IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2015 - 94

figure 1. A prototype PMU developed at Virginia Tech in 1990s.

issue was the incomplete deployment of
gPS satellites. To accommodate the loss
of satellite signals in Blacksburg, Virginia,
the gPS receiver had to have a very precise
clock that would keep the time to within
1 μs for that interval until the satellites became visible. The cost of such a receiver
was about US$20,000 in those days! one
can now build a complete gPS receiver for
just under US$100.
The Virginia Tech team completed
the construction of about a dozen prototype PMUs by the mid 1990s, and
they were deployed on an experimental
basis in the substations of our fund-

ing utilities over the next few years. A
great deal was learned from these early
installations, and some of these prototypes are being saved by the sponsoring utilities for historical interest.
Virgilio Centeno joined Macrodyne
after his graduation. Jay Murphy (CEo
of Macrodyne) and Virgilio developed
the first commercial PMU based on
the work done at Virginia Tech. Macrodyne remained the sole commercial
producer of PMUs for several years.
now about two dozen commercial
vendors offer PMUs, which are being
installed by utilities around the world.
The development of IEEE standards
for PMUs and wAMS has greatly facilitated the worldwide adoption of this
technology. The PES Power System
relaying Committee under the leadership of Ken Martin (formerly of the
Bonneville Power Administration) has
developed the relevant standards.

WAMS and Applications
of Phasor Measurements
It is fair to say that PMU installation
on the power transmission networks in
wAMS has become the current technology of choice among the power grid
operators around the world. In many
systems it is the norm to have PMUs
installed at every extra-high voltage
(EHV) transmission substation. Linear
state estimation with phasor data is the

most common first application, although
the path toward complete observability
with phasor measurements is often delayed until a sufficient number of PMUs
are installed. other popular applications
of wAMS are improved protection and
control systems with wAMS. Some of
the other applications involve system
model validation, post-mortem analyses
of major disturbances on the power
grids, and online verification of system
control settings.

Looking to the Future
one could summarize the current status
of PMU and wAMS development as an
ongoing activity to populate the EHV
power grids with wAMS. As the number
of substations covered by these systems
approaches sufficient numbers to accommodate advanced applications, the focus
will shift from precise system monitoring to advanced protection and control
of the power systems. This technology
offers a path toward utilizing the power
infrastructures to the fullest extent with
assured security and efficiency. Catastrophic failures of the grids should become less frequent, and recovery from
such events should become quicker and
safe. A great many young engineers are
actively participating in developing new
applications of wAMS. on them rests the
future of this technology.
p&e



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2015

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2015 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2015 - Cover3
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