Sunday, August 21, 2011

PV Power to (de)stabilize the European Power Delivery System?

One swallow does not make a summer – But 100.000 do. One PV system on a roof in the nineties did not make a smart grid based on renewable resources. But due to the growth of renewable resources like PV the power delivery system changes a lot. Usually today the PV inverters do automatically frequency disconnection.

ENTSO-E the “European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity” noted in a letter to Commissioner Oettinger of the European Commission that too many “swallows” are flying somehow “uncontrolled” – flying alone … not being aware what’s going on around them … not seeing the system (!):

“This letter is to brief you on a security of supply issue arising from the automatic frequency disconnection settings of installed photovoltaic (PV) panels in some European countries and to request your support in encouraging the national Regulatory authorities in impacted countries to facilitate the timely implementation of remedial actions.

Due to the interconnected nature of the transmission system until such remedial actions are implemented the synchronous Central European power system is at increased risk to significant frequency deviations of a magnitude that would generate a widespread loss of supply.

In several European countries, connection standards applicable to photovoltaic panels and other distributed generation have been or are still specifying that the panels automatically disconnect from the grid whenever the system frequency reaches 0.2 or 0.3 Hz deviations from the required normal value of 50.0 Hz.

Current information from our Member TSOs, including for example Germany and Italy, indicate that the significant growth in photovoltaics in recent years has resulted in a PV installed capacity (with such settings) approaching 25 000 MW. At these levels there is clearly a risk of an instantaneous generation loss far in excess of the 3000MW generation loss „ride-through‟ design limit for the Continental European system. …”

Click HERE for the letter from ENTSO-E [English, pdf]

Ok, what to do now? Act! There are many actions needed to get CONTROL over the system in the future system based on many distributed resources! One aspect is to change limits … but more important is the control of the power resources.

A group of IEC TC 57 WG 17 is working on a very crucial part of IEC 61850: Draft IEC 61850-90-7 TR – “Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 90-7: IEC 61850 object models for photovoltaic, storage, and other DER inverters” (57/1155/DC).

Major PV inverter manufacturers and other experts have drafted the above document.

Crucial aspects covered by 90-7 (in addition to IEC 61850-7-420 – DER) are:

7. DER management functions for inverters.

7.1 Immediate control functions for inverters
7.1.1 Function INV1: connect / disconnect from grid
7.1.2 Function INV2: adjust maximum generation level up/down
7.1.3 Function INV3: adjust power factor.
7.1.4 Function INV4: request real power (charge or discharge storage)
7.1.5 Function INV5: pricing signal for charge/discharge action

7.2 Modes for volt-VAr management
7.2.1 Var management modes using volt/VAr arrays
7.2.2 Volt-VAr mode VV11: normal energy conservation mode
7.2.3 Volt-VAr mode VV12: maximum VAr support mode
7.2.4 Volt-VAr mode VV13: static inverter mode
7.2.5 Volt-VAr mode VV14: passive mode.

7.3 Modes for frequency-related behaviours
7.3.1 Frequency management modes
7.3.2 Frequency-watt mode FW21: high frequency reduces active power.
7.3.3 Frequency-watt mode FW22: constraining generating/charging by frequency (see diagram below)

7.4 Dynamic grid support during abnormally high or low voltage levels
7.4.1 Dynamic grid support mode TV31: dynamic grid support during abnormally high or low voltage levels
7.4.2 Example of dynamic grid support capabilities.

7.5 Functions for “must disconnect” and “must stay connected” zones
7.5.1 “Must disconnect” MD curve
7.5.2 “Must stay connected” MSC curve

7.6 Modes for watt-triggered behaviours
7.6.1 Watt-power factor mode WP41: feeding power controls power factor

7.7 Modes for voltage-watt management.
7.7.1 Voltage-watt mode VW51: voltage-watt management: generating by voltage
7.7.2 Voltage-watt mode VW52: voltage-watt management: charging by voltage

7.8 Modes for behaviours triggered by non-power parameters
7.8.1 Temperature mode TMP
7.8.2 Pricing signal mode PS

7.9 Setting and reporting functions
7.9.1 Establishing settings DS91: modify inverter-based DER settings
7.9.2 Event logging DS92: log alarms and events, retrieve logs
7.9.3 Reporting status DS93: selecting status points, establishing reporting mechanisms
7.9.4 Time synchronization DS94: time synchronization requirements

Example (without further explanations):

7.3.3 Frequency-watt mode FW22: constraining generating/charging by frequency:


It is expected that this part IEC 61850-90-7 is one of the crucial parts of IEC 61850 for the stability of the future power delivery systems all over.

