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Arteche Algorithms and their Application in the es-

timation of states in smart grid

Venkat Narayan* Alexis Martínez del Sol** Jorge Javier Mier García** Gabriel Becerril**

*President Netzconsult Ingenieure **Grupo Arteche

Dünnistrasse 10 CH-8962 Bergdietikon Derio Bidea 28 48100 Mungia,Tel:+3494 60112001
Tel.: +41 44 741 76 58

This paper presents four (4) practical rules for the prelim-
Abstract: The paper presents several practical criteria for select- inary determination of the type and the number as well as the
ing the types, number, and optimal location of measuring location of the measuring units; new algorithms are then
equipment for collecting real time data with required accuracy
for the state estimation as demanded by the SCADA systems
presented, which enable optimization of the data to obtain
used in the automation of distribution systems. It also suggests a results within acceptable limits.
method for detection and elimination of possible errors in the
telemetric data. The algorithms presented are easy to imple- At this stage it is well to recall that for this type of studies,
ment computationally and guarantee the correct operation of there are no known and recognized standards available re-
state estimators within acceptable economic constraints. The commending the applicable level of accuracies. For this
application of the proposed algorithms is also illustrated by an reason, the recommendations of [2] for the different automa-
example chosen from a real network. tion functions implemented in the distribution systems (in %
of respective magnitudes of interest) are applied.
Index Terms: Algorithms, Automation, Indexes, Measurement
units, Measurement errors, Optimization methods, Power Dis-
tribution Control, State Estimation • 5-8 % deviations for the reconfiguration of the network,
and for service restoration.
I. INTRODUCTION • 10-12 % deviations for Voltage and Var control, Power
factor control
The real time data sent by the measuring equipment at • 11-18 % for load balance, load management, etc.
remote locations, as coordinated by the SCADA systems
constitute the starting point for any of the functions of distri- The results obtained are similar to those obtained by [3] in
bution systems and in particular, for the state estimator. Al- an analysis of a similar network and allows the following
though technically an ideal solution, it is not economically conclusions:
justified to equip every distribution transformer with measur-
ing instruments; however, greater the number of measure- • Generally, greater the number of measurements in real
ments available more accurate will be the results as calcu- time, more precise is the result, as evidenced by a re-
lated by the state estimator. duction in the deviations; this is as to be expected.
• The results for the voltages are a little better than in the
Specifically, the problem to be solved is: Given a net- case of load flow.
work, the type and the minimum number as well as the op- • The substitution of the load flows (active power) by the
timal location of the measuring units are to be determined so voltages at the nodes leads only to small variations of
as to guarantee the accuracy of the state estimators. The the results (degraded); this suggests that whenever poss-
complexity of the problem is the result of the enormous ible, voltage measurements can be used instead of load
number of possible combinations of the location of the mea- flow calculations to obtain more economical results.
suring equipment as well as the contradictory requirements
between the possible accuracy and the total cost of the mea- II. METHODS FOR PRELIMINARY DE-
suring system. For this reason, majority of the investigations
presented until now have been based on empirical rules
based on observations or experimental studies [1,2]. LOCATION OF MEASURING EQUIPMENT

Given the complexities of this problem, it is not the inten-

tion of this paper to present a rigorous solution as developed
for the transmission networks [4], but to apply a heuristic
approach based on the following observations [1]:
1. Since the precision required depends upon the automa- D. Rule 4
tion functions implemented, it is not essential to deter-
mine all the values at all points with the same accuracy. When economic restrictions impose a fixed number of
For example, the power flows at points of sectionaliza- measurement equipment and you wish to install them at
tions should be determined more precisely than those at those critical nodes with a given precision for one of the
other points or individual loads. However, for the im- magnitudes of interest the algorithm defined in the Fig. 1 can
portant automation functions such as optimal network be used. In the following a first algorithm is shown for the
reconfiguration, it is necessary to obtain more precise case where a fixed number of measuring equipment is given
values at the points, where the circuit breakers or rec- to be located. We start with an initial tolerance value, the
losers are installed than those at the locations of capaci- number of measuring equipment available as well as the
tor banks, installed for voltage and var control and even number of nodes in the circuit.
less at other points. Hence, locating the measuring
equipment at the points where circuit breakers, reclos- At the end, we will have the available equipment installed
ers and sectionalizing switches are installed is always a at the critical nodes (of less precision or higher σi ) and de-
good recommendation. pending upon the number of measuring equipment the total
2. The state estimator uses the measurements for “correct- precision will be better or worse with respect to the initial
ing” the errors in load values at specific zones. There- value; in exceptional cases, the final value will be the same
fore, locating the measuring equipment in such a way as initial value.
that the power supply region is divided into zones
(called measurement zones) with similar total loads, Start
will ensure that the load model will be more uniform as
regards precision. It is obvious that for a particular
CTol : Total permissible deviations in the
measurement zone there will be less load, but with a magnitudes of interest.
more precise estimation. M : No. of measurements to be located
3. Because of economic considerations, the majority of N : Total number of nodes
real time measurements will be voltages at the nodes or
line currents instead of power flows except at the power
supply substation.
Based on the above observations, we have developed a set
of rules which can be used for selecting the preliminary loca-
tions of measuring equipment. Calculate for the magnitudes
of interest the deviations σi
and sort them in descending
A. Rule 1: k=k+1

At locations where main circuit breakers and / or fuses are Locate Meas. at
installed voltages are measured. At the head substation the node i i =1
measurement should be power flows, in other cases mea-
surement of currents will be sufficient. This will enhance the
accuracy of reconfiguration and restoration of power supply k≤M
σi > CTol
B. Rule 2: No
i = i+1
Along the power supply sections defined by the measur- ΔCTol
ing equipment into zones of similar total loads and of similar No
magnitude: These measurements could be of the type “cur- i=N
rent”; they will enhance the accuracy of the load model.

C. Rule 3: yea

k<M CTol=CTol-
At the locations with normally open circuit breakers the
measurement can be voltages. It is recommended to take No
these measurements at both sides of the circuit breakers (op- End
posite line ends) since this will enhance the precision of
monitoring and voltage / var control functions from the subs- FIG.1. Algorithm for the location of a fixed number of mea-
tation or from the load dispatch center. In addition, this will suring equipment.
improve the accuracy of the state estimator, once the circuit
breakers or reclosers are closed following a reconfiguration
or restoration.

The proposed algorithm above (basic or metering

schemes) is a good compromise between precision and com-
putational simplicity. The method selects the number, the
type and the location of measuring equipment for a good
precision, however, without optimizing the process from the
points of view of precision vs. cost.

The recommendations regarding the levels of precision

imply that only at those points where circuit breakers or
sectionalizing switches are installed, high precision is neces-
sary; hence, it would be difficult to justify installing all the
measuring equipment as suggested by the basic algorithm.
For elimination of some of the measuring equipment of the
basic algorithm to minimize the number of equipment the
method of Koglin [2] is applied: It consists of eliminating
these in an orderly way. Its high efficiency results from eli-
minating the equipment one by one, based on their “contribu-
tion” to the precision of the magnitudes estimated and taking
into account other variables of interest.

For a set of variables of interest X, with its associated

deviations σi, where i = 1…k, a scheme z with a set Zo with
m measuring equipment is considered and the rules method
applied. Then the precision index of the system is defined as:
I ( z ) = ∑ σ i2 ( z ) (1)
i =1

The Index (Io) is calculated for the actual system and is

used for eliminating the measuring equipment one by one
as explained below:

• After eliminating one measurand from the set Zo the

magnitudes of interest and their variance are esti-
mated and the resulting index I(z) is calculated; the
procedure is repeated eliminating the measurands one FIG. 2 Algorithm for elimination of measuring equipment
by one and calculating the resultant I(z). At each itera-
tion only one measurand is eliminated at a time. From The basic method offers the best precision, but leads some
the calculated I1 …Im the measurement whose remov- times to unacceptable high costs. Elimination of one measu-
al leads to an index Ix nearest to Io is then eliminated. rand leads to a cost reduction, but at the same time the preci-
• With the new set of measuring equipment the process sion is sacrificed, since the deviations will increase. The
is repeated for removing a second measurement of the procedure is continued to arrive at an acceptable compromise
scheme z, then a third and thus until all the m mea- between cost and precision, which is the objective of this
surements are eliminated, leaving only very vital study. This process of elimination is illustrated by a practical
measurands such as those at the supply station.. example of a real network.
• A plot of precision index vs. number of measurements
• The measurements at or near the asymptote part of the ERRORS IN MEASUREMENT
curve are eliminated as well as others with minor ef-
fect on the index to respect the imposed economic The real time telemetering equipment used in the SCADA
considerations. This results in the minimum number systems for the automation of electrical networks are gener-
of measuring equipment necessary for a technical and ally reliable, but not all are free from errors. These errors can
economic solution of the problem. result from several sources, as high lighted by Merrit [5],
such as the errors associated with the measuring equipment,
The algorithm for this method is illustrated in Fig. 2. the different IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices) used as
well as those arising from the data transmission channels.
For transmission system sufficiently adequate methods TABLE 1
exist for detecting and eliminating the measurement errors
[6], all employing redundant measurements for checks, veri- Precision index and the order of elimination of measuring equipment
fication and comparison as well as initial data filtering.
Index 1.05 1.1 1.12 2.44 5.67 11.4 20.5 33.5
In the case of distribution systems, there are very little 7 1 5 3 6 4 2 0
studies on this subject. The difficulty remains in the absence
of the above mentioned redundancy and any proposal of
duplicating the measuring equipment will lead to unaccepta-
ble additional costs.

General criteria, which can help to detect and filter out

possible errors of measurement heuristically, are suggested

1. At the substation, measurements both on the high

and low voltage sides should be foreseen; thus the
measurements on the load side can be estimated bet-
ter. This is justified by the vital importance of the
required precision of these data for all the algo-
rithms described in this paper.
2. For possible measurements at particular points in
the network, historical data under similar conditions
can be used to reach our objective.

FIG. 4 Influence of measurands on Precision index
Taking the network shown in Fig. 3, the number, type and
location of measurements are determined and then the graph As can be seen from Fig. 4 the measurands m7 m1 and m5
of precision index vs. number of measurement equipment is are practically unnecessary since their contribution to the
plotted. overall precision index is negligible. We can continue to
eliminate m3, m6, etc. in the same order as in the above Fig. 4
sacrificing the precision until permissible cost level is

The three graphs presented below correspond to three

scenarios of operation of the network. The results calculated
by the state estimator in each case confirm the accuracy of
the proposed algorithm for elimination of measuring equip-

FIG. 3 Single line diagram of an actual network

FIG. 5 Estimated node voltages only with measurement m0
Here, m0, m1, m4, m5, m6, and m7 are located according to
rule 1; m2 and m3 as per rule 2.
2. The results of the voltages are generally more precise
than those of power flows.
3. The substitution of power flows by node voltages lead to
only small variations (degraded); this suggests that vol-
tage measurements can be used, which are more eco-
nomical, instead of power flows, whenever possible.
4. Tests made with these algorithms on real actual net-
works convincingly confirm their simplicity in computa-
tion, their effectiveness as well as the potential for their
future applications.

[1] Baran, M.E., and Kelley, A.W., “State Estimation Method For
Distribution Systems”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol.9,
Fig.#6. Estimated node voltages with all the measuring No. 3, Aug. 1994,pp.1601-1609.
equipment present [2] Brian Mc.D., “General Method for Optimal Measuring System for
Distribution Automation”, Procedings PSCC Conference, Paper No:
03-11, Oct. 1999
[3] Li, K., “State Estimation For Power Distribution System and
Measurement Impacts”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol.
11, No. 2, May. 1996, pp. 911-916
[4] Baran E.M., Zhu, H, y ICE. Garren, A “Meter Placement Method for
State Estimation” paper presented at the” IEEE PES Winter Meeting,
Feb. 1995, paper no 218-8 PWRS.
[5] Merrit, H.M. and Schweppe, F.C., “Bad data suppression in power
system static state estimation”, IEEE Transactions on Power Appara-
tus and Systems, Vol. 90, No. 2, 1981, pp. 2718-2725
[6] Larson, R.E., W.F., and Peschon, J., “State Estimation in Power
Systems Part I: Theory and Feasibility,” IEEE Transactions on
Power apparatus and Systems, Vol. 89, N0. 3, Mar. 1970, pp. 345-352.


Alexis Martínez del Sol was born in Cienfuegos

Cuba in 1964. He received his degree Doctor es
science from the Central Technical University of
Fig. # 7. Estimated node voltages with measuring equipment Las Villas, Cuba in 1997. During 1987 – 1997 he
m7, m1 and m5 eliminated worked as an Assistant professor at the Faculty of
Electrical Engineering of the Central University of
Legend: Las Villas. There he was the chief of the depart-
ment and a member of Scientific Council.
Estimated values
From 1999 he acted as titular C professor (research) at the Departemento de
± Standard deviations Ingeneniera Mecánica Eléctrica of the University of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Since 2005 he works as Chief Project Manager at the company Arteche,
The very little influence of m7, m1 and m3 on the preci- Measurements and Technology S.A. The areas of his research interests
sion index is evident from the above graphs. It is to be noted include analysis of operation, control and protection of electrical power
systems as well as soft ware development for applications. He is a member
that this method involves rather a large number of calcula- of National Council of Researchers (Level 1).
tions. For example, in a system where m measuring equip-
ment are foreseen by the rules, m*(m+1)/2 repetitions of Jorge Javier Mier García was born in Báaez,
state estimation and auxiliary calculations of the indices are Placetas, Cuba. He received his degree Doctor es
Sciences in 2005 from the Central University of
necessary before arriving at end results. However, this effort Las Villas, Cuba. During 1988 – 2005 he was
is justified, since all these calculations have to be done only Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Electrical
once during the engineering phase of the project. This me- Engineering of the Central University of Las
thod is not only valid for a system of real time measurements Villas. He was also a member of the National
Scientific Tribunal.
for the state estimator, but can also be used for the whole
Since 2006 he is working as Design Engineer with Arteche, Measurements
distribution automation systems. and technology S.A. His areas of research interests include analysis of
operation, control and protection of electrical power systems as well as
VI. CONCLUSIONS development of soft ware for applications.

1. Generally, when more real time measurements are avail-

able, the precision of results will be higher, as can be
seen from a reduction of the deviations.
Venkat Narayan (SM 04588000) was born in
India. He graduated from Indian Institute of
Science Bangalore with a Masters degree in
Electrical Power Engineering. After a few years
of training at EdF and French industries, he
worked for several years with BBC Brown Boveri
& Cie, AG, (ABB) Switzerland in the fields of
power system protection, control & automation in
various positions

He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of CIGRE, ElectroSuisse and

Swiss Engineering. Since 1995 he is president of NetzConsult Ingenieure,
consulting Industries and Power Utilities. His interests include power system
protection, control & automation as well as marketing and management.

Gabriel Becerril, was born in Mexico, DF. He

graduated from Instituto Politecnico Nacional as
Control Engineer and received his Master Degree
on Project Management on 2009. During 1995 –
2002 he was working for CFE CPTT as Designer
Engineer of substations with voltage up to 400 kV.
He was also a member of the ISA and IEEE.

Since 2002 he is working as Product Manager of Equipment for Distribution

Automation at Arteche. His areas of interests include distribution
automation, power system protection, control & automation as well as
marketing and management.