IEC TC57 Industry Updates

IEC TC 57 WG 17 Update – Issue 067 March 2024

Preparing IEC 61850 Edition 3

by Tom Berry, Schneider-Electric

IEC TC 57 WG 17 is in charge of power system intelligent electronic device communication and associated data models for microgrids, distributed energy resources and distribution automation. 

Work has started to prepare the next major edition of the IEC 61850 documents with publication forecast for 2026. There will be a few updates to the common data classes for some applications like alarm handling and initial conditions for commands and setpoints. 

However, the main objective is to consolidate the modelling proposed in the IEC 61850-90-x series of documents, including for example for condition monitoring, distribution automation and HVDC. 

Several of these documents propose extensions to existing logical node definitions which need bringing together. 

Combining the content from all these models into the existing document structure of parts 7-4, 7-410 and 7-420 would mean the documents become very large and difficult to manage in the future. The plan is to follow good software practice and make it more modular and hence easier to maintain. 

The concept is to produce a series of documents each describing data for a particular scope. Each document will describe the models from a number or packages in the master UML data model.

The Core set of packages is planned to include all the L-group of logical nodes used to manage IEDs and the communication for any application, and particularly all those used in conformance testing. 

The core document is also expected to contain all the F and G generic logical nodes that again are independent of applications. 

The models from the sensors and measurements can be considered as another set of packages. There is some debate on whether to create a separate package for the CT and VT instrument transformers with or without the common electrical measurement logical nodes like MMXU and MMTR.

From the scope of IEC TC57 WG10, it is planned to have several packages to describe the models for primary equipment, protection functions, substation automation functions, distribution network automation and power quality measurements. 

Different combinations of these packages would be implemented in IEDs for primary substations or IEDs for distribution substations.

In addition to the substation automation domain, there are IEC 61850 models for various types of generation and their controllers. These have been defined in several groups with a different focus on the generation prime movers: IEC TC57 WG17, WG18 and TC88 JWG 25. These groups are collaborating to create a common model package and document for the energy resource control aspects that could be used with both small and bulk generation resources. This package is planned to include the operational functions related to voltage control and frequency control.

There will then be a series of documents describing specific models for solar, hydro and wind turbines. 

These models provide ways of monitoring the various types of non-electrical aspects of the prime movers.


Tom Berry studied Electrical Engineering at Bath University, UK. For the last 25 years he has worked for Schneider Electric in the UK and France. 

Tom has worked on control center projects integrating SCADA systems within dispatch training simulators, transmission and distribution network management systems.  He now works “closer to the edge” as a software architect for feeder automation RTUs. He is a member of several IEC TC57 WGs and the editor of IEC TS 62361-102 technical report on CIM-61850 harmonization.