In an over current relay or o/c relay the actuating quantity is only current. There is only one current operated element in the relay, no voltage coil etc. are required to construct this protective relay.
Working Principle of Over Current Relay
In an over current relay
, there would be essentially a current coil. When normal current flows through this coil, the magnetic effect generated by the coil is not sufficient to move the moving element of the relay, as in this condition the restraining force is greater than deflecting force. But when the current through the coil is increased, the magnetic effect increases, and after certain level of current, the deflecting force generated by the magnetic effect of the coil, crosses the restraining force, as a result, the moving element starts moving to change the contact position in the relay.
Although there are different types of over current relays
but basic working principle of over current relay
is more or less same for all.
Types of Over Current Relay
Depending upon time of operation, there are various types of Over Current relays
, such as,
Inverse time over current relay
- Instantaneous over current relay.
- Definite time over current relay.
- Inverse time over current relay.
or simply inverse OC relay
is again subdivided as inverse definite minimum time
(IDMT), very inverse time
, extremely inverse time over current relay
or OC relay
Instantaneous Over Current Relay
Construction and working principle of instantaneous over current relay
is quite simple.
Here generally a magnetic core is wound by current coil. A piece of iron is so fitted by hinge support and restraining spring in the relay, that when there is not sufficient current in the coil, the NO contacts remain open. When current in the coil crosses a preset value, the attractive force becomes sufficient to pull the iron piece towards the magnetic core and consequently the no contacts are closed.
The preset value of current in the relay coil is referred as pick up setting current. This relay is referred as instantaneous over current relay, as ideally, the relay operates as soon as the current in the coil gets higher than pick up setting current. There is no intentional time delay applied. But there is always an inherent time delay which cannot be avoided practically. In practice the operating time of an instantaneous relay is of the order of a few milliseconds.
Definite Time Over Current Relay
This relay is created by applying intentional time delay after crossing pick up value of the current. A definite time over current relay
can be adjusted to issue a trip output at definite amount of time after it picks up. Thus, it has a time setting adjustment and pick up adjustment.
Inverse Time Over Current Relay
Inverse time is a natural character of any induction type rotating device. This means the speed of rotation of rotating art of the device is faster if input current is increased. In other words, time of operation inversely varies with input current. This natural characteristic of electromechanical induction disc relay is very suitable for over current protection. This is because, in this relay, if fault is more severe, it would be cleared faster. Although time inverse characteristic is inherent to electromechanical induction disc relay, but the same characteristic can be achieved in microprocessor based relay also by proper programming.
Inverse Definite Minimum Time Over Current Relay or IDMT O/C Relay
Ideal inverse time characteristics can not be achieved, in an over current relay. As the current in the system increases, the secondary current of the current transformer
is increased proportionally. The secondary current is fed to the relay current coil. But when the CT becomes saturated, there would not be further proportional increase of CT secondary current with increased system current. From this phenomenon it is clear that from trick value to certain range of faulty level, an inverse time relay shows exact inverse characteristic. But after this level of fault, the CT
becomes saturated and relay current does not increase further with increasing faulty level of the system. As the relay current is not increased further, there would not be any further reduction in time of operation in the relay. This time is referred as minimum time of operation. Hence, the characteristic is inverse in the initial part, which tends to a definite minimum operating time as the current becomes very high. That is why the relay is referred as inverse definite minimum time over current relay
or simply IDMT relay