Thursday, December 31, 2015

What if Remote Control Fails?

The year 2015 is almost over ... here in Karlsruhe (Germany) we are just 13 h and 13 min away from 2016. Have you looked back to the many lucky and bad situations you have experienced or you have seen during the year 2015?

I guess we all understand that we need more serious engineers that take care of the many processes and systems we need in our modern life. Our generation sees a lot of good solutions going away ... replaced by modern technologies. There is a need to use more communication systems to keep the lights on, the grass green and the sky blue.

Volkswagen has demonstrated that adaptive closed loop control can take the situation (in which a car is) into account and react in different directions - to the good of the company and share holders ... not to the good of the environment.

I have just seen what happens, when a control system does not take the situation into account: The locomotive at the end of a long multiple unit train did not stop pushing when the driver of the leading locomotive decided to stop. The wireless communication to carry the stop-command via a radio channel failed to reach the control system of the locomotive at the end of train.

Click HERE to see how the spinning wheel dug into the tracks ... for hours I guess. The control system did not check the speed which was zero for hours and did not automatically stop the wheels spinning. Obviously there was a use-case that was not taken into account: What to do when the stop command does not make it through to the locomotive at the end of the train?

At the door steps to 2016 I wish everybody reading this post a successful year 2016 ... helping to keep the power flowing.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Approved by IEC TC 57 -- IEC 61850-90-8: Object model for electric mobility

IEC TC 57 has approved the draft TR IEC 61850-90-8: Object model for electric mobility

All member countries have voted: Yes!

Congratulations to the IEC TC57 WG17

Check some details of the draft HERE.

The Year 2015 Comes to an End Soon

I wish every visitor of this blog a very nice rest of the year and the best for 2016 – health, peace, success, and a safe place to live and work ...and 24x7 electric power!

To anyone that is not feeling well I hope that you get well very soon. To those enjoying good health good conditions may you continue to do so.

May next year bring plenty of IEC 61850 work: in the standardization, during implementation, in applications, and in education.

Please let me know if you have anything you want me to publish here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

IEC 61850 and DNP3 linked together

IEEE approved: 1815.1-2015 - IEEE Standard for Exchanging Information between networks Implementing IEC 61850 and IEEE Std 1815(TM) (Distributed Network Protocol - DNP3)

The objective of this Standard is to document and make available requirements for exchanging data between IEEE Std™ 1815 and IEC 61850 protocols using a gateway. While a primary focus of this Standard is for the electric utility industry, other industries that deliver energy and water could also use this document if they also plan to use both IEEE Std 1815 and IEC 61850 in their systems...

Click HERE for more information.

Gateways between IEC 61850 and other protocols are provided by HMS:

Supporting: IEC60870-5-104 client/server and Modbus TCP client/server & RTU master/slave protocol stacks. Additional industrial automation standards like Profinet, Profibus, EtherNet/IP or metering protocols like M-Bus.

DNP3 is coming soon.

Friday, December 11, 2015

IEC 61850: THE crucial standard for Power Delivery System at EDF

PennWell Corporation reported earlier this year:
French utility giant EDF uses IEC 61850 for more than the standard's usual communication applications. Working with Schneider Electric, EDF has embraced a new approach for application modeling with IEC 61850 at its core.

For designing wind farms and photovoltaic (PV) systems, EDF employs this approach as early as the requirements-gathering level. The approach echoes one encouraged by Schneider Electric for using IEC 61850, an ambition the company translated into software engineering tools.

With its new approach to engineering smart substation automation systems, EDF places information flow at the center of project engineering.

Any person or machine at EDF can read and understand that common language. The language enables information exchange among devices, people, departments, organizations, generations of stakeholders and the components and people involved in projects and systems.

… EDF's approach, based completely on the IEC 61850 standard, allows the capture of unambiguous requirements in a formal way.

Click HERE to read the full article.

More to come.

Monday, December 7, 2015

LAT (Lab Acceptance Tests): Open Systems in Automation – Quo Vadis?

Open Systems in Automation are more than a hype. Since the early 80s we have seen a lot of activities to define Open Systems for Automation. The first major project was the MAP project initialized by General Motors: Manufacturing Automation Protocols. One of the crucial standards developed in this context was MMS: Manufacturing Message Specification (ISO 9506).

When people were struggling with the implementation of 7-Layer or 3-Layer solutions including MMS some other groups believed that Fieldbusses would be the better approach. The standardization of fieldbusses come up with tens (or even tons) of different solutions under one IEC standard series: IEC 61158 with 50+ solutions.

How to build Open Systems in Automation based on this many solution? There are too many islands of very specific open systems based on special fieldbus solutions. This was one of the real reasons why people developed OPC to bridge the gap between these many islands. OPC has helped to share information between islands.

There was another issue that causes increasingly headaches: the System Configuration and Engineering. How to solve this challenge? The next wave was to standardize incompatible “integration” support solutions: FDT (Field Device Tool), EDD (Electronic Device Description) or FDI (Field Device Integration). So: What now?

Endress+Hauser has started recently a very interesting approach:

Open Integration Partner program for practical testing of multi-vendor automation topologies

The focus is on Hart, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus, Ethernet/IP, and Profinet, as well as on FDT, EDD or FDI.

What are they proposing: “Open Integration validates the interplay of all products in a reference topology by mutual integration tests.” in a permanent lab environment.

Click HERE for a brief description in English.
Click HERE for a brief description in German.

That means: To run a comprehensive permanent “LAT” (Lab Acceptance Tests). This is something prior to “FAT” (Factory Acceptance Tests) and “SAT” (Site Acceptance Tests). Vendors involved are: Endress+Hauser, Auma Riester, Hima Paul Hildebrandt, Honeywell Process Solutions, Mitsubishi Electric, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation, R. Stahl und Schneider Electric.

What about “Open Systems” and IEC 61850? The power industry has understood that Interoperation Tests are very crucial to improve the standards and products. Several IOPs (Interoperability tests) – or better “LAT” (Lab Acceptance tests) – have been conducted. The last one in October 2015 in Brussels.

I hope that some companies and organizations in the Power Industry will also implement such permanently available “LAT” (Lab Acceptance Tests) that would offer 24x7 support services to the power industry.

The challenges in the power industry are lower than in the industrial automation: Because we have (luckily) a single standard series that comprises:

  1. Device communication (real-time and SCADA protocols)
  2. Device Information Models (e.g. MMXU for electrical measurements)
  3. System Configuration Language (SCL) for engineering of Systems, Models, Device, Communication … and their Configuration

In case you would be interested to join such an effort related to IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, and IEC 60870-5-104, let us know:

Contact us if you have something to contribute.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Vorträge des Workshops "Common Information Model (CIM) in der Praxis"

Die DKE hat am 14. Oktober 2015 einen Workshop zum Thema "CIM in der Praxis" durchgeführt. Die Beiträge (alle in Deutsch) stehen jetzt zum Download bereit:

Viel Spaß beim Studieren.

