Tuesday, September 29, 2009

100 million US Dollar for single Smart Grid Project!?

Yes! The U.S. government is spending some 4.5 billion US Dollar to smart grid development as part of the economic stimulus package. In San Diego (CA) a coalition of some 25 organizations is applying for 100 million US Dollar of the stimulus funds! The coalition will increase renewable generation, ... store electricity and use more sensors, communication technologies and automation to interconnect the resources.

Click HERE to read the UCSD news release.

A portion of this money may be spend to develop several new communication solutions or it can be invested to apply available standards like DNP3, IEC 61850, ... TASE.2, BacNet.

Click HERE to get a copy of the 3rd edition of the "Comparison of IEC 60870-5-101/-103/-104, DNP3,
and IEC 60870-6-TASE.2 with IEC 61850"

U.S. Smart Grid development gets support from Europe

AREVA’s Transmission and Distribution division (T&D, based in France) announced the other day that it will deliver crucial components (IEDs - Intelligent Electronic Devices) to support Smart Grid research by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

AREVA provides 13 different IEDs, to be used in the Institute’s labs. The devices will help EPRI to implementing the ‘Smart Grid’: distance protection, transformer protection, line current differential management, feeder management, phasor measurement and GPS time synchronization.
The devices provided by AREVA and other companies, will be used to build a small Smart Grid so that various scenarios and tests can be performed. One of the building blocks will be the IEC 61850 process bus and station bus for system wide interoperability. 

“The goal of this project is to provide a test bed for new ideas to address the challenges facing the Smart Grid,” noted Paul Myrda, Technical Executive at EPRI. “Ultimately, we expect to couple this facility with our existing ‘living lab’ that primarily deals with end-user devices and with our ‘Sensor’ lab that is focused on asset health assessment.”

Smart Grids will be composed of devices, systems and tools from multiple vendors. The key issue in multi-vendor projects is the Interoperability of all components that provide or consume information for the many tasks.

An interoperability test lab based on the IEC 61850 station bus has been build up by STRI (Ludvika, Sweden):

Click HERE for an overview about the IEC 61850 Interoperability lab.
Click HERE for a story on "The true meaning of IEC 61850 - Interoperability!"
Click HERE to see what's next on the agenda of training for multi-vendor systems.

Monday, September 28, 2009

E-Energy Jahreskongress 26.-27.11.2009 in Berlin

Das Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie veranstaltet den ersten E-Energy Jahreskongress am Donnerstag 26.11. und Freitag 27.11. im Konferenzzentrum des BMWi in Berlin.

Mit den E-Energy-Projekten soll in Deutschland der "Durchbruch zum intelligenten Elektrizitätssystem" (oder - wie die Angelsachsen sagen: Smart Grid) erreicht werden!

Laut Veranstalter "bietet der E-Energy Jahreskongress Gelegenheit, Ergebnisse, Akteure und das große Potenzial von E-Energy konkret kennenzulernen. Dem interessierten Fachpublikum bietet der Kongress die Möglichkeit, mit allen E-Energy Projektbeteiligten sowie prominenten Vertretern aus Politik, Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft zu diskutieren. Seien Sie dabei, wenn die Weichen für das Energieversorgungssystem der Zukunft gestellt werden."

Sie sollten sich unbedingt kurzfristig um eine Vorregistrierung bemühen!

Klicken Sie HIER, um zum Programm und zur Anmeldeseite zu gelangen.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Security measures for IEC 60870-5-101 and -104

The standards IEC 60870-5-101 and -104 are in use for many years and will be applied during the next years. The security measures of these protocols need to be improved to meet the market requirements. These standards are used for the communication between control centers and underlying systems like substations or power plants.

A New Work Item (Security Extensions to IEC 60870-5-101 and IEC 60870-5-104 protocols; IEC document 57/1029/NP) has been proposed to apply the just published Technical Specification IEC 62351-5 for 101 and 104: The ballot for the NWP closes 2009-12-11. If you are interested to join that work, please contact your national committee of the IEC TC 57.

IEC/TS 62351-5 Ed. 1.0 - Power systems management and associated information exchange - Data and communications security - Part 5: Security for IEC 60870-5 and derivatives

Click HERE for a preview of IEC/TS 62351-5.

Telecontrol equipment and systems – Part 5-101: Transmission protocols - Companion standard for basic telecontrol tasks

Click HERE for a preview of -101.

