IEEE announces the global availability of a uniform test plan for evaluating the conformance of synchrophasors to IEEE C37.118.1 , IEEE Standard for Synchrophasor Measurements for Power Systems.

Introduction of the IEEE Synchrophasor Measurement Test Suite Specification is another step toward what IEEE says is a “comprehensive conformity assessment program for synchrophasors, which provide real-time measurement of electric power grids to help ensure stable operations and avert blackouts.”

"To this point, however, gauging compliance to the IEEE C37.118.1 standard has been left to the interpretation of the given organization doing the testing, producing market confusion and fragmentation," says Anthony Johnson, P.E, Consulting Engineer with the electric power utility Southern California Edison. "The new IEEE Synchrophasor Measurement Test Suite Specification provides a comprehensive, dependable plan that any manufacturer globally can use in the design stage to test their phasor measurement unit (PMU) products for eventual certification."

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) supported development of the IEEE Synchrophasor Measurement Test Suite Specification, toward the goal of encouraging market adoption of synchrophasor technologies supporting a highly resilient and reliable grid capable of accommodating higher penetration of renewable resources. A committee of volunteer technical experts from the power grid industry representing manufacturers, utilities and academia worked together through the IEEE-SA to write the test plan.

Synchrophasor technology enables power-system operators to accurately model and predict electrical deviations in the power grid, and manufacturers are quickly developing cost-effective PMUs to address this issue. Measurements recorded by synchrophasors include power flows, voltages, frequency and phase angle. The North American Synchrophasor Initiative (NASPI) Report of Task Force on Testing and Certification Final Report strongly recommends that users of synchrophasor measurements require that the PMUs producing the measurements be certified compliant with IEEE C37.118.1.

In August 2014, the IEEE-SA said that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Michigan-based Consumers Energy to provide testing PMU compliance with respect to IEEE C37.118.1 toward the development of a synchrophasor conformity assessment program. In addition to developing policies and procedures that govern the operational characteristics of a certification program, the IEEE-SA Conformity Assessment Program (ICAP) will provide program management oversight.

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