March 2016 Issue
The specification is the document that describes the user’s expectations. The quality of the specification has a very important role in ensuring that the system meets the expectations when put in service. Any good specification shall be written by answering the three fundamental questions: What are we doing? Why are we doing it? How are we going to do ... More


Don't hesitate. Share your thoughts and experiences. More


Industry News


Re-usable Arc quenching device Arcteq has released its AQ 1000 arc quenching system that extinguishes arcing faults in systems of up to 100 kA and 690 V within 3 ms of arc initiation. The AQ 1000 Arc Quenching System is developed to limit the total arcing time to 3 ms and to minimize or even eliminate the arcing fault thermal and pressure damaging effects. The AQ 1000 is utilized in conju... More


Receives IEC 61850 Edition 2 certification The automation software zenon from COPA-DATA has been certified in accordance with the international energy systems standard IEC 61850 Edition 2. zenon thus proves its conformity with the most recent additions to the standard.            It is usually the server providing data that is certified to the... More

Electrocon International Announces Support for PRC-027 in CAPE 14

Electrocon has announced support for PRC-027 is now available within its latest CAPE 14 software version. To support PRC-027, Electrocon developed new features for creating and comparing entire-system fault levels along with methods for exporting settings. CAPE 14 addresses many of the top issues facing protection engineers today, including the need to conduct numerous studies to meet NERC... More

GE Grid Solutions

a new joint venture On November 4th, 2015, GE's Digital Energy and the Alstom Grid have come together forming GE Grid Solutions.  This new joint venture equips 90% of power utilities worldwide to bring power from the point of generation to end power consumers.  With over 200 years combined experience in providing advanced energy solutions, based on products and services that e... More


Dr. Damir Novosel, the new President of the IEEE Power and Energy Society, participated at the IEEE PES Power System Relaying Committee meeting on January 13, 2016 in Memphis, USA. He addressed the Main Committee meeting and described his goals in his role as IEEE PES president. They include focus on global membership involvement in growth, and retention by increasing and communicating bene... More

IEEE PES Resource Center

with new e-commerce capabilities The IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) has re-launched its online PES Resource Center with new e-commerce capabilities that will allow non-members to access individually priced industry tutorials, videos, presentations, and technical reports, for a nominal fee. It puts all PES media under one information-packed link. Members and non-members will now have acc... More

OMICRON electronics

IEDScout facilitates IED testing and simulation Version 4.10 of IEDScout, OMICRON’s versatile software tool for working with IEC 61850 devices, will now simulate entire Ed. 2 and Ed. 1 IEDs, and offer many new features. Due to its fully-featured IEC 61850 IED simulator, users will only need an SCL file to simulate all IEC 61850 communication aspects of an IED. The configuration of th... More

RTDSĀ® Simulator

Expanded Sampled Value Capabilities RTDS Technologies is pleased to announce new GTFPGA-based hardware for the transmission of IEC 61850 Sampled Value (SV) compliant data streams. The new hardware, called GTFPGA-SV, significantly increases the number of SV data streams that can be output from the RTDS Simulator. Each hardware unit features 16 Ethernet ports. In 9-2LE mode, each of the 16 por... More


Electrical Protection Made Simple Woodward released the HighPROTEC-2, the next generation protection relays for medium voltage feeders, generators, transformers, and motors. These easy to use products have increased flexibility and can be field configured for specific application requirements reducing effort and costs. They accept 0-800 VAC, 1A/5A, and a wide range of supply power inpu... More

Technology News

BlackEnergy Malware Strikes Again?

Cyber Security Alert On December 23rd, 2015, around half of the homes in the Ivano-Frankivsk region in Ukraine (population around 1.4 million) were left without electricity for a few hours. One utility - Kyivoblenergo the Ukrainian electricity distribution company supplying the consumers in region of Kyiv (or Kiev), the capital of Ukraine - provided public updates to customers, indicati... More

GPS Error - significant timing anomaly

The electric power industry is increasingly using technology which is dependent on GPS based time synchronization. Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) and IEC 61850 Merging Units (Mus) require time synchronization accuracy of 1 microsecond. That is why reports about errors in the timing signal reported at the end of January 2016 need to be considered from the point of view of the impact of thes... More

XMPP - Jabber - an open technology for instant messaging and presence

An article in the September 2015 issue of the PAC World magazine described the development of an IEC TC57 standardization process with the IEC 61850-8-2 part defining a new SCSM of the IEC 61850 using the XMPP communication technology. The article by Henry Dawidczak and Thierry Dufaure also introduced the basics of the technology and the mapping to IEC 61850. Considering that this technolog... More

Cover Story

Distance Element Response to Distorted Waveforms

Mho Distance Elements: Distance relays measure the distance to a fault on the basis of the fault loop impedance derived from current and voltage at the relay location. The measurement is done by comparing the phase relationship between an operating quantity and a polarizing quantity. The operating quantity, typically known as the line-drop compensated voltage, consists of the ... More

IEC 61850 Update

Where are we today with IEC 61850?

