December 2012 Issue
The fact that almost simultaneously an effort was started in Europe and North America to develop a standard communications protocol supporting interoperability between devices and systems from different manufacturers, together with the definitions of a hierarchical object model and a standard method for representing the complete functionality of a substation protection, automation and control... More


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Industry News

A New MiCOM P849

A New MiCOM P849 from Schneider Electric Schneider Electric announces the launch of its latest device from the comprehensive MiCOM range, the new MiCOM P849 is a digital Input & Output Extension device which operates on IEC 61850. It is compatible with any IEC 61850 device and so thanks to excellent interoperability, provides a flexible solution for increasing the Digital Input and Output capa... More


ABB A new member into ABB’s Relion® product family  The new REG630 generator management IED complements ABB’s Relion® 630 series. REG630 is designed for protection, control, measuring and supervision of small and medium size generators. REG630 provides primary protection for generator and generator - transformer units in small – and medium – power d... More

Alstom Grid

Alstom Grid High Impedance Downed Conductor Detection Alstom Grid launches Hi-Z protection in MiCOM P40 Agile IEDs Alstom Grid announces the launch of Hi-Z elements within it's P40 Agile range of feeder management relays.  Innovative high impedance ground fault algorithms improve the detection of downed conductors which have fallen on surfaces with high resistivity.  Examples o... More

Go beyond - IEC 61850

Go beyond … IEC 61850 Operate in Edition 1 or Edition 2 alternatively Siemens devices SIPROTEC and SICAM support IEC 61850 Edition 2, PRP and HSR All Siemens SIPROTEC and SICAM devices support IEC 61850 Edition 2 and can be operated in Edition 1 or Edition 2 alternatively. This provides real benefits in upgrading or expansion of existing substations. An upgrade can easily be don... More

IEC-IEEE Challenge

On 5 October 2012 IEC and IEEE honored the winners of the global IEC-IEEE Challenge at an award ceremony in Oslo, Norway. The Challenge was launched by the chief executives of both organizations in October 2011. IEC and IEEE were looking for publications that challenge the perception of electrotechnology with the goal of stimulating global discussion on the role technology plays in social... More

Overhead Distribution System Protection Testing

Overhead Distribution System Protection Testing OMICRON expands its Protection Testing Library OMICRON's Protection Testing Library PTL provides test templates for more than 270 different models of protection relays.  Now, the PTL also includes an automatic test plan for the comprehensive testing of S&C´s IntelliRupter® PulseCloser control module. The test plan uses standa... More

Phasor Measurement Unit

Phasor Measurement Unit QUALITROL offers a new scalable and modular platform for substation hardened PMUs  Q-PMU is the ideal PMU for connection to up to ten three-phase circuits to calculate and stream phasors. Features/Benefits: Synchronized streaming support for maximum of 36 phasors and 128 digital inputs Modular & scalable platform with fula compliance to IEEE C37.11... More

Toshiba adds MV transformer protection relay to GRE series

Toshiba adds MV transformer protection relay to GRE series Toshiba announces the launch of GRE160, a new transformer protection expanding the range of the low-cost, high-quality and compact GRE-Series of multi-function relays for protection and control applications in MV networks. GRE160 provides protection for two-winding transformers, including biased differential protection and compre... More


UNO-4683 Substation Computer from Advantech Advantech introduces the UNO-4683 fanless embedded automation computer with an Intel Core i7 processor, compact 2U rack-mount form factor, dual power input, and advanced computing technology that delivers robustness and reliability.   Certified with IEC 61850-3 and IEEE 1613 standards, the UNO-4683 is able to communicate with differen... More

Technology News

Titan - The fastest supercomputer in the world.

Titan - The fastest supercomputer in the world. For decades our industry has been asking the question “Can we prevent blackouts?”  We believe that transition to the smart grid of the 21st century can help us make the answer to this question “Yes”. It can be achieved using observation of the state of the electric power system instead of estimation, and then bas... More

Cover Story

Extending IEC 61850

The Standard has been developed to provide three key elements: The standardized language and files to exchange system configuration information at each stage of the engineering process The generic elements to build a domain specific, standardized information model that defines the syntax and semantic of the information that will be exchanged The fundamental aspects as a communication... More

IEC 61850 Update

How do the end users see IEC 61850?

During the WG10 meeting in May in Berlin representatives from ENTSO-E  were invited to express their concerns and  were asked to provide examples to support them. As a result, the ENTSO-E created a "Punch-List" with about 25 individual issues, which were presented at the WG 10 meeting in October in Houston. The "Punch-List" confirmed what was expected based on the several thousa... More

Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

So far, IEC 61850 has been used at new SAS station bus, for interlocking, disturbance recordings start, redundancy, protection schemes and supervision. Initial evaluation is made, considering specification, documentation, functionalities, reliability, training, testing, operation and maintenance. GOOSE and MMS based messages are subject to reliability analysis. Important benefits are already ... More

Challenges & Solutions

IEC 61850-90-5 - an Overview

IEC TR 61850-90-5 is a protocol for transmitting digital state and time synchronized power measurement over wide area networks enabling implementation of wide area measurement and protection and control (WAMPAC) systems based on the IEC 61850 protocols commonly used in substation automation. The development of IEC TR 61850-90-5 was motivated by several major events: The August 2003 blac... More


