Friday, December 31, 2010

Greetings from (C)old Germany

As 2010 comes to a close, I want to say "Thank You!" for visiting the IEC 61850 Blog. We wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2011.

I look forward to serving you with a lot of news during the next year - there will be a lot to be reported in 2011.

Best Regards,

Early morning winter impressions in our backyard ... the palm tree is protected by some lights - we hope that it will survive:


A very cold morning ... the fish pond is frozen ... the sun is very low:


We have more snow as usual ... even here in the Rhine river valley we have a lot.

... and some greetings from my IEC 61850 dolls explaining the modeling approach of IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25:

An IED contains a Logical Device ...


... a Logical Device contains a Logical Node, a Logical Node contains a DataObject, a DataObject contains ...


To access the specific DataObject ("Tmp", Temperature Value) you have to "open" an IED ("MyDevice" at, e.g.,, open a Logical Device ("MyLD"), open a Logical Node ("STMP1") and get the "Tmp.mag.i"

Any question?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some applications of SCL (IEC 61850-6)

The System Configuration Language serves many applications in substations and in distributed automation in general. Often people are a little bit confused ... they read here and there - but do not get the full story.

The following list is intended to help people to find a way to get a better understanding:

1. To understand SCL (System Configuration Language) I recommend to read/study IEC 61850-6 Edition 2.

2. There are many applications of SCL files (some may not be found in any standard):

  • System design → single line diagram (re-useable designs in library)
  • IED development → IED capabilities
  • System engineering → System configuration (re-useable config.)
  • IED configuration/parameterization → running IEDs
  • Documentation → provides view of system
  • Plausibility/verification → check if system is able to run
  • Self description of IEDs → Retrieve IED section from IED
  • Validation of Device content → Check model against standard
  • Simulate I/Os of IEDs for testing → Fieldbus driven remote I/O
  • Simulate IEDs → Generate virtual IEDs on computer from SCL file
  • Message interpretation → Use SCL file to get semantic of the model

One or the other tool is needed for all of these applications. Some tools are available, other tools are under development ... the good thing is: the files are all written in ASCII-Code !! so that your 16 year old son or daughter can write simple but powerful tools by just searching and comparing TEXT !!

Example: It is easy to check if for every control block in an Input section (Sink) there is an IED with exactly that control block (Source) ... and so on.

3. SCL is not complex - it is very comprehensive. I have conducted many seminars and training sessions on IEC 61850 ... SCL is very crucial to understand ... SCL is 51 per cent of the standard in the long run ... in my opinion.

4. The blue sky is the limit of the use of SCL.

5. Today's implementations of IEDs and Tools is quite limited ... but wait ...

6. A two-page overview of IEC 61850 can be found here:

I wish you and your family a healthy and happy new year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

IEC 61850 provides a lot for the Smart Electrification

The recently published IEC white paper :

Coping with the Energy Challenge
The IEC’s role from 2010 to 2030
Smart electrification – The key to energy efficiency

discusses the need of standards! No surprise, or?

Click HERE to download the white paper [pdf, 1,9 MB]

The paper concludes on page 51:

"The standards should cover connection (especially of fluctuating sources), stability, “intelligence” (required functions of the IT applications controlling the grid), and minimum systemic efficiency as well as how to measure it. Aspects to deal with include balancing demand and generation, power quality, harmonic current emissions, voltage flicker, voltage fluctuation and islanding prevention. The standards should allow for the necessary differences in approach and choices made in different countries; thus some of the resulting publications may be non-normative.
In order to facilitate implementation, the MSB [IEC Market Strategy Board] further recommends the IEC and cooperating organizations to organize a public symposium on what the necessary standards and other IEC publications on the “smart grid” should contain."

The paper states at very beginning:

"As the first IEC President, Lord Kelvin, always said: “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it!”. This statement is especially true here: without measurement you can’t credibly demonstrate energy efficiency improvements. The IEC provides and will continue to provide many of the measuring standards that are the basis for benchmarking, energy audits and compliance assessments."

The edition 2 of IEC 61850-7-4 (Information models) covers already many models of these measurements:

5.10 Logical nodes for metering and measurement LN Group: M
5.10.2 LN: Environmental information Name: MENV
5.10.3 LN: Flicker measurement name Name: MFLK
5.10.4 LN: Harmonics or interharmonics Name: MHAI
5.10.5 LN: Non-phase-related harmonics or interharmonics Name: MHAN
5.10.6 LN: Hydrological information Name: MHYD
5.10.7 LN: DC measurement Name: MMDC
5.10.8 LN: Meteorological information Name: MMET
5.10.9 LN: Metering Name: MMTN
5.10.10 LN: Metering Name: MMTR
5.10.11 LN: Non-phase-related measurement Name: MMXN
5.10.12 LN: Measurement Name: MMXU
5.10.13 LN: Sequence and imbalance Name: MSQI
5.10.14 LN: Metering statistics Name: MSTA

5.12 Logical nodes for power quality events LN Group: Q
5.12.2 LN: Frequency variation Name: QFVR
5.12.3 LN: Current transient Name: QITR
5.12.4 LN: Current unbalance variation Name: QIUB
5.12.5 LN: Voltage transient Name: QVTR
5.12.6 LN: Voltage unbalance variation Name: QVUB
5.12.7 LN: Voltage variation Name: QVVR

Click HERE for the preview of IEC 61850-7-4 (first 20 pages) to see the complete list of Logical Nodes defined.

If there is any (measurement) information found in real electrical system not yet modeled and standardized, you can define extension according to well defined extension rules in IEC 61850-7-1 (name space concept).

There is no need to define another series of (information models and information exchange) standards for electrical grids.

IEC 61850-7-3 published as International Standard

The second edition of IEC 61850-7-3 Ed.2 has been published early December 2010:

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 7-3: Basic communication structure – Common data classes

The second edition replaces the first edition, published in 2003.

The second edition:

  • defines new common data classes used for new standards defining object models for other domains based on IEC 61850 and for the representation of statistical and historical data, and
  • provides clarifications and corrections to the first edition of IEC 61850-7-3.

Click HERE for the preview of the standard (first 20 pages).

IEC’s role from 2010 to 2030 - And IEC 61850

As 2010 comes to a close, I want to say "Thank You!" for visiting my blog.
We wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2011.

I look forward to providing useful information on IEC 61850 and related standards ... like the following:

While the big organizations are looking for the next 20 years to convert electrical grids to make them smarter, we (several working groups within IEC) are already working on it.

An IEC white paper discusses the need of standards:

Coping with the Energy Challenge
The IEC’s role from 2010 to 2030
Smart electrification – The key to energy efficiency

Click HERE to download the white paper [pdf, 1,9 MB]

The white paper recommends "IEC, in close cooperation with CIGRÉ, NIST and other relevant organizations, to develop rapidly a full and detailed set of standards giving minimal performance rules and a full set of options for the operation of grids. This should be conceived as a part of the set of standards needed by “smart grids”."

I guess that we have crucial parts of the "set of standards" already in use for some time: IEC 61850. IEC 61850 is definitely part of the future of a smarter grid !! Also in 2010 I have not seen any competing solution! IEC 61850 is a unique standard.

In 2010 I have seen a lot of requirements from the low voltage application domain (power distribution) in utility grids and in many other areas like buildings and factories.

One major step towards a broader use of IEC 61850 is the publication of the simple and very efficient free "Evaluation and Starter Kit for IEC 61850". The Kit has been downloaded several times per day ...

Click HERE for more information.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

VDE fordert zügigen Ausbau der Stromnetze

Laut einer Pressemitteilung des VDE haben Experten der Energiebranche in Mannheim die Roadmap für den Umbau der deutschen Stromnetze diskutiert. Mittlerweile gehört es zur Pflichtübung aller möglichen Organisationen eine Roadmap für den Einzug der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnik in die Energieverteilung zu erstellen. Längst bevor die ersten Normungs-Roadmaps erschienen, war die wichtigste Norm bereits veröffentlicht und im Einsatz.

Laut obiger Diskussion in Mannheim, "erfolgt die Aufrüstung zum Smart Grid im Wesentlichen durch Einbau und Nutzung von Sensoren und Aktoren sowie Informationstechnologie, um möglichst viele Informationen über den Zustand zu erhalten, also den Beobachtungs- und Steuerungsgrad deutlich zu steigern. Um zu einem smarten Verteilungsnetz zu kommen, werden die Ortsnetzstationen im ersten Schritt mit Mess- und Kommunikationseinrichtungen ausgerüstet."

