Spring 2008 Issue
The work of a protection specialist in many ways is similar to what a detective needs to do. It actually goes beyond that, because while Sherlock Holmes needs just his magnifying glass and pipe to solve a crime that has already occurred, we need a very different set of tools not only to solve a system event after it happens, but also to design and configure the protection, automation and control s... More


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Industry News

2007 Karapetoff Award

Outstanding Technical Achievement The 2007 Vladimir Karapetoff Award was given to Stanley H. Horowitz, Consultant and Arun G. Phadke of Virginia Tech on March 19, 2008 at Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA. The award is given for their technical contributions to the field of power system protection and control.This major HKN recognition for career accomplishment in the field ... More

Franklin Institute Award

Virginia Tech engineering professors James Thorp and Arun Phadke are recipients of the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering for their combined contributions of more than 60 years to the power industry.Specifically, they have collaborated on many advances that strengthen the electric utility industry’s ability to prevent power grid blackouts, or to make them less intense a... More

GE Digital Energy's breakthrough in networking

GE Digital Energy unveils a breakthrough in networking hardware that can reduce up to 70% of your total communications costs with the introduction of their new Multilin UR Switch Module. A fully managed, embedded Ethernet switch for their flagship Universal Relay (UR), this advanced, 6-port Ethernet Switch eliminates the need for external, rack-mounted switches.More importantly, it significantly r... More

IEC 61850 Tool - A new version of the IED Scout!

OMICRON electronics released a new version of the IED Scout – an IEC 61850 tool that can be used both in the laboratory or in the field for testing, troubleshooting, commissioning and IED development.IED Scout allows the user to perform different tasks, such as: extract the data model from an IED check the extracted IED data modelcreate an SCL filesubscribe and monitor GOOSE messagespoll da... More

New Configuration and Monitoring Tool

AREVA T&D Automation launched MiCOM S1 Studio – a new integrated IED configuration and monitoring tool that will make users’ life easier by providing an intuitive and versatile interface with built-in file management facilities and IEC 61850 support. The MiCOM S1 Studio interface was designed with simplicity and customization in mind. It has a panel-based interface where elements are r... More

Non-Operational Data Access

Accessing breaker wear, fault records and oscillography from relays is now easier through the use of a set of software tools for the Orion Automation Platform. NovaTech's Orion Software Suite includes tools to: Access relays remotely, through OrionMake Breaker Wear, History and Short Event Summaries available to SCADAAutomatically retrieve, parse and disseminate Full-Length Event Report to enterp... More

SIPROTEC Fast Bus Transfer scheme solution

Applications of Siemens SIPROTEC Relays have revolutionized the transfer scheme designs. Using only two basic feeder protection relays Siemens can realize for example a Fast Motor Bus Transfer Scheme per ANSI C50.41-2000. Motor Bus systems are critical loads which can not endure long separations from the power supply. In both industrial and utility power plant applications, the consequences of a... More

Terminal Block and Switch - All in One

SecuControl, Inc. is known for their testblock / testplug system ITS. Now, the company from Alexandria, VA offers a new terminal block with an integrated test access point called Secu Access.Secu Access (SAX) is built for relay testing, meter testing and CT current measurement. It can be mounted on DIN-rail or with screws, making it exceptionally versatile.Secu Access performs both functions of a ... More

Toshiba's State-of-the-Art Line Differential Relay - Now with IEC 61850

Toshiba continues the roll-out of its IEC 61850 product range, with its world-beating current differential protection GRL100 now supporting the global standard for substation communications. GRL100 follows the GRZ100 distance protection, GRT100 transformer protection and GBU100 bay controller, all of which have been certified IEC 61850 compliant by KEMA.Toshiba’s GRL100 is an advanced line d... More

Technology News

280 MW Sun Power Plant in Arizona, USA

The Spanish company Abengoa Solar, one of the leaders in developing and building large solar plants, has signed a contract with Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) – the largest energy utility in the state of Arizona (USA), to build a 280 MW solar power plant, scheduled to go into operation by 2011.The solar plant will be located about 100 km west of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, Arizona. It has bee... More

Japan Launches High-speed Communications Satellite

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the super high-speed Internet satellite "KIZUNA" (WINDS) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 14 (H-IIA F14) at 5:55 p.m. on February 23, 2008 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle flew smoothly and, at about 28 minutes and 3 seconds after liftoff, the separation of th... More

