Wednesday, July 31, 2013

IEC 61850 Security – Siemens SIPROTEC 5

Siemens published an informative document on Security of their communication systems supporting IE 61850, IEC 60870-5-103, DNP3 etc:

SIPROTEC 5 Application Note
Communication Architecture Under Cyber Security Aspects

I was a bit surprised that the IEC 61850-8-1 (MMS) communication in SIPROTEC 5 IEDs is not secured. The paper even does not mention the IEC 62351 series … which at least recommends to apply TLS for the TCP communication and MMS.

Click HERE to download the document.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Multiagent Automation based on IEC 61850 and IEC 61499

G. Zhabelova and V. Vyatkin know for their interest in combining IEC 61850 with IEC 61499 have published an interesting paper on

"Multiagent Smart Grid Automation Architecture Based on IEC 61850/61499 Intelligent Logical Nodes"

in Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on, vol. 59, pp. 2351-2362, 2012.

Abstract— Universal, intelligent and multifunctional devices controlling power distribution and measurement will become the enabling technology of the Smart Grid ICT. In this paper we report on a novel automation architecture which supports distributed multi-agent intelligence, interoperability and configurability, and enables efficient simulation of distributed automation systems. The solution is based on the combination of IEC 61850 object-based modeling and interoperable communication with IEC 61499 function blocks executable specification. Using the developed simulation environment we demonstrate the possibility of multi-agent control to achieve self-healing grid through collaborative fault location and power restoration.

Click HERE to download the complete paper.

Monday, July 29, 2013

IEC 61850/IEC 61499 Based Engineering

You may remember the papers on the use of IEC 61850 in conjunction with IEC 61499 published a few years ago:

Since then a couple of papers on the subject have been published. One of the latest has been published today:

G. Zhabelova, C.-W. Yang, V. Vyatkin , “SysGrid: IEC 61850 and IEC 61499 based engineering process for Smart Grid system design”, IEEE Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN’13), Bochum, July 29-31, 2013

Abstract — The paper proposes a novel computer-aided model-based system engineering process for Smart Gird applications. The process is supported by the SysGrid tool that plays the roles of system configurator and device configurator.
The design process starts with single line diagrams which are automatically transformed to executable function block specifications. The process is based on the Smart Grid control architecture that is a heterogeneous network of controllers communicating in a peer to peer manner. This “artificial nervous system” of the Smart Grid will be capable of self-healing and dynamic adaptation to renewable generation and ever-changing loads. The tool supports system-level design of automation logic in the form of function block networks with compliancy to IEC 61499. The capabilities of SysGrid are demonstrated through the process of designing a distributed protection application.

Click HERE to download the full paper.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Batteries and Electric Vehicles - U.S. Government spends $2.4 Billion in Grants

According to the White House press release (2009-08-05) President Obama "announced 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects that will receive $2.4 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These projects, selected through a highly competitive process by the Department of Energy, will accelerate the development of U.S. manufacturing capacity for batteries and electric drive components as well as the deployment of electric drive vehicles, helping to establish American leadership in creating the next generation of advanced vehicles."

The award winners will invest another $2.4 Billion.

One of the biggest deployment projects will be implemented by ETEC in cooperation with Nissan. According to ETEC: "The Project will install electric vehicle charging infrastructure and deploy up to 1,000 Nissan battery electric vehicles in strategic markets in five states: Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. ... To support the Nissan EV, the Project will install approximately 12,500 Level 2 (220V) charging systems and 250 Level 3 (fast-charge) systems."

Click HERE for the full White House press release.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

IEC 61850 – How to use the Standard in Substations?

The German mirror committee of IEC TC 57 (DKE K 952) is quite active in supporting IEC 61850 and helping the utility industry to discuss the application of IEC 61850 and provide feedback to the international standardization. Congratulation to all experts that have contributed to that work for many years! Well done!
The final documents of the modeling and engineering group provide a great inside view into the many use cases of IEC 61850 in protection and substation automation. The crucial results are written in English, too. Four out of seven topics are published in English:
  1. Überblick [DE] / Overview [EN]
  2. Engineeringprozess [DE] / Engineering Process [EN]
  3. Engineeringwerkzeuge [DE]
  4. Modellierungsrichtlinie [DE] / Modeling Guide [EN]
  5. Mustermodellierung [DE]
  6. Applikationsbeschreibungen [DE] / Application Description [EN]
  7. Weitere Applikationen [DE]
Click HERE to access the above documents. The pdf documents are free to download.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Telecoms – How they may impact the energy automation infrastructure

Telecom companies have a lot of experience of building huge communication systems made up of thousands of computers. For several years they are looking to enter the market of energy delivery systems. They are – to some extent – competing with traditional manufacturers (SMEs and large companies) of energy automation systems – let’s call them Smart(er) Grids.

The “Telecoms for Smart Grid Conference”, 23-24 September, 2013, London, will provide a lot of possible solutions that may – some time down the street – be used by utilities one way or the other.

