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Available Technology

Manufacturing, Sustainable Energy

Renewable Source Protection Method for IBRs

Inventors: Sukumar Brahma, Prabin Adhikari, and Phani Harsha Gadde

Market Overview

This source-agnostic time domain distance relay uses only single-ended measurements to detect, classify, and locate any fault on the line it monitors while eliminating known weaknesses of distance relays. Recent advances in renewable energy technology allow several hundred megawatts of power to be in a single plant and connect to the electric grid through inverters. All major renewable resources, such as photovoltaic solar, wind, and battery storage, connect to the grid through inverters, and hence called inverter-based resources (IBRs). IBRs have a control scheme that dictates their fault response and various factors that can restrict their fault contributions, radically differing their response from the traditional synchronous source. These IBRs often lead to mistakes in operation when they feed distance relays. Current technologies aim to edit the control design of these IBRs, which is an impractical solution. In 2020, 20% of the United States electricity grid was composed of renewable electricity resources. According to market analysis, the renewable energy market expects to grow at a rate of 8.4% from 2020 to 2030 to reach USD 1,977.6 billion. As renewable resources become increasingly popular, there is an urgent need to develop a reliable and secure protection method to overcome the protection-issues associated with IBRs, the current large power connector. Clemson University researchers have developed a source-agnostic time domain distance relay that can be used in the presence of renewables and storage for reliable and secure protection of transmission and distribution systems.


IBR, Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Power Grid

Technical Summary:

The process depicts a source-agnostic and network-independent relay using single-ended local measurements. This method was formulated with a sampling rate of 1 MHz, using generalized differential equations that capture the physics of a fault on an unbalanced line, regardless of the feeding source. Furthermore, the method does not require any polarization technique and works for unbalanced lines of any length. It is immune to load encroachment, decaying dc offset, and pre-fault currents. Finally, it has been shown that the proposed method is immune to fault resistance even with limited communication.


  • Provides reliable and secure protection of transmission and distribution systems with any penetration level of renewable resources
  • Works in the presence of renewables and storage, unlike other existing utilities
  • Eliminates most known weaknesses of distance relays

Technology Overview

State of Development

TRL3: Proof of Concept

Patent Type



Manufacturing, Sustainable Energy

Serial Number


CURF Reference No.



Sukumar Brahma, Prabin Adhikari, and Phani Harsha Gadde

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