Sunday, January 27, 2013

Use of IEC 61850 for Electrical Systems Monitoring and Control in the Oil and Gas Industry

Laurent Guise and Patrick Montignies both from Schneider Electric Industries (Grenoble, France) have discussed the use of IEC 61850 for Electrical System Monitoring and Control Systems in the Oil and Gas Industry. The results can be found in a nice paper some years ago.

“Crucial industrial sites such as for Oil and Gas plants are requesting more and more monitoring and control of their electrical installation to increase the electricity availability of their process while optimizing the cost of operation.

While willing to implement an Electrical Monitoring and Control System (EMCS), users face the issue of choosing the right communication technology.

By the way an emerging technology – IEC 61850 – appears on the market. This technology promises real interoperability, while offering unprecedented capabilities for reducing the wiring and increasing the installation agility. Are all these promises a reality? What would be the most pragmatic way for taking the maximum benefits of this new technology while minimizing the risk? The object of this paper is to make a point of technology maturity, to identify the real benefits, but also some potential drawbacks.”

In the conclusion the authors state: “Is there a value to choose IEC 61850 for EMCS application? … there are definitely a lot of reasons for considering positively the usage of IEC 61850.”

Access the complete paper on IEC 61850 for Electrical System Monitoring and Control [pdf]

Today, a few years after the paper was published, we can state that the situation has been improved since then. Especially the availability of mature products for monitoring and control of any kind of processes and equipment installed in the many electrical systems make it easy these days to implement IEC 61850 in short time to market – and for a reasonable price.

To build a Gateway between IEC 61850 and any typically used RTU protocol is as easy as riding a bike.

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