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Solving Complex Feeder Protection Challenges and Reducing Wildfire Risks with Remote Measurements

By February 10, 2023June 20th, 2023No Comments

This webinar was originally held on March 7, 2023, and is now available for on demand viewing. 

Duration: 1 hour
Sponsor: Synaptec

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Today’s distribution and subtransmission networks are becoming more complex with the increase in electrification of heat and transport and an ever-increasing reliance electricity in general. Reforestation and housing development that encroaches on fire-prone areas is raising the risk of wildfires being caused by overhead power lines, challenging operators to look at innovative ways to manage this risk cost-effectively. Preventative outages, sensitive but unselective tripping, and inhibiting autoreclosing when the weather conditions elevate the fire risk are some of the stopgaps used today to mitigate the risks associated with wildfires, whereas more permanent solutions can be extremely costly and complex to implement or maintain.

In this webinar, we will be discussing this challenge and will propose a comprehensive cost-effective approach to solving protection challenges for complex distribution and subtransmission feeders, including the significant risk of wildfires caused by power lines. The approach that will be presented is not based on marginal improvements to time overcurrent protection or heuristic methods of detecting high-impedance faults and downed conductors, nor is it based on using private-band radios or public communications such as cellular networks. Instead, the approach is based on transmission-grade protection principles made possible through a novel technology of remotely and passively measuring currents and voltages at locations distributed along the feeder.

Synaptec’s technology experts will be joined by Bogdan Kasztenny from SEL Inc. and Prof. Campbell Booth from the University of Strathclyde to discuss these growing challenges, and how this distributed, passive instrumentation technique is already being deployed to address a range of challenges in the protection and monitoring of complex networks.


Saul Matthews
Head of Commercial Development
Saul Matthews is Head of Commercial Development at Synaptec, a specialist power systems instrumentation company based in Glasgow. Prior to this Saul has spent over 28 years managing growth in global sales and marketing roles, leading new technology adoption in both consumer and enterprise markets.

Saul has lived and worked in several countries across the semiconductor, mass storage, telecoms, mobile and mac markets and led mass adoption of technologies such as SSD (solid-state drives), Bluetooth, and Skype. Saul is again driving new technology adoption with Synaptec, providing distributed sensor systems to power utilities to reduce cost and increase reliability for providers and consumers of electrical power.

Prof. Campbell Booth
Applications Director
Campbell is a co-founder of Synaptec and Professor and Head of Department for Electronic & Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. He has built a portfolio of research in the areas of power system protection, control and monitoring, working with government and industrial funding partners, and leads the technical team of the Power Network Demonstration Centre in Scotland.

He is on the organising committees of the IET DPSP and PACWorld conferences, participates in various CIGRE working groups, and has published over 150 articles, engineering recommendations, white papers and several book chapters. He possesses a strong understanding of the industry’s challenges which enables him to identify the key problems for which Synaptec’s technology is uniquely placed to offer a solution.

Dr. Bogdan Kasztenny
Power System Protection Engineer,
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL)

and Strategic Advisor, 
Bogdan Kasztenny has over 30 years of experience in power system protection and control. In the 1990s, during his decade-long academic career, Dr. Kasztenny taught power system and digital signal processing courses at several universities and conducted applied research for several relay manufacturers. In 1999, Bogdan left academia for relay manufacturers where he has since designed, applied, and supported protection, control, and fault-locating products with their global installed base counted in thousands of installations.

Bogdan is an IEEE Fellow, a Senior Fulbright Fellow, a Distinguished CIGRE Member, an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, and a registered professional engineer in the province of Ontario. Bogdan earned both the Ph.D. (1992) and D.Sc. (Dr. habil., 2019) degrees, has authored over 220 technical papers, and holds over 60 U.S. patents.

Dr. Steven Blair
Head of Power Systems Technologies

Steven Blair leads Synaptec’s software and data analytics team. He holds a PhD in Electronic & Electrical Engineering and an MEng in Computer & Electronic Systems from the University of Strathclyde, UK. He has been both a researcher and academic at the University of Strathclyde, including holding the Nokia lectureship position. He is very experienced in power system protection, power quality, data analysis, and real-time systems. Steven is a member of IEC TC57 Working Group 10 which manages the IEC 61850 standards.

Dr. Neil Gordon
Head of Sensor Technologies 
Dr Gordon is Synaptec’s Head of Sensor Technologies, overseeing the development of our sensors and associated systems. He concluded his award-winning doctoral work in 2015 on photonic engineering as part of the international team that successfully detected gravitational waves for the first time, and joined Synaptec shortly afterwards. Neil leads our team of experienced engineers and physicists in the design and manufacture of our sensing technologies.

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