Tuesday, October 12, 2021

IEC 61850 For Electrical Testing

Megger AB, Stockholm, Sweden is using IEC 61850 for various reasons in the electrical testing domain.

Andrea Bonetti is senior specialist in relay protection and IEC 61850 applications at Megger. Andrea has written a very interesting article in the latest issue of Electrical Tester magazine of Megger:

The importance of IEC 61850 in relation to the smart grid

He concludes: "Economic electricity supply: We need to study and get used to IEC 61850 methods, but once this is done, the economic advantage is evident: reusability of previous projects, shared understanding, focus of the technical community on solving common problems, and concentration of the resources.

In conclusion, I hope it is now clear that IEC 61850 is not just a communication protocol but a complete philosophy for electrical systems. So, next time you have a smart grid project, please try to answer this question: How much of IEC 61850 am I using in my project?"

Click HERE to download the latest issue of the Magazine (101 MB) or click HERE to view the magazine online.

The abbreviation "IEC 61850" could be found 100 times throughout the magazine! ... in conjunction with testing, smart grid, ...

Enjoy!

Monday, July 12, 2021

Updated Mains Frequency Information Service Has Been Launched

Please not that the updated Mains frequency information service has been launched yesterday. 

The mains frequency info service is now active. 

You will now receive messages about unusual mains frequency behaviour.

For information on the messages, please refer to the website www.pc-projekte.de.

The website offers non-commercial information newsletter for the continental European network RG-CE (UCTE)

In this test group, you can register for an automated newsletter "Netzfrequenzinformation Verbundnetz RG-CE (UCTE)", which will provide you with the latest information on network frequency measurements.
Experience has shown that the measuring systems recognize and report approx. 4-6 messages per week on a daily basis.
You can find much more information about the grid frequency HERE
This service is a very huge offer to the power systems communities in Europe. I haven't seen anything comparable ... and all for free!

List of UCA IEC 61850 Certificates

The UCAIUG users group has reorganized the access to the 1200+ IEC 61850 certificates:

Click HERE to freely access the certificates.

Click HERE for additional information related to the conformance testing.

Click HERE for IEC 61850 User Feedback Task Force 

Unfortunately these issues are independent of the official IEC TC 57 / IEC 61850 tissue database

The tissue database offers a new service to filter and show tissues by status, e.g., for those accepted 

  

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Top 20 PLC tips and practices for better, more secure PLC programming

Jake Brodsky wrote the other day:

"Among the tribes of engineers, there are certain things we just have to learn by doing. One of them is PLC programming. Somehow, we engineers are expected to emerge from college knowing good practices for programming a PLC. Some of us older engineers learned to program using FORTRAN. If we were lucky, we learned about structured programming. The millennial engineers may have had the benefit of learning about object oriented programming. Maybe it was a class in C++. But data structures were something that they were just “supposed to know.” And engineering educations today? If we’re lucky, they’ll see a course in how to sling code in Python. That’s what my son did when he was studying in a pre-engineering course.

My point is that most engineers discover good programming practices the hard way. We learn on the job. I stumbled across this many years ago. I started collecting tips, tricks, and experiences from my colleagues ..."

Check out his collected writings - worth to read:

The Top 20 PLC tips and practices for better, more secure PLC programming are now online:

Click HERE for the website.

Monday, February 15, 2021

IEC 61850 To Help Securing Process Automation Systems

A Hacker Tried to Poison a Florida City's Water Supply ... the attacker upped sodium hydroxide levels in the Oldsmar, Florida, water supply to extremely dangerous levels ... Within seconds, the intruder was attempting to change the water supply's levels of sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda, moving the setting from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million

Click HERE for a news report.

How could that happen? Who knows!

There are a lot of discussions complaining about missing security measures like VPN, etc.

Independent of the communication security it is a big mistake that the value could be set to such a BIG number: 11,100 ppm.

IEC 61850 could help to prevent such a situation by applying Analogue Setting model:














At the City of Oldsmar water treatment facility, the "maxVal" of Sodium Hydroxide injection may have been limited to 500 ppm ... as a consequence, there would be no way to configure this to 11,000 ppm.

