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Adapting relay test sets for the future

With the new and patented GOOSE Message Interface from Megger, it is now possible to use existing conventional test sets for testing protective relays and other items of substation equipment that communicate via the IEC 61850 networking protocol. The new interface is said to make big possible, as there is no longer a need to purchase costly new test equipment for networked substations.

Additional key benefits of the GOOSE Message Interface are that it allows engineers and technicians to continue using equipment with which they are familiar, and it also avoids the early obsolescence of test sets that are not IEC 61850 compatible, many thousands of which are currently in use.

In substations where IEC 61850 is used, relays, circuit breakers and other devices communicate with each other by means of GOOSE (Generic Object Oriented Substation Event) messages transmitted via the network. Megger’s innovative GOOSE Message Interface intercepts these messages and translates them into binary (on/off) signals that are compatible with conventional test sets. Likewise, the unit translates binary signals from the test set into GOOSE messages.

All messages are processed by the interface in less than 0.5 mS, which that no noticeable time delays are introduced into test sequences.

The GOOSE Message Interface has ten binary inputs and ten binary outputs, and a port for connecting it to the IEC 61850 substation network. The relationship between the inputs, outputs and the GOOSE messages is freely programmable by the user. The GOOSE Message Interface therefore acts as a universal adaptor that can be used with any type of relay test set – it is not limited to test sets from a specific manufacturer.

As the binary outputs of the GOOSE Message Interface provide sufficient power to drive external electromechanical relays directly, the unit is also an invaluable aid in the testing of substation control and interlocking systems and, in this application, it can be used as a standalone device, without the need for a relay test set.

A further advantage of the new unit is that it provides a complete solution to network security problems related to the testing of substations, as it does not require a PC to be connected to the substation network. It can even be used as a GOOSE firewall, allowing standard network analysis software running on a PC to be used to analyse traffic on the substation network.

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