Understanding Compliance and Testing Requirements

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If you are a Generation Owner, Transmission Owner, Distribution Provider or you provide service and maintenance to any of the aforementioned entities you are most likely struggling with maintenance compliance for your protection system. Or more specific, as the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) defines the Protection System –

• Protective relays which respond to electrical quantities

• Communications systems necessary for correct operation of protective functions

• Voltage and current sensing devices providing inputs to protective relays

• Station dc supply associated with protective functions (including station batteries, battery chargers, and non-battery-based dc supply)

• Control circuitry associated with protective functions through the trip coil(s) of the circuit breakers or other interrupting devices.
Since the beginning of the mandatory and enforceable standards on June 18, 2007, Protection and Control Standard PRC-005 has been reported to be the most frequently violated standard.  Reported violations fall into two basic requirement levels – Maintenance and Testing program and Documentation Provided on Request. 
Let’s face it, keeping up these enforceable standards presents challenges. Protec Equipment Resources understands the challenges that our clients are facing and currently stocks a vast inventory of test and measurement equipment and software compliant with the maintenance activities outlined in most current PRC-005-2.

Since posting the original blog back on April 7, 2011 there has been some additional activity concerning North American Electric Reliability Corporation, NERC, Protection and Control Standard PRC-005.  The Protection System Maintenance Drafting Standard Team has completed a “Draft 4” version of the NERC Reliability Standard PRC-005-2.  You can download a copy of Draft 4 at …


For those asset owners or service and test companies not yet familiar with PRC-005 here is some background:
The proposed PRC-005-2 – Protection System Maintenance standard addresses Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, directives from FERC Order 693, as well as issues identified by stakeholders. In accordance with the FERC directives, this draft standard establishes requirements for a time-based maintenance program, where all relevant devices are maintained according to prescribed maximum intervals. It further establishes requirements for a condition-based maintenance program, where the hands-on maintenance intervals are adjusted to reflect the known and reported condition of the relevant devices. For a performance-based maintenance program, it ascertains where the hands-on maintenance intervals are adjusted to reflect the historical performance of the relevant devices.