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CONCEPTUAL DESIGN OF SUBSTATION PROCESS LAN

M. Perkov, D. -XUDVRYLü
PRO INTEGRIS, Croatia, Duzice 1, 10000 Zagreb



Keywords: Process LAN, Substation LAN, Industrial
Ethernet, VLAN.
Abstract
Communication infrastructure in substations and control
centres of Transmission System Operators should be designed
in order to support variety of applications and users with
different priorities and requirements. Communication
requirements vary regarding capacity, maximum response
times, availability, reliability and security. Up until a few
years ago majority of process control systems communicated
through serial links.
Recent communication protocols (like IEC 61850) used in
process control systems are based on Ethernet technology.
The main goal of these protocols is to make most of Ethernet
regarding accessibility and flexibility, while additionally
trying to achieve high requirements on availability,
robustness, response times and security in process control
systems.
Conceptual design described in this article encompasses
optimised process control communication network in the
substation, designed in order to support all existing and some
of the future applications and users in substation. It defines
equipment and infrastructure necessary for substation internal
communication between applications and processes, as well
as for substation to control/maintenance centres
communication. In the suggested solution of process LAN
changes that will be necessary in order to support Smart Grid
were taken into account.
Process control LAN will be fundamental in creating
substation automation systems supporting power network of
the future. The basis of process control network is Ethernet as
it ensures interoperability and flexibility. Industrial Ethernet
additionally provides robustness necessary for substation
environment.
This conceptual design of substation process LAN
emphasis Ethernet over SDH and IPoSDH (attached figure).
In substations modern IEDs communicate over TCP/IP, and
that make them compatible with computer networks. Older
generation of devices will be connected on Ethernet over
serial servers.
Process LAN physical dividing from other parts of
communication infrastructure maximize security level what
can be done through virtual networks (VLANs) which
separate different users and provide reserved capacities for
critical functions. Process LAN implementation is
recommended during installation of brand new SA systems or
during refurbishment/migration of old secondary systems to
new technology based on IEC 61850.
1 Introduction
Described conceptual design of process LAN in
transmission substations pointed Ethernet over SDH
respectively IPoSDH. Modern IEDs for control, protection,
measurement, regulation and other purposes communicate via
TCP/IP protocol, what enables communication compatibility
with computer networks. Legacy devices will be connected
on Ethernet via communication converters and serial servers.
Physical separation of process LAN from other available
network infrastructures provides maximum level of security.
Virtual networks (VLANs) separate users and for that should
be reserved capacities, especially for critical functions.
Starting of process LAN implementation in substation is
recommended during installation of new secondary system or
during migration of existing substation automation system to
new technology based on IEC 61850.
Communication infrastructure in SS includes following
process subsystems and users:
a) Applications in real time (critical, demanding max
availability):
- Monitoring, control, measuring, relay protection
- Backup measurement system
- WAM
- Dispatch telephony
b) Other applications (diagnostics, monitoring,
maintenance, acquisition and archiving of events):
- Relay protection, process informatics
- Monitoring of auxiliaries
- Metering and Power Quality
- Monitoring of primary equipment
- Video surveillance
- NMS (telecommunication)
- Maintenance, acquisition and archiving

Each service is isolated in its own communication subsystem
what will provide easy monitoring of users which access
service and security of the system.

Schematic diagram of services and users in process LAN is
shown on picture 1.
2 Process LAN concept
In substations modern substation automation IEDs
communicate via TCP/IP protocol, what provides
communication compatibility with computer networks.
Devices which enable connection of IEDs in process LAN are
switches, routers and multiplexers.

For separating of particular services during process LAN
implementation in order to optimize traffic and data
protection it can be used VLAN technology, which is defined
in IEEE 802.1Q protocol.

Using one VLAN per each of specified services inside one
communication system it is possible to achieve scalability,
security and controllability of each subsystem

To separate subsystems can be attached VLAN designations
as follows:

VLAN 1 Substation control, measuring and signalization
VLAN 2 Backup measurement system
VLAN 3 - WAM
VLAN 4 Dispatch telephony (VoIP)
VLAN 5 Relay protection (remote access)
VLAN 6 Monitoring of auxiliaries
VLAN 7 Metering and Power Quality
VLAN 8 - Monitoring of primary equipment
VLAN 9 - NMS (telecommunication)
VLAN 10 Acquiring and archiving of secondary system
process data
VLAN 11 Video surveillance
VLAN n Other applications (max number of VLANs is
4096)

According mentioned assumptions picture 2 shows schematic
diagram of described process system.

