Master Thesis Project Proposal: Implementation of IEC 61499 Applications for Centralised Power System Protection Platform

Stockholm (Solna)
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The traditional protection systems are highly distributed systems made up of Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) and, in some cases, the corresponding communication infrastructure. Each of the IEDs performs a clearly defined protection function implemented using proprietary and closed software and deployed on dedicated hardware. The number of IEDs installed in a substation grows proportionally with the size of the substation and, consequently, the price of a such installation can be significant. Moreover, due to possibly limited amount of information in each of the IEDs and inflexibility in application configuration, some protection or automation functions are difficult to implement.
Recently, there has been a growing interest in centralised protection systems with several successful pilot projects [1]–[3]. The centralised approach to protection systems provides several advantages to the system’s owner with respect to the traditional approach such as reduced relay asset and device management efforts, reduced maintenance approach, improved cyber security owing to the reduced number of access points, and a simplified intra-substation communication [4].
Regardless of the approach (centralised or decentralised), the protection functions are usually either provided as closed-source software by vendors or implemented in vendor-specific tools. Conversely, in the domain of industrial control and automation systems, the standard IEC 61499 enables unambiguous modelling and development of applications. The standard addresses the use of Function Blocks (FBs) which allows a generic modelling approach to describe control applications, to exploit object-oriented paradigms and to reuse the applications on IEC 61499 supporting hardware. Moreover, the standard supports the exchange and reuse of developed applications through the exchange format which utilises eXtensible Markup Language (XML).
The aim of this project is to demonstrate the IEC 61499 development and deployment process for power system protection functions on a general-purpose hardware. The work should result in a centralised protection system for a typical Vattenfall's substation which will serve as a proof of concept. Also, the system should be analysed and requirements for the hardware and software of the centralised platfrom should be derived. The requirements should be a function of the substation's size and a number of required protection functions.
Project Outline
The project will start with a literature study of the previous work done on centralised protection and implementation of protection functions with IEC 61499. Following the literature review, the student shall install and configure a Linux operating system with its real-time (RT) patch on a target machine [5]. In order to enable the execution of the IEC 61499 code, the student shall also configure an open-source 4DIAC Runtime Environment (FORTE) [6]. On the other hand, 4DIAC Integrated Development Environment (4DIAC-IDE) used to create the IEC 61499 applications, will be configured and installed on the development machine. Then, the student will get herself familiar with the real-time operating system, FORTE and 4DIAC-IDE. Next, a simple protection scheme for a substation will be developed following the notions of Logical Nodes (LNs) and a standard-defined naming in IEC 61850. Moreover, custom IEC 61499 service interface function blocks (SIFBs) will be developed which will enable the platform to receive Sampled Value (SV) packets and send/receive GOOSE messages defined by IEC 61850. Next, the model of a substation shall be developed in Matlab/Simulink and deployed on OPAL-RT real-time simulator. The centralised platform will be interfaced with a real-time model and the performance of the system shall be studied and analysed. Finally, based on the developed application and system analysis, general requirements for the hardware and software of more complex and larger applications shall be derived.
Project Objectives
1. Perform a literature review on the subject of IEC61499 application for power system protection and automation.
2. Analyse the system needs and derive the hardware and software requirements for a generic centralised protection platform
3. Development of a framework for development of centralised protection applications with IEC 61499, i.e. configuration of the target and development machines.
4. Demonstration of the development framework and prototype platform. This includes:
o Implementation of a centralised protection application following the IEC 61850 standard.
o Implementation of service interface function blocks enabling the platform to communicate based on IEC 61850.
o Deployment of the developed IEC 61499 application on the previously configured target machine.
o Implementation of the substation model on a real-time simulator and interfacing it with the centralised platform.
[1] A. Johnsson, J. E. Soderstrom, P. Norberg, and A. Fogelberg, “Standard platform for integrated soft protection and control,” in 2010 IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe (ISGT Europe), 2010, no. September, pp. 1–6.
[2] I. Dorofeyev, “First deployment of fully digital software-based PAC system on substation 110 / 10 kV — Basic points of experience and first results,” in PAC World Conference, 2015.
[3] “Locamation.” [Online]. Available:
[4] IEEE PES Power System Relaying Committee, “Centralized Substation Protection and Control,” 2015.
[5] "Real-Time Linux Wiki" [Online]. Avaliable:
[6] "IEC 61499 Runtime Environment" [Online]. Available:
[7] "IEC 61499 Compliant Development Environment" [Online]. Available:
• Basic knowledge of power system protection
• Basic experience with power system modelling
• Basic programming knowledge
• Currently enrolled at a Master program at KTH
Involved Company: Vattenfall
Place: Stockholm, Sweden
Estimated Duration: 20 weeks (30 ECTS)
Application Deadline:
15th of August
Please provide a CV, personal letter and transcript of records (grades)
Main Contact Person: Tin Rabuzin (
Contact Person from Vattenfall:
Anders Johnsson (
Tel: +46 70 539 73 79
Nätteknik / Network Technology
Vattenfall Eldistribution AB
Examiner: Lars Nordström (