Modern digital protection devices contain a wide range of functions based on an interaction of hardware and software features. Thus, the dynamics of technological development also affects IEDs more and more frequently which shortens their life cycles, in particular, the time period between firmware upgrades decreases. This drives an increasing need for testing within the particular phases of an IED’s life cycle to verify its entire functionality according to the requirements.
This paper classifies the different phases of an IED’s life cycle from the perspective of a utility and shows the testing requirements in the respective phases. It discusses the testing aspects beginning with the prequalification through to the periodic maintenance. The impacts of specifications and standardization are shown and the synergies are emphasized. Concluding, as an example, it shows the successful automated maintenance testing for a 380-kV-OHL at National Grid Saudi Arabia.
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