Medium/High Voltage Substation and systems commissioning and testing is a critical task prior to energization to ensure all equipment will function safely in the intended manner. There are many different types of protection system testing described and explained in IEEE C37.233, Guide for Power System Protection Testing. The objective of commissioning tests are to evaluate the condition of protection equipment after installation, but before final energization to verify that equipment is installed and wired properly, to verify that correct settings and configurations are applied, and to observe interaction with other power apparatus. The focus of the tests is to confirm that the systems function as designed.

To cover all possible tests and commissioning process the preparation of a commissioning program by a specialized firm such as Pro Watts is key in reducing and avoiding post construction corrective expenditures.
An effective program consists of the following key elements:

  • Stated goals and objectives

  • Well-defined plans to perform commissioning

  • Clearly identified lines of responsibility

  • Authority given to responsible parties

  • Feedback methods to improve the plan

Protection System Commissioning Process

Testing and commissioning process, often referred as the PSC procedure, is a sequence of required steps to accomplish the stated goals and objectives of the PSC program. Pro Watts commissioning process is designed using a practical performance methodology that is applicable to the items being commissioned. It is broad enough to accommodate circuit breakers, CTs, VTs or CCVTs, protection relays, communication devices, batteries, and protection/control circuits, PLC/RTUs. It is also designed with an appreciation for factors within the working environment such as management interaction, workforce training and experience, availability of test equipment, use of contractors and switching limitations.

Although the details of Pro Watts commissioning testing process can vary depending on owners, there are eight core elements, listed below, that are common processes included in most projects.

  • Planning and sequencing

  • Print and technical review

  • Preparing installed equipment for modification

  • Equipment and device acceptance testing

  • Equipment isolation

  • Functional testing

  • Operational (in-service) load checks

  • Documentation

Commissioning testing procedure developed by a specialized firm such as Pro Watts will help reduce the number of mis-operations resulting from improper commissioning.

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