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In the Loop

Application of synchrophasor solutions for the monitoring and control of power systems"

In August this year, Australian Panel C4 led by Andrew Halley ran a technical seminar titled "Application of synchrophasor solutions for the monitoring and control of power systems" at the University of Wollongong.  Professor Udaya Annakkage and Professor Athula Rajapakse from the University of Manitoba and Dr Vajira Pathirana from Teshmont in Canada presented the seminar. It was based on Cigre Technical Brochure 702  titled "Application of Phasor Measuring Units for monitoring power system dynamic performance" and was produced by Working Group C4.34. (Free to members €250 tonon members) The course covered technical fundamentals together with practical applications in areas such as Wide Area Control Schemes, post disturbance analysis, system model validation and real time system analysis.  Finally, shared experiences from around Australia were presented by some of the attendees, which triggered some excellent discussions.

Initially, the seminar addressed synchrophasor fundamentals including time synchronisation principles, data formatting, hardware architecture and the importance of high-speed communication infrastructure.  The evolution of various international standards was also discussed. The role of individual phasor measurement units (PMU) was presented along with the purpose of phasor data concentrators and visualisation / analysis software.  Issues associated with cyber security and the various mechanisms available to combat threats to data integrity were highlighted, especially when data is used for control and protection purposes, as is the case for Wide Area Control Schemes (WACS).

This was followed by an introduction to a range of applications where synchrophasor technologies already have an established or growing presence. Practical applications already in use around the world include:

  • Providing time synchronised, high resolution data to undertake post-event analysis following network disturbances.
  • Generator and transmission network model validation.
  • Improving real time system visualisation and situational awareness for control room operators.
  • Increasing the accuracy of transmission state estimation solutions.

Areas of ongoing development and investigation that are being progressively implemented by industry on a more regular basis include:

  • Transmission line parameter calculations, which can be extended to include real time conductor temperate estimations.
  • WACS including anti-islanding and system protection schemes.
  • Real time voltage stability and oscillation monitoring.
  • Transmission network fault location systems, including in meshed grids.

The second morning of the seminar centred on a demonstration of how to configure a PMU and examples of what data can be provided by the hardware.  This was made possible through the use of a portable Real Time Simulator, which was used to replicate a physical three-phase network.  The simulations were further complemented by a presentation of real time data coming from TasNetworks Synchrophasor Network which was accessible via a VPN connection.

In the afternoon, five presentations were delivered from tutorial attendees to share Australian experiences with synchrophasor solutions thus far, including learnings that have come from developing and implementing communication networks necessary to handle the continuous data streams.  They covered:

  • Non-GPS time-synchronisation techniques for PMUs, Reza Razzaghi (Monash University)
  • Calibration of PMUs, Ilya Budovsky (National Measurement Institute)
  • Synchrophaser solutions for managing power system stability, Rizah Memisevic (Powerlink)
  • Distribution switchgear evolution: Deploying synchrophasors in medium voltage reclosers, Mehdi Mosadeghy (NOJA Power)
  • TasNetworks synchrophasor deployment – Five year review, Jimmy Chong (TasNetworks)

The presentations stimulated excellent discussions amongst the group, with each of the international guests commenting on the quality of work being undertaken and the variety of PMU applications already in existence here in Australia.  It was noted that an update to TB 702 may be worthwhile to capture many of the recent learnings and developments as demonstrated by the activities underway across the Australian power industry.

Attendees found the event very useful to both expand existing technical knowledge and grow personal networks of industry peers and would recommend attendance at future events where the topics are relevant to your work.

C4 synchrophasor solutions