Ingram, David, Schaub, Pascal, Campbell, Duncan, & Taylor, Richard (2013) Quantitative assessment of fault tolerant precision timing for electricity substations. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 62(10), pp. 2694-2703.
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Advanced substation applications, such as synchrophasors and IEC 61850-9-2 sampled value process buses, depend upon highly accurate synchronizing signals for correct operation. The IEEE 1588 Precision Timing Protocol (PTP) is the recommended means of providing precise timing for future substations. This paper presents a quantitative assessment of PTP reliability using Fault Tree Analysis. Two network topologies are proposed that use grandmaster clocks with dual network connections and take advantage of the Best Master Clock Algorithm (BMCA) from IEEE 1588. The cross-connected grandmaster topology doubles reliability, and the addition of a shared third grandmaster gives a nine-fold improvement over duplicated grandmasters. The performance of BMCA mediated handover of the grandmaster role during contingencies in the timing system was evaluated experimentally. The 1 µs performance requirement of sampled values and synchrophasors are met, even during network or GPS antenna outages. Slave clocks are shown to synchronize to the backup grandmaster in response to degraded performance or loss of the main grandmaster. Slave disturbances are less than 350 ns provided the grandmaster reference clocks are not offset from one another. A clear understanding of PTP reliability and the factors that affect availability will encourage the adoption of PTP for substation time synchronization.