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Winter 2003
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Special Report:
What's Next for ECEs?
April 2003

Virginia Tech Researchers Deploying Innovative Power Monitoring System

Virginia Tech researchers have developed a cost-effective Internet-based method to measure the frequency of the power grid and are deploying the system nationwide with funding from the NSF, ABB, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The real-time wide area synchronized measurement system is based on the concept that system frequency remains constant regardless of voltage level. As a result, by constantly monitoring the power grid’s frequency, system operators can monitor system status and detect disturbances, perhaps prevent massive outages.

The Virginia Tech system, called FNET (frequency monitoring network) uses inexpensive frequency recording units (FRU) in110V single-phase outlets. The FRUs will be placed in universities, schools, and offices across the country. The system uses the Internet as the communications infrastructure to allow wide area data gathering and transmission and the frequency data will be time stamped and collected via the Internet on a continuous basis in quasi-real time.

In addition to monitoring and disturbance detection, the system can be used to gather power quality information, verify system models and parameters used in simulations, and analyze and reconstruct how disturbances start and develop.

Faculty researchers involved in FNET include Yilu Liu, Arun Phadke (retired), Virgilio Centeno, Lamine Mili, and Rich Conners (retired). Students involved are Stephen Nash, Daniel Nash, Patrick McDougle, Jonathan Perry, Charles Lewis, Steven Tsai, Bin Qiu, and Li Zhang.

 
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Last updated: Mon, Jun 30, 2003