T&D World Magazine

Modified Timing Solution Addresses Evolution of Power Utility Industry

Symmetricom, Inc. has announced the availability of its updated XLi Time and Frequency System, which the company enhanced in support of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Time Error Correction Field Trial. Power utilities participating in the trial can purchase new or update their existing XLi with the Frequency Time Deviation Monitor (FTM) module to accurately report up to five major digits of accumulated error. The update supports the larger accumulated time error that will result from the trial.

The NERC field trial is aimed at making the smart grid more efficient and potentially more reliable, given that correcting the frequency for time deviations can affect the grid's overall security. Currently, grid frequency is used as a reference for electric clocks and power companies must manually compensate for accumulated variations in frequency over a fixed time interval or when the accumulated error reaches predetermined thresholds. NERC believes that such steps are costly and create unnecessary risks, and in an effort to validate the overall impact of relaxing this requirement, NERC has initiated a one-year trial that eliminates forced frequency balancing. Utilities will still be required to monitor and report on the accumulated time error, which can now be much larger than previously allowed.

Symmetricom's XLi Time and Frequency System is a precise, versatile and flexible solution for timing and synchronization requirements. The updated XLi/FTM module will enable power utilities to participate in the trial and accurately measure and report the accumulated time error data to NERC.

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