Company Announcement Registers MMD MII/GMII FPGAs enhance smart grid equipment design MII/GMII MII/GMII MII/GMII Fieldbus (Optional) MDIO MAC MAC STA MAC CPU MAC IEEE 1588 CAN UART I2C PHY PHY PHY LAN A LAN B Aux Author: John Johnson, Market Development Manager, Industrial Business Unit, Altera Corporation A modern power delivery infrastructure (Figure 1) has power generators, transmission and distribution and end users. The ‘smart grid’ differs from legacy systems in many ways, including the incorporation of renewable energy sources, energy storage, and instrumentation for grid performance analysis and end user metering. Optimal control of the grid hinges on the presence of extensive communications, the close monitoring and control of grid parameters, and provisions to aid reliability and security. Visit www.altera.com for more information Figure 1: Overview of a Smart Grid With the intent of addressing these differences and driving on a new way of thinking about substations and robust communications networks, the International Eletrotechnical Commission (IEC) , in collaboration with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), developed the IEC 61850 standard, Communication Networks and Systems in Substations. Since the inception of IEC 61850 in 1995, incremental additions have been made to include areas like hydropower, PV power plants, and other distributed energy resources. From an internal substation infrastructure perspective, the standard facilitates interoperability, flexibility and control using a substation equipment communication network. In order to make the grid “smart,” equipment must include a combination of signal processing, communications management and dedicated hardware blocks. Typically these systems include a DSP, CPU, and FPGA. With the increasing capabilities of FPGAs (for example the Cyclone V SoC device that includes a Dual core Cortex-A9 processor) several smart grid applications have integrated all of these blocks into one FPGA device, delivering better flexibility, reliability, maintainability, and cost. These designs also leverage the FPGA device’s ability to support 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet. IEC 61850 and other substation automation standards, specify that no single point of failure should cause a system malfunction – hence substation architectures must employ redundancy for all critical components and meet stringent failure recovery time specifications. IEC 61850 prescribes the use of IEC62439-3, Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) (Figure 2) and High-Availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR). (Figure 3) Figure 2: Overview of a Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) Network Figure 3: Overview of a High-Availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR) Network An example of FPGAs in smart-grid applications is the Flexibilis 4-port Ethernet switch (Figure 4). The design is expandable to 8 ports, requires no external memory, and supports 10/100/1000 Ethernet, IEC 62439-3-compliant implementations of PRP/HSR and IEEE1588-2008. Substation automation equipment (e.g., a transmission relay, etc.) can integrate this implementation with many other functions on a single SoC device. Figure 4: PRP/HSR Switch Architecture The Altera SoC device features a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor operating at 800 MHz, a NEON coprocessor with double-precision floating point capabilities, 512 Kbytes of L2 cache and communications ports commonly used in smart grid and other embedded systems. Applications that require extreme real-time computational capability often implement hardware acceleration in the FPGA fabric. Today’s FPGAs and SoC devices possess several qualities that help enhance smart grid equipment reliability. High levels of integration reduce the number of components required, thereby enhancing MBTF/FIT rate performance. Features like error correction code (ECC) memory coverage and the use of multiple processors help to ensure reliable operation. Providing solutions for products that have long product life cycles goes beyond reliability and requires a commitment to provide a solution over the life of the product. The ability to reconfigure and upgrade products, in production or in the field, is critical, particularly as standards evolve over time. FPGAs help resolve this problem by providing scalability and reconfigurability to implement product updates that go beyond a simple software change. FPGA devices and the Cyclone V SoC device in particular, provides smart-grid developers with the significant benefits of implementation flexibility, integration, high performance, upgradeability and long device lifetimes.
EETE APRIL 2013
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