Charting a Course to a Digital Substation
How to Integrate IEC 61850 in Your Existing Solutions

3 Part Series Webinar

Part 1 - An Introduction & Comparison of DNP3 and IEC 61850
Previously held on April 13th at 10am EDT -
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Part 2 - IEC 61850 SCL and the Engineering Process
Previously held on May 4th at 10am EDT -
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Part 3 - Next Steps - Strategies for Integration of DNP3 and IEC 61850
Previously held on May 24th at 10am EDT - Watch Now!

DNP3 and IEC 61850 are two widely used communication protocols in the electrical power industry. While both protocols serve similar purposes, they have distinct differences in their design, implementation, and capabilities.

DNP3 (Distributed Network Protocol 3) is a communication protocol used for vertical SCADA communication, typically used from a control center through a data concentrator to various types of data acquisition and control equipment. It provides control of process equipment and event-driven data acquisition with quality flags.

The IEC 61850 standard similarly includes a vertical SCADA protocol, based on MMS, and expands its scope with the following:

  • A semantic data model
  • An integrated engineering process based on XML files for system design
  • High-speed GOOSE messaging to replace control wiring between IEDs
  • Sampled Measured Value messaging to replace the wiring of analog data and eliminate redundant sensors such as CTs and PTs

This 3-part webinar series will cover the following:

  • Review of the similarities and differences between DNP3 and IEC 61850 at both a protocol and functional level
  • Demonstrations of both IEC 61850 and DNP3 in action using real-world examples
  • Introduction to the top-down IEC 61850 engineering process 
  • Review of strategies for migration and integration of IEC 61850 into a DNP3-based system

Part 1 - An Introduction and Comparison for DNP3 and IEC 61850

What you will learn: 

  • Overview of design principles and architecture of traditional power system SCADA communication protocols, like DNP3/IEEE 1815
  • Compare and contrast DNP3 with IEC 61850 at a protocol level:
    • Event driven transmission
    • Client/Server vs Master/Outstation
    • Configuration and control of where data is sent
    • Object-oriented structure vs individual points
  • Compare and contrast DNP3 with IEC 61850 at a functional level:
    • Review semantic data models and related concepts
    • ICD files vs a points list
    • Control wiring is replaced by GOOSE messages, allowing animated signal flow diagrams instead of prints
  • Demonstrations of both protocols in action using real-world examples

Part 2 - IEC 61850 SCL and the Engineering Process

What you will learn: 

  • Introduction to the Top-Down IEC 61850 Engineering Process
  • Review recent and upcoming extensions to the IEC 61850 standard
  • A detailed look at the recently enhanced “Specification Stage” of the Engineering Process, including:
    • Specification independent of devices
    • Defining detailed data requirements
    • Defining protection and control schemes
    • Simulation and validation of design during the specification stage
  • Best practices when creating SCD files
  • Live demonstration of concepts using a simulated IEC 61850 substation

Part 3 - Next Steps: Strategies for Integration of DNP3 and IEC 61850

What you will learn:

  • Multiprotocol Device Approach
    • GOOSE replaces wires
    • DNP3 communications to the SCADA Master
  • Applying the IEC 61850 Engineering Process to a DNP3-based system with traditional control wiring
    • Leverage the IEC 61850 Top-Down Engineering Process in brownfield systems using communication media that does not support 61850
    • Document traditional control wiring
  • Using the IEC 61850 Mapping information contained in a DNP XML Device Profile
    • Auto-configure gateways
    • Configure the DNP3 Point Map for an IED or the Master it reports to, based on the Report Control Blocks created during the IEC 61850 Engineering Process
    • Configure the DNP3 Report by Exception Class assignments for an IED based on the Report Control Blocks created during the IEC 61850 Engineering Process

webinar seriesCredit: Murrstock -
Copyright: ©Murrstock -

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Please note these webinars may be watched as a series or independently. You do not need to watch Part 1 to understand what is covered in Part 2 or 3.

Christoph Brunner
Christoph Brunner

Christoph Brunner has graduated as electrical engineer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1983. He is Utility Industry professional with over 30 years of industry experience with both knowledge across several areas within the Utility Industry and of technologies from the Automation Industry. He is a well-known expert on IEC 61850 as he has been involved in the development of the standard since the beginning. He is president of it4power in Switzerland, a consulting company to the power industry. As such, he has been consultant in many projects for substation automation and projects involving IEC 61850. He has worked as a project manager at ABB Switzerland Ltd in the business area Power Technology Products in Zurich / Switzerland where he was responsible for the process close communication architecture of the substation automation system. He is convenor of the working group (WG) 10 of the IEC TC57 and member of WG 17, 18 and 19 of IEC TC57. He is IEEE Fellow, member of IEEE-PES and IEEE-SA. He is active in several working groups of the IEEE-PSRC (Power Engineering Society – Relay Committee) and member of the PSRC main committee and the subcommittee H. He is guest professor at Shangdong University of technology and international advisor to the board of the UCA international users group.

Jackson Moore
Application Engineer
Triangle MicroWorks, Inc.

Jackson received B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University and has a background in power systems engineering. Prior to joining Triangle Microworks, Jackson spent five years as a Microgrid Systems Engineer, where he designed and developed load management control systems for multi-source microgrids ranging from 1MW to 30MW. In his current role of Application Engineer, Jackson serves as a bridge between our customers and our development team, seeking to understand and solve the unique and complex challenges our clients face.




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