iPDC: An Open-Source Tool For Wide Area Measurement Systems

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With information and measurement technology evolving rapidly within the electric power industry, wide-area measurement is deemed to be the key technology to improve power system efficiency and reliability. Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) deployment for Wide Area Measurement System (WAMS) results in large amount of data being generated every second across the PMU network. iPDC is a free Phasor Data Concentrator based on IEEEC37.118 synchrophasor standard to address the aforesaid problems. It is available with a database server for PDC and PMU simulator modules.

The objective of iPDC project is to create an IEEE C37.118 Synchrophasor standardized Phasor Data Concentrator and PMU Simulator, on which research students and others can develop and test their algorithms and applications. The intention behind the iPDC, released as an open-source software, is to make it available for users without any restriction regarding its usage and modification. It is also envisioned to get the feedback and contributions from users and developers all around the world to make it stand top among its peers.

Industrial Use:

iPDC having the basic and advanced functionality is suitable for the direct commercial deployment. iPDC internally performs the time sequencing, wait time calculation, generation of combined data frames for each UTC time and putting the measurements into database. Any visualization application can be easily integrated to visualize the real-time measurements. It can also be used for testing the IEEE protocol, and working of any PMU.

Currently, there are no readily available ways to test the operation of PDCs. The problem is that it is nearly impossible to have enough PMUs to max-out the PDC, and making PMU to operate incorrectly to test the response of a PDC. Even most of the commercial manufacturers are not equipped with the programmable PMU Simulators. However this iPDC’s PMU Simulator allows anyone to test PDCs. In the recent past, Virginia Tech University M.S. Students and others have used the iPDC’s PMU Simulator and performed the testing for a couple of commercial PDCs.

More about iPDC:

iPDC is a free Phasor Data Concentrator that collects data from Phasor Measurement Units, and other commercial grade PDC that are IEEEC37.118 standard compliant. It time-aligns and combines the data received from the PDCs into frames as per IEEEC37.118 and sends to other iPDCs (for similar setups). It also has the feature to archive received data in the MySQL database on local disk or remote machine disk. A friendly graphical user interface enables a user to add or remove new devices (PMU/iPDC) and also send different command frames to the devices from which the data is being received. Software is built for working on Linux platform.

iPDC Features:

  • iPDC is compliant with IEEE C37.118 Synchrophasor standard.
  • iPDC capable of receiving the data from PMU and PDC/iPDC.
  • iPDC would generate combined data frame by performing time aligning, sorting for each timestamps.
  • iPDC is able to send data frames to other iPDCs as well as other applications to promote interoperability.
  • iPDC directs the received data frames to MySQL database server for storage.
  • iPDC-database server can run on the local or remote machine.
  • iPDC has option to connect via transmission control protocol (TCP) or user datagram protocol (UDP).
  • iPDC has a file structure, that stores all the connection and CFG details as being iPDC status.
  • iPDC setup file can be reloaded at restarting of iPDC.
  • iPDC is a multi-threaded application, hence the performance is optimistic.
  • iPDC has user friendly Graphical Interface.
  • iPDC is built on free and open source technologies.

What is PMU Simulator?

PMU Simulator would act as a server and bind port for UDP or TCP communication protocol. It would be listening for UDP connections on UDPPORT or for TCP connections on TCPPORT. The PMU Simulator receives the command frames from PDC and sends the configuration frame and data frames to PDC. Both the communicating peers authenticate each other through ID Code.
PMU Simulator Features:

  • PMU Simulator is compliant with IEEE C37.118 and successfully tested with the PMU connection tester.
  • PMU Simulator is configurable for both TCP and UDP communication protocols.
  • PMU Simulator has option to read the PMU measurements from the csv file and generate data frames.
  • PMU Simulator has options to introduce different errors in STAT word at run time.
  • With single installation, multiple instances of PMU simulators can be run on a single machine simultaneously.
  • PMU Simulator is configurable for both 50 & 60 Hz frequency system.
  • PMU Simulator has the configuration modification option like add/remove phasor channels at run time.
  • PMU Simulator is a multi-process and multi-threaded application, hence the performance is optimistic.
  • PMU Simulator has user friendly Graphical User Interface.
  • PMU Simulator is built on free and open source technologies.

Project official websites:

Article Contributors: Nitesh Pandit and  Kedar Khandeparkar

(Edited by V S K Murthy Balijepalli, IIT Bombay)

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