Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ABB and others push IEC 61850 all over

According to a news letter dated 2009-05-04 "ABB has introduced and exploited the benefits of IEC 61850 for customers in 55 countries and supplied hundreds of systems and thousands of products for new substation installations, as well as retrofit and migration projects. ... ABB played a key role in developing and verifying this global standard, and actually commissioned the world’s first IEC 61850 multi-vendor project in 2004 at the 380 kilovolt (kV) Laufenburg substation in Switzerland – one of the largest and most important substations in Europe."

Click HERE for the ABB news report.

All big vendors like ABB, AREVA, GE, SEL, Siemens, and several others, utilities and several independent consultants have heavily contributed to the standard - and are still contributing!

During today's one-day seminar on IEC 61850 organized by Asia iKnowledge Sdn. Bhd. here in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) it was interesting to see the huge interest of power, gas and oil utilities in the new standard! It was clearly reported and confirmed by key people that attended that the education of "smart" engineers in the new standards is one of the crucial pre-requisite for smarter grids!

Click HERE [pdf, 600 KB] for today's program and the program of the conference tomorrow and Thursday.

DDS NETCOM lädt zu IEC-61850-Informationsveranstaltung nach Volkestwil bei Zürich ein (4. Juni 2009)

Die Normenreihe IEC 61850 "Communication networks and systems for power utility Automation" ist die global anerkannte, einheitliche Integrationslösung für die Automatisierung in der elektrischen Energieversorgung. Sie definiert im Wesentlichen:

  • Informationsmodelle (Ströme und Spannungen in Dreiphasen-Systemen, Leistungsschalter, ...)
  • Services für den Informations-Austausch (Ereignisübertragung, Archive, Steuern, Echtzeit, ...)
  • System-Konfigurationssprache (Konfiguration einer gesamten Anlage)

Mittlerweile wird die Norm in Transport- und Verteilnetzen, in Windenergieanlagen, in Wasserkraftwerken und dezentralen Energieversogungssystemen eingesetzt.
Die durchgängige "Vernetzung" von Produktions- und Energieversorgungsprozessen mit IEC 61850 senkt die Kosten der Automatisierung und hilft, Energie effizient zu nutzen!
Um die wesentlichen Aspekte der Normenreihe und ihre Akzeptanz zu vermitteln, lädt DDS NETCOM für Donnerstag, 4. Juni 2009 um 12:30 Uhr nach Fehraltorf/Volketswil (Schweiz)zur folgenden Info-Veranstaltung ein:

„Norm IEC 61850 im industriellen Umfeld“

Klicken Sie hier für weitere Einzelheiten und das Programm.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

MMS Reports with or without Segmentation?

A utility specified for IEC 61850 conformant IEDs, that all the data of FC=SG are referenced in a single dataset, to make the setting group value easily read in one GetDataSetValues service. But once the data objects are too many so that one MMS PDU can't carry the values of all members, is there any method to help transmit the values of all members of such a huge dataset? The MMS standard (ISO 9506) does not have a parameter like "more  follows" or "continue after". Is there a possibility at the level IEC 61850-7-2?

One can use an IEC 61850 report control block, refer to the "big" data set and run the "general interrogation" issued by a client. The reporting model provides segmentation! It is - of course - optional. So the server and the client need to support segmentation.

The IEC 61850 report message has the following parameter:

MoreSegmentsFollow (More report segments with the same sequence number follow).

Power Plant DCS - Incorporating IEC 61650

A nice summary of the development of open Distributed Control Systems (DCS) for Power Plants since the eighties was written by Ralph Porfilio (ABB Power Generation).

One of crucial solutions for Open Systems is IEC 61850:

"DCS controller connectivity is currently under development for integrated IEC-61850. IEC-61850 uses Ethernet as backbone communication and will enable DCS controller integration for medium and high voltage electrical equipment. Used with electrical power distribution and substation equipment, IEC-61850 is being deployed within medium and high voltage drives, switchgear, motor starters, relay protection, generator and transformer protection, excitation and synchronization. DCS integration with IEC-61850 will include control, monitoring, asset monitoring, time stamp and integrated configuration tools to program the Intelligent Electrical Devices. With Profinet and IEC-61850 and an industrial Ethernet, it is expected that the DCS will be able to tightly integrate electrical system packages along with instrumentation for process control into a common system."

