Saturday, June 30, 2012

Using ConfRev to report a change of value

The configuration revision is a very useful information for clients (Reporting) and subscribers (GOOSE and SV). It is highly recommended that a receiving IED marks the received values as invalid in case the receiver expects ConfRev=X but receives a message with a value unequal X.

The service Reporting (or GOOSE) could be used to inform receivers that there is a change in the ConfRev – long before it may receive a message with a different (incremented) value.

By the way, the functionality to “monitor” changes of control block attribute values is called “Service Tracking” and is defined in IEC 61850-7-2 Edition 2.

The Control Block Attribute ConfRev needs to become a member in a data set. This data set may have all ConfRev attributes of all control blocks as members. So, if any change is detected, a message is issued (Report or GOOSE message, or log entry posted).

It is not yet specified in IEC 61850 if the change of a value (of the ConfRev) implemented by a re-configuration of the IED (e.g., change of the data set) can be used as a trigger (dchg) to issue a report or GOOSE message or post a log entry. Because this new value may become online visible after the IED restart (to interpret the new SCL file).

It would require that the Control Block stores the last ConfRev value non-volatile; in order to figure out that the new value (from configuration tool) is larger than the old one. This is true for SV Control Blocks only, see § “A restart of the IED shall not reset the value.”

See IEC 61850 Tissue # 861.

Mismatch of ConfRev values in IED and SCL file

The issue of how can the values of ConfRev (configuration revision) in an IED be consistent with the configuration file during the lifetime of IED has been discussed may times. The final standardized solution is now discussed in the IEC TC 57 WG 10 task force “System Management”.

Here are some hints on the issue that help to understand what to do until we get a standardized solution.

Part IEC 61850-7-2 Edition 2 defines for GOOSE Control Blocks: ConfRev – configuration revision
The attribute ConfRev shall represent a count of the number of times that the configuration of the DATA-SET referenced by DatSet has been changed. Changes that shall be counted are:
– any deletion of a member of the data-set;
– Any adding of a member to the data-set;
– the reordering of members of the data-set; and
– changing the value of the attribute DatSet.
The counter shall be incremented when the configuration changes. At configuration time, the configuration tool will be responsible for incrementing/maintaining the ConfRev value. When configuration changes occur due to SetGoCBValues, the IED shall be responsible for incrementing the value of ConfRev.
If the value of DatSet is set through a SetGoCBValues service to the same value, the ConfRev value shall still be incremented.

Part IEC 61850-6 Edition 2 defines for GOOSE and SV Control Blocks:

“The configuration revision number of this control block; mandatory. It is recommended to increment it by 10000 on any configuration change, to distinguish this from online configuration changes [by services] leading to an increment of 1 only”


In the meantime you have to implement a work-around on your own, e.g., when you implement online changes (caused by services), then the build-in IED Tool (“online tool” in the IED) has to increment the ConfRev value by 1. If you implement a change in the SCL file that is used to configure the IED then you are recommended to READ first the current ConfRev value of the IED and increment by 10,000 and “overwrite” the current value in the SCL file before you re-configure the IED.

It should be specified in the PIXIT file how your IED works (as publisher and/or subscriber).

Please note the tissue 840 (quite new) in which you can read:

“The question, how dynamic changes done online (through the IED front-panel or through communication services) relate to changes made through configuration files and if these changes shall be allowed for real use is a different topic. There is currently a task force active dealing with system management - they will need to address details on how precisely dynamic changes shall be handled compared to static (through configuration) changes.”

In the following document you find also that the issue is well known:

See §2.2.9

There is still some work to be done – you are invited to get involved in the ongoing work of the WG 10 (Project “System Management”) to provide your input on the issue “Configuration Version Control”.

A special group of the German Mirror committee of IEC TC 57 has published a requirement document for IEC 61850 Engineering Systems:

“Anforderungen an IEC 61850 Engineeringwerkzeuge” [Deutsch]

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Updated IEC 61850 analyzer for WireShark (V2.6)

An updated analyzer for WireShark (V2.6) is available. It supports IEC 61850 (8-1, SCL import for GOOSE, 9-2, and 90-5), MMS and ICCP-TASE.2. Older versions show some problems that do not really exist. Some people are using the Wireshark as THE reference implementation of IEC 61850! The reference is the standard – but the tool is very helpful!

