Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Release of NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards

DoE (U.S. Department of Commerce) and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) have published an updated roadmap for the Smart Grids (Release 2.0) the other day.

The general direction and objectives of the framework and roadmap described in the first release have been approved by release 2. Several topics of Release 1.0 have been improved and extended. IEC 61850 (and other IEC TC 57 standards like 60870-6 TASE.2/ICCP, IEC 61968/70 CIM, and IEC 62351 Security) are still understood as key standards for Smart Grids.

New aspects covered:

  • Developments related to ensuring cybersecurity for the Smart Grid, including a Risk Management Framework to provide guidance on security practices;
  • A new framework for testing the conformity of devices and systems to be connected to the Smart Grid—the Interoperability Process Reference Manual; and
  • An overview of future areas of work, e.g.,electromagnetic disturbance and interference.

You can read between the lines that the people in charge for smart(er) grids have understood that the implementation of new devices and systems is more a marathon than a sprint. Take a look at the process of standardization of IEC 61850 which started in 1995, released first complete set mainly in 2004-2005, and extended the standard since then. It took many years before the market saw a bunch of vendors and users that implemented the standard (2007 - 2010). But: The pace in implementing and using the standard has increased steadily all over since 2010 – 15 years after IEC 61850 standardization work started, some 20 years after UCA 2.0 was initiated, and 25 years after the MAP project started.

Don’t worry if you see a lot of legacy stuff still running and commissioned. Keep in mind: Haste makes waste. Take your time.

Download the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 2.0 [pdf, 7.5 MB]

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Easy, Affordable and Fast Integration of IEC 61850 in Small Devices

High financial and time expenditures for the implementation of IEC 61850 in control systems and other devices prevented so far a broad market penetration of the standard in the lower voltage levels and in distributed power generation. A reasonable and cost effective solution is now available with the Beck IPC@CHIP. The development of IEC 61850 conformant interfaces in power delivery systems – particularly renewable and decentralized power producers and consumers – can now be realized within very short time to market.

The stack and API used on many platforms has been developed by SystemCorp (Bentley, Western Australia), e.g., on the Beck IPC Chip.

A new paper has been written about the benefits of using ready-to-go solutions. The paper discusses embedded controller with IEC 61850 stack and API, DLL and other libraries with IEC 61850 stack and API, … You will find also a brief discussion of the information models for PV inverters (IEC 61850-90-7).

Download the discussion about benefits using ready-to-go solutions with IEC 61850 and PV Inverter models [pdf, 2.3 MB, 18 pages]

Video on the Use of IEC 61850-6 SCL to configure a server and a client

This presentation explains the use of two IED specific SCL files to configure IEDs. One is used to configure a server and the second (with the same model - but different bindings between the model and the real data) is used to configure a client. The API "Write call " at the client and the "Write callback" at the server are briefly explained. The API is provided by SystemCorp (Bentley, Western Australia). The API is available at the Beck IPC Chip and other embedded controllers, or for Windows (DLL) and Linux.

Click HERE for an evaluation kit running on a PC (with DLL and applications). The evaluation package runs for six months. It uses two SCL files for configuring the server and the client (as shown in the video).

I hope you will enjoy this video!
Your feedback to Karlheinz Schwarz would be appreciated.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Video with brief Introduction to IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25

IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 comprise some 25 documents. Part IEC 61850-7-1 contains some basic modeling concepts that may help to get a few ideas what IEC 61850 is about. I guess that just a few people have read that part. In my training courses with almost 3.000 attendees I have gained a lot of experience on how to explain the basic concepts. In 2011 I have conducted more than 30 training sessions (from one to 12 days). Today I am starting a new service to the industry: providing videos that explain basics with animated up-to-date slides.

The first video is a brief presentation of the key concepts of IEC 61850 (one slide): modeling methods, models, configuration language, communication, and mappings. The demonstration shows how these concepts are used to compose a system. Of course, this slide is just showing the basics of a “small system”. This slide is part of the introduction of my commercial training curses.

Please click on the start button to see the video – in order to see it in the full screen, click again on the video and select the full screen button.

I hope you will enjoy this video!
Your feedback to Karlheinz Schwarz would be appreciated.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Siemens Industry offers PRP Ethernet Redundancy Products

Ethernet is obviously to become the number ONE solution for almost all automation domains – just a few experts expected this success some 20 years ago. Even one of the serious supporters of Fieldbusses (Siemens) is supporting this trend by offering new Ethernet products.

High Availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR) and Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) are the latest additions to the IEC 62439 Standard for High Availability Industrial Ethernet Networks. Designed for mission critical and time sensitive applications such as those found in Electric Utility protection and control applications (referenced by IEC 61850-8-1). Below is an excerpt of the TCP/IP Profile (PRP1 and HSR are also contained in the GOOSE and SV profiles):


Siemens offers IEC 62439-3 PRP compliant Ethernet products (SCALANCE X204RNA).

Click HERE for information on SCALANCE X204RNA in English
Click HERE for information on SCALANCE X204RNA in German
Click HERE for Manuals and further information

Click HERE for further information on the concepts [ppt presentation]
Click HERE for other IEC 62439 products [Hirschmann]

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Excerpt of IEC 61850 etz Report online

A excerpt of the etz Report 34 (in German only) is available online:


2004 / 184 Seiten

Themen: IEC 61850 - Datenmodelle und Kommunikation für die Schutztechnik, Stationsleittechnik, Netzleittechnik, Leitsysteme, Schaltanlage, Energieversorgung, u.v.a.m.

Click HERE for an excerpt of the book.
Click HERE for order information.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Update on: How to define New Data Objects in IEC 61850?

The post dated January 15, 2012, on “How to define New Data Objects in IEC 61850?” has been updated and enhanced to help you to understand the model extensions. It contains also to older links …

Click HERE for the updated post.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Download IEC 61850 Blog Content as PDF Document

For those readers of the blog that want to get the complete content as
a single pdf document, it is one click away … it contains the 585
posts from 2008 until 2012-02-13.

Click HERE to download all posts in one pdf [12.5 MB, 420+ pages DIN A4]


Smart Grid Last Mile Infrastructure

20 experts from 15 companies have drafted an architecture for “A Standardized and Flexible IPv6 Architecture for Field Area Networks”.

The “paper is intended to provide a synthetic and holistic view of open standards Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) based architecture for Smart Grid Last Mile Infrastructures in support of a number of advanced Smart Grid
applications (meter readout, demand-response, telemetry, and grid monitoring and automation) and its benefit as a true Multi-Services platform. … provide an efficient, flexible, secure, and multi-service network based on open standards.”

IEC TC 57 standards like CIM, IEC 61850, and IEC 610870, as well as DNP3, IEEE 1888, and Modbus are understood as crucial application standards.

Click HERE for the above architecture.

What is IEEE 1888? A new IEEE project …

Standard for Ubiquitous Green Community Control Network Protocol

Click HERE for some background information
Click HERE for the PAR
Click HERE to visit the project website.

I hope that the experts involved in the project IEEE 1888 will rely on standards like CIM, IEC 61850, and IEC 610870, … Hope that the energy automation market is smarter than the industrial automation market: keeping the number of protocol solutions very low!! The industrial automation domain has a lot of headaches with the proliferation of the many many protocols (100+)!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

IEC 61850 on every Pole?

Pole mounted power distribution equipment and communication could be found all over in big cities like the one shown in the following picture I took in Seoul:

Distribution Seoul

In the future you may see many pole mounted boxes that function as routers supporting the hybrid grids (power, gas, heat, …), traffic control, … and may other applications.

Several companies are offering the needed communication infrastructure that connects many of the millions of devices.

One of these comprehensive solutions is the “Cisco Connected Grid – Deliver More Value from Your Operations Over a Single, Intelligent, Secure Platform”. A key element in this platform is IEC 61850.

Click HERE for a presentation on “Cisco Connected Grid” [pdf, 25 pages]

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ethernet for Real-Time Applications – IEEE Symposium in Munich

On January 17, 2012 TUEV SUED (Munich, Germany) held a symposium on real-time Ethernet. Ethernet is not fit for real-time – that is what has been said from the very beginning. But: time and technology has changed. “Deterministic Ethernet & Unified Networking - Never bet against Ethernet …”, this is the opening statement of one of the 11 presentations of the symposium. Ethernet seems to be THE backbone of all automation systems in the near future.

