Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The IEC 61850 Tissue Database is a Great Resource of Hints and Background Information

The IEC 61850 tissue database is a comprehensive resource of hints and background information that can help you to understand why a particular change or correction has been implemented:

Many tissues are posted that end up in the category "blue" (This is a question only). The discussion of the experts is often very helpful ... here you find answers that you may not get from the original published documents.
Example of discussion:

Enjoy the tissue database. As a registered user you can post tissues and see more details.

Many IEC 61850 Projects Under Progress

37 new parts and parts under revision are under progress as listed in the following table:

As you can see here: IEC 61850 is a bit more than another protocol.

Other parts are published already (some of them are under revision - see above):

Unfortunately many "grey-hair experts" with a lot of experience regarding IEC 61850 have been retired and a lot of experience has been wasted ... politics cares more about wasting food than wasting "experience" good for human survival! It's really a pity when we take into account that the comprehensiveness and complexity of IEC 61850 is growing so fast ...

Saturday, June 8, 2019

IEC just Published Amendments to Three Core Parts of IEC 61850 as FDIS

Hurrah, after long wait ... now they are published:

IEC just Published amendments of the following three Core Parts of IEC 61850 as FDIS:

IEC 61850-7-2 - Services (57/2100/FDIS) - 138 pages
IEC 61850-7-3 - Common data classes (57/2101/FDIS) - 108 pages
IEC 61850-7-4 - Logical Nodes and Data Objects (57/2102/FDIS) - 422 pages

These amendments will be merged into the previous editions and made available as consolidated documents after FDIS ballot (Edition 2.1).

The consolidated documents (published as INF documents) comprise:

IEC 61850-7-2 (181 pages)
IEC 61850-7-3 (135 pages)
IEC 61850-7-4 (440 pages)

One of the most crucial issue solved now is the harmonization of definitions used in different domains like substation, protection, wind, hydro, DER, batteries, schedules, ...

NOTE: The three new documents (and the many other parts published or underway, e.g., 80-x, 90-x) make the standard series IEC 61850 even more comprehensive and MORE COMPLEX.

I hope that there will be enough people responsible for the future of the digitalization in the energy world understanding that there is no free lunch!! Education and training is key!

IEC 61850-7-2

This edition includes the following significant technical changes with respect to the previous
edition, based on almost 100 tissues ... and other issues.

IEC 61850-7-3

Compared to the second edition, this first revision of the second edition provides mainly clarifications and corrections to the second edition of IEC 61850-7-3, based on almost 100 tissues ... and other issues.

IEC 61850-7-4 

The motivation and goal of the amendment is to improve consistency of the data model over
all application domains of IEC 61850. Data (Logical Nodes, Data Objects, Data Attributes)
with the same semantics shall have the same naming where this part of IEC 61850 refers to
Logical Nodes and Data Objects and IEC 61850-7-3 to the Data Attributes.
Therefore, the amendement complements and updates the second edition of this part of
IEC 61850, which was published in 2010. It constitutes editorial revisions for consistency and
technical corrections of bugs as far as interoperability is touched.
To reach this goal and to keep it for all future as common working source a comprehensive
back-office UML version was created and will be maintained for future standard development.
The published parts of IEC 61850 such as IEC 61850-7-4, on which the amendment is based,
are generated automatically from the UML version. This allows publishing, voting and reading
the various parts of IEC 61850-7 as in the past.
This amendment includes changes with respect to IEC 61850-7-4:2010 based on almost 200 Tissues ... and other issues.

Could the Utility Industry learn from the Boeing 737 Max Disaster?

The other day I read the IEEE article:

How the Boeing 737 Max Disaster Looks to a Software Developer 

Everybody working in the power utility world SHOULD study this paper in detail - and take some time thinking about it and plan and implement consequences ... by some means or other.

We are in danger to end up here:

I have slightly modified a quotation from the above paper:

“Long ago there was a joke that in the future control centers would control themselves, and the only thing in the control room would be an operator and a dog. The operator’s job was to make the customers comfortable that someone was in the control room. The dog’s job was to bite the operator if he tried to touch anything.

This 737 Max problem is a symptom of a trend that is happening in many domains: power production, power delivery, ... even education (from Kindergarten to university).

