How do you prepare for disasters?
After catastrophic hurricane damage to parts of coastal America, many cities were left without power.
A key US utility began an upgrade project to reduce disaster vulnerability. Using IEC 61850 with C37.238-2011 power profile, this US Utility was able to achieve precise timing and synchronization of their Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs).
Major changes were made to the structural and electrical design of a main substation, including the digitization of protection and control systems and the implemented use of standard IEC 61850. The newly designed system incorporated two parallel protection LAN networks to take advantage of standard IEC 62439-3; aka Parallel Redundancy Protocol or PRP. This provides seamless redundancy next time a fault occurs.
Using IEC 61850 meant they were able to improve timing accuracy and start to future-proof their substation by allowing remote monitoring over their network and the use of faster, more reliable connection methods.
When the project started the availability of IEDs with the right functionality and PTP support was limited. Some key IEDs needed legacy input synchronization using IRIG standard 200-04 format IRIG-B and would not work natively with the PTP network. The solution was Tekron’s PTP translators: a DIN rail mounted translator that converts PTP input to IRIG-B output.
The solution for this particular substation was two GNSS Primary Reference Clocks, Model: NTS 03-G+. Installed into the communications panel, the clock would synchronize each protection panel network using PTP and NTP. And as each time server port was logically isolated from the NTS 03-G+, they were able to implement redundancy into their system.
The use of standard IEC 61850 has allowed this US utility company to gain more accurate time synchronization and future-proof their substation.
This case is based on a true scenario with specific identifiable information intentionally omitted.