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Interoperability Between Non Conventional

Instrument Transformers (NCIT) And Intelligent
Electronic Devices (IDE)
D. Chatrefou, Member, IEEE, J.P. Dupraz, Member, IEEE, G.F. Montillet, Senior Member, IEEE

Abstract-- Further to papers presented two years ago, at the

IEEE T&D in Dallas [1] [2] [3], on Non Conventional Instrument
Transformers (NCIT), advancement of the interoperability
between sensors and processes are updated. Electronic
technology has dramatically evolved in the last decade and the
consequence is the generalization of digital designs for mergingunits (MU) and Intelligent Electronic Devices (IDE). Digital
apparatus are an obvious improvement in output accuracy.
These digital apparatus offer many potential advantages and are
expected to grow in importance in the next decade.
Index TermsOptical sensors, Instrument transformers, Non
Conventional Instrument Transformers, Intelligent Electronic


HIS document provides improvement of the new sensor

technologies, for high voltage substation application. The
motivation to develop and to utilize NCIT is driven by several
significant advantages foreseen in terms of: cost reduction,
switchgear integration, safety, and improved measurement
There are at present several technical solutions based on
Optical or Hybrid sensors in existence in a stage of industrial
maturity. The choice of one technology can be a normal
compromise determined by the substation type: Air or Gas
Insulated Switchgear (AIS or GIS), the voltage level and the
specific technical performance requirements.
Obviously, the various technologies in that field can offer a
complete range of products covering all applications.
Within the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
community new standards already appeared [4]. The new
standard IEC 60044-7 [5] is applicable for electronic voltage
transducers, and the IEC 60044-8 [6] are applicable for
electronic current transducers.
In parallel to these
advances, the new IEC 61850 [7] standard for Substation
Automation was published. The IEEE Power Engineering
Society (Transformer Committee) is currently setting up new

D. Chatrefou is with AREVA T&D Research Center in Montrouge, 92541France. (e-mail:
J.P. Dupraz is with AREVA T&D Research Center in Villeurbanne, 69 611
France. (e-mail: jean-pierre.dupraz @
G. F. Montillet is with AREVA T&D - ARC in Charleroi, PA 15022 USA

American Standards that we hope will be harmonized with the

IEC standards.
The sensors selected have the basic physical properties:
A. - Current Sensors
1) The Faraday effect or the magneto-optic effect.
This magneto-optic effect describes the influence of a
magnetic field on a transparent optical medium. The magnetic
field alters the electron path in the medium, which acquires a
circular birefringence and affects the polarization state of a
monochromatic light beam propagating in the same direction
as the magnetic field. It can be shown that the light acquires a
rotation of polarization state [8] [9].
If for instance, a cylindrical bar of glass with length dL is
submitted to a magnetic field aligned with the light beam that
was linearly polarized at the entrance of the bar, the
polarization plane of this light rotates according to the

d = V ( H dL )


where V is the Verdet constant specific and different for

each material. H is the magnetic field, dL is the length of bar
of glass, and d is the rotating angle of the polarisation of the
2) The Ampere theorem
This theorem describes how the sensor becomes sensitive to
the current instead of the magnetic field by integration on a
close loop around the conductor.

= V ( H dL ) = V I


where I is the current flowing in the bar through the

optical element, V is the Verdet constant, H is the magnetic
field, dL is the length of bar of glass, and is again the
rotating angle of the polarisation of the light.
The Amperes theorem gives a current measurement
from other nearby, not encircled, conductors,
from the position of the conductor in the optic loop,
from the variations of the loop geometry, vibrating
movements, thermal expansion, etc.
The choice of the ring glass solution gives good temperature
response and also important benefits, such as:
ease of manufacture and industrialization (construction,

possible use of multimode components such as larger

optical fiber core, easier connectors, LED (Light Emitter
Diodes) instead of LD (Laser Diode).

Fig.1. New Ring glass of reduced size

3) The Optical detection

The optical detection is used to transform the Faraday
polarization modulation in a light intensity modulation by
addition of a polarimetric system, including two polarizes
oriented at 45 from each other, the Faraday medium being
between them.
Furthermore, the light intensity is a measurable value and
can be converted into electric signals by special
optoelectronic components called photodiodes (PD).
If Po is the input light power, constant in time, and Ps the
output, as a function of time t, then:

Ps(t ) =

Po [1 + sin(2V I (t ))]


4) Electronics and signal processing.

