March 2011 Issue
Protection, automation and control of the electric power system have been rapidly changing for more than forty years. George Rockefeller's (the Guru in this issue of the magazine) ground breaking paper "Fault Protection with a Digital Computer" published in April 1969 started the revolution in our industry that resulted in the development of microprocessor based protection relays later in the... More


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Industry News

Bitronics M651

a member of the 50 Series SCADA meter family The M651 is the latest member of Bitronics 50 Series SCADA meter family.  It is a digital transducer (display-less) version of the M650 SCADA meter.  It offers a standard Ethernet port for web-based setup so no dedicated configuration software is needed.  Communication options for Modbus/DNP3 serial or TCP/IP as well as ... More

New Compact Protection Test Set CMC 353 - a versatile three-phase testing solution

OMICRON electronics' latest protection test set, the CMC 353, provides the perfect combination of portability and power with its compact design, light weight (28.4 lbs / 12.9 kg) and powerful sources (3 x 32 A / 430 VA; 3 x 300V).  The CMC 353 meets a wide variety of challenges in the field - from testing electromechanical relays to the latest IEC 61850 IEDs.  It is the ideal tes... More

New Network Protection & Automation Guide

Since 1966, the Network Protection and Automation Guide (formerly known as the Protective Relays Application Guide) has been Alstom Grid, and its forerunners’ definitive reference text-book for technicians and protection engineers.  For 2011, Alstom has capitalized on it’s pool of experts at Stafford, UK, and worldwide application teams, to launch a new, fresh, edition.... More

Relion® 615 Pilot Wire Protection

BB Relion® 615 series solution with pilot wire modems for line differential protection applications offers an ideal solution for retrofitting electromechanical relays with genuine IEC 61850 devices. With the genuine IEC 61850 IEDs, power system protection and control can now be retrofitted in chosen steps:  At bay level  At substation level ... More

S-PRO Protection Relay from ERLPhase Power Technologies

ERLPhase Power Technologies announced the S-PRO Sub-Harmonic Protection Relay that helps control harmonic oscillations, especially valuable in wind farm applications. The S-PRO 4000 relay provides real-time processing of voltage and current signals with sub-harmonic monitoring at 1 Hz intervals between 5 and 25 Hz (5 Hz, 6 Hz, 7 Hz… 23 Hz, 24 Hz and 25 Hz). It protects the grid ... More

Schneider Electric

New Protection and Automation Solutions Schneider Electric welcomes the MiCOM and PACiS ranges of IEDs, Protection Relays, Remote Terminal Units and Substation Automation Solutions. The full MiCOM portfolio is available in Schneider Electric including platforms Px20 and Px40.  All products and solutions will continue to be manufactured, supported and maintained by the combined experti... More

SEL-734 - Advanced Metering (copy 1)

System The SEL-734 exceeds ANSI and IEC Class 0.2 accuracy California ISO tested and passed the SEL-734 for revenue metering use in ISO-metered entity applications. This certification process verified metering accuracy, communications, and integration capability with the California ISO communications system. High-accuracy metering, Ethernet communications, and Itron® MV-90® comp... More

Smart Grid E-Books

Smart Grid means different things to different people and that is why it is important to understand how all pieces fit together. In order to help the different specific stakeholder groups, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has published and made available to the community at large a series of electronic books. "The Smart Grid: An Introduction' is a publication sponsored by DOE’s Of... More

Toshiba adds: Motor & Under/Overvoltage Protection to GRE series relays

Following the successful introduction of the GRE110 current based protection designed specifically for protection and control applications in MV networks, Toshiba has announced the launch of two new models within the low-cost, high-quality and compact GRE-Series of multi-function relays. GRE120:  This is a Motor protection device offering start protection, stalled motor protection... More

Technology News

ISIS New Video Camera

For the last several years cyber security has been a hot topic of the electric power industry due to concerns related to the vulnerability of communications based protection, automation and control applications. However, we should not forget that substations can be also the target of physical attacks, as well as exposed to different environmental conditions that may result in damages of prima... More

Pixel Qi - Lower Power Screens

The late decades of the last century were the time of expanding use of personal computers and laptops. The beginning of this century we can probably describe as the transition from desktop to mobile computing. Almost any job done in the substation these days requires the use of a computer, which is changing the requirements for some of their technical characteristics, especially the need ... More

SDxc New Memory Card Format

Memory cards had become a commonly used technology during the first decade of the 21st century. They have been changing rapidly and today are becoming competitors to what just a few years ago was available only in hard drives. Considering their compact size and large memory size, they will surely play a significant role in different smart grid related devices and applications. ... More

Cover Story

Protection and Control in the Smart Grid

What is the Smart Grid in the eyes of a Protection Engineer? It seems like it’s a pretty simple question.   Yet, I suspect you’ll get a different answer from each person you ask.  Many say it’s not a thing but a collection of capabilities.  Something that is defined by having certain “characteristics”.  The fact is that you can&rsqu... More

IEC 61850 Update

EC 61850 Challenges - realizing the benefits

What can we expect from these new devices? What does Edition 2 really mean for the end user? There is some new functionality defined in IEC 61850 Edition 2 - one of the most important ones being the features that support the testing process that I explained already in previous editions. Some of these features were already available in Edition 1, but Edition 2 is improving them and clarifying ... More

