequency measured at each bus across the North Island system
would be identical. However, in practice this is unlikely to be the case. The
frequency measured at a specific bus may vary from the average system
frequency.
Part of the frequency variance is caused by the addition of several sine waves as
local and remote generators adjust for the varying load. Synchronous generators
will vary their speed up and down because of load variations. The turbines are
not always fast enough to maintain an exact frequency. When additional power is
needed, the energy may initially come from the stored energy of the rotating
mass of the generator and the turbine, which will decrease the speed of the
generator. The characteristics of each unit will respond differently to these load
variations and so units may rock back and forth with respect to each other due
to the distance to the load [5].
The additional sine waves created by the generators rocking modulate the
frequency measured on the bus, varying it from the average system frequency
[6]. These additional sine waves are known as oscillations. Other spinning
devices synchronised to the system, such as synchronous condensers, will also
contribute to frequency oscillations.
Studies conducted elsewhere have shown that remote buses, further away from
the core system, are more susceptible to oscillations [1]. Other work has
suggested that the introduction of variable renewable energy resources, i.e. wind
energy, may also lead to further frequency deviation and add oscillations [2].
Larger oscillations can also be expected if the system is stressed, e.g. with many
lines out of service.
Studies completed on the Tasmanian power system found that their system is
prone to oscillations during large system disturbances [4]. Further work was
completed to understand the impact of oscillations on the calculation of rate-ofchange-of-frequency during large system disturbances that would be expected to
cause AUFLS response.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

7.2

Page 27 of 43

Impact of system oscillations on RoCoF Calculations


Oscillations can result in the relay incorrectly calculating the RoCoF depending
on the settings and filtering of the relay. Figure 7 displays a simple graphical
representation of a 0.5 Hz/s frequency decay with a 1.5 Hz sinusoidal oscillation
added onto the average system frequency.

Figure 7 Illustration of a .5 Hz/s decay with a 1.5 Hz sinusoidal oscillation included


If the relay employs a calculation window that averages the decay on either side
of the peak of the oscillation, the RoCoF calculated will vary from the average
frequency decay as demonstrated in Figure 8.
Figure 8 illustrates the change in the RoCoF during the oscillation. If the relay
employs a calculation window that averages the RoCoF (or the frequency), the
change (error) in the RoCoF will be reduced.

Figure 8 Simple illustration of the impact of oscillations and calculation time on accuracy
The relay trips when the RoCoF frequency exceeds the set value; so in general,
only the maximum positive error in the RoCoF is of any consequence. That is,
the oscillations can cause false tripping, but will not prevent the relay from
operating.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 28 of 43

Testing work was completed to verify the relays susceptibility to power system
oscillations. Test case 15 simulated a frequency decay of .35 Hz/s with a
superimposed noise of 1.5 Hz at an amplitude 2 degrees peak-to-peak. Figure 9
shows the result when the relay was armed with a set point of .4 Hz/s.

Figure 9 - Test Case 14 results for Relay A


The relay in Figure 9 continues to send trip signals for the duration of the
frequency decay demonstrating the relay continues to incorrectly calculate the
RoCoF as steeper than the set point.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

7.3

Page 29 of 43

Oscillations during Under Frequency Events


The previous example assumed the oscillation occurred at the same amplitude
and frequency for the duration of the decay. An investigation was undertaken to
observe the presence of oscillations during under-frequency events of the last
five years22.
The investigation found that oscillations, especially those with high peak to peak
values, can result in the relay calculating relatively high RoCoF values for short
durations, as displayed in Figure 10

Figure 10 Haywards RoCoF calculated following Pole 2 trip on 9th December 2011
Figure 1023 shows the calculated frequency at the Haywards 220kV bus during
an under-frequency event following the tripping of HVDC Pole 2 on 9 December
2011. The impact of the oscillations can be seen in the large spikes of the RoCoF
(df/dt) calculation. The initial magnitude of the oscillations decreases as the
system responds to the frequency decay, which helps to reduce the inaccuracy.
These same oscillations were not present at the Huntly 220kV bus as shown in
Figure 11.

