Monday, December 29, 2014

Objectives of IETF EMAN – Energy Management Working Group

The IETF Energy Management (EMAN) defines an Energy Management Framework for Networked Devices. Networked Devices could comprise many different devices: Router, Switch, Battery, Printer, … by the way: the variety of monitoring, control, protection and automation devices in power systems could be understood a “Networked Devices”. So: the scope of IETF EMAN could be quite wide. Yes!

A new document provides the “Applicability Statement” from the IETF viewpoint.

It lists several use-cases for identifying requirements for the framework and MIBs. Further, it describes the relationship of the EMAN framework to relevant other energy monitoring standards and architectures.

One thing is sure: Electrical Power is one of the crucial issues to be dealt with in 2015 and beyond!

Click HERE for the “Applicability Statement”.

On my radar screen I see a lot more IEC 61850 applications that hid the street in 2015! Wherever there is a need to unify the information exchange of crucial information about the electrical system and related information IEC 61850 has them (almost) all standardized.

Please note: The many international standards setting organizations are more or less all independent – this means, every group can define a standard for energy management … There is one big difference between the various standards available today: IEC 61850 has been defined internationally by experienced senior Electrical Engineers.

Seminar on IEC 61850 for Protection Engineers in Brussels – English and French speaking

Please note for the Seminar scheduled for 16-18 February 2015 in Brussels (Belgium): 

NEW SERVICE: Both English and French speaking – Presentations in English and Question/Answers in English and French. We have a native French speaking expert present (Romain Douib, FMTP).

Click HERE for the course details.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cyber Security in Industrial Automation – Huge list of Links to Crucial Resources

How do you feel at the end of 2014? Save and Secure? Hope you are really doing well.

In case you have some spare time during the days off from the office, here is a huge list of Links that lead to crucial papers, presentations, reports, recommendations, … in the domain of cyber security for industrial automation systems … applicable in most power delivery domain.

Click HERE for the huge list.

Warning: The list comprises several 100 links! More than what you can chew in two weeks!

In case you need to secure your device or system applied in power systems: Contact an expert for power system security …

In case you don’t want to spent days in browsing trough 100 thousand pages … here is what you may do instead: Study the most common requirement document applied in the German utility industry:

BDEW Whitepaper on Security in Power Systems

The well-accepted dual-language BDEW Whitepaper
- Requirements for Secure Control and Telecommunication Systems
- Anforderungen an sichere Steuerungs- und Telekommunikationssysteme

is now available: Download Security Whitepaper [pdf].

… this document can also be used to learn German ;-)

What to do in case of a blackout? Belgium seems to be prepared

What would you do when lights are OFF during Christmas? How would you get prepared for a brownout or a blackout? Hm …

In Belgium people are informed officially to look at the four color “energy traffic light”:


  • Normale Situation (OK)
  • Risiko einer Stromknappheit (Risk of shortage)
  • Risiko einer Abschaltung (Risk of load shedding)
  • Abschaltung angekündigt (Load shedding planned)
  • FR

  • Situation normale
  • Risque de pénurie
  • Risque de délestage
  • Délestage annoncé
  • NL

  • Normale situatie
  • Risico op stroomtekort
  • Risico op afschakeling
  • Afschakeling aangekondigd
  • The color of the traffic light at the moment and many tips and hints are posted on the Website: OFF-ON.

    Would the website be ON or OFF in case of a blackout?!

    The Motto could be summarized: Switch more often OFF to stay ON … save energy to keep power flowing.

    I wish you light during the year-end season … and in 2015.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    IEC Smart Grid Standards Map

    IEC has spent some time to list the relevant standards for the many areas of Smart(er) Grids:

    When you browse this site, you may wonder to see a list of 301 standards and other official specifications. There are many areas that are related to the 50 Hz or 60 Hz 3-phase electrical power systems:

    • Advanced distribution management system
    • Advanced metering infrastructure
    • Asset management and condition monitoring system
    • Blackout prevention system
    • Clock reference system
    • Communication network
    • Communication network management system
    • Data modelling
    • Demand response / Load management
    • Distributed energy resources operation system
    • Distribution automation system
    • E-mobility system
    • EMC & Power quality
    • Electric Storage system
    • Energy management system
    • FACTS for grids
    • Generation management system
    • Industrial automation system
    • Market place systems
    • Meter-related back-office systems
    • Security
    • Smart home and building automation system
    • Substation automation system
    • Weather forecast

    The home page states: “Easily and instantly identify the standards that are needed for any part of the Smart Grid – no need to be a standards expert”. Hm, really? There may be no need to be an expert browsing the site – BUT if you are not an expert in standards like IEC 60870-5-10x, CIM, IEC 61400-25, IEC 61850,  IEC 62351, … then you need to talk an EXPERT. We are here to help you!

    Fortunately, when it comes to information exchange, the many parts of IEC 61850 are the most crucial standards you will find in the list of the 301 standards:

    IEC 61850-6
    IEC 61850-7-1 
    IEC 61850-7-2
    IEC 61850-7-3
    IEC 61850-7-4
    IEC 61850-7-410
    IEC 61850-7-420
    IEC 61850-8-1
    IEC 61850-8-2
    IEC 61850-80-1
    IEC 61850-80-4
    IEC 61850-9-2
    IEC 61850-90-1
    IEC 61850-90-10
    IEC 61850-90-11
    IEC 61850-90-12
    IEC 61850-90-13
    IEC 61850-90-14
    IEC 61850-90-15
    IEC 61850-90-2
    IEC 61850-90-3
    IEC 61850-90-4
    IEC 61850-90-5
    IEC 61850-90-6
    IEC 61850-90-7
    IEC 61850-90-8
    IEC 61850-90-9

    I guess, even IEC has not fully understood the impact of IEC 61850 on the power delivery system: So, why is IEC 61850-90-3 missing in the list of standards relevant for cable?


    Here is an overview (from draft IEC 61850-90-3) on cable monitoring:


    It is impossible to list IEC 61850 in any application domain. The model (LN – Logical Node) STMP (temperature supervision) could be used allover – where ever a temperature is measured. Modeling the temperature in a green house and communication the value with IEC 61850 does not require to list IEC 61850 as a standard for green houses … ;-)

    IEC 61850 is a common standard that covers specific and general models and services.

    To understand the impact of IEC 61850: you have to be an expert or you have to ask an expert.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    2014 comes to a close – wish you the best for 2015

    Impressions from Prague (CZ), 2014-12-09 … after the second day of our training course:


    … we saw many happy people there … enjoying the nice place and the peace.

    As 2014 comes to a close, I want to say "Thank You!" for choosing our services, and for the cooperation this year.

    I wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2015 … living in peace and harmony! 

    I look forward to see you next year.

    Best Regards,
    Karlheinz Schwarz

    IEC 61850 in Hydro Power Plants (additional information)

    Recently I have reported about an example of the use of IEC 61850 in hydro power plant.

    As I said then: “Be sure: More to come.” has become true. Additional information can be found here:

    Efacec IEC 61850 automation system is in operation since 2013:

    Document 1 (Products)
    Document 2 (Projects)
    Document 3 (Why IEC 61850?)

    Founded in 1948, but with a century-long history, Efacec is the largest Group in the electric field financed by Portuguese capital. It employs over 3900 people and is present in more than 65 countries, in five continents.

    Other vendors will follow soon.

    NettedAutomation’s regular IEC 61850 Courses extended to 2 + 2 Days

    NettedAutomation GmbH has updated the course agenda early 2014. For 2015 the training will be upgraded: using real devices and solutions (including protection relays and testing equipment) to work with during the public 2+2 days general training course.

    Reorganized, extended and improved program for the 2 +2 days course:

    • 1 1/2 days Introduction and Basics
    • 1/2 day Hands-on training on SCL

    Hands-on training group 1 (SCADA):

    • 1 day Configuring and using Server devices for monitoring and control
    • 1 day Configuring and using Client devices for IEC 61850 and gateways

    Hands-on training group 2 (Protection; parallel to group 1) - by Andrea Bonetti (FMTP):

    • 2 days Impact of IEC 61850 on Protection (using real protection relays, ...

