March 2020 Issue
The world around us has changed and we have changed as well. In our everyday lives we cannot imagine a world without communications and easy, high-speed access to any information that we may need. It is an amazing process to watch, because it is a constant race between what we have and the more we want. And the same applies to the worlds of electric power systems in general and electric pow... More


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Industry News

CIGRE B5 Website

CIGRE B5 website is now available to the members of the protection, automation and control community. It provides valuable information in the several sections of the website. From the main page the user can reach several different areas. About SC B5 provides information about the Regular Members, Distribution expert members and Observer Members. It also shows the structure of SC B5, and ... More

Hitachi ABB Power Grids

On 17 December 208 Hitachi announced its decision to acquire ABB’s power grids business and offer innovative energy solutions globally by combining ABB’s world-class offerings, including advanced digital grid solutions, with Hitachi’s digital technology. The purchase is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020. Hitachi will acquire an 80.1% stake in the po... More

Reliable Computing for Substation Automation

rugged substation automation PC – RSAPC With its unique thermal management system, the Welotec RSAPC allows to operate in environments with up to 75°C (167°F) The RSAPC is built by Welotec to bring Server grade performance, reliability and security to the harshest operating environments and meet the stringent certification requirements for substation automation. To b... More


A market-ready solution for SMV analysis applications RELYUM PCIe card embeds specialized hardware for parallelized Sampled Measured Values (SMV) stream processing. This card is a smart pluggable board that provides the necessary computation capabilities to PC servers and gateways to address new applications like Power Analysis, underground HV Cable surveillance and Big Data analys... More

RFL(tm) GARD Pro(tm) IEC 61850 Gateway

HPS/RFL is proud to announce a major update to the GARD Pro protection communications platform to include support for IEC 61850 Edition 2. With this upgrade utilities can now utilize legacy communications channels, for protection applications, between digital IEC 61850 stations. As a result, there is no need to establish secure Ethernet channels between stations as existing... More

TOSHIBA Introduces GRE200 Multi-function IED

Toshiba announces the launch of GRE200, a new multi-function protection and control device covering a wide range of applications from MV through HV/EHV networks. Featuring compact size for embedding in MV-Switchgear, draw-out case, feeder management functionality and the capability to provide motor protection and back-up protection for generators and transformers. GRE200 provides a ... More

TWX1: Testing ultra-high-speed line protection relays

Line faults can generate a traveling wave (TW) that propagates close to speed of light on overhead lines. Thus, TW are the first fault indicator arriving at the protection system and can be used to achieve fast tripping times and highly accurate fault location. To test such relays, you can just use the OMICRON TWX1 in combination with a CMC test set, RelaySimTest and CMGPS 588. This f... More

Cover Story

Best of Both Worlds

Digital Distance Relays Following Analog Principles At the heart of any distance element is the “IZ – V” operating signal, polarized with voltage (mho) or current (quadrilateral). As we unsurprisingly began focusing more on life-cycle challenges, cost, and ease of use, we gradually started taking protection for granted. We accepted that the performance of modern rela... More

IEC 61850 Update

IEC 61850 - an Overview

I am still occasionally surprised by how fast time flies. I have the feeling I just wrote the last column, but Alex is already pushing me to write the new one. In November, it will become 25 years since we started IEC 61850 officially. There are not that many members left in the working groups that were involved from the very beginning - and those that are left have grey hairs (if they still... More

Lessons Learned

Unified IED modelling using IEC 61850 Flexible Product Naming

Interoperability versus Interchangeability Interoperability is the ability of two or more intelligent electronic devices from the same or from different manufacturers, to exchange information in such a way that a correct functional co-operation between information producer and information recipient is achieved. To achieve this goal the standard provides the following key elements: Standa... More

PSRC Update


The IEEE PES Power System Relaying and Control Committee (PSRC) held its January 2020 meeting in Jacksonville, FL. The Advisory, System Protection, Line Protection, Relaying Communications, Relaying Practices, Rotating Machinery Protection, and Substation Protection subcommittees of the PSRC all met, following meetings of more than one hundred working groups (WG), task forces (TF), and stu... More


A centralized protection and control system using a well proven transmission class protection relay

The historical evolution of protective relaying technology has significant influence from Electronics and Communication developments in the past. And, the next generation of digital protective relaying is also receiving directions from evolving technology trends of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), virtualization, digital interfaces of combined optical CT/VT and circuit breakers, as wel... More

Tranformer Challenges and How to Tackle Them

While the basic premise of transformer differential protection is straightforward, numerous features are employed in relay algorithms to compensate for challenges presented by the transformer differential application. As a result, developing appropriate test quantities and properly quantifying results can be challenging with traditional functional differential testing. Challenges in Tradit... More

