Wednesday, November 25, 2009

IEC 61131-3 and IEC 61499 in action

The standard IEC 61499 (Functionblocks) is implemented on several platforms. NXTControl demonstrates a couple of PLCs (from Beckhoff, Siemens, ...) with IEC 61499 at the SPS/IPC/DRIVES Fair in Nuremberg (Germany) this week. 

After discussions with several experts I expect a big move towards more standards in the Automation arena. The financial crisis lets more people think about using well accepted international standards - to get rid of too many vendor specific or even standardized solutions.

IEC 61499 focuses on:

Portability: the ability of software tools to accept and correctly interpret library elements produced by other software tools.

Configurability: the ability of devices and their software components to be configured (selected, assigned locations, interconnected and parameterized) by multiple software tools.

Interoperability: the ability of devices from different vendors operating together to perform the functions specified by one or more distributed applications.

The interoperability is mainly provided by a standardized international information and information exchange standard like IEC 61850. Several people I met at the fair yesterday are looking for the combination of the two standards: IEC 61499 and IEC 61850. More to come soon.

Click HERE for the comparison of IEC 61131-3 and IEC 61499.
Click HERE for other posts on this blog that discuss IEC 61499 and IEC 61850 to get to really sustainable interoperability.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AEP Ohio gridSMART Demonstration Project funded with US$ 150.000.000

US DoE Secretary Chu announced on Nov. 24, 2009, a total of $620 Million for 32 Smart Grid Demonstration and Energy Storage Projects.

"The projects include streamlined communication technologies that will allow different parts of the grid to “talk” to each other in real time; sensing and control devices that help grid operators monitor and control the flow of electricity to avoid disruptions and outages; smart meters and in-home systems that empower consumers to reduce their energy use and save money; energy storage options; and on-site and renewable energy sources that can be integrated onto the electrical grid."

"The project will include 13 different technologies from the substation to the customer, including distribution automation and control, smart meters and appliances, home area networks, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, energy and battery storage, and renewable generation sources."

This is the time for Standards like IEC 61850, DNP3, IEC 61400-25, IEC 61968/70 CIM, ... to make the Grid smarter. After many years in operation these standards are mature for large scale implementations.

Recovery Act funding granted: $435,200,987
Total Project Value Including Cost Share: $877,241,878

Click HERE for the full press release.
Click HERE for the list of funded projects.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Information Models and Protocols for Smart Grids

"The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), a new stakeholder forum to provide technical support to the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as it coordinates standards for a modernized electric power system, concluded today (19. Nov. 2009) with election of 20 members to its governing board."

Key for the SGIP is to "coordinate the development of a framework that includes protocols and model standards for information management to achieve interoperability of smart grid devices and systems.”

Click HERE for the press release.

IEC 61850 at the Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies

"The first Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies, sponsored by the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) and hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will be held January 19‐21, 2010 in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. The Conference will be a forum for the participants to discuss the state‐of‐the‐art innovations in smart grid technologies. The Conference will feature special sessions and tutorials by international experts on smart grid applications."

Paper presentation at the conference:

"Towards the Energy Web via Standards-enabled Smart Grid"

Valeriy Vyatkin, Senior Member, IEEE,
Gulnara Zhabelova, non-member,
Neil Higgins, Member, IEEE,
Mihaela Ulieru, Senior Member, IEEE
Karlheinz Schwarz, Member, IEEE and
Nirmal-Kumar C Nair, Member, IEEE

Abstract -- In this paper we propose an information and control architecture for Smart Grid based on the combination of upcoming industrial standards and intelligent control methods. We make the case that an incremental approach is required for the transition to the Smart Grid and propose a way of doing that through bringing intelligence down to the level of substation automation devices. The architecture employs two strong international standards, IEC 61850 and IEC 61499, to enrich the applications that can be created using interoperable Smart Grid devices. Interoperability and open configurability - key enablers for efficient application of the revolutionary EnergyWeb ideas – are evident in this architecture.
The utility network is modelled as IEC 61850-compliant logical nodes, embedded in an IEC 61499 distributed automation framework. The system is simulated in an IEC 61499 execution environment combined with Matlab, and is proven to achieve simple fault location and power restoration goals through collaborative behaviour.

Click HERE for the conference website.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Active and Reactive Power Control with IEC 61400-25-2

The focus of the IEC 61400-25 series is on the communications between wind power plant components such as wind turbines and actors such as SCADA systems. IEC 61400-25-2 specifies the information model of devices and functions related to wind power plant applications. These models extend IEC 61850-7-x models. Almost all definitions, hardware and software solutions available for IEC 61850 can be used for IEC 61400-25-2. In particular, IEC 61400-25-2 specifies the compatible logical node names, and data names for communication between wind power plant components.

The standard IEC 61400-25-2 defines a comprehensive list of information models (Logical Nodes) for wind turbines, e.g.:

  • WTUR - Wind turbine general information
  • WROT - Wind turbine rotor information
  • WTRM - Wind turbine transmission information
  • WGEN - Wind turbine generator information
  • WCNV - Wind turbine converter information
  • WTRF - Wind turbine transformer information
  • WNAC - Wind turbine nacelle information
  • WYAW - Wind turbine yawing information
  • WTOW - Wind turbine tower information

The most crucial Logical Nodes are likely the

  • WAPC - Wind power plant active power control information
  • WRPC - Wind power plant reactive power control information

These models describe the "interface" between a complete park and the grid operator for control purposes. These Logical Nodes can be used for other power resources like CHP, PV, ... The German EEG (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz) accelerates the application of IEC 61400-25 tremendously, because the Grid Operator needs more information about the park and he needs to control the whole power system in cases of faults and critical conditions - wind power plants and other resources are an integrated part of the whole system. These resources cannot be treated just as negative loads.

