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The corporate technical journal
of the ABB Group

3 / 2009

Confronting the challenge of climate change
page 6

Solutions for staying in control of the grid

page 33

A century at high voltages: bushings at ABB

page 66

As mankind seeks a more carbon-
neutral and sustainable lifestyle, the
power network is at the forefront of
making this vital transition possible.
The growing importance of wind and
solar power, for example, means grids
must find ways of coping with the
inherently intermittent nature and poor
predictability of these sources, and
also with transmitting them from the
often remote regions in which they are
naturally most abundant.

This edition of ABB Review looks at

some of the technologies that will
uphold and augment the efficiency,
reliability and safety of the delivery of
power, ensuring that the lights will not
go out as the sun sets over the world
of tomorrow.

Shaping tomorrow’s grid

We have come to take for granted that practically every HVDC Light® adds stability and controllability to existing
room in every building has electric power outlets and elec- corridors, and can actually enhance their overall transmis-
tric light. But it is not only this ubiquitous coverage that sion capacity by more than the nominally installed addi-
sets the electrical grid apart from any other man-made tional power.
service (except maybe radio-based communication), but
it is also its extremely high availability: We expect the One important aspect of the grid of tomorrow will be a
lights to turn on whenever we want them to. From the greatly enhanced controllability assured by a large number
point of view of the grid operators, this means that the of measuring and monitoring devices along with the corre-
supply must strictly follow the demand. sponding actuators. These can, for example, make the grid
self-healing by localizing and mitigating disturbances as
The functioning of the electrical network is undergoing they occur. Over longer periods, they can monitor individ-
a fundamental paradigm shift. One driver of this is the ual items of equipment and so help schedule maintenance
increased use of alternative energies such as wind and tasks. In contingencies (for example after a storm) they can
solar, whose supply is intermittent and difficult to predict; pinpoint damage and support the deployment of repair
and much of whose generation is located in regions that crews, considerably shortening the time required to restore
are distant from the main load centers, and where the normal operations. Having to process a large number of
traditional grid infrastructure is often too weak to handle data feeds can, however, also challenge a control system
the additional power flows. Furthermore, consumers are and risk causing a “data tsunami” in which the most rele-
increasingly choosing the source of their power, and hence vant information is lost. Equally important as the measure-
expecting networks to be able to transmit it over longer ments themselves is a strategy to handle these and convert
distances. data to information at as low a level as possible. Several
articles in this edition of ABB Review discuss these and
This grid of tomorrow is often referred to as the “smart related aspects.
grid.” The key technological enablers of this transition are
progress in the power electronics and automation domains. Further energy-related articles look at the management
In this future grid, there will no longer be a one-way rela- of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply from the dockside
tionship with generation following consumption, but rather to the distribution network, and also at the importance of
a two-way interaction with such measures as energy stor- establishing standards for motor efficiency. The latter will
age or supply-dependent operation of devices permitting a give customers more transparency in relation to assessing
more ecological and economic utilization of generation and the life-cycle costs and carbon footprint of their equipment.
transmission infrastructure. ABB Review intends to dedicate
an upcoming edition to the topic of smart grids, and is This edition’s history article looks at ABB’s 100 years of
hence giving it only partial coverage here. Many of the experience in the manufacturing of bushings, and how
technologies addressed are, however, directly or indirectly these have evolved to handle ever-higher voltages.
relevant to this theme.
I trust that this edition of ABB Review will give you fresh
If the grid is to handle greater power flows, technologies insight into the functioning of today’s and tomorrow’s
are required to underpin its stability. Besides the additional energy supply, and illustrate ABB’s commitment toward
transmission capacity it provides in its own right, ABB’s making this even more efficient, reliable and safe.

Enjoy your reading.

Peter Terwiesch
Chief Technology Officer
ABB Ltd.

ABB Review 3/2009 3


ABB Review 3/2009

Delivering power

Energy and environment

6 33
Challenges and opportunities aplenty Smarter grids are more efficient
The heat is on to confront the challenge of climate Energy efficiency in transmission requires efficient
change. network management.

Information, not data
Controlling the gas flow
As the growing ubiquity of measurement devices risks
A power grid made of pipelines: ABB’s SCADA and
unleashing a “data tsunami,” ABB has the strategies to
System 800xA provide a delivery solution for natural gas.
keep the control room in control.

Network management for smart grids
Transmission and Working smarter before working harder:
distribution The operation centers of distribution networks
are rising to the challenge of complexity.
Restoring confidence
When a storm brings feeder lines down, it takes a
coordinated restoration strategy to put them back up. Efficiency and standards
23 50
The power to make a difference In harmony
The connection of alternative generation calls for It takes a standard to raise the standard: Global
alternative transmission: HVDC Light®. standards are making it easier to compare motor
The balance of power 56
How can a light solution provide a weighty contribution
OPC Unified Architecture
to transmission needs? The HVDC Light solution
Connected and going live: ABB played a major role in
improves network stability.
defining the OPC UA standard for interconnectivity in
industrial automation.

4 ABB Review 3/2009

Not lost in translation
How well do you know your subsystems? There is
now a simple and safe way to import engineering data
for subsystem integration.

Perpetual pioneering
High-voltage bushings
Electrifying experiences mean high-voltage equipment
often needs stress control. ABB Review looks back on
100 years of high-voltage bushings.


ABB Review 3/2009
Energy and environment

Challenges and
opportunities aplenty
How to meet the challenge of climate change
Anders H. Nordstrom

It’s been called “a disaster in slow-motion.” The impacts are already severe but
the real threat is probably a couple of generations away. Scientists have been
gathering evidence for decades but, until recently, societies have hesitated to
take action. Today climate change is on everybody’s lips and governments all
over the world are taking measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Howev-
er, the challenge is huge: The world is like a super tanker heading toward the
rocks and a quick but difficult turnaround is badly needed.

The mitigation of climate change is a long-term issue that calls for significant
changes in the way industry and society at large produce and use energy and
electricity. For its part, ABB has been and will continue to be committed to
helping its customers use energy more efficiently and reduce their environmen-
tal impact through a broad array of products, systems and services. It has a
two-year rolling target to reduce its use of energy per manufactured unit by
5 percent.

6 ABB Review 3/2009

Challenges and opportunities aplenty

Energy and environment

I t is well established that the world

is getting warmer. Meteorologists
have observed an increase in the aver-
termined by measuring the ratio be-
tween different isotopes of oxygen in
the ice. Mass spectroscopy allows very
number of different emissions scenari-
os, the IPCC projects an increase in
average global surface warming of
age global surface temperature of accurate determination of this ratio between 1.1 and 6.4 ºC by the end of
0.74 ± 0.18 ºC (1.33 ± 0.32 ºF) during and may even resolve seasonal varia- this century!
the last century. At the same time the tions. Up to now, ice-core studies have
CO2 concentration in the atmosphere revealed information about several The mitigation challenge
has risen from 280 parts per million hundred thousand years of climate To minimize the risk of the dangers of
(ppm) before the industrial revolution history. climate change, the European Union
to nearly 390 ppm today. This by far (EU) and others have long advocated
exceeds the natural CO2 levels in the From the mid-19th century, instrumen- that any increase in global tempera-
atmosphere over the last 650,000 years! tal temperature records have been tures should be kept below 2 ºC rela-
This increase is entirely the result of used to determine the average global tive to pre-industrial temperatures.
human activity caused mainly by the surface temperature. Regular measure- This will require a stabilization of
burning of fossil fuels, and the rise ments of CO2 concentration in the greenhouse-gas concentration in the
continues at a rate of 2 ppm per year. atmosphere started in 1958 in Hawaii atmosphere at well below 450 ppm
and accumulated data show an up- CO2-equivalent.2)
The Intergovernmental Panel on Cli- ward trend in CO2 concentration and
mate Change1) (IPCC) has concluded characteristic seasonal variations 1 . With current global emissions trends,
that most of the observed temperature the 450 ppm goal is challenging. In a
increases since the middle of the 20th business-as-usual scenario, the Inter-
century is very likely due to the rise
Over the last century, national Energy Agency (IEA) predicts
in greenhouse gas concentrations. meteorologists have energy-related greenhouse gas emis-
This conclusion is based on thousands observed an increase in sions to rise strongly in the foresee-
of studies made by scientists in differ- able future: By 2030, global primary
ent disciplines all over the world. the average global surface energy demand will be 45 percent
temperature of 0.74 °C higher than today, with 80 percent
Climate history and predictions of the energy mix still based on fossil
In various ways, nature has kept re-
while the CO2 concentra- fuels. Ninety-seven percent of the in-
cords of its own climate history and tion in the atmosphere crease will take place in non-OECD
scientists have developed methods to has risen to nearly countries. The IEA has warned that
study and interpret these data. For
example, historical temperatures can 390 ppm.
be deduced from tree-ring widths and Footnotes
coral growth, and valuable climate Advanced computer models are used 1)
National science academies in major countries ex-
data are hidden in the Arctic and to project future climate change. The press support for IPCC’s results and conclusions.
Today’s CO2-equivalent level is already around
Antarctic ice layers. Also, by studying models attempt to cover as many rele-
445 ppm when five other anthropogenic green-
the composition of air in bubbles vant physical processes as possible
house gases are included. However, fine particles
deep down in the ice, the CO2 con- and combine coupled general circula- in the atmosphere and ozone in the troposphere
centration at a specific time can be tion models for the atmosphere and are believed to largely offset this additional heating
determined. The average temperature oceans with those for ice on land and contribution, resulting in an effective level of CO2
of the period in question can be de- sea. By applying such models to a concentration of around 387 ppm.

1 CO2 concentrations continue to increase 2 IEA emission scenarios

Recent monthly mean CO2 at Mauna Loa

CO2 emissions (Gt)
388 Current trend
54% Energy
386 efficiency
Parts per million (ppm)

384 450 policy

scenario 23%
30 and biofuels
14% Nuclear
380 9% CCS*
April 2009

*Carbon capture and storage


376 20
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2000 2010 2020 2030
Year Year
Source: Source: IEA, WEO 2008

ABB Review 3/2009 7

Challenges and opportunities aplenty

Energy and environment

this scenario will lead to severe and curb the growing greenhouse gas Transforming the energy system will
irreversible damage to the climate. emissions. It relies on successful inter- require large investments: The IEA
national climate negotiations where all estimates an average cost of 0.55 per-
Securing a global supply of affordable countries, especially major emitters, cent of annual world GDP up to 2030.
energy to meet ever-increasing de- commit to cutting emissions. Accord- At the same time, improved efficiency
mands without generating excessive ing to the IEA, even if the OECD levels will reduce both operational
amounts of greenhouse gases is a countries were to reduce their emis- costs and energy bills.
huge challenge. sions to zero, they cannot achieve the
450 ppm target by themselves. McKinsey & Company has made an
in-depth study of emissions reduction
McKinsey & Company has The scenario predicts a 22 percent potential and cost of more than 200
found a potential exists to growth in primary energy demand un- technologies in 10 different sectors,
reduce greenhouse-gas til 2030, with 67 percent of the energy covering all relevant sources of emis-
mix coming from fossil fuels alone.3) sions (not only energy-related) in 21
emissions by 70 percent Energy-related CO2 emissions are cut different regions around the world.
by 2030 and that any in- by 37 percent compared with the The company has found that a poten-
business-as-usual scenario. As much tial exists to reduce greenhouse-gas
crease in temperature can as 54 percent of the savings come emissions by 70 percent by 2030 as
be kept below 2 °C. from energy-efficiency measures, compared to business-as-usual, and
while renewable energy and biofuels that any increase in temperature can
The IEA has developed and analyzed contribute 23 percent. Carbon capture
a scenario that fulfills the 450 ppm and storage (CCS) and nuclear power Footnote
stabilization target. This scenario re- are also important instruments in cut- 3)
Even in this scenario, fossil fuels maintain a domi-
quires strong and concerted action to ting emissions 2 . nating role for a considerable period of time.

3 McKinsey’s global GHG abatement cost curve v2.0

Exhibit 1

Gas plant CCS retrofit

Abatement cost Coal CCS retrofit
€ per tCO2e
Iron and steel CCS new build
60 Low penetration wind Coal CCS new build
Cars plug-in hybrid Power plant biomass
50 Residential electronics co-firing
Degraded forest reforestation
Residential appliances Reduced intensive
40 Nuclear agriculture conversion
Retrofit residential HVAC Pastureland afforestation High penetration wind
Tillage and residue management Degraded land restoration Solar PV
20 2nd generation biofuels Solar CSP
Insulation retrofit (residential)
Building efficiency
Cars Fully hybrid into new buildings
Waste recycling
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 38
-10 Organic soil restoration
Geothermal Abatement potential
-20 GtCO2e per year
Grassland management

-30 Reduced pastureland conversion

Reduced slash and burn agriculture conversion
-40 Small hydro
1st generation biofuels
Rice management
-60 Efficiency improvements other industries
Electricity from landfill gas
Clinker substitution by fly ash

-80 Cropland nutrient management

Motor system efficiency
-90 Insulation retrofit (commercial)
Lighting – switch incandescent to LED (residential)

Note: The curve presents an estimate of the maximum potential of all technical GHG abatement measures below €60 per tCO2e if each
lever was pursued aggressively. It is not a forecast of what role different abatement measures and technologies will play.
Source: McKinsey & Company

8 ABB Review 3/2009

Challenges and opportunities aplenty

Energy and environment

be kept below 2 ºC. Howev- Bali Action Plan established

4 Energy-saving potential in the manufacturing industry:
er, it is a huge challenge to at COP-13 two years ago,
Motor systems offer huge opportunities (data from an IEA report).
capture enough of this po- governments are destined to
tential since success relies on 8 agree on a new and ambi-
the implementation of almost 7 tious global treaty to succeed
all identified abatement op- 6 the Kyoto agreement by 2012.
portunities. McKinsey has 5EJ/year

found that a 10-year delay in 4 Key points that will be ad-

taking action against emis- 3 dressed at COP-15 include:
sions would make it impossi- 2 The amount of emissions
ble to limit the temperature 1 reduction that developed
rise to 2 ºC. The annual miti- 0 countries must commit
gation cost by 2030 is esti- Combined to and how this is to be
Motor Steam Process Increased Energy
heat &
mated at 1 percent of the systems systems integration recycling recovery financed.
forecasted global GDP. In The reasonable mitigation
agreement with the IEA, it actions for developing
has found that future energy savings energy consumption and 36 percent countries, especially China
compensate for much of the upfront of CO2 emissions are due to manufac- and India.
investment 3 . turing. Industrial energy use has in- The possibility of reaching a credi-
creased strongly over the last 25 years ble agreement on the stabilization
Energy efficiency and about 80 percent of the growth of greenhouse-gas concentrations in
In many countries, energy efficiency has occurred in China. The IEA has the atmosphere at 450 ppm CO2-
increased considerably after the oil identified potential savings of be- equivalent or less.
crisis in the 1970s. Today, the produc- tween 25 to 37 EJ4) (Exajoules) per
tion of a unit of GDP in developed year in the manufacturing industry if The success of COP-15 depends on
countries requires 30 percent less best practices and proven technolo- finding acceptable compromises on
energy than it did 1973. This is a gies5) are used. This corresponds to a these issues and on reaching an
result of productivity improvements reduction of 7 to 12 percent of pres- agreement. However, even without a
and products that are more energy ent global CO2 emissions. new global agreement, countries and
efficient and more intelligent. regions are already taking action by
implementing policies and regulations
Energy efficiency improvements
The European Union to curb emissions.
decreased during the 1990s because is a keen supporter of the
energy prices were low and stable, UN process to manage The European Union (EU) is a keen
and considerable reductions in energy supporter of the UN process to man-
intensity had already been achieved. climate change and has age climate change and has been im-
In cases where the cost of energy rep- been implementing plementing climate policies and regu-
resents a minor part of a company’s lations for some time. Its main tool is
overall costs, it is easily forgotten
climate policies and the cap-and-trade system, EU ETS,
when optimizing manufacturing pro- regulations for some time. which puts an absolute cap on 50 per-
cesses and product performance. cent of all emissions in the EU.
Electrical motor systems offer the larg- Twelve thousand industries and power
Today energy efficiency is high on est savings opportunity in the manu- plants within the EU have obligations
many agendas and its key role in the facturing industry. Optimizing motor in the system. The EU’s 20/20/20 plan
mitigation of climate change is univer- systems can achieve yearly savings sets out targets for 2020, including:
sally recognized. of between 6 and 8 EJ, which is equiv- Cutting CO2 emissions by 20 percent
alent a quarter of the world’s total compared with levels in the 1990s.
The potential to save energy is every- nuclear power production 4 . The use This figure will increase to 30 per-
where in society: In the power sector, of high-efficiency motors, variable- cent if a global agreement can be
opportunities exist in the chain that speed drives to control motor speed reached.
connects generation to consumption. and adequate motor protection to Increasing the share of renewables
Energy use can be cut in commercial permit downscaling of motor sizes in the energy mix to 20 percent.
and residential buildings by providing are some of the means of achieving Cutting primary energy use by
better insulation and by controlling these savings. 20 percent through efficiency mea-
heating and cooling. Improved car sures.
fuel efficiency can also make a con- Negotiations and climate policies
siderable difference. This year, governments around the
world are busy preparing for COP-15,
Huge savings can also be achieved in the United Nations (UN) climate con- Footnotes
industry. According to a report from ference, which will be held in Copen- 4)
1 Exajoule (EJ) = 1018 joules
the IEA, almost a third of the world’s hagen in December. According to the 5)
An 18 to 26 percent increase in energy efficiency

ABB Review 3/2009 9

Challenges and opportunities aplenty

Energy and environment

The US administration has indicated society at large produce and use ener- In addition, ABB is committed to
that it aims for an agreement in Co- gy and electricity. Success will require helping its customers use energy more
penhagen, including binding commit- changed consumer patterns as well as efficiently and reduce their environ-
ments to reduce emissions. The ad- the development and deployment of mental impact with its broad array of
ministration’s New Energy for America new technologies on a large scale. products, systems and services. For
plan aims to: example, the company’s advanced in-
Cut emissions to the levels seen in ABB has a two-year rolling target to formation technology systems for the
the 1990s by 2020 and by 80 per- reduce its use of energy per manufac- control and optimization of integrated
cent by 2050. tured unit by 5 percent. During 2008, industrial processes, electrical power
Have a million plug-in hybrid cars ABB increased its production output grids and buildings save energy and
on the road by 2015. by 20 percent while its total use of reduce emissions.
Ensure that by 2012 10 percent of energy remained relatively unchanged.
power comes from renewable; this This was due to energy efficiency The interconnection and strengthening
figure will increase to 25 percent by programs initiated throughout the of power systems with high-voltage
2025. group. Typical measures include direct current (HVDC and HVDC
Introduce an economy-wide cap- better climate control, more efficient Light®) technology and flexible AC
and-trade program. lighting and the installation of energy technologies (FACTS) make large sav-
efficient manufacturing equipment in ings through a more even distribution
China embraces the principle of “com- factories and offices. This has resulted of loads, an efficient use of primary
mon but differentiated responsibili- in impressive results from all over the energy resources and increased power
ties” established in the Kyoto proto- world: for example, the electricity quality, thereby reducing CO2 emis-
col, which says that developed coun- intensity at ABB China has fallen sions. It also enables large-scale inte-
tries should take the lead in reducing 55 percent over 5 years. gration of renewable energy into the
greenhouse-gas emissions as well as power grids.
providing financial and technical sup-
port to developing countries. However,
In 2008 ABB’s installed ABB’s high-efficiency motors and vari-
some signs indicate that China may be base of low-voltage able-speed drives for motors also con-
ready to relax its resistance against variable-speed drives tribute to large emission reductions.
controlling its emissions and is inter- In 2008 ABB’s installed base of low-
ested in reaching an agreement in Co- saved an estimated voltage drives saved an estimated
penhagen. China launched its National 170 terawatt-hours of 170 terawatt-hours of electric power,
Climate Change Program two years enough to meet the annual needs of
ago, which includes the challenging
electric power, enough 42 million households in the EU and
target of cutting energy intensity by to meet the annual needs reduce global carbon dioxide emis-
20 percent by 2010. China also aims at of 42 million households sions by some 140 million tons a year.
doubling its share of renewable ener-
gy use by 2020. Another ambitious in the EU. For ABB climate change is a huge
program aims at cutting energy use at opportunity and challenge: ABB must
China’s top 1,000 enterprises. ABB will make energy audits and continue to live its slogan “Power and
establish relevant energy-efficiency productivity for a better world” and
ABB’s contribution improvement programs for each of continue to serve its customers with
The mitigation of climate change is a the 23 ABB manufacturing sites that present and new technologies that
long-term issue that will call for signif- consume more than 1 percent of the meet increasing market demands on
icant changes in the way industry and total group energy consumption. energy savings and climate efficiency
in the long-term.

Anders H. Nordstrom
ABB Group Sustainability
Sollentuna, Sweden

10 ABB Review 3/2009

Energy and environment

the gas flow
ABB’s SCADA and System 800xA improve LNG operations and management
Zhimei Feng, Fei Wang, Xiaoxing Bi

Many new liquefied natural gas (LNG) stream consumers. A transportation of LNG. This is achieved by controlling
projects have been completed and plan is specified in the contract, the gas transmission between the
are operating successfully in China, which determines the volume of LNG LNG receiving terminal and the trunk
increasing LNG import trade volumes. shipped from the upstream output line. By utilizing information process-
International trade of LNG is generally terminal to the low-temperature stor- ing and automation control technolo-
based on long-term take or pay con- age tank of the receiving terminal. gy, errors of judgment can be avoided
tracts where a buyer will pay even if Through in-depth analysis of the so that the arrival of LNG shipments at
the product is not required. This supply and demand chain, a process the eceiving terminal are coordinated
means that the import volume and control system is devised to ensure efficiently and safely with gas trans-
storage capacity at the receiving ter- that the storage facility has the capac- mission and combined dispatching of
minal is directly influenced by down- ity to receive all scheduled shipments gas to downstream users.

ABB Review 3/2009 11

Controlling the gas flow

Energy and environment

T he Fujian LNG project in South-

east China is the first project
under the independent management,
Generally, LNG is transported by spe-
cial transport ships from the output
terminal, at the place of origin, to the
tribution. For the Fujian LNG project
a process has been established that
includes LNG production, storage,
construction, operation and mainte- receiving terminal, where it is allowed transportation, receiving and regasifi-
nance of a domestic enterprise in to form a gas and is distributed through cation 1 .
China. Since February 2009, the gas gas transmission lines to the end users.
for the project has been supplied by The principal ingredient of natural gas
Indonesia from its Togguh Gas Field. is methane (CH4). When cooled to
A constant supply of
Its current import capacity is 2.6 mil- about – 162°C, under ordinary pres- natural gas to power
lion metric tons of LNG per year with sure, it forms a liquid. The volume of stations and marketing
a further planned expansion of 5 mil- natural gas can be reduced to about
lion metric tons per year forecast for 1/600 when liquefied, making it more networks is maintained
operations beyond 2012. The project convenient for long distance transpor- through integrated
includes an LNG receiving terminal tation, storage and utilization. LNG
and a 360 km gas transmission line, has therefore become the major mode
production, transportation
which passes through coastal regions for natural gas transportation by sea.1) and distribution.
and cities, namely Fuzhou, Putian,
Quanzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou in Today, a constant supply of gas to The LNG receiving terminal
the southeast of the Fujian Province, power stations and marketing net- Generally, LNG receiving terminals
supplying gas to five city gas compa- works is maintained through integrat- are composed of five process subsys-
nies and three gas-fired power plants. ed production, transportation and dis- tems; namely LNG unloading, storage,
regasification (export), vapor process-
ing and flaring (venting) 2 .
1 LNG industry chain system

LNG output
LNG unloading and storage
terminal After the LNG transport ship has
berthed at the jetty, the LNG output
pipeline on the ship is connected to
the onshore unloading pipeline via the
unloading arm on the jetty. The LNG
cargo is then pumped ashore from the
tank on the ship to a storage tank at
Voyage in ballast Loading
Gas marketing
the receiving terminal. During this pro-
networks cess the gas pressure in the storage
Unloading tank on the ship would gradually drop,
so to maintain pressure, gas in the
Voyage with cargo
onshore storage tank is sent back to
the ship’s storage tank by way of the
gas return pipeline and gas arm. During
LNG receiving terminal Power station
periods when no LNG is unloading,
the unloading pipeline onshore is kept
cold using LNG from the onshore stor-
2 The processing system for an LNG receiving terminal
age tank’s transfer pump outlet. This
LNG is returned to the storage tank by
means of an insulated pipeline.

