06 June 2024

I recently returned from a couple of weeks of events in the US. I finally made it to my first ever (physical) IEEE PSRC/PSCC meeting in Buffalo, NY. This was a great experience (even given the ritual humiliation where first-timers need to stand up in front of all 200+ attendees and explain themselves), and I got to meet some old friends and lots of new interesting people. So far, I’m a member of one working group which has been designing the new Streaming Telemetry Transport Protocol (STTP). This is sort of a successor to the original IEEE protocol for synchrophasors, but adds a lot of new capabilities based on utility needs for security, scaling up, and delivering synchronised waveform data. The STTP standard has now been completed and will be published soon.

I attended many other very interesting meetings. In particular, the D45 Working Group discussion on wildfire prevention led by Scott Hayes and Jon Sykes was excellent. It was really great to bump into Ken, Scott, Dean, Dan, Alex, and many others.

I also attended the IEEE Smart Grid Synchronized Measurement & Analytics (SGSMA) conference in Washington D.C. I’ve actually made it to all four SGSMA conferences since it started at Texas A&M University in 2019 (I’m including the virtual one in 2021).

I presented a review of the state of the art in synchronised waveform monitoring applications, so I was mainly summarising the interesting work of others. I managed to squeeze in a quick quiz about how grid oscillations in Scotland a few days prior had disabled many traffic lights in Glasgow. This was actually the fourth session of the conference that centred around waveform measurements, so it is clearly a hot topic. There was a very good tutorial in this area on the first day. I also really enjoyed Kevin Jones’s talk about the practicalities of delivering new technologies at Dominion Energy – it was refreshing and people-focused. There were other great presentations on the specific challenges in the Brazilian and Australian power grids.

I’m also grateful to finally meet Ritchie Carroll and his colleagues who have implemented lots of open-source resources for STTP and many other things. And it was quite remarkable to bump into Ken Martin again, two weeks in a row!

Dr Steven Blair, Synaptec VP Applications