NERC Reporting for Circuit Breakers and Transformers

What is NERC?

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is the Reliability Organization (ERO) for North America. They are an international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the effective and efficient reduction of risks to the reliability and security of the grid. NERC develops and enforces reliability standards, annually assesses seasonal and long‐term reliability, monitors the bulk power system through system awareness, and educates, trains, and certifies industry personnel. NERC’s area of responsibility spans the continental United States, Canada, and the northern portion of Baja California, Mexico.

NERC Reliability Standards define the reliability requirements for planning and operating the North American bulk power system and are developed using a results-based approach that focuses on performance, risk management, and entity capabilities.

Due to a major outage in 2003 resulting in a loss of power to 50 million people in the Northeast and Midwest of North America, the Electric Reliability Organization was formed to ensure the reliability of the grid in North America. In 2006 the ERO’s mandatory compliance guidelines began to be enforced by NERC. This mandatory enforcement was put in place to ensure consistent testing and maintenance of the electrical grid throughout the US and parts of Canada. NERC also can enforce a series of fines against companies which fail to meet these compliance regulations.

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What are NERC Requirements for Circuit Breakers?

Breakers are required to be tested on a maximum of a six-year maintenance period. This test must verify that the breaker can interrupt current through the energization of both trip coils. For this test to be valid, testing must provide evidence of which trip coil operated the breaker. This is evident by providing the amperage drawn by the trip coil initiating the operation. It must also be apparent that the electromechanical part of the breaker can successfully interrupt current within specified limits when the trip coil becomes energized.

What are NERC Requirements for Transformers?

NERC requires that all sudden pressure relays be tested on a five-year basis per PRC-005-6 Table 5. Additional transformer testing should also be included as part of the asset owner’s time-based maintenance plan. This would include periodic DGA and power factor testing to determine transformer condition. This is usually performed on a self-regulatory basis.

How We Can Help

Monitoring and How it Helps You Meet NERC Requirements

While historically compliance with NERC guidelines required crews to perform a series of offline tests on transformers, breakers, batteries and relays, there are provisions within the NERC guidelines which state that if online monitoring is being utilized and it meets the standards required parameters, this monitoring can satisfy NERC requirements. Meeting NERC maintenance requirements with online monitoring can reduce or eliminate periodic maintenance, delivering significant cost reductions to operational expenses.

NERC Reporting Solutions

Breaker Performance Monitor

Breaker Performance Monitor

Dynamic Ratings Breaker Performance Monitor provides the following parameters with each breaker operation in order to comply with NERC requirements:

  • If the breaker trip was initiated through trip coil 1 or trip coil 2 of the breaker.
  • The amps drawn through the trip coil during the operation.
  • The interrupting time of the circuit breaker during the operation.
  • Printable graphs and tables of the operation which provide verification of these properties.
  • The BPM also provide a cumulative gas loss to satisfy the mandatory EPA Green House Gas report.




DynamicMetrix® is a dashboard visualization tool to manage data from transformers, circuit breakers, switchgear and more. This software helps utilities collect and use condition monitoring information from their high voltage electrical equipment to improve business performance.


Additional Resources


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Detecting Breaker Failure Using Online Monitoring


How Circuit Breaker Monitoring Helps Detect Problems Before Failure