SENECA controllers support Straton’s IEC 61131-3 programming system (Copa data’s SofPLC brand). Integrated into Straton are the management functions of IEC 60870-5-101, IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850 protocols for Energy Management applications.

IEC 60870

In the field of electrical engineering and power plant automation, the international standard IEC 60870 defines the supervision and remote control systems for the production, transport and distribution of electricity, gas, water and other geographically distributed service networks.

The IEC 60870 standard allows interoperability between equipment from different manufacturers and is divided into six parts that define general information, operability conditions, electrical interfaces, performance requirements and standard transmission protocols.

The stack (data type) used in Straton supports in particular:

  • IEC 60870-5-101 (serial communication)
  • IEC 60870-5-104 Slave (communication via TCP/IP).

In recent years, especially in the energy sector, this communication protocol has established itself as a de facto standard in substation automation and is supported by most component manufacturers.

Both versions (-101 and -104) are identical at the application level, which means that they have the same reference data structure.

As a result, configuration and implementation for both serial communication (-101) and TCP/IP networks (-104) are contained within a single Straton environment.

The IEC 60870-5-10x protocol defines which messages and values should be sent spontaneously from Slave (Controller) to Master (PC) after any change.

After establishing the connection, the master node then sends a request to the Slave node to obtain the status of the variables. The Slave checks for any changes and sends the data only if necessary.

IEC 61850 Server & GOOSE

IEC 61850 is also a worldwide accepted standard that defines the design and communication of electrical panels, control equipment and automation systems for substations where there is a growing demand for information and data to be transferred.

The abstract data model defined in IEC 61850 can be “mapped” on a different number of protocols as in the case of GOOSE (Generic Object Oriented Substation Events, a mechanism that allows the sending of any data grouped in a data set in less than a few milliseconds). Generally these protocols run on LAN networks with high-performance Ethernet switches to meet the stringent requirements of protection devices,

Technology providers are facing significant challenges in harmonizing different communication standards, which leads to higher development, integration and maintenance costs especially for power grid operators.

IEC 61850 is designed to send messages between sender and receiver in an optimal way, making communication as direct as possible to avoid loss of performance and functionality. IEC 61850 provides a consistent standard by unifying substation automation and distributed power generation, from switching equipment to control and monitoring functions.

SENECA has developed a range of solutions in order to facilitate the integration of industry standards and simplify the configuration process for the end customer.

The SENECA stack for IEC 61850 server protocol includes source, configurator, compiler and runtime.