Telecontrol equipment and systems – Part 5-104: Transmission protocols – Network access for IEC 60870-5-101 using standard transport profiles

Click HERE for a preview of -104.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Release of the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today (2009-09-24) unveiled an accelerated plan for developing standards to transform the U.S. power distribution system into a secure, more efficient and environmentally friendly Smart Grid and create clean-energy jobs.

The NIST Draft Publication "NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Release 1.0 (Draft)" published by the Office of the U.S. National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability" is the result of thousands of working-hours of hundreds of smart people from many states and countries.

Smart Grids will be build on standards. The most crucial standards are required for the following areas:

  • Demand Response and Consumer Energy Efficiency
  • Wide Area Situational Awareness
  • Electric Storage
  • Electric Transportation
  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure
  • Distribution Grid Management
  • Cyber Security
  • Network Communications

NIST found that the market has reached already consensus on 16 standards. After review of this list, there are now 31 standards understood as crucial for the smart grid. Many crucial IEC standards like standards from IEC TC 57: IEC 60870-6 (TASE.2), IEC 61850, IEC 61969/61970 (CIM), IEC 62351; IEC TC 65: IEC 62541; other committees: ISO/IEC 15045, ISO/IEC 15067, ISO/IEC 18012, ... are members of the list of the 31 standards!

The experts identified some 70 gaps in the list of standards. 14 gaps have been identified as MOST CRUCIAL to be solved:

"For each, an action plan has been developed, specific organizations tasked, and aggressive milestones in 2009 or early 2010 established. One action plan has already been completed. The Priority Action Plans and targets for completion are (in bold = impact from/on standards of IEC TC 57):

  1. Smart meter upgradeability standard (completed)
  2. Common specification for price and product definition (early 20I0)
  3. Common scheduling mechanism for energy transactions (year-end 2009)
  4. Common information model for distribution grid management (year-end 20I0)
  5. Standard demand response signals (January 2010)
  6. Standard for energy use information (January 2010)
  7. IEC 61850 Objects / DNP3 Mapping (2010)
  8. Time synchronization (mid-2010)
  9. Transmission and distribution power systems models mapping (year-end 20I0)
  10. Guidelines for use of IP protocol suite in the Smart Grid(mid-year20I0)
  11. Guidelines for use of wireless communications in the Smart Grid (mid-year 2010)
  12. Electric storage interconnection guidelines (mid-2010)
  13. Interoperability standards to support plug-in electric vehicles (December 2010)
  14. Standard meter data profiles (year-end 2010)

Click HERE to read the press release of today (2009-09-24).

Click HERE to download the 90 page Draft Release 1.0 of the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards

With that official Draft it is confirmed that crucial international Standards published by IEC TC 57, TC 65, and TC 88 are key for the sustainable interoperability of smart devices and smart systems in smart grids - developed by smart people.

Click HERE for a discussion on the availability of smart people.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What do you expect from Smart(er) Grids?

Saifur Rahman has summarized in the September 2009 issue of the IEEE "power & energy" magazine what experts believe could be expected from Smart(er) Grids.

In the first paragraph he states: "The term “smart grid” is almost becoming a household name. From the U.S. president talking about the smart grid to television commercials on this topic, we have a plethora of activities around the world where engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and businesses have shown a keen interest in various aspects of this technology. There are smart-grid-related funding opportunities, projects, seminars, conferences, and training programs going on in Europe, the United States, Japan, and China to name a few." There are millions of Dollars, Euro, ... waiting for "smart" managers to be spend by "smart" engineers.

Mr. Rahman's view on what is required for a Smart(er) distribution Grid is the implementation of:

  • Automated Meter Reading
  • Security and Privacy Issues
  • Advanced Communication Infrastructure and Cybersecurity
  • Ineroperability standards
  • Greening of the Grid
  • Business Model for Customer Level Integration

He asks, what is next? The answer is: "

I can see many nonutility players entering this smart-grid market and attempt to provide solutions. For example, many computer networking companies have plans to deliver an end-to-end, highly secure network infrastructure that helps utility customers take the most advantage of energy efficiency, demand reduction, and the integration of renewable energy sources in their homes and businesses. The end result may not be cost reduction but more value for the money spent and an environmentally friendly power grid."

Click HERE to read the view of Saifur Rahman as published in the IEEE "power & energy" magazine.

