Communication networks and systems for power utility automation - Part 2: Glossary

IEC TS 61850-2:2019 (E) contains the glossary of specific terms and definitions used in the context of Substation Automation Systems which are standardized in the various parts of the IEC 61850 series.
This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition, published in 2003. This edition constitutes a technical revision. This edition includes the following significant technical changes with respect to the previous edition:
a) definition of new definitions used in the new edition of the IEC 61850 standard series;
b) updating of existing definitions to the new domain power utility automation of the IEC 61850 standard series and to provide homogeneity
c) removal of deprecated definitions (logical device class; generic system state event; substation automation system);
d) provision of clarifications and corrections to the first edition of IEC 61850-2.
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IEC TS 61850-2
Edition 2.0 2019-04
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 2: Glossary
IEC TS 61850-2:2019-04(en)
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IEC TS 61850-2
Edition 2.0 2019-04
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 2: Glossary
ICS 33.200 ISBN 978-2-8322-6799-8

Warning! Make sure that you obtained this publication from an authorized distributor.

® Registered trademark of the International Electrotechnical Commission
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– 2 – IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019

FOREWORD ........................................................................................................................... 3

1 Scope .............................................................................................................................. 6

2 Normative references ....................................................................................................... 6

3 Terms and definitions....................................................................................................... 6

4 Abbreviated terms .......................................................................................................... 32

Bibliography .......................................................................................................................... 38

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IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019 – 3 –
Part 2: Glossary

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The main task of IEC technical committees is to prepare International Standards. In

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• the required support cannot be obtained for the publication of an International Standard,

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Technical Specifications are subject to review within three years of publication to decide

whether they can be transformed into International Standards.

IEC 61850-2, which is a technical specification, has been prepared by IEC technical committee

57: Power system management and associated information exchange.
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– 4 – IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019

This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition, published in 2003. This edition

constitutes a technical revision. This edition includes the following significant technical changes

with respect to the previous edition:

a) definition of new definitions used in the new edition of the IEC 61850 standard series

(abstract data model for communication; application function; backward compatible;

common data class; communication system; composition; configuration compatibility list;

configured IED description CID; conformance; data object class; decomposition;

documentation; domain; forward compatible; function-related naming; granularity; IED

configuration tool; IED parameters; instantiated IED description IID; intelligent electronic

device capability description ICD; language; local function; logical device; mandatory data

attribute; mandatory data object; meta model; namespace; object reference; optional data

attribute; optional data object; performance; power system; power utility automation system;

PUAS installation; PUAS parameter set; PUAS product family; product-related naming;

secondary system; semantic name; system configuration description SCD; system

configuration language SCL; system configuration language implementation conformance

statement SICS; system configuration language version; system master; system

configuration tool SCT; system design specification; system extension description SED;

system related test; system requirement specification; system specification description

SSD; system specification tool; technical issued conformance test TICS; tool; virtualisation;

extensible mark-up language schema XSD);

b) updating of existing definitions to the new domain power utility automation of the IEC 61850

standard series and to provide homogeneity (abstract communication service interface

ACSI; bay; client; data; data attribute; data object; device; distributed function; engineering

tools; expandability; factory acceptance test FAT; flexibility; function; gateway; generic

object-oriented system event GOOSE; generic system event model; IED parameter set;

information model; instance; intelligent electronic device IED; interchangeability; logical

connection; logical node; logical system; manufacturer; merging unit; model implementation

conformance statement MICS; physical connection; physical device; physical system; piece

of information for communication PICOM; process level functions; process related station

level functions; protocol; protocol implementation conformance statement PICS; protocol

implementation extra information for testing PIXIT; redundancy; scalability; server; site

acceptance test SAT; specific communication service mapping SCSM; station level

functions; supporting tools; system; system integrator; system life cycle; system

parameters; system test; test equipment; type test);

c) removal of deprecated definitions (logical device class; generic system state event;

substation automation system);

d) provision of clarifications and corrections to the first edition of IEC 61850-2.

The text of this Technical Specification is based on the following documents:
Draft TS Report on voting
57/1970/DTS 57/2024/RVDTS

Full information on the voting for the approval of this Technical Specification can be found in

the report on voting indicated in the above table.

