OSIsoft Launches PI Connector for IEC 61850

OSIsoft LLC, a leader in operational intelligence, today unveiled the PI Connector for IEC 61850, a software interface designed to help utilities, grid operators and large power users pave the way for digital transformation.

The PI Connector for IEC 61850 reads and automatically contextualizes data from IEC 61850-based devices such as transformers and switchgear so that it can be quickly integrated to the enterprise-wide system-of-record managed by the PI System. The connector simplifies the process for adding new devices and sources of data to grids and other operational networks, lowering the cost and time required to implement initiatives like remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance while increasing performance and visibility (IEC 61850 is an advanced networking standard for substation automation equipment. The market for IEC 61850-complaint equipment grows at approximately 18 percent per year).

Stedin, a distribution system operator serving approximately 2 million residential and commercial customers in the Netherlands, is retrofitting its 185 substations around the IEC 61850 standard. In 2011, Stedin outlined its vision to digitize grid operations and improve the efficiency and quality of grid operations as well as anticipate market trends and regulatory drivers. Today, approximately 60 substations are fully IEC 61850 based and each year 15 to 20 substations will be refurbished for IEC 61850. In 2017, Stedin and OSIsoft began to collaborate on the PI Connector for IEC 61850 and recently finalized the specifications after testing in Stedin facilities.

Through the high-fidelity insights generated by the PI Connector for IEC 61850, the company also discovered that in some substations control devices called tap closers were switching as many as 30 times a day, or nearly twice the expected rate of 16 times a day. This insight has enabled Stedin to fine tune maintenance schedules. Stedin has also been able to enhance the performance of its line distance rotation functions and peak currents as well as switching times of circuit breakers.

Additionally, the 61850 retrofit will improve decision making around asset investment planning and lifecycle management. Stedin anticipates an increase in electrical demand as more customers switch from gas to electricity to heat their homes. By 2020, Stedin…

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