    The next courses are scheduled for

    05.-08. May 2015 Frankfurt (Germany)
    13.-16. October 2014 Frankfurt (Germany)

    Click HERE for details, program and registration information.

    Many NEW IEC 618850 Training courses in 2015 – especially for protection engineers

    More than 10 years after the first substation have been equipped with IEC 61850 conformant devices, we see now the need for more education. Several new trainers have entered the market.

    BUT: What about training for the most crucial engineers in the power delivery system: Advanced education of the many protection engineers? They need much more than to understand protocols (MMS, GOOSE, SV) and the configuration language! They need to understand how IEC 61850 impacts the whole protection system: When and HOW to use GOOSE for breaker failure protection? How implement interlocking schemas? And how to test systems based on IEC 61850?!? How to … What you should not do! We could answer all your questions.

    These and many other questions MUST be answered by real protection engineers. One of the few well (with IEC 61850 experienced) protection engineers is Andrea Bonetti (FMTP). Andrea spent part of his time in Substations!! Watch his introduction in a 5 min video.

    After the first joined course for protection and SCADA engineers in Prague last week, NettedAutomation and FMTP offer several new courses especially for protection and SCADA engineers during the next months:

    26-29 January 2015
    Guayaquil (Ecuador)

    16-18 February 2015
    Brussels (Belgium)

    09-11 March 2015
    Berlin (Germany)

    27-29 April 2015
    Hong Kong

    18-20 May 2015
    Bratislava (Slovakia)

    Click HERE for details, program, and registration information.

    Other dates and locations are under preparation.

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    Protection and Control with IEC 61850 – Very Successful Training in Prague (CZ)

    Two crucial application domains for IEC 61850 are the Power Protection and Power Control – no doubt. What does this mean for the electrical engineers responsible for the reliability of the Power System? A lot!

    The first 3 days joint Seminar of FMTP Power and NettedAutomation in Prague, CZ, (8-10 December 2014) was very successful. The Training was held in the Holiday Inn (Congress).


    The 3 days were split between presentations and demonstrations of general IEC 61850 issues and special protection issues. The main topics were centered around the impact of IEC 61850 on the protection. Andrea Bonetti (FMTP) used several test tools from ABB and Megger, as well as an ABB protection relay (REL 670):


    Andrea is one of the developers of the ABB series 670 and the Megger GOOSER. He really knows what he is talking about – when it comes to protection.

    The attendees were absolute happy with the many lessons learned during the three days fully packed with experience. Note that Andrea has spent some time of his life in substations – many days and nights … listen to him next time:

    Ecuador, Jan 26-29, 2015
    Brussels, Feb 16-18, 2015
    China, March 9-11, 2015
    Bratislava, Apr 20-22, 2015
    Berlin, May 18-20, 2015

    Additional courses are in preparation.

    Draft TR IEC 61850-90-2 Substation to Control Center Communication published

    The Draft IEC Technical Report: IEC TR 61850-90-2 – Use of IEC 61850 for the communication between substations and control centres

    has been published under 57/1507/DC dated 2014-09-26

    This technical report provides a comprehensive overview of the matters that need to be
    considered in order to use IEC 61850 for information exchange between substations and control or maintenance systems.

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

    Fertigungsautomatisierung und Smart Grids

    Die Anforderungen an die Kommunikationstechnik in den künftigen Energienetzen ähneln denen in der Fertigungsautomatisierung: Sowohl für die Industrie als auch für die elektrische Energieversorgung ist eine sichere, robuste und zuverlässige Kommunikationstechnik unerlässlich.

    In der elektrischen Energietechnik werden Normen wie IEC 60870-5-104 und IEC 61850 immer häufiger in Ausschreibungen verbindlich vorgeschrieben. Auch in Fertigungsanlagen spielt die elektrische Energie eine zunehmende Bedeutung (Energiemanagement, Energieeffizienz). Eine schier unendliche Anzahl von Prozessdaten wird über eine Vielzahl von Feldbussen bereits heute feldbus-spezifisch gesammelt. Wie kommen diese Daten in die Leitsysteme der elektrischen Versorgungssysteme?

    Ganz einfach: über Gateways, die den Anschluss nach “oben” herstellen!

    HMS hat auf der Messe SPS/IPC/Drives letzte Woche in Nürnberg im HMS Innovation Corner gezeigt, wie das mit einfachen Mitteln zu bewerkstelligen ist:


    … mit Gateways zu allen relevanten Feldbussen:


    In einem Beitrag in der “Energy & Technik” hat Herr Garcés von HMS das Thema näher beschrieben:

  • In Smart Grids wie in der Industrie kommunizieren (Teil 1, mit Link zu Teil 2)
  • Von IEC-61850-Profilen profitieren (Teil 2, Link zu Teil 3)
  • Gateways von der Industrie für Smart Grids (Teil 3, Link zu Teil 4)
  • »SG-gateway«-Familie  (Teil 4)

    Über die Gateways wächst zusammen, was zusammengehört: Die Energieinformationen aller Ebenen von der Erzeugung, über den Transport, die Verteilung UND NUTZUNG (in allen Bereichen!).

  • VHPready English Website

    The Industry Alliance VHPready e.V. is happy to announce that the English website is now online:

    The industry alliance VHPready e.V. is committed to the realization of the energy transition (“Energiewende”) by creating and using a standardized network of decentralized energy systems.

    Standards like IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850 will build the core of the communication system.

    The group is growing quite fast … 25 Members (per 2015-01-01) are supporting the crucial idea that we need standardized information and information exchange in the future energy domain.

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

    IEC 60870-6 TASE.2 (ICCP) is a series of standards that are used for communication between control centers. The first parts have been published in the 90s. In the meantime a lot of experiences have been made. These experiences have issued the revision of the documents.

    For the following three parts new Editions have been published:

    IEC 60870-6-503:2014 Edition 3.0 (2014-07-15)

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

    IEC 60870-6-702:2014 Edition 2.0 (2014-07-15)

    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 60870-6-802:2014 Edition 3.0 (2014-07-15)

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

    Please note that the basic technology used for TASE.2 is the same as for IEC 61850:
    MMS (ISO 9506).

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    Monitoring the Battery of the Boeing Dreamliner 787 would have helped to prevent damages

    I guess you remember the trouble Boeing was faced with when the huge battery packs in the Dreamliner 787 some two years ago. The Auxiliary Power Unit Battery Fire was likely caused by several severe “cell internal short circuiting and the potential for thermal runaway of one or more battery cells, fire, explosion, and flammable electrolyte release”.

    More precise Condition Monitoring would have helped to prevent such incidents – and would have shown very early that the design of the battery system was quite fragile.

    One of the findings (page 91 of the released incident report) is:

    “More accurate cell temperature measurements and enhanced temperature and voltage monitoring and recording could help ensure that excessive cell temperatures resulting from localized or other sources of heating could be detected and addressed in a timely manner to minimize cell damage.”

    Click HERE for the complete official NTSB report.

    Monitoring batteries is very crucial the more our life depends on these systems – in airplanes, in substations, power stations, mobile systems, communication infrastructure … It is not sufficient to have a battery – the batteries must be maintained, tested from time to time, and monitored continuously.

    Two groups (I am aware of) have defined Battery Monitoring information models:

    1. IEC 61850-90-9 (Use of IEC 61850 for Electrical Storage Systems)

    Excerpt of the battery system (without further discussion):


    2. IETF EMAN (Energy Management)

    Definition of Managed Objects for Battery Monitoring / draft-ietf-eman-battery-mib-13


    Click HERE for the EMAN draft for Battery Monitoring.

    Battery monitoring could safe life!

