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4, DECEMBER 2012
PMU Interoperability, Steady-State and Dynamic
Performance Tests
Rui M. Moraes, Senior Member, IEEE, Yi Hu, Senior Member, IEEE, Gerard Stenbakken, Life Member, IEEE,
Ken Martin, Fellow, IEEE, Jose Eduardo R. Alves, Jr., Senior Member, IEEE, Arun G. Phadke, Life Fellow, IEEE,
Hector A. R. Volskis, and Virgilio Centeno, Senior Member, IEEE
Abstract—To ensure the performance of a synchronized phasor
measurement system (SPMS) to be deployed for the Brazilian in-
terconnected national transmission network compliant to the spe-
cific SPMS requirements, Operador Nacional do Sistema Elétrico
(ONS) of Brazil has completed a phasor measurement unit (PMU)
certification test as the first step of its PMU certification process
for the SPMS. PMUs from eight vendors were selected and tested
in this project according to a comprehensive test program specif-
ically developed for this certification project, which is based pri-
marily on the IEEE C37.118-2005 standard as well as the specific
requirements of SPMS and its applications. This paper presents
and discusses the general background information, the developed
test program, the test unit selection and the testing processes, and
the overall test results of this project.
Index Terms—PMU, PMU dynamic performance, PMU testing,
HE SOLE independent power system operator in Brazil,
Operador Nacional do Sistema Elétrico (ONS), is leading
a major effort to deploy a large scale synchronized phasor
measurement system (SPMS) for the Brazilian interconnected
power system. SPMS will be used initially as a long term
system dynamics and event recording system for postmortem
analysis, model validation, and mitigation solution investiga-
tion. Additional synchrophasor applications will be added to
support ONS’s real-time system operator personnel decision.
The SPMS design includes phasor measurement units
(PMU), substation phasor data concentrators (SPDC), central
data concentrators (CDC) at ONS control centers, and the
supporting communication and networking infrastructure.
Manuscript received May 27, 2011; revised September 30, 2011, February 07,
2012, and May 16, 2012; accepted July 04, 2012. Date of publication September
07, 2012; date of current version December 28, 2012. Paper no. TSG-00190-
R. M. Moraes is with Operador Nacional do Sistema Elétrico (Rio de Janeiro)
and Universidade Federal Fluminense (Niterói), 200091-003 Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, and also with Universidade Federal Fluminense (Niterói), 24210-240
São Domingos, Brazil..
Y. Hu is with Quanta Technology LLC, Raleigh, NC 27607 USA.
G. Stenbakken was with the National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Gaithersburg, MD, USA and is nowwith GNS Consulting, Potomac, MD 20854
K. Martin is with Electric Power Group (EPG), Pasadena, CA 91101 USA.
J. E. R. Alves Jr. is with Centro de Pesquisa de Energia Elétrica, 21941-911
Rio de Janeiro) and also with Universidade Federal Fluminense (Niterói),
24210-240 São Domingos, Brazil.
H. A. R. Volskis is with Operador Nacional do Sistema Elétrico, 200091-003
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A. Phadke and V. Centeno are with Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TSG.2012.2208482
Utilities that own the substations where PMUs are to be in-
stalled are responsible for the PMU procurement and installa-
tion, as well as provisioning the communication and networking
links for sending the synchrophasor data to ONS control centers.
It is expected that PMUs installed for SPMS will be supplied by
multiple vendors, as they will be procured through competitive
open-bid process according to each utility’s substation equip-
ment acquisition criteria [1]–[3].
To ensure that all PMUs to be acquired by different utilities
will meet the proper standard and SPMS requirements, ONS has
included a PMU certification process as an integral part of its
deployment plan. To achieve this objective, ONS has developed
a comprehensive PMU test methodology and the associated test
program, and carried out the first round of PMU certification
tests through a certification project on eight PMU products at an
independent test laboratory—the National Institute of Standard
and Technology (NIST) of the United States [4].
In this paper, Section II describes the overall project with rele-
vant details; Section III describes the test facility and test system
setups used in the project; Section IV summarizes several issues
identified during the preliminary tests of received test samples,
and Section V provides a summary of the overall test results
of eight selected PMUs in this project. Conclusions and recom-
mendations are summarized and discussed in Section VI.
The certification project was aimed at certifying off-the-shelf
PMU products for immediate SPMS deployment. Only
synchrophasor measurement related functionalities and the
performance were tested for each product in this project. Other
tests, such as electrical, environmental, and electromagnetic
compatibility tests, were not included in the test program of this
project. Multifunction devices with integrated PMU function
were tested only when they can be configured and operated as
a standalone PMU.
At the beginning of the project, vendors of PMU products
were invited to provide requested product information to ONS
if they are interested in participating in this project. Received
product information was evaluated using a set of criteria to de-
termine the readiness level of their products for participating in
this certification project.