A senior developer sent me the other day the following link with the subject:

When management thinks 100 trainees can do work of 3 fully qualified senior developers

This statement and clip is very very true - in my training business with more than 4,500 attendees all over I have experienced that in some cases training (regards IEC 61850 and other subjects) had to be paid by the attendees ... using annual vocation! Unbelievable! HR has a big (often negative) impact on the training of the employees as well. The complexity of, e.g., IEC 61850 is usually totally underestimated! ... no need for a training ... read the myriad of papers and study slides ... that is quite often the recommendation of the management and HR.

This understanding is widespread in the utility domain, too ... students are hired (for low wages) to investigate and figure out how new technologies (especially digitalization) could be used ...

I hope that the utility industry will wake up and do a better job than the people at Boeing - but it will cost a lot of money ... shareholders and customers may not want to spent.

The European electric power system is under more stress since January 2019 ... see the following link (first German and second English text):

Switzerland was on the brink of a blackout on May 20, 2019:

On the left side bar you can see that we faced three additional critical situations (two in January and one in April 2019)!

One reason behind all this is the "market driven" power delivery ... more and more relying on software that processes a lot of data to get forecasts and set schedules for the energy flow. Hope that this software is better than ...

We all rely 24/7 on electric power. Have you thought about the possibility of local, regional or total blackouts? How would your life change?

I am nursing my wife here at home. She needs ventilation 24/7. The two ventilators have each a battery good for four hours ... so a blackout of 10 hours would mean that my wife ... For that reason I have several batteries, two emergency generators and some 30 liter gasoline.

I hope that not many "old grey-hairs are sitting in the corner" - BUT walking around and helping the young people to understand why we have the electric power system as it is now - developed in more than 130 years. Senior experts like Gregory Travis (author of the IEEE article) are very rare ... and not well understood ... and maybe too expensive for the bean counters.

The cumulative experience of the "old grey-hairs" (many retired years ago) that has been collected between the 60s and 90s and that are still involved one way or the other should have reasonable influence on young engineers ... in order to keep the power flowing.

In some time down the road we may have 200 trainees on the play field ... and no "old grey-hair" left. In this case the "w" in the German "Energiewende" will drop - means Energie-Ende" ... end of energy.

I am one of these "old grey-hair" engineers (66). Just a few young people are listening to me - I have to stay at home 24/7 ... no travel anymore ... One of the young people listening to me is our grand-daughter (20, finishes her bachelor in EE and IT this year). She is really eager to learn from my experience with MAP, Fieldbus, UCA, IEC 61850, Modbus, ... power systems, renewables, ... As an intern at a distribution company she transfers part of my knowledge to the utility - it is cheaper for the utility than to renew the contract with me ... ;-)

Maybe they will contract with me for the second time - but then it may be too late.

Friday, May 31, 2019

IEC 61850 Products at CIRED June 3-6, 2019 - Madrid (Spain)

3-6 June 2019, Madrid, Spain

SystemCORP will participate together with Advantech in the CIRED Exhibition in Madrid, Spain. It promotes the SystemCORP ADH Software, a flexible and complete data communication and process automation package, fully integrated in Advantech data gateways.

Based on a distributed real-time database and application management system almost any SCADA communication protocol can now be used as client or server on Advantech modules. SystemCORP offers most commonly used communication protocols such as IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5, DNP3, Modbus and JSON/MQTT as part of a standard communication library for SCADA and Cloud integration. An integrated IEC 61131 compliant programmable logic controller (PLC) extends the capability of the ADH as a true virtual SMART Grid device ready to be installed in distribution automation and smart gird projects.

For application configuration, the eNode Designer, IEC 61850 ICD Designer and IED Configurator tools simplify system engineering and result in reduction of project costs and implementation time. No special tools are required for establishing secure communication with cloud applications.

To know more visit our booth no H1/G2 at the IFEMA North Convention Centre. Address: IFEMA, Av. Partenón, Nº 5, 28042 Madrid, Spain. Entrance is free.