22

23

The investigation relied upon frequency and RoCoF data calculated by the PMUs installed at different
buses.
The df/dt averaging window from Figure 11 is assumed to be around .2s. Further information and more
events are analysed in Appendix C.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 30 of 43

Figure 11 RoCoF measured at Huntly following Pole 2 tripping on 9th December 2011
The investigation indicated that at specific buses, the calculated RoCoF may be
considerably different from the average system RoCoF24. In the North Island it is
considered reasonable for an oscillation to occur with a frequency in the range of
0.5 Hz to 2.5 Hz25.
In practice, it appears that the duration and magnitude of the oscillations does
not occur continuously during the frequency decay. Over time the systems
response to the disturbance appears to dampen the initial oscillation. However,
not enough detail is known about the system to estimate the magnitude or
likelihood of oscillations occurring during an AUFLS events.
In light of the uncertainty and exposure to inaccuracy the System Operator
believes it prudent to mitigate against oscillations, as the consequences of maloperation could be significant.

24

The effects of installing the RoCoF relays in the zone substations may increase the susceptibility to
oscillation however this has not been analysed.
25
Work done in Tasmania found that at some buses they experienced oscillation frequency around 2.2 Hz.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

7.4

Page 31 of 43

Mitigating the effects of power system oscillations


Although it has been shown that the RoCoF elements are susceptible to the
impact of power system oscillations, there are steps that can be taken to
minimize their impact on the RoCoF calculation. Three areas will be explored; the
frequency guard, filtering, and calculation window time.

7.4.1

The Frequency Guard


The frequency guard prevents the relay from tripping on the calculated RoCoF
value alone. The relay will only operate if the RoCoF is greater than or equal to
the set level AND the frequency measured is less than or equal a set level for
specified duration.
The use of a frequency guard helps protect the system from spurious operation
of RoCoF relays from frequency fluctuations not resulting from large system
disturbances that would necessitate an AUFLS response.

Figure 12 Stratford RoCoF measured following Pole 2 tripping on 27 April, 2009


Figure 12, for example, is the frequency and RoCoF measured at the Stratford
220kV bus following the loss of the HVDC Pole 2 on 27 April 2009. Although the
calculated RoCoF is initially greater than any proposed RoCoF setting the
frequency guard (e.g. at 48.5 Hz) will ensure that the RoCoF relays will not
operate as the frequency has not decayed below the trigger level.
The risk occurs when the power system oscillations are present and the
frequency has fallen below the frequency guard level as may be the case during
a large tripping.
One of the main benefits of utilising RoCoF for AUFLS relies on the ability to
shed load above the 48 Hz contingent event frequency limit while not tripping for
single contingent events. However, the presence of power system oscillations,
and their effect on the RoCoF calculation, may occur during contingent events
which take the system frequency below the frequency guard limit. The spikes
would then result in the operation of RoCoF relays, unneeded load shedding, and
the potential for an over-frequency event.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 32 of 43

Moving the frequency guard limit to 48 Hz and below may provide the RoCoF
scheme discrimination against single contingent events but it wont mitigate the
inaccuracy which oscillations cause on the RoCoF calculation. The inaccuracy
may result in RoCoF tripping improperly in response to the average system
frequency. This minimizes the benefit to be gained by using RoCoF to improve
better matching of load shed to generation loss.
While the frequency guard improves the performance of RoCoF calculation it
alone will not provide a robust deterrent to the effects of oscillation on the RoCoF
calculation.
7.4.2

Increasing the RoCoF calculation time


One way to minimize the limitations to using RoCoF as a load shedding trigger
can be done by having a longer duration calculation window when calculating the
RoCoF.
The longer RoCoF averaging time reduces the magnitude of the RoCoF spikes
and provides a smoother RoCoF calculation that is closer to the average system
RoCoF. In light of the presence of oscillations on the Tasmanian system, they
required a RoCoF calculation time of .34s.

