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NERC PRC-005 Best Practices

NERC PRC-005 is one of the most essential standards to ensure the safety and reliability of your bulk electric system. Originally adopted in February 2005, NERC PRC-005 continues to establish documentation programs and a maintenance schedule for all protection systems. This includes automatic reclosing and sudden pressure relaying which must function properly to maintain your system’s reliability

NERC PRC-005 includes a comprehensive list of tables which describe required minimum maintenance activities and their maximum maintenance intervals. PRC-005 Table 1-5 (Control Circuitry) and Table 5 (Sudden Pressure Devices) each require the actuation of your trip devices every six years and a total circuit check every 12 years. The infrequency of these tests can make them risky to perform.  In addition, anything less than 100% accuracy of test performance can result in unanticipated consequences such as outages and system instability both inside and outside the plant. 

In order to ensure compliance with NERC PRC-005 and protect your employees and assets, follow these best practices when performing your NERC activities:

  • Create a detailed written procedure and review the procedure before you start testing. This will save time and reduce errors in the field by eliminating time pressure.
  • Print reviews to check for abnormal wiring conditions in the field. Your procedure is only good if the prints used are up-to-date and accurate.
  • Utilize test technicians who are familiar with transmission and generation protection schemes. Experience is priceless and increases efficiency while reducing mistakes.
  • Provide a team. Have a least two experienced individuals perform the testing and peer-check in real time. Working together to discuss and validate the written procedure against what they are seeing will improve the success rate of testing.
  • Update and maintain the written procedure with information gained during testing. This allows the next group, who is performing tests six years later, to test with confidence.

Adopting these practices will help you prepare for successful testing, resulting in not only NERC PRC-005 compliance, but a safe and reliable system as well.

If you are looking for experienced, NERC certified professionals, CE Power has specialized technical experts who can get your system into complete compliance. We also extend our knowledge to your personnel by providing audit, compliance support, and training to your teams for your personnel. We also have in-house capabilities and personnel to cover all NERC technical requirements from start to finish.

Written by: Bryan Cornelius, PE and Ron Fair