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.