Distributed Electrical Sensing for Digital Substations

Author: Craig Preuss, Black & Veatch, USA

This update from the Power System Communications and Cybersecurity Committee (PSCCC) Cybersecurity Subcommittee (S0) (http://sites.ieee.org/pes-pscc/optical-fiber-subcommittee-f0/) focuses on two of our subcommittees that were incorporated from the old Power System Communications Committee and are vital in supporting smart or digital grid applications and functions.

The first is the Optical Fiber Subcommittee (F0), which has history dating back to the early 1980s and their work created the basis for the entire Fiber Optic (FO) worldwide telecommunications networks. Back in 1980 the only fiber optic cables that existed were "multimode" designs that could only carry data only a few city blocks. 

Engineers from the power industry, cable manufacturers, Competitive Local Exchange Carriers, and others came together to create the "singlemode" fiber optic designs used today.  Singlemode cables go many miles and carry massively more data.  The new networks would be placed on existing power lines and not require new tower construction. 

The cable is called Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) and is typically installed on top of electrical transmission towers that go thousands of miles.

The OPGW standard, IEEE 1138, is actively maintained by the PSCCC F0 subcommittee, along with other fiber optic standards: IEEE 1222 ADSS (All Dielectric Self Supporting), IEEE 1594 Wrap Cable, IEEE 1595 (Optical Power Conductor) and the IEEE 1591 hardware series for fiber optic installation.

In addition, the F0 subcommittee is also working to collaborate with other groups within the IEEE Power and Energy Society working on standards that address or include fiber optic cables.

The second is the Wireline Subcommittee E0 (http://sites.ieee.org/pes-pscc/wire-line-subcommittee-e0/), which establishes methods, develops and maintains related standards, and suggests practices for the protection and use of all forms of metallic transport communications systems in the power system.  Current membership includes power utilities, telecommunications service providers, high voltage protection equipment suppliers and manufacturers, and consultants to the power and telecom industries.

The E0 subcommittee currently manages twelve IEEE standards, including 367- Recommended Practice for Determining the Electric Power Station Ground Potential Rise and Induced Voltage from a Power Fault, the 487 series- Electrical Protection of Communication Facilities Serving Electric Supply Locations, 776- Recommended Practice for Inductive Coordination of Electric Supply and Communications Lines, 1137- Recommended Practice for the Implementation of Inductive Coordination Mitigation Techniques and Application, 1692- Guide for the Protection of Communication Installations from Lightning Effects, 820- Standard Telephone Loop Performance Characteristics, and 789- Standard Performance Requirements for Communications and Control Cables for Application in High Voltage Environments. 

Liaison/coordination includes PSCCC F0 and NFPA 70 (NEC) Code Making Panel representatives.

E0 upcoming activities in the near-term include a review of IEEE 820 (possible reaffirmation) and a review of power ground potential rise and zone of influence calculation methodologies to assess the viability of a companion tool to IEEE 367. 

Both of these subcommittees continue to actively meet outside of the PSCCC meetings held three times a year.

To express an interest in any of this work or learn about their meeting schedules, simply visit the PSCCC website sites.ieee.org/pes-pscc/contact/ to get connected! 


Craig Preuss is a system architect at Black & Veatch working in substation and distribution automation for 20 years. He is secretary of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Power System Communications and Cybersecurity committee and a member of the Power System Relaying and Control Committee. He is a member of numerous subcommittees and working groups. Outside of work and IEEE volunteering, he enjoys running, hiking, biking, kayaking, white water rafting, a really good brew pub, supporting his two high school children, and volunteering as a Lutheran teacher and guide for the many youth of his local community.

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