Click HERE for the complete paper.
Click HERE for an excerpt.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Additional 50 Million Euro funding for Electro Mobility in Germany

The German Government (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie BMWI) has decided to fund further R&D activities (2009-2011) with some 50 Million Euro in the domain of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Electro Mobility.

Five projects out of 36 proposals have been awarded. These five projects are closely related to the funded E-Energy projects.

Click HERE for the official press release (in German).

Click HERE for the "Studie zum Normungsumfeld von E-Energy" (in German)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Australian Government to support communication for Smart Grids

ZDNet Australia reported that "The Federal Government has announced an up to $100 million investment in the 2009 Budget to assist the development of smart grid technology to create a "smarter and more efficient energy network". ... Smart grid technology monitors electricity supply across distribution networks using communications technology."

The Australian "Information and communication technology" research will get also more funding (AUD 185.5 million over four years).

Click HERE for the ZDNet Report.

US DOE supports IEC 61850 for Smart Grids

The US government directly supports the application of IEC 61850 for Smart Grids in the USA. According to a ABB we have a very famous supporter for the standard: DOE Secretary Chu and Commerce Secretary Locke:

"As announced by DOE Secretary Chu and Commerce Secretary Locke on Monday, IEC 61850 will serve as the initial smart grid interoperability standard for substation automation and protection."

Click HERE for the full ABB Press Release.

Click HERE for a Press release of U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu (dated May 18, 2009)

Click HERE for the NIST - Recognized Standards for Inclusion In the Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Framework, Release 1.0

Excerpt of standards from the list:

Substation and feeder device automation

IEC 60870-6 / TASE.2
Inter-control center communications

IEC 61850
Substation automation and protection

IEC 61968/61970
Application level energy management system interfaces

IEC 62351 Parts 1-8
Information security for power system control operations

Sunday, May 17, 2009

IEC 61850 for condition monitoring diagnosis and analysis

The IEC TC 57 (document: 57/1007/DC) has invited for a new project to extend IEC 61850 and use it for CMD (Condition Monitoring Diagnosis) to diagnose the power grid health status to improve the reliability of the power system by preventing a potential failure in advance. Too many different CMD solutions in various forms from many vendors are currently used - there is need to standardize the basic information models and information exchange within IEC TC57.

It is intended to first write a report that addresses communication aspects related to specific sensor networks that are widely used as well as information exchange towards asset management systems. It is proposed to publish that report as IEC 61850-90-3.

A task force within TC57 WG10 will prepare this report. The proposed project leader is: Mr Hyuk Soo Jang, Department of Computer Software, Myong Ji Univ. Yongin, 449-728 Korea.

The TC57 P-members are invited to submit comments to this proposal and nominate experts willing to participate in that work
by 2009-07-03.

Please contact your TC 57 National Committee to receive a copy of the Invitation (57/1007/DC).

The work will address condition monitoring of equipment handled by the following technical committees of IEC: TC11 (Overhead lines), TC14 (Power Transformers), TC17 (Switchgear), TC20 (Electrical cables) and TC38 (Instrument transformers).
In addition, coordination with the work done in TC88, IEC 61400-25-6 (Condition monitoring for wind power plants) is required.

Proposed Architecture:


Friday, May 15, 2009

What would Smart Grids be without Microsoft?

AREVA T&D (Transmission and Distribution division) announced on May 12, 2009, the extension of a 3-year long collaboration with Microsoft to develop Smarter Grid Management solutions to help the worldwide power industry to provide reliable power. AREVA T&D sees Microsoft as a strategic partner for smart grid solutions.

Click HERE for AREVA's press release.

I am not surprised that Microsoft tries to stick the nose into the tent of the electric power system's automation and control solutions. By the way, Microsoft has taken a very active role already: There are so many Microsoft Office Power Point slides discussing the Smart Grids and Smarter Grids available on the Web - paper doesn't blush.

