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]


Maik G. Seewald, Cisco Systems said...

The core element of Cisco's FAN architecture is the IPv6 protocol suite. The whitepaper provides a good overview and contains the stack for Cisco's FAN networks. And, yes, IEC 61850 is a part of the stack.

Stephan Beirer, GAI NetConsult said...

As long as we don't have support for 61850 (basic) security functions having 61850 connectivity "on every pole" might not be such a good idea.

IPv6 - as mentioned by Mr. Seewald - might be a minimum prerequiste. But it will not solve all security problems (or challenges)

Karlheinz Schwarz said...


You are absolutely right! It is not a good idea to ignore security - on the pole, on the ground or burried.

Two issues to mention: It will not happen over night! It's more a marathon than a sprint. Second, there is IEC 62351 that defines some basic security functions. I guess the key issue is this: To IMPLEMENT security functions!! It's not for free and it may consume "some" resources and performance ...

Maik G. Seewald, Cisco said...

Cisco's FAN architecture based on IPv6 comes with a comprehensive security architecture. A whitepaper is already available. I will forward the link to Karlheinz.

Maik G. Seewald, Cisco said...

Here we go: