Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is the Protocol Stack for IEC 61850 important?

No and Yes! No, compared to the many other aspects covered by IEC 61850, the protocol issue of IEC 61850-8-1 (upper layers like MMS and transport layers …) are relatively of minor importance. There are the two crucial areas defined in IEC 61850: Information Models and System Configuration Language. I usually put it that way: SCL, engineering and configuration is 51 per cent of the importance … may be 52 now …

There is no real need to discuss other protocols and mappings from the view point of importance.

Yes, the protocols are very crucial!! … when it comes to the question how and how fast and for what cost can I get IEC 61850 information communicated? To exchange even the value of a single bit position of a digital input requires the implementation of the various protocols like MMS, Presentation, Session, RFC 1006, TCP/IP, …

This was – and still is –in many cases a quite expensive and time consuming effort! Yes, the availability of the protocol software is very IMPORTANT!

The other day I received an email with the following: “Although we have a … license, we wanted to get started with SystemCorp's stack. The reason was simple: some manufacturers came to us asking what to do to incorporate IEC 61850 to their products. When we told them about …, what it costs, how big it's API is, etc, they got frightened and said that it wasn't worth by now. When we first saw SystemCorp's solution in your blog, we realized that it was an excellent product for companies that wanted to "explore" IEC 61850.”

A lot of people have made similar statements during the last months.

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