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: http://www.iec61850-europe.com/

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!