The LED from an electronic module emits a quasimonochromatic light.
This light is transmitted by an optical fiber cable and is
coupled into the optical probe, made with a Faraday sensitive
element (ring-glass) placed between two polarizers.
This light beam is modulated by the magnetic field
generated by the current flowing in the busbar crossing
through the ring glass.
The modulated light returns to the electronic module by
a second fiber of the cable.
The light intensity is converted into an electric signal by
the photodiode (PD) of the electronic module.
An analogue/digital converter, associated with a
microprocessor for the signal processing, performs the
necessary computing to synthesize a proportional value of the
current. The heart of the electronic system uses a DSP
(Digital Signal Processor) associated with software to fulfil
the following functions: calculation of the DC value of the
light intensity (Po) from the equation:

I (t ) =

2 Ps (t ) Po
Arc sin



where I (t) is the current flowing in the bus bar, V is still the
Verdet constant, Po is the input light power, and Ps is the
output function of time.

Recall that Po represents the light emitted by the LED,

affected by all the transmission coefficients of the optical
path (connectors, optical fibers, ring glass, etc)
Digital electronic technology was chosen because it has
several advantages, such as:
great flexibility in the signal analysis, as well as in the
fine calibration,
great accuracy per se; 16 bits sampling (or 32 bits),
great stability in time: no amplifier drift can alter its
possible use of digital signals to communicate with IED.
For a more conventional application, we can use a
Digital/Analogue Converter (DAC) that gives a low level
voltage signal or amplified signals, proportional to the
primary current. This last case is only for metering
5) Current transducers with optical sensors.
This is a development of a stand-alone device capable of
measuring the current in high voltage network from 72.5 kV
to 800 kV, for mainly metering and protection applications.
The design of one phase includes a head with an optical
sensor based on the Faraday effect in a ring glass (or bulk
glass) supported by a composite insulator adapted to the
voltage insulation and including the optical fiber that carries
the light and the information. The electronic is made of a
junction box with optical connectors, optical cable with all the
fibers, and an electronic card module included in a
concentrator or rack. The series of apparatus of Current
Transformer with Optical sensors have the serial name of
CTO (Current Transformers Optical) as stand alone range of
devices (Figure 2).

Fig. 2. CTO 362 kV installed at Hays Substation (USA).

6) Rogowski coils
Rogowski coils have been well known in laboratories for
decades, especially for the measurement of large high
frequency current impulses. Basically, they can be considered
as special current transformer, as the model described in
figure 3, applies to Rogowski coils and current transformers.
The sensitivity and the internal magnetizing inductance are
linked by the simple relationship:

can be rewritten as:



V = S


Equivalent circuit of the sensor


Practically, a residual error remains, and equations 7 and 8
can be combined to obtain Vs, at power frequencies:
Vs = j S Ip

1+ j
The residual error is now equal to L / (R+r). This
error can be made negligible very easily, as electronic circuits
usually load Rogowski coils. Consequently, the resistor R
can be chosen freely. Moreover, the magnetizing inductor is
usually extremely small, in the range of a few hundred microHenries. Therefore the ideal relationships given by equations
(6) and (7) can be applied with an extremely high accuracy
for a large range of frequencies.
Vs = j S Ip

R Vs


Fig. 3. Equivalent circuit of both current transformer and Rogowski coils

The figure 3 refers to the following symbols:
Ip = Primary current to be measured
Is = Secondary current
V = Electromotive force induced in the winding
S = Sensitivity of the sensor
L = Internal magnetizing inductance
r = Internal resistor
R = Secondary load
Vs = secondary voltage

In formula (5) Np and N are respectively the numbers of

turns of the primary and secondary windings. For GIS
applications, the primary winding is just a bar passing through
the sensor, as illustrated by figure 4, and Np is equal to 1.
The general equation related to figure 3 is:
Ip R
L Vs R
Vs = S

t R + r R t R + r
At power frequencies and assuming steady state condition,
the secondary current is Is and the secondary voltage is Vs.
j L
Is =
N R + r + j L
Vs = R Is

7) Rogowski Coil Stability versus temperature variations.

From equation (5), we can see that the sensitivity of the
sensor is proportional to the internal magnetizing inductor,
which is totally dependent on its geometry. To comply with
power metering requirements, a very high stability will be
obtained. Particularly, the high stability is required when the
sensor is submitted to variations of environmental factors
such as temperature and vibrations. Traditionally, Rogowski
coils are made with several turns of wires wound around nonmagnetic cores. Such an arrangement cannot provide a very
high thermal stability, as the turns can slide, changing the
value of the magnetizing inductor. For that reason, a few
years ago, we designed and patented a new type of Rogowski
coil, made with a multi-layer printed circuit board, as shown
in figure 4 and figure 5.

