Course at a Glance


Code: CSZ
Course Length: 3 Months

In this interactive 3 month LIVE ONLINE course, you will learn:

  • The basic scope and outline of IEC 61850
  • Substation automation functions and architectures
  • To identify the most appropriate networking components for substation automation
  • About using the IEC 61850 data model to specify a substation automation system
  • To use the IEC 61850 model as a data integration platform
  • IEC 61850 communication mapping, configuration and testing
  • Practical: Server/Client setup; simulate/capture GOOSE messages and SV


Course Details


Older (‘legacy’) substation automation protocols and hardware/software architectures provided basic functionality for power system automation, and were designed to accommodate the technical limitations of the technologies available at the time. However, in recent years there have been vast improvements in technology, especially on the networking side. This has opened the door for dramatic improvements in the approach to power system automation in substations. The latest developments in networking such as high-speed, deterministic, redundant Ethernet, as well as other technologies including TCP/IP, high-speed Wide Area Networks and high-performance embedded processors, are providing capabilities that could hardly be imagined when most legacy substation automation protocols were designed.

IEC 61850 is a part of the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee 57 (TC57) architecture for electric power systems. It is an important international standard for substation automation, and it is having a significant impact on how electric power systems are designed and built for the future. The model-driven approach of IEC 61850 is an innovative approach and requires a new way of thinking about substation automation. This will result in significant improvements in the costs and performance of electric power systems.

This program covers core components of IEC 61850 and will provide you with the tools and knowledge to tackle your next substation automation project with confidence. The program commences with a review of the fundamentals of substation automation, IEC 61850 elements and core substation architectures. The communication interface hardware and standards are reviewed, along with Ethernet and TCP/IP protocols. A detailed explanation of IEC 61850 is given, where the features, message structure, practical benefits and applications are discussed. Furthermore, the program will cover the configuration of IEC 61850 systems, including conformance testing, migration, implementation issues and recent developments.

This program is designed for personnel with a need to understand the techniques required to use and apply IEC 61850 to substation automation, hydro power plants, wind turbines and distributed energy resources as productively and economically as possible.

The program will be suitable for:

  • Power utility engineers (Generation, Transmission & Distribution)
  • Substation Engineers (Substation Design Engineers)
  • Process Engineers
  • Technologists
  • I&C and Automation Specialists

The content is intended to be product independent but examples will be taken from existing products to ensure that all aspects of the IEC 61850 protocols are covered.


MODULE 1: Introduction

Network topologies
Client/server & publish/subscribe concept
DNP3 and IEC 60870
Utility Communication Architecture (UCA)
Key features of IEC 61850

MODULE 2: Substation Automation Functions

Remote Terminal Unit (RTU)
PLC and Protection Relays
Intelligent Electronic Device (IED)

MODULE 3: Power System Automation Architectures

General structure
Types of automation architectures
Architecture of HV substation automation systems
Automation of MV substations
HV bay control
Current and future trends

MODULE 4: Basic IEC 61850 Substation Architecture

IEC61850 Architecture
Merging Units (MUs)
Station Bus
Process Bus

MODULE 5: Communication Basics

Physical Interfaces (10/100/1000 Mbps)
Media (copper, multi-mode fibre, single-mode fibre)
Media access (full duplex vs. CSMA /CD)
Network redundancy

MODULE 6: TCP/IP and Related Concepts

IP addressing: IPv4 vs. IPv6
Subnet masks and default gateways
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)

MODULE 7: IEC 61850 Data Modelling Approach

The information model
The Abstract Communication Service Interface (ACSI)
Logical devices
Logical nodes
Data objects

MODULE 8: IEC 61850 Data Modelling & Communication Models

Common data class
Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS)
Generic Object Oriented Substation Event (GOOSE)
GOOSE messaging
Sampled Values (SV) multicast

MODULE 9: Time Sync, Configuration Language & Tools

Time Synchronisation (SNTP)
IEC 61850-6 Substation Configuration Language (SCL)
Software tools

MODULE 10: Practical & Conformance Testing

Documentation and process
Assessment process
Testing methods
Practical example and exercise (SCL, Client/Server, GOOSE and SV)

MODULE 11: Migration & Implementation Issues

Migration issues
Benefits of IEC 61850
Implementation issues

MODULE 12: Review of Automation Products & Recent Developments

Product review
IEC 61850 Edition 2
Object models for hydro power plants, wind turbines and Distributed Energy Resources (DER)
Mapping of IEC 61850 on DN P3 and IEC 60870-5-101/-104
The use of IEC 61499 (Distributed Function Blocks) in conjunction with IEC 61850
Exchanging synchrophasor data between PMUs, PDCs, WAM PAC and control centre applications: IEC/TR 618-90-5:2012(E)
Communication with the control centre based on IEC 61850 and Harmonisation with CIM

Learning and Teaching

Benefits of Online Learning to Students

  • Cost effective: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Interactive: live, interactive sessions let you communicate with your instructor and fellow students
  • Flexible: short interactive sessions over the Internet which you can attend from your home or office. Learn while you earn!
  • Practical: perform exercises by remotely accessing our labs and simulation software
  • Expert instructors: instructors have extensive industry experience; they are not just 'academics'
  • No geographical limits: learn from any location, all you need is an Internet connection
  • Constant support: from your instructor(s) and a dedicated Learning Support Officer for the complete duration of the course
  • International insight: interact and network with participants from around the globe and gain valuable insight into international practice 

Benefits of Online Learning to Employers

  • Lower training costs: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Less downtime: short webinars (60-90 minutes) and flexible training methods means less time away from work
  • Retain employees: keep staff who may be considering a qualification as full time study
  • Increase efficiency: improve your engineering or technical employees’ skills and knowledge
  • International insight: students will have access to internationally based professional instructors and students


How Does it Work?

EIT Online Learning courses involve a combination of live, interactive sessions over the Internet with a professional instructor, set readings, and assignments. The courses include simulation software and remote laboratory applications to let you put theory to practice, and provide you with constant support from a dedicated Learning Support Officer.

Practical Exercises and Remote Laboratories

As part of the groundbreaking new way of teaching, our online engineering courses use a series of remote laboratories (labs) and simulation software, to facilitate your learning and to test the knowledge you gain during your course. These involve complete working labs set up at various locations of the world into which you will be able to log to and proceed through the various practical sessions.

These will be supplemented by simulation software, running either remotely or on your computer, to ensure you gain the requisite hands-on experience. No one can learn much solely from lectures, the labs and simulation software are designed to increase the absorption of the materials and to give you a practical orientation of the learning experience. All this will give you a solid, practical exposure to the key principles covered and will ensure that you obtain maximum benefit from your course.




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The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.

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School of Industrial Automation