June 2016 Issue
The goal of this issue of the PAC World magazine is to open a discussion on the many questions that this transition is raising. There is a lot of fear, and as usual the fear is of the unknown. To a great extent this is due to the fact that communications in general and communication networks in particular are something new to most of the specialists in our industry. At the same time they ... More


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Industry News


MV Digital Switchgear with NCITs ABB’s medium voltage digital switchgear is the integration of innovative and unique technology into conventional switchgear for protection, control, and automation resulting in a solution that is continuously self-supervising, with maximized error detection. Instead of conventional current transformers and potential transformers, digital switchgear inc... More


APAX-5580 - PC-based control platform The APAX-5580 is a PC-based control platform with comprehensive I/O modules, communication ports (such as GbE, USB 3.0, mPCIe, serial), and control Software.  The APAX-5580 includes an Intel Celeron 1.6 GHz/Core i3/Core i7 1.7GHz processor, 4GB DDR3 memory, one mSATA connector, two SD slots, two mini PCIe slots, dual power input, UPS support, a... More


The Generator Commander - All in one The Generator Commander combines machine protection, excitation control, synchronizing, synchro-check and power monitoring in a single product. High integration level simplifies engineering, saves panel space and offers single software for all system configuration and setting. With differential protection and sophisticated machine protection functions th... More

GridEx(R) Sets you in Control of your IEC 61850 networks

Designed to support you when performing commissioning, troubleshooting and maintenance. GridEx® is a digital multimeter and analyzer for Smart Grid; it bridges the gap between the traditional power technology and the digital communication. Network digital data is translated into upfront and intuitive information to support decisions for increased reliability and improved system utilizatio... More

IEEE PES Leadership in Power Award

During the 2016 IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference & Exposition in Dallas, Texas the President of IEEE PES Dr. Damir Novosel presented the IEEE PES Leadership in Power Award to John Estey. He received the award “for tireless support to foster and develop the next generation of engineers, and countless contributions to recognize exemplary achievement and role models in the ... More

Ingeteam Installs a Mobile Energy Storage Laboratory

Ingeteam has been awarded a project in a public competition held by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, consisting of the supply, installation and maintenance of a transportable energy storage solution. This transportable solution, located in Holland, can be considered as a mobile laboratory and will make it possible to check the feasibility of different energy storage app... More

OMICRON electronics

Test Universe 3.10 facilitates testing with IEC 61850 Version 3.10 of OMICRON Test Universe now offers a new test module supporting IEC 61850 Client/Server communication. Engineers responsible for PAC will benefit from this module creating a unique way to integrate an automated test of Reports and data attributes in a Control Center document. The module allows you to load the IED descrip... More


Software-Defined Network Solutions Applying the OpenFlow specification, SEL is using software - defined networking (SDN) to enhance the performance, configuration, and management of proactive OT and dynamic information technology (IT) networks. The SEL-2740S Software - Defined Network Switch is the SDN-based switch that improves Ethernet performance in mission-critical applications. By pro... More


System Dynamic Situation Awareness by WAMS Wide Area Measurement System (WAMS) is built upon the break-through Phasor Measurement Units (PMU) technology. It collects, stores, transmits and analyzes critical phasor data across the power grid. WAMS provides power system state and situational awareness, which was impossible from the traditional SCADA system. With the high accuracy, high... More

Technology News

Next Eagle

Drone Base Line Inspection We can see them everywhere. From the toys for little and big kids to the weapons carrying military ones. Equipped with whatever they can carry to meet the requirements of their use. It has been natural to think about their use for the inspection of transmission and distribution lines which typically has been done using very expensive helicopter flyovers for that s... More

SDN - Software Defined Networking

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is an emerging communication architecture that needs to be considered as one of the possible solutions for PAC systems applications. As usual in the process of evaluation we need to understand what it is, where we can use it and what are the benefits and challenges. The main characteristic of SDN is the fact that it decouples the network control and forwar... More

Cover Story

IP-based Communications for Line Current Differential Protection

Line Current Differential Protection The functional principle of 87L protection works according to Kirchhoff’s Current Law, the algebraic sum of all currents entering and exiting a node have to be equal zero. The single line diagram of the arrangement of the protection relays is shown in Figure 2.                &nbs... More

IEC 61850 Update

IEC 61850 Process Bus?

In the mid-nineties, integrated substation automation and protection solutions had become quite popular in Europe. While the station bus communication between bay controllers and the station level devices was mainly based on vendor specific protocols, the German Standardization organization DIN had standardized a SCADA interface to protection relays which later became the IEC 60870-5-103 sta... More

Lessons Learned

Time - Sensitive Networking (TSN) in IEC 61850 substation automation networks

These main properties of a Deterministic Network could be summarize by the following: Bounded Latency Bounded Jitter (latency variation) Extraordinary low packet loss Deterministic traffic and normal IT traffic (best effort and QOS managed traffic) will cohabit on the same network without impacting the deterministic flows. This level of determinism in a network can be reached by ... More

Secured Routable GOOSE Mechanism

Using High-Speed and Secured Routable GOOSE Mechanism

The major communication infrastructure considerations for WAPC system are: High-speed message delivery (delays over WAN) Network bandwidth requirement (i.e. optimum information/dataset and data rate requirements) Cyber security Availability/Redundancy International standardized protocols IEC Technical Report (TR) 61850-90-5:2012 provides communication protocol for synchrophaso... More

Digital Substations

Digital Substation ? the Next Generation Smart Substation for the Power Grid

Increased reliability and availability, reduced maintenance cost:The extensive self-diagnosis capability of digital devices ensures maximized up-time of the substation.  Any degradation in the performance of an asset is pinpointed in real-time.  Inherent redundancy in the system may be employed to self-heal the operation, which permits troubleshooting without the need for any primar... More

Legal Issue

Expert Witnesses ? How can I become one, and why would I want to?