And: in case somebody changed the value at all, the setMag would change and dchg would become true issuing a report or log entry ...

With the SCL (System Configuration Language, IEC 61850) it could also be configured (in SCL notation) that a particular configuration value could not be changed at all (Fix), changed by a service (Dyn), or changed by SCL only (Conf).

For Input signals there are many specific configuration attributes defined ... 

It is very difficult to convince programmers, managers, R&D people, any other group ... to apply the IEC 61850 Tool.

Hope that will slowly change ... 

Additional discussion by Jake Brodsky click HERE ... summarizing: "... The more self integrity features we include, the more reasonable process limits that we include, the safer we will be."


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Looking for an Open Source Multi Protocol Gateway for IEC 104, TASE.2/ICCP, IEC 61850, OPC-UA ...?

The standards IEC 60870-5-104, IEC 60870-6 (TASE.2, ICCP), IEC 61850, OPC-UA and other (often legacy solutions) are crucial for the power delivery systems all over!

Therefore the ability to translate from one protocol to another is a key feature for every TSO (Transmission System Operator). As the needs are growing and the number of use cases are flourishing (e.g. RTE needs thousands of instances of MPG (Multi Protocol Gateways), they are incented to look for a highly cost effective solution. On this observation, Swissgrid and RTE decided to take over that challenge by initiating a Proof of Concept on an open source basis - according to a news published at LinkedIn the other day.

Title: "First step toward an Open Source multiprotocol Gateway initiated by Swissgrid and RTE"

Click HERE for more information posted at LinkedIn.

Sebastien HENRY (Directeur SI & Télécommunications chez RTE Réseau de Transport d'Electricité) said: "RTE is committed to invest in open source for the development of an ecosystem of IT solutions for the energy sector. I am very confident in the fact that with the multiprotocol gateway, a small piece of software widely needed in our infrastructures, will demonstrate this strategy worth being followed."

UPDATE 2021-01-23: EXTREMELY Crucial Frequency Deviation Of The European Electrical Interconnected Grid (UCTE)

 Dear All,

You may have heard that on January 08, 2021 Europe was hit by very serious power problems that entered almost to a very big blackout.

Message time : 08.01.2021 14:05:12 MEZ
Message : UCTE low frequency
Mains frequency : 49,746 Hz
Mains load difference : -3741,4 MW

There are many publications on the Internet ... please search for UCTE blackout January 2021 ...
Click HERE for the official news.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

UPDATE 2020-12-10: Crucial Frequency Deviation Of The European Electrical Interconnected Grid (UCTE)

Dear All,

Due to the increasing number of frequency events I have decided to recommend you the following ... it is too much work for me to post the newest events ... sorry for that:

1. Register to receive the event reports directly from one reliable source 

A look at the following private website (offered by an experienced senior electrical engineer) provides very informative and easy to use information (right part on the figure):

www.pc-projekte.de (the content can easily be translated - with Google)

You may register to receive messages like the one above:

https://pc-projekte.lima-city.de/ucte-netzfrequenz-infodienst.html

Note that these messages carry just privately generated information about specific events of the frequency of the ENTSO-E Network in Continental Europe (former UCTE).

2. Check the following website:
There you can find a list of frequency events ... 135 in 2020 already !!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

IEC Offers New Web Site for IEC 61850

IEC offers a new website to provide general information about the standard series IEC 61850, IEC 62351, IEC 61400-25, and other standards.

Click HERE to visit the new web site.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

UPDATE 2020-11-10: Crucial Frequency Deviation Of The European Electrical Interconnected Grid (UCTE)

 Please find another frequency deviation detected on 2020-11-10

Message time : 10.11.2020 06:00:52 MEZ
Message : UCTE high frequency
Mains frequency : 50,135 Hz
Mains load difference : 1916,6 MW

Monday, November 9, 2020

Hybrid Warfare Against Critical Energy Infrastructure: The Case Of Ukraine

A new 175 pages report
"Hybrid warfare against Critical Energy Infrastructure: The Case of Ukraine"
has just been published.