I took a photo of an interesting ad by IBM at the Berlin Tegel Airport (Germany) on 2009-09-15:


What I see allover is that ICT (information and communication technology) is meeting the power distribution world. BUT: Where are the utility (automation and protection) experts that can understand the impact of ICT on the availability and stability of the grid? There is not much automation implemented in distribution networks today. So, the ICT companies will provide smart solutions for a market that uses very little automation. Usually ICT experts know the "I" and "C" in ICT very well - but the distribution grid is mainly a huge electrical system between the already smart transmission grid and many users.

I hope that the people in charge for the distribution grids have a good understanding of the real-time electrical network! The electrical grid is quite different compared to a business dealing with bananas, orange juice or books.

Smart(er) Distribution Grids require first smart (electrical) engineers! There are smart engineers for the transmission grid ...

Click HERE for some information regarding the Lack of Power Engineers - A Risk for Smart Grids.

Friday, September 18, 2009

IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25: How to report errors, missing definitions or ambiguities

Standards like IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 are no exception when it comes to errors, missing definitions or ambiguities in the published documents. Most issues (called TISSUES - Technical issues) with regard to the first 14 parts have been solved during the last years. The edition 2 of the standard will be a "clean" version.

Recently new parts like IEC 61850-7-410 (Hydro Power extensions), IEC 61850-7-420 (DER extensions) and the standard series IEC 61400-25 (Wind Power extensions) have been published.

Click HERE if you have a TISSUE to report on IEC 61850-7-410 (Hydro)

Click HERE if you have a TISSUE to report on IEC 61850-7-420 (DER)

Click HERE if you have a TISSUE to report on IEC 61400-25 (Wind)

Before you post a new tissue you may first check if it has already been posted.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

PSI supports TASE.2 and CIM

PSI reports in the latest Magazine "energie manager" (1/2009) that they deliver a SCADA and DMS system for Enexis (Netherlands) supporting TASE.2 for inter-control center communication (IEC 60870-6) and CIM (Common Information Model, IEC 61968/70) for information exchange in the control center.

TASE.2, CIM along with IEC 61850 are crucial international standards published by IEC TC 57 "Power systems management and associated information exchange" and used in utilities (Electric, Gas, Oil, ...). The scope of the IEC TC 57 is "To prepare international standards for power systems control equipment and systems ...". Power systems means electric power systems. So, how can you use these standards, e.g., for the Gas applications? IEC stands for "International Electrotechnical Commission". So the scope is to prepare and publish International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.

It is somehow "forbidden" to claim that IEC standards like IEC 61850 are applicable for any other control equipment and systems outside the electrical world. BUT - from a technical point of view -: IEC 61850 could be understood as a framework of (extensible) information models, information exchange methods, and configuration language for devices and systems in many application domains. The first edition of the standard models did not provide a model for a rotor - because substations do not have rotors. We extended the information models for wind turbines (published under IEC 61400-25). So, you can define (or standardize in another organization) an object for "Gas pressure" ... and use the whole communication and configuration infrastructure available for substation automation - and vice versa.

Some people (that do not like these standards) argue against their applications outside the electric world by saying: "You can not use these IEC standards, because their scope is restricted to the electric world." Fortunately, technical solutions based on these standards do not care about what some people say!

Click HERE to search for CIM related blog entries of this blog.

Click HERE to read a brochure on IEC 61400-25 [pdf]

Click HERE to read a paper on IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25 and CIM [pdf]

Embedded controller exposes electric measurements through IEC 61850

A new, easy to install embedded device for electrical measurements provides crucial information on the status of the power system through the following information in (or near) real-time by an IEC 61850 Server:

  • Voltage L1 true RMS
  • Voltage L2 true RMS
  • Voltage L3 true RMS
  • Current L1 true RMS
  • Current L2 true RMS
  • Current L3 true RMS
  • Instantaneous Real Power
  • Instantaneous Reactive Power
  • Grid Frequency Power Angle (Cos Phi)


The IEC 61850 Server (build into the box shown above) provides the crucial MMXU Logical Node (3 phase Measurements) and COMTRADE formatted files of the values. The Server's Information model is shown below:



This Information model is derived from the real device (the server implemented at the device) via IEC 61850 self-description services. The model could be converted to an SCL file (according to IEC 61850-6):


A complete Substation Specification (.ssd and .scd file) according to IEC 61850-6 would provide also how the Information model is bound to the real electrical installation, e.g., where is the measurement taken etc. The complete description contained in the SCL file could be used by any system (Gateway, SCADA database, ...).