Ten areas were evaluated for each product with the highest
score (5) assigned to conditions indicated below (after the
“ ”): 1) meeting ONS specified requirements—fully meet
all requirements; 2) type of device—standalone or can be
configured and operated as a standalone device; 3) timing
source—has internal GPS receiver; 4) maturity—on the market
1949-3053/$31.00 © 2012 IEEE
In this table, the column “CAT” denotes the type of tests, where “SI” is for
“System and Interoperability”, “SS” is for “Steady-State” performance test,
and “DP” is for “Dynamic Performance” test; the column “STD” is used
to indicate whether the test item is based on IEEE C37.118-2005 standard
requirement (“Y”) or not (“N”).
over 5 years; 5) product documentation—have all required
documents; 6) product type test—completed all tests with
documentation; 7) PMU function test—have been tested with
documentation showing IEEE C37.118-2005 compliance; 8)
test sample information—have provided all request informa-
tion; 9) ease of testing—very easy to setup and operate; and 10)
test sample availability—available before the formal test starts.
Lower scores (from 1 to 4) were assigned for lesser conditions,
and the total score is used as an indication of the readiness level
of a product for participating in this project.
Based on the assessment of the received information, ten ven-
dors were invited to submit test samples (one PMU product for
each vendor). Among them, eight test samples were submitted
and completed the tests in this project. In this paper, these eight
tested PMU products will be identified as PMU 1, PMU 2, ,
PMU 8 respectively.
The project used a full test program including the test items
as shown in Table I below.
As shown in Table I, the full PMU certification test program
consisted of three major parts: the system interoperability re-
lated tests and verifications (SI), the steady-state performance
tests (SS), and the dynamic performance tests (DP). The steady-
state and dynamic performance tests were performed both at 12
frames per second (fps) and 60 fps reporting rates.
Before proceeding to perform the tests listed in the full test
program, certain preliminary tests (pre-test) were conducted on
each received test sample to ensure that it operates normally and
is ready for the full test.
All tests were performed at the NIST SynchroMetrology Lab-
oratory using its two test systemsetups. During all tests the tem-
perature was maintained in the range .
Fig. 1. PMU steady-state performance characterization test setup.
A. PMU Steady-State Performance Calibration Test Setup
The steady-state PMU performance calibration test uses the
NIST PMU steady-state performance calibration system setup
as shown in Fig. 1 [5].
The calibration system is synchronized to UTC via a global
positioning system (GPS) clock. It provides UTC synchronized
three-phase power signals to the PMU being calibrated (DUT).
The PMUs output IEEE C37.118-2005 standard [6] formatted
continuous data stream at rates from 10 to 60 messages per
The IEEE standard [6] requires the PMUs to have a total
vector error (TVE) of less than 1%under a number of test condi-
tions described in the standard for level 1 compliance. The IEEE
standard does not specify a statistical basis for this requirement,
just that the maximum TVE must never exceed the limit. For
ONS testing the test duration was selected to be 10 s. Thus, the
limit is compared to the largest of the 120 TVEs at 12 fps or
the largest of the 600 TVEs at 60 fps. These values are referred
to as maximum TVEs in the following sections. TVE combines
three error sources. Time errors (deviation of timestamped re-
sults from true UTC time), phase errors, and magnitude errors.
The NIST calibration systems use a GPS clock with an uncer-
tainty of 45 ns of the 1 pps fromtrue UTC. The phase error due
to uncompensated time deviation of sampling and calibration of
phase errors in the CTs and voltage attenuators is less than 300
ns. Together these time errors contribute 0.01% to the TVE for
a 60 Hz nominal frequency signal. The magnitude uncertainty
is less than 0.025%. With these estimated errors the NIST PMU
steady-state and dynamic performance calibration systems have
an estimated uncertainty of less than 0.08% TVE three sigma.
The variations of the TVEs for most DUTs during steady state
testing have a standard deviation of about 0.1%.
B. PMU Dynamic Performance Characterization Test Setup
The PMU dynamic performance characterization test setup
uses the NIST PMU dynamic performance characterization
system as shown in Fig. 2 [5].
While similar to the NIST PMU steady-state calibration
system in its basic design, this system uses three voltage and
three transconductance amplifiers to provide the PMU test
signals in place of the commercial power simulators. The
waveforms are generated in the synchronized generation and
sampling unit (SGS) and output as voltages with a range of up
to 10 V peak-to-peak. As the dynamic performance criteria
Fig. 2. PMU dynamic performance characterization test setup.
have not been developed and standardized at the time this
certification test was performed, the system is used to charac-
terize the performance of the PMU during various dynamic
Various issues were encountered and resolved during the pre-
test stage, which allowed the test project to progress. These is-
sues are summarized below:
Hardware related issue: PMU1 experienced difficulties
to start up at the beginning of the pretest.
Incorrect Global Positioning System (GPS) clock
output: PMU 8’s own external GPS clock module had a
1-ms shift in its output that could not be corrected.
GPS clock sensitivity: PMU 7’s own internal GPS clock
module experienced difficulties locking onto a GPS signal
from the laboratory’s GPS antenna.
Timing error: PMU 7 also exhibited a 23.5 ms timing
error during the pre-test after it was switched to use the
IRIG-B timing signal.
