December 2010 Issue
This is the beginning of a new era, especially for the protection, automation and control industry. Considering how conservative some of the protection specialists are, it is especially important to convince them that the transition from the technology we know to a technology that may be difficult to understand is first of all worth it. Then second, but most important – that it works better... More


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Industry News

Foundational Smart Grid Standards

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has advised the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that it has identified five "foundational" sets of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber security that are ready for consideration by federal and state energy regulators. The standards, produced by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), focu... More

IEC 61850 - compliant multi-function Toshiba relays

Toshiba have added IEC 61850 capability to their GRD Series providing a comprehensive implementation of the standard for this range of high performance multifunction devices. GRD110, GRD130 and GRD140 offer overcurrent, voltage and directional overcurrent protections respectively with each device having a full range of supporting functions. In addition, a high impedance differential ... More

IEC 61850-9-2 MICOM - process bus relay

The first MiCOM Alstom IED was manufactured on 7th October 2010.  The inaugural relay model chosen - a transmission distance relay equipped with an IEC 61850-9-2 process bus interface - underlines Alstom's intention to build upon the strengths of its Stafford Center of Excellence, and worldwide satellite expert teams, advancing the technology in numerical substation architectures. ... More

New Software Platform for Managed Switches

Belden has recently introduced Edition 6.0, a new version of the software platform for the Hirschmann™ MACH, MICE, Rail and OCTOPUS managed switches. In addition to the comprehensive management, diagnosis and filter functionality as well as redundancy procedures, security mechanisms and real-time applications supported by the previous version, Edition 6.0 offers additional functio... More

OMICRON CT Analyzer - now with RemAlyzer!

Software based tool to determine CT residual magnetism The operation of protection devices is affected by the performance of current transformers (CTs).  They must be accurate during normal and fault conditions. CT Remanence is the amount of residual magnetism left in the iron core due to faults with DC offset.  High residual magnetism can lead to mis-operation of the pro... More

Redundancy Solution for Industrial Ethernet Networks

Moxa introduces its new redundancy solution for Industrial Ethernet networks - Turbo Chain. This ia a layer 2 protocol that provides recovery of the network communication in case of a single switch failure, or in case of a single link failure between switches. Its recovery time is less than 20 milliseconds with up to 250 switches in one chain. Turbo Chain offers flexible network topol... More

REU615 - Voltage Protection and Control IED

ABB introduces a new voltage protection and control IED, REU615, of the 615 product series. REU615 is perfectly suitable for power distribution applications requiring voltage and frequency protection, and automatic voltage regulator functionality. In addition, all 615 series IEDs have been enhanced with customizable single line mimic diagram for supporting safe local operations and self-... More

RuggedSolutions (tm)

RuggedCom has purchased the substation automation business of Bow Networks Inc. and created a line of market leading substation automation and security software solutions which are used to securely retrieve, present and analyze information from intelligent electronic devices. The new RuggedSolutions™ permit NERC CIP compliant access to substation IEDs and allow utilities to make decisio... More

SEL Digital Transducer

The new SEL-734T Advanced Digital Transducer monitors feeders, transformers, and distributed generation assets. By applying this device, system operators can assess the state of the system in real-time, isolate disturbances, and control capacitor banks, all through remote commands. Through its recording and reporting capabilities, the SEL-734T improves power quality and reliability, decrea... More

Technology News

Foundational Smart Grid Standards

ZIV Charging System Components The growing global interest in electric vehicles and the fact that this year several manufacturers are introducing 100% electric cars on the market faces a significant challenge due to the lack of charging infrastructure. That is one of the reasons that suppliers and governments are working hard for solutions. ZIV’s PRV-S charging point has been speci... More

General Parallel File System

General Parallel File System The transition of the electric power industry towards a smarter grid will result in a tremendous growth in the amount of data that is communicated and stored for real-time and off line use. An example is the intention to store synchrophasor data with a rate of one sample per cycle (with potential increase to four samples per cycle) collected from thousands of Ph... More

