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16 International Conference on Electrical Engineering, July 11-14, 2010 Busan Korea

Application of Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU)

Data for Out-of-Step Detection
Dikpride Despa*,**, Yasunori Mitani *, Masayuki Watanabe* ,
Changson Li,* Bessie Monchusi*
Abstract The algorithm based on equal area criterion is developed and the stability of generators after a fault is
assessed. The power swing equation is integrated to calculate the accelerating and decelerating area under the power
delta curve. Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) data from a four generators power system is utilized in detecting
out-of-step condition. A three phase to ground fault on the power system is simulated by MATLAB and Dymola with
ObjectStab. The algorithm developed is tested by simulations on the four generator power system.
Keywords: Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU), Out of Step Detection, Equal Area Criterion, Transient Stability.
1. Introduction

protection scheme is that it only uses local measurements to

estimate the condition of the entire power system network,

The stability of an interconnected power system is its

which inevitably affects its ability to detect the out-of-step

ability to return to normal or stable operation after having

conditions in certain circumstances. Phasor Measurement

been subjected to some form of disturbance [1]. Certain

Unit (PMU) is widely applied for detecting out of step

disturbances may cause the interconnected power systems

condition. A PMU is a device that can measure voltage and

to lose synchronism, which may lead to cascading


blackouts and equipment damage. In order to avoid these

common time reference for all the PMUs in the

severe results, controlled separation of the system using

Line parameters such as; resistance, inductance and

out-of-step protection is an effective way to preserve

capacitance can be

stability in several smaller islands. Traditional out-of-step

sequence parameters can be determined with the PMU.

protection uses distance relays and timers to detect the out-

PMU provides more precise data at a much faster rate. It is

of-step condition by assessing that the voltage and current

possible to receive accuracy of synchronization of 1

during a power swing is gradual instead of a step change.

microsecond or 0.021 for 60 Hz signal [2]. This offers new

Faults and out-of-step condition lead to a change of

opportunities in power system control. The research

measured apparent impedance, but the change is much

focused on a method to detect out of step condition using

slower during out-of-step conditions. After the out-of-step

phasor measurement, voltage phase angle difference

condition is detected, out-of-step protection must block

between different buses and simulate the out of step

other fault relays prone to malfunction during out of-step

scenarios on a four generators power system.

phasors, i.e. as complex quantities, with a


calculated, even corona and zero

conditions. Meanwhile, the controlled separation at the preselected points provides load-generation balance in each

The rest of the paper discusses; 2. Equal Area Criterion, 3.

separated area with the help of a load-shedding program.

Phasor Measurements Units, 4. Out-of-step algorithm, 5.

However, the disadvantage of the traditional out of step

Simulations and 6. Conclusion.


Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Kyushu Institute of

Technology, Japan (
Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Lampung University, Indonesia

2. Equal Area Criterion

The power-angle relationship and the swing equation are
essential in understanding transient stability and can be

utilized to describe the Equal-Area Criterion (EAC).The

swing equation describes the swings of the rotor angle ()
during a disturbance. EAC on the other hand, describes the
movement of the rotor angle using three graphs
representing the pre-fault, fault and post-fault conditions.
Based on the accelerating and decelerating areas of the
rotor angle, under these graphs, EAC assesses transient
stability. The swing equation is given by [3]:

d 2
= Pi P
dt 2

= Pa




Fig. 1 P- Curve

where M = the inertia constant, = the rotor angle of the

synchronous machine, Pm = mechanical power, Pe =
electrical power and = rotor speed. The inter-area
oscillation component in the voltage variables resulting
from disturbances is utilized for extrapolating system
impedances beyond the measured buses by:


V1 V2 Sin( )

The EAC integrates the energy gained when the turbinegenerator is accelerating, during the fault (area A, in Fig. 1 )

compares that area with the decelerating area, (area B,

in Fig. 1). When the generator exports the energy stored

during the fault. The accelerating and decelerating area at
the different generator conditions are


where |V1|, |V2|are phasor voltages, is the phase rotor

angle and P is the output power. The maximum power
transferred between the generators and the mechanical

calculated by

integration of the power swing equation between the

boundary angles. In Fig. 1 the simplest condition is shown,
i.e. immediately at the occurrence of a fault, the electric
power output drops to zero and as soon as the fault is
cleared the electric power output returns to its initial curve.

power are estimated using these formulas:

Equation (6) and (7) describes area A and area B. Transient

P max

Pm = Pmax Sin ( 0 )


stability assessment can be explained using Equal-Area

Criterion by Fig. 1. Area A is the accelerating or positive
area and B is the decelerating or negative area


A = 0cl( P m P e , fault sin ) d


where XT= the total impedance, |V1|and |V2|= the

synchronized phasor voltages,

Pmax = the maximum power,

Pm = the mechanical power and 0 = the initial power


B =



sin P m ) d


Where cl stands for clearing time, f is the fault time.

Transient stability of the system is guaranteed if A<B.


16 International Conference on Electrical Engineering, July 11-14, 2010 Busan Korea

When A and B are equal, the stability limit of the system is

reached and the accelerating power (Pa) is equal to zero.
The unstable case is reached when A>B, the angle keeps


i i

PMUs are also known as synchronized phasor units for they

i =1

The total Impedance of the power system is calculated

using the equivalent phase angle.

