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Multilin HardFiber System
IEC 61850 Process Bus Solutions

The Multilin HardFiber System is an 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 is designed to 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.

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
  • Built as an extension of the Universal Relay family and is available for protection applications
  • Reduces exposure to cybersecurity threats through sealed communications
  • 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 busbar protection and bay control, enabling centralized overcurrent backup protection
  • Substation automation
  • Air-insulated and gas-insulated substations
  • Multi-terminal line differential where 2 or more terminal are less than 2 Km away
  • Remote protection and control rooms for MV switchgear to mitigate exposure of operators to arc flash hazards
Overview
Components
Installation
Architecture

An Industrial Revolution for Protection & Control

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.

Key Benefits of the HardFiber System

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.

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.

Standard mounting options

  • Rugged outdoor mounting available
  • Standard case for surface, flush, and panel mounting
  • Supports customer standards for fiber and copper cable
 

The HardFiber System replaces labor-intensive processes with quick installation, off-the-shelf equipment and made-to-order cables.

Process Interface Unit Options

The HardFiber Brick Process Interface Unit (Order Code Brick-4-HI-X-****-X-X-X) is an I/O device designed for mounting in utility switchyards. The S-Brick version must be mounted inside equipment cabinets or kiosks. The ruggedized version may be mounted outdoors in the switchyard. The ruggedized Brick uses connectorized copper and fiber optic cables for ease of installation and for environmental protection. The Brick works directly with models of the GE Universal Relay (UR) family, and any compliant third party device.

The HardFiber Brick Process Interface Unit (Order Code Brick-4-HI-X-****-X-X-X) is ruggedized I/O device designed for mounting outdoors in utility switchyards. The Brick uses connectorized copper and fiber optic cables for ease of installation and for environmental protection. The Brick works directly with models of the GE Universal Relay (UR) family, and any compliant third party device.

  • 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 (for use with ruggedized Brick version)

  • 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
 

Fiber cable options for the Brick (for use with ruggedized Brick version)

Custom FOA cable

The custom FOA cables are ordered to length, and are connectorized at each end. These FOA cables require the use of the Cross Connect Panel, and the FOR Indoor Relay Fiber Cable, to connect to the UR or other compliant devices. DC power to the Brick is distributed by the Cross Connect Panel, and short circuit protection for the Brick power supply is included in the FOA cable.

FOA Splice cable

The FOA Splice Cable is intended to meet customer standards for fiber optic cable distribution through the switchyard. The FOA Splice Cable is connectorized at the Brick end, and ends in copper and fiber pigtails. The customer must provide their own fiber optic cables, DC supply to power the Brick, and perform their own splicing to the pigtails of the FOA Splice Cable.

 

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
 

Save up to 50% on your P&C Labor Costs

 

System Architecture

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.

 

Scalability

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.

Reliability, Dependability, Security

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.