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IEC 61850 system configuration

The IEC 61850 substation automation system configuration differences from earlier conventions. The configuration order of an SAS goes from larger entities to more detailed and not other way around. The configuration begins from defining the basic system architecture such as voltage level, the amount of incoming and outgoing feeders, protocol to SCADA and etc.

Testing multi-vendor substation automation system implemented with IEC 61850
Testing multi-vendor substation automation system implemented with IEC 61850 (photo credit:

The next step includes the selection of functions, which are needed to define the protection, control and information acquisition schemas.

The IED’s should be selected parallel with the function defining. The following list is a conceptual list for IEC 61850 system configuration. It works as a simplified check list for the information needed for the system configuration.

A conceptual list for the information needed in IEC 61850 automation systems configuration:

  • Configuration training for the IED specific software
  • Basic architecture of the system:
    • Voltage level
    • All the devices which are connected to the IEC 61850 communication bus:
      • Feeder automation
      • Transformer protection
      • Voltage regulation
      • Motor protection
      • Generator protection
      • Station computers
      • Gateways
      • Other physical equipment
  • Communication protocols to SCADA
  • Functions based on the IED’s and protection, control and information acquisition schemas
  • The communication architecture and settings:
    • Local Area Network design
    • IED’s TCP/IP settings
      • IP-addresses
      • Network names
      • Network Mask
    • GOOSE configurations
      • GOOSE identifications
      • Horizontal and vertical GOOSE communication
  • Signal list to map SCADA objects
  • SCL-files for communication configuration
  • IEC 61850 object lists for IED’s
    • MICS-lists
    • PICS-lists
    • Additional lists

Objectives of the demo

The main objective of the demo project is to test a substation automation system with IEC 61850. The system includes equipment from multiple vendors and the goal is to test the interoperability. The equipment is detailed below in Table 1.

The demo system was build for educational purposes for engineers at UTU Elec Oy. Another purpose of the demo system is to investigate interoperability and to get knowhow to configure and set up working multi-vendor systems with IEC 61850.

Demo equipment

The demo equipment was selected with the help of the corresponding device manufacturers. All software to configure the IED’s was also provided by the manufacturers. Because Areva T&D is one of the financiers of this thesis, the station computer and a protective relay was selected from the Areva’s product family.

All the selected devices are listed in Table 1.

The equipment was also selected by UTU Elec’s needs in substation projects and by the equipment manufacturers importance in the Finnish substation automation markets.

Table 1 – The selected devices for the IEC 61850 demo-system

The demo equipmentIEDConfiguration software
Substation computerAREVA MiCOM C264
(Areva) system combined
RTU gateway, alarm unit,
voltage controller etc.
Protective relaysAREVA MiCOM P139MICOM S1 Studio v.3.1.1
VAMP VAMP52Vampset v.2.2.15
ABB REF615PCM600 v.2.2 and
CCT600 v.
Voltage regulatorA-Eberle Reg-DAWinConfigGOOSElight
v.6.56 and REG-PED PE
Loader v.1.3

The Figure 2 shows a simplified model of the IED’s in the demo substation. The protective relays simulate a single bay each and the voltage regulator simulates information received from a single transformer.

In the demo system the protective relays have only one analog measurement input voltage, which is the zero voltage Uo. The voltage transformer is simulated by a transformer output 115 Vac. The zero voltage can be adjusted from 0 Vac to 115 Vac with a single phase Variac (Variable autotransformer).

A description of the demo equipment
Figure 2 – A description of the demo equipment

The knob of the Variac is mounted in the front panel of the case. The assembled and finished demo system is show in Figure 3.

The switchgear is simply simulated by remanence relays, which have two change-over contacts with a memory, thus they work as a real circuit breaker. Open pulse from an IED output change the position of the contacts and the contacts must remain in the changed position. The positions of the remanence relays are used to signal the state of the switchgear to the IED.

All simulated circuit breakers can be controlled from the SCADA and from the HMI’s of the IED’s.

Ready IEC 61850 demo-system equipment mounted in a wooden box
Figure 3 – Ready IEC 61850 demo-system equipment mounted in a wooden box

The C264 has an integrated Ethernet switch, but because it has only four RJ45 connections and two connection for fibre optic cable and one RJ45 connection is used by the C264 itself, an additional switch must be used. The additional switch used is a basic Ethernet switch with priority tagging support.

Such switch could not be used in real substation application for the reason explained in chapter 2.16, but in the demo system those issues do not cause problems.

Title:Testing multi-vendor substation automation system implemented with IEC 61850 – AKI SUITTIO at TAMPERE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Size:2.8 MB
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Testing the multi-vendor substation automation system implemented with IEC 61850
Testing the multi-vendor substation automation system implemented with IEC 61850

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One Comment

  1. C.Shanmugam
    Feb 20, 2020

    could you please spare the standard IEC 61850 please.
    C.Shanmugam ies(79 Batch)) Former Director, Central Electricity Authority
    38/18 Everest Colony ,Pari Salai,
    Mugappair East,
    Chennai-37 996 227 2228

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