Communication Protocol Converters & Gateways

From Mod­bus­R­TU to IEC 61850 — unlock new poten­tial with state-of-the-art pro­to­col conversion

What is a Protocol Gateway?

Pro­to­col gate­ways, also known as pro­to­col con­vert­ers or trans­la­tors, are small devices that main­ly func­tion as trans­la­tors between var­i­ous pro­to­cols and phys­i­cal lay­ers (i.e. Eth­er­net and ser­i­al lines). They allow to con­trol and com­mu­ni­cate with machin­ery such as intel­li­gent elec­tron­ic devices, sen­sors and com­put­ers  in order to oper­ate indus­tri­al facil­i­ties such as dams, sub­sta­tions, pow­er plants, and water pro­cess­ing facil­i­ties. Since numer­ous devices par­tic­i­pate in one process or func­tion, but often come from dif­fer­ent ven­dors, com­mu­ni­ca­tion lay­ers and pos­si­bly appli­ca­tion areas, the devices are not able to com­mu­ni­cate with each oth­er and a pro­to­col con­vert­er is required to con­vert the data into the right for­mat. Even though indus­tri­al automa­tion sys­tems have been tran­si­tion­ing from pro­pri­etary pro­to­cols towards stan­dard com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­cols, the grow­ing com­plex­i­ty of the super­vised sys­tems has kept gate­ways as cen­tral ele­ment in all kinds of com­mu­ni­ca­tion networks.

Fur­ther­more, the ongo­ing trend of intro­duc­ing IoT in indus­tri­al envi­ron­ments presents fur­ther inter­op­er­abil­i­ty chal­lenges due to the bridge between ser­i­al-based oper­a­tional tech­nol­o­gy (OT) and infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy (IT), com­mon­ly using Eth­er­net, Wifi or GPRS networks.

Advantages of Protocol Gateways by iGrid T&D

  • High-end at low cost - thanks to our pow­er­ful soft­ware core, even our small­est devices, i.e. the iGWlite, will pro­vide all pro­to­col capa­bil­i­ties your device or net­work needs
  • High-stan­dard mul­ti-lay­er secu­ri­ty mea­sures from access con­trol to data encryption
  • All devices and soft­ware solu­tions pro­vide secured mul­ti-lay­er pro­to­col con­ver­sion between all pro­to­cols of the iGrid pro­to­col suite and between mul­ti­ple com­mu­ni­ca­tion media, such as Eth­er­net, Ser­i­al or GPRS
  • Secure­ly col­lect and aggre­gate data from mul­ti-ven­dor IEDs with a sin­gle gate­way or SCADA sys­tem and con­vert it to any pro­to­col you want.
  • Strong­ly flex­i­ble, mod­u­lar and scal­able solu­tions, adapt­able to any sys­tem requirements/ net­work topology
  • Sim­ple migra­tion to IEC 61850 –  use any iGrid prod­uct as client or serv­er and map any pro­to­col onto IEC 61850 MMS or IEC 61850 GOOSE (publisher/ sub­scriber), thus con­vert­ing any old IED into an IEC 61850 device
  • Diverse expe­ri­ence with IoT net­works and web ser­vices com­bined with a strong IP suite support
  • Col­lect and con­cen­trate mul­ti-ven­dor meter­ing data and load curves through mul­ti­ple pro­to­cols through IEC60870‑5–102, IEC 62056–21, Mod­bus or DLMS and trans­fer it to con­trol centers
  • Inter­nal PLC based on IEC 61131–3 for sig­nal pro­cess­ing, advanced automa­tion func­tions and log­i­cal schemes
  • Inter­nal mem­o­ry and advanced net­work redun­dan­cy based on RSTP, HSR and PRP (IEC 61850) for high­er data reli­a­bil­i­ty and main­te­nance work.
  • High-pre­ci­sion time man­age­ment based on PTP or NTP to pre­vent any data losses

Protocol Conversion and Network Gateways

One of the major chal­lenges with com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­works in elec­tric and indus­tri­al facil­i­ties is the inte­gra­tion of new sub­sta­tion tech­nol­o­gy in old­er net­works, 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 in the net­work or the con­trol center. 

Anoth­er com­mon chal­lenge is com­mu­ni­ca­tion accross mul­ti­ple lay­ers (e.g. from Mod­bus RTU to Mod­bus TCP), spe­cial­ly when it involves sev­er­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion media, such as ser­i­al and Eth­er­net.

Solu­tions by iGrid T&D have been designed for exact­ly this kind of chal­lenges. Thanks to our com­mit­ment to stan­dard pro­to­cols, 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.

Our solu­tions can use almost all pro­to­cols to both col­lect and trans­fer data from and between devices and entities.

Amongst oth­ers, the sup­port­ed 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 mySQLweb ser­vices and IoT pro­to­cols (e.g. MQTT).

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), IoT net­works and old relays, SCADA sys­tems and intranets, gen­er­a­tion and ener­gy market. 

