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Wide-area Monitoring and Control of Smart Grid

Summary:

Without ubiquitous, accurate, and reliable real-time sensors, the electric grid will not have the resiliency, reliability, and capacity to manage the unprecedented number of variable renewable energy sources and millions of intelligent devices and systems. Rapid deployment of new sensors in the smart grid is not possible at present because of the need for better sensor measurements; inability of the infrastructure to accommodate large real-time data flows; and lack of interoperability among sensors and systems. This project extends the capabilities of the NIST synchrometrology and smart grid testbeds for phasor measurement unit (PMU) testing under real-world conditions, to enable new test standards, and improved PMUs, phasor data concentrators (PDCs), and sensors. This will accelerate the smart grid goals of high penetration of renewables, increased grid capacity, all with greater reliability and resiliency.

Description:

Objective: To enable wide-area monitoring and control of the smart grid by accelerating the development/deployment of advanced sensors and measurement systems; to develop conformance and interoperability tests for new standards for these devices; and to develop a sensor network interface specification by 2016. 

What is the new technical idea? This project proposes to characterize sensors in environments that realistically emulate real-world operating conditions. Tests and performance requirements will be developed which characterize advanced sensors and measurement systems that are the most demanding – in particular for dynamically changing conditions, rather than the steady-state tests that have been primarily used to date. Novel sensors, including optical and clamp-on sensors will be evaluated for measurement performance. 

What is the research plan? With the advanced PMU testing capabilities, NIST has begun the testing of commercial PMUs from more than 6 vendors. NIST will determine practical performance metrics based on these results and make recommendations to the appropriate standards working groups for changes as needed. Testing will be also done on new devices that use advanced communications such as International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61850, particularly to support American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded projects. 

 Guided by a NIST-initiated study of industry critical needs for advanced smart grid sensor measurements, NIST will establish research in performance testing and communication standards for advanced sensors, including optical, clamp-on line, and other smart grid sensors for monitoring power equipment condition and operating conditions. Sensor characterization capabilities identified in this study will be added to the NIST synchrometrology and smart grid testbeds. Recommendations and technical inputs such as performance requirements, test protocols, and certification approaches will be provided to the relevant standards organizations for inclusion in sensor and equipment monitoring standards.

Major Accomplishments:

Research Outcomes:

  • Calibration of Phasor Measurement Units at NIST,” Yi-Hua Tang, G.N. Stenbakken, and A. Goldstein, submitted to IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement

Potential Research Impacts:

  • The calibrator improves NIST PMU measurement services by better automating the process for faster turnaround times and gives NIST the ability to perform special tests of new PMU prototypes more quickly.
Potential Technology Transfer Impacts: Examples of standards/tools with dissemination and adoption with the potential to achieve significant broad-based end use for the smart grid include:  

With NIST leadership, several Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) standards were developed over several years on an accelerated timeline and are being adopted to support interoperability and accurate testing of over 1000 new PMUs being installed with DOE American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. NIST support, including development of the original steady state tests and new dynamic tests, was critical to the establishment of these standards and their continued evolution. 

  • IEEE C37.242-2013, a guide for the synchronization, calibration and installation of PMUs, was accelerated with NIST support, and is based in large part on NIST research. It supports the accelerated timeline for ARRA-funded deployments of PMUs. (FY13) 
  • IEEE C37.244-2013, a guide for phasor data concentrators (PDCs) was accelerated with NIST support, and is based on NIST research. It supports the accelerated timeline for ARRA-funded deployment of PMUs and PDCs. (FY13)  
  • IEC 61850-90-5 Edition 1.0 integrates the IEEE C37.118.1 data with the IEC 61850 standard. It was coordinated as part of under the NIST-led SGIP Priority Action Plan 13 and is now being implemented in ARRA-funded PMUs. This 61850 standard offers much greater functionality, flexibility, and interoperability than the original IEEE C37.118-2005 standard. (FY12) 
  • IEEE1815-2012 is a standard for electric power systems communications using the Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3). It was accelerated under the NIST-led SGIP Priority Action Plan 12, and is a revision of IEEE 1815-2010 that adopts improved cybersecurity as recommended by the NIST-led SGIP cybersecurity review of the earlier standard. It is a step toward making legacy grid control systems interoperable with advanced control systems based on IEC 61850. (FY12) 
  • IEEE C37.118.1-2011 covers performance requirements and testing for PMUs, and incorporates tests developed by NIST for PMU performance under dynamically changing conditions. (FY11) 
  • IEEE C37.238-2011 is a guide for precision clock synchronization for electric power grid applications. It was coordinated as part of the NIST-led SGIP Priority Action Plan 13 and enables precision time synchronization among devices in substations for improved grid reliability and resilience. (FY11) 
  • IEEE C37.239-2010 provides a common format for anomalous event data exchange in the grid. It was coordinated as part of the NIST-led SGIP Priority Action Plan 14 and was developed to improve interoperability of various wide-area monitoring devices and systems. (FY10) 
  • IEEE1815-2010 is a standard for electric power systems communications using the Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3). It was accelerated under the NIST-led SGIP Priority Action Plan 12, and is an IEEE adoption of a widely used standard developed by the DNP users group for substation monitoring and control. It is a first step toward making legacy grid control systems interoperable with advanced control systems based on IEC 61850 for improved grid reliability and resilience. (FY10)

Phasor Measurement Units (PMU) synchrometrology laboratory, measurement service, and test tools. NIST was the first National Metrology Institute to offer traceability for PMUs through a special test calibration service, enabling vendors to verify compliance with standards and receive detailed NIST feedback to improve their products’ performance. In support of this test capability, NIST installed a new three-phase PMU calibrator developed under a NIST ARRA grant in FY13, and is conducting dynamic testing according to IEEE C37.118.1-2011 for 6 commercial PMUs, with testing of a new IEC 61850-90-5-compliant PMU scheduled to begin in June 2013. The automation provided by the PMU calibrator greatly reduces the turnaround time for reporting test results to the manufacturers and accelerates product improvements. The NIST synchrometrology work has led to a suite of tests that have been adopted in IEEE and IEC standards, and the NIST-developed PMU test tools (hardware and software) have now been adopted by a commercial test laboratory, Quanta Technology. The NIST lab has also developed signal processing models for calculation of synchrophasors compliant with the IEEE standards to compare with commercially-developed models to demonstrate the validity of PMU standards and identify gaps to be addressed for improved performance and reliability.