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IEC 61850 Interoperability Tests

By Herb Falk, UCA VP of Testing

The recent IEC 61850 Interoperability tests were divided into two distinct test campaigns. The Substation Configuration Language testing was performed virtually in October of 2021.  The face-to-face (F2F) testing was hosted by CESI/KEMA in July 2022, and it occurred in Milan, Italy. The F2F built upon the results of the SCL IOP as the System Configuration Description (SCD) file was developed based upon the same Single Line Diagram (SLD) that was used in the F2F.  Additionally, many of the SCL IOP devices also participated in the F2F. 

The SCL IOP pushed to take a look at alerting users earlier in the engineering process to configuration issues that could lead to invalid configurations being downloaded to the IEDs.  Therefore, the tests were structured to test SCD generation by two (2) System Configuration Tools (SCTs) and the exchange of the generated SCD to IED Configuration Tool (ICT) and Intelligent Electronic Device (IED) combinations.  The results are best summarized in the following graph:

The F2F IOP continued the shift to multi-vendor functional testing. This IOP accomplished more functional testing than previous interoperability tests. The tests performed were end-to-end digital substation tests as all measurements – were provided by different Sampled Value streams from different vendors’ merging units. The tests were: Protect trip and reclosing; Protection trip and Low Voltage bus zone interlocking; Protection trip for Transformer Protection; Breaker Failure; High Voltage Busbar Protection; Control and Sync Check; and a customer-specific test requested by Elia.

The Elia test revealed several implementation issues that require further triage and analysis.  The most surprising was that some IEDs that lost PTP time synchronization blocked protection as well as other implementation issues.

There were several “firsts” accomplished at the F2F related to a functional IEC 61850-based ADMS participating; Secure R-GOOSE through a routed environment using a Key Distribution Center (KDC); as well as cyber security testing.

The SCL IOP report is already available to UCA members and the F2F report should be available to members in Q4 of 2022.