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Testing of complex IEC 61850 based substation automation systems
by Alexander Apostolov
International Journal of Reliability and Safety (IJRS), Vol. 2, No. 1/2, 2008


Abstract: The integration of multifunctional intelligent substation devices (ISDs), in complex substation or power plant automation systems, requires the development of methods and tools for their testing that will ensure the correct operation of protection, control, monitoring, recording and metering functions, under normal and abnormal system conditions. The new IEC 61850 standard for communication networks and systems in substations allows the development of high-speed peer-to-peer communications based distributed applications, based on multicast of status changes or sampled analogue values. This paper details the requirements for the testing of complex substation automation systems. The testing methods need to correspond to the functional hierarchy of the substation automation system. Functional element testing, integration and system testing are discussed. Systems with Substation Bus only, and with both Process Bus and Substation Bus, are considered. A method for the testing of both types of system is proposed, based on a specific order of system components testing. Solutions for the testing of the individual components of the IEC 61850 based system, as well as for the testing of distributed applications, are described at the end of the paper.

Online publication date: Wed, 15-Oct-2008


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