Journal Menu
Last Edition
Journal information

Vol.3, No.1, 2024: pp.21-29

Protection coordination of photovoltaic power plant in the time domain


Josip Čolak1
, Srete Nikolovski1
, Ružica Kljajić2
, Hrvoje Glavaš2

1EPIK Ltd., Našice, Croatia
2J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information
Technology, Osijek, Croatia

Received: 20 December 2023
Revised: 23 February 2024
Accepted: 15 March 2024
Published: 31 March 2024


The safety of workers and equipment in the power grid requires the shutdown of power plants in case of maintenance or malfunction. The shutdown relies on protective devices that must be properly coordinated to isolate only the part of the grid affected by the malfunction. Using the DIgSILENT PowerFactory software, an analysis was conducted on a model of an accurate real grid integrating a photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of 390 kW. Protection coordination testing was carried out for three-phase, two-phase, and single-phase short circuit currents at arbitrarily selected locations at medium and low voltage levels. Protection in the time domain is coordinated on lines and busbars to determine the speed and selectivity of protective devices. The analysis results indicate that adequately adjusting the three-phase short circuit at the main transformer output 110/10 kV with an impedance of 0 Ω and an allowed protection operation time of up to two seconds can be correctly addressed within 36.7 ms.


Renewable energy source, photovoltaic power plants, DIgSILENT PowerFactory software, coordination, fuses, relays, selectivity


