Validating IEC 61850 Generic Object Oriented Substation Events (GOOSE)

The most recent standard for communication networks and systems in substations is IEC 61850. It offers protocols sitting across several different layers of the communication process and its scope of definitions greatly exceeds that of the preceding standard.



Within the new standard is the protocol surrounding Generic Object Oriented Substation Events (GOOSE). This is a mechanism that enables the fast transmission of substation events such as commands, alarms and messages – via a single GOOSE message sent by an Intelligent Electronic Device (IED).

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of these systems specified by clients, as they have recognised their potential to help protect networks in mission-critical facilities from harmful power surges and outages. A super-fast response rate is attractive to a myriad of clients, including technology providers, data centres operators and hospital management teams, and GOOSE’s ability to enable communication between multiple IEDs offers more flexibility than traditional hard-wired solutions. It also reduces the need for cabling and enables additional points for supervisory control and data acquisition and power management systems (SCADA/PMS) to be easily added.

While these IEC 61850 GOOSE systems are gaining popularity in their deployment the number of engineers that are skilled and experienced in their use has not increased at a corresponding rate. Commissioning these systems is a vital stage in the delivery of a project, but, with a dearth of engineers capable of validating the system, project delivery can be held up.

The team at HDR | Andrew Reid is already very familiar with the demands of the IEC 61850 GOOSE protocol and is more than ready to offer clients the level of commissioning and validating support required.

John Hall, Director of HDR | Andrew Reid, says: “Within five years, IEC 61850 GOOSE systems will be the norm for large-scale data centre projects and other mission-critical applications. In the commissioning environment, there are few that have the breadth and depth of our experience and knowledge in this critical sector. HDR | Andrew Reid has the largest team of mission critical commissioning engineers in Europe and, within that team, we have a number of HV specialists who are experience with with the requirements of the protocol.”

The modern world’s seemingly ever-increasing appetite for technology, the advent of the ‘smart city’, the proliferation of data and the ‘Internet of Things’ all mean that demand for data centres is on a similarly upward curve. IEC 61850 is proving perfect for data centre applications and we expect that demand for expertise in commissioning and validating these systems will also increase proportionally. It is a demand that HDR | Andrew Reid is well set to meet, says John. “We find that the design and specification of these systems is becoming increasingly common. We have already gained significant experience in working with them and now HDR | Andrew Reid is leading the market in the understanding, advising on and validating these systems.”