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?
- Improved redundancy with PRP and HSR, providing zero reaction time
- 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.
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.
Don’t worry, we will help you!
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
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 powerful and flexible hardware, which can be easily adjusted to your needs with our free iConf tool. The newer iConf versions include 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 IEC 6185O 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.
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
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
IEC 61850 Projects
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.
iControl Substation SCADA
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.
iRTU – With I/Os for Direct Data Acquisition
iGW‑S Substation Gateway
iRTUe – Remote I/O Extensions
iGWs, iRTUs and third party master units can be freely extended by connecting one or several iRTUe.
They can speak IEC 61850 (GOOSE) 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.
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