Grid protection software provides unified digital model

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

American Electric Power is using the PSS CAPE grid software from Siemens for highly detailed protection simulation. Software interoperability allows AEP to seamlessly synchronize and exchange model data across planning, operations, and protection.

This allows sustainable integration of decentralized inverter-based renewable energy resources to the grid.

Siemens will replace the existing protection simulation operation software at AEP, the largest transmission grid operator in the US with over 40,000 miles of transmission lines. As grid planning and operations becomes more complex, traditional, siloed manual practices for sharing model data across departments are no longer works. AEP is creating a unified digital model of its entire transmission network, called T-Nexus, consisting of one common network model that all departments work from to ensure reliable planning, operation, and protection of the power grid. 

All departments work with this common grid model to ensure reliable planning, operation and protection of the power grid. As a result, more additional renewable energy sources can be quickly integrated into the power grid. At the same time, AEP can react more quickly to scenarios that endanger the stability of the network.

This allows AEP to run more complex protection simulations and optimize day-to-day protection tasks, all with an up-to-date accurate model. This will help accelerate the adoption of changes to the energy grid, including the increase of inverter-based renewable energy resources.

“This works to break down data barriers across three traditionally separate utility departments – planning, protection, and operations,” said Sabine Erlinghagen, CEO of Siemens Grid Software. “By leveraging a complete digital model of the physical grid, AEP can quickly adapt to grid changes while increasing renewable capacity efficiently, safely, and reliably. This is the reason we have launched the grid software suite to enable utilities to better manage the increasing complexity of power grids and most importantly, to keep the grids stable.”

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