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    NEW DATE for IEC 61850 Seminar in Ecuador: 26.-29. January 2015

    Please note the new date for the IEC 61850 Seminar for Protection and Control is scheduled for:

    26 - 29 JANUARY 2015


    The focus is on protection and control in HV/MV substations using typical Relays, Tools, GOOSE, SV, SCADA and SCL Language

    Click HERE for details and registration information.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    IEC 61850 Protection & Control Seminar on 8-10 December in Prague: GET a 25 per cent last call Discount

    As a kind of an early Seasonal gift, you could receive a 25 per cent discount of the attendance fee for the following seminar:




    With focus on protection and control in HV/MV substations using GOOSE, SV, SCADA and SCL Language

    Mr. Andrea Bonetti (FMTP Power AB)
    Mr. Karlheinz Schwarz (NettedAutomation GmbH)

    Click HERE to receive a 25 per cent discounted attendance fee [pdf, 530 KB]

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Can IEC 61850 be Applied in the Industrial Automation Domain?

    Sure: It can. Why? Because IEC 61850 uses native standards like Ethernet, Ethertype, TCP/IP, UDP/IP, XML, MMS, … defines a dictionary of common information models, like MMXU (electrical measurements of a 3-phase AC system) that are applicable wherever a 3-phase AC System provides measurements like phase voltage or phase-to-phase voltages.

    A motor with 3 phases is a motor with 3 phases everywhere! Or?

    A very interesting paper by Dustin Tessier (Canada) discusses that IEC 61850 could be used in the power and industrial domain:

    The Dual-Domains of IEC 61850 – Power vs Industrial Domains

    “ … Despite the popular belief that the “power” domain and “industrial” domain have
    intrinsically unique principles, this paper suggests the gap is decreasing, and through the
    use of IEC 61850 we can adopt a single strategy that capitalizes on a common
    technology platform.

    … Whether it’s the SAS, DCS or PLC applications, these all share a common goal of collecting, processing, distributing and visualizing the data.

    … No longer is the day where we ask, "Is this an industrial product or a utility
    and the same applies to system integration services. IEC 61850 may have been
    designed for the power domain, but it won't be long before we see it revolutionize the
    industrial domain

    Click HERE for the paper [pdf, 100 KB]

    Wherever there is electricity, IEC 61850 will be be involved one way or the other!

    Click HERE for further discussion on the topic: Industrial and Power domain.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    New Models for Condition Monitoring: IEC 61850-90-3

    IEC TC 57 just published a very comprehensive document (draft technical report, 57/1522/DTR) of 150 pages that suggests a lot of new models:

    IEC 61850-90-3 TR:
    Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
    Part 90-3: Using IEC 61850 for condition monitoring diagnosis and analysis

    The CMD (Condition Monitoring Diagnosis) which diagnoses power grid health status has been one of the major issues to improve the reliability of the power system by preventing a potential failure in advance. Since too many different information modeling, information exchange, and configuration techniques for CMD in various forms from many vendors are currently used, they need to be standardized in TC57.

    The new document contains a lot of new Logical Nodes and Data Objects like for:

    • GIS (Gas Insulated Switchgear)
    • Transformer
    • Load Tap Changer (LTC)
    • Under Ground Cable (UGC)
    • Transmission Line (TL)
    • Auxiliary Power System

    Example of an extension of the very common Model for a tank (KTNK):

    LevMaxSet - Maximum level reached setting
    LevHlfSet - Half level reached setting
    LevMinSet - Minimum level reached setting

    LevMax - Maximum level reached
    LevHlf - Half level reached
    LevMin - Minimum level reached

    Voting terminates on 2015-01-16

    More to come.

    COSEM Object Model (IEC 62056) carried with IEC 61850 Data Model

    IEC TC 57 has just published a very interesting new draft (57/1521/CD):

    IEC 61850-80-4 TS:
    Communication networks and systems for power utility automation - Part 80-4:
    Translation from COSEM object model (IEC 62056) to the IEC 61850 data model

    The IEC 61850 is already THE international Standard series when it comes to (electric) power applications and information modeling and exchange. Metering Information is quite often exchanged with DLMS and COSEM:

    COSEM (Companion Specification for Energy Metering) is part of the DLMS (Device Language Message Specification)

    This information needs to be “fed” into the IEC 61850 world. That is done by defining how the corresponding COSEM information can be wrapped with IEC 61850 Logical Nodes and Data Objects. The title says: Translated … which means the same.

    Here is an example:

    IEC 61850 Data




    (1-b: – (1-b:

    Net apparent energy


    1-b: - 1-b: (¦+A¦ - ¦-A¦)

    Net real energy


    1-b: - 1-b: (¦+R¦ - ¦-R¦)

    Net reactive energy


    1-b: (+A)

    Real energy supply (default supply direction: energy flow towards busbar and is equivalent to Energy Export[+])


    1-b: (+R)

    Reactive energy supply (default supply direction: energy flow towards busbar and is equivalent to Energy Export[+])


    1-b: (-A)

    Real energy demand (default demand direction: energy flow from busbar away and is equivalent to Energy Import[-])


    1-b: (-R)

    Reactive energy demand (default demand direction: energy flow from busbar away and is equivalent to Energy Import[-])

    These IEC 61850 Logical Nodes are of interest for the translation:

    MMTR - Metering 3 Phase
    MMTN - Metering Single Phase
    MMXU - Measurement
    MMXN - Non-phase-related measurement
    MMDC - DC measurement
    MSQI - Sequence and imbalance
    MHAN - Non-phase-related harmonics or interharmonics
    MHAI - Harmonics or interharmonics
    MFLK - Flicker measurement

    Closing date for comments: 2015-02-20

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014

    HMS offers IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850 Gateways to Industrial Communication

    Some four weeks ago I reported that HMS offers Smart Grid solutions that support building a power network for the future.

    In the meantime HMS has posted more details on their corporate website.

    One of the most interesting news is, that the LABLINE SG gateways can also communicate with industrial fieldbus or industrial Ethernet networks such as Profibus, Profinet or any other industrial network thanks to the HMS Anybus technology.

    Click HERE to link to the new web pages.

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    What does IEC 61850 mean for Power Systems?

    A lot. There are many different approaches to describe the benefits. You can start with the System Specification Description (SSD according to part IEC 61850-6, SCL) and go down to the signals and communication. Or you can describe it bottom-up. I like the bottom-up approach:

    1. Take a signal (e.g. Voltage phase A in kV) coming trough a serial Modbus (Address 12122) by polling into an IEC 61850 Server device
    2. Give it a NAME (MyMMXU1.PhV.phsA) based on a STANDARDIZED Structure (Logical Node MMXU), and
    3. Use the protocol (MMS, ISO 9506) to just poll the current value with a MMS Read.
    We may have 10 bays with each providing the voltage phase A: then we could model this as follows:

    That's some basic benefit ... for a first “"brief introduction”.

    In addition (there are many other features to look at), e.g.:

    1. MMS allows to retrieve the Signal List (device model comprising all logical nodes ...) ...
    2. The system configuration language (SCL) allows to carry the "signal list" in form of an XML file ...
    3. SCL could carry the complete signal flow between any device in a system: who has which signal to offer, who needs which signal, how are signals carried between the many devices (real-time, non-realtime ...) ...
    4. SCL could carry the single line diagram (topology) of an electrical system ...
    5. SCL could carry how the information is related to the single line diagram ...

    So, does IEC 61850 add to the complexity of power systems? No that much! See also:

    Be aware: There is more than IEC 61850 that has to be learned, understood and managed!

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    IEC 61850 Devices installed worldwide by Siemens: 300.000

    The amount of IEDs installed in China (see post of yesterday) is amazing: some 10.000 by each of the major vendors … in some 10.000 substations (by 2013).

    Siemens reported that they have installed 300.000 already:

    Siemens reported in 2010:
    As the world’s leading supplier of IEC61850 installations with over 1,000 reference sites,

    Siemens was proud to deliver the first IEC61850 installation for a transmission utility in Australia

    and in 2012: Siemens has the largest installed base worldwide:
    more than 200,000 Siemens devices with IEC 61850 are in operation around the globe.

    and in 2014: More than 300,000 devices with IEC 61850 are in operation around the globe

    These figures speak for themselves.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    IEC 61850 in China: More than 10,000 Substations with IEC 61850 Devices in Operation

    One of the many responses to my newsletter dated 04 November 2014 informed me about the BIG SUCCESS of IEC 61850 in China.

