IEC 61850 Substation AutomationWhy stick to Modbus, when you can migrate to IEC61850 today?
What is IEC 61850?
IEC 61850 is an international standard that was developed to improve the interoperability and communication between intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) at substations. Unlike Modbus, DNP3 or IEC 60870, which are signal-oriented protocols with varying data structures, IEC 61850 is object-oriented, meaning it defines the abstract data models with a standardized nomenclature.
Consecutively, IEC 61850 GOOSE, MMS and SMV protocols allow to map IEDs uniformly and do no longer require vendor-specific libraries to disclose the meaning of each data point. Due to the many advantages it holds for the future, the standard has gained a firm position over the years and is now also applied beyond its original field of power system automation, e.g. in distributed energy resources (DER).
Why use IEC 61850?
- Higher speeds using IEC 61850 GOOSE, MMS and SMV protocols on an Ethernet network
- Flexible and sophisticated logic schemes (e.g. interlocking or load shedding) for substation protection and automation
- Signficant cost savings from reduced inter-wiring and no need for external protocol converters
- Higher adaptability from relying on software configuration rather than hardwired signal paths
- Higher network efficiency with advanced IEC 61850 GOOSE supported VLAN and priority tagging functionalities via IEEE 802.1Q
- Higher reliability with GOOSE’s continuous and inherent communication and data integrity checkups.
- Improved redundancy with PRP and HSR, providing zero reaction time
iGrid T&D Advantages
- Migrate smoothly and step by step, from conventional or legacy substation automation systems to IEC 61850 based SAS with any iGrid T&D product you need.
- Benefit from the easy-to-use iConfICD tool to create SCL files.
- Use devices simultaneously as data servers and data clients (all iRTU & iGW).
- Map internal I/Os or existing IEDs (e.g. using Modbus RTU or IEC 60870–103 ) onto IEC 61850 logical devices using the iRTU as data server.
- Collect all data in real-time and from multiple servers simultaneously using IEC 61850 or any other standard protocol with iControl SCADA or map it to IEC60870‑5–104 or DNP3 with the iGW to report to 3rd party control centers.
- Collect data comfortably and fast (under 3ms) with IEC 61850 GOOSE compliant iRTUe expansion units.
IEC 61850 Substation Automation
Using interoperability to unlock new potential
Considering the ongoing digitization and upcoming challenges in the energy sector, a future in which every piece of electric equipment will be carrying some type of setting and require remote monitoring and/or control might be a lot closer than many expect. Managing such a large number of data points and communicating between different IEDs from several vendors, required the definition of a new, internationally standardized communication design – moving away from old serial port protocols to abstract, protocol-independent data models.
The answer to this was the IEC 61850 standard. Since its first introduction, it has undergone many updates and extensions, maturing to a point at which substations all over the world are being automated vendor-independently in compliance with the standard. It is expected that the effect of the IEC 61850 standard as a compatibility enabler in power system automation will be comparable to other ground-braking specifications, such as the effect of html on web services in the 90s. Finally, we can forget multiple proprietary protocols and unlock new potential by turning to fully interoperable substation automation systems (SAS) based on IEC 61850 technology.
Migrating to IEC 61850 can be simple with the right support
Although IEC 61850 is the solution to many interoperability challenges, migrating to IEC 61850 can look overwhelming at first. The co-existence of old and new generation devices coming from an increasing number of vendors with an increasing number of protocols is making today’s electrical networks more and more complex, affecting system design, implementation and maintenance.
At the same time, the changing energy landscape and digitization require new services and functions, making it even more difficult to successfully implement and understand modern substation automation.
Migrating to IEC 61850 and getting the new expertise to employees can thus be a difficult challenge.
At iGrid T&D, our support and implementation engineers will help you overcome this challenge. Their role is to make sure that our solutions based on IEC 61850 turn out to be the best solution for you and that you are prepared to independently develop new IEC 61850 projects in the future.