For any more information please check the event website:

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

When management thinks 100 trainees can do work of 3 fully qualified senior developers

A senior developer sent me the following link with the subject:

When management thinks 100 trainees can do work of 3 fully qualified senior developers

This statement and clip is very very true - in my training business I have experienced that in some cases training (regards IEC 61850 and other subjects) had to be paid by the attendee itself ... using annual vocation! Unbelievable!
This understanding is widespread in the utility domain, too ... students are hired (for low wages) to investigate and figure out how new technologies (especially digitalization) could be used ...
Hope you like the clip.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Prolan Offers One Of The First CLS "Steuerboxes" Based On IEC 61850

Prolan (based in Hungary) offers one of the first Steuerboxes according to the German FNN Specification "Steuerbox":

Prolan's own-developed and manufactured device offers a solution to German energy suppliers for tariff and power control and for regeneration of renewable power plants.
The device is connected to the new smart measuring system in Germany, called "Intelligent Messsysteme", one of its system elements.
  • The role of electricity distribution: the establishment of network balance by influencing decentralized energy producers and consumers.
  • Characteristic feature:  use of modern communication technologies (bidirectional communication, encrypted data transfer).
Click HERE for general information (EN)
HIER klicken für eine Broschüre (DE)
HIER klicken für eine Kurzinformation des VDE FNN (DE)

Monday, March 25, 2019

New TC 57 CDVs For Public Comments Posted

IEC TC 57 has posted two new CDVs for public comments (for everybody to read the document for free):

IEC 62351-3/AMD2 ED1: Amendment 2 - Power systems management and associated information exchange - Data and communications security -
Part 3: Communication network and system security - Profiles including TCP/IP 

57/2069/CDV (67 pages)
IEC 62351-8 ED1: Power systems management and associated information exchange - Data and communications security -
Part 8: Role-based access control 
This effort will transform the existing IEC TS 62351-8 ED1 from an IEC TS (Technical Specification) into an IS (International Standard) ED1
Excerpt from the Scope:
"The scope of this standard is to facilitate role-based access control (RBAC) for power system management. RBAC assigns human users, automated systems, and software applications (called “subjects” in this document) to specified “roles”, and restricts their access to only those resources, which the security policies identify as necessary for their roles.
As electric power systems become more automated and cyber security concerns become more prominent, it is becoming increasingly critical to ensure that access to data (read, write, control, etc.) is restricted. As in many aspects of security, RBAC is not just a technology; it is a way of running a business. RBAC is not a new concept; in fact, it is used by many operating systems to control access to system resources. Specifically, RBAC provides an alternative to the all-or-nothing super-user model in which all subjects have access to all data, including control commands. ..."
Be aware that RBAC is required in systems where multiple clients (in the sense of, e.g., IEC 61850) need to access a server. One use case is where multiple power market participants want to manage a power resource. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Smart Grid Interface Modul (SGIM) auf der Hannover Messe 2019

Vom 01. bis 05. April 2019 findet die Weltleitmesse der Industrie in Hannover statt.

beenergy SG zeigt eine interessante Neuheit:

Smart Grid Interface Modul (SGIM) für die Energieverteilung - 
unterstützt IEC 60870-5-104 und IEC 61850!

Die Sicherstellung der Verteilnetzfunktion  sowie kostenoptimierte strukturelle Anpassungen durch die Versorgungs-netzbetreiber erfordern ein fortlaufendes Messen und Überwachen der dynamischen Belastungen in den Verteilnetzen. Mit dem BeEnergy SG Smart Grid Interface Modul lassen sich in Verteilnetzen an neuralgischen Stellen einfach und kostengünstig Messpunkte realisieren.

Hier klicken und mehr Information finden.
Hier für eine Broschüre klicken

Treffen Sie die SGIM-Experten persönlich in Halle 13, Stand E81 (Efen GmbH).

Monday, March 18, 2019

IEC TC 57 Just Published IEC 61850-90-20 - Guideline to Redundancy Systems

IEC TC 57 Just Published 39 page document 57/2080B/DC

IEC TR 61850-90-20 ED1, Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 90-20: Guideline to redundancy systems

This part of IEC 61850 describes use cases of redundant systems.
The purpose of this document is to suggest how to model redundancy systems within the IEC 61850 domain and provide a guideline on implementation possibilities.
This report considers duplication of function and devices and not systems.
The report is not a guideline on the design of redundancy systems, guidance on designing
redundancy systems can be found in textbooks like
  • High Availability and Disaster Recovery: Concepts, Design, Implementation by Kalus Schmidt, ISBN-10: 3540244603
  • Blueprints for High Availability: Designing Resilient Distributed Systems by Evan Marcus, ISBN-10: 0471356018
Comments to this draft are due by 2019-04-12 at the latest

IEC TC 57 Just Published IEC 61850-10-3 on Functional Testing of IEC 61850 Based Systems

