Designing Substations and Transformers for Bi-Directional Power Flow

Sam Sciacca’s two-part article for Consulting-Specifying Engineer (CSE), “Designing Substations and Transformers for Bi-Directional Power Flow” and “Designing substations, transformers for bi-directional power flow, Part II” are based on the CSE webcast presentation he gave on 8 November 2012, titled, “Critical Power: What’s New in Electrical Engineering: Smart Grid and Transformers.”

Designing a substation for a transformer that’s going to put power back into the grid is a different kettle of fish than a traditional load transformer in which the utility feeds power in one direction, Sciacca points out. He recommends that the CSE become familiar with the IEEE C57 family of standards governing transformers in North America, as well as the IEEE 1547 and IEEE 2030 standards governing interconnections.

As Sciacca points out, apparatus arrangements may be prescribed by the local utility and a raft of regulatory issues, governed by state public utility commissions, likely come into play as well. Sciacca provides guidance to the CSE on these topics and a wide range of others, including communication protocols, time synchronization, cyber and physical security and situational awareness. Sciacca guides the CSE to nearly a dozen other relevant standards that address these latter topics.

Read this and other articles by Sam on his blog, Insight on Power, published by CSE Magazine.

Sam Sciacca is an IEEE senior member and current chair of two IEEE working groups dealing with cyber-security for electric utilities: the Substations Working Group C1, which is working on P1686; and the Power System Relay Committee Working Group H13, which is working on PC37.240. Sciacca currently is CEO of SCS Consulting, LLC.