IEC 61850: Believe or don´t believe in testing. That is the question!

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Conference name
CIRED 2019
Conference date
3-6 June 2019
Conference location
Madrid, Spain
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Cardenas, Jorge, GE Grid Automation, Spain
Løken, Rannveig , Statnett, Norway
Martin, Javier, Red Electrica de España, Spain
Mendez, Jose, GE Grid Automation, Canada
Rodriguez, Joaquin , GE Grid Automation, Spain
Arribas, Diego, Red Electrica de España, Spain
Ruiz Ayala, Daniel, Red Electrica de España, Spain
Since beginning of electricity, testing of electrical devices, as relays, was an exclusive matter of electrical engineers, who designed devices and instruments to emulate or try to replicate the behaviour of the electrical network.As majority of devices were a small replica of the main network components (generators, inductances, resistances, capacitances, etc.), test equipment utilized those components together with basic instrumentation as needle voltmeters and ammeters.As technology evolves, and relays and other instruments become digital, but still electrical in sensing; it appears more sophisticated test equipment (digital also), where the internal process start visualizing a screen where engineers write numbers that represents magnitudes in amperes, volts, hertz, etc. and proceed to enable the machine to “inject” the corresponding value into the device under test. Inside the test machine,engineer cannot see all process and he believes that what is happening in the test machine and in the device under test is true.As IEC 61850 is being implemented in areas before dominated exclusively by electricity, the need of signals, now optical and digital to do testing has been increased exponentially and the process on how the testing must be done. With new devices, where the communication aspects become crucial, testing procedure approaches more and more with the one used to test software than hardware and now electrical engineers faced a dilemma: How confident we feel in the fact that new process is giving us the expected results?
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