In some years we will see how much smarter the grid will be as today. The smartness has to be found first at the side of human beings - then we may use tools (like ...) for devices and systems.

Do all these myriads of tools help us? Yes, if ... No, if ...

You may like the following sayings (I read some time ... I do not know who wrote it first) which I use very often:

A fool with a tool is still a fool; and 
A fool with a tool can foul up projects faster than a fool without a tool.

One of the crucial challenges in the domain of power delivery systems is to get more "non-fool" experts for the development of tools and for the use of tools. That requires EDUCATION. Isn't it?

Power delivery systems have provided us with reliable power for decades - without many "soft" tools ... talk to some well experienced senior engineers. The future of reliable and affordable power delivery systems will mainly depend on smart engineers that can judge to do the right things. Smart engineers are those that are well educated or got experience with bad judgements:

Tools are not a substitute for good judgment, and
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Brunei - First Substation with IEC 61850

A 66kV substation located near the Lumut Power Station (LPS) at Jalan Kecil Lumut with IEC 61850 compliant substation automation system (SAS) has been energized recently. This is claimed the first IEC 61850 based SAS in Brunei.

"This new system is flexible and 'open', enough for all power utility and industrial applications, and applicable at all voltage levels."

Click HERE for the news.

IEEE Project 2030 for Smart Grids

IEEE announced the other day an additional smart grid initiative for the power engineering, communications and information technology industries: IEEE 2030 "Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS) and End-Use Applications and Loads".

Intel will host the first P2030 meeting, open to individuals and organizations interested in smart grids, at its headquarters in Santa Clara, CA, June 3-5, 2009.

Click HERE for more information.

“Intel is honored to host the first meeting of the IEEE P2030 Committee, because the time to take action on smart grids is now,” said Lorie Wigle, general manager of Intel’s Eco-Technology Program Office. “To accelerate deployment of a smart energy infrastructure, the industry must work toward interoperability and the creation of standards. Intel’s Open Energy Initiative is committed to supporting the development of open standards that will empower energy consumers and drive rapid integration of renewable energy sources, smart buildings, electric vehicles and other intelligent systems.” Source: IEEE Website.

What does "smart" or "intelligent" mean in the context of the electric power delivery system?

I guess we can state that "smart" and "intelligent" are synonyms in this context. The FreeDictionary states the following:

"smart: Characterized by sharp quick thought; bright. See Synonyms at intelligent: second definition below.

intelligent (Adjectiv):

1. having or showing intelligence: an intelligent child, an intelligent guess

2. (of a computerized device) able to initiate or modify action in the light of ongoing events"

The second definition can be applied to the power automation system IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices). These IEDs consume information received from other IEDs or the process input, process the information based on algorithms and settings, and generate information for other IEDs or the process output.

Information needs to be defined (information models, example: IEC 61850-7-4, IEC 61400-25-2, ...) and communicated (information flow, example: IEC 61850-7-2, 8-1, IEC 61400-25-4). The information flow needs to be configured (Example: IEC 61850-6).

IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 are standards that provide crucial features of intelligent devices used to build smart grids - developed by SMART people!! Data and information in the hands of smart human beings make a system smart! The algorithms and settings may be defined using the "Function Block" standard IEC 61499. Click HERE to learn more about IEC 61499.

Before we can develop Smart Grids, we need smart (or intelligent and well experienced) PEOPLE. Click HERE to learn more about Peopleware (i.e., about you and me).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

IEC 61850 IEDScout Version 2.0 available

The following updated/new features have been added:

* New, improved Data View
  Easier navigation between devices.

* New Polling Window
  Shows all polled data together, easy to use.

* Recording of GOOSE traffic into COMTRADE files
  Captures GOOSE traffic for in-depth offline analysis.

You can download IEDScout Version 2.00 from

The software you can download runs in demo mode. With an USB dongle the software runs in full mode. The demo version can be used to connect to any IEC 61850 compliant IED. The IEDScout is an IEC 61850 client, and GOOSE publisher and subscriber.

It can also be used to visualize an .icd or .scd file (IEDs in the .scd).

