Last Updated S012019


Unit Code MEE505
Unit Duration 1 Term (online) or 1 Semester (on-campus)

Graduate of Engineering (Electrical Systems )

Duration: 1 year

Master of Engineering ( Electrical Systems )

Duration: 2 years


Year Level One
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dean Reynders
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites Nil
Credit Points


Grad Dip total course credit points = 24

( 3 credits  x 8 (units))

Master total course credit points = 48

( 3 credits  x 12 ( units )+ 12 credits ( Thesis )

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

 10 hours per week

Lecture- 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture - 1 hours

Practical / Lab - 1 hour ( where applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours ( guided and unguided )

Unit Description and General Aims

Older (‘legacy’) substation automation protocols and hardware/software architectures provided basic functionality for power system automation, and were designed to accommodate the technical limitations ofthe technologies available at the time. However, in recent years there have been vast improvements in technology, especially on the networking side. This has opened the door for dramatic improvements in the approach to power system automation in substations. The latest developments in networking such as high-speed, deterministic, redundant Ethernet, as well as other technologies including TCP/IP, high-speed Wide Area Networks and high-performance embedded processors, are providing capabilities that could hardly be imagined when most legacy substation automation protocols were designed. The unit aims to cover important international standards(IEC 61850)for substation automation, which will contribute to students' understanding of the significant impact on how electric power systems are designed and built for the future. having a significant. The model driven approach of IEC 61850 is an innovative approach and requires a new way of thinking about substation automation. This will result in significant improvements in the costs and performance of electric power systems. Substation Automation (or Data Communications for Substation Automation), including the protocols such as DNP3, IEC 61850, and IEC 60870-5-101/103 as well as the use of LANs/WANs for real-time communication in power distribution systems (both inside substations and between them) will be discussed. IEC 61850 alone is very complex and is a ‘hot topic in the Power Industry today.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:
1. Define the details and functions of Substation Automation
Bloom’s Level 6
2. Understand the various Substation Automation Structures
Bloom’s Level 6
3. Identify and utilise the Substation Automation Architectures
Bloom’s Level 6
4. Apply the characteristics of Asset Management Support
Bloom’s Level 6
5. Discuss and understand the New Roles for Substation Automation
Bloom’s Level 6
6. Describe and implement Wide Area Protection
Bloom’s Level 6
7. Understand, identify and apply IEC 61850
Bloom’s Level 6

Student assessment


Assessment Type

(e.g. Assessment -2000 word essay (specify topic)

Examination ( specify length and format))

When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment / Presentation
Topic examples: substation Automation basics, structure and architecture
After Topic 3 20% 1, 2,3

Assessment 2

Type:Report / Research / Paper / Case Study/ Site Visit/ Problem analysis/ Project / Professional recommendation

Example:Report (Midterm Project)
[This will include a progress report; literature review,hypothesis, and methodology
/ conclusions]
Word length: 1000
Topic examples: Roles of substation automation
After Topic 7 25% 1,2,3,4,5

Assessment 3

Type: Report (Final Project)
[If a continuation of the midterm, this should complete the report by adding sections on: methodology,implementation /evaluation, verification/ validation,conclusion/ challenges and recommendations/ future work. If this is a new report, all headings from the midterm and the final reports must be included.]
Word length: 2000
Topic examples : Continuation of midterm with WAP and modern substation automation ( EC61850)
After Topic 11 35% 1-7

Practical Participation

Example: May be in the form of quizzes, class tests,
practical assessments , remote labs, simulation software or case studies
Example:Software packages on IE6C1850
After Topic 12 15% 7

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1 - 7


Prescribed and Recommended readings

Required textbook(s)
•A selection of IDC technical manuals are used as the core texts
Reference Materials
• IDC- IEC 61850 course outline
• IDC/ EIT notes and Reference texts as advised.
• Other material advised during the lectures

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topics 1 and 2

Functions of Substation Automation
1. Process Connection
2. Operative Functions
3. System Configuration and Maintenance Functions
4. Communication Functions
5. Functions Related to Network Operations


Topic 3

Substation Automation Structures
1. Station Level
2. Bay Level
3. Process Level


Topics 4 and 5

Substation Automation Architectures
1. Ethernet (Peer-to-Peer) Communication Within Substations
2. TCP/IP and Related Issues
3. Wide Area Network (WAN) Communication Issues
4. Integration of Protection and Control Systems
5. Allocation of Functions
6. Integration of Primary Equipment


Topic 6

Asset Management Support
1. Business Goals
2. Maintenance
3. Power System Monitoring
4. Management of Substation Automation


Topic 7

New Roles for Substation Automation
1. The Impact of Deregulation in the Power Supply Industry
2. The Motivation for Modernizing Substations
3. Policies for Substation Refurbishment
4. Business-related Impact of Substation Automation


Topics 8 and 9

Wide Area Protection
1. The Role of Wide Area Protection Systems(WAPS)
2. Achievements with WAPS on Power Systems
3. Power System Phenomena and Related WAPS Solutions
4. Classification of WAPS
5. Specific WAPS Implementations
6. Voltage Stability Assessment Guidelines
7. On-line VSA Execution Modes and Used Guidelines
8. The Implementation of Wide Area Protection

Topics 10 and 11

IEC 61850

1. IEC 61850 vs. the OSI Model
2. Scope and Outline of IEC 61850
3. IEC 61850 Substation Architecture
4. Data Modelling Approach
5. Communication Profiles
6. Mapping of IEC 61850 to Communication Profiles
7. Configuration
8. Conformance and Testing

Topic 12

Project and Revision
In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far.
Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work, to clarify any outstanding issues, and to work on
finalising the major assessment report


Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: EMPT/ATP

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A