IEC 61850


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Industrial Communications Handbook

By Mick Crabtree

Chapter 7: IEC 61850



The unique features and characteristics of the IEC 61850 protocol are numerous. The full scope of the IEC 61850 standard is defined in a 10-part standard covering more that 1 500 pages.


Some benefits of IEC 61850 include:

  • Networkable throughout the power generation system
  • Open protocol
  • High-availability
  • Multi-vendor interoperability
  • Guaranteed delivery times with time stamping
  • High-speed Intelligent Electronic Device (IED) to IED communication
  • Diagnostic information for each I/O point
  • Caters for user-definable objects – including file transfer
  • Standards-based
  • Auto-configurable/ configuration support
  • Support for voltage and current sampled data