NettedAutomation uses the fully functional IED Scout in IEC 61850 hands-on training - with dongles for the attendees.

IEC 61850-9-2 LE - Process Bus Support by ABB and others

The IEC 61850-9-2 LE (Lite Edition) is key for the first implementations of the IEC 61850 Process Bus. The 9-2 LE edition defines two specific profiles for the exchange of sampled values:

  • 80 samples per nominal period for protection applications; one set of samples is sent immediately in one SMV message.
  • 256 samples per nominal period for metering applications; eight sets of samples are sent in one SMV message.

Click HERE to download the IEC 61850-9-2 LE (Users Guide) from the UCA International Usersgroup.

ABB stated that "Based on the new technologies ..., the substation footprint can be reduced by more than 50 percent, while at the same time increasing its availability and reliability."

Click HERE for a report from ABB on first experiences with the IEC 61850 Process Bus.

It could be expected that sampled values and GOOSE messages on a process bus will be used in larger scales in about two to four years.

Click HERE for some information of the process bus pilot under way at RWE (Germany - the second biggest German utility). SCC/NettedAutomation is involved with HesoTech (Germany) in the transformer monitoring system based on IEC 61850.

Click HERE for a Paper on the pilot project (in German).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lack of Power Engineers - A Risk for Smart Grids

If you are working in the domain of Power Systems in utilities or industrial plants, look around your workplace. Almost half of the people may walk out of the door during the next five to ten years - may be even you!

There is a need to replace the "heads" - let's say for every one that leaves there is a replacement (we are far away from that - but let's assume it). Does this help? To some extend. The people that leave are often the most experienced people. New people help to keep the "Head Count" at a reasonable level - but what's about the "Head Content"? It seems to be required to do more than to keep the numbers of engineers and other experts at the same amount as today.

There is another issue to mention: All the new technologies walking into the power systems: Smart Grid, Smarter Grid, renewables, PHEV, information and communication technologies (ICT), monitoring the Grid and ICT infrastructure, ... Engineers have to manage the existing system and get prepared for the many changes to come very soon.

Utilities and all other stake holders need to keep an eye on the planning of the recruitment of their future work force AND training in these new technologies of the people still there for the next 10 to 20 years! While universities partly start to get involved in the advanced ICT for power systems it seems to be crucial to also use other education possibilities: The training offered by independent and well experienced experts.

International standards like IEC 61968 (CIM), IEC 60870, IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, ... are a pivotal point for the interoperability in the future electric power systems – they can make the system smarter than it was in the past, and keep the number of incompatible solution very low.

Massachusetts-based utility NSTAR is getting prepared they can replace the people about to walk out the door. Click HERE for a podcast at Pennet.

IEEE PES is also concerned about the situation. They have published recently a Report on the crucial issue:

"Preparing the U.S. Foundation for Future Electric Energy Systems:
A Strong Power and Energy Engineering Workforce" Click HERE to download the IEEE report [PDF].

Monday, May 11, 2009

Draft IEC 62351-7 - Network and System Management objects

The IEC TC 57 Committee Draft for IEC 62351-7 TS Ed.1 has been published the other day (document 57/1003/DTS):
Power systems management and associated information exchange – Data and communication security – Part 7: Network and system management (NSM) data object models

Closing date for comments: 2009-08-07
(contact your national TC 57 committee for a copy).

These NSM data objects will be used to monitor the health of networks and systems, to detect possible security intrusions, and to manage the performance and reliability of the information infrastructure in power systems.

Scope and Objectives

Power systems operations are increasingly reliant on information infrastructures, including communication networks, intelligent electronic devices (IEDs), ... Therefore, management of the information infrastructure has become crucial to providing the necessary high levels of security and reliability in power system operations. Using the concepts developed in the IETF Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) standards for network management, IEC 62351-7 defines Network and System Management (NSM) data object models that are specific to power system operations. These NSM data objects will be used to monitor the health of networks and systems, to detect possible security intrusions, and to manage the performance and reliability of the information infrastructure. These data objects are defined as abstract data objects. These abstract data objects will be mapped to specific standards, such as IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5, IEC 60870-6, IEC 61968/61970 (CIM), web services, SNMP. These mappings will be defined later.

