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Many of the power utilities around the world have experienced spurious tripping of directional earth fault relays in their mesh distribution networks due to induced circulating currents. This circulating current is zero sequence and induced in the healthy circuit due to the zero sequence current flow resulting from a ground fault of a parallel circuit. This paper quantitatively discusses the effects of mutual coupling on earth fault protection of distribution systems. An actual spurious tripping event is analyzed to support the theory and to present options for improved resilience to spurious tripping.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Dec. 2010