Das gilt für die Energieversorgung in allen Regionen dieser Erde, in öffentlichen Netzen, in Gebäuden, Fabriken und anderen Liegenschaften - und für alle Spannungsebenen! Während an vielen Ort gerade begonnen wird, eine Normungs-Roadmap für die Kommunikations- und Informationstechniken zu erarbeiten - fahren viele bereits auf einer gut ausgebauten Autobahn für die Energieversorgung: Auf dem Highway "Route 61850".

IEC 61850 ist DIE internationale Norm für die (elektrische) Energieversorgung!

Hier KLICKEN, um zur VDE-Pressemitteilung zu gelangen.

NERC - Supports IEC 61850 to keep the Transmission and Distribution Grid reliable

NERC (North American Reliability Corporation) has just published an interesting comprehensive analysis of the impact of Smart Grids on the reliability of the transmission grids:

Reliability Considerations from Integration of Smart Grid
December 2010

The report recommends that the interoperability of devices and systems is one of the crucial issues in future electric power systems - including industrial sites and buildings. There is obviously one standard that supports the interoperability to a high extend on all voltage levels: IEC 61850.

On page 82 the report states: "An important example of why smart grid standards need to recognize the interoperability between equipments used in transmission and distribution, is the requirement of mapping of Distributed Network Protocol 3 (DNP3) with IEC 61850. DNP3 is the legacy communication protocol that is followed for large volume data exchanges between equipment. However, IEC 61850 is recognized to be a better standard suited for smart grid communications. To bridge the gap between the legacy DNP3 protocols and the newer IEC 61850, a mapping is required when exchanging certain data types. The goal is to ensure that data are seamlessly transported between devices regardless of their adopted communication standards. DNP3 has recently been adopted in IEEE Standard 1815. An IEEE standard and an SGIP PAP working group are currently supporting the mapping effort between IEC 61850 and the IEEE 1815/DNP3 standards."

Click HERE to download the full NERC report.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Normungs-Roadmap für E-Mobilität und IEC 61850

Über die Webseite des DIN (Berlin) wurde am 30.11.2010 die "Deutsche Normungs-Roadmap Elektromobilität" veröffentlicht:

Die deutsche Normungs-Roadmap
Elektromobilität – Version 1
Version 1 - 30. November 2010

Die Normungs-Roadmap referenziert auch die Normenreihe IEC 61850 als Bestandteil der zukünftigen Ladeinfrastruktur! Das war zu erwarten, weil in diesem Kontext beispielsweise auch das drei-phasige Drehstromnetz eine Rolle spielt, das bereits seit Jahren in einem Standard-Modell definiert ist: MMXU nach IEC 61850-7-4.

Als engagierter Normer (seit 25 Jahren) sehe ich mit den Smart(er)-Grid-Aktivitäten eine große Chance für die Normung!! Ich hoffe, dass alle betroffenen Kreise in Deutschland die bereits BESTEHENDEN Normen anwenden, und nicht - wie im Bereich der industriellen Feldbusnormung - in die Vielfalt verfallen!!

„Wir streben eine weltweite Normung an, um möglichst viele Synergien von nationalen und internationalen Konzepten zu erreichen – vor allem auch im Sinne des Kunden“, sagt Michael Dick in der Pressemitteilung zur Roadmap. Liegt hier der Schwerpunkt auf "weltweite Normung" oder "EINE weltweite Normung"?

Das ist ein lobenswertes Ziel! Die EINE Norm ist mit IEC 61850 für den Bereich der Ladeinfrastruktur im Wesentlichen bereits erreicht. Alle grundlegenden Teile der Normenreihe IEC 61850 und IEC 61400-25 sind seit mehreren Jahren bereits International Standard. Diese Normen sind zum guten Teil ohne Änderungen anwendbar!

Klicken Sie HIER zur Pressenotiz mit dem Link zur Normungs-Roadmap.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cost for IEC 61850 versus DNP3 or IEC 60870-5-104

Very often people ask me: "What is the cost for implementing of the protocols IEC 61850, DNP3 and IEC 60870-5-104? Isn't DNP3 cheaper?". First of all, IEC 61850 is much more than another protocol! IEC 61850 comprises communication services and protocols for SCADA and REAL-TIME applications. It offers metadata in the devices and self-description services, many information models and a very crucial System Configuration Language.


If we compare the SCADA services and protocols, we can expect that the efforts to implement one or the other communication protocol is more or less the same - when we implement a subset in IEC 61850 that is functionally equivalent to DNP3 and 104.

The other features of IEC 61850 (Real-time services and protocols, self-description services, many information models, and System Configuration Language) are NOT defined in DNP3 and 104. So, what does it mean to state that it is easier and cheaper to implement DNP3 and 104 than IEC 61850? If we want compare them, we should state exactly, what we compare!

If we compare just the underlying services and protocols: all three solutions require TCP/IP, ... -> no real difference!

Lets look at the messaging: All three require to encode and decode a variety of messages and sequences ... may be slightly different.

The basic data types like Double-Point, Status, Time-Stamp, Quality, ... are more or less the same.

What else do we want to compare? The other features are defined in IEC 61850 only. Comparison means: IEC 61850 HAS them - the others don't HAVE them. That's it.

SCL - For Substations or Systems?

The official title of IEC 61850-6:2009 Edition 2 (SCL) is:

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 6: Configuration description language for communication in electrical
substations related to IEDs

What does SCL stand for: "Substation Configuration Language" or "System Configuration Language"?

The official Abbreviation in the Edition 2 of part 6 is as follows:

SCL = "System Configuration description Language"

Except the substation section all other sections and definitions can be used for any application domain: hydro power, DER, wind power, power quality, SCADA, ...

CISCO to deliver IP Communication Infrastructure including Substations

EnergyAustralia selected Cisco's Connected Grid solution to build the core of its smart grid infrastructure with greater security, reliability, and operational efficiency, while complying with regulatory mandates and industry standards such as IEC 61850 and supporting new energy supply sources.

Click HERE for the news.

IEC 61850 Timestamp to overflow in 2038?

In 61850-7-2 Edition 1 the definition of TimeStamp.SecondSinceEpoch is an INT32, which represents seconds since 1/1/1970. This will overflow in 2038, at which time equipment now being developed will be in use.

The Timestamp type in IEC 61850-7-2 Edition 2 is INT32U. The timestamp will not overflow until 2106.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

IEC 61850 also for industrial applications?!

Karlheinz Schwarz (SCC) presented IEC 61850 to some 50 experts from the industrial automation domain at the KommA Colloquium in Lemgo (Germany) on Thursday (2010-11-11): 1. Jahreskolloquium „Kommunikation in der Automation (KommA 2010)“ Centrum Industrial IT (CIIT)

The title and paper are in German: "IEC 61850 nur für Schaltanlagen und Smart Grids – oder Kernmodell für die Automatisierung?"

Click HERE for the slides presented (almost all of the 32 slides are in English).

The presentation showed that IEC 61850 has been developed by experts from the electric power domain - especially substation engineers (protection, control, asset management, ...). The standard defines by the end of 2010 many information models that are applicable in any application domain. Example: the Logical Node STMP (Supervision of Temperature, according to IEC 61850-7-4 Ed2). The following excerpts of the presentation show the LN STMP and the implemented subset - check out the Evaluation/Starter Kit and the Beck IPC IEC61850@Chip that use this and other LNs.


The information model offers a build-in supervision functionality. The STMP1.Alm (Alarm) is spontaneously sent to a dedicated client (HMI, SCADA, Gateway, ...) as soon as the TMP value reaches the TmpAlmSpt (Alarm Setpoint Value - configured, programmed or set by a communication service):


The information model and its binding to the real application is described in a SCL file (System Configuration Language, IEC 61850-6). The SCL file is uploaded per FTP to the Beck Chip. After resetting the Chip, the application reads the SCL file, builds the model and binds it to the application.


The API between the IEC 61850 Stack (provided by SystemCorp, Perth, Western Australia) and the application is quite simple:


The underlying layers are presented and discussed during the Hands-on Training offered by NettedAutomation - Training "Made in Germany".

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

IEC 61850-4 CDV for Edition 2 has been accepted

A further part of IEC 61850 has been approved as FDIS Edition 2:

IEC 61850-4 Ed.2.0: Communication networks and systems for power utility automation - Part 4: System and project management

The CDV ballot closed last Friday (2010-11-05).

