CIGRE B5 Industry Updates

CIGRE Study Committee B5

by Richard Adams, Ramboll, UK

News from CIGRE Study Committee B5 Protection and Automation

The Paris Session is a time when, normally, all 16 Study Committees would join together for a week at the Palais de Congres, attended by more than 3200 delegates and 6600 visitors to the accompanying exhibition. Each Study Committee holds its annual meeting there along with many other Working Group and technical meetings.

As we all now know, 2020 is not a typical year, and in April, CIGRE organizers made the difficult decision to move the Paris Session online for the first time since its inception, postponing the physical event to 2021.

The resulting digital e-session was a comprehensive program of virtual presentations over nine days, with 84 sessions, including paper presentations, tutorials and workshops run over four simultaneous channels.

Paper presentations were pre-recorded by the papers’ authors and formed into detailed session programs by the Study Committees for broadcast. The authors then joined for a live Q&A at the end of each session.

For B5, the Technical Discussion Meeting took place on 27/28th August and the preferential subjects were:

  • PS 1 Human Aspects in Protection, Automation and Control Systems (PACS)
  • PS 2 Communications Networks in Protection, Automation and Control Systems (PACS): Experience and Challenges

On the afternoon of Friday 28th, B5 hosted a live tutorial, in two parts as follows:

  • Distribution Protection
  • Improved Metering Systems for Billing Purposes in Substations

The annual study committee B5 meeting was also held virtually for once on 26th August. This challenges for some of the membership since it was held in the morning European time, so was very early morning for some and late evening for other members. Three new working groups were decided as follows:

  • PACS Lifecycle Documentation
  • Process Bus Based Busbar Protection
  • Architecture, Standards and Specification for Metering System in a Digital Substation/PACs Environment

The terms of reference will now be finalized prior to them commencing work.

The latest Technical brochure (810) entitled “Protection and Automation Issues of Islanded Systems during System Restoration/Black Start” has been published. This Technical Brochure examines how large-scale global blackouts of the last two decades highlight certain Protection and Automation responses, which falls directly under the scope of SC B5, having potentially contributed towards delayed restoration and in some cases led to abandonment of intended restoration procedures in favor of slow but sure procedures.

There was a need towards investigating Protection and Automation issues during system restoration with focus on network re-energization and resynchronization. This required revisiting CIGRE Technical Brochures that investigated and documented the restoration procedures used both in transmission and distribution networks.

This technical brochure has integrated three strands of contributions based on the existing body of technical knowledge, working group member experiences and curation of technical contributions arising from a survey conducted by this working group and 2018 SC B5 Preferential Subject Special Report contributions relevant to this area.

The brochure can be downloaded free of charge by CIGRE members from the e-Cigre web site and can be purchased by non-members. Progress to complete other longstanding Working Groups remains good, with another Working Group expected to publish their work before the year end.


Richard Adams is a Principal Engineer with Ramboll in UK. He has a degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and is a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering and Technology. He is a member of the organizing committee for DPSP (Developments in Power System Protection) conference and chair for DPSP 2020. He is currently Secretary for CIGRE Study Committee B5, having been involved in CIGRE since 2003, initially as UK Regular Member, then later as a member of the Strategic Advisory Group. He is also convenor for Working Group B5.41 (Improved Metering Systems for Billing Purposes in Substations). Richard is married with three children and likes to get out walking if there’s time.