Friday, February 27, 2009

Information exchange and encoding messages

For the encoding of messages to be exchanged in automation systems the red pencil tactics are still too often used, in the opinion: The shorter the message, the better. Is that what we really are looking for? Read the imposing joke on encoding.

Saving a few octets was one of the objectives of the definition of hundreds of solutions for communication protocols for automation systems - focusing on getting rid of some octets. Now with the use of secure TCP/IP based communication tunneling the many "old" protocols adds many times more octets at several layers than those saved in the  design of the "optimized" application protocols. Saving a few octets in the application protocols has a negligible effect! Some people that complained about the ASN.1 BER encoding years ago are now asking for Webservices with XML encoding - increasing the message lengths by orders of magnitude!

For every problem there is a solution which is simple, neat and wrong.

One lesson learned is: Focus on the applications, information to be exchanged, information exchange services, and the engineering process to get interoperable devices that can smoothly inter-operate - don't discuss saving a few bits in the application protocol encoding.

IEC 61850 and other Standards for metering

Triangle Microwork's long term experience with IEC Standards IEC 61850 and IEC 60870-5, as well as industry standards DNP3 and Modbus pays off:

Elster (offering smart metering and smart grid systems and solutions)announced that Triangle MicroWorks has joined Elster’s Advanced Grid Infrastructure (AGI) Initiative. The AGI Initiative is a collaborative effort between utilities, Elster, and key technology providers to realize innovative solutions for grid modernization.

Elster Senior Vice President David G. Hart said, “We are pleased to have a partnership with Triangle MicroWorks that provides our customers with the benefits of greater interoperability. Elster’s solutions can better equip utilities by integrating Triangle MicroWorks’ leadership in standardized smart grid communication protocol technologies.

Complete news letter [pdf, 37 KB]

Friday, February 20, 2009

Petrobras Goes IEC 61850 for Refineries in big scale

10 of Petrobras's 12 refineries in Brazil will be equipped with IEC 61850 conformant DCS system 800xA from ABB.

According to ABB "The scale of the modernization program is immense. In addition to building new units for distillation, hydrotreatment, cooking, desulfurization and other processes, Petrobras is constructing 50 new substations and modernizing about 40 others to the new IEC 61850 global standard for interoperable substation automation devices ... enables refinery operators to monitor and control the systems from a single interface and run power management applications and intelligent IEC 61850 substations in the process automation system." Read more on ABB's engagement at Petrobras ...

The integration of IEC 61850 in process control automation systems is one of the expected new use cases for IEC 61850. The original scope of IEC 61850 was "substations", the new is "power utility automation" - still restricted to (electric) power, because IEC is in charge of the "electrical World". The standard series IEC 61850 can be used ALL OVER in the automation world: IEC 61850 outside substations is happing already. More to come.

Next IEC 61850 Hands-on Training 20-23 October 2009

STRI and NettedAutomation have set the date for the fall Hands-on Training event to 20-23 October 2009. The event is planned to be held in Ludvika (Sweden). Details will be posted in due time.

The next event is in Frankfurt (Germany) from 03 to 06 March 2009 Details [pdf]

Thursday, February 19, 2009

IEC 61850 OPC Device Driver

ReLab Software LLC (based in Concord, California) offers an OPC Device Driver for IEC 61850 to enable communication with all devices supporting the international standard IEC-61850.

Product information [pdf, 190 KB]

Experience of the ReLab programmers with the IEC 61850 stack implementation:

"The difficulties of IEC-61850 stack implementation described in this article do not diminish the value oft he protocol itself. The protocol is a significant step in communication unification and has a great future."

IEC 61850 modeled with UML

The standard IE 61850 uses simple table notations and text description of the information models and information exchange services.

The working group 10 of IEC TC 57 discussed the use higher level modeling languages many times, e.g., UML (Unified Modeling Language) or ASN.1. The discussion will continue in a new project group within IEC TC 57:

"Web-based and structured access to the IEC 61850 information models"

The web based access to the IEC Component Data Dictionary (IEC 61360) is a good example of the benefit of web technologies for IEC standards.

