December 2011 Issue
I am sure we can quote many similar stories that allow us to paraphrase "If it is not broken, don't fix it!" to "If it is not broken, don't test it!" However, in both cases we can ask the question "How do we know that it is not broken?" In the last century the technology that we used in substations for protection, measurements and control was Dumb Electromechanical Devices (DEDs). They h... More


Don't hesitate. Share your thoughts and experiences. More


Industry News

Bitronics M653 M653 Triple Display Meter Saves Wiring and Time

The M653 is a three-display-at-once meter which is mounted in a 19”, 3U high panel. This gives users a simple way to hook up one meter and have the three displays they want. The M653 triple display meter is a great value compared with the cost of separate SCADA meters. The setup of the left and right screens is very simple from either the webpage or directly from the front display.... More

Easier Configuration and Selection PC Toolsuite Improvements within Alstom?s MiCOM S1 Family

Alstom launches an interactive product catalog, easing your choice of the right device for each application.  In synergy with the S1 PC tool, the user answers a few questions to choose the latest applicable full model number, which then allows the configuration and setting workflow to continue. The selector application is refreshed with the latest Alstom Grid releases, from the P40 A... More

Meter Testing with OMICRON CMControl New test tool extends the functional range of the versatile CMC front panel control

The CMControl, the flexible front panel control for the OMICRON CMC test sets, now provides a completely new test tool for meter testing. With this tool, CMControl users now have the possibility to test not only various power system protection devices, but also electricity meters on-site in a very easy and cost-efficient way. The functionality of the CMControl meter testing tool includes ... More

New CSAEMS at CPUT, Cape Town, South Africa

A new Center for Substation Automation and Energy management Systems (CSAEMS) was opened on 27 September 2011 at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Cape Town, South Africa. The establishment of the Center was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and was officially opened by the acting Deputy Director-General for Soc... More

PML630 Compact power management solution for load shedding applications

Industrial power systems PML630 is intended for small to medium sized industrial networks. PML630 introduces comprehensive power balance based load shedding functionality providing disturbance-related blackout and power outage protection for industrial power plants. PML630 can manage a power system with maximum of 6 generators, 2 grid transformers, 15 network circuit breakers and 60 shedd... More

RuggedCom Releases ROX(tm) v2.2

ROX™II, the 'brains' behind RuggedCom's RuggedBackbone™ products, has been upgraded to improve functionality and support for newly introduced hardware line modules. This second-generation operating system is featured in all RuggedBackbone™product series (RX5000/MX5000 and RX15XX). Notable new capabilities include: Increased security with new L3SEC software optio... More

SEL-2240 Axion(tm) Distributed Control and Integration Platform

The SEL Axion? is a fully integrated modular input/output (I/O) and control solution ideally suited for utility and industrial applications. It combines the communications, built-in security, and IEC 61131 logic engine of the SEL Real-Time Automation Controller (RTAC) family with a durable suite of I/O modules that provide high-speed, deterministic, control performance over an EtherCAT® netw... More

Toshiba's Italian Subsidiary Wins Contract for Smart Grid System

Toshiba Corporation’s subsidiary, Ansaldo Trasmissione & Distribuzione S.p.A (Ansaldo T&D), has won a contract to supply a key element of a smart grid system to Rome-based ACEA Distribuzione S.p.A (Gruppo ACEA), one of Italy’s leading public utilities. Installation of the equipment will start in December 2011 and it is expected to be commissioned and on line by the end of spring... More

Technology News

Cognitive Computing Beyond machines - new ways of thinking

So far, with some small exceptions of mostly academic work on the use of Artificial Intelligence in electric power systems protection and control, the IEDs in the substations and the software in the substation or system level computers have been doing exactly what the software developer tells them to do. Now this will probably change as a result of IBM's significant progress towards creatin... More