This study identifies and analyses the success of different hybrid warfare tools used by Russia in the Ukrainian energy sector between 2014 and 2017, namely different types of malicious acts against critical energy infrastructure, the implication of these events for Ukraine and the lessons to be learned for NATO security.

Click HERE for the full report [pdf, 6 MB]

Thursday, November 5, 2020

UPDATE late 2020-11-05: Crucial Frequency Deviation Of The European Electrical Interconnected Grid (UCTE)

 Please find another frequency deviation detected on late 2020-11-05

Message time : 05.11.2020 20:01:28 MEZ
Message : UCTE low frequency
Mains frequency : 49,889 Hz
Mains load difference : -1548,7 MW

UPDATE 2020-11-05: Crucial Frequency Deviation Of The European Electrical Interconnected Grid (UCTE)

Please find another frequency deviation detected on 2020-11-05

Message time : 05.11.2020 06:01:36 MEZ
Message : UCTE high frequency
Mains frequency : 50,122 Hz
Mains load difference : 1717,4 MW

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

UPDATE 2020-11-03: Crucial Frequency Deviation Of The European Electrical Interconnected Grid (UCTE)

 Please find another frequency deviation detected on 2020-11-02.

Message time : 02.11.2020 21:01:14 MEZ
Message : UCTE low frequency
Mains frequency : 49,896 Hz
Mains load difference : -1441,3 MW

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Ukrainian Power Grids Cyberattack - A Forensic Analysis Based On ISA/IEC 62443

Three Ukrainian power distribution companies sustained a cyberattack in western Ukraine on 23 December 2015. As the forensic information is extensive from a technical point of view, it is an opportunity to put 

ISA/IEC 62443-3-3
In­dus­tri­al com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on net­works - Net­work and sys­tem se­cu­ri­ty
- Part 3-3: Sys­tem se­cu­ri­ty re­qui­re­ments and se­cu­ri­ty le­vels

to the test with a real-life example. Several sources were used for this purpose that, overall, provide unusually detailed information.

Click HERE for the report "Ukrainian Power Grids Cyberattack - A Forensic Analysis Based On ISA/IEC 62443" ... worth to read!

Click HERE for a white paper on the series IEC 62443

Click HERE for a preview of the standard:




Tuesday, October 27, 2020

IEC 61499 Function Blocks At Schneider Electric Automation Solution

 In a white paper published by Schneider Electric you can read:

"The IEC 61499 standard sets a foundation for industrial automation application portability that creates wide-ranging benefits, including easy IT/OT system convergence, improved return-on-investment on software applications that can run independent of any hardware platform, and engineering design efficiency that radically speeds up new product time-to-market. ... Plug and Produce Systems: The move to automation systems based on IEC 61499 is more than a simple technology change. It has the potential to fundamentally change the way processes and machines are designed."

Click HERE for a new white paper on IEC 61499 from Schneider Electric.

Click HERE for a list of posts related to IEC 61499 ... and IEC 61850.

Ethernet Comes with a Brand New Easy Solution: Single Pair Ethernet (SPE)

Ethernet is well known globally as solution for communication. Ethernet was hated and liked for the last 40 years or so ... there have been alternative solutions developed that were marketed as much easier, faster, deterministic, ... think of Tokenbus (IEEE 804), Profibus, ... and many others.

Now we see a new version: Single Pair Ethernet (SPE). SPE can bring fast Ethernet (up to 1 GBit/s) and power to the field level using just one twisted wire pair ... enabling application of protocols using TCP/IP.

Click HERE for a general description.

Click HERE for a nice presentation by IEEE experts (January 2019)

SPE is a new technology to replace CANbus in automobiles (cars, trucks, busses, ... trains) and fieldbusses. SPE is a layer 1 standard ... so it can be used for Profinet, Ethercat, ... and it could run TCP/IP.