IEC 61850 DLL Demo with Looging and Log-File

The DLL Demo based on SystemCorp’s IEC 61850 Stack/API can very easily be configured with the corresponding CID-File for the Server to log data attributes listed in a DataSet. The log entries are stored in an XML file.

All you need to do is: Add the following 3 lines in the configuration file (after line 52):

Directory: /Resources_localhost (/Resources_2machines)
File: /VHPServer_localhost.icd (/VHPServer_2machines.icd)


<LogControl datSet="BHKW_ST1" intgPd="0" logEna="true" logName="DLLDemo" name="DLLTestLog">
    <TrgOps dchg="true"/>

Restart the Serer and you have a log that is filled with events coming through the DataSet "BHKW_ST1".

Model as seen by an IEC 61850 Client (Browser):


The file format (DLLDemo.Xml) is vendor-specific:


Two Log Entries (4 and 5):


Note: The time stamp “t” is “000…0” because the Server application program is not providing it to the Stack … this could be done by extending the C# application source code that comes with the Demo package … if you are familiar with C# programming.

The services QueryLogByTime and QueryLogAfter will be available in the future.

The Log Model is available in the SystemCorp Library. It means, e.g., it is available in devices like the HMS SG line. The log file may grow very fast … be careful not to consume all memory resources. In the future the file will represent a circular buffer so that it will never overflow (by overwriting the oldest entries – as defined in IEC 61850-7-2).

There is a possibility to convert the XML coded Log file into another XML based file: COMFEDE („Common Format for Event Data Exchange") published by IEEE.

Click HERE for Information on COMFEDE (DE).
Click HERE for Information on COMFEDE (EN).

Click HERE if you are interested to download the DLL Demo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

HMS offers also Gateways from Profibus and EtherNet/IP to IEC 61850 an IEC 60870-5-104

The Anybus SG-gateway family is designed for use with Smart Grid applications such as, control of electrical equipment, metering applications and with the bridging of Industrial Networks with the Power Grid.

The Anybus SG-gateways were originally developed under the HMS's Labs Initiative, known as "Labline". Now that the gateways have been finalized they are currently under the transition of moving under the "Anybus" brand name. The product remains unchanged - just labels and product color and web interface are in the process of update. Until Jan 2016 they are available as the "Labline" brand.

The SG-gateways support IEC61850 client/server, IEC60870-5-104 client/server and Modbus TCP client/server & RTU master/slave protocol stacks. Additional industrial automation standards like Profinet, Profibus, EtherNet/IP or metering protocols like M-Bus are also available in some models. 


Click HERE for more details.

Monday, November 23, 2015

ENTSO-E publishes November 2015 news on IEC 61850

ENTSO-E seems to be quite happy with:

  1. the level of interoperability many different vendors’ subsystems to be applied within the TSO system management architecture.
  2. the status of the standardization within IEC TC 57 WG 10, WG 17 and WG 18.

ENTSO-E just published a brief report on the

IOP 2015, organized by UCA International User Group (Iug) in Brussels, Hotel Crowne Plaza, 26.9-2.10

IEC TC57 WG10(-17-18) meetings, hosted by and at ENTSO-E premises, Brussels , 5.-9.10.

Click HERE to read the summary on the two events.

Question & Answer: What is the IEC 61850 EntryTime?

EntryTime is, e.g., used for IEC 61850 Log Entries to identify when a log entry has been stored.

Here is a Log Entry (encoded as an XML document):

<JournalEntry Entry="26" Day="11647" ms="19228670" Order="0">
  <Variable Tag="ServerIEDExample/CSWI0$ST$Pos$stVal">
  <Variable Tag="ServerIEDExample/CSWI0$ST$Pos$stVal|ReasonCode">
  <Variable Tag="ServerIEDExample/CSWI0$ST$Pos$q">

The IEC 61850 EntryTime is mapped to MMS TimeOfDay:

The MMS TimeOfDay epoch began at 0 hours on 1 January 1984 (MJD 40 587). Times measured are designated in this standard as MMS TimeOfDay milli-seconds GMT and TimeOfDay days GMT, and represent offsets from the epoch.

How to translate the above time to date and time?

Day translates:,+1984/to/Nov+21,+2015

Date difference from Jan 1, 1984 to Nov 21, 2015
The total number of days between Sunday, January 1st, 1984 and Saturday, November 21st, 2015 is 11,647 days.

Milli-second translates:

~=  5 hr. 20 min. 28 sec. 670 ms

Saturday, 21st November 2015 05:20:28:670

It is that easy.

By the way, the above log is generated by the SystemCorp Stack/API by simply adding three (3) lines in an CID File (in this case for the Smart Grid Gateway of HMS supporting Modbus, M-Bus, Profibus, Profinet, EtherNet/IP…):

<LogControl datSet="GooseDS" intgPd="0" logEna="true" logName="ServerIED" name="TestLog">
    <TrgOps dchg="true"/>

Stay tuned for more features.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to retain “leap second”

For some time experts discuss the need of “leap seconds” that require very smart time management services to follow the number of leap seconds added from time to time. Leap seconds are added periodically to adjust to irregularities in the earth’s rotation in relation to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the current reference for measuring time, in order to remain close to mean solar time (UT1). A leap second was added most recently on 30 June 2015 at 23:59:60 UTC.

Do you know how many leap seconds have been added since UTC became a standard? Hm, your IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5-104, DNP3 devices and SCADA systems need to know it. Otherwise the time synchronization is more or less useless. 26 leap seconds have been added … and nobody knows when the next will be added.

Several experts have requested to get rid of the leap seconds … ITU decided to study the issue in more detail and come back to discuss the issue in 2013.

Click HERE for a report from ITU.

Click HERE for background information.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Question & Answer: Are “valKind” and “valImport” related?

The configuration of systems and IEDs with IEC 61850 tools (system tools, IED tools, protocol stacks) is a challenge for people involved in power system protection, monitoring, and automation.

I guess that you have some experience with the many rules and the underlying philosophy that are crucial for the correct operation of interconnected IEDs.

Quite often it is obvious how to apply a given rule in the configuration language (IEC 61850-6 SCL). First of all: You have to take into account the standard document AND the green tissues!

Example on the relation between “valKind” and “valImport”. Tissue 804 introduces the new attribute “valImport” in an SCL document:

The need for that “valImport” attribute is discussed at the bottom of the tissue 804. The solution is well defined.

The two attributes can be applied for data attributes configured in an SCL file. There are two different categories of data attributes:

1. Models of “process” related information, e.g., scale factor of an Integer modeled measurement.

2. Models of “communication service” related information, e.g., Trigger options or integrity period of a report control block.

