PMU’s & WAMPAC
RECENT INCREASE IN WORLD-WIDE DISTURBANCES, CONGESTION management challenges, and increased complexity in operating the power grid have emphasized the need for grid revitalization. Advanced applications in wide area monitoring, protection, and control (WAMPAC) systems offer a cost-effective solution to improve system planning, operation, maintenance, and energy trading. Synchronized measurement technology and applications are an important element and enabler of WAMPAC.
Time synchronization is not a new concept or a new application in power systems. As power system and telecommunication technologies have advanced, the time frame of measured and communicated synchronized information has been steadily reduced from minutes, to seconds, milliseconds, and now microseconds. At present, phasor measurement units (PMUs) are the most accurate and advanced time-synchronized technology available to power engineers and system operators for WAMPAC applications. This technology has been made possible by advancements in computer and processing technologies and availability of GPS signals. We are approaching an era where all metering devices will be timesynchronized with high precision and accurate time tags as part of any measurement. To achieve the potential benefits, advancements in time synchronization must be matched by advancements in other areas. One example is data communications, where communication channels have become faster and more reliable in streaming PMU data from remote sites to a central facility. While advanced applications are in the development phase,