IEC 61850 – SCL structure

IEC 61850-6 defines the Configuration language for communication in electrical substations related to IEDs.
The equipment integration has been always one of the most complex tasks in the automation process. This integration required specific processes to convert proprietary formats of the vendors or the utilities. A standardized format that is able to define aspects as the information model, the equipment functionality and the connection establishment parameters improves notably this process. The SCL file format improves the integration process. It allows the exchange of descriptive information and the information exposed by the device and its communication capabilities.

Using the configuration language helps to save costs and time on commissioning and reduce configuration errors. The System Configuration Language is based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language). An SCL file contains the following parts:

Header: This part is used to identify version and other basic details of an SCL configuration file.

Substation: This is the part dealing with the different entities of a substation including various devices, interconnections and other functionalities. The elements include power transformers, Voltage Levels, bays, General Equipment, conducting equipment like breakers. From the Substation part logical nodes that represent functionality related to the object in the Substation are referred.

Communication: This section deals with different communication points (access points) for accessing the different IEDs of the complete system. This part contains different Sub Networks and access points.

IED: The IED section describes the complete configuration of an Intelligent Electronic Device (IED). It contains different access points of the specific IED, the logical devices, and logical nodes, report control blocks etc. coming under the IED. It describes what data an IED publish as reports and as Generic Substation Events (GSE; divided into GOOSE and GSSE) and what GOOSE/GSSE data from other IEDs an IED is configured to receive.

DataTypeTemplates: It defines different logical devices, logical nodes, data and other details separated into different instances. The complete data modeling according to IEC 61850-7-3 & 7-4 are represented in this part of SCL. It is again subdivided into LNodeType, DOType, DAType and EnumType.

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