If in a SCL document (SCD) the process related values (e.g., scale) SHALL be fixed, these values must be set and declared as fixed. It is not allowed by an IED tool nor online to change these (fixed) values: Here are the corresponding attribute settings (valKind=RO AND valImport=false).

We have to be careful with rules (not defined in the standards) like the following:

If valKind=Set THEN valImport=true (if I can overwrite a value with a service, it makes sense to allow to configure a value at tool level; it may be useful for communication service related information of a control block, but not for process related information).

Be careful with the combinations of these two attributes … they are independent of each other. And: Not all tools may understand the philosophy below.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Viertes IEC-61850-Seminar in Deutsch – Karlsruhe (02.12.-04.12.2015)

Sie haben jetzt wieder die Möglichkeit, ein dreitägiges (deutschsprachiges!) Intensivseminar mit Theorie und viel Praxis in Karlsruhe zu einem

***unschlagbar günstigen Preis*** von NUR 790,- Euro (netto) zu buchen!

02.-04. Dezember 2015 (Karlsruhe)
11.-13. Januar 2016 (Karlsruhe)
07.-09. März 2016 (Karlsruhe)

Die NettedAutomation GmbH hat seit 2003 weltweit über 200 Seminare (mit nahezu 4.000 Teilnehmern) für IEC 61850 und IEC 60870-5-104 durchgeführt.

Das Interesse an Seminaren und Trainingskursen im deutschsprachigen Raum ist so groß, dass NettedAutomation im Dezember 2015 den vierten Trainingskurs in Deutsch anbietet.

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 für die Anwender?


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Proxy and Gateway Approach of IEC 61850

A Proxy Server in the sense of IEC 61850 exposes the very same information models of many IEDs through a Server that uses the same Logical Device/Logical Node names (references) as in the IEDs that are “mirrored” or “proxied”.

There is no difference in the meaning and syntax between the models in the various IED Servers and the Proxy Server.

The general gateway approach is quite different. I a gateway we are free to manage information like:

  1. Translate data from legacy protocols such as IEC 60870-5-103, IEC 60870-5-104, IEEE 1815 (DNP3), IEC 61158-6 (Modbus), etc. into IEC 61850 data model
  2. Add data local to the IED hosting the Proxy/Gateway
  3. Rename logical devices coming from IED level into logical device server
  4. Rearrange/Rename logical nodes coming from IED level into logical device of the Proxy/Gateway server
  5. Merge of two or more information objects coming from two or more different logical nodes at IED level into one logical node of the Proxy/Gateway server
  6. Split of information objects coming from one logical node at IED level into two or more logical nodes of the Proxy/Gateway server where each logical node contains a subset of the information objects of the original logical node
  7. Transform a generic information object (e.g. GGIO, GAPC, etc.) at IED level into a semantically defined information object of the Proxy/Gateway server
  8. Convert a specific information object (e.g. MMTN) at IED level into another semantically defined information object (e.g. MMXU) of the Proxy/Gateway server
  9. Adapt the scale, information encoding and dead band configuration between the IED data object and the data object in the Proxy/Gateway server
  10. Logical (e.g. and, or, if/else, grouping of indications, etc.) and arithmetic (e.g. multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, etc.) transformations between one or more data objects at IED level and one or more data objects of the Proxy/Gateway server

Real IEDs may have gateway and proxy functions.

Click HERE for very simple and easy to use proxies and/or gateways for IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5-104, Modbus, Profibus, Profinet, … offered by HMS. These can be understood as Micro-RTU …

Substation to Control Center Communication: IEC 61850-90-2 TR Approved

The draft Technical Report for Substation to Control Center Communication has been approved by 100 %:

IEC 61850-90-2 TR:
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation - Part 90-2: Using IEC 61850 for the communication between substations and control centres

The final Technical Report will be published in December 2015. It provides a comprehensive overview of the different aspects that need to be considered while using IEC 61850 for information exchange between substations and control or maintenance centres or other system level applications. In particular, this technical report:

  • defines use cases and communication requirements that require an information exchange between substations and control or maintenance centres
  • describes the usage of the configuration language of IEC 61850‑6
  • gives guidelines for the selection of communication services and architectures compatible with IEC 61850
  • describes the engineering workflow
  • introduces the use of a Proxy/Gateway concept
  • describes the links regarding the Specific Communication Service Mapping (SCSM)

The wait for the application of IEC 61850 for information exchange between substations and control centers is over – starting in 2016, there is no excuse any more.

The scope of the TR is quite limited: Substation (only!) to control centers. The future energy delivery system (in which power is one aspect only) will build a hierarchy of aggregated information systems. There will be several layers of information management systems. This is required because of the use of IEC 61850 from power distribution all the way up to the transmission system operator. Information needs to be aggregated because of the sheer unlimited amount of information generated and consumed in the system.

It is likely that the TR 90-2 will be used for other vertical information flows between aggregation points and higher level systems. A subset of the TR 90-2 may be used for information exchange between a control center and a wind power plant.

The restricted scope in the TR 61850-90-2 is just toner on paper – like in almost all IEC 61850 parts. A server in the sense of IEC 61850 can expose any data from any application. IEC 61850 relies on ISO 9506 (MMS – Manufacturing Message Specification). As the name says: MMS (and IEC 61850) can be used for manufacturing and many other domains.

The main scope of IEC 61850 is constrained by the title: “… for power utility automation”. From a technical point of view we could leave only “… automation”:

“Communication networks and systems for automation” – BUT this would never be accepted by the IEC officials. Automation as such is not the scope of IEC TC 57.

MMS is not restricted to “Manufacturing” and IEC 61850 is not restricted to “power utility automation”.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

German Standardization Roadmap Industrie 4.0 (Version 2)

Several groups within Germany have written a 70+ page Standardization Roadmap Industrie 4.0 (Version 2, Oct 2015). The document lists a lot of topics relevant for standardization related to the future industrial automation. It contains a lot of issues that “should” or “must” be considered in the standardization of the future.

I was a bit surprised that the industrial automation world seems to lack of many basic standards that would support interoperability and inter-workability. Guess the authors have understood that the myriad of fieldbusses seems not to solve the needs for the future automation process – fieldbusses lead to many islands that can not talk together.

The power world has decided already some 20 years ago to build the foundation of interoperable systems based on a well defined huge “dictionary” of semantic terms (the hundreds of logical nodes for almost all power domains).

With IEC 61850 we change from “bits” to “well defined terms and messages”:


All the messages exchanged could be based on a well standardized semantic, like the temperature supervision model “STMP”: Trip =  “STMP1.Trip.stVal” or the current temperature = “STMP1.Tmp.mag.i”.

