Feb 28, 2018

Generator Protection made in Germany | Unboxing WOODWARD's MCDGV4


EARTfelt Greetings, Dear friends of protection and control engineering,

for almost half a century now, WOODWARD has been providing protection systems made in Germany, in earlier times still under the SEG flag. Also on board is the MCDGV4, a fully functional IED for generator protection.

We are very happy, the company WOODWARD from Kempen was so nice and gave us a MCDGV4 for testing purposes. In today's "Unboxing-Session", we want to unpack the device, make a sniff test and see if we can quickly and easily get warm together with the included software.

The relay was handed over to us in a white polystyrene box that does not look very big. In order to compare the size, I am always a friend of well-known reference sizes. Can there be anything better than a bottle of wine?

On the box, there are two stickers with informations attached. First of all, the full name MCDGV4-2B1BTA stands out. Our test device has 8 digital inputs, 11 signal outputs, 2 analog inputs and outputs each, a large display, voltage inputs from 0-800 V, sensitive earth current measurement and the option 19“ subrack for panel mounting. Further application-specific configurations are available according to the order code. In addition the following interfaces are included in our MCDGV4:

🌐 IEC60870-5-103, Modbus RTU, DNP3.0 RTU | RS485/terminals

🌐 IEC61850, Modbus TCP, DNP3.0 TCP/UDP | Ethernet 100 MB/RJ45

However, we were surprised that there are no order options regarding the protection functions. The simple answer: WOODWARD delivers the complete range of functions with each basic device, the price remains untouched. You have to get used to so much fairness, a cool approach without function points or similar monkey business. The only available order options specify the type of interfaces and the number of inputs and outputs.

Also noteworthy are the wide and adjustable voltage ranges of the MCDGV4:

🌐 The analog voltage inputs for measuring the phase and displacement voltage can be parameterized between 60 and 520 V, the maximum measuring range is 800 V AC.

Furthermore, the web address and the QR code can be taken from the stickers, which lead to the immediate download of the user manual in German language. This is quickly found within the download server, and many other helpful items are readily available here, e.g. templates for LED labeling, trouble-shooting guides, single-line diagrams, complete manual documentation in countless languages (such as Russian, Spanish, French ...) and so on. In addition, all documents mentioned here are also included on the supplied CD.


The MCDGV4 comes along with the following scope of delivery:

🌐 CD with the completely free and full version of the operating software Smart view (Release 4.50) and many useful things, such as: all manuals

🌐 Log of the passed test from the production

🌐 USB cable (not shown here)

🌐 Two small stickers with QR codes to the relay instructions

Fast wiring

And then it starts. To wire the device for the first test, it would be useful to know the pin assignment on the back of the device. Thanks to the large sticker on the top of the relay, this is not a problem, everything is clearly described here and we can get started right away (see picture).  

What immediately strikes me as positive is the general possibility of being able to pull off the connectors on the back. This applies without restriction to all terminal strips (X1 to X6) and the CT connectors also contain integrated short-circuiters. An ultrafast relay  change, without renewing the wiring and time-consuming reconnecting, is a breeze here.

For power supply DC and AC voltage can be used, the DC range is here at 24 - 270 volts, the AC range at 48 to 230 volts. On the current transformer side, the MCDGV4 comes with two common standardization types on board: 1 A and 5 A. Here, only the corresponding connection must be selected for the wiring and later the corresponding device parameter must be set via software. The MCDGV4 has no annoying jumpers that need to be changed, no different hardware is required. Here, the MCDGV4 gives us a first-class opportunity, I have often stood in front of a system with wrong secondary transformer currents.

The connection

After the MCDGV4 is wired and Smart view is installed, I connect via USB and switch on the power supply.

Via "Settings" and then "Device connection" the dialog for the connection is selected. I select the USB connection and get the immediate question if the connection should be established. One click further and I am connected to the device. It can’t get easier.

Smart view now offers a clear operating and parameterization structure, which for me immediately seems self-explanatory and clearly comprehensible. When modifying parameters that affect other functions, Smart view issues appropriate warnings. In addition, the existing parameters are always described with a small plain text, so that you can find your way around immediately.

The picture below shows the basic structure of Smart view:

A few clicks later, I have armed the directional earth fault protection function, parameterized for test purposes and my COMPANO 100 (prototype with voltage output) brings the MCDGV4 to the first trip.

Conclusion: From the opening of the packaging to the first trip of the MCDGV4 I needed 50 minutes. It should be noted that I worked for the first time with a device from WOODWARD. In my view, this is more than noteworthy and thanks to the consistently user-friendly and didactically well-organized concept of the HIGHPROTEC series from WOODWARD. Looking forward to further testing, next time we'll look at the algorithms and details of the protection features, as well as a deeper look at the Smart view software.

Best Regards, Alexander Muth