Download the exe file to install the new Wireshark version for IEC 61850.

The skunkworks version 2.6 analyzes all of the data. An additional utility that must be run to extract the dataset definitions into ETR files. The directory that the ETR files are located in can be set in the protocol preferences tab.

Thanks to Herb Falk for continuously updating the analyzer!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Siemens Expects IEC 61850 as the Preferred Solution for Demand Response

According to a Siemens white paper there is a preferred solution for the information exchange in Demand Response applications: IEC 61850.

The paper states: “ … only IEC 61850 should be used for the communication between the control center and district controller [gateway between the energy automation and the building automation infrastructure] … a larger variety of legacy building automation protocols can be expected. In the long term, communication should be based on BACnet, KNX, or IEC 61850 protocol standards.”

Read the complete white paper for demand response supporting IEC 61850 [pdf]

The paper give a good overview about the various applications in power distribution systems.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Workshop IEC 61850 mit dem Beck IEC61850@CHIP

IEC 61850/IEC 61400-25 für die Energie-Versorgungssysteme der Zukunft

Beck IPC GmbH und NettedAutomation bieten einen Workshop zum Thema IEC 61850 und IPC@CHIP® an.

Termin :
3. Juli 2012, 9:30 - 17:00 Uhr (in Deutsch)

Beck IPC GmbH
35415 Pohlheim,
Grüninger Weg 24

Die Schulung vermittelt die wichtigsten Schritte zur schnellen und kostengünstigen Implementierung von IEC 61850 und IEC 61400-25 konformen Geräten und Systemen.

Die Veranstaltung richtet sich an alle, die sich mit der Einführung genormter Kommunikations- und Informationstechnik in der Energieversorgung und anderen Anwendungsgebieten wie der Automatisierungstechnik beschäftigen. Angesprochen werden Entscheider, Anwendungsprogrammierer, Systemverantwortliche und Service-Techniker. Für die derzeitigen Nutzer des IPC@CHIP® wird aufgezeigt, wie durch eine einfache Ergänzung der Plattform (Stack-API für IEC 61850 von SystemCorp) der Einsatzbereich der Lösungen drastisch erweitert werden kann.

Weitere Details zum IEC 61850 Workshop finden Sie hier.

etz-Veröffentlichung über den Chip [deutsch].

Friday, June 15, 2012

IEC 61850-90-13 – New Work on IEC 61850 for Steam and Gas Turbines

The new work item has been introduced in the work programme under the title:
IEC 61850-90-13 Ed.1 (57/1259/RVN):
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 90-13: Extension of IEC 61850 information models to also include logical nodes and data models for steam and gas turbines

IEC 61850 defines very common concepts, information models, services and configuration language that can be used in many other application domains outside substations. MMS – as a basic communication service to which IEC 61850 models and services are mapped – was originally defined for the manufacturing floor (MMS – Manufacturing Message Specification). So it is no surprise that it can be used there and in many other application domains.

One key issue in power plants is the RDS PP (related to KKS):


Examples of RDS PP for Wind Power Plants and IEC 61400-25/61850:


Binding of Information Models:



Examples from IEC 61850-7-510 (Hydroelectric power plants – Modelling concepts and guidelines):



Step by step we learn that IEC 61850 is in harmony with many other designation standards … and it can be used for almost all online (runtime) information exchange and system and IED configuration.

IEC 61850-85-1 FDIS published for ballot

IEC 61850-85-1 Ed.1 (57/1258/FDIS):
Standard for N times 64 kbit per second optical fiber interfaces between teleprotection and multiplexer equipment (IEEE C37.94)

has been published for FDIS ballot ; ballot closes 2012-08-10.

This standard describes the interconnection details for N, where N = 1, 2…12, times 64 kilobit per second connections of teleprotection equipment to digital multiplexers using optical fiber. Requirements for both
physical connection and the communications timing are also included.

More Open Positions that require Knowledge on IEC 61850 in the USA

SimplyHired lists today some 80 open positions in the USA that require knowledge on IEC 61850 – one way or the other.

Search for open positions on IEC 61850 in the U.S.

In one case it says: “Strong Communication protocols (61850, DNP, Modbus) knowledge” is required.

Good education in IEC 61850 pays off.

Education in IEC 61850 is a must in some universities … this week I saw this hint a technical university in Europe (KTH Stockholm):

IEC 61850 IEDs and test equipment in an IEC 61850 lab:

Karlheinz Schwarz run a one day hands-on training on the Beck Development Kit 65 for PHD Students at the KTH.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

IEC 61850 – Soon Getting Intelligent Logical Nodes?

IEC 61850 is one of the crucial subjects in standardization, power systems (generation, transmission, distribution, ), education, and research … all over.

One research issue is to bring “dynamics” and “Intelligence” into the more static Logical Node classes - By applying another IEC standard: IEC 61499 (Function Blocks).

A discussion of IEC 61499 and IEC 61850 can be found in a presentation by Valeriy Vyatkin, University of Auckland, New Zealand and Christopher Schemm, infoteam; presented at Automation Day, October, 17th, 2011, Nuremberg, Germany.

Here is one of the slides showing the idea of iLN (intelligent Logical Node):


Download the presentation on IEC 61499 and IEC 61850 including notes [notes in German] [pdf]

IEC 61850-90-14 FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems) data modeling

IEC TC 57 has published a proposal to work on

IEC TR 61850-90-14 (57/1250/DC):
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 90-14: Using IEC 61850 for FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems) data modeling

The applications comprise shunt compensation, series compensation, multi-function power flow control, voltage regulation, angle regulation, …

Thursday, June 7, 2012

IEC 61850 at the Remote Monitoring and Control Conference, Denver (CO), September 18-19

Looking for the latest on Remote Monitoring and Control?
Check the program of the Remote Monitoring and Control Conference, Denver (CO), September 18-19, 2012

The Remote Monitoring and Control Conference has released its 2012 show brochure. Included in the brochure are presentation descriptions, the show's full schedule, conference workshop information (on DNP3, IEC 61850, IEC 62351 Security, …), exhibitors, co-located event profiles, registration details and information on booking your room at the show hotel.

Click Here to View the Brochure [pdf, 4 MB]

If you are automating, remotely monitoring and controlling your oil & gas, water/wastewater, utility/T&D, telecom and transportation infrastructure equipment and systems, this is a must attend event.

Please note that NettedAutomation GmbH will have an exhibition booth in cooperation with SystemCorp (vendor of IEC 61850 Stack/API) and Beck IPC. The latest products for IEC 61850 (like IEDs, Gateways to/from DNP3, Modbus, IEC 60870-5-101/104, …) will be presented.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Two MW Wind-to-Gas converter build for E.ON in Germany

Storage of energy is one of the basic building blocks for the future power delivery system. The option of converting electric power into gas is one of the most discussed and promising storage options these days. In February I have discussed this briefly:

Wind and Solar Gas – A Challenging Storage Option

A 2 MW utility scale converter project at E.ON in North Eastern Germany has been announced by Hydrogenics the other day. Up to 30 MWh of energy can be converted from wind power into gas in 24 hours – the gas will be injected into the regional natural gas pipeline, making the natural gas pipeline network a storage system for surplus electrical power generated from renewable resources. Great idea.

Read the complete news report “Hydrogenics wins order from E.ON for 'Power-to-Gas' energy storage project in Germany”

Standards like IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 (Wind Turbines) are ready to support the monitoring and control of wind turbines, and many other applications.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

29 Different Ethernet Solutions for Real-time Communication! – What about IEC 61850?

The industrial automation market intended in the mid 90s to get a single Ethernet based international standard for the factory floor. Until today the industry is struggling to keep the number of solutions smaller than 30 (!). 29 solutions are listed at the following site (as of September 2008): Real-Time-Ethernet

One of the most prominent experts in real-time communication (Dr. Karl Weber) came recently (after many tests and investigations) to the conclusion that IEC 61850 is a good candidate for hctp: (Hyper Control Transfer Protocol): Read his presentation on IEC 61850 for htcp

A suggestion to use Ethernet as a fieldbus published in 1991 could be found in the paper “Bridging MAP to Ethernet” [PDF, 720 KB]

