Latest Generation of Multifunctional Relays Aim to Expand Power Generation Capabilities

June 15, 2021 by Robin Mitchell

ABB recently announced their latest multifunctional power relay, the REX610.

What features does this protection relay offer, how does it support power distribution applications? 


The REX610

Power protection is a critical component for any system, whether domestic, commercial, or industrial. Power protection systems protect the incoming supply and connected devices, preventing accidents, such as electric shock or damage to a cable. 

ABB recently released its latest modular design, the REX610. This module can be programmed to protect a system at varying voltages and currents. The modular design has configurable binary inputs and outputs and analog inputs that enable it to respond to control signals intelligently. 

The relay’s modular design allows it to be inserted and removed without completely dismantling an installation. 


The REX610 relay module. Image used courtesy of ABB


Only six varieties of the REX610 module are available to customers. This, combined with the ability to add and remove modules, makes the REX610 suited for applications where adaptability and scalability are needed.

The front of the unit includes a USB port that allows connecting to a PC for programming and data viewing. The USB port can also be used for providing power to the relay module should the connected substation power down. 

The REX610 is fully IEC 61850 compliant, meaning that the device will remain compatible and interoperable in substation applications as standards are altered. This helps to extend the working life of the REX610, which may help improve the reliability of systems.


Power Distribution Applications 

The module is designed with unique customization features for power distribution in the energy sector. As more vehicles turn to electricity, electrical grids will continue to see more demand for them. This need will result in engineers needing to install new systems that can remain compatible with other devices, and the increased number of devices will lead to an increase in the number of device failures.

The REX610 may enable power distribution networks to become more modular in design. As a sub-station needs to provide more power, its protection systems will need to adjust for this fact. The REX610 can be programmed with new settings. 


Video used courtesy of ABB


ABB’s Efforts in Power Distribution

The relion family of modules also features other devices, including the 500, 670, and 650. The 670 and 650 are designed for various applications, including bay control, transformer protection, line distance protection, line differential protection, and generator protection.

The 500 is only designed for busbar protection. The other devices in the relion family also use the same modular design found in the REX610. These devices can be switched out and replaced depending on system needs. 

Regarding sub-transmission, the 670 and 650 devices can also provide cable, capacitor bank, generator, and overhead line protection. However, only the 670 can protect tap changer controls and wide areas.