You are on page 1of 5


A Data Substation Communication System

Based on IEC61850 for Integrated Protection
X D Guo[1], J H He[1],L Yu[1], Z Q Bo[2], H Zhang[1]
[1] Beijing Jiaotong University, China [2] AREVA T&D Automation, UK

very large. Meanwhile, the digital data will be output by

Abstract—This paper designs a novel seamless merging units and exchanged by switches which are the
communication system in digital substation based on IEC61850. devices in process layer, then the data will be sent to the
The system will be used in the integrated protection. A structure integrated protection in bay level for being processed. In order
based on the concept of object-oriented hierarchical distributed
to reach the requirement for real-time and security, the data
design is firstly presented, and then the details of the
communication system realization are given. Based on the stream needs an efficient communication system as a platform
proposal, there are three levels within a digital substation: the for streaming in the digital substation[7].
station level, the bay level and the process level. The To abide by IEC 61850 about substation communication
communication system can provide a platform for data stream to network and system, the paper presents a structure based on
be upward from the process level to the station level. Meanwhile, the concept of object-oriented hierarchical distributed design[8-
the communication system will reach the requirement for 10]
. Meanwhile, this paper will also introduce the very
security, real-time and reliability. Finally, the application of
IEC61850 in the seamless communication system is introduced. important primary device: photoelectric mutual inductor, and
Index Terms—Digital Substation, Data Traffic System, introduce the communication part of IEC61850, and put
IEC61850, Integrated Protection emphasis on the differences between IEC61850-9-1 and
IEC61850-9-2 used in this data traffic system. Then a whole
I. INTRODUCTION plan of an experimental platform is given. In this platform, a
protection tester is used to generate fault signal to simulate the
I n recent years, with the dramatic growth in signal
processing power in relay platforms and the availability of
widespread communications schemes, more and more
power system fault. The very important thing is that the
protection tester must be able to packet the fault signal into
protection devices and communication schemes are used in a messages based on IEC61850-9-1 or IEC61850-9-2[11]. To
digital substation[1-2]. Especially new opportunities are abide by IEC61850, a message can contain several ASDU
provided to study the novel data traffic system of digital (Application Service Data Unit).
substation based on IEC61850[3-4].
The integrated protection which is a new concept for a II. THE DIGITAL SUBSTATION
digital substation integrates many protections into it, such as Along with the development of digital technology, the
line protection, transformer protection, busbar protection, application of photoelectric mutual inductors, smart switches,
etc[5]. It is different from conventional substation protection. monitoring primary devices online and network in the real-
The communication process for a digital substation has time system becomes more and more common. The research
achieved absolute digitization on which new means of and application of digital substation will entre the period of
integrated protection based. The new means are provided for practical project[12]. To the technology extent, the design
processing digital quantity. According to integrated protection, philosophy of digital substation is irrespective with voltage
different protection programs may require the same data or the grade. It is just a little more complex to consider the questions
processing consequence from other protection programs, so a about how to construct a high voltage grade digital substation.
large quantity of digital quantity will be exchanged[6]. Not According to the communication technology develops to an
only the raw data which is collected by the photoelectric extent, it is necessary that the digitization and networking to
mutual inductors, but also the communication between the replace the analog quantity transmission. The digital
process level and interval level, requires absolute digitization. substation will become the inevitable trend of substation
Since the analog quantity is transformed into digital quantity construction after the synthesis automation technology[13].
by primary devices, the quantity of the digital data has been
A. The Communication Structure of a Digital Substation
The digital substation makes the primary devices
This project is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China digitization based on the synthesis automation technology.
Xianda Guo is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, Beijing
Then these primary devices switch-in the whole system of a
Jiaotong University, China. ( digital substation through IEC61850. A digital substation
J H He, Le Yu, Hao Zhang are with the Department of Electrical consists of the station level, the bay level and the process level.
Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, China
Fig. 1 shows the structure. The station level consists of
Z Q Bo is with the AREVA T&D Automation, UK

conventional back stage monitoring system and remote servers. C. Photoelectric Mutual Inductor
Station Photoelectric Mutual Inductors are the most important as
Level Monitor Computer A Monitor Computer B