Hardware calibration related problems: PMU 5 and
PMU 6 were found to have large errors during the pretest.
These problems were corrected by software and hardware up-
dates to the systems being tested.
The summary test results are presented below in three major
parts: the wide area measuring system interoperability related
tests and verifications, the steady-state performance tests, and
the dynamic performance tests.
A. System and Interoperability Tests and Verifications
1) TCP/IP, UDP/IP and Multicast Support: The ONS PMU
specification for SPMS stated that “PMU shall support both
UDP/IP and TCP/IP protocols. The real-time data stream shall
be encapsulated in UDP/IP packets, and support both unicast
and multicast addressing. Message mapping requirements
are listed in section I.2 of Annex I of IEEE C37.118-2005
Standard.” The information provided by vendors and the test
results show that different methods have been implemented
in the tested products for streaming real-time PMU data and
exchanging other messaging frames (command, configuration,
Due to lack of documentation and equipment limitations, this could not
be verified.
header) using IP communications. In all cases the device sup-
plying the data is the server and the device receiving data is the
client. Each method has advantages and disadvantages which
are described as follows:
TCP-only method: This method uses one direct TCP
connection for transferring commands, data, header, and
configuration frames between two connected devices.
UDP-only method: This method uses UDP for com-
munication in both directions for PMU commands, data,
header, and configuration.
Mixed TCP-UDP method: This method uses TCP for
commands, header, and configuration communications,
and UDP for sending data.
PMU initiated streaming data output (UDP auto): This
method generally means a PMU unit will send out data
automatically without a start command and will not stop.
The data could be sent to a unicast, multicast, or broadcast
IP address.
The information provided by vendors and the test results have
shown that vendors’ support of these methods in the tested units
are not universal. Table II summarizes the supported communi-
cation methods of the tested units.
The results show that there is only one product among the
tested units that fully meets SPMS requirement, and none of
them support all methods that would give users the flexibility to
choose any one of these methods to meet their specific system
requirements. Users thus should always verify if a product sup-
ports the method required for their systems.
2) PMU Introduced Delays: PMU introduced delay is de-
fined as the time difference between tagged time (measurement
time) and the time when the data leaves PMU. The PMU intro-
duced delay includes the sample processing time, the phasor es-
timation window length, the PMU computation time, output fil-
tering, the time to transfer data to the communication output, the
output clocking rate, and the way data is packed into the output
packets of the underlying communication protocols. Generally
speaking, except for data packing caused delays, other delays
are very short as the test indicated, but may vary, particularly
for multifunction devices.
An additional delay occurs if a PMU does not send out the
data frames each time one is available, but instead packing sev-
eral data frames into one data packet, such as IP packet. The
current IEEE standard [6] does not have requirements on this
type of PMU introduced delays, so the issue is not a standard
compliance issue but an application issue.
Depending upon the needs of actual applications, the above
PMU introduced delays in the tested units may or may not have
real impact on a specific application. Such delays may not be
important for data archiving, but could become unacceptable
for a visual display and result in total delay exceeding the re-
quirement for a high-speed control function. For some protec-
tion and control applications, where point-to-point delay must
be less than 100–200 ms, such PMU introduced delay could be
a major issue.
3) Message Frames Check: Message frames were checked
for two reporting rates, 12 fps and 60 fps using steady-state
balanced three phase voltage and current inputs. The following
message frames were checked for IEEE standard [6] compli-
ance: Configuration (CFG-1 and CFG-2), Data, and Header.
The following commands were sent to the DUT to check its
responses during these tests: 1) turn off transmission of data
frames; 2) turn on transmission of data frames; 3) send HDR
frame; 4) send CFG-1 frame; and 5) send CFG-2 frame. Table III
show the message frames check results.
PMU 5 did not implement the Header message. Thus it failed
the Header frame test and it failed the command tests, since
it did not send a Header frame when commanded to do so. It
responded properly to the other commands.
4) Time Quality Tagging: Time quality (TQ) information is
required by the IEEE standard [6]. The standard has specified
requirements for the use of time quality bits in the transmitted
phasor frames. This TQ byte includes 4 bits that indicate the
quality of PMU time as estimated by the GPS receiver or based
on the PMU oscillator accuracy if the primary time source is
The test results of submitted units indicate that the implemen-
tations of the time quality codes are not universal. Vendor’s ap-
proach for these TQ bits varied from not providing any estima-
tion to implementing every TQstate as specified in the standard.
Table IVshows the time quality indication found in data mes-
sages of tested PMUs.
The Max Clock Drift Rate is the drift rate of the internal
clocks when the connection to GPS information is removed.