    In a 2 page fact sheet dated October 2014 the authors report that by now more than 10,000 Substations in China (35KV to 1000kV) are equipped with IEC 61850 compliant devices. The top four vendors have each more than 10,000 IEC 61850 compliant devices in operation.

    I guess there have been more than 100.000 IEC 61850 compliant devices installed in the first 10 years after first substations equipped with IEC 61850.

    More to come.

    Click HERE for the 2 page fact sheet.

    New Training in Ecuador: Protection and Control with IEC 61850

    FMTP and NettedAutomation (in cooperation with Power Technologies, Lima, Peru) offer a new crucial Seminar:


    DATE: 16 - 19 DECEMBER 2014

    With focus on protection and control in HV/MV substations using typical Relays, Tools, GOOSE, SV, SCADA and SCL Language.

    The IEC 61850 standard has been applied for several years to many new substation designs all over the world. It provides a compact solution, flexibility in engineering and installation and interoperability between devices from different manufacturers.

    During the seminar, truly experienced engineers will help you to see and understand how use the core parts of the IEC 61850 standard are applied in substation design, engineering, configuration, communication methods for real-time information exchange, monitoring, protection and control applications.

    You will learn all crucial lessons learned since the first projects with IEC 61850 in 2004.

    Seminar content:

    • IEC 61850 Introduction (Edition 1, 2, and 2.1) and experience after 10 years in operation. Where are we today? What to expect for the next year?
    • Return of experience, applications and practical demonstrations:
    • Protection and Control in Substation Automation
    • Engineering and Configuration
    • Maintenance
    • Monitoring and SCADA system

    Click HERE for details and contact information [pdf, 370 KB]

    IEC 61850 in Hydro Power Plants

    I have been asked recently about the application of IEC 61850 in Hydro Power Plants. Yes, there is growing interest to apply IEC 61850 conformant monitoring and control systems in the hydro domain.

    A nice presentation from (Ingeteam Power Technology S.A.) with the title

    presented in April 2014

    closes with the statement that “IEC 61850 is a valid solution for hydro power plant automation … More than 10 IEC 61850 hydro projects mainly in Spain.”

    Click HERE for a nice presentation [pdf, 0.5 MB]

    The use of IEC 61850 for conventional power plants is also growing. I have conducted several training courses in 2014 for engineers working in the power plant business.

    Be sure: More to come.

    Monday, November 3, 2014

    UCAIUG Interoperability Report (Munich 2013) available – And Now?

    IEC 61850 defines Modeling Methods, Information Models, Abstract Services, Service Mapping to MMS, Configuration Language to specify a whole System composed of several substations et cetera. Some 10 years after the publication of the first edition of the core parts (3, 6, 7-1, 7-2, 7-3, 7-4, 8-1 and 9-2) we expect the edition 2.1 of the core documents early 2014. There is a lot of progress during these 10 years of applications!

    The well accepted tissue process has helped to increase the consistency of the various parts of the series and to help to reach a high level of conformity of devices and tools:

    In addition to Conformance tests it is obvious that Interoperability is one of the crucial issues that is expected by the users community. Many organizations are involved to further increase the Interoperability between the products provided by many vendors. One major step towards a higher level of interoperability is the UCAIUG Interoperability Test Session that was conducted at TÜV SÜD (Munich, Germany) the week of 27. October – 01. November 2013.

    Click HERE to download the 240 page Report [pdf, 5.8 MB].

    One of the crucial lessons I (and many other experts) have learned trough my long-term involvement in the standardization groups and more than 200 training courses is this: In case you are planning to use the new (IEC 61850) Technology in one of your next projects:

    1. Get education and training from neutral trainers
    2. Purchase or lent the devices and tools you are about to use in the real world: protection & control devices, SCADA systems, RTUs, Network Infrastructure like Switches and Routers, and Tools … and test them as a kind of “Multivendor Interoperability Test”
    3. You can speed up this process by cooperating with FMTP Power Systems and NettedAutomation: They could come to you and provide the most well known and used devices and Tools and introduce Theory and Practice!!
      This helps to keep the cost low – you don’t need to figure out what to purchase … and how to use the Technology when you start.
      You would get the right support for a fast start … the most efficient way!

    Please check these dates and locations:

    Special Protection & Control Hands-On Training:
    08.-10. Dec 2014 in Prague (Czech Republic)

    Click HERE for the details

    Special Protection & Control Hands-On Training:
    16.-19. December 2014 in Guayaquil (Ecuador):

    Click HERE for the details [pdf]

    Common Hands-On Training in German:
    24.-26. November 2014 (Karlsruhe)
    12.-14. Januar 2015 (Karlsruhe)
    23.-25. März 2015 (Karlsruhe)

    Click HERE for more details

    I look forward to meeting you there.

    Friday, October 24, 2014

    IEC 61850 Server integrated in CODESYS Development System, Version 3.5 Service Pack 3 or later

    3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH (Kempten, Germany) has developed a CODESYS IEC 61850 Server that is completely integrated in the CODESYS Development System and provides implementation for users according to the first version of the standard.

    Intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) according to IEC 61850 can be configured directly from the CODESYS Development System and employed as servers in energy networks. The configured servers render real generated data from the network units (IED) into messages and reports that can be used for further processing by connected IEC 61850 clients.

    Minimum software requirements are:

    • CODESYS Development System, Version 3.5 Service Pack 3 or later
    • IEC 61850 server library adapted to the runtime system, in order to be able to use the SNTP

    Click HERE for more details.

    It is likely that IEC 61850 will be used more often in the factory automation and process control applications – because CODESYS is well known in these domains.

    IEC 61850 ICD Designer update available

    A new update of SystemCorp’s IEC 61850 ICD Designer is available for download: Version 2.00.011

    Upgrade / installation:

    Standalone version:

    This is the same version available on the SystemCorp website “Demo”. All versions will operate as a demo if the dongle is missing. The demo version becomes the full version when a dongle is present.

    The latest documentation is Revision 2.01 (contained in the above uploads):



    The latest ICD Designer offers several new features – worth to test.

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    Neu: IEC 61850 Seminar und Hands-On-Training in Deutsch (in Karlsruhe)

    NettedAutomation GmbH hat seit 2003 weltweit über 200 Seminare im Zusammenhang mit IEC 61850 und IEC 60870-5-104 durchgeführt. Diese Seminare wurden in Englisch gehalten. Mittlerweile ist das Interesse an Seminaren und Trainingskursen im deutschsprachigen Raum so groß, dass NettedAutomation jetzt auch einen Trainingskurs in Deutsch anbietet.

    Nachdem über 3.700 Experten aus 800 Firmen und 80 Ländern in Englisch geschult wurden, haben Sie jetzt die Möglichkeit, das gerade neu aufgebaute dreitägige (deutschsprachige!) Seminar mit Theorie und viel Praxis in Karlsruhe zu einem günstigen Preis buchen! Es besteht auch die Möglichkeit, nur den ersten Tag mit der Einführung und Übersicht zu einem absolut niedrigen Preis zu besuchen.

    24.-26. November 2014 (Karlsruhe)
    12.-14. Januar 2015 (Karlsruhe)
    23.-25. März 2015 (Karlsruhe)

    Am ersten Tag wird ein Überblick über das Normungsumfeld und die einzelnen Normen gegeben. Im Mittelpunkt stehen dabei die grundlegenden Eigenschaften und Bedeutung der Normenreihe IEC 61850 für Engineering, Datenmodellierung, Datenmodelle, Kommunikationsmöglichkeiten, Sicherheitslösungen sowie deren internationale Umsetzung und Akzeptanz.
    Am zweiten und dritten Tag werden Details behandelt und mit praktischen Übungen an realen Geräten begleitet. Ein Teil der eingesetzten Lösungen und Werkzeuge können auch nach dem Training weiter verwendet werden. Es wird vor allem die Frage behandelt: Was bedeutet der Einsatz dieser Normen für Hersteller von Geräten und Systemen, für die Systemintegratoren und die Anwender?

    Hier für weitere Details, Programm und Anmeldeunterlagen klicken.

    Hier gelangen Sie zu weiteren Seminar- und Trainingsangeboten.

