Monday, October 7, 2019

Megger Organizes the First Latin American Protection Conference 6-7 November

Primera edición del Congreso Latinoamericano de Protecciones

La primera edición del Congreso Latinoamericano de Protecciones ( a desarrollarse los días 6 y 7 de noviembre del corriente año en el Hotel Meliá, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

El evento reúne a especialistas y líderes en la implementación de sistemas de protecciones orientado a la experiencia del usuario final. Se dirige a lograr un panorama sobre el estado actual y futuro de los sistemas de protecciones dentro de la subestación y en la red más amplia en América Latina.
El programa de dos días abarca ponencias de usuarios, fabricantes, especialistas y expertos, seguido del tutorial de dos horas de duración sobre los Factores de éxito para la utilización de IEC 61850 dirigido por el Ing. Carlos Samitier centrada en los estudios de caso de implementación de IEC 61850 a nivel global, los errores más frecuentes y cómo evitarlos. Además, de los paneles sobre futuras aplicaciones en mantenimiento en IEC 61850 con la participación de los especialistas en tecnologías de ensayo de protecciones.

Los ejes temáticos están relacionados con los Avances y tendencias en IEC 61850, Esquemas avanzados en protecciones, Ensayos automatizados de protecciones eléctricas, Lecciones aprendidas en activaciones de protecciones, Comunicaciones para protecciones, entre otros.

In case you are interest to share your experiences at the conference, contact Mr. Roberto Sartori (

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Next week: IXXAT Smart Grid Gateways at IEC 61850 Global 2019 in London, UK

IXXAT (HMS) will be available at the conference to demonstrate you the latest gateway family supporting IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5-104, Profibus, ProfiNet, Ethernet/IP, M-Bus, ...

IEC 61850 Global 2019
London, UK
Oct 14, 2019, 02:00 AM - Oct 19, 2019, 02:00 AM

Drawing together 150+ IEC 61850 specialists and implementation leaders, this end-user-driven programme focuses on achieving multi-vendor, multi-edition interoperability within the substation and across the wider smart grid.

Click HERE for more details on the event.

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

Click HERE for more details to solve smart grid information models and communications.

Note that the gateway will come with MQTT as well ...

Click HERE for the Gateway with MQTT support.

Cyber Security and SAFETY in Power Systems

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) at NIST just released a draft of the NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide, SP 1800-23, Energy Sector Asset Management, on September 23, 2019, and is requesting your feedback. Public comments on the draft will close on November 25, 2019. "...that will help energy organizations address the security challenges of OT asset management. ..."

The main objective is to have a look at "programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and intelligent electronic devices (IEDs), which provide command and control information on operational technology (OT) networks ..."

Click HERE for the Guide.

The Guide seems to be written by mainly non-protection engineers or even non-electrical engineers. I have read the other day in a discussion about the Guide that the term SAFETY was not mentioned in the  guide ... huch ...

Here is my explanation why SAFETY is not in the scope:

The safety in electric power systems is mainly managed by PROTECTION devices. These devices protect humans, equipment and power flow. Protection has the highest priority in electric power systems. Protection is also crucial for availability and reliability. Protection engineers are - in my view - the most critical engineers.

My experience is that IT and OT people fear the high voltage ... starting at 100 Volt or so ... so, that may be the reason the document NIST SP 1800-23 does not discuss any protection (SAFETY) related function.

They don't have Sr. protection engineers in their mind ... maybe they don't know what these engineers are doing ... and how important they are to keep the power flowing.

A friend of mine (a senior protection engineer) and I have conducted many IEC 61850 seminars together ... I have always admired him!!

My friend answered:

In general unfortunately it is as you describe.
The circuit breaker doesn’t work? The protection engineers have invented the “breaker failure”. This is a bit biased, any component can fail of course…
The Sampled Values are not delivered? The relay has to manage that. They are “delivered wrong”? The relay has to try to understand it and be robust.
Yes, it is probably more difficult to design and set a good protection system (including the design of the relay) than doing an airplane...

IEC 61850 For Monitoring Data - Private or Standard?

One of the most crucial issues in the management of energy systems is: HOW TO share or exchange useful information generated by a myriad of sensors and applications needed by hundreds of applications?

Lets assume that lakes of information are generated every second. Usually this information is stored in silos of vendors specific solutions and communicated using one or more vendor specific communication solutions ... as shown in the following sketch drawn by our grandson Jan Oliver:

The expectations to apply IEC 61850 are high! BUT quite often vendors argue, that it is easier to use their private solutions - faster and saves time and costs! This may be true for the first phase of a project - but in the long run and in the view of the life time cost it may be completely opposite.

