What is Intelligent Electronic Device? Functions and Examples

Intelligent Electronic Device Functions

Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) are created for various uses in communication, metering, power monitoring, and regulation. IEDs are introduced into ICS architecture to enable extremely advanced power automation capabilities.

Typically, they are microprocessor-equipped electrical devices like circuit controllers and regulators. These electronic devices may interact via various protocols, including real-time Ethernet and the digital Fieldbus system. IEDs are used in various industrial control systems, including DCS and SCADA.

IEDs come in various shapes and sizes and are produced by manufacturers for power monitoring, metering, control, and communications.

Intelligent Electronic Device Usage

IEDs are a component of the systems utilized in several processes, including::

● fertilizer and agrochemical

● automobile production

● Power plant and boiler controls

● chemical factories

IEDs were initially used by utilities that run power transmission facilities. In addition to complying with legal standards, this early adoption was put into place to save money.

One example of this implementation is the IEDs for power fault reporting in the case of failures. Due to the employment of IEDs, a highly compensated expert technician was spared the need to go to a possibly far-off power transmission station to acquire the diagnostic information.

Design of Hardware and Software Intelligent Electronic Devices

We can see that IED offers a variety of notable qualities, each of which necessitates that its architectural design is given equal weight. This makes it easier to carry out correct commissioning, programming, and maintenance.

Therefore, the IED’s hardware must be created so that it can adapt to modifications made in the future. Additionally, plug-in type cards are employed to facilitate the maintenance of IEDs. Utilizing these cards makes removing the IED from the panel simple without significantly disconnecting the cables. While the IED software must make it simple to analyze performance and individually configure the appropriate functionalities.

It provides the option to choose the required functionalities and hide the ones that are not. Additionally, the collection of logical inputs, outputs, settling time, and event reporting characteristics must be specifically configured for each distinct function. IEDs of today’s generation are becoming increasingly useful because of features like waveform capture, disturbance analysis, metering, and programmable logic, which eliminates the need for extra PLC.

Module for Communication in IED

The communication module is crucial, and the available communication architecture and support for several protocols make flexible multiport communication possible.

It contains a serial electrical port, a remote access port, and an optical port in addition to supporting open communication protocols. Open protocols are the best since they promote interoperability.

Digital Protective Relays use microprocessors to carry out various protective, controlling, and related tasks. An average IED may include five to twelve protective functions, eight to ten control functions that operate various devices separately, an auto-reclose function, a self-monitoring function, communication functions, etc.

The IEC61850 standard for substation automation, which offers interoperability and sophisticated communications capabilities, is supported by several contemporary IEDs.

Intelligent Electronic Devices Examples

Some examples of Intelligent Electronic devices are Car alarms, Wireless doorbells, pagers, Cell phones, Cordless telephones, etc.

Difference Between RTU and IED

RTU (Remote Technical Unit)
  • typically mounted in far-off places and dispersed over a large geographic area
  • A few input-output (I/O) points to less than twenty are typical for the number of monitoring points per RTU
  • They typically require modest solar panels and batteries to provide electricity because there is frequently no stable continuous power supply available where they are situated
  • When the power goes out, you lose monitoring from the central SCADA but not local control of devices, so it’s not a major concern. The RTU is primarily used for monitoring purposes rather than actual control of devices like valves, pumps, etc.
  • For data collecting, trending, and analysis, they are nearly always connected to a distant central SCADA monitoring system. This connection is typically made using wireless technology like radio transmission or GSM.
IED (Intelligent Electronic Device)
  • Devices containing one or more integrated microprocessors are referred to as IEDs, or Intelligent Electronic Devices, or IEDs for short.
  • Devices containing one or more integrated microprocessors are referred to as IEDs, or Intelligent Electronic Devices, or IEDs for short.
  • Transmission or receiving of data or control signals to or from an external device is its primary function.
  • Transducers, relays, control units, and other external devices may be taken into account when considering the entire system.
  • IEDs are thought of as an essential component of industrial control systems utilized for enhanced power automation.
  • IEDs are examples of Distributed Control Systems (DCS), a key component of Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

IEDs’ Function in the Power System

IEDs are devices that can connect to a LAN, communicate with other LAN-capable devices, and process data. There are many IEDs on the market right now, with relay IEDs being the most popular choice for automation. The programmable logic controller (PLC) utilized for automation and the smart meter are both IEDs. Apart from that, IED has also got other functions, some of which are listed below:

  • Phasor estimation is part of the protection function.
  • Breaker control and programmable logic.
  • Investigation of the power quality and metering.
  • Monitoring of both internal and external circuits.
  • Reporting of incidents and fault finding.
  • Tools for commissioning, testing, and setup.

Services Provided by Intelligent Electronic Devices.

  • Monitoring: It keeps track of internal and external circuits and synchronizes events as they take place in real time.
  • Data Access: IEDs can access both local and data that is located at distant substations.
  • Analysis and Testing: It has a few software tools for reporting, fault analysis, and testing. Additionally, it features programmable logic controller capabilities.

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IEDs and the ensuing automation can save expenses, but it’s crucial to remember that maintenance expenditures, such as firmware upgrades and secure configuration, may apply.

It is important to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to ensure that the savings do not outweigh the expenditures Automation becomes more cost-effective when operations involve over a thousand devices and have expenditures starting at $100 per hour.

It plays a significant role in the automation of substations and effective monitoring of power delivery systems due to its many functions. Simply put, it seems difficult to automate the electrical grid without IEDs.

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