The various layers are shown in the following figure:


These values can be reported by a DataSet and a GOOSE message (in real-time … in some 3 to 5 msec):


The smart grid efforts within IEC are tremendously supported by IEC TC 57 … especially with the standards series IEC 61850. This series is part of the “IEC smart grid standards roadmap”.

This roadmap has really attracted the Industrie 4.0 supporters! They write in their roadmap:

“Empfehlung, eine Normenlandkarte (standardisation map) für Industrie 4.0/Smart manufacturing elektronisch zu beschreiben. Die Normenlandkarte wird ein im Vergleich zum Smart Grid Mapping Tool ( äquivalentes elektronisches Werkzeug darstellen.”

They recommend to “copy” the “IEC smart grid standards roadmap” and name it “IEC Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing Roadmap).

Click HERE to see the IEC smart grid standards roadmap.

Click HERE to access the Standardization Roadmap Industrie 4.0 (Version 2, Oct 2015, German only).

I hope that they will “copy” more than just a roadmap … refer to IEC 61850 some time down the road.

By the way: HMS is bridging the semantic-less fieldbusses to the semantic defined in IEC 61850 …

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Energy Lab 2.0 in Karlsruhe (Germany)

Karlsruhe (Germany, the hometown of Karlheinz Schwarz) is known (among others) for supporting the German Energiewende: The KIT and NettedAutomation GmbH

NettedAutomation is deeply involved in the dissemination of IEC 61850 all over the world. Now I see big investments in Energy related R&D projects in Germany. One of the most crucial activities is the new “Energy Lab 2.0” in Karlsruhe.

Energy Lab 2.0 – The Smart Energiewende Platform
New Research Facility Links Producers with Storage Systems and Consumers –
Investment Totaling EUR 22 Million

“ … The project is embedded in the overall energy strategy of the Helmholtz Association. For the Energy Lab 2.0, the partners plan to build a simulation and control center and a network of energy technology facilities on KIT Campus North, an electrolysis test center at Forschungszentrum Jülich, and a facility for testing power-to-heat concepts at the German Aerospace Center, Stuttgart, by 2018.
The energy platform will link characteristic components for power, heat, and synthesis gas production with various energy storage technologies and consumers. For this purpose, large facilities existing at KIT will be integrated into the Energy Lab 2.0: The solar power storage park, the bioliq pilot facility, and selected energy consumers on KIT Campus North. Electrical, electrochemical, and chemical storage systems as well as a load- and fuel-flexible gas turbine with
current generator will be newly constructed and are planned to complement the network. A simulation and control center at KIT will integrate all network components of KIT and the partners in a smart energy system using information and communication technologies.
This infrastructure facility is the first of its type in Europe. …”

More to come. Stay tuned.

Click HERE for a more comprehensive description [pdf].

IEC 61850 Testlabs Accredited by the UCAIUG

As per October 2015 the following tester are offering Conformance Tests for products implementing IEC 61850:


For further details on the companies or on IEC 61850 testing capability visit: Testing/ UCAIug Testing Quality Assurance Program.
The approved testers are listed in the directory: UCAIug IEC 61850 Approved Testers

Almost 600 Certificates have been issued by the UCAIUG Users Group.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

IEC 62351-12: Resilience and security recommendations for power systems with DER systems

IEC TC 57 has published an important 100+ pages document that cares about the resilience and recovery of power system build on a high penetration of DER systems.

IEC 62351-12 TR (57/1637/DTR):
Power systems management and associated information exchange –
Data and communications security –
Part 12: Resilience and security recommendations for power systems with Distributed Energy Resources (DER) cyber-physical systems

Voting closes 2015-12-25

“ … This document discusses cyber security recommendations and engineering/operational strategies for improving the resilience of power systems with interconnected Distributed Energy Resources (DER) systems. It covers the resilience requirements for the many different stakeholders of these dispersed cyber-physical generation and storage devices, with the goal of enhancing the safety, reliability, power quality, and other operational aspects of power systems, particularly those with high penetrations of DER systems.

In the energy sector, two key phrases are becoming the focus of international and national policies: “grid resilience” and “cyber security of the cyber-physical grid”. Grid resilience responds to the overarching concern: "The critical infrastructure, the Smart Electric Grid, must be resilient - to be protected against both physical and cyber problems when possible, but also to cope with and recover from the inevitable disruptive event, no matter what the cause of that problem is - cyber, physical, malicious, or inadvertent."
“Grid resilience … includes hardening, advanced capabilities, and recovery/reconstitution. Although most attention is placed on best practices for hardening, resilience strategies must also consideroptions to improve grid flexibility and control.” Resilience of the grid is often associated with making the grid able to withstand and recover from severe weather and other physical events, but resilience should also include the ability of the cyber-physical grid to withstand and recover from malicious and inadvertent cyber events. ...”

Two of the most crucial challenges of the future of our power systems (electric, gas, and heat) are the understanding of (1) the power system AND (2) the automation and communication infrastructure. This requires solid and comprehensive education of the engineers – junior and senior. Unfortunately a lot of engineers show a lag in understanding new and existing technologies.

The good news is that – at least in the electric world – we have globally a single standard (IEC 61850) that meets almost all needs and that is accepted and used all over!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Saudi Arabia to Build 50 MW PV Plant

Several companies announced to establish a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant with a capacity of 50 MW in the city of Saudi Aflaj, which will be the first utility-scale PV plant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Quite interesting that Saudi Arabia is expecting a growth of energy demand rising by 8 percent annually and is expected to be 120 GW by 2030.

Click HERE for a news report.

During my visit of Dammam (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) this week (training on IEC 61850) I was (by chance) contacted by a senior engineer (involved in gas related automation) who walked by outside our meeting room, stopped, and asked what we were doing. We talked about this and that.

Then he asked me how we can store PV power … this led us to the situation in Germany where we have several MW scale projects that convert PV or Wind Power into gas. He was very impressed that this is happening in big scale.

Sure, we have a lot of renewable power in Germany.

What to do with all the power? Convert to gas! Yes!

Click HERE to a report on the largest system today in Hamburg (1.5 MW).

Click HERE for some explanations of the basics of power-to-gas.

The gas and heat/cooling domains will find that the IEC 61850 can be used for many applications in these areas – to benefit from the standards used in electric power systems.

Click HERE for some discussion of using IEC 61850 (UCA 2.0) for the gas industry.

More to come. Keep tuned to the IEC 61850 blog.

Comprehensive Alarm Model for IEC 61850 to be developed

IEC 61850 defines many Data Objects that could be used as alarm status points. These points can be easily reported (reporting) and stored in a local store (logging). The alarm information can be sent spontaneously to a SCADA system or any other IEC 61850 client. The need of an alarm management system (alarm needs to be confirmed by one or two or all clients, retrieve a list of all active alarms …) was excluded in the first years of the IEC TC 57 WG 10 work (late 90’s). We have decided to come up with some proposals later … the “later” is here (2015).