Legal Issue

The California Consumer Privacy Act - all you need to know

Welcome back to our discussion on the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA! In our last article, we introduced you to California's shiny and new data protection law, and provided you, as the consumer, with an outline of all the rights and privileges that this legislation entitles you to. Now, we will shift our focus to the Business side, and examine what responsibilities and obligations t... More


Improvements in Line Differential Relays

Line Differential Relay Based on Instantaneous Values Review of the operating principle of a line differential protection: A line differential protection system is based on several IEDs, each of them located at one end of the protected line. To simplify the explanation, the two-ended line of Figure 1 is considered. Each of the IEDs measures the local current and receives, via the communi... More

The Guru

Interview with PAC World guru Jiri Bermann

PAC World: When and where were you born? J.B.: February 15, 1948; Trutnov, Czech Republic. PAC World: Where did you go to school? J.B.: 1955-63: Primary school in Trutnov. 1963-67: Technical high school in Jičín - Specialization in Electrical Machines and Apparatuses PAC World: Did you have any specific interests while in school? J.B: In primary school I liked physics and... More


Protection History

by Walter Schossig, Germany, and Thomas Schossig, OMICRON electronics GmbH, Austria In the last issue we moved through the 1980s. The decade after was amazing as well. A lot of portable and integrated testing devices were released. In the 1990s microelectronics became an essential part of the test sets.  In this article we try to cover the most important devices. We are aware of the ... More

I Think

The Impact of Renewables, Electric Vehicles and Storage on the Electric Power Industry

The utility industry is about to see probably the most fundamental change in its history as soon as the price of domestic solar PV and battery storage reaches parity with the cost of electric energy for a large number of domestic customers. What this means is that customers will be further incentivized to install solar PV on their homes and as a result, the amount of kWh sold for a utility ... More

Conference Reports

2020 Innovative Smart Grid Technologies NA

The 11th Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technology (ISGT 2020), sponsored by the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES), was held at the Grand Hyatt Washington, in Washington, DC, USA. The conference was preceded by tutorials on smart grid and OT/IT, and demand response.  The conference program also included plenary sessions, panel sessions, technical papers, and tutorials by exp... More

4th Annual Canada Protection Symposium

The event was held at The Westin Harbour Castle hotel in Toronto, Canada, 4-5 December 2019. The opening of the event was followed by a keynote presentation from Tony Lee, Distinguished Engineer from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. The speakers from utilities, manufacturers, and service providers presented the latest topics in protection, automation, and control. Each presentation ... More

4th Digital Substations Conference, Berlin, Germany

The 4th annual Digital Substations 2019 Conference, Exhibition and Networking Forum took place 26-28 November 2019 in Potsdam (near Berlin), Germany. The three days of the conference covered a wide range of topics related to the digitization of electric substations. Each day’s program started by a presentation from the chairman of that day’s sessions. This was followed by pre... More

8th International Conference on Advanced Power System Automation and Protection

APAP 2019 was held 21 -24 October 2019 at the Nanyang Hotel in Xi’an, China. Today APAP is one of the most prestigious conferences in protection and automation in Asia.  It is a forum for discussion of innovative technologies, new developments and various creative ideas, which made a big contribution to the development and maintaining of a secure and reliable power grids. It att... More

9th Saudi Arabia Smart Grid Conference (SASG2019)

2019 SASG was held from 10 to 12 December 2019 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This conference is one of the region's leading events and offers experts from the electric power industry a unique platform to share their views on emerging technologies and discuss sustainable solutions related to the integration of renewable energy resources in the grid. The theme of the con... More

DistribuTECH 2020

DistribuTECH 2020 Conference and Exhibition took place 28-30 January 2020 in San Antonio, TX, USA. The event was held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA. The 30th edition of DistribuTECH which is the leading transmission and distribution event in the world,  focused on technologies used to move electricity from the power plant through the transmissio... More

Book Review

Power System Protection in Smart Grid Environment

One of the biggest drivers for the developments in electric power systems protection is the transition from the “conventional” grid of the last century into the Smart Grids of today. That is why many specialists in our industry are looking for sources of information that will help them understand the impact of the different components of the smart grid on protection devices and s... More


The world is a spot to climb

by Jani Valtari, ABB, Finland Rock climbing is a hobby that brings me great counterbalance to work. It gives me an opportunity to use my hands and my whole body, spend time outdoors and let my mind focus fully on the present moment. It is a versatile hobby, sport and even a lifestyle. I found the hobby of rock climbing, when I moved as a fresh design engineer to work for ABB in Vaasa, Fin... More

Final Thoughts
Since the beginning of the electric power industry the protection, automation and control systems have been wired. We go to a substation control house and this is what we see – relay panels and wires. So, when I think about the developments in power system protection, to me one of the most important ones is the disappearance of the wires. There are many reasons that the wires are dis... More

Protecting your electrical assets? today and tomorrow