Mind Control of Computers

Emotiv Systems, the pioneer in brain computer interface technology, has revealed the Emotiv EPOCTM, a neuroheadset that allows players to control game play with their thoughts, expressions and emotions. The Emotiv EPOC is the first high-fidelity brain computer interface (BCI) device for the video gaming market and will be available to consumers via Emotiv's web site and through selected retailers ... More

Cover Story

Power System Analysis: How to Meet Today's Challenges to Protection Engineering

Downsizing is already a fact. New technologies must be provided to the remaining engineers.Our views are shaped by our direct experience in the field, which for some of us goes back almost as far as Dylan's lyrics! Electrocon started developing tools for computer-aided protection engineering in 1985, working with an advisory committee of working protection engineers from ten leading North American... More

IEC 61850 Update

IEC 61850 - The Life Cycle of a Standard

An international standard is the result of the efforts of many experts in the problem domain that it addresses. The IEC standardization process is briefly described below. It follows steps that ensure the coverage of different aspects and the points of view of participating countries around the world. In the last column I addressed a specific technical topic related to IEC 61850 - the modell... More

Lessons Learned

Substation "Horror Stories" - a Manufacturer's Perspective

False False Breaker Trip ReportingA Supervisory Control (early 1970's predecessor of SCADA) system at a major Electric Utility reported circuit breaker operations at several substations occurring at random, over the span of several weeks.Subsequent inspection of the breaker control equipment at those substations revealed that no breaker operations took place and a Supervisory Control equipment was... More

Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges and Opportunities utilities face by using modern protection and control systems

According to a survey carried out in eight utilities by the CIGRE Task Force 34.06 (2002), reliability indexes were between 92% and 97.5%. The three utilities with the best indexes, above 97%, had carried out an extensive refurbishment program of their protection system. Although this may seem obvious, it must be emphasizedthat refurbishment is the easiest way to achieve protection reliability imp... More

Fault Locator

Fault Locator

Single-ended fault locators are normally based on an impedance measurement. Only the fault reactance is used to determine the distance to the fault. The distance protection is based on the same principle. All protection engineers know about the limitations of this measurement and use only 80-90% of the line impedance for a zone 1 setting. Even more difficult for the fault locator is, that an accur... More

Protection - IEC 61850

Designing IEC 61850 systems for maintenance, retrofit and extension

Usage of namesNames are used at system engineering time to establish relations between the different parts of the system: Relations between the switch yard (primary system) and the IED signals (secondary system), and data flow between IEDs for communication engineering respective online communication association establishment. A name change at a data source therefore leads to reengineering of all ... More

Legal Issue

Possible Legal Concerns

Author: Iana Apostolova J.D As we will consistently reestablish in these editorials, there are many legal concerns which do, and will continue to, have an increasingly significant impact on the protection and control world. This issue however, focuses on the manner in which these legal matters are brought to the forefront, the most considerable of which, is the class action lawsuit. Whenever ... More

Sysrem Analysis

EMTP Applications for Power System Protection

Power system operations can cause unbalanced currents and voltages in the network that could impact the operation of protective relays, e.g., during a single-phase trip, unequal gap flashover of series capacitors, or when a three-phase transformer bank consists of different single-phase units. These operating conditions cannot be analyzed using conventional load-flow programs but can be easily stu... More

The Guru

The Guru

PAC World: Would you tell us something about the places where you were born and where you grew-up?MP: I was born at Varanasi, UP on 3rd April 1932 and completed High School (Commerce) from Sanatan Dharam High School in 1948, Intermediate (Science) from Banaras Hindu University 1950 and B.Sc., Electrical Engineering from Banaras Hindu University in 1954, in Varanasi.PAC World: Do you think there wa... More


Distance Protection: The Early Developments

Distance protection became the most important protection technology in the twentieth centuryThis article discusses the next phase in distance protection developmentFrom continuous to multi-zone characteristicsFirst publications and first relays for distance protection were covered in the last issue. The requirement of the utilities was a decrease of the tripping time to a value less than 2 s. To a... More

I Think

Do we really need Smart Grids?

