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The design, evaluation and implementation of a busbar differential protection relay that operates in conjunction with a current transformer (CT) compensating algorithm are described. Prior to saturation, the secondary current of a CT is not compensated. The compensating algorithm detects the start of first saturation on the basis of the third-difference function of the current and estimates the core flux at the first saturation start by inserting the negative value of the third- difference function of the current into the magnetisation curve of a CT. Thereafter, it calculates the core flux and then the corresponding magnetising current in conjunction with the magnetisation curve. The calculated magnetising current is added to the measured secondary current to obtain the correct secondary current. The algorithm can estimate the correct current irrespective of the level of the remanent flux. In the proposed busbar protection scheme, a current differential relay with the single-slope operating characteristic is used on the basis of the compensated current of the saturated CT. Test results indicate that the relay shows satisfactory performance for the various external and internal faults with CT saturation, particularly in the case of a progressive fault from a feeder fault to a busbar fault. The algorithm is implemented in a prototype relay based on a digital signal processor. The relay achieves greater stability on external faults, enhanced sensitivity on internal faults and fast operation on internal faults with CT saturation.