Protection Engineering is with out doubt a specialist domain.
We deal with issues from
- millivolts to kilovolts
- milliamps to kiloamps
- Hertz to megaHertz
- microseconds to seconds
- bits/second to megabits/second
- metres to thousands of kilometres
All at least million-to-one ranges!!
With that in mind it is clear no one person can know all.
Equally reading a few books and picking up a bit of help via blogs or web sites will only go so far.
Over my 30+ years as a protection engineer, I doubt there is a day where I haven't learnt something new in some form or another of protection - 30 years x 200 working days/year is still only 6000 things I've learnt and there is so much more TO learn!!. So I would never claim to be an expert as "all knowing, super guru", but I am proud to be a specialist professional in Protection Engineering.
I have been extremely fortunate to have started my career straight out of University in GEC - as it was then in Regents Park, Sydney - not really knowing what a relay was, let alone why you really needed to calculate the maximum fault current - it obviously was bigger than it should be so just switch it off!
I am forever grateful to my first boss Ted Ransom and his boss Bill Backhouse, for their knowledge of protection, coaching, understanding, wisdom and faith in me - they had each been protection engineers for a couple of decades even at that time and their eyes still lit up with the challenge of every new day as protection engineers.
I am also very grateful to the same expertise of my teachers at the 6-week APPS course I attended in 1981 - Jack Royle, Chris Delgardo, Gordon Hadley and the many I dealt with internationally like Robin Millar, Adrian Newbould, Ted Walker, Bill Cheetham, Paul Hindle and so many others who also continued to put up with my technical questions from left-field.
Nor should I forget to be grateful to the commercial and marketing expertise of Bill Cooper, Dave Buckless, Chris Tilston, Mike Hughes, Stuart Romm and also many more.
And of course the clients where so many applications and experiences were shared - Gabby Varga, John Ainsworth, Arthur Tunnicliffe, Alex Palamarczuk, Alan Spicer ... and many many more, probably including you .
Sometimes protection engineers may come across as being somewhat difficult, demanding .. or to some others, just plain weird.
Protection engineers deal in not just the "what IF", but the more risk averse attitude of requirement of "what WHEN".
Yet what we deal with is often not rocket science by any long shot of the imagination.
Ohms Law ( V = I x Z) plays so much a part of where we start to analyse and solve problems, as is Kirchoff's Law (Sum of currents flowing in to a node must equal sum of currents flowing out of a node) is also a base principle in protection.
The trick is always understanding the implications of these Laws and the application in providing effective protection solutions.
Sometimes those tricks are clouded by "historical tradition/policy" and so the base philosophy may have been obscured. Sometimes these need to be re-thinked from first principles as to what the problem/objective/purpose was and what the modern solutions would be (and so I would say "hysterically historical standard procedures" ).
The information contained herein is by no means a full explanation of all protection applications and theory. However I have provided a few snap shots of my insight into protection engineering principles which I have probably had recent cause to blog about somewhere and which you may find useful. These pages no doubt do not present "THE" answer for any particular or generic application but if you wish specific advice thereto, please contact me so we discuss a potential consulting assignment to satisfy your needs.