[1] S.S. Fatemi, H. Samet, Considering DGs Voltage Protection in Optimal Coordination of Directional Overcurrent Relays to Minimize the Energy Not Supplied. IEEE Systems Journal, 15(3), 2021: 4037-4045.
[2] M.F. Shaikh, S. Katyara, Z.H. Khand, M. Ali Shah, L. Staszewski, V. Bhan, A. Majeed, S. Shaikh, L. Zbigniew, Novel Protection Coordination Scheme for Active Distribution Networks. Electronics, 10(8), 2021: 2312.
[3] S.R.K. Najafabadi, B. Fani, I. Sadeghkhani, Optimal Determination of Photovoltaic Penetration Level Considering Protection Coordination. IEEE Systems Journal, 16(2), 2022: 2121-2124.
[4] S. Biswal, S.R. Samantaray, An Effective Protection Coordination Scheme for Networked Microgrids Based on Nonstandard Tripping Characteristics of DOCRs. IEEE Systems Journal, 17(4), 2023: 6588-6599.
[5] A.A. Jena, S.M. Baral, S.S. Rath, P.K. Ray, A.K. Barisal, R.R. Sarangi, A. Mohanty, Protection and Relay Coordination Study in Solar Photovoltaic Integrated Hybrid Power System. 2022 International Conference on Intelligent Controller and Computing for Smart Power (ICICCSP), 21-23 July 2022, Hyderabad, India, 2022, pp.1-6.
[6] S. Nikolovski, D. Mlakić, Advanced detection and protection methods against islanding in solar and biomass power systems, Power and Energy Masters 2018. 13th International Scientific and Professional Conference ’’Energy and Process Plants’’ and 8th International Forum on Renewable Energy Sources, 14-16 November 2018, Rovinj, Croatia, pp.1-18.
[7] Y. Ates, A.R. Boynuegri, M. Uzunoglu, A. Nadar, R. Yumurtacı, O. Erdinc, N.G. Paterakis, J.P.S. Catalão, Adaptive Protection Scheme for a Distribution System Considering Grid- Connected and Islanded Modes of Operation. Energies, 2016, 9(5), 378.
[8] M.H. Brestan, R. Schuerhuber, Aspects of grid-connected converters and their inherent influence on the power grid, 2023 23rd International Scientific Conference on Electric Power Engineering (EPE), 24-26 May 2023, Brno, Czech Republic, pp.1-5.
[9] S. Nikolovski, P. Marić, G. Knežević, Computer modeling and simulation of overcurrent relay settings of solar power plant. Journal of Basic and Applied Research International, 11(1), 2015: 68-79.
[10] M.J. Abed, A. Mhalla, N.A. Shalash, Limits the Time Relay Coordination of Photovoltaic Power System using ETAP. 2022 IEEE 21st International Conference on Sciences and Techniques of Automatic Control and Computer Engineering (STA), 19-21 December 2022, Sousse, Tunisia, pp.561-565.
[11] DIgSILENT Power System Solution, PowerFactory Applications (Accessed: 12 November 2023)
[12] S. Nikolovski, Protection in the power system, University textbook. Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Osijek, Croatia, 2007.
[13] W. Freitas, Z. Huang, W. Xu, A practical method for assessing the effectiveness of vector surge relays for distributed generation applications. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, 20(1), 2005: 57-63.
[14] S. Nikolovski, V. Papuga, G. Knežević, K. Fekete, Relay Protection Coordination for Photovoltaic Power Plant Connected on Distribution Network. International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering Systems, 5(1), 2014: 15-20.
[15] D. Mlakić, S. Nikolovski, Z. Baus, Detection of faults in electrical panels using deep learning method. 2017 International Conference on Smart Systems and Technologies (SST), 18-20 October 2017, Osijek, Croatia, 2017, pp.55-61.
[16] A. Beddoes, P. Thomas, M. Gosden, Loss of Mains protection relay performances when subjected to network disturbances/events. CIRED 2005 – 18th International Conference and Exhibition on Electricity Distribution, 6-9 June 2005, Turin, Italy, pp.1-5.
[17] F. Alasali, A.S. Saidi, N. El-Naily, S.W. Alnaser, W. Holderbaum, S.M. Saad, M. Gamaleldin, Advanced Coordination Method for Overcurrent Protection Relays Using New Hybrid and Dynamic Tripping Characteristics for Microgrid. IEEE Access, 10, 2022: 127377-127396.
[18] S. Nikolovski, P. Marić, M. Vukobratović, Anti-islanding detection and protection of distributed generation. Proceedings of the 11th Symposium on the Power System Management, International Council on Large Electric Systems – Croatian National Committee (CIGRE), 10-12 November 2014, Opatija, Croatia, pp.1-10.
[19] N.I. Nkhasi, A.K. Saha, Protection Coordination and Anti-Islanding Control of Grid-Connected PV Systems. 2019 Southern African Universities Power Engineering Conference / Robotics and Mechatronics / Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa, 28-30 January 2019, Bloemfontein, South Africa, pp. 605-610.
[20] A. Patsidis, D. Tzelepis, A. Dyśko, C. Booth, Investigation of the performance of ROCOF- based lom protection in distribution networks with virtual synchronous generators. 15th International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection (DPSP 2020), 9-12 March 2020, Liverpool, UK.
[21] HEP Distribution System Operator, Rules on Connection to the Distribution Network, Guidelines for Protection Settings Report (EPZ). HEP-ODS, No.7, Zagreb, 2023.
[22] VDE 0126-1-1, Automatic disconnection device between a generator and the public low-voltage grid. VDE Verlag, 2013.
[23] IEC 62116:2014, Utility-interconnected photovoltaic inverters – Test procedure of islanding prevention measures. IEC, 2014.
[24] J. Čolak, Protection coordination of photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the time domain. Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology, Master’s thesis, Osijek, Croatia, 2023.
[25] N. Gruman, P. Moses, Laboratory Tests of Distribution Feeder Protection Response with Inverter-Based Resources, 2023 IEEE 17 th International Conference on Industrial and Information Systems (ICIIS), 25-26 August 2023, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, pp.383-387.

© 2024 by the authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Volume 3
Number 1
March 2024.



How to Cite

J. Čolak, S. Nikolovski, R. Kljajić, H. Glavaš, Protection Coordination of Photovoltaic Power Plant in the Time Domain. Advanced Engineering Letters, 3(1), 2024: 21-29.

More Citation Formats