    Hier finden Sie mehr Informationen über meine Erfahrungen und weltweiten Einsätze [pdf, 3.9 MB] zur Unterstützung von Anwendern, Herstellern und vielen anderen Leuten … und weitere hilfreiche Einblicke in den Markt für Smart Grids und IEC 61850.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Approved for Publication as Standard: FDIS IEC 62351-3 Communication network and system security – Profiles including TCP/IP

    The following document has been approved by 100 per cent of the IEC TC 57 national committees:

    FDIS IEC 62351-3 (57/1498/FDIS):
    Power systems management and associated information exchange – Data and
    communications security – Part 3: Communication network and system security – Profiles including TCP/IP

    Click HERE for some additional details.

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Smart grid in Denmark 2.0: IEC 61850 and CIM are crucial

    The following interesting report has been published recently:

    Smart grid in Denmark 2.0

    One of the key areas is related to information standards. The report summarizes on:


    Internationally, two standards for Smart Grids are singled out in particular, each including a number of part-standards and related standards. One is the IEC 61850 standard, which was originally developed for substations but which has today been developed to cover a wide range of other areas, e.g. DER units. The information model in IEC 61850 is based on the so-called Logical Nodes, whereby information can be structured in a harmonised way. The other standard is the IEC 61970 standard, which was originally developed for control centre environments, but which today, via related standards, covers a wide range of system activities in the power system, for example electricity markets. The information model in IEC 61970 is called the Common Information Model - CIM. The two information models are being harmonised with a view to defining a combined information model for the entire power system and its associated components and processes.

    Click HERE for the report.

    How to Generate IEC 61850 IED Models?

    IEC 61850-6 (SCL – System Configuration Language) supports the design, engineering and configuration of systems … systems composed of many IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices). One key question is: How can I define a model of an IED?

    Big vendors like ABB, GE, Siemens, … have their own vendor-specific tools. What’s about third-party tools? Or even freely available tools?

    The following tools may be used for free (with some restrictions):

    IEDmodeler from RedWind:

    IED Modeler is a tool free for use as long as you have an access to the internet and accept their license … The program is free of charge for non-profit purposes including teaching and research at universities, colleges and other educational institutions, research at non-profit research institutions, and personal non-profit purposes.

    Click HERE for more information.

    ICD Designer from SystemCorp:

    The ICD Designer can be used to model IEDs according to Edition 1 and Edition 2 of the core parts of IEC 61850. In addition to modeling IEDs it can be used to bind Models to real applications: bind the “XCBR2.Pos.stVal” to a specific memory location or to a Modbus Coil:


    The “Pos.stVal” can be bound to a Modbus Slave:


    This binding allows automatic configuration of the IEC 61850 Stack/API and binding to the corresponding Modbus device at address 321.

    Other bindings are supported: DNP3, IEC 60870-5-104, …

    The ICD Designer can be used to simplify the application of the SystemCorp IEC 61850 Stack/API.

    Click HERE for more information on the ICD Designer. The ICD Designer can – of course – also be used for creating CID Files.

    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    Does IEC 61850 Add Complexity for Technicians in Power Utilities?

    This week I was asked the question in the title during an introduction of IEC 61850 to some 15 utility experts. My response was not just yes or no. Initiated by that question I thought it would be of interest to discuss this issue on the blog.

    We have to understand that the expected complexity in power system information exchange has at least the following three crucial aspects:

    1. Complexity of the network infrastructure (independent of protocols defined and used by standards like IEC 60870-5-104, DNP3, IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, …). The infrastructure used and discussed these days seems to explode! Compared to dial-up-links and and fixed land lines used usually for remote access of something, the application of Switched Ethernet, Ethertype, VPN, VLAN, TCP/IP, UDP/IP, GSM, UMTS, LTE, … requires a good understanding of your needs and the various solutions that could be used.
    2. Complexity of standards (like IEC 60870-5-104, DNP3, IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, …) that use the above infrastructure.
    3. Complexity of communication software and application interfaces between applications and communication software, and complexity of engineering and configuration tools.

    In many cases I have experienced that users do have little understanding what they really need! And may even have lesser knowledge about the various solutions, how to use them for their systems, and to understand how they impact the dynamics of the whole system!

    I have talked to many people that have complained about the complexity of protocols … but usually we figured out that the complexity was caused by a bit of everything … and mainly by the fact that people tend to NOT TRUST the chain of solutions from, e.g., a control system application to an API of a front-end, front-end application, protocol API, protocol IEC 60870-5-104, TCP/IP, VPN, GPRS, RTU, interface between RTU and remote application, and remote application.

    Here is an example I have experienced recently (with the topology based on GPRS as listed above):

    1. The control system does not trust that the information exchange with the RTU is reliable and available. Therefore the control system sends Pings every 2 seconds.
    2. The front-end application does not trust that the RTU is reliable and available. Therefore the front-end applications issues a 104 control command (toggle bit) every 10 seconds … just to see if the 104 protocol is still alive.
    3. The front-end application does not trust (even it figures out that the RTU is available) that the remote application is really receiving a parameter setting for a function in the remote application. Therefore the remote application copies a received setting value to another 104 information object and sends a spontaneous message with the just received setting value.
    4. The protocol IEC 60870-5-104 exchanges flow control messages to acknowledge the received messages (in both directions).
    5. TCP uses flow control messages and keep alive messages …

    So, what do you think about such a bunch of deep mistrusts? Do you think that such a system would work properly and reliable?

    I guess that there are many huge GAPS: in the understanding of the NEEDs, the various links in the chain like the dynamics of a system using, e.g., GPRS, … the APIs, the applications

    I recommended to the audience that there is a crucial need for: MORE EDUCATION !! 

    A screw driver is not sufficient for future power delivery systems. And: Ignoring IEC 61850 is not sufficient to get the job done! IEC 61850 solutions can be very easy for simple needs.

    You can experience it – if you want! Let me know!

    Just Published: Resilience and Security Recommendations for Power Systems with Distributed Energy Resources (DER)

    IEC TC 57 just published a Proposal of an IEC Technical Report (57/1514/DC) on

    Resilience and Security Recommendations for Power Systems with Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Cyber-Physical Systems (proposed IEC TR 62351-12)

    Comments are expected by 2015-01-16

    While recognizing that the resilience of the power system to anomalous conditions has many components and extends far beyond the impacts of DER systems, the focus of this document is the role of DER systems in grid Resilience, including:

    • DER System Resilience: The cyber security and engineering strategies for designing and installing DER systems to provide DER resilience to anomalous power system events and cyber attacks.
    • Grid Resilience for Planning with Significant Numbers of DER Interconnections: The cyber security and engineering strategies for promoting grid resilience by studying the impact of and planning for interconnecting DER systems with the grid to promote grid resilience.
    • Grid Resilience for Operations with Significant Capacity of DER Generation and Storage: The cyber security and engineering strategies for operating the grid with significantly large numbers and capacities of DER systems that can impact grid reliability and security.

    It is highly recommended to review this document during the draft stage. It is more convenient to revise the draft now … than waiting until the document has been published as a final document. The content is very important for the future of power systems.

    Contact your national committee for more information.

    Just Published: Draft IEC 61850-90-10 Objects for Scheduling

    IEC has just published the following document (57/1510/DC):

    Draft IEC TR 61850-90-10 – Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 90-10: IEC 61850 objects for scheduling

    Comments are expected by 2014-12-05.

    Schedules configure a specific behavior during configured time intervals. A schedule consists of a series of entries with a setting for the value of a set point, the selection of a particular mode or the value of a parameter for a mode.

    Schedules can be used to allow even more autonomous control of the behavior of DER equipment. They may be sent ahead of time, and then activated at the appropriate time, e.g., for applications like:

    • direct values (e.g. setpoints for P/Q/cosphi)
    • constraints (e.g. do not exceed the maximum value of P/Q/cosphi at a certain time)
    • pricing information (act on constraints)
    • modes (e.g. Volt-VAr curves)
    • parameters of modes
    • predictions or forecasts

    This part defines two additional Logical Nodes (schedule and schedule controller):


    LN FSCH - defining schedules (23 Data Objects)

    LN FSCC – schedule controller (3 Data Objects)

    It is highly recommended to review this document during the draft stage. It is more convenient to revise the draft now … than waiting until the document has been published as a final document.