In a current transformer, the primary and secondary

current Ip and Is should respect the ideal relationship Is = Ip/N.
Practically, a residual error remains and the equation 7 can be
rewritten as:
Is =
N 1 + error
j L
To make this error negligible requires low values of the
ratio (R+r) / L.. When a high value of the loading resistor
is imposed by the application, it is necessary to use a high
permeability magnetic core and to increase the magnetizing
inductance L. Values in the range of hundreds of Henries are
commonly used.
Symmetrically, the output of a Rogowski coil delivers a
secondary voltage Vs that should be linked to the primary
current by the ideal relationship:
R Ip
Vs = S
R + r t
The voltage delivered by a Rogowski coil is proportional to
the derivative of the primary current. That is the basic
characteristic of a Rogowski coil. At power frequency and
during the steady state condition, the ideal relationship (10)

Fig. 4. Basic concept: Isometric view of the sensor in its enclosure

The sensor includes two imbricated (meshed) windings

connected in serial with additive flux. The turns are uniformly
distributed over 360, the two windings being made
respectively clockwise and counterclockwise. The
connections between the two opposite sides are made with
metallized holes, also called via. As the turns are firmly
stuck on the substrate, the geometry of the sensor is entirely
deterministic, and we can write, as the substrate is not
ferromagnetic, the sensitivity S:

S = N

h ln


the help of a calculation.

0= Permeability of the vacuum
N= Number of turns of sensor
h= Thickness of the substrate
D= External diameter of the winding
d= Internal diameter of the winding

Fig. 7. Isometric view of the electronic sensor in its enclosure

The general equation related to figure 6 reads:

Vs = R 2 Chv

Fig. 5. NCIT on a Gas Insulated Substation type F35 being assembled in


B. Electronic voltage transformer

The voltage measurement is based on the current flowing
through a very stable high voltage capacitor [10].
Surprisingly, it is easier to design a high voltage capacitor
with extremely high stability versus environmental factors,
such as temperature, than to design a capacitive divider with
the same level of stability. The sensor, in dotted line in figure
6, is mainly a cylindrical capacitor immersed into a
pressurized gas enclosure. To withstand extremely high
voltages, the gas is usually SF6. However, the principles
described later apply also for other gas, such as N2. (See
figure 7).
Primary conductor







Fig. 6. Basic simplified circuit for voltage measurement with Up voltage to
ground of the system, Vs is a function of the derivative of the voltage Up.

At power frequencies, the resistor R1 behaves as a short

circuiting device compared to Clv ( lv for low voltage). All the
current flowing through the sensor Chv ( hv for high voltage)
flows also through R2. Vs is then a measurement of that
current, which is an image of the derivative of the primary
voltage Up. At high frequencies, Clv behaves as a short
circuiting device compared to R1. All the current flowing
through Chv flows also through Clv. The sensor acts like a
voltage divider, and limits automatically the level of the
transmitted high frequency surges. This can be detailed with

R1 (Chv + Clv )


Where only two components are dedicated to the accurate

measurement: Chv, a high stability high voltage capacitor, and
R2, a high stability resistor.
The electronic hardware sensor rationalization lead us to
develop a single and unique secondary platform, called
merging-unit (MU), to interface all other substation
equipment such as protections, any metering devices and
control devices, also called Intelligent Electronic Devices
Unfortunately there was a delay of several years before an
agreement about a standard communication protocol be
established between manufacturers and users. This fact has
considerably reduced the speed of NCIT acceptance by users.
Finally, recent developments of the standardization body of
the IEC have published IEC Standard 61850 for Substation
Automation as described in the Introduction [7].
A. Standardization
The objective of this new 61850 standard is the
Interoperability between IEDs coming from various suppliers,
to enable the unrestricted exchange and usage of data to
perform their individual dedicated functionality. Many
chapters exist in this standard for interfacing several levels of
communication and in particular the chapters 8-1 and 9-2 are
respectively dedicated to defining in detail the digital
protocols between:
a) Client (mostly an HMI-Human Machine Interface) and
Server (IED), and also the Communication by GOOSE
(Generic Object Oriented Substation Events) between
IEDs; (i.e.: trip for a breaker,..).
b) The Instrument Transformers (Conventional or NonConventional) necessarily digitized in a MU and the
other IEDs like protections, meters, and others.
Because the IEC 61850-9.2 is a protocol largely open to the
future, many parameters are not well defined and subjected to
several technical choices.
For the first time in their history, ABB, AREVA,
SIEMENS, the three largest competitors in the field, decided