Displayed concept is general solution and do not determines
number of VLANs which should be in line with size and
importance of particular substation.

Suggested model can be divided in three main parts:

1. Control centres (regional TSO centres)
Control centres containing servers and clients for services of
process LAN which are connected to outside world via L3
switches/routers. Equipment is installed in acclimatized
rooms with fulfilled EMC conditions.

.
User 4
User 1
RELAY PROTECTION
MONITORING AND
CONFIGURATION
S
u
b
s
t
a
t
i
o
n
P
r
o
c
e
s
s
L
A
N
ACQUISITION AND
ARCHIVING OF
SECONDARY
SYSTEM'S DATA
LOCAL HMI
NETWORK
ADMINISTRATION
METERING
POWER QUALITY
User 3
TRANSFORMER
MONITORING
User 2
AUXILARY
EQUIPMENT
MONITORING
User 5
SCADA
EMS
DISPATCHER VOIP
TELEPHONY
VIDEO MONITORING/
SURVEILLANCE
User 6
WAM
PRIMARY
EQUIPMENT
MONITORING
BACKUP
MEASUREMENT
SYSTEM


Picture 1: Users and services in Substation process LAN

2. SDH
SDH is consist of existing and needed physical infrastructure
which provides security and redundancy in achieving
communication between control centre an substation
Conceptual design of process LAN in substation is based on
Ethernet and SDH transmission system.

3. Local subsystems in substations
Every service in process LAN is dedicated to one VLAN
network. Certain VLAN is dedicated to certain L2/L3 switch
physical port by configuring it. In that way approach of every
user to certain subsystem is controllable and for users inside
same VLAN independent communication is possible.

Secure transmission of data inside such system is possible
towards control centre if devices are supporting IEEE 802.1Q
standard. If there is a need for communication between users
of different subsystems that could be solved via two physical
ports or via L3 router.

Communication equipment which is installed in substation
(L2 switch, multiplexer) as well as communication
infrastructure, should fulfil particular environmental
conditions.

SUBSTATION
NATIONAL DISPATCH
CENTER
L2 SWITCH
IEC 61850,
IEC 60870-5-
101/104
GATEWAY/
DATABASE
SERVER
LOCAL HMI
MULTIPLEXER
REGIONAL DISPATCH
CENTER
Backup
measurement
system
WAM VOIP
Auxilliary
equipment
monitoring
Metering
and Power
Quality
Video
monitoring/
surveillance
V
L
A
N
1
0
V
L
A
N
1
V
L
A
N
5
V
L
A
N
9
V
L
A
N
2
V
L
A
N
3
V
L
A
N
4
V
L
A
N
6
V
L
A
N
7
V
L
A
N
8
V
L
A
N
1
1
Primary
equipment
monitoring
Remote
control (IEC
60870-5-
101/104)
Acquisition and
archiving of
secondary system's
data
Network
monitoring
(telecom)
Switchgear control,
monitoring, measurment,
protection, regulation,
signalization
Users
SDH

Picture 2: Substation communication block diagram
3 Capacity (bandwidth) estimate
Substation LAN communication speed is limited by network
equipment capacities, user devices and transportation media.





Minimum needed speed of local LAN in substation should be
100 MBit/s. Services dividing capacities by priorities (0 - 7).