Our Gateways and Protocol Conversion Solutions

Since we believe in advanced automa­tion tech­nol­o­gy, all devices and soft­ware sys­tems by iGrid T&D can not only con­vert between sev­er­al pro­to­cols but also pro­vide an exten­sive range of func­tion­al­i­ties and char­ac­ter­is­tics to over­come present and future com­mu­ni­ca­tion chal­lenges in the most effi­cient ways.

With our state-of-the-art prod­ucts, you no longer need to wor­ry about inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and net­work inef­fi­cien­cies. 

Our devices are already con­fig­urable and ver­sa­tile by design, but we also pro­vide fur­ther prod­uct con­fig­u­ra­tions and tai­lored ser­vices upon request.   

Serial to TCP, Multi-Layer Protocol Converter & Network Gateway

iGW, iGWlite
  • Mul­ti­ple Ser­i­al & Eth­er­net ports, option­al Eth­er­net Switch and GPRS modem 
  • Con­ver­sion between all pro­to­cols, e.g:
    Mod­bus­R­TU to IEC 61850
    Profibus to Mod­bus TCP
    DNP3 to Web Services
  • Con­ver­sion between sev­er­al lay­ers, from ana­log sig­nals to web applications
  • Tiny device com­bin­ing advanced Data Pro­cess­ing and Automa­tion functions

Smart Meter Gateway, Data Concentrator & Load Curve Collector

iGWlite, iGW 
  • Pro­to­col con­ver­sion from IEC60870‑5–102, IEC 62056–21, Mod­bus or DLMS into any desired pro­to­col and com­mu­ni­ca­tion layer
  • Data col­lec­tion and con­cen­tra­tion from more than 24 meters at once
  • Load Curve col­lec­tion and transfer
  • Data pro­cess­ing & automa­tion with inter­nal PLC based on IEC 61131–3
  • Com­pact all-in-one devices


Powerful Protocol Conversion Software

iGW-VM, iControl SCADA — Main network gateway/ communications hub
  • Can act as cen­tral gate­way, meter man­age­ment & automa­tion system
  • For all lev­els, from network/ sub­sta­tion Gate­way and SCADA HMI to Con­trol Center
  • Pro­vides pow­er­ful mul­ti-lay­er pro­to­col con­ver­sion capa­bil­i­ties to your entire network
iGW-VM — Communication front-end
  • High­ly scal­able and pow­er­ful gate­way soft­ware for any serv­er run­ning on win­dows or linux.
  • com­mu­ni­ca­tion front-end for siwtchgears, trans­form­ers and oth­er equipment
  • iGrid pro­to­col suite for pow­er­ful mul­ti-lay­er pro­to­col con­ver­sion capa­bil­i­ties to your gear, con­trol sys­tem, device or PLC


State-of-the-Art R&D and Advanced Engineering & Product Development

International R&D
  • Inhouse R&D on the fore­front of com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­col tech­nol­o­gy, enriched by numer­ous inter­na­tion­al and aca­d­e­m­ic project
Engineering & Development Services
  • Advanced and cus­tomized appli­ca­tion engi­neer­ing and prod­uct devel­op­ment for spe­cif­ic client needs. 

Substation RTU, Bay Controller, Distributed I/O..

iRTU, iRTUcompact
  • Mul­ti­ple Ser­i­al & Eth­er­net ports, option­al Eth­er­net Switch and GPRS modem 
  • Two con­fig­urable I/O cards with up to 48 dig­i­tal inputs & out­puts and ana­log inputs
  • iGrid pro­to­col suite for pow­er­ful mul­ti-lay­er pro­to­col con­ver­sion capa­bil­i­ties to your gear, con­trol sys­tem, device or PLC
    • Remote I/O units for advanced SAS networks
    • IEC 61850 GOOSE communication


    Oth­er com­mon fea­tures of iGrid T&Ds soft­ware core, iGComms, run­ning on all iGrid products:


    Time Management

    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.


    iConf Tool

    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. 

    PLC Automation

    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.

    Compliance and Interoperability Across the Globe

    Thanks to our expe­ri­ences with elec­tri­cal net­works and sub­sta­tions in a vari­ety of indus­tries all around the plan­et, our prod­ucts have been pre­pared for an imm­mense range of high-demand­ing require­ments and stan­dards, guar­an­tee­ing a peace­ful approval process for any project in any coun­try. Our cer­ti­fi­ca­tions range from EMC com­pat­i­bil­i­ty and com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­col stan­dards like IEC 61850 to cyber secu­ri­ty means and have been assert­ed by third par­ty cer­ti­fi­ca­tion bod­ies like DNV GL/ KEMA.

    Why to Opt for a Protocol Gateway by iGrid T&D? 

    Our advanced Pro­to­col Gate­ways can han­dle a unique range of pro­to­cols and net­work archi­tec­tures, allow­ing them to match net­work require­ments and col­lect, process and trans­fer data from mul­ti-ven­dor IEDs and meters using sev­er­al pro­to­cols at once. These capa­bil­i­ties can be pro­vid­ed by all iGrid T&D solu­tions, in addi­tion to other­ad­vanced tech­no­log­i­cal fea­tures and func­tion­al­i­ties for all kind of ener­gy appli­ca­tions and requirements.