The 11 presentations can be downloaded:

1. Opening by TÜV SÜD
2. IEEE 802.1 AVB standards status (audio video bridging, Broadcom)
3. Real-time networks and preemption (Cisco)
4. Latency Scenarios of Bridged Networks (Deggendorf University)
5. Real-time Ethernet Requirements for Automation Applications (iniT)
6. Ultra Low Latency Traffic Class @ Industry (Siemens)
7. Adaptive Scheduling of Streams in RT (Czech TU Prague)
8. AVB and Fault Tolerant Networking (Belden/Hirschmann) – Ethernet everywhere!
9. Robustness Requirement in Industry and Energy (ZHAW, CH)
10. Deterministic Ethernet & Unified Networking (TTTech)
11. IEEE 1588v2 Time Synchronization in Energy Automation Applications – Case Studies from China (RuggedCom) – Huge substation with more than 160 Ethernet Switches!

When I was about to do my diploma thesis at Siemens in Karlsruhe in 1981, my topic was to do some practical analysis of Ethernet. Due to the high cost of two (2) Ethernet MAUs (40.000 DM / 20.000 Euro) it was decided not to purchase the hardware – people did not believe that Ethernet would be an option at all … and forever. Many experts believed in Token Passing.

I did not agree (I was still a student). So, I decided to look for an answer of making shared Ethernet deterministic … it ended up in a patent Siemens got.

More to come … in China and all over. Ethernet and IEC 61850 (based on Ethernet) are providing real standard solutions.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

IEC 60870-6 TASE.2 (ICCP) - New Editions

IEC TC 57 has published three Committee Drafts (CD) that are intended to provide new editions of the popular standards for control center to control center communication.

IEC 60870 defines a mechanism for exchanging time-critical data between control centres. It defines a standardized method of using the ISO 9506 Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS) services to implement the exchange of data.

Closing date for comments: 2012-05-04

IEC 60870-6-503 Ed.3: Telecontrol equipment and systems - Part 6-503: Telecontrol protocols compatible with ISO standards and ITU-T recommendations - TASE.2 Services and protocol

IEC 60870-6-702 Ed.2: Telecontrol equipment and systems - Part 6-702: Telecontrol protocols compatible with ISO standards and ITU-T recommendations - Functional profile for providing the TASE.2 application service in end systems

IEC 60870-6-802 Ed.3: Telecontrol equipment and systems - Part 6-802: Telecontrol protocols compatible with ISO standards and ITU-T recommendations - TASE.2 Object models

Contact your National Committee for a copy.

Load-Shedding by Police and SMS

The German TV channel ZDF showed yesterday how businesses in Nice (France) shed loads: by policeman coming by … and by SMS messages.

Click HERE for a video [in German only, at]

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Italian Norm about to Require IEC 61850 for almost all PV Inverters

The CEI (Comitato Elettrotecnico Italiano) has published in December 2011 a norm that strongly proposes to use IEC 61850 to connect PV inverters (>1kV and >6 kW) to external systems (grid operator, …):

CEI 0-21 “Regola tecnica di riferimento per la connessione di Utenti attivi e passivi alle reti BT delle imprese distributrici di energia elettrica”.

“Reference technical rules for the connection of active and passive users to
the LV electrical Utilities”

Click HERE for the press release and link to the norm provided by CEI [pdf, Italian].

Click HERE for a up-to-date presentation presenting the background and needs for … and for standard communications in low voltage (LV) power systems.

The document IEC 61850-90-7 “IEC 61850 object models for inverters in distributed energy resources (DER) systems” is about to published in a few months. This document is a perfect fit for the needs of PV inverters.

IEC TC 57 WG 17 has met in San Diego (CA) last week. The final draft paper is expected to be available in a few weeks.

IEC 61850 Training Courses in Frankfurt and Denver (CO)

Are you looking to tap the experience of training almost 3.000 experts all over? Here are a few public events in Germany and U.S. that provide a wide range of experience and knowledge presented by Karlheinz Schwarz.

Understanding the basics of standard series IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 will help you to get smoothly to systems that are based on interoperable devices.