All votes were positive.

IEC 61850-7-3 Edition 2 approved

Another part of IEC 61850 has been approved as Edition 2:

IEC 61850-7-3 Ed.2: Communication networks and systems for power utility automation - Part 7-3: Basic communication structure - Common data classes

The FDIS ballot closed last Friday (2010-11-05).

All votes were positive.

Free Cyber Security Training

Several Cyber-Security Training courses are now available on the TEEX Domestic Preparedness Campus. This DHS/FEMA Certified Cyber-Security Training is designed to ensure that the privacy, reliability, and integrity of the information systems that power our global economy remain intact and secure.

The 10 courses are offered through three discipline-specific tracks targeting everyday non-technical computer users, technical IT professionals, and business managers and professionals.

These courses are offered at no cost and students earn a DHS/FEMA Certificate of completion along with Continuing Education Units (CEU) at the completion of each course.

Click HERE for more information and how to use the material.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One day "Getting Started Event" on IEC 61850 in Orlando and San Diego end of January 2011

NettedAutomation GmbH /Karlsruhe, Germany) is offering a one day "Getting Started Event" on IEC 61850 and related standards. The program comprises the basics of Edition 1 and 2, an overview on global acceptance and use of the standard, and presentation one of the most efficient and easy to use stack software developed by SystemCorp in Perth (Western Australia).

Dates and Locations:

  • Friday, 28. January 2011 in Orlando (Florida)
  • Monday, 31. January 2011 in San Diego (California) - just prior to the DistribuTECH 2011

Attendance Fee:

  • US$ 295 (including course material, evaluation software, food and beverages).

Students will learn what the standard is all about and how to use the free of charge fully functional evaluation stack software (DLL) for implementing IEC 61850 client/server and publisher/subscriber under Windows. Various application examples written in C, C++ and C# (executable and source code) will be provided to the attendees. This is the FASTEST, EASIEST, and CHEAPEST way to get your devices' data modeled and right away communicated with IEC 61850.

This event is recommended for every person that is interested in IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 ... one way or the other. There is no pre-knowledge needed.

IEC 61850 is THE International Standard series for information modeling, information exchange and system configuration to support Smart(er) Automation. Smart(er) Automation comprises application domain like Power Generation, Power Transmission, Power Distribution, Factory Automation, Building Automation, and many other domains.

The new title of IEC 61850 (Communication networks and systems for power utility automation) is definitely wider than the old (Communication networks and systems in substations). IEC does not allow to use the right title that would really describe its application domain: Communication networks and systems for automation.

All basic concepts of IEC 61850 (and IEC 61400-25) are applicable in any automation system:

  • native Ethernet for real-time information exchange (GOOSE) and client/server communication,
  • TCP/IP including transport layer security for client/server,
  • application messaging according to MMS (Manufacturing Message Specification, ISO 9506),
  • XML for describing information objects and system configuration,
  • many common information objects and functions like "Temperature Supervision", "PID loop control", "device nameplate", etc

Tentative program:

09:30 – 09:45 Welcome, roll call of attendees, expectations
09:45 – 10:45 Introduction into information modeling, models, information exchange and protocols, configuration language SCL ... IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25
10:45 – 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 - 11:15 The role of the standards in the U.S. NIST SGIP (Smart Grid Interoperability Panel)
11:15 – 12:00 Implementations and global market penetration of IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch break
13:00 – 14:30 Presentation of SystemCorp’s IEC 61850 Stack PIS-10, IEC 61850 DLL running under Windows, integration of the stack on an embedded controller, SCL tools, network analyzers, etc
14:30 – 14:45 Coffee break
14:45 - 16:00 How to model and interface your application data with the PIS-10 stack API? Sample source code in C, C++ and C# (.Net) will be presented and discussed. Application Source code will be provided on a CD ROM.
16:00 – 17:00 Question & Answer Session
17:00 End of the event

The event will be conducted by Mr. Karlheinz Schwarz. He has trained more than 2.200 people, from more than 50 countries and more than 400 companies since 2004 - all over. Recent training sessions: Frankfurt (DE), Sydney (AU), Montreal (CAN), Dallas (US), Gothenburg (SE), Manila (Phil), Stockholm (SE).

Tap the reach experience of Mr. Schwarz. After the event you or your programmer can continue to use the evaluation software for your real applications!

If you are interested to attend, please let us know. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando or San Diego. Visit SystemCorp and NettedAutomation at the DistribuTECH 2011 (San Diego).

Click HERE to contact us for more information on the "Getting Started Events" in Orlando and San Diego.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

System Control & Supervision - and Peopleware

The Washington Post reported on October 23, 2010, that the lack of training could cause very severe situations in the energy transmission and distribution systems. The recent event of the San Bruno gas pipeline burst (that killed several people) has "speed up adoption of a rule to ensure that workers doing similar jobs at companies across the country are well-trained ...".

"If somebody is not trained, it could be very dangerous. If they don't properly respond to an alarm situation, it can cause an explosion. It can
cause leaks. The damage could be very large."

"Although pipeline companies boast an impressive array of technology, he said, at many such firms, "there is a lack of recognition that people
have to operate that equipment

My experience after training of more than 2.000 people form more than 500 companies and more than 50 countries with regard to advanced communication and information systems using IEC 61850 is this: There is a very huge lack of recognition that people have to design, engineer, commission, operate, diagnose, and maintain these comprehensive and complex systems in substations and many other applications. More often I see the following: Utilities purchase turnkey systems - without having their own technical people (from the field with many years experience in the power system) consulted or trained to work with the new technology. One year later when the warranty is finished, they have to take over the full responsibility for the whole system! Good luck!

Impact of IEC 61850 on System Engineering, Tools, Peopleware and the Role of the System Integrator: more on that issue in a [paper] and on [slides]

Click HERE for the full report in the Washington Post.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beck IPC - Workshop IEC 61850 (IEC 61400-25) und Programmierung des Beck Chip für IEC61850-Anwendungen

Die Schulung findet am 10.-11. November 2010 in Pohlheim bei Gießen statt. Sie vermittelt die wichtigsten Schritte zur schnellen und kostengünstige Implementierung von IEC 61850 und IEC 61400-25 konformen Geräten und Systemen basierend auf dem Beck IPC@Chip.

Was ist der Beck Chip?

Click HIER für mehr Informationen zum Workshop.

Friday, October 22, 2010

IEC 61850-7-410 and IEC 61850-7-510 are out for comments

The CDV (Committee Draft for Vote) of IEC 61850-7-410 Ed.2:

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation -
Part 7-410: Hydroelectric power plants - Communication for monitoring and control

is out for official comments and voting until 3010-03-11. Contact your TC 57 National Committee for a copy for comments.

A companion document has also been published yesterday:

Draft IEC TR 61850-7-510:

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation - Part 7-510: Hydroelectric power plants - Modeling concepts and guidelines (developed by WG 18: Hydropower plants, communication for monitoring and control).

The publication of IEC 61850-7-410 introduces the general modeling concepts of IEC 61850 to hydroelectric power plants. This Technical Report is intended to provide explanations on how to use the Logical Nodes
defined in IEC 61850-7-410 as well as other documents in the IEC 61850 series to model complex control functions in power plants.

Contact your TC 57 National Committee for a copy for comments.

IEC 61850-6 SCL (System Configuration Language) in Operation

One of the most crucial aspects of IEC 61850 is defined in part 6 "Configuration description language for communication in electrical substations related to IEDs". The abbreviation is SCL; SCL stands for "System Configuration Language". One example of a system is a Substation. But it could be any automation system. IEC did not support the request to change "Substation" in the title to "System".

An increasing number of vendors is understanding the impact of SCL on the configuration of a single IED (Intelligent Electronic Device) but also of a whole system. In my training courses I usually say that SCL represents 51 per cent of the importance of the standard ;-)

Invensys uses a SCL tool to configure their SCADA system.

Click HERE to read a brief description what SCL does for their SCADA system.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Siemens uses Trilliant for IEC 61850 based Smart Grids - ABB invests in Trilliant

Trilliant Incorporated and Siemens Energy, Inc., announced product interoperability for integrating distribution automation solutions for utility customers. Available immediately, Trilliant’s SecureMesh™ WAN, a Smart Grid communication solution for distribution networking, is interoperable with Siemens’ SIPROTEC® Compact line/feeder protection devices.