5) PMU Sync Indication: A PMU needs an external con-
nection for UTC synchronization. The two approaches used by
PMUs today are to build a GPS receiver into the PMU or input
time from an external clock using IRIG-B or another time code
(such as DCF77). The PMU also needs to know if the time
The number 00h means 00 in hexadecimal numbering. “Multi step” means
the PMU indicated several levels of time quality uncertainty, “None” means
that the PMU did not implement any time quality indications, “2-steps”
means that the PMU changed only between two time quality levels of
indication, and “None/2-steps” means that the PMU gave no change in time
quality indication when the antenna was removed but gave two levels of time
quality indication when the IRIG-B signal was removed.
bi—built-in GPS receiver—disconnect IRIG-B connection test not
applicable. “OK” indicates that the function was implemented in accordance
with the standard IEEE C37.118-2005, “00/11 b” (or “00/10b”) indicates
that the two Unlock time bits jumped from 00b to 11b indicating a change
from synchronized to unsynchronized for more than 1000 s (or from 00 b
to 10b indicating a change from synchronized to unsynchronized for more
than 100 s).
source is locked to GPS or not and the quality of the time signal.
A built-in GPS receiver can communicate to the PMU whether
it is synced to the UTC (locked to GPS) or not. The IRIG-B
time code defined in IRIGstandard 200-04 does not specify time
quality codes. The IEEE C37.118-2005 standard recommended
special control codes extension in the IRIG-B signal to com-
municate Time Quality and other time information to PMUs
that resolves this issue. However, a PMU without a built-in
clock needs to use a clock that implements time quality control
codes extension for IRIG-B signal and be able to interpret them.
Table V shows how the PMUs supplied the PMU sync and the
Unlock time indications in response to losing the GPS antenna
connection and the IRIG-B/DCF77 connection if used.
PMUs 5 and 7 failed to provide correct indications for loss
of sync to UTC when the antenna to the external GPS clock
was disconnected. PMU 5 did correctly indicate loss of sync to
UTC within one minute, as required by the standard, when the
IRIG-B input was disconnected, but PMU 7 had a delay of 290
s before it indicated loss of sync to UTC when the IRIG-B input
was disconnected. PMUs 1 and 2 have built-in GPS receivers
so the removing IRIG-B connection test is not applicable.
THD—Total harmonic distortion
6) Support All Reporting Rates for a 60 Hz System: ONS
performance specification states that the PMU should support
all the reporting rates listed in the IEEE standard [6] for a 60
Hz power system plus the additional rate of 60 fps as listed in
Table VI.
The test checked the PMU performance at each reporting rate
by conducting a frequency variation test for each reporting rate.
All tested PMUs responded to this test satisfactorily.
B. Steady-State Tests
The steady-state performance requirements for the PMU cer-
tification test program can be summarized as: The PMU is ex-
pected to meet IEEE standard [6] level 1 performance require-
ment at all the reporting rates designated by the standard and
one additional reporting rate (60 fps) as shown in Table VII.
Except for the unbalanced tests, all steady-state tests were
performed with a balanced three phase voltage and current in-
puts. The nominal magnitudes were 70 V and 5 A.
The voltage and current synchrophasors outputs from the
PMUs were collected and their TVEs were calculated as
the difference from the calculated synchrophasors output of
NIST steady-state calibration system. The results below show
the TVE for either the voltage or current positive-sequence,
whichever is larger. All steady-state performance tests were
conducted for two reporting rates: 12 fps and 60 fps.
1) Frequency Variation: The voltage and current input signal
frequency was varied from54 Hz to 66 Hz in 0.1 Hz steps, while
the magnitude was held at a reference value with harmonics and
out-of-band interference both within the specified limits. The
test at each frequency step runs for 10 s.
Table VIII shows the maximum TVE for the frequency vari-
ation tests at 12 fps and 60 fps for the 55 Hz to 65 Hz range of
the test.
The results show that except for PMU 7, all other PMUs have
a maximum TVE less than 1%.
2) Magnitude Variation: The voltage and current input signal
magnitude is varied from 10% to 120% in 5% steps in this test
program, while the frequency is held at a reference value with
harmonics and out-of-band interference both within the speci-
fied limits. The test at each magnitude step runs for 10 s.
Table IX shows the maximum TVE for the magnitude varia-
tion tests at 12 fps and 60 fps.
The results of magnitude variation test show that except for
PMU 3 and 7 having maximum TVE greater than 1% at 12 fps,
and PMU 3, 6 and 7 having maximum TVE greater than 1% at
60 fps, all other PMUs have maximum TVE less than 1% at 12
fps and 60 fps.
3) Phase Angle Variation: The voltage and current input
signal frequency was fixed at an off-nominal value of 60.12 Hz,
while the magnitude was held at a reference value with har-
monics and out-of-band interference both within the specified
limits. The small off-nominal frequency causes the measured
phase angle to constantly change without producing significant
off-nominal frequency effects. The test runs for 34 s allowing
phase angles to rotate completely through 360 several times.
The TVE of voltage and current synchrophasors must be less
than 1%over the full to range to be in compliance
with the IEEE standard [6] requirement. The results of phase
angle variation test (Table X) show that all PMUs have max-
imum TVE less than 1% (phase error less than 0.57 ) at both 12
fps and 60 fps.
