CIGRE B5 Industry Updates

CIGRE Study Committee B5

by Richard Adams, PSC, UK

News from CIGRE Study Committee B5   Protection and Automation

SC B5 will participate in the CIGRE Cairns 2023 International Symposium, 4th – 7th September 2023. Abstracts have now been reviewed and authors notified. Further details can be found on the symposium website at:

The call for papers for CIGRE Session 2024 has been issued and SC B5 will have two preferential subjects as follows:

  • PS 1: Practical experiences and new developments of Process bus:
    • Experience feedback and implementations of IEC 61850 based process bus
    • Synergies with virtualization and hardware consolidation
    • Use of process-near interface Intelligent Electronic Device (IED) and Low Power Instrument Transformers (LPIT)
  • PS 2:  Acceptance, Commissioning, and Field Testing for Protection, Automation and Control Systems:
    • Current practices and experience feedback
    • Challenges and Perspectives for a new era of Protection, Automation and Control Systems
    • Skills, tools and testing methods

ToRs for the following three new working groups have been submitted to the Technical Committee for review and comment and should hopefully be approved soon to allow work to commence:

  • B5.81 – Obsolescence Management for PACS
  • B5.82 – Education, Qualification and Continuing Professional Development of Engineers in Protection, Automation and Control
  • B5.83 – Protection for modern distribution networks

WG B5.60 (Protection, Automation and Control Architectures with Functionality Independent of Hardware) has completed its work and the Technical Brochure has been sent for publishing and is expected to feature in the April edition of Electra and be available on e-cigre shortly as TB 891.

The Technical Brochure examines how presently, Protection, Automation and Control (PAC) functions are coupled with hardware and related devices, and their production life cycles are shorter compared to the operational life cycle of the installed PAC system and primary equipment.

To improve the lifecycle of applications and to support flexibility, a separation of application functions and hardware will be necessary, allowing the development of new architectures and approaches.

This Technical Brochure proposes two promising technical concepts for IEDs and Centralized Protection and Control (CPC) systems. Related requirements, limitations, reference architectures as well as expected opportunities, challenges, and further standardization and innovation areas are described.  

Once published, the brochure can be downloaded free of charge by CIGRE members from the e-Cigre web site and can be purchased by non-members. Progress to complete other longstanding Working Groups remains good. 


Richard Adams is Team Leader – Engineering with PSC in UK. He has a degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, is a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET) and a member of the organizing committee for the IET DPSP (Developments in Power System Protection) conference. He is currently Secretary for CIGRE Study Committee B5, having been involved in CIGRE since 2003, initially as UK Regular Member, then later as a member of the Strategic Advisory Group. In 2020 he was awarded the CIGRE Distinguished Member award. Richard is married with three children and likes to get out walking if there’s time.

CIGRE Study Committee B5

by Richard Adams, PSC, UK