Application of MPLS-TP for transporting power system protection data

Steven M. Blair, Campbell D. Booth, Jurgen Michielsen, Nilesh Joshi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Power utilities are increasingly dependent on the use of communications networks. These networks are evolving to be packet-based, rather than using conventional Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM) technologies. Transporting current differential protection traffic over a packet network is especially challenging, due to the safety-critical nature of protection, the strict requirements for low delay and low asymmetrical delay, and the extensive use of legacy TDM-based protocols.
This paper highlights the key technical characteristics of Multi-Protocol Label Switching-Transport Profile (MPLS-TP), and demonstrates its application for transporting current differential protection traffic. A real-time hardware-in-the-loop testing approach has been used to thoroughly validate the technologies in various configurations. It is demonstrated that MPLS-TP technologies can meet the requirements of current differential protection and other, less critical applications. In particular, it is shown that delay and asymmetrical delay can be controlled through the inherent use of bi-directional paths---even when “hitless” link redundancy is configured. The importance of appropriate traffic engineering, clocking schemes, circuit emulation methods is also demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Aug 2016
EventIEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications - Four Points Hotel, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 6 Nov 20169 Nov 2016


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications
Abbreviated titleSmartGridComm
Internet address


  • power system protection
  • time synchronization
  • wide-area communications
  • Multi-Protocol Label Switching-Transport Profile
  • packet network
  • f current differential protection


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