4) Harmonic Distortion: The 2nd to 50th harmonics were
added, a single harmonic at a time at a 10% level, to the voltage
and current input signals. The magnitude was set at nominal,
the frequency was 60 Hz (nominal) and the injected out-of-band
interference within the specified limits. The test runs for 10 s for
each individual harmonic injection.
Table XI shows that except for PMU 7 at 60 fps, all PMUs
have maximum TVE less than 1% for both 12 fps and 60 fps.
5) Out-of-Band Signal Interference: The out-of-band test is
designed to check that interfering signals that are beyond the
Nyquist limit of the phasor reporting rate are filtered so they do
not corrupt the phasor estimates produced by the PMU. The tests
performed were geared toward testing compliance with PMU
Level 1 specification, of the IEEE standard [6], which requires
that out-of-band signals with 10% magnitude should produce
TVE of less than 1% in the estimated phasors.
There is a known issue for out-of-band performance com-
pliance with IEEE standard [6]. At a 10 fps reporting rate, the
Nyquist frequency is 5 Hz, so phasors cannot be reported at 55
and 65 Hz (they will be aliased). In addition there is always
some filtering stop band required between the measured band
and the out-of-band rejection, so cannot report accurately right
up to the Nyquist limit. Due to this issue, the minimumreporting
rate tested in this certification test project was 12 fps.
The maximum TVE measured during this test for each PMU
is shown in Table XII.
Test signals of 10% of the fundamental amplitude were add
for integer frequencies from 15 Hz to the lower Nyquist fre-
quency (54 Hz for 12 fps and 30 Hz for 60 fps) and from the
upper Nyquist frequency (66 Hz for 12 fps and 90 Hz for 60
fps) to 130 Hz.
The results of the out-of-band interference test at 12 fps show
a wide range of performance, with only one (PMU 1) close
to passing, and with two (PMUs 5 and 8) having TVE errors
greater than the interference signal injected. The results of the
Fig. 3. PMU out-of-band response.
out-of-band interference test at 60 fps show a wide range of per-
formance, with four (PMU 1, 4, 5, and 6) passing the test, and
four others (PMU 2, 3, 7 and 8) failing the test.
Fig. 3 is a good example of the narrow band filtering that is
required to pass the out-of band test at 12 fps.
Since the TVE at 54 Hz and 66 Hz exceed 1%, these results
show that this PMU did not quite pass this test.
An argument could be made that out-of-band signals may not
be of great concern for many power system applications, be-
cause often these signals are absent, or are very small in magni-
tude. Thus, depending upon the application for which the mea-
surements are to be used, the application may accept somewhat
relaxed level of compliance with this requirement.
6) Unbalanced Signal—Phase Unbalance: The test was con-
ducted by shifting the phase angle of phase B from to
in 20 steps relative to the normal phasing. This
was done with both the voltage and current input signal while
holding the magnitudes fixed at the reference values, the fre-
quency at the nominal 60 Hz, and harmonics and out-of-band
interference signal within the specified limits. The test runs for
10 s for each phase angle shift.
The results of phase unbalance test (Table XIII) show that all
PMUs have maximum TVE less than 1% at 12 fps and 60 fps.
7) Unbalanced Signal—Magnitude Unbalance: The test was
conducted with the phase B magnitude of both voltage and cur-
rent input signals stepped from 0% to 120% of full scale in
20% steps while keeping the other phases fixed at the refer-
ence values. The frequency is held at the nominal 60 Hz and
harmonics and out-of-band interference signals are within the
specified limits. The test runs for 10 s for each Phase B magni-
tude value.
The results of magnitude unbalance test (Table XIV) show
that all PMUs have maximum TVE less than 1% at 12 fps and
60 fps.
C. Dynamic Performance Tests
The dynamic performance requirements for the PMU certifi-
cation test programcan be summarized as: The PMUis expected
to provide the desired dynamic performance in terms of band-
width, response time, and delay time during system dynamics,
considering the intended applications.
All dynamic performance tests were performed with a bal-
anced three phase voltage and current inputs with nominal mag-
nitudes of 70 V and 5 A. The synchrophasor voltage and cur-
rent outputs were measured and recorded. The recorded data in-
cluded the minimum, maximum, and mean of the error in mag-
nitude, phase, and TVE of each phasor channel, as well as the
positive sequence synchrophasor values. TVE was calculated as
the difference between the PMU value and the NIST dynamic
calibration systemcalculated synchrophasor value. All dynamic
performance tests were conducted for two reporting rates: 12 fps
and 60 fps.
1) Magnitude and Phase Modulation Tests: Amplitude and
phase modulation tests were run individually at modulation in-
dices of 0.1 for both 12 fps and 60. TVE values for both modu-
lations were determined with respect to the dynamic reference.
The dynamic reference were the actual dynamic (time varying)
values for magnitude and phase at each sample time. This de-
termines the pass-band where the modulation is accurately rep-
resented in the phasor output.
The phasor and frequency values output from the PMU under
test were recorded at each modulation frequency. Similarly
the test system derives the same values by measuring actual
waveforms at each modulation frequency. The two measure-
ments were compared to derive the TVE for each modulation
frequency. Note that the test system analysis knows what the
test signal is so uses that information to derive the most accurate
reference values.
