March 2012 Issue
Obviously, there are significant similarities and differences between protection and distribution automation. Both began rapidly evolving about a quarter century ago to become, together with substation automation, some of the main building blocks of a smarter grid. Designing and implementing a smarter grid is not just a matter of putting together a system using different components, but doing it i... More


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Industry News

61850easy from Grid Smart Software

Grid Smart is targeting the global market  61850easy is a unique and cleverly packaged Analyzer/Simulator set that enables users to easily access and create IEC 61850 traffic. With the ability to act as both GOOSE client and server, 61850easy enables capturing of all GOOSE packets including the simulation of bespoke GOOSE packets and the simulation of real devices. The MMS client in... More


New features in ABB’s Relion® 650 series for ANSI protection & control applications The new version of Relion® 650 series introduces a 3U 19" (3 rack unit) mechanical form factor supporting efficient replacement of traditional ANSI protection relays. With the versatile communication capabilities, e.g. DNP and IEC 61850-8-1, the 650 series products enable advanced substation aut... More

Alstom Launches PRP Redundancy in its MiCOM Relays, Bay Controller & Switches

Alstom's MiCOM P40 relays, C264 bay controller, and MiCOM H switches are now available to order with an IEC 62439 PRP option.  PRP (Parallel Redundancy Protocol) offers a vendor-interoperable solution to implement redundant star Ethernet architectures.  PRP is particularly useful in deploying IEC 61850 station bus communication, as a new alternative to previous redundant communic... More

OMICRON RelayLabTest

A Revolution in Type and Acceptance Testing RelayLabTest is a new software for CMC test systems to assess the overall performance of protection devices under realistic operating conditions. It simplifies substantially in-depth type and acceptance testing on the basis of a network simulation. The software is easy-to-use and requires no special simulation or programming skills. Setting up... More

PG&E's SynchroPhasor Proof-of-Concept facilities in San Ramon, California

This facility, the brain child of the IEEE Fellow Vahid Madani of PG&E,  is a leading-edge interoperability, system integration, and application validation laboratory in the nation.  This test bed includes 17 Phasor Measurment Units (PMUs) from 4 different manufacturers: 2 Substation-hardened Phasor Data Concnetrators (PDCs) 2 control center PDCs A large number of Eth... More

SynchroWAVe Centlal from SEL

New Synchrophasor Software Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) released SYNCHROWAVE Central Software for visualization and analysis of synchrophasor data. This powerful solution increases operator situational awareness and provides valuable information about dynamic system behavior. With the software system operators and planning engineers can use synchrophasor measurements to im... More

Toshiba Launches New Malaysian Company

New company to become regional hub for Transmission and Distribution Systems Supply Chain Network in Asia Toshiba Corporation has launched its new Malaysian subsidiary, Toshiba Transmission & Distribution Systems Asia Sdn. Bhd. (TTDA). The key role of TTDA is to develop its T&D systems business in Southeast Asia. TTDA will be a global supply hub, responsible for the R&D and manufacture... More

Technology News

MicroWind Power - An alternative to large machines and wind farms

The continuously increasing penetration of large wind turbines (for example 5 MW) is creating significant problems to electric power systems transmission and operation and requires investments in transmission lines or increase in existing lines loadability.  An alternative to large machines and wind farms is instead to use millions of micro wind turbines that cover some of the basic load in ... More

OLED - Organic Light Emitting Diodes

Electronic devices of many different types are part of every moment of our life and impose different constantly increasing requirements on the technology, so they can improve the battery life and performance of the devices in different conditions. One of the key components of such devices is the display, which, like everything else, is going through very fast evolution from one technology t... More

SSD - Solid State Drives

The requirements for memory in the field of electric power systems protection and control are constantly increasing due to the recording of short circuit faults with high sampling rates from numerous multifunctional IEDs, recording of wide area disturbances using synchrophasors from IEDs with PMU capabilities, large setting files, test plans and many other types of data files that need to be ... More

Cover Story


The distribution system operating goals have always included maintaining a safe environment, providing reliable service (including restoring service quickly when the lights go out), maintaining acceptable voltage, being reasonably efficient, and protecting the assets. While these fundamental operating objectives still apply, the Electric Power Research Institute's (EPRI) R&D activities in adv... More

IEC 61850 Update

An update on the status of IEC 61850

The Edition 2 of the first parts of the standard has made progress. All the parts that provide the major specifications have finally been published. Outstanding are the parts 1, 3, 5 and 10. Part 1 is ready to be circulated as DTR, part 5 is ready as FDIS. For part 3 the CDV is in preparation while for part 10, the FDIS is in preparation. Part 9-1 has been withdrawn. Besides this, WG 10 of ... More

Lessons Learned

Self-Healing Solution for Medium Voltage Feeders on the Isle of Wight

Scottish and Southern selected the Isle of Wight to demonstrate the performance of an automated feeder self-healing solution featuring distributed intelligence. The Isle of Wight was chosen for the pilot project because its network layout is representative of typical SSE layouts. In addition, the area is subject to severe weather conditions that would rigorously test the performance of the se... More

Brazilian Blackout 2011

Brazilian Blackout 2011

Reference:  Report ONS RE 3/0032/2011 “Análise da Perturbação do Dia 04/02/2011 à 00h21min Envolvendo os Estados da Região Nordeste” This article presents the summary of the analysis on the disturbance started on February 4th, 2011 at 00:08 am, as per Report ONS RE 3/0032/2011. The disturbance commenced at the 500 kV substation of L. Gonzaga hydro plant, islanding a lar... More

