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Optimal Placement of PMU

Nov 24, 2010 at 12:09 AM

Hi folks,

I am Gradute student of Electrical Engineering.

I am interested in learning PMUs.

The following questions stroked in my mind:

1).Where are the PMUs exactly placed in the power system?

2).What are the advantages and disadvantages of current PMU placement method?

3).Is there any method for Optimum placement of PMU?

4).How can the PMU be simulated?


*waiting for ur reply folks....

Nov 24, 2010 at 4:23 AM

The following excellent document, posted by NASPI after Nov 9, 2010, addresses most of your questions:

Real-Time Application of Synchrophasors for Improving [Oct 17, 2010]

The following PMU Simulator is posted in the NASPI Phasor Tools Repository.  The second link is a document describing how the ALSTOM Grid PMU Simulator was used.

ALSTOM Grid Research & Technology PMU Simulator


Nov 24, 2010 at 6:56 AM

1).Where are the PMUs exactly placed in the power system?

It depends on what is the purpose one places the PMUs. Generally, it can be frequency/Angle measurment to be compared with remote PMUs in other power systems - then it shall be placed in "stable" point of your system, near largest generation, then, precise peasurments of primary values U, I, P, Q also f for internal usage and exchange of information with neighbours mostly in form of files - then the border substations/lines are interesting, then, it can be stability/thermal monitoring - this leads to placent on most loaded branches, also, today's decisions may be a part of a long term strategy of total visibility.

4).How can the PMU be simulated?

As an alternative to ready made simulator, one can write a simulator himself. It's entertaining and really not so hard. Some kind of C compiler (gcc, old good borland suite etc), C37.118 protocol description and the excellent PMU connection tester available from this project - to watch the output.

Nov 24, 2010 at 11:11 PM


For question 1, the Research Initiatives Task Team of NASPI is preparing a white paper on ""Guidelines for Siting of Dynamic Measurement and Recording Units", it will probably be released in the next NASPI meeting.

As said above, placement depends technically on the application for which the PMUs are going to be used.

But reality is bleak, and most of the approaches reported in papers do not consider the reality of the industry leaving aside the consideration of availability of communications at the substation, regulations, crew scheduling for installation, etc.

I say this because no matter how technically sound the approach is in a paper, in reality issues like scheduling the installation would be driven by other motivations. For example, in a Nordic country they are taking the approach that whenever there is maintenance or refurbishing of a substation, PMUs are placed. As you see here, it might not be a matter of technical, or economical constraints, but of scheduling and human resources.

Nevertheless, the following papers can be a good place to look for scientific placement approaches:

[3-10] T. Baldwin, L. Mili, J. Boisen, M.B., and R. Adapa, “Power system observability with minimal phasor measurement placement,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 707–715, May 1993.

[3-11] B. Xu and A. Abur, “Observability analysis and measurement placement for systems with PMUs,” in IEEE PES Power Systems Conference and Exposition, vol. 2, Oct. 2004, pp. 943–946.

[3-12] R. Nuqui and A. Phadke, “Phasor measurement unit placement techniques for complete and incomplete observability,” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 2381–2388, Oct. 2005. 

[3-13] R. Emami, A. Abur, and F. Galvan, “Optimal Placement of Phasor Measurements for Enhanced State Estimation: A Case Study,”in16thPower Systems Computation Conference (PSCC), July 2008, pp. 1–6.

[3-14] R. Emami and A. Abur, “Reliable Placement of Synchronized Phasor Measurements on Network Branches,” IEEE PES Power Systems Conference and Exposition, March. 2009. 

[3-15] J. Chen and A. Abur, “Placement of PMUs to enable bad data detection in state estimation,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 21, no. 4,pp. 1608–1615, Nov. 2006.

[3-18] L. Vanfretti, J. H. Chow, S. Sarawgi, and B. Fardanesh, “A Phasor-Data Based State Estimator Incorporating Phase Bias Correction,” accepted for future publication, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, 2010.

[3-19] B. Milosevic and M. Begovic, “Non dominated sorting genetic algorithm for optimal phasor measurement placement,” IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting 2003, vol.2, 13-17 July 2003

[3-20] R. Chawasak, P. Suttichai, U. Sermsak Uatrongjit, and N.R. Watson, “An Optimal PMU Placement Method Against Measurement Loss and Branch Outage,” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol.22, no.1, pp.101-107, Jan. 2007

[3-21] S. Chakrabarti and E. Kyriakides, "Optimal Placement of Phasor Measurement Units for Power System Observability," IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol.23, no.3, pp.1433-1440, Aug. 2008

[3-22] S. Chakrabarti, E. Kyriakides, and D.G. Eliades, "Placement of Synchronized Measurements for Power System Observability," IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol.24, no.1, pp.12-19, Jan. 2009

[3-23] G. B. Denegri, M. Invernizzi, and F. Milano, “A Security Oriented Approach to PMU positioning for Advanced Monitoring of Transmission Grid,” International Conference on Power System Technology PowerCon 2002, Kunming, China, October 2002.



Nov 25, 2010 at 11:41 PM

@above all.... Thank you folks.....


I can't find the software Gcc, borland suite.....

where can i download those software.....




Thank you

Nov 26, 2010 at 1:03 AM

With regards to programming your own simulator with free software development tools, I would suggest using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express C# (free) as you will be able to take advantage of some of the excellent code examples in the openPDC source code and TVA Library.  MS VS Express may not be appropriate for trying to build the entire openPDC software from source code; however, it is perfectly adequate for creating your own utility programs like a PMU simulator and facilitates browsing, cutting, and pasting code from the openPDC and TVA Library source code files.  Visual Studio 2010 Express can be downloaded from the following URL:

GCC will be more of a challenge for you, considering you asked where to get it.  If you are running LINUX, it is probably already installed with your operating system.  If you want to run GCC in Windows, you'll need to install some operating system extensions like Cygwin or MinGW.  The following are URLs for GCC and the Windows platform:   and

Are you interested in performing real data experiments or just simulations?


Nov 26, 2010 at 2:58 AM

Hi Arnold,


I am doin a project on Optimal PMU placement.... for that i need to simulate PMU... 

do u hav a better idea regardin this project...


Thank you....



Nov 26, 2010 at 1:31 PM
Edited Nov 27, 2010 at 2:12 PM

I am certainly no authority on the subject. I am an electronics technology student and my project is designing and building an inexpensive PMU. The PMUs I am building are more for use in laboratory experiments than for industrial control. As an electronics student (peer), I can sympathize with your efforts toward completing your project.

Feel free to contact me off list for a detailed exchange of feedback for your project; which is outside the scope of the openPDC project.


Dec 17, 2010 at 5:28 PM

NASPI RITT white paper draft:  "Guidelines for Siting of Dynamic Measurement and Recording Units"

Just a follow-up.  The NASPI Research Initiatives Task Team (RITT) has a Nov 17 draft white paper for work in progress related to PMU placement.

For a copy of the white paper or updates to it, contact Research Initiatives Task Team through the web site.