xPhD: Communication Networks for Protection Systems in Smart Transmission Grids
The advances in Smart electric Transmission Grids (STG) have led to new developments in wide-area protection, control and state estimation applications. Protection systems in utility grids are particularly crucial in safeguarding personnel and equipment from damage. A robust, scalable and real-time Information and Communication Technology (ICT) network will be needed to support the operations in the STG.Within a substation, IEC 61850 standard provides protection and automation functions based on high-speed Ethernet Local Area Network (LAN). Guidelines have been provided to extend IEC 61850 beyond the substation to support Wide-Area Monitoring Protection and Control (WAMPAC) applications in STG. This will eventually replace the traditional IEEE c37.118 used for WAM-PAC applications, which is limited by low data rates and slow responses for fast protection applications.
The ICT network plays an essential role in the delivery of timely information to the interconnected elements (i.e., substations and control center) in the STG. Therefore, the main objective set out in this thesis is to examine the role ICT networks play when protection systems are deployed in the STG. Specifically, the thesis investigates the interactions between protection applications and the ICT infrastructure, the ICT network approaches for routing IEC 61850 into wide-area, and the management of data traffic of protection applications in Ethernet networks to ensure predictable network services of delay, jitter, and packet loss.