CIGRE UK NGN Training Session| Substation Fundamentals: Secondary Systems | Review & Presentations

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  • 6th February 2024
NGN B3 Tutorial

The CIGRE UK NGN is delighted to share a review of the recent successful Training Session on Substation Fundamentals: Secondary Systems, held on Tuesday, 12th March 2024. The event, hosted at GE’s offices in Stafford, was a full-day affair packed with insightful content and an exclusive tour. In the morning, some of the participants gathered at Stafford train station. After a short chat, the participants travelled to GE in taxis arranged by the NGN Committee.


After registration and a short networking session, John Wright gave a short and warm welcome to GE. After his introduction, Ryan Murphy introduced the agenda of the event. The training session, delivered by John Finn, featured two comprehensive modules based on the CIGRE B3 Substation Green Book. Attendees explored topics such as:

  1. LVAC and DC Auxiliary Supply Systems
  2. Protection System Roles and Fault Detection

The sessions were both informative and interactive, providing attendees with a deep understanding of substation secondary systems.  Quiz sessions every one hour increased the engagement of all attendees during the workshop. After the first module at lunch, all participants had the opportunity to tour GE’s customer experience centre and development area. There’s no doubt that this tour was one of the highlights of the day.

This event was a testament to CIGRE UK’s commitment to continuous learning and development within the energy sector. We extend our gratitude to all the attendees. CIGRE UK provides plenty of opportunities for academic and industry, including staff and students. It holds great potential for both professional and academic advancement. Stay tuned for more CIGRE UK events, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for our upcoming technical webinars and workshops. Together, we’re powering a brighter, more knowledgeable future in energy!

By joining CIGRE, you’ll find the connections, knowledge, and confidence you need to advance your career, with the opportunity to learn from experts and discuss real-world challenges with industry leaders. Network with like-minded professionals, share papers, or collaborate on technical innovations. You could even develop into one of tomorrow’s industry leaders with smart, creative, or even disruptive ideas… because the Grid needs new approaches!


Module overview:

Secondary Systems Module 1: click to download presentation – Secondary Systems – Module 1

This module begins by defining secondary systems and looking generally at the environmental, operation and maintenance, economic and ergonomic requirements and electromagnetic compatibility. The first systems considered are the LVAC and DC auxiliary supply systems. The source and performance requirements for the LVAC and the battery type and performance requirements for the DC system are presented. Next, the role of the protection system and the methods of detecting faults are explained. The different types of protection used for overhead lines, transformers, busbars etc and the use of circuit breaker fail protection are explained. The module concludes with metering and monitoring including tariff metering, fault recorders, fault locators and sequence of event recorders.

Secondary Systems Module 2: click to download presentation – Secondary Systems – Module 2

This module covers manual control of the substation including interlocking, synchronising, conventional and computer control systems and point on wave control. Then various automatic control systems are looked at including auto reclose, auto close, operational tripping, automatic tap change control, automatic reactive control, frequency control and load control. The next topic is communications both within the substation and outside of it including the media used, multiplexing and digital hierarchies. Virtually all protection, control and communications equipment are digital these days so there is a brief explanation of IEC61850. The module concludes by looking at the physical and cyber security systems employed in substations.

John FinnPresenter: John Finn

John Finn worked initially in the Electricity Supply industry in the UK in protection, operation and maintenance and system studies. He then joined private industry working with contractors on power station and substation projects in the UK and overseas at voltages up to 500kV and as diverse as the initial 400kV supergrid for China Light and Power to project managing the power supplies for the Channel Tunnel between England and France. In his role as an in-house engineering consultant with Siemens in the UK he was involved in developing the onshore and offshore substation designs associated with offshore wind farms. He has been involved in CIGRE as Area Advisor on Substation concepts from 2002 to 2006 and convenor of working groups on “standardisation and innovation” and “guidelines for offshore substations”. He received the Technical Committee award for contributions to Study Committee B3 in 2006 and the Distinguished Member award in 2008. He was the coordinating author for the CIGRE Green Book on Substations and is currently the Secretary for the CIGRE UK National Committee