Figure 13 Illustration of the impact of increasing RoCoF calculation time


Figure 13 provides a simplified example of the benefit of increasing the
calculation time used by the RoCoF relays. As stated previously, the calculation
of RoCoF is assumed to be more complicated than taking successive frequency
measurements with a set time difference between measurements, perhaps
utilising a type of moving average. However, increasing the calculation time will
help to reduce the impact of oscillations on the RoCoF calculation.
The impact of longer calculation window on relay response time
Increasing the speed of AUFLS operation was a key benefit of utilising RoCoF
elements. One concern is that increasing the calculation time of the RoCoF
relays will eliminate any benefit of increased speed of operation. This may be the
case when utilising an initiation frequency set point (i.e. the RoCoF will not begin
calculating until a set frequency has been reached). However, the use of the
frequency guard may reduce the delay caused by increasing the RoCoF
calculation time.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 33 of 43

The relay will continuously calculate the RoCoF and once the frequency guard
level has been maintained for the time delay, the trip signal is sent and the relay
will operate (Figure 14). So long as the time taken for the frequency to fall from
50Hz is longer than the calculation time, no additional delay as a result of the
calculation time will be introduced.

Figure 14 Example of response of RoCoF calculation and frequency guard


Availability of adjustable calculation time within relay
Most RoCoF relay manufactures specify the number of cycles for calculating the
RoCoF. The length of time can vary depending on the relay and RoCoF settings
used. The length of the calculation window cannot be adjusted for any of the
relays that were sampled.
A review of the technical manual for the Alstom P145 relay shows that it includes
a setting that allows the user to adjust the length of the time window used by the
RoCoF algorithm. The Alstom P145 relay is utilised by Tasmania to accomplish
its .34s calculation time window. The Alstom P145 arrived too late to be included
in the testing. The Alstom P145 will be tested at a later date to determine if the
relay is suitable for use in New Zealand.
The System Operator will pursue conversations with other major relay
manufacturers to understand their ability to enable manual adjustment of the
RoCoF calculation time and the timeframe associated with any changes.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

7.4.3

Page 34 of 43

Low-Pass Filtering
RoCoF relays use low pass filters to manage the impact of power oscillations on
the RoCoF calculation. Ideally, the low pass filters would attenuate the noise and
oscillations while leaving the slower-changing underlying RoCoF relatively
unaffected.
In practice, it can be difficult to distinguish between the low-frequency power
oscillations and the underlying signal. The error in the RoCoF calculation is
proportional to the square of the oscillation frequency; the higher the oscillation
frequency, the higher the calculation error. The relay filters were originally
designed for islanding applications rather than as a general AUFLS scheme.
Therefore, their cut-off frequencies tend to be too high i.e. not enough filtering.
The test using the 13 December event demonstrates the functionality of the low
pass filters. When the event waveform was injected though the sample relays
during testing, some of the relays operated once the average system frequency
was increasing (Figure 15). The blue line in Figure 15 is the trip signal sent by
the relay.

Figure 15 Frequency and trip plot trace from Test Case 2 Relay G.
During the event an oscillation initially occurred at a frequency of 7 Hz while the
average system frequency decayed at about 0.5 Hz/s. As the oscillation
frequency began to decrease, the relay filter started to pass through some of the
oscillation, which in turn began to affect the RoCoF calculation.
The frequency of the oscillation eventually decreased to a level where the
filtering allows a sufficient magnitude to affect the RoCoF calculation, causing the
relay to operate on a downward swing of the oscillation, even though the
underlying frequency is increasing.
While the AUFLS scheme is not designed to cover transient instability events, the
test provided useful information into how the filters operate.
The majority of the sample relays sufficiently filter out the high frequency
oscillation to prevent the relays from operating. However, as the frequency

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 35 of 43

decreases, the filtering used by the relay becomes important and some filtering,
such as the relay in Figure 15, was insufficient to prevent operation.
Test case 14 in Appendix B specifically sought to investigate the low pass filters
associated with the RoCoF calculation. The test confirmed that low frequency
oscillations will be passed through the RoCoF filters and therefore affect the
RoCoF calculated by the relay.
Figure 16 displays the filtering response of one the sample relays when set to trip
at RoCoF greater than or equal to 0.4 Hz/s.

Figure 16 Filtering response of the Relay F with RoCoF elements set to .4 Hz/s
The gain values of Figure 16 display how much of the oscillations RoCoF will be
scaled down, or attenuated, before affecting the overall RoCoF calculation.