Software Based Protection & Control System

In light of the swift development of non-conventional and distributed generation on the side of consumers as well as to consider that speed of a transmission power lines construction is considerably behindhand from consumption grow (and in some cases grid size is near of stability limits), just automation, protection and control systems are able to provide an electric energy transport to cust... More

Legal Issue

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation (WC) is gradually becoming an important part of employment law in the United States. The laws in the 19th century which implied almost full assumption of risk when an employee would attain a certain job are being replaced with employee friendlier legislature. The old "fellow-servant rule" (Wertheim., F. 1986, NY Law Review,) which came from general common-law princip... More

New Method

IEC 61850 Interoperability Challenges and Solutions

These implications lead to specific features which are expected to seamlessly interoperate between all devices in the system. Furthermore, future extensions to the system are expected to provide the same level of interoperability as the original system. These expectations, whether implicit or explicit, can lead to perceived failures of the full functionality of the entire system. Each de... More

The Guru

Interview with PACWorld guru Willy Finn Hofsmoen

PAC World:  When and where were you born? F.H.: I was born December 16,1942 in Bærum, a County just outside Oslo, the capital of Norway. PAC World:  Was there something from your childhood that affected your choice of a profession? F.H.:  I was born into a family of electrical engineers. My father ran his own electrical installation business in Bærum. I used t... More


Protection History

Voltage drop relays These relays worked with voltage as additional criteria to current. Since the current is equal over the line, the voltage decreases and reaches its smallest amount at the fault’s location. Voltage drop time relays were equipped with a timing element - a drum made of aluminum, rotating in the magnetic field of an electromagnet excited by the voltage. The bigger the... More

I Think

Smart Grids- eGrids, iGrids, oGrids

Recently I was going through the pile of papers and publications on Smart Grids on my desk and I came across a little booklet that the company Logica published in 2010 called “Smart Grids for Dummies”. In the introduction of this booklet the author Chris Beard, makes an interesting statement about Smart being the new “e”. Everyone remembers the time that we put a sm... More

Industry Reports

UCAIug at CIGRE 2012

UCA International Users Group (UCAIug) is the users group supporting all utility related communication and integration technologies in the area of Substation, Control Center and Smart Grid. It is an association of 202 companies, universities and other organizations from 50 countries. UCAIug provides essential work in promoting these technologies based on international standards and also suppor... More

Conference Reports

Asia Pacific Protection and Testing Conference, 2012

The impact of IEC 61850 on the development, engineering, application and testing of protection, automation and control systems was also a subject of several papers that were presented and discussed at the conference. The two day conference program included many interesting papers covering a range of topics of interest to the specialist in the region. Several papers were covering issues relate... More

Australian Protection Symposium 2012, Sydney, Australia

Protection specialists from utilities, vendors and academia, mostly from Australia, together with experts from around the world participated in the APS 2012. The two day symposium program included very interesting papers covering a range of topics of interest to the Australian utilities: Several papers discussed issues related to the application of IEC 61850 for different types of protec... More

China - 2012 International Conference on Electricity Distribution

During the two days of the conference, several keynote speeches were provided by International Participants on different aspects related to the theme of the conference. Herbert Haidvogl, President of CIRED, Alan C. Rotz, Past President of IEEE PES and Klaus Fröhlich, President of CIGRE presented the various activities of their respective organizations to address the challenges of the future... More

CIGRE Session 2012, Paris, France

A significant number of papers were focused on issues related to electric protection, control and automation subjects, integration of distributed energy resources, communications, microgrids and other topics that together will define the smarter grids of the future. Although Paris  offers many forms of entertainment, art and food, the attendees spent the days participating in paper discussion ... More

DistribuTech Brazil 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The opening keynote session focused on Brazil’s increasing electricity demand and consumption. Clean energy, high voltage transmission and smart grid as keys to Brazil’s electricity future were also themes discussed during this dynamic discussion on Tuesday afternoon. The session featured presentations from Elaine França Fonseca, assistant to the director of distribution at Elet... More

Book Review

Electric Power Transmission System Engineering Analysis and Design

Ninth Edition Reviewed by Alexander Apostolov, USA In the last thirty years our industry has been in the process of transition from electromechanical and solid state relays to microprocessor based protection devices, followed by distributed communications based protection and control systems. This transition requires a dramatic change in the qualifications of protection and control... More


Connecting Music to the World of Business

by Tobias Schmutzhard , OMICRON electronics, Klaus, Austria I started my education in music at the age of five by attending an elementary course at the local school of music in Bludenz/Austria. Later I started playing the chopping board and the piano.  At the age of ten I chose a secondary school with a special focus on music in combination with basic education.  We even did our own musi... More

Final Thoughts
Flexibility versus Interoperability There is no doubt that IEC 61850 is the present and future not only of protection, automation and control, but of the electric power industry in general. However... There are several basic requirements that have been in the core of the development of the standard: Interoperability Flexibility Future-proof And we have been very successful in cr... More

Power. Flexible. Easergy.
Let?s start with organization in protection testing