LNG regasification and export

Unloading arm
LNG carrier Metering station After pressurization through the tank’s
transfer pump, part of the LNG in the
storage tank enters the recondenser
BOG so that a given amount of vapor is
liquefied. The mixed LNG from the
recondenser and the tank’s low-pres-
sure pump is pressurized using a
Storage tank denser
high-pressure pump and it enters the
vaporizer. Meters measure the gas vol-
ume before it passes through the gas
LNG storage tank ORV
HP pump See “Tanking along” on page 74 of ABB Review

12 ABB Review 3/2009

Controlling the gas flow

Energy and environment

transmission line to the end users. To down (ESD) system Factbox 2 , a fire and To control the pump’s direction of
guarantee the normal operation of the gas (F&G) monitoring system Factbox 3 operation at the receiving terminal,
tank’s transfer pumps and high pres- and a distributed control system (DCS) the combined dispatch control logic
sure export pumps, it is necessary to Factbox 4 , both local operation control was built into the DCS system at the
set regurgitant pipelines at all pump and remote monitoring systems were receiving terminal. As part of the inte-
discharges. In this way it is feasible to required. Integrating these multiple grated design, priority was given to
regulate the flow using the regurgitant systems was the most technically chal- ensure smooth information exchange
pipeline to compensate for changes in lenging aspect of the project. between the DCS and SCADA. At
LNG transport capacity, so that low
temperatures in the system can be 3 The network structure drawing of Fujian LNG auto-control system
guaranteed even when output has
Main control center LNG terminal SCADA Emergency control center
ABB System 800xA client OS OS
LNG vapor processing and venting OS
The vapor processing system is de-
signed to guarantee normal LNG stor-
SCADA Application SCADA Applica-
age tank operation within a certain servers servers servers tion
DCS ESD F&G IEDs servers
pressure range. Within the storage
tank a pressure transmitter monitors
pressure values to ensure the tank is
neither under nor over pressure. When
the pressure is above or below the set
value, the vapor processing system
takes appropriate action to control the
gaseous pressure inside the storage
tank. To prevent a vacuum in the LNG
storage tank, a vacuum-gas supply PLC
system is provided in the process flow. DCS Total 12 sets of
Total 6 sets of BVS
substation control
system (SCS)
ABB’s SCADA system
adopts an open,
compatible and widely Factbox 1 Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) Vantage system
accepted standard
communication protocol The SCADA Vantage system improves the The SCADA Vantage system provides control
utilization efficiency of the pipeline service and data acquisition for specialized indus-
so that information can and the boosting station. As a result, turnover tries, such as LNG storage and supply. It is
be exchanged with most is accelerated and functions are enhanced. versatile with open compatibility, allowing
types of distributed LNG can be transported from the place of applications ranging from an installation in a
production – in the shortest time and at mini- single-node pattern to a multi-server system.
control system controllers. mum cost – to the place of installation. The
solution provided by ABB keeps the operat- In addition, the processes are performed
The trunk line ing cost as low as possible. based on the principle of client/server and a
The trunk line comprises a gas pipe- redundant object-oriented system. Through
line with branch lines, a valve station Characteristics: a configurable authorization system, it pro-
and an offtake station. The valve sta- Redundant and open structure vides a security guarantee to prevent unau-
tion is designed to block the pipeline Object-oriented real-time database thorized personnel from logging on to the
and provide unmanned monitoring Integrated historic record server system. The system communicates through
and remote control, while the offtake Integrated pipeline model and advanced the ODBC, COM, OPC and OLE standard
station is designed to transfer natural flow chart protocols (for more details see “OPC Unified
gas downstream to end users, such as Expandability from single-node equipment Architecture” on page 56 of this issue of
city gas stations and power plants, to multi-server system ABB Review). In addition to these advanced
once it has been filtered, metered, Intuitive configuration tools invoked in the characteristics, it possesses front-end com-
heated and pressure regulated 3 . total system and application munication with redundant configuration and
Communication protocols supporting can function using remote devices to com-
LNG control system OPC and industrial standards, such as plete automatic switchover should communi-
Since the Fujian LNG project involved IEC 870 5 101/104 and DNP3.0 cations be interrupted.
processes, including a supervisory Can be integrated simply with the auto-
control and data acquisition (SCADA) matic solution for pipeline station control
system Factbox 1 , an emergency shut-

ABB Review 3/2009 13

Controlling the gas flow

Energy and environment

present, most protocols designed for to integrate a SCADA system with a open rack vaporizer (ORV), which is
internal communication between the DCS system, and it is even harder to heated by seawater.
DCS system and the DCS controller integrate control systems when pro-
are developed independently and are vided by different manufacturers. The The DCS is a major automation system
frequently incompatible. ABB’s SCADA Fujian LNG project adopted ABB’s used to monitor and control the pro-
system however adopts an open, com- Extended Automation System 800xA to cess flow at the LNG receiving termi-
patible and widely accepted standard oversee control systems at the LNG nal. In addition the system also con-
communication protocol so that infor- receiving terminal and ABB’s SCADA sists of the following two independent
mation can be exchanged with most Vantage to oversee control systems on parts: the ESD system, which is de-
types of DCS controllers. It is not easy the gas-transmission line Factbox 5 . This signed to shut down the receiving
meant that the DCS, ESD system and terminal and the F & G monitoring
F&G system at the receiving terminal system, which is designed to detect
Factbox 2 Main design functions of the
station were fully integrated using the fire and LNG or NG leakage. The ESD
ESD system
System 800xA platform. Its ability to system uses ABB’s safety control sys-
use diverse communication protocols tem with safety integrity level 3 (SIL3).
1. Through the ESD button, manual enables the System 800xA software to When process disturbances threaten
emergency shutdown can be triggered exchange data seamlessly with third- personal security, the environment or
to isolate the processing equipment of party equipment at the receiving ter- equipment, or have the potential to
various units. minal, while the SCADA Vantage soft- cause major economic losses, the ESD
2. Emergency shutdown is triggered ware for the gas transmission line system initiates the corresponding in-
through the automatic detection instru- allows the simultaneous monitoring terlock protection to prevent further
ment of the system; for input signals, of both central and station control hazards or accidents escalating. The
use voting to guarantee the effective- systems. F&G system used was ABB’s fire and
ness of alarm or shutdown signal. gas control system with SIL3. This sys-
3. Reset of emergency shutdown. After The receiving terminal control system tem detects fires and the leakage of
the interlock triggering conditions have In terms of control areas, the automa- LNG and hazardous gases, initiates an
been manually confirmed and reset, the tion system of the receiving terminal alarm, activates fire extinguishing sys-
system can recover to a normal state can be divided into a central control tems as required and takes measures
to guarantee the safety of production. system and a jetty control system. The to isolate production equipment.
4. Interlock bypass. The ESD system also central and jetty control systems con-
provides maintenance bypass and an tain a DCS, an ESD system and an F&G Gas transmission-line control system
operation override button, which are monitoring system. The assets under ABB’s SCADA Vantage, used to moni-
used to conduct an online test on central control include all devices ex- tor and control the gas transmission
equipment without affecting normal cept those on the jetty, ie, the storage line, consists mainly of primary and
production, to shutdown a bypass of tank, compressor, recondenser and backup dispatch control centers, sev-
the signal at the time of the initial start
of the process system and to conduct
Factbox 4 Main design features of the DCS
a bypass operation on the ESD inter-
face when the bypass permits the
switch to be on the allowable position. 1. Provide real-time monitoring of production LNG storage tank data acquisition system
processes, such as pressure, liquid level, Boil-off gas (BOG) compressor
temperature and flow Vibration monitoring system for in-tank
2. Dynamically display the production flow pump and high-pressure pump
Factbox 3 Main design functions of the
of the receiving station, major process Export pipeline SCADA control system
F&G system
parameters and the running state of Wharf berthing system
equipment Ship-to-shore communication system
1. Collect and display the working states 3. Give alarm for abnormal operating condi- PMS system
of combustible gas and fire detector tions, print the alarm for the record and Natural gas analyzer
2. Detect LNG leakage and give audible store important parameters Tanker loading control system
and visual alarm for the detected ab- 4. Allow online setting and modification of Electrochlorine system
normal state process control parameters and conduct Seawater system
3. Collect and display the working states remote operations on devices such as Trade metering system
of fire-fighting equipment and auxiliary valves and pumps ESD system
facilities 5. Monitor the unloading, storage and gasifi- F&G system
4. Execute the logic of emergency cut-off cation of LNG as well as the export and
and display emergency cut-off alarm metering of natural gas
signal 6. Maintain real-time communication with the
5. Link fire-fighting equipment following systems to complete the central-
6. Output emergency stop signal to ESD ized management of the production infor-
mation of the entire receiving station:

14 ABB Review 3/2009

Controlling the gas flow

Energy and environment

eral station control systems for the DCS, such as the level of LNG in the offtake station, are transmitted to the
off-take stations and a remote control storage tank and the export quantity DCS system. Through firewall protec-
valve station. Each off-take station allocated for dispatch by trucks. This tion, authorized users can log onto
and valve station with the control cen- data is communicated by standard the Web server via the Internet to sub-
ter, conducts data exchange through protocols, such as the OPC protocol mit and modify the gas nomination
the main and backup communication or MODBUS TCP/IP. Regarding DCS plan. The combined dispatching func-
lines, guaranteeing the reliability and as an off-take station of the SCADA tion of the DCS will conduct a gas
security of data communication through system, it can realize real-time moni- transmission and distribution forecast
the SCADA system. The SCADA system toring of the production operations of according to the liquid level in the
supports multiple communication pro- the receiving terminal, and through storage tank, the LNG transportation
tocols such as MODBUS TCP/IP, OPC the Web server, enables users to mon- plan and the gas delivery plan for
and IEC104.2) itor the production and operation con- downstream users. Then it will dis-
ditions of the receiving terminal and patch and control the export quantity
Integrated dispatching system gas transmission lines. Meanwhile, the
The SCADA system performs data SCADA system can collect the daily,
acquisition and control for the offtake weekly, monthly and annual gas de- 2)
The MODBUS Protocol is a messaging structure
stations and remotely controls the livery plan for downstream users and
developed by Modicon in 1979, used to establish
valve stations of the gas transmission the transportation plan for the up- master-slave/client-server communication between
line. It also acquires the major process stream LNG transport ships from Web intelligent devices. TCP/IP: Transmission Control
parameters of the receiving terminal servers. These data, together with data Protocol/Internet Protocol. OPC: OLE for Process
in addition to data provided by the describing the export quantity of each Control.

Factbox 5 Technical characteristics of ABB’s control system: System 800xA

ABB’s System 800xA provides a powerful with a convenient fieldbus design tool. This tool Safe storage and history data access
control system with a simple, visually appeal- integrates network topology and field elements Fault-tolerant distributed data structure guar-
ing human-system interface. It provides a such as equipment parameters, a plan for ap- antees reliable data storage and usability.
flexible distributed engineering environment plication program, trial run and detailed diag- The user has limited rights to access these
for engineering design, control strategy con- nostic reporting. data. Meanwhile, these data can be stored
figuration, flow chart design, information offline. Electronic data meets the demand of
management, resource optimization and the Batch data management enterprise and provides a reliable basis for
integration of field equipment. Batch data management of System 800xA decision making.
utilizes Microsoft Excel and Excel ADD-INS,
Functional design of flow chart allows the automatic import of external data Integrated management and configuration
The flow chart design of System 800xA en- such as signal list, label name or document. The embedded history data processing func-
ables the engineer to remain an engineer and It can export system data at any time for verifi- tion is designed as the configuration and
not to become a computer programmer. The cation and modification. management inside the system. This allows
automatic construction of flow charts makes the management of single-point change and
projects simple and practical. Since the Report generation and distribution eliminates the risk of requiring additional
design of flow charts is based on functions, a System 800xA supports flexible and diversified project replication due to inconsistency of
design can be completed without in-depth report functions. The format of the report is multiple databases.
understanding of the controller and I/O. In familiar and easy to use. This not only fully
addition, System 800xA also supports online meets the requirements for factory and docu- Guarantees continuous batch production,
monitoring and calibration functions. ments, but can also act as a powerful tool for stable product quality and production
the user’s decision making and planning, with cycle
Process visualization improvable performances. System 800xA batch management provides
Applying the elements and symbols pre- unrivaled management, batch control and
defined in the comprehensive library of Sys- Perfect data conversion program control, and observes industrial
tem 800xA, the user can conveniently cus- The data structure and operation defined by specification, security and reliability. In re-
tomize the interactive flow chart. The system users provide powerful algorithms and pro- sponse to the ever-increasing product re-
also supports bitmaps, photographs and pic- grams that can be used repeatedly. On this quirements, it provides fast and controllable
ture elements from third-parties. basis, the user can convert raw data into infor- responses and simultaneously reduces oper-
mation, such as KPI (key performance indica- ating costs and production stoppages, thus
Fieldbus management tors), raw material property and perfect control winning a long-term competitive edge in the
Fieldbus management consists of HART support. The data structure can also be used market.
(Highway Addressable Remote Transducer) to integrate external data into the system.
communications protocols, Foundation Field-
bus and Profibus and provides the engineers

ABB Review 3/2009 15

Controlling the gas flow

Energy and environment

from the receiving terminal according tion, it is also necessary to adjust the center communicates with the control
to the inlet pressure of the receiving operations of other process equip- system at the receiving station and the
terminal, the exports to the gas trans- ment accordingly, such as low-pres- control center of the offtake station.
mission line and the inventory of the sure pumps and seawater pumps, to The offtake station control center
gas transmission line 4 . coincide with the revised export oversees several offtake stations and
quantity. When the motor control cen- valve houses. The design ensures that
In the control logic of combined dis- ter (MCC), which includes the controls the servers, controllers and networks
patching, the DCS controller firstly for low pressure, high pressure and are redundant so that the system’s
assesses whether the export pressure seawater pumps, fails to meet the re- safety is guaranteed.
is within the minimum and maximum quirement of the control logic, the
working pressure range. If the work- DCS controller will automatically send Optimization
ing pressure is too high (about 90 per- an alarm to prompt the operator to Since the start of its operation, the
cent of maximum working pressure), switch to manual processing. Fujian LNG project has successfully
the system conducts the export de- received its first shipment of LNG. The
crease operation: If this pressure ex- optimized control solution can save
ceeds the maximum working pressure,
ABB’s SCADA and Sys- millions of dollars on the monthly
the ESD system will conduct an export tem 800xA improve the supply of LNG. Natural gas has been
emergency shutdown operation. If, working efficiency of pro- transported to such stations as Putian,
however, the working pressure is too Hui’an, Quanzhou and Honglu, and
low (about 110 percent of the mini- duction dispatching, avoid the downstream users are already
mum working pressure), the system errors of judgment in using the natural gas provided by the
conducts the export increase opera- Fujian LNG project.
tion: If this pressure is lower than the
operation, and coordinate
minimum working pressure, the ESD the combined dispatch By taking full advantage of automatic
system will conduct an export increase control between the LNG control and information processing
operation and signal an alarm. technology to integrate different but
receiving terminal and the associated production process control
The DCS controller will immediately gas-transmission line. systems, the Fujian LNG project can
calculate the difference between the efficiently implement the combined
output of the receiving terminal and With reference to the transportation dispatch of LNG to end users. ABB’s
the total output of the various offtake plan of the LNG transport ships, the SCADA and System 800xA improve
stations. It will estimate the inventory integrated dispatching system judges the working efficiency of production
in the gas transmission line and deter- whether the LNG allowance can meet dispatching, avoid errors of judgment
mine whether the present export quan- the planned export quantity of the gas in operation, coordinate the combined
tity plus the inventory can meet the transmission line during the forecast dispatch control between the LNG re-
demand over the next two hours, tak- period until the LNG transport ship ceiving terminal and the gas transmis-
ing account of the previous two-hour unloads. If the LNG allowance fails to sion line, and thus improve the com-
gas delivery plan. Should the predicted meet the requirement, the system prehensive capability of the enterprise
demand exceed the expected export sends an alarm to remind the opera- in production, operation and manage-
quantity, the DCS controller will con- tor, through negotiation with the ment.
duct an export increase operation. downstream users, to adjust the gas
consumption plan. In addition, the
When the system is determining system also judges whether there is Zhimei Feng
whether to conduct an export increase adequate space in the storage tank to ABB Process Automation
or an export decrease operation, it accommodate the discharge of LNG Beijing, China
first checks whether there have been from the ship. Should the capacity of
any major fluctuations in the gas con- the storage tank be insufficient, the
sumption in the last two hours ac- system sends an alarm to remind the Fei Wang
cording to the gas delivery plan. If the operator that he should consult with Xiaoxing Bi
fluctuations are within the maximum downstream users to adjust the gas CNOOC Fujian LNG Company
export quantity for a set of high-pres- delivery plan or increase delivery of Fujian, China
sure pumps, it is merely necessary to the gas through other modes (such as
start or stop these pumps. If the varia- tanker transportation), so that ade-
tion is higher than the maximum ex- quate space can be created in the
port quantity for this single set of storage tank to accommodate the Further reading
Yudong, W. (2007). The principle and process for
high-pressure pumps, it will be neces- arrival of the scheduled LNG ship-
natural gas conditioning. China Petrochemical Press.
sary to start or stop two sets of high- ment.
Kuichang, G. (2008). The application and safety of
pressure pumps or possibly three sets, liquefied natural gas (LNG). China Petrochemical
depending on the size of the fluctua- The control system Press.
tion. When conducting an export in- The structure of the control system is ABB System 800xA Technical Manual
crease or an export decrease opera- shown in Factbox 5 . The main control ABB SCADA Version Technical Manual

16 ABB Review 3/2009

Transmission and distribution

Control-center- and field-based feeder restoration
James Stoupis, Zhenyuan Wang, Fang Yang, Vaibhav Donde, Fahrudin Mekic, William Peterson

Severe – and not so severe – weather conditions have the potential to wreak havoc with
electric utility transmission and distribution systems. The speed and efficiency at which
these repairs can be carried out depends largely on the type of decision support systems
or tools available to the distribution utility.

The traditional procedure for restoring power, ie, a trouble call system and crew dispatches,
may take several hours to complete. In recent years, utilities have deployed automated
feeder switching devices with communications, such as reclosers and circuit breakers with
intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) for protection and control applications, and as a result,
the power outage duration and system reliability have been significantly improved. The
information provided by IEDs has made automated fault location identification and fault
isolation relatively easy to achieve. Automated power restoration, however, is another story

ABB has developed two complementary power restoration control schemes that are in
essence self-sensing and self-healing distribution network solutions.

ABB Review 3/2009 17

Restoring confidence

Transmission and distribution

T raditionally, electric utilities use

the trouble call system to detect
power outages, ie, customers report
ter, and based on the information auto-
mated fault location identification and
fault isolation are relatively easy to
nents: sources such as distribution
substation transformers; switching
devices, ie, “switches” that act to sec-
when they experience a power out- achieve. As a result, power outage tionalize parts of the network, load
age. The distribution system control duration and system reliability have switches, circuit breakers and reclos-
center then dispatches a maintenance improved significantly. ers; and loads. It uses a network-trac-
crew to the field where they investi- ing-based algorithm to reach a valid
gate the fault location before imple- While identifying and isolating the post-restoration network that satisfies
menting various switching schemes fault may now be relatively easy, auto- the following requirements:
to conduct fault isolation and power matically restoring power remains a The network is radial.
restoration. This procedure may take challenging task. Many research efforts There is no current violation on any
several hours to complete, depending have been dedicated to tackling this network component.
on how quickly customers report the task, including consideration of the There is no voltage violation at any
power outage and the maintenance operating constraints, load balancing, network node.
crew locates the fault point. and any other practical concerns.
Therefore, the restoration switching
Over the years demands on utilities As a result of its own research effort, sequence is generated online accord-
have continued to increase, causing ABB has developed two complemen- ing to the pre-fault network condition
many distribution networks to become tary power restoration control schemes: instead of pre-programmed rules that
less (traditionally) passive and more field-based and control-center-based. are usually generated offline.
active or dynamically adapting. Both schemes conduct a restoration
switching analysis (RSA) to achieve
back-feed power restoration, ie,
In a field-based scheme,
Identifying and isolating a healthy load zones that have lost the restoration switching
fault is now considered power will be restored through their sequence is generated
relatively easy. Automati- boundary tie switching devices from
online according to the
neighboring sources. However, the
cally restoring power, field-based scheme uses a substation pre-fault network condi-
however, remains a computer, the COM600, to run the
tion instead of pre-pro-
RSA while the control-center-based
challenging task. scheme uses the Network Manager- grammed rules that are
DMS outage management system. usually generated offline.
Grids that can think for themselves
Smart grid, for some electric utilities,
refers to electric power systems that en-
ABB has developed two The capacity of a potential back-feed-
hance grid reliability and efficiency by complementary power ing source may be limited, and in some
automatically anticipating and respond- restoration control cases multiple back-feeding sources
ing to system disturbances. To achieve may be required to reach a feasible
smart grid at the power distribution sys- schemes, field-based and restoration solution. In the context of
tem level, various automation technolo- control-center-based, this article, if a source can provide the
gies have been attempted in the areas restoration power over a single path
of system metering, protection, and
which conduct a restora- to an out-of-service load zone, the
control. Within these technologies, tion switching analysis to restoration is called “single-path resto-
automated power restoration is an achieve back-feed power ration.” Otherwise, the out-of-service
important part of the smart grid puzzle. load zone may have to be split into
restoration. two or more load zones to be back-
In moving closer to the smart grid fed, and the scenario is then called
concept, utilities have, in recent years, The field-based scheme “multi-path restoration.” Both single-
deployed feeder switching devices, In the field-based scheme, the substa- path and multi-path restorations may
such as reclosers and circuit breakers tion computer, the COM600, hosts the have to shed load in case the back-
with intelligent electronic devices RSA engine and is used to communi- feed source capacity or feeder compo-
(IEDs) for protection and control ap- cate with feeder IEDs. It also acts as a nents’ loading capability is not suffi-
plications. The automated capabilities soft programmable logic controller cient.
of IEDs, such as measurement, moni- (SoftPLC) which issues control com-
toring, control and communications mands to the IEDs based on the resto- The RSA engine’s algorithm starts with
functions, make it practical to imple- ration switching sequence produced a back-feeding isolation switch search,
ment automated fault identification, from the RSA engine. which is carried out on the pre-fault
fault isolation, and power restoration. network’s tree structure with the
The RSA engine in the COM600 has a tripped breaker/recloser as the root.
The IED data is transmitted back to a simple distribution network model The search is conducted down the
substation computer or a control cen- that includes major feeder compo- tree to find the most downstream

18 ABB Review 3/2009

Restoring confidence

Transmission and distribution

switch that passed the fault current. of-service load on their corresponding both R8 and R11 (from both S3 and
This switch is then named the “for- restoration path, and each tie switch S4). The post-restoration circuit topol-
ward-feed isolation” switch. The (R9 and R12) can be closed to achieve ogy is shown in 2b .
search then moves further down to the restoration. The post-restoration
the first layer of downstream switches, circuit topology in 1b . 2a shows a Operation of the field-based scheme
which are named the “back-feed isola- multi-path full restoration example, was validated using an example of a
tion” switches. The algorithm then where a fault at load node, L1, must demo distribution system that has
applies numerous recursive steps, be isolated by a forward-feed isolation three sources, five switches and three
including: switch (R1) and a back-feed isolation loads 3 . By implementing the algo-
Identifying any multi-connected load switch (R2).2) In this example, none of rithm in a COM600 to control five
nodes (also known as “T-nodes”) via the back-feed sources (S2 to S5) can IEDs, the demo shows how single-
tracing. completely pick up all the unaffected and multi-path restoration scenarios
Determining if single-path restora- loads after fault isolation. Hence the are achieved. For example, since nei-
tion can be achieved via a single algorithm splits the network into two ther of the given source capacities at
source. If single-path restoration parts by opening R13, and the out-of- sources S2 and S3 is enough to restore
cannot be achieved, the algorithm service load is restored by closing the sum of the loads L2 and L3, a fault
then continues to search for other
switches in the network in order to
achieve multi-path restoration. 1 A single-path restoration example

a Normal topology b Post-restoration topology

In the case of multi-path restoration,
the algorithm tries to determine the S2 S2
best reconfiguration. In some cases, 500

the network must be divided into two 2,000 2,000

sub-networks to restore all the possi- L4

ble unaffected loads, moving one or 2,000

more normally open tie switches to S1 R1 R2 R3 R6 R7 R8

2,000 2,000 L1 2,000L2 2,000 L3 2,000 L5 2,000 L6 2,000 S1 R1 R2 R3 R6 R7 R8
other switching device locations. In 100 200 200 200 350 2,000 2,000 L1 2,000L2 2,000L3
100 200 200
2,000 L5 2,000 L6 2,000
200 350
other cases, all the unaffected loads L7
2,000 900 R9 S3
350 L7 2,000 900
cannot be completely restored, even if S4
2,000 L9
2,000 L8
2,000 S4 R12 R11 R10
250 100
500 2,000 L9 2,000 L8 2,000
the tie switch locations are moved. 250 100

Typical RSA engine outcomes are

illustrated in 1 and 2 . In 1a , single- 2 A multi-path full restoration example
path full restoration is used where a
a Normal topology b Post-restoration topology
fault at T-node, L3, must be isolated
by opening the forward-feed isolation
S2 S2
switch (R3) and two back-feed isola- 500
R5 R10 R9
R5 R10 R9
L8 2,000 L8 2,000
tion switches (R6 and R10).1) Back- 2,000 2,000
2,000 2,000

feed sources (S3 and S4) both have L4

100 R7 S5
100 R7 S5
R4 L5 R4 L5
400 400
sufficient capacity to pick up the out- 2,000 100 2,000 2,000 100 2,000

S1 R1 R2 R3 R6 R13 R8 S3 S1 R1 R2 R3 R6 R13 R8 S3
2,000 2,000 L1 2,000L2 2,000L3 2,000 L9 2,000 L6 2,000 500 2,000 2,000 L1 2,000L2 2,000L3 2,000 L9 2,000 L6 2,000 500
100 100 100 250 100 100 100 100 250 100
Normally a feeder circuit breaker will not act as a tie
S4 R11 R12 S4 R11 R12
switch. In this example, they are used as tie switch- 700 2,000 L7 2,000 700 2,000 L7 2,000
100 100
es only to illustrate the concept.
In this case no forward restoration is required.

