GE has announced the availability of the latest firmware upgrade for its universal relay and URPlus platforms, designed to eliminate failover time when a network failure occurs by delivering zero latency. By introducing Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP), this firmware release gives customers the power to make two local area networks (LANs) active to ensure that if one fails, the other immediately takes over ensuring no lost data, no network failover time and no loss of mission-critical services.
Designed for utilities, oil and gas and mining customers, PRP makes both the primary and backup LAN active, ensuring that both LANs simultaneously transport current data so if one fails, the other ensures that data arrives with no time delay. This helps to guarantee network availability and reduce the possibility of power system or primary equipment failures that can occur when a network outage happens in substations.
“By introducing Parallel Redundancy Protocol to our UR and URPlus platforms, we are now able to give our customers one more tool to help increase the reliability of their power systems,” said Bala Vinayagam, marketing director, Grid Automation. “PRP helps protect against the failure of mission critical systems in the event of a network outage that can not only impact power equipment, but our customers’ power grids as well.”
Customers with an existing installed base of UR relays can take advantage of PRP through GE’s upgrade program without the need to incur major capital costs.
As previously announced with the launch of the latest version of GE’s UR platform, the UR product family also provides advanced security tools that support NERC’s (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) recent changes to its Critical Infrastructure Protection plan, helping customers improve the security of their electrical grid. To help secure the grid against the increasing threat of cyberattacks, the UR platform delivers advanced security features including Radius for authorization, authentication and accounting and Syslog for standard reporting of cybersecurity related events.
GE’s latest UR platform also helps improve the reliability of customers’ mission critical services that run on a substation’s LAN. With support for three independent networks, utilities can segregate mission-critical services from maintenance and troubleshooting tasks, which prevents potential latency on the network and improves reliability and security.
To reduce configuration and wiring time and help customers reduce deployment time and costs, the UR supports newly emerging industry standards including IEC 61850-90-5 and IEEE 1588. IEC 61850-90-5 provides synchrophasors over multicast messaging, which reduces the amount of streamed data and bandwidth required for wide-area monitoring solutions. IEEE 1588 precision time protocol (PTP) reduces substation wiring and provides high accuracy time synchronization over the substation LAN.