The electrical network is a man-made complex network that makes it difficult to monitor and control the power system with traditional monitoring devices. Traditional devices have some limitations in real-time synchronization monitoring which leads to unwanted behavior and causes new challenges in the operation and control of the power systems. A Phasor measurement unit (PMU) is an advanced metering device that provides an accurate real-time and synchronized measurement of the voltage and current waveforms of the buses in which the PMU devices are directly connected in the grid station. The device is connected to the busbars of the power grid in the electrical distribution and transmission systems and provides time-synchronized measurement with the help of the Global Positioning System (GPS). However, the implementation and maintenance cost of the device is not bearable for the electrical utilities. Therefore, in recent work, many optimization approaches have been developed to overcome optimal placement of PMU problems to reduce the overall cost by providing complete electrical network observability with a minimal number of PMUs. This research paper reviews the importance of PMU for the modern electrical power system, the architecture of PMU, the differences between PMU, micro-PMU, SCADA, and smart grid (SG) relation with PMU, the sinusoidal waveform, and its phasor representation, and finally a list of PMU applications. The applications of PMU are widely involved in the operation of power systems ranging from power system control and monitor, distribution grid control, load shedding control and analyses, and state estimation which shows the importance of PMU for the modern world.
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