December 2015 Issue
They depend on the instrument transformers that connect to the primary equipment and convert the high voltage signals into secondary signals that are acceptable to the analog interface of the protection devices. Like everything else in life, this has a price. Any transformation is not perfect. It represents a transfer function that depends on the design of the instrument transformer and its c... More


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Industry News

ABB Celebrates

50 years of customer satisfaction with the FT Flexitest™ switch ABB is the original FT switch manufacturer with the longest, most successful history. Flexitest™ switch’s unmatched quality is proven. The switch delivers a safe, reliable, cost-effective and flexible product for in-service testing of relays, meters and instruments by any conventional system. The first Flexite... More


Extreme accuracy in protection and control IEDs Arcteq’s AQ 200 series IEDs are developed using the latest available technologies providing a very new dimension and options to protection and control engineers. The AQ 200 comes uniquely with up to class 0.2S measurement accuracy eliminating the need for external transducers or metering devices. AQ 200 series’ patented measurement t... More


Outstanding Service Award The 2014 Outstanding Service Award of CIGRE Study Committee B5 - Protection and Automation, was granted to Mr. Dennis Holstein, Senior Partner and founder of the OPUS Consulting Group, in recognition of his contribution, commitment and dedication to the objectives of CIGRE. As a recognized expert in cyber security, Mr. Holstein has been a frequent contributor to ... More

IEC 61850 Interoperability Testing

The UCA International User Group sponsored an IEC 61850 interoperability test week that took place September 26 - October 2, 2015 in Brussels, Belgium. There were 29 companies from all regions, except Africa, that brought products to be tested and witnessed.  In total, 130 people attended the user group meeting. The activity focused on improving the IEC 61850 standard and vendor impleme... More

IEEE PSRC - new logo

During the first week of October the Main Committee of the Power System Relaying Committee approved a new scope which expands to include control functions and aspects of communication, cybersecurity, time synchronization, and related requirements necessary to support protection and control systems. The scope includes liaison and cooperation with other technical committees, societies, groups a... More

OMICRON electronics Offers new current and voltage amplifier

Relay manufacturers, universities, research institutes, and utilities will benefit from the new current and voltage amplifier - CMS 356. This current and voltage amplifier accepts analog low-level signals provided by any signal source, such as a digital real-time power system simulator or a CMC test set. The powerful current and voltage outputs offer a variety of configurations (for examp... More

Schneider Electric

Launches Security-Focused PACiS Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, has announced the launch of its latest PACiS solutions with advanced cyber security. PACiS, the popular and comprehensive solutions for energy automation, protection, control and measurement, integrates cutting-edge security features that help managers of utility, oil and gas, hea... More


Superior processing power for substation automation Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) announces the SEL-3555 Real-Time Automation Controller (RTAC), SEL’s fastest and most powerful RTAC. Designed for advanced data concentration and control, the SEL-3555 features Intel® Core™ i7 processors that complement a multithread IEC 61131 logic engine for 1 ms. determinist... More


SCU - Switch Control Unit IED   The SCU (Switch Control Unit) plays an important role on the digital substation process bus level. It is the interface between the conventional primary equipment and IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Device). SCU is able to communicate GOOSE messages with bay level IEDs via optical fiber and control and monitor primary equipment, such as CB or transf... More

Technology News

Project Loon

Balloons Connect to the Internet We all live in a world that is connected through the Internet. Everything is moving to the “Cloud.” The problem is that we can’t always get a good connection and in many places you can’t get any connection. So GOOGLE is trying to solve this problem through their Loon project. Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as ... More

Cover Story

PAC Systems Specification

The specification of the protection, automation and control (PAC) system is a multistep process that is designed to define with increasing level of detail how the different power system components are going to be operated and protected. Typically the PAC system specification covers a bay (if we are expanding an existing substation) or the complete substation (if we are designing a new substa... More

IEC 61850 Update

Testing in IEC 61850

There are many aspects of testing. Conformance testing is probably the one that we currently talk most about in IEC 61850. Another aspect is functional testing. Functional testing can be applied to a system or it can be applied to a device. And last but not least we have interoperability testing. Let me talk first about interoperability testing, which is typically extensive. The goal is, to ... More

Lessons Learned

Concept of Protection, Automation and Control of a German Distribution System Operator

In the 20- or 10/0.4-kV-low voltage stations HH (=high-voltage-high breaking-capacity, h..v.h.b.c. fuse) or  NH- fuses(low-voltage high breaking-capacity fuse, l.v.h.b.c. fuse) are used with transformers 250 up to  630 kVA (Dyn5). In the 20 kV load-disconnecting switches are used on the lines, every 10 stations circuit breakers equipped with protection for the lines are available. ... More

PAC System Specification

IEC 61850 Tool Supported System Specification

The article demonstrates a PAC System specification using IEC 61850 modeling by example. We will create step by step a System Specification Description (SSD file). This description will include virtual IEDs and communication specifications for MMS Reports and GOOSE. At the Pac World Conference 2015 in Glasgow I had the pleasure to listen to a presentation given by the editor in chief of this ... More