Plug-in DERs - plug-in solar and wind power modules

One of the great challenges with solar and wind power farms is that they are typically located far away from the loads they are supposed to serve, which requires significant investments in power delivery infrastructure. An interesting alternative is being offered by a Seattle, Washington, USA based start-up company - Clarian Power. It is trying to bring plug-in solar and wind power mod... More

Cover Story

Functional Testing of IEC 61850 based systems

To properly define the methods for testing of complex IEC 61850 substation automation systems it is important to properly define what a system definition is, and to consider what existing methods for system testing are known. Complex systems are not specific to the electric power systems domain only. They exist in industry, communications, computing and many other fields. Software developmen... More

IEC 61850 Update

Is IEC 61850 academic?

So – did we overshoot with IEC 61850? Did we define features that have no requirement behind them? It seems that there are some individuals that think so. Some seem to believe that what was good in the past will do for the future. Some apparently do not see any need for improvement and have no visions how the possibilities of the new technology could provide benefits. Some unfortunately... More

Lessons Learned

Investigating Interoperability for IEC 61850 Technology

InterOP Project Scope: The aim of the research project was to investigate how the present standard supports the implementation and setup of interoperable system environments. The scope of the project is limited to IEC 61850 Edition 1 devices and applications. Usage of compliant devices is necessary but not sufficient to achieve interoperable systems. Additionally there is a need for definin... More

Time Synchronization

Experience with IEEE 1588 Time Synchronization for Substation Process Bus

The world's first installation of High Voltage substation with IEC 61850 Process Bus where IEEE 1588 Time Synchronization and dynamic multicast filtering have been used provides a good opportunity to understand the challenges in implementing these new technologies in the electric power industry. Part of this 110/10kV substation had been equipped with electronic CTs and PTs and Merging Units d... More


Performance Measurements for IEC 61850 IEDs and Systems

A common starting point for discussions about performance is the meanwhile famous Figure 16 in IEC 61850-5. (Figure 1) It outlines the issue as it shows that there are several times involved in a transfer of information from one device to another. But as simple as the figure is, it is not straightforward to implement a test that uses the indicated signal flow and delivers the times shown. ... More

Model Based Testing

Model Based Testing and Diagnosis of IEC 61850 Systems

This article reviews this method and describes its use for fault diagnosing through a proof-of-concept prototype developed in a research project. With this tool, fault diagnosing in Substation Automation Systems (SAS) is done using a model-based approach whereby an object oriented model of the system is provided that can be simulated while faults are identified and pinpointed. Testing is al... More

Legal Issue

More on Whistle Blowing

The act of whistleblowing is, and should be, unique to everyone. The deeper the media involvement and the bigger the scandal, the more complicated it is for the whistleblower. Revealing company misdeeds would on many occasions ruin one's relationships within the work environment and sometimes even within the relevant  industry. Knowing that whistle-blowing could compromise one's employme... More

Process Bus

IEC 61850-9-2 Based Process Bus

The merging unit (MU) is a key element of the IEC 61850 process bus. It gathers information, such as phase voltages and currents from instrument transformers, and status information from transducers using proprietary links. All these analog values are converted to digital, and merged into a standard data packet format. This data packet is sent to corresponding bay level   ... More

The Guru

Interview with Professor Anton Ogorelec

PAC World:   Professor, tell us some basic facts about yourself. AO:  I was born on 23 May 1924, when the independent State of Rijeka (today a city near the Adriatic sea in Croatia), has been annexed by Italy. Our family later moved to Ilirska Bistrica (at that time under Italian control), where we lived in an old two story building in the vicinity of Prva Kranjska Tovarna... More


Protection History: Unbalance Relays

This article continues the series covering generator protection and describes the protection against unsymmetrical load. Developing load-unbalance protection based on the method proposed by the Canadian Charles Legeyt Fortescue in his paper describing the symmetrical components ("Method of Symmetrical Co-Ordinates Applied to the Solution of Polyphase Networks") in 1918. As we all kn... More

I Think

Crisis! What Crisis?