Inteligent Monitoring of Distribution Automation

Inteligent Monitoring of Distribution Automation

Whilst the scope of definition for the ‘smart grid’ is wide and differs across territories, certain visions on  how our energy infrastructure is predicted to evolve are shared. It is envisaged that information and communications technologies will play a key role in the delivery of future networks. For the operation of future distribution networks, these visions translate into... More

Deploying Multiple DA Applications

Deploying Multiple DA Applications

Networks are often driven by one application, but once in place these networks are often required to support many others. In the case of utilities, distribution automation applications provide the most immediate efficiencies; however, other applications, such as video surveillance/monitoring, voice services, and field force automation are desired to provide additional operational efficiencies... More

Legal Issue

Employee Privacy

With the unprecedented development of technology and the increased amount of gadgets that can be used for monitoring and surveillance, employee privacy has become a relevant issue in the last decades. The term encompasses several employment issues that are increasingly becoming important nowadays. Providing legal provisions to shield employees from excessive and unnecessary intrusion to prot... More


Connecting Decentralized Renewable Energy Sources

However, if the generators stay connected, it must be ensured that they are not receiving reactive power, as this would lead to a collapse of the grid. In Germany, a number of legal requirements and grid codes are regulating the connection of such generators. These documents also stipulate the use of Directional Reactive Power Undervoltage Protection (Q->& U< protection) that would disc... More

The Guru

Interview with PACWorld guru Jack Chadwick

PAC World:  When and where were you born? J.C.: I was born in New Bern, NC on June 30, 1923, and grew-up in Rocky Mount, NC. PAC World:  Is there something special in your childhood that you think affected your future career? J.C.:  When I was 14, I went to work (in summer and after school) for a motor & transformer rewind company. While this was not a high tech company, I ... More


History Protection - Relaying in Japan

Introduction No article on the history of protection relaying in Japan would be complete without a brief introduction to some of the unique attributes of the Japanese power system. The peak demand in Japan is around 180GW and as illustrated in Figure 4, Japan comprises four main islands Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu along with Okinawa and many other smaller islands. The main islands... More

I Think

Is the Smart Grid Real?

I ask myself this question because recently I keep reading articles discussing whether the Smart Grid will be a success or a failure. I think this is a pointless question as the Smart Grid as a concept is already a great success. Never since the invention of electricity has the interest in the power industry been this big. One can always argue about the reason for this interest but in itsel... More

Industry Reports

Active Distribution Networks - Development & Operation

One of the CIGRE C6 working groups whose activities had to do with distribution automation related functions is C6.11 “Development and operation of Active Distribution Networks”. This working group started in August 2006 during the CIGRÉ General Session in Paris, France with the objectives defined in the Terms of Reference as follows: Provide a shared definition of active dist... More

Effect of Distribution Automation on Protective Relaying

By Fredric A. Friend, AEP, USA IEEE Working Group Report Modern protection technology allows some possibilities that can be used to optimize the operation of the network in coordination with DA applications and, on the other hand, DA application deployment may have some impact on relaying.  Protective relays and controls are often a key part of DA; they provide information and, also, may be ... More

Conference Reports

DistribuTech 2012, San Antonio, Texas, USA

The event was held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center It is the North American utility industry's leading smart grid conference and exposition, covering automation and control systems, energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy integration, advanced metering, T&D system operation and reliability, power delivery equipment and water utility technology. The importance of th... More

Elecrama - 2012, Mumbai, India

ELECRAMA was held 18 - 22 January 2012 at the Bombay Exhibition Center in Mumbai. ELECRAMA, the world's largest electrical Transmission and Distribution exhibition held biennially in Mumbai, India has grown to be the world's largest one-stop-shop for electrical and industrial electronics. The 2012 event was organized by the Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers' Association (... More

IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT) - Europe 2011

The event was held 5-7 December 2011 in Manchester, UK and hosted by The University of Manchester. The 2nd Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference (ISGT) in Europe was an IEEE Power and Energy Society conference. The main theme of the event was "Developing Solutions Today for the Sustainable Grids of Tomorrow". The overall scope of ISGT Europe is to help specialists from the electric pow... More

ISGT 2012 - Innovative Smart Grid Technologies, USA

ISGT 2012 took place from 16 to 20 January in Washington, DC. The third IEEE PES Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT 2012) was sponsored by the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) and co-sponsored by the IEEE's Industry Applications Society, Signal Processing Society and Antennas and Propagations Society. The event was one of several similar conferences held at differen... More

Book Review

Integration of Distributed Generation in the Power System

The introduction of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) of many different types and sizes is one of the most important changes in the electric power systems, especially in distribution systems, where in the past we were used to single source radial topology. This has a significant impact on the protection, automation and control due to the different behavior and fault current contributions ... More


Music & Motorbikes

by Phil Beaumont, Toshiba, UK Music: My father first introduced me to the wonderful world of music. Himself an accomplished musician, a classically trained pianist and lover of all things jazz and keyboards, he encouraged me to begin learning the clarinet when I was 8 or 9 years old. Little did I know at the time that this was a prelude to me learning the saxophone, which uses the same embou... More

Final Thoughts
In the March 2011 issue of the magazine we focused on the relationship between PAC technology and the Smart Grid. One year later we look in more detail at Distribution Automation as one of the key components of the future grid. As with protection, substation and distribution automation existed long before anybody started talking about a smart grid. The problem was that they existed ind... More

Protecting your electrical assets? today and tomorrow