IEC TC 57 published 79 page document 57/2082/DC:

IEC TR 61850-10-3 – Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 10-3: Functional testing of IEC 61850 based systems

The growing success of the IEC 61850 series calls for guidelines for testing of substations implementing this standard. This technical report aims at producing a practical guide for protection, automation and control (PAC) engineers on best practise for testing of IEC 61850 Edition 2 with Tissues/Ed. 2.1 based devices and systems.
Since the release of the first edition of the IEC 61850 standard in 2002-2005 thousands of substations have been built making use of the new multi-part standard. Most of those systems are more integrated and complex than the previously deployed, making use of multi-function capable IEDs and the rich feature set of IEC 61850. Especially the sending and receiving of protection trips via GOOSE messaging control commands/indications, monitoring and time synchronisation information over the same shared equipment or network will need to drive changes to existing test methods and practices as many of the traditional test boundaries have changed.
Despite the large number of commissioned IEC 61850 substations considerable uncertainty among end-users (system integrators and power utilities) regarding the correct testing procedures still exists. Devices implemented according to the first edition of the standard also utilized a limited part of the test related functionality in the standard. Much of the functionality included in IEC 61850 to allow efficient, functional oriented testing has been clarified and extended in the second edition of IEC 61850 parts, 6, 7-1 to 7-4, 8-1 and 9-2. Therefore, there is a need to help the industry by describing the methods and principles for testing the IEC 61850 based applications.
This Technical Report provides insight into the changing requirements and practice of testing following the introduction of IEC 61850 based devices and systems. One example is the disappearance of so-called ‘hardwired’ connections between substation automation devices.
These connections are replaced by communication networks and this means that traditional simulation and isolation of signals for the purpose of testing is no longer possible.

Comments to this draft are due by 2019-04-19

Saturday, March 16, 2019

IEC TC 57 Just Published Draft IEC TS 618540-1-2 - Extending IEC 61850

IEC TC 57 just published the 43 page draft 57/2084/DTS:

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation IEC 61850-1-2 -
Guideline on extending IEC 61850


Excerpt of the draft:
1 Scope
This document is intended for any users but primarily for standardization bodies that are considering using IEC 61850 as a base standard within the scope of their work and are willing to extend it as allowed by the IEC 61850 standards. The document identifies the required steps and high-level requirements in achieving such extensions of IEC 61850 and provides guidelines for the individual steps. Within that scope, the document addresses the following cases:
  • The management of product-level standards for products that have an interface based on IEC 61850
  • The management of domain-level standards based on IEC 61850
  • The management of transitional standards based on IEC 61850
  • The management of private namespaces based on IEC 61850
  • The development of standards offering the mapping of IEC 61850 data model at CDC level
  • The development and management of IEC 61850 profiles for domains (underlying the role of IEC 62361-103 and IEC 61850-7-6)
The document includes both technical and process aspects :
On the technical side, the document:
  • Reminds the main basic requirements (mostly referring to the appropriate parts of the series which host the requirements or recommendations)
  • Lists all possible flexibilities offered by the standards
  • Defines which flexibilities are allowed/possible per type of extension cases
On the process side, the document covers:
  • The initial analysis of how the existing IEC 61850 object models and/or communication services may be applied and what allowed extensions may be required for utilizing them in new or specific domains (including private ones). The results of that step are expected to be documented
  • The extension of the IEC 61850 object models for new domains. The typical associated work is to identify existing logical nodes which can be reused “as is”, to determine if existing logical nodes can be extended, or to define new logical nodes
  • The purpose and process to use transitional namespaces, which are expected to be merged eventually into an existing standard namespace
  • The management of standard namespaces
  • The development of private namespaces
It is highly recommended to have a closer look at this document and review the content in detail. Because in the end it will be used as a very crucial "cook-book" for those that need to extend the standard series IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Smart Grid Communication Challenges With IXXAT SG Gateways

Smart Grid communication challenges can easily be solved with IXXAT SG-gateways

New IIoT gateways from HMS allow industrial 
equipment to communicate with smart grids.