A new Task Force is proposed to look at the needs and to harmonize the requirements of IEC TC 88 (wind power) with the requirements of alarm handling from other domains to produce a generic solution within the suite of IEC 61850 specifications.

IEC TC 57 invites experts to join the new Task Force (57/1631/DC):

IEC TR 61850-90-18: Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 90-18: Alarm handling in IEC 61850 based systems

If you are interested in supporting that work contact your national TC 57 committee.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The German Energiewende Needs Communication – Government Pushes for Metering Infrastructure

The German government has published a draft that comprises several proposals for new (to be modified existing) laws:

Digitalisierung Energiewende: BMWi eröffnet Konsultation zu intelligenten Messsystemen

Click HERE for the current draft and related information.

The draft talks a lot about remote monitoring and control. E.g., “Zur Gewährleistung der Fernsteuerbarkeit von Anlagen im Sinne des Absatz 1 Nummer 1 Buchstabe b) ist es insbesondere erforderlich, dass neben der Abrufung der Ist-Einspeisung gemäß Absatz 1 Nummer 1 Buchstabe c) auch eine ferngesteuerte Reduzierung der Einspeiseleistung der Anlage über das intelligente Messsystem erfolgen kann …”

IEC 60870-5-104 for Smart Grids by Efen

Data Exchange According to IEC Standards Data communication is the key to long-term grid stability. To this end, EFEN applies IEC standards to ensure the functionality of its products across borders. The Smart Grid Interface complies with IEC 60870-5-104 to ensure that it is not only state-of-the-art today but also in the future.

Click HERE for the brochure by Efen [English]:

Smart Grid Interface: Intelligent energy distribution
for smart energy supply

Click HERE für die Broschüre von Efen [Deutsch]:

Smart Grid Interface: Intelligenz im Energieverteilnetz
für die smarte Energieversorgung

More to come on the IEC TC 57 standards IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850.

If you need to get your information coming from or going to Modbus, Profibus, Profinet, … being communicated through IEC 60870-5-105 and/or IEC 61850 and vice versa – check HERE.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

IEC 61400-25-41 Project Finally Approved

Document 88/567/RVN
Wind turbines - Part 25-41: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants - Mapping to communication profile based on IEC 62541 (OPC UA)

This New Work Proposal was finally accepted due to a late appointment of two additional exerts from two additional countries.
Project title: IEC 61400-25-41 TS Ed.1 (Technical Specification)

The focus is intended to be strictly on IEC 61400-25. It will replace the obsolete OPC-XML-DA mapping. No impact on the work on IEC 61850 web technology (Project IEC 61850-8-2) is intended by this NP.

Click HERE for an overview on the IEC 61400-25 series.

IEC 61850 Interoperability Test in Brussels Was a Big Success

The IEC 61850 Interoperability Test in Brussels (Belgium, at ENTSO-E) last week was a big success. The plenary meeting of the IEC TC 57 WG 10, 17 and 18 was informed about the results on Monday, October 05, 2015.

Compared to the previous IOPs in 2011 and 2013 there were more companies attending in 2015: 19/43/49. Total number of vendors that provided products to test was: 14/20/29. The number of people participating grew from 37/93 to 130 !!

Tests covered: SCL, Client/Server, GOOSE, SV, HSR/PRP, and IEEE 1588

For Client/Server 15 issues were found in 2013, in 2015 just 4. No issue was found on GOOSE.

A total of 32 issues need some attention. The issues will be posted to the tissue database if required.

The first tissues have already been posted:

The IOP at ENTSO-E has shown that IEC 61850 standard parts and products are very stable … there is no need to wait for applying IEC 61850.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The First Official IEC 61850 Edition 2 Client Certificate Goes to? - Siemens

Siemens is the first company in the world to receive an IEC 61850 Edition 2 client certificate, issued by DNV GL on behalf of the UCA International User Group (UCA), for their SICAM PAS/PQS system (basically a PC application that acts as a 61850 client).

Click HERE for the news.

There are other vendors underway to get an IEC 61850 Edition 2 client certificate. TÜV SÜD (Munich) has also been accredited for testing conformance of Edition 2 clients.

More to come. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Siemens Protection IEDs for DC Traction Power Supply with IEC 61850

Sitras PRO (DC protective unit and controller for DC traction power supply) from Siemens offer a set of well known functions and communication solutions:


  • Complete functionality in a single unit
  • Protection
  • Measurement
  • Control
  • Automation
  • Flexible adaptation to system requirements
  • Standard communication interfaces
  • High-performance diagnostics, comprehensive event,
    alarm and measured value memory


  • IEC 61850
  • SNTP

Click HERE for more information on Siemens Rail Electrification.

In a press release Siemens announced to use these devices with IEC 61850 for the modernization of traction power supplies for rail rapid transit lines in São Paulo:
Click HERE for a press release (2012).

Monday, September 21, 2015

Status of IEC 61400-25 Communications for Wind Turbines

The IEC TC 88 JWG 25 has published several draft documents for the second edition of IEC 61400-25:

  • Part 25-1: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants -Overall description of principles and models
  • Part 25-2: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants -Information models
  • Part 25-3: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants -Information exchange models
  • Part 25-4: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants -Mapping to communication profile
  • Part 25-5: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants -Conformance testing
  • Part 25-6: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants -Logical node classes and data classes for condition monitoring

Here are the latest news on IEC 61400-25:

1. New Convenor

Dr Nicholas Etherden from Vattenfall, Sweden is the new Convenor of IEC TC 88 JWG 25 (following Anders Johnsson, Vattenfall).

2. Status of Edition 2 of the different parts

IEC 61400-25-1 CDV in November 2015.

IEC 61400-25-2 Ed.2: Wind turbines - Part 25-2: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants - Information models

IEC 61400-25-3 Ed.2: Wind turbines - Part 25-3: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants - Information exchange models

IEC 61400-25-4 Ed.2: Wind turbines - Part 25-4: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants - Mapping to communication profile

IEC 61400-25-5 CDV End of 2015.

IEC 61400-25-6 CDV End of 2015.

88/549/NP(Mai 2015)
Wind turbines - Part 25-41: Communications for monitoring and control of wind power plants - Mapping to communication profile based on IEC 62541 (OPC UA) (proposed IEC TS 61400-25-41)
2015-10-09: The NP was finally accepted due to a late appointment of two additional exerts from two additional countries.
Project title: IEC 61400-25-41 TS Ed.1

The standard series IEC 61400-25 offers five different Mappings. The Mapping according to IEC 61850-8-1 (MMS) is the most important mapping when it comes to implementations and applications.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

IEC TC 57 Reference Architecture For Power Systems Management And Associated Information Exchange

IEC TC 57 just published a new draft for IEC TR 62357-1 Ed. 2 “Power systems management and associated information exchange – Part 1: Reference architecture” (57/1621/DC)

“The new edition provides updates and defines layered Reference Architecture to help direct longer term goals and activities, specifically to ensure compatibility of all new standards developed in TC57 by benefitting from lessons learned during development of the current standards and their application on actual utility projects as well as through application of other internationally recognized architecture standards.

