September 2014 Issue
We are living in the age of the Smart Grid (or at least we are trying to get there.) And as we already know - some of its main characteristics are improved reliability, quality and efficiency. To achieve all that we need to start with the engineering. But we cannot do it as we always did. Because we live in a different world. A world in which we don't have individual devices working in isolatio... More


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


Industry News

Industry Awards

During the IEEE PES General Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, USA there were two awards ceremonies at which members of the PAC community received significant industry awards. At the CIGRE US National Committee meeting it was announced that Mladen Kezunovic has been awarded with the new CIGRE Fellow distinction. Alexander Apostolov received the CIGRE Distinguished Member, as well as the Attwo... More

New version of ADMO

OMICRON enhances its maintenance management solution ADMO, OMICRON´s easy-to-use database software for the maintenance management of protection systems is ready for the next round. Due to a number of innovations in version 2.30, testing and maintenance activities can be scheduled more efficiently. With this version the data is also available offline (Client-Server-Edition). Users can cre... More

NR Electric

Smart Ethernet Switch for Digital Substation NR Electric has released the industrial-level PCS-9882 Ethernet Switch for the applications in digital substation. Function modules are designed based on the unique time tag to prevent mal-operations caused by the loss of external GPS signals. By using the static multicast management, data network traffic can be optimized. VLAN technology is introduced... More

OMICRON Lab?s TICRO 100 bridges the gap

Each time new technologies are rolled out, one of the core road blocks is the reuse of existing equipment. This is also valid for the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) according to IEEE 1588. For the first time ever it is possible to time synchronize IEDs via Ethernet with an accuracy better than a microsecond. However, millions of installed IEDs around the world are not supporting PTP. OMICRON Lab&... More


The Latest Addition to Tekron’s PTP range Recognizing that there are many devices in a substation that do not support PTP, Tekron has recently launched the PTP TRANSLATOR, a device that converts PTP into legacy time codes such as IRIG-B. The PTP TRANSLATOR will enable engineers to incrementally move to PTP without having the expense of replacing all equipment in a substation. Each PTP ... More


Protect Bushings with Continuous, Real-time Measurement QUALITROL® LLC announced the release of the QCM-T-BM system, an on-line Tan Delta (Power Factor) and Capacitance monitoring system for substation bushings. The QCM-T-BM measures the phase difference induced by capacitive layers of bushings and calculates rate of change to predict defects in bushing insulation. It can predict defects r... More


New Tool for SCL File Checking Triangle MicroWorks has added a new feature to their 61850 Test Suite, called Consistency and Completeness Check (C&C Check), which checks SCL Files for both syntax and specific aspects of IEC 61850. Among the many checks performed, C&C Check verifies an SCL File against the Object Models defined in IEC 61850 Edition 1 and Edition 2, as well as IEC 61400-25 (Wind T... More

Technology News

FPGA - one of the building blocks in the IEDs hardware

The protection and control industry is continuously trying to improve the multifunctional IEDs by reducing their operating time and at the same time allowing their upgrade when necessary in a less intrusive way. FPGAs are becoming one of the building blocks in the hardware of the IEDs due to some of the benefits they offer. They were invented in 1985 by Ross Freeman, the cofounder of Xilinx. The... More

Mini Satellites

The world’s largest constellation of Earth-imaging satellites The maintenance of the electric power system is not only related to the primary and secondary equipment in substations. A huge amount of maintenance has to do with the transmission and distribution lines, especially in areas with many trees that can grow and cause temporary short circuit faults that in some cases may lead to h... More

Cover Story

Maintenance Testing of PAC Systems

The testing of PAC systems plays a very important role toward ensuring the security of the electric power system during abnormal system conditions. In the past, protection relays were tested based on pre-defined schedules determined by manufacturers' recommendations and the maintenance philosophy of the users. This is known in our industry as scheduled maintenance. This kind of maintenance has b... More

IEC 61850 Update

IEC 61850 Trends

Over the last few weeks, I was busy with various projects related to IEC 61850 in different places around the world, which illustrates the still growing interest for IEC 61850 all over the world. IEC 61850 has definitely become a fact in this industry and I believe, everybody dealing with protection and automation in the power utility industry knows today that IEC 61850 exists. They may not know e... More

Lessons Learned

Risk-based Maintenance and Replacement Strategy for Protection Relays

Enexis, one of the largest distribution network operators in The Netherlands uses its Risk-Based Asset Management (RBAM) approach to find an optimal long-term maintenance and replacement strategy for its protection relays. In this process the optimum has been found between the costs for maintenance or replacement on one side, and the risk on false or a-selective tripping on the other side. The re... More


Maintenance Testing Program Choices ? TBM, CBM, and PBM

The NERC Standard Drafting Team, however, went beyond what FERC ordered and also included time extensions for condition based maintenance (CBM) and performance based maintenance (PBM) programs. In October of 2013, FERC declared PRC-005-2 mandatory and enforceable. The standard includes a companion implementation plan that specifies how protection asset owners are to gradually bring their fleets... More

Smart Grid

Smart Grid Architecture ? Learning from the Human Brain

The question we have to ask ourselves is which of the newly possible architectures are reasonable and what can be gained through them in terms of availability and smartness? One approach to this is an analysis of different functional architectures for different purposes embedded in distinct system HW architectures, which determine availability and performance. Unfortunately the number of possible ... More

Legal Issue

Are Smart Grid Privacy Concerns Justified?