It’s “PV summer time” – there are millions of PV inverter installed (most of them are not controlled … just “flying” around.

Please contact your national IEC TC 57 committee to get a copy of the document.

Click HERE for an interesting ENTSO-E Draft “Requirements for Grid Connection Applicable to all Generators” dated 22 March 2011

The Power Systems are quite comprehensive … and complex!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

IEC 61850 for Substations Only?

The title and scope of IEC 61850 was for many years very restricted:

2001 – 2009: Communication networks and systems in substations

2010 – … : Communication networks and systems for power utility automation

The new title and scope is still too restrictive! The working group wanted to change to “… for automation”. This was not accepted by the IEC Central Office. IEC deals with electro-technical matters. The term “automation” was understood as to broad.

From a content point of view IEC 61850 could be used all over where measurements and status information needs to be communicated – in any application domain. Even if you are just monitoring a process or system (no control need) you can use IEC 61850 models, messages and configuration tools.

The Model “STMP” (temperature supervision logical node) can be used wherever a temperature measurement is taken: Temperature of a transformer, of a room, ambient temperature or your body temperature. When the “STMP.Tmp.mag” value reached the configured limit (Alarm limit or Trip limit) an report or a GOOSE message may be issued.

By the way, IEC 61850 has rules how to define extended logical nodes and data objects. All values can be communicated the Ethernet and TCP/IP based information exchange methods.

Experts pointing to the scope “substations” are not up-to-date. Those arguing that IEC 61850 is for “power utility automation” only may not like to accept that IEC 61850 is very generic or common – applicable in a wide range of applications.

The title and scope are just “toner on paper”.

Progress in Smart Grid Deployment – Too slow?

Many people all over expect that the Electric Power Delivery system will be changed to become smarter over night. A system that has been build over a period of 20, 50, …. 100+ years cannot be changed in short time! The change is likely to occur in steps over several decades – may be for ever.

Peter Fox Penner (US consultant) has summarized what is going on in the process of change. He concludes: “… Taken together, the trends discussed here show that the smart grid is expanding and developing, even if the most successful entities and programs are surprising. More importantly, these trends illustrate the evolutionary nature of smart grid development. Arguments that the smart grid is moving too slowly underestimate the scale and complexity of rebuilding our entire grid. Utilities are tasked with deploying a complex series of infrastructure investments that must work in harmony with their current (already smart) systems, use innovative pricing that customers support, and produce a net benefit. Under these conditions, slow and steady wins the race. We can expect smart grid development to occur in stages over decades, ultimately transforming the power industry into a very different business.”

Click HERE for his report in the IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter.

When we talk about the pace of change in the information technology in industrial automation we should not get nervous when we see the slow progress! How long did it take to get Gigabit/s Ethernet for substation environments developed … and accepted!? New approaches in Automation take often decades before they are accepted and used.

Click HERE for a brief discussion on Ethernet and Tokenbus … written decades ago.

The future for standards is quite bright. When a utility decides to deploy information technology for the next 10 or 20 years it will likely chose a stable standard – so that there is no need to change the solution every 4 or 5 years … when manufacturers have developed a new solution.

MMS (Manufacturing Message Specification, ISO 9506, used in IEC 61850-8-1 to define the message encoding) has been developed in the late eighties (80s !) – some 25 years ago. Web services are understood by some people as an option for messaging – more up-to-date. I have seen a Report message of a simple state change message using IEC 61400-25-2 Web Services the other day. The length of the XML coded Report message was some 850 octets !! A Report message encoded with MMS/ASN.1 BER (as per IEC 61850-8-1) is really shorter: by a factor of about 10 !!

Don’t hurry. Take your time. Rome hasn’t be built over night!

I usually sate in my seminars that the deployment of IEC 61850 happens too fast – users often do not have any clue what they got installed. They got it because it was cheaper than xyz. All in a sudden they have several substations with hundreds of IEDs communicating with IEC 61850 – and many (may be almost all) utility engineers have to struggle with this new way to do protection and automation. Many of them have started to get training in IEC 61850 … and you?

Don’t start slow and slow down fast ;-)

Just start – there is something to learn!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Engineer for IT Security in Industrial Automation Wanted (TÜV SÜD)

Der TÜV SÜD in München sucht einen Ingenieur für IT-Sicherheit (w/m)


  • Erstellung von Prüf- und Testszenarien nach einschlägigen Standards (z.B. IEC 62351, IEC 15408 etc.)
  • IT-Sicherheitsberatung und Audits von Industriesystemen (z.B. Leit- und Steuernetzwerke)
  • Analyse/Auswertung von (industriellen) Kommunikationsprotokollen (z.B. TCP/IP, XML, PROFINET)
  • Durchführung von IT-Sicherheits- und Risikoanalysen
  • Durchführung von IT-Sicherheitstests und Penetrationstests
  • Berichterstellung
  • Mitwirkung bei Fachveranstaltungen (Schulungen, Seminare, Tagungen)

HIER für weitere Informationen clicken.