    As a client you can ben­e­fit from a unique­ly flex­i­ble and scal­able all-in-one solu­tion that is easy to use and will min­i­mize your costs through­out the entire project.

    Solution Benefits & Functions


    From ModbusRTU to IEC 61850


    IEC 61850 MMS & GOOSE support


    Map any old protocol/ IED to IEC 61850


    From ModbusRTU to ModbusTCP


    Conversions between Serial, Ethernet and GPRS media


    From DLMS to any CC protocol


    Integration of IoT networks


    From industrial to IP communication


    Older protocols like SPAbus, Mlink or Procome


    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


    PRP network redundancy


    Graphical visualization of measurements & data


    Remote substation monitoring and control 


    Full interoperability


    Optimized efficiency and productivity


    Local & global alarm generation


    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 61131–3


    Engineering & maintenance cost reduction


    iControl or 3rd party SCADA


    Customized solution


    Automatic interlocking supervision


    Automatic data storage


    Supervisory control


    Reduced space for human error


    Comissioning cost reduction


    Fault diagnostics


    Reduced wiring


    Improved reliability & security 


    Simple connection between IED and substation HMI


    Simple device set-up/ deployment


    Simple retrofits


    High-speed, intelligent interlocking with GOOSE

    Protocol Conversion Solutions

    • Con­ver­sion between Ser­i­al and Eth­er­net (e.g. Mod­bus RTU vs ModbusTCP)
    • Con­ver­sion between old and new protocols
    • Map­ping of any pro­to­col to IEC 61850
    • IEC 61850 pub­lish­er /subscriber
    • Bridge to IT and IoT net­works
    • SCADA with Gate­way functionalities
    • Sub­sta­tion RTU
    • Sub­sta­tion Gateway
    • Remote & dis­trib­uted I/Os

    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.

    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.

    Hot-Standby Redundancy

    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)

    Network Redundancy

    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

    Related Projects

    Integrated Switchgear Controller

    SGC195, the new switchgear con­troller devel­oped by EDP and iGrid T&D com­bines RTU and pro­tec­tion relay fea­tures in one device to reduce the cost of the whole project.

    Railway MV Substation Control

    In this project the iGW con­verts from IEC 101 to IEC104 in order to com­fort­ably expand the SCADA sys­tem of the metro lines, using high tech­nol­o­gy switch­es and SDH equip­ment via Eth­er­net. The iGW con­trols the low pow­er sub­sta­tions (380 Volt­age grid) by read­ing the data from a SIEMENS PLC via IEC 101, map­ping it to IEC104, and send­ing it to the exist­ing SCADA Con­trol Center.

    Communications Control Center

    In this project iCon­trol was imple­ment­ed as SCADA sys­tem (serv­er with float­ing clients) to super­vise and con­trol all com­mu­ni­ca­tion facil­i­ties (includ­ing radio base sta­tions, com­mu­ni­ca­tion links, UPS sys­tems, and CERs) of a major Span­ish elec­tri­cal util­i­ty  via Mod­bus TCP, IEC 104 and SNMP. 

    MV Grid Distribution Control Center

    In this project, iCon­trol is based on a client/server archi­tec­ture with 4 oper­a­tors con­trol­ling 4,000 mul­ti­ven­dor RTUs via IEC60870‑5–104, IEC60870‑5–101 and DNP3.0, through the pub­lic GPRS net­work, in the 25kV dis­tri­b­u­tion grid of Buenos Aires. 

    Protocol Conversion Solutions

    iGW‑S Substation Gateway

    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.

    The Slimmest Gateway

    The iGWlite comes with 1 Eth­er­net, 1 RS485/RS422 and an option­al RS-232 port (cop­per or fiber) or a 2G/3G/4G mode tak­ing lit­tle space on a DIN-Rail, but still employ­ing the full iGrid pro­to­col stack.

    iControl 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 

    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.

    iRTUe – Remote I/O Extensions 

    iGWs, iRTUs and third par­ty mas­ter units can be freely extend­ed by con­nect­ing one or sev­er­al iRTUe.

    They are IEC 61850 (GOOSE) com­pli­ant 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.

    HV Substation Automation

    Pow­er­ful sub­sta­tion automa­tion sys­tems often han­dle numer­ous com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­cols and media with­in one net­work, which can result in expen­sive and com­plex projects.  Avoid these prob­lems with inter­op­er­a­ble tech­nol­o­gy and smart con­fig­u­ra­tion tools.

    MV Distribution Grid Automation

    It is often dif­fi­cult to find the exact solu­tion you need in a MV appli­ca­tion, lead­ing to high­er costs than nec­es­sary. With our scal­able and adapt­able solu­tions you will be able to only pay for what you real­ly need, with­out com­prim­is­ing on qual­i­ty or security.

    Photovoltaic Power Station

    Using an open and scal­able SCADA sys­tem to mon­i­tor and con­trol a PV plant comes with many ben­e­fits on sev­er­al lev­els. Find out how advanced com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­o­gy affects PV oper­a­tion, main­te­nance, sys­tem design, invest­ment secu­ri­ty, profits…

    Do you need more information?

    We are hap­py to assist you!


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