Read more about the use of IEC 61850 in MV grid automation:
IEC 61850 SAS with redundant double Ethernet LAN
Flexible and user-friendly solutions for a smooth transition
One of the major challenges of substation automation lies in integrating new substation technology such as IEC 61850 in older, existent substations, where old and new devices have to coexist and communicate with each other. Examples of this can be new control centers that have to communicate with old automation systems or newly installed intelligent electronic devices (IEDs), which must connect to old systems at the substation or the control center.
Solutions by iGrid T&D have been designed for exactly this kind of challenges. Developed explicitly for substation automation, all devices devices and software systems, comprising RTUs, gateways, I/O extension units and SCADA system, provide a unique range of communication protocols and connectivity options.
The devices can use almost all protocols to both collect and transfer data from and between devices and entities and can map all of them onto IEC 61850.
Amongst others, the communication protocols include:
|Master/Slave IEC 60870–5‑101||Master/Slave IEC 60870–5‑104|
|Master/Slave Modbus TCP/UDP and JBUS (master)||Master/Slave ModbusRTU|
|Master/Slave DNP3.0 (serial, UDP, TCP)||Master IEC 60870–5‑103|
|Master IEC 60870–5‑102||Master DLMS|
|Master Profibus DP||Master Spabus, Mlink, Procome|
|Master IEC 62056–21||SNMP Agent/Manager|
|IEC 61850 MMS Client/Server||IEC 61850 GOOSE Publisher/Subscriber|
Our solutions can also communicate through technologies from other industries like mySQL, web services and OPC UA.
Furthermore, the devices have communicated with equipment from numerous different vendors in a broad variety of applications. We have connected it all: new and old systems, Ethernet and serial, IEC 61850 and old legacy protocols (like SPA-bus), SCADA systems and intranets, generation and energy market.
It is our priority at iGrid T&D to support the development of your substation automation systems and prepare your staff in a simple yet technologically sound way. For this reason, we used our know-how to design hardware that can be easily adjusted to your needs with our free iConf tool. iConf now also includes the powerful iConfICD tool, which has been particulary designed to facilitate the configuration of IEC 61850 devices.
With our state-of-the-art products we want to make the transition to advanced automation systems as smooth as possible. Our solutions ensure that you no longer need to worry about interoperability and network inefficiencies. Our RTUs and gateways can communicate using numerous protocols via Ethernet or serial connections and integrate seamlessly with our intuitive software solutions, which come with all functionalities you need.
With our products, you will not only improve the efficiency of your energy systems throughout the entire life-cycle, but also be able to:
- comfortably react to any kind of network change (big or small)
- set-up open and scalable network architectures
- retrofit third party devices
Our devices are already configurable and versatile by design, but we also provide further product configurations and tailored services upon request.
All of our devices can operate in hot-standby redundancy mode:
- Hot-standby server/device is updated continuously
- Clients and IEDs automatically switch to the hot-standby server
- Serial loop redundancy (hot standby gateway acts as a (virtual) serial port to arrive to disconnected devices)
All of our devices can provide RSTP, HSR & PRP (IEC 62439–3) redundancy
- Modern substation automation without packet losses and latencies
- Invisible to the application and usable by most industrial Ethernet protocols
- For applications requiring high availability and quick switchovers
All of our devices are capable of high precision time-synchronization (<1ms) via PTP or NTP and carry internal Real-Time Clocks with a an accuracy of 1ppm. This allows to keep on recording events with a micro-second time stamping accuracy, even when connection to the time source (masterclock) is lost, permitting to trace failures back meticulously.
Full Independence for an Open Architecture
All of our products support several types of communication media, such as wireless (GPRS/ 3g, 4g), VSAT, analog radio, Ethernet or Serial, and can communicate with the entire iGrid T&D protocol suite. Thanks to our experiences with devices from almost all known vendors and our pledge for standard protocols, we can ensure the seamless integration of our products with any third party devices.
iConf has been specifically developed for electrical applications, saving you lots of time and money throughout the control system set-up and maintenance tasks, whilst also minimizing your project risks. You can use the software tool to configure all igrid devices and software systems as well as design IEC 61850 projects, to up and download your configurations, and create your own templates.
