Digital Energy Protection & Control IEC 61850 Process Bus
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  Application Notes
The HardFiber System is a KEMA tested IEC 61850 Process Bus Solution that allows the mapping of measurements made in the switchyard to protection relays located in the control house using secure communications. The HardFiber System addresses the key technical and logistic challenges affecting the labor required for substation design, construction and maintenance.
Key Benefits
  • Eliminate majority of copper wiring to better utilize resources for the design, building, commissioning and maintenance of power system protection and control
  • Robust and simple architecture for deploying IEC 61850 process bus
  • Extremely rugged hardened switchyard interface suitable for harsh environments
  • Built as an extension of the Universal Relay (UR) family of products, is available for a wide array of protection applications
  • Completely secure against cyber security threats
  • Improves employee safety by limiting the number of high-energy signals in the control building
  • Save up to 50% in P&C labor costs
  • Applications    
  • Retrofit and greenfield installations for power generation, transmission and distribution systems
  • Generator protection
  • Transformer protection
  • Transmission Line protection
  • Bus protection
  • Feeder protection
  • Motor protection
  • Capacitor bank protection
  • Wide area network protection
  • Distributed bay control
  • Digital fault & sequence of event recording
  • Substation automation
  • Air-insulated and GIS stations
  •   Key Features
    The HardFiber Process Bus System represents a true breakthrough in the installation and ownership of protection and control systems, by reducing the overall labor required for substation design, construction, and testing. This innovative solution addresses the three key issues driving the labor required for protection and control design, construction and testing:
  • Every substation is unique making design and drafting a one-off solution for every station
  • Miles of copper wires needs to be pulled, spliced and terminated
  • Time consuming testing and troubleshooting of thousands of connections must be performed by skilled personnel
  •   The HardFiber System was designed to address these challenges and reduce the overall labor associated with the tasks of designing, documenting, installing and testing protection and control systems. By specifically targeting copper wiring and all of the labor it requires, the HardFiber System allows for greater utilization and optimization of resources with the ultimate goal of reducing the Total Life Cost (TLC) for protection & control.
      The underlying driver for the HardFiber System is the reduction of Total Life Costs of protection and control through labor and resource optimization. This optimization is achieved by replacing individual, labor-intensive, individually terminated copper wires with standardized physical interfaces and open digital communications
      The HardFiber System replaces labor-intensive processes with quick installation, off-the-shelf equipment and made-to-order cables.
      Traditional substation designs require large amounts of skilled labor to create engineering drawings, pull and terminate miles of copper cables, and test and troubleshoot thousands of connections.
      Key Features
    HardFiber Brick
  • Simple interface providing four bi-directional point-to-point connections with protection and control devices
  • Extremely rugged construction — Die-cast Aluminium housing rated IP66, -40°C to 85°C, 30g shock
  • Fast, error-proof installation — Copper and fiber cabling with rugged MIL-D-38999 standard connectors
    HardFiber Cross Connect Panel
  • Break out all of the bi-directional fiber communications channels from Bricks and protection and control devices
  • Mapping between Bricks and P&C devices is hard-fibered using simple fiber patch cord connections
  • Completely passive infrastructure — no firmware, no settings, no active electronics
    HardFiber Outdoor Cable
  • Complete bi-directional point-to-point fiber communications and fused power supply for each Brick
  • Delivered cut to length and pre-terminated at both ends — no field splicing or terminating required
  • Extremely rugged — run in cable trays, pull through conduits, direct bury
    Universal Relay IEC 61850 Process Card
  • Communications interface between the relay and up to eight Bricks, including synchronization, data alignment and contact input processing
  • Transmits commands to connected Bricks to operate primary power system apparatus
  • Real-time system health monitoring and data cross-checking — unprecedented level of error detection and security

      Key Features
    The architecture of the HardFiber System is driven by the mapping of signals between the primary apparatus and the protection and control devices.

    The measurement of field signals and respective mapping of these signals, using the open IEC 61850 communications protocol, back to the control house is done through a hardened interface device called the HardFiber Brick.

    Using made-to-order Outdoor Fiber Cables connecting the Brick to a Cross Connect Panel in the control house provides fast and error-proof installation without the need for on-site splicing or terminating.

    Keeping true to the existing topology of traditional substations, each protection and control device included in the zone of protection will be connected directly to Bricks through dedicated fiber optic connections.

    This simple, purpose-driven architecture that uses the IEC 61850 open standard for communications, provides dedicated point-to-point connections between the Brick and protective relays without introducing any issues relating to data synchronization, setting management or Cyber-Security.

    Each Brick transmits measurements and accepts controls from up to 4 separate protection and control devices.
      The true test of any system, including a Process Bus system, is its ability to incrementally scale up to meet specific applications without adversely affecting the other devices in the system. Today’s protection and control systems are already naturally scalable.

    The challenge for communication-based protection systems becomes making extensions and modifications without disrupting the in-service protection and control system.

    By recognizing that the mapping between power system signals and protection and control devices is fundamentally driven by the topology of the underlying substation, the HardFiber System is optimally partitioned and connected to allow for additions, modifications and upgrades to the system – without risking interruption or degradation to critical in-service protection.
      The HardFiber System provides an unprecedented level of diagnostics and self-checking, allowing critical protection and control systems to do something that they have never done before – operate without routine maintenance.

    Internal diagnostics and self-tests within each Brick monitor dozens of critical internal subsystems and provide this information several hundred times per second. Duplicate Bricks can be provisioned to acquire each input signal twice, allowing protection and control devices to continuously crosscheck critical protection measurements before executing commands via fully redundant outputs.

    With the HardFiber redundant architecture, each protection and control device can be configured to maximize dependability and security, addressing specific application requirements.