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

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.