Connecting down the line

From line traps to power systems management

By Antoinette Price

Energy infrastructures are evolving towards connected systems, such as Smart Grids. Over the past five decades, major advances in technology have changed the way power is generated, delivered and consumed.

Solar Panel

Going with the flow

The scope of IEC Technical Committee (TC) 57: Power systems management and associated information exchange, has significantly expanded since it was established in 1964. Today, it addresses the urgent need to produce International Standards for communications between the equipment and systems for the electric power process, which has become increasingly complex.

The work of IEC TC 57 covers power systems control equipment and systems, including Energy Management Systems (EMS), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), distribution automation, teleprotection, and associated information exchange for real-time and non-real-time information. These systems are used in the planning, operation and maintenance of power systems.

A number of the 130 plus publications it has produced form a critical subset of those required to realize the Smart Grid. It has also prepared some of IECs best-selling International Standards, such as the IEC 61850 series on communications network and systems in substations and for power utility automation.

Looking ahead

Competition has increased among electric utilities thanks to deregulation of energy markets. Now there is an even greater need for integration and interoperability of equipment and systems controlling the electric power process. Added to this, greater energy consumption globally will continue to require the development of efficient energy use and optimized energy management processes, which will also comprise renewable energy.

As Smart Grids develop further to meet the energy requirements of global populations, the technology will progress and more players will become involved. TC 57 will continue to produce harmonized International Standards, which help these systems to function smoothly by ensuring interoperability, detecting faults and finding solutions with the least disruption time possible.

tc-1_tc-57_50_years_Substation Substation
tc-1_tc-57_50_years_PV_roof Solar power
tc-1_tc-57_50_years_smart_metre Smart meter