December 2019 Issue
This amazing flexibility gives tremendous power to the protection, automation and control specialists, but like everything else in life it comes with a price - you must do your homework. We have to ask a lot of questions and answer them during the system design process. When the topic is IEC 61850 based centralized substation protection and control systems, the first question is “What d... More


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Industry News

ADMO 5.0 / Insight 2.0

Maintenance task management for protection systems The latest OMICRON’s asset and data management solution for protection systems adds further innovative features. Now ADMO offers custom asset types and data fields, adding/importing setting parameters, and new search and analysis functionality: comparing two settings in one view and performing master revision based and global paramete... More

Distributed Test Manager (DTM) from Triangle MicroWorks

Triangle MicroWorks new release of Distributed Test Manager (DTM) includes Test Manager to create & manage groups of tests. Distributed Test Manager (DTM) is used to simulate SCADA communications for all or a portion of the IEDs in a substation and create automated tests to confirm individual device behaviour. These automated tests can be used repeatedly in the substation lifecycle to... More

Eric Udren Joins US National Academy of Engineering

Eric A. Udren, September 2016 PAC World Guru, has been elected to the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) ‘for leadership in advancing protection technologies for electric power grids’ in an October 6, 2019 ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences.  Academy membership honors outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including signif... More

GE's Grid Solutions

P40 Agile Enhanced -Feder and Voltage/Frequency Protection GE announces the release of the Enhanced version of P40 Agile feeder protection.  Protection functions have an accelerated 2ms execution pass, securing faster fault clearance.  Additionally, new elements respond to harmonics induced by renewable generation on the Grid, thanks to 64 samples/cycle acquisition and harmonic mea... More

Highly accurate GNSS clock

Highly accurate, fully featured Global Navigation Satellite System Tekron’s TCG 01-G is a highly accurate, fully featured Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) clock. It can reference signals from either or both the GPS and GLONASS satellite networks. With enhanced cyber security features that support NERC CIP requirements, the TCG 01-G is designed for use in modern day smart grid /... More

New RELY-PCIe compact size for HSR/PRP/PTP and TSN

In response to its customer demand, RELYUM has launched a new RELY-PCIe that can be installed in both low and full profile slots. In a market that is undergoing the revolution of new powerful small sized equipment, this new device provides the most demanding networking features to any kind of PC, regardless of its size: Multimedia (fibre/copper) and multi-rate (10/100/1000Mbps) Suppor... More

RTDS Simulator supports R-GOOSE and R-SV

RTDS Technologies has released enhanced IEC 61850 models for the RTDS Simulator. The real time simulator now supports the streaming of routable GOOSE and Sampled Values (both publication and subscription). Users can now interface the simulated power system to physical components of a distribution automation system (DAS) via R-GOOSE and R-SV. This allows for hardware-in-the-loop testin... More

Self-powered RMU protection

One single relay with different settings for operation and maintenance tasks, is becoming a mandatory requirement nowadays. Not only does it speed up the process, but it also complies with safety procedures and allows to optimize the size of the Main Ring Units (RMU)s. SIA-B relay will allow the user to manage different applications with one device. The required operating mode will be sel... More


IEC 61850-9-2 Processing Accelerator Card Presented at SPS SoC-e and Xilinx presented at the SPS Tradeshow a disruptive solution to process in parallel and in real-time hundreds of SMV streams using FPGA technology for computing acceleration. These solutions can be integrated on-premises servers or gateways or directly plugged on remote data-servers. These acceleration cards integrate m... More

UCAIug 2019 IEC Interoperability Test Report

The UCA International Users Group (UCAIug) hosted the latest interoperability test for IEC 61850 at EPRI facilities located in Charlotte, NC, USA during the week of September 23-27, 2019.  There were approximately 150 people that participated, split between twenty-four (24) participating companies and eighteen (18) witnessing companies from Austria, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, K... More

Cover Story

Centralized Substation Protection, Automation & Control Systems (CSPACS)

We have gladly accepted this elevated level of functional integration without worrying much that we are putting all our eggs in one basket. And it is because the individual functions are not isolated but integrated in a sophisticated system that can survive the challenges of its environment. Accepting the high levels of functional integration in our everyday lives now is transitioning into... More

IEC 61850 Update

IOP and IoT

When reading the title, you are probably asking yourself, what does that title mean. Or if you know that IoT means the Internet of Things and IOP denominates the interoperability testing organized by the UCA international users group, you may wonder why I put those two completely different topics together in the title of my column? Well - there is no particular linkage between the two topi... More

Lessons Learned

Software Based Centralized Protection: commissioning experience

  In 2018 Tekvel signed several contracts to commission centralized protection system based on servers and independent software. In this article we would like to share our experience and discuss some of the problems, that might require special attention from utilities on the way to mass deployment of centralized PAC systems. General Overview of ISAS Centralized PAC There have alread... More

PSRC Update


The IEEE PES PSRC held its September 2019 meeting in Denver, CO. 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 study groups (SG) of these subcommittees. Updates from... More

