Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

Available NOW!
PUR Guide

This comprehensive self-study certification course is designed to teach the novice or pro everything they need to understand and succeed in every phase of the public utilities business.

Order Now

Reliability Monitoring: The High-Tech Eye In the Sky

How reliability performance monitoring and standards compliance will be achieved in real time.

Fortnightly Magazine - January 2007

five are related to coordination and improvement of wide-area monitoring and are the current targets of DOE-sponsored research on technology solutions:

• Develop reliability related tools and technologies;
• Adopt better real-time tools for operators and reliability coordinators;
• Strengthen reactive power and voltage practices;
• Improve quality of system modeling data and data exchange practices; and
• Utilize time-synchronized data recorders.

A key objective of the research effort is to create common wide-area monitoring functions and visuals that facilitate operational communications between the different stakeholder levels responsible for operating and managing the power grid. New operational requirements for large control areas and reliability authorities are making traditional monitoring systems obsolete and user interfaces ineffective. Figure 6 shows that, as a result of industry restructuring, raw operational data now are being generated at each of five different organizational or operational levels within the industry. Traditional utility monitoring systems—Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Energy Management Systems (EMS)—were developed to monitor reliability performance for a single control area and its immediately adjacent neighbor.

Today, reliability monitoring jurisdictions consisting of 10 to 30 control areas are increasingly common. Relying on traditional tabular displays to perform this monitoring is time consuming, cumbersome, and risky. As seen first with the ACE-Frequency system, a common feature of all CERTS monitoring tools is a multi-view, geographic visualization approach and display architecture, which enables system operators to quickly interpret and use real-time data for monitoring and for identification of root causes. Human-factors experts have concluded that analysis of visual data is significantly improved if the viewer simultaneously reviews graphical images of different, yet closely related, processed data.

Currently, CERTS is researching and prototyping new wide-area real time performance monitoring tools for:

• Wide-Area Real Time Situational Awareness for Load-Generation Adequacy;
• Wide-Area Real Time Monitoring for Load-Transmission Adequacy; and
• Wide-Area Real Time Situational Awareness for Load-Transmission Adequacy.

Some of the Situational Awareness for Resource Adequacy (SARA) tools are being field-tested with the expectation that they will be integrated by NERC and made operational before the summer of 2007.

Looking forward, CERTS is researching and prototyping wide-area monitoring applications using time-synchronized phasor measurements from the DOE Eastern Interconnection Phasor Project. 3 For monitoring wide-area, real-time resources adequacy, the SCADA measurements required are taken at intervals ranging from 5 seconds to 5 minutes. However, lack of time synchronization among different SCADA systems is becoming a serious source of data errors in wide-area monitoring. Better data resolution and time synchronization can be achieved with phasor measurements and other advanced monitoring technologies.

In conclusion, DOE and NERC and other advanced monitoring technologies have been conducting a collaborative program to research, develop, prototype and demonstrate advanced software tools to monitor on a wide-area basis and in real time compliance with reliability rules, in preparation for confirmation of NERC as the ERO with mandatory reliability authority for the North America’s electricity grid. The origins, process, and early results from this collaboration document the industry’s growing need for mandatory reliability rules and provide a positive example of government and industry working together to “keep