Sunday, January 31, 2010

Status of all parts of IEC 61850

The first part of IEC 61850 Edition 2 has ben published as standard: part 6. Several other parts are in the final preparation for publication. Other new parts are under preparation.

Click HERE to download a table of the latest update of the parts (2010-02-01).

Friday, January 29, 2010

Smart Grid Devices with IEC 61850 and IEC 61499 at IEEE T&D Conference in New Orleans - 21 April 2010

The 2010 IEEE Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition (New Orleans, 19-22 April 2010) has the title: Smart Solutions for a Changing World.

What makes the Grid smart? Smart people that develop smart solutions! One of these smart solutions will be presented (by smart people) on

Wednesday, 21 April, 2010 8:00 AM-10:00 AM
Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee Poster Session

2010TD0592: Towards Intelligent Smart Grid Devices with IEC 61850 Interoperability and IEC 61499 Open Control Architecture

The Smart Grid vision, outlined in EPRI’s “Report to NIST on the Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Roadmap”, incorporates into the grid “the benefits of distributed computing and communications to deliver real-time information and enable the near-instantaneous balance of supply and demand at the device level”. This vision implies a multilayer information and control system architecture, with power transmission and distribution layer playing a crucial role in achieving the “smartness” of the grid.

The complexity of this task requires reconsidering grid control architectures, possibly changing them from the traditional hierarchical topology with distributed data acquisitions but central decision making, to decentralized decision making. For that, basic automation devices would need to become “intelligent”. Most advanced version of such devices are currently based on microcomputers with communication capabilities, but the data flow is purely bottom up, from devices to the control center, and control flow is opposite: from the control centre to instruments. In Smart Grids this may need to change to horizontal communication, negotiation and collaborative decision making by the instruments.

There has been considerable amount of research on the corresponding computing architectures capable of implementing such distributed intelligence. For example, multi-agent system architectures for grid automation have been proposed. Unfortunately these ideas cannot be implemented on current grid devices based on proprietary and closed hardware/software platforms. Besides, multi-agent implementations require high computation performance and still cannot deliver sufficient real-time performance and determinism. While multi-agent systems need powerful workstations to run, practitioners in the field are very conservative and insist on high reliability, determinism and performance of the microprocessor-based instruments. Reliable communication is crucial, and interoperability amongst IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices) is of paramount importance.

Thus, practical deployment of intelligent multi-agent solution at the transmission and distribution layer of Smart Grid can happen if a new generation of IEDs appears that have open architecture based on industrially accepted standards in the areas of information, configuration, communication and distributed automation.

The paper presented proposes an approach to pave the way to multi-agent intelligent control of grid is using two standards: IEC 61850 and IEC 61499.

IEC 61499 (Function Blocks) promises a framework for gluing those functions together in patterns of increasing capability and complexity.

Abstract-- The paper reports on developments and experiments conducted to prove the feasibility of using decentralized multi-agent control logic in the automation of power distribution networks. The utility network is modelled as communicating logical nodes following IEC 61850 standard’s architecture, implemented by means of IEC 61499 distributed automation architecture. The system is simulated in an IEC 61499 execution environment combined with Matlab and proven to achieve simple fault location and power restoration goals through collaborative behaviour and interoperable devices.

Index Terms-- Smart Grid, IEC 61850, interoperability, distributed intelligent automation, IEC 61499

Monday, January 25, 2010

Automation Standard (IEC 61499) meets Power Standard (IEC 61850)

"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), was held January 19-21, 2010 in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. The Conference was a forum to discuss the state-of-the-art innovations in smart grid technologies.

The paper "Towards the Energy Web via Standards-enabled Smart Grid" presented by Prof. Mihaela Ulieru was a big Blast.

Authors of the paper:
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 modeled 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 behavior."

Some 200 engineers - a forward looking crowd, extremely supportive and especially extremely receptive - were in fact quite enthusiastic of the ideas. The presentation was 'Stellar'! "What a genial idea to merge an automation standard with a power standard" has been the Motto everywhere after the talk.

Click HERE for the presentation.

The topic will also be presented and discussed during the IEEE PES T&D Conference in New Orleans, April 19-22, 2010.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gigabit Ethernet and IEEE 1588 for Substations

IEC 61850-3 compliant Gigabit Ethernet with IEEE 1588 time synchronization available for substation automation and protection. Korenix offers an IEC61850-3 Modular Managed Ethernet Switch, equipped with 4 on-board Gigabit RJ45 / MINI GBIC combo ports plus 3 modular slots for maximum 24 10/100 Base-TX Ports or 18 100Base-FX Fiber interfaces ports.

Click HERE for more details.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Wind of Change is blowing in Wind Power Protection using IEC 61850-9-2

When the IEC Technical Committee 88 (Wind Turbines) started the IEC 61850-based project IEC 61400-25 "Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants" in 2001 only a few experts expected that IEC 61850 would have a crucial impact on the way how wind parks will be equipped with intelligent devices. Most experts believed that the main use of standard information models and information exchange is for control and monitoring purposes only.

