The IEC 61850 standard was mainly developed for the electrical power sector and is used in designing acquisition, control and protection systems for the following applications:
- Electrical substations
- Power distribution centres
- Hydroelectric power plants
- Wind farms, solar farms and other renewable energy
- Transmission lines and line automation
- Buildings (metering)
- Microgrids (decentralized power output)
- Station-to-station and station-to-control centre communications
Although the shift to signal digitalization has begun, there are a variety of technologies in electrical installations that date back several decades. This blog covers the various approaches based on technological evolution.
Technology through time
To ensure the sustainability of installations, it’s prudent to understand the technology that’s currently on the market, how this technology has evolved and what the benefits are when tackling current challenges. The answers to these questions will help shape the approach when it comes time to modernize existing installations and extend the life by several years.
Technological developments have been grouped into four distinct approaches to simplify the reader’s understanding.
1. The local approach
This approach has existed since power systems were introduced, where everything was monitored and controlled by local physical devices and everything was cabled, from field equipment to the control centre. This approach has evolved very little over many years.