IXXAT SG-gateways...
  • Enable easy remote control and management of electrical systems
  • Support IEC 61850 client/server, GOOSE, proxy gateway, IEC 60870-5-104 client/server and VHPready
  • Provide Modbus-TCP client/server and Modbus-RTU master/slave interfaces
  • Enable SNMP, SNTP, and cloud connectivity
  • Provide I/O, M-Bus, PROFIBUS, PROFINET and EtherNet/IP interfaces
  • Are safe – firewall, OpenVPN & password protection
  • Support IEC 60870-5-104 redundancy acc. edition 2 (Norwegian Convention)
Click HERE to enter the world of IEC protocols for power delivery systems
[EN, DE, FR, CN].
Hier klicken ... für ein Kurzvideo und weitere Informationen ... von Martin Matt, Produktmanager Energy Communication bei HMS Networks, über intelligente Smart-Grid-Gateways.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

IEC TC 57 Just Published Draft IEC 61850-90-20 On Redundancy

IEC TC 57 just published the first Draft IEC 61850-90-20 on System Redundancy:

IEC TR 61850-90-20 ED1
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 90-20: Guideline to redundancy systems

Excerpt from the Introduction:

"The paper “CIGRE B5-109: Redundancy challenges on IEC 61850 systems and Migration
Paths for IEC 61850 Substation Communication Networks” introduce redundancy concepts as
“Device redundancy of substation control units may be required in order to increase the availability of the substation automation system at the station level. System level redundancy is achieved by hot-hot or hot-standby configuration of duplicated station units that need to exchange information to ensure data consistency as well as coordinated and safe operation.
IEC 61850 communications in redundant configuration of duplicated clients faces challenges how to ensure that database in both central station control units are synchronized and that no events are lost during the switchover from the primary to secondary IEC 61850 client.”
A proposed redundancy system consists of two IED entities forming a logic IED. One or more lower level IEDs, e.g. merging units or circuit breaker, delivering the input data for the IED entities and getting results from the IED entities. One or more higher level clients receives output data from the IED entities for supervision or HMI.
Additionally, a higher level IED might exist, which supervises the state of the redundant system. In this context this concerns especially the state of the IED entities, so that a failed IED can be detected and repaired before the second IED fails.
The communication between the redundant system application and the lower level IEDs takes place with IEC 61850, mainly based on IEC 61850-8-1(MMS) reporting and commands, for time critical functions with IEC 61850-8-1(GOOSE) and IEC 61850-9-2(SV).
The communication to station level clients based on IEC 61850 is typically MMS based for supervision, commands and settings configuration changes. Since MMS is acknowledged service, server and client are aware of each other and the client supervises the servers. If both redundant system IEDs are hot, the client might select which of them it takes for executing a service request."

The TC57 P-members are invited to submit comments to this draft by 2019-03-29 at the latest.

Please note:
The application domains that need redundant systems may be crucial (for some high voltage systems) but may not be applicable for most systems in the energy delivery domain. This document is really of interest for a small, special group of experts ... not everybody interested in using IEC 61850 for exchanging some signals may need to check that draft document.
One challenge with IEC 61850 is: Which subset out of a big standard series do I need to understand for my application - that means: YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR APPLICATION !!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

OPC-UA@TSN, Profinet@TSN or CC-Link@TSN - and IEC 61850

Automation and industrial communication are buzzwords for decades. They mean something quite different when you look at the 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s, today ... Where are we today? Not really far away from the 80s.

In February 1985 I attended the first time the GM MAP Team in Detroit (MI) - it was a cold week:

This was my first trip to the USA. At that time I did not expect to come back to the US for more than 130 times ... almost all trips related to standardization: MAP, MMS, UCA, IEC, IEEE, ...
The MAP (Manufacturing Application Protocol) project and especially the MMS (Manufacturing Message Specification) standard where the first combined attempt to define a single set of  international standards for manufacturing automation systems. As you may know: they failed - because they were far too early.
MMS (ISO 9506) defines many services that have been smiled at. But if you read today (2019-02-23) what experts in the OPC/UA World are looking at - then you wonder how it was possible in the 80s to define most of the basic services the industry is looking for TODAY:
  • Client/Server
  • Selfdescription
  • Read/Write/Report
  • Two-Way-DataExchange (like RPC)
  • Standard Configuration
  • Semaphore
  • Event Management
  • Journaling (Logging)
  • ...
It really took 30+ years before the industry understood what is really needed besides the myriad of Fieldbusses!!