This document has been drafted in accordance with the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

IEC 61850 consists of the following parts, under the general title Communication networks and

systems for power utility automation.
Part 1: Introduction and overview
Part 2: Glossary
Part 3: General requirements
Part 4: System and project management
Part 5: Communication requirements for functions and device models
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IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019 – 5 –

Part 6: Configuration description language for communication in electrical substations

related to IEDs
Part 7-1: Basic communication structure – Principles and models

Part 7-2: Basic information and communication – Abstract communication service interface

Part 7-3: Basic communication structure – Common data classes

Part 7-4: Basic communication structure – Compatible logical node classes and data object


Part 8-1: Specific communication service mapping (SCSM) – Mappings to MMS (ISO/IEC

9506-1 and ISO/IEC 9506-2) over ISO/IEC 8802-3
Part 9-2: Specific communication service mapping (SCSM) – Sampled values over
ISO/IEC 8802-3
Part 9-3: Precision time protocol profile for power utility automation
Part 10: Conformance testing

The committee has decided that the contents of this publication will remain unchanged until the

stability date indicated on the IEC website under "" in the data related to

the specific publication. At this date, the publication will be
• transformed into an International standard,
• reconfirmed,
• withdrawn,
• replaced by a revised edition, or
• amended.
A bilingual version of this publication may be issued at a later date.
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– 6 – IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019
Part 2: Glossary
1 Scope

This part of IEC 61850, which is a Technical Specification, applies to power utility automation

systems (PUAS). It defines the communication between intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) in

the power utility automation system and the related system requirements.

This document contains the glossary of specific terminology and definitions used in the context

of Power Utility Automation Systems within the various parts of the standard.

This document is, by its nature, a living part since new definitions and abbreviations will be

created continuously in the standard documents that are being written inside the IEC related to

IEC 61850.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
The following terms and definitions apply to all parts of the IEC 61850 series.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following

• IEC Electropedia: available at
• ISO Online browsing platform: available at
abstract communication service interface

virtual interface inside an IED between the data model (objects, services) and the mapping to

the communication stack
abstract data model for communication

data standardized with their semantic meaning exchanged between the functions by the IEDs

Note 1 to entry: All application functions shall trust these data and perform their algorithm using this data. The

formal description of the automation system by SCL is also based on this standardized data.

[SOURCE: IEC 61850-5:2013, 3.1.14]
access point
communication access point to an IED

Note 1 to entry: This may be a serial port, an Ethernet connection, or a client or server address dependent on the

stack being used. Each access point of an IED to a communication bus is uniquely identified. Each server has at

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IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019 – 7 –

least one logical access point, but the maximal number is not limited by the standard but only by the actual

application layer

layer 7 in the OSI reference model for Open Systems Interconnection comprising the interface

between the OSI environment and the IED’s or user’s application
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 7498-1:1994, 7.1]
application function
task, which is performed in or by power utility automation systems

Note 1 to entry: Generally, a function consists of subparts which may be distributed to different IEDs, which

exchange data with each other. More precisely these sub-functions implemented in the IEDs exchange data. Also

between different functions data are exchanged. The exchanged data exposed to the communication system shall

be standardized based on the semantic content to be understandable by the receiving function. For this purpose the

standard groups the exchanged data in objects called Logical Nodes which refer to the name of the allocated

functions by their mnemonic name.
[SOURCE: IEC 61850-5:2013, 3.1.1]

conveyance path established between a client and a server for the exchange of messages

named element of data and of a specific type

[SOURCE: IEC 61850-8-1:2011, 3.11, modified (original term was "data attribute")]

backward compatible

property of a newer system or product that allows interoperability with a former version of such

system or product

subpart of a substation, having some common functionality, closely connected to the other

subparts, and forming a substation
[SOURCE: IEC 61850-1:2013, 3.1.2]
bay level functions

functions that use mainly the data of one bay and act mainly on the primary equipment of that


Note 1 to entry: Bay level functions communicate via logical interface 3 within the bay level and via the logical

interfaces 4 and 5 to the process level, i.e. with any kind of remote input/output or with intelligent sensors and

