R&D Nester involved in digitalization and standardization of electrical network at European level


Multiple communication protocols currently exist in the area of electric system substation automation, which are often not compatible with each other.

The IEC61850 Standard for the design of electrical substation automation addresses many crucial aspects of Transmission System Operator (TSO) communications, data modeling and engineering in order to reach seamless interoperability of different vendors' subsystems within the TSO system management architecture.

Ricardo Cartaxo, researcher at the R&D Nester, is the representative of REN in the working group of ENTSO-E for the study of the IEC 61850 communication standard, which main purpose is to achieve interoperability between devices from different manufacturers, in a substation protection, automation and protection (PAC) system.

The prime goal of this group is to contribute to the use and improvement of this standard, by clarifying ambiguities and identifying gaps, bringing the view of the European TSOs to the IEC 61850 international community. This group is in close contact with the IEC working group in charge of the issuing of the standard, the WG10 of the Technical Committee 57, aiming to incorporate the ENTSO-E requirements in future editions of the standard.

Currently, the group main task is the creation of an IEC 61850 profile for all ENTSO-E members and the establishment of a standardized engineering process for the PAC system.

This profile will be the superset of the functions and signals defined by all the ENTSO-E members, eliminating duplicates, that is, signals that have different names, but with the same meaning. To do this job, a tool has been developed, the Interoperability System Tool (IST), so each one of the members can insert its own functions and signals for the construction of the profile.

The first step, just finished, was the ‘distance protection exercise', which consisted in the introduction and compilation of the sub-functions and signals related to this protection function. In this development, Ricardo had the support of AndrĂ© dos Santos, the responsible in REN for the design and specification of PAC systems.

Next step will be the listing of all PAC functions for the introduction of the respective sub-functions. Finally, a gap analysis towards IEC 61850, to determine which new data models shall be added to the standard to cover all TSOs needs.

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