Dec 30, 2016

Omicron vs. KoCoS? Part II


ELCOME Dear friends of protection and control technology! CMC 356 vs. ARTES 560 - 2nd round: Software and Handling.

It is a question which most of us have certainly asked ourselves and which should be answered at the latest when talking to the centralized purchasing department:

Which digital test device should be purchased?

Or: Which device is the better one?

We answer this question in our three-part series of the "The Sniff-Test" and compete the top dog, Omicrons CMC 356 against the underdog, the ARTES 560 of the company KoCoS.

After the first superficial sniffing of our two test subjects and a fairly balanced first round, the depth scanning follows, the second round. This time the two counterparties enter the ring with regard to software design and usability.

Clear the ring and get ready for the 2nd round!

Software and Handling!

Our KoCoS test device is supplied with the software package ARTES 4.00, the package "Test Universe 3.10" is launched at Omicron CMC365. Test Universe is available in 16 different languages, all of which can be switched directly. ARTES is available in 3 languages, a direct switchover is possible as well. The following table shows the language packages in comparison:

In order to compare the technical possibilities, we first compare the existing functional scope of both software packages. Price considerations remain unanswered in this article and will be discussed in our all-important third round. So, let's go:

In the Basic package, Test Universe comes with the modules:

✭ QuickCMC

✭ State Sequencer

✭ Ramps

✭ TransPlay

✭ Harmonics

✭ Binary I / 0 Monitor

✭ LS configuration

✭ AuxDC configuration

✭ ISIO Connect

✭ And the CPol Polarity Checker (in our opinion an ingenious commissioning tool)

Further modules are available at an additional cost.

The basic package of ARTES is the VD-Monitor, which is similar to Omicron's "QucikCMC" module. Both with Omicron's Test Universe module "QuickCMC", as well as the corresponding counterpart of KoCoS (VD-Monitor), basic outputs of electrical variables can be realized. Both modules are very flexible (output of variable amounts, phases and frequencies possible). In both cases, the output variables are displayed in vector diagrams. Triggering possibilities for terminating the output upon certain conditions are also present.

Omicron's "QuickCMC" also offers the possibility to output direct impedances and powers, for example at a constant voltage or a constant current. This is particularly advantageous if you want to quickly stimulate a distance protection zone or a reverse power or under-excitation characteristic. QuickCMC also provides instant annotation and logging capabilities. Both tools are able to output currents and voltages directly as symmetric components in positive-, negative- and zero sequence system values, a great thing when, for example, the unbalanced load protection curve of a generator protection relay would want to check and you're too lazy change the test wiring.

Furthermore, both software packages offer corresponding modules or monitors for checking specific (protective) functions. These are presented in the following table and can not be discussed in detail because of their complexity. Here is enough material for smaller dissertations

As we can easily see from the table, Omicron's Test Universe offers the much more comprehensive software package.

For example, The so-called annunciation checker. As the name suggests, the annunciation checker is a module with which, after the actual check of the protection functions, all messages to a control room or similar can be checked. To do this, you can set the corresponding states for triggering the individual signals, output them one by one in a controlled manner, and then conveniently transfer them to the protocol. Here, signal checks can be effectively faced, compressed in time and systematized.

There are also EnerLyzer and TransView. The Enerlyzer is used for analog measurement as well as for transient recording with the CMC 356. As already mentioned in the 1st round "The Hardware", the Omicron CMC356 can record voltages and currents (for example via measuring shunt and current clamps).

In TransView you have the comfortable possibility of visualizing the directly recorded sizes. Moreover, even calculated quantities, e.g. Performances, symmetrical components or even upper harmonics can be presented and analyzed. This makes the Omicron an oscilloscope with which you can, for example, record the switching-on process of a transformer or a test synchronization and visualize pointer images and harmonic oscillations by means of an integrated analysis function!

Another unique feature of TestUniverse is NetSim: This is a network simulator for testing relays under real conditions. A software-based network model of the relevant primary components is created, case-based network calculations are carried out, and the protective devices are directly loaded and checked with the secondary variables generated in this process. This makes sense for instance when testing adaptive line protection systems from Siemens, where the stabilizing algorithm is somewhere in the field of esotericism.

Another essential tool for every wiring test of transformers is the Omicron Polarity Checker. If you have set the cross at the CPol in the special equipment list, you can very easily examine the wiring of a system from the primary side to the connection terminals on the protection device for directional errors. The polarity check function replaces the 9 volt block and the analogue multimeter and is worth gold in the context of CT and VT tests.

Last but not least, Omicron can sink another hit: the Protection Testing Library (PTL)! This library contains numerous test templates for the most protective relays on the worldwide market. If, for example, the Siemens 7UM62 multifunctional machine protection is to be tested, you can download the corresponding template from the Omicron download area, read the setting values ​​from the protective relay via X-Rio interface and import them into the template. The program automatically deactivates unused protective functions for the test sequence and accepts the setting data as setpoints for the test. After that the test can start. Omicron offers an unbeatable quick-and-dirty method for the fastest testing of complex IED functions. Although the understanding of the testing engineer remains a little in the hinterland, the customer gets in many cases exactly what he ordered and paid. An increasing number of budgets are pushing the testing engineer into effective solutions. Omicron has understood this for a long time ago, and with the help of the PTL, he provides the appropriate solution.