EXAMPLES Feeder or transformer, protection, control and interlocking.
[SOURCE: IEC 61850-5:2013, 3.5.3, modified (Note 1 to entry and examples added)]
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– 8 – IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019
message placed onto a communication network intended to be read and acted on, as

appropriate, by any IED. A broadcast message will typically contain the sender’s address and a

global recipient address
EXAMPLE: Time synchronising.
communication system connection between IEDs with communication facilities

description of a set of objects that share the same attributes, services, relationships and

[SOURCE: IEC 61850-7-3, 3.1]
entity that uses data from a server
common data class

template that groups all the possible data attributes that are parts of a data object class

representing information related to status, measurements, control, settings
communication connection

connection which utilises the communication mapping function of one or more resources for

the conveyance of information
communication functions
functions that use communication services to coordinate their actions
communication stack
multi-layer stack

Note 1 to entry: In the 7 layer OSI reference model for Open Systems Interconnection, each layer performs

specific functions related to Open Systems Interconnection communication.
communication services
services implemented over a communication system
communication system
interconnected set of all communication links

Note 1 to entry: Depending on the size it is called either LAN (local area network) as used in substations or plants,

or WAN (wide area network) as used globally in the power utility system.
[SOURCE: IEC 61850-5:2013, 3.1.10]
process of building up devices using logical nodes
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IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019 – 9 –
configuration (of a system or device)

step in system design for example selecting functional units, assigning their locations and

defining their interconnections
configuration compatibility list

overview of all compatible hardware and software versions of components and IEDs, including

the software versions of relevant supporting tools operating together in an UAS-product family

Note 1 to entry: The configuration compatibility list also contains the supported transmission protocols and

protocol versions for communication with other IEDs.
[SOURCE: IEC 61850-4:2011, 3.12]
configuration list

overview of all compatible hardware and software versions of components and IEDs, including

the software versions of relevant supporting tools, operating together in a PUAS product family

Note 1 to entry: Additionally, the configuration list details the supported transmission protocols for communication

with IEDs of other manufacturers.
configured IED description CID

a file format in SCL language that describes the communication-related part of an instantiated

IED within a project

Note 1 to entry: This is essentially an SCD file, possibly stripped down to what the concerned IED shall know,

Note 2 to entry: This term is used in IEC 61850-6.

accordance of the implementation of a product, process or service with all specified

requirements or standards

Note 1 to entry: Additional features to those in the requirements / standards may be included,

Note 2 to entry: All features of the standard/specification are implemented and in accordance, but some additional

features are not covered by the standard/specification,
[SOURCE: IEC 62361-103, 3.4]
conformance test

verification of data flow on communication channels in accordance with the standard conditions

concerning access organization, formats and bit sequences, time synchronization, timing,

signal form and level and reaction to errors

Note 1 to entry: The conformance test may be carried out and certified to the standard or to specifically described

parts of the standard. The conformance test should be carried out by an ISO 9001 certified organisation or system

[SOURCE: IEC 61850-4:2011, 3.17]
association established between functional units for conveying information

Note 1 to entry: A connection is established between two IEDs prior to any data exchange. A connection may be

of short duration or long term.
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– 10 – IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019
connectivity node

identifiable, named, common connection point between terminals of primary devices whose

only function is to connect them electrically with minimum resistance; for example a bus bar as

a connectivity node connects bus bar disconnectors

Note 1 to entry: The connection to a device is done at a device terminal. A connectivity node can connect an

arbitrary number of terminals (devices).
Cyclic Redundancy Check

check which is calculated and included in each frame transmitted by the sending device; the

receiving device recalculates the CRC for that frame, as received, as a check for any transit

damage in that frame
information represented in a manner suitable for automatic processing
[SOURCE: IEC 60050-701:1988, 701-01-11]
data object

meaningful, structured, information of applications, located in an IED, which can be read or


[SOURCE: IEC 61850-8-1:2011, 3.12, modified ("automation device" replaced by "IED")]

data attribute

attribute name (semantic), format, range of possible values, and representation of values

data class
class that aggregates data classes or data attributes
Note 1 to entry: Specific data classes carry the semantic within a logical node.
data link layer

layer 2 of the OSI reference model for Open Systems Interconnection,

responsible for the transmission of data over a physical medium

Note 1 to entry: After establishment of a link, layer 2 performs data rate control, error detection,

contention/collision detection, quality of service monitoring and error recovery.

