Understanding the Real Value of Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs)

Is two-second control of your assets fast enough?

Today’s power networks operate on 50Hz or 60Hz sinusoidal voltage and current signals, while the SCADA systems used to monitor and control these networks have a sampling rate of 2-3 seconds. The power electronics used in inverter-based systems like solar PV, wind turbines, and energy storage units operate on the millisecond level, and require much higher-speed control to maximize their benefits.

Widely available technology exists today that can address this need for microsecond speed. Phasor measurement units (PMUs) were first developed in the 1980s and have been broadly deployed on power transmission networks but are underutilized. This white paper details how PMUs function and can successfully inform the operation of today’s renewable grid.

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