Since the MAP days we have learned some crucial lessons:
  • In addition to Client/Server we need Publisher/Subscriber (as defined some 15 years after the MAP project in IEC 61850; GOOSE and Sampled Values)
  • In addition to ISO/OSI Transport we need TCP/IP ... done in IEC 61850.
  • We need many semantic models ... as the many Hundred Logical Nodes in IEC 61850, e.g., for electrical measurements MMXU or Temperature Supervision STMP, ...
  • Standardized system configuration is key for any future automation system ... as defined in SCL (IEC 61850-6) for energy systems.
Fieldbusses are understood today as the "maximum credible accident". Heinrich Munz (Lead Architect Industry 4.0 at KUKA) says in the just published special issue ot the magazine "tsn & opc ua 2019" ( on page 12: "Jeder Gerätehersteller muss die Anschaltung und das Engineering jedes seiner Produkte an mehr als zehn unterschiedliche Feldbusse entwickeln und pflegen - ein betriebs- und volkswirtschaftlicher Super-GAU." [Each vendor has to develop and maintain hardware and engineering tools for each of his products to be compliant with more than 10 different fieldbusses - economically a maximum credible accident.]
My personal resume after reading through the special magazine is this:
  • The third fieldbus war started some years ago and is expected to go on for many years. 
  • The standard series IEC 61850, IEC 62351, IEC 61968/70 (CIM), IEC 61400-25, ... provide most of what OPC-UA and TSN are looking for.
  • It is likely that the providers of traditional and Ethernet-based Fieldbusses will migrate during the next years to OPC UA and TSN.
  • OPC UA and TSN will be implemented and used - why not?
  • In the meantime the energy domain is already using and extending the semantic models, applying the needed services and feeling happy with the standardized configuration language.
  • What else do you need?
The French novelist Andre Gide nailed it when he wrote, "Everything that can be said has been said, but we have to say it again because no one was listening."

According to my 50 years of experience as a technician, the most crucial challenge in automation is this: People of different application domains (control center, RTU, protection, PLC programming, robot controlling, communication, security, engineering, maintenance, ... telecomms, internet, web, ...) DO NOT LISTEN TO EACH OTHER!!! If one expert of a specific domain talks - no one from the other domains is listening!
Talk together and have a look at what people have said and done even decades ago! It may be better than what you were told. It may save you hours and days and weeks ... of struggling.

Workshop „IEC 61850 und CIM – Durchgängige Automatisierung im Netz der Zukunft“

Am 11. April 2019 findet in Frankfurt ein interessanter Workshop zu den Themen IEC 61850 und CIM (IEC 61968/70) statt:

Workshop „IEC 61850 und CIM – Durchgängige Automatisierung im Netz der Zukunft“

Die konkrete Anwendung von CIM mit aktuellen Praxisbeispielen, Fragen und Antworten sowie Diskussionsgrundlagen erwarten Sie auf dem diesjährigen Workshop.

Folgende Themen sind u. a. geplant:

  • Kurzeinführung IEC 61850 und Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM)
  • Vertikale Integration und End2End-Nutzung auf Basis der IEC 61850 Datenmodelle
  • Anwendung von IEC 61850 für Kommunikation in der FNN Steuerbox und Abbildung in CIM
  • Anwendungsbeispiele Verteilnetze
  • IT-Security aus Sicht der Verteilnetzautomatisierung
  • Podiumsdiskussion „Wie sehen Standards der Zukunft aus?“

Klick hier für weitere Informationen.

Es ist ratsam, an diesem Workshop teilzunehmen und mit den Experten zu diskutieren, welcher Weg in der Zukunft zielführend sein wird (soll)! 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

IEC 61850 Series is Growing Very Fast: 50+ parts soon

The standard series IEC 61850 (Communication networks and systems for power utility automation) is growing faster than expected some years ago. Currently the series comprises 50+ parts published, under revision or new content:

Klick on picture to magnify.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Difference between IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850

There seems to be a growing interest to understand what the difference is between IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850. There have been many discussions, complaints, and frustrations ... no wonder.Here is what I have answered to somebody this week:

Dear xxx,

I guess I got it ... you are analyzing the communication inside a station ... to the IEDs (protection, control, ...).

The IEC 60870-5-104 plus a lot of utility or project specific (signal) engineering will do the job – has done it for decades.

The engineering is the key issue when comparing the two standards … if you can compare them at all!!

