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Deploying Integrated and Scalable Redundancy with PRP/HSR

In today’s complex substation automation industry, network and system reliability is paramount in ensuring onsite safety and consumer quality of service. One solution to ensure highly-reliable systems communication is to implement network redundancy without a single point of failure. An optimized IEC 61850 PRP/HSR architecture should provide scalable integration for easy modification of system functionality and extension of the substation. However, existing end devices in substation automation systems are complex and perform many different communication functions. End devices can include SANs (single attached nodes), DANs (dual attached nodes), DANPs (dual attached nodes for PRP) and DANHs (dual attached nodes for HSR). With such a variety of communication devices and characteristics, ensuring network interoperability when upgrading to a PRP/HSR network will require an efficient and cost effective solution to maximize system availability.

Main Challenges:

Applying a 3-port RedBox is one way to integrate legacy devices to a PRP/HSR network. Connecting each end device to a RedBox will create higher SAS relability by creating an independent "traffic lane" for critical system communication, which should not be impacted by other connections. However, this type of deployment will not only be very costly to implement, it will require a considerable increase of maintenance effort and rack/cabinet space.

Another concern is that a hybrid PRP/HSR network consists of various types of end devices. To select ideal devices for the network upgrade, engineers will need to consider factors such as form factor, function isolation, and scalability to ensure optimal system availability. However, without a complete solution that encompasses communication platform and systems management, substation operators will be left with a network consisting of devices from multiple vendors/suppliers. This will severely complicate systems interoperability, maintenance, troubleshooting, and increases the total cost of ownership.

Recommended Solutions:

1. An economical way to integrate legacy devices in a highly-reliable communication backbone.

Most existing end devices have dual access points to the network and are capable of using the RSTP redundant protocol. Where second-level recovery time are tolerated, operators will prefer a cost-effective method to integrate these DANs to a more reliable backbone network to enhance system availability. Integrating existing ring networks with a PRP/HSR architecture using RSTP-transparent technology is an ideal method to achieve this objective.

2. A wide range of product options for a scalable and highly interoperable deployment.

Deploying redundancy has a direct impact on system complexity and cost, which will depend on system requirements and application criticality. With a limited budget allocation, engineers must meet substation requirements while optimizing system availability. Existing device/ring networks must integrate easily into the PRP/HSR network, and the system architecture must be scalable according to system needs. While there are many different types of PRP/HSR network designs, flexibility, modularity, and integrity will be the key factors to optimize the PRP/HSR architecture.

A 3-port RedBox is an ideal device for the needs of critical communication, function isolation, and integrating many RSTP-supported DANs. High-port density PRP/HSR switches with hot-swappable communication module design minimizes the mean time to repair and service for SANs, DANs, DANPs and DANHs. PRP/HSR embedded modules enable legacy devices to natively support PRP/HSR protocols without the impact of having a single point of failure between the connection of the RedBox and the end device. PRP/HSR embedded computers will provide a management platform to enable visually-represented PRP/HSR network management.

There are many methods to integrate existing and new bays with a single-supplier solution. With IEC 61850-compliant devices specifically calibrated for PRP and HSR redundancy, seamless control and monitoring can be achieved using a cost-effective hybrid network topology. For more information on how to integrate scalable Ethernet redundancy using PRP/HSR, download our white paper here.

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