The utility industry should take these activities very serious - the many objects that will be standardized have a crucial impact on the power system monitoring! It is likely that the infrastructure will provide much more status information (provided by many "software" sensors) than the power delivery process (breaker status, voltage, current, oil pressure of a transformer, ...). Be aware that the ICT (information and communication technology) infrastructure will become very comprehensive (!!); may no too complex - but providing hundreds or thousands of new "Signals" not needed today! Get involved in the future of YOUR power system.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Training Opportunities 2009

NettedAutomation GmbH holds three public seminars/trainings in 2009:

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): 26-27 May 2009
Frankfurt (Germany):      20-23 October 2009
San Antonio, TX (USA):   29-30 October 2009

1. Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
A two day International Conference (27-28 May 2009) and a one day Pre-Conference Seminar (26 May 2009) will be held at PWTC in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

The program and registration form [pdf, 530 KB] can be downloaded HERE

2. Frankfurt (Germany)
The third four (three) day Comprehensive & Independent Hands-on Training by NettedAutomation and STRI will be held in Frankfurt (Germany) on 20-23 October 2009

The program and registration form [pdf, 500 KB] can be downloaded HERE

3. San Antonio, TX (USA)
Two-Day Special Course on IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, and DNP3 will be held at the Remote 2009 Conference and Expo in San Antonio, TX (USA) on 29-30 October 2009

The program and registration form can be accessed HERE

This event will educate you in the latest development of the Backbone for the "Smart Grid": The advanced Automation of the power generation, transmission and distribution systems and process Automation systems with standard compliant devices and systems.

These events make you, the experts - the most crucial asset! - smarter.

Friday, May 8, 2009

IEC 61850: German-Korean Cooperation

The Korean Electrical Manufacturers Association (KOEMA), and DKE  (Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik im DIN und VDE) signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to cooperate in the domain of power system standardization: especially with regard to IEC 61850 and SmartGrid. DKE K 952 mirrors the IEC TC 57 activities on IEC 61850. DKE has published several documents on the use of IEC 61850 [web page with use cases in English].

Click HERE for press release on the MoU in German.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Interoperability - Key for Smart Grid

NIST to Receive $610 Million Through Recovery Act

"The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will receive $610 million in funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The agency will use the funds for programs that support U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness, key factors in spurring economic growth.

The Act provides $220 million in direct appropriations for NIST laboratory research, competitive grants, research fellowships, and advanced research and measurement equipment and supplies. ... Additional funding transferred to NIST from other federal agencies includes ... $10 million for collaborative efforts to develop a comprehensive framework for a nationwide, fully interoperable smart grid for the U.S. electric power system."

Click HERE for more details from NIST.

What is Interoperability? According to IEC 61850 it is the ability of two or more IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices) from the same or different vendors, to exchange information and use that information for correct execution of a specified function.Interoperability needs to be tested - just claiming that a device is conformant to a standard is not sufficient. STRI (Ludvika, Sweden) provides interoperability tests for IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 compliant devices.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Smart People - The most crucial asset for Smart Power Systems

As a consultant for Power Automation Systems I am traveling all over educating utility people to better understand the paradigm shift from today's - some times electromechanical - solutions to the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in the power world. I am very concerned that the most crucial Asset - the PEOPLE - is often understood to save money: less people, less education, less ... leads to better profits - yes, in the Short Term!

This morning I read a very interesting (not surprising) viewpoint written by the Editor Emeritus of the Hydro Power Magazine HRW (May 2009 issue, Vol. 17, No 2) with the title:

Dams and Hydropower Endure ...
Yet, the Right People Are Needed!