3 The demo circuit

a Physical circuit b Normal operation c Post-restoration operation

R1 R2 R1 R2
Max 1,000A Max 600A Max 1,000A Max 600A

S1 A A A S1 A 400A A
R5 A R5
Max 1,000A MW MW MW Max 1,000A MW PF=0.95 MW
Max 900A MW Max 900A
MVar MVar MVar MVar MVar
L2 L2
A 200A A S3 A 200A A S3
R4 R3 R4 R3
Max 900A Max 600A MW PF=0.85 MW Max 400A
Max 900A Max 600A MW PF=0.85 MW Max 400A
MVar MVar MVar MVar
L3 L3
S2 A A 300A A S2 A A 300A A
Max 400A MW MW PF=0.9 MW Max 400A MW MW PF=0.9 MW
MVar MVar MVar MVar MVar MVar

ABB Review 3/2009 19

Restoring confidence

Transmission and distribution

at load L1 causes R3 to open, trol commands to the

4 High-level architecture for integrated feeder automation and DMS
which in turn splits the out- COM600 either automatically
of-service network composed or after an operator authori-
Distribution substation
of L2, R3 and L3 3b . Both tie Distribution zation action, whichever is
switches R4 and R5 close to DSG protection preset in the control center
1-25 MW and control
restore power to the out-of- (IEDs)
DMS application. The high-
service loads 3c . COM600 level system architecture of
Feeder Tibco message this scheme is shown in 4 .
Network Manager- Network Manager-DMS is
DMS is ABB’s out- Fuse cutouts
S ABB’s outage management
age management LVI
and trouble call system. It
FCI contains the network model
and trouble call sys- 120/240V – which is typically stored in
tem that contains FCI
Underground lateral
an Oracle database - for an
S entire utility distribution sys-
the network model S FCI
Three-phase load
tem, from substation compo-
for an entire utility FCI
nents all the way down to
distribution system. R
R residential service transform-
ers. The control-center oper-
FCI ator interface for a typical
The control-center-based capacitor residential distribution sys-
bank S
scheme tem, modeled in Network
In a control-center-based Normally open tie to adjacent feeder Manager-DMS, is illustrated
scheme, the substation com- in 5 . The solid lines repre-
puter COM600 is used as a CB Circuit breaker sent overhead distribution
R Recloser
gateway to transmit field IED S Sectionalizer lines and the dotted lines
data back to the outage man- FCI Fault current indicator represent underground distri-
Communication-enabling device
agement system at the con- Communication technology
bution lines. The boxes rep-
trol center, and conversely (eg, GSM, satellite, radio, fiber optic) resent reclosers or switches,
control commands from the with the red boxes indicating
control center to the field normally closed devices and
IEDs. The COM600 first uses industry- via proprietary methods using a real- the green boxes indicating normally
accepted protocols, such as IEC 61850, time messaging system. When the Net- open devices (ie, potential restoration
DNP3 and Modbus, to obtain the nec- work Manager-DMS receives the data, paths). The red triangles represent
essary data from each of the feeder it analyzes it, determines the location service transformers.
IEDs, and then analyzes this data to of the fault, and subsequently runs the
detect if a fault has occurred in the RSA to determine the proper isolation Historically, when customers lose
system. In the event of a fault, the and restoration switching actions that power, they call the utility’s automat-
COM600 sends this information up- should be taken. The Network Manag- ed answering system, which enters
stream to the Network Manager-DMS er-DMS then sends the switching con- the outage data into Network Manag-

5 Operator interface (OrMap) for Network Manager-DMS 6 Operator-setting interface for control-center-based restoration

20 ABB Review 3/2009

Restoring confidence

Transmission and distribution

er-DMS. This data is then dis- (eg, second layer, third layer).
7 The multi-layer restoration switching analysis (RSA) concept
played on the operator inter- Under heavy load conditions,
face. As more phone calls S2 only closing the first layer
come in, Network Manager- restoration switches may not
11 NO
DMS tries to determine the S3 be suitable to meet the power
12 13 14
cause of the outage, for ex- requirement of the unserved
NO 10
ample if a switching device loads. Thus, load transfers
or fuse in the field operated unserved
9 from the zone between the
to clear a fault or if a trans- S1 clear isolate loads NO first and second layers to the
former or other component 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
S4 zone between the second
failed. The operator then us- 15 and the third layers may be
es the interface and output of NO 16
NO necessary. ABB has imple-
the RSA feature of Network 17 18 19 20
S5 mented a genetic algorithm-
Manger-DMS to coordinate Layer 1 based method to resolve this
21 27
isolation and restoration of problem.
the feeder by dispatching 22 28

crews to conduct switching 24 25 26

A control-center-based
operations. Layer 2 NO scheme has been developed
23 and validated by ABB in
29 NO
With the integrated control- S7 the lab and a demonstrator
center-based restoration 30 built to show the concept 8 .
scheme, the COM600 will de- A Network Manager-DMS
Layer 3
tect the outage based on the S6 server was configured to
IED-sensed network events, store an example network
and inform the Network model, and a Network Man-
Manager-DMS automatically. ager-DMS client laptop was
8 Connection diagram for the control-center-based restoration demon-
When the Network Manager- configured to be able to ac-
DMS receives this notice, it cess and display this model.
will run the RSA with respect Network Network These computers, together
to the outage area and gen- manager manager
substation with the COM600 substation
client server
erate power restoration computer computer and two REF615
schemes, which are other- distribution IEDs, communi-
wise known as restoration Ethernet
cated with each other via
switching plans (RSP). Serial switch TCP/IP through an Ethernet
Whether an RSP is sent to the switch. The two PCD recloser
COM600 for execution imme- PCD1 REF615 A TCP/IP controllers communicated
diately after the RSA run is (normally closed) (normally closed) connection with the Modbus protocol
Source 1 Load 1
based on the operator’s pref- (adjustable) through serial connections to
erences. The operator inter- the COM600.
face application allows three Fault

types of restoration control 6 : Source 2 Source 3

In 8 , Load 1, the adjustable
Fully automated control load, is a light bulb con-
where the operator is not trolled by a dimmer switch,
PCD2 Load 2 REF615 B
involved in the RSP execu- (normally open, (normally open,
which is set via a remote
tion process restoration path #1) restoration path #2) control. Load 2 is fixed, ie,
The operator one-click a light bulb with no dimmer
confirmation-based RSP switch. A fault is simulated
execution the network is light, then single-path at Load 1 by pressing a button on the
The operator-aided RSP selection restoration is sufficient. If the network dimmer switch remote control, there-
and execution is heavily loaded, either a multi-path by increasing the load (light-bulb illu-
restoration is required, or a multi- mination) level from the half-load to
The RSA is based on the detailed net- layer RSA has to be used. the full-load setting of the switch. This
work model and unbalanced load- action causes a fault, forcing PCD1 to
flow analysis of this model to make The concept of the multi-layer RSA go through a reclosing sequence to
sure the post-restoration network does is explained in 7 , where the green lockout: its over-current pickup set-
not have current and voltage viola- squares represent tie switches or fault ting lies between the pre-fault load
tions. The RSA combines a network- clearance/isolation switches. The tie level (half load setting) and the fault
topology tree-tracing and genetic switches that bound the unserved load level (full load setting).
algorithm, thereby enabling it to take load area are called the first layer of
care of both lightly and heavily loaded tie switches for restoration. Subse- When PCD1 locks out, this action
network conditions. If the loading of quent layers are named sequentially triggers the fault detection in the

ABB Review 3/2009 21

Restoring confidence

Transmission and distribution

9 NM-DMS operator interface (OrMap) screen for semi-automated RSA 10 NM-DMS operator interface (OrMap) screen after restoration

COM600. When the fault has been This demonstrator was shown at sev- areas. The field-based and control-
detected, the Network Manager-DMS eral conferences in 2009, including center-based power restoration con-
is notified and the RSA is automatical- DistribuTech, ABB Automation & trol schemes are just two examples of
ly run to determine all the restoration Power World 11 , and the FERC Expo these developments. These technolo-
paths. The RSA setting will determine Day. gies provide a self-sensing and self-
if the isolation and restoration actions healing distribution network solution,
are fully automated, semi-automated greatly reducing the customer outage
with one-click operator confirmation,
ABB is actively developing time and increasing service reliability.
or semi-automated with operator con- new grid technologies,
firmation where the operator selects especially in the distribu-
the restoration path. In the first two
cases, the best restoration is automati- tion automation, feeder
cally determined by the RSA. In the automation and distribu-
last case, the operator “manually”
selects the best path by analyzing the
tion control application James Stoupis
output data of the RSA, such as allow- areas. Zhenyuan Wang
able capacity, loading levels, and Fang Yang
load-flow violation data. The Network Self-healing distribution networks Vaibhav Donde
Manager-DMS operator interfaces for ABB is actively developing new grid ABB Corporate Research Center
semi-automated isolation and restora- technologies, especially in the distri- Raleigh, NC, United States
tion with one-click operator confirma- bution automation, feeder automation
tion are shown in 9 and 10 . and distribution control application
11 The demonstrator at the 2009 ABB Automation & Power World in Orlando

Fahrudin Mekic
ABB Medium Voltage Products
Allentown, PA, United States

William Peterson
ABB Power Systems Network Management
Raleigh, NC, United States

[1] Wang, Z., et al. (July 2009). A deterministic analy-
sis method for back-feed power restoration of dis-
tribution networks. IEEE General Meeting, Calgary,

22 ABB Review 3/2009

Transmission and distribution

The power to make

a difference
HVDC Light® can deliver 1,100 MW
Björn Jacobson, Marc Jeroense

Our appetite for electric power seems to have no limits and is predicted to double over the next 40 years. This heavy
demand for electricity comes at a cost to the environment, both in its generation and in its transmission. An increasing
share of new power generation comes from renewable sources, often located in remote areas. Since the mid 1990s, ABB
has been developing a new system, called HVDC (high-voltage direct current) Light ® , for electric
power transmission, with the aim of pro- viding a new transmission alternative, reduc-
ing some of the inherent disadvantages of the existing systems. With HVDC Light
systems it is possible to transfer DC power over long distances on land by
the use of robust and quick-to- install polymeric cable systems. Simi-
larly, submarine cables can be used for sea crossings. HVDC Light
converters enrich the electric transmission network with proper-
ties like improved black-start capabilities.

ABB Review 3/2009 23

The power to make a difference

Transmission and distribution

I n our urbanized world, there are

fewer places to erect new power
lines. Furthermore, the rise of sustain-
the consumer. HVDC transmission
needs converters at either end to con-
vert AC to DC (using rectifiers), and
of great benefit, since polarity reversal
might cause high electric-field stresses
in the cable system.
able energy sources, like solar, wind DC to AC (using inverters). The con-
and remote hydroelectric generators, version is carried out using thyristors
put greater stress on the power grid. in the classic HVDC system and tran-
ABB is the only supplier
In the remote regions where this sistors in HVDC Light system. with operational experience
power is usually generated, the grid is of more than 10 years for
often weak. Today, renewable energy HVDC Light
sources are more commonly used, ABB is the only supplier with opera- such a voltage-source con-
since they are seen as a solution to tional experience of more than 10 years verter (VSC) transmission
the rising CO2 problem. New climate- for such a voltage-source converter
protection and energy-trading initia- (VSC) transmission system. The first
tives have inevitably led to new de- HVDC Light project was the 10 kV trial
mands on transmission systems. transmission system in Hällsjön-Grän- HVDC Light cables are configured as
HVDC Light® technology provides a gesberg completed in 1997. Since then, a basic bipolar pair – one cable with
new alternative for bulding the vital many converter stations have been positive polarity, the other with nega-
reinforcements required in the grid. built and continue to operate success- tive polarity. By operating the cables
fully in the hands of satisfied customers. with anti-parallel currents, the overall
Transmitting bulk power magnetic field of the cables is nearly
HVDC allows long-distance electric VSC transmission can be connected eliminated, which is another positive
power transmission with low losses. to very weak networks, and even to aspect of HVDC Light technology.
Classically, HVDC has been used for networks without additional power Through the coordinated development
sea cables or high-power, long-dis- sources. It stabilizes voltage by inject- of converters, insulated-gate bipolar
tance transmission. ABB has been at ing or absorbing reactive power as transistors (IGBTs) and HVDC Light
the forefront of this development since required, allowing power flow and cable systems, VSC transmission can
the 1930s and has a long record of suc- voltage at the connection point to be produce a synchronized voltage for an
cessful HVDC projects, from the first controlled simultaneously and inde- entire wind turbine park and can now
commercial 12-pulse converters in pendently. In classical HVDC (using provide an alternative to high-voltage
Gotland in 1954, to today’s large-scale thyristor-based converters rather than (400 kV and 500 kV AC) power lines.
systems under construction in China transistors), such independent control The design philosophy used to im-
that are capable of transmitting up to of active power and network voltage prove HVDC Light voltage levels has
6,400 MW of power 2,000 km from is not intrinsic, requiring extra equip- been one of cautious extension to ex-
large hydroelectric power plants in ment. Furthermore, with VSC trans- isting voltage levels 2 . Stringent tests
western China to southern and eastern mission, the flow of power can be re- have been carried out according to
China 1 . versed without changing the polarity
of the voltage, a facility not possible Footnote
Power conversion with classic HVDC. Instead, the power 1)
Cigré is a non-governmental organization estab-
Electric power is generated as AC in a reversal is achieved by reversing the lished in 1921 to provide guidelines related to the
power station and delivered as AC to current direction. Such a property is planning and operation of power systems.

1 1,100 MW converter station: The station layout in this example covers 2 Historical development of higher HVDC voltage levels
160 m x 70 m to the fence.

Power MW
Voltage kV

c b



a AC-filter hall e DC hall

b Reactor halls f Service building












c Valve hall g Converter transformers

d Coolers

24 ABB Review 3/2009

The power to make a difference

Transmission and distribution

Cigré recommendations.1) Prototype tion of the network voltage (so-called bles, the traditional market for HVDC
tests, high-voltage insulation tests and voltage control mode). cable interconnections, ie, long sub-
component tests have been performed marine links, is expanding and new
at ABB and at third-party laboratories. Different types of damping functions market-driven opportunities are devel-
Critical components have been tested are available on request, for instance oping. These include offshore applica-
in a specially built, unique high-volt- damping of sub-synchronous torsional tions, such as mainland-grid power
age switching circuit. Calculations, interaction between the grid and gen- supply to oil platforms and the trans-
simulations and operational tests at erators. HVDC Light can help to mission of offshore-generated power
full power per component have then dampen these oscillations, thereby from wind farms. Since HVDC Light
been verified by measurements in the protecting generators from potentially cables have no alternating magnetic
field. In fact, with more than 1,500 km harmful vibrations. and external electric fields and the
of HVDC Light cables installed and cables can be buried underground,
more than 28,000 IGBTs operating in TM acceptance of new power transmis-
29 converters (or 22 converter sta-
The MACH2 control sion systems using HVDC Light tech-
tions), ABB has earned a reputation system keeps track of the nology is high. Reduced visibility to-
for effective and reliable power trans- converters and attached gether with fast, relatively unobtrusive
mission through HVDC Light technolo- installation, all contribute to shortened
gy Factbox . equipment, protecting approval processes, and a short proj-
them from current or ect realization time. The small dimen-
Specialized transistors sions of the cable system and the sim-
ABB produces all IGBTs for HVDC
voltage overloads. plified installation procedure with a
Light, the largest of which has a reduced number of joints per kilo-
maximum turnoff current of 4,000 A New possibilities with HVDC Light meter, together with the durability of
in normal operation and can with- With the introduction of HVDC Light the underground cabling, make instal-
stand about 18 kA during short-circuit stations and extruded polymeric ca- lation and maintenance highly cost
conditions 3 . These data effective. In an HVDC Light
translate to a DC capability transmission system, a signifi-
Factbox Abundant experience in HVDC Light and static var
of around 1,800 A, when cant part of the cost is in the
(Volt-Amps-reactive) compensation (SVC) installations.
safety margins have been conversion equipment. Fur-
added. ther, the transmission capaci-
Project Number of Year in operation
converters ty, unlike an AC line, is not
Control system 1 Hällsjön 2 1997 reduced with increasing dis-
The MACH2TM control system 2 Hagfors (SVC) 1 1999 tance. This makes the HVDC
is computerized and fast. The 3 Gotland 2 1999 Light system more cost effec-
cycle time for the internal 4 Directlink 6 2000 tive with increasing transmis-
control loops is 100 µs. The 5 Tjæreborg 2 2002 sion distance. Local condi-
system keeps track of the 6 Eagle Pass 2 2000 tions vary a great deal but in
state of the converters and 7 Moselstahlwerke (SVC) 1 2000 the cases studied it has been
the attached equipment and 8 Cross Sound Cable 2 2002 shown that for distances
protects it from current or 9 Murraylink 2 2002 above 200 km HVDC Light
voltage overloading. The 10 Polarit (SVC) 1 2002 can be an attractive alterna-
control includes fast internal 11 Evron (SVC) 1 2003 tive to overhead lines of
valve current and DC voltage 12 Troll A 4 2005 comparable capacity, even
regulation. The fastest pro- 13 Holly (SVC) 1 2004 from a financial point of
tection circuits act within 14 Estlink 2 2006 view.
10 µs to protect the valves. 15 Ameristeel (SVC) 1 2006
16 ZPSS (SVC) 1 2006 Extruded versus mass-impreg-
The main functions of 17 Mesnay (SVC) 1 2008 nated cable
MACH2 include power and 18 BorWin 1 (Nord E.ON 1) 2 2009 Cables insulated with mass-
19 Martham (SVC) 1 2009
voltage control. Frequency impregnated (MI) paper can
20 Liepajas (SVC) 1 2009
control and reactive-power also be used with HVDC
21 Siam Yamato (SVC) 1 2009
control can be used alterna- Light, as was the case in the
22 Caprivi Link 2 2010
tively to control the system. Valhall project. Both polymer
23 Valhall 2 2010
The active power can be and MI cables can and have
24 Liepajas Metalurgs (SVC) 1 2010
controlled by setting it to a been used in the sea, but MI
25 Danieli – GHC2 (SVC) 1 2011
certain level, or by letting the cables are at the moment pre-
26 Danieli – UNI Steel (SVC) 1 2011
network frequency determine ferred for the highest voltages
27 EWIP 2 2012
the power need (so-called (400 to 500 kV DC). Polymer
automated mode). Likewise, Projects 1–18 have been installed; 19–23 have been ordered and are cables are preferred on land
the reactive power can be set in production, but not yet commissioned. because they are fast and
or allowed to vary as a func- easy to join and install 4 .

ABB Review 3/2009 25

The power to make a difference

Transmission and distribution

technology is now in a position where

3 IGBT valves – the heart of the converter
it can be used as an integral and im-
portant part in transmission systems of
the world. The term “Light” now ap-
plies only to the ease of application,
not to any lack of muscle. With a
wealth of experience from many field
installations, its reliability is proven
and assured.

ABB engineers keep extending the

boundaries of the technology. Voltage,
current, power, footprint and efficien-
cy are some of the key parameters
that are being continuously improved.
In the long run, one also may envis-
age a DC grid overlain on the AC grid
to increase capacity without losing
Cables and overhead lines need to be resolved. It is even possi- stability and without requiring more
Cables are not always a real alterna- ble to combine overhead lines with overhead lines. There are still a num-
tive, for example in mountainous ter- cables. Here, since the line is open to ber of issues to be solved for a DC
rain, where it is difficult for diggers the atmosphere, the cable has to be grid, in particular breaking DC cur-
and trucks to gain access. In certain protected from lightning overvoltage rents; however, a DC grid could be
environments overhead lines result in with surge arresters and electronic the best solution to bring in and dis-
substantially lower costs. In these situ- protection. tribute sustainable energy from sun,
ations, HVDC Light can be used with wind and water, thereby reducing CO2
overhead lines. One example is the emissions. In general, key items under
Caprivi Link in Nambia, which is un-
ABB’s HVDC Light, with continuous development include
der construction with overhead lines its powerful IGBTs and IGBTs, cable systems and control
that cover 970 km of rugged terrain, high-tech cables, can system hardware and software.
expected to be operational in late
2009. When using HVDC overhead now deliver 1,100 MW Changing power
lines, the power per line can be high- of power. HVDC Light has reached an important
er than the corresponding AC line, milestone and is now available at a
particularly for long lines; this means AC is not suitable for long high-power power level of 1,100 MW. This creates
fewer transmission lines are necessary cable transmission a new transmission alternative with
to carry the required power and, AC oscillates with 50 or 60 cycles per underground DC cables, transmitting
therefore, fewer right-of-way issues second (50/60 Hz power frequency) power over large distances. New pos-
regardless of whether it is extra-high sibilities are also offered – for in-
voltage, high voltage, medium voltage stance, grid reinforcement in the exist-
4 The cables for HVDC Light are extruded
or low voltage. For each cycle, the AC ing networks, feeding isolated loads
polymeric cables.
cable is charged and discharged to the like offshore installations and bringing
system voltage. This charging current electric power from remote sustain-
a increases with cable length. At a cer- able sources to where people live and
b tain length, the charging current of work.
the cable become so large that noth-
ing remains for useful power. Of
course, long before this happens, the
AC cable is no longer economical.
The problem gets larger with higher
applied voltage. This limits length and
power ratings for AC cables. For short
distances, they may be very useful, Björn Jacobson
but not for long high-power transmis- ABB Power Systems
sion. DC cable, on the other hand, has Ludvika, Sweden
a Aluminum conductor
b Resistive polymer
no corresponding charging current. In
c Insulating polymer the DC cable all current is useable.
d Outer resistive polymer Marc Jeroense
e Sheath
HVDC Light transmission comes of age ABB Power Systems
f Moisture barrier
g Mechanical protection
With ABB’s powerful IGBTs and sleek Karlskrona, Sweden
high-tech cable systems, HVDC Light

26 ABB Review 3/2009

Transmission and distribution

The balance
of power
Advanced transmission grids are embedding HVDC Light®
Jiuping Pan, Reynaldo Nuqui, Bertil Berggren, Stefan Thorburn, Björn Jacobson

Have you ever wondered how tightrope walkers

manage to maintain their balance on such a nar-
row cable? These artists must not only maintain
their own equilibrium, but must also take into
account that their motions cause the line on
which they are standing to move. One way to
deal with this challenge is to move very slowly
so that oscillations never surpass a critical level.
A more advanced approach would involve the
acrobat actually taking these movements into
account and using or counteracting them, so
keeping them under control while permitting
more and faster activity. The more flexibile reac-
tions of the acrobat permit a fuller use of the
system‘s overall dynamics.

On first sight, this may not appear to have much

in common with operating a grid. Grids, howev-
er, can also have significant stability problems.
The traditional remedy, has been to keep load-
ings below set levels to avoid any risk of insta-
bility. Liberalization of electricity markets and
the growth of renewable sources are leading to
more long-distance transmission and are requir-
ing enhanced network controllability. With HVDC
Light®, ABB has introduced a technology that
can not only improve transmission capability,
but can also actively damp oscillations and
enhance stability.

ABB Review 3/2009 27

The balance of power

Transmission and distribution

T raditionally, most grids were

structured to deliver power from
generation plants to customers in the
while maintaining controllability and
generation sources to the load cen-
ters, grid operators must use more
expensive or less efficient sources of
vicinity. Power plants are thus often This means that the grid’s “natural” generation.
located around major cities, with the power flow, as governed by physical
grid infrastructure closely reflecting laws, is increasingly being biased by Furthermore, electric power grids are
this match. Today, more and more economical driving forces. Besides more and more integrating large-scale
power is being generated further reliability criteria, the development of sources of renewable energy. The
afield and transmitted over longer future transmission infrastructure must increased use of such intermittent
distances. This change is driven by also take into account environmental sources, combined with the weak
multiple demands: One of these is the constraints and energy-efficiency system interconnections in the areas
growing usage of renewable energy, requirements. where this generation is typically
which is often generated in remote located, presents new challenges to
locations. Another is the increasing The embedding of advanced HVDC managing the security of the power
liberalization of power markets, favor- Light systems in regional transmission grid. With several gigawatts of off-
ing use of generation facilities with networks is opening up new possibili- shore wind farms now in the advanced
the lowest incremental costs. High- ties to enhance smart grid operations stages of planning, particularly in
voltage grids are thus more and more as the deployment of such solutions Europe, there is a need for reliable
handling long-distance transmission, improves security and efficiency and robust power transmission to
and operators are seeking ways to through its inherent controllability. shore. In the United States, transmis-
reduce obstacles to the remote sourc- sion has also been recognized as the
ing power. Infrastructure at its limits largest single barrier to a significant
On account of growing congestion, expansion of wind energy and to
With high-voltage grids increasingly transmission grids are not always able achieving the target of it satisfying
being used in a way for which they to adequately facilitate the economic 20 percent of the nation’s electricity
were not initially designed, some exchange of power between adjacent supply by 2025 1 . Thus, upgrading
corridors are having to carry more energy markets or enable the optimal a transmission system is a key compo-
power and are being operated closer use of generation resources. Conges- nent of a sustainable energy future.
to their limits than ever before. In the tion occurs when actual or scheduled
case of energy from renewable sourc- power flows across critical transmis-
es, the challenge is compounded by sion corridors are restricted below
Today, more and more
the intermittent and to some extent desired levels, either by physical power is being generated
unpredictable nature of the supply. capacity or by security restrictions. further afield and trans-
New technologies are thus being When such constraints limit the deliv-
sought to support these demands ery of power from the most desirable mitted over longer
1 In the United States, congestion of transmission lines has been recognized as the largest single
barrier to a significant expansion of wind energy.
A robust and economical alternative
Incrementing power-delivery capabili-
ty through the addition of convention-
al AC lines is increasingly becoming a
challenge in meshed, heavily loaded
AC grids. Environmental consider-
ations are an important constraint in
adding such capacity – often making
overhead grid extensions impossible.
AC expansion options, both overhead
and underground, are furthermore
often limited by voltage or transient
instability problems, risk of increased
230kV – 344kV short-circuit levels, grid responses
345kV – 499kV
500kV – 734kV
and concerns over unacceptable par-
735kV – 999kV allel flows in the network. A further
aspect is the cost of right-of-way for
new transmission in urban areas.