Author: Marco C. Janssen, UTInnovation, NetherlandsIn the coming ten years a generation of engineers will retire and there will not be anyone to take our place! I am calling out for us to start a global campaign to market our profession... The buzz word of our time is "Smart Grids". It seems that suddenly everything has to become "Smart". When I look at this it makes me start to think... Does o... More

Industry Reports

CIGRE SC B5 - Protection and Automation

PrioritiesAutomation of substations, with integrated protection and control systems and the use of the new IEC 61850 Standard are major industry trends. The application of IEC 61850 will be extended to further areas and its impact will demand continued review and study to detect any general problems, so that they can be addressed before they become too widespread. CIGRE SC B5 provides a unique cha... More

Guide for Breaker Failure Protection Published

How do utilities handle backup protection? What are the advantages of using local backup over remote backup? How is breaker failure protection being implemented by utilities? What are the pitfalls in using the breaker auxiliary contact for breaker position? Where do you go to get these answers? Prior to 2005 no guide existed in applying breaker failure protection to answer any of these questions. ... More

Conference Reports

Clemson Power Systems Conference 2008

The 2008 Power Systems Conference was hosted by Clemson University at the Madren Center, Clemson, South Carolina from 11 March to 14 March 2008. The focus of the seventh annual conference was system issues associated with Advanced Metering, Protection and Control, Communication and Distributed Resources. The program included a number of tutorials by leading power industry companies. All tutorial... More

Developments in Power System Protection 2008

The 9th International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection was held from 17 - 20 March 2008 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. This is the largest specialized protection conference in Europe that is held at three or four years intervals at different locations.The conference venue was the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow. This is Scotland's largest city with a population of 600,000. It is th... More

DistribuTECH 2008 held in Tampa, Florida

The 18th DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition was held from January 22 to January 24, 2008 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. It is one of the key events in North America that gives the opportunity to many electric power system specialists to learn about the latest trends in technology and exchange ideas about the future of our industry.The areas covered by the event include autom... More

IEEE PES T&D Conference 2008

The IEEE PES T & D Conference and Exposition was held in Chicago, Illinois from 21 to 24 April 2008. It brings together power-delivery professionals with many different areas of specialization, including transmission and distribution planning, protection and control, substation engineering, distribution automation, communications, renewable energy, operations, and maintenance. The McCormick Plac... More

Texas A&M Protective Relay Conference, USA

The Texas A&M 61st Annual Conference for Protective Relay Engineers was held from 31 March to 3 April 2008 at College Station, Texas. The conference was hosted by Texas A&M University. As Prof. B. Don Russell, Chair of the conference said in his Welcome address "...the conference has provided the best available information on protective relay applications and technology. With the changes that ha... More

Western Power Delivery Automation Conference 2008

The tenth Western Power Delivery Automation Conference was held from 6 April to 10 April, 2008 at the recently renovated Davenport hotel in the center of Spokane, WA. The conference was organized by Washington State University and is an annual event which focuses on the fast-changing issues of automation and control of electric power systems and substations. This two-and-a-half day conference is... More

Book Review


I think a quote from the web site http://www.readkilowatt. com/joe_mchugh.html describes the author quite well as "... a professional storyteller, public radio producer, playwright, museum director, festival organizer, old-time fiddler, educational consultant and home-grown philosopher. He regularly lectures on the art and practice of storytelling in the electronic age and has written two coll... More


A Tasty Hobby for Those with Patience

BBQ - a hobby?First, it's not that unusual in Houston to cook BBQ (over 300 restaurants) and second it's down right popular as there are over 800 BBQ teams in the greater Houston area. A BBQ team is usually made up of a BBQ Pit, a 'head cook", and three to a hundred helpers. You might wonder how a hundred could actually cook, well they don't actually but the logistics for a BBQ Cook-off Competit... More

Final Thoughts
Every quarter we post a question on the PAC World web site and ask you to select an answer that will help your colleagues from around the world understand the trends in our industry. No clear preferenceFor three months we had on the PAC World web site a simple question:What redundant protection do you use on transmission lines? The answers to the questions you can choose from and the percentage o... More

Entire PAC World - Spring 2008 Issue (PDF version: 9.2 MB in size)

Protecting your electrical assets? today and tomorrow