On Tuesday, March 21 2017, one day before the North American Synchrophasor Initiative (NASPI) workgroup meeting, NIST will host a workshop on Time Distribution Alternatives in the Smart Grid. The purpose of this workshop is for NIST and the Department of Energy to get input from to industry to help determine research priorities concerning alternatives to GPS time distribution in electrical power systems.
Time synchronized measurements are increasingly being made across electrical power systems. Examples of measurements which are time synchronized include Phasor Measurements (PMU) and electronic transformers (also known as Merging Units). Many power system experts predict that one day, these synchronized measurements will become vital to the proper operation of the power system (mission critical).
Today GPS is the only means of distributing synchronizing time across the power system. However, it is widely known that GPS is vulnerable to both short term and long term outages and either intentional or unintentional interference. Experts agree that before the power system can come to rely on time synchronized measurements, redundant and differently routed sources of synchronizing time will be required.
NIST and the DOE’s National Laboratory Partners wish to listen to industry concerns and ideas concerning alternatives to GPS for time synchronization. Workshop organizers plan to initiate discussion of potential solutions and evaluate the need for research, standards, and metrology in this area.
This one-day workshop will include only three presentations with audience-wide discussion following each. In the afternoon, three facilitated break-out sessions will be held centered on each of the presentations. At the end of the day the whole group will get together for presentations recommendations of the three break-out sessions.