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In the design of electrical power systems, the ANSI standard device numbers (ANSI /IEEE Standard C37.2 Standard for Electrical Power System Device Function Numbers, Acronyms, and Contact Designations ) identifies the features of a protective device such as a relay or circuit breaker. These types of devices protect electrical systems and components from damage when an unwanted event occurs, such as an electrical fault. Device numbers are used to identify the functions of devices shown on a schematic diagram. Function descriptions are given in the standard.
One physical device may correspond to one function number, for example "29 Isolating Switch", or a single physical device may have many function numbers associated with it, such as a numerical protective relay. Suffix and prefix letters may be added to further specify the purpose and function of a device.
ANSI/IEEE C37.2-2008 is one of a continuing series of revisions of the standard, which originated in 1928.
A suffix letter or number may be used with the device number; for example, suffix N is used if the device is connected to a Neutral wire (example: 59N in a relay is used for protection against Neutral Displacement); and suffixes X,Y,Z are used for auxiliary devices. Similarly, the "G" suffix can denote a "ground", hence a "51G" is a time overcurrent ground relay. The "G" suffix can also mean "generator", hence an "87G" is a Generator Differential Protective Relay while an "87T" is a Transformer Differential Protective Relay. "F" can denote "field" on a generator or "fuse", as in the protective fuse for a pickup transformer. Suffix numbers are used to distinguish multiple "same" devices in the same equipment such as 51-1, 51–2.
Device numbers may be combined if the device provides multiple functions, such as the instantaneous/time-delay AC over current relay denoted as 50/51.
For device 16, the suffix letters further define the device: the first suffix letter is 'S' for serial or 'E' for Ethernet. The subsequent letters are: 'C' security processing function (e.g. VPN, encryption), 'F' firewall or message filter, 'M' network managed function, 'R' router, 'S' switch and 'T' telephone component. Thus a managed Ethernet switch would be 16ESM.