Three experts from Vattenfall DSO (Sweden; Vincent GLINIEWICZ, David EROL Anders JOHNSSON) have reported at the CIRED conference 2019-06 in Madrid (Spain) from an implementation of a pilot project using IEC 61850 and CIM  with the title:


Excerpt from the paper:

"... However the data unfortunately currently often remain unused and unshared outside of the substation or specific silos for various reasons, some technical (e.g. cyber security, system incompatibility), some and organizational (e.g. vendor lock-in, siloed applications and organizations).
Additionally, with an increasing number of use cases requiring access to information, there is a growing number of information flows needed not only between data sources and central level applications but also between these central level applications. Without an IT architecture that allows reuse of information flows, there are legitimate concerns that the opportunities that digitalization promises might be delayed and costly or even worse, not be achievable.
As a result, Vattenfall Eldistribution sees a standard based integration approach as a cost-effective approach that seems to offer in the long run low integration costs and more importantly a greater flexibility, going from supplier specific integrations to a more generic approach. ...

We would also like to highlight some of the deviations from the standards that were observed during this pilot:

The pilot made use of a REST API towards the real time data historian (RTDH in fig. 2), although there was no mention of REST in the 61968-100 standard. One could however expect, given the increasing popularity and use of RESTful services in most industries, that the standard will soon follow and that the mention will be added in a further edition on the standard.
The gateway used in the pilot was a prototype base on a technical report (IEC TR 61850-90-2) [Using IEC 61850 for communication between substations and control centres] which is not yet a standard. This might explain why there doesn’t seem yet to be a complete and robust 61850-90-2 compliant product on offer in the market. Another alternative considered for the pilot gateway was the use of IEC 61850/MMS towards the substation and the use of web services (either RESTful+ JSON or SOAP) to communicate northbound instead of the IEC 61850/MMS used in the pilot. SOA has indeed a robust and well developed architecture for distributed computing, and this should be leveraged. There however did not seem to be any products available on the market. This alternative will be explored in a coming pilot. ..."

The paper concludes:

"Although the pilot was made for a primary substation, the widespread use of the IEC 61850 standards series make the results of this pilot not only applicable for primary substations, but potentially also secondary substations and microgrid.
Following the successful pilot, the next step is to look at how to fully implement and verify the concepts in a real substation and to secure production grade components where prototypes have been used as well as test the architecture through other smart grid use cases."

Click HERE for the full paper.

I have run an UCA/IEC 61850 pilot project with Anders Johnsson some 20 years (!) ago:

Two reports out of this pilot project and other discussions have been published in 2002:

Wind Power Communication
Verification report and recommendation

Click HERE for the Report.

Wind Power Communication - Design & Implementation 
of Test Environment for IEC61850/UCA2

Click HERE for the Report.

Enjoy the reports.

By the way: It took some 20 years to understand that the mapping of IEC 61850 models and communication protocols to MMS (ISO 9506) should be extended by a much easier and simpler mapping to JSON and, e.g., MQTT or http ...

It is not too late for such an additional standardized mapping ... e.g., as IEC 61850-8-3.

It may take another 10 years before this becomes true! Hope it will happen a bit earlier!

Further reading on the subject see discussion of IEC 61850-8-1 versus 8-2 (some 1,800 visits of the post since July 2019).

Other people have similar ideas and published the following paper:

International Electronical Committee (IEC) 61850
Mapping with Constrained Application Protocol
(CoAP) in Smart Grids Based European
Telecommunications Standard Institute
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Environment

Friday, October 4, 2019

IEC 61850 All Over At CIRED Conference 2019-06 in Madrid Spain

I was really surprised to browse through some of the 51 papers presented at the CIRED Conference 2019-06 in Madrid Spain that refer to IEC 61850 !!

Click HERE for the CIRED search engine. Enter "61850" and you will find the links to the 51 papers presented this year that mention IEC 61850 by some means or other.

Unfortunately I don't have time to study them all in detail ... hope to find some time soon.

While searching the web, I found another very interesting paper:

International Electronical Committee (IEC) 61850
Mapping with Constrained Application Protocol
(CoAP) in Smart Grids Based European
Telecommunications Standard Institute
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Environment

Click HERE for accessing that paper. More to come ...