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Piles of Paper

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Co-Author: The Migration & Integration of Network Communications into Legacy Substations


Published March 2018, Co-Authored & Presented at the Power Energy Automation Conference (PEAC)

While todays substation engineers and operators drive the need and requirement for additional operational and non-operational data from substation equipment, the telecommunications industry is driving data communications needed within a substation, towards Ethernet-based communications networks. As a result, a transition is taking place from legacy communication channels such as leased circuits, Time Division Multiplexed Synchronous Optical NETworks (TDM SONET) multiplexers and rings, over the Ethernet packet-based wide-area networks (WANs). This paper describes the various impacts that a utility can expect between OT and IT departments, the interface to existing legacy systems, and the planning that is involved with a migration. 


James Moralez, P.E., Maxwood Solutions

Clint Struth, P.Eng., SCI Networks Inc

Co-Author: Teleprotection with MPLS Ethernet Communications – Development & Testing of Practical Installations


Published October 2017, Co-Authored & Presented at Western Power Relay Conference (WPRC) - Oct 2017, 2017 Grid of the Future Symposium (CIGRE) - Oct 2017, DistribuTech Conference - Jan 2018, Texas A&M Protective Relaying Conference - Feb 2018, Georgia Tech Protective Relaying Conference

This paper describes the technical requirements developed by SDG&E for critical transmission high voltage teleprotection applications and provides a high-level comparison of SONET versus MPLS Ethernet communications. The paper also covers laboratory testing approach, test results of the MPLS proposed solution, and redundancy considerations. This paper also includes impact on protection scheme due to channel asymmetry, latency, failover, channel availability, and tools available for MPLS monitoring the communication link for troubleshooting and analysis.



James Moralez, P.E. 

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Author: Security Within an Insecure Utility Industry

Published April 2010, Presented at the Western Power Automation Conference (WPDAC)

The electric utility industry has worked for years to achieve a more open communication architecture within their substation electrical design. Then, seemingly overnight, the industry weas forced to prepare for potential terrorist attacks towards its utility system. As a result, both vendors and utilities have scrambled to provide a solution to create secure electric utility substation physical security perimeter protection (PSP) and electronic security perimeter protections (ESP) systems, while at the same time trying to meet what seems to be vague direction from existing policies and other resources normally used. Unfortunately, determining the threats and vulnerabilities of a system, along with determining how secure is “secure,” has made it difficult to determine and provide the right security solution for most electric utilities. As a result, the utility industry is seeking to find direction in the midst of hype, fear, return on investment, and the regulatory pressures that are no placed upon it.



James Moralez, P.E. 

Author: Utilities in the IT World

Published April 2010, Presented April 2010 Western Delivery Automation Conference

The IT world is relatively new compared to the long existence of the Electric Utility Industry. The IT industry, however, has quickly developed to such a high degree that today’s electric utilities have found themselves unexpectedly immersed into a new paradigm where they have to adapt quickly to newer network-based equipment and applications which have been merged into their existing utility systems. Today’s newer utility equipment and systems not only require a new communication transport system and infrastructure in order to operate at their full potential, but they also require new innovative solutions to the problems incurred when integrating new technology with existing utility equipment. As a result of the emerging technology, unfortunate clashes have occurred between the engineering and IT groups within the same utility company, while both groups try to determine the right path and direction for the same project or system. As a result, vendors, utility engineers, and management need to take a new approach to define problems, develop solutions, and work closer than ever with the IT groups in their utility in order to achieve positive results by embracing and integrating new technology into their utility system. 


James Moralez, P.E.

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