IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2018 - 27

©iStockph
oto.com/h
amSte

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Pairing Big Data with Analytics
to Create Actionable Information

What Is µPMU,
and Why Is It Needed?
some of the characteristics of the distribution grid that cause
difficulties for conventional sensing and measurement technologies include randomness of customer behavior, high
nodal volume, lack of useful metadata, and the number of
unknowns such as grid topology, controls, and behavior of
behind-the-meter resources. the electric utility industry has
recently taken important steps toward improving distribution network visibility to address some of these challenges,
through the integration of smart meters. even though smart
may/june 2018

meters give a 15-min interval time-series data
set containing valuable information on customer
behavior, they do not provide the transient information of voltage and current behavior useful
for possible diagnosis of incipient failures. this
and other shortcomings can now be addressed by
using µPMus.
While µPMus can support or contribute to
some of the applications of transmission-level
PMus, such as synchronized locational measurement of fundamental frequency or identification
of interarea oscillations, it is, instead, the time
series (i.e., the sequence of synchronized phase
angle and magnitude measurements on three phases)
that provides the greatest benefit to the distribution system.
a typical µPMu is connected to single- or threephase distribution circuits to continuously measure
global positioning system time-referenced magnitudes and phase angles of voltage and current at two
readings/cycle, or 120 readings/s. this is 108,000
times faster than the reporting rate of a typical smart
meter, which provides one reading every 15 min. each
of these data sets is useful for a specific purpose-but
using the data in their most "fit for purpose" role can
be challenging. In sensing and measurement for the distribution grid, no one-fits-all approach exists; an all-ofthe-above mentality is needed, but this remains a research
challenge. since 2015, several µPMu devices have been
installed at pilot test sites in the state of california, including
multiple 12.47-kv test feeders in the city of Riverside.

Example 1
consider the distribution feeder in figure 1, where two
sensor locations are marked-one at the secondary of a
69-kv/12.47-kv transformer at the feeder head and another
one at the secondary of a 12.47-kv/480-v transformer at
a commercial building. the measurements at sensor 1 are
ieee power & energy magazine

27


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2018

Contents
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2018 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2018 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2018 - Contents
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2018 - 2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2018 - 3
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2018 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2018 - Cover4
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