    Contact your national committee for a copy.

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    HMS offers IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850 Gateway

    HMS is a well known company in the world of communication solutions for any kind of Automation in factories, chemical plants, ... HMS is active in more than 50 countries, with some 350 employees, with the head office in Halmstad (Sweden).

    HMS has understood the importance of the standards IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850: Their latest offering are new Gateways under the Product line LABLINE SG. The new products are applicable in any Smart Grid application like Photo Voltaic, Wind Power, CHP, Backup Power, Metering, Power Quality, … and beyond:


    Click HERE for more information in German and English.

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    Prague, December 2014: IEC 61850 Special Training for Protection Engineers

    IEC 61850 training courses are under way for some 10 years. The first training course NettedAutomation conducted with 40+ attendees in May 2004 and most other courses focused primarily on the general approach of the “IEC 61850 Framework”. We have trained many groups with general purpose issues like basiccs, history, stacks, applications, and devices. Several training courses were focusing on protection – when NettedAutomation cooperated with protection domain experts.

    Today you will find training courses teaching the basics of IEC 61850 all over. The NettedAutomation hands-on training course scheduled for next week (15-17 Oct 2014) in Frankfurt is sold out. We are trying to order a bigger room for more attendees.

    BUT: In addition to the general training, there is a need for comprehensive special education for power system PROTECTION !! All major vendors of protection relays offer IEC 61850 connectivity for protection and control. There are many groups of protection engineers that have to be more serious about the use of IEC 61850 devices for protection in a multi-vendor environment.

    That is why FMTP and NettedAutomation are offering a 3-days training especially for PROTECTION engineers – conducted by a very experienced senior protection engineer (Andrea Bonetti – who worked for ABB, Megger, STRI).

    The first public IEC 61850 protection training conducted by FMTP and NettedAutomation is scheduled as follows:

    Prague, Czech Republic, December 8th – 10th
    Seminar at HOLIDAY INN Prague Congress Centre

    Click HERE for details and registration information.
    Click HERE for video messages on the training and the trainers.

    Further public events are planned as follows:

    16.-18. Feb. 2015, Brussels, BE
    18.-20. May 2015, Berlin, DE
    Hong Kong

    If you are looking for an in-house training, contact us please.

    I look forward to meeting you in Prague.

    Just published: NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0

    NIST (US National Institute of Standards and Technology) has published the other day the third version of the NIST Framework:

    NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid
    Interoperability Standards
    Release 3.0
    September 2014

    The 240 page document gives a very broad and deep inside view into the current situation with regards to crucial interoperability standards.

    The list of standards (series) comprises a total of 72 entries. The following 16 (out of 72) entries refer to IEC 61850 documents:

    11 – IEC 61850-1
    12 – IEC 61850-2
    13 – IEC 61850-3
    14 – IEC 61850-4
    15 – IEC 61850-5
    16 – IEC 61850-6
    17 – IEC 61850-7-1
    18 – IEC 61850-7-2
    19 – IEC 61850-7-3
    20 – IEC 61850-7-4
    21 – IEC 61850-7-410
    22 – IEC 61850-7-420
    23 – IEC 61850-8-1
    24 – IEC 61850-9-2
    25 – IEC 61850-10
    26 – IEC 61850-90-5

    The term “IEC 61850” is used some 90 times. That means: IEC 61850 is a crucial standard in North America. Other IEC standards like IEC 61968/70 (CIM) and IEC 60870-6-TASE.2 (ICCP) or IEEE standards like DNP.3 are as well included in the list.

    Click HERE to download the Release 3.0 [pdf, 12.7 MB]

    Further standards like IEC 61400-25 will be included soon. There are still PAPs working on some issues, e.g., PAP 16 for Wind Power.

    There seems to be no serious discussion anymore if IEC 61850 and related standards are accepted – the main question is: When and How to use the “IEC 61850 Framework”.

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    TÜV SÜD offers tests for IEC 61850 Client, Server, publisher, and subscriber

    TÜV SÜD (Munich, Germany) offers a wide range of testing services covering all crucial aspects to help you reaching a high level of interoperability of your device with other devices.

    Their services could reduce the risk of non-interoperation on site dramatically! They have experience with edition 1 and edition 2 of the IEC 61850 core parts as well with IEC 61400-25.

    Click HERE for a brochure that describes what they offer.

    Note that they cover much more than just certification conformance tests. They offer a comprehensive range of support.

    Thursday, September 25, 2014

    IEC 61400-25 Part 2 and Part 3 CDV approved

    The following two documents (CDV – Committee Drafts for Vote) have been accepted by 100 per cent of the Members of IEC TC 88 (in August resp. in September 2014):

    Wind turbines – Part 25-2 (Edition 2): Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants – Information models

    Wind turbines - Part 25-3 (Edition 2): Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants -Information exchange models

    Both parts will be published as FDIS soon.

    The Information Models are revised to make them consistent with the many other models defined in IEC 61850-7-x. For example in LN WTUR several names of DataObjects change:

    SptDmdW to DmdWSpt
    SptDmdVAr to DmdVArSpt
    SptDmdPF to DmdPFSpt

    The Edition 2 of the models is a major step towards harmonization of the information models. The wind power plant objects are now very stable – they are also incorporated into the UML master maintained by IEC TC 57 WG10, WG 17, WG 18, and JWG25 (TC57/TC88):


    The changes proposed in conjunction of the CDV comments on part 25-2 have already been used for the UML model. Now we have a very stable and harmonized set of information models that can be used for the whole power delivery system – all over.

    Additional models are under way, e.g., for condition monitoring (90-3).

    Thanks to the UML team!

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    IEC 61850: Is Interchangeability possible?

    Yes – If you are seriously requiring it, it is likely that you will get it. Sure: You have to pay for it. You may need to spend some time to find the right vendor … system integrator, consultant to help you getting there. The key issue is education and training.

    A very interesting question is currently discussed at LinkedIn:

    “Dear all, How far are we from living the of plug & play age of SAS devices (real and full interoperability under IEC 61850 platform)?”

    Click HERE for the complete (public) discussion.

    One of my contributions is this:

    “I guess it would be so easy to reach the goal of "exchangeability": IF (only IF !!) substation owners would specify which parts of their future SAS SHALL BE based on the standard and specify the SCD in sufficient details, in order to simplify, e.g., adding a new Bay Controller coming from a thirty part IED vendor.
    That may work fine within one owner (utility) - but not between different owners.
    I have seen such an SCD document (6+ MB) ... written by a big TSO ...
    I am quite sure that this TSO will reach that goal in the near future - I am not sure if all vendors will like the approach.”

    You could easily contribute to the discussion on LinkedIn … or comment on this blog post directly.

    Sunday, September 21, 2014

    Another Infrastructure: Are Traffic Lights Secure?

    Several experts from the University of Michigan have analyzed the safety critical nature of traffic infrastructures. Their findings are summarized in a paper presented in August 2014:

    “Green Lights Forever: Analyzing the Security of Traffic Infrastructure”

    Abstract: “The safety critical nature of traffic infrastructure requires that it be secure against computer-based attacks, but this is not always the case. We investigate a networked traffic signal system currently deployed in the United States
    and discover a number of security flaws that exist due to systemic failures by the designers. We leverage these flaws to create attacks which gain control of the system, and we successfully demonstrate them on the deployment in coordination with authorities. Our attacks show that an adversary can control traffic infrastructure to cause disruption, degrade safety, or gain an unfair advantage.
    We make recommendations on how to improve existing systems and discuss the lessons learned for embedded systems security in general.”

    It would be nice to read one day down the street:

    “Power Flows Forever” ;-)

    Click HERE for the paper.

    These findings are to some extend applicable to any application domain with similar topologies. The lessons learned could be applied for power delivery infrastructures, too! Or?

    Next time you experience a long waiting queue at an intersection or a power black out: It may have been caused by a security flaw.

    Note also: No Power no traffic lights!