Critical congestion Potential resource Flow direction to critical Flow direction to congestion area
of concern or from resources to Footnote
area (wind) concentration congestion area
loads HVDC Light® is the ABB product name of an
Source: National Electric Transmission Congestion Study, US DoE 2006 HVDC transmission system using voltage-source

28 ABB Review 3/2009

The balance of power

Transmission and distribution

Moreover, there is a high demand for neutral or static electromagnetic fields, trol of power-flow and the ability to
controllable transmission to effectively oil-free cables and compact converter provide dynamic voltage support to
manage variable flow patterns and stations. The power ranges of HVDC the surrounding AC networks. Togeth-
accommodate intermittent generation Light have been improved rapidly 3 . er with advanced control strategies,
sources 2 . Since its introduction in In the upper range, the technology these can greatly enhance smart-trans-
1997, HVDC Light1) is increasingly now reaches 1,200 MVA for symmetric mission operations with improved
emerging as an attractive solution to monopole schemes with cables. The steady-state and dynamic performance
achieve the needed improvement in power range can be increased to of the grid [3].
transmission capacity and the reliable 2,400 MVA for bipole schemes with
integration of large-scale renewables overhead lines [2]. One attractive fea- Enhancing regional interconnections
while satisfying strict environmental ture of HVDC Light is that the power Under normal operating conditions,
and technical requirements. direction is changed by changing the the power flow of an HVDC Light sys-
direction of the current and not by tem can be scheduled on the basis of
HVDC Light technology changing the polarity of the DC volt- economic and system-security consid-
HVDC Light technology is based on age. This makes it easier to build an erations. Furthermore, DC-link power
voltage-source converters (VSC) using HVDC Light system with multiple ter- flows can be dispatched in real time.
insulated-gate bipolar transistors minals. These terminals can be con- This high controllability of power flow
(IGBT) [1]. The converters employ nected to different points in the same allows grid operators to utilize more
high-frequency pulse-width modula- AC network or to different AC net- economic and less pollutant genera-
tion (PWM) switching patterns and works. The resulting multi-terminal tion resources, implement favorable
can thus control both active and reac- HVDC Light systems can be radial, bilateral transactions and execute
tive power, rapidly and independently ring or meshed topologies 4 . effective congestion management
of each other. HVDC Light systems strategies. Additionally, HVDC Light
can transmit power underground and Enhancing smart transmissions
under water over long distances. It HVDC Light is ideal for embedded
3 HVDC Light converter station and power
offers numerous environmental bene- applications in meshed AC grids. Its
range for symmetric monopole scheme with
fits, including “invisible” power lines, inherent features include flexible con-

HVDC Light
2 HVDC Light improves the controllability of grids.

a An additional AC link between Areas 1 and b The controllability of the HVDC link enables
2 takes some of the strain, but cannot fully it to carry the desired load and so relieves AC DC
relieve the path via Area 3 of its overload. the other lines.
Risk of short AC line Risk of short Dynamic voltage HVDC Light Dynamic voltage
circuit level Thermal path limit circuit level support Thermal path limit support
IGBT Valves
~ ~
= =
Area 1 Area 2 Area 1 Area 2
DC Voltage 580 A 1140 A 1740 A
± 80 kV 100 MVA 200 MVA 300 MVA
± 150 kV 190 MVA 370 MVA 540 MVA

Stability path limit Stability path limit ± 320 kV 400 MVA 790 MVA 1210 MVA
Area 3 Area 3
HVDC Light converter station and power range for
symmetric monopole scheme with cables

4 Flexible configuration of multi-terminal HVDC Light systems: 5 The ability to strictly control power flow in an HVDC Light link means
radial a , ring b and meshed c . regional power flows can be managed according to contractual
agreements, adding stability to the system.
a c
~ = ~
= ~ = Region Region
A ~ = B
= = ~
~ Pdc
~ =
= ~
Pdc + Pac
b ~ =
= ~

~ =
= ~
~ Time

ABB Review 3/2009 29

The balance of power

Transmission and distribution

systems can be operated as merchant of limitations to voltage or transient Light transmission for offshore wind
transmission facilities, similarly to stability. One great advantage of power evacuation are:
merchant generators. The precise con- HVDC Light is that adding such a link HVDC Light can fully comply with
trol of power flow through an HVDC in parallel to AC lines can not only the grid code.
Light system according to a contractu- increase transfer capability, but it has Wind turbine generators need no
al agreement simplifies the pricing of been shown in studies that this in- longer be designed to fulfill the grid
power transfers, billing, and prevent- crease can exceed the rating of the code. Their optimization can hence
ing undesired flows 5 . HVDC Light system. This gain is due focus on cost, efficiency and robust-
to effective control of damping and ness.
Improving overall corridor utilization dynamic voltage support for the paral- An HVDC Light system can separate
In many cases, the capacity of the AC lel AC lines [4]. In addition, an opti- the wind farm from the AC network.
lines that comprise a transmission cor- mal power-sharing principle can be Faults in the AC grid will not cause
ridor cannot be fully utilized because implemented for a wide range of stress or disturbances on wind tur-
power-transfer levels to minimize the bines, and faults in the wind farm
total energy losses of the hybrid AC/DC will not affect the AC network.
6 An HVDC Light link parallel to an AC link
corridor. Depending on the operating HVDC Light provides voltage and
can be used to control the resulting hybrid
condition of the hybrid AC/DC corri- frequency control, and desired iner-
AC/DC corridor, balancing transmission
dor, the control priority of the HVDC tia can be emulated to enhance the
efficiency and corridor capacity
Light system could change from mini- stability of the AC network.
mizing loss to maximizing power
Pac transfer. This adaptive control strategy Performance under severe disturbances
can achieve a desirable balance be- Embedded HVDC Light systems can
~ = tween power transmission efficiency effectively improve the overall perfor-
= ~
Pdc and corridor capacity utilization 6 . mance of the transmission grid during
and following severe disturbances.
A range of advanced application-con-
Optimal power sharing
If a severe disturbance
Component power (MW)

Ptotal MW
Ptotal MW
trol functions can be implemented to
Pdc MWMW threatens system transit address different transient and post-
600 Pac

stability, HVDC Light can disturbance problems 7 .

200 help maintain synchro- First-swing stability

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
nized power-grid If a severe disturbance threatens system
transient stability, HVDC Light can
Total power on AC/DC corridor (MW) operation by fast power help maintain synchronized power-
run-up or run-back grid operation by fast power run-up
1.10 Q control (P=0)
control functions. or run-back control functions. During
Load voltage (p.u.)

P control (Q=0)
1.05 the fault phase, sufficient retarding
Mixed control
1.00 No DC-link power can be provided through the
Integration of offshore wind farms immediate reversal of HVDC Light
HVDC Light allows efficient use of power to limit rotor acceleration.
long-distance land or submarine ca- Transient stability can also be im-
0.85 bles to integrate large-scale offshore proved by controlling the HVDC Light
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
PLOAD (p.u.)
wind farms into utility transmission converters to provide supplementary
grids 8 . The main features of HVDC reactive and voltage support after
fault clearing.
7 Advanced control functions are features of HVDC Light.

Fault-on plus
20 – 30 minutes
8 HVDC Light permits the optimal integration
Pre- Post- Operator
disturbance action of large-scale offshore wind farms into the

Loss minimization First swing stability Thermal limits

Loop flow control POD Voltage support

Voltage stability/recovery Frequency support

Frequency control

30 ABB Review 3/2009

The balance of power

Transmission and distribution

Damping of power oscillations which tap-changers and excitation quency load shedding schemes to
HVDC Light can provide effective system responses come into play, limit frequency decay during a major
damping to mitigate electromechanical HVDC Light can help prevent voltage system disturbance.
oscillations through the modulation of collapse via gradual P and Q modula-
active and reactive power. A feedback tion, including reducing active power Black-start functionality
signal such as that from active power transfer to increase reactive power HVDC Light can aid in a black start
flow measurement can be used to capability at the terminal stations 10 . or support restoration of the grid. The
drive a supplementary damping con- main features are a fast startup time,
trol scheme. Alternatively, the SVC- not requiring short-circuit capacity
like2) characteristic of the converter
An HVDC Light system from the grid, the ability to work in
stations can be used to accomplish can be used to improve pure “SVC-mode” to control voltage,
damping by injecting modulated volt- voltage stability in a and the ability to support frequency
age signals into the converter voltage stability during restoration. Typically
control circuit. Logically, both P and variety of ways. in a power plant, steam production
Q could be modulated concurrently to has to be built up before load is con-
achieve a more effective means of Frequency control and support nected to handle the cold-load pickup
damping oscillations. HVDC Light can If the rectifier and inverter are con- phenomena4). However, with remotely
damp both local and inter-area modes nected to two unsynchronized power available power and a dedicated con-
of oscillations 9 . systems, one system can assist the trol of HVDC Light, the grid restora-
frequency stabilization of the other tion process can be significantly im-
Voltage stability and voltage support using modulation functionality. In proved and the cold-load pickup phe-
An HVDC Light system can be used to this control mode, the HVDC Light nomenon alleviated 11 . Speed and
improve voltage stability in a variety system adds or subtracts a contribu- robustness during the buildup are
of ways. By operating the converter tion to the scheduled power order, very valuable as the consequences
as an SVC or STATCOM3) during and proportional to the frequency devia-
after the fault, dynamic voltage stabili- tion. Similarly, frequency support can
10 HVDC Light’s ability to modulate reactive
zation can be enhanced and voltage be used to speed up restoration of
power helps maintain voltage stability after a
variations can be minimized. This islanded systems following a system
greatly helps system recovery after a breakup. HVDC Light provides the
disturbance and reduces impacts on back-up active power required to 1.2
sensitive loads. HVDC Light provides assist in the frequency control of a
V Pre-contingency
countermeasures for both transient neighboring island. At the same time, With HVDC Light
and longer-term voltage instability it acts as an additional load to the Var support

mechanisms. Fast modulation of reac- other island enabling a timely start Post-contingency
tive power provides dynamic var up of its generators. HVDC Light fre- voltage instability
support for transient voltage stability. quency control and support can be
In case of longer-term instabilities, in coordinated with existing under-fre-

9 HVDC Light can be used to damp power oscillations. 0

0 P

Power (MW) Power (MW)

AC power AC power
DC power DC power
2,740 2,740 40 11 HVDC Light supporting the grid restoration
process after a blackout
2,720 2,720 20

2,700 2,700 0 Power Steam production

2,680 2,680 -20 Load

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 time 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 time
Without modulation of DC link With modulation of DC link Time

SVC: Static var compensator, a device typically made up of thyristor-switched capacitors, thyristor-controlled
reactors and harmonic filters and used to inject or absorb reactive power in order to enhance voltage stability.
STATCOM: Static synchronous compensator, a device similar in function to an SVC but based on voltage DC power
source inverters.
Cold load pickup is the phenomenon that when bringing back power after an extended outage, the load is
often found to be greater than it was before the outage. This can be caused by a combination of equipment-
Smooth zero crossing
related effects (inrush currents of capacitors, magnetizing currents of transformers etc) and load-related effects when power reverses
such as the re-starting of stalled machinery and processes.

ABB Review 3/2009 31

The balance of power

Transmission and distribution

12 In combination with wide-area monitoring and wide-area control 13 HVDC Light emulating an AC link in a post-disturbance situation.
system (WAMS/WACS), HVDC Light can further enhance system This mode is useful for mitigating possible overloading of adjacent
stability and transmission efficiency. AC lines.

Timing source

V 1∠ δ 1 V 2∠ δ 2

Region Region
~ ~ A ~ = B
= ~
V 1∠ δ 1 V 2∠ δ 2
Pdc=V1V2 sin(δ1-δ1) / Xpseudo

HVDC Light
control system HVDC Light
Pdc_max Pdc
control system
ΔP1, ΔQ1

Pre-disturbance Transient Post-disturbance

and costs of a blackout increase great- performance of transmission grids Transmission grid of the future
ly with its duration. can be further improved through the It is envisioned that the future trans-
coordinated control of HVDC Light mission infrastructure will develop to-
Further improved performance systems enabled by WAMS/WACS 12 . wards a hybrid AC/DC grid structure.
Using remote measurements, HVDC In particular, embedded applications
Light systems can effectively initiate Emulating AC characteristics of HVDC Light, in combination with
control individually or cooperatively In some cases, it is advantageous to wide-area measurement and control
to improve transfer capability and to use the DC link to emulate AC-line systems, are set to significantly im-
counter disturbances such as power performance with respect to power- prove smart operation of the transmis-
oscillations. Such remote power grid flow response to contingencies. The sion grid.
information could come from a wide- desired AC transmission characteristics
area monitoring system (WAMS). allow the DC link to increase power
WAMS, the measurement platform of transfer up to its maximum rating or Jiuping Pan
smart transmission grids, consists of reduce the transmitted power auto- Reynaldo Nuqui
phasor measurement units deployed matically in the post-disturbance peri- ABB Corporate Reserach
at geographically disperse locations in od, mitigating possible overloading of Raleigh, NC, United States
the system. GPS time-synchronized adjacent AC lines 13 . An embedded
measurements of voltage and current HVDC Light system can be autono-
phasors together with frequency and mously controlled as a pseudo AC-line
binary signals are collected and not requiring frequent schedule deci- Bertil Berggren
aligned by a phasor data concentrator. sions from the system operator. This Stefan Thorburn
A wide-area control system (WACS) control mode is designed for situa- ABB Corporate Reserach
uses these wide-area measurement tions where a centralized dispatch of Västerås, Sweden
signals to provide auxiliary controls to the HVDC Light link is not a require-
power system devices. WAMS/WACS ment. The set points of the DC link
applications range from monitoring are determined as part of short-range
(such as state estimation and voltage operations planning, which deter- Björn Jacobson
security monitoring) to wide-area con- mines the desired strength between ABB Power Systems
trol such as the damping of power the two connection points. Ludvika, Sweden
oscillations. It is envisioned that the

[1] It’s time to connect – Technical description of HVDC Light® technology, ABB Power Technologies AB 2008. (
[2] Asplund, G. (2008, June). Electric Transmission System in Change, Key Notes, IEEE Power Electronics Specialists Conference, Rhodes, Greece,
[3] Pan, J., Nuqui, R., Srivastava, K., Jonsson, T., Holmberg, P., Hafnert, Y. J. (2008, November). AC Grid with Embedded VSC-HVDC for Secure and Efficient Power
Delivery, IEEE Energy 2030, Atlanta, US.
[4] Johansson, S. G., Asplund, G., Jansson, E., Rudervall, R. (2004). Power System Stability Benefits with VSC DC-Transmission Systems, CIGRE Conference, Paris,

32 ABB Review 3/2009

Transmission and distribution

Smarter grids are

more efficient
Voltage and Var Optimization reduces energy losses and peak demands
Xiaoming Feng, William Peterson, Fang Yang, Gamini M. Wickramasekara, John Finney

Have you ever wondered how much electric energy

the world consumes or how much energy is lost on
its way from the power plants to the end users? Have
you wondered how much energy could be saved or
greenhouse gas emissions could be cut if such energy
losses were reduced by even a small amount? ABB is a
world leader in the development of new technologies to
help reduce electric energy losses and the demands
made on electric distribution systems.

ABB offers a wide spectrum of products to increase

energy efficiency and optimize demand management.
Voltage and Var Optimization (VVO) is the latest addition
to these applications. Differing from the traditional
approach using uncoordinated local controls, VVO uses
real-time information and online system modeling to
provide optimized and coordinated control for unbal-
anced distribution networks with discrete controls.
Electric distribution companies can achieve huge sav-
ings in the new frontier of energy-efficiency improve-
ment by maximizing energy delivery efficiency and
optimizing peak demand. VVO will help achieve these
objectives by optimizing reactive resources and voltage
control capabilities continuously throughout the year.

ABB Review 3/2009 33

Smarter grids are more efficient

Transmission and distribution

T he world has a huge

appetite for electric
energy, consuming thousands
1 World electricity consumption (billion kWh)

Billion kWh
Distribution system losses
The electric distribution net-
work moves electricity from
of billions of kilowatt-hours 18,000 the substations and delivers it
(kWh) annually, a figure that 16,000 to consumers. The network
continues to climb as more 14,000 includes medium-voltage (less
countries become industrial- 12,000 than 50 kV) power lines, sub-
ized. The world’s electric 10,000 station transformers, pole- or
consumption has increased 8,000
pad-mounted transformers,
by about 3.1 percent annual- 6,000
low-voltage distribution wir-
ly between 1980 and 20061), ing and electric meters. The
and is expected to grow to distribution system of an elec-
2) 2,000
33,300 billion kWh by 2030 tric utility may have hundreds
1 . The world’s electricity of substations and hundreds
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
consumption for 2008 was Year of thousands of components
16,790 billion kWh so by all managed by a distribution
2030 the world demand for management system (DMS).
electricity is expected to have almost foreseen events. The peak demand in
doubled [1]. a system usually lasts less than 5 per- Most of the energy loss occurring on
cent of the time (ie, just a few hun- the distribution system is the ohmic
Electric energy losses dred hours a year). This means that loss3) resulting from the electric cur-
Currently a significant amount (about some power plants are only needed rent flowing through conductors
10 percent) of electric energy pro- during the peak load hours and their Factbox 1 .

duced by power plants is lost during potential is utilized relatively infre-

transmission and distribution to con- quently. By active demand manage- For any conductor in a distribution
sumers. About 40 percent of this total ment on the distribution system, network, the current flowing through
loss occurs on the distribution net- through demand response and VVO, it can be decomposed into two com-
work 2 . In 2006 alone, the total ener- the peak demand on the whole elec- ponents – active and reactive Factbox 2 .
gy losses and distribution losses were tric grid can be reduced. This elimi-
about 1,638 billion and 655 billion nates the need for expensive capital Reactive power compensation devices
kWh, respectively. A modest 10 per- expenditure on the distribution, trans- are designed to reduce or eliminate
cent reduction in distribution losses mission, and the generation systems. the unproductive component of the
would, therefore, save about 65 bil- Even very modest reductions in peak current, reducing current magnitude –
lion kWh of electricity. That’s more demand would yield huge economic and thus energy losses. The voltage
electricity than Switzerland’s 7.5 mil- savings. For the United States in 2008, profile4) on the feeders5), depending
lion people consumed in 2008 and for example, the non-coincidental on the types and mixture of loads in
equates to 39 million metric tons of peak demand (ie, the separate peak the system, can also affect the current
CO2 emissions from coal-fired power demands made on the electrical sys-
generation [1]. tem recorded at different times of the 1)
US Energy Information Administration, International
day) was about 790 GW. With every
Energy Annual 2006
As the demand for electricity grows, 1 percent reduction in the peak de- 2)
US Energy Information Administration, World Net
new power plants will have to be mand there would be a reduced need Electric Power Generation: 1990–2030
built to meet the highest peak demand to build a 7,900 MW power plant 3 . 3)
The voltage drop across the cell during passage of
with additional capacity to cover un- current due to the internal resistance of the cell

2 Distribution system overview from network manager system (DMS) 3 Annual peak demand reduction of 1 percent for the United States

Megawatts (MW)









2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

34 ABB Review 3/2009

Smarter grids are more efficient

Transmission and distribution

distribution, although indirectly and to feeders, providing fine-tuning capabil- consequences of possible actions are
a smaller extent, thus affecting power ity for voltage at specific points on consistent with optimized control ob-
loss. the feeders. jectives. This could be done centrally
using a substation automation system
Voltage and var control devices Reactive compensation devices, ie, or a distribution management system.
Voltage regulating devices are usually capacitor banks, are used to reduce This approach is commonly referred
installed at the substation and on the the reactive power flows throughout to as integrated VVO. The accelerated
feeders. The substation transformers the distribution network. The capaci- adoption of substation automation
can have tap changers, which are tor banks may be located in the sub- (SA), feeder automation (FA) technol-
devices that can adjust the feeder volt- station or on the feeders. ogy, and the widespread deployment
age at the substation, depending on of advanced metering infrastructure
the loading condition of the feeders. (AMI) have over the last few years
Special transformers with tap changers
A modest 10 percent laid the foundations for a centralized
called voltage regulators are also in- reduction in distribution control approach, by providing the
stalled at various locations on the losses would save about
65 billion kWh of Factbox 2 Active and reactive power
Factbox 1 Energy losses
electricity. The voltage and current waveforms on an
AC power line are typically sineshaped. In
The energy loss is due to the resistance in
Traditional control verses VVO an “ideal” circuit, the two are perfectly syn-
the conductor. The amount of loss is pro-
Traditionally, the voltage and var con- chronized. In the realworld, however, there
portional to the product of the resistance
trol devices are regulated in accor- is often a time lag between them. This lag
and the square of the current magnitude.
dance with locally available measure- is caused by the capacitative and inductive
Losses can be reduced, therefore, either
ments of, for example, voltage or cur- properties of attached equipment (and of
by reducing resistance or the current mag-
rent. On a feeder with multiple volt- the lines themselves).
nitude or both. The resistance of a con-
age regulation and var compensation
ductor is determined by the resistivity of
devices, each device is controlled in-
the material used to make it, by its cross-
sectional area, and by its length, none of
dependently, without regard for the
which can be changed easily in existing
resulting consequences of actions
distribution networks. However, the current taken by other control devices. This
magnitude can be reduced by eliminating practice often results in sensible con-
trol actions taken at the local level, The momentary flow of power at any time
unnecessary current flows in the distribu-
which can have suboptimal effects at is the product of the momentary current
tion network.
the broader level. and voltage. The average value of this
I – Current power is lower than it would be without the
R – Resistance time lag (for unchanged magnitudes of
Ideally, information should be shared
voltage and current). In fact the power
among all voltage and var control de-
Loss = I2 R even briefly flows in the “wrong” direction.
vices. Control strategies should be
comprehensively evaluated so that the

4 A schematic showing how VVO works

C3 14
27 13
C7 26 20 12 The greater the time lag between the
25 C5 11
19 curves, the lower the energy delivery. This
C6 24 10
23 18
22 9 lag (expressed as phase angle) should thus
S be minimized. The average energy delivery
VVO finds best control C4
substation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
per time unit is called active power (mea-
for voltage regulators 28 15
and var resources 29 21 16 sured in W). Reactive power (measured in
C1 C2
30 17 VAr) is a measure of the additional power
that is flowing on the line but cannot be
put to effective use.
Load forecast based
Equipment status sent
VVO server on AMI/SCADA data
back to control center
Control center

System model updated Bidirectional 4)

Voltage profile refers to the spatial distribution and
using measurements communication
voltage magnitudes at different locations or nodes
throughout the network.
Any of the medium-voltage lines used to distribute
Control signals sent back to control equipments
electric power from a substation to consumers or
to smaller substations.

ABB Review 3/2009 35

Smarter grids are more efficient

Transmission and distribution

necessary sensor, actuator, and reli- VVO attempts to minimize power loss, numbering in the thousands in the
able two-way communications be- demand, and voltage/current viola- multi-phase system model.
tween the field and the distribution tions6) in meshed, multi-phase, multi- Non-convex objective and solution
system control center. Until recently, source, unbalanced electric distribu- set.
however, a key technology has not tion systems.7) The control variables High dimension search space – with
been available that can take advan- available to VVO are the control set- un-ganged control, the number of
tage of advanced sensing, communi- tings for switchable capacitors and tap control variables could double or
cation, and remote actuation capabili- changers of voltage regulating trans- triple.
ties that can be used to continually formers.
optimize voltage and var. Prior gener- Anyone who has tackled optimization
ations of VVO technologies have been Main benefits of VVO problems will tell you that mixed-inte-
hindered by their inability to model The main benefits of VVO for distribu- ger nonlinear, non-convex (MINLP-NC)
large and complex utility systems, and tion system operators are: problems are the worst kind to solve
by their unsatisfactory performance in Improved energy efficiency leading (See “Simply the best,” ABB Review
solution quality, robustness and to reduced greenhouse gas emis- 1/2009, page 54).
speed. sions.
Reduced peak demand and reduced
How does VVO work? peak demand cost for utilities
VVO improves energy
VVO is an advanced application that efficiency and reduces
runs periodically or in response to op- General problem definition for VVO greenhouse gas emis-
erator demand, at the control center VVO must minimize the weighted sum
for distribution systems or in substa- of energy loss + MW load + voltage sions. It reduces peak
tion automation systems. Combined violation + current violation, subject demand, which reduces
with two-way communication infra- to a variety of engineering constraints:
structure and remote control capabili- Power flow equations (multi-phase,
peak demand cost for
ty for capacitor banks and voltage multi-source, unbalanced, meshed utilities.
regulating transformers, VVO makes it system)
possible to optimize the energy deliv- Voltage constraints (phase to neutral The major challenge is to develop op-
ery efficiency on distribution systems or phase to phase) timization algorithms that are efficient
using real-time information 4 . Current constraints (cables, over- for large problems. Since a certain
head lines, transformers, neutral, amount of computation (ie, CPU time)
grounding resistance) is needed to evaluate the loss and de-
5 VVO prototype screen capture
Tap change constraints (operation mand for a single specific control so-
ranges) lution (a single functional evaluation),
Shunt capacitor change constraints an algorithm that requires fewer func-
(operation ranges) tional evaluations to find the optimal
solution is generally regarded as more
The control variables for optimization efficient than one that requires more
include: functional evaluations to achieve the
Switchable shunts (ganged or un- same objective. In the case of VVO, a
ganged8)) single function evaluation involves
Controllable taps of transformer/ solving a set of nonlinear equations,
voltage regulators (ganged or un- the unbalanced load flow, with sever-
ganged) al thousand state variables. The non-
Distributed generation linear, non-convex combinatorial
properties of the VVO problem cou-
6 VVO compared to prior method
Technical challenges pled with high dimensionality (large
VVO in essence is a combinatorial op- number of state variables) are the rea-
Prior method ABB VVO capability
timization problem with the following sons why VVO has been a long stand-
Single phase Multi-phase, characteristics: ing challenge in the industry. In the
equivalent model unbalanced model Integer decision variables – both last decade many in the research com-
Balanced load Unbalanced load the switching status of capacitor munity have increasingly begun to re-
banks and the tap position of regu- sort to meta-heuristic approaches (eg,
Single source Multi-source
lation transformers are integer vari- generic algorithms, simulated anneal-
Radial system Meshed system
ables. ing, particle swarming, etc) to avoid
Ganged control Unganged control Nonlinear objective being an implic- the modeling complexity. The meta-
Academic system size Real utility system size it function of decision variables – heuristic approach has shown limited
energy loss or peak demand are academic value in solving small-scale
Offline performance Online performance
implicit functions of the controls. problems and in offline applications
Heuristic Optimization theoretic
High dimension nonlinear con- where online performance is not re-
straints – power flow equations quired.