Devices primary devices. The digitization of mutual inductors is the

foundation of digital substation. The conventional mutual
Bay Bay Level Switches A
inductors expose a series of short comings, such as strict
Network Bay Level Switches B requirement for insulation, magnetic saturation, ferromagnetic
resonance, narrow dynamic range, narrow frequency range etc.
Level Protective and Monitoring Devices A
Bay Protective and Monitoring Devices B The implement theory of conventional mutual inductors is
Devices Level hardly to make a further development[19]. But the photoelectric
Switches A Switches B
mutual inductors overcome the technology bottleneck from
Network the root of implement theory. Furthermore, the digitization
Bay The The development of protection and automatic controlling devices
Merging Units other Merging Units other
Level A
Smart Cells A
bay level B bay Smart Cells B
reduces the secondary load, and provides prerequisite for the
Devices devices
application of photoelectric mutual inductors[20].
Photoelectric Mutual Inductor A Photoelectric Mutual Inductor B
In accordance with the IEC60044-7 standard, photoelectric
Photoelectric Mutual Inductor

voltage mutual inductors adopt resistance voltage dividers,
condenser dividers or optical apparatuses as the primary
converting components, and use the optical fibre transports
The bay level consists of measurement and control protection primary converting signal. According to IEC60044-8 standard,
Fig. 1 The communication structure of a digital substation photoelectric current mutual inductors adopt the Rogowski
devices, protection devices for low voltage grade busbar Roil, hall sensors, optical apparatus or conventional current
apparatuses, gauging devices and other protocol converting mutual inductors as the primary converting components, and
devices which switch-in the smart devices[14]. The devices of a use optical fibre transports the primary converting signal. The
single bay level contain high voltage distribution line photoelectric mutual inductors can output digital secondary
protection devices and gauging devices. The devices among signal and provide basic guarantee to digital substations[21].
several bay levels contain auto-switch-on protection devices
D. IEC61850 and Ethernet Used In a Digital Substation
and transformer protection devices. The process level devices
mainly contain photoelectric mutual inductors and smart cells In a substation automation system, devices from different
etc. Nowadays, the photoelectric mutual inductors use the generations are often incompatible because of technological
Rogowski coil and the current or voltage mutual inductors changes and replacement costs are high. IEC61850 may be the
which are supplied energy by laser to realize the digitization answer. IEC61850 is based on a common application model of
of mutual inductors, and are equipped with merging units[15]. substation automation function. It defines a set of standard
The process level devices have the function of self-detection interfaces are called logical nodes. In a power network,
and self-description, and support the IEC61850 process level busbars are called nodes because power flows between them.
protocol. The transmission medium adopts optical fibre According to IEC61850, data flow between the interfaces and
transmission. hence the term “node” is used. “Logical” signifies that the
interface is not a physical but rather a conceptual one[22].
B. Implement Scheme Fig. 2 shows the interface for input data, output data and
At the present stage, the development of digital substations configuration data of a general function. A function
has entered the period of practical program from theoretical communicates with another function through its logical node.
research. To satisfy the development of digital substations, the There are approximately 90 different logical nodes
implement scheme must realize the requirement for the standardised by the IEC.
forward looking technologies and the realizabilities[16]. With the logical nodes and data defined, the standard then
In accordance with the features of a digital substation, the details the communication services that can operate on the
implement scheme of a digital substation may contain three data. These services include get values, set values, transfer a
aspects: Firstly, the communication between the station level file and so on. These are abstract services and they must be
and the bay level; Secondly, the transmission of the sampled mapped to concrete and standard protocols with standardised
data; Lastly, the connection between the intelligent terminal of semantics. The first fully standardised protocol in IEC61850
switches and the bay level devices[17]. The communication is based on Ethernet[23], Transmission Control
between the station level and bay level is mainly reflected in Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and Manufacturing
the protocol level, and there are IEC61850 and IEC61870-5- Message Specification (MMS).
103. All the sampled data is transported to abide by
IEC61850-9-1 which is the protocol on network mode. The
communication between the intelligent terminal of switches
and the bay level devices abides by the message protocol of
GOOSE, and abides by the network mode transmission[18].

