Performance Analysis of IEC 61850 Process Bus and Interoperability Test among Multi-Vendor System

  • Xi Chen

Student thesis: Phd


IEC 61850 standards are the global standard for communication in substations. It isgaining popularity in power substation automation and will dominate the futuresubstation automation and protection system design. The standards provides newapproaches for protection, control and metering function via communication. Thesecondary circuits in substation are simplified significantly and the massivehardwired cables are replaced by the high-speed process bus which transmit analogueand binary signals with Ethernet messages.However, the conformity of a device with the standards does not necessarilyguarantee the interoperability with devices from different manufacturers. The use ofdevices compatible with IEC 61850 standards presents a challenge to many systemintegrators, especially due to lack of familiarity with features such as Generic ObjectOriented Substation Event (GOOSE), reporting, Sampled Values and the need forsystem redundancy. To facilitate a smooth implementation, all the features and thedata exchanges between devices need to be tested to ensure the system operatescorrectly.This project was carried out to study the protection performance of secondaryschemes with IEC 61850 process bus architecture in substation. The tests wereperformed including current differential protection and distance protection on atransmission substation of the type used in the UK on the transmission network. Theprotection schemes were tested under IEC 61850 environment with multi-vendorIEDs like Alstom MiCOM IEDs, NARI IEDs with the OMICRON test set.More tests were carried out to verify the interoperability and the performance of timecritical messages were evaluated under different network architectures. The impactof the background traffic on these two messages was investigated and the response ofthe IEDs when the Sampled Values packets were lost or overwritten was recordedand provided to utility as a reference.This project also presented a technique to assess the performance of Merging Unitsfrom different manufacturers, when operating with Intelligent Electronic Devices(IEDs) performing a distance protection function. The performance of the processbus with parallel redundancy protocol is evaluated using a closed loop approachinvolving a Real Time Digital Simulator. The results indicates that protection usingprocess bus communication is feasible, and meets grid code requirements whenimplemented with commercially available products. It was found that process busoperation is robust, even with network traffic conditions far beyond what would beexperienced in an active substation.
Date of Award31 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorPeter Crossley (Supervisor) & Haiyu Li (Supervisor)


  • Interoperability
  • IEC 61850 standards
  • Substation Automation System
  • Relay Testing

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