Further information models (calculated in an application or from the physical input/output terminals) can be implemented. The platform could be used for many applications in power systems and other domains.

QNE (Oldenburg/Germany) is active in the domain of Smart Metering, Embedded Real-Time HW/SW Systems, SCADA, Analog and Digital Transducers, Technology Consulting, Research & Development

Click HERE to read a two page flyer [pdf].

Friday, September 11, 2009

Paper on IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 accepted for DistribuTech 2010

The abstract "MONITORING OF POWER SYSTEM AND COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURES BASED ON IEC 61850 AND IEC 61400-25" (by Karlheinz Schwarz) has been accepted for presentation at the DistribuTech 2010 (Tampa, FL, USA).

The focus of the first edition of IEC 61850 was on substation operational aspects (mainly protection and control). Various groups have identified that IEC 61850 is the basis of further applications, e.g., monitoring of functions, processes, primary equipment, and the communication infrastructure in substations and other power system application domains. The second edition and other extensions provide new definitions to keep the high quality and availability of power systems, to reduce commissioning
time and life cycle costs.

Track Assignment: Enterprise Information and Asset Management
Session Assignment: Case Studies of Advanced Applications Extending Benefits of Automation & Control Data
Date: 2010-03-24 (Wednesday)
Time of session: 9:30 AM
Type of Session: paper

Click HERE for the abstract.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Beckhoff's TwinCAT supports IEC 61850

Beckhoff opens up new opportunities by implementing this communication protocol in a software PLC: The user can use a cost-effective standard PLC for controlling his electrical installation, which not only offers the benefits of PC-based control technology but can also communicate externally via the IEC 61850 compliant communication. The basic standard defines a general transmission protocol for protective and control equipment in medium and high voltage electrical substations. This means that time-consuming and costly special developments for the implementation of manufacturer-specific protocols are no longer required, and the associated engineering is simplified significantly.
Customers can utilize the complete communication stack developed by Beckhoff in the form of a PLC library.

As extension to the basic IEC 61850 standard, IEC 61400-25 defines the communication requirements for monitoring and controlling wind turbines. The integration of this standard into the TwinCAT library will simplify the control of heterogeneous wind farms significantly. The wind farm standard is characterized by a single wind power-specific datset, so that TwinCAT users can use TcIEC61850Server.lib for communication purposes and TcIEC61400_25.lib for specific logical nodes and common data classes.

Click HERE for a two page brochure in English.
Click HERE for a two page brochure in German.

The TwinCat solution will be used during the next Hands-on Training in Frankfurt (Germany) on October 23, 2009.

Click HERE for the program of the training in Frankfurt.

SystemCorp (Perth, Australia) offers new IEC 61850 IEDs

The IEC 61850 software stack PIS-10 accommodates client and server functionality. It is portable across various software platforms. Data throughput and other Ethernet related performance criteria are inherited from the operating system.

The stack supports MMS, GOOSE, Sampled Value functionality as well as buffered and unbuffered reporting. Data sets are defined using the WebCAN Designer Studio configuration software.

Protoocol conversation from other SCADA protocols such as IEC 8750-5-10 or DNP3.0 require only the additional executable files to be downloaded and configured through WebCAN Designer Studio.


  • Portable IEC 61850 Client and Server Software Stack PIS-10
  • Fully Integrated Single Chip Solution IPC-10
  • Compact Protocol Converter CFE-40
  • Distribution Remote Terminal Unit MRU-10
  • WebCAN Substation RTU and Data Gateway
  • WebCAN Designer Studio Configuration Tool


  • Microsoft Windows XP, 2003/2008 and Vista
  • Ubuntu Linux (x86,x86-64)
  • Embedded Linux (ARM, Coldfire)
  • Beck @Chip SC1x3 RTOS
  • Other platforms available on request

Click HERE for a two page description [pdf].

etz-Report 34 (IEC 61850) als E-Book erhältlich

Der etz Report 34 "Offene Kommunikation nach IEC 61850 für die Schutz- und Stationsleittechnik", 2004, 159 Seiten, DIN A4 ist jetzt auch als E-Book erhältlich:


Click HIER, um das Vorwort zu lesen.