"Dams and hydropower facilities are almost uniquely enduring ... in a world too often focused on the "next quarter" (or, perhaps, the next election). Many beneficial facilities exceed 50 -and some 100 -years of age.
While such facilities can seem ageless, the people who tend to them are not. In fact, multiple generations of educated, trained, and experienced individuals are required to care for these facilities. As things continually change, it's important that personnel needs not be minimized. It must remain a top priority to do what's necessary to ensure that people are available and well-trained to provide needed stewardship. ... Today there is a heightened concern over adequate staffing and technical support, as policy-and decision-makers often have quite limited knowledge of the needs, associated risks, and possible consequences of failing to appropriately address "people" needs."

Low and high level investments in the power industry are really challenging. In the recent years you could see many companies cutting personal - often the well educated and experienced experts left their firm in the age of 55 to 60. Many experts are still available. Some of them are really not looking for the paradigm shift because this would require to learn a lot of new stuff. I have heard that a manager said: "If you want to use this new technology, you have wait until I have retired!"

Some two years ago I did some education on IEC 61850 at a small utility. Some six months later I asked about the progress they made in the meantime. The answer was: "We are still two retirements away from IEC 61850!"

The years to come may provide huge investments (many billions of USD or EUR or ... for the Smart Grid). Check the announcements of the last days or weeks.

How could the relatively few engineers spent this huge amount of money? Often the utilities will just buy what's available - to keep the power flowing. There is usually not much time at all to get the key people trained in order to become able to use the new technology for the benefit of the utility. Investing huge amounts of money without a solid and well thought plan will lead to this: Today's solution will become tomorrow's problems.

The Power Delivery Systems Endures ...
Yet, the Right People Are Needed - people educated and experienced!

Education is when you study the new ICT solutions based on International Standards -- Experience is what you get if you don't. Human beings learn only by experience - but only by their own experience. Benefit from the experienced senior engineers that are open to the use of advanced ICT.

Read the following paper discussing the "Impact of IEC 61850 on System Engineering, Tools, Peopleware and the Role of the System Integrator" [full paper] and [slides]

Finally, let me briefly discuss "Smart Grids":

"Data" becomes "Smart Data"
"Smart Data" becomes "Smarter Data"

"Grid" becomes "Smart Grid"
"Smart Grid" becomes "Smarter Grid"

"People" need to become "Smart People"
"Smart People" need to become "Smarter People"

Smart (well educated) People are the prerequisite to use data, software, devices, tools, and the grid to build Smart Power Systems!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Testing IEC 61850 Relays and Substations

Megger provides a test device to monitor GOOSE messages, e.g., messages to trip a circuit breaker etc.

The test device can be configured using a SCL file.

 Click HERE for more information on the MPRT test tool.

Test sets from Omicron, Doble and Megger are in action during the Hands-on Training sessions of STRI & NettedAutomation. Click HERE for information on the Hands-on Training scheduled for Frankfurt, 20-23 October 2008.

Hands-on Training on IEC 61850 in Frankfurt

NettedAutomation and STRI offer the next Comprehensive & Independent Hands-on Training to be held in Frankfurt (Germany) on 20-23 October 2009:

The Future of Power Systems Requires Comprehensive Know-how IEC 61850 is the global standard for Power System Automation (generation, transport, distribution ... high, medium and low voltage levels). It allows for an open and “future proof” design, different architectures and possibilities to combine products from multiple vendors. In order for users and system integrators to utilize the benefits of IEC 61850 it is necessary for power utilities, integrators and vendors to education their most crucial asset – people, and start the migration to IEC 61850.

Click HERE for the program and other details.

US President's commitment to energy research and education

US President Obama has committed to high increase in funding for the future of the US energy supply. I a speech to the National Academy of Sciences he made a very strong commitment to support R&D, education, ... to "enlist the talents and skills of the very best American scientists
and engineers
to address current fundamental scientific roadblocks to clean energy and energy security."

"In the 1950s and 1960s, Sputnik and the space race inspired young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. The average age of NASA’s Mission Control during the Apollo 17 Mission, for example, was 26.
President Obama believes that we have a similar opportunity to inspire today’s young people to tackle the single most important challenge of their generation – the need to develop cheap, abundant, clean energy and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy." ...

