An open platform for rapid-prototyping protection and control schemes with IEC 61850

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Communications is becoming increasingly important to the operation of protection and control schemes. Although offering many benefits, using standards-based communications, particularly IEC 61850, in the course of the research and development of novel schemes can be complex. This paper describes an open-source platform which enables the rapid prototyping of communications-enhanced schemes. The platform automatically generates the data model and communications code required for an intelligent electronic device to implement a publisher-subscriber generic object-oriented substation event and sampled-value messaging. The generated code is tailored to a particular system configuration description (SCD) file, and is therefore extremely efficient at runtime. It is shown here how a model-centric tool, such as the open-source Eclipse Modeling Framework, can be used to manage the complexity of the IEC 61850 standard, by providing a framework for validating SCD files and by automating parts of the code generation process. The flexibility and convenience of the platform are demonstrated through a prototype of a real-time, fast-acting load-shedding scheme for a low-voltage microgrid network. The platform is the first open-source implementation of IEC 61850 which is suitable for real-time applications, such as protection, and is therefore readily available for research and education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1110
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Issue number2
Early online date13 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2013


  • code generation
  • real time systems
  • power system protection
  • microgrids


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