Frankfurt (Germany), 09.-11. May 2012
Frankfurt (Germany), 17.-19. October 2012
3 day IEC 61850/61400-25 Seminar/Hands-on Training (NettedAutomation) with with several embedded Controller Development Kits (Linux, RTOS, ...), Starter Kit (Windows DDL), and several other demo software

Denver, CO, (USA), Remote Conference, 18.-19. September 2012
Remote Conference Denver (CO, USA):
Communication and Security for smarter Energy systems Conference Workshop -
Two-Day Training on Key Standards for Smart Grids and SCADA
Application Domains: IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, DNP3, and Energy Protection
Day 1: IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, DNP3 (Karlheinz Schwarz, NettedAutomation)
Day 2: Energy Protection, Security, … (Dan Nordell, requested)

NettedAutomation is planning to have a booth at the Remote Exhibition.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Modeling Circuit Breakers for Single and Three Phases

Models for switchgear are defined in IEC 61850-7-4 Edition 2. The model defines several aspects like controlling and monitoring of real circuit breaker switchgear:

XCBR excerpt of model:


XCBR represents usually one (1 phase) circuit breaker. In some special cases it may represent all three (3 phase) circuit breaker. If you want to trip all three CBs of a 3-phase system, you have to define an instance 1 for that purpose: e.g., All_XCBR1.

In case you want to model the case to trip a single phase CB, you have to model 3 instances of XCBR, e.g., A_XCBR1, B_XCBR2, C-XCBR3.

The data object XCBR.SumSwARs represents the “Sum of switched amperes, resettable”. What to do when you want to model the SumSwARs of all three phases?

I saw this model the other day: extended data objects:SumSwARs1, SumSwARs2, SumSwARs3 … for Phase A, B, and C in a single XCBR instance:


From a general modeling point of view this could be done (it is not wrong!) – But it is highly recommended not to do! Since a XCBR is usually representing a single CB then we need 1 instance per phase. A_XCBR1 would represent the sum of switched amperes of Phase A. The All-XCBR1 (see above) could represent the sum of switched amperes of all 3 CBs.

Long-Term Solutions for The Transition of Energy System Needed

Energy supply systems have a long lifetime (30 … 40 … 50+ years). Electric energy is flowing trough generators, wires, transformer, switchgears, motors, and other loads; gas and heat is flowing through tubes … The energy is usually flowing top-down today. In the future we will have to manage energy flow top-down, bottom-up, back and forth, converted between …

The transition of the energy system as planned today, will take decades to happen. According to Eberhard Umbach, the president of the KIT (Karlsruher Instituts für Technologie) it would be a great success, if we could get started within the next 10 years (Read in the News [German]).

“Der Präsident des Karlsruher Instituts für Technologie (KIT) hat Zweifel am Gelingen der Energiewende und dem Ausbau der Windenergie im Südwesten. "Das größte Problem ist, dass wir künftig dezentrale Netze brauchen, die separat geregelt werden und miteinander verknüpft sind", sagte Eberhard Umbach der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung" (Montag).

Ein Aspekt werde von den Politikern derzeit weitgehend ignoriert, sagte Umbach: "Zur Steuerung der dezentralen Netze fehlt uns heute die entsprechende Informationstechnologie einschließlich entsprechender Sicherheitsmaßnahmen, da reicht es nicht, ein paar neue Programme zu schreiben." Wenn innerhalb der nächsten zehn Jahre erste Schritte gelängen, so Umbach, dann "wären wir sehr gut".

That means for the information and information exchange infrastructure that it has to stay (standardized one way or the other) for some 30 … 50 years. It is unlikely to replace a comprehensive infrastructure, that is required for the future hybrid energy system, every 10 years or so. In the manufacturing domain (car production, …) it is likely that a factory will be upgraded to a new “standard” every 7 to 10 years.

So, we have some years left to do large scale deployments of the basic information and information exchange infrastructure for the hybrid energy system of the future.

The basic definitions that can be used today, in 10 or even in 30 years are the IEC 61968/70 (CIM) and IEC 61850. The crucial parts of these standard series are independent of implementation technologies: models of a generators, measurements of the electrical 3-phase system or power quality information are semantic models that could be used forever. A “phase A current” is a “phase A current” today and in 40 years.

There is one issue here: How could I figure out which models exist? Good question!

Click HERE for the list of 280+ Logical nodes (2010).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wind and Solar Gas – A Challenging Storage Option

As you know, there is a crucial challenge with renewable power generation – wind and solar power are often generated during times when it could not be transported to the load centers! Usually generation has to stop – even the wind is blowing and the sun is shining. So, how to work around?

