Alarm Processing in Support of Operators of Power Systems

N.M. Avouris, D.D. Semitekos, and D. Halvatzaras


Alarm processing, intelligent system, human-computer interaction, operator support, transmission and generation network supervision and control


Despite today’s increased use of automation, human operators still play a significant role in modern energy management systems. However, the operators’ tasks tend to become harder as the complexity of the system increases. For instance, under fault conditions, the operators are overloaded by alarm messages generated by the system. In this context the operators require some kind of assistance. This article considers an alarm processing system in support of the operators of a large control centre. The developed system, called Expert Alarm Processor for Energy Networks (EXPAPEN), is a knowledge-based system with real-time performance characteristics that comprises two modules. The first module acts quickly on the incoming message stream and has a permanent effect on the alarm messages, and the second, which involves more complex reasoning, relates the messages to the network topology. Consequently, the system operator is presented with fewer messages of increased semantic content, while access to the raw messages is still maintained. The process of building the system, its architecture, functional characteristics, and its performance during experimental use are presented. Methodological issues concerning the design of intelligent applications for the power industry are also discussed.

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