Based on speculation of leading banks our trust and belief in the financial system, that is so crucial for our economies and daily lives, has collapsed and has dragged many banks and financial institutions into deplorable state and has left many people without a job. It looks like that everyone is touched by this crisis in one way or another. However, I am not sure if it is everyone? I have b... More

Industry Reports

Common Ancillary Protective and Control Functions

Working Group K5 Report The IEEE Power System Relaying Committee (PSRC), Substation Protection Subcommittee, Working Group K5 on Ancillary Protective and Control Functions Common to Multiple Protective Relays have produced a document that addresses the considerations in applying the ancillary protection, control and monitoring functions that are common in multiple relays and the integration ... More

The U.S. National Committee of CIGRÉ (USNC)

by Clark W. Gellings,  Electric Power Research Institute, USA CIGRÉ is the International Council on Large Electric Systems.  The U.S. National Committee is an organization of the U.S. members of CIGRÉ.  Its primary function is to organize participation of U.S. power engineers in the international organization and to facilitate symposia and workshops within the U... More

Conference Reports

CIDEL 2010, Buenos Aires, Argentina

CIDEL Argentina 2010 was held at the Hilton Hotel in the City of Buenos Aires from September 27th to 29th, 2010. In addition to the International Congress on Electricity Distribution, an Exhibition of equipment and services related to electrical distribution and focused on technological innovations also took place. This is the fourth time this congress is held in Argentina. A round table o... More

IPTS - International Protection Testing Symposium, 2010, Austria

IPTS was held 14 – 15 October 2010 in Salzburg, Austria. The International Protection Testing Symposium was held as part of a Triple Event that also included power and instrument transformers related events. Participants from many countries from all corners of the world made the symposium an exciting event at a time when knowledge sharing and exchange of experiences is more importan... More

The 43rd CIGRE General Session 2010, Paris, France

The 43rd CIGRE Session, as usual, was held in the Palais de Congres de Paris (Congress Palace) in Paris, France. It was attended by several thousand specialists from many countries and all continents around the world – evenly representing utilities, manufacturers, consultants, researchers and academics. It is definitely one of the key global events for our industry. Several hundr... More

WPRC - Western Protective Relay Conference

The 37th Annual Western Protective Relay Conference was held 19 – 21 October, 2010. The 37th Western Protective Relay Conference (WPRC) was held at the Spokane Convention Center, Spokane, Washington, USA. The conference is organized by Washington State University. WPRC is an educational forum for the presentation and discussion of broad and detailed technical aspects of protective ... More

X Technical Seminar on Protection and Control, Recife, Brazil ? 2010

The X Technical Seminar on Protection and Control was held in Brazil, 17-20 October. The Seminar was organized by CHESF, in cooperation with CIGRE -Brazil. Recife is the capital of Pernambuco, a beautiful multicultural city and a symbol of the Brazilian Northeast. The seminar venue was the UFPE Convention Center, located within the university campus. The STPC is a traditional event fo... More

Book Review

The Smart Grid - Enabling Energy Efficiency and Demand Response

The Smart Grid is the latest buzz word that is included in the title or at least in the list of preferential subjects for discussion at any industry event. And one of the most amazing things is that everybody is talking about it, but if you ask them what they mean by a Smart Grid – everybody will give you a different definition. That is why we find Clark Gellings' book a very ti... More


Photography is and will always be my hobby

I was born in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach in 1953. I am married with two grown sons and one grandchild. Since 1977 I have spent a great deal of time with my favorite hobby: photography. I often appear on international and national panels for photography competitions and regional or national championships from Brussels via Timisoara, Graz, Munich to Vienna. I am a founding member ... More

Final Thoughts
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has identified IEC 61850 as one of five "foundational" sets of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber security. The fact that the NIST has advised the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that it has identified IEC 61850 as one of five "foundational" sets of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber s... More

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Protecting your electrical assets? today and tomorrow