Automating Electric Substations Using IEC 61850

  • Peter J. HawrylakEmail author
  • Jeyasingam Nivethan
  • Mauricio Papa
Part of the Energy Systems book series (ENERGY)


The Smart Grid will enhance the generation, distribution, transmission, and use of electricity by incorporating elements that will greatly help improve energy efficiency. In addition to traditional components, it will also incorporate small-scale generators, such as home wind turbines and solar panels, into the larger grid. In order to enable energy efficiency as well as other features, two-way communication between utilities and customers (users) will be required. This communication will most likely travel in large part over public networks. The Smart Grid, through the addition of bi-directional communication links throughout the infrastructure, will enable utilities to enhance their service, monitoring, and maintenance activities. Electric power substations will play a major role in the Smart Grid. IEC 61850 is a family of standards that defines network protocols, and data and device naming conventions for electric substation automation. IEC 61850 provides utilities with the ability to better monitor operation and even remotely control the substation when necessary. Part of the utility-substation communication link will be facilitated by public networks (e.g. the Internet). This chapter provides an overview of the IEC 61850 standards and discusses recent experiences with IEC 61850. Challenges facing IEC 61850 deployments, namely security, are presented. Potential solution paths to these challenges are provided.


IEC 61850 Smart grid Security Automation  Ethernet 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Hawrylak
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeyasingam Nivethan
    • 2
  • Mauricio Papa
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of TulsaTulsaUSA
  2. 2.Tandy School of Computer ScienceUniversity of TulsaTulsaUSA

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