Electrical Integration goes beyond IEC 61850 devices

It is something that can be applied to all the industrial plants because every plant has substations

Plenty people think that Electrical Integration (EI) is only for advanced power management systems, like load shedding or generator/turbine control, and that it can only be applied to substations with IEC 61850 devices. And it’s true that our 800xA system can do that as it’s the only system in the market able to run these logics in the controller as well as send fast commands to the IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices, known formerly as protection relays).

But the concept of EI goes far beyond that.

The focus should be on the simple things, the day-by-day activities, which every substation needs. 800xA can act as an electrical control system, providing remote operation and maintenance, fail tracking with a history database and asset management for all the electrical equipment (the same way that is done for process equipment).

Applying these standard features to the electrical system helps the customer to reduce their operational cost by increasing availability, reduce their maintenance cost (due to faster and remote troubleshooting) and provide a safer environment for the maintenance teams. Besides that, due to 800xA’s full integration with open standards like PROFINET, PROFIBUS and Modbus, it can control every substation within industrial plants. The best part: it is cheaper than having an additional system because it uses the same infrastructure as the process automation system!

Moreover, having both systems integrated (process and electrical) allows you to take the analysis one step further, getting to the MV/LV motor level, since they are the main energy consumers in a plant. Once again more information is integrated into the system while reducing the infrastructure cost, because it eliminates the need of additional power meters, measurement transformers and cabling, making the switchgear cheaper. This also allows energy efficiency schemes, by comparing the production rate with the energy consumption for each and every motor in the process.


The concept that must stick is that EI equals electrical control system together with process automation system. In other words, Electrical Integration can be used in all industrial plants because every plant has substations. Our target is to reach 100% of new 800xA systems with EI, and in my opinion we’re on the right track.

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About the author

Leandro Monaco

I'm currently the Global Product Manager for System 800xA Electrical Integration at ABB Control technologies in Sweden. I joined ABB Brazil in 2006, where I was the engineering coordinator for substation automation projects, executing more than 20 projects and commissioning in this area. My academic background includes a master degree in systems engineering and post-graduation degree in business strategic management.
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