NECA Group

News & Views

7th October 2021

Business Partner Update: With IPD


IEC 61850 - The future of smart LV networks

Since 2014, ABB’s Sace Emax 2 ACBs have had the capability of IEC 61850 communications and now with the launch of the Sace Tmax XT range, ABB is once again leading the industry with IEC 61850 capable MCCBs. ABB has been a foundational member of the IEC 61850 committee from its very inception and continues to drive the development of the protocol.

The unique ability of IEC 61850 to combine protection and supervision functions allows the installation to benefit from applications, that were previously impossible with traditional communications systems such as Modbus. Together, the IEC 61850 enabled devices make it possible to implement and operate a fully integrated protection and supervision system that spans from HV to MV to LV. This comprehensive approach is made possible by utilizing IEC 61850 to create features such as advanced logic selectivity, real-time diagnostics and ultra-fast GOOSE messaging.

One of the unique aspects of IEC 61850 is the Substation Configuration Language (SCL), that is used in defining the implementation for a given project. Using SCL, it is possible to create “topology aware” devices that can adjust their performance based on changes within its local electrical environment. This is just a small sample of the varied capabilities that IEC 61850 could potentially be deployed to increase the efficiency, safety and reliability of your installation.

The ability for devices to transmit protection changes and events through GOOSE messaging is another defining feature of IEC 61850 allowing ultra-fast messaging of high priority data packets between devices. Due to the protocol’s ability to manage packet prioritisation, it is now possible to replace traditional hard-wired signals with communications; such as trip and synchronization signals.

The possibilities for future expansion and integration are truly exciting with IEC 61850. To explore and find out more on how to utilise the benefits of ABB ACBs and MCCBs with IEC 61850 on your next project, contact IPD on 1300 556 601 or visit for more information.