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”.