While I am writing this column, I am flying from Orlando, where we had DistribuTECH 2016 to the Californian Desert, where we will have, next week, the WG10 meeting. The WG17 winter working group meeting which is by tradition in the US took place a week ago in Houston. As always for the first PAC world magazine of the year, I try to summarize the status of the standardization activities relat... More

Lessons Learned

The new IEC 60255-121 standard

The standard defines a distance protection relay using an example block diagram as shown in Figure1. For a numerical protection relay this block diagram shows several algorithms such as signal processing, fault detection,  faulty phase or phases (phase selection elements), the fault direction (directional elements), the  impedance calculation (fault distance measurement), and distan... More


Stray Flux and its Influence on Protection Relays

The bar-primary (i.e. ring-core; window type) current transformers are typically designed assuming that the flux in the CT magnetic core is homogeneous and only caused by the current flowing in the CT primary conductor. Thus, this means that: The primary CT conductor is ideally centered in the middle of the CT toroidal magnetic core The primary CT conductor is straight and infinitely lo... More


Impact on GICs

In the case of power transformers, GICs can potentially cause thermal damage as a result of elevated excitation currents and stray flux closing outside of the transformer magnetic core. Further, the increased excitation current drawn by the transformers is harmonic-rich, which can cause problems for adjacent generators. In this case, the concern is the extra rotor heating caused by certain ha... More

Legal Issue

Expert Witnesses

Anyone who has ever watched a court drama or glimpsed at one of the many "trials of the century" so closely covered on television, has heard of the term expert witness.  But what is an expert witness, and further, how is one differentiated from a lay witness?   According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, an expert is one who by virtue of education, training, skill or experie... More


Influence of CT Saturation on the Protection System

Due to internal or external events, the sinusoidal primary current is sometimes overlain by a DC component (e.g. fault occurrence, switching event, and lightning impact) that temporarily drives the iron core into saturation or causes a residual flux and endangers a proper signal transformation to the secondary side. In addition to the mentioned internal events, testing and maintenance usin... More

The Guru

Interview with PACW guru Stanimir Vichev

Interview with PACW guru Stanimir Vichev PAC World:  When and where were you born? S.V.: I was born on the 12th of May 1938 in the picturesque historical city of Karlovo located in a valley along the river Stryama at the southern foot of the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. PAC World:  What interests did you have while in school? S.V.:  It may sound strange to many peop... More


Protection History

In the last issue the history of interfaces for protection and control was covered. It finished with the the IEC 60870-5-103 standard, which was serial communication with 9600 or 19200 Baud. This article covers the introduction of Ethernet into the substation, resulting in the famous IEC 61850 series. We are aware that this is a huge task to describe this development. A lot of the people invo... More

I Think

Are Big Data and Analytics Ethically Defendable?

It is an ethical question whether we should implement everything we can without considering the ethical and societal consequences of such implementations. For more than 8 years now I have been writing the “I Think” column for the PAC World Magazine. In this time I have been lucky to witness a major change in our industry. With the introduction of the Smart Grid concepts the indus... More

Industry Reports

Reliability of Instrument Transformers

by Working Group A3.06 Final Report of the 2004 – 2007 International Enquiry on Reliability of High Voltage Equipment Part 4 - Instrument Transformers The mission of Study Committee A3 is to facilitate and promote the progress of engineering and the international exchange of information and knowledge in the field of high voltage equipment, and to add value to this information and k... More

Conference Reports

CEATI - 3rd Annual Protection and Control Conference

CEATI was held November 18-19, 2015 in New Orleans, USA. The 3rd Annual Protection & Control Conference 18-19 November 2015 in New Orleans, USA. The Hyatt New Orleans hotel was the conference venue. The goal of the conference is “to bring together industry professionals to identify, discuss and develop solutions to common issues by sharing experiences and creating a networking opp... More

DistribuTech Conference and Exhibition, Orlando, USA

This 26th annual event is one of the largest conferences in the world that focuses on a wide range of issues related to transmission and distribution systems and their transition into the Smart Grid.  The two hours opening session included presentations from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. The variety of formats of presentations and discussions allowed the participants to select the events t... More

MATPOST 2015 - The 5th European Conference on HV & MV Substation Equipment

MATPOST was held 24-25 November 2015 at the convention center Espace de la Tête d'Or in Lyon, France.   The goal of the conference is to help power utilities, grid operators and equipment manufacturers contribute towards the improvement of high and medium voltage equipment used in substations, while at the same time addressing the new challenges that our industry is facing: ... More

Protection Automation and Control World Africa Conference

PACWAC was held 12-13 November 2015 at the Gallagher Convention Center, Johannesburg, South Africa. After the success of the first PAC World Africa conference in Cape Town, South Africa in August 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa became the home of the second PAC World Africa conference. The two day conference program included 31 papers presented in four single sessions and covering a wide ... More

Technical Forum of China Southern Power Grid (CSG), Guangzhou, China

The 12th CSG Forum was held November 30th to December 2nd 2015 in Guangzhou, China. The theme of this year forum is The Development of Future Power Grid. The Technical Forum of China Southern Power Grid (CSG) has been held annually since 2004.The forum participants are about 300-400 people every year, which are the science and technology management personnel and technical personnel from ... More

Book Review

Distribution System Analysis and Automation

Power and Energy Series 68 Distribution systems have been gradually changing starting at the end of the last century, especially from the point of view of their protection, automation and control. While in the past they were typically radial systems protected with time coordinated non-directional inverse time overcurrent protection relays resulting in relatively long fault clearing times, ... More


My Hobby, Model Railroads

by William (Will) Knapek, OMICRON electronics, USA Electrical engineer by day, Train Engineer by night. Yes, I lead a double life... I have a passion for model trains.  Trains have fascinated me since my childhood.  My brother had a train layout in our basement when we were growing up.  He went off to college and it became mine.  My uncle also had a layout in his bas... More

Final Thoughts
This is not the first time that we talk about doing things the same way as we always did. In many cases in our lives we think that what happens to other people will not happen to us. We live in a different world. We are special and what may happen to someone else will never happen to us.  We think that because we assume that if something has worked fine until now, it will always be... More

Power. Flexible. Easergy.
Protecting your electrical assets? today and tomorrow