Trilliant’s SecureMesh WAN provides low latency communications required of distribution automation protocols including DNP3, IEC 61850, and Modbus. It supports low latency peer-to-peer generic object oriented substation event (GOOSE) messaging !!! GOOSE all over! This Fall is a good time for GOOSE ... ;-)

Trilliant raises $106 Million of Capital: Investor Growth Capital, VantagePoint, ABB, and GE invest in Trilliant

When winds of change blow, some build walls, others build windmills - or Invest in Interoperable IEC 61850 Communication Infrastructures. And you!?

Click HERE for the press release for the cooperation Trilliant/Siemens.
Click HERE for the press release on ABB's investment in Trilliant.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Honeywell offers RTU with IEC 61850

Honeywell RTUs are IEC 61850 compliant. According to Honeywell this reduces time and engineering to complete a project, reduces wires, enhances security and simplifies system structures.

Click HERE to download a technical specification [pdf, 1.5 MB]

IEC 61400-25-6 has been Approved as International Standard

The 6th part of IEC 61400-25 has been approved as International Standard on October 15, 2010. The final draft (FDIS) has been approved by 100 per cent of the IEC TC 88 national committees. The Standard will be published in some weeks.

IEC 61400-25-6 Ed.1: Wind Turbines - Part 25-6: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants - Logical node classes and data classes for condition monitoring

The new International Standard defines new information models.

Click HERE for the preview of the FDIS.

ISaGRAF Supports IEC 61499 and IEC 61850

ISaGRAF has released the version 6 of their Workbench.

The company's flagship product ISaGRAF is fully compliant with both IEC 61499 and IEC 61131 industrial standards and can be used to build a variety of automation products including embedded µcontrollers, PAC, PLC, DCS, RTU, CNC, Motion Controllers and Safety Systems. Supporting IEC 61850 ... ISaGRAF sustains a high level of standardization, integration and communication within modern automation systems, resulting in high-end, real-time open control systems with crash-proof reliability, powerful performance and flexibility.

Click HERE to visit the Newsletter at ISaGRAF.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

IEC 61850 in Australia - Some up-to-date Information

The Australiasien Power Technologies Magazine "Transmission & Distribution" published a couple for brief papers on IEC 61850 in the latest issue (05/2010). The following papers are contained:

  • What Is IEC 6185O?
  • Collaborative Engineering within Electrical Utilities
  • Relay Application with IEC 61850 GOOSE Messages
  • Scalable IEC 61850 Software Stack (Need Evaluation Software?)
  • IEC 61850-9-2LE Process Bus Interface (more information)
  • Digital Instrument Transformers with 9-2LE Interface

Please CLICK here to read the magazine.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Customers talk Much to Vendors - Less to Standardization Groups

The IEEE PES Power & Energy Magazine stated recently "in my view" that "At a recent stakeholder workshop on smart grid interoperability standards sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NISIST), the electric utility industry accounted for less than 15% of the total attendance. If the industry continues to be severely underrepresented as the process moves to the various standards development organizations, the utility industry will have little say over the final standards as they are developed without its significant input. ... For all of these reasons, it is critical that electric utility knowledge and vision
are a part of the standard setting process."

On the other hand Dr. Lemmer (Siemens Power Automation) stated at the CIGRE in Paris event end of August 2010 with regard to innovation that "our customers tell us where we are going" (see video at 05:35 minutes).

I hope that more utility domain experts will get involved - one was or the other - in the future standardization work. Especially in IEC TC 58 and related groups. As well as in the various "users groups" - that are in fact "vendors groups". Dear Utility Domain expert, you are welcome to join one or the other group ... which also brings you around to see many airports ... and meet a lot of Smart People!

Click HERE for the full text of the "time to speak up! get involved in developing smart grid standards".

SISCO's AX-S4 MMS is now AX-S4 61850

AX-S4 61850 ("Access for 61850" - former: "Access for MMS") is a complete IEC 61850 interface for host applications supporting OPC on the Microsoft Windows platform. AX-S4 61850 supports both IEC 61850 client and server to interface with Windows applications supporting OPC and/or DDE interfaces.

Even the name of the product has changed, inside there is the same IEC 61850 SCSM (Specific Communication Service Mapping - IEC 61850-8-1) to MMS (Manufacturing Message Specification - ISO 9506).

Click HERE to read more about the AX-S4 61850 ("Access for 61850").

Siemens talks about IEC 61850 at the CIGRE 2010

Dr. Englert from Siemens Energy Automation talks about the success story of IEC 61850 at the CIGRE 2010. According to his statement Siemens has sold more than 100.000 IEC 61850 compliant IEDs running in more than 1.000 systems; and IEC 61850 is THE solution that is requested in almost all tenders.

Two interesting videos are online - worth to watch.

Click HERE to see and listen to Dr. Englert (Siemens Energy Automation) on IE 61850.
Click HERE to see and listen to Dr. Lemmer (Siemens Energy Automation) on SIPROTEC IEDs .

Monday, October 11, 2010

Final Call: IEC 61850 Hands-on Training with Protection Relays and other IEDs in Stockholm, 2-5 November 2010

NIST has recommended to FERC that IEC 61850 is among the first set of six crucial International Standards for Smart Grids. The upcoming IEC 61850 Hands-on Training in Stockholm, 2-5 November 2010 conducted by STRI and NettedAutomation is THE opportunity to learn more about this Standard and how vendors have implemented the various parts of the standard. The course is also applicable for those people that are interested in IEC 61400-25 (Wind Power Extensions of IEC 61850). The lessons presented are also applicable for any other application domain like factory or process automation or building automation.

We will intensively use the FREE IEC 61850 DLL Evaluation Kit. You will get copies of the Evaluation Kit for the training - if you do not yet have them.

There are still seats available - Get two seats for the price of one seat!

Click HERE to check the program etc.

Panel Session on IEC 61850/61400-25 at first European IEEE PES Smart Grid Conference in Gothenburg (Sweden)

Panels are technical sessions to exchange experience and to discuss around an actual topic. Prominent speakers have been invited to speak at the panel sessions. The presentations are followed by a panel discussion involving, comments and discussion from the audience.

The first Panel Session of the conference in Gothenburg (Sweden) on 2010-10-11 was titled "Standards for Smart Grid" chaired by Lars Nordström, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Session summary:
ICT is a core component in the smart electricity networks of the future. Implementing the Smart Grids requires integration of distributed control systems at different levels across the power industry. This requires that information from different domains such as markets, control, automation and load management can be shared seamlessly. For this cause, standardized interfaces and information models is a very important building block for the Smart grid. In the panel session, a broad overview of existing standardization efforts, including IEC, IEEE and NIST initiatives as well as their area of application are described. In addition more in-depth studies of specific implementations using the main standards, specifically the IEC 61850, are presented.

Invited speeches were:

  • “Standards for interoperability make the grids smart”, Lars Nordström, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • “IEC 61850 Lite Implementation - Low cost micro controller chip with IEC 61850 (IEC 61400-25) and IEC 61131-3”, Karlheinz Schwarz, Netted Automation, Germany
  • “Results from Surveys on Smart Grid Standardization Initiatives”, Mathias Uslar, OFFiS, Germany
  • “A case study on Multi-agent Interoperability in IEC 61850 Environments”, Arshad Saleem, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

Click HERE to download the presentation “IEC 61850 Lite Implementation" [pdf, 700 KB]

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Slides of IEC 61850/61400-25 Workshop at Hydro Quebec (Canada) available for Download

NettedAutomation GmbH successfully conducted a one day Workshop on IEC 61850 IEC 61400-25 at Hydro Quebec in Montreal (Canada) on Thursday, September 30, 2010

Some feedback:

"Thank you for the opportunity you provided to Canadian experts. I received good comments from attendees and surely, this will help the 61850 cause."

"It was a pleasure meeting you in Montreal. Your workshop made 61850 real for most of us. And I am looking forward to build an installation based on the protocol. As discussed, we are planning to upgrade two of our substations on the campus to be fully compliant with IEC 61850."

Click HERE to download the set of the 100+ slides presented [pdf, 3 MB]. If you have an account please use your email address and password. If you don't, just enter your email address and you will immediately receive an email with the password.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

NIST recommends IEC 61850 and other IEC TC 57 Standards for Regulation

The US Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has recommended the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that five "foundational" sets of IEC TC 57 standards for smart grid interoperability and cyber security should be considered by federal and state energy regulators.