Click HIER für weitere Informationen zum E-Book (Inhalt, Bestellung, ...).

Saturday, September 5, 2009

IEC 61850-6 (SCL) - Final ballot on Configuration Language Edition 2

The most crucial part of the second edition of IEC 61850 "Communication networks and systems for power utility automation" -Part 6 "Configuration description language for communication in electrical substations related to IEDs" is available for final (FDIS) Ballot until November 06, 2009. This is the first part of Edition 2 that is out for Ballot.

The new edition fixes some technical issues of the first edition. Extensions are based on changes in other parts, e.g., Part 7-2 and 7-3; the engineering process, especially for configuration data exchange between system configuration tools, has been added.

Contact your national TC 57 committee for a copy if you want to do a final check of the document. The files distributed by IEC contain all xml schema files etc. needed to create and interpret SCL files.

Example SCL file from AREVA (.icd file), Edition 1 compliant.

Note that the SCL (Substation Configuration Language) would be better named: System Configuration Language. Main parts of the standard can be used for many other application domains. Any information that can be modeled with Logical Nodes and Data Objects according to IEC 61850 rules, can be used as domain specific "words". The communication of these "words" from a "sender" (Server and Publisher) to a "receiver" (Client and Subscriber) can be described in SCL. The communication may be realized with MMS (Client/Server), or GOOSE and SMV (Publisher/Subscriber).

The new "words" may be a "Fish Counter" in a hydro power plant or a "Bird Counter" in a wind turbine. SCL can describe (without any modification) that a device (Server) provides this information and that it can automatically be communicated by IEC 61850 reporting to another computer (Client) every day or be stored locally in an IEC 61850 log. The CSL file can be used to automatically configure the server and/or the client!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Interoperable Standards for Smart Grid: US$ 8.5 million for two year support to get there

The Smart Grid in the U.S. (and all over!) relies on information and networking technologies to allow advanced control and communication capabilities. "It is a key component of President Obama’s plans to achieve energy independence and to address climate change.", according to NIST.

NIST has awarded EnerNex (based in Knoxville, TN, USA) to help in developing "Smart Grid interoperability standards" and helping in standards "harmonization effort". Under the US$ 8.5 million contract, EnerNex will help NIST during the next two years to reach a higher level of interoperability of systems and devices needed for a smart(er) electric power delivery system.

Many people in charge of the U.S. power delivery system - obviously - have understood the importance of a sustainable Interoperability in the utility domain.

Two crucial "interoperability projects" have been run by EPRI many years ago: UCA 1.0 and UCA 2.0. The UCA 2.0 was taken over by IEC TC 57 as the foundation of IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25. The GREAT cooperation between the North American experts and experts from all over has let to the BIG success of UCA 2.0 - which is (of course) now IEC 61850.

Click HERE for a comparison of UCA 2.0 and IEC 61850.

I would appreciate if the history would repeat: The development of the many standards for a SMART(er) GRID will be done by international cooperation for a global market!! The need for smarter systems is an international requirement - to the good of human beings and the nature - in Russia, Germany, USA, Australia, ... Smart experts at TERNA (the Italian TSO) have already started to make the Italian Transmission Grid smarter with IEC 61850:


... and some 350 Indian experts have been trained on IEC 61850 in a three day event in Bangalore:


And how are you getting involved? With the help of real experts you can speed up your knowledge in international smart grid standards very fast - ask the right experts during the upcoming IEC 61850 events in Frankfurt, San Antonio, Nürnberg, Brisbane and Sydney, ...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

IEC 61850 Hands-on Training in Brisbane and Sydney (Australia) confirmed

The final program, locations, and dates for two 3 day events in Australia are now confirmed:

Brisbane (Australia): 30 November - 02 December 2009
Sydney (Australia): 02-04 December 2009

According to feedback from interested experts we have modified the program to have more practical exercises (1 1/2 days theory and 1 1/2 hands-on training with real IEDs).

Click HERE for the final program, registration form and other details [pdf].

Please note that the event in Brisbane is almost sold out. Several seats are available for the Sydney event.

We are confident, that our experience and service will meet all your expectations! You’d get first-hand, very comprehensive, vendor neutral and up-to-date knowledge, experience, and guidance; learn how to reach interoperability of devices; You'd get best advice - for the best price.

I look forward to seeing you down under later this year.

Please feel free to forward this email to any colleagues who you think might be interested in the event.