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Smart Clocks Have a Hand in the Smart Grid



Jeffrey Fletcher, Dhananjay Anand, Maruthi Chaluvadi, Julien M. Amelot, Ya-Shian Li-Baboud, James Moyne


Clock synchronization is becoming an increasingly important characteristic of modern wide area monitoring and control systems such as the power grid. It provides an opportunity to coordinate control actions and measurement instants across hundreds of miles and numerous network topologies. Devices and networks have advanced to a point where synchronization across a wide area can be achieved within 1μs of UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). Along with these advances in clock synchronization must come a shift in the way analysis is performed. Modeling techniques must incorporate the effects of a clock synchronized device, and control techniques can leverage the knowledge of "time" to achieve unique results. This paper discusses various ways in which clock synchronization affects analysis and performance of the power grid, and presents a few projects related to the technology. Preliminary work has demonstrated the ability of various commercially available devices to provide reliable 1 μs synchronization of clocks, and large variation across devices in terms of clock performance under transient events.
Proceedings Title
2011 IEEE PES General Meeting
Conference Dates
July 26-29, 2011
Conference Location
Detroit, MI, US


time synchronization, networked control, model order deduction, data quality, PTP, NTP, GPS, Smart Grid


Fletcher, J. , Anand, D. , Chaluvadi, M. , Amelot, J. , Li-Baboud, Y. and Moyne, J. (2011), Smart Clocks Have a Hand in the Smart Grid, 2011 IEEE PES General Meeting, Detroit, MI, US, [online], (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created July 28, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021