Evaluation and Standardizing of Phasor Data Concentrators

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Virginia Tech

The power grid is interconnected in many ways; so that when disturbances occur in a small region, their effects can be seen across large areas causing major blackouts. In order to isolate the fault, measurements taken at different times throughout the blackout need to be collected and analyzed. With each measurement device having its own time source, time alignment can be a quite tedious and lengthy process. The need for a new time synchronized measurement device has arrived. The Phasor Measurement Units (PMU) is not only GPS time synchronized, but it also takes measurements as voltage and current phasors.

PMUs are becoming an integral part in many power system applications from load flow analysis and state estimation to analyzing blackout causes. Phasor Data Concentrators (PDC) collect and process PMU data. As such, it is important that PMU and PDC communication is seamless. PDCs are set up at multiple utilities and power authorities and also need to be able to communicate and send data to one another seamlessly to encompass analysis of large measurement systems. If these devices are not working similarly when processing and sending/receiving data, unnecessary problems may arise. Therefore it is important that there is an expectation as to how they should work. However, what is expected from these devices is not entirely clear. For this reason, standards such as IEEE C37.118.2-2011 [5] have been proposed to help make operation as uniform as possible. Unfortunately, the standards for PDCs are lacking and tend to only set up communication protocols. To help normalize PDCs, these standards need to be expanded to include all PDC operations and give little room for discrepancy as to what a PDC should do in any given situation. Tests have been performed on PDCs not only to see how they match up to current standards but on how they act outside of the standards.

Synchrophasor, Wide Area Measurements, Phasor Measurement Unit, IEEE C37.118, Phasor Data Concentrator