Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wireless Communication and IEC 61850 meet for Distribution Automation

It was just a question of time to see IEC 61850 running on Wireless communication systems. Here it is: Siemens and RuggedCom announced the other day that SIPROTEC will use WiMAX 802.16e to communicate IEC 61850 GOOSE messages for various (distributed!) functions in Distribution Automation Systems.

We have always said that one of the crucial benefits of IEC 61850 is that it can use advances in the domain of high speed communication solutions developed for the IEEE 802 suit.

It may take a few more years to see the distributed functions specified by the standard IEC 61499 (Function Blocks). The benefits of distributed functions (versus centralized control systems) is that "the faulted segment is
quickly isolated by the relay(s) and where possible, segments at the end of a feeder have service restored through the tie-point switch. The relays are “self-aware” and operate based on real-time information they have about the network, so no master is required."

Click HERE for the press release.

Click HERE for some discussion on IEC 61499 and IEC 61850 based distribution automation.

1 comment:

Neil Higgins said...

This is a very interesting development. We are now seeing papers and press releases, and hearing stories about plans to use IEC 61850 for distribution feeder automation. Communications range from fibre to mesh radio to WiMax. Since feeders are the bread and butter of distribution utilities, I presume that utilities will be looking for solutions that are interoperable at all levels. A general concern is that there are no standards for this. A specific concern is that VLAN management will become a real headache for schemes which use GOOSE messaging, because reconfigurations of the power system will have to be mirrored by VLAN reconfigurations (unless the communications network has infinite bandwidth). Much more work is required in this space!