Lessons Learned

Ireland's Smart Grid

Electricity generation: Electricity generation in Europe accounts for 33% of CO2 production. Governments and utilities everywhere recognize  that addressing this issue means a major change in generation technology. The vast resources of coal on the planet,- particularly in the US and China, have created an imperative to solve the technology challenge of removing CO2 emissio... More


Home Automation with Distribution Management

The deployment of advanced metering systems with a two-way communication infrastructure is opening the possibility of truly using the customer load as a resource, even at the local distribution level.  This becomes increasingly important as customer facilities may include distributed generation (e.g. photovoltaic), storage, and electric vehicle charging loads. There are many differen... More

Energy Store

Energy Storage

Why do we need more and more energy? How are we going to cover such increasing demand? Why will storage become a major brick of the next energy mix? The world’s growing energy demand raises a basic fact: we need more and more power (See Figure 1). Let me start this article by playing a short game with you, PAC World’s reader. Please consider the following questions:  ... More

Legal Issue

Equal Protection Act

Not that long ago, the rights, duties and liabilities related to employment in the US were determined  and resolved by legal institutions controlled by contract, tort and agency law. The numerous rules and regulations however, proved impossible and therefore Employment Law was born. It was created to regulate all aspects of employment including such important issues as employees' health,... More


Dynamic Line Rating Protection

Rather than applying fixed summer and winter line ratings, load management based on a dynamically derived line rating can be adopted. Line monitoring approach The thermal rating, also referred to as ampacity, of an overhead line is the maximum current that a circuit can carry without exceeding it's sag temperature or the annealing onset temperature of the conductor, which ever is low... More

The Guru

Interview with George Rockefeller Jr.

PAC World:   Where were you born and grew up? GR:  I was born and grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This is where I also went to school. PAC World:  Did you have any special interests while in school? GR:  I liked mathematics. I think that it had a lot to do with the fact that I had a wonderful school math teacher.  PAC World:   Where did yo... More


Protection History: Frequency Protection

Operating a generator for a longer time in under-frequency conditions decreases the lifetime of the turbo-alternator. On the other hand generators should be connected to the grid as long as possible to avoid blackouts due to an unbalance of generation and consumption. If the frequency of the unit is decreasing during operation this indicates a breakdown in the grid in the area where th... More

I Think

A New Breed

Smart Grids keep dominating our discussions, publications and conferences. Not a single day passes without something new to be reported on Smart Grid. As I wrote in one of my previous columns, one could say that this is great as it stimulates the interest in our business. On the other hand however,  it is getting to the point where everything seems to need “smart, ” or smart ... More

Industry Reports

IEEE Standard C37.239-2010 (COMFEDE)

The August 2003 blackout in the North-East and the European disturbance in 2006 demonstrated that the analysis of different electric power system events is a very important and extremely complex process. It is required in order to determine the cause of the abnormal system condition, to speed-up the restoration of the affected parts of the system, and to evaluate the performance of different ... More

Minimum common IEC 61850 specification document

Published by the Spanish group of electricity companies ‘E3’ As IEC 61850 standard has a major flexibility vocation, a specific company must make many decisions that are not prescribed by the standard before reaching a practical implementation. While it is true that different vendors will reach different implementations, which will still be interoperable to the extent that they f... More

Conference Reports

2010 Southern African Power System Protection Conference

The biennial Southern African Power System Protection Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa was held from the 10th to 12th November 2010. Eskom, the South African electricity utility was once again the conference host utility. The conference venue was the Eskom Training Center which provides a unique environment with its wide open space and wild animals and birds on the ground... More

5th Conference on Power System Protection & Automation

The major objectives were to familiarize attendees with the recent developments and future trends in the field of electric power systems protection. The 5th International Conference on Power System Protection and Automation was held 6-9 December 2010 at the Ball Room of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Delhi, India. The conference was organized by the Central Board of Irrigation & Po... More

DistribuTECH, Conference & Exhibition 2011- Empowering the future

The DistribuTECH 2011 was held 1-3 February, 2011, at the San Diego Convention Center, California, USA. This is the largest conference in the United States that focuses on a wide range of issues related to the Smart Grid. The motto of the conference was "Empowering the Future".  DistribuTECH is owned by PennWell Corp., a worldwide media company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. This ... More

Book Review

Electric Power Distribution, Automation, Protection, and Control

The push for the development of a Smart Grid is spreading all over the world as a result of the changes in communications technology and rapidly expanding installed base of solar and especially wind power. Distribution systems play a very important role in the integration of these distributed energy resources with the grid. Considering the fact that the fairly conservative protection, auto... More


Crossing Borders When an industry tries to change the world for the better

by Matthias Herold, OMICRON electronics, Austria How it all started:  Rainer Aberer always had dreamed of leaving the world a better place then he found it. When his young company started to gain the first profits in the early 90ies the time had come to turn his dream into reality. The power of the company's economic wellbeing should be used for changing the world for the better by inv... More

Final Thoughts
Things are never that simple in real life and it is important to understand that there are so many pieces of the Smart Grid puzzle that need to fit perfectly together for it to work. The Smart Grid is something that many people that do not know our industry envision as a target that can be reached based on initiatives and goals established by regulators and achieved by the specialists in t... More

Let?s start with organization in protection testing