December 2018 Issue
The first wireless communications were based on sound (for example using drums or gongs) or visual (fire or smoke) to provide some form of pre-agreed upon information to a remote recipient. These communications were used successfully for thousands of years until the second half of the nineteenth century. After Maxwell predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves and Hertz proved it, in... More


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Industry News

Arcteq - Alarm annunciator with IEC 61850

Arcteq’s versatile IED platform offers now also a modern alarm annunciator IED. The AQ-S254 alarm and indication IED can be used as an IO extension, local and remote-control unit, as well as alarm annunciator panel. Multi-color display is freely configurable with up to 128 alarm windows. The 7 inch freely programmable HMI display provides also for a quick visualization of the seque... More

COPA-DATA is certified according to IEC 62443

Detecting Format Errors in COMTRADE Records TÜV SÜD (part of the German Association for Technical Inspection) has awarded COPA-DATA, the manufacturer of zenon software for industrial automation, a certificate of conformity to the new ISA/IEC 62443-4-1:2018 security standard. This confirms that COPA-DATA’s software development, quality assurance, and support processe... More

GE Grid Solutons - Next Generation MiCOM P40 Agile

GE launches its fourth generation of MiCOM P40 Agile.  The range adopts GE livery, reshaped with an angular, dynamic feel to reflect the solidity and high-speed that GE’s MiCOM delivers.  A front USB port offers greater compatibility with the laptop PCs of substation personnel, and the former battery is intelligently designed-out.  Harmonized new Ethernet board ... More

IEC 61850 Substation Testing with Test Suite Pro

Download the latest release of IEC 61850 Test Suite Pro, the most comprehensive set of tools to cover all your IEC 61850 testing & troubleshooting needs in the lab, during the commissioning & in the substation. The latest addition is the Logic Analyzer.  It can be used to collect a time sequence of values for hundreds of data attributes, saved for later viewing and exported... More

New Application Modules for OMICRON's COMPAMO 100

COMPANO 100, the lightweight and battery-operated solution for all types of basic testing in electrical energy systems, now offers new packages for testing grounding systems. The optimal workflow and unique graphical representation make the testing of small grounding systems (e.g. transmission towers / remote distribution substation) easier than ever before. Four grounding systems modul... More

New Chair of CIGRE B5

The International Council on Large Electric Systems (in French Conseil International des Grands Réseaux Électriques, CIGRÉ) is a global organization in the field of high voltage electricity. The activities of CIGRÉ are divided into sixteen study committees(SC), with Study Committee B5 focused on Protection and Automation. The main activity of this Study Com... More


Smart Flexible Reliable Protection Automation and Control NR ELECTRIC’s PCS S Series, the smart, flexible and reliable generation of Intelligent Electronic Devices, integrates protection, automation, control, PMU, traveling wave locator, etc. for innovative solutions of smart grid and fully support digital substation and Distributed Energy Resource (DER) system application. I... More

PTP synchronization of Windows-based SCADA in HSR/PRP networks

Relyum engineering Team has implemented a seamless mechanism under Windows OS to synchronize any typical SCADA software. RELY-SYNC-HSR/PRP-PCIe synchronizes autonomously with the IEEE 1588 source available in the network and adjusts continuously Windows OS time reference that is used by all software applications. Thanks to this approach, all timestamps within the SCADA are IEEE 15... More


SSC600 represents a new approach to protection and control in distribution networks – centralizing all protection and control functionality in one single device on substation level. It is our promise for the future, IEC 61850-compliant and ready to change with the evolving grid, to support optimal asset management for the entire lifetime of the digital substation. SSC600 has been des... More

Cover Story

Industrial Wireless Technologies and their Applications for Protection Automation & Monitoring

Industrial wireless technology can provide power utilities with industrial grade reliability, security and performance. Industrial wireless devices are built with various substation-hardened standards, such as IEEE 1613 and IEC 61850-3, with the devices able to withstand electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation, as well as mechanical vibrations and extreme tempe... More

IEC 61850 Update

Namespaces in IEC 61850

IEC 61850 is using the concept of Namespace in various parts. In the meantime, we are all familiar with the term Namespace, as we read it all over in IEC 61850. But do you really understand what it is? Wikipedia has an interesting explanation: “In computing, a namespace is a set of symbols that are used to organize objects of various kinds, so that these objects may be referred to by n... More

Lessons Learned

Emerging Communications that Advance Distribution Automation

Distribution Automation (DA):  Power utilities are investing in new technologies across their operations and infrastructure. The fundamental objective for technology investments is to improve the efficiency of existing infrastructure. Some utilities are working on large initiatives to overhaul information technology/operation technology (IT/OT) network infrastructure and are building i... More

PSRC Update


The third meeting of the IEEE PES Power System Relaying and Control Committee in 2018 was held 10-14 September 2018 at the Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis, MN, USA. There were 266 attendees at the meeting. Membership Activity:  26 newcomers attended the PES PSRC orientation session on September 11, 2018.  Eight service awards were presented at the Main Committee meeting. Publicity ... More