Because this redundant Ethernet is in a local area network

(LAN) and the switches will divide VLAN, so the Ethernet
protocol adopts
Fig. 3. An experimental platform for communication system in a digital

Protection Server

Ethernet over

Fig. 2 Interface through which data of a function flows

The utilities expect ‘gateway-free’ access to all intelligent Ethernet Switch
GOOSE Switch
components of the digital substation system by means of the
commercially available tools and standard communication
Merging Merging Intelligent
protocols. These requirements demand a flexible bus at all Unit 1 Unit 2 Devices
levels. The use of Ethernet technology fulfils these
requirements and provides uniform access to the data
throughout the whole substation. Ethernet is the only system Input Analog
whose present version is compatible with its original version
Protection Tester
invented in the 1970s[24].
The use of Ethernet communications for all the digital substation
substation functions allows for standard and simpler cabling in the IEEE802.1Q standard. It means that the messages should
comparison with the use of parallel communications. This is contain the information label of IEEE802.1Q. The label
an advantage in project execution, equipment installation and consists of TPID, user priority, canonical format indicator and
equipment testing. Ethernet is highly backward and forward VLAN ID. In the header of the messages, there are destination
compatible. For example, a 10Mbit per second network can address and source address[27]. Fig. 4 shows the analysis result
easily be integrated into a 100Mbit per second network, and a of capturing the messages from the redundant Ethernet. It
100Mbit per second network can be integrated into a 1Gbit indicates the message information such as the destination
per second network in the same manner[25]. Thus, the address and source address. Inside the red frame, it indicates
investment of the utility is safeguarded. the condition of sending messages. Inside the green frame, it
indicates the destination address and the source address.
III. THE SCHEME OF COMMUNICATION PLATFORM IN A SINGLE Different devices should use the different MAC address and
BAY LEVEL the same device can use different MAC address.
IEC 61850 does not make the use of the station bus or the
process bus mandatory. The number of buses is flexible. It is
not necessary to adopt the rigid three-layer structure (station
layer, interval layer and process layer). So Fig.3 shows a
scheme of combining the station layer and process layer.
This communication system adopts the scheme of
combining station level and process level. The protection
testers are used to simulate mutual inductors, and output the
sampled information in analog quantity. In the bay level,
merging units are directly connected to the protection testers.
A merging unit can receive the analog signal from a protection
tester and converts it into digital signal[26]. Meanwhile, the Fig. 4. The analysis result of capturing the messages from redundant Ethernet.
merging units also can package the digital signal in The integrated protection receives the messages contain
accordance with IEC61850-9-1 or IEC61850-9-2. Then the the sampled data information and distinguishes the redundant
merging units send these messages to the GOOSE network data through the protection program. Then the central server
switches through redundant Ethernet. This experimental deals with the messages and analyzes the APDU. The results
platform adopts the network switch made by RuggedCOM. It will be packaged in GOOSE protocol and sent back to the
has the function of QOS, priority, multicast, opening SNMP redundant Ethernet. The GOOSE network switches transport
service and so on. The most important is that it supports the the GOOSE message to different smart cells.
technology of GOOSE. The switches can use the messages to In this communication system, the selection between
make a networking deployment in accordance with IEC61850-9-1 and IEC61850-9-2 is another important thing
IEC61850-9-1 or IEC61850-9-2. Then send these packages to to be considered. At the beginning of the application of
the integrated protection through the redundant Ethernet.