  • IEC 61970 and IEC 61968: Provide a Common Information Model (CIM) necessary for exchanges of data between devices and networks, primarily in the transmission (IEC 61970) and distribution (IEC 61968) domains.
  • IEC 61850: Facilitates substation automation and communication as well as interoperability through a common data format.
  • IEC 60870-6: Facilitates exchanges of information between control centers.
  • IEC 62351: Addresses the cyber security of the communication protocols defined by the preceding IEC standards.

These standards are identified because they are essential to uniform and interoperable communication systems throughout the grid and will accommodate the evolution of the grid and the integration of new technologies. They focus on the information models and protocols important to efficient and reliable grid operations.

This is a big step forward in the use of these standard series! More to come.

The power utility domain all over has decided to use these standards. In 2010 I have seen a lot of interest in the general automation domain (factory and process automation) to check if IEC 61850 could be used to replace the myriads of field busses. IEC 61850 could be used instead of the 30+ Ethernet based field busses - and IEC 61850 has to offer much more than any of these field busses. IEC 60870-6 and IEC 61850 rely on MMS (Manufacturing Message Specification) as the messaging standard developed in the late 80s during the MAP 3.0 project (Manufacturing Automation Protocols). Field busses haven been understood since the 90s to be used instead of MAP 3.0. With IEC 60870-6 and IEC 61850 we see that the basic concepts and solutions of MAP 3.0 are back in operation - first in the power utility domain and soon in factories and other domains.

Click HERE to download the letter from NIST to FERC [pdf]

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Seats available for Two Day IEC 61850 Training in Dallas (TX)

A two-day special seminar and training on IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25 and DNP3 will be conducted by Karlheinz Schwarz (Editor of IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, member of NIST PAP16, ...) at:

Remote 2010 Conference & Expo
October 19-20, 2010 - Dallas, Texas

Who should attend? All experts that are looking for a real standardized method to model and exchange information from any process application domain (power systems, factories, process control, ...). If you are tired of the discussions which one of the 100+ field busses to use: come by and learn that you can now easily implement and use a TRUE International standard (IEC 61850) that uses message standards on TCP/IP and standard Ethernet - no special Ethernet needed!

You will get the latest in the NIST SGIP development and in the international standardization world of IEC, IEEE, ...

You will receive a CD ROM with some 500 MB of useful information on standards, products, tools, and demo software. You will also learn what the IEC 61850 Lite implementation Starter Kit is all about ... and you will get a copy of the Evaluation / Starter Kit.

Click HERE for a description of the Evaluation / Starter Kit.

There are still seats available. See you there soon.

Click HERE for more information.

Click HERE to contact me if you need more information on the program and what you would get.

Understanding IEC 61850 Concepts, Basics and Solutions is Crucial for Smart(er) Grids

There is still a lack of understanding of IEC 61850 concepts, basics and solutions. During a September 30th IEC 61850 Workshop at Hydro Quebec in Montreal (Canada) 20+ participants from Canada, USA, Japan, Denmark, South Korea, and Germany received a bunch of useful information with regard to IEC 61850.

Here is some feedback from attendees:

"Thank you for the opportunity you provided to Canadian experts. I received good comments from attendees and surely, this will help the 61850 cause."

"It was a pleasure meeting you in Montreal. Your workshop made 61850 real for most of us. And I am looking forward to build an installation based on the protocol. As discussed, we are planning to upgrade two of our substations on the campus to be fully compliant with IEC 61850."

Click HERE to contact me if you are interested in the course material I have provided at the workshop. Please let me know what your needs are.

Monday, October 4, 2010

NIST SGIP Provides Useful Information About IEC 61850

The latest information on IEC 61850 provided by SGIP (Smart Grid Interoperability Panel) is a summary of the background of IEC 61850 - quite interesting information.

The contents provided:

  • Identification and Affiliation
  • Level of Standardization
  • Areas of Use
  • Relationship to Other Standards or Specifications
  • Dept of Energy Smart Grid Characteristics
  • Priority Areas Previously Mentioned by FERC and NIST
  • Openness
  • Support, Conformance, Certification and Testing
  • Functional Description of the Standard
  • Architectural Principles

Click HERE to download the 12 page document.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Utility Grid Communication Network in Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure takes IEC 61850 into Account

The IEC TC 69 (Electric road vehicles and electric industrial trucks) has proposed a new project to define "Utility grid communication network in electric vehicle charging infrastructure" - 69/176/NP. The New work proposal refers to IEC 61850 as standard that should be considered as base standard. It could be assumed that IEC 61850 has already a lot of definitions that can be re-used by the experts that will define this standard. It is likely that IEC 61850-7-420 has already many information models defined for that application.

Voting is open between 2010-09-17 and 2010-12-17

Click HERE for a the official IEC announcement. Contact your national body to get a copy of the proposal.

Free One Day Workshop on IEC 61850 (IEC 61400-25) in Montreal

A free Workshop on IEC 61850 (IEC 61400-25) will be conducted in Montreal (Canada) next week:

Thursday, September 30, 2010; 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Workshop will take place at Hydro-Québec head office in Montreal.

The workshop will be an open presentation and discussion of crucial aspects of the standard IEC 61850 and especially of IEC 61850-7-420; a demonstration of the latest development of the “IEC61850@CHIP” and first experiences with the small platform especially for PV systems will be given.

08:30 – 09:00 Welcome, roll call of attendees, expectations
09:00 – 09.30 The standardization organizations (IEC TC 57, IEEE, IEC TC 88, …)
09:30 – 10:30 Introduction into information modeling, models, information exchange, configuration language (IEC 61850-7-x and IEC 61400-25)
10:30 – 10:50 Coffee break
10:50 – 11:30 Implementations and market penetration of IEC 61850
11:30 – 12:30 Presentation of SystemCorp’s IEC 61850 Stack PIS-10, integration of the stack on Beck IPC Chip, and demonstration of Development Kit DK61 (HW and SW) and IEC 61850 DLL running on PCs
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch (invited by H-Q)
13:30 – 15:00 Question & Answer Session
15:00 End of workshop

There are a very few seats left.

If you are interested to attend, please let me know as soon as possible (latest by Friday, 24 September 2010) -

Monday, September 20, 2010

High-pressure system called “Karlheinz” brings warm temperatures

While low pressure system “Joleen” has been pushing cool, wet weather into the country from Scandinavia, a high-pressure system called “Karlheinz” is moving up from the south with warmer temperatures. “That means for the next few days there will be dry and especially warm weather during the day in central Europe, which naturally means us too,” Temperatures could reach up to 25 degrees Celsius in the Upper Rhine region (like in Karlsruhe - the home town of Karlheinz Schwarz, Expert on IEC 61850).

Karlheinz (Schwarz) brings good weather and good news on IEC 61850 to you ;-)

Click HERE for the full weather report.

Update on IEC 61850 Hands-on Training with Multivendor IEDs in Stockholm, 2-5 November 2010

STRI and NettedAutomation offer a 4-day comprehensive Seminar and Hands-on Training providing both theory and practice on the application of IEC 61850 in a substation (and IEC 61400-25 in wind power plants) by following the planning, specification, design and engineering process. Based on real applications and multivendor test installation we follow the engineering process all the way through configuration and testing. The 4 day Comprehensive System Integration Course to be held in Stockholm (Sweden) on 2-5th of November 2010 consists of:

  • Module 1 gives an independent and detailed presentation of the IEC 61850 standard and demonstration of STRI multivendor interoperability training and test system.
  • Module 2 presents the Substation Configuration Language and use of a vendor independent tool, to demonstrate specification of IEC 61850 systems.
  • Module 3 presents possible functional allocations and architectures for typical substation automation systems. How should one apply IEC 61850 reporting and GOOSE messaging for protection and control schemes? How to configure Ethernet Networks and test IEC 61850 systems?
  • Module 4 is divided in two parallel workshops. Module 4a – covers engineering of a small interoperable IEC 61850 system with protection and control devices from ABB, Areva and Siemens. Module 4b focuses instead on SCADA and gateway engineering.

Just a few seats left - check for availability soon.

Click HERE for the updated Program and Registration information.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Best Corporate Brochure on IEC 61850 ever seen

ABB has published the other day the Best Brochure on IEC 61850 I have ever seen! The 60+ page Corporate Technical Journal presents the strategy, vision, and experience of ABB. The Brochure contains the following topics:

  • IEC 61850: The new approach
  • Products for the standard
  • Verification and validation
  • Case studies of IEC 61850

This Journal is absolutely worth to read!

Click HERE to download the Journal [pdf, 2.9 MB].

