The 2022 IEC 61850 IOP (Inter-Operability Testing)—Advancing the Development and Adoption of Substation Digital Networks
In today’s power grid, digitalization is becoming the norm. Utility substations are no exception. Modern protective relay capabilities are providing peer-to-peer communication as the backbone of digital substation network automation.
Doble Engineering participated at this year’s interoperability plugfest (IOP) event held at the CESI SpA Auditorium in Milan, Italy. Eighty people representing 28 manufacturers spent nine days together to test a protection scheme based on the IEC 61850 standard. The purpose of this collaboration was to prove communication interoperability between different manufacturers’ solutions and devices toward identifying any problems that might occur during the integration of multi-vendor systems.
Team Doble (from left to right): Mario Capuozzo, David Gueret, Jun Verzosa, Jose Ruiz, Marcos Velazquez, and Nestor Casilla.
IOP Team (SEL, GE, Schneider, Doble, Christoph, Witnesses) reviewing test results during the Feeder Operation testing.
Summary of Activities
Prior to this face-to-face event in Milan, several remote planning meetings were held even before the first part. Jun Verzosa was heavily involved in the following:
- Design of the integrated protection and control system. This included the primary system single-line diagram, the protection and control functions to be used, signals for publishing and subscription mapping, and allocation of actual participating devices. Power Engineers were responsible for producing the system configuration (SCD) file. ASE SCL Manager engineering tool was used for the first SCL IOP part and Helink’s STS tool was used for the engineering of the SCD for the face-to-face testing event.
- Test cases for individual devices including Client-Server testing, setting group, control services, GOOSE/SV supervision, and normal and isolation one-on-one testing of devices.
- Development of test cases for functional testing of the protection and control schemes and sub-systems together with Christoph Brunner (convener of IEC TC57/WG10) and other TF members. Jun calculated all the injected and simulated current and voltage values for the various test scenarios.
- Planning of the physical arrangement of equipment including the network communication devices, protection and control devices, and test simulators. The Doble devices were allocated to tables near devices that needed analog injection to maximize coverage and participation in the system functional testing.
At the event, Doble participated with several power system simulators: F6150sv, F8200, and F8300. The F6150sv and F8300 each provided conventional analog simulations and digital Generic Object-Oriented Substation Event (GOOSE) and sampled values (SV) simulations that happened simultaneously. The F8200 that we brought featured a specific digital configuration, so we used it for SV simulation only.
The simulated SVs had different sampling rates because the simulated streams were in accordance with the IEC 61850-9-2LE and IEC 61869-9 profiles. It was possible to simulate up to four SV streams, which depended on the test case.
A Doble F6052 was used at this event as a precision time protocol (PTP) master clock together with other manufacturers’ PTP master clocks.
The Doble F6150sv, F8200, and F8300 were time synchronized via PTP, which was especially easy with the two new F8 series test sets. By having a time synchronization on the Ethernet network, it allowed simulated faults to run at the same time with multiple Doble test sets.
The F6150sv also provided the injections of low-level signals and conventional simulations required by two separate merging units (MU), respectively. This was an advantage because a single test set was utilized for these two different types of simulated signals for the test case.
Doble 61850 TesT software was used as a monitoring tool during some of the test cases because it was necessary to see the status of the GOOSE messages during the troubleshooting process. SVs were not the exception. The software allowed us to monitor the SV waveforms as needed and see their voltage or current RMS values.
Doble’s participation in the 2022 IEC 61850 Interoperability Testing Events had many benefits.
It provided a unique and valuable opportunity to test our products in a realistic protection automation and control system comprised of the latest products from many international vendors.
It helped us identify any issues or product refinements we could explore, and it led us to discover any potential shortcomings in the IEC 61850 standard itself.
It was a conduit for information and use cases that we can apply as we continue to develop a better product for our clients.
And lastly, it served to demonstrate to power utilities and potential users that digital systems based on IEC 61850 do work and that devices from multiple vendors can communicate and interoperate with each other.
The next IOP event venue and year are not defined yet, but it could be in 2024 or 2025. The venue will depend on interested sponsors for the event. Most likely, a vendor-neutral company.
Top photo: a view of the testing auditorium (Credit: CESI).
About the Authors
Jose Ruiz is a Senior Technical Application Engineer at Doble Engineering. Jose has more than 10 years of experience in the industry and enjoys teaching new customers about IEC 61850 applications and testing.
Nestor Casilla is the Technical Application Engineering Manager at Doble Engineering. Nestor has more than 36 years of experience in the industry, the last 12 working for Doble Engineering. He has participated in previous IOP and other events that allow him to share with customers and colleagues.
Scott L Short, P.E. is the Director of Solutions, Protection and Automation Technologies at Doble Engineering. He is an active Professional Engineer and member of the IEEE. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1992. Prior to that, he served 6 years in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Nuclear Operator on the SSN-681 Batfish and SSBN-633 Casmir Pulaski submarine service, 1981-1987. Scott resides in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Sherry and their sons, Parker and Grant. In his spare time, Scott can be found on the golf course.
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