photoelectric mutual inductors, the IEC60044-8 was Universities Power Engineering Conference, 2006. UPEC '06.
Proceedings of the 41st International. pp.868-875.
formulated for the communication protocol. Using the high [7] Bo, Z.Q., Klimek, A., Dong, X.Z., He, J.H., Zhang, B.H.,
speed serial ports in FT3 format, the bandwidth is a little “Developments of transient and integrated protection for power system”
narrow just only 2.5M. But along with the establishment of in Electric Utility Deregulation and Restructuring and Power
IEC61850 protocol, the IEC60044-8 protocol had not Technologies, 2008. DRPT 2008.
[8] Mackiewicz, R.E., “Overview of IEC 61850 and benefits”, Power
corresponded with the requirement of IEC61850. So the System Technology and IEEE Power India Conference, 2008.
IEC61850-9-1 was designed to reach 100M[28]. Meanwhile, POWERCON 2008.pp.756-763.
IEC61850-9-1 adds serial description to the original data to [9] Sidhu, T.S., Gangadharan, P.K., " Control and automation of power
system substation using IEC61850 communication," in Control
constitute the sampled values over serial unidirectional Applications, 2005. CCA 2005. Proceedings of 2005 IEEE Conference
multidrop point-to-point link using ISO 8802-3. Of cause that on, pp. 1331-1336.
IEC61850-9-1 can be used in network deployment, and not [10] Lloret, P., Velasquez, J.L., Molas-Balada, L., Villafafila, R., Sumper, A.,
Galceran-Arellano, S., " IEC 61850 as a flexible tool for electrical
limited by point-to-point link. systems monitoring," in Electrical Power Quality and Utilisation, 2007.
Because of the complete description to the data, the EPQU 2007. 9th International Conference on., pp. 135-143.
IEC61850-9-2 protocol is used in the network deployment of [11] Kun Liu, Xinzhou Dong; Zhiqian Bo, " Current differential protection
based on Non-Conventional Instrument Transformer and IEC61850," in
the process layer. Universities Power Engineering Conference, 2008. UPEC 2008. 43rd
According to the features of the IEC61850-9-1 and Internationa, pp. 456-461.
IEC61850-9-2, IEC61850-9-2 can be used in the network [12] Jian Zhang, Zhenhai Yuan, Zhizhong Guo, " Study of the entire current
deployment when the number of bay level is less than four. differential protection of EHV transmission lines based on electronic
transducer," in Power and Energy Society General Meeting - Conversion
When the number of interval layer is more than four, and Delivery of Electrical Energy in the 21st Century, 2008 IEEE, pp.
IEC61850-9-1 will be used. So, in this experimental platform 276-281.
for a digital substation, IEC61850-9-2 will be more suitable. [13] Rajaci, I., Sanaye-Pasand, M., Marzoghi, E.S., " Communication
requirements for control and monitoring of HV feeders in digital
substation control system," in Developments in Power System Protection,
2004. Eighth IEE International Conference on, pp. 726-729 Vol.2.
IV. CONCLUSIONS [14] Liu, K., Shenxing, S., Dong, X., Bo, Z, " Study of Non-Conventional
Instrument Transformer and IEC61850 impact on current differential
This paper investigates an advanced communication system protection," in Transmission and Distribution Conference and
to meet the requirements of a digital substation. The paper not Exposition: Latin America, 2008 IEEE/PES, pp. 742-747.
[15] Jian Zhang; Zhenhai Yuan, Yansong Li, Zhizhong Guo, " A new method
only focuses on the hardware of the communication system, to realize the relay protection of AOCT following IEC61850," in Power
but also the communication protocol defined by IEC61850. System Technology, 2006. PowerCon 2006. International Conference on,
Firstly, the paper gives the communication structure of a pp. 653-657.
digital substation in practical program. Then the whole [16] Shu-Guang Liu, Liu-Yuan Ding; Huan-Huan Zeng, " Design and
implementation of integrated protection apparatus in prefabricated
communication system in an experimental platform is given. substation," in Machine Learning and Cybernetics, 2004. Proceedings of
Meanwhile, the paper also presents the communication 2004 International Conference on, pp. 2804-2808 vol.5.
protocol of IEC61850 used in a digital substation, and the [17] Holstein, D.K., " Development of an IEEE standard for integrated
substation automation communication (P1525): specifications for
differences between IEC61850-9-1 and IEC61850-9-2. substation integrated protection, control and data acquisition
The digital substations have a great development in recent communication," in Power Engineering Society Summer Meeting, 2000.
years, so an efficient communication system becomes more IEEE, pp. 132-135 vol.1.
[18] Bo, Z.Q., Zhang, B.H., He, J.H., Dong, X.Z., Caunce, B.R.J., Klimek, A.,
and more important. Presently, research works are being " An integrated boundary protection scheme for power transmission line
conducted to reach the requirement for an efficient real-time, systems," in Power Engineering Conference, 2007. IPEC 2007.
reliable communication system. International, pp. 470-475.
[19] Hulin, Dwight; Rifaat, Rasheek, " Applications of Distance Protection
Schemes for a Forked Inter-Tie between Industrial Cogeneration and a
V. REFERENCES Large Utility: Tips, Tricks and Traps," in Industry Applications
Periodicals: Conference, 2007. 42nd IAS Annual Meeting. Conference Record of the
2007 IEEE, pp. 1238-1243.
[1] Schumacher, M. Hoga, C. Schmid, J., " Future digital substation with
[20] Caramel, C., Austin, P., Sanchez, J.-L., Imbernon, E., Rousset, B, "
all signals via one digital platform" in Power Engineering Society
Interaction analysis and insulation techniques for short-circuit integrated
General Meeting, 2007. IEEE. pp.564-570
protection structure," in Power Semiconductor Devices and IC's, 2006
[2] Hongxing Wang, Guoqing Zhang, Zhizhong Guo, Jiaying Wang,
IEEE International Symposium on, pp. 894-898.
Xingguo Cai, " Application of Electronic Transformers in Digital
[21] Ferreira, L.R.C., Pugh, J., Crossley, P.A., Allan, R.N., Goody, J., "
Substation" in Power System Technology and IEEE Power India
Design and reliability of integrated protection and control schemes,"
Conference, 2008. POWERCON 2008. pp.596-607.
Power System Control and Management, Fourth International
[3] Kaneda, K., Tamura, S.,Fujiyama, N., Arata, Y., Ito, H., " IEC61850
Conference on (Conf. Publ. No. 421), pp. 87-91.
based Substation Automation System" in Power System Technology and
[22] Bo, Z.Q., Klimek, A., Ren, Y.L., He, J.H., " A Real Time Digital
IEEE Power India Conference, 2008. POWERCON 2008. pp.426-434.
Simulation System for Testing of Integrated Protection Schemes," in
[4] Mackiewicz, R.E, " Overview of IEC 61850 and benefits," in Power
Power System Technology and IEEE Power India Conference, 2008.
Engineering Society General Meeting, 2006. IEEE, pp. 316-323.
POWERCON 2008. Joint International Conference on, pp. 798-802.
[5] Bo, Z.Q., He, J.H., Dong, X.Z., Caunce, B.R.J., Klimek, A, “ Integrated
[23] YL Ren, JHHe, Z Q Bo, XZDong, BR J Caunce andA Klimek, "Ethernet
protection of power systems,” in Power Engineering Society General
based Substation Communication System for Integrated Protection," in
Meeting, 2006. IEEE.
2006 International Conference on Power System Technology, pp. 569-
[6] He, J.H., Ren, Y., Bo, Z.Q., Caunce, B.R.J., Klimek, A., “An Advanced
Substation Communication System for Integrated Protection” in

