Improving the performance of power system protection using wide area monitoring systems

Arun G. Phadke, Peter Wall, Lei Ding, Vladimir Terzija

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Wide area monitoring (WAM) offers many opportunities to improve the performance of power system protection. This paper presents some of these opportunities and the motivation for their development. This methods include monitoring the suitability of relay characteristics, supervisory control of backup protection, more adaptive and intelligent system protection and the creation of novel system integrity protection scheme. The speed of response required for primary protection means that the role WAM in enhancing protection is limited to backup and system protection. The opportunities offered by WAM for enhancing protection are attractive because of the emerging challenges faced by the modern power system protection. The increasingly variable operating conditions of power systems are making it ever more difficult to select relay characteristics that will be a suitable compromise for all loading conditions and contingencies. The maloperation of relays has contributed to the inception and evolution of 70 % of blackouts, thus the supervision of the backup protection may prove a valuable tool for preventing or limiting the scale of blackouts. The increasing interconnection and complexity of modern power systems has made them more vulnerable to wide area disturbances and this has contributed to several recent blackouts. The proper management of these wide area disturbances is beyond the scope of most of the existing protection and new, adaptive system integrity protection schemes are needed to protect power system security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Backup protection
  • Blackouts
  • Hidden failures
  • Power system protection
  • System integrity protection schemes
  • Wide area monitoring
  • Wide area protection


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