EH3250 Power System Automation 6.0 credits


The changes effecting the power system in terms of introduction of renewable production at lower voltage levels, electric vehicles and active consumers puts new requirements on automation and protection of power grids. This development is particularly dramatic at the distribution system level, where previously little or no automation was available. The new systems being installed require a much higher degree of flexibility and autonomy to fulfil modern requirements. Computer communication becomes a critical component of reliable automation and protection functions, requiring studies of ICT reliability to assess traditional power system reliability aspects.

  • Education cycle

    Third cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

    P, F

At present this course is not scheduled to be offered.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course, the participants should be able to:

·         Analyse the new requirements facing transmission and distribution grids with a focus on automation and protection functions.

·         Design automation functions for distribution grids, including for instance interlocking, switching schemes and protection.

·         Create substation automation system architectures using the Substation Configuration Language.

·         Interface automation devices with realtime simulators to evaluate protection settings against typical power system faults (over current, three phase fault, transformer internal fault)

·         Analyse cybersecurity threats to substation automation systems and design appropriate detection and protection mechanisms.

Course main content

The course consists of lectures, substation automation system (SAS) design assignment and communication system design and evaluation. In addition, participants will perform an individual project in a field within the course scope.



The course has 8 lectures, covering the following topics:


Substation Engineering & Protection system design

Lars Nordström


Substation Automation System Architetures

Lars Nordström


Substation Communication Systems

Lars Nordström


Substation Configuration Language

Lars Nordström


Cybersecurity for Substation systems

Mathias Ekstedt


IEC 61850 developments

Karl-Heinz Schwarz


Functional block programming and IEC 61850 station development

Lars Nordström


Substation architecture reliability analysis using PRMs

Lars Nordström

As preparation, participants will be asked to read relevant parts of the course litterature, information about exact content will be given during the course.

SAS assignment

The participants will design a substation automation system using both software tools for architecture design and hardware devices, which must be interoperable to perform the necessary automation functions. The students are divided into groups, and potential functions to implement are: Interlocking, Automated Busbar switchover, and breaker maintenance switching.

Communication system design

The students will analyse communication needs and suggest a communication system, including security mechanisms, for the substation automation system. The system shall be implemented as models in the OPNET communication system simulator, and performance of the system under various fault conditions shall be evaluated.

Individual project

The participants are tasked to design a research project into fields related to the course topics, suggested areas include:

1.       Semantic models for data look up and identification in substation systems

2.       Performance assessment of data encryption techniques in substation communication

3.       Cybersecurity intrusion detection for substations.

4.       Functional mapping of logical node interfaces

The work shall include definition of a research project in the area, including a literature review of related work in the field.


Admitted to PhD program at KTH.


The following literature is mandatory reading, and in addition a selection of reference documents from the IEC 61850 standard will be used.

[1]    Substation Automation Handbook. Dr. Klaus-Peter Brand, Volker Lohmann, Dr. Wolfgang Wimmer, NettedAutomation.

[2]    Electric Power Substation Engineering. John D McDonald (ed), ISBN:978-0849373831

[3]    IEC 61850-7 Browsable models.pdf Karl-Heinz Schwarz.

[4]    Modelling and Object Oriented Implementation of IEC 61850: The New International Standard on Substation Communications and Automation, C Ozansoy, ISBN:978-3838358482

Required equipment



  • EXA1 - Examination, 6.0, grading scale: P, F

Requirements for final grade

Complete all three course components with a passing grade.

Offered by

EECS/Electric Power and Energy Systems


Lars Nordström <>


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2017.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2019.