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Smart grid: standards of power utility automation with multiple vendors

Industrial software supplier, COPA-DATA launched a new webinar series for the energy sector, with the second session taking place on Tuesday, August 11th. The IEC 61850 masterclass will help engineers understand how COPA-DATA’s software platform, zenon, supports power utility automation with multi-vendor systems. Pascal Schaub, director and principal engineer of DT Partners in Australia, kicks off the series next week and will teach how to comply with IEC 61850, without having to write a single line of code.

The international standard series IEC 61850 (Communication and Systems for Power Utility Automation) defines how devices in the energy grid, such as electricity substations and energy resources, exchange information. The standards can be mapped to different protocols, which allows for the interoperability between devices from multiple suppliers.

The IEC 61850 masterclass series will be hosted by the UK team at COPA-DATA and replace the company’s spring and summer zenon Energy Day events, which has previously been held at the Microsoft event space in Reading and the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester.

Topics of the IEC 61850 masterclass webinar series

IEC 61850 is part of the energy industry’s response to three very significant pressures. First, how to become greener by bringing together different and often decentralized sources of energy, such as wind farms and hydropower stations. Second, how to incorporate spikes in both usage and supply into the energy grid. Third, the standard helps the industry to automate and digitize the infrastructure, while incorporating multiple vendors. Therefore, IEC 61850 is a crucial element in the smart grid of the future.

The IEC 61850 masterclass will cover zenon’s IEC 61850 SCL import and configuration wizards and the system architectures for power utility automation. The webinar will also provide a practical demonstration of the IEC 61850 features applied in zenon, and how IEC 61850 configuration and version management can be applied in zenon projects. Registries are encourage to attend all four webinars spread over the next four months, for maximum benefit.

Pascal Schaub: present at the creation

The IEC 61850 masterclass will be led by Schaub of DT Partners, a specialist provider of products and consultancy services for substation and grid automation and the exclusive distribution partner of zenon in Australia and New Zealand.

Schaub is an expert in IEC 61850 and was intimately involved in the actual development of the standard. A member of the Standards Australia Technical Committee EL-050 (Power System Control and Communications) and Cigré (International Council on Large Electric Systems), Schaub took part in the international working group IEC/TC57 WG10 (Power System IED Communication and Associated Data Models) at the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), where the IEC 61850 was created.

Schaub is also a chartered member of Engineers Australia. He has over 25 years of experience in the electricity industry, specializing in the design, commissioning and operation of digital substation automation solutions. He was also the principal engineer for Queensland Gas Company and Powerlink Queensland, where he applied the IEC 61850 standards in process control, power management systems, high voltage protection, control systems and data networks.

Bringing expertise online

 “The IEC 61850 masterclass webinar is another example of COPA-DATA taking learning online,” explained Martyn Williams, Managing Director at COPA-DATA UK. “Moving these events to an online platform allows us to bring in expertise from our partners in Australia, enabling us to share IEC 61850 knowledge — no matter where in the world our users are.

“COPA-DATA is also currently offering a range of zenon basic online training for free. It is another way of adapting the business to the current climate, allowing our customers to learn online about the capabilities of zenon and be ready to use all its features when we return to the workplace.”

Visit the COPA-DATA website to register for the IEC 61850 webinar series here


COPA-DATA is the manufacturer of the zenon® software platform, used in the manufacturing and energy industries for the automated control, monitoring, and optimization of machines, equipment, and power supplies. Founded by Thomas Punzenberger in 1987 and headquartered in Salzburg, Austria, the independent, family-owned company employs approximately 270 workers around the globe. The distribution of software on an international scale is made possible through the company’s eleven subsidiaries and numerous distributors. In addition, more than 240 certified partner companies ensure efficient software implementation for end users in the food & beverage, energy & infrastructure, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries. In 2018, COPA-DATA generated turnover of EUR 44 million.

About zenon

zenon is a software platform from COPA-DATA for manufacturing and the energy industry. Machines and equipment are controlled, monitored and optimized. zenon’s particular strength is open and reliable communication in heterogeneous production facilities. Open interfaces and over 300 native drivers and communication protocols support the horizontal and vertical integration. This allows for continuous implementation of the Industrial IoT and the Smart Factory. Projects with zenon are highly scalable.

zenon is ergonomic, both for the engineer and for the end user. The engineering environment is flexible and can be used for a wide range of applications. The principle of “setting parameters instead of programming” helps engineers to configure projects quickly and without errors. Complex functions for comprehensive projects are supplied out-of-the-box to create intuitive and robust applications. Users can thereby contribute to increased flexibility and efficiency with zenon.

Your contact persons:

Your COPA-DATA contact:
Abigail Walters-Davies
Marketing Manager
Greyfriars Road Greyfriars House
Suite 42, Fourth Floor
Cardiff CF10 3AL
+44 (0) 29 2032 9175

Your press contact:
Laura England
Account Manager
Stone Junction Ltd
1 St Mary’s Place, St Mary’s Grove
Stafford, Staffordshire, ST16 2AR
+44 (0) 1785 225416

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