The ECF group consists of a collection of highly qualified consultants in the area of utility relay protection & controls. We understand the increasing role that reliable communication plays in the area of safe and reliable protection & control of the power grid. With extensive experience in design and commissioning of relay systems, ECF offers the range of knowledge necessary to carry out and complete the project. Experience in this area includes both new and retrofit projects. When approaching retrofit projects ECF is very aware of the risks in working within the confines of an energized protection system and reflect that knowledge at all levels of the job from conceptual design through final commissioning. ECF's P&C design work covers projects of all types with the majority of work at 13 kV through 500kV stations. Typically the scope of work includes the complete design, from conceptual through detail. Many of these projects included outage planning, installation, and commissioning.

Relay protection and controls design is the largest single sector of ECF's business. This is mainly attributed to the successful performance of protective relay projects and the strength of ECF Power Delivery staff in this area. Also reflected is the importance customers place on this expertise. Currently there are six (6) senior staffs who have managed relay protection and controls groups with major investor owned utilities. No less impressive is the next level of staff that has extensive experience within protection and controls groups responsible for both T&D and generation functions. Currently ECF has senior level protection engineers with all totaled, over 150 hundred years of experience; yet have practical and innovative experience working with current-state technologies and products that have been introduced to the marketplace.

Some of the areas covered are:

• Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition Systems
• System automation and integration
• Controls and instrumentation
• Protective relaying design and testing
• PLC and OIT design and programming
• Power & lighting design
• Start-up & commissioning
• Substation Automation

ECF professionals have experience in designing, and implementing communications networks in the electric utility industry to meet the ever-increasing demand for communications capabilities in the power grid. This includes establishing secure communications connectivity for smart devices, SCADA monitoring and controls with distribution switching and capacitor bank points in the field. ECF has engineers that have worked in both the Substations/Protective Relaying teams as well as in IT-Telecom teams, and understand how to effectively communicate project goals in a language that either team will understand. ECF has been especially effective in facilitating discussions between the substation and IT-Telecom teams that occasionally do not have warm and friendly business relationships. This has resulted in win-win results with lasting positive benefits for the utility.


The deployment of Smart devices and communications networks will provide an even greater push toward moving traditionally data-center located equipment out to the edge of the network, closer to the user. ECF personnel have the experience to ensure that the overall system architecture and designs will be robust and secure enough to provide years of reliable service.

ECF personnel are well trained in the following Communications related areas:

• Communications system (fiber, RF, leased) architecture and planning, design, procurement, implementation
• IP (Local Area and Wide Area) Network Design and Implementation
• SONET System Architecture, Design, and Implementation
• Cyber Secure compliant systems design
• AC/DC Power Systems Design for Communications Networks
• Grounding and Bonding Design (Telcordia – certified grounding & bonding engineer on staff)
• Communications Network provisioning
• Fiber - inside and outside plant
• RF network design
• Commissioning & Testing

Utilizing a staff of experienced engineers and test technicians, ECF offers comprehensive commissioning and testing services. The team approach results in a high quality product that includes well-documented test results, drawings and reports. A highly experienced support staff of engineers makes ECF exceptionally qualified to solve complex problems, evaluate design issues, and offer timely solutions. ECF technicians and engineers are experienced working in the utility and industrial environment with safety being their primary priority during all activities. A continuously revised and reviewed safety program ensures safe work conditions for personnel.

Project Highlights
NS1 & NS2 Transmission and Distribution Stations - CYNOG/ TRES PLACIO

Engineered substation automation platforms for transmission and distribution substations. This project included networking substation IED’s for SCADA, local annunciation, local Distributed Control System, protection functions and data acquisition local/remote to establish a full operational smart facility using state of art technology. At TP added large gas compressor (13.8kV); provided substation 69/13.8kV protective relay design and settings; interconnection protective relay design of the substation to the South Texas Electric Coop.

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Reservation - EBCI

Worked in concert with the client to developing conceptual design of communication network for bring broadband network access to residential and business clients located on the Qualla Boundary, Graham County and Cherokee County communities.

Distribution station scheme 9 DBOS (Double Bus Outage Scheme) consists of sub panel, which is integrated with existing scheme 9 overcurrent and differential panels to add oscillography, communications and enhanced automatic station restoration to the existing scheme 9. The DBOS panel consists of two SEL 751A relays with associated terminal blocks, test blocks, and wiring designed to be installed on a 19” relay rack. The panel is 16 rack units (28”) tall.

Distribution Substations Scheme 9 Double Bus Outage Scheme Upgrades at 22 Substations - FPL
Various Substations - RTUs & SCADA

Replace or upgrade RTUs for the SCADA in both transmission and distribution substations. This includes the interface to Substation Communications Processors for direct communication to Protective Relays and other IEDs in the substation control room and out in the switchyard, typically with Fiber or RS485 connections.

 FPL data requirements in the substations are increasing. The existing substation SCADA data circuit technology has reached end‐of‐life and were upgraded to data rates up to 1.5MHz. The enhancement performed required additional infrastructure to be compliant to the communication provider’s protection tariffs involving GPR studies and High Voltage Isolation.

MPLS Projects - Over 200 Substations Communication Network's Upgrade - FPL
Various Substations - Scheme 8 DBOS - FPL,FL

Engineer upgrade to Scheme 8 DBOS differential protection in a cabinet where no space was available in the control room. Where space is available in the control room, then panel replacements.

Communication Network/SCADA/AGC Systems 

Design, engineer and installation of the new Automatic Generator Control and SCADA system along with SONet communication network system using latest smart technologies.

Smart Grid Substation Upgrades - FPL, FL

Engineer, Construct and Commission upgrades at 256 substations communication, protection, automation and control systems. This included replacement of electromechanical protection relays with IED microprocessor based relays and fiber optic communications; reclosing controls modifications; Installed or modified the three types of Novatech Substation Communications Processors used for interrogation of new and existing IEDS for direct access into SCADA data repository.

© 2019 by ECF Engineering Consultants.