html{display:none} Wide-Area Situational Awareness | Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Wide-Area Situational Awareness

The right information at the right time.

Wide Area Situational Awareness

SEL wide-area situational awareness (WASA) systems provide operators and engineers the right information at the right time for efficient operation and analysis of the power system.

In 2002, SEL began incorporating synchrophasor technology into protective relays at no charge because of the belief that synchrophasors would become a critical component of the protection, control, and monitoring of the power system. Since then, SEL has continued to innovate, develop, and deploy synchrophasor applications around the world.

Request a Follow-Up



Request a Follow-Up

Real-Time Monitoring
Improve visibility and understanding of the power system with time-synchronized power system measurements. Understand system stress by viewing power flows and angle differences across your entire system, and detect transient behavior that is not detected with traditional SCADA systems.

Power System Model Validation
Record the system response of generator trips, load shedding, remedial action scheme (RAS) operations, or other events. Analyze the archived system responses, and compare them to power system models. Simply export system response data to external power system simulation/modeling applications.

Disturbance Monitoring
Analyze archived synchrophasor data and relay event reports together in one display for a complete disturbance monitoring solution. Easily find system disturbances and export data to CSV and COMTRADE data formats for PRC-002-2 compliance.

Renewable Energy Monitoring
Understand how the increasing amount of renewable energy being added to your grid impacts system stability, and detect new oscillatory modes that may be inadvertently introduced. System dynamics from these generation sources change quickly—too fast to see at traditional SCADA rates. Use high-resolution displays for detection and tracking of the impact of renewables on your system.

Synchrophasors Vs. Traditional SCADA

Traditional SCADA measurements update operators in the best case about once per second. More commonly, an update is provided every three to four seconds. The integration of renewable energy on the power grid is changing the fundamental operation of the power grid by inducing fast dynamics that go undetected at SCADA measurement data rates. Synchrophasors are a time-synchronized measurement that continuously streams out from the measurement device at data rates between 30 and 60 messages/second. This continuous update provides real-time and post event visibility into the effects of these new system dynamics.


Scalable Solution

The SEL WASA solution easily transitions from a local pilot setup to a system-wide deployment. Start small with locations where the communications network and synchrophasor-enabled devices are already in place. Most SEL relays include synchrophasor capability as a standard feature. As applications and need for the data grows, expand to additional locations for a more complete picture of your power system. 


Turn Protective Relays into PMUs

Most SEL relays have synchrophasor capability built in, thus significantly reducing the cost of implementing wide-area protection and situational awareness. The processing of synchrophasor data in the protective relay is isolated from the processing of the relay’s protection functions, ensuring that the critical protection of the power system is not affected by turning on the PMU functionality in the relay. Utilities around the world are leveraging SEL protection relays to provide streaming synchrophasor measurements. Will your utility be next? 

Using Relays as PMUs


WASA Architecture



Synchrophasors vs. Traditional SCADA

Synchrophasors Help Integrate Solar Generation

System Components


Visualization and Analysis Software

SEL Synchrowave Operations provides operator and engineer access to measurements across the power system, ensuring that the right information is in the right hands at the right time.


Relay Event Collection

acSELerator Team SEL-5045 Software collects relay event records from protective relays during an event and archives them so they are available the minute an operator or engineer needs to determine fault location or root cause of a disturbance.


SEL Protective Relays (PMUs)

SEL relays continuously monitor the state of the power system. Time-synchronized measurements (synchrophasors) can be streamed directly from the relay at up to 60 messages/second for continuous power system monitoring. During an event, relays also record a high-resolution event file for post event analysis that provides additional situational awareness.


GPS Satellite Clock

The SEL-2488 Satellite-Synchronized Network Clock distributes precise time to substation relays for accurate synchronization of measurements from across your power system. In case of temporary satellite lock is lost, the optional OCXO holdover accuracy is 5 µs/day.


Communications Network

The SEL ICON provides a secure wide-area communications network for data communication between substations and the central network location. SEL recommends adding encryption for the secure transfer of data.


Station Phasor Data Concentrator (PDC)

The SEL-3573 connects to any IEEE C37.118 compliant phasor measurement unit (PMU) or client that adheres to the standard, such as the SEL-3555 Real-Time Automation Controller (RTAC) or SEL Synchrowave Operations.