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 7498-1, 7.6]
data object

instance of a data object class in a logical node instance whose values can be read or written

data object class

typed by a common data class, providing the semantic within a logical node class, representing

meaningful, structured, information of applications
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IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019 – 11 –
data set (dataset) class

named list of ordered references to one or more Functionally Constrained Data (FCD) or

Functionally Constrained Data Attributes (FCDA)

Note 1 to entry: This is used to group commonly used data objects for easy retrieval.


process of stripping application functions in smaller parts (such as logical nodes) to a

reasonable or given granularity
element or assembly of elements performing a required function
Note 1 to entry: A device may form part of a larger device.

[SOURCE: IEC 60050-151:2001, 151-11-20, modified ("material" deleted from beginning of


mechanism or piece of equipment designed to serve a purpose or perform a

function for example, circuit breaker, relay or substation computer

[SOURCE: IEEE 100:2000, device (10), The Authoritative Dictionary of IEEE Standards Terms]

physical plant item for example transformer or circuit breaker

IED which hosts application functions for operating the


<1½ breaker arrangement>complete switchgear between the two busbars, i.e. the 2 lines and

the 3 circuit breakers with all related isolators, earthing switches, CTs and VTs

Note 1 to entry: It has some common functionality and relationship both for operation, maintenance and

[SOURCE: IEC 61850-5:2013, 3.4.2]
distributed function

when two, or more, logical nodes, that are located in different IEDs, together represent a

common application function

Note 1 to entry: Since all functions communicate in some way, the definition of a local or distributed function is not

unique but depends on the definition of the functional steps to be performed until the function is completed. In the

case of loss of one LN or one included communication link, the function may be blocked completely or show a

graceful degradation, as applicable.
that part of the power system operating at voltages typically up to 69 kV
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– 12 – IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019
a set of documents

given subset of the IEC 61850 application scope, e.g., substation domain, DER domain, etc.

electronic current transducer

transducer in the primary plant measuring system current providing low level analogue and/or

digital data output(s)
electronic voltage transducer

transducer in the primary plant measuring system voltage(s) providing low level analogue

and/or digital output(s)
first phase of a project i.e. detail design
engineering tools

tools that support the creation and documentation of the conditions for adapting the PUAS to

the specific substation and customer requirements
Note 2 to entry: Engineering tools are divided into system and product tools.

[SOURCE: IEC 61850-4:2011, 3.1.1, modified ("automation system" replaced by "PUAS",

modification of Note 1 to entry)]

entity that performs an energy transport function for example transformer, circuit breaker, line

Note 1 to entry: It may be stand alone or interfaced to an automation system via an integral device or associated

external device.

capability to extend a PUAS (both hardware and software) by use of the engineering tools

factory acceptance test

customer agreed functional tests of the specifically manufactured PUAS installation or its parts,

using the parameter set for the planned application

Note 1 to entry: This test should be carried out in the factory of the system integrator by use of process simulating

test equipment.

[SOURCE: IEC 61850-4:2011, 3.20, modified ("system" replaced by "PUAS installation", Note 1

to entry modified)]

capability for the fast and efficient implementation of functional changes, including hardware

adaptation, in a PUAS by use of the engineering tools
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IEC TS 61850-2:2019 © IEC 2019 – 13 –

[SOURCE: IEC 61850-4:2011, 3.3, modified ("criteria" replaced by "capability", addition of "

adaptation, in a PUAS by use of the engineering tools")]
forward compatible

property of a given system or product to interoperate with newer versions of such system or


lock and hold a value at that instant, associated typically with measurands and counters


task performed by the power utility automation system i.e. by application functions

Note 1 to entry: Generally, functions exchange data with other functions. Details are dependent on the functions

involved. Functions are performed by IEDs (physical devices). A function may be split into parts residing in different

IEDs but communicating with each other (distributed function) and with parts of other functions. These

communicating parts are called logical nodes.

Note 2 to entry: In the context of this document, the decomposition of functions or their granularity is ruled by the

communication behaviour only. Therefore, all functions considered consist of logical nodes that exchange data.

Such logical nodes represent the standardized data model for communication of the allocated function. Functions

without an explicit reference to logical nodes mean only that in the a

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