Übrigens: die Norm IEC 62351 wird auch für Geräte nach IEC 61850 und IEC 61400-25 eingesetzt.

Test Engineer for IEC 61850 Wanted (TÜV SÜD Munich)

Der TÜV SÜD in München sucht einen Ingenieur für Schaltanlagen (w/m)


  • Erstellen von Prüf- und Testszenarien zur Prüfung der Konformität und Interoperabilität nach IEC 61850 und IEC 61400-25
  • Erstellen, Erweitern und Modifizieren von Test-Skripts für die automatisierte Testdurchführung und -auswertung
  • Prüfung von Konfigurationen und technischen Datenmodellen beim Kunden
  • Analyse und Auswertung von Kommunikationsprotokollen und Testergebnissen
  • Erstellen von Prüfberichten nach vorgegebenen Qualitätsstandards
  • Unterstützung des Kunden bei der Umsetzung von Normanforderungen sowie der Bewertung und Behandlung von Testergebnissen
  • Mitarbeit bei nationalen und internationalen Standardisierungsgremien, Vertretung bei Konferenzen und Fachveranstaltungen

HIER für weitere Informationen clicken.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Progress in IEC 61850 standardization

The FDIS IEC 61850-9-2 Ed.2:
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation -
Part 9-2: Specific communication service mapping (SCSM) -
Sampled values over ISO/IEC 8802-3

has been accepted as International Standard.

The CDV IEC 61850-10 Ed.2 (57/1162/CDV):
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation -
Part 10: Conformance testing

has been published for comments an ballot by 2012-01-06.

The following has been changed and extended:
- Update of Server device conformance test procedures
- New Client system conformance test procedures
- New Sampled values device conformance test procedures
- New Engineering Tool related conformance test procedures
- New GOOSE performance test procedures

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Developers Workshop for IEC 61850 Client/Server and Publisher/Subscriber for Smart Grids in Shanghai

A one-day Developers Workshop for IEC 61850 Client/Server and Publisher/Subscriber Devices and Applications will be conducted by Karlheinz Schwarz at the

State Energy Smart Grid R&D Center (Shanghai) hosted at Shanghai Jiao Tong University
800 Dong Chuan Road
Shanghai, China, 200240
05. September 2011 (Monday)

智能电网标准 · 应用与开发研讨会

由IEC TC 57核心成员Karlheinz Schwarz先生主讲,内容针对:

两种服务类型: 客户/服务器架构,发布/订阅架构




2011.9.5 (周一)

Click HERE for the Program in English and Chinese [pdf].
Click HERE for the profile of the instructor [pdf].
Click HERE for the registration and contact information [Word document].

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Germany Increases Energy Research by 75 percent to 3.5 Billion Euros

The German government announced the other day that it will spend much more research money into the development of a clean energy delivery system. The government will spend 3.500.000.000 Euros ($4.9 billion) into research for renewable generation, higher energy efficiency, energy storage and grid-technology in the next three years (2011-2014).

Click HERE for the press release [in German only]

It is very likely that a reasonable part of this money will be spend for the IT infrastructure needed for the many applications of future power delivery system. There are at least two stable solutions that have to be taken into account: (1) the electrical system (A.C. and D.C.) and (2) the IP infrastructure. The future power system will be based on these corner stones. The electrical system will be supported by myriads of new intelligent controllers of the power resources (renewable, storage, …) and new controllers of the grid (transmission and distribution) – and many of the controllers need to work (communicate over Ethernet and TCP/IP) together and being supervised by other controllers, which are part of the overall control of the power system …

The international standard series IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, IEC 61968/70 (CIM), IEC 60870-6 (ICCP), … are here to help that the dream of the German government becomes true. Without these standards, the future power delivery system would be a nightmare with hundreds of proprietary communication solutions.

Many more companies in Germany and Europe are starting to put their hands on the standards IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 to be prepared for the future power delivery system in 2011. More than 20 companies will have received an in-house course on IEC 61850 and other IEC standards by Karlheinz Schwarz by end of 2011, and he will have run about an additional 10 public courses this year.

There is a lot to be done – let’s get started or continue dealing with the IT infrastructure using IEC standards.

Of course: The IT infrastructure is just a vehicle for the future power delivery system. There is much more to do than to communicate. By applying already available standards it saves a lot of R&D money that should better be spend on questions like, “What does demand response really mean?”

