Apr 2013
Electricity Transmission
IEC 61850 Integration of Substation Protection and Control – Test Facility
Apr 2013
Dec 2016
SP Energy Networks and SP Transmission
James Yu (Future Networks Manager) & Ian Frame
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Network Innovation Allowance
Substations, Protection and Electricity Transmission Networks

The IEC 61850 standard is intended to provide a standardised framework for the implementation of communication-based Substation Automation Systems (SAS). The principal benefits of employing the IEC 61850 approach are:

  • Reduced engineering through re-usable designs
  • Reduced time and cost for assembly and wiring
  • Reduced site wiring and installation
  • Increased off-line testing resulting in faster commissioning and reduced outage durations

Iberdrola’s early experiences of attempting to engineer an IEC61850 compliant multi-vendor substation using the various files and software tools from each vendor led to unsatisfactory conclusions:

  • It was difficult to achieve interoperability between devices from different vendors as each vendor has implemented the IEC 61850 standard according to its own designs. No two vendors implement the same functions to the same extent

  • The engineering process was complex and time consuming. It required extensive work to create the Intelligent Engineering Device (IED) configuration files and an expert knowledge of the underlying format of IEC 61850 configurations.

The objectives of the work is as follows:

  1. Prove the interoperability of all the IEDs and their performance in the SAS architecture proposed by ScottishPower
  2. Prove communication between the test facility and the OCC using IEC 60870-5-101 (create a substation “Cambuslang”) and prove all required functionality from the OCC (including support tools)
  3. Thoroughly test compatibility of any new IED to be installed onto the network
  4. Understand and document any issues faced and resolved from the above four activities
  5. Share all knowledge gained.
This project will be deemed successful if the test centre becomes fully functional and the learning from the centre has been used to enable novel protection systems in transmission substations.