    ENTSO-E: IEC 61850 in Transport Systems for Electric Power is making good progress

    The original scope of IEC 61850 in the late 90’s of the last century was “high voltage substations”. Utilities in the domain HV systems did participate in the beginning of the standardization and later-on showed-up seldom – untile recently. After realizing crucial issues in the inter-operation of devices and tools the ENTSO-E started to support the idea of IEC 61850 interoperability in HV substations.

    The latest update on these efforts are documented on the ENTSO-E Website.

    Click HERE to follow the update.

    You will find many interesting topics discussed and useful links to other activities and opportunities to learn more about the success of IEC 61850. There are links to the special event during the IEC 61850 Europe Conference 2014 in Prague; and a link to the event:

    The last slide presented at the ENTSO-E AhG IEC 61850 @ UCA Booth, Cigré 2014 is remarkable. It shows somebody who seems to have severe headaches:


    Is this You!? I have seen many people that throw up their hands in despair.

    You are not alone! We are here to help you: Training for all experts involved in high voltage substations by really experienced protection and communication experts:

    FMTP and NettedAutomation offer special IEC 61850 training for PROTECTION and SCADA applications.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    IEC 61850-7-410 A1 Ed.2 – Amendment for several new models just published

    IEC 61850-7-410 A1 Ed.2 (57/1485/CDV): Amendment 1 to IEC 61850-7-410 Ed.2: Communication networks and systems for power utility automation - Part 7-410: Basic communication structure - Hydroelectric power plants - Communication for monitoring and control

    has been published for comments and vote by 2014-12-12

    The reason for the amendment is that a number of logical nodes, originally intended for hydropower plants, have been found to have wider usage in power system control. To make them more generic, the logical node names are modified and, in some cases, additional data objects are added. A few completely new logical nodes are also added.

    Within the scope of WG18, some of the logical nodes have been modified to allow usage in thermal power plants for power evacuation related components such as excitation, synchronization, frequency and active power control as well as electrical protection devices.

    Process control for thermal power plants is not included in the scope of this amendment.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Extended Training: FMTP and NettedAutomation cooperate on Practical Training for Power System Automation and Protection

    FMTP Power AB (Uppsala, Sweden) and NettedAutomation GmbH (Karlsruhe, Germany) have each long-term experience in the application of standards for protection and control as well for communication and SCADA applications. Both companies have agreed to join their long-term experience in training and consultancy for power system automation and protection.

    FMTP and NettedAutomation offer the most comprehensive and vendor-independent education and practical training courses – they combine their knowledge and practical experience with substation control and protection (Mr Andrea Bonetti who worked for ABB, Megger, and STRI) and communication technology and SCADA (Mr Karlheinz Schwarz).

    Some years ago Mr Bonetti and Mr Schwarz conducted together several training courses and seminars. They discovered the value of their combined knowledge and experience for customers and decided recently to provide common seminars based on their  combined experience of more than 60 years. The combination of basic Theory and extensive Practical Help is what the industry needs – to keep the power flowing.

    First training courses by Andrea Bonetti and Karlheinz Schwarz will be conducted in fall 2014; the first events will be in-house training courses.

    FMTP and NettedAutomation will also cooperate with local partners in Asia, South America, North America, Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

    If your organization is interested to cooperate, please contact us.

    Click HERE for the complete press release.

    Click HERE for a brochure on the first 3 days training.

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    Deutsche Verteilnetzstudie veröffentlicht – mit Hinweisen auf IEC 61850

    Das Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi) hat heute (12. September 2014) die Verteilnetzstudie „Moderne Verteilernetze für Deutschland“ der Öffentlichkeit vorgestellt. Die Studie wurde Ende 2012 vom Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi) in Auftrag gegeben.

    Im Koalitionsvertrag der 18. Legislaturperiode „Deutschlands Zukunft gestalten“ wird die vorliegende Studie als Datenbasis für Entscheidungen zu notwendigen Weiterentwicklungen der Anreizregulierung bezeichnet.

    Hier klicken, um zur Downloadseite zu gelangen.

    “Rainer Baake, Staatssekretär im Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, hierzu: "Der Umbau unserer Energieversorgung hin zu mehr erneuerbaren Energien erhöht zweifelsfrei den Investitionsbedarf in die Verteilernetze.
    Allerdings macht die Studie zugleich deutlich, dass mit den nun gesetzlich verankerten Ausbaukorridoren des EEG 2014 und einem dadurch besser planbaren Erneuerbaren-Ausbau die Kosteneffizienz des Aus- und Umbaus der Verteilernetze erheblich verbessert wird. Es kommt nun darauf an, das enorme Einsparpotenzial, das der Einsatz intelligenter Methoden bei der Netzplanung und intelligenter Technik im Netzbetrieb bietet, zu nutzen. Die Weiterentwicklung des Regulierungsrahmens ist in der 10-Punkte-Energie-Agenda daher bereits angelegt, und das setzen wir jetzt um."

    Die Gutachter kommen in der Studie unter anderem zu dem Ergebnis, dass neue innovative Planungsgrundsätze und neue Technologien, wie beispielsweise regelbare Ortstransformatoren, zentrale Elemente für eine effiziente Integration der erneuerbaren Energien bilden und die Kosteneffizienz des Aus- und Umbaus der Verteilernetze erhöhen.

    Die Studie wurde erstellt von einem Gutachterkonsortium bestehend aus dem Institut und Lehrstuhl für Elektrische Anlagen und Energiewirtschaft (IAEW) der RWTH Aachen, dem Oldenburger Institut für Informatik (OFFIS) sowie dem Beratungsunternehmen E-Bridge Consulting GmbH.”

    Das wesentliche Ergebnis ist die Forderung, bis zu etwa 40.000 regelbare Ortsnetztransformatoren zu installieren und für weitgehend alle Einspeisungen aus Erneuerbaren Energien-Anlagen für wenige Stunden des Jahres gezielt Abregelungen zuzulassen.

    Natürlich gehen fast alle Maßnahmen mit einer deutlichen Zunahme an intelligenten Steuerungen und Kommunikationslösungen einher. Als wesentliche Kommunikationslösungen werden solche empfohlen, die auf IEC 61850-7-420, IEC 60870-5 und IEC 61969 (CIM) basieren. VHPready (als ein Anwender der IEC 61850-7-420) wird lobend erwähnt:

    “Die bisherigen Lösungen für das Erzeugungsmanagement sind seit 2006 in Form der Normung der IEC 61850-7-420 zur Kommunikation mit dezentralen Erzeugern in Demoprojekten und verschiedenen Projekten und Initiativen wie VHPready vorangetrieben worden. Produkte von namhaften Herstellern sind bereits im Einsatz.”

    Ein interessanter Aspekt ist die Interpretation des Berichts durch den VKU (Verband kommunaler Unternehmen): “… Hingegen kann durch die Steuerung der Verbraucherlast der durch den EE‐Zubau verursachte Netzausbau nicht nennenswert reduziert werden. Der VKU wertet dies als eine klare Absage an den Rollout von Smart Metern in Haushalten.”

    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    Problem with Wireshark and MMS in the latest versions

    You may run into the situation with one of the latest versions of Wireshark, that you cannot display the MMS messages. You may see these frames:


    What is that? T.125?

    If you see this, you have to remove the T.125 Protocol under Analyze:


    Depending on the version of Wireshark you have, there may be also a need to configure MMS under Edit->Preference->Protocols->PRES:


    Now you should see MMS again:


    I am using Wireshark Version 1.12.0

    The bug is reported under:

    Good luck!

    IEC 61850 Lab opened by POWER Engineers in Idaho (USA)

    Technical support for IEC 61850 based systems, tools and devices is very crucial for the acceptance of the standard. Education and testing are needed all over.

    A new competence center for IEC 61850 has opened its doors by POWER Engineers for the North American market. It is no surprise that this kind of services are offered in the USA.

    Click HERE for more information.

    “We think that IEC 61850 will become much more prevalent in the U.S. market in the near term,” said Scott Olson P.E., senior project manager for smart grid projects at POWER.

    Ok, yes, Scott is absolute right!