The smart meter technology, the first remote communication device intended for the application of smart grid has moved into the marketplace and the smart meters are about to change how private data on personal or commercial consumption of electricity is collected by the providers of energy services. With the unprecedented advancement of technology in the last decade, the public at large is more ... More

Digital World

Why do we still Test in the Digital World?

NERC (National Electric Reliability Corporation), by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) authority has defined the rulebook of grid operation through the various reliability standards that they maintain. There are fourteen standards categories containing 212 standards, (as of this writing) where over 15% are focused on Protection and Control (P&C) reliability. Another 15% cover Cyber Secur... More

The Guru

Interview with PACWorld guru Rafael Guerrero

PAC World: When and where were you born? R.G: I was born on January 20, 1938 in Apan, Hidalgo. Mexico. PAC World: Where did you go to school? R.G.: Apan, Apizaco Tlaxcala. Universidad de Puebla and, Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City. PAC World: Do you remember anything from your childhood that you think contributed to you becoming an engineer? R.G.: No, I don’t think so. ... More


Protection History

This article is continuation from the March 2014 issue and covers the development of the first digital relays by several additional manufacturers based on information provided by the them. AEG, Basler, BBC/ABB, EAW, ELIN, GEC/ALSTOM have been covered in the last issue. Further developments of the different vendors will be covered in the next issues. Any comments and additional remarks are most wel... More

I Think

Think before you Act...

This is why most systems come with specific test and maintenance tools and require staff to be trained specifically for maintenance. Early on engineers have understood this principle and this is why we have designed systems that can be maintained. Anyone that has dealt with a substation automation or protection system has seen the modular designs, the special terminals for interruption or injectio... More

Industry Reports

Maintenance Strategies for Digital Substation Automation Systems

The impact of Digital SAS on maintenance strategies needs to be clarified, and there is also an impact of maintenance constraints on the design of Digital SAS. The task of WG B5.06 is the description of these aspects. The scope of work was thus defined as: The analysis and consolidation of strategies for conserving the capability of hardware and software repair, correction and update during the li... More

Conference Reports

Georgia Tech Fault & Disturbance Analysis Conference

The 17th Annual Georgia Tech Fault and Disturbance Analysis Conference was jointly organized by The Transient Recorder Users Council and Georgia Tech. The conference technical committee had accepted for presentation at the conference eighteen papers that were delivered in four single sessions, which allows the participants to see and discuss each of the accepted papers. The papers presented a... More

Georgia Tech Protective Relaying Conference, Atlanta, USA

The 68th Georgia Tech Protective Relaying Conference was held 30 April - 2 May, 2014 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, Atlanta, USA. The conference program included forty seven papers selected by the technical committee and presented mostly in parallel sessions. The focus of the conference was the application of advanced protection and control technology in transmission and distri... More

IEEE Mexico 2014, Acapulco, Mexico

The IEEE Mexico 2014 Conference was held 20 - 26 July, 2014 in Acapulco, Mexico. At the 92nd Anniversary of the Mexican Section of the IEEE it organized the 27th Power and Industrial Applications and Industrial Exhibition Summer Meeting - RVP-AI/2014. The meeting was held at the Acapulco Convention Center and was attended by electric power system professionals from Mexico, North America and ma... More

IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting, National Harbor, MD, USA

The technical program theme this year was “Charting the Course to a New Energy Future" The event was held 27 - 31 July, 2014 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center located in National Harbor, Maryland, USA. Thousands of electric power systems professionals from all over the world gathered to present their latest developments and discussthe challenges that our industry faces... More

PAC World 2014, Zagreb, Croatia

The conference opening Tuesday morning was followed by the keynote presentation. Prof. Igor Kuzle talked about smart grid development in Croatia. Due to the large number of submitted abstracts and the fact that there are no parallel sessions, the conference program included three full days of paper sessions. Sixty four papers from twenty five countries were presented in eleven sessions. The end o... More

Protection Automation and Control World Conference 2014

After the Fourth PAC World conference in 2013 was held for the third time in Dublin, Ireland, for the second time the conference was held in Central Europe with the host country being the newest member of the European Union. The main goal of the conference is to bring together professionals in the fields of protection, automation, control, communications, DERs and other power system domains in ... More

Book Review

Electrical Power Equipment Maintenance and Testing

Second Edition Maintenance of protection, automation and control systems is a little different from the maintenance of many other systems because of the fact that they include not only the protection and control devices, but also instrument transformers, breakers, etc. That is why the maintenance philosophy and process needs to take into account all these aspects. The book by Paul Gill is so... More


Sports and Power

Sports have actually hooked me up at an early age. In elementary school I was several times school champion in the 60 and 400 meters running, as well as in long jumping. I was always among the winners of medals. It has also helped me that I performed well in a “pioneers” football team of FC PIVOVAR Lashko. Dragan Dzajić (well known Yugoslavian football player) and Eusebio were ... More

Final Thoughts
Miracles do happen. In the movies. In our PAC world - unfortunately - ypu have to design them. We started this issue of the magazine with 3Q. It is appropriate to finish in the same way, but focusing mostly on the answer of the last question - How are we going to do the maintenance? From everything in the different articles it is clear that modern multifunctional protection IEDs and the co... More

Let?s start with organization in protection testing