36 ABB Review 3/2009

Smarter grids are more efficient

Transmission and distribution

7 Delta-connected load a and wye-connected capacitor bank b 8 Wye-wye-connected transformer model

a b
~ ~ ~
+ ~ IA Y Ia ~
~ ~ VA Va
~ * *
jBa Van
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Vab Vca - IB Y Ib ~
~ ~ ~
Vbn Vcn
~ * *
~ Vbc ~
ILb ICb jBb jBc ~ ~ ~
+ +
~ IC Y Ic ~
* *
~ ~

ABB’s next generation VVO To accurately model a distribution for smart applications like VVO that
ABB developed a new-generation network’s behavior a detailed network optimize the operation of the distribu-
VVO in 2008 capable of optimizing model is used. Phase-based models11) tion system. The development of the
very large and complex networks with are used to represent every network next generation of VVO technology is
online application speed. An innova- component. Loads or capacitor banks a demonstration of ABB’s ability to
tive solution methodology enables the can be delta 7a or wye connected 7b . bring smart grid technology to its cus-
detailed and accurate modeling of the tomers.
distribution system components and Transformers can be connected in
connections. It rapidly identifies the various delta/wye and various second-
optimal voltage and var operation ary leading/lagging configurations
strategy from millions, if not billions, with or without ground resistance,
of operation possibilities using ad- with primary or secondary regulation
vanced mixed-integer optimization capability 8 .
Both voltage and var controls can be Xiaoming Feng
A prototype has been developed, ganged or unganged. The method Fang Yang
which integrates directly with ABB’s works on radial as well as meshed ABB Corporate Research
DMS. The prototype performed very networks, with single or multiple Raleigh, NC, United States
well in the lab with distribution net- power sources. Voltage controls are
work models of a real utility system. enforced for each individual phase,
Both the solution quality and speed using phase-to-ground or phase-to-
robustness met or exceeded design phase voltage, depending on the con- William Peterson
criteria for online applications 5 . nection type of the load. Gamini Wickramasekara
John Finney
One smart technology at a time ABB Power Systems
ABB developed a new With the accelerating deployment of Raleigh, NC, United States
generation VVO in 2008 advanced sensor network, smart me-
capable of optimizing tering infrastructure, and remote con-
trol capability, there is a growing need
very large and complex
networks with online Footnotes
Voltage/current violations refer to the undesirable excursion from normal operating range, eg, current exceed-
application speed. ing the maximum limit safe for a given conductor type, or voltage exceeding a limit unsafe for the consumer
or falling short of a limit needed for normal operation for end users.
A distribution system model may have the following features: meshed (looped, with multiple paths between
The size of the test systems range
some nodes), multi-phase (each of the A, B, C phases explicitly modeled, rather than modeled as a single
from 1,600 to 7,800 nodes and 1,600 phase), multi-source (a load can get electric supply from multiple sources), unbalanced (asymmetric construc-
to 8,100 branches per circuit. Optimi- tion, such as a single-phase feeder, and/or asymmetric loading, ie, unequal loading on each phase)
zation improved the loss from 2.5 per- 8)
Ganged control means multiple phases operated in unison, and unganged control means each phase
cent to 67 percent9) and demand re- operated independently.
duction from 1.4 percent to 5.8 per- The amount of loss reduction depends on the controllable voltage and var resources in the system,
the system loading condition, and the initial control strategy.
cent.10) 10)
The amount of demand reduction depends on the factors that affect loss reduction as well as the load model.
For 100 percent constant load, demand reduction can only be achieved through loss reduction.
The following table is a brief summary 11)
Exact component model includes the information of all existing phases.
of the key features that differentiate
ABB’s VVO technology from prior References
methods 6 . [1] CIA Online Factbook. Retrieved June 2009 from

ABB Review 3/2009 37

Transmission and distribution

not data
Real-time automated distribution event detection
and notification for grid control
Mirrasoul J. Mousavi, Vaibhav D Donde, James Stoupis, John J. McGowan, Le Tang

Knowledge is power, or so an old dic- mands and expectations? Common This, however, is only part of the story.
tum teaches us. Certainly, to be able wisdom would suggest that this re- Without a proper strategy for handling
to direct or control any system, accu- quires even more data, ie, more mea- and evaluating such input, this ap-
rate and up-to-date knowledge of its surement devices collecting more proach will lead to a “data tsunami”:
current status is invaluable. The pleni- measurements (including distribution The control room will be inundated
tude of data that is necessary to con- feeders and the “last mile” to the with measurements, making it difficult
trol a complex system is well illustrat- customer) and transmitting them to to distinguish the relevant from the
ed by the vast quantity of measure- the control room. Much of the effort irrelevant. The answer lies in pursuing
ments that are available in the control that is being put into preparing the information, not data. Quality informa-
room of an electric grid. smart grid that will assure the power tion involves delivering the right facts
supply of tomorrow is consequently to the right place at the right time.
But how does one improve such a focused on such smart measurement Only by achieving this can knowledge
control system in view of rising de- devices. truly assure and secure the flow of
reliable power.

38 ABB Review 3/2009

Information, not data

Transmission and distribution

T he protection, control, and moni-

toring of power systems involve
making numerous decisions. These
to the last mile and including end
customers). More importantly, they
require an infusion of intelligence into
tization of the power system or ex-
panding the communications infra-
structure. At the core of any intelligent
occur over a broad period and on time every system and device, ranging from system there must be a “brain” for the
scales ranging from the split-second a local human-machine interface to a processing of the data it receives.
decision to trip a line or feeder for pro- broadband IP or fiber-optic network 1 . Additional sensing and measurement
tection reasons, to issuing an alert after points alone do not address this prob-
months of monitoring an incipient fail- lem but rather contribute to the over-
ure. System operators are often the ulti-
The grid of the future flow of data. What is needed is an
mate human decision makers who still requires three fundamen- extraction of the information that is
benefit from some form of information tal elements: data, infor- embedded in the raw measurements.
from multiple sources across a utility The decisions based on this informa-
system. Their involvement in direct mation/intelligence, and tion do not have to be made exclusive-
decision making decreases in situations communications. ly in a central location or by human
where there is an advanced penetration agents. However, for decisions to be
of automation technologies, as occurs Automation technologies and the prolif- made, quality information needs to be
in substation automation systems. The eration of IEDs across the transmission collected across the system. This means
industry-wide move toward smart grids and distribution systems pave the way that as many tasks as possible need
is demanding more automation down for the availability of more data and to be automated to free up human
to the last mile and involving distribu- hence the improvement of the decision resources to perform the tasks that
tion feeders and end customers. The making process. However, the lack of cannot and should not be automated.
ultimate goal is to enable power system application tools and automated data Overloading human operators with
protection, control, and monitoring to analyzers (ie, intelligence algorithms) unnecessary data can lead to the most
operate in a closed-loop mode, so hinders the effective use of data. relevant information being lost and
becoming an enabler for a self-healing result in suboptimal decision making.
grid: a frequently sought attribute of The promise of a smart grid cannot be
a smart grid. This article looks at an fulfilled purely by continuing the digi- The move toward smart grids will
enabling technology to help nevertheless mean more sen-
achieve such an ambitious sors and measurement points
1 Sensors and communications must be extended into the feeder lines
goal. It looks at the provision to bring visibility to every
for information on the system status to be made accessible.
of real-time and automated component and down to the
response to distribution feeder last mile 2 . As a result, more
events and anomalies. and more data must be col-
lected and processed. The
The grid of the future utility environment of today
Smart grids require three fun- is overflowing with the mass
damental elements: data, in- of data already being har-
formation/intelligence, and vested by existing systems.
communications. The data el- If the addition of new data
ement is supplied by sensors points 3 is not to lead to a
and sensor systems including b
“data tsunami,” the data-to-
intelligent electronic devices c c information conversion pro-
a Current-sensor head
(IEDs) in feeders and switch b Integrator box
cess must be optimized at
controllers. The intelligence c PT (potential transformer) every step of its path. This
element is provided by digi- d Main box including means that a conversion that
tal processors that are in- data-acquistion unit. modem can be performed at a lower
d and UPS (uninterruptible
structed to perform certain level should not have to be
power supply)
operations on data through performed at a higher level.
algorithms. Finally, the com- The last thing that system
munications element is re- operators want is additional
2 Communications infrastructure is an enabler for smart control.
quired to deliver the derived data requiring avoidable
intelligence to the right per- manual processing.
son/device, in the right for- Cell Modem Digital
Cell Modem

mat, and at the right time. network Focusing on distribution op-

These three elements are TCP/IP P services
se ices erations, there is a substantial
indeed the building blocks (FTP, Telnet, or need for simpler and better
Ethernet switch ecure shell (UNIX))
Secure (U
of current control and auto- Intranet/ optimized operations and
mation systems. They do, maintenance, which should
however, require a dramatic ubstation
Substation be based on data received
boost in functionality, perfor- from various IEDs installed
mance, and coverage (down throughout the grid. It is also

ABB Review 3/2009 39

Information, not data

Transmission and distribution

desirable to be able to automate the rithms for extracting information utilities are more than ever expected
analysis tasks and transform raw data from multiple IEDs via a substation to do more with less, and system auto-
into actionable information, upon the computer or a master workstation. mation is a practical way of achieving
basis of which utility dispatchers and Level 3 is at the enterprise level. It this. Existing architecture and systems
crews can make decisions. Conven- includes the data warehouse/histo- provide a great quantity of data from
tionally, the records from these IEDs rian along with the control room a subset of key components through
are often analyzed manually by trained applications/algorithms applicable protective relays and IEDs. The move-
experts on limited occasions. The over- at the aggregate utility level. ment toward traditional substation and
whelming nature of the manual analy- feeder automation by utilities has re-
sis of data and the issues of an aging sulted in large volumes of data, but
workforce connected to today’s utility
The majority of events on the corresponding information capa-
environment highlight the importance feeder laterals is not bility has not received due attention.
of being able to perform these tasks reported to operations Specifically, analytical data, eg, digital
via computer with little or no human fault records, target records, trends,
intervention. More importantly, provid- groups, as the current load profile, power quality, sequence
ing this information in real time creates protection and monitoring of events and event data, eg, lateral
an enormous added value for the utili- faults, equipment failures, have not
ties by improving reliability and reduc-
practices are limited to received the necessary focus, especial-
ing the duration of customer outages. events on the main line. ly because substation automation was
considered the domain of protection
Levels of intelligence Of course, one could add a level 4 in engineers. Moreover, the majority of
Smart grids demand solutions and which data/information from multiple events on feeder laterals is not report-
analysis tools to enable electric utili- utilities are aggregated and processed ed to operations groups, as the cur-
ties to receive the right information for greater intelligence and applica- rent protection and monitoring prac-
and distribute it to the right people at tions on a regional or national level. tices are limited to events on the main
the right time. As the utilities face line. In many cases, utilities must rely
shrinking budgets and reduced work- As the flow of data/information moves on customer calls to identify and
forces, the integration of automatic away from field devices and to the locate trouble areas down the feeder
event analysis into utility systems right in 4 , the ratio of raw data to in- main and its laterals. Practical tools
becomes imperative. formation is reduced. In other words, are needed to analyze feeder event
more and more information is made data from these areas. Some utilities
The overall theme of these changes is available by utilizing embedded intel- have migrated from traditional substa-
“data transformation into actionable ligence at every step to avoid data tion automation to a more integrated
information.. With reference to 4 , this proliferation in the next upper level. collection of operational, equipment-
process can be executed in multiple failure, and event data. With this addi-
levels across a utility system. Distribution issues tional data comes the need for spe-
Level 0 is at the feeder level, which Due to the historical lag in the adop- cialized analysis tools for automation
includes “box” intelligence only. tion of automation technologies, the to enable smart grids.
The transformation is typically done need for automation and embedded
by embedding the intelligence into intelligence is more pronounced in ABB’s solutions
feeder IEDs such as switch control- distribution operations than anywhere Distribution feeders, whether overhead
lers and stand-alone monitors. else on the electric grid. Distribution or underground, experience faults, in-
Level 1 is at the substation-box
level. It includes applications/algo-
4 The four levels of intelligence in data handling
rithms applicable to each individual
substation IED.
Level 2 is at the substation-system Substation
level, it includes applications/algo- data

3 Retrofit Rogowski-coil sensors Feeder 1 IED 1

D/I server 1 D/I
Central control

Feeder 2
Event Substation
data server 2
D: Data Level 3
IED n Level 2 I: Information
Feeder n
Level 1
Level 0

40 ABB Review 3/2009

Information, not data

Transmission and distribution

cipient failures, temporary events and tion computer) 5 . This essentially mini- conventional protection and control
transients. Objective analysis and cor- mizes the amount of data that must be IEDs). This information can be uti-
relation of these various types of sent up to the substation or DMS at the lized to take actions that address the
events - some of them catastrophic - control center and has the additional issue at hand more precisely.
enable utilities to proactively address positive impact of reducing the com-
feeder events rather than merely being munications bandwidth required. Along the same lines, the event-detec-
able to react to them. The logical initial tion functions can be hosted at the
step to achieve this is to enhance the One way to achieve this is to host the DMS level. Each of these solutions
IEDs and substation server to include fault/event detection functionality on comes with its own benefits and limi-
the most valuable event analysis appli- the substation computer. The benefit tations. These need to be carefully
cations. The solution offered is there- is that it provides more visibility of evaluated by the user to achieve opti-
fore to address the need for transform- system activity at the feeder level (in- mal net benefit from the chosen design.
ing event data into actionable informa- formation that is unavailable with The solution selected can be tailored
tion upon which system operators and
dispatch crews can act proactively.
5 Embedded intelligence can take actions locally or foreward the notification to the next higher level.

Areas that can benefit Substation

significantly from feeder- server

level real-time intelligence

include outage detection, Embedded
confirmation, notification,
and crew dispatch.
The ability to proactively address
feeder problems and respond as
quickly as possible to outages and server Central control room
feeder failures, along with the tenden-
cy toward predictive maintenance,
will be a significant contributor to the
adoption of smart grids. Today, main- intelligence
tenance schedules for assets are per-
formed on a pre-programmed basis
and do not take into account specific
intelligence on feeder events or
health. Thanks to such additional
analysis, the operations and mainte- 6 Reduction of outage duration through real-time event detection and notification
nance departments of a smart grid will
have the ability to respond more
quickly, send the right crew, assess
the risks and proactively address feed-
Distribution substation
er problems. The planning depart-
ments in turn will achieve better in-
8R R
formation for feeder upgrades and en-
hancement projects. i

It was shown in 4 how intelligent

event detection and analysis algorithms Event Dispatchers
may reside at different levels in the notified Restoration begins

supervision and control hierarchy. The

Sat Sat Sat
feeder IEDs can host algorithms that 8:00 AM 8:01 AM 8:05 AM
use local data to detect anomalies in
the power system behavior and identify
an abnormal situation (such as a fault).
Based on their local analysis, they can
take an appropriate action (such as
tripping appropriate circuit breakers
or switches) or forward the fault/event
information to the next higher level of
the hierarchy (which can be a substa-

ABB Review 3/2009 41

Information, not data

Transmission and distribution

on the basis of complexity, scalability, of escalating into full-blown failures, ture/water intrusion and subsequent
cost, communications options and thereby optimizing the annual mainte- intermittent self-clearing arcing in
customer preference. nance expenditures on cable replace- splices [1]. The fault clears itself quick-
ments. This can be done using direct ly due to vapor pressure, with the re-
Benefits evidence of feeders with high activity sult that protection devices do not
Areas that can benefit significantly of temporary underground faults. come into operation – hence the de-
from feeder-level real-time intelligence scription of these events as self-clear-
include outage detection, confirmation, It is advantageous from the economic ing. Since underground cables very
notification, and crew dispatch. Electri- perspective to position this intelligence often form a major part of a utility’s
cal faults and the resulting outages on in the same location as the traditional assets, monitoring and recognition of
distribution feeders result in loss of intelligence, eg, in a substation or these failures is essential for the pro-
revenues and adversely affect customer intelligent switch rather than placing active management of faults and pre-
satisfaction and reliability. Such events it specially on feeder lines. Being able dictive maintenance. Continuous mon-
contribute significantly to customer- to learn of events to the “last mile” itoring and automated data analysis
minutes-out and ultimately impact the at the substation presents a very cost- with embedded intelligence is vital for
utility’s performance. For example, a effective moinitoring solution achieving this smart grid functionality.
certain class of feeder faults does not
cause the substation breaker to operate Feeder event examples An example of an incipient failure that
and therefore does not generate a re- A certain class of incipient faults in occurred in a utility feeder is shown
portable SCADA (Supervisory Control underground cables results from mois- in 7 . The fault peaked at 1,287 A and
and Data Acquisition) event. As a re-
sult, the utility has to rely on customer
7 Example recording of an incipient failure. This was a self-clearing fault that did not result in any
calls to notify it of sustained outages
immediate outage.
impacting the customer’s premises.
This type of reactive response can be-
come a thing of the past if appropriate
technologies are deployed 6 . 0
Current (A)

The technology can help -500

detect incipient faults -1000

that are on the verge of -1500

escalating into full-grown 0.30 0.32 0.34

Time (s)
0.36 0.38 0.40

failures. Subsequent monitoring recorded 140 additional cases of similar incipient failures until the catastrophic failure nine
months later that blew a 65A fuse 8 .
Real-time and automated event analy-
sis/detection and notification reduce
the time required to respond to an
8 View of the catastrophic failure following on from 7 , showing three-phase currents a ,
outage and provide an advance notifi-
voltages b , current-phasor analysis c and voltage-phasor analysis d .
cation of a sustained outage before
customer calls start overflowing the
call centers. By enabling the utility to 4000
Current (A)

address the problem before an outage 00

report is received, or by avoiding the 0
outage altogether, this smart grid
functionality has the potential to re- 0.00
0 00 0.05
0 05 0.10
0 10 0.15
0 15 0.20
0 20 0.25
0 25 0.30
0 30 0.35
0 35 0.40
0 40 0.45
0 45 0.50
0 50
Time (s)
duce customer-minutes-out that nega-
tively affect both the utility’s perfor-
mance metrics and customer produc-
Voltage (kV)

tivity. Furthermore, it improves the
utility’s preparedness for outage calls -10

and provides an effective tool to con- 0.00

0 00 0.05
0 05 0.10
0 10 0.15
0 15 0.20
0 20 0.25
0 25 0.30
0 30 0.35
0 35 0.40
0 40 0.45
0 45 0.50
0 50
Time (s)
firm the reported nature of the inci-
dent. In particular, the technology ap- c
Voltage (kV)

plied to underground feeders notifies 8

Current (A)

the utility of the cable faults that are 00

cleared by the protection device – 0
typically a fuse – along the feeder. 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50

More importantly, it can help detect Time (s) Time (s)

incipient faults that are on the verge

42 ABB Review 3/2009

Information, not data

Transmission and distribution

lasted 0.22 cycles without causing any Subsequent trend analysis and quantiza- it is feasible to pick up the signature
outage or fuse operation. Therefore, tion revealed a progressive development of, and predict a unique class of feed-
no corresponding record was regis- in normalized peak faults toward the er faults that develop over time from a
tered in the outage management data. eventual fault time 9 . The normalized reoccurring incipient stage to a full-
Subsequent monitoring recorded 140 peak increased to almost three times its blown failure.
additional cases of similar incipient initial value by the end of the monitor-
failures until the catastrophic failure ing period. This observation indicates Similar analysis can be performed on
nine months later that blew a 65 A that the cable splice integrity was being other types of feeder events, most
fuse. The current and voltage views degraded further with every instance of notably permanent underground cable
for this final event can be observed in a reoccurring incipient fault and arcing. failures.
8 , showing a peak fault current of

approximately 5,000 A. Between the This real-time feeder intelligence can An example of a cable failure on the
first incident and the catastrophic fail- raise the value of existing sensor in- primary feeder lateral that was cleared
ure, there were similar cases of incipi- stallations and is easy to retrofit. It by a 40A fuse is shown in 10 . It shows
ent faults with current spikes varying unleashes the potential of substation the current 10a and voltage 10b raw-
between 1,000 A and 3,000 A in magni- data that is already being recorded by data waveforms, as well as the phasor
tude and with both positive and nega- digital protection systems but remains magnitude plots 10c 10d . The sub-cycle
tive polarity. None of these events left underutilized. In this way, it provides current spike can be seen in the cur-
a trace in the outage data nor led to an “always-on” monitoring capability. rent plots. Using embedded intelli-
any customer interruption. Additionally, it also demonstrates that gence and automated analysis, this

9 Fault current trend leading up to the failure of 8 Transmission events propagate through the transmission grid and can
impact the distribution grid as well.
Norm. peak inst. current magnitude (A)







09/11/07 10/31/07 01/31/08 03/22/08 06/13/08
Arrival time

10 Waveforms a – b and phasor-magnitude c – d plots for an under-

ground cable failure

Current (A)


0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.50
Time (s)
Voltage (kV)

0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.50
Time (s)

c d
Voltage (kV)
Current (A)

1000 8

500 7

0 6
0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50
Time (s) Time (s)

ABB Review 3/2009 43

Information, not data

Transmission and distribution

11 Current a and voltage b waveforms and the corresponding current 12 Current a and voltage b waveforms and the corresponding
c and voltage d phasor-magnitude plots for an underground cable current c and voltage d phasor-magnitude plots for an upstream
failure on an adjacent feeder transmission fault
a a

Current (A)

Current (A)

0 0

0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.50 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.50
Time (s) Time (s)
b b
10 10
Voltage (kV)

Voltage (kV)
5 5
0 0
-5 -5
-10 -10

0 00 0.05
0.00 0 05 0 10
0.10 0 15
0.15 0 20
0.20 0 25 0.30
0.25 0 30 0 35
0.35 0 40
0.40 0 45
0.45 0 50
0.50 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.50
Time (s) Time (s)
c d
c d 10
400 9

Voltage (kV)
Current (A)
Voltage (kV)

Current (A)

300 9 8
200 8 100 7
100 50 6
0 5 0 5
0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50
Time (s) Time (s) Time (s) Time (s)

event was detected and confirmed ment, transport, interpretation, and merous sensors deployed in the grid
with the utility data. automation systems across the board make more data available, it is crucial
from end-customer premises to con- that the core information content be
Furthermore, such processing can also ventional and renewable power extracted in a timely and efficient
detect a failure on the adjacent feeder. plants. The key area for this modern- manner to truly achieve the objectives
An example of an underground cable ization is the distribution grid and the of the grid of the 21st century. It is
failure on a feeder adjacent to the last mile, which are undergoing a rad- envisioned that integrating such func-
monitored feeder is shown in 11 . The ical change in relation to their original tionalities into the operations of the
plots show a voltage dip and its effect design and purpose. Means of com- distribution grid will effectively help
on the current waveform. munication are needed for enhanced make the grid more efficient, reliable,
protection, control, and automation robust, and smarter than before.
Finally, certain transmission and gen- with various levels of intelligence to
eration events can also be observed process the utility data and act intelli- Mirrasoul J. Mousavi
and analyzed at the distribution level. gently, confidently and timely. Vaibhav D Donde
An example of an upstream fault on James Stoupis
the transmission system is shown in 12 . Real-time and automated event detec- Le Tang
The plots show current and voltage tion in distribution grids, as well as ABB Corporate Research
dips on multiple phases. near real-time notification, are prereq- Raleigh, NC, United States
uisites of the ultimate goal of moving
The road to tomorrow’s grid to closed-loop mode in protection,
The path toward achieving a smart control and monitoring. Such a vision
grid is about modernizing the century- of the future can be fulfilled by ac-
old electric grid to meet or exceed the quiring useful raw data and deploying
needs of the digital society and pro- flawless intelligence systems to deliver John J. McGowan
mote customer participation. This is actionable information for appropriate ABB Distribution Automation
accomplished in part by providing or control decisions via a reliable com- Allentown, PA, United States
enhancing data acquisition, manage- munication infrastructure. While nu-

[1] Moghe, R. M., Mousavi, J., Stoupis, J., McGowan, J. (2009, March 15–18). “Field investigation and analysis of incipient faults leading to a catastrophic failure in an
underground distribution feeder,” in Proc. of Power Systems Conference and Exposition (PSCE), Seattle, Washington.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Xcel Energy’s Utility Innovations group directed by Dennis Stephens as well as the operations and engineering
personnel for their continued support of the ongoing research and development project. They also thank Mickey Foster of ABB for his countless efforts during the course of
this project.

44 ABB Review 3/2009

Transmission and distribution

Network management
for smart grids
Innovative operations centers to manage future distribution networks
Tim Taylor, Marina Ohrn

Traditional power networks have been carefully managed at operations centers to ensure adequate power supplies
are maintained despite peaks and troughs in demand. Each section of the grid has an operations center that conducts
and coordinates various functions including system monitoring, control, crew administration and dispatch. It has been
regarded conventionally as “the brain” of the power system, from which operations have been directed.

As distribution systems are gradually evolving into smart distribution systems, the operations centers that control them
are evolving to take on new roles to manage such grids. The separate IT systems operating in these control centers are
becoming more streamlined, communicating seamlessly to provide an integrated monitoring and management system.
More advanced applications and analytical software are providing more sophisticated analyses and automated opera-
tions. The control systems of operations centers are not only helping to make the grid smarter but are also helping to
improve support for decision makers responsible for operations, maintenance and planning. Such integrated operations
centers are helping distribution organizations meet their goals despite ever-increasing challenges.