This test is not part of the Standard. Two criteria were uti-
lized to determine their effectiveness in showing the modulation
bandwidth of PMUs. The first criterion determins the maximum
frequency for which the maximum TVE remained less than 1%
(the same criteria used in the steady-state tests). The second cri-
terion, and the one used to qualify PMUs for ONS use, was the
maximum frequency for which the average TVE over the test
period remain less than 3%.
Tests ran for 10 s or two full cycles of the modulation,
whichever is longer.
The performance levels of the magnitude and phase modula-
tion tests are as showed in Table XV.
In the magnitude modulation tests, the phases of the inter-
fering signals are aligned and thus this test is better at showing
the positive sequence error response than the out-of-band inter-
ference test. The amplitude of the voltage and current test sig-
nals was modulated with a sine wave for frequencies from 0.1
Hz to 10 Hz in this test. The test was performed in steps of 0.1
Hz up to 2 Hz, and in steps of 0.5 Hz from 2 Hz to 10 Hz. The
amplitude modulation index was set at 0.1.
In the phase modulation tests phase, the angle of the voltage
and current test signals is modulated with a sine wave for fre-
quencies from 0.1 Hz to 10 Hz in this test. The test was per-
formed in steps of 0.1 Hz up to 2 Hz, and in steps of 0.5 Hz
from 2 Hz to 10 Hz. The phase modulation index was set at 0.1.
The presence of the modulation in the data from the PMUs
indicate how well they indicated the signal fluctuations for
low frequencies and how well they rejected the modulations
for higher frequencies. As with the source, the presence of the
modulation can be measured by the modulation index. For each
of the tested devices the modulation indexes of the PMU data
either did not roll off for the amplitude or phase modulation
index, or the frequency modulation index did not roll off to a
low values at and above the reporting rate Nyquist frequency.
Presence of the modulation for higher frequencies was reflected
in the corresponding failures in the out-of-band interference
The Fig. 4 below shows sample results of the phase modula-
tion test at 12 fps.
This plot shows that the pass band bandwidth was about 4
Hz with respect to the maximum TVE of 1% referenced to the
dynamic reference (solid curve) and about 6.5 Hz with respect
Fig. 4. PMU bandwidth for phase modulation test. Solid line shows maximum
TVE versus modulation frequency. Dashed line shows mean TVE versus mod-
ulation frequency.
to the mean TVE of 3% (dashed curve). The bandwidth values
determined from this test are shown in Table XVI.
Table XV gives the initial and final band pass criteria. The
results in Table XVI indicated, the initial 1% pass band require-
ment of 1.2 Hz at 12 fps was met by four PMUs and requirement
of 6.0 Hz at 60 fps was met by two PMUs. The 3% pass band
requirement (the one finally used by ONS) of 2.4 Hz at 12 fps
was met by seven PMUs and requirement of 12 Hz at 60 fps was
met by three PMUs.
2) Magnitude and Phase Step Response: For the magni-
tude step response test, the voltage and current test signals were
stepped from nominal with a plus or minus 10% step
change of their amplitude. For the phase step response test, the
voltage and current test signals were stepped from nominal with
a plus 10 or minus 10 step change applied to the test
unit. Both tests started and ended with a steady signal to allow
settling at each value.
The step response time is the time from when the TVE ex-
ceeds 1% until the time when the TVE drops below and remains
below 1%. The step delay time is determined by comparing the
midpoints of the steps as shown by the PMU data with the times
of the steps. The steps occurred at 1 s and 3 s on the time axes
of Fig. 5.
The performances of the magnitude and phase step change
tests according to ONS requirements are as follows:
• For 12 fps response time less than 200 ms and delay time
less than 5 ms.
• For 60 fps response time less than 100 ms and delay time
less than 1 ms.
Fig. 5. Amplitude step test results for positive sequence V1 at 12 fps. Time
axis is the PMU time tag values.
In Fig. 5, the top row of plots shows a PMU magnitude re-
sponse, positive step left and negative step right.
The middle row shows the phase change due to amplitude
steps. The lower row shows the TVE in % for both steps.
The magnitude step response plots in Fig. 5 show that this
device has a delay time less than 1 ms on both the rising and
falling amplitude steps. The plots in the middle row show the
PMUs phase values were not significantly affected by the am-
plitude steps. The lower plots show the TVE exceeds 1% for
128 ms on both the rising and falling amplitude steps which is
the PMU response time. This test was run at 12 fps.
The results (Table XVII) show wide variations in the step test
response times. However the magnitude and the phase angle
responses within each unit are consistent. All PMUs had delay
times within the desired performance values.
