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Unit outline_

ELEC5204: Power Systems Analysis and Protection

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit provides the basis for the analysis of electricity grids using symmetrical components theory. Such analysis theory is the basis for the understanding of electrical faults and the design of protection strategies to safeguard the electrical equipment, and maintain safety of the plant at the highest possible level. The following specific topics are covered: The types and causes of power system faults; balanced faults and short circuit levels; an introduction to fault current transients in machines; symmetric components, sequence impedances and networks; the analysis of unsymmetrical faults. Review of the impact of faults on power system behaviour; issues affecting protection scheme characteristics and clearance times; the security and reliability of protection schemes; the need for protection redundancy and its implementation as local or remote backup; zones of protection and the need for zones to overlap; the analysis and application of over-current and distance relay protection schemes with particular reference to the protection of transmission lines.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Electrical and Information Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

(ELEC3203 OR ELEC9203 OR ELEC5732) AND (ELEC3206 OR ELEC9206 OR ELEC5734). The unit assumes basic knowledge of circuits, familiarity with basic mathematics, competence with basic circuit theory and an understanding of three phase systems, transformers, transmission lines and associated modeling and operation of such equipment

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Jeremy Qiu,
Lecturer(s) Jeremy Qiu,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
Final Examination
Closed book final exam.
50% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Tutorial quiz Mid semester test
In-class middle-semester quiz.
10% Week 06
Due date: 28 Mar 2023 at 09:00
50 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO2
Assignment Assignment
Take home assignment
20% Week 13
Due date: 23 May 2023 at 23:00

Closing date: 23 May 2023
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9
Assignment Lab reports
Lab reports submitted via Canvas.
20% Week 13
Due date: 23 May 2023 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9

Assessment summary

  • Assignment: Assignments throughout the semester.
  • Lab report: Laboratory work with the power system simulator that offers a breadth of experimental work with the latest digital relays and some of the experiments are as follows: symmetrical faults, unsymmetrical faults, transient overvoltage, grading of overcurrent protection for three-phase faults, directional control of relay tripping, distance and zone protection, grid transformer differential protection, busbar protection, generator protection, auto-reclosing
  • Final exam: End of semester examination.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Three-phase power systems, historical developments, characteristics influencing generation and transmission, environmental aspects of electrical energy generation, transmission and distribution systems, energy utilization, balanced three-phase and unbalanced three-phase systems, introduction to short circuit analysis and symmetrical component theory. Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 1. Short circuit analysis techniques; 2. Synchronous machines; 3. Synchronous generator in parallel operation; 4. The operation of a generator on infinite busbars; 5. Salient pole generators; 6. Per unit system; 7. Overhead line; 8. Underground cables; 9. Positive, negative and zero sequence networks Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO7
Week 03 1. Equivalent circuits and parameters of electricity networks; 2. Synchronous machines; 3. Armature reaction; 4. Steady-state salient pole rotor; 5. Transient analysis; 6. Asymmetry; 7. Machine reactances; 8. Negative sequence reactance; 9. Zero sequence reactance; 10. Direct and quadrature axis values; 11. Effect of saturation on machine reactances; 12. Transformer positive sequence equivalent circuits; 13. Transformer zero sequence equivalent circuits; 14. Auto-transformers; Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO3 LO7 LO8
Week 04 1. Overhead lines and cables; 2. Calculation of series impedance; 3. Calculation of shunt impedance; 4. Overhead line circuits with or without earth wires; 5. OHL equivalent circuits; 6. Cable circuits; 7. Overhead line; 8. Cable data Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO4 LO6 LO7
Week 05 1. Current and voltage transformers; 2. Capacitor voltage transformers; 3. Errors, composite errors; 4. Transformer classes; 5. Optical instrument transformers; 6. Electromechanical relays; 7. Static relay; 8. Digital relays; 9. Numerical relays Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO6 LO7
Week 06 Principles of time/current grading, standard I.D.M.T. overcurrent relays, combined I.D.M.T. and high set instantaneous overcurrent relays, very inverse overcurrent relays, Extremely Inverse overcurrent relays, Independent (definite) time overcurrent relays, Relay current setting, Relay time grading margin, calculation of phase fault overcurrent relay settings, directional phase fault overcurrent relays, Earth fault protection, Directional earth fault overcurrent protection,Earth fault protection Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 07 Unit protection of feeders, balanced voltage system, digital/Numerical current differential protection systems, Phase comparison protection scheme considerations Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 08 differential protection Busbar protection requirements, types of protection system, system protection schemes, Differential protection principles, high impedance Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 09 Transformer protection, winding faults, magnetising inrush, transformer overheating, transformer overcurrent protection, restricted earth fault protection, differential protection, combined differential and restricted earth fault schemes, earthing transformer protection, auto-transformer protection, tank-earth protection, oil and gas devices, transformer-feeder protection, condition monitoring of transformers Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6 LO8 LO9
Week 10 Principles of distance relays, relationship between relay voltage and ZS/ZL ratio, zones of protection, distance relay characteristics, effect of source impedance and earthing methods Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 11 direct-connected generators, differential protection of generator–transformer units, overcurrent protection, stator earth fault protection, overvoltage protection, undervoltage protection, low forward power/reverse power protection, unbalanced loading, under/overfrequency/overfluxing protection, rotor faults, loss of excitation protection, overheating, mechanical faults Generator earthing, stator winding faults, stator winding protection, differential protection of Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 12 AC motor protection, thermal (Overload) protection, start/stall protection, short circuit protection, earth fault protection, negative phase sequence protection, wound rotor induction motor protection, RTD temperature detection, undervoltage protection, loss-of-load protection, protection for synchronous motors Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 13 Review and feedback Lecture (2 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

Students should participate in the tutorial sessions.

Students should attend the do the laboratory experiements and submit the laboratory reports. 

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Duncan Glover et. al., Power System Analysis and Design. Cengage Learning, 978-1-111-42577-7.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding the functions of switch gear and other devices
  • LO2. demonstrate a basic understanding electrical safety issues and systems earthing to the extent of the material presented
  • LO3. write reports and present information to communicate engineering information clearly, concisely and accurately at a level commensurate with the expected technical knowledge level of the stakeholders involved
  • LO4. incorporate professional standards for economical, environmental, social and safety issues into the design, implementation and operation of power systems by drawing on Australian codes and standards
  • LO5. design basic protection schemes, drawing on principles and knowledge at hand, as well as other available resources to solve the problem to specifications
  • LO6. use a power system simulator to design, test and confirm protection requirements for a given system within the limits of the material presented
  • LO7. demonstrate an understanding of symmetrical components theory and its application
  • LO8. demonstrate proficiency in determining maximum and minimum short circuit levels in power networks using knowledge of principles and concepts developed throughout the course
  • LO9. apply knowledge of concepts and principles studied to demonstrate why protection systems are required and their respective functions to the extent of the material presented.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The labs and tutorials are changed to face-to-fact mode.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.