A public available model for IEC 61850 using UML 2.0 is provided and maintained by Electricité De France R&D (Clamart/France). The current version accessible at the web is dated December 2006, Release 1.1

The scope of this model is the IEC 61850 part 7-2, 7-3 and 7-4 (First Edition) and its HTML format. Enjoy.

Excerpt of model:


RWE Innogy sucht Ingenieur mit Erfahrung in IEC 61850 und 61400-25

RWE Innogy sucht SCADA-Ingenieur mit Kenntnissen in IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, DNP3, ... Einsatzort Hamburg. Weitere Details ...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Tool for CIM (IEC 61970-301)

The internationally widely used standard for utility information modeling (IEC 61970-301) can be managed with the Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect as a UML tool to maintain and distribute the Common Information Model. IEC TC 57 WG 13 and 14 have decided recently to rely on the cost effective and powerful tool.

Sparx news letter

Use of the CIM Standard for Managing Assets at the Long Island Power Authority and the application of Enterprise Architect. more ...

CIM Users Group meets in Europe on 12-15 May 2009

The spring 2009 meeting of the CIM Users Group will be hosted by UCTE in Brussels on 12-15 May 2009.

Key issue is the adoption of the CIM standards by UCTE (Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of Electricity) for information exchange. UCTE's decision is expected to lead to wide-spread adoption of the CIM standard for many additional applications in Europe.

Another issue is how CIM can support the Smart Grid vision.

Further meeting information ...

Some background information on the use of CIM within UCTE.

Monday, February 16, 2009

E.ON - Erfahrungen mit IEC 61850

Die E.ON Thüringer Energie AG hat Ende 2008 erste Erfahrungen mit dem Einsatz der Normenreihe IEC 61850 vorgestellt:

"Vorgehensweisen und Erfahrungen mit der IEC 61850"

In einem Vortrag wurden Ideen und Ziele bezüglich des Einsatzes der IEC 61850 bei der E.ON Thüringer Energie AG im Rahmen eines Pilotprojektes vorgestellt und diskutiert.

Download Foliensatz

Die Ergebnissse liegen - vor dem Hintergrund der internationalen Erfahrungen - ganz auf Linie der Erfahrungen anderer großer Versorgungsunternehmen. Um die Anforderungen und Wünsche der Energieversorger (vor allem die nachhaltige Interoperabilität von Geräten und Werkzeugen!!) zukünftig umfassend und befriedigend zu erfüllen, sind weitergehende Abstimmungen der Hersteller untereinander, der Hersteller mit den Anwendern und aller Betroffenen mit den Normungsarbeiten notwendig. Bei der Normenreihe IEC 61850 verhält es sich so wie mit dem Baustoff Beton: Es kommt darauf an, was man daraus macht!

E.ON resümiert unter anderem, dass die betroffenen Experten die Normenreihe erst einmal verstehen müssen - und sicher auch, was die Hersteller bisher daraus gemacht haben. Einen Einblick in Produkte der ersten Generation großer Hersteller wie Siemens, Areva und ABB wird auf der neutralen Plattform eines Trainingkurses vom 3.-6. März 2009 in Frankfurt (Main) geboten.

Details zum Training

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

IEC 61850 Seminar in Moscow (Russia), 10-12 March 2009

Как реализовывать
решения на базе
стандарта МЭК 61850

Семинар для главных инженеров
и руководителей департаментов РЗиА и АСУ ТП
Москва, 10–12 марта 2009 г.

«Ноу-хау» для создания систем нового поколения МЭК 61850 – международный стандарт для систем связи внутри подстанций. Использование данного стан-дарта позволяет осуществлять разработку и проектирование систем защиты и управления при применении аппаратуры различных компаний-производителей, и, как следствие, достичь более высокого уровня на-дежности и экономической эффективности предлагаемых решений. Помимо новых преимуществ, которые предоставляет стандарт, его реализация оказывается сопряжена с рядом трудностей и проблем, что усу-губляется ситуацией, когда развитие ведущих производителей аппаратуры (ABB, Siemens, Areva, General
Electric и др.) в части реализации стандарта МЭК 61850 становится все более стремительным.

По вопросам участия в семинаре
обращайтесь в редакцию ЗАО «ИД «Вся электротехника»
Куратор семинара: Головин Александр
Тел.: +7 499 157 56 75
Факс: +7 499 157 24 12