to write a specific "Guideline" for the use of IEC 61850-9.2,

by fixing all needed parameters with the ultimate goal of
becoming "interoperable" between the NCIT and IED of each
company. This is fundamental for Utility needs of
This guideline (called IEC 61850-9.2LE, for "Light
Edition") has been written and submitted to the UCA
International Users group [9], a group formed by several
organizations (Utilities and Vendors) specialized in solving
the various technical issues of the IEC 61850 application.
The Guideline 9.2LE has been corrected and approved and is
now the first worldwide protocol accepted by all NCIT
suppliers (text available on UCA International Users group
website to members).

Fig.8. Demonstration Panel at the IEC 2004 Exposition.

Major manufacturers today can offer a complete range of

products covering all applications, such as optical Faraday
current sensors, hybrid Rogowski coils, and voltage capacitor
solutions for both AIS and GIS technologies, as described.
B. Applications of the standard.
Sensor electronics hardware rationalization lead us to
develop a "one unique" secondary platform, called MU, to
interface all other substation equipment such as protections,
meters and control devices, all called IED, with a fundamental
utility needs: i.e. redundancy.
In the CIGRE 2004 Exposition the manufacturers
presented a demonstration made of a small substation where
several devices from different vendors were involved by using
the IEC 61850 standard for communications. We presented a
combined current-voltage NCIT for a GIS-245kV, a MergingUnit with the CVCOM-300S, a Distance protection from
AREVA Automation & Information System with a MiCOM
P444, a Bay Controller with the MiCOM C264, and a Station
Supervisor with a PC with the HMI.
We have demonstrated the global functionality by using an

Omicron simulator, able to inject various fault signals.

This incited many users in the perspective of using this
technology. In order to continue the Interoperability
demonstration, two pilot projects have been launched in 2004
with two privileged customers NGT (U.K.) and RTE
The first project is conducted with NGT on a GIL
connecting two parts of a substation. Osbaldwick is the
chosen site and the NCIT for the GIS 400 kV (T155-2) have
been installed after the successfully measurement in test
laboratory. The secondary equipment will be delivered in
mid-2005, at RTE Saumade Substation in France on a GIS
245 KV B105 Substation, and this includes an Areva
Differential Line protection and a
Siemens Distance protection, as well as
a Landys+Gyr Meter with digital input.
Here we have developed and
qualified a NCIT combined unit B105,
including Rogowski coils for current
measurements and Capacitor electronic
sensors for voltage as described above.
The secondary equipment includes
Distance Protections from Areva and
Siemens, and Landys+Gyr Meters,
showing a perfect interoperability with
the merging-unit of the NCITS.
The sensors are now completed and
are waiting for the substation
installation (figures 9 and 10).
The solution is a standalone series of
devices that measure the current and the
voltage for high voltage lines, as well as
for revenue metering application and
protection. We call them Combined
Measurement Optical sensors or CMO. Many units of the
CMO type are in service in North America from 110 kV to
550 kV.
C. Advantages of the interfaces and electronics.
The generalization of digital electronics for sensors,
protections, meters, and other devices now makes possible the
distribution of the measured values by digital communication
links. In this case the concept of burden becomes obsolete.
The new IEC Standard 61850 implements this concept.
These interfaces are called Current Voltage sensors and
COMmunication or CV-COM.
The two main advantages of the electronics technology are
in these applications:
the great linearity of the sensor,
the possibility to generate two different analogue
outputs from the CV-COM.
With appropriate ratios, we can feed easily two meters with
respect of their specified dynamic. We can, for example, rate
the output at 2000/1 A for the High meter and have an
output of 20/1 A for the Low meter. This means that we can
measure correctly between 2400 A to 1 A primary with a

secondary current of 1200 to 50 mA. We obtain a great

accuracy of 0.2 over a range of 40 to +40 C.
We have seen in this paper the applications of the Faraday
effect, the Ampere theorem, the Rogowski coil and the
Electronic voltage transformers to high voltage applications
from 72.5 kV to 800 kV. We have also outlined the new
standard IEC 61850 that was developed to take into account
these interconnections of NCIT and IED.
The advancement of optical sensors and processes
controlled by microprocessors and their reliability, means that
high reliability digital instrumentation in substation is seen as
part of the solution to safely decrease substation expenditures.
The substation digital architecture will be simplified, and
we might see a new series of applications emerging in
transmission and distribution network.

