March 2018 Issue
I am sure that many people will read this and say "Why do we need to change? Everything is working fine. CTs and VTs are proven technology. We have been using them for so long, so we can continue using them in the future as well." Is that true? Is everything working fine? Not really. We know about the many challenges that we have to deal with when we use conventional instrument transformer... More


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Industry News

CIGRE B5 Award Outstanding Service Award

The Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) of CIGRE SC B5 has accepted the nomination of Dr. Alexander Apostolov from the United States of America to receive the Outstanding Service Award from SC B5 in recognition of his contribution, commitment and dedication to CIGRE Study Committee B5 - Protection and Automation. The award ceremony was held during the dinner of SC B5, on September 14, 2017, du... More

Comprehensive busbar testing with OMICRON's RelaySimTest v2.1

Almost 30% of misoperations in protection systems are caused by incorrect settings, logic and design errors. At this point system-based protection testing comes into play for validating the accuracy of the busbar protection within the whole protection system. With the latest 2.1 version of RelaySimTest the capabilities for comprehensive busbar testing have been completed. For exam... More

Copa-Data - Quick location of statuses and errors

Quick location of statuses and errors COPA-DATA’s energy automation software zenon supports a new option for combining data from geoinformation systems (GIS) and zenon visualization. With the GIS editor and GIS control, users can display electricity grids in the zenon visualization in geographical mapping material. Current statuses, such as alarms, are shown on the map directly. Anoth... More

DNV GL issues FIRST PTP verification report to GE Energy

GE Energy Connections’ Grid Solutions business is the first company in the world to receive a Precision Time Protocol (PTP) functional and performance verification report, issued by DNV GL. GE receives the report for their DS AGILE system (supported by the upcoming switch H49 and the Bay Control Unit C264). A PTP verified device gives network operators better trust in their power system o... More

GE's Reason DR6C Delivers powerful digital fault recording

GE’s Reason DR60 is a single, powerful recording device for disturbance and post fault analysis. The Reason DR60 is flexible and scalable, capable of supporting up to 32 analog inputs, up to 96 binary inputs and up to 48 binary outputs. Such channel density in one compact device reduces the panel space requirements and relay room footprint. For complex schemes, multiple devices can be ne... More

IEC 61850 "plug fest" and Training

UCA International and Entergy Corporation sponsored the first North America IEC 61850 Interoperability Testing “plug fest” and training in New Orleans October 12-18, 2017. This was the fourth IOP since 2011 and was the most ambitious. Entergy, the local utility company has been evaluating the IEC 61850 standard and has piloted a multivendor system in a substation in New Orleans. Enter... More

Integrating IEC 62351-6 and IEC 62351-9 Security in SAS

SoC-e has released a comprehensive solution to integrate SAS specific cyber security features within IEDs, merging units and in other specific equipment. This solution is composed by a hardware IP for FPGAs that implements IEC 62351-6 mechanisms to secure strict real-time traffic and by a software platform that implements IEC 62351-9 Key Management. The IP ensures wire-speed operation t... More

New broad range mode earth fault protection from Arcteq

The increased medium voltage cabling, distributed power generation and compensated networks (Petersen coil), has led to new challenges in earth-fault protection of distribution feeders. Relying on conventional protection methods may lead to either nuisance trips of healthy feeders or undetected faults in faulty feeders. To meet the new network requirements Arcteq has developed a new broad rang... More

RTDS Technologies - Record-breaking power system simulator at NARI/SGEPRI

Record-breaking power system simulator at NARI/SGEPRI RTDS Technologies has been selected as the provider of a record-breaking expansion project to the real time power system simulation laboratory at NARI Group Corporation / State Grid Electric Power Research Institute in China. The project will give NARI/SGEPRI the world’s largest and most capable real time power system simulator, capab... More

Tekron - Multiport Time Server

The NTS 03-G Plus is a fully customizable satellite reference clock which references GPS & GLONASS networks. It meets the demanding precision and reliability requirements of the electric power industry. Tekron clocks are designed with GNSS spoofing mitigation in mind. The NTS 03-G+ avoids spoofing attacks by detecting them and reverting to its stable atomic oscillator for holdover until the at... More

Technology News

Global Xpress Network - high-speed broadband connectivity

Global Xpress (GX) has been delivering seamless, high-speed broadband connectivity all around the world since December 2015. The GX constellation is now made up of four Ka-band, high-speed mobile broadband communications satellites, following the launch of Inmarsat-5 F4. Each I-5 satellite is expected to have a commercial life of 15 years. The I-5 satellites operate with a combination of f... More

Cover Story

Optical Instrument Transformers

Measuring voltages and currents using light!  To some of us, with traditional electrical measurement technology background, it sounds like magic.  It definitely sounded intriguing to me as an undergraduate electrical engineering student about 30 years ago.  I had an implicit trust that there is science behind it, not just magic.  Once I read a bit more and learned about ... More

IEC 61850 Update

IEC 61850 the latest trends

While I am writing this, WG10 just finished its winter meeting in Sochi, Russia. During this meeting, we finished the assessment of the feedback from the Interoperability Tests (IOP) that were held in October 2017 in New Orleans. So all identified issues are now either addressed or allocated to an activity that will address them. These days, the part IEC 61850-6 will be published as Ed 2.1 ... More

Lessons Learned

Digital Medium Voltage Switchgear

The electric power industry has been developing and implementing the concept of Smart Grids for some time based on the advances in computer and communications technologies in order to meet the requirements for improved reliability, security and efficiency of the electric power system. However, meeting these goals is not possible by just using microprocessor based multifunctional Intelligent... More

PSRC Update


The January 2018 IEEE PES PSRC Committee meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, USA as part of the 2018 IEEE PES Joint Technical Committee Meeting. The purpose is to provide a forum where PES technical committees can meet for up to 5 days to focus on technical matters and standards - the primary work of committees, subcommittees, workin... More

System-based Testing

NCIT - the Technology for Gas Insulated Switchgear

In the last years’ process bus technology has moved away from laboratory grade equipment to real products. This was driven by the technological progress making high performance components like high speed CPUs available to integrated devices for harsh environments like merging units and protection devices. The introduction of process bus in relay protection scheme   enables rea... More

Legal Issue

Independent Contractor - some technicalities...