For example, if a steady frequency decline of 0.1 Hz/s were to occur with an
oscillation of 1.6 Hz present at the point of measurement26. The maximum
expected RoCoF from the oscillation would be attenuated by the filtering of the
sample relay from Figure 16 by approximately 0.67 before being added onto the
calculated RoCoF value.

The maximum expected rate of change of frequency from the oscillation depends
on the oscillation magnitude and frequency. For example, if the oscillations
maximum RoCoF was 0.56 Hz/s this would be multiplied by 0.67 to result in
0.38Hz/s that would be added to the calculated system frequency RoCoF.
This means that although the system frequency is falling at 0.1Hz/s the relay,
because of the oscillation, calculates the decay as 0.48 Hz/s.
If the oscillation frequency was greater than 4 Hz the relay will filter out the
oscillation preventing it from having an impact on the overall RoCoF calculation.
The amount of pass through for unfiltered oscillation frequencies changes
depending on the relay and the RoCoF settings.
26

This example is more thoroughly explored in Appendix C.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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It is considered impractical to apply additional filtering to improve the


performance of the RoCoF calculation. It is suggested that any requirements for
use of RoCoF relays include a required range of filtering.
Availability of adjustable filtering within relay
Most RoCoF relay manufactures specify the filtering for calculating the RoCoF.
The filtering can vary depending on the relay and RoCoF settings used. In
general the larger RoCoF settings (i.e. -1.5 Hz/s) allow more frequencies to pass
through.
It is recommended that a filtering standard be required for all relays regardless of
the RoCoF settings. Any code recommendation should specify the required df/dt
calculation filter response to mitigate the inaccuracy caused by the identified
level of oscillations to be designed against during under-frequency events.
1.1
1
0.9
0.8

Gain

0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0

3
Frequency (Hz)

Figure 17 Draft envelope for the frequency response


Figure 17 provides a draft of the kind of filtering standard that would be required
for all RoCoF settings27. The filtering does not remove the effect of oscillations
on the RoCoF calculation. The filtering ensures the magnitude of the oscillations
is attenuated. Inaccuracy is still possible. However, with the filtering requirement,
it has been mitigated to a significant level of coverage.
The System Operator will pursue conversations with major relay manufacturers
to understand their ability to adjust of the RoCoF filtering and the timeframe
associated with any changes.

27

To see a draft df/dt filter requirement see Appendix C.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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RoCoF Recommendation Summary


In light of the testing results it is recommended that the following are specified in
the code (summarised from above):
1. a required RoCoF calculation filtering standard
2. a maximum response time required for the RoCoF settings proposed so
that the various relays provide a degree of uniformity.
3. a test outcome to verify that the logic elements of the installed relays
meet the performance requirements.
It is also suggested that Industry reviews the tests results and provides feedback
on the level of confidence in the stability of the relays.
The System Operator will pursue conversations with major relay manufacturers
to understand their ability to adjust of the RoCoF filtering and calculation time.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

South Island Block 2 Increase

9.1

Background

Page 38 of 43

The System Operator has undertaken work to determine technically feasible


options to improve the South Island AUFLS scheme. However, the inclusion of
AUFLS provision at the Tiwai Grid Exit Point (GXP) and the potential narrowing
of the South Island frequency band have significant implications for the future of
the South Island AUFLS design. Further clarity is needed before a significant
redesign occurs.
Impact of provision at Tiwai GXP
The System Operator relies on the AUFLS scheme to prevent system collapse
following an extended contingent event (ECE) or other undefined events which
have the potential to cause a system blackout.
Currently the ECE risks are defined as the loss of single bus bar, an
interconnecting transformer, or the loss of the HVDC bipole. When the HVDC is
transferring south following the commissioning of Pole 3, the loss of the bipole
can cause a much larger disturbance relative to the total size of South Island
load.
The larger disturbance requires a higher quantum of AUFLS and reserves to
ensure the system frequency remains within the requirements. Currently, there is
no AUFLS response at the South Islands largest source of demand, the Tiwai
grid exit point. However, the Grid Owner is progressing the installation of an
AUFLS response at Tiwai GXP with the cooperation of the New Zealand
Aluminium Smelter.
The most significant improvement to the capability of the South Island AUFLS
scheme is considered to be the inclusion of an AUFLS response at the Tiwai
GXP. The inclusion of an AUFLS response at Tiwai will decrease the amount of
reserve required to cover high HVDC south and improve the South Island AUFLS
safety net.
Potential of narrowing the SI Frequency Band
The South Island frequency range is currently 55 Hz to 45 Hz as stated in the
Principle Performance Objectives (PPO). The current frequency envelope is
wide by international standards and reflects the physical nature of the hydro
generation plant that currently dominates the South Island.
The South Island AUFLS range is currently 48 Hz to 45 Hz, this allows for a
greater margin between AUFLS block trip settings which enables block
discrimination.
The System Operator expects most future generation installed in the South
Island will be non-compliant with the frequency requirements specified in the
Asset Owner Performance Obligations (AOPO).
A recent investigation28 found that despite the current level of non-compliance,
there is no technical reason for changing the existing frequency range; nor is
there evidence that an economic threshold has been reached that would warrant
making a change. However, there will be a point at which the level of installed
non-compliant plant may make it economical to change the South Island
frequency band. It is uncertain when this point will occur or the quantity of noncompliant generation which will incentive the change.

