NERC Compliance Programs

Solaris Power Systems provides services to our clients who fall under the purview of NERC PRC-005 by integrating our expertise in DC power systems into our client’s compliance program as is appropriate in each specific case.

PRC-005 is the NERC standard for protection systems maintenance and testing. This standard gives the minimum maintenance requirements for protective relays, DC supplies, DC control circuits, current and voltage sensing devices, and associated telecommunications equipment.

NERC was formed on June 1, 1968 under the name of National Electric Reliability Council in response to a series of blackouts that took place in 1965. Initially the standards they produced were only voluntary. In 1981 they changed the name to North American Electric Reliability Council because of Canada’s participation in NERC. On January 1, 2007 NERC became an electric reliability organization following certification by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and The National Energy Board of Canada. On June 18, 2007 the NERC Reliability Standards became mandatory and enforceable in the United States.

NERC’s charter is to protect the Bulk Power System defined as:
The part of the overall electricity system that includes the generation of electricity and the transmission of electricity over high-voltage transmission lines to distribution companies. This includes power generation facilities, transmission lines, interconnections between neighboring transmission systems, and associated equipment. It does not include the local distribution of electricity to homes and businesses. NERC has established that any Substation with a primary voltage of 100 kV or greater and generation is considered part of the BES.

Protection System Maintenance Program (PSMP)

Every transmission owner, generator owner, and distribution provider that has a facility that falls under the NERC umbrella will need to provide a PSMP to NERC. The PSMP will need to have the details of your maintenance program including all of the activities listed by the different battery technologies. NERC has determined that all batteries require Time-Based maintenance standards to achieve the following:

Verify……..determine that the component is functioning correctly
Monitor…..observe the routine in-service operation of the component
Inspect……detect visible signs of component failure and reduced performance and degradation
Calibrate….adjust the operating threshold or measurement accuracy of a measuring element to meet the performance requirement
It will be the responsibility of the BES providers to document and provide data proving the maintenance activities were performed at the proper time interval.

“The Transmission Owner, Generator Owner, and Distribution Provider shall each keep data or evidence to demonstrate compliance as identified…unless directed by it’s Compliance Enforcement Authority to retain specific evidence for a longer period of time as part of an investigation.”

The BES providers will need to keep its current dated PSMP and all associated documentation and present it to the Compliance Enforcement Authority.

“The Compliance Enforcement Authority shall keep the last periodic audit report and all requested and submitted subsequent compliance records.”

Vented Lead Acid (VLA) Battery Maintenance Requirements

The maintenance requirements in the upcoming draft can be found on Table 1-4(a). They are as follows:
Every 3 Calendar Months

Verify:
Station dc supply voltage
Inspect:
Electrolyte level
For unintentional ground
Every 18 Calendar Months
Verify:
State of charge of the battery system
Float voltage of battery charger
Battery continuity
Battery terminal connection resistance
Battery internal cell-to-cell (where available to measure) or unit-to-unit connection resistance
Inspect:
Cell Condition of all individual battery cells where cells are visible – or measure battery cell/unit internal ohmic values where the cells are not visible.
Physical condition of battery rack
One of the following two requirements will need to be performed on the battery system. They both have different time intervals; however, only one will need to be included in a PSMP
Every 18 Calendar Months
Verify that the station battery can perform as designed by evaluating the measured cell/unit internal ohmic values to station battery baseline
-Or-
Every 6 Calendar Years
Verify that the station battery can perform as designed by conducting a performance, service, or modified performance capacity test of the entire battery bank.
Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) Battery Maintenance Requirements

Every 3 Calendar Months
Verify:
Station dc supply voltage
Inspect:
For unintentional ground
Every 18 Calendar Months
Verify:
State of charge of the battery system
Float voltage of battery charger
Battery continuity
Battery terminal connection resistance
Battery internal cell-to-cell (where available to measure) or unit-to-unit connection resistance
Inspect:
Cell condition of all individual battery cells where cells are visible – or measure battery cell/unit internal ohmic values where the cells are not visible.
Physical condition of battery rack.
One of the following two requirements will need to be performed on the battery system. They both have different time intervals; however only one will need to be included in your PSMP

Every 3 Calendar Months
Verify that the station battery can perform as designed by evaluating the measured cell/unit internal ohmic values to station battery baseline
-Or-
Every 3 Calendar Years
Verify that the station battery can perform as designed by conducting a performance, service, or modified performance capacity test of the entire battery bank.
Nickel-Cadmium Battery Maintenance Requirements

Every 3 Calendar Months

Verify:
Station dc supply voltage
Inspect:
Electrolyte level
For unintentional ground
Every 18 Calendar Months

Verify:
State of charge of the battery system
Float voltage of battery charger
Battery continuity
Battery terminal connection resistance
Battery internal cell-to-cell (where available to measure) or unit-to-unit connection resistance
Inspect:
Cell Condition of all individual battery cells where cells are visible – or measure battery cell/unit internal ohmic values where the cells are not visible.
Physical condition of battery rack.
Every 6 Calendar Years

Verify that the station battery can perform as designed by conducting a performance, service, or modified performance capacity test of the entire battery bank.
Exclusions For Monitoring Devices and Systems

If a monitoring device is connected to a battery system some of the maintenance requirements will not be required. When a monitoring device is connected to your battery system maintenance will need to be performed to the monitor. The maintenance activities for the monitoring system are as follows:

Every 12 Calendar Years
Verify:
That the monitoring device will produce an alarm if the associated Protection System component is not functioning properly
Verify that the alarm signals are conveyed to a location where corrective action can be taken
If a monitor is connected to a battery system the following maintenance activities are not required:

Any station dc supply with voltage monitoring and alarming of the battery charger voltage, no periodic verification is required.
Any battery based station dc supply with electrolyte level monitoring and alarming in every cell, no periodic verification is required.
Any station dc supply with unintentional dc ground monitoring and alarming, no periodic verification is required
Any battery based station dc supply with monitoring and alarming of the state of charge of the battery system, no periodic verification is required.
Any battery based station dc supply with monitoring and alarming of battery string continuity, no periodic verification is required.
Any battery based station dc supply with monitoring and alarming of the cell-to-cell and/or terminal connection detail, no periodic verification is required.
Any lead acid battery based station dc supply with monitoring and alarming of internal Ohmic values of every cell (if available for measurements) of each unit, no periodic verification is required.
Data Retention

It will be the responsibility of the BES providers to document and provide data proving the maintenance activities were performed at the proper time interval. The standard states “The Transmission Owner, Generator Owner, and Distribution Provider shall each keep data or evidence to demonstrate compliance as identified… … unless directed by it’s Compliance Enforcement Authority to retain specific evidence for a longer period of time as part of an investigation.”

The BES providers will need to keep its current dated PSMP and all associated documentation and present it to the Compliance Enforcement Authority.

“The Compliance Enforcement Authority shall keep the last periodic audit report and all requested and submitted subsequent compliance records.”