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EIOC at PNNL

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a synchrophasor?

Synchronized phasor measurements (synchrophasors) provide a real-time measurement of electrical quantities from across a power system. These measurements are time synchronized using GPS systems and are provided at rates up to 60 samples/second. They can be used to validate system models, measure stability margin, and maximize stable power system loading.

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Q: Who can use the EIOC?

The Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center is available for use by researchers, utilities, industry and government agencies.

Because the EIOC allows users to see what actual operators in control rooms see — voltage and power flows, and transmission and distribution lines — without the cost and risk of disrupting the system, it allows the development and integration of grid operations technology in a safe manner. Researchers, grid operators, and grid hardware and software manufacturers, together, can work through the iterative process of developing, refining and deploying technologies more quickly. Utilities interested in solving a particular operational problem or manufacturing companies testing new technologies may also use it to integrate solutions with actual data. The U.S. Department of Energy and government agencies can use the EIOC to test solutions and better understand both the benefits and limitations of technologies, readying them for deployment.

In addition, the EIOC makes an ideal environment for training electric power grid operators — either on site or remotely.

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Q: What is situational awareness?

Situational awareness gears turning
Elements that impact situational awareness

The definition of "situational awareness" (SA) in the context of power grid operation is "understanding the current environment and being able to accurately anticipate future problems to enable effective actions." We approach this definition in the context of "sensemaking," in contrast to the traditional SA approach, recognizing that both are valid and necessary approaches.

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Q: Where is the EIOC located?

Washington State map - Richland closeup
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To get to the Laboratory from the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, exit south from the airport parking area until you reach Interstate 182, then travel west toward Richland. The drive is approximately 20 minutes.

The Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center (EIOC) is located on the campus of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy research and development laboratory operated by Battelle.

The Laboratory is located about 15 minutes from the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, Washington. This airport provides direct connections to Seattle, Portland, Denver and Salt Lake.

For driving directions please contact the EIOC or call (509) 372-4700.

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