Omicron is also much wider in the field of IEC 61850 test tools. You are able to check GOOSE, testing with sampled values, check merging units, test control communication according to IEC 61850 as well as to run the visualization of sampled values.

So much for the quantitative comparison of functional quantities; Let us introduce the simple handling of the systems in practice by means of a simple differential protection test. The aim is to test a differential protection relay with an backup overcurrent function and to transfer the test results to the imaginary plant operator in a clear protocol.

We start with the Diff test in ARTES:

To start the examination in ARTES, a new test order must be created and the protection object defined. To do this, we open the corresponding settings and select the protection functions. Therefore, we set the checkmarks for overcurrent protection (for the backup overcurrent protection) and for differential protection (see figure).

Now we can configure the individual functions: trigger thresholds and times, characteristics, pre-and post-run times for the tests etc. This is all very clear.

We then provide the general information (serial number, equipment identification ...), system and converter data (nominal voltage, ratio, line data ...) and the connection of the inputs and outputs of the ARTES with those of the protective relay.

The test can start. First, the differential protection function must be temporarily deactivated for the backup over-current test. There is no separate module to tell the test engineer this statement, but a wait with comment can be inserted. Then we open the monitor for the over-current protection and select the "Sequence" function. With this we can check several points in the characteristic line one after the other. You can use absolute and relative values ​​to set the test points. If all values ​​have been parameterized, add the test points and start the test. The monitor then evaluates whether the trigger values ​​and times coincide with the initially defined setting values ​​in the protected object. The monitor can then be added to the test plan. After the UMZ test, the differential protection must be activated again. Again, you can use the improvised pause module as a reminder.

The actual differential protection test follows. To do this, we open the so-called DIFF-Monitor.

Because the ARTES software does not provide a module for checking the diff configuration, we do a manual test by outputting a stabilizing current but no differential current. If no tripping occurs, the test is deemed to have passed, external errors are not taken into account. We use the "Sequence" method to test the tripping characteristic with the corresponding tripping times. Here, too, we insert the test points, add them, and start the test. The examination of the harmonic blocking funktion is then self-explanatory and does not constitute a hurdle.

Finally, we want to summarize the results in a protocol. This works very simply via a corresponding button, which shows us the ready to print protocol. However, the customization options for this report, such as inserting the company logo, setting the detailed depth of the test results, etc., are very limited and extremely cumbersome.

How is the impression after the Diff test with KoCoS? All in all, one has to say: who is accustomed to the structured platform of an Omicron test, will have its start-up difficulties with ARTES. For compact tests, which can be carried out with a corresponding monitor, it is quite suitable. However, it is quickly overstrained, especially in the case of more extensive testing tests that we have carried out.

We come to the differential protection test withTest Universe:

First we open a new test document (OCC file). Here, too, it is expedient to set the plant data in the test object first.

Alternatively, you can read out the setting data from the protective relay via XRio and read it into test universe.

Then the test hardware is configured: which analog outputs do I need and how are they interconnected, how are they to be named, which binary inputs and outputs do I want to use and from which type are they (wet or dry).

After these necessary preparations, we can add test modules according to our test. First we need a break module. The instruction to deactivate the differential protection is stored here. Next, we add an overcurrent protection module to check the start and stop values ​​and trip times. The termination of the overcurrent test is again the pause module, with the reference to the differential protection to be activated. In order to keep the test sequence clear, especially in the case of more extensive tests, these three modules can be grouped into one group.

The modules for differential protection follow. This should also be summarized in a group. So we add the modules "Diff configuration", "Diff characteristic", "Diff time" and "Diff harmonic", configure the test parameters and are already done for the so-called "double arrow". This successively executes the test modules. At the points in the test sequence where changes are to be made in the system or hardware, we have inserted the break modules with the corresponding instructions. It is, of course, also possible to carry out the tests individually. It's worth mentioning that the Omicron modules are much more comprehensive than the KoCoS counterparts. For example, search tests can be carried out when the characteristic curve is too far from the set characteristic curve or the setting is not known at all.

Once all test steps have been carried out, the detailed depth of the test results for the protocol can be set. Most of the clients submit 2 to 3 pages, with the most meaningful results, their evaluation and one or the other characteristic curve. Others ask for a multi-part novel with all the necessary information for the examination. Both are possible with Test Universe.

Once you have made the protocol settings for the modules, you can finally add automated information, such as the inspection date, the number of realized and passed test modules, and the name of the test engineer.

Afterwards, the report is either printed out directly or exported as PDF, RTF or TXT and our test is finished.

After this practical insight into the test world of ARTES and Test Universe, we were able to get a very good impression on the two solutions in the application. In the following, we come to the intermediate result of the 2nd round, counting all valid hits and impacts:

Omicron vs. KoCoS

In particular, Omicron's numerous and high-quality testing capabilities have contributed to the high score. Here, Omicron actually fulfills the name "Test Universe". ARTES can not convince, because of the not really intuitive workflows, not so convincing, refined single-setting features are also in vain. On closer inspection you get the feeling, you have two completely different device classes with deviating testing targets in front of the nose.

In our next article, we will look at the final third round:

3rd round: "Moreover"

Back to the 1st round: "Hardware"

Heartfelt Greetings Hannes Heiden / Alexander Muth

PS: We would like to point out that our research was carried out in the best way and on a neutral basis. We are very grateful for any useful hints on our contributions: