Performance evaluation of MPLS-enabled communications infrastructure for wide area monitoring systems

In order to obtain the transient power system measurement information, Wide Area Monitoring Systems (WAMS) should be able to collect Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) data in a timely manner. Therefore along with the continual deployment of PMUs in Great Britain (GB) transmission system substations, a high performance communications infrastructure is becoming essential with regard to the establishment of reliable WAMS. This paper focuses mainly on evaluating the performance of the real-time WAMS communication infrastructure when Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) capability is added to a conventional IP network.

Furthermore, PMU communications from geographically distributed substations to a Phasor Data Concentrator (PDC) are investigated over different transport protocols. Using OPNET Modeler, simulations are performed based on the existing WAMS infrastructure as installed on the GB transmission system. The simulation results are analyzed in detail in order to fully determine the different characteristics of communication delays between PMUs and PDC.