Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some applications of SCL (IEC 61850-6)

The System Configuration Language serves many applications in substations and in distributed automation in general. Often people are a little bit confused ... they read here and there - but do not get the full story.

The following list is intended to help people to find a way to get a better understanding:

1. To understand SCL (System Configuration Language) I recommend to read/study IEC 61850-6 Edition 2.

2. There are many applications of SCL files (some may not be found in any standard):

  • System design → single line diagram (re-useable designs in library)
  • IED development → IED capabilities
  • System engineering → System configuration (re-useable config.)
  • IED configuration/parameterization → running IEDs
  • Documentation → provides view of system
  • Plausibility/verification → check if system is able to run
  • Self description of IEDs → Retrieve IED section from IED
  • Validation of Device content → Check model against standard
  • Simulate I/Os of IEDs for testing → Fieldbus driven remote I/O
  • Simulate IEDs → Generate virtual IEDs on computer from SCL file
  • Message interpretation → Use SCL file to get semantic of the model

One or the other tool is needed for all of these applications. Some tools are available, other tools are under development ... the good thing is: the files are all written in ASCII-Code !! so that your 16 year old son or daughter can write simple but powerful tools by just searching and comparing TEXT !!

Example: It is easy to check if for every control block in an Input section (Sink) there is an IED with exactly that control block (Source) ... and so on.

3. SCL is not complex - it is very comprehensive. I have conducted many seminars and training sessions on IEC 61850 ... SCL is very crucial to understand ... SCL is 51 per cent of the standard in the long run ... in my opinion.

4. The blue sky is the limit of the use of SCL.

5. Today's implementations of IEDs and Tools is quite limited ... but wait ...

6. A two-page overview of IEC 61850 can be found here:

I wish you and your family a healthy and happy new year.

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