ABB Review 3/2009 45

Network management for smart grids

Transmission and distribution

C onventional monitoring and con-

trol systems for distribution net-
works have in the past been relatively
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisi-
tion (SCADA) systems have been ex-
tended from the transmission system
Despite the progress that has been
made, there are still fundamental
low-tech. Wall boards displaying the to include monitoring and control of issues that need to be addressed. The
system’s status were commonplace. medium-voltage (MV) feeder breakers. table provides examples and discusses
These boards could be covered with In some cases, SCADA has been fur- the consequences of separate (non-
sticky notes, push-pins, and ad-hoc ther extended out beyond the MV integrated) IT systems, incomplete
changes, which may have been diffi- feeder circuit breaker to equipment real-time system status and the lack of
cult to monitor and inflexible. Paper- such as reclosers, switches and capac- advanced applications in the opera-
based maps of the distribution cir- itor switches. tions of distribution organizations 1 .
cuits, which were often annotated
manually and risked being out of The case for change
date, were used to direct maintenance
Environmental Within the last few years, several ex-
work on the system. Paper-based sustainability and ways ternal drivers have helped accelerate
switch orders were used to plan, exe- of limiting carbon the development and expansion of
cute and track scheduled switching on applications for smart grid technology.
the system. Outage calls were re- emissions have led Drivers for change include society
ceived by operators, with little infor- to increased interest in and government, the business envi-
mation to provide to customers about ronment of distribution organizations
the outages. Paper-based outage tick-
smart grids. and technology.
ets were commonly used for tracking
customer outages. Communications Modern computer-based outage man- In many countries, legislation and reg-
with field-based crews were conduct- agement systems (OMSs) utilizing con- ulatory initiatives have been targeted
ed by radio. These crews had to sup- nectivity models and graphical user towards the modernization of the grid.
ply their location to the operating interfaces have become more com- Environmental sustainability and ways
centers, and the communication of mon. An OMS typically includes func- of limiting carbon emissions have led
switching, the placement of tags and tions such as trouble-call handling, to increased interest in smart grids.
other operations were made verbally. outage analysis and prediction, crew The increasing costs of new power
management, and reliability reporting. generation and transmission, both in
This is not to say that distribution At some distribution companies, an terms of infrastructure and fuel costs,
operations have stood still over time. OMS can be utilized simultaneously are also factors influencing technology
As technology and business needs by hundreds of users. It integrates change. Further drivers for the devel-
have changed so too have many dis- information about customers, system opment and adoption of smart grid
tribution operations centers. Many status, and resources such as crews. technology have been the public’s in-
terest to stabilize climate change
through greater use of renewables and
1 Deficiencies in today’s distribution operations centers for grid management
calls from utilities and governments
for improved distributed generation
Separate IT systems Incomplete real-time Few advanced
system status applications
and demand response. From a busi-
ness perspective, however, distribu-
tion organizations are looking to smart
grids to help them maintain or im-
Examples Non-integrated systems for: Lack of: Lack of applications for:
Customer information Equipment loading Fault location prove reliability, increase asset utiliza-
system information Restoration switching tion, deal with aging infrastructure
Geographic information Status of switches, voltage analysis
system regulator taps, capacitor Volt/var control and help reduce the impact of knowl-
Trouble calls banks Distribution state edge loss as employees reach retire-
Crew management Location of momentary estimation
Switch order management faults on system
ment age.
AMI Status of distributed
SCADA resources
Mobile workforce Customer demand/load In many countries,
Work management legislation and regulatory
Consequences Inefficient work processes Inefficient equipment Longer outage durations initiatives have been
Redundant and/or utilization Inefficient use of crew
inaccurate data Difficult to enable custom- hours targeted toward the
Longer outage durations ers to connect distributed No chance to reduce
Possible noncompliance energy resources to grid customer demand through modernization of the
of work processes with No understanding of voltage control at peak
possible safety issues automated operations times grid.
on feeder Higher system losses
Increased customer
complaints for voltage Technology has also been a great
out of range
driver in smart grid development.
Communication technology has

46 ABB Review 3/2009

Network management for smart grids

Transmission and distribution

strongly developed in the last decade. functionality now includes the transfer The benefits of integrating SCADA
Today distribution companies have of status/analog points from SCADA to with DMS include:
the choice between many different the DMS; the sending of supervisory Improved operations by close inte-
solutions. The communication can be control and manual override com- gration of DMS applications with
based on a dedicated network owned mands from the DMS to the SCADA distribution SCADA
by the distribution organization (eg, system; an integrated user interface Increased operator efficiency with
SCADA radio networks), or on third- running on the same PC operator con- one system, eliminating the need to
party infrastructure (eg, global system sole between the two systems; and go to multiple systems with poten-
for mobile communications, or GSM, integrated single sign-on for users. tially different data
provider networks). Depending on
various factors, like required availabil-
ity and bandwidth, the distribution
2 Systems integration for distribution-grid operations centers
organization can select the appropri-
ate technology. Whatever the choice,
Geographic Customer Work
it is certain that additional two-way Transmission
information information management
system system system
communication in distribution net-
works will increase. MV and LV Status,
network analogs,
Cust-Xfmr Customer Planned Referrals
attributes, tags,
updates data and outages
There are increasing numbers of dis- cust-Xfmr
information alarms

tribution equipment with sensing, data

processing, control, and communica- Network Manager SCADA
tions on the feeder. Automation sys- Network Manager DMS
tems are becoming more common, Data acquisition Call taking Load flow analysis
Device and sequence control Outage management Fault location
with smart devices and appliances Event and alarm management Crew management Switching analysis
within a home network. The deploy- Network and device tagging Reporting Overload reduction
Data warehousing Switch orders Simulation mode
ment of this technology will depend
upon the development and unification
Outage Trouble Outage Device Switching Outage Order, Vehicle
of interoperability standards. The notifications, calls status status and sequences orders status, location
restoration Meter measure- and control and referrals
development of such standards is notifications pings ments actions updates
ubiquitous in the United States and
Advanced metering Interactive Substation/feeder Mobile Automatic
Europe. voice automation and workforce vehicle
infrastructure and
meter data response gateways management location
Automation systems
are becoming more
common, with smart 3 Functionality and benefits of advance applications
devices and appliances
within a home network. DMS application
Unbalanced load
Determination of the line currents and node
Improved system awareness
flow analysis voltages per phase for the entire distribution Higher asset utilization
system, either online or offline in simulation Improved contingency planning
Systems integration
ABB is a leader in the development of Load allocation and Intelligent allocation of telemetered or histori- Improved load flow and state estimation
state estimation cal measurements over the network to calcu- calculations
smart grids around the world, and has late estimated power flows, voltages, and Improved notification of overloaded equip-
invested time and resources to create limit violations based on real-time conditions ment and voltage violations

the operations center systems that will Fault location Identification of possible fault locations on Improved crew efficiencies in managing
control smart grids. Three important system outages
Reduced customer average interruption
areas of systems integration are distri- duration index (CAIDI) and system average
bution management system (DMS) in- interruption duration index (SAIDI)

tegration with SCADA, advance meter- Restoration Evaluation of isolation and restoration switch- Improved operator efficiencies during
ing infrastructure (AMI) integration switching analysis ing schemes outages
Increased reliability
with the DMS, and the integration of
Distribution Monitoring and control of line capacitors, Reduced customer demand at system
data from substation gateways. Volt/Var control voltage regulators, and load tap changers peaks
(LTCs) to reduce peak load and system loss- Lower system losses
es Improved voltage profiles
ABB has long been a leader in inte-
grating SCADA at the distribution level Line unloading Computation and analysis of load transfer op- Reduced thermal-mode failures
tions, including overload reduction Longer equipment life due to reduced
with DMS applications. With the smart overloads
grid driving more distribution compa- Higher asset utilization

nies to install additional SCADA on Remote switching Automatic feeder reconfiguration considering Reduced CAIDI and SAIDI
the distribution system, ABB continues and restoration network operating conditions Lower system losses

to improve its integration. Available

ABB Review 3/2009 47

Network management for smart grids

Transmission and distribution

Integrated security analysis for sub- on their systems. This provides in- management. Advanced applications
station and circuit operations to creased access to data in intelligent use the network model along with the
check for tags in one area affecting electronic devices (IEDs) that are in- monitoring of the network operating
operations in the other stalled in substations and distribution conditions to provide recommenda-
Streamlined login and authority systems, many of which have commu- tions for optimal network operation.
management within one system nications capabilities. These include As shown in the table, advanced ap-
Consolidated system support for more intelligent recloser controls, plications can provide solutions to
DMS, OMS and distribution SCADA switch controls, and voltage regulator many challenges that distribution
controls. Integration of these systems organizations are facing today 3 .
Installation of AMI systems is rapidly with the DMS provides the benefit of
increasing, and ABB is developing decentralized local control at the sub- In many cases, distribution organiza-
ways that distribution organizations station/feeder level, while providing tions choose to leave the operator in
can leverage AMI data for operational system optimization through the DMS the decision loop so that the operator
purposes. Interfaces between AMI/ at the system level. The integration can oversee the system; however, as
MDM (meter data management) and of SCADA and DMS with other sys- smart grids evolve, the desire to mini-
SCADA/DMS have been developed for tems provides an integrated opera- mize human intervention will favor a
meter status queries, outage notifica- tions center for managing the smart closed-loop or automated approach.
tions and restoration notifications. grid 2 . In the future, the degree to which the
Benefits include reduced customer system is automated will be a busi-
outage durations and more efficient ness decision for each distribution
use of field resources. The use of other
ABB has long been a organization.
AMI data in DMS applications, such leader in integrating
as interval demand data and voltage SCADA at the distribution The operations center
violations, is being explored. This The architecture of a fully integrated
would provide additional benefits, level with DMS distribution operations center is
such as improved knowledge of system applications. shown in 4 . DMS applications are uti-
loading and better voltage profiles lized for the optimal management of
throughout the system. Advanced network applications the distribution systems with respect
With its Network ManagerTM platform, to equipment loading, efficiency, volt-
In addition, many organizations are ABB is leading the distribution indus- age control, work management, out-
increasing the amount of substation try in the development of advanced age management, and reliability. The
automation and substation gateways applications for distribution system DMS applications utilize the distribu-
tion database and electrical network
connectivity model. The network
4 The architecture of a fully integrated distribution operations center
model is initially created using a one-
time data load from a geographic in-
Network Manager formation system (GIS), and is period-
ically updated from the GIS using an
Geographical user interface
incremental update process.
DMS Applications
Balanced and unbalanced Restoration switching Trouble call management
load flow analysis Outage mangement
A key part of the integrated distribu-
State estimation Volt/var control Operations mangement tion control system is the integration
Fault location Remote/automatic Crew mangement
Switch order management switching and restoration Operator logs of the different IT systems used in the
Overload reduction Referral mangement operation of distribution systems. This
switching Outage notifications
Outage reporting includes the SCADA system as a key
element of data collection and system
Distribution database and network model control. The trend is for distribution
DMS Adaptors
companies to expand SCADA systems
past the distribution substation and
CIS SCADA onto the feeders, providing improved
Substation/feeder situational awareness and control of
gateways the distribution system. Interfaces to
Mobile worforce
management Infrastructure other systems include AMI and MDM
Interactive voice
response Process Historian systems, and substation/feeder gate-
Graphical data External adaptors
Work management communication and data ways and data concentrators. The ar-
engineering data exchange
system front end warehouse
chitecture of how data is transmitted
between field devices and the inte-
grated operations center will vary
among distribution organizations.
External applications and systems
There may even be several approach-
es within a single utility. Whatever the

48 ABB Review 3/2009

Network management for smart grids

Transmission and distribution

5 An integrated distribution operations center overseeing the distribution grid

ABB Network Manager


Operations SCADA and DMS

Outage management MWM CIS
Advanced applications

Communication Field crews

Fault location
automatic switching
Unbalanced and restoration
load flow
Plug-in hybrid
electric vehicles

protection Line Switch
Substation Voltage recloser
tie switch AMI integration and
computer/gateway regulator
Distributed demand response
Volt/Var control Capacitor generation and Residental
control energy storage meter

Substation Feeder Customer

approach, such data transmission is control actions, further increasing the control, outage response, planned
critical for increased operational complexity of distribution systems’ work, optimal equipment loading,
awareness. operation. improved control over distributed
generation, energy storage and de-
Future operations center Even in the presence of increasing mand response resources. The inte-
The integrated operations center will amounts of decentralized intelligence grated distribution operations center
be a key to the smart distribution grid. and control, the integrated operations will help distribution companies in
ABB continues to increase the func- center will be a centralized way of their mission to meet the goals of
tionality of operations centers to meet overseeing and coordinating the entire customers, owners, employees and
distribution organizations’ technical system. It will not be practical or even society.
and business requirements. A vision desirable to transmit all data and in-
of the smart distribution grid utilizing formation to centralized systems in
an integrated distribution operations the integrated control system. Instead,
center is shown in 5 . to ensure the optimal operation of the
system, the systems in the integrated
In a general sense, the operation of distribution operations center will
distribution systems will become more only collect and act upon the particu-
complex. Additional amounts of dis- lar data and information that is passed Tim Taylor
tributed generation and energy stor- to it. ABB Power Systems
age will impact the magnitudes and Raleigh, NC, United States
directions of power flows on the sys- Meeting the challenge
tem and may vary over time. Demand Smart distribution grids will require
response, either controlled by the innovative operations centers for ef- Marina Ohrn
electricity provider or the consumer, fective system management. ABB has ABB Power Systems
will also impact power flows and been continuously working to define Zürich, Switzerland
voltage profiles. In addition, there is and develop integrated operations
already an increasing trend to place centers for smart distribution grids,
additional intelligence in devices on including advanced integration of ex-
the distribution system, such as intelli- isting systems and the development of
gent electronic devices (IEDs), substa- new applications. Smart grid opera- [1] Sen, A., Ohrn, M. Convergence in the control
tion computers and gateways, sensors, tions will provide a comprehensive room: Integrating transmission, distribution and
and advanced meters. Some of these view of the distribution system, in- outage management systems. ABB Review
devices will result in additional local cluding system status and monitoring, 4/2005, 30–32.

ABB Review 3/2009 49

Efficiency and standards

In harmony
Defining global energy-efficiency standards
Janusz Maruszczyk, Michel Lhenry, Mikko Helinko, Zbigniew Korendo

Energy efficiency has become an es-

sential attribute of today’s industrial
products and systems. But the multi-
tude of different standards in this area
makes the direct comparison of ener-
gy-efficiency performance indicators
enormously difficult, if not impossible.
The globalization of markets has re-
sulted in the need to compare the en-
ergy efficiency of devices in the same
product group, regardless of where a
specific device was produced. The
harmonization of standards and un-
derlying legislation is a prerequisite
for successful proliferation of energy-
efficient technologies.

Standardization initiatives have result-

ed in the harmonization of energy-effi-
ciency requirements, testing methods
and certification schemes in a number
of areas, including electric motors.
Today, all major organizations that
develop standards, as well as inter-
governmental bodies, are working on
defining common frameworks for the
comparable qualification of products
and systems in terms of their energy
use. This is just the beginning of a
very important undertaking.

50 ABB Review 3/2009

In harmony

Efficiency and standards

F rom a technical and legal perspec-

tive, the electrotechnical market is
very complex. Every electrical device
IEC 60034-2 was used mainly in
Europe, India and China, and previ-
ously in Australia and New Zealand.
tary agreement of the European Com-
mittee of Manufacturers of Electrical
Machines and Power Electronics
must comply with various require- The method defined in IEEE 112-B (CEMEP) defined three possible effi-
ments connected to its application, was used in North America and coun- ciency classes for motors:
safety and compatibility with other tries with a 60 Hz power supply. EFF3 Low-efficiency motors
devices. Those requirements may be Around 2000, a method similar to EFF2 Improved-efficiency motors
included in national, regional or in- IEEE 112-B was introduced in Austra- EFF1 High-efficiency motors
dustrial regulations, procedures or lia and New Zealand, but IEC 60034-2 The agreement also stipulated that the
standards. Often there are additional may still be operational in those coun- manufacturers should mark the effi-
indirect requirements. tries. An equivalent standard (CSA ciency level on the product name-
C390) was adopted in Canada. plates and a sample data table to help
Standards may address the energy effi- users select and identify the most suit-
ciency of a specific device in different able motor.
ways. The typical process of deter-
Standards define what
mining the efficiency of a device is to energy efficiency is, deter- In the United States, the determina-
measure the value of energy losses in mine the procedure for tion of efficiency was based on the
accordance with the rules defined in IEEE-112 standard. The testing meth-
a standard. The results (energy losses testing and measuring od, IEEE 112-B, required direct mea-
or calculated energy efficiency) are energy usage, and inte- surements of all losses under a net-
matched against efficiency indexes work frequency of 50 or 60 Hz. The
(normative loss or efficiency values) to
grate the requirements MEPS for all motors produced or used
determine if the device meets the min- of MEPS or voluntary in the United States were established
imum energy-efficiency performance labeling schemes. in the Energy Policy Act (EPAct 1992).
standards (MEPS) or some other regu- Later NEMA proposed a voluntary cer-
lations. If the device meets the MEPS IEEE 112-B eliminated the temperature tification program, NEMA Premium,
requirements of a given country, it can problems existing with IEC 60034-2 which was based on IEEE 112-B. For
be put on the market. If it meets the for calculating the stator winding and both mandatory and voluntary re-
voluntary labeling scheme criteria, it rotor losses at fixed temperatures. quirements, the measurement results
can also be labeled and recognized as Additionally a test procedure was were later matched against specific
an energy-efficient product. established to determine additional efficiency indexes, which were de-
load losses to avoid the fixed allow- fined in the NEMA MG1 standard.
Standards define what energy efficien- ance existing in IEC 60034-2. Conse-
cy is, determine the procedure for test- quently two dominant efficiency In addition, the United States uses the
ing and measuring energy usage, and determination methods emerged for industrial standard IEEE 841 in the
integrate the requirements of MEPS or polyphase electrical motor efficiency: chemical, petroleum and metallurgy
voluntary labeling schemes. Problems IEC and IEEE 112-B 1 . industries for heavy-load motors with
arise when those standards are not long operation times.
harmonized across countries or indus- In the European Union, the determi-
tries. A nice example of the successful nation of efficiency was performed in The solutions in other countries were
harmonization of standards can be accordance with the testing method thus an adaptation of the EU or US
found in the electrical motor industry. described in IEC 60034-2. The volun- approaches – they were either harmo-

Harmonization in motors
1 Motor efficiency standards and labels: historical status
It is estimated that 40 percent of the
world’s electricity is used by electric
Testing IEEE 112-B IEC 60034-2 (1972; amended 1996)
motors in a variety of applications. The
improvement of motor efficiency de- Labeling
pends on the total reduction of all types
of energy losses that exist in motors: Chinese standard = IEC 60034-2
(1972; amended 1996)
Stator winding losses (Ps)
Iron losses (Pfe)
Local standard
Rotor losses (Pr)
Mexican standard = IEEE 112-B Local standard
Friction and windage losses (Pfw)
IEC 60034-2
Additional load losses (PLL) (1972; amended 1996)

IEEE 112-B Australian standard

For many years there were two main
related to:
standards used around the world to IEC 60034-2
determine these losses: (1972; amended 1996)

IEC 60034-2 IEEE 112-B

IEEE 112 method B (or IEEE 112-B)

ABB Review 3/2009 51

In harmony

Efficiency and standards

nized with or similar to IEC 60034-2 Working toward homogenization presented at the general IEC TC 2
or IEEE 112-B. Efforts were thus made to move to- meeting in Milan, Italy, where the
ward unity and away from the redun- project was confirmed and launched
Brazil, for example, has a test method dancy of the existing standardization under the name IEC TS 60034-31.
based on IEEE 112-B, but the existing practices. Based on a new work item
MEPS is different from that which is proposal issued by the German na- Also, IEC TC 2 began revising the
used in the United States. In India, ef- tional committee DKE K311, a work- IEC 60034-2 standard, which had been
ficiency classes were harmonized with ing group (WG 31) was established in around for many decades. The revi-
CEMEP, but the test method is based 2006 by the IEC TC 2 (the rotating sion was initiated in 1996 when a
on the local standard rather than on electrical machines technical commit- European Commission mandate
the IEC standard. China adopted the tee) and was assigned the task to (M244) was given to CENELEC (Euro-
MEPS policy; its minimum energy-effi- define energy-efficiency classes for pean Committee for Electrotechnical
ciency requirements and energy-effi- three-phase industrial motors. Standardization), who then passed the
ciency grades for small and medium task of developing a new testing stan-
three-phase asynchronous motors are Another contributor to this harmoni- dard to the IEC. The intention was
described in China’s GB 18613-2006 zation process was the private initia- to prepare a new IEC standard similar
standard. For testing purposes, how- tive known as Standards for Energy to IEEE 112-B. At the first WG 2 meet-
ever, a local GB/T 1032 standard – Efficiency of Electric Motor Systems ing of IEC SC2G in September 1997
equivalent to IEC 60034-2 – is used. (SEEEM), created in 2006, whose rec- in Frankfurt, the IEEE 112-B test meth-
Additionally in China there are a few ommendations were also taken into od was presented by a member of
groups of de facto standards (eg, the consideration by WG 31. IEC working group but this first pro-
so-called Y-series motors). These posal was not accepted. (Incidentally,
types of motors, although not de- working group 2 would later become
scribed in the predominating stan-
What was considered a WG 28 of IEC TC 2.) After many years
dards, are widely recognized on the high-efficiency motor in of discussion, the test method was
Chinese market and are regarded as one country might hardly put into IEC 61972. Later, the method
the reference. was included in the new edition
have met the minimum of IEC 60034-2 2 . Consequently,
Different testing methods and labeling efficiency levels of a coun- IEC 61972 has been withdrawn.
schemes led to problems with the
comparability of motor efficiency.
try with more advanced Further activities undertaken by the
Additionally, the nomenclature used technologies. IEC technical committee 2, rotating
in various economies was a problem machinery (WG 28 and WG 31), re-
as well. The phrase “high-efficiency The first meeting of WG 31 took place sulted in the following standards:
motor” might have a different mean- in October 2006 in Frankfurt, Germa- IEC 60034-2-1 (2007) Includes the effi-
ing in different markets or countries. ny. By the second meeting in May ciency testing methods (harmonized
What was considered a high-efficiency 2007 in Washington, DC, it was clear with IEEE 112-B; however, small dif-
motor in one country might hardly that the existence of a classification ferences still exist).
have met the minimum efficiency lev- standard alone would not solve all the IEC 60034-30 (2008) Defines new effi-
els of a country with more advanced problems – the methods for energy- ciency classes IE1, IE2 and IE3, which
technologies. Together, these elements efficient operation of electric motors are harmonized at 60 Hz with Brazil-
were blocking the global promotion and applications should be described ian regulations (IE1) and are harmo-
of energy-efficient motors. as well. In May 2007 a proposal to nized with current US regulations for
create an energy-efficiency guide was enclosed motors (EPAct for IE2 and
NEMA Premium for IE3), eg, IP44,
IP55, and are based on EU-CEMEP
2 Efficiency classes around the world (2009)
(EFF1, EFF2) for IE2 and IE1. The IE3
class introduced at 50 Hz is derived
Testing IEEE 112-B
IEC 60034-2-1 Ed. 1 (2007)
from IE2 with about 15 percent lower
losses. This standard excludes motors
Labeling that were designed in accordance with
IE3 IEC 60034-25 (ie, motors specifically
designed for converter supply), and
IE2 motors that are the integral part of
appliances (eg, pumps or fans).
In addition, the following standards
IEC 60034-30 Ed. 1 (2008) are currently under development by
the IEC:
IEC TS 60034-31 Guide for the selec-
tion and application of energy-effi-

52 ABB Review 3/2009

In harmony

Efficiency and standards

cient motors, including ciency levels as defined by

3 Implementation roadmap of the different IE efficiency levels as defined
variable-speed applications IEC 60034-30, as well as the
by IEC 60034-30
(planned publication in minimum energy-efficiency
April 2010; the second draft standards in various countries.
Efficiency Efficiency class Uncertainty as per Countries having
became available in April level IEC 60034-30 testing standard performance standard
2009). IEC 60034-2-1 (2007) regulations Working group 31 of the IEC
IEC 60034-2-3 Testing stan- Premium IE3 Low uncertainty USA (2011) TC 2 is currently developing a
dard for converter-fed AC efficiency Europe (2015/2017*)) new IEC TS 60034-31. A draft
machines (planned publica- High IE2 Low uncertainty USA document was issued in which
efficiency Canada
tion in July 2011). Mexico the definitions of super premi-
Australia um or IE4 classes were pro-
New Zealand
Meanwhile, the US Depart- Brazil (2009)
posed. The IE4 energy-efficien-
ment of Energy has mandat- China (2011) cy class is not limited to three-
Europe (2011*))
ed that, beginning December phase cage-induction motors
19, 2010, NEMA Premium (expected 2012) like the IE1, IE2 and IE3 class-
will become the minimum Standard IE1 Medium uncertainty China
es of EN/IEC 60034-30. In-
energy-efficiency perfor- efficiency Brazil stead, IE4 is intended for use
Costa Rica
mance standard for motors with all types of electrical mo-
in the United States. In order Taiwan tors, particularly with convert-
to obtain the certification, Switzerland er-fed machines (both cage-in-
(expected 2010)
the producer must test its duction and other types, such
products in an accredited No date indicates that specific MEPS regulations are already active. IEC 60034-2-1 as permanent-magnet synchro-
laboratory. The other rules includes several test methods associated with different uncertainties. For IE1, test nous motors). Currently, there
methods associated with low and medium uncertainty are acceptable; for IE2 and
(ie, IEEE 112-B as the testing IE3, low uncertainty is required. are no motors on the market
standard and NEMA MG1 as that fit this energy-efficiency
Schedule for efficiency-level implementation in the EU:
the efficiency-class standard) After June 16, 2011 all motors from 0.75 kW to 375 kW must meet the IE2
class level. This nicely illus-
remain unchanged. efficiency class. trates the fact that standardiza-
Effective January 1, 2015 motors with a nominal power (PN ) of 7.5 to 375 kW
tion may be determining the
cannot be less efficient than the IE3 efficiency level, or must meet the IE2 class,
In the EU countries the situ- and must be equipped with a variable-speed drive (VSD). direction of technology and
ation is different – it is the As of January 1, 2017 motors with a PN of 0.75 to 375 kW cannot be less efficient product development.
than the IE3 class, or must meet the IE2 requirements and be equipped with
producer who is held re- a VSD.
sponsible for compliance A case for standardization
with standards. The third- Standards and labels are pres-
party certification is not mandatory; adopted by the European Commission ent in all areas of energy-efficiency
however, government agencies will on July 22, 2009. The scope of the policy support, particularly for specif-
perform occasional market audits. regulation differs slightly from the ic products (like motors) or applica-
Should a device not meet the required IEC 60034-30 standard (eg, motors for tions. Standards:
(and declared) efficiency levels, the converter operations are included). Define what efficiency is
producer will be obliged to remove it 3 shows the anticipated implementa- (IEC 60034-2-1).
from the market at his own cost. tion roadmap of the different IE effi- Formulate testing procedures to de-
termine efficiency (IEC 60034-2-1).
The Ecodesign Regulatory Committee, Establish minimum required effi-
Factbox 1 IEC conditions precedent to
composed of representatives of the ciency indexes and efficiency re-
standardization in the area of energy
Member States of the EU, voted posi- quirements for various voluntary
tively for a new regulation, Ecodesign efficiency labels and certificates
Requirements on Electric Motors, on (EN/IEC 60034-30, NEMA MG1).
the basis of a proposal from the Euro- Distinct, reasonable and coherent defi- Define the maintenance conditions
pean Commission. The new regulation nition of “efficiency” that should be met to achieve high
states the energy-efficiency class for Definition of test and measuring meth- efficiency (ANSI/EASA AR100, EASA/
asynchronous motors with an output ods for the evaluation and rating of effi- AEMT).
power between 0.75 kW and 375 kW. ciency Describe specific industrial or sector
The IE2 efficiency class defined in Definition of efficiency levels (classes) rules and requirements (IEEE 841).
EN/IEC 60034-30 will become manda- for standard and commodity products Push the direction of technology
tory starting June 16, 2011, the IE3 To start standardization only in those and product development toward
class for motors with a nominal power areas where a significant savings poten- more energy-efficiency-oriented so-
(PN) output from 7.5 to 375 kW start- tial exists; priority on “high potentials” lutions (IE4, IEC TS 60034-31).
ing in 2015, and for motors with PN Mandatory limiting values shall be pre-
from 0.75 to 375 kW in 2017. An IE2- scribed by the authorities The International Energy Agency (IEA)
class motor may be used in place of Source: IEC Workshop, Sao Paulo, Nov. 2008 launched the 4E implementing agree-
an IE3 motor if it is supplied through ment Efficient Electrical End-Use
a converter drive. This regulation was Equipment in March 2008. A part of

