Sorry if this is a dumb question, but since I don't have much experience with IEC 61850 compliant devices, I am having trouble creating the "big picture" of how the whole system is being configured in practice.

Specifically, I don't understand how the devices which transmit data GOOSE or SV (without mentioning MMS in their datasheets) use the Substation Configuration Language (SCL) in practice, i.e. I cannot seem to find the exact part which mandates how the configuration is transferred to actual devices.

Can somebody clarify which part of the standard describes this? Are these files transmitted over FTP, or over custom vendor (proprietary) protocols, or does MMS provide a way to transmit SCL files in a standardized manner?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Go to the bottom of your link and click on references such as "Detailed Introduction to IEC 61850". \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jul 16 '18 at 12:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ . IEC 61850 supports both FTP and MMS file transfer. IEC TC 57 \$\endgroup\$ – Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jul 16 '18 at 13:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ with IEC 62351 Security with big picture connections to something like 30,000 points and to 250 IEDs \$\endgroup\$ – Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jul 16 '18 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka: thanks, I read one of those pdf-s, and this is what I wanted to confirm: i.e. the document you mentioned states (slide 55) that "IED Configurator is a manufacturer-specific tool used to import or export SCL files and load IED configuration into the IED", so I was slightly surprised that the transfer of the configuration file wasn't also explicitly covered by the standard; i.e. you can manage multiple independent IEDs using IEC 61850, but you will still have to use separate tools to upload to each one? \$\endgroup\$ – Groo Jul 16 '18 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you can transfer data and the target has a bootloader capable of interpreting data as program information then you can transfer the full program to run on the target so, transferring a config file should be easy peazy. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jul 16 '18 at 14:00

The standardised configuration process is defined in part IEC 61850-6 (along with the SCL itself). In summary:

  • Each device should have an IED Capability Description (ICD) file, possibly generated by the IED online, or provided by the vendor.
  • A software tool should be used to manage and combine multiple ICD files into the full SCD file, and set up things like GOOSE and SV communications between IEDs.
  • Each IED should be configured with the full SCD file. It is possible to transfer files using MMS, but I think it is vendor-specific how the IED is configured from the SCD file.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! I understood the part about IED providing a "template" ICD and then getting SCD from the configurator software. But if I understood correctly: simple merging units will in practice get their configuration using proprietary tools? \$\endgroup\$ – Groo Jul 16 '18 at 13:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. But a merging unit is also a special case which has an established guideline implementation ("9-2LE") - because the dataset is pre-defined and relatively simple, a merging unit may not require configuration from SCD at all. \$\endgroup\$ – sblair Jul 16 '18 at 20:13

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