CIGRE TB 664 Wide area Protection & Control Technologies

by Working Group B5.14

The brochure is available at: 

Several large disturbances in the first decade of this century in North America and Europe demonstrated to the electric power industry that Special Protection Schemes (SPS) that were already in place to shed large amounts of load and generation in an effort to stabilize the system were not very successful in achieving this goal. The principles implemented in such SPS are limited because of the complex contingencies leading to real large disturbances. The vision that SPS should operate more accurately and prevent the spread of blackouts by using real time calculations just after contingent events based on advanced system state observation resulted in the creation in 2008 of Working Group B5.14” Wide Area Protection and Control Technologies” to study the opportunities for the application of synchrophasors to Wide Area Protection and control of modern interconnected power systems. The idea was to cover the available technologies, their current applications in schemes around the world and their complete system requirements.
The technical brochure is more than 150 pages starting with the traditional Executive summary. The material is presented in four chapters.

The first chapter provides an introduction to the synchronized measurement technologies that are the fundamental enabler of WAMPAC (Wide Area Monitoring, Protection, and Control) and defines the major building blocks of any WAMPAC system – the Synchronized Measurement Units and the Phasor Data Concentrators (PDCs). The basic principles and architecture of Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) is presented, followed by discussions of time synchronization, the sources and the synchronization distribution infrastructure. The time synchronization requirements, filtering and interoperability are also analyzed. The options to communicate synchrophasor measurements using phase or sequence quantities with different publishing rates and using IEEE C37.118 or IEC 61850 are later presented.
The second chapter is focused on the benefits of synchrophasors to the protection and control of power systems. It starts with an introduction of the challenges that electric power utilities are facing today and the objectives that wide area protection and control schemes have to ensure the reliability and stability of the electric power system.

System Integrity Protection Schemes (SIPS) are later described from the point of view of different applications – for local transmission systems, subsystems and systemwide applications. Practical examples are presented to illustrate the principles of SIPS and the use of synchrophasors. They include:

  • Oscillatory Stability Monitoring
  • Wide-area Voltage Stability Monitoring, Instability Detection and Control
  • SMU/PMU Supported Applications for Inter-area Oscillations
  • WAMPAC for Frequency Stability
  • System (disturbance) recording and Analysis using PMUs
  • Main and Backup Protection
  • Protection and Control (WAMPAC) technologies

The benefits of WAMPAC applications can be grouped into the following four categories:

  • Data Analysis and Visualization - Significant benefits have already been achieved using the systems that are already deployed
  • System Availability Enhancement and Blackout Prevention to improve System Reliability, including real-time control and protection - The benefits of preventing a blackout are difficult to quantify due to the myriad of factors involved, such as damage to the economy, loss of confidence in the power system and the potential for serious accidents or even deaths
  • System Operation and Planning, including modelling and restoration - Enables a paradigm shift toward the real time tracking of grid dynamics and system measurements and away from estimation
  • Market Operations and Congestion Management - significant potential financial benefit by enabling the utilization of accurate and optimal margins for power transfer (instead of the worst-case scenario used under current practices)

Chapter 3 contains an analysis of the results from a global industry survey intended to compile the perception and experience within Wide Area Monitoring. The survey was divided into four parts:

  • Interest in WAMPAC technologies
  • Drivers for WAMPAC technologies
  • Challenges and barriers to the introduction of WAMPAC technologies
  • Existing experience with WAMPAC technologies

Forty-two responses from 23 countries from all continents were collected with the majority of the respondents being employed by transmission operating companies and generation companies, followed by Universities or research institutes, vendors or manufacturers and other organizations. The responses to the survey provided answers to the questions about:

  • Interest in WAMPAC technology
  • Planned introduction of such technology
  • Type of WAMPAC systems in operation
  • Main motivation and drivers for WAMPAC technology
  • WAMPAC technology applications of interest
  • Challenges to the introduction of WAMPAC technology
  • Existing installations based on WAMPAC technology

The fourth chapter of the brochure is dedicated to the challenges and requirements of WAMPAC. At the beginning it focuses on design considerations, such as the architecture of synchrophasors based systems, their requirements and deployment, data flow, cyber security and software system quality and data integrity.
The next sections in the chapter discuss the testing of components of WAMPAC systems and their maintenance.
The end of the chapter includes a brief description of synchrophasors related standards. 


Working Group B5.14
V. Terzija (UK), Convener, R. Adams (UK), Secretary
P. Owen (CH), H. Kang (UK), J. Fitch (UK), 
O. Piscitelli (AR), R. Reyes (AR), C. Zhang (AU),
F. Steinhauser (AT), T. Van Cutsem (BE),
R. Campos de Lima (BR), J. Ciufo (CA), Z. XU (CN), L. Wang (CN), J. Chen (CN), R. Matica (HR),
S. Skok (HR), M. Laasonen (FI), B. Andre (FR),
V. Hanneton (FR), T. Sezi (DE), C. Rehtanz (DE),
R. Doyle (IR), A. Vaccaro (IT), R. Barbieri (IT),
C. Komatsu (JP), T. K. Kim (KR), C. H. Kim (KR),
H. Moon(KR), P. Kamnes (NO), R. N. Pestana (PT), A. Grobovoy (RU), T. Babnik (SI), A. Perera (ZA), S. L. Barba (ES), D. Karlsson (SE), L.F. Santos (CH), M. Osborne (UK), O. Bagleybter (UK),
D. Novosel (US), M. Begovic (US), M. Kezunovic (US), H. Falk (US), J. Gillerman (US), S. Imai (JP),
K. Görner (DE), L. Vanfretti (SE), A. Guzman (US), P. Wall (UK), A. Apostolov (US), S. R. C. Andrade (BR)

Power. Flexible. Easergy.
Let?s start with organization in protection testing