The requirements for response time are highly depend on the
applications. For visualization applications, the response times
shown above may not have much impact. For control applica-
tions, a much faster response time is required. From the above
results, it appears that a response time below 100 ms at 60 fps is
achievable for devices that also pass all other steady-state tests
at 60 fps. For 12 fps, none of the tested PMUs had passed all the
steady-state performance tests, with only the PMU 1 coming
very close to passing. Based on the response time of PMU 1 at
12 fps, a response time less than 200 ms appears to be achiev-
able. Of course, this needs to be confirmed once PMUs are able
to successfully pass all steady-state performance tests at 12 fps.
A number of significant conclusions can be drawn from this
test project:
a) A comprehensive set of tests was conducted on a number
of PMUs to assess all aspects of their measurement per-
formance [7], [8]. All tests were done against established
criteria with a consistent methodology and test system, so
all results are directly comparable. Tests covered all IEEE
standard [6] specified criteria and additional criteria for
dynamic performance, some of which could be consid-
ered in the further revisions of the standard. Results of
this test project have provided important information for
both the development of improved measurement equip-
ment and improved standards requirements.
b) Most tested units could meet the majority of level 1
steady-state performance requirements specified by IEEE
standard [6] at 12 fps and 60 fps. None of the tested units
met the out-of-band interference test at 12 fps. For the
60 fps reporting rate selected by ONS for this project,
four of the tested units could meet all level 1 steady-state
performance requirements specified by the standard.
c) Most tested units do not fully meet the specified SPMS
interoperability requirements.
d) The results of dynamic modulation tests in general agree
with the out-of-band test results and provide additional
information regarding the low frequency pass band.
e) There are a number of areas that tested units need fur-
ther improvement to fully meet the standard/SPMS re-
quirements. These include UDP and multicast support,
time quality bits implementation, sync bit implementa-
tion for units using external time source, and PMU intro-
duced delays. Most importantly, PMUs need better phasor
processing with compensation for frequency and magni-
tude that does not introduce artifacts, particularly from
out-of-band signals.
This paper is dedicated with fond memories to the first au-
thor of this paper by the other seven authors. This paper is the
result of the strong leadership, inspiration, and drive of Rui M.
Moraes, our colleague, and friend, whom we dearly miss.
[1] R. M. Moraes, H. A. R. Volskis, and Y. Hu, “Deploying a large-scale
PMU system for the Brazilian interconnected power system,” in 3rd
Int. Conf. Elect. Util. Deregulation, Rel., Power Technol., Nanjing,
China, 2008.
[2] R. M. Moraes, R. B. Sollero, J. M. Ordacgi Filho, Y. Hu, and
D. Novosel, “Large synchrophasor measurement system deploy-
ment—Architectural and integration issues,” in Proc. CIGRE SC B5
Annu. Colloq., Madrid, Spain, Oct. 2007.
[3] D. Novosel, Y. Hu, R. M. Moraes, and V. Madani, “Requirements for
large-scale wide area monitoring, protection and control systems,” in
Proc. 10th Annu. Fault Disturbance Anal. Conf., Atlanta, GA, 2007.
[4] R. M. Moraes, H. A R. Volskis, H. A. R. , Y. Hu, K. E. Martin, A. G.
Phadke, V. Centeno, and G. N. Stenbakken, “PMU performance certi-
fication test process for WAMPAC systems,” presented at the CIGRE
Study Committee B5 Colloq., Jeju Island, Korea, Oct. 19–24, 2009,
Art. 320.
[5] G. N. Stenbakken and M. Zhou, “Dynamic phasor measurement unit
test system,” in Proc. IEEE 2007 Power Eng. Soc. Gen. Meet., Jun.
24–28, 2007, p. 8.
[6] IEEE Standard for Synchrophasor for Power Systems, IEEE C37.118-
[7] J. Depablos, V. Centeno, A. G. Phadke, and M. Ingram, “Compara-
tive testing of synchronized phasor measurement units,” in Proc. IEEE
Power Eng. Soc. Gen. Meet., Jun. 2004, vol. 1, pp. 948–954.
[8] K. E. Martin, T. Faris, and J. Hauer, “Standardized testing of phasor
measurement units,” in Proc. Fault Disturbance Anal. Conf., Apr.
2006, p. 22.
Rui M. Moraes (M’05–SM’09) received the B.Sc.
degree from the Fluminense Federal University,
Niterói, Brazil, in 1977, the M.Sc. degree from the
Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, in 1986, both in electrical engineering, and
the D.Sc. degree from the Fluminense Federal
University in power system applied computing in
He is Specialist Engineer with ONS, the Brazilian
Power System Operator, where he is actively
involved with the deployment of a wide area
synchrophasor measurement system for the Brazilian Interconnected Power
System. In 2009 he joined Fluminense Federal University as Adjunct Professor,
where he teaches power system protection.
Dr. Moraes is the secretary of the CIGRÉ Brazilian Study Committee B5
Protection and Automation.
Yi Hu (SM’05) received the B.Sc. degree from
Southeast University, China, in 1982 and the M.Sc.
degree from Nanjing Automation Research In-
stitute (NARI), China, in 1984, both in electrical
engineering, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical
and computer engineering from the University of
Manitoba, Canada, in 1994.
