ABB’s Relion relays help streamline and automate power distribution operations for Enel

Enel in Peru has selected ABB’s Relion® protection relays to minimize the frequency of interruptions and power supply downtime. The time to isolate the faulty section of the network will be reduced by approximately 20 percent. Designed for digital substations, the relays can exchange information over the communication network for enhanced operational safety.

ABB has delivered more than 500 Relion® protection and control relays to multinational electricity company Enel to support their operations in Lima, Peru. The delivery consisted of the Relion product family’s 611 series for feeder protection, REF611, and the highly flexible all-in-one protection relay REX640. Protection relays ensure reliable and safe electrical distribution in the event of power system disturbances.

The new relays are fit for the digital age and will replace the conventional relays earlier used in Enel’s distribution substations. In addition to protecting the substations, the equipment will also provide other important benefits, helping Enel make significant progress in automating its operations in the Peruvian capital.

Agility in the event of interruptions

The Relion relays will help reduce the frequency and duration of power supply interruptions. As the relays are multifunctional pieces of equipment, it is also possible to streamline communication and control processes.

In addition to offering protection, the REF611 relays offer remote control possibilities for primary switching devices and they can send information from the distribution substations to the control center in real time, as well as share information with each other thanks to the IEC 61850 standard. Communication systems based on IEC 61850 offer improved flexibility and control, fast operation, high accuracy measurements and interoperability between devices that comply to the standard.

“Data can now be obtained in real time thanks to the communication protocols available in the relays” said Herbert Molina, Product Marketing Specialist for ABB Electrification in Peru. “Additionally, as the relays offer remote control for primary switching devices, it means that in the event of a network fault situation the reconfiguration of the grid will be much faster”.

For Enel, this means improved operational efficiency as they no longer need to send out personnel to the substations to gather information about the equipment in the event of disturbances. According to Molina, the time it usually takes Enel to isolate the faulty section of the network will be reduced by approximately 20 percent with these relays. “This will mean a direct benefit for the end users in Lima, as it guarantees fast recovery of the energy supply”.

Strengthened communication

The REX640 relays have been designed to operate in digital substations. “If migration to this type of substation is foreseen in the client’s upgrade plan, REX640 relays are a good option, as they are prepared by default for the digital era,” Molina explained.

The relays can exchange information and “talk” to each other, and they have independent and redundant communication ports to separate process and station networks. The communication is carried out digitally with GOOSE (generic object oriented substation event) and SMV (sampled measured values) messaging systems, and it will make the operations performed by relays installed in Enel’s substations safer. “These relays can read and exchange the necessary information between themselves or other IEC 61850-compliant equipment, such as warnings, status, presence of voltage, etc.”, Molina said.

Furthermore, the RXplore mobile application, available on Android and iOS, allows updating, downloading and sharing information on the events and settings registered in the relays to further ensure simplified and secure access to the devices.

Customer feedback

For Paul García, Maintenance Manager at Enel, the REX640 relays stand out because of their seven-inch color touchscreen that allow better interaction between the operator and the equipment: “Among the benefits of REX640 relays is the large color screen that allows a better visualization of measurements, events and signals.”

ABB's support throughout the process, from setting up the devices in their systems to training exceeded the customer’s expectations. “The service provided by ABB has been priceless; they have been at our full disposal to support us and provide all the information needed,” said Gian Pier Huari, Power System Analyst at Enel.

To learn more about ABB’s digital substation products, please visit

  • Protection and control REX640 – all-in-one protection for any power distribution application. The fully modular design allows unequaled customization and modification flexibility, and easy adaptation to changing protection requirements.
  • REX640 relays have a large color screen that allows a better visualization of measurements, events and signals
  • Relion 611 series protection relays have pre-configured functions for busbar, feeder, motor and voltage protection applications - for rapid setup and commissioning.


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