This paper describes a new approach for power transformer differential protection which is based on the wave-shape recognition technique. An algorithm based on neural network principal component analysis (NNPCA) with back-propagation learning is proposed for digital differential protection of power transformer. The principal component analysis is used to preprocess the data from power system in order to eliminate redundant information and enhance hidden pattern of differential current to discriminate between internal faults from inrush and overexcitation conditions. This algorithm has been developed by considering optimal number of neurons in hidden layer and optimal number of neurons at output layer. The proposed algorithm makes use of ratio of voltage to frequency and amplitude of differential current for transformer operating condition detection. This paper presents a comparative study of power transformer differential protection algorithms based on harmonic restraint method, NNPCA, feed forward back propagation neural network (FFBPNN), space vector analysis of the differential signal, and their time characteristic shapes in Park’s plane. The algorithms are compared as to their speed of response, computational burden, and the capability to distinguish between a magnetizing inrush and power transformer internal fault. The mathematical basis for each algorithm is briefly described. All the algorithms are evaluated using simulation performed with PSCAD/EMTDC and MATLAB. 1. Introduction Power transformer is one of the most important components in power system, for which various types of protective and monitoring schemes have been developed for many years. Differential protection is one of the most widely used methods for protecting power transformer against internal faults. The technique is based on the measurement and comparison of currents at both side of transformer: primary and secondary lines. The differential relay trips whenever the difference of the currents in both sides exceeds a predetermined threshold. This technique is accurate in most of the cases of transformer internal faults however mal-operation of differential relay is possible due to inrush currents, which result from transients in transformer magnetic flux. The transients in transformer magnetic flux may occur due to energization of transformer, voltage recovery after fault clearance or connection of parallel transformers. The existence of such current disturbances has made the protection of power transformers a challenging problem for protection engineers. Therefore, accurate
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