White Papers

Reliability of Communication Systems Used in Protection Schemes

by Dr. Harvey Lehpamer, P.Eng, POWER Engineers, Inc.


Electric utilities use communication systems for a variety of functions, from common voice and data applications, to SCADA and protective relaying, to security and maintenance. Availability of communication channels is one of the often cited, yet commonly misunderstood, parameters in defining communication system quality. Questions related to how reliable these systems must be, and the target availability of redundant communication systems (and components) used in protection schemes, will be addressed in this paper. An example of a simplified availability calculation will be discussed.

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