ABB Review 3/2009 53

In harmony

Efficiency and standards

4E, the Electric Motor Systems Annex The SG 1 recommendations extend

Factbox 2 Acronyms
(EMSA) is focused on motor-systems further to focusing standardization on
efficiency. It addresses energy effi- those products and processes where
AFNOR Association Française de ciency not only from a product per- energy-efficiency gains are expected
Normalisation (French spective, but also with regards to the to be the most significant; that is,
national organization for motor as a part of a broader system products and devices operated in
standardization) that has its own energy-efficiency large volumes. This applies to, for
CEMEP Comité Européen de potential. EMSA is building a Global example, lamps and lighting, rotating
Constructeurs de Machines Motor Systems Network to provide machines, heating and cooling appli-
Electriques et d’Electronique information on new developments in cations, power generation and trans-
de Puissance (European standards and technology. The system mission, power transformers and con-
Committee of Manufacturers approach, while potentially offering sumer electronics.
of Electrical Machines and the biggest benefits, is very difficult to
Power Electronics) standardize, which is why past stan- Another priority area distinguished by
CEN Comité Européen de dardization efforts have mainly dealt SG 1 is the development of: standards
Normalisation (European with efficiency standards for devices. and best-practice guidelines concern-
Committee for Standardization) ing optimal matching of a given prod-
CENELEC Comité Européen de Focus on energy efficiency uct to actual application; guidelines
Normalisation Electrotechnique In recent years, the issue of electrical for systems design with consideration
(European Committee energy efficiency has been recognized for energy-efficiency criteria, automa-
for Electrotechnical by the International Electrotechnical tion of complex systems and plants
Standardization) Commission as one of the key priority (eg, power plants, electrical trains);
EMSA Electric Motor Systems Annex areas. The IEC standardization manage- and guidelines for power losses in
EPAct Energy Policy Act ment board (IEC-SMB) has established distribution networks. SG 1 also rec-
IEA International Energy Agency a strategic group (SG 1) – energy effi- ommends more focus on the standard-
IEC International Electrotechnical ciency and renewable resources – that ization of electrical storage systems,
Commission cooperates closely with its sister coun- especially in the context of distributed
ISO International Organization for terpart in ISO - ISO/TMB/SAG EE 1, energy generation involving renew-
Standardization strategic advisory group on energy effi- able sources.
MEPS Minimum energy-efficiency ciency. The IEC-SMB SG 1 has defined
performance standards (also a set of recommendations regarding This approach breaks away from the
referred to as minimum energy energy-efficiency-related issues for IEC traditional focus on isolated devices,
performance standards or technical committees Factbox 1 . As such, and rather takes into consideration
minimum efficiency after IEC-SMB approval, these consid- their operation in the context of the
performance standards) erations determine the direction of fu- larger system and processes for which
NEMA National Electrical ture IEC works in this area. they are used. Such system-level ener-
Manufacturers Association gy efficiency ought to be considered
SEEEM Standards for Energy Efficiency One of the main requirements identi- already at the design stage, taking into
of Electric Motor Systems fied by SG 1 is to establish common account application context, lifetime
terminology and definitions concern- maintenance and interaction with
ing energy efficiency. Presently there other system components.
are a number of initiatives and activi-
Factbox 3 ABB motors and the new efficiency
ties in both standards-setting and leg-
standards and labels
islation – eg, ISO/CSC/STRAT, CEN/
Electrical energy efficiency
CENELEC sector forum energy man- has been recognized by the
ABB ensures that its products fully agement (SFEM), existing IEC stan- International Electrotechni-
comply with the new requirements. dards and legislation – that refer to
ABB supplies a full range of motors in basic terms (eg, energy efficiency, cal Commission as one of
the IE2 class, as well as premium effi- energy performance) in different the key priority areas.
ciency motors in the IE3 class. ways. As a result, their interpretation
Motors’ ranges, including flameproof Ex may differ in various contexts and Like the IEC, the International Organi-
d, dust ignition proof Ex tD and non- applications. Upon the recommenda- zation for Standardization pays signifi-
sparking Ex nA from 0.75 to 375 kW, tion of SG 1, ISO has begun develop- cant attention to various aspects of
are labeled according to IEC/EN 60034- ing a new standard that will fix the energy efficiency. Apart from the joint
30. basic terminology for all organizations development of a basic terminology
The efficiency values are determined dealing with energy efficiency. The standard for the energy-efficiency
according to standard EN/IEC 60034- French national organization for stan- domain, ISO technical committees
2-1 with the low uncertainty method dardization (AFNOR) will coordinate work on standardizing methods of
defined in this standard. this development, which is estimated calculating, comparing and labeling
to be completed in about three with respect to energy performance,
years. consumption and efficiency of various

54 ABB Review 3/2009

In harmony

Efficiency and standards

devices, means of transport and build- gent buildings – from design require- From the perspective of the World En-
ings. In this area, development of the ments and the use of alternative ener- ergy Council and the IEA, standards
standard ISO 13602 (by TC 203, tech- gy sources to control and manage- are one of most important tools for en-
nical energy systems), which includes ment systems. Determining the energy abling the realization of global strate-
principles for comparable character- efficiency of the whole system pres- gies in practice. Standards facilitate the
izations of different sources of energy, ents substantially different challenges international cooperation between gov-
is ongoing. and requires methodologies beyond ernments and industrial players. This is
just benchmarking an isolated motor especially important as most solutions
Another novel standardization area under laboratory conditions. Standards (including renewable energies) must
is energy-management systems. It is for assessing system-level energy-effi- be implemented on a mass scale in
addressed notably in the upcoming ciency are an important element of order to achieve the desired outcomes.
standard ISO 50001, the final version enforcing energy-saving policies.
of which is expected around 2010 In the case of most electrical devices,
(a draft version of the document has the harmonization of local standards
already been created). It is anticipated
Standardization may be with international standards leads to:
that this standard will have an impact determining the direction Minimization of testing costs, espe-
on energy-related issues similar to that of technology and cially for the organizations that pro-
of ISO 9001 (on quality management) duce electrical devices for global
and ISO 14001 (on environmental product development. markets
management). ISO 50001 does not Easier comparability of efficiency
introduce required efficiency levels, Facilitating change and energy consumption for the
but rather postulates continual im- In line with the IEA’s sentiments re- same devices in various regions and
provement of overall energy efficiency garding energy efficiency, internation- economic systems
of a plant or factory. This new stan- al standards in this area are playing a Facilitation of the production of
dard may encourage companies to critical role as a change enabler be- higher-efficiency devices
develop comprehensive, system-level cause they include terminology, test Facilitation and enabling of knowl-
approaches to energy-efficiency man- methods, classifications and manage- edge transfer, resulting in standards
agement, including efficiency measure- ment practices, thereby building a implementation in legislation
ment, monitoring and process-control common implementation framework.
optimization, to name but a few. A Additionally they formalize the state- Standards do not just define efficiency
typical example of such a system is of-the-art knowledge based on the and provide the methods to assess it.
building systems (said to be account- consensus of experts with a broad Standards also describe the broader
able for about 30 percent of overall range of technological, industrial and perspective – how to manage the en-
energy use). The new ISO standard economic backgrounds from all over ergy in a system and how to monitor,
takes a holistic perspective of intelli- the world. identify and verify the energy savings
resulting from specific actions taken.
Such an approach is part of a wide-
ranging vision of energy-efficient
markets where efficiency and energy
savings are a service that can be
purchased and sold in a same way as
electricity or gas.

Janusz Maruszczyk
Zbigniew Korendo
ABB Corporate Research,
Group Standards Office
Krakow, Poland

Michel Lhenry
Further reading ABB Automation Products Montluel, France
Mikko Helinko ABB Automation Products Vaasa, Finland

ABB Review 3/2009 55

Efficiency and standards

OPC Unified
The future standard for communication and information
modeling in automation
Wolfgang Mahnke, Stefan-Helmut Leitner

OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is the new standard specification for
interconnectivity in state-of-the-art industrial automation technology,
enabling rich information modeling capabilities, replacing existing OPC
specifications. OPC UA provides a framework for interoperability to be used
over the next 10 years and beyond (published also as IEC 62541).

ABB played a major role in creating OPC UA and has ensured the new
standard meets process automation community requirements. After several
years of work, a major segment of the specification was released in Febru-
ary 2009, and the first ABB product supporting OPC UA is already on the

56 ABB Review 3/2009

OPC Unified Architecture

Efficiency and standards

O PC is a set of industrial standards

for systems interconnectivity, pro-
viding a common interface for commu-
1 OPC UA can be used for applications within the automation pyramid.

nications between different products

from different vendors Factbox 1 . There Enterprise level
are over 22,000 products supplied by ERP
over 3,200 vendors. Process control (Unix)
systems must be able to communicate OPC UA Corporate network
with all these products, accessing data OPC UA clients
or providing data access via a com- Plant level MES
mon communications platform. Classic (Windows) Firewall
OPC provides standard specifications OPC UA Operations network

for data access (DA), historical data

access (HDA), and alarms and events Process control level OPC UA servers
(A&E). These OPC specifications are HMI DCS
(Windows) (Linux)
widely accepted by the automation in-
OPC UA Plant floor network
dustry. Classic OPC is based on aging
Microsoft-COM/DCOM-technology,1) Control & field level Controllers Sensors
which has led to the development of
new OPC Foundation specifications
known as OPC UA (Unified Architec-
ture). These specifications have been
Factbox 1 OPC Factbox 2 Meta model and information models
developed by more than 30 automa-
tion vendors, during a time period of
five years. The main goal of OPC UA OPC (OLE* for process control) was devel- A meta model is a model to describe mod-
is to keep all the functionality of Clas- oped in 1996 by the automation industry els. The meta model of an SQL (Structured
sic OPC, while switching from Micro- as a standard specification that would al- Query Language) database defines the
soft-COM/DCOM-technology to state- low the communication of real-time plant concept of a table, in an object-oriented
of-the-art Web services technology. By data between control devices produced by programming language the concepts of a
using web service technology OPC UA different manufacturers. The OPC Founda- class and objects, and in IEC 61131-3
becomes platform-independent and tion was created to maintain the standard languages the concept of tasks, function
can thus be applied in scenarios and has since overseen the introduction of blocks, programs, etc. In OPC UA the meta
where Classic OPC is not used today. a series of standard specifications (such as model defines the concepts of objects,
OPC UA can be seamlessly integrated OPC data access). Today the OPC Foun- their types, variables, data types, etc.
into Manufacturing Execution Systems2) dation states that OPC UA is no longer an
(MES) and Enterprise Resource Plan- acronym for OLE for process control, but An information model is a model based on
ning3) (ERP) systems, running not only OPC UA is an acronym for OPen Connec- a meta model defining a specific semantic
on Unix/Linux systems using Java, but tivity Unified Architecture). (meaning). In case of OPC UA this is main-
also on controllers and intelligent de- ly done by defining specific types of ob-
vices having specific real-time capable *) Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) allows jects and variables, but also by defining
the visual display of data from other programs
operation systems. Of course, compat- specific objects and variables having a
that the host program is not normally able to
ibility with earlier OPC specifications specific semantic (eg, entry points into the
generate itself (eg, “embedding” a pie chart in
was a requirement for OPC UA. It does a text document). The data in the file used to
address space of a server). For example,
not, therefore, preclude its use in produce the embedded chart can change, based on the OPC UA meta model an
Windows-based environments where “linking” the data so that the chart is updated information model for analyzer devices is
Classic OPC already operates today – within the embedded document. defined by specifying specific types of
suiting Microsoft’s Windows Commu- analyzers. An OPC UA server can use this
nication Foundation4), which can also type of information to represent its data
communicate using Web services 1 . coming from an analyzer device.

OPC UA has to fulfill and improve the

non functional requirements of Classic Footnotes
OPC providing, for example, robust, 1)
Component Object Model (COM) was introduced by Microsoft in 1993 to allow component software to com-
reliable, high-performance communi- municate between different applications. Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) was also introduced
cation suitable for automation. Learn- by Microsoft allowing software components to communicate even when distributed across a network.
Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) manage and monitor work in progress on the factory floor.
ing from OPC XML-DA5) (the first at- 3)
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a company-wide computer software system used to manage and coordi-
tempt made by the OPC Foundation
nate all the resources, information, and functions of a business from shared data bases.
to provide XML-based web services), 4)
Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is a programming framework used to build applications that inter-
OPC UA was designed to support communicate.
binary encoding for high-performing 5)
OPC XML-DA builds on the existing OPC DA standard to deliver multi-vendor interoperability and connectivity
data exchange. To provide reliable to factory floor information via the Internet.

ABB Review 3/2009 57

OPC Unified Architecture

Efficiency and standards

enables information modeling and

2 Examples of OPC versus OPC UA models
facilitates many additional operations.
OPC UA defines a simple set of base
Classic OPC OPC UA
types that can be extended by infor-
Strictly hierarchical Simple hierarchical Scales from simple to Full-meshed network mation models (either application and
structured nodes structured nodes complex models of typed nodes
vendor-specific models, or standard-
ized models). The idea is that OPC UA
A01 A01 A01 FType
specifies how data is exchanged,
F01 F01 PV while standard information models
specify what information is exchanged.

EU EU Intensive interest in information mod-

X01 eling has already created the impetus
F02 F02
F02 to standardize information models
PV PV based on OPC UA. Common field de-
PV X02
vices could use a standardized infor-
EU EU EU mation model to enable true plug-
and-play multivendor interoperability
[1]. This model was originally defined
by the Field Device Integration (FDI)
communication OPC UA has built-in used to obtain that measurement. This initiative and has already been refined
mechanisms able to handle problems, information is helpful in typical sce- by the Analyzer Devices Integration
such as lost messages. OPC UA has narios of Classic OPC, because the (ADI) group [2], defining specific ana-
built-in security, a requirement that same graphics, ie, software compo- lyzer devices. A working group, found-
has become more and more important nent and configuration, displayed on ed in October 2008 by PLCopen,6)
in environments where factory floor an operator workstation can be used focuses on an OPC UA information
data must be accessed from the office for each device of the same type, op- model for IEC 61131-3 languages. The
network. erating throughout the system. In ad- use of standard information models
dition, this information can also be raises interoperability to a new level,
utilized in a broader area of applica- not only allowing interoperable data
OPC UA can, in the tions, like MES and ERP systems, help- exchange, but also making the model
long-term, drastically ing to integrate data without the need interoperable. This can, in the long-
reduce engineering costs to exchange tag lists that provide the term, drastically reduce engineering
semantics of the tags. OPC UA pro- costs when integrating systems that
when integrating systems vides the flexibility to define and use use products from different vendors.
that use products from rich information models, but does not
require their use. An OPC UA server OPC UA scales very well in several
different vendors. can still expose a simple information directions. It allows OPC UA applica-
model, like OPC DA servers do today, tions to run on embedded devices
OPC UA brings together the different but it can also provide much more with very limited hardware resources,
specifications of Classic OPC provid- information. as well as on very powerful machines
ing a single entry point into a system like mainframes. Typically, servers
offering current data access, alarms A major advantage of using OPC UA running in such different environ-
and events, together with the history compared with Classic OPC, is that it ments will not provide the same infor-
of both. In contrast to Classic mation. The server on the
OPC, OPC UA provides a sin- 3 embedded device is unlikely
Pillars of OPC UA
gle small set of generic servic- to provide a long history of
es access to all information. the data and will only sup-
Standard port a few clients, whereas
Whereas Classic OPC has a information models other servers may provide
eg, (UA Part8), (UA Part9), (UA Devices), …
very simple meta model several years worth of history
Base OPC UA information model (UA Part5)
Factbox 2 providing tags in a and support thousands of cli-
OPC UA services (UA Part4)
simple hierarchy, OPC UA ents. Information modeling
provides a rich information aspects of OPC UA are also
model using object-oriented Communication
infrastructure OPC UA Footnote
techniques 2 . It is not only (UA Part6) meta model 6)
PLCopen is a vendor- and product-in-
possible to provide a mea- Web services (UA Part3)
UA TCP dependent worldwide association. Its
sured value and its engineer- mission is to be the leading association
ing unit using OPC UA, but resolving topics related to control pro-
also to identify the specific gramming to support the use of inter-
type of temperature sensor national standards in this field.

58 ABB Review 3/2009

OPC Unified Architecture

Efficiency and standards

scalable. A server can provide any- conditions [7], programs [8], historical specifications (ie, Address Space Mod-
thing from a very simple model, simi- data [9], and aggregate functions [10]. el, Information Model and Security
lar to Classic OPC, to highly sophisti- It also provides mechanisms to sup- Model). With their broad software ar-
cated models providing highly sophis- port multiple information models on chitecture expertise and extensive
ticated meta data on the given data. one server. Data about the informa- connections to experts, these employ-
A client can just ignore this additional tion models can be read by the servic- ees helped to make decisions about
information and provide a simple es, so that clients knowing only the the design and technology required to
view of the data or make use of the services, are capable of accessing all create a secure, reliable and high-per-
meta data provided by the server. the information. Of course, clients formance OPC UA standard. A special
knowing specific information models focus for ABB was to ensure that the
OPC UA defines two main pillars sup- can be optimized by making use of OPC UA information modeling con-
porting interoperability: the communi- that knowledge. cepts fit well with Extended Automa-
cation infrastructure and the OPC UA tion System 800xA’s well-established
meta model 3 . The communication in- OPC UA is not directly compatible and powerful Aspect Object Model.
frastructure defines how information with Classic OPC, because it uses a ABB’s corporate research provided
is exchanged and the meta model de- different technology for data commu- mapping concepts for integrating
fines what information is exchanged. nication. To fulfill this requirement, third-party OPC UA servers into Sys-
however, the OPC Foundation not on- tem 800xA acting as an OPC UA cli-
Independent of the communication in- ly provides software infrastructure for ent, and for integrating System 800xA,
frastructure, OPC UA defines a set of OPC UA communication (stacks7) in as an OPC UA server, into third-party
abstract services [3] that can run on ANSI C,8) .NET9) and Java), but also OPC UA clients 4 . A prototype imple-
different communication infrastruc- wrappers and proxies that either wrap mentation has proved that the OPC
tures and use the meta model [4] as existing servers to OPC UA clients or UA concepts can be applied to System
the basis for defining appropriate pa- provide a proxy server10) for Classic 800xA easily.
rameters for the services. The base OPC clients to access OPC UA servers.
OPC UA Information Model [5] pro- ABB is strongly supportive of OPC UA
vides base types and entry points to OPC UA at ABB and has committed resources to en-
the server’s address space. On top of ABB was heavily involved in the cre- sure adequate training courses and
the base information model, vendor- ation of OPC UA. Several ABB em- presentations are available to intro-
specific or standard information mod- ployees were members of the OPC UA duce the OPC UA concepts. A third-
els can be built. OPC UA already de- working group formed by the OPC party C++ based OPC UA software
fines several standard information Foundation. Over time, ABB members development kit (SDK) is provided for
models for data access [6], alarms and have edited three of the eight released use within ABB. A sharepoint server

4 Typical screen shots from System 800xA

a System 800xA native view (Plant Explorer) b System 800xA view using a generic OPC UA client

A communication stack is the software that implements a communication protocol across a computer network.
ANSI C is the American National Standards Institute’s standard C programming language. By creating a standard for software developers writing in C the code is portable
(ie, little effort is required to adapt it to a new environment).
The Microsoft.NET Framework is a software framework available with several Microsoft Windows operating systems intended to be used by most new applications creat-
ed for the Windows platform.
A proxy server acts as a go-between for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.
Anybody inside ABB can contact the authors of this article for training or access to ABB’s sharepoint server.

ABB Review 3/2009 59

OPC Unified Architecture

Efficiency and standards

provides the latest news and SDK up- As the development of the specifica- OPC UA products
dates to keep the ABB OPC UA com- tion was finalized ABB participated ABB is currently evaluating the appli-
munity informed worldwide11). in several interoperability workshops cation of OPC UA to certain ABB
organized by the OPC Foundation products. Others have already been
ABB also took part in the early adopt- to ensure interoperability of ABB’s evaluated and OPC UA-compatible
er program of the OPC Foundation, OPC UA applications with third-party products are on their way. Among
helping to develop an ANSI C-based implementations, including those from these early products are SCADA Van-
OPC UA stack, developing the security ICONICS, Siemens, Beckhoff, Kep- tageTM , which is due for release in
module and participating in code re- ware, and OSISoft. 2010, and process analytical technolo-
views. The portable design of the gy – PAT 2.0, which is already on the
stack already allowed ABB to develop market as the first ABB product sup-
a port to VxWorks, a popular real-time
ABB is strongly supportive porting OPC UA.
operation system running on many of OPC UA and has
ABB controllers like the AC800M and committed resources to SCADA Vantage
the robotics controller (IRC5). In addi- ABB’s IndustrialIT SCADA Vantage is a
tion, the OPC Foundation provides ensure adequate training SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data
the stack with ports for Linux and courses and presenta- Acquisition) system typically used in
Windows operating systems. the oil and gas industry 6 . The infor-
tions are available to mation provided includes instances
introduce the OPC UA and types, current data, alarms &
5 The authors have written a book, OPC
Unified Architecture, which provides further concepts. events, and history. The same infor-
mation can be exposed natively via an
discussion of advanced topics.
ABB was involved in the development OPC UA server 7 . Thus the SCADA
of standard information models based Vantage data is exposed in a standard-
on OPC UA for field devices (FDI) and ized way and can be used by third-
analyzer devices (ADI). In addition, party products as well as integrated
ABB is a member of the PLCopen into other ABB products having an
working group defining an OPC OPC UA client. The release of SCADA
UA-based information model for Vantage with an OPC UA server is
IEC 61131-3 languages. scheduled for 2010. Later versions will
also have an OPC UA client to allow
Internal presentations and training, the integration of OPC UA servers into
together with ABB participation at SCADA Vantage.
several OPC UA developer conferenc-
es and other events, have emphasized Process analytical technology
ABB’s leading role in OPC UA devel- ABB’s IndustrialIT eXtended PAT pro-
opment and its position as technology motes the integration of analytical
leader. ABB’s determination to pro- measurements into the manufacturing
vide an easy-to-read introduction to process and was released in 2007.
the OPC UA concept with further dis- A major upgrade with OPC UA sup-
cussion of advanced topics is illustrat- port was released in Q1 2009. It utiliz-
ed by its authorship of the first book es OPC UA to provide standardized
written on OPC UA [11] 5 . connectivity to process analyzers.

6 The SCADA Vantage native explorer 7 The SCADA Vantage OPC UA view

60 ABB Review 3/2009

OPC Unified Architecture

Efficiency and standards

first OPC UA products, including

8 OPC UA helps xPAT integrate analyzers, either by using a proprietary interface for each
Emerson, Honeywell, Wonderware,
analyzer provided by an analyzer controller a , or using OPC UA for all analyzer devices
and Yokogawa.
supporting OPC UA b .
a b

Process controller Process controller SCADA Vantage data is

exposed in a standardized
Proprietary Proprietary OPC UA OPC UA way and can be used by
interface interface interface interface
Analyzer Analyzer Analyzer
third-party products as
well as integrated into
interface interface interface
other ABB products
having an OPC UA client.
analyzer analyzer analyzer analyzer
OPC UA is ready to replace Classic
OPC using state-of-the art, high-per-
formance technology that is reliable
and secure, raising interoperability in
automation to a new level, by allow-
ing standard information models
based on OPC UA. With the wrappers
and proxies provided by the OPC
With its powerful integration capabili- analyzer controller or directly on the Foundation, existing OPC products
ties and functionality, xPAT helps cus- analyzer device and thus eliminate are guaranteed to work within the
tomers in the life science industry im- additional hardware. Using the ADI OPC UA environment.
plement quality, by design, through- information model, it is not only
out the entire pharmaceutical product possible to standardize how data is
life-cycle, from drug discovery communicated, but also what data is
through development to production. exchanged.

Other suppliers
Process analytical The first products from other suppliers
technology – PAT 2.0 – have already been launched, even be-
is already on the market fore the specification was released.
This includes ICONICS’ HMI/SCADA
as the first ABB product system, GENESIS 64, which also uses
supporting OPC UA. OPC UA for internal communication,
Beckhoff’s TwinCat and Kepware’s
KEPServerEx, both running on con-
ABB’s xPAT uses OPC UA when inte- trollers, as well as Siemens’ SIMATIC
grating analyzers 8 . The OPC UA NET. For 2009, long lists of competi-
server can either be hosted on an tors have promised to deliver their

[1] OPC Foundation: Devices, Draft Version 0.75, Dec. 2008
[2] OPC Foundation: Analyzer Devices, Draft Version 0.30.00, Dec. 2008
[3] OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 4 – Services, Version 1.01, Feb. 2009
[4] OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 3 – Address Space Model, Version 1.01, Feb. 2009
[5] OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 5 – Information Model, Version 1.01, Feb. 2009
[6] OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 8 – Data Access, Version 1.01, Feb. 2009
[7] OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 9 – Alarms and Conditions, DRAFT Version 0.93q, Nov. 2007
[8] OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 10 – Programs, Version 1.00, Jan. 2007
[9] OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 11 – Historical Access, Version 1.00, Jan. 2007
[10] OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 13 – Aggregates, RC Version 1.0, July 2008
Wolfgang Mahnke
[11] Mahnke, W., Leitner, S.-H., Damm, M. (2009). OPC Unified Architecture. Springer Verlag.
Stefan-Helmut Leitner
ABB Corporate Research
Further reading Ladenburg, Germany
OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 6 – Concepts, Version 1.00, Feb. 2009
OPC Foundation: UA Spec. Part 7 – Profiles, Version 1.00 Feb. 2009

ABB Review 3/2009 61

Efficiency and standards

Not lost in
Facing the challenge of cost-effective plant
engineering in subsystem integration
Peter Erning, Kurt Langer, Hartmut Rüdele, Dirk Schulz

Translating language is not always an easy task. Poor translations can lead to misunderstandings and even a total
breakdown of communication. What is true of human language is even more true when it comes to automation
systems. With different manufacturers using different standards, the integration of subsystems requires a translation
of engineering data to enable communication with a distributed control system.

