Substation automation system

Substation automation system - SICAM PAS


For some years now, power generation and distribution have been undergoing major changes. The innovation cycles (where operating equipment and communication media are concerned) are getting ever shorter, and the market is becoming increasingly deregulated. The systems used to monitor power supply equipment and processes must take account of these changes. When new products are used, user friendliness, easy engineering, manifold interfacing to various communication media and extensibility are important Features. SICAM PAS (Power Automation System) meets all the demands placed on a distributed substation control system – both now and in the future. Amongst many other standardized communication protocols, SICAM PAS particularly supports the IEC 61850 standard for communication between substations and IEDs. SICAM PAS is an open system and – in addition to standardized data transfer processes – it features user interfaces for the integration of system-specific tasks and offers multiple automation options. SICAM PAS can thus be easily included in existing systems and used for system integration, too. With modern diagnostics, it optimally supports commissioning and maintenance. SICAM PAS is clearly structured and reliable, thanks to its open, fully documented and tested System.

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Substation automation system SICAM PAS

Features & functions

Essential Features

  • Modular and scalable hardware and software
  • User-friendly
  • Flexible, graphical configuration of automation
  • Open system thanks to standards


System Overview


System Overview, application and functionality of SICAM PAS


  • SICAM PAS is an energy automation solution; its system architecture makes it scalable
  • SICAM PAS is suitable for operating a substation not only from one single station level computer, but also in combination with further SICAM PAS or other station control units
  • Communication in this network is based on a powerful Ethernet LAN
  • With its features and its modular expandability, SICAM PAS covers a broad range of applications and supports distributed system configurations
  • A distributed SICAM PAS system operates simultaneously on several computers
  • SICAM PAS can use existing hardware components and communication standards as well as their connections
  • SICAM PAS controls and registers the process data for all devices of a substation, within the scope of the data transfer protocols supported
  • SICAM PAS is a communication gateway. This is why only one single data connection to a higher-level system control center is required
  • SICAM PAS enables integration of a fully graphical process visualization system directly in the substation
  • SICAM PAS simplifies installation and parameterization of new devices, thanks to its intuitive user interface
  • SICAM PAS is notable for its online parameter setting features, particularly when the system has to be expanded. There are no generation times; loading into a target system is not required at all or only required if configuration is performed on a separate engineering PC
  • SICAM PAS features integrated testing and diagnostic functions
  • Its user-friendliness, its operator control logic, its orientation to the Windows world and its open structure ideally suit users’ requirements
  • SICAM PAS is developed in accordance with selected security standards and meets modern demands placed on safe communication. 

System Architecture


SICAM PAS works on industrial-standard hardware with the Microsoft Windows operating systems. The advantages of this platform are low hardware and software costs, ease of operation, scalability, flexibility and constantly available support. With the powerful real-time data distribution system, applications can be allocated among several computers, thus boosting performance, connectivity and availability. A database system stores and organizes the data basis (e.g. configuration data, administrative status data, etc.). 


The device master function for communication with Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) supports a large number of well established protocols. The SICAM PAS data normalization function allows conversions such as measured-value filtering, threshold value calculation and linear characteristics. SICAM SCC is used for process visualization. Specifically designed for energy applications, it assists the operating personnel in optimizing the operations management. It provides a quick introduction to the subject matter and a clearly arranged display of the system’s operating states. SICAM SCC is based on SIMATIC WinCC, one of the leading process visualization processes that is used in industrial automation worldwide. To facilitate incident analysis, the fault recordings from protection units are retrieved and archived automatically during operation. This is particularly supported for the standard protocols IEC 61850 and IEC 60870-5-103, but also for PROFIBUS FMS (SIPROTEC 4) and SINAUT LSAS ILSA. Furthermore, SIMEAS R fault recorders can also be connected to the system, and their detailed fault recordings can be retrieved and archived as well. To manage the fault recording archive, the program SICAM PQ Analyzer with its program part Incident Explorer is used. Fault recordings are visualized and evaluated with the program Comtrade View as standard. Alternatively, SIGRA 4 with its additional functions can also be used.


System architecture


Device interfaces and communication protocols 


In a substation that you configure and operate with SICAM PAS, you can use various types of protection units, IEDs, bay control units, measured-value recorders and telecontrol units from a wide range of manufacturers. SICAM PAS offers a large number of commercially available communication protocols for recording data from various devices and through differing communication channels. Subsequent expansion is easy. 