SPE is more intended to replace fieldbus systems ... here my dream of the late 80s becomes true:

Fieldbus Standardization - Another Way to Go

http://blog.nettedautomation.com/2017/05/tsn-fieldbus-standardization-another.html

additional posts related to the topic:

http://blog.nettedautomation.com/search?q=another+way

The use of SPE for connecting sensors to the cloud is to follow a trend ... it may increase the sales of component manufacturers.

When I wrote my Diploma Thesis in 1982 (at Siemens) I was asked to analyze Ethernet ... the idea was cancelled because of the very very expensive MAU ... needed two ... each for 23,000 USD ... total of 46,000 USD ... no way to get approval to spend that amount for a "standard" Diploma Thesis ... 

It took some 40 years to get to SPE - likely the real Ethernet ... ;-)

Too late for me ... just retired this year with 67 ... 

One crucial challenge is here: HOW to SECURE a huge number of end nodes (sensors, actuators ...) directly connected to the clouds or data lakes? Compare the situation with Smart(er) Grids: In Smart(er) Grids it is intended to connect millions of smart meters to the entities (clouds!?) that use the data for billing and further applications like controlling millions of inverters or power users. 

In the German power system there is a requirement to use the so-called Smart Meter Gateway (SMG) to provide highly secure communication channels

Click HERE to check what has to be implemented ... many published Megabyte pdf documentation of the required specification like: "Protection Profile for the Gateway of a Smart Metering System (Smart-Meter-Gateway PP)" ... by the German BSI.

It took many years before we have seen the first certified Smart Meter Gateway offered at the market. And be aware: The Administration of this infrastructure is very complex and ... far away from cheap and affordable by "everyone".

Many similar huge "security systems" would be required to connect the billions of smart sensors and actuators through Single Pair Ethernet to some centralized entities ... 

SPE is nice - BUT to build secure distributed systems it is required to develop also new security solutions that are as simple as Single Pair Ethernet!!

We have to look at the complete SYSTEM COST - not just at the possibilities of a new physical layers ... the SPE increases the problems of implementing secure systems, because it is easier and cheap to build a huge mashed network of millions of end nodes ... that may not perfectly secured!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Crucial Frequency Deviation Of The European Electrical Interconnected Grid (UCTE)

The frequency of the European Interconnected Electrical Grid (UCTE) is under stress. The frequency should be 50 Hz ... as you know. Click HERE for an UCTE background paper. Click HERE for details and basics of the Nordic Grid.

The network frequency is uniform in a power supply network and, apart from minor deviations from the nominal value, constant over time. The frequency changed today and earlier more than what usually is expected.

Here is some information about todays situation at 11:00 a.m.:













Time : 21.10.2020 11:02:35 MESZ
Message : UCTE low frequency
Mains frequency : 49,886 Hz
Mains load difference : -1594,6 MW

UPDATE 2020-11-03
Message time : 02.11.2020 21:01:14 MEZ
Message : UCTE low frequency
Mains frequency : 49,896 Hz
Mains load difference : -1441,3 MW




UPDATE 2020-11-05
Message time : 05.11.2020 06:01:36 MEZ
Message : UCTE high frequency
Mains frequency : 50,122 Hz
Mains load difference : 1717,4 MW



UPDATE 2020-11-05/2

Message time : 05.11.2020 20:01:28 MEZ
Message : UCTE low frequency
Mains frequency : 49,889 Hz
Mains load difference : -1548,7 MW



UPDATE 2020-11-10

Message time : 10.11.2020 06:00:52 MEZ
Message : UCTE high frequency
Mains frequency : 50,135 Hz
Mains load difference : 1916,6 MW




-------------------------------------------------
A look at the following private website (offered by an experienced senior electrical engineer) provides very informative and easy to use information (right part on the figure):

www.pc-projekte.de (the content can easily be translated - with Google)

You may register to receive messages like the one above:

https://pc-projekte.lima-city.de/ucte-netzfrequenz-infodienst.html

Note that these messages carry just privately generated information about specific events of the frequency of the ENTSO-E Network in Continental Europe (former UCTE).

The diagram on the left part is derived from:

https://gridradar.net/netzfrequenz.html

Hope you will find this post informative.