Netcon 500 Rack S7

Netcon 500

Modular substation gateway and RTU

The Netcon 500 is a cyber-secure and versatile standards-based remote terminal unit and substation gateway. Hardware modularity and a rich set of software features make the Netcon 500 a very flexible solution, protecting your investments long into the future and lowering the total cost of ownership.

Modular, scalable and robust hardware with a long life cycle

Built into a rack containing slots for 3–14 removable card modules, the Netcon 500 system has two functional main parts:

  • The GW502 is the master card and the main processing unit of the Netcon 500. It handles the communications, including protocol conversion, and implements the cyber security. It also has provisions for redundancy (see below).
  • The RTU part consists of the required number of digital input (DI64), digital output (DO32), analog input (AI16) or combined input/output (IO64) cards providing the conventional process interfaces for individually wired IO.

Optionally, Ethernet‑to‑serial-port server cards (SIO508) may be included to give more serial connections. A touch-screen-based local HMI panel, the Netcon 500 OP, is also available; where a more fully featured substation SCADA is needed, the Netcon 3000 Compact can be used.

One rack supports up to over 800 IO connections. But the system is not limited to a single rack; up to sixteen Netcon 500 racks can be connected together by fibreoptic cable to form a commonly managed system.

The Netcon 500 hardware is designed for trouble-free operation over a long lifetime in substation environments where electric and magnetic interference are high. The modular structure also makes its maintenance, as well as modifications and upgrades, easy and cost-effective.

Secure and versatile communications

The GW502 master card runs the reliable, secure and resilient Linux operating system as a platform for the Netcon NFE communication software. It has a modern Linux kernel with recent security related libraries and long time support. It features:

  • Secure boot and signed patches: signature checked before boot/update
  • Built-in firewall
  • Tools against DDoS (distributed denial of service)
  • Security event logging by syslog by default
  • Support for multiple VPN tunnels using OpenVPN or IPSec
  • Authentication
  • IEC 60870-5-104/s support with security according to IEC 62351-3
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Protection against Remote access toolkit attacks.

Such features make the Netcon Gateway platform a cyber-secure preference as IP-based LAN and WAN networks gain dominance in the utility ICT infrastructure.

Flexibility and adaptability

The Netcon NFE communication software offers a selection of several dozen master and slave protocols, both standard and proprietary. Almost any substation devices can therefore be made to communicate with almost any SCADA system(s).

For connections with IEDs at the substation, the Netcon 500 supports not only legacy serial devices, but the emerging IEC 61850 standard for IP. The IEC 61850 client capability has been implemented in an IED-manufacturer-independent manner.

For control-centre communication, conversions to SCADA slave protocols such as IEC-104, IEC-101 and DNP3 are available.

The Netcon 500 is also highly adaptable to changes in the communication infrastructure. When the connection type and speed change, the Netcon 500 is easily reconfigured to operate according to the changed specifications.

Reliable and time-accurate process information

The availability of reliable and timely process information is gaining ever more importance. Legislation sets new requirements on the monitoring and reporting of electric quality, on interruptions of supply to customers and related economic compensation. Reliable and highly available connections are needed.

The accuracy and resolution of the time stamps of process events are crucial for disturbance analysis. The Netcon 500 IO offers a time resolution of 1 millisecond, and the use of GPS for time synchronisation makes the accuracy equally good.

The system availability is easily enhanced through various kinds of redundancy. One Netcon GW502 card may be simultaneously connected to as many as four different SCADA systems via independent communication links. A single Netcon 500 system may contain two GW502 cards, each with its own NFE instance; if one fails or loses communication, the other will automatically take over.