Table 1: Estimated bandwidth for users in direction substation control centre.
SERVICE VLAN
ESTIMATED
BANDWIDTH
COMMENT
Substation control, measuring
and signalization
1 768 Mbit/s
Fixed bandwith according to maximum number of devices in biggest
substation.
Backup measurement system 2 115 kbit/s
WAM 3 115 kbit/s
Dispatch telephony 4 72 kbit/s Speed depends on number of phone lines.
Relay protection (remote
access)

5 512 kbit/s Not fixed bandwith. More bandwith means more confortable work.
Monitoring of auxiliaries 6 115 kbit/s
Metering and Power Quality 7 115 kbit/s
Monitoring of primary
equipment
8 115 kbit/s
NMS (telecommunication) 9 115 kbit/s
Acquiring and archiving of
secondary system process data
10 512 kbit/s Not fixed bandwith. More bandwith means more confortable work.
Video surveillance 11 2 Mbit/s Speed depends on quality and number of video streams.
4 Conclusion
Simulations and benchmark tests showing that substation
LANs with 100 Mbps Ethernet (Fast or Switched Ethernet)
fulfil needs of big substation with more than 100 IEDs under
extreme overload of network.
For smaller substations with less than 100 IEDs Ethernet
on 10 Mbps is enough because basic data transfer requires
about 5 % of network capacity.
Due to the fact that industrial Ethernet equipment is
currently available on the market for reasonable prices users
should implement 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps substation LAN. That
kind of solution will provide quality transfer of data and
usage of all applications with simplified implementation of
future services without additional costs for upgrades.
References

[1] Global Knowledge: The Case for Virtual Local Area
Networks (VLANs), (2007).
[2] Information Society Technologies: Real Time for
Embedded Automation Systems, (2006).
[3] UTC by KEMA Inc.: Substation Communication:
Enabler of Automation, (2006).
[4] WGD2.17: Integrated Management Information in
Utilities, (2006).
[5] R. Bush, G. Wolf: The Bulk Power Grid Seeks
Intelligent Operation, (2006).
[6] D. Dolezilek: Methods for securing Substation LAN
Communications, (2003).
[7] W.K.Eichelburg: High-Availability Industrial LAN
Networks, A white paper, (2005).
[8] Keymile, Industrial Ethernet: Exchange everything or
exchange between everything, A white paper, (2006).
[9] C. Samitier, J. Darne: The use of IP Technology to
Deploy a Modern Telecontrol Network, A white paper,
(2001).
[10] D. Woodward: The hows and whys of Ethernet
Networks in Substations, (2001).

multiplexer) as well as communication infrastructure. Secure transmission of data inside such system is possible towards control centre if devices are supporting IEEE 802. Devices which enable connection of IEDs in process LAN are switches. Using one VLAN per each of specified services inside one communication system it is possible to achieve scalability. . Certain VLAN is dedicated to certain L2/L3 switch physical port by configuring it. . User 1 RELAY PROTECTION MONITORING AND CONFIGURATION TRANSFORMER MONITORING User 5 WAM 2 Process LAN concept In substations modern substation automation IEDs communicate via TCP/IP protocol. Schematic diagram of services and users in process LAN is shown on picture 1. measuring and signalization 2 Backup measurement system 3 .1Q protocol. For separating of particular services during process LAN implementation in order to optimize traffic and data protection it can be used VLAN technology. security and controllability of each subsystem To separate subsystems can be attached VLAN designations as follows: 1 Substation control. Local subsystems in substations Every service in process LAN is dedicated to one VLAN network. Equipment is installed in acclimatized rooms with fulfilled EMC conditions.NMS (telecommunication) 10 Acquiring and archiving of secondary system process data VLAN 11 Video surveillance VLAN n Other applications (max number of VLANs is 4096) According mentioned assumptions picture 2 shows schematic diagram of described process system. which is defined in IEEE 802.Monitoring of primary equipment 9 . In that way approach of every user to certain subsystem is controllable and for users inside same VLAN independent communication is possible.WAM 4 Dispatch telephony (VoIP) 5 Relay protection (remote access) 6 Monitoring of auxiliaries 7 Metering and Power Quality 8 . routers and multiplexers. Control centres (regional TSO centres) Control centres containing servers and clients for services of process LAN which are connected to outside world via L3 switches/routers. 3. what provides communication compatibility with computer networks.Each service is isolated in its own communication subsystem what will provide easy monitoring of users which access service and security of the system. If there is a need for communication between users of different subsystems that could be solved via two physical ports or via L3 router.1Q standard. VLAN VLAN VLAN VLAN VLAN VLAN VLAN VLAN VLAN VLAN User 2 ACQUISITION AND ARCHIVING OF SECONDARY SYSTEM'S DATA PRIMARY EQUIPMENT MONITORING Substation Process LAN AUXILARY EQUIPMENT MONITORING LOCAL HMI User 6 SCADA EMS User 3 NETWORK ADMINISTRATION DISPATCHER VOIP TELEPHONY User 4 VIDEO MONITORING/ SURVEILLANCE METERING BACKUP MEASUREMENT SYSTEM POWER QUALITY Picture 1: Users and services in Substation process LAN 2. Suggested model can be divided in three main parts: 1. Communication equipment which is installed in substation (L2 switch. Displayed concept is general solution and do not determines number of VLANs which should be in line with size and importance of particular substation. SDH SDH is consist of existing and needed physical infrastructure which provides security and redundancy in achieving communication between control centre an substation Conceptual design of process LAN in substation is based on Ethernet and SDH transmission system. should fulfil particular environmental conditions.

