Older (‘legacy’) substation automation protocols and hardware/software architectures provided basic functionality for power system automation, and were designed to accommodate the technical limitations of the technologies available at the time. However, in recent years there have been vast improvements in technology, especially on the networking side. This has opened the door for dramatic improvements in the approach to power system automation in substations. The latest developments in networking such as high-speed, deterministic, redundant Ethernet, as well as other technologies including TCP/IP, high-speed Wide Area Networks and high-performance embedded processors, are providing capabilities that could hardly be imagined when most legacy substation automation protocols were designed.

IEC 61850 is a part of the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee 57 (TC57) architecture for electric power systems. It is an important international standard for substation automation, and it is having a significant impact on how electric power systems are designed and built for the future. The model-driven approach of IEC 61850 is an innovative approach and requires a new way of thinking about substation automation. This will result in significant improvements in the costs and performance of electric power systems.

This program covers core components of IEC 61850 and will provide you with the tools and knowledge to tackle your next substation automation project with confidence. The program commences with a review of the fundamentals of substation automation, IEC 61850 elements and core substation architectures. The communication interface hardware and standards are reviewed, along with Ethernet and TCP/IP protocols. A detailed explanation of IEC 61850 is given, where the features, message structure, practical benefits and applications are discussed. Furthermore, the program will cover the configuration of IEC 61850 systems, including conformance testing, migration, implementation issues and recent developments.

This program is designed for personnel with a need to understand the techniques required to use and apply IEC 61850 to substation automation, hydro power plants, wind turbines and distributed energy resources as productively and economically as possible.


  • The basic scope and outline of IEC 61850
  • Substation automation functions and architectures
  • To identify the most appropriate networking components for substation automation
  • About using the IEC 61850 data model to specify a substation automation system
  • To use the IEC 61850 model as a data integration platform
  • IEC 61850 communication mapping, configuration and testing
  • Practical: Server/Client setup; simulate/capture GOOSE messages and SV

The only 2015 intake starts May 04.

There are limited places available to ensure a superior learning experience for our students.

Contact us now to find out more and secure your place!

The program will be suitable for:

  • Power utility engineers (Generation, Transmission & Distribution)
  • Substation Engineers (Substation Design Engineers)
  • Process Engineers
  • Technologists
  • I&C and Automation Specialists

The content is intended to be product independent but examples will be taken from existing products to ensure that all aspects of the IEC 61850 protocols are covered.


MODULE 1: Introduction

  • Network topologies
  • Client/server & publish/subscribe concept
  • DNP3 and IEC 60870
  • Utility Communication Architecture (UCA)
  • Key features of IEC 61850

MODULE 2: Substation Automation Functions

  • Remote Terminal Unit (RTU)
  • PLC and Protection Relays
  • Intelligent Electronic Device (IED)

MODULE 3: Power System Automation Architectures

  • General structure
  • Types of automation architectures
  • Architecture of HV substation automation systems
  • Automation of MV substations
  • HV bay control
  • Current and future trends

MODULE 4: Basic IEC 61850 Substation Architecture

  • IEC61850 Architecture
  • Merging Units (MUs)
  • Station Bus
  • Process Bus

MODULE 5: Communication Basics

  • Physical Interfaces (10/100/1000 Mbps)
  • Media (copper, multi-mode fibre, single-mode fibre)
  • Media access (full duplex vs. CSMA /CD)
  • VLANs
  • Network redundancy

MODULE 6: TCP/IP and Related Concepts

  • TCP & UDP
  • IP addressing: IPv4 vs. IPv6
  • Subnet masks and default gateways
  • Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)
  • WANs

MODULE 7: IEC 61850 Data Modelling Approach

  • The information model
  • The Abstract Communication Service Interface (ACSI)
  • Logical devices
  • Logical nodes
  • Data objects

MODULE 8: IEC 61850 Data Modelling & Communication Models

  • Common data class
  • Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS)
  • Generic Object Oriented Substation Event (GOOSE)
  • GOOSE messaging
  • Sampled Values (SV) multicast

MODULE 9: Time Sync, Configuration Language & Tools

  • Time Synchronisation (SNTP)
  • IEC 61850-6 Substation Configuration Language (SCL)
  • Software tools

MODULE 10: Practical & Conformance Testing

  • Documentation and process
  • Assessment process
  • Testing methods
  • Practical example and exercise (SCL, Client/Server, GOOSE and SV)

MODULE 11: Migration & Implementation Issues

  • Migration issues
  • Benefits of IEC 61850
  • Implementation issues

MODULE 12: Review of Automation Products & Recent Developments

  • Product review
  • IEC 61850 Edition 2
  • Object models for hydro power plants, wind turbines and Distributed Energy Resources (DER)
  • Mapping of IEC 61850 on DN P3 and IEC 60870-5-101/-104
  • The use of IEC 61499 (Distributed Function Blocks) in conjunction with IEC 61850
  • Exchanging synchrophasor data between PMUs, PDCs, WAM PAC and control centre applications: IEC/TR 618-90-5:2012(E)
  • Communication with the control centre based on IEC 61850 and Harmonisation with CIM

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