Can we use IEC 61850 for safety related functions?

Luca Rocca, Paolo Pinceti, Micaela Caserza Magro

Abstract


Safety is an essential issue for processes that present high risk for human beings and environment. An acceptable level of risk is obtained both with actions on the process itself (risk reduction) and with the use of special safety systems that switch the process into safe mode when a fault or an abnormal operation mode happens. These safety systems are today based on digital devices that communicate through digital networks. The IEC 61508 series specifies the safety requirements of all the devices that are involved in a safety function, including the communication network. Also electrical generation and distribution systems are processes that may have a significant level of risk, so the criteria stated by the IEC 61508 applies.

Starting from this consideration, the paper analyzes the safety requirement for the communication network and compare them with the services of the communication protocol IEC 61850 that represents the most used protocol for automation of electrical plants. The goal of this job is to demonstrate that, from the technical point of view, IEC 61850 can be used for implementing safety-related functions, even if a formal safety certification is still missing.


Keywords


communication protocols; fieldbus; functional safety; IEC 61508; IEC 61850

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References


IEC 61508-0 “Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems – Part 0: Functional safety and IEC 61508”, 2010

IEC 61508-1 “Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems – Part 1: General requirements”, 2010

IEC 61784 “Industrial communication networks – Profiles – Part 3: Functional safety fieldbuses – General rules and profile definitions”

IEC 61158 series “Industrial communication networks – Fieldbus specifications”, 2014

IEC 61850-1 “Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 1 Introduction and overview”, 2013

IEC 61850-7-2 “Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 7-2: Basic communication structure – Abstract communication service interface (ACSI)”, 2010

IEC 61850-8-1 “Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 8-1: Specific communication service mapping (SCSM) – Mappings to MMS (ISO 9506-1 and ISO 9506-2) and to ISO/IEC 8802-3”

K-P Brand, M.Ostertag, “Safety related, distributed functions in substations and the standard IEC 61850”, 2003 Bologna Power Tech Conference, June 23th-26th, Bologna, Italy

J. Hoyos, M. Dehus and T. X. Brown, "Exploiting the GOOSE Protocol: A Practical Attack on Cyber-infrastructure", Proc. 2012 IEEE Globecom Workshops, pp. 1508-1513




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22149/teee.v1i3.22

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Copyright (c) 2016 Luca Rocca, Paolo Pinceti, Micaela Caserza Magro

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