Conference Reports News

7th Protection, Automation & Control World Americas Conference PACWAC 2020, Raleigh, NC, USA

The 7th annual PACWAC was scheduled for 31 August – 3 September 2020.

After the global conference in Prague at the end of June 2020 was cancelled, we made the decision to move from a face to face event to a virtual conference. 

Many authors who had  submitted abstracts for the conference in Prague agreed to present their papers at the Americas conference, thus making it a global event with authors from 28 countries from all continents.

We needed a platform that would allow us to keep all the key features of the traditional face to face conferences, but in the cloud. 

That is why we selected the vFairs platform which supported a lobby, a virtual exhibition and live paper sessions and other events.

The two days program included 35 papers presented in single sessions covering a wide range of topics. As is a tradition for all PAC World conferences – there were no parallel sessions. 

The papers were presented in the 7 paper sessions 1.5 hours long, including five 15 min presentations followed by a discussion at the end of each session. Considering that there were participants from many different time zones that could not be part of the live paper sessions, they were recorded and made available “on demand.”

The papers covered a wide range of topics related to the developments in electric power systems protection and control technologies, the evolution of the implementation of IEC 61850 in digital substations, distribution automation and system integrity protection schemes. 

A significant number of papers were focused on various aspects of cyber security. Several papers talked about testing of protection and control devices and systems.

The traditional “Ask the experts” panel was an exciting live session in the program. The interactive discussion gave again a wonderful opportunity to the participants from all over the world to address a wide range of questions submitted in advance or raised during the session. 

During the breaks the participants visited the virtual exhibition and discussed with the vendors’ representatives the latest technology and its applications.

The social program of the conference included a Virtual Happy Hour with live interaction between the participants, as well as the announcement of the winners of the photo contest.