The capabilities of the Relion® protection and control enriches the ABB distribution switchgear offering

2010-02-24 - The innovative functionalities of the Relion® protection and control IEDs from ABB satisfy all plant engineering requirements boasting greater integration possibilities in modern electrical plants, giving ABB a consistent competitive advantages. See how such capabilities were fully unlashed in a few real cases by our Dalmine factory
Communication among the protection and control IEDs of a distribution switchgear and even upstream with the substation control room was a functionality which, until just a short time ago, could only be achieved adding various different specific components to the normal protection relays.

The new Relion® product family fully complies with the IEC 61850 standards and features the GOOSE functionality as native, which notably increases the possibilities of plant control and communication.

The acronym GOOSE means Generic Object Oriented Substation Event which, more simply, defines the capability of a device to detect and communicate variations in status.

In practice, the protection and control IEDs of the Relion family, can communicate each other and with the substation control system without the need of any intermediate devices.

The high speed communication among devices on the network allows that operating logics such as protection selectivity, rapid transfer switch and functional safety locks are carried out in terms of milliseconds. In addition the performances of new Relion® product family allows a synchronization accuracy of ± 1 millisecond.

Communication between the relays and the control room can take place using optical fibers with huge advantages in terms of wiring reduction, simplicity of connection and absolute insensitivity to electromagnetic interferences.


1. Example of customary cabling of some logical functions using traditional relays.
2. All collected information of a Relion protection and control IED is communicated to the control room by means of an optical fibre.

With Relion we can also define the operating logics and relative parameters by means of software, directly from the substation control room computer.

In practice, our customers will benefit of:

  • being able to change the logic of an interlock without having to re-make the switchgear connections
  • being able to simulate, during the test stage, the effects of the plant logics without interfering with normal network activities
  • redefining the operating logics of a plant at any moment and in real time, directly from the substation control room computer
  • limiting management and maintenance costs of the whole substation as control can take place from a single point and throughout the entire plant
  • drastic reduction of switchgear’s commissioning time.


Connection diagram of the protection and control IED in switchgear by means of an optical fiber to the control room computer.

The software base configuration of the signals and the related logics enable to reduce the complexity of the engineering study and the amount of wiring diagrams to be exchanged and approved by the customer.

The unique features and the tangible customer advantages given by the Relion family have proven to be one of the competitive advantages of the ABB medium voltage offer.

Let us guide you through a selection of four specific examples of switchgear orders at the Dalmine factory where the full potential of the Relion family has been unlashed. We selected four different Customers, two from the Oil&Gas Industry and two from Utilities.
  • Total - Gas de France. The switchgear will control the flow of energy at the gas treatment plant in PAU (France), and is the first order ever that ABB got by this specific and demanding Customer. During a site meeting at the offering stage, the Customer was amazed by the communication capabilities of Relion and the relevant advantages for plant management. Just to give an example, each switchgear required 150 signals to achieve logical selectivity. Thanks to the capability of the native IEC 61850 and GOOSE, we will be able to replace these 300 shielded cables with just a fiber optic connection.
  • Statoil 1 and Statoil 2. Removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the exhausted gases left over from petrochemical processes is one of the main targets of Statoil, and for this reason there are two pilot plants at Bergen – Norway currently under construction. Such highly technological plant requires a massive amount of data to transferred and analyzed, including the data captured by our Relion protection and control IEDs. The customer was in need to transfer "time stamped data" and reliable interlocking status among the four plant substations (with a distance of 1.5 km between them), and he chooses ABB for the communication features embedded in Relion using an optical fiber connection without having to transfer all the point-to point wires over such a distance.
  • EBS. The switchgear for the Dutch utility for a substation in Suriname (South America), currently under construction, were chosen by the Customer mainly due to the possibility of controlling the operating logics of the substation remotely increasing the reliability of the power distribution service.
  • SEAS. The order for construction of UniGear Duplex switchgear for the Danish utility has recently been acquired. The 10kV switchgear will supply the town of Nakskov located in South of Denmark on the Island of Lolland. The customer selected the UniGear Duplex switchgear solution for its compactness and intrinsic redundancy but also for the possibility, given by Relion, to modify the plant logics directly from the substation control room.
“We have recently started to offer these new relays and have already met with considerable success”, declared Giuseppe Arnetti, marketing manager of the distribution switchgear at the ABB factory in Dalmine. “This new family of relays will meet Customer needs because it offers notable advantages both in building and in managing the plants. I should like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues who, thanks to their competence, have been able to propose the real and innovative potentialities of the GOOSE functions offered by the new Relion family”.

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For information please refer to:
Giuseppe Arnetti
Ignazio Milesi
Giuseppe Piccinini

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