IEC 61850 offers a lot more than 104 or DNP3 …

From a message overhead point of view, you can say, that both are more or less the same ... because they use both Ethernet and TCP/IP. There is no benefit to use one or the other.
It is likely that IED vendors will mainly focus on IEC 61850 ... and may get rid of 104 in the long run.
I have always said that utilities using 104 in all substations should continue to use it – until they build new substations or do major refurbishments. There is no need to replace a running 104 solution with IEC 61850 ...
Another issue is: To use GOOSE for interlocking … to get rid of copper … or use it for tripping … and use sampled values some time down the road.
Finally there is an issue with manpower: If the utility has senior experts in 104 close to retirement … they should wait until they have retired. Yes! I have seen many old engineers not willing to learn something completely new!!
Click HERE for a detailed comparison written by domain experts.
Hope that helps a bit more.
Best Regards,

IEC TC 57 Has Published New Work Proposal For IEC 61850-6-3

IEC TC 57 has just published a new work proposal for IEC 61850-6-3 proposed by the Chinese National Committee:

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 6-3: Configuration description language for physical resource related to IEDs in substation network systems


"The international standard defines the emerging requirements from physical resource description side to facilitate the design, system integration, test, fault analysis and commission, etc. during different stages when IEC 61850 is applied. It described how the physical resource information, such as IED’s dimension, communication port and optical connection, is to be modelled using the System Configuration Language (SCL) which is incorporated under IEC 61850. The application scenarios include but are not limited these mentioned stages.

Furthermore, IEC 61850-6-X helps to fill a gap and establish a relationship between logic function and physical resource information according to the existing IEC 61850 communication structure and configuration description language. The initial focus on application within substations, includes following cases:

  • Physical information related to infrastructure in electrical substations, including cubicle, trench, optical, wire, etc.
  • Physical information related to devices in electrical substations, including device dimension, amount model, physical port, etc.

The proposed international standard specifies a file format for describing dimension, communication connection port, optical wire, cubicle, trench related to IEDs within substations, and the relations between them and logical functions."

The NP notes that "In China, by the end of 2016, nearly 3,000 substations of 110 kV or above based on IEC 61850 had been under operation."

The standard series IEC 61850 is really growing in 2019, see extra post.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Omicron offers new ways for IEC 61850 Substation Automation System testing

Testing the automation, control, and SCADA communication in IEC 61850 Substation Automation System (SAS) is as time consuming as testing the protection – or often even more.

StationScout simplifies the testing and reduces the required effort significantly.

With its powerful functions, StationScout is a specialist for the whole lifecycle of a SAS – from engineering to continuous maintenance. The clear status overview provides ideal support for commissioning and maintenance engineers during the different tasks in Substation Automation Systems utilizing IEC 61850.

Key features:

Status overview: StationScout provides a clear overview of the substation, visualizing the communication according to IEC 61850 in SCL files, values and states in the substation.

Signal tracing: The communication diagram of StationScout allows for signal tracing, from the overview down to the detailed communication message attributes.

Automated testing: StationScout is able to re-use predefined test plans for an automated testing procedure.

Cyber security: The dedicated hardware of StationScout ensures cyber secure operation within the substation communication network.

Simulation: The powerful simulation features of StationScout simplify testing and commissioning. Missing IEDs and IOs can also be simulated.

Defining own names: IEC 61850 abbreviations are quite cryptic. Defining of own names in StationScout allows for comfortable asset handling.

Click HERE for detailed information about the StationScout (English)
Click HERE for detailed information about the StationScout (German)

Smart Grid Interface Modul (SGIM) supports IEC 60870-5-104, DNP3, IEC 61850 and OPC UA

Smart Grid Interface Modul offered by BeEnergy (Pohlheim/Germany)

The Smart Grid Interface Module (SGIM) is a ready-to-use system to monitor measured electrical values in switch cabinets and cable distribution cabinets. The mechanical design of SGIM is in line with industrial standards and is especially meant to be installed in a 185mm busbar system.
SGIM is built from two main parts: the installation platform and the plug-in unit. The plug-in unit contains all necessary control, communication and measurement functions to provide measured data either to a cloud-based data management system or via standard IEC protocols like IEEE 1815 - DNP3, IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850 as well as industrial protocols like OPC/UA.
The device includes a local web server for the visualisation of the acquired data, the configuration of drivers and communication protocols as well as an interface to the WEB-PLC editor.

Click HERE for more information (Data Sheet).
Click HERE to visit BeEnergy