The IEC 61850 industry is maturing: many equipment manufacturers have developed an extensive product portfolio. And in these past years many of these devices have been tested on conformance, among others by DNV GL. Interoperability testing organized by the UCAIug in 2011 and 2013 have shown that all these devices are capable of communicating with each other. However, the end-users are still learning and implementing IEC 61850 in their organizations. Until today, good – vendor independent – tools are not available to ensure a smooth and easy integration of IEC 61850 devices at the side of the end-users. During the UCAIug interoperability test in 2013, many issues were identified related to the device configuration and engineering based upon the Substation Configuration Language SCL.
What is the challenge?
Successful implementation of IEC 61850 depends on having good – vendor independent – SCL engineering tools. Without these tools utilities cannot benefit from the very basic foundation and the advantages of IEC 61850 like being vendor independent, avoiding interpretations and cost reduction by enabling competition in procurement and maintenance. Such SCL tools have to ensure smooth integration of the primary and secondary functions of the IEC 61850 substation and the configuration of the end-devices responsible for the protection and control of the substation. The tools also need to cover a wide range of manufacturers and functions, without interoperable tools the utility will need to spend a great amount of time on trouble shooting and bug fixing of the SCL files.
Since many years we at DNV GL proactively contribute to the UCAIug and the IEC 61850 community, for example by leading the development of new conformance test programs and providing expert knowledge both to the UCAIug and IEC TC57. We feel strong commitment to bringing the quality of the SCL tools to the next level. The first step to interoperable vendor independent engineering tools is conformance testing. At DNV GL we already took the initiative to work with a select group of manufacturers to develop UCAIug conformance test procedures for Substation engineering and Device configuration tools based upon edition 2 of the IEC 61850 standard. These conformance test procedures ensure that verified tools comply with the basic rules in the IEC 61850 standard and guarantee the first level of interoperability.
DNV GL is working with the UCAIug to develop the first release of the conformance test procedures for Substation engineering and device configuration tools. We and the UCAIug are committed to launch these test procedures in Q4 of 2015. In the meantime we are working with leading manufacturers of substation automation equipment to perform the first validations and compliancy tests and plan to present the first conformance tested tools in Q1 of 2016.
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