Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code



Unit Duration



Bachelor of Science (Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer





BEE204S, BEE205S and BEE206S

Credit Points



Total Program Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or on-campus.

Unit Workload

(Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week)

Lecture – 1.5 hour

Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours Tutorial – 1.5 hour

Guided Personal Study (recommended) - 5 hours

The objective of this unit is to: provide students with a detailed knowledge of power system protection and its role in safe and reliable operation of a power system; and, to impart the ability to choose and apply protection systems in a given context. Information covered in this unit will include: the different types of protective devices and their applications; the coordination between different protective devices and the different forms of grading that are possible; protection of individual types of equipment such as motors, generators, transformers, and switchgear; and, the approach to setting these protective devices. Students will also undertake project work involving protection applications and settings for a typical industrial power network.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:


  1. Explain the fundamentals of electrical power system protection and its components.

  2. Describe protection devices used in LV systems, relays, and IEDs.

  3. Evaluate short circuit current values of simple industrial systems using equivalent diagrams.

  4. Explain time/current characteristics of DMT and IDMT types and calculate coordinated settings in practical circuits.

  5. Explain the concept of unit protection and compare its applications.

  6. Describe protection systems specific to each type of equipment.

    Completing this unit may add to students professional development/competencies by:

    1. Fostering personal and professional skills and attributes in order to:

      1. Conduct work in a professionally diligent, accountable and ethical manner.

      2. Effectively use oral and written communication in personal and professional domains.

      3. Foster applicable creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

      4. Develop initiative and engagement in lifelong learning and professional development.

      5. Enhance collaboration outcomes and performance in dynamic team roles.

      6. Effectively plan, organise, self-manage and manage others.

      7. Professionally utilise and manage information.

      8. Enhance technologist literacy and apply contextualised technologist skills.

    2. Enhance investigatory and research capabilities in order to:

      1. Develop an understanding of systematic, fundamental scientific, mathematic principles, numerical analysis techniques and statistics applicable to technologists.

      2. Access, evaluate and analyse information on technologist processes, procedures, investigations and the discernment of technologist knowledge development.

      3. Foster an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge, computer science, engineering design practice and contextual factors applicable to technologists.

      4. Solve basic and open-ended engineering technologist problems.

      5. Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds associated with sustainable engineering practice.

    3. Develop engineering application abilities in order to:

      1. Apply established engineering methods to broadly-defined technologist problem solving.

      2. Apply engineering technologist techniques, tool and resources.

      3. Apply systematic technologist synthesis and design processes.

      4. Systematically conduct and manage technologist projects, work assignments, testing and experimentation.

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.


Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency


Knowledge and Skill Base


Systematic, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the technology domain.


Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the technology domain.


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the technology domain.


Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain.


Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the technology domain.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to broadly-defined problem solving within the technology domain.


Application of engineering techniques, tools and resources within the technology domain.


Application of systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain.


Professional and Personal Attributes


Ethical conduct and professional accountability.


Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.


Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.


Professional use and management of information.


Orderly management of self and professional conduct.


Effective team membership and team leadership.

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 7 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists and the Sydney Accord:


Graduate Attributes

(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge of Science and Engineering Fundamentals

A1. Breadth of knowledge of engineering and systematic, theory-based understanding of underlying principles, and depth of knowledge across one or more engineering sub- disciplines


1.1, 1.3


1, 2

A2. Knowledge of mathematical, statistical and computer sciences appropriate for engineering technology




3, 4

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


1, 2, 5, 6

A4. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain




3, 4, 6

B. Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Judgement

B1. Ability to research, synthesise, evaluate and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches across diverse engineering technology contexts to effectively solve engineering problems


1.4, 2.1, 2.3


3, 4

B2. Technical and project management skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering technology professional practice


2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2



C. Effective Communication

C1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience




1, 4, 5, 6

C2. Ability to engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of cultures



D. Design and Project Management

D1. Apply systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain

2.1, 2.2, 2.3

3, 4

D2. Apply systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain




3, 4

E. Accountability, Professional and Ethical Conduct

E1. Innovation in applying engineering technology, having regard to ethics and impacts including economic; social; environmental and sustainability


1.6, 3.1, 3.4


E2. Professional conduct, understanding and accountability in professional practice across diverse circumstances including team work, leadership and independent work


3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6


3, 4

This table details the mapping of the unit graduate attributes to the unit learning outcomes and the Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Engineering Technologist.