All our devices can execute logical/mathematical functions and automation sequences with super high speeds thanks to their PLC capabilities.
The integrated PLC is highly scalable and has been applied in all kinds of fields to solve a broad variety of challenges.
User-friendly and graphical programming module (editor) for automation sequences and PLCs based on IEC 61131–3.
Our Products for IEC 61850 Substation Automation
Thanks to our comittment to advanced substation automation, all devices and software systems by iGrid T&D provide an extensive range of functionalities and characteristics to overcome present and future challenges in the most efficient ways.
Although we are happy to support our customers, iGrid T&D is not a service-based business. Instead, we strive to provide state-of-the-art technology that enables our customers to set up, operate and maintain advanced automation systems by themselves.
Substation RTU, Gateway, Bay Controller, Distributed I/O..
- Internal I/O, serial, GPRS & Ethernet interfaces
- All-in-one devices with advanced functions for SAS
- Serial, GPRS & Ethernet interfaces
- Handy devices with advanced functions for SAS
- Remote I/O units for advanced SAS networks
- IEC 61850 GOOSE communication
Substation Gateway, HMI, SCADA, Grid Control Center Software..
- Scalable and interoperable in multiple architectures
- For all levels, from Substation Gateway to Control Center
- With all important features and characteristics
- Highly scalable and powerful gateway software for any server running on windows or linux.
- communication front-end for siwtchgears, transformers and other equipment
Smart Protection Relays by Thytronic Group
Protection Relays for Feeders, Transformers, Capacitor Banks, Generators, Motors and many more
Multi-function high-end IEDs for protecting, monitoring and controlling power systems
- Accurate measurements
- Modular hardware and software
- High-precision time synchronization
- iGrid substation automation software
State-of-the-Art R&D and Advanced Engineering & Product Development
- Inhouse R&D on the forefront of smart grid technology, enriched by numerous international and academic project
Engineering & Development Services
- Advanced and customized application engineering and product development for specific client needs.
High-Speed Busbar Protection by Thytronic Group
Protection with GOOSE
- Flexibility, adaptability and efficiency from relying on software configuration rather than hardwired signal paths
- Extremely high messaging speeds
- Increased reliability from inherent GOOSE data integrity checks
- Network can be freely extended and re-configured at low cost
Thytronic Group Advantages
- Particularly fast processing time of iRTUe extension units
- Full IEC 61850 support throughout all network devices (protections, I/Os, gateway servers, masters, SCADA etc.)
- IEC 61850 GOOSE and MMS communication
- Many years of in-field experience in a diverse range of applications
Not only iGrid T&D but also our group partner Thytronic, Italian market leader for protection relays, is actively investing in IEC 61850 technology. The novel X MORE series features native IEC 61850 support including the standard’s horizontal GOOSE (Generic Object Oriented Substation Event) communication protocol.
By combining Thytronic relays and iGrid T&D master devices and iRTUe extension units, peer-to-peer GOOSE communication can be used over an Ethernet-based substation network (replacing hard-wired blocking signal paths between switchgears) to enable sophisticated logic schemes for substation protection and automation.
Some of the most widely known and accepted examples are interlocking busbar protection schemes, circuit breaker failure protection, power quality controls of parallel power transformers and selective arc fault protection.
Interlocking schemes are particularly popular as they take advantage of the increased speed and security provided by GOOSE messaging, in addition to being a traditionally simple and efficient method to protect busbars in distribution substations.
So how does interlocking work?
When a fault occurs on the busbar, the interconnected relays quickly coordinate, causing the relays of the incoming feeders to block the relays of the outgoing feeders and then trip the CB of the incoming feeder. The same happens vice versa when a fault arises on an outgoing feeder and the relays of the incoming feeder are prohibited to act.