In our last issue we began a discussion on expert witnesses, by addressing what makes a witness an expert, as well as an introduction into when they tend to be called upon and hired by attorneys, what types of cases they testify in, and what their role is throughout the process.  We will now switch our attention to a topic of more personal intrigue: why would one want to be an expert witn... More

Verification and Supervision

Verification and Supervision of communication networks for Utility Automation

This already starts in the commissioning phase, where configuration errors and communication problems are ruled out and the correct transmission of all signals has to be verified. Later on, during the operation phase of a digital substation, it is crucial that problems on the communication network are detected immediately, so that the operating personnel can react on it. The correct functi... More

The Guru

Interview with PACWorld guru Walter Schossig

PAC World:  When and where were you born? W.S.: I was born on the 18th of February 1941 in Arnsdorf (now Novy Bor.) PAC World:  You were a little child at the end of World War II, but do you have any memories of this difficult time? W.S.:  When I was 4, equipped with Rucksack, and a baby buggy, my mother and I moved via Meißen to Thuringia in Germany.  As G... More


Protection History

In the last issue the way to IEC 61850 was described. We explained the activities of UCA and EPRI, covered MMS. Ethernet entered the substation and first interoperability events took place. The discussion was not only about the protocol to be used, but also for the data modeling. Under auspices of the EPRI UCA the Generic Object Models for Substation and Feeder Equipment (GOMSFE) have been d... More

I Think

The Age of Renewables

Recently Dubai announced to have obtained a price of 0.0299  USD per kWh for an 800 MW solar PV plant. This is a world record and means a price drop of 40% compared to the previous lowest price for a solar plant in Peru. With wind energy as an already established renewable resource, the price drop in solar PV makes the solar panel a serious competitor for any fossil fuel based genera... More

Industry Reports

IEC 61850-90-4 TR Communication Networks and Systems for Power Utility

The IEC 61850 standard covers a wide range of issues related to the improvement of the reliability, security and efficiency of the electric power grid based on the definitions of the object models of different types of primary and secondary equipment, the communications interfaces required for the operation of the system under normal or abnormal conditions, the configuration language used at ... More

Conference Reports

Developments in Power System Protection, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The 13th International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection (DPSP) was held 7-10 March 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.    DPSP is held every even year and is one of the few forums (together with the PAC World conference) in Europe for academics, industry and business leaders to meet, present results and share knowledge in the power sy... More

iPC-GRID, San Francisco, California, USA

The 14th i-PCGRID was held in San Francisco, California, USA from 30 March-1 April 2016. As usual, the 14th Annual Workshop on Innovations in Protection and Control for Greater Reliability Infrastructure Development was hosted by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and was organized by PG&E, Mississippi State University and Quanta Technology. The core of the program discussions focu... More

Middle East Electricity, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  The 41st edition of Middle East Electricity was held from 1 to 3 March 2016 in Dubai, UAE. The event was held at the Dubai World Trade Center in Dubai, UAE. It was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. With its 41 years history Middle East Electricity is the longest running event in the region. The parti... More

NASPI Synchrophasor 2016, 1st International Synchrophasor Symposium

NASPI Synchrophasor 2016 - the first international synchrophasor symposium was held 22-24 March 2016 in Atlanta, USA. Synchrophasor technology has been available for more than two decades and now is available in many multifunctional protection and control IEDs. It is being used for grid monitoring and analytics and is recognized as a critical element in the modernization of the electric powe... More

Power and Energy Automation Conference, Spokane, USA

The 2016 Power and Energy Automation Conference (PEAC) was held 8-10 March 2016 in Spokane, WA, USA. This was the 18th edition of a conference organized by Washington State University (WSU,) and was previously known as the Western Power Delivery Automation Conference. PEAC was opened with a featured presentation on “Substation physical security” presented by Ken Wells, Pacif... More

Texas A&M Conference for Protective Relay Engineers, USA

The 69th Annual Conference for Protective Relay Engineers was held 4 - 7 April 2016 in College Station, Texas. This is the oldest specialized protection conference which has the goal to help protection engineers become familiar with new protection concepts and the implementation of familiar principles in new technology, advances in equipment and discuss with their peers problems that have oc... More

Book Review

Cyber and Electromagnetic Threats in Modern Relay Protection

1st Edition We live in a dramatically changing world characterized by two major trends - the world around us is becoming connected through different forms of communications, while the political situation in many parts of the world is becoming more unstable. These two trends are the driving forces behind the book by Vladimir I. Gurevich. He grew up in the former Soviet Union at the time... More


Living Star Wars

by Bjorn Cialla , OMICRON electronics, Germany How I got addicted to Star Wars If you meet me during summertime, there is a high probability that you will see me wearing a Star Wars shirt. If this is the first time you have met me, you may not be suspicious, but if you see me more often, you will realize that this is no coincidence. I have many them. Well, if you would have to describe me w... More

Final Thoughts
IT DEPENDS! When discussing the communications network architecture for IEC 61850 based PAC systems one of the most commonly asked questions is “What should the communications architecture be?” And as usual the answer starts with “It depends!” It depends on many, many things. The IEC 61850 90-4 TR Network engineering guidelines for substations includes a detailed chec... More

Relion advanced protection & control.
BeijingSifang June 2016