Premium Membership ♕

Limited Time Offer: Save 15% on Pro Plan with discount coupon: MX15. Study specialized LV/MV/HV technical articles and studies.

Home / Technical Articles / Meet the Real Heart of Power System Operations – The Transmission Control Center

Transmission Control Center Desks

The transmission control centre is the real heart of every utility’s power system operations. Typical transmission control centres have three main desks – the generation, transmission and scheduling desk.

Transmission Control Center - The Heart of System Operations
Transmission Control Center - The Heart of System Operations

Let’s take look at three main transmission and other support desks we can see in almost every utility’s control room:

  1. Transmission Desk
  2. Generation Desk
  3. Scheduling Desk
  4. Other Support Desks

1. Transmission Desk

The transmission desk is basically responsible for overall security of the bulk power system. The transmission desk runs different kinds of analysis on the transmission system, constantly looking for weak spots and constantly asking “how can I get out of this?”

The system operator has several tools at his or her disposal to perform these analyses:

  1. SCADA
  2. State Estimator
  3. Power Flow
  4. Contingency Analysis Application
  5. Optimal Power Flow
  6. Security Enhancement


This is the main application that is the eyes, ears, and arms for the operator. Through this application, sensors in the field send in data into the control center. Alarms get issued when data exceeds one or more limits that are set for them. SCADA also allows the operator to control devices in the field, such as open/close circuit breakers, change transformer taps, and so on.

It basically reports the data that it receives from the field in a raw form and converts it into engineering units based on the actual quantity that it is sensing. The data could be any of current (amps), voltages (kV), or power flow (megawatts (MW) or megavolt ampere reactive (MVAR)).

It could even be something like the status of a substation door (open/close).

The incoming data from SCADA has all kinds of variables—generator output MW, MWh, MVAR, and MVARH, power flow values through lines measured either in MW and MVAR or current values in amperes. Much of this data is sensed in the field, collected by devices called RTUs or IEDs, which then send the data to the control center through a dedicated set of communication lines.

SCADA has one main problem. It does not know if the data is accurate or not. It cannot also confirm whether the circuit breaker status is open or not, even if the data that comes in says so. These errors could happen due to the meter either reading wrong or just malfunctioning.

It could also happen if the meter parameters are adjusted in error, leading to inaccurate conversion from raw to engineering units. When this happens, the information is still reported as is, and this is where the state estimator comes in.

Premium Membership Required

This technical article/guide requires a Premium Membership. You can choose an annually based Plus, Pro, or Enterprise membership plan. Subscribe and enjoy studying specialized technical articles, online video courses, electrical engineering guides, and papers. With EEP’s premium membership, you get additional essence that enhances your knowledge and experience in low- medium- and high-voltage engineering fields.

Check out each plan’s benefits and choose the membership plan that works best for you or your organization.

Limited time offer 💥 – Save 15% on Pro Membership Plan with discount coupon MX15

Log In »Purchase »

Premium Membership

Get access to premium HV/MV/LV technical articles, electrical engineering guides, research studies and much more! It helps you to shape up your technical skills in your everyday life as an electrical engineer.
More Information

Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.

Leave a Comment

Tell us what you're thinking. We care about your opinion! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or it will be deleted. Let's have a professional and meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for dropping by!

  +  nine  =  13

Learn How to Design Power Systems

Learn to design LV/MV/HV power systems through professional video courses. Lifetime access. Enjoy learning!

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to our Weekly Digest newsletter and receive free updates on new technical articles, video courses and guides (PDF).
EEP Academy Courses - A hand crafted cutting-edge electrical engineering knowledge