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Interoperability and Replacement of an IED by another one

The other day somebody from the user community posted a comment on this blog. The issue discussed is on Interoperability and Replacement of an IEC 61850 compliant IED by another one:

"That is exactly what we users want: not just be able to have different IEDs from (possibly) different vendors cooperating in our substations, but also be able to replace an IED by another one that is functionally equivalent (or superior, or maybe just similar, this being the utilty’s internal issue) regardless of what the other system components are, and in the easiest possible way."

First of all, the Replacement of an IEC 61850 compliant IED mainly depends on the implementation of the standard (which subsets, ..., restrictions) and on the configuration of the system.

Replacement could be very easy but also be a bit complicated. One example shows the impact of the implementation (restriction) and one shows the impact of the configuration.

Restricted implementation: Suppose that an IED A (to be replaced) has 10 Logical Devices to model the application. IED B (to replace IED A) has only the possibility to support five (5) Logical Devices; the restriction is done during the design of the IED.

The system engineer has configured the IEDs and the information flow between them, e.g., the flow from IED A to other IEDs. The designed information flow between IED A and other IEDs is like a Contract. This contract says that IED A has 10 LDs and underlying LNs and DataObjects. The LD name are used to designate the DataObjects; the LN-Reference contains the LD-Name. A DataSet could have members from all 10 LDs (this could be "written" in the contract).

If the IED B has only five (5) LDs then the designation of the DataObjects will likely be different - it requires a modified Contract! The Clients (Subscriber) have to take these changes of the designation into account. This may require a re-configuration of the Clients (Subscriber).

Click HERE for a PIXIT document providing some information about an IED, e.g. restriction of GOOSE messages that can be sent (<= 16) ...

Don' forget: Everything is limited!!

Configuration of the system: Even if IED A and IED B have the same signal designations (same model) it could be that the "old contract" defines a flow as follows: the information to be reported or goosed is defined in a very big DataSet (e.g, of 100+ members). IED B may only support DataSets with a maximum of 50 members. As a consequence the "contract" has to be modified to create two (or more) DataSets and two or more ControlBlocks. The Clients (Subscriber) have to take this into account.

The "easiest possible way" means to apply the same "contract" (flow configuration) for IED A and IED B. If IEDs would be quite flexible with regard to the "contracts" then a replacement would be quite easy.

By the way, the question, which "contract" we could write depends on the vendors' implementations and the way how people configure systems, BUT not on the standard!

The utility requirement could be modified as follows: "to replace an IED by another one that is functionally equivalent (or superior, or maybe just similar, this being the utilty’s internal issue) AND that uses the same "Contract" of the information flow between the two IEDs, regardless of what the other system components are."

Friday, September 10, 2010

ABB's Entry Points for IEC 61850 related Information

ABB has posted a huge source of information about IEC 61850 and applications in Substations all over. It's a nice starting point to see what they are doing with regard to IEC 61850.

Click HERE or HERE for two ABB web pages with many good explanations and links to useful papers and other documents.

GOOSER - Prüfungen von Anlagen mit GOOSE-Nachrichten

Ein echtes universelles IEC 61850-Prüf-Interface ist verfügbar. Der Gooser von Megger verbindet konventionelle Relais-Prüfgeräte mit IEC 61850 basierten Systemen. Der "Gooser" wird also eine echte Alternative zu aufwendigen, neuen Schutz-Prüfsysteme mit integrierter IEC-61850-Schnittstelle gesehen.

Click HIER zum Download einer aktuellen Veröffentlichung über den GOOSER in der np.

FREE IEC 61850/61400-25 DLL - One Download per Hour

The FREE IEC 61850/61400-25 Evaluation/Starter Kit is now available for download since August 31, 2010. The kit provides a DLL for simple IEC 61850 Client, Server, Publisher, and Subscriber Applications running on a PC under Windows.

In average one kit has been downloaded per hour since then! This DLL and its API seems to be one of the crucial Highlights of Standardized Information Models, Information Exchange Methods, and Configuration Language! It brings you the Best after the holiday season (in many countries in the northern hemisphere - or before in the southern).

You simply can't get it for less - Its's FREE.

DO NOT Click HERE if you want to keep going with your legacy solution.

Phoenix Contact is Hiring a Software Developer with IEC 61850 Experience

Phoenix Contact is hiring a Software Developer for Embedded Systems with IEC 61850 experience!
Good Luck!

Click HERE for the job offering [German].

Automation goes Power: Phoenix Contact starts Road Show "Energy Management"

Electric Power systems are on the radar screen of companies that - traditionally - did their business in the factories. One of the well known German companies is Phoenix Contact. What are these companies looking for? More revenue? Very likely.

During the last 20 years there was very little automation in the power industry influenced by factory automation vendors and their solutions. This will change in a fast pace: One of the leading experts (Roland Bent, CEO of Phoenix Contact) stated during the VDI Congress that the market for automation systems in the utility domain (electric power, water, ..., clean and green technologies) will be three times bigger in 2030 than today's factory automation. Wow.

Click HERE for some more details ... what they are looking for ...

Click HERE to read the announcement for an Energy Management Road Show [German].

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Substation Automation Handbook

The electrical Grid is about to be transformed into a Smart(er) Grid. The most crucial aspect is still (and I hope for ever) the electrical system - a system of generators, wires, transformers, switches, etc bound together by some laws. Substations are important elements in the system. For all people that need to understand the challenge of the automation of electrical systems should read the

The Substation Automation Handbook written by Dr. Klaus-Peter Brand, Volker Lohmann, Dr. Wolfgang Wimmer


This book is a comprehensive description of Substation Automation and the coordination with Network Operation to obtain both performance and cost benefits by enabling enhanced Power System Management ... including the new standard IEC 61850.

Over the past decade the electricity supply industry has been subjected to dramatic changes. World-wide the trend is to restructure vertically integrated utilities catering for generation, transmission and distributions into smaller "unbundled" companies. The new plant owners are pushed to minimize costs through greater utilization of assets. The book helps to understand the needed solutions to get there.

Click HERE to read more about the book and how to order it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

IEC61850@CHIP - Forum for API usage open

Beck IPC has opened a Forum for the IEC 61850 Stack API. What to do if the client does not start? What if ...?

Click HERE to proceed to the IEC 61850 Forum at the website of Beck IPC

Special Course on Key Standards for Smart Grids in Dallas (TX): IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25 and DNP3

A two-day special seminar and training on IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25 and DNP3 will be conducted by Karlheinz Schwarz (Editor of IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, member of NIST PAP16, ...) at:

Remote 2010 Conference & Expo
October 19-20, 2010 - Dallas, Texas

In this comprehensive 2-day workshop students learn the fundamental concepts and vision of the NIST Smart Grid activities and of the IEC 61850 standard series. Students compare well known solutions like DNP3 and the new OPC UA with IEC 61850 (IEC 61400-25, Wind Turbines) 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. Each student (that brings his own PC) will do some hands-on training with IEC 61850 client/server communication and GOOSE messaging. We are using freely available evaluation software running under Windows. Two PCs could be connected to see messages on the Ethernet wire.

Click HERE for more details and registration information.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Redundant Ethernet for Communication in Substation Automation Systems according to IEC 61850

The High-availability Seamless Redundancy protocol (HSR) was designed to meet the highest availability requirements of industrial applications (such as substation automation or motion control) with an Ethernet based communication infrastructure. IEC 61850-90-4 "Network Engineering Guidelines" recommends to use HSR for particular applications.

In the context of the project supported by the Swiss innovation promotion agency CTI, ZHAW is evaluating the feasibility of HSR. Project partners are ABB, Hirschmann, and Siemens. These companies have demonstrated the new solution during the recent Cigré Exhibition in Paris (end of August 2010).

Click HERE for a report in English.
Click HERE for a report in German.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

NIST Smart Grid - Cyber Security Guidelines Released

The three volumes of the "Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security (NISTIR 7628)" have been published by NIST end of August 2010.

The report presents an analytical framework that organizations can use to develop effective cyber security strategies tailored to their particular combinations of Smart Grid-related characteristics, risks, and vulnerabilities. Organizations in the diverse community of Smart Grid stakeholders—from utilities to providers of energy management services to manufacturers of electric vehicles and charging stations—can use the methods and supporting information presented in this report as guidance for assessing risk and identifying and applying appropriate security requirements.

This document is a companion document to the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 1.0 (NIST SP 1108), which NIST issued on January 19, 2010.

