power & energy magazine
Benefits of IEC 61850
IEC 61850 capabilities clearly exceed what former IEC 60870-5-103,DNP3,and most proprietary protocols had to offer:
speed of exchanges:100 Mb/s instead of a few 10 kb/s,enabling more data to be exchanged for a better opera-tion or maintenance of the system
peer-to-peer links,replacing conventional wires withno extra hardware and also opening the design of inno-vative automation schemes
client-server relations offering flexible and easy toupgrade solutions compared to master slave communi-cations; for instance,having a dedicated client for acustomer-specific function
XML configuration files enabling formal exchangesbetween engineering tools thus avoiding duplicate dataentry,optimizing the data consistency and reducing theengineering costs
communication conformance tests that help in reducingthe variety of interpretations found in many legacy pro-tocols and leading to long integration tests and tuning.
The Big Picture
Looking at the big picture is even more exciting,here aresome examples:
The paper by Norberg et al. (see the “For FurtherReading”section) suggests the replacement of tradi-tional intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) by basicfield sensors and actuators,with all protections andcontrol functions running on an industrial PC. Theexpectations are savings on the secondary equipmentand process wiring as well as increased flexibility.
Simplification of the primary equipment could beachieved by re-engineering the synchro-check func-tion. The synchro-check compares the busbar andline voltage phases; thus,the busbar voltages are tra-ditionally distributed to the various bays. Capabilityto centralize the instantaneous digital voltage valuescould eliminate both primary busbar voltage instru-ment transformers and their physical distributionwithin the substation.
Application standardization is another direction,whichwould further improve the total cost of ownership. TheDecember 2003 article by Hossenlopp (see “For Fur-ther Reading”) shows how to use the IEC 61850vocabulary as a basis for standardizing bay schemesstandardization. ONS in Brazil has standardized theuse of a graphical user interface (GUI) client.
Tight coordination with the control center level couldsimplify the substation automation system configura-tion by receiving automatically generated XML filescontaining the substation topology and the informa-tion addresses.
Innovative grid-wide applications could be facilitatedthanks to the naming conventions. This includes assetmanagement,protection setting coordination,etc.
Need to Define a Roadmap
Benefits will be achieved progressively for several reasons:
When using a new technology,the first step is usuallyto copy what was done before. The use of GOOSE (fordistributed automation) and standard clients are thenext step. Major changes require rethinking the appli-cations thus taking more time. The IEC 61850 is just atool for seamless data addressing and communication.It only facilitates the development of generic applica-tions and interface specifications based on the datasemantic. This is illustrated in Figure 1.
The maturity of the standard. There is a revision 2 of the IEC 61850 in preparation that will fix some issues.Work is also in progress to facilitate the exchange of configuration files between control centers and substa-tions,in liaison with the common information model(CIM). Cyber-security and redundancy managementare other examples of solutions that must become avail-able to implement the big picture.
A change in the way to executeprojects. This is discussed in thefollowing sections.
Why Is It Becoming Important?
Communication is not new in a substa-tion. A major difference between the for-mer (de facto) standard (IEC60890-5-103,DNP3,MODBUS,etc.)protocols and IEC 61850 is its expectedfunctional use. The former technologywas a master-slave protocol that wasmostly retrieving information for
purposes. It was sending controls
New technology adoption benefit versus time.
BenefitsInvestmentPhaseTraditionalTechnology QuickHitsGOOSEStandard ClientsDeepChangesNew Applications(Local, Network)Network Data IntegrationCopyLearningCurve