XT =

Vref e i V

synchronized and combined to create a detailed and

comprehensive view of the broader system. Conventional

And applied to determine the equivalent rotor angle is

calculated by :

jX T

= tan 1

methods measure voltage, current, real and reactive power

for determining the operating condition of the electric

currents measured at a given substation. PMU is able to


The total power of the system is calculated by :

network. These technologies cannot measure voltage phase

angles while PMU provide the phasors of voltage and


allow more finely calibrated observation power flows on

the power system. PMU data from different utilities is time-


increasing and goes out-of-step, or becomes unstable.

3. Phasor Measurement Units

i =1



sin ( ) +

Vref x V

sin ( )


measure phase difference at different locations. Instead of

the indirect measurements or estimation used in traditional

Utilizing (11) the total mechanical power can be calculated

out-of-step protection, the voltage frequency and angle

using the initial values of voltage, impedance,

measurement from different buses can provide the ability to

The phase angle and power value of generator 3 the steady

directly monitor system transient stability conditions.

state condition are used as a reference and compared to the

and delta.

phase angle and power of the other generator at different

4. Out-of-Step Algorithm

time step. Using time phase angle and power vector at each
time step the P- curve is constructed. The area under the

An out-of-step condition in a network occurs when a

curves is calculated using the Riemann Integration. To

generator or a group of generators lose synchronism with

estimate the power output for the fault and post fault at

the rest of the network. The event forces generators to

different time steps, a constant is calculated by:

shutdown and sometimes large parts of the network are

forced out of service. Before losing synchronism the

Cons tan t =



network normally experiences power oscillations between

P out for fault and post fault at

neighboring generator groups. The oscillations cause

The new value of

voltage and current variations throughout the power system

different steps are given by:

and there will be a variation in power flow between two

areas, this phenomenon is called a power swing. The outof-step algorithm creates vectors of complex current,

P new = cos tan t X sin


voltage and impedance from phasor measurements. For the

construction the P- curve, the equivalent phase angle for
the system is calculated using the COA algorithm [4].

Power [p.u.]


Simulations are performed with a three phase to ground

fault on the transmission line as shown in Fig. 4 PMUs are

placed on the generators bus bars (1, 2, 11 and 12)












Angle [degrees]

Fig. 2

Shows the power-output and the mechanical

power for the power system in steady state

Power [p.u.]

Fig. 4 Four Generators Two Areas Power System












Angle [degrees]

Fig. 3 Shows the power output and mechanical

power under fault and post fault conditions
Its applied in calculating the output power and mechanical
power. The new vectors of phase angle and power for all
time steps are calculated from the above complex values.
To detect angle change the difference between the reference
value and a value at a specific time-step is calculated. If the
difference is too much, the algorithm to detect the power

Fig. 5 P- Curve for Generator 1

swing will start. The reference value is taken from studying

the graphs of the change of phase angle. If the phase angle

In Fig. 5 the power at the state and change of power around

has changed too much and the electric power output has

the time of the instant fault are shown for Generator 1 by

decreased to a level below the mechanical power input, it is

the solid graph. Generator 3 is chosen as a reference

for sure that the system will experience a power swing. If

generator. The impedance of the equivalent power system is

the accelerating area is greater than decelerating area, the

utilized in the calculation of the maximum power and

system will go out of step.

mechanical power. The output power for the fault and after
fault condition is shown by graphs with dashes. The

5. Simulation

generator is not out of step with the other generators in the

power system.

The Algorithm developed is tested on the four generators,

two areas power system (shown in Fig. 4) on MATLAB.
The system is designed by Dymola with ObjectStab. The
generators have an exciter and a turbine governor.


16 International Conference on Electrical Engineering, July 11-14, 2010 Busan Korea

is not severe enough to cause all the generators to loose


Fig. 6 P-Curve for Generator 2

In Fig. 6 the solid curve shows the stable electric power
output before the fault. The dashed curves represent the

Fig. 8 P-Curve for Generator 1 out-of-step

electric power output during and after the fault. The

mechanical power input is represented by the dotted line. In
this case, the generator is far from losing synchronism. The
power will oscillate back to its stable equilibrium point.
A fault has occurred but the system remains stable.

Fig. 9 P-Curve for Generator 2 out-of-step

Fig. 7 P- Curve for Generator 4

Generator 4 does not loose synchronism even if there is a
fault in the power system. The power at the stable point and
the change of power around the time of the instant fault for
generator 4 are shown in Fig. 7. From the results of the
simulations, it can be concluded that the fault in the system

[3] Prabha Kundur Power System Stability and

Control,McGraw Hill, 1993.
[4] B. B. Monchusi Optimal Approach Towards Using
Phasor Measurement (PMU) Data in Equal-Area
Criterion Based Systems for Power System Transient
Stability Assessment, PhD Thesis, Graduate School
of Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology,
Japan, February 2010.

Fig 10. P-Curve for Generator 4 out-of-step

Figures 8-10 show the P-curves for out-of-step condition,
for generators 2, 3 and 4. The out-of-step message is issued
to warn that the generators 1 and 2 are out- of- step while
generator 3 remains in synchronism with generator 4.

5. Conclusion
Phasor measurements are utilized to calculate the vectors of
complex current, voltage and impedance which are applied
to determine the new vectors with phase angle and power
for all time steps. The angle change is determined by the
difference between the reverence value and a value at a
specific time-step is calculated. The Equal Area Criterion is
utilized to detect if the generators are going out of step or
not. A three phase to ground fault is simulated on the four
generators power system.

This work was supported by in part by Grant-in-Aid for
Science Research (A) 18206028 of JSPS.


I J Nagrath, DP Kothari, Modern Power System

Analisys, McGraw Hill, 1980.
[2] Mark R Gerald T.H. Phasor Measurement Unit
Data in Power System State EstimationJanuary