In November 2011 there was a big conference in Berlin to discuss a new way of storing energy: the existing natural gas network may become a cornerstone for a renewable energy system that provides huge storage, transport and distribution capacities that are hundred times larger than the electric power grid.

Electrons and gas? Yes!

The “SolarFuel” power-to-gas method could convert renewable electricity into CO2 neutral, renewable natural gas.

What does it all mean:

  • More renewable electricity could be generated.
  • Renewable natural gas stores the energy for days, weeks and months due to huge capacities in the tubes used for transportation and distribution
  • Energy is accessible everywhere and at any time.

I remember that our gas utility here in Karlsruhe buried huge tubes (some 100 cm in diameter) in the 90s – this allows to transport and store more gas (volume increases to the second of the diameter). Copper wires can transport more electric power with bigger cables – but the wires do not store more electric power ;-)

The gas storage in Germany could (if full) be tapped for some 6 month!!

The new discussion is about Hybrid Grids: Electric Power, Gas and Heat. More to come soon.

One thing is for sure: We will be challenged by a steep growing demand of Information Models to be added to IEC 61850 for the many aspects of hybrid grids. UCA (the forerunner of IEC 61850) was adapted by the GRI (Gas research institute, USA) for use by gas utilities. This effort culminated in an evaluation of UCA in a gas utility environment at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Francisco, in the 90s.

Excerpt of logical nodes (called Bricks in UCA) from the document: Integrated UCA(TM) for Gas Industry / Volume 2: Gas Industry Device Object Models.



  • Pressure monitors for inlet, intermediate and outlet gas (PMON0, 1, 2 respectively)
  • First stage pressure regulating valves (PRVL0, PRVM0 and PRVH0 for low, mid and high range valves respectively
  • Gate station flow monitors for low, medium and high flow rates (GSFL0, GSFM0, and GSFH0 respectively)
  • Gas quality monitor (QMON0):


Click HERE for the list of 6 reports from GTI (former GRI) [2000]
Click HERE to get some more information on wind and solar gas.
Click HERE for a comparison of IEC 61850 and UCA [2004].

IEC 61850 logical nodes for the gas and heat application domain could easily be defined and (if needed) standardized.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

IEEE Standards for free download

Did you know that many IEEE 802 and other standards are available for free of charge download? IEEE provides these documents for free six months after their publication.

Click HERE for the list of free standards.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

U.S. System Integrator opened Test Facility for IEC 61850

Burns & McDonnell (Kansas City, MO) has invested in a new lab for technologies like IEC 61850 to offer a “work bench” for their employees and their clients. The lab supports GOOSE, MMS, and Sampled Values messaging.

The lab helps “tying IEC-61850 to the power line carrier and integrating advanced protection and control systems with legacy equipment using RS-232 and DNP interfaces.

This way they will gain crucial experience with the new standard series IEC 61850 –this is what you see in the factory automation domain where a lot of “filedbus X” competence centers are offering services for specific fieldbus technologies.

Click HERE for the press release (2012-01-27).

Burns & McDonnell is involved in an upgrade project with 19 substations using IEC 61850 technology, 2010 – 2016:

“Burns & McDonnell is responsible for detailed design including Northeast Utilities’ new Next Generation Substation Protection & Controls. The new P&C system integrates relays, SCADA equipment and yard equipment using IEC 61850 protocol, significantly reducing costly wiring.”

Click HERE for the project description.

Power Quality Information modeled in IEC 61850

IEC 61850 is a powerful standard – also for describing the exchange of Power Quality Information.

IEC 61850 has been extended to support many advanced power quality applications like those defined in IEC 61000-4-30 and EN 50160. IEC 61850-7-4 Edition 2 defines logical nodes, that support modeling and configuring event sequencing with additional quality reporting and waveform recording.

Excerpt of logical nodes for power quality:

  • Harmonics (MHAI)
  • Flicker (MFLK)
  • Imbalanced power calculations (MADV)
  • Frequency variation (QFVR)
  • Current transient (QITR)
  • Current unbalance variation (QUIB)
  • Voltage transient (QVTR)
  • Voltage unbalance variation (QVUB) and
  • Voltage variation (QVVR).

Click HERE for a nice summary published by Schneider Electric.
Click HERE for a draft list of Logical Nodes for Power Quality (this content was used as input to the development of IEC 61850-5 Edition 2 and IEC 61850-7-4 Edition 2).