The wait for MMS on Ethernet is over (as stated at the end of the paper) – Native Ethernet and MMS are well accepted standard (!) solutions in power systems (generations, transmission, distribution, …): IEC 60870-6 TASE.2 (ICCP), IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, IEC 61869-9, …

IEC 61850 (not only Ethernet) could be used in almost all application domains that need to exchange information in real-time. Will IEC 61850 replace any of the 29 solutions? IEC 61850 will be used at least in applications that have a close relation to electric power – this is a lot! Think about motor control and protection systems or electric cars … electricity is all over – so will IEC 61850 be in a few years.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

IEC 61850-90-8 Object Models for E-Mobility

IEC TC 57 has published (as 57/1254/DC) on June 01, 2012 the

Draft IEC TR 61850-90-8 – Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 90-8: IEC 61850 object models for electric mobility

The Technical Report describes how current standardization for Electric Road Vehicles and the Vehicle-to-Grid Communication Interface can be linked to the IEC 61850-7-420 standard for Distributed Energy Resources (DER). The technical report provides necessary background information and proposes an object model for e-mobility in order to establish an Electric Vehicle plugged into the power grid as DER according to the principles of IEC 61850-7-420. The basic information modeling in IEC 61850 and IEC 61850-7-420 already covers a lot of needs for the e-Mobility domain. Missing parts can be modeled as new logical nodes and data objects, which this technical report defines.

New/extended information models are:

E-mobility supply equipment  LN DESE
E-mobility outlet LN DEOL
E-mobility Electric Vehicle  LN DEEV
Power cable LN ZCAB
Schedule LN DSCH

It is easy to add the definition of the LN DEOL to an ICD File. Here is an example of the “Plug Present” Data Object of the New LN Class according to DTR 61850-90-8:


This LN Class can easily be added to the model template for the SystemCorp ICD Designer <<61850DTT.xml>>:



Almost any new Logical Node published by IEC or any other extended or new LN can easily be modeled with the ICD Designer … and can easily be applied for building clients and servers using the SystemCorp IEC61850 Stack/API, e.g., using the free evaluation version of the SystemCorp Windows DLL or using the Beck IPC embedded controller.

There is no need to purchase an expensive package to use IEC 61850 for any model. Just use the SystemCorp IEC61850 Stack/API – and you are ahead of the market.

Many people are now using the Beck IPC Development Kit DK61 or DK55 to implement a gateway between “their data” and the various models according to IEC 61850. It just takes hours to get their (or your) data speaking IEC 61850 …

It’s really so easy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

IEC 61850 Goes Power Distribution – Grid4EU Project

The electrical power distribution is faced a lot of challenges all over in the years to come: renewable power, virtual power plants, energy storage, aging infrastructure, aging workforce, security, …

How to get prepared for the future power transmission and distribution system? There are many answers. One is to work in teams. The  European Commission funds projects for major smart grid demonstrations integrating production from renewable energy and management mechanisms active demand management (Smart Grid). The project Grid4EU received a favorable agreement of the European Commission. 27 companies and organizations started the project on 1st of November 2011.

The budget for the project is 54 Million Euro, it will run until end of 2015:

  • 6 DSOs (cover more than 50% of the metered electricity customers in Europe)
  • 27 partners (Utilities, Energy Suppliers, Manufacturers, Research Institutes)

Website of the Grid4EU project.

Statement from the project leader ERDF.

According to several information I received, IEC 61850 is playing a crucial role when it comes to information models and information exchange in medium and low voltage applications. There is a need for the project partners to be trained in order to get a reasonable level of knowledge on how to implement and use IEC 61850. It is highly recommended to have the training at the beginning – and not when people figure out after years that they have missed to use the standards in the way they were intended.

More to come … stay tuned.

Smart Grid – A Compelling Force for Mega Merger Eaton and Cooper

Eaton takes over Cooper Industries for 11.8 Billion US$. Why? … Expansion into power distribution, grid automation, and smart grid, ... ;-)

Cooper Power Systems supports IEC 61850: Their substation automation products comply with the IEC 61850 Standard for grid integration and automation … Eaton has also a range of protection relays and other IEDs supporting IEC 61850 … It could be expected that IEC 61850 will be a crucial component in the future of both companies.

More information from Eaton can be found here.