Protective Measures and Equipment in Power Supply Systems


Florian Schmidtke © Copyright: Martin Braun


Florian Schmidtke

Team Resilient Grid Operation and Digitalization


+49 241 80 93046



Dates and Infos


Description of the lecture

The lecture offers an overview of technologies, requirements, functionalities and test methods of systems for safety measures for humans and assets as well as current applicable standards. Initially, the role of standards and standardisation, main standardisation organisations and different standardisation systems of selected countries are discussed. The technical legislation, safety products and systems, state responsibility, conformity declarations and certifications are introduced. The effects of electricity on the human body and required measures in the case of an accident forms the second focus. Applicable protective measures for electrical installations in buildings, energy supply systems, special and environmental conditions and for the protection against electrical discharges, power surges and electromagnetic fields as well as electrical safety test methods are discussed. The functionality of protective devices, depending on the technology and requirements for protective systems is considered. Line and transformer protection devices, circuit breakers, earth leakage fault current device (RCD Residual Current Device), fuses and surge arresters are presented more in detail. Finally, knowledge about functional safety and safety considerations regarding the design of conventional protective devices and those of functional safety as well as some basics of DIN EN 61508 (VDE 0803) is conveyed. To deepen the course contents, exercises are offered for self-study.

Course contents

  • Safety regulations and regional, national and international standards
  • Legal principles of standardisation and certification
  • Electrical hazards accident statistics; current human effects
  • Safety limits, exposure to radio frequency fields
  • Protection measures in low-voltage systems against direct and indirect touching
  • Grid forms, protection and extra low voltage;
  • Protection measures in high-voltage equipment (grounding, surge and lightning protection)
  • Protection of overhead line and cables against overload and short circuits
  • Protective devices and their effectiveness, protection criteria, fuses, circuit breaker and residual current device, protection relay, surge arrester
  • Protection systems for transformers, motors and generators


Knowledge of an appropriate degree program with professional qualification.

Educational goals

The students can follow safety considerations in the design of conventional protective devices for safety measures for humans and assets according to effective standards. The students know technologies, requirements and functionalities of protective systems and can explain electrical safety test methods.


Written examination. Dates will be announced during the semester at the RWTHmoodle and during the lecture.