Symmetricom delivers precise time to the next generation Smart Grid

7 Mar 2013

SyncServer(R) SGC-1500 Smart Grid Clock provides microsecond timing accuracy in Smart Grid substations for real-time network operations

Symmetricom®, Inc., a worldwide leader in precision time and frequency technologies, today announced a new timing solution that meets the stringent microsecond accuracy requirements of Smart Grid substations. Specifically designed for substation operations, such as wide area measurement systems, traveling wave fault locators and sampled values, the Symmetricom SyncServer SGC-1500 Smart Grid Clock offers power utility companies accurate, secure and reliable timing and synchronization for their mission-critical operations. This means companies like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) will be able to mitigate outages with real-time monitoring for grid stress, frequency instability, voltage instability and reliability margins.

The Smart Grid has brought about power technology advancements that fundamentally change substation operations. Power equipment and their data networks are shifting from simple, reactive control and reporting to proactive, real-time management and operations control. Thus, advanced synchronization and timing are now more critical than ever, and it’s precisely what the SGC-1500 Smart Grid Clock is designed to address; enabling power equipment to operate more efficiently and closer to its operational limits. For example, one microsecond accuracy is required by the phasor measurement unit (PMU) for real-time network situational awareness and overall operational efficiency. Without accurate time stamps, PMU data has limited value. For power utility companies, that translates into enhanced network utilization rates as well as smarter management and mixing of renewable and traditional power sources.

The SyncServer SGC-1500 meets key requirements of Smart Grid substations, including:

• Microsecond accuracy and resiliency — referencing GPS satellite signals, the Symmetricom Smart Grid Clock distributes timing with microsecond accuracy over the local area network (LAN) using the IEEE 1588 v2 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) Power Profile or IRIG-B time code.
• IEC 61850 — the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) standards for the design of electrical substation automation, which requires microsecond timing to identify and mitigate a potential fault condition in real time. This standard also identifies important electrical hardening requirements for substation environments.
• NERC CIP — the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability and security standards for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), which calls for high strength security protocols.

The SyncServer SGC-1500 comes with additional industry leading capabilities such as a built-in IEEE 1588 v2 Telecom Profile input option. This enables the Smart Grid Clock to derive time from the communications wide area network (WAN), thus eliminating the need to have GPS at every substation and PMU. The Rubidium atomic clock option offers holdover capability in the event of GPS disruption. These options result in a highly cost effective and resilient solution for power utilities.

Source: Symmetricom

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