Synchrophasor Technology


Synchrophasors are precise grid measurements available from monitors called phasor measurement units (PMUs). PMU measurements are taken at high speed (typically 30 observations per second, more than 100 times faster than conventional supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) technology). Each measurement is time-stamped according to a common time reference such as GPS. Time-stamping allows measurements from different locations and utilities to be time-aligned (synchronized) and combined providing a precise and comprehensive view of the entire interconnection, as defined by NASPI.

SPP Roadmap

At SPP, we are focused on leveraging existing PMU data with both open-source and vendor-supplied software to leverage the value this technology can bring in support of SPP’s goal of region-wide reliability.

SPP’s first PMU project will equip us with a mission support PMU system focused on enhancing current operations, after-the-fact event analysis, and improving system-model validation efforts. This new PMU system will provide enhanced real-time situational awareness with measurement-based dynamic voltage stability monitoring, new insight into the detection of oscillatory modes, and real-time tracking of phase angles to assess the overall stress of the grid.

These new and enhanced abilities will enable SPP to more efficiently manage the transmission grid, better accommodate significant variable generation, detect and identify potential undesirable conditions on the grid and one day enable SPP operators to make adjustments to resolve these conditions.

Review the Using Synchrophasors at SPP for additional information regarding SPP’s planned uses for synchrophasor technology and the anticipated benefits.

Member Engagement 

To maximize the value and minimize the effort required to adopt PMU technology, it is important for transmission and generations owners to collaborate and share ideas, use cases and successes along the way. Sharing actual PMU data, training and analysis results helps increase member’s understanding and adoption of the technology. The Synchrophasor Strike Team is focused on promoting this collaboration among SPP members while also determining the optimal placement of new PMU devices with a goal of minimizing costs and maximizing value.

The SPP members PMU planning approach serves as a reference guide for members who are investigating PMU technology.