28

See the AOPO Report at http://www.systemoperator.co.nz/ufm

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

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Interim Proposal
In light of the variables previously stated, the System Operator believes it is
prudent to refrain from further analysing AUFLS scheme options until there is
greater clarity of the future of AUFLS provision at the Tiwai GXP and frequency
requirements.
In the interim, the System Operator has identified that increasing the trip setting
of the second AUFLS block to 46.5 Hz will improve the current South Island
AUFLS scheme. The second AUFLS block is currently set to trip at 45.5 Hz
which is close to the 45 Hz standard.
An increase in the trip setting would raise the minimum frequency reached
following most of the AUFLS events studied and so provide additional protection
against larger events. Further information can be found in the technical review
report.
To increase the second block trip setting in the Code requires a cost benefit
analysis be completed to ensure the change is for the long term benefit for New
Zealand consumers.
The objective of this section of the report is to summarise the results of the costbenefit analysis completed on the proposals to raise block 2 of AUFLS in the
South Island. A high level summary will be provided here while the work
completed by Concept Consulting can be seen in Appendix D.

9.2

Cost Benefit Analysis Methodology


The previous cost-benefit assessment of the proposed AUFLS scheme changes
separated the potential cost and benefits of an AUFLS scheme into four main
areas;
1.
2.
3.
4.

implementation cost of proposal


altered energy and instantaneous reserves (IR) costs
altered quantity of load shed unnecessarily in an AUFLS event
altered risk of system collapse

The System Operator has estimated that the cost of sending individuals to the
various GXPs to manually change the relay settings could be of the order of
$9,00029.
In light of the low implementation cost a high level cost-benefit evaluation was
completed to demonstrate the proposal would deliver a present net benefit.
The high level analysis enabled the System Operator to analyse the scheme
without having to undertake lengthy studies which would likely be more costly
than the implementation.
The approach aims to consider what benefit would need to be seen to justify the
cost.
Any event where the scheme using the 46.5 Hz trip setting prevents system
collapse and the current scheme does not, the avoided cost can be attributed as
a benefit.
The benefit is scaled by the return period or the likelihood of the event. The
annual benefit is estimated by the cost of system collapse multiplied by the
likelihood of the event in years.
It is considered impossible to accurately estimate the likelihood of such an event.
However, it is considered possible to estimate the threshold or the probability of
29

The cost is variable depending on if the initiative was spread out over a longer period, such that technicians
made changes when they were anyway due to visit a sub-station for another reason.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

Page 40 of 43

the event for where it would no longer be beneficial to spend the implementation
cost.
For the proposal, to be considered beneficial the proposed settings must protect
against an event which occurs more regularly than the threshold and that would
result in system collapse with the current settings.
The following assumptions are crucial to the methodology:
1. Increasing the second block trip setting will not result in any material risk of
system collapse due to over-frequency following operation of the AUFLS
scheme. This assumption is based on the wide frequency range of the South
Island (up to 55 Hz).
2. Increasing the second block trip settings will not result increase risk of
unnecessary load shedding. There is still 1 Hz difference between the first
(47.5 Hz) and second (46.5 Hz) blocks. The System Operator believes this
will provide significant discrimination when needed to not increase the risk of
unneeded shedding.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

