This lesson is part of the OPC-UA and Devices in Ignition course. You can browse the rest of the lessons below.


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Connecting to IEC 61850 Devices


Learn how to create an IEC 61850 device driver connection using an SCD file, and how to browse device's data model using OPC Quick Client.

Video recorded using: Ignition 8.1


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[00:00] In this lesson, we'll demonstrate how to connect to an IEC 61850 device in Ignition. IEC 61850 is an international standard used by power systems needing to send control signals among multiple different intelligent electronic devices, or IEDs, defined in a substation. Here we'll start out in our Ignition gateway's Config tab. The first thing we ought to do is confirm that we have the IEC 61850 device driver installed. We'll go to the System option, then to the Module suboption. If we see this IEC 61850 driver present, we know it's installed and ready for use. Please note that this driver may not be available on all platforms. For more specifics on supported platforms and Ignition versions required, please consult the online Ignition User Manual. Next we need to create a new device connection. Still in the Config tab, we'll scroll down a bit to the OPC UA option, then select its Device Connection suboption.

[01:06] Now we're in the Devices page, where we'll click on Create New Device. Here we see a list of all available device driver types. We'll select IEC 61850 MMS Client Driver, scroll down to the bottom, and click Next. Now we are prompted to configure the parameters of our device connection. The two essential ones are the Name and the Hostname. I'll enter a device name of my_61850_device, and for the host name, my device's IP address of Since I've done this several times now, you'll notice they appeared as auto complete options for me. Your device parameters of course will vary. We'll next click the Show Advanced Properties checkbox. There are many other customization parameters available. For full descriptions of each of these settings, please see the online Ignition User Manual. Scrolling down just a little bit, it's fine to leave the Use SCD File, IED Name, and Access Point Name parameters unchecked and blank for now, these will be auto-populated once an SCD file is specified in a following step.

[02:17] We will go ahead and accept all other default parameter values. Then we'll scroll to the bottom of the page and click Create New Device. This brings us back to the Devices page where we started. If we are successful, we will see the specified IEC 61850 device added to the devices list, with a status of Connected. However, for IEC 61850 devices, there is one more configuration step needed. That is to specify an SCD file name to use. For this driver implementation, it's recommended to always use an SCD file in order to limit the request size and visibility of access points during OPC browsing. The creation of an actual SCD file is beyond the scope of this lesson. If using an IEC 61850 device, it's assumed that you already have a suitable such SCD file on hand from the vendor or by other means. To specify an SCD file, we will click on More > SCD, and then Choose File.

[03:18] We can navigate if needed to our desired SCD file. I know that this particular file is the one compatible with my device, so I'll select it and click Open, and then Upload. Here, my SCD file only specifies one available IED, but you may have multiple options to choose from. Once you've made your selection, click Save. And this brings us back to the Devices page. If we go over here and click Edit, and then down to Show Advanced Properties, and scroll down just a bit, we see that the Use SCD File, IED Name, and Access Point Name have indeed been updated from our SCD file. So now let's go back and finish at our Devices page.

[04:05] And at this point we have created and configured an IEC 61850 device connection. Finally, we can also browse our reports data hierarchy using the OPC Quick Client. This will let us preview the data we may want to import as tags into our Tag Browser. So while still in the Gateway's Config tab, we can scroll down a bit, and in the OPC Client option, select OPC Quick Client. Here we can expand the OPC UA server, then the Devices folder, then our connected device and the Reports folder, and so on down this tree. We can see that our configured my 61850 device is present, along with the first several levels of its hierarchical data model. For more specifics about this structure, please see the online Ignition User Manual. And finally, be aware that any write interaction with any such operational control attributes is intended to be handled using the available IEC 61850 specific scripting functions, which will be the subject of another lesson.

[05:13] So in this video, we have seen how to create and configure an IEC 61850 device connection, and how to inspect its hierarchical data model.

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