Power System Analysis: How to Meet Today's Challenges to Protection Engineering

Paul F. McGuire, Ashok Gopalakrishnan, Electrocon International, Inc.,
Anthony T. Giuliante, ATG Consulting Inc.


Downsizing is already a fact. New technologies must be provided to the remaining engineers.

Our views are shaped by our direct experience in the field, which for some of us goes back almost as far as Dylan's lyrics! Electrocon started developing tools for computer-aided protection engineering in 1985, working with an advisory committee of working protection engineers from ten leading North American power utilities. The goal then was a combined network and protection system model to support automated relay setting and coordination checking. Underlying the model would be a true database management system to manage the massive data. Today, network models of 2,000 to 10,000 buses with protection system models of 5,000 to 50,000 relays are common. A master library of over 5,500 manufacturer-specific relay styles supports model development, and more relays are requested and developed all the time (Figure 3).

The advisory committee's wisdom has become more apparent and their objectives even more relevant now, when we look at the challenges our protection community is facing twenty-five years later. We'll look at a few of the problems faced by our ever-changing electric power industry, and will propose solutions from our unique perspective as software developers and consultants who have worked with protection groups around the world.

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BeijingSifang June 2016