[24] Seok-Kyu Kweon, Shin, K.G., " Statistical real-time communication

over Ethernet," in Communications Magazine, IEEE, pp. 322-335.
[25] Cavendish, D., " Operation, administration, and maintenance of Ethernet
services in wide area networks," in Communications Magazine, IEEE,
pp. 72-79.
[26] Ning Zhang; Dong, X.Z. Bo, Z.Q. Klimek, A., " An integrated relay for
differential protection of transmission lines," in Electric Utility
Deregulation and Restructuring and Power Technologies, 2008. DRPT
2008. Third International Conference on, pp. 1787-1791.
[27] Lacroix, M., " Development of an IEEE standard for integrated
substation automation communication (P1525): specifications for
substation data model," in Power Engineering Society Summer Meeting,
2000. IEEE, pp. 138-141.
[28] Sidhu, T.S., Yujie Yin, " IED modelling for IEC61850 based substation
automation system performance simulation," in Power Engineering
Society General Meeting, 2006. IEEE, pp. 438-442.

Xianda Guo received his BSc in 2008 in the Department of
Electrical engineering and Automation, Beijing Jiaotong
University. Presently, he is a master student in Beijing
Jiaotong University. His main research interests are Integrated
Protection and Digital Substation.

Jinghan He received her BSc in 1987 in TaiYuan University

of Technology, MSc in 1994 in the Department of Automation,
Tianjing University, China, respectively. Presently, she is
employed as the Associated Professor in Beijing JiaoTong
University, China. Her main research interests are Protective
Relaying, Fault distance measurement and Location in Power

Hao Zhang obtained his B.Sc. degree from

BeijingJiaotongUniversity in 2006. And he worked in the
design and application of protection relays as a research
fellow, in AREVA Company U.K. in 2008. He is currently
working toward the Ph.D. degree in the School of Electrical
Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China. His
research interests are integrated power system protection and
substation communication.

Le Yu received his BSc in 2006 in the Department of

Electrical engineering and Automation, Beijing Jiaotong
University. Presently, he is working on his Ph.D. degree in the
same field in Beijing Jiaotong University. His main research
interests are Protective Relaying, Fault Distance Measurement
and Location in Power System and Traction System.

Zhiqian Bo received his BSc degree from the Northeastern

University, China in 1982 and PhD degree from The Queen's
University of Belfast, UK in 1988 respectively. Presently, he
is with AREVA T&D Automation & Information Business.