Pelamis Wave Power renewable electricity from ocean waves

The Pelamis is an offshore wave energy converter, operating in water depths greater than 50m, usually found 2-10km from the coast. It absorbs the energy of ocean waves and converts it into electricity.  The machine floats semi-submerged on the surface of the water and is made up of a number of cylindrical sections joined together by hinged joints.  As waves pass down the length o... More

Precision Time Ultra-Precise Quantum-Logic Clock

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built an enhanced version of an experimental atomic clock based on a single aluminum atom that is now the world's most precise clock, more than twice as precise as the previous pacesetter based on a mercury atom. The new aluminum clock would neither gain, nor lose, one second in about 3.7 billion years. The new c... More

Cover Story

Protecting Busbars

Members of CIGRE B5.16 Working Group: Zoran Gajic, Andr Quaresma dos Santos, Hans-Werner Funk, Kenneth Opskar, Jose Miguel Yarza Narro, Damien Tholomier, Ljubomir Kojovic, Phil Beaumont, Juergen Westerfeld The article is organized into three sections. Section 1 presents general practices for the selection of busbar protection (BBP) designs and describes centralized and de-centralized di... More

IEC 61850 Update

Do we need a business case for IEC 61850?

The typical reasoning was: The business case for IEC 61850 is process bus. Process bus is not necessarily an issue for distribution substations. So where is the business case for distribution substations? As a first observation I must say that in the early years of IEC 61850, while the standard rapidly got accepted for communication between bay level and station level - what is typically ca... More

Lessons Learned

Impact of Hardware Design on Failure Mode of Protective Devices

This article presents the design characteristics and assumptions at the substation, and of the protection device design, field testing precautions, factory testing considerations and other factors relevant to this failure.  As the utility industry migrates to smart grid technology and begins to further ramp up the use of microprocessor based products, design considerations and device failure ... More

Bus Protection

Impact of IEC 61850 on Bus Protection

Bus Protection Principles The behavior of bus protection systems during different fault conditions is critical to the stability and security of the electric power system, due to the tripping of the multiple lines and transformers connected to the bus. Fast fault clearing for faults on the bus is very important, while at the same time operation of the bus protection for external faults must b... More

Comparison Bus Protection

IEC 61850 Process-Bus Based

Directional Comparison Bus Protection employs direction of fault of all connected feeders to detect the bus fault. It performs a proper operation when all of the directional relays have determined the fault direction. If the fault direction in all of the circuits is into the bus, an internal bus fault exists (Figure 1a) If the fault direction in at least one circuit is away from the bu... More

Legal Issue

ADEA - a brief review

Age discrimination as an important element of employment discrimination usually attracts a lot of attention and is addressed differently worldwide. To better regulate such a common issue, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was passed in 1967 in the United States. The act was intended to prohibit age based discrimination against employees whose age is at least 40. Thus, discrimina... More

Bus Protection Testing

Testing of Modern Bus Protection Systems

Testing of distributed busbar protection systems requires a good understanding of the architecture of the system and the functionality of each of its components. The article describes two basic distributed protection systems: Remote units that provide the interface with the process and a central unit that performs the bus bar differential protection function Remote units determining the... More

The Guru

Interview with Guanghui Sun

PAC World:   When and where were you born? GS:  I was born in an ordinary family in the Shangdong province in 1938. PAC World:  What are your memories from your childhood? GS:  My hometown had a large population and not enough land. We experienced poverty, the Anti-Japanese War, and the War of Liberation. I spent my childhood in a harsh environment. Due to the long war by at the age of ... More


Protection History - Generator Protection

BBC produced the two-step unbalance protection with linear measuring functionality IPX in the beginning of the 1960s (Figure 2). Rotor fault display IWX worked with faults up to 1200 Ω, winding protection UBX recognizing the displacement voltage of the 50-Hz-wave up to 2 %, and stator ground fault protection IXX protected 100 % of winding. Differential protection D2 with moving c... More

I Think

Where there is a will there is a way!

