June 2019 Issue
For more than a century we have been testing protection, automation and control systems in a world that we knew quite well - the world of electric power systems with large and small power plants delivering power to the load centers of a vast network of transmission lines, the world of significant short circuit currents and DC offset, the world of current transformers saturation and CCVT trans... More


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Industry News

ABB - Plant-wide autosynchronization using REX640

REX640, the newest member of ABB's Relion® protection and control family of relays, offers a variety of ready-made application packages to choose from, of which autosynchronization is one. REX640 is able to manage the plant-wide autosynchronization system, including both generator and non-generator circuit breakers. The REX640 relays interact using binary and analog GOOSE signaling ... More

Edmund O. Schweitzer III Inducted in the US National Inventors Hall of Fame

On May 2, 2019 Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer III was inducted into the United States National Inventors Hall of Fame in the class of 2019. The event was hosted in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and welcomes as new inductees people who have made exceptional contributions to society, such as Edison and Tesla.  The induction of Ed Schweitzer is related to his... More

GE Grid Solutions

MiCOM P40 Agile Cybersecurity & High Bandwidth Ethernet GE announces the release of MiCOM P40 version 91 with enhanced cybersecurity, assisting utilities in their compliance with NERC CIP, NISTIR 7628 and EU NIS foundation norms.  Role-based access control for centralized authentication, authorization and account management is added, using the industry-standard Radius protocol. ... More

Is a Self-powered Relay Possible?

Fanox launches to market a new Self-powered Relay, starting up from low current values, unbelievable tripping times, and providing complete functionality in self-powering conditions offering current feeder protection features. Just a standard current transformer with 2,5 VA burden is necessary to get it. This relay is an OC&EF relay including autoreclosing (ANSI 79) and breaker monitorin... More

More of what you want in an Orion

NovaTech announces the OrionLX+ as its latest offering in the Orion family of substation automation platforms. The OrionLX+ adds new power and flexibility for larger, more challenging applications, plus add features to simplify usage and reduce costs of ownership. OrionLX+ shares the same operating system and configuration techniques of other members of the Orion Family: OrionLX CPX, Ori... More

New online training courses for zenon

COPA-DATA is extending its online training courses for its energy automation software platform zenon. Each training course is divided into several e-learning units. In this way, zenon engineering know-how can be learnt when it’s most convenient for users. The latest training course deals with the Command Sequencer in zenon Energy Edition. zenon Command Sequencer can be used to ea... More

Parallel FPGA-based SMV Processing for Cloud-Computing

SoC-e unveils SMVsubscriber, the first IP Core focused on massive IEC 61850-9-2 Sampled Measured Values (SMV) processing for on-premises/external FPGA accelerated cloud servers. Thanks to this full-hardware processing, the IP offers a fixed latency of 6us for the 1st harmonic parameters and for RMS computation for a parallelized computing of 320 SMV streams using a medium-size device. ... More

Relyum's in-box solution for IEC 62351-6 and -9 standards

Relyum's in-box solution for IEC 62351-6 and -9 standards The implementation of IEC 62351-6 presents the highest computational requirements, as it has to perform the authentication and the encryption of GOOSE and SMV in few microseconds, in order to guarantee the 3ms transfer time. In this scenario, key management represents a great challenge. Relyum has developed the first in-box solutio... More

StationGuard Cyber Security Monitoring System for Substations

StationGuard is OMICRON's new IDS (Intrusion Detection System.) It protects critical infrastructures like protection engineering, SCADA technology, and the station automation system (SAS) against almost all conceivable cyber-attacks or illogical switching actions. StationGuard not only detects unauthorized activity on the substation network, but also identifies problems in the IEC 61850... More

Cover Story

Developing the holistic approach - from single element testing to system validation

The first protection systems were built with single function primary devices (Figure 1). But the complexity of the panels very early on lead to electromechanical (EM) relays aggregating multiple elements (e.g. direction and impedance). EM relays are still in operation and survived their successor electro-static relays (Figure 2). But in the early 1980's we finally saw a technological rev... More

IEC 61850 Update

Why do top-down engineering?

Part 6 of IEC 61850 describes the design and engineering process using the substation configuration language (SCL.) The process includes a system configuration tool (SCT, product independent) and IED configuration tools (ICT.)  SCL files are exchanged between tools.  Also, not explicitly mentioned in IEC 61850-6, we typically differentiate between a top-down approach and a bottom-... More

Lessons Learned

Hardware in-the-loop testing for microgrids

Regardless of the topology and components present in a given microgrid, we can expect that it will be required to operate both as a part of the larger surrounding grid and as an independent, self-contained network. Ensuring stable operation in both states and seamless transition between the two is a challenge for owners and operators. Power flow between the macro and microgrid depends on a va... More

PSRC Update


The IEEE PES Power System Relay Committee (PSRC) held its May 2019 meeting in Cincinnati, OH. The Advisory, System Protection, Line Protection, Relaying Communications, Relaying Practices, Rotating Machinery Protection, and Substation Protection subcommittees of the PSRC all met, following meetings of more than one hundred working groups (WG), task forces (TF), and study groups (SG) of thes... More


SIARA - System Integrity & Restorative Actions

Acknowledgements: Craig McTaggart, David Adam, Graeme Duncan, and Jennifer Kincaid Mackenzie, SP Energy Networks, Prasad Balasubramani, GE Grid Solutions, Kulbhushan Kulbhushan, and Andy Wilson, commtel, and Matthias Wehinger, OMICRON Electronics Project SIARA (System Integrity and Restorative Actions) is an innovation project led by SP Energy Networks (SPEN) that explores the feasibility ... More