Click HERE to download Volume 1
Click HERE to download Volume 2
Click HERE to download Volume 3
Click HERE to download the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, R1.0

Does IEC 61850 provide Security Measures? - Yes

Friday, September 3, 2010

IEC 61850 Tissue Database for Edition 2

The first four (4) parts of IEC 61850 have been published as Edition 2: Part 6, Part 7-4, Part 7-3, and Part 7-2.

The Tissue Database (technical issues) is now open for posting tissues on these four new parts (Edition 2):

The first tissues have already been posted for Edition 2 documents. If you have any tissue to be reported to the editors of the standards please check with the tissue database - maybe your issue has already been posted.

The Tissue Database for IEC 61400-25 is also open:

Click HERE for some general remarks on Edition 1 and Edition 2.

Update: NIST SGIP - Special Cross-PAP Session on Information Models for Generators and Storage

Please find the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the special group in St. Louis (MS):

Special Cross-PAP Session:
Coordinated Object Modeling for Generators and Storage
SGIP Fall Meeting
September 15, 2010, St. Louis, Missouri
12:30 to 3:00 PM

This Cross-PAP issues session is your chance to participate in discussions on coordinating consistent object models and information exchange requirements for different generator types (e.g., wind turbines, hydro power plants, PV systems, and storage) across multiple domains (consumer, distribution, and transmission). This session is expected to aid in producing consistent object model requirements (where possible) being developed for example by PAPs 7 and 16 for IEC 61850-7-420 (DER), IEC 61850-7-410 (hydro) and IEC 61400-25 (wind). The consistent generator control, monitoring and protection requirements are to be coordinated and combined with requirements of other PAPs including 3, 4, 9, and 10. There are several areas in which the various application domains highly benefit from consistent information models, consistent information exchange and security steps. The interface between power generation and the control center and between aggregators and distributed generators are obvious examples. This session is intended to provide overviews of and to initiate coordination of activities required to develop consistent object models for different generator/storage types across different Smart Grid domains.

Topics presented and discussed include:

  • Status of object models for wind turbines, hydro power plants, PV systems, other distributed energy resources – (Karlheinz Schwarz, editor of IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25) – 30 minutes
  • IEC 61400-25-2 transmission level wind generator standard with first two logical nodes that define active power control and reactive power control (Bill Moncrief) – 20 minutes
  • Key ES-DER Use Cases - The necessity of establishing a set of core functions as a foundation for standard protocols and device interoperability. Results from a collaborative industry activity. (Brian Seal) – 20 minutes
  • IEC 61850-7-420 for ES-DER functions, focusing on pricing signals, volt/var schedules, direct control, and broadcast control, as well as cyber security (Frances Cleveland, editor of IEC 61850-7-420 and IEC 62351) – 20 minutes
  • Common modeling concepts, key services like "report-by-exception" and configuration language – Mapping of 61850 to Webservices (IEC 61400-25-4), to DNP3 and to SEP 2.0 (Frances) – 30 min
  • IEC 61850-on-a-chip (Karlheinz Schwarz) – 15 minutes

Related standards and PAPs:

  • IEC 61850-7-420, IEC 61400-25, IEC 62351
  • IEEE P 1547.8, IEEE P174
  • DNP3, SEP 2.0, MultiSpeak, CIM
  • PAPs: Developed by 7 and 16; used by 3, 4, 9, 10, 8 and 14

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FREE IEC 61850/61400-25 Evaluation/Starter Kit

A FREE IEC 61850/61400-25 Evaluation/Starter Kit is now available for immediate download and use. The wait for a FREE IEC 61850/61400-25 Evaluation/Starter Kit is over - here it is for immediate use.

SystemCorp (Perth, Australia) and NettedAutomation offer an IEC 61850/61400-25 DLL (Dynamic Link Library) and three Application examples using the DLL (PIS10.dll; providing a simple stack API):

  • C Server Application (simple Console) 
  • C Client Application (simple Console) 
  • C#/.Net Client Application (runs under XP, Vista, Windows 7)

The Kit contains executable software and the source code of the C and .Net Applications (projects) as well as "Getting started manuals". The PIS10.dll is based on the IEC 61850 stack developed by SystemCorp. The client and server (publisher/subscriber - GOOSE) run on one machine or on different machines as depicted below:


You can use these source code of the application examples and modify them according to your needs. The configuration of the Server AND the Client done by ICD files (according to IEC 61850-6, SCL) - no need for self-description; the model is build at start time. This client/Server package is applicable for M2M (machine to machine) communication. The IEDScout could be used as a Browser-Client as well. Modified applications would require a modified ICD file as well. The "ICD Designer" - a tool to design ICD files - will be available within a week or so.

The services supported are: Association, GetDataObjectValues, SetDataObjectValues, Control, Reporting, GOOSE, ...

NettedAutomation GmbH offers a new services for the integration of the PIS10 stack (DLL, ...) into your application:

Support will be provided by our experienced application programmer: Andreas Pfefferle. Andreas is familiar with Substation Automation, RTUs, IEC 60870-5-10x, protocol integration, ... SystemCorp PIS10-Stack API and many other power utility applications.

Click HERE to Download the IEC 61850/61400-25 Evaluation/Starter Kit
(The Kit comprises first a readme.txt file and four (4) zip files - each file can be downloaded individually; You need at least the <<Console-Server-Client_2010-08-31>> to get the server; to run the client with another server you need to change the ICD file accordingly).
IF you have an Account for downloading content from then you can use your email address and password. If you have forgotten the password, just enter your email address in the field "Email (required)" and click on the button "I agree ... continue" at the end - you will receive your password. Or just enter your email and further information and you will receive a password immediately.


Monday, August 30, 2010

NIST SGIP - Special Cross-PAP Session on Coordinated Information Modeling for Generators and Storage

The fall face-to-face meeting of the NIST SGIP (Smart Grid Interoperability Panel) will take place in St. Louis (MS) from September 14-16, 2010.

A Special Cross-PAP Session on Coordinated Information Modeling for Generators and Storage is intended to provide overviews of and to initiate coordination of activities required to develop consistent information models for different generator/storage types across different Smart Grid domains. This Cross-PAP issues session is your chance to participate in discussions on coordinating consistent information models and information exchange requirements for different generator types (e.g., wind turbines [IEC 61400-25-2], hydro power plants [IEC 61850-7-410], PV systems, and storage [IEC 61850-7-420], ...) across multiple domains (consumer, distribution, and transmission).
Session is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 15th (12:30-15:00)

Click HERE for the full program and other details of the meeting.

Please note that Mr. Karlheinz Schwarz (member of PAP16, editor IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25) will be in St. Louis on Sept. 15 and 16 ... to meet you ...

Friday, August 27, 2010

SystemCorp and NettedAutomation exhibit at DistribuTech 2011

SystemCorp Embedded Technology Pty Ltd (Perth, WA/Australia) and NettedAutomation GmbH (Karlsruhe/Germany) will exhibit the latest developments in lite implementations of IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25, gateways between IEC 61850/61400-25, DNP3, IEC 60870-5, Modbus, RTUs, Bay controller, PLC programming IEC 61131-3, starter kits, ... training opportunities, training tools at booth 2822 at the DistribuTech 2011 Exhibition in San Diego (CA), 1.-3. February 2010.

Please plan for a meeting the "IEC 61850 Lite" experts.

Click HERE for the floor plan and booth 2822.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Draft Technical Report - IEC 61850 for Synchrophasor

Draft IEC 61850-90-5 TR Ed. 1 – Use of IEC 61850 to transmit synchrophasor information according to IEEE C37.118 has been published as draft Technical Report (57/1086/DC). Comments by 2010-10-01.

This technical report describes how to use IEC 61850 to transmit synchrophasor information according to IEEE C37.118. Later, once the report is approved and published, results will be integrated as amendments in the relevant parts of the IEC 61850 standard.
This document contains a first draft of that report. As a significant part, it includes new mappings of the IEC 61850 GOOSE and sampled value services that can be used for a wide area communication.

Two new control blocks are defined for IP networks:
• The sending of stream information (e.g. Sampled Values)
• The sending of event driven information (e.g. GOOSE)

Two possibilities are drafted:

The streams for SMV and GOOSE will be transmitted over a transport profile that utilizes IPv4 or IPv6, and TCP as well as UDP.

Once these models are extended in the ACSI (IEC 61850-7-2) they may also be used for Reporting over UDP.

