Modeling and Simulation of Data Flow for VLAN-Based Communication in Substations

IEC 61850, the standard for communication in substations, has resolved the interoperability between intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) from different vendors. Thus, the IEDs’ uniform communication standard contributes to the realization of more sophisticated functionality in substation automation systems. However, there are still several issues unsolved for the simulation, planning, and extension of substation communication network (SCN). This paper proposes three kinds of mathematical models for typical data flow within substations according to IEC 61850, which are cyclic data, stochastic data, and burst data.

Thereby, a quantitative analysis of data flow is carried out for a typical substation based on the proposed data models. The advantage of virtual local area network (VLAN) and impacts of system faults, as well as network topologies, on a VLAN-based network are evaluated and simulated by OPNET Modeler. The data flow models are beneficial for the acquisition of more convincing results to assess network performance. Thus, the simulation results for a sample substation can be used to support power utility personnel with the planning and construction process of SCN.