A Linux-based, Flexible Phasor Data Concentrator Design

Now that I have finished grad school, I am posting my Master thesis on this blog since this blog is a collection of my works, even scholarly ones. At around 45 pages including front and back matter, my thesis is quite short by thesis standards, but it’s still too long to post on this blog, so I’ll only post the abstract and how it can be accessed from my grad school Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. If you don’t know what a phasor data concentrator is, that’s okay. Most people don’t know either. My thesis is a long read that’ll only interest a small number of people in the power systems area. Read on to find out the details.

A Linux-based, Flexible Phasor Data Concentrator Design

By Xinyu Tony Jiang
Adviser: Joe H. Chow


Recently, many utility companies have been installing phasor measurement units (PMUs) on their high voltage systems, and with this comes the need for phasor data concentrator (PDC) systems for processing, collecting, and retransmitting phasor data. In this thesis, we present a Linux-based PDC design called the Flexible Integrated Phasor System (FIPS) which aims to provide an open-source, robust and flexible PDC solution for utility companies.

We begin the discussion by reviewing the basic structure of phasor measurement networks, the role of PDCs within these networks, several popular phasor data transmission formats used by PMUs and PDCs, and some of the PDC solutions that are currently available. We then discuss the design and features of FIPS and how these design decisions and features make FIPS a suitable PDC system for modern phasor measurement networks. FIP’s feature and design highlights include a simple yet flexible XML-based configuration format, support for multiple phasor data transmission formats, a web-based user interface that supports multiple concurrent users, and an integrated, flat-file based storage system that allows for efficient storage and retrieval of phasor data.

Lastly, we evaluate the performance of FIPS by conducting basic performance tests on a FIPS server running on commodity server hardware. The performance tests consist of measuring CPU usage when handling a set number of input phasor data streams and measuring how long it takes for FIPS to retrieve stored phasor data. Based on the test results, we conclude that FIPS provides enough performance to serve as a PDC in a modern phasor measurement network.

Access Record of this thesis can be found in the Rensselaer Digital Collections (Search for “Tony Jiang”).
A full copy of the thesis can be requested via RPI’s inter-library loan (instructions here).

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