IEC 61850 monitoring

IEC 61850 is an international standard that defines the communication protocols and data models for intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) at electrical substations.

It is a vendor-neutral protocol that enables interoperability and integration of devices from different manufacturers. It also supports high-speed and reliable communication of generic object oriented substation events (GOOSE) over Ethernet networks, enabling high-performance protection, control, automation, and monitoring functions

The IEC 61850 requires the development of new dedicated tools, verifying that messages are correctly moving over Ethernet, replacing the previous test processes. Wiring, It is required an understanding of the unseen data flow in the network and the assurance that the protection systems will operate properly. Points previously hardwired are now broadcast onto an Ethernet network via the IEC 61850 messages, the so called GOOSEs.

The GOOSE (Generic Object Oriented Substation Event) replaces the wires between protective relays and other equipment. Each IEC 61850 GOOSE message encodes a large number of parameters such as status changes, releases or trips between IEDs, blockings, signals, etc.Therefore, the IEC 61850 standard demands new technical tools to make it easier for engineers and technicians involved in the commissioning and testing process, to check these new installations.



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Advantages of using IEC 61850

The IEC 61850 protocol offers several advantages over traditional communication methods in electrical substations:

  1. Simplified Architecture: The individual components of a substation no longer have to be wired using individual copper cables, but are connected to each other via an Ethernet network instead.
  2. Digital Twin of a Substation: IEC 61850 allows for the creation of a digital twin of a substation, providing a complete set of specifications covering all communication issues inside a substation.
  3. Manufacturer Independence: The use of IEC 61850 enables manufacturer independence.
  4. Future-Proof Design: The design is future-proof, accommodating advancements in technology.
  5. High Reliability: The protocol ensures high reliability in communication.
  6. Direct Communication Between IEDs: IEC 61850 allows for direct communication between Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs).
  7. Faster Data Transmission: Compared to conventional protection schemes, IEC 61850 features faster data transmission.
  8. Reduced Secondary Cables and Lower Engineering Efforts: The use of IEC 61850 leads to reduced secondary cables and lower engineering efforts.

These unique characteristics of IEC 61850 have a direct and positive impact on the cost to design, build, install, commission, and operate power systems. It enables fundamental improvements in the substation automation process that is simply not possible with a legacy approach, with or without TCP/IP-Ethernet.


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