AREVA T&D (www.areva-td.com) announces that it will supply intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) to important smart grid research by the Electric Power Research Institute Inc. (EPRI; Palo Alto, California, U.S.).

Reinforcing its ongoing commitment to smart grid development, AREVA T&D will provide EPRI with 13 different IEDs to be used in EPRI's labs to be located at existing facilities in Knoxville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Lenox, Massachusetts. The devices will facilitate EPRI's work on issues related to implementing the smart grid and will include IEDs for distance protection, transformer protection, line current differential management, feeder management, phasor measurement and GPS time synchronization.

The three EPRI sites are acting as simulated substations. The devices provided by AREVA T&D, as well as by other companies, will be used to simulate a smart grid so that various scenarios and tests can be run. EPRI researchers, working jointly with utilities, AREVA T&D and other companies, will study a variety of realistic smart grid situations and capabilities, including IEC 61850 process and station bus, wide-area syncrophasor measurement unit (PMU), wide-area communications challenges for transmission-class protection schemes and other geography-induced issues. The results will be shared with utilities across North America.

“The goal of this project is to provide a test bed for new ideas to address the challenges facing the smart grid,” noted Paul Myrda, technical executive at EPRI. “Ultimately, we expect to couple this facility with our existing ‘living lab’ that primarily deals with end-user devices and with our ‘sensor’ lab that is focused on asset health assessment.”