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What’s New with IEC 61850: IOP in Munich

by Joe Stevens | Feb 06, 2014

Background on IEC 61850 IOP

Triangle MicroWorks participated in IEC 61850 interoperability testing, hosted by the UCA International Users Group in Munich in late October, 2013.  The goal of the testing was to improve the IEC 61850 standard by identifying potential interoperability issues that have not yet been addressed.  Triangle MicroWorks sent two developers, Joel Greene and Phil Young, to participate in the testing.

Tests Performed at IOP

Twenty vendors participated in the testing sessions, including several Triangle MicroWorks (TMW) customers who use the TMW 61850 Source Code Library.  Testing included groups focused on Client/Server, GOOSE, Sampled Values, and Substation Configuration Language (SCL).  Triangle MicroWorks participated in Client/Server and GOOSE tests during the IOP.  Results from the IOP are expected to be reviewed and published in early 2014.

The Client/Server group was coordinated by Joel Greene, a Triangle MicroWorks engineer who is the lead developer on the IEC 61850 C stack and also works with DNP3 Source Code Libraries.   Prior to TMW, Joel had 10 years of protocol development experience in the telecom industry.  Regarding the Interop, Joel Greene commented, “We had the opportunity to test our 61850 stack with many different vendors.  We participate in and help facilitate the IOP because we value the chance to improve the standard by testing new features and proposing new solutions.”  Also participating in the IOP was Phil Young, the lead developer for TMW’s 61850 Test Suite applications.

61850 Features Demonstrated by TMW

Some of the new features demonstrated by Triangle MicroWorks at the IOP included support for external references and tracking.  External references in the 61850 standard allow devices to be linked in the IEC 61850 system engineering process, which is a key feature for allowing hardwired signals in substations to be replaced by Ethernet.  Tracking is a new service in 61850 Edition 2 which allows reporting on changes to the SCADA system.  The current release of TMW’s IEC 61850 Source Code Library fully supports both external references and tracking.

Triangle MicroWorks also had the chance to propose a new way to support mixed edition devices (Edition 1 and Edition 2) within a SCADA system.  TMW foresaw this issue while developing the Edition 2 stack.  TMW proposed its solution to the IEC 61850 community during the IOP and demonstrated how mixed edition systems could interoperate by using the TMW IEC 61850 source code library.

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