Cover Story

Ethernet for IEC 61850

Trends in electric utility automation, specifically substation automation, have converged upon a common communications architecture with the goal of having interoperability between a variety of Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) found in the substation. This architecture, as defined in the IEC 61850 suite of standards, is now being adopted worldwide by utilities and IED vendors alike, has Ethernet as its underlying network technology. The possibilities introduced by using a network in place of a traditional hard wired I/O system are endless. Immediate benefits include less overhead with drawings and lower installation costs because of the reduction in wiring. Longer term benefits, though less tangible, are increased flexibility and the ability to create more advanced protection and control schemes without even necessarily stepping foot inside the substation yard. More

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