Monday, July 30, 2012

Students at IIT Bombay develop iPDC an Open Source tool for Wide Area Monitoring System (WAMS)

The continuous increasing demand for power along with integration of distributed power sources such as micro-grid and renewable energy into the ever expanding electric grid has increased the complexities of managing the reliability of the power grid. Frequent blackouts and brown-outs continuously remind us the need for better electric grid that provide intelligent and automated system for online monitoring and proper control and protection of the Grid.The Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU), which is also know as Synchrophasor, is the key component of the Wide Area Monitoring and Control System (WAMCS). The Wide Area Monitoring System (WAMS) is primarily used for managing the grid reliability by continuously monitoring the status of the grid through PMU deployed at specific location in the transmission network. PMUs through  GPS provide synchronized time based voltage and current Phasor measurement at sub-second rate, so that system operators and planners can continuously monitor grid status allowing them to manage power quality. Thus, WAMCS is considered to be an important element for transitioning current power grid into futuristic Smart Grid. 

The data generated at sub-second level through multitude of PMUs require proper storage and management for which Phasor Data Concentrator widely known as PDCs are used. Though, there are various propriety systems, there isn't any open-source tool which can be used by the students, industry, and research community. One such system has been developed by IIT Bombay students Nitesh Pandit and Kedar Khandeparkar, which is known as iPDC.  The objective of iPDC project is to create an IEEE C37.118 Synchrophasor standardized Phasor Data Concentrator and PMU Simulator, on which research students and others can develop and test their algorithms and applications. The purpose of iPDC released as a Free Software to its availability for users without any restriction regarding its usage and modification. And in future get the contribution from users and developers all around the world.

Industrial Use:

iPDC is a Phasor Data Concentrator with basic functionalities. iPDC internally performing the time sequencing, wait time, generating of combined data frames for each UTC time and putting the measurements into database. It currently not having any visualization application for measurements, but it is possible to integrate the any existing visualization application to the iPDC database or direct receives combined data frames from iPDC over IP. It could also be used for testing for protocol, and working of any PMU.

Currently, there are not readily available ways to test the operation of PDCs. The problem is that it is nearly impossible to have enough PMUs to max out the PDC and you can't cause a real PMU to operate incorrectly to test the response of a PDC. Even most commercial manufacturers don't have programmable PMU Simulators, so iPDC's PMU Simulator allows anyone to test PDCs. Virginia Tech University M.S. Student and others have used the PMU Simulator and perform the testing for couple of commercial PDCs. PMU Simulator is successfully tested with PMU Connection Tester.

What is iPDC?

iPDC is a free Phasor Data Concentrator that collects data from Phasor Measurement Units, iPDC's and other PDC that are IEEEC37.118 standard compliant. It time aligns and combines the received data into frames as per IEEEC37.118 and sends to other iPDCs. It also has the feature to archive received data in the MySQL database on local disk or remote machine disk. A friendly graphical user interface will enable a user to add or remove new devices (PMU/iPDC) and also send different command frames to the devices from which the data is being received. Software is built to be working on Linux platform

Phasor Data Concentrators (PDUs) (Source:

iPDC Features:

iPDC is compliant with IEEE C37.118 Synchrophasor standard.

iPDC capable of receiving the data from PMU and PDC/iPDC.

iPDC would generate combined data frame by performing time aligning, sorting for each timestamps.

iPDC able to send data frames to other iPDC's as well as other applications.

iPDC directs the received data frames to MySQL database server for storage.

The iPDC-database server may run on the local or remote machine.

iPDC has option to connect via TCP or UDP.

iPDC has a file structure, that stores all the connection and CFG details as being iPDC status.

iPDC Setup File can be reload at restarting of iPDC.

iPDC is a multi-threaded application, hence the performance is optimistic.

iPDC has user friendly Graphical Interface.

iPDC is built on free and open source technologies.

What is PMU Simulator?

PMU Simulator would act as a server and bind port for UDP or TCP communication protocol. It would be listening for UDP connections on UDPPORT or for TCP connections on TCPPORT. The PMU Simulator receives the command frames from PDC and sends the configuration frame and data frames to PDC. Both the communicating peers authenticate each other through ID Code.

PMU Simulator Features

PMU Simulator is compliant with IEEE C37.118 and successfully tested with the PMU Connection Tester.

PMU Simulator is configurable for both TCP and UDP communication protocols.

PMU Simulator has option to read the PMU measurements from the csv file and generate Data Frames.

PMU Simulator has options to introduce different errors in STAT Word at run time.

With single installation multiple PMU simulators can be run on a single machine simultaneously.

PMU Simulator could be configurable for both 50 & 60 Hz of frequency system.

It also has the configuration modification option like add/remove phasor channels at run time.

PMU Simulator is a multi-process and multi-threaded application, hence the performance is optimistic.

PMU Simulator has user friendly Graphical User Interface.

PMU Simulator is built on free and open source technologies.

Project websites:

Nitesh Pandit, Kedar Khandeparkar

Contributors: Nitesh Pandit, Kedar Khandeparkar


MN Jayasankar said...

Nitesh, Kedar, Are you aware that POWERGRID is in the process of implementing about 2000 PMUs in India in next couple of Years and dozens of PMUs are already installed and is in operation and observation ? Please contact WRLDC or LD&C department of POWERGRID in connection with obtaining a sandbox for your further development.

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