IEC 61850 Applications

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IEC 61850 Engineering is with out doubt a specialist domain but increasingly becoming a "conventional engineering" methodology.

The “end-to-end engineering” system engineering process and tool suite must support:

  • multiple engineers
  • in multiple departments
    • Condition Monitoring Systems,
    • Plant Automation and Control,
    • Asset Management,
    • Event Investigation,
    • Security systems
    • Protection
    • SCADA
    • ...
  • in multiple organisations
    • Asset owner
    • consultants
    • contractors
  • over multiple phases
    • Specification

    • Proof Of Concept

    • Procurement

    • Configuration

    • Factory Acceptance Testing

    • Site Acceptance Testing

    • Commissioning

    • Operation

    • Maintenance Testing

    • Replacement
    • Refurbishment
    • Expansion
  • encompassing multiple primary plant and secondary equipment projects
  • coherently deployed over the next 100 years of each substation
  • incorporating hundreds of functions,
  • provided in dozens of different IED box types
  • from dozens of different vendors
  • in a manner that enhances reliability, reduces risks and is Reusable Engineering.

The objective for all of this is More, Faster, Less, Less, Higher, Lower 1

With that in mind it is clear no one person can know all.

Equally reading a few books and picking up a bit of help via blogs or web sites will only go so far.

Over my 30+ years as a protection engineer, I doubt there is a day where I haven't learnt something new in some form or another - 30 years x 200 working days/year is still only 6000 things I've learnt and there is so much more TO learn!!. So I would never claim to be an expert as "all knowing, super guru", but I am proud to be a specialist professional in IEC 61850 Engineering.

Sometimes IEC 61850 specialist engineers may come across as being somewhat difficult, demanding .. or to some others, just plain weird. (smile)

IEC 61850 engineers deal in modelling of the real world and then sending messages in the virtual world about what is happening in the real world.

Yet what we deal with is often not rocket science by any long shot of the imagination.

Defining the data structure of a device in a common semantic seems just such a logical thing to do - probably not all that important when dealing with an electromechanical relay with 3 settings (pick up, time multiplier setting and instantaneous setting) and the input being current and the output a contact. Nor is creating a message to send to another device - probably not all that difficult if sending and receiving devices were always the same.

The trick is always understanding the implications of interactions and the application in specifying and providing effective protection solutions.

Sometimes those tricks are clouded by "historical tradition/policy/standards" and so the base philosophy may have been obscured or have been developed in response to problems that should not have been invented under the correct application of the Standard. Sometimes these need to be re-thinked from first principles as to what the problem/objective/purpose was and what the modern solutions would be (and so I would say "hysterically historical standard procedures" (big grin)).

The information contained herein is by no means a full explanation of all IEC 61850 applications and theory.  However I have provided a few snap shots of my insight into IEC 61850 engineering principles which I have probably had recent cause to blog about somewhere and which you may find useful.  These pages no doubt do not present "THE" answer for any particular or generic application but if you wish specific advice thereto, please contact me so we discuss a potential consulting assignment to satisfy your needs.

1 More, Faster, Less, Less, Higher, Lower, Lower

More Projects completed in

Faster Time with

Less Money for Capital expenditure with

Less Resources required for any individual project with

Higher Reliability and

Lower operational cost over the substation lifetime and

Lower refurbishment/augmentation effort and costs

Course contact
Are you in need of specific training:
  • Protection Systems Engineering
  • IEC 61850 Engineering

I provide a range of courses for company-specific in-house training and occasional public invitation courses.  Contact me for details.


Contact Me

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  Office + 61 8 7127 6357
  Mobile + 61 419 845 253

Extra Notes:

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Rod Hughes Consulting Pty Ltd accepts no direct nor consequential liability in any manner whatsoever to any party whosoever who may rely on or reference the information contained in these pages.  Information contained in these pages is provided as general reference only without any specific relevance to any particular intended or actual reference to or use of this information. Any person or organisation making reference to or use of this information is at their sole responsibility under their own skill and judgement.

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hilst the information herein is accessible "via the web", Rod Hughes Consulting Pty Ltd grants no waiver of Copyright nor grants any licence to any extent  to any party in relation to this information for use, copy, storing or redistribution of this material in any form in whole or in part without written consent of Rod Hughes Consulting Pty Ltd.