IEC 61850

Real time closed-loop testing is the most thorough test method for relay engineers and has become an integral part of the daily testing tools. The RTDS Simulator’s IEC 61850 communication capability is provided by the GTNETx2 Network Interface Card, with the Sampled Values (SV) or GOOSE messaging (GSE) protocols installed. IEC 61850 Sampled Values streaming can also be provided by the GTFPGA Unit running the GTFPGA-SV firmware.

GTNETx2 Card for IEC 61850 Sampled Values and GOOSE Messaging

IEC-61850-SV-GOOSEThe SV firmware option for the GTNETx2 card provides IEC 61850-9-2LE and IEC 61869-9 compliant sampled value messaging for power system voltages and currents. In order to timestamp the sampled values, a one pulse per second (1PPS) signal can be input to the GTNETx2 via a BNC coax connection or fibre optical port. Alternatively, the GTNETx2 can provide the master 1PPS signal to the IED(s) being tested. For more information on Sampled Values streaming using the GTNETx2 card, click here.

The GSE firmware option for the GTNETx2 card can be used to send and receive GOOSE messages with the RTDS Simulator. The GTNET GOOSE configuration is done via an SCD file. The RSCAD software contains a built in SCD editor which helps the user to easily and conveniently configure the publication and subscription of GOOSE messages. For more information on GOOSE messaging using the GTNETx2 card, click here.



IEC 61850 Sampled Values streaming via GTFPGA Unit


Available in RSCAD V5 or higher, the GTFPGA-SV component provides IEC 61850-9-2LE and IEC 61869-9 Sampled Values (SV) communications using the GTFPGA Unit hardware. The use of dedicated FPGA-based hardware significantly increases the number of SV data streams that can be output from the RTDS Simulator. When being used for this purpose, the GTFPGA Unit can be connected to external IEDs through the sixteen Ethernet ports on the front of each unit.

For details on the GTFPGA Unit’s Sampled Values streaming capabilities, click here.

Closed-loop Testing of IEC 61850 Compliant Devices

The RTDS Simulator has all of the tools and capabilities necessary to model and test the fully digital substation. The schematic below shows how the RTDS Simulator may be used to perform the closed-loop testing of IEC 61850-compliant devices.


The RTDS Simulator has been connected to a wide range of devices providing GOOSE binary messages and Sampled Values. Some of the relay manufacturers whose devices have been successfully connected to the RTDS Simulator via IEC 61850 communication include:

  • Schneider Electric
  • Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL)
  • GE
  • Siemens
  • ABB
  • Alstom
  • Arteche
  • Omicron
  • Ingeteam
  • ZIV
  • Efacec Automation
  • Toshiba
  • XJ
  • Sifang

The RTDS Simulator allows closed-loop protection systems testing well beyond any other means of testing and verifying the equipment’s performance and settings. Learn about the details of Protection Systems Testing for more information on the IEC 61850 interface.

Our extensive list of technical publications contains published papers related to this topic.