June 2020 Issue
I can probably fill this whole page with questions related to time, but instead I will focus just on a couple of issues. As usual, let?s first look at the definition of time. It is defined as the duration in which all things happen, or a precise instant when something happens. If we look at the world around us, we can see that most of it exists without time. All creatures, except most humans,... More


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Industry News

ATOP's NTS7500 Series

The grandmaster clock is equipped with a Stratum 1 NTP (Network Time Protocol) server, which communicates with a Stratum 0 clock in a direct one-on-one connection The NTS7500 embeds a high precision, multi-system Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) module that supports GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU and GALILEO GNSS Systems. It is fitted with a GNSS antenna and is connected to the substation... More

Compare Models with the latest release of SCL Navigator

Triangle MicroWorks has released a new version of SCL Navigator that now allows you to compare models to verify changes to SCL as files are updated and propagated through the IEC 61850 Engineering Process. Significant time and effort are wasted when incorrect files are used.  The Model Comparison in SCL Navigator allows an independent verification of files to save time and valuable ... More

COPA-DATA releases zenon 8.20

COPA-DATA continues to improve the zenon Software Platform. Cyber Security as well as efficient engineering have been key aspects of the newest release of the automation software. Energy applications can now rely on IEC 62351-3 cybersecurity for major protocols IEC 61850, IEC 60870 and DNP3. One highlight of version 8.20 is Smart Objects. This significantly improves the fast realization ... More

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and its impact on the PAC community

The Covid-19 Pandemic is here and in just a few months has dramatically changed the ways the world works and we live our lives. We had so many plans for the coming months - conferences, seminars, working group meetings, team meetings, project meeting, etc., etc. And now all of this has changed. Many conferences are cancelled or postponed. Some are trying to do them in a virtual format. ... More

Faulted Transformer Model for Enhanced

Protection Testing The RTDS® Simulator’s new faulted transformer model is an advanced real-time transformer model for enhanced protection testing. The model is based on a terminal duality equivalent and addresses common engineering challenges with the popular star equivalent circuit. The model is more realistic and practically accurate, better representing physical leakages,... More

GE's Lentronics(TM) JunglePAX

GE’s Lentronics™ JunglePAX is a purpose-built communications solution specifically designed for utility operations, providing the required security and dependability through layers of redundancy. The platform is based on MPLS-TP (Multi-protocol Label Switching with Transport Profile) technology, that maintains deterministic performance through packet-based communications to pr... More

GridClone SimFlexTM Performance Testing Platform

GridClone introduced SimFlexTM Performance Testing Platform with new PTB device and extension or renown Client Simulator and SCL Checker applications. The Performance Testing Platform enables detail and/or (pre)conformance testing of IEC 61850 GOOSE and SV implementations. It provides high precision recording for validation of time performance and unique and flexible publishing capa... More

Move forward and leave nothing behind with HPS/RFL

The eXmux® 4500 Multi-Service Access & Transport (MSAT) platform is designed and engineered to address the challenges of network migration and infrastructure upgrades for power utilities.  The solution bridges the gap between legacy and modern technologies and provides utilities with the confidence to move forward and leave nothing behind.  Whether it’s reliability and ... More

New Network Monitoring Features for HSR/PRP

HSR/PRP networks’ success is resulting in larger Ethernet networks with a higher number of nodes that demand new management tools. In response to these requirements, RELYUM has developed the new Network Nodes feature, an enhanced tool to support system engineers in the configuration and maintenance of their networks. This new tool monitors the correct behavior of all the HSR/PRP devi... More

Optimized Power Modules and ADMO Light

The new version of OMICRON’s comprehensive protection testing software, Test Universe 4.2, again improves its ease of use and implements additional customer requirements. For example, input options for entering criteria for automatic ramp assessment have been extended and simplified, while the power view now displays the trip during ramping. The ADMO “light” version o... More

Cover Story

Time in IEC 61850 based substation protection and control systems

Time Related Requirements Time synchronization has been a requirement for electric power systems protection, automation and control systems (PACS) since the introduction of microprocessor based multifunctional PAC and recording devices. The need was to be able to analyze the operation of multiple devices at different physical locations in response to an electric power system event. This ... More

IEC 61850 Update

Design for Testability

With IEC 61850, we have the possibility to realize fully digital substations. Instead of using many wires between the devices, those systems rely on communication. This requires some changes in the tools and method to test the system. Something that does not change, is the fact that the system needs to be designed to be testable. In a conventional system this was a standard practice. Where... More

Lessons Learned

Latency Measurements in Digital grids

As it has become good practice, let us first check what Wikipedia says: Latency is a time interval between the stimulation and response, or, from a more general point of view, a time delay between the cause and the effect of some physical change in the system being observed. Not everything written in Wikipedia is unquestionably reliable, but this general definition actually describes v... More

