9th Protection Automation and Control World (PACWorld) Conference, Sofia, Bulgaria

The 9th PACWorld Conference was held 26 - 28 June 2018 at the Grand Hotel Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria.

This was the first conference that was held in the Balkan peninsula during the final days of the six-month period during which Bulgaria was the President of the European Union.
The conference was preceded on Monday by a half-day tutorial on "Developments and Applications of IEC-61850" presented by Dr. Alexander Apostolov (USA). The tutorial and registration were followed by the welcome reception that was held between the ruins of the Amphitheater of Serdica. It was built in the 3rd-4th century AD on top of a 2nd-3rd century theater in the ancient Roman city of Ulpia Serdica, now Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The ruins of the amphitheater lie on two adjacent sites in the center of modern Sofia.  With an arena, only around 10 m (33 ft) smaller than the Colosseum, the Amphitheater of Serdica was among the biggest in the eastern part of the Roman Empire and the largest in what is today Bulgaria.

The conference opening Tuesday morning was followed by the keynote presentation - “The Role of CIGRE B5 in the World of Protection, Automation and Control" presented by Rannveig Loken, Norway, Secretary of CIGRE B5. 
The three-day conference program was mostly covered by oral paper sessions when the authors of the selected papers present the essential results from their projects and research in strictly controlled 15 minutes slots, followed by discussions at the end of each six papers session.
During the coffee and lunch breaks the participants had a chance to visit the exhibition booths and discuss with the vendors the latest protection, automation and control devices and tools. 

PAC World is one of the very small number of conferences around the world that does not have parallel sessions, thus allowing all participants to listen to and discuss any paper presented at the conference.

The conference program also included an interactive poster session, as well as the now traditional “Ask the Experts” session when the participants can ask or discuss with the panelists questions of interest.

The conference Gala dinner was held at the Central Military Club in Sofia - highly famed as one of the masterpieces of Bulgarian early 20th-century architecture. A stone from the battlefield at Slivnitsa from the Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885-1886) was laid in the foundation in 1895. It was designed by Czech architect Antonin Kolarin a Neo-Renaissance style and completed by Bulgarian architect Nikola Lazarov in 1907.

The dinner was followed by the awards ceremony for the photo contest and a folk program with traditional music and dance. The excellent food and entertainment created a nice environment for the participants to make new friends and have fun.

The conference was followed by a technical tour at the solar (PV) power plants control center, which is used to provide monitoring and control of 4 PV power plants located in different parts of Bulgaria with a total installed power of 85 MW.

BeijingSifang June 2016