T&D World Magazine

Software Automates Tests for Protection, Control Relays

MPower from Manta Test Systems is a comprehensive protection test management, execution, reporting and analysis software package. It automates tests for all types of protection and control relays. It manages verification testing activities for power system protection systems.

Applications of the software include testing of protective relays individually or as schemes; organization and management of protection settings and test reports; and management of maintenance and commissioning test activities The products supports reporting requirements for NERC and regional power coordinating councils as well.

Other capabilities are listed as follows:

Program Capabilities


Testing Capabilities:

  • Provides two modes of testing
    • Freeform: Test immediately without a prepared test plan or procedure.
    • Procedure based: Test using a prepared test procedure.
  • Generic test procedures for common devices allow you to become immediately productive in automated testing.
  • Flexible control over test selection and execution. Selectively execute all, a group or any combination of tests.
  • Makes full use of hardware capabilities, including connecting current channels in parallel, and voltage channels in series where possible.
  • Takes advantage of multi-channel digital input sensing hardware when available.
  • Test procedures can be specified and developed independent of test hardware.
  • Automatic evaluation of test PASS/FAIL based on tolerance criteria specified in the test procedure.
  • A single test procedure can be applied without modification to devices of a given type or class.
  • Tests according to installed, in-service settings as far as possible.
  • Interrupt test execution at any time.
  • Performs standard tests on protection elements including but not limited to: under/overcurrent, under/overvoltage, directional overcurrent, under/overfrequency, impedance, current and transformer differential, three phase mho/offset mho, three phase lenticular impedance, loss of excitation, quadrilateral distance, motor protection, synchrocheck, single/three phase metering.
  • Tests line protection relays based on a power system model with controlled source and line impedance
  • Automatically calculates expected pickup values and operate times based on protection settings for common characteristics.
  • Selectable search methods for pickup type tests cover all variations of device technologies.
  • Go/no-go type pickup tests allow for extremely fast testing of modern digital devices.
  • Tests can be reconfigured to use different current output with different drive capabilities effortlessly.
  • Unattended mode will complete as many tests as possible without user intervention.
  • Tests automatically adapt to a wide range of pickup level settings for the same “device”.
  • Suspend and resume test sessions at a later date.
  • Built-in library of electromechanical relay operate time curves.
  • Automatic communication with ASCII protocol, SEL or MODBUS protocol relays to interrogate readings, change logic masks, etc.

Management Capabilities:

  • Organize the database to track "Devices", "Relays", "Protections", "Panels", "Schemes" etc as the test object.
  • Customize the database to track up to 200 pieces of data (size, shape, color, serial number etc.) across all "Devices", Relays", etc.
  • Provides central control of protection settings, allowing field test personnel to obtain data for “devices” of interest, then perform testing independently and merge completed test reports back to the central database.
  • Produces maintenance test schedules based on given criteria.
  • “Device” setting changes can be password protected.
  • Maintains multiple settings groups for “devices” as required.
  • Database browser can be customized to organize all “devices” into folders based on 1 or 2 key fields.
  • Automatic association of test procedures to “device” types.
  • Maintains "As found" and "As left" or other sets of test results as desired.
  • Test procedures, “device” data, and test reports can be archived.


Reporting Capabilities:

  • Produces formatted tabular test reports with zero effort.
  • Directly print test reports to a printer.
  • Customizable report header, title and logo picture.
  • Outputs test reports in ASCII .txt, or RTF formats.
  • Comments can be appended to the results of any test and saved.
  • "Single page" test result summary shows results of all tests at a glance.
  • Produces test summary reports of pass/fail rates, test schedule compliance and productivity.
  • Prints graphs of test results.
  • Outputs test reports or graphs to Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format (with included PDF driver utility)
  • With the optional report generator module:
    • Output test reports in MS Word, MS Excel format (MS Office 97, 2000 or XP(2002) required).
    • Output test reports in PDF, CSV, HTML or XML format.
    • XSLT templates can be used to format XML report data into user desired format.


Analysis Capabilities:

  • Test results graphed automatically against expected device characteristics and tolerance envelopes.
  • Perform searches on the database for “devices” meeting user specified criteria.
  • Calculates total number and percentage of “devices” passed and failed, number of test points passed and failed.
  • Calculate time taken to test certain groups or types of devices to measure productivity gains and plan future testing.
  • Calculates total number and percentage of “device” for which scheduled testing is up to date or overdue, to support compliance reporting for NERC and regional power coordinating councils.
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