Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Power Outage in India for some 600,000,000 people

It is a national (better a global) tragedy what happened in India yesterday and today! Some 600.000.000 people are out of power within two days! … and IEC 61850 would not have prevented such a power outage. ;-)

Guess there are many reasons: technical, political, personal, …

One technical (and social) issue is the theft of electric power along the lines. It was reported today that “Losses in electricity transmission and distribution are also among the world’s highest, 24 percent to 40 percent, because of inefficiencies and theft.”. When you see the following pictures, you could understand why it is so easy to tap the wires:

How many wires tap these lines? If the electric network would be modeled with SCL (single line diagram) you could “see” it … I am kidding.


On the next photo (taken near Agra) you can see that the wires can easily be taped (1.5 m above ground …):


Some more (dump) meters would allow to figure out what amount of energy is put into the grid and what amount is being paid …

I hope that more people in charge understand that the electrical system is very complex and that is requires improvements and maintenance all time! A badly maintained system will hit back !! with power outages. The bad side of this is that it costs a lot of money!!

Some people think that they could treat the electric power system like their car or bike – they run them until they break … maintenance often does not make them more reliable. A broken car may block a lane at the highway – a broken transformer may cause a cascading outage … leaving millions of people in the dark!

Electrical engineers should educate more people in order to help them to understand what to do. But who is listening to an engineer? Hm!

I wish that the people living in India get power back very soon! And people living all over that the electric power systems will be better understood and treated.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Comparison of Message Exchange DLMS/COSEM, SML and IEC 61850

The paper “Comparison of the Communication Protocols DLMS/COSEM, SML and IEC 61850 for Smart Metering Applications” analyzes these protocols … especially to figure out the message lengths. The application the authors have in mind is for metering application. Independent of the application it is interesting what they figured out.

The major result is summarized as “In this paper the most significant qualitative features of a smart metering application layer protocol have been identified. The comparison of DLMS/COSEM, SML, and IEC 61850 has shown that no single protocol is superior in all aspects. The analysis and comparison of the message size has shown that DLMS and the MMS IEC 61850 clearly outperform the rest. …”

The message length of the protocols is one aspect. The more crucial impact on the needed resources is determined by the system behavior:

  • Is TLS used? TLS adds a lot of bytes ... especially for the hand-shake for opening a secure connection. By the way, IEC 61850 has security measures: defined in IEC 62351-4. Encryption eats a lot of the computing resources! 
  • Is cyclic sending of the payload supported issued by the server (cyclic reports in IEC 61850 do not need a request message)?
  • Frequency to exchange the metered values. How often are the metered values read? Will the TCP connection closed/resumed between two transmissions? In case of permanent TCP connections, there may be more bandwidth consumed for TCP keep-alive than for the payload.

The paper can be downloaded [PDF, 200 KB].

It is recommended to focus on the system – message encoding should have a lower priority when building future power automation systems!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Security for IEC 61850 Chip from Beck IPC

Can you make your IEC 61850 IED with the Beck IEC 61850 chip secure? Yes! Here is the solution.


The Beck RTOS (Real-time operating system) supports:

  • Secure Socket Layer - SSL
  • Secure Shell – SSH
  • IP Security Protokoll – IPsec/IKE
  • OpenVPN

The free software "OpenVPN" as the solution for the installation of a virtual private network (VPN) has gained more and more popularity among its users. Easy installation and configuration of an OpenVPN-tunnel, in comparison to the complicated configuration of the IPsec eases access to this topic. The OpenVPN source code, registered under GNU General Public License (GPL) has been ported by Beck for the IPC@CHIP® platform and is made available at our download centre for implementation.

 Software for SC143 …


Download driver for OpenVPN for SC143 

For other details contact Beck IPC.
Useful information can also be found at the Beck IPC Forum.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Download IEC 61850 Blog Content as single PDF Document

For those readers of the blog that want to get the complete content as
a single pdf document, it is just a click away … it contains the 656
posts from 2008 until 2012-07-21. Once you have downloaded the file you can easily browse the content … search …

Click HERE to download all posts in one pdf [14.5 MB, 470+ pages DIN A4]


Abbreviations of the standard series IEC 61850

Some 550 updated Abbreviations of the standard series IEC 61850 (7-1, 7-2, 7-3, 7-4, 7-410, 7-420, …) are listed in the following document:


The list contains all LN class names like MMXU and common data classes like WYE …

Download the list of Abbreviations of the standard series IEC 61850 [pdf; 1.1 MB]

IEC 61850 for “Facility Smart Grid Information Model”

The Draft BSR/ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201P “Facility Smart Grid Information Model” has been published for Public Review in July 2012.

The draft standard uses a good part from IEC 61850 models (IEC 61850-7-3, –7-3 and -7-420). The paper document has been derived from a UML document.

The purpose of this standard is to define an abstract, object-oriented information model to enable appliances and control systems in homes, buildings, and industrial facilities to manage electrical loads and generation sources in response to communication with a “smart” electrical grid and to communicate information about those electrical loads to utility and other electrical service providers.

The IEC 61850 community should have a look at this draft in order to make sure that the models used form IEC 61850 are referenced - the maintenance of the models in IEC TC 57 should automatically adopted by the standard 201P in the future. This would allow to get a consistent set of models.

Download the Draft BSR/ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201P “Facility Smart Grid Information Model”[pdf; 3 MB; 600+ pages]

Friday, July 20, 2012

List of all published Parts and Drafts of IEC 61850

The series IEC 61850 comprises 21 parts (8 tagged Edition 2 and 13 tagged Edition 1) and 20 draft parts (projects).