regulation. IEC 60870-5101/104 GATEWAY/ DATABASE SERVER Remote control (IEC 60870-5101/104) Switchgear control. More bandwith means more confortable work. signalization VLAN 5 Acquisition and archiving of secondary system's data Network monitoring (telecom) Backup measurement system WAM VOIP Auxilliary equipment monitoring Metering and Power Quality Primary equipment monitoring Video monitoring/ surveillance Picture 2: Substation communication block diagram 3 Capacity (bandwidth) estimate Substation LAN communication speed is limited by network equipment capacities. Services dividing capacities by priorities (0 . Speed depends on quality and number of video streams. More bandwith means more confortable work.7). SERVICE Substation control. Table 1: Estimated bandwidth for users in direction substation control centre. monitoring. user devices and transportation media. COMMENT Fixed bandwith according to maximum number of devices in biggest substation. Minimum needed speed of local LAN in substation should be 100 MBit/s. Not fixed bandwith. VLAN 11 VLAN10 VLAN 9 VLAN 2 VLAN 3 VLAN 4 VLAN 6 VLAN 7 VLAN 8 . protection.Users NATIONAL DISPATCH CENTER REGIONAL DISPATCH CENTER SDH SUBSTATION MULTIPLEXER L2 SWITCH VLAN 1 LOCAL HMI IEC 61850. Speed depends on number of phone lines. measuring and signalization Backup measurement system WAM Dispatch telephony Relay protection (remote access) Monitoring of auxiliaries Metering and Power Quality Monitoring of primary equipment NMS (telecommunication) Acquiring and archiving of secondary system process data Video surveillance VLAN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ESTIMATED BANDWIDTH 768 Mbit/s 115 kbit/s 115 kbit/s 72 kbit/s 512 kbit/s 115 kbit/s 115 kbit/s 115 kbit/s 115 kbit/s 512 kbit/s 2 Mbit/s Not fixed bandwith. measurment.

G.Eichelburg: High-Availability Industrial LAN Networks.K. (2006). [5] R. For smaller substations with less than 100 IEDs Ethernet on 10 Mbps is enough because basic data transfer requires about 5 % of network capacity. J. [4] WGD2. (2001).4 Conclusion Simulations and benchmark tests showing that substation LANs with 100 Mbps Ethernet (Fast or Switched Ethernet) fulfil needs of big substation with more than 100 IEDs under extreme overload of network. [7] W. (2006). A white paper. [3] UTC by KEMA Inc. . Samitier.17: Integrated Management Information in Utilities. (2006). [2] Information Society Technologies: Real Time for Embedded Automation Systems. (2003). (2007). Industrial Ethernet: Exchange everything or exchange between everything. [8] Keymile. (2006). Wolf: The Bulk Power Grid Seeks Intelligent Operation. That kind of solution will provide quality transfer of data and usage of all applications with simplified implementation of future services without additional costs for upgrades. (2005). A white paper. Due to the fact that industrial Ethernet equipment is currently available on the market for reasonable prices users should implement 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps substation LAN. References [1] Global Knowledge: The Case for Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs). (2006). Woodward: The hows and whys of Ethernet Networks in Substations. Bush. [9] C.: Substation Communication: Enabler of Automation. [10] D. (2001). [6] D. Darne: The use of IP Technology to Deploy a Modern Telecontrol Network. A white paper. Dolezilek: Methods for securing Substation LAN Communications.