9.3

Page 41 of 43

Cost Benefit Analysis Results


The cost of a system collapse event has been estimated to be approximately
$500m representing an estimated average South Island load of 1,400 MW
being blacked-out for approximately 18 hours30, and with an average value of
such load of $20,000/MWh. The cost of interruption estimation is considered
conservative not accounting for the impact of outage time on cost.
The results of this back-calculation are presented for both the expected
implementation cost of $9,000, and a sensitivity of $50,000 in Table 5. The net
present value (NPV) calculation has been undertaken using a discount rate of
8%, and calculated over both a 10 year period and with a sensitivity of a 2 year
period. The results in Table 5 ignore any possible benefit of reducing energy and
IR cost.
Table 5 Threshold estimation
Benefit Period
10 year NPV
2 year NPV

Implementation cost
$9,000
$50,000
1 in 380,000 years
1 in 70,000 years
1 in 100,000 years
1 in 19,000 years

As stated previously, the South Island frequency band may change in the future
to adjust for the increasing number of non-compliant generators. To analyse the
benefit of implementing the proposed changes if the South Island scheme
requires redesigning in two years, the 2 year net present threshold was
calculated.
The 2 year net present value indicates the proposed scheme would need to at
least increase protection against events more likely than a 1 in 19,000 year event
to be beneficial.
The previous studies conducted in the South Island gives the System Operator
confidence the proposed block settings will give the scheme resilience to events
which could occur measured in tens rather than thousands of years.
The System Operator believes increasing the second block of AUFLS to 46.5 Hz
demonstrates a net economic benefit.

30

The actual restoration duration is variable depending on several factors including awareness of cause. The
restoration of load occurs progressively and estimation does not attempt to account for this. Previous
work has estimated minimum restoration time following system collapse to be 12 hours, this is
considered to be optimistic so 18 hours was used.

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

10

Page 42 of 43

Next Steps
The System Operator will be engaging with industry participants to ensure the
findings from this paper are well understood and that industry feedback has been
thoroughly considered. Once the System Operator has analysed feedback, it will
finalise recommendations and present them to the Electricity Authority.
In parallel, the System Operator will be conducting further work in the following
areas:

11

additional bench testing of relay filtering requirements


pursuing discussions with major relay manufacturers
developing an AUFLS technical standard
developing an AUFLS exemptions, equivalence, and dispensation framework
developing an implementation plan for the RoCoF proposal
developing relevant code change recommendations in light of work
completed on the RoCoF requirement and AUFLS standard

Summary of Questions for Consideration


The System Operator seeks industry feedback on the following questions:

Does the bench testing (outlined in Appendix B) provide sufficient confidence


in the stability of the relays?
Are there additional tests that should be considered before proposing the use
of RoCoF relays?
Does industry support the RoCoF requirements recommended in this report?
Are there other factors that need consideration in the Code requirements for
the testing and use of RoCoF relays?
Does industry support the cost benefit analysis methodology used for the
South Island second block setting?
What obligation level is appropriate for the future AUFLS requirements (i.e.
GXP or network or other)?

System Operator Report: Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) RoCoF Testing

12

Page 43 of 43

Acknowledgements
The System Operator wishes to acknowledge and express appreciation to Victor
Lo, Daniel Mulholland, Robert Derks, and Simon Coates for their significant input
to the material included in this report.

13

References
[1] IEEE Std C37.117-2007, IEEE Guide for the Application of Protective Relays
Used for Abnormal Frequency Load Shedding and Restoration, 2007.
[2] H. Bervani, et al., On the Use of df/dt in Power System Emergency Control,
In Proc. Of IEEE Power Systems Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington,
USA, 2009
[3] B.W. Leyland, et al., A New Rate of Change of Frequency Relay, 1997
[4] D. E. Clarke, Tasmanian experience with the use of df/dt triggering of
UFLSS, Final Report, Transend Networks PTY LTD, No. D08/22185, 2008.
[5] M. Hemmingsson, Power System Oscillations Detection Estimation &
Control, Lund University, 2003
[6] D.J. Finley, et al., Load Shedding for Utility and Industrial Power System
Reliability, Basler Electric Company