Available protocols


These communication protocols and device drivers can be obtained as optional additions to the standard scope of SICAM PAS. 


– IEC 61850 (Client) IEC 61850 

is the communication standard for interconnecting the devices at the bay and station control levels on the basis of Ethernet. IEC 61850 supports the direct exchange of data between IEDs, thus enabling switching interlocks across bays independently of the station control unit, for example. 


– IEC 60870-5-103 (Master) 

Protection units, IEDs, bay control units, measured-value recorders and transformer controllers from many manufacturers support the IEC 60870-5-103 protocol and can therefore be connected directly to SICAM PAS. 


– IEC 60870-5-101 (Master) 

The IEC 60870-5-101 protocol is generally used to connect telecontrol units. The ‘balanced’ and ‘unbalanced’ traffic modes are supported. Automatic dialing is also supported for the connection of substations with this protocol. SICAM PAS can establish the dial-up connection to the substation either cyclically or as required (e.g. for command output). By contrast, the substation can also establish a connection cyclically or in event-triggered mode. 


– IEC 60870-5-104 (Master) 

Furthermore, connection of substations is also supported by the TCP/IP-based IEC 60870-5-104 protocol. 


– DNP V3.0 (Master) – Level 3 

Apart from the IEC protocols -101 and -104, DNP 3.0 is another standardized telecontrol protocol used by many IEDs and RTUs and applied worldwide. The units can be connected both serially and with TCP/IP (DNPi). TCP/IP-based communication can operate with an asymmetrical encryption procedure, thus meeting security requirements. 


– PROFIBUS DP (Master) 

PROFIBUS DP is a highly powerful field bus protocol. For example, it is used for industrial automation and for automating the supply of electricity and gas. PROFIBUS DP serves to interface multifunctional measuring instruments such as SIMEAS P (I, V, P, Q, p.f. (cos) or, for example, to connect ET200 components for gathering messages and for simple commands. Messages, for example, can be derived from the signaling contacts of fuse switch disconnectors. 


– MODBUS (Master) 

Besides PROFIBUS DP, the MODBUS protocol is also well known in industrial applications. SICAM PAS allows to connect IEDs und RTUs with this protocol, both via serial and TCP/IP based connections. 



Most SIPROTEC 4 bay controllers and protection units can be connected to the SICAM PAS station unit via PROFIBUS FMS.



Communication via the SINAUT LSA ILSA protocol is a special advantage of SICAM PAS. Existing LSA central units can be replaced without changing the configuration on bay level.


System control center connections, distributed process connection and process visualization

  • SICAM PAS operates on the basis of Microsoft Windows operating systems. This means that the extensive support which Windows offers for modern communication protocols is also available with SICAM PAS
  • SICAM PAS was conceived for easy and fast integration of conventional protocols. Please contact Siemens if you have any questions about integration of user-specific protocols
  • For the purpose of linking up to higher-level system control centers, the standardized telecontrol protocols IEC 60870-5-101,IEC 60870-5-104 and DNP V3.00 (Level 3) serially and over IP (DNPi) as well as MODBUS (serially and over IP), TG 8979 (serially) and CDT (serially) are supported

Security or “safe communication” are gaining more and more importance.


Asymmetric encryption enables tap-proof communication connection to higher-level control centers with IEC 60870-5-104 and DNP V3.00 via TCP/IP. For DNP V3.00, authentication can be used as an additional security mechanism.

  • Distributed process connection in the substation is possible thanks to the SICAM PAS Device Interface Processor (DIP)
  • SICAM PAS can also be set up on computers networked with TCP/IP. Here, one computer performs the task of the so-called Full Server. Up to six other computers can be used as DIPs. With this architecture, the system can be adapted to the topological situation and its performance also boosted
  • SICAM PAS allows use of the SICAM SCC process visualization system for central process control and monitoring. For industrial applications, it is easy to configure an interface to process visualization systems via OPC (object linking and embedding for process control)
  • SICAM PAS can be configured as an OPC server or as an OPC client. The SICAM PAS process variables - available with the OPC server - can be read and written with OPC clients working either on the same device or on one networked by TCP/IP. This mechanism enables, for example, communication with another process visualization system. The OPC server is included in the basic system. Optionally, this server functionality is also available as OPC XML DA for communication with clients based on other operating systems as well as beyond firewall limits. The OPC client can read and write data from other OPC servers. A typical application could be the connection of SIMATIC programmable controllers. The OPC client is available as an optional package

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