He was with NARI, ABB, TEKELEC, and
KEMA Consulting, and is currently the Wide Area
Measurement, Protection and Control Director
with QUANTA Technology, Raleigh, NC. He is a
leading consultant in the areas of power system protection and control, system
modeling/analysis, testing and quality assurance. He holds 13 U.S. patents
and authored and coauthored more than 10 technical papers. Currently, he
is actively involved in large-scale PMU system implementations. He is a
member of the NASPI Performance and Standards Task Team, working with
other team members on PMU performance conformance test guidelines. He
is project manager and technical leader in a number of projects related to
large-scale PMU and wide-area measurement and control system applications
and implementations.
Gerard N. Stenbakken (M’71–LM’06) received the
B.S. degree in physics from the University of Min-
nesota, Minneapolis, in 1964 and the M.S. degree in
physics and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering
from the University of Maryland, College Park, in
1969 and 1986, respectively.
He started working at Vitro Laboratories in 1963
and moved to the National Bureau of Standards (now
the National Institute of Standards and Technology)
in 1969. Now he is with GNS Consulting, Potomac,
MD. His areas of interest include semiconductor re-
sistivity measurements, sampling metrology, testing strategies, electric power
metrology, and magnetic field modeling.
Ken Martin (F’08) received the B.S. degree in
electrical engineering from Colorado State Univer-
sity, Fort Collins, in 1970 and the M.A. degree in
mathematics from the University of Washington,
Seattle, in 1974.
He has over 30 years experience in the electric
utility industry working at the Bonneville Power
Administration (BPA) in communication, precise
timing, instrumentation, and testing. He initiated the
first PMU tests with the original units introduced
in 1987 and built the first phasor data concentrator.
He developed the phasor measurement system at BPA and supported similar
developments at many utilities. He is a Consulting Engineer with the Electric
Power Group (EPG), Potomac, MD.
Mr. Martin chaired the development of the current synchrophasor, C37.118-
2005 and currently chairs the IEEE groups developing the new C37.118 revi-
sions and is also a lead for the IECtask teamdeveloping synchrophasor commu-
nication for IEC 61850. He is a Registered Professional Engineer. He continues
to develop synchrophasor technology at EPG, IEEE, and NASPI.
Jose Eduardo R. Alves Jr. (M’92–SM’06) received
the B.Sc., M.Sc., and D.Sc. degrees in electrical
engineering from the Federal University of Rio de
Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1986, 1991, and
1999, respectively.
Since 1995 he has been with CEPEL, the Brazilian
Electrical Energy Research Center, Rio de Janeiro,
where he currently manages projects in metering. He
is also with Fluminense Federal University, Niterói,
Brazil, as Adjunct Professor. His main research in-
terests are in FACTS devices, power electronic con-
trollers, phasor measurement units, and metering.
Dr. Alves had been Chairman of IEEE Rio de Janeiro Section, and is currently
a Member of CIGRÉ.
Arun G. Phadke (LF’03) received the M.S. degree
in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of
Technology, Chicago, in 1961 and the Ph.D. degree
from University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1964.
He is a University Distinguished Professor (Emer-
itus) at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg. His primary
research area is the microcomputer based moni-
toring, protection, and control of power systems. He
is a coauthor of two books on relaying: Computer
Relaying for Power Systems, and Power System
Relaying, and is the editor of and contributor to the
book Handbook of Electrical Engineering Computations.
Dr. Phadke was awarded the IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000, named
the Outstanding Power Engineering Educator by the IEEE in 1991, and received
the Power Engineering Educator Award of the EEI in 1986. He received the
IEEE Herman Halperin Transmission and Distribution award in 2000. He was
the Chairman of the Technical Committee of USNC CIGRE, and Editor-In-
Chief of IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY. He was elected to the
U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1993. He was awarded an Honorary
Doctorate by INP Grenoble, France, in 2006.
Héctor A. R. Volskis received the B.Sc. degree in
electrical engineering from the Fluminense Federal
University, Niterói, Brazil, in 1984. He received
three different M.Eng. degrees: in computer engi-
neering from the Rio de Janeiro State University,
Brazil, in 1987, in economic engineering from the
Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Brazil, in 1990,
and in power system control engineering from the
Santa Catarina Federal University, Florianópolis,
Brazil, in 1994.
He is with ONS, the Brazilian Power System Op-
erator, Rio de Janeiro, since 1999 as Specialist Engineer, where is responsible
to identify new technologies to assist real time decision making operation, in-
cluding phasor measurements applications in real time operation. His main re-
search interests are power systemtools, state estimation, and power systemwide
area measurements.
Virgilio Centeno (M’92–SM’06) received the M.S.
and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Vir-
ginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Vir-
ginia Tech), Blacksburg, in 1988 and 1995, respec-
He worked as a Project Engineer at Macrodyne,
Inc., Clifton Park, NY, in the development of phasor
measurement units from 1991 to 1997. He joined the
faculty of Virginia Tech as a Visiting Professor in the
fall of 1997 and became an Associate Professor in
2007. His area of interest is wide area measurement
and its applications.