Graduate Attributes














Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologist

























































































































































































Unit Learning Outcomes























































Student Assessment



Assessment Type

When Assessed



(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Protection systems requirements, components, and devices.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to

30 questions to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of protection systems requirements, components, and devices.


Week 5




1, 2


Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Short circuit calculation and its influence on setting and coordination.

Students will complete a test with about 20 questions of numerical problems and short answer questions (each to be answered in less than 100 words and explanatory diagrams) to demonstrate a detailed knowledge offault current calculation, and its use in setting and coordination of over-current and earth fault protection.


Week 10




3, 4


Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report

Example Topic: Students will complete a project covering the design of a protection system, including the determination of relay requirements and setting calculations.


Week 11






Assessment 4

Type: Exam

Example Topic: All topics

An examination with a mix of detailed essay type questions and numerical problems to be completed within 2 hours.


Final Week






Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.






Prescribed and Recommended Readings


Required textbook(s)

EIT reference book on power system protection (Course code PS)


Reference Materials

Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures) For example:

Simple, easy to follow explanations can be seen from the webpage: : Protection System in Power System by Online Electrical Engineering.


Unit Content:

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topics 1 and 2

Basics of power system protection

  1. Objectives of protection systems

  2. Attributes of protection systems

  3. Functional components in a protection system

  4. Protection – basic approaches: Fuses, release integrated with breakers, and relays

  5. Instrument transformers and their application in protection

  6. Reliable, battery-based power supply for protection systems

  7. Fuses and their application in the protection of feeders

  8. Types of protective release integrated systems with LV circuit breakers


Topics 3 and 4

Faults: types and calculation of fault current

  1. Reason for faults in electrical circuits

  2. Types of faults

  3. Principle of fault current calculation

  4. Limiting the fault current magnitude – methods of determining this

  5. Ohmic and per unit impedance, and the calculation of impedance per unit values

  6. Equivalent diagrams for fault current evaluation

  7. Calculation of 3-phase fault current using reduction of equivalent diagram

  8. Maximum and minimum fault currents, implication to protection design

  9. Symmetrical components and application in calculating the current for unbalanced faults


Topics 5 and 6

Protection relays and IEDs, their setting and coordination

  1. Types of protection relays based on construction

  2. Time-current characteristics and relay types based on the characteristic

  3. Intelligent electronic devices-essential components

  4. IEC/ANSI equations for time/current characteristics

  5. Determining current setting based on circuit parameters and fault current values

  6. Grading of protection needs and methods (current, time, energy, impedance, direction)

  7. Current/time grading and the different approaches used

  8. Calculation of coordinated setting on current relays using a spreadsheet program


Topics 7 and 8

Principles of unit protection and protection of feeders

  1. Unit or differential protection

  2. Comparison with other methods of protection

  3. Applications of unit protection and pitfalls

  4. Feeder protection using current relays

  5. Feeder protection using unit principle

  6. Protection by comparison of phase angle

  7. Distance protection and comparison with unit protection

  8. Distance protection with PLCC or other inter-communication for fast operation


Topic 9

Transformer protection

  1. Transformer faults

  2. Over-current protection

  3. Differential protection

  4. Earth fault/REF protection

  5. Temperature based protection

  6. Gas protection

  7. Mounted DGA monitoring for early detection


Topics 10 and 11

Protection of electrical switchgear and rotating machines (generators and motors)

  1. Busbar protection in outdoor and indoor substations using current relays and unit protection

  2. LV busbar protection with optical (arc) sensing

  3. LV busbar protection with zone selective relaying and communication interlinks

  4. Faults in motors

  5. Winding protection using unit protection approach

  6. Thermal protection

  7. Stall protection

  8. Over-current, earth fault and negative sequence current protection

  9. Generator faults

  10. Protection using current relays

  11. Winding protection using unit approach and sensitive earth fault protection

  12. Temperature based protection

  13. Loss of field and pole-slip protection


Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

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