Click HERE for a nice paper that discusses questions like: “What happens with the electrical system if a huge number of customers start their dishwashers, washing machines, stoves, AC, … at the same time after a real-time price information has been received by the consumers?” Could they behave in a way to cause power outages? May be …

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Corrected URLs for IEC 61850 Hands-on Training Course in Sao Paulo (Brazil) on 11.-14. October 2011

The URLs for the STRI/NettedAutomation hands-on training course scheduled for Sao Paulo (Brazil) on 11.-14. October 2011 were damaged … please find the correct links:

Click HERE for the Program and Registration information for attendees from Brazil.
Click HERE for the Program and Registration information for all other attendees.

The course will be conducted at Instronic:

Cisco’s conclusion on FERC’s Non-Ruling on IEC Standards

FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) decided in July 2011 to not (yet) rule on five Smart Grid standard series suggested by the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST) / Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP). These families of standards defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) were nominated by NIST/SGIP for consideration by FERC in rule making in October 2011. These are:

  • IEC 61968: Application Integration at Electric Utilities-System Interfaces for Distribution Management
  • IEC 61970: Energy management system application program interface
  • IEC 61850: Communication Networks and Systems for Power Utility Automation
  • IEC 60870-6 series: Telecontrol protocols compatible with ISO standards and ITU-T recommendations
  • IEC 62351: Power systems management and associated information exchange - data and communications security

Cisco’s position on this FERC non-ruling (according to their website – see below) is:

  • "Are the IEC standards really not ready for prime time? This is unlikely because most of these standards are already in use outside North America.
  • Is cyber security a solved problem? Not likely, as long as there are hackers in the world, cyber security will be an on-going challenge.
  • Is cyber security an intractable problem? Far from it, the public Internet and private Internets (e.g. DoD) can be highly secure networks. And open-standards, community-based security mechanisms are far superior to "security by obscurity", or the status quo in utility networking which largely consists of hundreds of parallel SCADA networks.
  • Is greater awareness and education required? Indeed yes. The utility industry and the regulatory commissions need to hear from the Internet community of vendors, service providers, network operators, system admins, and cyber security experts, how packet networks can be made secure.
The FERC non-action is both a temporary setback and a call-to-action for the Smart Grid community. The concerns expressed by FERC and the regulators are genuine and need to be addressed. Unfortunately, the need for standards in transmission and distribution networks can't be put off. Fortunately, the cyber security questions related to the Smart Grid have good answers available from the long experience of the Internet.

Click HERE for the Cisco Developer Network statement on FERC’s non-ruling.

What is true for the security issues (IEC 62351) is true for the other standard families, too! Many engineers need to become aware of the huge challenges by more education and training!!

Investment in peopleware is one of the needed actions to keep the power flowing.

Click HERE for more discussions on peopleware.

Next opportunity in North America:

Nashville (TN, USA)
20.-21. September 2011
Remote Conference
2 day Seminar (conducted by NettedAutomation) on Power System Communication covering IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, DNP3, NIST Interoperability Roadmap, Smart Grids, security standards, ...

IEC 61869-6: The IEC 61850 Interface for Instrument Transformers

IEC TC 38 has published the new Committee Draft (CD) for the Digital interface for instrument transformers (38/418/CD):

IEC 61869: Instrument Transformers -
Part 9: Digital interface for instrument transformers

This standard defines a method for digital communications of instrument transformer
measurements. It is based on the IEC 61850 series of standards, IEC 60044-8 and the UCA International User Group document Implementation Guideline for Digital Interface to Instrument Transformers Using IEC 61850-9-2 (known as 9-2LE). It includes additional improvements including IEC 61588 network based time synchronization, and frequency response requirements.

This new standard will be part a product family standard for instrument transformers. It provides an application of the horizontal standard series IEC 61850, which details layered substation communication architecture in the world of instrument transformers.
By providing tutorial material such as examples and explanations, it also gives an access for instrument transformer, protective relay and meter experts to concepts and methods applied in the IEC 61850 series.

An overview about the standard series 61869 is shown in the next picture:


  • Part 9 Replaces IEC 60044-8 digital solution.
  • Provides a product standard for instrument transformers with a digital interface according to 61850; similar to what IEC 62271-3 is doing for switchgear.
  • Includes backward compatibility for the UCA International User Group Implementation Guideline for Digital Interface to Instrument Transformers Using IEC 61850-9-2.
  • Uses IEC 61588-Ed2 for time synchronization, with an option for 1PPS.

The CD ballot closes 2011-11-04.

Contact your national IEC TC 38 or TC 57 committee to get a copy of the CD.