PSRC Update


We hope that all is well for our IEEE families.  The IEEE PES Power System Relay Committee (PSRC), which was scheduled for May 4-7, 2020, will reconvene for its September meeting if all goes well.  In the meantime, its subcommittees have been busily at work.  These subcommittees:   Advisory, System Protection, Line Protection, Relaying Communications, Relaying Pract... More


Application of Precision Time Protocol Standard with multi-vendor Relays over PRP and HSR Architectures: A Real Test of the PTP Standard in project FITNESS

The equipment will be deployed at Wishaw 275 kV substation in Scotland. It is the first IEC 61850 multivendor based system with equipment from GE Grid Solutions, ABB Ltd, Synaptec and testing tools from OMICRON electronics. In the FITNESS project, the innovation is to be found in the way the overall system has been designed in order to prove interoperability - a mixture of protection and co... More

Legal Issue

Privacy, it's been nice knowing you...

Let me first preface the following with the disclaimer that this issue’s article will be a bit different from the norm, but then again, it’s pretty obvious that a norm, with respect to pretty much everything, no longer exists.  So, dear readers, dear friends, How are you? From the bottom of my heart, I hope you’re managing and finding a way to thrive, in these bizarre a... More


Do we have time to fix the time?

Power systems’ event analysis and reporting requires that disturbance fault recorders (DFRs) and sequence of events (SOE) data be captured with correct date and time information. NERC PRC-002-2 Requirement 10 stipulates “synchronized device clock accuracy within ± 2 milliseconds of UTC.” Many of deployed Remedial Action Schemes (RAS) use synchrophasor measurements ... More

The Guru

Interview with PAC World guru John McDonald from USA

PAC World:  When and where were you born? J.McD.: I was born in Gary, Indiana on 22 December, 1951. The same doctor delivered my Dad in 1927, me in 1951, my brother in 1953 and my sister in 1961. PAC World:  Where did you grow up and where did you go to school? J.McD.: I attended two elementary schools in Gary and middle and high school in Arlington Heights, Illinois, a su... More


Protection History

by Walter Schossig, Germany, and Thomas Schossig, OMICRON electronics GmbH, Austria In the last issue we covered the first devices released in the 1990s. There is a lot of material available. So, let's continue.  The company ZERA is well established in 1994. There are several testing devices for relays available at this time. They could be used for testing an overcurrent relay, ove... More

I Think

What to Think of the Pandemic?

Lots of questions are going through my mind fighting for answers. Was this an accident? Was this planned? Are we overreacting? Why are children less affected? Should we be willing to sacrifice our society for a relatively small amount of, mostly, older people? Is it really as bad as some say or is it a hoax as others state? Many questions and no real answers. Since World War II a large par... More

Conference Reports

DPSP 2020 - Developments in Power System Protection

The 15th International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection (DPSP) was held 10-12 March 2020 at the ACC Liverpool, Liverpool, UK. DPSP is held every even year and is one of the few specialized conferences in Europe that brings together academics, industry and business leaders to share their knowledge, discuss important issues and present the results from their research in... More

Power and Energy Automation Conference (PEAC)

The event was held 2 - 5 March 2020 at the Seattle Airport Marriott hotel near Seattle, Washington, USA. The theme of the conference this year was “Advancing the Grid: Data to Automation to Resilience”, while the theme of the Energy Summit was “Grid Resilience: The Intersection of the Utility Business Model, Regulatory Policy, and Incident Response.” The conferen... More

Book Review

Power System Protection in Smart Grid Environment

Understanding GPS/GNSS Principles and Applications Elliott D. Kaplan and Christopher J. Hegarty - Editors Time plays a critical role in the protection, automation and control of electric power systems. Precise time synchronization between devices in substations all over the world requires a time source that can reach any location and provide reliable and accurate time information. T... More


Creating Rolling Art - (Building a restomod racer from a 1965 mustang)

by Eric Easton, CenterPoint Energy, USA "Like many hotrodders, my passion for motorsports could be considered hereditary..." With a motorcycle riding father as well as a car and motorbike building big brother, it was almost a certainty I'd continue the tradition of creating rolling art.   Lessons learned while designing, building and rebuilding cars has taught me a number o... More

Final Thoughts
In several articles in this issue of the magazine you read about time synchronization. But when we are deciding about how to do it, one of the main questions we need to ask is "How accurate does it need to be?" And as usual the answer starts with "It depends!" It depends on so many things, but mainly on what we are trying to do, what do we need the time for. When I read the amazing stories... More