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Medium-Voltage Testbed for Comparing Advanced Power Line Sensors vs. Measurement Transformers with Electrical Grid Events

by Emilio C Piesciorovsky, Robert J Warmack, Yarom Polsky
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Electrical utilities have relied upon potential transformers (PTs) and current transformers (CTs) for very accurate metering and to provide reliable signals for protective relays. Less expensive alternative sensing technologies offer the possibility of wider deployment, particularly in grids that employ distributed energy resources. In this work, the performance of an advanced medium-voltage sensor is compared with that of a reference PT and a CT and experimentally evaluated for different power grid scenarios on an advanced outdoor power line sensor testbed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The sensor is based on a capacitive divider for voltage monitoring and a Rogowski coil with an integrator for current monitoring. The advanced outdoor power line sensor testbed has a real-time simulator that is used to generate transient scenarios (e.g., electrical faults, capacitor bank operation, and service restoration), while the analog signals are recorded by the same high-resolution power meter. The behaviors of analog signals, harmonic components, total harmonic distortion, and crest factors are assessed for this power line sensor and compared with those of the reference PT/CT because of the absence of testing standards for advanced outdoor power line sensors.