IEC 61850 - Software Tool Requirements and Gap Analysis

IEC 61850 - Software Tool Requirements and Gap Analysis

Thus the utility is insulated from the engineering process change.  In North America and with some European utility companies, the utilities typically perform the substation engineering task themselves.  The rest of this article will refer to this as Utility Engineering.  Thus, the utilities that do their own engineering are impacted by the engineering process changes needed t... More

Legal Issue

FMLA - Continued

FMLA provides a job-protected leave of absence, but it is an unpaid leave, and some critics of the law consider it not effective enough. It is well known however, that abiding by the FMLA can be very difficult for employers, and not only for the obvious financial burden of keeping a job open for months. According to some researchers “tracking the employee's illness, determining if med... More

Testing Specifications

Testing Specifications

Some of the tasks mentioned included: Proof of calibration Proof of proper settings Proof of the AC system components Proof of the DC system components Verify the interconnections Verify the functions Verify the scheme logic Verify the overall protection system coordination For these tasks, the test plan comprised a specific list of the test methods and steps required... More

The Guru

Interview with PACWorld guru Andre Maizener

PAC World:  When and where were you born? A.M.:  I was born in Paris in 1947. PAC World:   Who is the person that had the biggest influence on you when you were growing up? A.M.:  Two people had the biggest influence on me - my paternal grandfather and my father. My grandfather encouraged me to learn as much as I could. I admired him because he was illiterate wh... More


Protection History

Reading a paper published in an Austrian magazine in 1926 about the “protection of huge power station” we learn: “It makes sense to bring the relays close to the current transformer. This reduces the length of connection lines and allows access if the plant is in operation. Every relay should be equipped with an indicating disk visualizing the startup. The disk can be mounte... More

I Think

What you Specify is What you Get

In my life I have written and evaluated dozens of specifications for systems to be applied within power utilities. After the introduction of IEC 61850 I have written several articles and papers about the subject and so far have trained and educated hundreds of engineers on the importance of clear and unambiguous specifications. The thing that always surprises me is how most engineers will ... More

Industry Reports

Documentation Requirements throughout the Lifecycle of Digital Substation Automation Systems

by Rodney Hughes (AU) - CIGRE  Working Group B5.39 The Digital Substation Automation Systems (DSAS) involves ‘orders of magnitude’ more pieces of information being exchanged between devices than traditional wire-based systems.  As an example a single protection contact was sufficient to cause a CB trip and initiate all sorts of other functions, albeit via many individua... More

Conference Reports

2nd PAC World Americas Conference -PACWAC

The 2nd PACWAC was held 1-3 September 2015, in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. After the success of the first PAC World Americas conferences for North, Central and South America at the end of September 2014, the second annual conference took place again  at the Raleigh Convention Center, but this time from the 1st to 3rd of September 2015. The conference was preceded by vendors’... More

Advanced Power System Automation and Protection Conference

The International Conference on Advanced Power System Automation and Protection (APAP2015) was held 20-23 September 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Jiangning Nanjing hotel in Nanjing, China. It was hosted by the CSEE-Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering and organized by the Relaying Protection Study Committee of CSEE. The conference was held in parallel and cooperation with the CIGRE B5 Col... More

CIGRE Study Committee B5 (Protection and Automation) Colloquium

The event was held 23 - 24 September, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Jiangning Nanjing hotel in Nanjing, China The Colloquium was preceded by different CIGRE SC B5 working group and advisory group meetings, as well as a half-day tutorial on Transient performance of instrument transformers for protection purpose. The main focus of the conference was the discussion sessions focused on the three ... More

International Protection Testing Symposium

The International Protection Testing Symposium (IPTS) took place 13 -14 October 2015 in the charming medieval city Feldkirch, Austria. The conference venue was Montforthaus - the new cultural and conference center in the city. The theme of the symposium this year was “Smart Testing for a Reliable Grid.” Protection and control specialist from 36 countries from all continents exc... More

Western Protective Relay Conference, Spokane, USA

WPRC was held 20-22 October 2015, in Spokane, Washington, USA The 42nd WPRC was a three days event that was held at the Spokane Convention Center. This event is held every year in Spokane, Washington, USA and is an educational forum organized by Washington State University. This forum allows participants to learn about the latest protection and control technologies and how to apply them.... More

Book Review

Wide-Area Monitoring of Interconnected Power Systems

IET Power and Energy Series 77 Our industry, like the rest of the world, is in a new age of dominance of computers and communications based devices and systems. “Big Data” is one of the buzz words of our time, due to the tremendous amount of data that is produced by billions of smart devices everywhere around us. The state of the art IEDs of today are a source of a lot of differ... More


My World of Music

by Maurizio Scavazzon, TUV SUD, Italy As long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by music. Here is my story... How did I get into Music... I have been always fascinated by music. I received my first instrument at the age of three, when my grandmother gave me a kid drum for my birthday. From that moment I always tried to play whatever was in my hands. Sometime I think about t... More

Final Thoughts
Even if we never really think about it, we actually do specifications every day of our lives. Every time when we are to take some action related to a choice that we have to make, we make a specification, at least in our heads. I talk a lot about the three questions that are on the cover of the magazine and in a couple of articles. And everybody has to ask at least the first question: What ... More

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