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Outdoor Test Bed Performance of a Power Line Sensor Using a Real-Time Event Simulator

by Emilio C Piesciorovsky, Robert J Warmack, Jason K Richards, Yarom Polsky
Publication Type
ORNL Report
Publication Date

This report summarizes the design and application of an outdoor power line sensor testbed (OPLST) with a real-time simulator and power meter to compare a potential transformer (PT) and current transformer (CT) versus an advanced line-post sensor. The OPLST was created to validate advanced medium-voltage (20/34.5 kV) outdoor power line sensors used in electrical distribution systems. Electrical utilities have installed metering and relay-protection transformers like PTs and CTs for several decades. The PTs/CTs are iron core measurement transformers based on the electromagnetic induction principle and provide reliable data in normal grid operation. However, new outdoor power line sensors (OPLS) using other technologies like voltage divider, Rogowski coil and optical principles have become available and may have favorable performance and costs compared to PTs/CTs. Therefore, the importance of testing these technologies with the PT/CT, to compare the measured phase voltage/ current at different power grid scenarios is crucial to understand the performance of these new OPLS.
For this study a G&W Electric Model CVS-36-O power line sensor was chosen as the OPLS to test with voltage/current signals. An OPAL-RT Technologies Model OP4510 real-time simulator and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Model SEL-735 power meter were installed with the 20/34.5 kV OPLST to compare the measured transient events collected from an advanced OPLS and the PT/CT. This system is installed at the Distributed Energy Communications and Control (DECC) lab, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The simulator generated different power grid scenarios (electrical faults, capacitor bank operation, service restoration, etc.), and its analog-output signals were connected to the voltage/current amplifiers that feed the 20/34.5 kV aerial cable loop through the PT/CT devices. Additional PT/CT devices were also wired with the medium voltage aerial cable loop to measure the phase current/voltage signals and server as references. After each test, common format for transient data exchange (COMTRADE) files were collected from the SEL-735 power meter and used to compare the performance of the OPLS with the PT/CT. The behavior of analog signals, harmonic components, total harmonic distortion and crest factors were assessed and found favorable for the G&W sensor as compared to the reference PT/CT.