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February 2, 2018

PSL at DistribuTECH 2018: Above & Beyond Power Quality

By Joanna Hamblin, Global Director of Marketing

Last week the annual DistribuTECH conference was held in San Antonio, Texas. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth and attended our panel discussion.

Our panel – Lessons Learned: Defending the Grid from the Unintended Consequences of DERs was moderated by Alex McEachern, PSL’s founder, Fellow IEEE, Convenor IEC, and Chair SEMI. Many thanks to our panelists David Santiago, Sr. Specialist, ConEdison; Fred Oshiro, Engineer III, Maui Electric Company; Emma Stewart, Deputy Associate Program Leader, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; and Mack Grady, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Baylor University, and Professor Emeritus of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Josey Centennial Professor Emeritus in Energy Resources, U.T. Austin.

Panel from left to right:
Mack Grady, Fred Oshiro, Emma Stewart, David Santiago, and Alex McEachern (Moderator)

Some of the topics discussed were:

  • To what extent are we defending against DERs based on rules of thumb, and to what extent do we have real-world measurements?
  • What, exactly, are we defending against? Voltage instability? Frequency instability? Misoperations of protective devices?
  • How difficult is it to get information from DER manufacturers about their parameters, so we can insert them into our models?
  • As an industry, we tend to certify DERs as individual devices; how well does that approach work when we connect hundreds or thousands of different DERs to a distribution grid?

Alex McEachern, PSL founder, conducts his well-known solar inverter group exercise to show how easily the control loops of inverters can become unstable and cause unintended disconnection/connections to the grid.

We’re grateful to all the customers, partners, manufacturing reps, media and analysts, and National Research Laboratory staff who stopped by our booth to speak with us. It was great to see and hear from so many colleagues in the industry about how they are solving numerous power quality challenges with our PQube 3, PQube 3e, PQube 3v, microPMU, and the Industrial Power Corruptor (IPC).

The PSL booth was a gathering place for numerous technical and highly engaging discussions.

Lastly, our newly announced and patent-pending product, Grid Thumper, received a lot of praise from utility visitors and National Research Labs personnel for its ability to help test mission-critical power systems.

PSL’s Grid Thumper: a new way to test the stability of microgrids, distribution grids, and back-up power systems

Remember to mark your calendar to visit us at DistribuTECH 2019 in New Orleans!



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