Substation Automation Gets Simplified

ABB’s IET600 substation automation configuration tool has been awarded IEC 61850 certification.
Published: Fri 26 Feb 2016

ABB’s Integrated Engineering Tool IET600 has aimed to provide a simple and consistent approach to substation automation system engineering with powerful editors that enable engineers to design and configure the system-wide IEC 61850 communication data flow between IEDs and to effectively integrate them into a multi-vendor system.

With features including consistency checks to reduce errors during both the initial system engineering and subsequent commissioning, and data consistency throughout the lifecycle of the substation automation system ensured when combined with the configuration of alarm and event signals for ABB’s MicroSCADA platform, the system has been deployed in the thousands worldwide.

Those existing and new users now have further assurance of the ongoing application of IET600 with UCA International Users Group (UCAIug) conformance tested certification for the IEC 61850 standard.

As the first system configuration tool to receive independently-verified certification, it also provides utilities with a benchmark for what a system configuration tool is expected to perform in terms of interoperability and system integration tasks.

IEC 61850 conformance

The IEC 61850 standard for substation automation communication was initiated in 1995 to enable open, interoperable systems and flexible architectures. The first multi-vendor project was commissioned by ABB in Laufenburg in Switzerland in 2004 and subsequently many thousands of systems have been deployed worldwide, with further benefits being brought by digitalization. [Engerati-Creating Real Opportunities With Today’s Digital Substation]

Protection and control relays, as well as IEC 61850 clients, have long come with certified conformance to different versions of the standard. Now, with the certification of IET600, users have a further guarantee of the interoperability and future-proofing of their systems with the assurance that the tool meets the integration and system performance requirements of ABB and third-party protection and control devices.

“ABB is once again defining the industry benchmark for vendor-neutral system engineering in modern digital substation automation systems,” comments Claus Vetter, Global Product Group Manager, ABB Grid Automation Products. “Our research and development team have taken the expectations of the IEC and more importantly our customers to the next level and further simplified the tasks of substation automation system integration.”

Certification by DNV GL

A certification programme for system engineering tools was initiated by ABB and DNV GL in late 2014 to bring the quality of the tools to the next level. Throughout 2015 the two companies worked closely together pilot testing and refining the test procedures in close cooperation with stakeholders in the UCAIug before publication of the official test procedures in October 2015.

The final testing of IET600 took place in late 2015. The results were reviewed and approved by the UCAIug on January 25, 2016.

“Through this joint partnership, we are leading the development of new conformance test programmes and providing expert knowledge,” adds Bas Mulder, Senior Consultant at DNV GL. “As an organization we are committed to bringing the quality of IEC 61850 system configuration tools to the next level.”

IET600 combines multiple Instantiated IED Description (IID) files pertaining to different devices to build a horizontal and vertical data flow while checking for consistency at every step of the engineering process. With the new version of IET600, engineers can now take advantage of the latest features of IEC 61850 edition 2, by sourcing components that conform to the standard and integrating them into their designs.

With the digital substation forming a cornerstone of smart grids, IEC 61850 will continue to evolve. [Engerati-Enabling Digital Substations] The certification of IET600 ensures it is up to meeting these demands.

Further reading

ABB: IET600 substation automation configuration tool awarded world’s first IEC 61850 tool conformance testing certification