Over Current Relay- Working Principle Types
In an over current relay or o/c relay the actuating quantity is only current. There is only one current operated element in the relay, no voltage coil etc. are required to construct this protective relay.
In an over current relay, there would be essentially a current coil. When normal current flows through this coil, the magnetic effect generated by the coil is not sufficient to move the moving element of the relay, as in this condition the restraining force is greater than deflecting force. But when the current through the coil increased, the magnetic effect increases, and after certain level of current, the deflecting force generated by the magnetic effect of the coil, crosses the restraining force, as a result, the moving element starts moving to change the contact position in the relay.
Although there are different types of over current relays but basic working principle of over current relay is more or less same for all.
Depending upon time of operation, there are various types of OC relays, such as,
1. Instantaneous over current relay.
2. Definite time over current relay.
3. Inverse time over current relay.
Inverse time over current relay or simply inverse OC relay is again subdivided as inverse definite minimum time (IDMT), very inverse time, extremely inverse time over current relay or OC relay.
Construction and working principle of instantaneous over current relay quite simple.
Here generally a magnetic core is wound by current coil. A piece of iron is so fitted by hinge support and restraining spring in the relay, that when there is not sufficient current in the coil, the NO contacts remain open. When current in the coil crosses a present value, the attractive force becomes sufficient to pull the iron piece towards the magnetic core and consequently the No contacts are closed.
The preset value of current in the relay coil is referred as pick up setting current. This relay is referred as instantaneous over current relay, as ideally, the relay operates as soon as the current in the coil gets higher than pick up setting current. There is no intentional time delay applied. But there is always an inherent time delay which can not be avoided practically. In practice the operating time of an instantaneous relay is of the order of a few milliseconds. Fig.