The WAPC (active power control) comprises the following Data Objects:

Status information

  • Actual number of wind turbines in operation
  • Active Power Limitation Mode Enabled
  • Active Power Control Mode Enabled controlling apparent power
  • Gradient Function Enabled
  • Delta Function Enabled


  • Wind Power Plant active power output capability
  • Wind Power Plant active power output
  • Wind Power Plant apparent power
  • Wind Power Plant Gradient
  • Wind Power Plant active power reserve utilizing the Delta function –
    the difference between active power generation capability and active
    power generated

Control information

  • Activate active power control function
  • Activate apparent power control function
  • Activate gradient control function
  • Activate delta control function
  • Set reference value for the wind power plant active power output
  • Set reference value for the wind power plant apparent power output
  • Set reference value for gradient ramping up the wind power plant active power output
  • Set reference value for gradient ramping down the wind power plant
    active power output
  • Set reference value for the wind power plant active power reserve –
    also named as “spinning reserve”

The information provided by these models is crucial for a future stable power delivery system.

Seats for IEC 61850 Tutorial at the SPS/IPC/DRIVES available

The Tutorial "IEC 61850 - Die universale Norm für die Informations-Integration" during the SPS/IPC/DRIVES on Tuesday, 24.11.2009, 14:00 - 17:00 is approaching quite fast ... just 7 days left to register! The presentation is in German - presentation material is in English.

Please note that a real live demo will show crucial benefits of the new standard - for power automation and industrial automation. What is industrial automation without POWER (automation)?

Several manufacturers will show IEC 61850 connectivity ... one is Beckhoff.

Click HERE for the program and other details.
Click HERE for information on Beckhoff's support of IEC 61850/61400-25.

Access to key O&M data by use of IEC 61400-25

Availability of online and historical data is a prerequisite for effective operation and maintenance (O&M) of wind power plants. This is where the standard series IEC 61400-25 "Wind turbines – Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants" comes in. IEC 61400-25 is mainly an extension of the definitions of IEC 61850. A substation does not have a rotor - obviously. So we had to add a model for the rotor with WROT as the standard Logical Node and WROT.RotSpd as the data object for the rotor speed. Where ever a rotor of a wind mill turns it could be modeled as WROT.RotSpd. Since the publication of the standard series there is no need for vendor specific communication solutions and no need for myriads of Excel or Word tables of signal lists that specify the rotor speed with some kind of an index. What does "A2839" mean? May be it is the rotor speed of a turbine running in Buxtehude" - who knows. Of course it takes some time to have the standard implemented ... a couple of IEC 61400-25 conformant products are already available.

According to a presentation at the the European Offshore Wind 2009 Conference & Exhibition, 14 – 16 September, Stockholm (Sweden): "Vattenfall, Statkraft and DONG Energy have all included the IEC 61400-25 series in their requirements specifications. Support for the standard is one of the evaluation criteria for the delivery of new wind power plants."

Click HERE for the poster presented in Stockholm.
Click HERE for a paper on the subject.
Click HERE for a presentation.

Monday, November 16, 2009

OpenGrid uses IEC 61850 and IEC 60870-6-TASE.2

The Current Group developed a so-called "OpenGrid" specification as a "software foundation to enable Smart Grid applications deployed today and in the future.  The OpenGrid platform provides the network and data management system to integrate any grid device, including intelligent sensors, capacitor banks, tap changers, reclosers, switches, substation devices and meters with a variety of low-latency IP based communications systems."

Key components are (many based on IEC standards developed by IEC TC 57) a "Smart Grid communication network using industry standard protocols such as IEC 61850, DNP3, IP and SNMP" and "SCADA integration adapters utilizing ICCP TASE.2, while GIS and OMS integration adapters are built using IEC 61968-11 CIM".

Click HERE to learn more about the OpenGrid.

Friday, November 13, 2009

RWE awarded Development of IEC 61400-25 for Wind Power Control System

RWE (second biggest German Utility) awarded Mr. Pascal Dresselhaus for the development of an IEC 61400-25 compliant software for a Beckhoff PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). He implemented the mapping to MMS according to IEC 61850-8-1. Mr. Dresselhaus' Diploma-Thesis "Entwicklung einer Bibliothek für die Kommunikation von Windkraftanlagen nach IEC 61400-25" won the highest award! Congratulation!

The development is now available as a Product of Beckhoff.

Click HERE for some information related to the Development (English).
Click HERE for the press release of RWE (German only).
Click HERE for the press release of the Fachhochschule Südwestfalen (German only)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First Part of IEC 61850 Edition 2 Approved

The first part of Edition 2 of IEC 61850 has been approved for publication:

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation -
Part 6: Configuration description language for communication in electrical substations related to IEDs (SCL).

Note that the application domain of the configuration language is much broader than for substations. Part 6 can easily applied to any IED that uses Logical Devices, Logical Nodes, Data Objects and common data classes. Only the Substation Section (describing the single line diagram) is specific to electrical substations. The rest is quite common. Experts of IEC 61400-25 have recently discussed with IEC 61850-6 experts on how to add a corresponding wind power turbine model - as an extension - to IEC 61850-6. The work on such an extension is likely to start in 2010. The same is true for hydro power plants and DER.

Further parts of Edition 2 of IEC 61850 will follow in 2010.

Click HERE for the official webpage for IEC 61850-6.

Friday, November 6, 2009

General Electric to support University education

General Electric will donate an Innovation Lab for power systems and communications to The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.

The Lab will help in training on power system protection and automation of electrical substations, including the use of IEC 61850 and Ethernet communication. This is a major step in educating more young people in advanced information and communication technologies for the future power system.

Click HERE for the full press release.