A very interesting paper has been written recently that discusses the use of IEC 61850-9-2 "Sampled values over ISO/IEC 8802-3" for protection functions in a whole park. Each Turbine/Tower provides current and voltage samples and other information in a continuous stream of sampled value messages. The IEC 61850-9-2 sampled values are distributed as Ethertype multicast messages (from a publishing device, often called Merging Unit) - and received by many subscribing devices. This allows to distribute and collect the measurements for protection and other use cases (e.g., 80 samples per nominal period - 20 ms in a 50 Hz system). Protection could now be implemented in a centralized location, and a few central protection devices could protect many distributed equipments (generator, transformer, circuit breakers, ...).

Implementation of Merging Units may also be used in the near future to distribute non-electric measurements like vibration measurements from gear boxes and blades.

Click HERE for the very interesting paper.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why IEC 61850 will succeed

The industrial automation in manufacturing and petrochemical plants has fallen well short of the expectations of the 1980s and 1990s. The MAP project (1983-1990) for example has not been accepted and the many international field-busses have not helped to provide a few real internationally standardized solutions. The many field-busses are now the headaches of many engineers. Why could we expect that IEC 61850 will be a real international standard accepted and applied all over and for many decades?

The key is that the physical power system is easier to model than the collective industrial processes of the world. The basic topology of the current electrical power system is the same since the very first steps. It is likely that the electrical power system will be the same in many years down the street. Since its inception, the power industry has operated with clear demarcations between its generation, transmission, and distribution subsystems. All over we have physical measurements and processed information than can be used in all domains of the electrical system today and in the future, e.g., the electrical measurements like voltage or currents.

The basics of the physical part of the power system will stay the same. The number of energy resources will explode and the locations of the grid connections will be quite distributed. The number of loads in existing grids will more or less be the same. What will change is how to monitor and control the many new and existing connection points of power resources and loads. It is likely that for every connection point there will be a need for a smarter device that communicates with its environment.

IEC 61850 implementations have proven that all basic requirements for the information and communication system are met by the various information models, communication services, networks, and configuration language. Missing elements can and will be added while we go. There is - to my knowledge - no competing standard on the horizon.

The challenges in the future power system are the stability of the electrical system with the many connection points (power engineers) and the management of the sheer unlimited number of smart devices (ITC engineers). There is a crucial need: These people have to team-up with each other - led by power engineers. Power engineers know the difference between a power network and the communication network: in the communication network messages can be stored in queues for seconds or hours - in the power network the power is consumed at the very same moment when it is produced.

Keep the grass green, the sky blue, and the power flowing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

IEC 61850 on a Chip? - Yes!

Beck-IPC GmbH (Pohlheim/Germany) offers IEC 61850 on a Chip.

The Fully Integrated Single Chip Solution IPC-10 enables a cost effective integration of IEC 61850 in IED designs. The IEC 61850 software is also available as portable client/server software, or already integrated in the RTU MRU-10 and WEBCAN RTU and Gateway. The configuration is using/generating IEC 61850-6 conformant Configuration files (SCL).

Click HERE for information in English.
Click HERE for information in German.

IEC 61850-7-4 Edition 2 FDIS open for Ballot

The second edition of IEC 61850-7-4 has been published for final ballot until February 05, 2010:

IEC 61850-7-4 Ed.2:
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 7-4: Basic communication structure – Compatible logical node classes and data object classes

The second edition specifies more than 150 Logical Nodes.

The major technical changes with regard to the first edition are as follows:

  • corrections and clarifications according to information letter;
  • extensions for new logical nodes for the power quality domain;
  • extensions for the model for statistical and historical statistical data;
  • extensions regarding IEC 61850-90-1 (substation-substation communication);
  • extensions for new logical nodes for monitoring functions according to IEC 62271;
  • new logical nodes from IEC 61850-7-410 and IEC 61850-7-420 of general interest.

Example of new Logical Nodes in IEC 61850-7-4 Edition 2:

New Logical nodes for functional blocks:

Counter - FCNT
Curve shape - FCSD
Generic filter - FFIL
Control function output limitation - FLIM
PID regulator - FPID
Ramp function - FRMP
Set-point control function - FSPT
Action at over threshold - FXOT
Action at under threshold - FXUT

An example of a PID loop control with an Logical Node FPID representing the attributes (or input and output signals):


Note that IEC 61850 DOES NOT specify the PID loop control algorithm or function. IEC 61850-7-4 Logical Nodes provide the "interface" or the presentation of the signals, the configuration of the object models and the exchange of the values. The Data Object "KP" (Proportional gain) can be set by an ACSI service. Or the Data Object "DAct" (Derivative action) can be read, reported, logged, or GOOSED.

