Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Podcast from Black and Veatch on IEC 61850 in the U.S.

A podcast provided by Black & Veatch reports how IEC 61850 is expected to be accepted in the U.S. power industry. It is also reported how American Electric Power uses the GE BRICK solution for the interface between the control room and the switch yard.

There is no doubt about the trend towards IEC 61850 in North America!

The GE Brick solution is based on IEC 61850 concepts. Many benefits provided by IEC 61850 are offered by the Bricks – except one crucial issue that is not supported: The Brick solution is NOT interoperable with fully IEC 61850 compliant IEDs like protection and control devices or merging units according to IEC 61850-9-2.

An IED with an IEC 61850 interface can NOT communicate with the Brick! So, the Brick is a vendor specific solution using mainly fiber optic cables and Ethernet and message formats from IEC 61850 to replace copper wires to the switch yard. The idea of an open international standard for multi-vendor systems is supported by fully IEC 61850 compliant merging units and other IEDs (as publisher) and other IEDs (as subscribers).

Click HERE for listening the podcast [some 14 minutes].
Click HERE for more information on the concept.

1 comment:

Rich Hunt said...

The podcast does not discuss the issue of interoperability, but only AEP's goal to use HardFiber to achieve cost savings. Interoperability between merging units and IEDs is a different, and important, discussion.

This interoperability between merging units (MUs) and IEDs is a challenge for process bus. Because of the potentially infinite number of sampled value datasets that could be available under the 61850 standard, IEDs will be designed to work with the specific datasets published by specific merging units. This process is already under way. Some IEDs are designed to work the limited 9-2LE dataset, though no commercially available merging unit publishes this dataset. Another vendor has, similar to GE, developed their own dataset for use by their merging units and IEDs. Other vendors are actively working to design their IEDs to work the GE Brick, as described in the paper "IEC61850 9-2 Process Bus: Application in a real multivendor substation" presented at CIGRE 2010. This means end users, and IED vendors, will need to select the process bus system and sampled value dataset(s) that meet their specific needs. And right now, the choice is limited, as only two companies (GE being one) have commercially available merging units.