"The President’s initiative will empower young men and women to invent and commercialize advanced energy technologies such as efficient and cost effective methods for converting sunlight to electricity and fuel, carbon capture and sequestration, stationary and portable advanced
batteries for plug-in electric cars, advanced energy storage concepts that will enable sustained energy supply from solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources, high-efficiency deployment of power across “smart grids” and carbon neutral commercial and residential buildings."

Click HERE for the complete ARPA-E news letter.

Education on international standards is one of the pillows of the future "smart grids" - education of people that want to become engineers and education of engineers that are already working for years. In some years down the road most young engineers are likely to have a solid knowledge of modern information and communication technologies. In the meantime many well experienced power engineers need to understand better the change in power system automation: the shift from wires to smart networks: to the distributed energy web. Every node in the network would have to be awake, responsive, flexible, and – most important – interconnected with everything else!

Click HERE for a comprehensive paper on "Seamless Communication with IEC 61850 for Distributed Power Generation" (presented in 2002 at the DistribuTech 2002, Miami)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

IEC 61968 (CIM) - Large scale interoperability test in Europe

UCTE (Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of Electricity) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, USA), along with European and American vendors and Transmission System Operators (TSO) organized a large CIM (Common Information Model) interoperability test. The test, held on March 23rd – 27th in Paris, was organized by UCTE, directed by EPRI and hosted by RTE (TSO of France).

CLICK here for the UCTE press release.

CLICK here to learn about CIM.

UCTE is the association of transmission system operators in continental Europe, providing a reliable market base by efficient and secure electric "power highways". An "electronic highway" for ITC (information technology and communication) is under way.

Role-based access control for IEC 61850, ...

The IEC TC 57 Committee Draft for IEC/TS 62351-8 Ed. 1.0 has been published the other day (document 57/1001/CD):
Power systems management and associated information exchange - Data and communications security - Part 8: Role-based access control.

Closing date for comments: 2009-08-07
(contact your national TC 57 committee for a copy).

This document provides a technical specification for access control in power systems. The power system environment supported by this specification is enterprise-wide and extends beyond traditional borders to include external providers, suppliers, and other energy partners.

This specification defines role-based access control (RBAC) for enterprise-wide use in power systems. It supports a distributed or service-oriented architecture where security is distributed service and applications are consumers of distributed services.

The access control for IEC 61850 data objects is to implement by the virtual access view with the following roles:

  • VIEW right: Allows the user/role to discover what objects are present within a Logical Device. If this right is not granted to a user/role, the Logical Device for which the View privilege has not been granted shall not appear.
  • READ right: Allows the user/role to obtain the values of objects that are present within a logical device.
  • DATASET right: Allows the user/role to have full management rights for both permanent and non-permanent DataSets.
  • REPORTING right: Allows a user/role to use buffered reporting as well as un-buffered reporting.
  • FILE right: Allows the user/role to have restricted rights for File Services.
  • CONTROL right: Allows a user to perform control operations.
  • CONFIG right: Allows a user to remotely configure certain aspects of the server.
  • SETTINGGROUP right: Allows a user to remotely configure Settings Groups.
  • MNGT right: Allows the role to transfer substation configuration language files and other files, as well as delete existing files.
  • SECURITY: Allows a user/role to perform security functions at both a Server/Service Access Point and Logical Device basis.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Two day seminar on IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, DNP3; October 29-30, San Antonio (TX)

A Two-Day Special Course on IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, DNP3 will be held during the "Remote 2009 Conference and Expo", October 29th & 30th, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas (USA).

The reality of the world-wide retiring process of the most valuable assets (the senior engineers in the utilities) the aging systems, the companies tightening budgets and lowering sales expectations could bring some great opportunities for everyone involved in information management of local and remote devices and processes. Less people means less proprietary solutions could be supported. This is the time for a single, internationally standardized and accepted solution: IEC 61850.

In this comprehensive 2-day workshop students learn the fundamental concepts and vision of the IEC 61850 standard series. Students compare traditional solutions like DNP3 and the new OPC UA to IEC 61850 and discuss the strength each method offers. All the IEC 61850 standards, their extensions, and many application domains are briefly discussed and the class delves into IEC 61850 real-time and client/server solutions.

Click HERE for full details and registration information.