Final Thoughts

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has identified IEC 61850 as one of five "foundational" sets of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber security.

The fact that the NIST has advised the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that it has identified IEC 61850 as one of five "foundational" sets of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber security (see page 11) clearly shows that IEC 61850 is foreseeable in the future of all protection, automation and control specialists around the world. The problem is that in order to properly implement different protection, monitoring, control and other applications, the people developing those applications need to fully understand how the standard supports them in achieving their goals and allows them to feel comfortable doing it.

This state cannot be achieved by simply sending people to seminars, reading the standard or attending presentations of papers discussing its applications. This is like asking someone to cross a lake or a river after sending them to a seminar where they watched Power Point presentations on how to swim. Everybody will be scared and many will not make it to the other shore.

It is obvious that we need to learn to swim in the IEC 61850 waters.

After the first swimming lessons however, it is up to us to further develop our skills, feel comfortable in the water and even enjoy the experience. In order to do that, we need to have a swimming pool where we can improve our skills and build the strength and endurance that will get us ready to cross the river.

This is why everyone – suppliers or users, consultants or academia – will need a laboratory with IEC 61850 configuration tools and test equipment, as well as IEDs from at least two manufacturers, where their specialists can take the time to build the skills required for successful completion of their projects.   

Protecting your electrical assets? today and tomorrow