Centralized Protection

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

Importantly, a centralized protection device must be a technologically mature solution, robust and self-supervised platform, using proven protection algorithms, scalable for any substation size, on hardware capable of the expected 20-year service life. This article describes one specific actual implementation of such a system for distribution substations, based on an existing transmission c... More

Uncovering the Potential of Centralized Protection and Control

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasizes that to fight climate change our energy system needs to be completely reshaped at an unprecedented speed. New renewable and intermittent energy resources will be connected to the energy system, consumption will be managed with demand responses, and new storage devices will be deployed and used. All this needs... More

Legal Issue

The California Consumer Privacy Act - all you need to know

As we welcome you back to our ongoing topic of discussion on consumer privacy and data protection, in this issue we will finally focus our attention on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and attempt to provide our readers with a concise, all you need to know summary of this exciting new legislation.  Indeed, and please accept our apologies, this topic has been so exciting that... More

Digital Sub

EMP Digital Substation

One human way an EMP can be produced is if a nuclear device is detonated in the upper atmosphere. The pulse produced by the detonation is a powerful electromagnetic field covering an unusually large area that can span hundreds or even thousands of miles. Among the most severe threats confronting modern societies, an EMP attack is an example of a malicious hazard that could cause a classic Bl... More

The Guru

Interview with PAC World guru Alex Apostolov

PAC World:  When and where were you born? A.A.: I was born on 18 July 1949 in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. PAC World:  Where did you go to school? A.A.: I went to junior and middle school in my neighborhood school which was in the same block where I lived. Then I went to high school No 21 and I was in a more specialized class with focus on advanced math. PAC World:  ... More


Protection History

Further developments in protection testing resulted in portable devices, especially for distance protection, directional earth fault relays, generator protection and railways auxiliary functionalities. Some of them have been mounted directly in the cubicles. This was also valid for testing devices. Figure 1 shows such an example of Sprecher + Schuh (Austria, 1980). This device allowed simple ... More

I Think

The challenge of the digital utility

With the signing of the climate change agreement in Paris and the subsequent meetings to discuss reduction and management of the global climate change the power industry has been placed in the spotlight as it is seen by many as one of the main contributors to the emission of greenhouse gases.  The utility industry has responded to the pressure placed upon them by looking at the use o... More

Conference Reports

2019 CIGRE Symposium, Chengdu, China

The CIGRE 2019 Symposium was held 20 – 26 September 2019 in Chengdu, China and was sponsored by the CIGRE Chinese National Committee and the Chinese Society of Electrical Engineering. The conference venue was the Charming Yield Nature Nook hotel. The symposium brought together members from six different study committees to discuss various issues of interest to the electric power in... More

2019 IEC 61850 Global

IEC 61850 Global took place 14 - 18 October 2019 in London, United Kingdom. This year the conference program was extended to a full week. It was preceded by a one-day workshop on the fundamentals of IEC 61850. This was followed by three days of presentations mostly focused on utility experiences from different IEC 61850 based multi-vendor projects, discussions on interoperability issues a... More

3rd International Symposium on Smart Grid

The International Symposium on Smart Grid – Methods, Tools and Technologies was held 16–19 September 2019 in Jinan, China. The symposium was hosted by the School of Electrical Engineering, Shandong University at the Xuefu University hotel. The aim of this symposium was to explore the engineering and applications of smart grid and to further stimulate the international collaborat... More

6th Protection, Automation & Control World Americas Conference

PACWAC 2019 was held 21-23 August 2019, in Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.   The opening of the conference was followed by the Keynote address on "Power System Measurement, Protection, and Control - Today and Tomorrow", presented by Eric Udren, Executive Advisor at Quanta Technology, USA. The conference program included 58 papers presented in single sessions... More

Western Protective Relay Conference

The 46th annual Western Protective Relay Conference 2019 was held 21 - 24 October 2019  at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Washington, USA. The conference is organized by Washington State University as an educational forum for specialists in the electric power systems protection and control industry. It attracts participants predominantly from the United States and Nort... More

Book Review

IEC 61850 Demystified

The electric power industry is going through a period of dramatic changes as a result of the wide-spread penetration of distributed energy resources and the need for their integration in a Smart Grid. The requirements for improved reliability, security and efficiency can be met only using advanced computer and communications technologies in protection, automation and control systems based on... More


Robert Frye plays with trains 1-to-1 scale

by Robert Frye, Tennessee Valley Authority, TN, USA I have always been a builder, and I love working with my hands.  In fact, my wife nick named me “Builder Bob.”  Although I have performed many home renovation projects, my passion is for bigger, more complicated, industrial projects. Up until about the midpoint in my electrical career, I was mostly able to satisfy t... More

Final Thoughts
This is the question that many people in our industry are asking today. And as usual, the answer starts with “It Depends!” What does it depend on? As can be seen from the articles in the magazine, there are many different ways of implementing a centralized protection, automation and control system. If we think about the architecture, some people will prefer a system that will ha... More

Protecting your electrical assets? today and tomorrow