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Substation Communications:

Introduction

Communications : Why use it ?


Why would utilities/industry use communications to substation
equipment?
To get power system data into a remote SCADA / DCS system
To set IEDs, aid commissioning and extract data for analysis (local
access)
Remote control of plant

Communication Requirements
Retrieval
Measurements
Plant status
Trip information
Fault location
Setting files
Fault, event & disturbance records
Maintenance information
Change settings
Plant control (CB, disconnector, Tap Position, etc.)
Peer-to-peer communications

Digital Communications : Definitions


PROTOCOL:
Rules and procedures that communications networks
use to communicate on the communications medium
XHARDWARE CONNECTIONS
Physical shape
Electrical characteristics

Protocols / Formats

XDATA FLOW
Control transmitter/receiver rate
Detection of data corruption
XDATA CODING
Code information

Language

Serial Transmission : Definitions

Transmitter

11101010

00001101

Receiver

SERIAL TRANSMISSION
XSIMPLEX
Transmission in one direction only
XHALF DUPLEX
Two way means of transmission but data can
only travel in one direction at a time
XFULL DUPLEX
Transmission in both directions simultaneously

Transmission Systems
XSYNCHRONOUS

Bit periods controlled by synchronizing the clocks at the


transmitter and at the receiver
Framing bits are added to blocks of data
XASYNCHRONOUS

Tansmitter and Receiver clocks run at approximately the


same rate
Framing bits are added to raw data bits

Transmission Medium
XEIA 232
- 9/25 pin D connector
(was RS232) - Maximum data rate ~19200 bps
- Maximum distance 15m
XEIA 485
- 2 or 4 wires
(was RS485) - Maximum data rate ~19200 bps
- Maximum distance 1000m
XOptical fibre - Immunity to electrical interference
- Advantages in distance and speed
XEthernet

- Electrical and fibre media


- Data rate 10Mbps, 100Mbps

Data Security
Noise corruption of data
Parity bit check
Checksums
Cyclic redundancy check
Unauthorized access cybersecurity
Password protection
Modem dial back
Firewalls
Encryption
Authentication

Transmission Definitions : Client/Server


XMASTER/SLAVE

Slave (IED) can only send when it receives a


request from the Master (e.g. RTU)
Slave sets flags to indicate functions need servicing
by the Master
XCLIENT/SERVER

same relationship as Master/Slave


but can have multiple Clients!

Transmission Definitions : Point to point


REMOTE
LOCAL

Laptop

Engineering
Station
Modem

IED
Modem

IED

Transmission Definitions : Shared Access

Star Network Topology

Ethernet Standard - 30/05/2012 - P 11

Token Ring Network Topology Bus Network/Multidrop

Network Terminology
Network

An interconnected group of nodes or


stations linked by communication channels

Node

The interface point where one or more


functional units are connected

LAN

Local area network (<5km)

WAN

Wide area network

Network topology

Pattern of nodes and their interconnection

Gateway

Equipment which makes data from a


separate subnetwork available to primary
network

Transmission Definitions : Network Access


XCARRIER SENSE METHODS
CSMA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access) /CD (Collision
Detection)
Medium Access Control (MAC)
XTOKEN ACCESS METHOD
The device that has the Token has access to transmit
XRESERVATION METHOD
Each device has a predefined time slot to transmit

Network Topology (serial communication)

Modem

SCADA
Client

Engineering
Station
Modem

Modem
DNP3.0 Level 3
Gateway
EIA485
IED *

DNP3.0
Substation
Level 2
HMI
EIA485
DNP3.0
EIA485
Level 2
IED

* proprietary protocol

IED

Modem

EIA232
Front

Laptop
Computer

Gateway

Network Topology (Ethernet communication)


SCADA
Client

Engineering
Station
EIA232

Ethernet
Switch

Gateway
IEC61850
EIA485
IED *

Terminal
Server

WAN

Terminal
Server

Substation
HMI
Ethernet
IED

* proprietary protocol

Ethernet
IED

EIA232
Front

Laptop
Computer

Gateway

Open System Interconnection (OSI)


7 Layer Model

Application

Application Specific Protocols

Presentation

Message Format, Language

Session

Dialog Between Processes

Transport

Network

2
1

Application

Presentation

Session

Transport

Packets (Routing)

Network

Data link

Error Detection, Frames

Data link

Physical

Tx and Rx of Raw Bits

Physical

Flow Control, Message sequence

Physical transmission medium

Protocols: Analogy

Postal
network
service
ZG9948

Serial Communications Protocols


Outside the substation
Standard/independent: IEC60870-5-101,
DNP3, MODBUS, etc.
Proprietary RTU protocols
Master / Slave
Speed 9.6 to 64 kbps +

SCADA

RTU / Bay
Computer /
Gateway

Within the substation


Standard/independent: IEC60870-5-103,
DNP3, MODBUS, Profibus, etc.
Proprietary: Courier, SPA-Bus, etc.
Master / Slave
Speed 1200bps to 64 kbps

IEDs

Serial protocols : limitations


Designed 5-20 years ago to:
minimise the communication bandwidth
minimise the processor/memory load
make it implementable for non-communication expert
Few standards
Slow communication: need for multiple links
Difficult connection of a third party application - gateway
Database absolute address, not flexible, no modelling
Master-slave: long recovery time in case of master failure
Peer-to-peer communication usually not possible

Need for Standardisation


Lack of commonality between vendors
Lack of standard SCADA / DCS protocols
Existing industry protocols (e.g. Modbus, Profibus,..) not well
suited to protection communications
Cost of interface / gateway solutions
Global market

Changes in Technology
Processor speeds have been multiplied by 30 (at least) in 15 years
Cost of Memory has dropped considerably
Ethernet is widely available
100 Mbit/s, 1 Gbit/s, etc.
Software technology allows easier implementation of complex
concepts
For example, Object Oriented Design enabling the re-use of
existing software modules

Recent Developments
XUCA2

EPRI ( USA utilities ) project


Not tied to any particular vendor
Use of some existing standards (MMS protocol, Ethernet
medium)
XIEC 61850
Based on UCA 2 concepts

International Standard issued 2004


Edition 2 now partly issued
Hundreds of substations commissioned

Communications Interoperability is...

Xthe ability of two or more IEDs or applications from the


same vendor, or from different vendors, to exchange
information and use that information for correct execution
of specified functions
Xthe goal of IEC 61850