Major Components for Improving Power Distribution Reliability

by the 3 Phase Associates "TEAM"
Electric power has evolved from a simple need to a major necessity. Everyday we rely more and more on electricity to do just about everything. When the lights go out, its not just a major inconvenience, but a catastrophe in some cases. A major focus for power distribution utilities is to deliver reliable power to its customers safely and at the lowest possible cost.
Newer state-of-the-art, digital devices are making it possible to achieve near perfect power reliability while offering more monitoring and control functionality of electric grids. Smarter grids are evolving with improved and faster automation systems, working in harmony with: IEDs, SCADA, FLISR, AMI, AMR, DMS, EMS, OMS, etc.
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Modernized Power Grid

Basics of Designing Power Substations

by Matt Cole
Power substations are the most integral part of a power utilities' electric system. Substations make up the various electric systems - power generation, transmission, and distribution systems. Power substations consist of power transformers, voltage/potential transformers, current transformers, electrical bus, foundations/structures, circuit breakers, switches, outdoor cabinets, control house, fencing, etc.
Many design aspects and processes go into engineering and designing a power substation from the ground up. This discusses the basic steps performed in planning and implementing a new substation.
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Power Delivery Substations
Substation Configuration Scheme

Is Your Legacy SCADA System Secure?

by Matt Cole
For the electric power industry and other service sectors, Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) has performed a crucial role by allowing better decision making through operating, controlling, monitoring and maintaining critical control systems.
With Smart Grid (SG) and Distributed Generation (DG) gaining more popularity results in more 3rd party stakeholders demanding access to utilities' SCADA system. Some utility SCADA systems are older legacy systems that are in dire need of replacing in order to have:  a more secure system, access to the latest vendor security patch updates, and to allow for better functionality, etc.
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Testing & Commissioning

Some Strong Utility Trends for 2019 and Beyond

by Matt Cole
Major trends are happening within the electric power industry that are affecting the electric power grid. There are changes taking place with many power utilities and their stance on the typical power generation mix.
Many electric providers are making changes to their power portfolio by decreasing their demand on fossil power and nuclear generation; moving towards cleaner and greener power sources with renewable resources, such as: natural gas, wind, solar and energy storage. As the efficiencies increase and installation costs decline for these renewables; this makes these generation assets much more attractive for future utility investments.
Some of these major utility trends will continue to evolve in 2019 and beyond.
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Distribution Utilities Now Affected by NERC CIP Regulations

by Matt Cole
As NERC CIP's regulations and standards continue to evolve with the recent approval of CIP-003-7, new compliance regulations will affect the low voltage distribution providers. Previous CIP standards were considered only for voltage suppliers delivering power at transmission level voltages (100kV and above).
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The Importance of Protection & Controls (P&C) and IEDs

by Matt Cole
Protection and Controls (P&C) engineering and design is extremely important in power grid protection and coordination especially with the use of intelligent electronic devices (IEDs). Proper P&C designs and coordination with protective relaying and IEDs is an essential part of electrical power engineering for protecting large expensive power equipment such as: generators, transformers, transmission lines (TLs), power circuit breakers, electrical bus, etc.
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T&D Services
Power Delivery Substations

The Importance of Arc Flash Analysis

by Matt Cole
Arc Flash Analysis is extremely important in power systems and electric facilities (including any other facility that is comprised of major electrical components) especially for upholding the safety and well-being, including protecting electrical workers from electrical arc bursts and hazardous conditions. OSHA, NFPA, NEC, and others require arc flash studies to be performed with arc flash warning labels to be placed on the exterior of electrical equipment, cabinets, and panels indicating the proper PPE required for ensuring the safety of employees, contractors, and vendors. There are several software packages available that can aid the power professional in performing an arc flash analysis. 
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Arc Flash
Arc Blast Explosion

The Best CAD Drafting and Design Practices

by the 3 Phase Associates, CAD Design Team
Its always important to utilize best design and CAD drafting practices when involved in creating design drawings for various industries, such as: utilities, industrial, commercial, residential, and others. Performing CAD designs for drawings in separate disciplines can be modified or created with different software package suites, like: AutoCAD, Revit, MicroStation, SolidWorks, Visio, etc. These electronic CAD tools help make the CAD designers' job easier and still requires self-checking and reviews from the CAD operator for ensuring the highest quality and accuracy.
These drafting and design practice tips explained here can help improve your CAD drawings' clarity and accuracy, including saving you time and efforts in preventing rework and redraws.
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A Basic Explanation Summary of How the Electric Power Grid Works

by Matt Cole
Many wonder exactly how the electric power grid works from generation to transmission to distribution and to the end users. There is more to electricity than simply turning on a light switch. Electric power has given us many conveniences and has improved our quality of life forever more, sometimes more than we can imagine. This provides a basic explanation of the electric power grid.
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Cybersecurity Considerations for Power Substation SCADA Systems Using IEC-61850 Communications

by Matt Cole & Others
When including security controls into a SCADA system design, it is sometimes difficult to separate design
goals from security requirements. The foremost goal for a SCADA system is to provide protection,
automation, and data acquisition. This paper discusses major
vulnerabilities and cybersecurity considerations that require proper analysis when designing and
implementing a secure IEC-61850 standard-based SCADA system within a power substation. 
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Security Obstacles and Recommended Solutions for OT & IT Convergence within Smart Grid or Smart Substation Environments

by Matt Cole & Others
The OT and IT convergence are a reality due to the integrated and complex computing networking and communications taking place within OT
environments. This paper reviews some of the major security challenges facing OT and IT convergence with power utilities, particularly within smart grid (SG) and smart substation environments. 
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