If you are interested to comment on the document, please contact your national committee of the IEC TC 57.

IEC 61850-6 (Configuration Language) Edition 2 has been published

The first part of Edition 2 of IEC 61850 has been published as International Standard:

IEC 61850-6 Edition 2 (2009-12)
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 6: Configuration description language for communication in electrical substations related to IEDs

Click HERE for the Preview of the standard IEC 61850-6 Edition 2.

The second edition provides several crucial extensions. One extension is the way how to specify the source of a signal needed by an IED in more detail. The following slide from the NettedAutomation training shows that in the SCL file for IED B the source can be specified:

The Problem to be solved (specify comm

The list of extended details for the specification of the signal source is shown in the next slide:

 Inputs in SCL (Edition 2)

This allows to have a complete specification of the signal and how it is communicated. The specification uses a reference from the destination IED back to the source IED. The <Inputs>...</Inputs> represent a crucial part of the "wiring plan" of a substation automation system or any other automation system. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

IEC 61850 and IEC 61499 build a "Team"

The paper "Distributed Power System Automation with IEC 61850, IEC 61499 and Intelligent Control" presents a new approach to power
system automation, based on distributed intelligence rather than traditional centralised control. The paper investigates the interplay between two international standards, IEC 61850 and IEC 61499, and proposes a way of combining of the application functions of IEC 61850-compliant devices with IEC 61499-compliant “glue logic,” using the communication services of IEC 61850-7-2. The resulting ability to customise control and automation logic will greatly enhance the flexibility and adaptability of automation systems, speeding progress toward the realisation of the Smart Grid concept.

Click HERE to download the paper.

A second paper "Towards Intelligent Smart Grid Devices with IEC 61850 Interoperability and IEC 61499 Open Control Architecture" presents and discusses new developments and experiments conducted to prove the feasibility of using decentralized multi-agent control logic in the automation of power distribution networks. The utility network is modeled as communicating logical nodes following IEC 61850 standard’s architecture, implemented by means of IEC 61499 distributed automation architecture. The system is simulated in an IEC 61499 execution environment combined with Matlab and proven to achieve simple fault location and power restoration goals through collaborative behavior and interoperable devices.

Click HERE to download the paper.

DNP3 to become an IEEE Standard

IEEE has announced yesterday (2010-01-11) that a new project (P1815 - Standard for Electric Power Systems Communications - Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3)) has been set up to publish the DNP3 specification as an IEEE Standard in mid 2010.

The "purpose of this standard is to document and make available the specifications for the DNP3 protocol. ... The intent of this DNP3 standard is to meet the goal established by NIST for a Smart Grid protocol:

  • Provides a protocol standard from a recognized standard institution
  • Provides interoperability with 100s of operational systems and 1000s of devices
  • Provides cyber security based on IEC 62351-5 (Preview)
  • Provides Devise data profiles in a format that can be mapped to IEC 61850 Object Models"

Click HERE to access the official IEEE press release.

This is what I have expected for some time. The mapping of IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25-2 Object Models and (some) Services to DNP3 and IEC 60870-5-101/104 has already been standardized in IEC 61400-25-4 (some 2 years ago). DNP3 and IEC 60870-5-101/104 are used as SCADA protocols between substations and control centers all over.

Click HERE for some additional information on the mapping of IEC 61850/61400-25-2 objects and services to DNP3 and other protocols.

The following comparison shows that the objective of IEC 61850 goes far beyond the use as a SCADA protocol:

What is the difference compared to DNP3

The Configuration Language (IEC 61850-6 - Preview of Edition2) is the most crucial part of the standard series IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Successful IEC 61850 Hands-On Training Courses in Australia

NettedAutomation GmbH and STRI conducted two 3 day IEC 61850 Hands-On Training courses in Australia: in Brisbane on November 30 - December 02 and Sydney on December 02-04, 2009.

Brisbane course (attendees from 7 organizations)

Sydney course (attendees from 10 organizations)

Andrea Bonetti (STRI) in action
... actions speak louder than words!

The attendees reported that there are many concrete plans to apply IEC 61850 in Substations of Australian transmission and distribution utilities in 2010 and 2011. Also substations outside of utilities (e.g., in the mining industry) are being build with IEC 61850 compliant automation and protection systems.

The plans to implement a huge Smart Grid project in Australia are an additional opportunity for IEC 61850 being applied for distribution networks - to make the Grids smarter.

Feedback from an attendee of the Sydney course:
"Well organized and very well run. The presenters were well on top of the subject and could explain the subject matter. There was a huge amount of material to cover and they did it well. Being independent, the subject was presented objectively. Karlheinz was very strong on the background and the detail of the specification, including the interaction with related specifications. Andrea was excellent on the implementation and configuration. Had a very practical approach and committed to making it work in the real world. I certainly gained much more than I expected from the seminar. Excellent value."