There is another group of manufacturers that belief they have the appropriate solutions for the Smart(er) Grids: the industrial automation people. They have also a long history in (factory floor and process) automation.

Building the future hybrid energy delivery system will be a very challenging task.

Taking the many influences into account it seems to be natural that this work could only be done with TEAMWORKs:

Teamwork makes the dream work – supported by international standards like IEC 60870-5-104, DNP3, IEC 61850, CIM, …

Mapping between DLMS/COSEM and IEC 61850

A first draft has been written describing the mapping between DLMS/COSEM and IEC 61850:

80-4: Mapping between the DLMS/COSEM (IEC 62056) data models and the IEC 61850 data models

It defines a one-to-one relationship between IEC 62056 OBIS codes and IEC 61850 Logical Nodes and Data Objects.

OSCE publication on Energy Infrastructure Protection

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has published a comprehensive report titled:

Good Practices Guide on Non-Nuclear Critical Energy Infrastructure Protection (NNCEIP) from Terrorist Attacks Focusing on Threats Emanating from Cyberspace

The 100 page Guide is a very comprehensive document that states at the beginning that “The importance of energy security and energy infrastructure security cannot be overstated. It is among the most serious security, economic and environmental challenges of both today, and the future.”

The report is worth to read – but it would be more important if vendors and users of the energy infrastructure and the energy automation infrastructure would increase investments in implementing the basic measures to secure both systems. Unfortunately the implementation of these measures are not a business case to increase the profit of an utility!

The challenge with the future energy infrastructure is this: to manage the Cost and Lost. Both infrastructures (energy and energy automation) will require huge amount of investment to keep the energy delivery stable, secure, reliable, and resilient (Cost) and deal with more renewable energy (Lost in the sense of relative reduction of traditional bulk generation and transmission).

Almost everything about security has been said – but not by everybody. Let’s move on with more implementations of security measures.

Click HERE for the complete guide.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

IEC 61850-8-1 Signal Quality Encoding

Yesterday I received an email with a question on the encoding of the signal quality in MMS messages. Please find below the question and how the encoding is done in MMS made visible with the Wireshark:





Hope that give some deep inside knowledge for those that analyze the MMS message exchange needed for IEC 61850-8-1.

Telecommunication and IEC 61850 for power distribution systems

More often distribution utilities are looking into the future information and communication infrastructure. One example is the Flexible Plug and Play (FPP) project in Great Britain:

“The challenge

Distribution Network Operators in Great Britain face the challenge of accommodating high concentrations of renewable generation connections on to the network.  Where there is high demand of connection requests, the connection can be costly and time consuming.  Flexible Plug and Play will address this. …

At the heart of Flexible Plug and Play will be a new Telecommunications Platform.  This platform, which is formed of a high-speed communications  and radio frequency mesh network (similar to wi-fi), will enable the integration of Flexible Plug and Play smart technologies and systems. It will facilitate the data exchange and control capability to implement the technical and commercial solutions which will manage the network constraints to enable an increase in the renewable generation connections and the renewable generator developers to export on to the distribution network.

The smart technologies will communicate with each other using open standard data protocol defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The protocol is commonly called the IEC 61850 and is an international standard for data communications between smart devices and information systems for electricity networks.  …”

Click HERE to get an overview about the project.

Click HERE for downloading a nice and comprehensive presentation on the history and the plans for the future … including the use of IEC 61850 for use in power distribution systems. [pdf, 87 pages, 10 MB]

Saturday, July 13, 2013

IEC 61850: Phoenix Contact offers special Ethernet Ring Solution

Phoenix Contact (Germany) published a paper “IEC 61850 verknüpft Energie- und Automatisierungsnetz” (IEC 61850 connects Energy Networks and Automation Networks) in the latest issue of the Magazine Computer & Automation (July 2013).

IEC 61850 is understood as a huge benefit in the energy delivers system because it is accepted globally.

Phoenix Contact offers special Managed industrial Ethernet switches that combine extensive network performance and security features with complete IEEE redundancy (STP/RSTP/MST) and 15 ms recovery time extended ring redundancy.

The extended ring redundancy is offered as a cost-effective redundancy solution – compared to solutions based on PRP and HSR.

Click HERE for further information on the IEC 61850-3 compliant Ethernet Switches.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Easy Gateway for ZIGBEE to IEC 61850

The Beck IPC Development Kit DK61 seems to be one of the favorite platforms for building gateways between several protocols and IEC 61850. A gateway between ZIGBEE and IEC 61850 has been developed by a master student in Poland.

Dominik Nowak (AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland) has developed a ZigBee-to-IEC61850 bridge. It is designed to meet IEC61850 standard requirements and to connect ZigBee network to a substation automation system. The architecture is shown in the following excerpt:


Click HERE for the pdf file of the mater thesis [2.8. MB].

The thesis describes to some extent how to build such a gateway with the Beck IPC Chip.