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IEC 61850 & mining monitoring

The IEC 61850 standard provides a mechanism for interoperability, i.e., the ability for information from Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) from multiple manufacturers to be exchanged with each other; however, the standard is limited to power system components, i.e., relays, meters, circuit breakers, etc.

An electrical mine monitoring system utilizing the IEC 61850 standard
An electrical mine monitoring system utilizing the IEC 61850 standard (photo credit:

If this information could also be made available to the control system, i.e., programmable logic controllers (PLCs) or programmable automation controllers (PACs), the power system IEDs could be treated identically as control system components, thus permitting a wide range of novel applications for these IEDs, e.g., optimization, demand-side load management, etc.

The electrical distribution and infrastructure systems of a mining operation are not very well monitored. There needs to be an easier way to gather information to maximize process yield and efficiency. Mining applications need to improve automation and control systems to better understand the big picture of the overall operation.

Current energy monitoring and management systems are not vendor independent, thus making them difficult and expensive to maintain.

This dissertation solves all of these problems and presents a functional solution for interfacing a mine distribution system to its process control system.

Taconite Mine Distribution One Line Diagram
Taconite Mine Distribution One Line Diagram (click to enlarge SLD)

Scope of Work

Electrical SCADA (E-SCADA) platforms that interface with the process control system of a mine were initially investigated. Research was conducted to evaluate the current E-SCADA protocols and implementations to evaluate the pros and cons of traditional solutions. After the evaluation of these traditional standards and protocols, the IEC 61850 standard and protocol suite was evaluated for multi-vendor implementation of mining electric distribution systems.

After this initial research of current technologies, a novel solution was developed, tested, and validated.

The scope of this work was limited to the background research and construction of a functional system to link a process control system to an electric distribution system. This research produces a hardware and software solution that interfaces to the electrical distribution system.

A hardware gateway solution is defined and specified as well as software developed to interface to this hardware solution. Visualization graphics are developed to allow for an easy operator and engineer interface to various pieces of distribution equipment.

Additionally, a solution is specified and implemented to link traditional process historians with E-SCADA systems for the benefit of long-term data storage and trending.

This thesis is divided into nine chapters that describe the design and development of a proposed interface to link an electric distribution system with a process control system via the IEC 61850 standard.

Title:An Electrical Mine Monitoring System Utilizing the IEC 61850 Standard – David Christopher Mazur (Dissertation submitted to the faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Size:6.0 MB
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An electrical mine monitoring system utilizing the IEC 61850 standard
An electrical mine monitoring system utilizing the IEC 61850 standard

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One Comment

  1. Ibrahim
    Jul 28, 2019

    Very good & useful topics

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