Distributed control systems, as are used, for example, in process or power plants, can achieve a considerable com-
plexity and often integrate subsystems from different suppliers. For optimal integration, subsystem engineering data
must be available to the overall control system. The challenge thus lies in translating this data to a format that the
overlying control system understands. Of course manual translation of descriptions is possible but this is both labor
intensive and error prone. ABB has developed a concept that permits the automatic translation of subsystem engi-
neering data to ABB’s own System 800xA automation system. Functional prototypes for the automatic integration of
MNS iS low-voltage switchgear and IEC 61850 substation automation systems are available.

62 ABB Review 3/2009

Not lost in translation

Efficiency and standards

E arly distributed control

systems DCSs for process
automation were homoge-
1 Integrator system concept
process and the correspond-
ing engineering effort de-
pend on many factors: plant
neous solutions provided by XML files type, phase of the project-
of any
single suppliers. These sup- subsystem engineering lifecycle, system

Subsystem configuration result

pliers were able to deliver Type importer architectures, scope of deliv-
almost all system components 800xA eries, product specifics, tools
.scd from
and to perform the engineer- IEC 61850
(based on and documentation (on paper,
ing using their own specific substation XML transformer
IEC 62424) computer readable formats
and filter
engineering tools. Over the and others used by the mem-
Instance importer
years, process-automation (PETI+ and CSI hook) bers of separate teams in
XML files
architectures have become from MNS iS different companies), data
more heterogeneous. Due to switchgear storage and information
the rapid development in the exchange between substruc-
microelectronics area, control tures (sub-systems) of the
and advanced functionalities plant.
have increasingly found their way to The main common characteristic of
the field level of industrial plants. the subsystems discussed in this arti- Regarding the plant-automation part,
cle is that they have DCS-independent a control system can be considered an
but subsystem-specific engineering assembly of a traditional DCS and other
The challenge is to process. Examples are fieldbus net- subsystems that also exhibit some DCS
provide a flexible software works of intelligent field devices, low-, characteristics with regard to their
tool that enables an medium- and high-voltage switchgear architecture, instrumentation, control,
systems, and process-specific machin- communication and engineering tools.
automated import of all ery and equipment. Examples are fieldbus systems; low-,
engineering data from any medium-, high-voltage (LV, MV, HV)
The challenge is to provide a flexible switchgear systems; and process-spe-
previous engineering of a software tool that enables an automat- cific machinery and equipment.
subsystem to a DCS with ed import of all engineering data from
minimized manual effort. any previous engineering of a subsys- This article focuses on a method that
tem to a DCS with minimized manual is suitable for the automatic import of
With regard to automation systems, effort. To achieve this, ABB initiated a all engineering data of a subsystem
this means that today entire subsys- research project to automate the im- that are needed on the DCS level,
tems are being integrated into DCSs. port of engineering data from ABB’s avoiding a subsequent manual entry
Subsystems from different manufactur- MNS iS1) low-voltage switchgear sys- of data that are already available in
ers are based on different architec- tems and IEC 61850-based substa- the subsystem tool(s).
tures must therefore be able to com- tions2) into ABB’s System 800xA auto-
municate and act as one DCS. For ex- mation platform.
ample data from one subsystem must 1)
MNS iS is an ABB low-voltage switchgear platform.
be accessible throughout the entire Problem description and scope
MNS stands for Modulare Niederspannungs-Schalt-
DCS. To achieve this, the engineering Plant engineering projects typically in- anlage (modular low-voltage switchgear).
architecture of the subsystem must be volve different partners and suppliers. 2)
IEC 61850 is a modern standard for substation
visible to the main control system. The complexity of the engineering communication and integration.

ABB Review 3/2009 63

Not lost in translation

Efficiency and standards

The “subsystem” in this context can account changes in the initial engi-
2 Object model in System 800xA
be any system with the following neering data and should offer second
characteristics: upload capabilities (ie, intelligent
800xA 1. The subsystem’s engineering data change management). Finally, in order
are available in computer readable to minimize additional maintenance
Asset monitor
Operation format. effort, existing tools from the System
faceplate faceplate
2. The subsystem provides at least one 800xA environment should be reused
open communication interface. as far as possible.
OPC object I/O
The integration of engineering data Solution approach
Device object
can be achieved manually, but this In order to address these challenges, a
leads to both a high risk of errors and generic importer concept was devel-
unnecessary effort. The development oped. The concept’s overall topology
OPC fieldbus
of system-specific integration tools is shown in 1 . The subsystem-specific
therefore represents an attractive data files are transformed into an in-
Real device
alternative. However, these tools have termediate file, which then serves as
to include expert knowledge of both input for the actual import tools that
the system that is to be integrated and create and configure the correspond-
the target DCS (which in the context ing objects in the System 800xA DCS.
Factbox Customer and ABB internal benefit
of this article is ABB’s System 800xA The use of a subsystem-independent
extended automation system). intermediate file achieves the desired
The described concept and solution has decoupling of the subsystem’s knowl-
the following advantages: edge domain from the DCS knowl-
Manual engineering work for subsystem
The syntax of the interme- edge domain.
integration is reduced to the configu- diate file is independent of
ration of the importer tools and the the respective subsystem. This concept relies on the interaction
enrichment of the object types. This of several software components. First,
remaining engineering work is almost
This achieves a decou- a so-called transformer has to convert
independent of the size of a subsystem pling of the subsystems the subsystem-specific information. All
because object instances are created information that exists in the specific
automatically. The engineering time is
from the DCS. XML files and that should be available
drastically reduced and the quality is in the DCS has to be extracted and
improved. Hence a generic concept for the im- transformed into the intermediate for-
The concept enables a split of the port of external engineering data into mat. This information can, eg, com-
import tool responsibilities between System 800xA is a strongly desirable prise control and monitoring data, lo-
the subsystem supplier and the DCS objective. The import mechanism cation information and documentation
supplier. should automatically create and con- data. It should be pointed out that the
The subsystem provider does not need figure objects in System 800xA based engineering data do not necessarily
to take into consideration the special on the data contained in the subsys- conform to the object-oriented para-
interfaces and future changes on the tem’s specific engineering files. The digm. Hence it can become necessary
System 800xA side. All required actions mechanism must provide for objects to analyze the properties of the indi-
for integration can be modeled in an that communicate via multiple com- vidual objects, group similar objects,
XML file (CAEX-CSI) created by a sub- munication paths (eg, fieldbuses, and define corresponding type and
system-specific transformer. OPC3)) but should provide a common instance trees.
The DCS supplier is responsible for interface to the user. System 800xA
common importer tools on the System possesses an object-oriented architec-
800xA side, also assuring a proper ture. For maximum benefit this should
handling of a second upload in case of also be reflected in structures import-
changes. ed from subsystems. Subsystems often 3)
OPC is a standard for real-time communication
The concept is prepared for existing define project-specific object types, between control devices from different manufac-
and future protocols (PROFIBUS, which must also be created in System turers. Today, OPC is officially a name and not
Profinet IO, IEC 61850, OPC, etc). 800xA and provided with a custom- an acronym, but originally stood for OLE for
Engineering workflows with different ized graphical interface. This tailoring Process Control. OLE stands for Object Linking
delivery schedules can be handled in should be done on the object-type and Embedding, a document embedding and
a better way (see section “Ongoing level rather than on the instance level. linking technology also developed by Microsoft.
See also “OPC Unified Architecture” on page 56 of
development”). Furthermore, the integration concept
this edition of ABB Review.
should provide a generic approach in- 4)
CAEX: Computer Aided Engineering eXchange, a
stead of separate integrator tools for neutral data exchange format for plant information
every subsystem (the latter would lead defined by IEC 62424. CAEX-CSI stands for CAEX
to high maintenance costs). The im- Complex device & Subsystem Integration (name of
port mechanism also has to take into the research project)

64 ABB Review 3/2009

Not lost in translation

Efficiency and standards

The pivotal part of the whole concept the data and display them on an oper- DIW (device import wizard) that is
is the intermediate data format (CAEX- ator faceplate. In case of an additional used for the object type import is an
CSI).4) The syntax of the intermediate communication path such as OPC there ABB product that was extended
file is independent of the respective is even a third instance equipped with with some functionality (see 1 , pro-
subsystem. This achieves a decoupling an asset monitor. The necessary inter- totype “DIW+”).
of the subsystems from the DCS. The connection of these objects is also PETI (process engineering tool inte-
file contains definitions for the uti- automatically implemented by the gration) is an existing ABB product
lized devices and subsystem types as instance importer. that is capable of importing instanc-
well as information about the instance es from CAEX, including a proper
hierarchy. The type information can Achievements handling of a second upload in case
be stored explicitly in the intermedi- Functional prototypes have been of changes. The next PETI version
ate file itself. In order to reduce trans- developed for two types of subsystem, will satisfy some additional CSI re-
formation effort, it is also possible to the new ABB LV switchgear system quirements (see 1 , “PETI+”).
specify links to the corresponding de- MNS iS and IEC 61850-based high- or A special aspect system (“CSI hook”),
vice description files (eg, GSD5) files medium-voltage systems. In both cas- which ensures that each object gets
for PROFIBUS devices). es, XML-based system descriptions are a working OPC connection and a
available from the specific subsystem correct link to an object specific
The import of the information con- engineering tools. First transformer faceplate.
tained in the intermediate files is versions for MNS iS and IEC 61850 are
achieved in two steps. First, the type available. The transformation and import work-
information is analyzed and the corre- flow is supported by a lightweight frame
sponding types are created in System application. The MNS iS frame applica-
800xA. After type import, manual al-
Functional prototypes tion is depicted in 3 . It connects the
terations (eg, creation of graphical in- have been developed for above components and guides the user
terfaces) can be effected on the newly two types of subsystem, through the individual integration steps.
created types. As a next step, the in-
stance information is parsed, the de- the new ABB LV switch- Ongoing development
vice hierarchy is generated in the DCS gear system MNS iS and Beside the activities to develop exist-
and the device objects are instantiated ing prototype importers into products,
and configured.
IEC 61850-based high- or there will be an additional focus on
medium-voltage systems. overall engineering workflows. It is
Typically, there is more than one not uncommon in a plant-project
instance per device 2 : a device object The CAEX-CSI data importer consists schedule for decisions on subsystems
for retrieving the raw process data of the following prototypical compo- to be taken later than the DCS engi-
and an application object to process nents: neering stage. Consequently, addition-
al data coming from plant engineering
tools (eg, Comos from Innotec or
3 Engineering data integration workflow
SmartPlant from Intergraph) also have
to be used and will be merged with
Type import 800xA data coming from the subsystem 4 .
Configure Import
transformer CAEX This article was initially published by © atp interna-
tional 1/2008 (Oldenbourg Industrieverlag GmbH)
Configure Create with the title “Subsystem Integration – Facing the
Instance import Challenge of Cost Effective Plant Engineering”. It was
adapted for use in ABB Review.
Configure Import

Peter Erning
Kurt Langer
Hartmut Rüdele
4 CAEX simplifies merging of multiple paths of engineering data
Dirk Schulz
ABB Corporate Research
CAEX Instance import into
Higher level
CAEX export including functional structure Ladenburg, Germany
engineering application
tool like
Customer Cosmos PT/SPI
Merge on
Subsystem CAEX level
XML files CAEX – CSI
Subsystem of the
including Type and
engineering subsystem
Manual entering of device and instance import
tool Footnote
subsystem requirements XML OPC objects
transformers GSD: Geräte-Stamm-Daten (device master data),
a PROFIBUS description file

ABB Review 3/2009 65


100 years of technical advancement
Lars Jonsson, Rutger Johansson

Reliability has always been one of the core demands of the energy market. One such example of reliability can be seen
in the exceptional lifetime of power transformers, which often function for 50 years or more. This core demand is also
fundamental for high-voltage bushings – critical components of all electrical networks, as their chief role is to prevent
flashovers to ground.

Although many in the electric utility industry still regard the bushing as nothing more than a hollow piece of porcelain
housing a conductor, the task it performs is quite extraordinary, involving advanced technologies in manufacturing and
design with a lifetime exceeding the requirements of its applications.

Sophisticated calculation and design tools, improved material and production technology, and broad expertise are
a result of over 100 years of experience in bushings, developed and manufactured at ABB in Sweden. As the world’s
largest supplier of bushings, ABB’s flagship plant in Ludvika, Sweden, is equipped with state-of-the-art production
lines that meet the increased demands associated with increasing voltage levels and reliability needs.

66 ABB Review 3/2009

High-voltage bushings


A bushing serves to insu-

late conductors that are
carrying high-voltage current
1 Schematic view of condenser core
therefore an enclosed appa-
ratus fully separated from its
application environment.
through a grounded enclo-
sure. To safely accomplish Oil-impregnated paper (OIP)
such a task without a flash- and resin-impregnated paper
over is a challenge, as the (RIP) are the two main tech-
dimensions of the bushing nologies in high-voltage
are very small compared with condenser bushings. RIP
the dimensions of the equip- technology is making a valu-
ment it is connecting. Con- able contribution to better
trolling the stress (ie, electri- overall performance figures.
cal voltage, thermal current The somewhat differently
and mechanical stress) to get Conductive layer designed condenser core is
the dimensions right is of (foil or ink) Plain paper vacuum impregnated by a
utmost importance in terms curable epoxy resin to form
Conductive layer
of bushing performance in a solid unit, free from oil 2 .
Conductor & condenser
the field during its lifetime. winding tube
Both systems are designed
High-voltage condenser and manufactured for long
bushings lifetimes and trouble-free perfor-
400 kV AC bushing from the 1950s
Condenser bushings facilitate electric mance, ensuring low partial discharge
stress control through the insertion of readings at well above the nominal
cylindrically applied floating equalizer voltage and ample margins for thermal
screens made of aluminum. The con- runaways and overheating.
denser core in which the screens are
located decreases the field gradient The outer insulation can be either ce-
and distributes the field along the ramic or polymeric. Ceramic insulators
length of the insulator, distributing it have a long history and will be used
radially and axially in the condenser for many years to come. However, it
core 1 . The screens are located coaxi- is likely that their role will diminish in
ally, to ensure the optimal balance be- the foreseeable future as the industry
tween external flashover and internal seeks improved insulator performance
puncture strength (ie, the electrical in order to reduce overall costs and
withstand of the condenser core). improve safety, seismic withstand and
pollution performance, as well as
reduce insulator weights.
At the start of the 20th
century, bushings were Controlling the electrical
dry insulated, made of voltage, thermal current
Bakelite (resin-coated) and mechanical stress to
paper and aluminum foil, get the bushing dimen-
with a flange glued to sions right is of utmost
the condenser core and importance.
an insulator made of
porcelain. To meet as many requirements as pos-
sible, bushings are configurable and
For years, condenser bushings have are produced for system voltages up
maintained the same basic design. to 1,100 kV AC and 800 kV DC – even
Special paper envelopes the conductor, higher for test purposes. The largest
with metallic electrodes strategically bushing developed and manufactured
placed inside the wrapping. These at the Ludvika plant is an 1,800 kV AC
control the electric field of the bush- transformer bushing with a length of
ing. The cylinder is impregnated with 15 m. The limitation for the plant is
transformer-grade mineral oil or ep- not the voltage levels or bushing sizes,
oxy resin to further increase the elec- but rather the market need, where
trical withstand, beyond that possible 1,100 kV AC and 800 kV DC are the
with only dry paper. The bushing is highest voltages used today.

ABB Review 3/2009 67

High-voltage bushings


Historical review of bushings system voltage. While sufficient for Recent (2006) HVDC transformer and
At the start of the 20th century, bush- lower voltages, they left little margin wall bushings for 800 kV DC were
ings were dry insulated, made of for increasing applications. As voltag- developed and verified through exten-
Bakelite (resin-coated) paper and alu- es rose to 765 kV in the early ’60s, this sive short- and long-term testing. The
minum foil, with a flange glued to the old technology was replaced with OIP material properties change with time
condenser core and an insulator made systems. ABB thus supplied the first under DC stress and therefore long-
of porcelain. These were suitable for 705 kV bushings to Hydro Quebec in term testing enables verification of the
voltages up to 190 kV. Canada. DC design before putting a new prod-
uct into service. Based on experience
Voltages increased to 220 kV in the At that time, oil-impregnated bushings in design, production processes and
1930s and the conductive layers were became the predominant technology the latest achievements in calculation
changed to graphite. The graphite (ie, (this is still true today with a present tools development, complex mecha-
the semiconductive layer) concept is market share of more than 80 per- nisms such as ion migration and time-
still used today by some manufactur- cent). OIP bushings continued to be dependent charge distributions have
ers. The space between the condenser developed and resin-bounded bushing been taken into consideration. The
core and outer insulation is filled with production was discontinued. Dry next step may well be 1,000 kV DC as
oil and is open to the transformer. bushings, often referred to as RIP a logical continuation of the achieved
bushings, were introduced and have a knowledge during the development of
growing market share. the 800 kV DC bushings.
In the 1960s, oil-impreg-
nated bushings became In the 1970s, development of HVDC
Bushings are configurable
the predominant technol- bushings for 600 kV began, and test
and are produced for
installations requiring bushings for
ogy – even today they 1,800 kV AC were also underway. system voltages up to
have a market share of Even though both systems were oil
1,100 kV AC and 800 kV
insulated, they were significantly dif-
more than 80 percent. ferent in design. DC.
In the 1940s, voltages rose to 400 kV, RIP bushing development, which be- In 2007, ABB designed and delivered
and condenser cores impregnated gan in the ‘60s at ABB’s Swiss sister AC bushings for up to 1,100 kV to
with oil and placed inside an insulat- plant, resulted in the production of China, and the long-established level
ing envelope of oil and porcelain 420 kV bushings in 1989 and 525 kV for AC networks was increased from
were introduced. bushings in 1996. The reintroduction 800 kV to 1,000 kV AC 3 . This design
of dry technology is the direct result relied on the knowledge from the
But the early bushings had a high par- of powerful modern calculation tools 1,800 kV designs of the 1970s.
tial discharge and dissipation factor as well as progress in material and
(tan δ), which increased with rising production technology.

2 Impregnation of RIP bushings 3 Installation of 1,100 kV AC bushing (2008) Transformer from the early part of last century

68 ABB Review 3/2009

High-voltage bushings


Developing bushings for increasingly dielectric losses and the rated current products must be developed and man-
higher voltages and complex applica- are not critical, and low-loss require- ufactured with special attention, using
tions requires a great amount of expe- ments do not contribute to the service the latest design tools.
rience and knowledge, as well as test- life.
ing facilities far above the rated volt- To fully simulate the very specific
ages – all of which are available at RIP technology represents a much manufacturing process, where exo-
ABB today. larger challenge than OIP technology. thermic reaction, thermo-chemical
This is because oil impregnation un- shrinkage and air circulations take
Technical challenges der vacuum is a relatively straightfor- place, it is necessary to include rele-
Inherent in such complex devices are ward and forgiving process in the vant mathematical equations in the
of course technical challenges. The sense that oil fills out all parts of the theoretical models. Simulation-based
highest voltage for equipment is gen- bushing and remains in a liquid phase modeling provides for cause-and-ef-
erally limited by physical dimensions throughout its entire life. Void-free fect analysis, without which imperfec-
(ie, longer distances have higher elec-
trical withstand). Also at high voltage
Konti Skan II transformer fitted with Ludvika bushings. Konti Skan is the HVDC transmission line
levels another complication arises –
between Denmark and Sweden.
namely the dielectric heating of the
insulation. While the dielectric losses
in a properly processed bushing can
be neglected at low voltages, they
become substantial at high voltage

Insulation material has its lowest dissi-

pation factor at approximately 60 °C
and then increases with temperature.
The heat has to be dissipated through
the insulation and bushing surface.
Thus, for each bushing, a limit exists
that if exceeded will result in insuffi-
cient heat dissipation and consequent-
ly an uncontrolled temperature in-
crease. This phenomenon, known as
a thermal runaway, will eventually
result in a breakdown.

In 2007, ABB designed

and delivered AC bush-
800 kV DC converter transformer (2008)
ings for up to 1,100 kV
to China, and the long-
established level for AC
networks was increased
from 800 kV to 1,000 kV

The dissipation limit is called thermal

stability. Bushings naturally require
full thermal stability at their highest
voltage level while considering both
the ohmic losses originating from the
load current as well as the capacitive
losses described earlier. The maximum
allowed currents for a specific bush-
ing and the dielectric losses coming
from the voltage must therefore be
judged both together and separately.
For a properly designed bushing, the

ABB Review 3/2009 69

High-voltage bushings


New UHV test facility (2009)

tions such as incorrect curing propa- Quality assurance major events within 24 hours. This
gation, high temperature gradients, Bushing production processes have provides a good base for event classi-
local overheating, high strain and seen decades of continual develop- fications. Cross-functional meetings
stress (cracks), and shrinkage can ment resulting in extremely high are held to review and prioritize this
occur. Besides numerical simulations yields. This does not, of course, mean information and implement the subse-
of the manufacturing process, signifi- that the end of the road has been quent corrective or preventive actions
cant attention is placed on proper reached. in design and production.
material selection, tailoring RIP mate-
rials for manufacturing optimization ABB is at the cutting edge in optimiz- ABB’s role in bushing production and
while taking into account field perfor- ing processes to reach ever higher de- development is strong, with sites in
mance. grees of reliability and quality. This is Brazil, China, India, Russia, South
evident in the most critical manufac- Africa, Swizterland, the United States,
turing steps, for example in the wind- and particularly Sweden.
ABB is at the cutting ing of the condenser cores where
edge in optimizing state-of-the-art machines control the
processes to reach winding and equalizer screen inser-
tion, or during drying and impregna- Lars Jonsson
ever higher degrees of tion where the process is controlled Rutger Johansson
reliability and quality. and monitored by computers and ABB Power Products
highly experienced teams working Ludvika, Sweden
Both OIP and RIP bushings are com- with machines.
plex products, which, compared with
the products available on a global Another area that has seen excellent
scale, require high investments in advancement over the years is statistic
Further reading
equipment as well as research and process control and the automatic
Holaus, W., Stucki, F. Breaking news: Ultra-high-
development. The complexity rises checking of process limit values with
voltage switchgear to power China. ABB Review
heavily with increased voltages and the implementation of new technology. 4/2008, 20–24.
currents. But these challenges push Heinemann, L., Besold, F. Compact and reliable:
ABB to create optimized, state-of-the- A global reporting network is in place, Decades of benefits – Gas-insulated switchgear from
art bushings for its customers. requiring all ABB units to report all 52 to 1,100 kV. ABB Review 1/2009, 92–98.

70 ABB Review 3/2009

Editorial Board Preview 4/2009
Peter Terwiesch
Chief Technology Officer
Group R&D and Technology
Clarissa Haller
Head of Corporate Communications
Ron Popper
Manager of Sustainability Affairs
Axel Kuhr
Head of Group Account Management
Friedrich Pinnekamp
Vice President, Corporate Strategy
Andreas Moglestue
Chief Editor, ABB Review

ABB Review is published by ABB Group
R&D and Technology.
ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd.
ABB Review/REV
CH-8050 Zürich

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Complete reprints require the publisher’s
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Publisher and copyright ©2009
ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd.
A celebration of innovation
Vorarlberger Verlagsanstalt GmbH
The achievement of something that is One such technological innovation is
AT-6850 Dornbirn/Austria
radically new, that has never been shown in the picture above: a control
Layout reached before, is in itself a fascinat- panel of Busch-priOn® – part of the
DAVILLA Werbeagentur GmbH ing experience. At ABB, this is even intelligent room-control concept devel-
AT-6900 Bregenz / Austria more so if the new idea can open up oped by Busch-Jaeger, a member of
real advantages for customers or soci- the ABB Group. The luminescent aura
The information contained herein reflects ety as a whole. Hundreds of scientists of this panel looks like a futuristic
the views of the authors and is for informa- and engineers in ABB’s corporate design in itself, but there is more to
tional purposes only. Readers should not research centers and in the divisions it than first meets the eye: The color
act upon the information contained herein across the globe are continuously actually changes dependent on the
without seeking professional advice. We
pursuing such innovations, many of context (the aspect being controlled),
make publications available with the under-
standing that the authors are not rendering which will define the products and leveraging an intuitive and easy-to-
technical or other professional advice or applications of tomorrow. understand approach to a powerful
opinions on specific facts or matters and multifunctional interface. This concept
assume no liability whatsoever in connec- Every year, the fourth edition of ABB was awarded the internationally re-
tion with their use. The companies of the
Review is dedicated to presenting the nowned “red dot design award” for its
ABB Group do not make any warranty or
guarantee, or promise, expressed or im- best innovations of that year. Selecting innovation in communication design.
plied, concerning the content or accuracy these is no easy task and those finally
of the views expressed herein. selected represent only a cross section
of what has been achieved.
ISSN: 1013-3119

ABB Review 3/2009 71

Cities that consume 30% less energy?

As a leading producer of energy-efficient solutions, ABB helps

deliver major power savings, without compromising performance.
Our lighting control systems can deliver power savings of
up to 50 percent, and our building automation up to 60 percent.
While everyone else is talking about energy prices, power
shortages and climate change, ABB is doing something about it,
right here, right now. Certainly.