Maximum Speed with GOOSE
Since GOOSE messages are sent relay-to-relay, through an Ethernet LAN and thus there is no additional delay from intermediary equipment such as input filters or auxiliary relays. The blocking signals can be sent faster than in traditional, hardwired interlocking schemes. Peer-to-peer communication allows to send blocking signals to all relays at once, making the total operating time independent from network size, complexity or topology.
With the fast processing time of iRTUe I/O extension units you can fully take advantage of this speed. iRTUes can directly communicatate with realys, integrating analog and digital power quality measures to the scheme with almost no delay.
GOOSE Also Provides Higher Reliability and Adaptability
In addition to the native security features of interlocking schemes, the operational reliability can be further enhanced by the inherent supervision of GOOSE messages. When a blocking circuit is broken, unnecessary tripping is avoided as the blocking is not being issued. Instead of rendering the protection inoperative in such a case, GOOSE’ inherent supervision generates an alert to initiate the maintenance/repair process and react as quickly as possible.
This supervision function can also be utilised to adapt to application requirements. Depending on the object to be protected, one function must often be prioritzed over another. For instance, it may be necessary to sacrifice some operation speed in order to achieve selectivity or vice versa. Such adjustments can be easily made to the configuration of the GOOSE service in order to obtain the best protection possible.
Why opt for the full Thytronic Group Package?
Aside from the advantages that Thytronic Group products offer individually, executing a project under one umbrella brings many positive synergies, specially in terms of coordination and interface engineering between products.
This leads to signficant cost and time savings for the customer, who also benefits from:
- A single contract for the entire package
- Cost-effective provision, supply and project management
- A single point of contact for the entire project
- Quicker startup, comissioning and engineering
- Reduced customer risk
IEC 61850 explained
The IEC 61850 standard was a response to the growing need for higher and deeper levels of control and automation in electrical grids. With steadily increasing numbers of devices, device types and data points, further accelerated by digitization, as well as the integration of new, often geographically distributed and heteregenous, generation sources, it became evident that future demands could not be met with the technological limits of serial protocols like Modbus.
In order to guarantee interoperability in the face of rapid technological development and product innovation in the industry, the IEC 61850 standard not only defines various communication protocols and interfaces, but also provides specifications concerning the substation modelling, configuration language and data models. For this reason, IEC 61850 is commonly referred to as “not just a protocol” and often called a data model or framework instead.
The scope of the standard allows to map the standardized data models and services onto serveral communication protocols and thus transfer the data via Ethernet using different protocols for different requirements and applications, as for example TCP/IP-based protocols for clients/server communications. For this reason, despite its initial focus on substation automation, the flexibility of IEC 61850 has spread its use to other applications, such as the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) into the power system or the communication between intelligent devices in Building Management Systems (BMS).
The IEC 61850 standard distinguishes itself through the following elements:
Abstract Communication Service Interface (ACSI)
The ACSI (defined in IEC 61850–7‑2) describes the functions and services for the interaction between IEDs in the system. Examples of IEC 61850 services include the transmission of files, reading of data or assignition of values. The ACSI can be mapped onto various protocols, including MMS or web services.
System Design and Structure
The functions of the IEC 61850 standard are the often-heard logical nodes, which can simply contain device descriptions but usually represent a real physical device like switches, sensors or IEDs, and its entire range of functionalies.
IEC 61850 Protocol Suite
The IEC 61850 standard defines several different protocols for different purposes in substations and other facilities/ utilities.
The standard defines the low-level (process bus) client/server based GOOSE/GSSE (Generic Object Oriented Substation Events) protocol to transmit event data across networks at very high speeds. This enables to new possibilities for advanced substation automation and protection functions and schemes.
It also defines the more complex MMS (manufacturing message specification) protocol for communications between servers and clients. It provides a set of functions that allows the client to obtain the data model of the server, read or modify individual values, or even delete entries as well as to transfer files.
The last two protocols displayed on the chart comprise the Sampled Values (SV) protocol for the transmission of digitized instantaneous values of power system quantities, mainly primary currents and voltages and time synchronization protocols such as SNTP over UDP/IP.
