The IEC 61850 standard series and associated extensions is a leading standard technology
governing the interoperability in the Power Utility automation domain.

Ahead of semantic interoperability

Originally published in 2004, the standard series anticipated very early that the standardisation of communication protocols was not enough to reach a real seamless interoperability over the whole life cycle of systems.

From its start, the IEC 61850 series encompasses many facets to offer to the market a unique way of building-up multi-manufacturers interoperable solutions, including a structured set of standardized machine level words (data model), possibly handled through a standardized machine processable language (SCL – especially for engineering tools), together with a set of standardized communication services, supported by a limited set of standardized communication protocols.
Together with the IEC 62351, it help specifying and implementing secured interfaces between products and tools during the whole life cycle of assets.

The beauty of this approach is that these parts can be used mostly independently from the others, offering a real future-proof and open approach

IEC 61850 semantic

The IEC data model holds the semantics which ensures semantic interoperability by design

IEC 61850 language

The System Description Language (SCL) is the basis for a seamless and interoperable engineering process

IEC 61850 communication protocols

The set of communication protocols, transposing a same set of abstract communication services, are the basis for real-time communication between field devices, meeting the highly demanding requirements of electrical-related functions.

IEC 61850 security
(IEC 62351)

The IEC 62351 series guarantees the security of data exchanged with the IEC 61850 protocols.

Adopted by all regions in the world

Originally resulting from the merge of the best know-how coming from experts from all regions of the world, its adoption by these regions have been facilitated

Europe and Russia

All European countries and Russia have adopted this standard, starting by equiping the transmission and distribution substations and expending now power plants and DERs.

European manufacturers have been among the very first to offer to the market IEC 61850 compliant devices and system

Asia and Australia

China, Korea, Japan, Australia and many others are among the most dynamic countries spreading out the IEC 61850 technologies .

Asian and Australian manufacturers are as well nowadays all offering innovative solutions compliant with the IEC 61850 standard


North and South Americas have been very early in adopting the IEC 61850 technology for their transmission and distribution networks, and also expanding to power plants and DERs, as well in supporting the international IEC 61850 users association.

Manufacturers of these regions have also been very early engaged in offering IEC 61850 series compliant solution, and count today among the most dynamic market players

To serve the best the GRID

Designing the grid, operating it at best conditions, while taking the best of the associated assets is a challenge faced by all utilities around the world. Digitalizing Transmission and Distribution substations has been among the very first target of the IEC 61850 in order to help utilities setting-up future-proof and secured solutions for protecting and operating the electrical grid, and monitoring in details any assets on the field, to deliver high quality electricity to all users.

And supporting at best
the new energy landscape

The integration of Distributed Energy resources, as well as managing bulk power plant has been very early a second objective of the iEC 61850,
with the goal to provide the best coverage of the whole supply side of the smart grid. Advanced standardized models can nowadays provide
innovative and open interface capabilities to all components
and systems used to frame the new energy landscape.

IEC 61850 at a glance

participating countries
observing countries
experts from 46 countries
publications (existing or to come)
Standardized data objects (DO)
Standardized functions (LN)