Gain More Visibility for Your Substation with IEC 61850 MMS Solution

Mar 06, 2018
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In substations, real-time monitoring is always of critical importance. However, for those substations whose operations run on a large number of legacy devices, real-time monitoring can be a big challenge. While most substations are open to the idea of retrofitting, they are most of the time curtailed by tight budgets. For them, the ideal solution is one that bridges a legacy infrastructure to an IEC 61850 network without breaking the bank.

The Complications

To have a better understanding of these substations’ dilemma, let’s take a closer look at the heart of the matter. Many remote terminal units (RTUs), human machine interfaces, switches, and intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) installed in substations are from different vendors, and some use proprietary protocols, which make it extremely difficult for a power SCADA system to monitor the entire station. An IEC 61850 MMS protocol is commonly supported by power SCADA supervision; thus; unified MMS monitoring across all equipment and devices need to be achieved.

Achieving Unified MMS Monitoring

Serial Device servers provide the answer to this challenge. With integrated IEC 61850 MMS and serial-to-Ethernet communication, they facilitate vertical integration between field legacy equipment and SCADA systems. These serial device servers connect Modbus and DNP3-based IEDs to an Ethernet network. From the serial device server, the data is sent to an Ethernet switch from where it is relayed to the SCADA system. The device servers can monitor the serial status on the serial bus and serial IEDs, and then report these updates to both the field controllers and power SCADA systems via the IEC 61850 MMS protocol. Due to the extensive protocol interoperability range of these device servers, the IEC 61850-based SCADA system can supervise the substation’s entire network, consisting of IEC 61850 compliant devices and legacy IEDs, for real-time monitoring and easy maintenance. Under the standard IEC 61850 MMS protocol, these device servers not only simplify SCADA supervision, they also transform the whole network into a vendor-independent architecture that can collaborate with any IEC 61850 compatible device for easy replacement and maintenance.


Moxa’s Solutions


Moxa’s NPort S9000 Series is the world's first serial device server that can migrate serial IEDs to an IEC 61850-based infrastructure for legacy substation retrofits. The NPort S9000 Series supports IEC 61850 MMS protocol, up to 16 port serial interfaces, 4-port Ethernet switching, embedded Modbus/DNP3 traffic monitoring, and is compliant with IEC 61850-3 and IEEE 1613.

To find out how Moxa’s solutions can retrofit a substation, read the application here.

Also, visit our IEC 61850 MMS solution site.

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