IEC 61850 Protocol Suite
Solution Benefits & Functions
A‑Level certified IEC 61850 compliance
Tailored solutions according to your needs
State-of-the-art IEC 61850 technology
Customized training & support
Remote maintenance/ testing
Reliable and efficient protection functions
Improved reliability & security
Automatic (busbar) line coloring
Simple connection between IED and substation HMI
PRP network redundancy
Simple device set-up/ deployment
Graphical visualization of measurements & data
Remote substation monitoring and control
Optimized efficiency and productivity
High-speed, intelligent interlocking with GOOSE
Local & global alarm generation
Role-based access control
Complex logic schemes
High-precision timestamping and event recording
Fault location detection
Automatic switching sequences
No need for auxiliary relays and hardwired interfaces
PLC automation with IEC 611313
Engineering & maintenance cost reduction
iControl or 3rd party SCADA
Automatic interlocking supervision
Intelligent zoom on one-line diagram
Automatic data storage
Reduced space for human error
Comissioning cost reduction
Smart Relays with IEC 61850
Our IEC 61850 Solutions
- Mapping of any protocol onto IEC 61850
- IEC 61850 client/ server on all iGrid T&D software and devices
- Smart Relays with IEC 61850 support by Thytronic Group
- IEC 61850 Gateways, BCUs & RTUS
- iConfICD for IEC 61850 IED & Project Configurations
- Remote I/O units with IEC 61850 GOOSE Messaging
- SCADA for Substations & Control Centers with IEC 61850
IEC 61850 Projects
Sleep Peacefully with Expert Cyber Security
iGrid T&D enforces several layers of security measures guided by the propositions of the IEC 62351 standard to protect its devices from all kinds of threats.
Our hardened devices feature Role Based Access Control (RBAC) to avoid intrinsic risks such as security holes and unauthorized actions by authenticated users.
In addition to end-to-end encryptions via TSL/SSL, HTTPS, SSH and standard procedures for VPNs (e.g. OpenVPN), its communication can also be secured with network control methods such as firewalls, IP filters, ACL or TCP port blocks.
IEC 61850 Products
iConfICD is a state-of-the-art ICD design tool for the creation of ICD and CID files and the configuration and modelling of IEC 61850 servers.
The tool can be used to set up any device supporting IEC 61850 communication. It allows to create all of the standard’s Logical Devices and Logical Nodes, as well as to select the corresponding Data Objects, while strictly following the guidelines of the IEC 61850 edition 2 standard. With the integrated iEdit tool, expert professionals can also manually access and modify SCL files without restrictions.
High-performance SCADA for the visualization and control of substation data. It is able to run either in client/server or standalone modes, providing advanced functionalities such as hot-standby redundancy, automatic line coloring, events notification (via e‑mail and sms), SQL logging, and reports generation.
Compact and scalable bay controller which can act as IEC 61850 client or server, featuring configurable I/O boards for direct data acquisition, high-precision timestamping and an optional Ethernet switch for additional Ethernet ports.
Powerful and reliable substation gateway, able to run either in standalone or redundant modes, with an embedded Ethernet switch (4 ports) and IEC 61850 client and server capabilities.
iGWs, iRTUs and third party master units can be freely extended by connecting one or several iRTUe.
They support IEC 61850 (GOOSE) communication and come in many configurations such as 48 DI, 16 relays, 16 AI, 24 DI + 8 relays, 24 DI + 8 AI or 8 relays + 8 AI.
iGrid Solutions and Applications
Automation with IEC 61850
The IEC 61850 standard is enabling new oportunities for vendor interoperability and advanced substation automation. Find out how you can take advantage of IEC 61850 with easy-to-use and adaptable solutions for a simple migration or retrofit.
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Switchgear & Transformers
Sometimes you have preferred gear for a project or it has already been installed, but it is lacking the communication capabilities to provide the automation functions you are looking for. With our software core iGComms any device can be as smart as you want it to be.
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