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.