System-based Testing

Wireless Communication Systems Supporting IEC 61850 Applications

There was always a common theme in that we only trusted copper or fiber as mediums to transmit data between protection devices. Wireless communication systems were perceived not suitable as we could not trust the systems to provide adequate latency, bandwidth, availability and security. The modernization and digitization of the grid however require us now to move outside the substation fenc... More

Legal Issue

Personal Privacy

In our last issue we began discussing the broad topic of privacy, its meaning to us individually, the different ways, and varying degrees in which it is taken away from us on a daily basis, and the importance of finding and maintaining methods to protect it.  We will now narrow our discourse on the subject specifically to the issue of data privacy.  Data privacy, or information p... More


Possible Applications and Limitations of Wi-Fi Communications in IEC 61850 Systems

IEC 61850 was published as an international standard in the early 2000s and is the established norm for substation automation projects (SAS). Edition 2 and the upcoming amendment 2.1 increases the acceptance worldwide. Since protection is available, there is a recognized need for testing. Protection devices are tested regularly and demonstrate functionality as well as parameter set. There are... More

The Guru

Interview with PACWorld guru Dennis Holstein

PAC World:  When and where were you born? D.H.: I was born August 31, 1935; Davenport, Iowa, USA. PAC World:  Where did you grow up and where did you go to school? D.H.: Clinton, Iowa; Clinton High School. PAC World:  Was there someone in your childhood that influenced your decision to become an engineer?  D.H:  No one in particular. During WWII I was ... More


Protection History

In the middle of the last century testing was kept simple. A controllable voltage source, current source, voltage- and current measurements and a clock have been sufficient. For testing current relays and primary tripping devices test sets have been in use. They could be connected to the 220 V battery in the substation. A current transformer was built in to deliver high currents at low volta... More

I Think

The Power of Good Leadership

Many books and articles have been written about the influence of leadership on the results of an organization. As I am approaching my 30th year as a working professional I think I have seen most of the different leadership styles in action. What I have learned over the years is that a good leader is a mentor that provides a solid framework as the basis for the team to operate on and that ... More

Conference Reports

2018 IEC 61850 Global, Berlin, Germany 

The theme of the event was “Achieving IEC 61850 Interoperability within the Substation and across the wider Smart Grid.” The 5th Annual IEC 61850 Global (formally Europe) Conference, Exhibition and Networking Forum took place 16-18 October 2018 in Berlin, Germany.  The conference was preceded by a one-day workshop covering the fundamentals of IEC 61850. The program ... More

2018 IEEE PES T & D Conference and Exhibition

The 2018 IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference and Exhibition - Latin America was held 18-21 September 2018 at the Swissotel Lima, San Isidro, Lima - Peru. It is the biannual main event of Latin America for specialists from the electric power industry. The theme of this year’s event was "Sustainable Electric Energy for the future of Latin America." The conference p... More

45th Western Protective Relay Conference Spokane, USA

The WPRC 2018 took place 15-18 October 2018 in Spokane, Washington, USA. The event was held at the Spokane Convention Center. The conference is organized by Washington State University as an educational forum for electric power systems protection and control specialists predominantly from the United States to discuss a broad range and aspects of protective relaying and related subjects, ... More

5th Protection, Automation & Control World Americas Conference

The PAC World Americas Conference 2018 was held 21-23 August 2018, in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. The Fifth annual PACWAC was held at the Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, USA. The opening of the conference was followed by the Keynote address "Driving Grid Resilience”, presented by Michael Pesin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy, Advanced Grid Research &... More

CIGRE Session 2018

The 47th CIGRE Session was held 26-31 August 2018 in the Palais des Congres (Congress Palace), Paris, France. This is one of the major global events for the electric power industry, which brought more than 3200 delegates and a total of more than 6600 specialists from all over the world.  The official opening ceremony was held on Sunday, 26 August and included a keynote presentat... More

Book Review

Cellular Communications - A Comprehensive and Prac

Making Smart Grid Real (Computer Communications and Networks) First Edition We live in the age of wireless, and more specifically cellular communications. In the last few decades they have become an integral part of our everyday life - personal and professional. And they are also starting to be used as a communications media for some protection, automation and control applications. ... More


Entertainment Engineering (a play in at least four acts)

by Kati Sidwall, RTDS Technologies Inc., Canada Prologue: Heavy red curtains slide open, lights come up, and the stage is set. The backdrop is the chilly Canadian city of Winnipeg - more specifically, the brick-clad warehouses of the historic Exchange District, which was once the heart of Canada's grain industry... The year is 1998, and the wheat trade has given way to a lively collect... More

Final Thoughts
We live in a world of digitalization and mobility that is continuously evolving to meet the ever-expanding requirements of many different applications requiring high speed and reliable communications. This future of wireless is being defined by hundreds of contributing scientists and engineers working on the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). It will be enabled through the LTE-... More

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