Remote Maintenance Testing in Digital Substations

Replacing the hard-wired interfaces with IEC 61850 based communications interfaces allows remote access to the substation for remote testing. The replacement of part or all the hardwired interfaces with communication links requires the development and implementation of methods and tools that maintain the same level of security during the testing process, while at the same time take advantag... More

SIARA - System Integrity & Restorative Actions

Acknowledgements: Craig McTaggart, David Adam, Graeme Duncan, and Jennifer Kincaid Mackenzie, SP Energy Networks, Prasad Balasubramani, GE Grid Solutions, Kulbhushan Kulbhushan, and Andy Wilson, commtel, and Matthias Wehinger, OMICRON Electronics Project SIARA (System Integrity and Restorative Actions) is an innovation project led by SP Energy Networks (SPEN) that explores the feasibility ... More

Legal Issue

Personal Privacy - Do we really even want it protected anymore?

In our last two issues we began to examine the crucial, and in many ways under-appreciated topic of data privacy.  Now before we go any further, I believe it is imperative that we first revisit the basic core principle of privacy, as I feel I may have miscalculated its place in today’s society, or the society we are certainly transforming into.  The European Union has very ... More

Replacing Fear with Knowledge

Improved Protection and Control Testing utilizing IEC 61850

Traditional substations have always relied on copper cables for connecting primary equipment like circuit breakers and conventional current and voltage transformers with protection relays and control devices. But digital communication technologies and standards are driving the evolution of something new – digital substations The defining feature of a digital substation is the impl... More

The Guru

Interview with PAC World guru Stig Holst from Sweden

PAC World:  When and where were you born? S.H.: I was born on March 25, 1949 in Helsingborg, Sweden. My home was in Hoganas a town 25 km north of Helsingborg. PAC World:  Where did you go to school? S.H.: My first ten years in school were in Hoganas. Then I studied three years in Helsingborg and received my Bachelor of Science (Electrical Engineering). After 15 months military s... More


Protection History

In 1960, the IEC's TC 41 "Electrical relays" was founded and the first German autonomous standard for relays, the VDE 0435/9.62 "Standards for relays in high current systems" was released in 1962. International and national committees published requirements that have become mandatory for the producers and users of protection relays. This also has effects on technology used for testing and o... More

I Think

To my father

This column will be a different one from all the previous ones as on March 28, 2019 I lost my father, my beacon, my reference, my guide. The man who made me who I am. I therefore wish to dedicate this column to him. My father was a sailor and as the chief engineer on a freighter he travelled the world for almost four decades. He saw more of the world than many people will ever see and t... More

Conference Reports

17th Annual i-PCGrid, San Francisco, USA

i-PCGrid 2019 was held 27-29 March 2019 in San Francisco, California, USA. The 17th Annual Workshop on Innovations in Protection and Control for Greater Reliability Infrastructure Development (i-PCGRID) was held at the PG&E Auditorium. It was hosted by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and as usual organized by PG&E, Mississippi State University and Quanta Technology. The program inc... More

2019 IEEE PES GTD Grand International & Exposition Asia

GTD Asia 2019 was held 20-23 March 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. 2019 GTD Asia was held at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center (BITEC). It is an extension of the IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exhibition, the largest conference and exposition on power and energy arranged in North America for almost 40 years. The conference started with an official opening ceremony attende... More

72nd Annual Conference for Protective Relay Engineers

The event was held 25 - 28 March 2019 in College Station, Texas. The conference was preceded by a day of seminars organized by manufacturers participating in the conference, followed by reception and exhibits at the Bethancourt Ballroom. As usual the two-and-a-half day program included general and parallel paper sessions. The first day's program started with a General session, followed ... More

Georgia Tech Fault and Disturbance Analysis Conference

The 22nd Annual Georgia Tech Fault and Disturbance Analysis Conference was held at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The event is jointly organized by The Transient Recorder Users Council and Georgia Tech. The conference brings together specialists in the field of transient and disturbance recording technology and fault and disturbance analysis to discus... More

Power and Energy Automation Conference (PEAC)

The event was held 5 - 7 March 2019 in the historical Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington, USA. This is an annual conference with specific focus on power system automation – a very important component of the Smart Grid. As a result, it is a forum for professionals to share their knowledge and experience about the advanced automation and control of electric power transmission and ... More

SEAPAC 2019 - South East Asian Protection and Automation Conference

The biennial South East Asia Protection and Automation Conference (SEAPAC) was hosted 19 – 20 March 2019 at the Star Sydney Hotel in Pyrmont, Australia by the CIGRE Australia B5 Panel. The goal of this conference held every odd year is to promote discussion and knowledge regarding issues of interest to the industry. It is an excellent forum for both regional and international partici... More

Book Review

Verification, Validation, and Testing of Engineered Systems

First Edition by Dr. Avner Engel Protection, automation and control in the era of the Smart Grid is changing quickly from the individual electromechanical relays protecting the components of the electric power system to complex systems of multifunctional intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) working together by exchanging high-speed peer-to-peer communications messages. This requires ... More


Dog Agility and so much more...

by Linda Stensrud, Jacobsen elektro (JEL), Norway What is Agility? Agility is a dog sport in which the dog must complete a course containing several obstacles (15-22) in the correct order and within a given time. Each course is different and designed by the judge according to the given rules. The dog handler guides the dog around the course using body language and voice, in the fastest ... More

Final Thoughts
This is a question that many protection, automation and control specialists are asking themselves and their colleagues every day. And as usual the answer is - It Depends? The first question that we need to ask ourselves is - What are we testing? In the past and still in many cases today the power system equipment is protected by electromechanical relays that have changing with time charac... More