    More to come.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    Neuer Webauftritt VHPready

    Das Industrieforum VHPready hat seit heute einen neuen Webauftritt mit vielen neuen Informationen:

    See you there.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    IETF RFC 7326: Energy Management Framework

    The RFC 7326 (just published) defines a framework for Energy Management (EMAN) for devices and device components within, or connected to, communication networks. The framework presents a physical reference model and information model. The information model consists of an Energy Management Domain as a set of Energy Objects. Each Energy Object can be attributed with identity, classification, and context. Energy Objects can be monitored and controlled with respect to power, Power State, energy, demand, Power Attributes, and battery. Additionally, the framework models relationships and capabilities between Energy Objects.

    Click HERE for accessing the RFC 7326.

    The document refers to several parts of IEC 61850. Many of the IEC 61850 objects related to electric measurements like 3-phase voltage and current are modeled in corresponding MIBs.

    Click HERE for the list of related documents of the working group EMAN.

    The availability of the communication infrastructure (ICT – Information and communication technology) is very crucial for power delivery systems.

    Be aware that:

    No ICT –> No Power
    No Power –> No ICT
    No Power and no ICT –> No Life

    The two infrastructures are very closely interwoven. We need ICT systems that have reasonable UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) in order to help restore power systems after a blackout.

    ERDF (French DSO) has taken measures to coordinate with ICT companies in order to get the needed support for fast restoration of power:

    “On the strength of its experience in crisis management, in June 2012 ERDF signed a partnership agreement with the three leading telephone operators, Bouygues, Orange and SFT, to consolidate information exchange in the event of a major event or crisis situation. The four companies were keen to pool information which is vital to the mobilisation and implementation of emergency procedures during crisis situations in order to restore their networks as rapidly as possible.”

    Click HERE for an ERDF Press kit on the issue.

    Close inter-dependencies between these infrastructures should be understood an should be avoided that use of electricity is blocked because my mobile service is still down. So if I have electricity in my home, I wouldn't want to wait for ICT to come by so that I can begin washing or cooking.

    Mitgliederzuwachs im VHPready e.V.

    Das Industrieforum VHPready e.V. setzt sich für die Realisierung der Energiewende durch die standardisierte Vernetzung dezentraler Energieanlagen ein. Das Industrieforum VHPready e.V. leistet einen Beitrag zur Integration erneuerbarer Energien in den Energiemarkt und ermöglicht den Ausgleich ihrer Volatilitäten durch das orchestrierte Zusammenwirken dezentraler Energieanlagen. Der Standard VHPready und seine Zertifizierung gewährleisten das nahtlose, sichere und kostengünstige Zusammenwirken aller steuerbaren Komponenten und deren Kompatibilität und bilden die Grundlage für flexible Aggregationen dezentraler Energieanlagen zu virtuellen Kraftwerken.

    Mittlerweile sind über 20 Firmen und Organisationen dem Forum beigetreten:

    1. 2G Energy AG
    2. 50Hertz Transmission GmbH
    3. Beck IPC GmbH
    4. Bilfinger GreyLogix GmbH
    5. Bosch Software Innovations GmbH
    6. Energy2market GmbH
    7. energy & meteo systems GmbH
    8. E.ON Connecting Energies GmbH
    9. Fraunhofer Gesellschaft e.V.
    10. IABG GmbH
    11. IT&I GmbH
    12. LichtBlick SE
    13. N·E·ST Neue Energie Steinfurt GmbH
    14. NettedAutomation GmbH
    15. Next Kraftwerke GmbH
    16. Optimax Energy GmbH
    17. Phoenix Contact Electronics GmbH
    18. SSV Software Systems GmbH
    19. Vattenfall Europe Wärme AG
    20. WAGO Kontakttechnik GmbH & Co. KG
    21. Energieservice Westfalen Weser GmbH
    22. Younicos AG

    Die standardisierte Kommunikation nach IEC 60870-5-104 und IEC 61850 sind Grundlage der Vernetzung!

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    Cyber Security in Industrial Control Systems – Is this enough?

    Cyber security is more than a hype. Is this enough to reach a secure and stable power system? No!

    I found a very good documentation on cyber security measure:

    Since February 2013, industrial stakeholders (final users, vendors, integrators, professional organizations, etc.) and French governmental entities have been working together on elaborating concrete and practical proposals to improve the cyber security of critical infrastructures.

    The first results of this working group are the following two documents:

    • The first document describes a classification method for industrial control systems and the key measures to improve their cyber security.
    • The second one gives a more in-depth description of applicable cyber security measures.

    Click HERE for the website with the links to the two documents. Nice reading!

    These measures (comparable to those listed by many other organizations and groups) will help to improve the cyber security of critical infrastructures. No question.

    Do these measures help to keep the power flowing, help to keep a stable and highly available power system? To some extend these measures solve mainly issues that are caused by new control system solutions based on standards like Ethernet and TCP/IP.

    But: What’s about the power system stability? Let’s assume that we have a 100 per cent cyber secure ICS managing the power generation, transmission, distribution, storages, and loads. This “secure” systems may be used in many different ways – taking the physical laws seriously into account or ignoring some basic requirements to keep the power system stable.

    One very critical impact on the electrical system is the change of power flow. Each change (more or less generation or load) has to be controlled in a bunch of close loop control systems. If the amount of change in a short time (within seconds) is too high, then the systems is likely to black-out.

    A highly secure ICS may be used to configure schedules for feeding power into the power system (generator or storage) or drawing power from the system. The power flow change caused by schedules may exceed the maximum value that can be automatically managed by primary power control systems … risking a power outage.

    Who is now responsible that the maximum allowable power flow change in an interconnected power system will be taken into account when we have millions of such schedules? Maybe too may schedules are configured to draw power or feed in starting at 14:00 h today. As a consequence the power flow change could be far beyond the maximum amount that can automatically be managed by the primary power control system (as we have them today in all systems).

    Cyber security of ICS is one aspect – system stability of the power system is another. Secure ICS’s are important. A high level of power systems stability is more important and requires secure information and communication systems AND the need of understanding of the power system physics

    We have to make sure that any new ICS approach does not allow a huge sudden power flow change! This is true also for all solutions based on standards like IEC 60870-5-10x, DNP3, IEC 61850, or …

    These standards would allow to disseminate immediate control commands or specify schedules.

    WHO is in charge to have the big picture in mind – to configure power systems in a way that they do not blackout because of commands and settings communicated by highly secure ICS’s? The power system could not differentiate if these commands or settings are intended or caused by hackers.

    It is highly recommended to keep an eye on the power system physics and prevent any ICS action (secure or insecure) to danger the stability of the power system!

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    Are you looking for IEC 61850 TICS, PICS, PIXIT, … Documents?

    I talked the other day to experts of a big user. We shared our experience of increased “information hiding” when it comes to the availability and accessibility of the various documents like PICS, PIXIT, TICS, … Product handbooks, manuals, … When you checked websites of major vendors some years ago, you could find a bunch of technical material … I have figured out that these documents are quite often hidden … or not anymore available online.

    I found still good examples for downloading many of the these crucial documents:

    Click HERE for a Website of ABB to find PICS and other documents

    Click HERE for a Website of Alstom Grid to find PICS …

    Click HERE for a Website of Schneider Electric to find PICS and other documents.

    Click HERE for a Website of Siemens to find some 30 PIXIT documents.
    Click HERE to see a list of some 40 references to IEC 61850 Ethernet Module EN100.

    Congratulation to the IEC 61850 Teams!

    Enjoy the documents. Are you looking for help to understand these documents? Why do we need these at all? Isn’t IEC 61850 a standard? … and then all these documents …

    Click HERE to get help!

    Sensitive, Critical Infrastructure is Not Sufficiently Protected

    Recently it was reported that the Stadtwerke Ettlingen (Southwestern Germany – some 15 km from my hometown Karlsruhe), came very close to shutting down the power, water and gas supply of Ettlingen. “The experiment has shown that sensitive, critical infrastructure is not sufficiently protected,” said Eberhard Oehler, managing director of the utility, Stadtwerke Ettlingen.

    Click HERE for a brief Report in English and Here for one Report in German.