FDIS of IEC 61850-7-3 Edition 2 out for final Ballot

IEC Central Office has published the FDIS of IEC 61850-7-3 Edition 2 (57/1087/FDIS). The ballot closes 2010-10-29.

The second edition comprises 39 Common Data Classes (CDC):

  • defines new common data classes used for new standards defining object models for other domains based on IEC 61850 and for the representation of statistical and historical data,
  • provides clarifications and corrections to the first edition of IEC 61850-7-3.

Common data class specifications for status information

  1. Single point status (SPS)
    Double point status (DPS)
    Integer status (INS)
  2. Enumerated status (ENS) - NEW
  3. Protection activation information (ACT)
  4. Directional protection activation information (ACD)
  5. Security violation counting (SEC)
  6. Binary counter reading (BCR)
  7. Histogram (HST) - NEW
  8. Visible string status (VSS) - NEW

Common data class specifications for measurand information

  1. Measured value (MV)
  2. Complex measured value (CMV)
  3. Sampled value (SAV)
  4. Phase to ground/neutral related measured values of a three-phase system (WYE)
  5. Phase to phase related measured values of a three-phase system (DEL)
  6. Sequence (SEQ)
  7. Harmonic value (HMV)
  8. Harmonic value for WYE (HWYE)
  9. Harmonic value for DEL (HDEL)

Common data class specifications for controls

  1. Controllable single point (SPC)
  2. Controllable double point (DPC)
  3. Controllable integer status (INC)
  4. Controllable enumerated status (ENC) - NEW
  5. Binary controlled step position information (BSC)
  6. Integer controlled step position information (ISC)
  7. Controllable analogue process value (APC)
  8. Binary controlled analog process value (BAC) - NEW

Common data class specifications for status settings

  1. Single point setting (SPG)
  2. Integer status setting (ING)
  3. Enumerated status setting (ENG) - NEW
  4. Object reference setting (ORG) - NEW
  5. Time setting group (TSG) - NEW
  6. Currency setting group (CUG) - NEW
  7. Visible string setting (VSG)- NEW

Common data class specifications for analogue settings

  1. Analogue setting (ASG)
  2. Setting curve (CURVE)
  3. Curve shape setting (CSG) - NEW

Common data class specifications for description information

  1. Device name plate (DPL)
  2. Logical node name plate (LPL)
  3. Curve shape description (CSD)

ICS-CERT Advice on STUXNET Maleware Mitigation

In July, ICS-CERT published an advisory and a series of updates regarding the Stuxnet malware entitled “ICSA-10-201- USB Malware Targeting Siemens Control Software.”
Stuxnet makes use of a previously unpatched Windows vulnerability. Since then, ICS-CERT has continued analysis of the Stuxnet malware in an effort to determine more about its capabilities and intent. As the analysis has progressed, understanding of the malware sophistication has continued to increase.

Click HERE for the complete report [pdf].
Click HERE for details published by Symantec.
Click HERE to visit the website (in German) of GAI NetConsultant (Berlin), a well experienced team of security experts.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kostengünstige IEC-61850-Lösung für kurze Entwicklungszeiten

Ein hoher finanzieller und zeitlicher Aufwand bei der Realisierung der IEC 61850 und IEC 61400-25 in Steuerungen und andere Geräten hat bisher die breite Anwendung in den unteren Spannungsebenen, in der Energieerzeugung und weiteren Bereichen gebremst oder gar blockiert. Seit der Hannover Messe 2010 ist jedoch eine kostengünstige Komplettlösung auf Basis des Beck IPC@Chip verfügbar, welche die Entwicklung von IEC-61850-konformen Schnittstellen innerhalb kurzer Zeit ermöglicht. Die Stack-Software auf dem Chip (von SystemCorp, Perth, Australien) bietet ein sehr einfaches IEC-61850-API an - MMS (ISO 9506) und weitere Definitionen sind verborgen. Das API hat neben einigen Management-Funktionen nur drei Call-Back-Funktionen als Schnittstelle zwischen IEC 61850 und Anwendung: Read, Write, Update.

Click HERE for the paper in German recently published by etz / VDE Verlag.
Click HERE to access the pdf version of the paper.
Click HERE for the API documentation in English.
Click HERE for the description of the starter kit DK61 (development kit).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

IEC 61850 Test Labs and Certified IEDs

The UCA International Users Group (UCAIug) has approved seven
IEC 61850 Test Labs (as of 21 July 2010):

ABB Switzerland Ltd
Server: Level B

American Electric Power (AEP)
Dolan Technology/Testing Center
Client and Server: Level A

Substation Automation Solutions
Server: Level B

KEMA Nederland BV
Client and Server: Level A

NARI-RELAYS Electric Co., Ltd., Nanjing, China
Server: Level B

Xuchang KETOP Electrical Apparatus
Testing & Research Institute, Henan, China
Server: Level B

Additional labs are underway.

A total of 155 certified products are listed at the UCAIUG website.

IEC 61850 Tutorial at IEEE PES Conference, Gothenburg, 10-13 October 2010

Everybody talks about Smart Grid but what is interesting about standards? What is a “smart” standard? Come to the IEEE PES Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden, 10-13 October 2010.

And join the tutorial "IEC61850 and related standards for interoperability within Power Utility Automation":

Sunday 10th October, 3 sessions with 2 breaks (13:00 - 16:30):

  • Requirements and challenges of a future proof migration towards a Smart Grid
  • Smart Grid Standard Landscape
  • Implementation of the Standards
    learn about IEC for small devices, Starter Kit IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25, Lite implementation, ... there is no excuse anymore for not implementing these standards!
  • IED for Smart Grid

Click HERE for the Tutorial description and program.
Click HERE for the conference information and registration.

European Roadmap - More Euros for Smart Grids

The European Electricity Grid Initiative (EEGI) has published a Roadmap for the years 2010-18 and a Detailed Implementation Plan 2010-12; with proposals how many Euros to spend.

The EEGI has proposed a nine-year European research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program initiated by electricity transmission and distribution network operators to accelerate innovation and the development of the electricity networks of the future in Europe.

The following statement is great: "The proposed RD&D program focuses on system innovation rather than on technology innovation." Yes, the time to develop crucial Technologies was during the years 2000 and 2010. Several basic Technologies like the international communication standards IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, IEC 62351, IEC 61968, and IEC 61970 are published AND IMPLEMENTED in many devices - ready to build SYSTEMS.

The time has come to USE these standards and devices - rather than start again discussing protocols again and again ... like in the nineties ...

Planned investments for monitoring, communication, ... automation are:





Improved planning, monitoring and control of LV networks

100 M€


Automation and control of MV network

90 M€


Integrated Communication Solutions

50 M€


Joint Task force on IT system protocols and standards (DSO driven)

19 M€

Click HERE to download the Roadmap.

Chinese Strong and Smart Grid Roadmap available

The "State Grid Cooperation China" (SGCC) has published the 139 page "SGCC Framework and Roadmap for Strong and Smart Grid Standards". One of the key challenges is the standardization. Several IEC TC 57 and TC 88 standards are crucial for the Strong and Smart Grid. Among others the following standards are key: IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 (15+ times referenced), IEC 61968/61970 (30+), IEC 62351 (5+).

The first sentence of the three sentence summary states: "The release and implementation of SGCC Framework and Roadmap for Strong and Smart Grid Standards will greatly boost the standardization of smart grid technologies in all related areas, promote wide public involvement and facilitate technical innovation and industrial upgrading."

The preface reads: " ... Faced with new challenges in energy sector, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) officially put forward the strategy of building a world-leading strong and smart grid with ultra high voltage grid as its backbone and subordinate grids coordinated at various voltage levels, featured as being IT-based, automated, interactive, based on independent innovation. Up to now, remarkable progress has been made in this regard. By 2020, a smart grid that is robust and reliable, economical and efficient, clean and environmental-friendly, transparent and open, user-friendly and interactive is to be established. Since August 2009, SGCC has started 228 demonstration projects of 21 categories in 26 provinces and municipalities. By now, the demonstration projects have been progressing smoothly. ... Based on SGCC smart grid research findings and standard framework, taking IEC smart grid standardization roadmap and international standardization gap into consideration, SGCC set priorities for international standards and prepared new working item proposals for IEC. ..."

Click HERE to download the 9 MB framework and roadmap.

During the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), SGCC promoted power grid technology upgrading from the following ten aspects, and accelerate the progressing of model projects that applies IEC 61850 among ten new technologies: Substation Automation Conformed with IEC 61850.

Click HERE for details.