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Author: Hessam Jouybari, Ph.D Power Systems Specialist

2017 CPS
Industry panel discussion

Toronto played host to the 2nd Annual Canada Protection Symposium this month as protection and control professionals from across the world met at The Westin Harbour Castle from December 5-6, 2017. The symposium provided a unique opportunity for attendees to share their engineering project successes, trade insights, and discuss the future path of the P&C technology and its applications.

Day One

The Ameren microgrid in Champaign, Illinois was introduced by Christopher Evanich of S&C Electric. This microgrid is reported to have sixteen different use cases and three modes of operation, including grid-connected, islanded, and storm mode. Ameren microgrid allows customers on an active feeder to be served in an islanded mode with a seamless transition in case of disconnection from the grid. What's more, the DER types are diverse and the control system is military grade secure with a distributed architecture.

A grid-scale microgrid in the town of Penetanguishene was also presented by Shuvo Chowdhury of Alectra Utilities. Alectra Utilities intends to initiate microgrid projects with the goal of giving control and maintenance power to its customers – a goal Chowdhury said is both long-term and achievable. The microgrid is about 150 km north of Toronto and is not only a test bed for new technology but also a practical solution to outage management of the town. It incorporates seamless grid disconnect and reconnect operations and is based on a 750 kW/500 kWh Li-Ion battery.

Day One also featured a presentation from GE Grid Solutions' Byron Flynn on Open Field Message Bus (OpenFMB). In it, he described field-based applications utilizing flexible architecture for edge peer to peer interaction. Utility example use cases where edge intelligence has been useful were also explained to demonstrate OpenFMB advantages to IEC 61850 in distribution automation challenges mitigation and improvement.

Lastly, Quanta Technology's Saman Alaeddini hosted a presentation to elaborate on protection engineering automation. Driving this technology, he said, is a motivation to reduce human errors and reducing the time spent on preparing reports by providing tools and processes to automatically create customized studies and reports.

At the end of day one, a panel discussion was held to answer audience questions and open the floor to talk about industry trends in distribution automation. It was moderated by Doug Houseman of Burns and McDonnell moderated the panel and featured industry experts from SEL, GE, S&C Electric, Beckwith, Quanta Technology, and G&W. This was a very positive and encouraging opportunity for all attendees.

2017 CPS Photo Speaker Keynote
Keynote speaker Bing Young, PE, Vice President of Hydro One

Day Two

Bing Young, Vice President of Hydro One, opened the second day of the symposium by giving a compelling talk on the changing utility landscape of Ontario, complete with a synopsis of several projects happening at Hydro One. He spoke about the organization's focus on renewables, clean energy, and its implementation of IEC 61850. 

Also in the spotlight was the modernization of St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation’s locks with a hands-free mooring system. Essentially, this is a distribution automation project powered by a closed loop distribution system with multiple levels of protection – all of which has been designed, tested, and implemented. Fiber optic cable and IEC 61850 communication were incorporated for automation of the system. As well, factory acceptance testing was explained and different fault locations, their status before the fault, and operated protections were provided for the test plan and the solution test summary. Site Acceptance Testing was also presented to show how a successful project outcome can be insured.

Raphael Beaulieu of BBA was also on hand to talk about IEC 61850 bench testing. The level of compliance for the standard and interoperability between various vendors devices are the challenges for IEC 61850 based projects. As a result, solutions are required for risk mitigation in each phase of a given project. Bench testing is deployed to mitigate technical risks, such as compliance, interoperability, and the end user’s knowledge level; as well as human risks such as the clients’ needs and their resistance to change. It was noted that testing ahead of time in an ideal lab environment where equipment and personnel availability are prepared, will improve outcomes and help reduce the aforementioned risks. BBA’s bench testing capabilities and facilities were also discussed during this seminar. 

In all, the symposium featured presentations from over 21 industry experts, and the audience included reps from 51 Canadian companies. What's more, the event was preceded by a factory tour hosted by G&W Electric.

Plans are already underway for next year’s Canada Protection Symposium.  It will be held on December 3-5, 2018, in Toronto. To submit a presentation for next year, or to receive further information, please contact Wayne Bishop at wayne.bishop@omicronenergy.com.

And for more information on Omicron, visit www.omicronenergy.com.