This edition reflects the progress recently achieved from the international Smart Grids (SG) initiatives and the CIGRE D2.24 large system architecture vision. It also leverage the work done by NIST-SGIP, CEN-CELELEC-ETSI SGCG M490, IEC TC8 Smart Grids Roadmap, and IEC TC8 WG5, WG6, The edition also reflects the most recent editions of the TC 57 standards including IEC 61850 Edition 2 and the IEC 61968, 61970, and 62325 Common Information Model (CIM) standards.”

One of the lessons learned is that the three information models (CIM, IEC 61850 and COSEM) need some additional harmonization – a reasonable level has already be reached.


IEC 61850 has a very broad application domain and has defined many useful information models that can (and will) be “tapped” by COSEM and CIM applications.

One example that shows that IEC 61850 can be used even for schedules (de: Fahrpläne):


These schedules can be mapped from COSEM directly to IEC 61840 logical node FSCH. COSEM may be used for flexible tariffs while IEC 61850 could be used for tariffs as well as for control of switchable equipment like circuit breakers or change settings for loads or generation. The schedule LN is applied in the VHPready 4.0 specification.

More to come soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

IEC 61850 in VHPready 4.0

The Industry Alliance VHPready e.V. publishes version 4.0 of the industry standard VHPready for controlling and interconnecting decentralized energy systems to virtual power plants.

A manufacturer-independent standard, which ensures the interoperability and controllability of system components of virtual power plants, is now available for the first time. 35 member corporations [including NettedAutomation GmbH] are currently actively engaged in the industry alliance to promote the advancement of the international industry standard VHPready. The participation in the open industry alliance “Industrieforum VHPready e.V.” is based on the certainty that only a common standard will allow for a reliable, seamless and economic collaboration of all controllable components as well as their compatibility. The specification VHPready 4.0 is now available to all member corporations.

An extensive data point list constitutes the functional core of VHPready 4.0 and helps integrate different energy systems into virtual power plants using the telecontrol protocols IEC 60870-5-104 or IEC 61850-7-420. In addition to a plant park with a set of different energy systems, this data point list facilitates the integration of combined heat and power units (CHPs), wind and solar plants, heat pumps, batteries, electric heating, boilers and buffer tanks. Data points for meters and external signal contacts are also available.

At the forthcoming VHPready symposium on 12 November 2015 industry alliance members will present the first systems adapted to VHPready 4.0.

Click HERE for the press release.

Click HERE for a Windows Evaluation Version of the VHPready 3.0 Model; with the new icd file specifying the version 4.0 model you can re-use the application. By the way: Most of the Data Objects used in the Evaluation version 3.0 are the same in version 4.0.

The VHPready model and services (IEC 60870-5-104 AND IEC 61850) are also supported by gateways offered by HMS (the company that is one of the very big gateway companies … offering ANYBus ...

IT Staff Needs Education in IEC 61850 and Related Standards

Information Technology (IT) is quite well understood by many (often young) experts. Operations Technology (OT) in the power industry is quite well understood by many (often older) experts with some tens of years experience in the use of hardware, automation and information exchange software.

These days we see the integration of Information Technology into the Operation Technology. The migration happens quite fast … and more and more experienced OP engineers are part of the “aging workforce”. This requires that new staff (IT experts and engineers) in the IT and in the OP world to learn two technologies: “IT”, “OT”, and very crucial: “More IT in OT”.

I found a very nice publication that discusses some of these issues in detail:

Click HERE for the paper “Information Technology (IT) vs Operations Technology (OT): What the C-Suite Needs to Know”

Based on my long-term experience since the early 80s with “More IT in OT” I fully agree with the need of Cross-Department Training and other needs listed in the paper:

“… considerations to improve the IT/OT rift:

  • Annual Staff Surveys – to measure cooperation between IT and OT and look at utilization of resources, trust/conflict, clarity of goals and objectives, etc.
  • Cross-Department Training – for both technical training but also support values and behaviors expected to foster cooperation and communications
  • Cross-Functional Teams – to develop policies, standards, projects, etc. with both IT and OT perspectives
  • Reach Over the Wall – encourage the IT and OT teams to reach out to the other technology team and be willing to walk in their shoes. This is also supported by the executive team taking the same actions.”

In some cases of big utilities I see this already happen!

IT and OP people would benefit from our training in IEC 61850 and related standards. Be aware that even a small embedded device could support TCP/IP, higher level protocols like ftp and http(s), IEC 6070-5-104 and IEC 61850, and … it is “IT in OT”.

How do we reach more IT and OT people? Please forward this information to them …

Friday, September 11, 2015

IEC 61850: Five Weeks Left to Register For One Of The Most Crucial Relay and SCADA Training in Karlsruhe (Germany)

Recent courses and discussions with experts reveal that education is THE most crucial activity to securely and reliably apply the Standard Series IEC 61850 in Power Automation Systems.

The training being conducted from 13-16 October 2015 in Karlsruhe (Germany) is just five (5) weeks away. Karlsruhe is a lovely town one hour train trip from Frankfurt International Airport, 30 minutes away from France, 45 minutes to the Black Forest, …

Note that this is much more than introducing IEC 61850 concepts and details – here you learn from two senior protection, automation and communication experts HOW IEC 61850 compliant devices can provide a plus of functionality and reliability. Don’t believe that? Come and see! You will be surprised after the course.

We have several seats available – the course details and registration information can be found HERE.

Click HERE for other courses in English and German.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

IEC 61850 Seminar for Protection and SCADA Engineers in Dammam (KSA) on 18-21 October 2015

FMTP, Al-Ojaimi Energy Services and NettedAutomation offer a public IEC 61850 Seminar with practical demonstrations:

18-21 October 2015
at Novotel Hotel, Dammam Business Park


Click HERE for the Brochure and registration information.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Next IEC 61850 Training Opportunities in English and German

One of the crucial issues in Understanding IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 is education. NettedAutomation GmbH (Karlheinz Schwarz) has trained almost 4,000 experts from all over. We offer you the best courses ever conducted.

The other day I received this feedback:

It should be a seminar for the … partners with relation to IEC 61850 in the project (about 20 people) and hosted at xx in xxx – hopefully some time before the end of the year when the project ends.

We see you as the best candidate for providing this seminar and would therefore like to start a dialog on your conditions for this, like draft agenda, availability and price.


The ultimate goal is to have … tools for training people into using IEC61850.
Keep on the good work Karlheinz. I’m a big fan of yours.