The objective aims at 20% reduction in emissions, 20% renewable energies and 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020. The message came while I was at a conference where a series of success stories about implementations of renewable and distributed energy resources, electrical vehicles, large scale wind generation and advanced systems for protection, control and data-acquisition all lead... More

Industry Reports

IEEE PES Chapters as a bridge between the local IEEE sections and the technical societies

The scope of the Power & Energy Society embraces research, development, planning, design, construction, maintenance, installation and operation of equipment, structures, materials and power systems for the safe, sustainable, economic and reliable conversion, generation, transmission, distribution, storage and usage of electric energy, including its measurement and control. The PES Chapters pr... More

Maintenance Strategies for Digital Substation Automation Systems

They are designed and configured with powerful engineering tools by highly trained staff. The maintenance of Digital SAS (DSAS) is different from that of conventional SAS because: DSAS pose new questions on how to ensure the effectiveness of maintenance over their whole life The professional profile of maintenance specialists has been changing with the technological evolution. This has... More

Conference Reports

CIGRE B5 Colloquium 2011, Lausanne, Switzerland

The program included technical and social events that provided many opportunities for the participants to present the results from their work and discuss issues important to our industry. Several CIGRE SC B5 working groups also held meetings on Monday and Tuesday morning. A tutorial focused on the transition of IEC 61850 towards Edition 2 was held Tuesday afternoon and included four presen... More

Conference on Deregulated Electricity Market Issues in South-Eastern Europe

The aims of the Conference, to bring together engineers, researchers, managers, financiers and politicians to review progress in electricity in South-Eastern Europe and to facilitate the dissemination of information and the transfer of technology, methodology and experiences, - were effectively served.  The transfer of experiences from elsewhere to this region was a desired outcome, to... More

International Conference on Advanced Power System Automation and Protection

The event started with an opening ceremony hosted by the Secretary-general of the CSEE Dr. Ruomei Li.  Chinese and international experts addressed the participants. This was followed by six keynote speeches on subjects of importance to our industry presented by leading and well known experts. They talked about smart grid, Ultra- High Voltage power transmission technology, of relay prot... More

International Protection Testing Symposium, 2011

The main goal of the IPTS 2011  was sharing knowledge and experiences related to the testing of electric power systems protection, automation and control devices and systems by combining a high level of knowledge and expertise with a keen emphasis on practical relevance in a relaxed atmosphere. It provided a multicultural platform for the exchange of experiences and intensive discussio... More

National Seminar on Production and Transmission of Electricity

The XXI SNTPEE conference and exhibition is the largest technical event of the Brazilian electric power industry sector. The Convention Center of the Costao do Santinho Resort Spa was the spectacular venue of this national seminar on production and transmission of electrical energy.  It brought together professionals from various companies in the industry, research centers, universities... More

Western Protective Relay Conference, Spokane, USA

Most of the attendees were from the western United States, but there were also some international participants. This forum allows participants to learn about the latest protection and control technologies and how to apply them in order to prevent electrical power disturbances. Speakers from several countries (mostly USA and Canada) presented papers selected by the conference technical commi... More

Book Review

Protection of Electricity Distribution Networks

For many decades distribution systems protection has been considered a no brainer due to the simple radial configuration with a single source at the substation, thus making the use of time-overcurrent protection coordinated with downstream fuses and reclosers the state of the art in the twentieth century. The loss of power to residential customers for short periods of time was also not consi... More


As long as I remember I've always liked to draw

As long as I remember I’ve always liked to draw.  At first- I was doing it during school, then at work, and of course during my private life. Over the past fifty years, there likely wasn't a single day, that I didn't scribble something on a piece of paper. My school books, notes, drafts of minutes of meeting, are all full of little drawings. I'll play with letters, a word, or a ... More

Final Thoughts
From the discussions on busbar protection in this issue of the magazine we can see that the efforts of many people in our industry have already resulted in some new ideas, methods and tools that allow us to improve the protection of busbars. However, this should not be the end of the road. We should not sit back and relax with a happy smile, thinking. "Yes, we did it! This is it." We st... More

Relion advanced protection & control.
Protecting your electrical assets? today and tomorrow