The list of the title and further information (like edition of each part) of all 41 parts (standards and work under progress) can be downloaded:


Download table of all published parts of IEC 61850 and projects (drafts) [pdf; 390 KB]

List of almost all IEC 61850 Logical Nodes

A list of some 280 Logical Nodes from the following documents has been posted (see below):

  • IEC 61850-7-4 Ed2
  • IEC 61850-7-410 Ed1
  • IEC 61850-7-420 Ed1
  • IEC 61400-25-2 Ed1


Download the list of the 280 Logical Nodes [pdf; 314 KB].

You can see if the LN is new, extended (few, several, many extensions) or more or less unchanged.

You will find a lot of new LNs in IEC 61850-7-4 like the LGOS (GOOSE Subscription). The LN LGOS is defined for the monitoring of GOOSE messages:

Logical Node GOOSE Subscription LGOS:

DataObject Semantic
NdsCom Subscription needs commissioning
St Status of the subscription
SimSt Status showing that really Sim(ulation) messages are received and accepted
LastStNum Last state number received
ConfRevNum Expected configuration revision number Settings
GoCBRef Reference to the subscribed GOOSE control block

NettedAutomation offers a comprehensive training on the Migration from the various Edition 2 parts of IEC 61850 that have been published so far.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

IEC 61850 conformance certificates

The UCAIUG (international UCA users group) manages the certification process for IEC 61850 conformance. With a guest login you can access the test requirement documents, authorized test labs and lists of conformance certificates.

The website shows 276 certificates for servers, 13 for clients, and 2 for merging units.

Access list of certificates of IEC 61850 conformance tested devices and other testing related documents.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New IEC 61850 Test Lab - TÜV SÜD invites to opening ceremony on July 23

TÜV SÜD reported that the preparations and accreditations for their IEC 61850 testing laboratory are now almost finalized and relocation to their new premises in Barthstraße 16 (Munich) has been completed.

Given this, they invite you to a laboratory demonstration on 23 July 2012 from 4 pm to give you the opportunity to look behind the scenes and get in contact with you.

For the details of the laboratory demonstration please see the invitation in English and German below:

Invitation for IEC 61850 Lab opening (English):



Einladung zur IEC 61850 Lab Eröffnung (Deutsch):


Karlheinz Schwarz (NettedAutomation) and Detlef Raddatz (SystemCorp) look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

IEC 61850 in Italy - SMA offers IEC 61850 Piggy-Back for PV Inverters

As you may have heard, IEC 61850 is a crucial standard for PV inverters in Italy. All requirements of the Italian CEI 0-21 standard (use of IEC 61850 is recommended – expected to be mandatory soon) will be required for new plants as of July 01, 2012.

Even for plants up to 6 kW it is required to provide an interface to the network operator!

SMA has reacted on the requirements for Italian customers … including a “… Piggy-back that will be able to receive the IEC-61850 commands to implement remote shutdown and narrow the frequency limits of the inverter.”

Read the SMA Customer information on these requirements including IEC 61850 in English / German.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SGIP will migrate to SGIP 2.0 in January 2013

The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) will transition from a public-private partnership to a self-financed, legal entity that retains a working partnership with government early 2013.

Since the formation of the SGIP in 2009, the activity of the SGIP by NIST personnel and member volunteers has been supported and enabled by the work of a Program Administrator that has been fully funded by NIST in the approximate amount of $5 to 7 million per year; a significant portion of those funds came from the ARRA program.

The SGIP 2.0 has five principal responsibilities:

  1. To provide the technical guidance and coordination necessary to facilitate standards development for Smart Grid interoperability
  2. To identify and specify the necessary testing and certification requirements, including providing the underlying rationale, to assess the achievement of interoperability using Smart Grid Standards
  3. To oversee the performance of these activities to maintain momentum and achievement
  4. To proactively inform and educate smart grid industry stakeholders on the definition of and the benefits attributable to interoperability
  5. To conduct an outreach to similar organizations in other countries to help establish global interoperability alignment

Download the SGIP 2.0 Business Sustainment Plan - Roadmap to the Future of Smart Grid Interoperability

Interoperability requires subsets (or profiles) of the various standards. It would be great if the SGIP 2.0 would support the development of profiles for specific applications, e.g., for PV inverter with an IE 61850 interface. IEC 61850 provides many information models and services – just a few may be needed for very simple PV inverters. These profiles should have very few (or better no) optional definitions. If vendor A uses option 1 and B uses option 2 – then interoperability may be limited.

Somebody told me the other day: “If you accept a special feature of a vendor’s product, you may have to use this vendor’s products forever.” Don’t use any special function! If a profile has no options, then all products have to support the same information models and services … and protocols.

Video from ABB on IEC 61850 for Feeder Automation

ABB has published a nice 3 minute video on IEC 61850 for Feeder Automation (Relay series 670)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Current Series IEC 61850 comprises 19 parts

The complete series of IEC 61850 comprises 19 parts as per 2012-07-09:


Eight (8) of the 19 parts have been published as Edition 2; 11 parts are tagged as Edition 1. So, the series IEC 61850 (as of today) is composed of parts tagged Edition 1 AND Edition 2.

Note: There is and will never be an Edition 2 of the standard series !!!

Access the IEC Website for the latest update on the Series IEC 61850.