We have scheduled several public training courses in German and English. The courses in English are conducted by Andreas Bonetti (FMTP, Senior protection engineer) and Karlheinz Schwarz; the courses in German are conducted by Karlheinz Schwarz

Karlsruhe (Deutsch, Karlheinz Schwarz):
02-04 Dezember 2015
11-13 Januar 2016
07-09 März 2016 (neues Datum)

Karlsruhe/Germany (English, Andrea Bonetti and Karlheinz Schwarz):
13-16 October 2015
18-21 April 2016 (new date)
10-13 October 2016

Stockholm/Sweden (English, Andrea Bonetti and Karlheinz Schwarz):
15-17 March 2016
19-22 September 2016

Dammam City/SA (English, Andrea Bonetti and Karlheinz Schwarz):
18-21 October 2015 EN 

Hong Kong (English, Andrea Bonetti and Karlheinz Schwarz):
17-19 November 2015


13-16 October 2015 EN Khe
18-21 October 2015 EN Dammam City
17-19 November 2015 EN Hong Kong
02-04 Dezember 2015 DE Khe
11-13 Januar 2016 DE Khe
07-09 März 2016 DE Khe (neues Datum)
15-17 March 2016 EN Sto
18-21 April 2016 EN Khe (new date)
19-22 September 2016 EN Sto
10-13 October 2016 EN Khe

Click HERE for more details on the courses in Deutsch.
Click HERE for more details on the courses in English.

Contact us by email in case you have any question.

What is an IEC 61850 Data Model – Come and See

Data or device modeling is a crucial feature of IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25. You may have seen many different approaches to explain how such a model looks like. Some five years ago I used these Russian dolls (matryoshka doll):


An IED contains a lot of “inner” objects.


Today I have thought that another approach may help you to understand the IEC 61850 approach:


What do you think? This and more will be explained in detail during my comprehensive – most liked – courses.

Friday, August 14, 2015

IEC 61850-7-410 Extended Models for Conventional Power Plants

IEC TC 57 just published a FDIS defining extensions for conventional power plants and steam turbines:

IEC 61850-7-410 A1 (57/1607/FDIS): Amendment 1 to IEC 61850-7-410 Ed.2:
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 7-410: Basic communication structure – Hydro-electric power plants – Communication for monitoring and control

Voting closes 2015-10-09.

The following new Logical Node classes are added to the Hydro Power model standard IEC 61850-7-410 Ed2:

LN Description
ASEQ Generic control action sequencer


Block control function. This LN will represent one physical device that coordinates the control of the thermal pressure of the steam generator and the electrical power regulation of turbine / generator system.


Fuel control valve. This LN will represent the physical device of fuel control valve related to the gas turbine in a thermal power plant.


Gas turbine production unit. This LN represents the physical device of the GT and the generator combination in a thermal power plant. It is intended as an extended rating plate that allows settings of data. It also acts as a placeholder for the current operating conditions of the unit.


Steam control valve. This LN will represent the physical device of inlet control valve of the steam turbine in a thermal power plant.

ESPD Speed monitoring. This LN is derived from HSPD.

Steam turbine production unit. This LN represents the physical device of the ST and the generator combination in a thermal power plant. It is intended as an extended rating plate that allows settings of data. It also acts as a placeholder for the current operating conditions of the unit.

EUNT Thermal unit operating mode. The present status of the production unit.
FDBF Dead-band filter. This LN represents a settable filter for dead-band.

Trip matrix. This LN represents a matrix for linking various trip functions to equipment that shall be tripped or controlled during a fault.

GUNT Production unit operating mode. The present status of the production unit.
PTUR Used for detection of under resistance, e.g. due to stator or rotor earth-faults.

Supervision of electrical conductivity in water. This logical node represents a system for monitoring of electrical conductivity in water.


Measurement of electrical conductivity in water. This logical node represents a generic device for measuring the conductivity in water.

DataObjects for settings of, e.g., the LN ESTU comprise:


Turbine type (steam, gas, oil)


Turbine rated speed [s–1]


Turbine moment of inertia J [kgm2]


Maximum transient overspeed [s–1]


Runaway speed [s–1]


Rated power in turbine mode [MW ]


Rated flow in turbine mode [kg/s]


High pressure inlet maximum pressure [Pa]


Intermediate pressure inlet maximum pressure [Pa]


Low pressure inlet maximum pressure [Pa]


High pressure control valve rated oil pressure [Pa]


High pressure control valve rated closing time [s]


Intermediate pressure control valve rated oil pressure [Pa]


Intermediate pressure control valve rated closing time [s]


Low pressure control valve rated oil pressure [Pa]


Low pressure control valve rated closing time [s]


Intercept valve rated oil pressure [Pa]


Turbine rated main steam temperature


Re-heat steam temperature


Intercept valve rated closing time [s]

New Work Proposal IEC 61850-9-3 approved

The new work Proposal has been approved:

IEC/IEEE 61850-9-3 Ed.1 (57/1611/RVN):
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 9-3: Precision time protocol profile for power utility automation

Click HERE for some more information.

IEC 61850-90-6: Use of IEC 61850 for Distribution Automation Systems

IEC TC 57 has published a very interesting 140 page document describing the use of IEC 61850 for distribution automation:

Draft IEC TR 61850-90-6 (57/1615/DC):
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation
Part 90-6: Use of IEC 61850 for Distribution Automation Systems

Distribution Automation and Feeder Automation Distribution Automation (DA) as a concept emerged in the 1970s to promote the application of computer and communications technologies for improving of distribution system operating performance. It is in general used as an umbrella term to describe the deployment of automation technologies for protection, control, monitoring, and operation of distribution systems.

The current document mainly describes the following functions of Distribution/Feeder Automation Systems:

  • DSCADA (Distribution-Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) This function allows the operator to monitor and control the distribution networks remotely. It is a basic function of DASs.
  • FLISR (Fault Location, Isolation and Service Restoration) It includes the FLISR using auto reclosers and auto-sectionalizers, the FLISR based on the centralized control of the master station and the FLISR based on the distributed control scheme in which field IEDs exchange fault and control information through a peer to peer communication network. These are main typical implementation/architecture for supporting the FLISR. The reality may be the mix all these three modes.
  • VVC (Voltage and Var control) The objective of VVC is to minimize the power losses in the network, improve the voltage profile, or both, using the settings of LTC substation transformers, bus/feeder voltage regulators and switching shunt capacitors. More advanced VVC applications may also use the active and reactive power injection by the DER units as well as distribution FACTS devices such as D-STATCOM and D-SVC. The auto-recloser function has to be blocked. Only the basic VVC scenario which only involves the control of voltage regulators and switching shunt capacitors is considered in this report.
  • Anti-Islanding Protection Based on Communications In case of the feeder circuit breaker opens, an unintentional islanding may have been created. The involved DER in the island has to been forced to stop energizing the feeder for workers safety, system security and power quality reasons. While the islanding detection methods using local measurements at intertie may have none-detection zone, the anti-islanding protection can be improved through detecting the tripping of substation breakers and transmitting this information down to the feeder

A DA system may comprise up to tens of thousands of IEDs spreading over a wide area distribution network. From time to time, the new IEDs may be introduced, and the configuration of existing IEDs may need to be modified. The current configuration method for substation automation systems may need extended configuration methods. Therefore, a use case for installing new IEDs and updating the configuration of existing IEDs will also be described in this section.

