Developing IEC 61850 Skills

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The 3-Level Competency Development Program

IEC 61850 represents a huge new engineering process for substation automation systems.

The SCL files effectively contain all the combined information of what the functions need to communicate between them, how the functions communicate, their settings, .. in essence take most of the CAD drawings, Spreadsheets, Databases and Documents and put them into a series of sometimes extremely large XML files.

This replaces 100 years or so of wire based engineering philosophy and training.

Waking up one morning and thinking "today I'll do my first project" without developing the right skills is not the way any engineering should be tackled.

Even F1 racing car drivers first had to learn what driving is about in a staged process

  1. At a high level we learn that vehicles can get you from A to B much better than a skate board which is obviously beneficial but realising there is a lot to learn about how it does it.
  2. Learning the essential technology  and jargon of where to put the petrol and which sort of petrol, know how to identify which side of the road to drive in, what red/green lights mean, what happens if you drive too fast too close etc. ...

  3. Then putting it all to together to drive on the road needs first someone to guide you through how to get the coordination of all actions right

    It would be impossible to jump from 1 to 3, then be in the middle of your first lesson on the road when the instructor is asking you to use the clutch which you've never heard of, or know where it is, or know how to use it and, just as importantly, know how not to use it.

Eventually they develop the skills to drive safely on the road to get from A to B, and not cause accidents.

Some then go on to learn how to drive extremely fast, 30cm from the car in front and get past it around a corner at 200kms an hour ...!

Of course no-one would put a first time driver through all the training in one go from opening the drivers door to getting to the checkered flag first - in fact even the basics is done over several lessons so that they build on their skills.  When they pass their drivers licence they normally have some limitations on their driving for a year or two so we have confidence not only in their skills to get from A to B but also how to keep themselves out of trouble if things happen.

So nothing of importance and complexity should be squeezed into a quick one of training program,

The trick is not how to build things - it is how to build them the right way and how to make sure you don't build them the wrong way. 

We need to develop the skills to solve real problems. 

We need to have the skills to not create problems that should not have been invented in the first place and have the skills to identify we created the problem

IEC 61850 is a whole new philosophy of thinking, jargon and understanding in order to build critical, real-time, ultra-reliable infrastructure.  The skills for IEC 61850  will become the daily-use skills for the rest of your career.

This is why Rod Hughes Consulting specifically have 3 levels of training in our Capability Development Program.

  Register your interest here:

Each level is significantly different and a journey from one to the other -

  • Level 1 is the super-overview for a first impression
  • Level 2 as 2-days now three days (incorporating more depth on Ethernet application and of course application of Edition 2 of certain parts of the Standard) is to understand the vendor-independant philosophy and capabilities of the Standard to the point of being able to carry out an informed and accurate discussion on the specification and implementation plan .
  • Level 3 is to know how to engineer a system as a practitioner in the engineering process in one focus area or another (Level 2 or equivalent as a pre-requisite)

Once the Level 2 and Level 3 have been mastered, the final step is to master the tools-of-choice, such as Helinks

Generally I prefer to run courses for an "in house audience" focused on learning about IEC 61850 for their organisation.

However I also run "public invitation" courses from time to time - current public course offerings are listed here here as well as some of the previous public invitation courses :


Contact Me

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