In our last issue, we began a discussion on the differences between being an independent contractor, versus a full or part time employee.  This is a topic that is of crucial importance to both the employer, and individual providing them with services.  As previously discussed, there are many benefits for an employer to claim a service provider as an independent contractor, as it... More

Hybrid Transmission Lines

Using Digital Instrument Transformers to Reduce Substation Design Costs

The value in the intelligent digital substation is the ability to design and build substations faster and more efficiently, use fewer materials for the physical infrastructure of the substation, operate and maintain the substation (and substation equipment) at lower effort and cost, and unlock the value of data to improve the performance of the substation, substation equipment, and the power ... More

The Guru

Interview with PACWorld Guru Julio Eisman from Spain

PAC World:  When and where were you born? J.E.: My parents lived in Madrid, but I was born on November 18, 1950 in my uncle's house in Quintanar de la Orden (Toledo) where he worked as an obstetrician. PAC World:  Where did you go to school? J.E.: My father was a teacher in a public school in Madrid and there I began to learn to read and write and so on. When I was seven years ... More


"Testing Suitcase" - The Development

Electrical engineers with discernment recognized quite early that detailed testing is essential for reliable operation and during commissioning. Testing of substation equipment during operation avoids damages on the assets. To move measurement devices and test equipment, boxes made of wood have been developed quite early.  Figure 1 shows an isolation testing device accordi... More

I Think

The Power of being Positive

I recently read an article about a study that claims that we pay ten times more attention to negative news than to positive. The author, Stuart Soroka suggests that humans may be neurologically, or physiologically predisposed towards focusing on negative information because the potential costs of negative information far outweighs the potential benefits of positive information. Yet at th... More

Industry Reports

IEEE PSRC Committee

Practical Aspects of Rogowski Coil Applications to Relaying The IEEE PES Power System Relaying Committee has recognized the impact of non-conventional instrument transformers on protection and control systems and has established working groups to analyze the issues and guide our community regarding their applications to relaying. This work has resulted in the publication of IEEE C37.235... More

Conference Reports

2017 IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Asia

ISGT Asia 2017 was held 4-7 December 2017, in Auckland, New Zealand. The 7th IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT Asia 2017) conference was held 4–7 December, 2017 at the Science Conference Center, University of Auckland, New Zealand. This is the annual premier Smart Grid development meeting in Australasia region, sponsored by IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES). The ... More

2nd Annual Canada Protection Symposium

The event took place at The Westin Harbour Castle hotel in Toronto, Canada, 5-6 December, 2017. The conference was preceded by a Welcome Reception and a technical tour sponsored by G&W Canada at their 220,000 square foot facility in Brampton, Ontario. The symposium was organized with no parallel sessions, which allows the participants to be present at all paper presentations. Bing... More

DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition 2018, San Antonio, TX, USA

DistribuTECH 2018 was held January 23-25 2018 in San Antonio, TX, USA. The motto of the conference and the exhibition this year was "Transforming power." The DistribuTECH 2018 Conference and Exhibition was held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, USA. This was the 28th edition of DistribuTECH which is the largest event in the world that focuses on a wide ... More

IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies, 2018

The theme of this year's event was "Grid Transformation" The 9th Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technology (ISGT 2018), sponsored by the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES), was held on 19-22 February, 2018 at the Washington Hilton, in Washington, DC, USA. ISGT 2018 featured tutorials, plenary and panel sessions, technical papers and poster session with presentations by experts repres... More

Southern African Power System Protection & Automation Conference

The event was held 8 – 10 November 2017 at St Georges Hotel, Tshwane, Johannesburg, South Africa. The inaugural 2017 Southern African Power System Protection and Automation Conference - an expansion of the successful biennial Southern African Power System Protection Conference has the following objectives: Provide a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas within the power sy... More

Book Review

Measurement, Instrumentation, and Sensors Handbook

Electromagnetic, Optical, Radiation, Chemical, and Biomedical Measurement Second  Edition Edited by:  John G. Webster and Halit Eren In the transition to the Smart Grid one of the trends is the digitalization of all its components - something that requires proper interfaces with the process, whatever it is. This is why it is so important for all specialist in the field of... More


My Life after the Art Academy

by Moises Diez, General Electric, Spain My drawing and painting classes have given me much more than I expected, and especially learning to enjoy art and discover the beauty that surrounds us. The beginning: Call her Soraya, she was my first art teacher. I've never been good at drawing, nor in many other things, but what I really missed was drawing. Some years ago, a drawing and painting ... More

Final Thoughts
It is amazing how, when for some reason, we don’t want to do something, we always find some excuse. This fully applies to the use of non-conventional instrument transformers. When I ask people why they are not switching to optical CTs, I hear many excuses, such as: It is a new technology that is not mature enough It is technology that can be used only in new installations It i... More

Relion advanced protection & control.
Let?s start with organization in protection testing