Symmetricom, Inc., a precision time and frequency technologies company, today announced a new timing solution that meets the stringent microsecond accuracy requirements of Smart Grid substations. Specifically designed for substation operations, such as wide area measurement systems, traveling wave fault locators and sampled values, the Symmetricom SyncServer SGC-1500 Smart Grid Clock offers power utility companies accurate, secure and reliable timing and synchronization for their mission-critical operations. This means companies like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) will be able to mitigate outages with real-time monitoring for grid stress, frequency instability, voltage instability and reliability margins.
The Smart Grid has brought about power technology advancements that fundamentally change substation operations. Power equipment and their data networks are shifting from simple, reactive control and reporting to proactive, real-time management and operations control, making advanced synchronization and timing more critical than ever, according to Symmetricom. The SGC-1500 Smart Grid Clock is designed to address this need, enabling power equipment to operate more efficiently and closer to its operational limits. For example, one microsecond accuracy is required by the phasor measurement unit (PMU) for real-time network situational awareness and overall operational efficiency. Without accurate time stamps, PMU data has limited value. For power utility companies, that translates into enhanced network utilization rates as well as smarter management and mixing of renewable and traditional power sources.
“Power and utility companies are increasingly looking to source the latest technology innovations in order to modernize their infrastructure,” said Greg Neichin, executive vice president, Cleantech Group. “Over the past three years, we have tracked more than $700 million in venture investment committed to companies developing smart grid products. These are all data-intensive applications that will rely heavily on precise timing and synchronization, as well as more advanced analytics to process these vast streams of new information.”
“The Smart Grid architecture and related standards require a new approach to timing distribution across the overall network,” said Manish Gupta, vice president of marketing and business development for Symmetricom. “Symmetricom brings extensive experience in delivering precise time to the communications, government, and enterprise markets. Serving the power utility telecom network over the past 10 years, Symmetricom is ideally positioned to meet the emerging timing requirements of the Smart Grid.”
The SyncServer SGC-1500 meets key requirements of Smart Grid substations, including:
- Microsecond accuracy and resiliency — referencing GPS satellite signals, the Symmetricom Smart Grid Clock distributes timing with microsecond accuracy over the local area network (LAN) using the IEEE 1588 v2 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) Power Profile or IRIG-B time code.
- IEC 61850 — the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) standards for the design of electrical substation automation, which requires microsecond timing to identify and mitigate a potential fault condition in real time. This standard also identifies important electrical hardening requirements for substation environments.
- NERC CIP ― the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability and security standards for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), which calls for high strength security protocols.
The SyncServer SGC-1500 comes with additional industry leading capabilities such as a built-in IEEE 1588 v2 Telecom Profile input option. This enables the Smart Grid Clock to derive time from the communications wide area network (WAN), thus eliminating the need to have GPS at every substation and PMU. The Rubidium atomic clock option offers holdover capability in the event of GPS disruption. These options result in a highly cost effective and resilient solution for power utilities.