OMICRON Magazine

Can you tell us a few things about how the Sampled Values protocol began? Fred: Sampled Values have a history reaching back more than 20 years. Before 2000, ABB had already built high voltage substations for Powerlink Queensland in Australia with proprietary Sampled Values technology. These systems were upgraded with IEC 61850 technology about ten years ago. How did OMICRON get involved in the development of Sampled Values? In 2001, working groups from the technical committees of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) met at the newly opened OMICRON Development Center in Klaus, Austria. Drivers from the scene discussed the drafts from IEC 61850-9-1 and IEC 61850-9-2, along with GOOSE messaging. We immediately understood the importance of these protocols for protection applications in the future. Moreover, since most of our customers were active in the protection field at that time, we wanted to stay closely connected to this topic. I then joined the group to explore ways to support those protocols. When did the first implementations occur? The first Sampled Values prototypes were presented in 2004 during the CIGRE exhibition in France at the UCA International User Group booth. At the CIGRE session in 2006, we had a Sampled Values interoperability demo with products from four vendors, showing the feasibility of multi-vendor systems. We gained a lot of insight from these early prototypes and implementations. One notable outcome was that the Sampled Values features for the CMC test devices were released in 2008. But the whole topic was somehow stalled – what happened? Some obstacles had not been addressed yet. For example, the time synchronization method chosen in 2003 was cumbersome, and suitable network redundancy mechanisms had not been found. In the meantime, time synchronization via PTP (IEEE 1588) and redundancy architectures like PRP and HSR (IEC 62439-3) have filled this gap. Today, we have everything in place to fully implement Digital Substations. Pushing the practical applications of Sampled Values IEC 61850 – History and latest developments The use of the IEC 61850 Sampled Values protocol is steadily increasing, but many users still have a few touchpoints that concern them. In the meantime, protection engineers don’t require a crystal ball to know that they’ll have to become more familiar with this subject. Fred Steinhauser, our specialist for IEC 61850 and Digital Substations, was present during some of the protocol milestones and is convinced this topic can be approached with enthusiasm. 10