”Future-proofing” Smart Grid investments starts with smart integration, interoperability, and optionality—building an infrastructure from the meter to the generator with enough flexibility to maximize future benefits. Success ultimately depends on how well system components talk to each other.

IEC 61850 is the current international standard used for electrical grid data communication and electrical substation modeling. It is optimized for efficient and reliable transfer of process data and commands within and between intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) and substations. European utilities are already using IEC 61850 data communication standards to a great advantage. These lessons learned offer utilities and stakeholders across the globe opportunities to future-proof grid investments.

Specific benefits of IEC 61850 include: optimizing systems for efficient and reliable data transfer, establishing designs for use over a high-speed network, and providing operational advantages. DNV KEMA provides a primer on IEC 61850—including an overview of its evolution, the benefits it can offer, as well as its standards and features—in its TECH Notes April 2012 issue:

A PRIMER on IEC 61850 grid data communications

TECH Notes is a monthly series offering insights and practical guidelines related to electrical & transmission distribution systems. Subscribe to TECH Notes.

By: Kristen Brewitt, senior consultant, managing editor, TECH Notes, DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability

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