Fig. 9. RTE Saumade Substation in France on a GIS 245 KV Substation:

Secondary equipment Bay

Fig.10. Rogowski coil and voltage sensor for Saumade 245 kV Gas Insulated



D. Chatrefou, G.F. Montillet, "A series of Implementation of Optical

Sensors in High voltage Substations", 2003 IEEE PES T&D Conference
and Exposition , Dallas, Texas, September 2003.
J.P. Dupraz, G.F. Montillet, "A New Method for the Measure of Current:
Applications up to 550 kV Gas Insulated Substations", 2003 IEEE PES
T&D Conference and Exposition, Dallas, Texas, September 2003.


J.P. Dupraz, G.F. Montillet, "An Innovative Method for Voltage

Measurement: Applications up to 550 kV GIS" 2003 IEEE PES T&D
Conference and Exposition, Dallas, Texas, September 2003.
[4] J.P. Dupraz, Standardization Activities related to modern substation
equipment. Electricity 98 CEA. Conference Toronto, April 1998.
[5] IEC Instrument transformers Part 7. Electronic voltage transformer.
60044-7 (1999-12) Geneva, Switzerland.
[6] IEC Instrument transformers Part 8. Electronic current transformer.
60044-8 (2002-07) Geneva, Switzerland.
[7] IEC Communication networks and systems in substations, All parts, IEC
Standard 61850-SER, Geneva, Switzerland. 2005-01-01.
[8] D. Chatrefou, Optical Sensors Systems Workshop: ALSTOM Optical
Second EPRI Conference, Proceeding April 2000.
[9] D. Chatrefou, Optical Sensors in High Voltage Substations, Part one:
ALSTOM Products and IPP applications, & Part two: Protection
application, digital interface, EDF 420 kV Experiment. Montrouge,
France. (2001-11)
[10] ALSTOM Patent Sospi No. 93-05766(1973)
[11] UCA International Users Group, 10604 Candler Falls Court, Raleigh,
NC 27614 USA, available at:

Denis CHATREFOU was involved, first in optical
signal processing for radars at ONERA (French
Aerospace Research Centre), then he became the
technical director of the French Laser PHEBUS used for
fusion experiments at the C.E.A (French Atomic
Research Centre); work done with Livermore Laboratory
collaboration; (L.L.N.L. in California - USA). Denis
joined SCHLUMBERGER Industries in 1985 to develop
and industrialize an Optical Combined Current and
Voltage instrument for High Voltage substations. After the transfer of these
activities to ALSTOM Group in 1988, Denis has initialized a diversification of
Optical Sensor applications for electrical device monitoring, such as large
generators and power transformers. He has written many pertinent patents used
in the opto-electronic products. He received from GEC-ALTHOM the
prestigious Nelson Gold Medal award, in 1997. He became also "Senior"
Member of the French Society of Electrical Engineers; (SEE). Denis is now in
AREVA T&D Instrument Transformers, Manager of the Activity responsible of
R&D, Marketing, Commercialization and Production, of these new optical
products for monitoring and opto-electronic instrument transformers called
NCIT (Non Conventional Instrument Transformers).
Jean-Pierre DUPRAZ after working three years on
several projects dedicated to disabilities, (electronic
wheel chair, electronic hand prosthesis, etc.) he joined
ALSTOM in 1978, working on several projects
including electronic and optical instrument transformers.
In 1988, he joined ALSTOM (now AREVA T&D)
Switchgear Research Center (ARC) in Villeurbanne,
where he is the head of electronic research, as Senior
Expert. He obtained several important patents in the field of switchgear
monitoring, electronic current, voltage measurement and power apparatus. He is
a member of IEEE, High-Voltage Subcommittee, of several IEC working groups
(TC38 and TC57). Since 1998, he is a Senior Member of the French Socit des
Electriciens et Electroniciens (SEE). Author of many technical papers, he
teaches courses on EMC. He was elected an Eminent Member of CIGRE.
Georges F. Montillet (M'71, SM'03) was Executive
Vice President of GECALSTHOM T&D from 1990 to
1997, Deputy General Manager of the ALSTOM US High
Voltage Switchgear from 1997 to 2000, and was Vice
President Marketing for the US High Voltage Switchgear
AREVA T&D. He is a member of the High Voltage
Switchgear Committee, and of High-Voltage Circuit
Breakers subcommittee. He is the Chair of IEEE
Working Group PC37.06, and Webmaster of IEC TC17. He is also a member
of CIGRE and SEE.