In order to precise the various use-cases, the document contains sequence diagrams, e.g., for Fault Location:


The standard series IEC 61850 is THE standard for power systems.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

ENTSO-E Strongly Supports IEC 61850 for Substation Automation

ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) wants to become “an important stakeholder in the IEC 61850 improvement process and will actively contribute, mainly through the profiling work of the IEC 61850 standard.”

ENTSO-E has just published an update on their current and future support of IEC 61850.

I very much appreciate the efforts of the European Transmission System Operators!

Click HERE for the latest news.

The electrical power delivery system is composed of many other domains that are beyond the substations in transmission systems:

  • Conventional Power Generation
  • Wind Power Plants
  • Hydro Power Plants
  • Distribution systems
  • Renewable Energy Resources
  • Load centers (like factories, petro chemical plant, …)
  • Power quality monitoring
  • Virtual Power Plants
  • Primary, secondary, and tertiary control
  • Load shedding

IEC 61850 is about to be used in all of these application domains – to become a Seamless Information Exchange System.

Many pilot implementations and tests are underway in these domains. Usually using proprietary Information Exchange System, because the main objectives of these projects are mainly related to power system dynamics and stability – one way or the other. Later they figure out: Hey, we have a very successful project … but created many proprietary, non-interoperable Information Exchange Systems.

It is highly recommended to use IEC 61850 from the scratch! Because this is THE standard. There is usually no need to spend money and time to develop something specific for one use case.

On my radar screen I see many people starting to use IEC 61850 – users and vendors … and system integrators. All over.

Resume: ENTSO-E is just ONE of MANY efforts to apply IEC 61850.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

SCL Schema Accessibility in the near future

The SCL schema is published as part of the delivery of edition 1 and edition 2 of part 6. The publication of a Technical Corrigendum to IEC 61850-6 Ed. 1 and Ed. 2 is under way.

To provide an easier way to retrieve the latest version of the Schema a new possibility to access the Schema from the IEC Website is proposed in the document (57/1604/DC): Latest version of SCL schema and planned publication of a Technical Corrigendum to IEC 61850-6 Ed. 1 and Ed. 2.

This process is already proposed for the first corrigenda of part 6 and from Edition 2.1 onwards.

Please note: Currently the following valid schema files are currently used for conformance testing of IEC 61850:

- For Edition 1 of IEC 61850-6: SCL 1.7
- For Edition 2 of IEC 61850-6: SCL.2007B

IEC 61850-80-4 Translation from COSEM to IEC 61850

IEC TC 57 just published the draft Technical Specification (57/1602/DTS):

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

Voting terminates on 2015-10-30

This part defines the one-to-one relationship of IEC 62056 OBIS codes to IEC 61850 Logical Nodes. The purpose is to increase the availability of revenue meter information to other applications defined within the IEC 61850 framework. This increased visibility will contribute to information available for smart grid applications.

IEC 61850-90-8 Models for Electric Mobility

IEC TC 57 just published the 70+ page draft (57/1603/DTR) for comments:

IEC 61850-90-8 TR:
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 90-8: Object model for electric mobility

Voting terminates on 2015-09-25

This technical report describes how current standardization for Electric Road Vehicles (EV) and the Vehicle-to-Grid Communication Interface can be linked to IEC 61850-7-420 standard for Distributed Energy Resources (DER). The technical report provides necessary background information and proposes an object model for E-mobility in order to establish an EV plugged into the power grid as DER according to the principles of IEC 61850-7-420. The basic information modeling in IEC 61850 and IEC 61850-7-420 already covers a lot of needs for the e-Mobility domain. Missing parts can be modeled as new logical nodes and data objects, which this technical report defines.

The scope of this document is to show how IEC 61850-7-420 can be used to model the essential parts of the E-mobility standards related to Electric Vehicles and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipments (IEC 62196, IEC 61851, IEC 15118) and the Power system (IEC 61850-7-420), in order to secure a high level of safety and interoperability.

Here is an overview about the topology of the logical nodes required (existing and new ones):


Standards are key for E-Mobility and many other power application domains.

NEWS on IEC 61850 Conformance Test Labs

The following nine new IEC 61850 Test services have been approved by the UCAIUG in during the first half of 2015:

Level A
IEC 61850 Conformance Test for 2nd Edition Server Products

  • Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) [January 2015]
  • TÜV SÜD (Munich, Germany) [January 2015]
  • Xuchang KETOP, Testing Technology Co.,Ltd, Xuchang, China [February 2015]
Level B
IEC 61850 Conformance Test for 2nd Edition Server Products
  • ALSTOM GRID UK Ltd, Substation Automation , Stafford (UK) [July 2015]

Level A
IEC 61850 Conformance Testing Sampled Values 9-2LE Publisher

  • Xuchang KETOP, Testing Technology Co.,Ltd, Xuchang, China [March 2015]
  • TÜV SÜD (Munich, Germany) [March 2015]

Level A
Edition 2 Client Systems

  • DNV GL – Energy (KEMA), Arnhem (Netherlands) [April 2015]
  • TÜV SÜD (Munich, Germany) [July 2015]

IEC 61850 Conformance testing Edition 1 Server Products

  • ALSTOM GRID UK Ltd, Substation Automation , Stafford (UK) [July 2015]

A total of 479 Certificates for Server Ed1 (47 for clients) and 21 for Server Ed2 (1 for clients) have been issued by July 2015.

Click HERE to access the testing information (requires user name and password – at least you need a guest account).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Security – Hacking a Car is round the corner

I guess you have read or heard the news about the Hackers that took remote control of a car on the highway. Two researchers exploited a zero-day vulnerability in a Jeep Cherokee’s Uconnect infotainment system to gain wireless control of the car.

Click HERE for the report.

You may be happy to drive a car manufactured “before Internet” hit the road. Now, you can see that the Internet can seriously “hit the road” !

Fortunately there are people that have expected this to happen. Some of them in the USA have already become active: The world’s first automotive cyber-security law may force automakers to deliver software updates and stop vehicle tracking as part of new IT security standards regarding connected cars in the US.

Click HERE to read more background information on the new US Senate Bill.

Click HERE for the Senate Bill.

The number of cars is much bigger than the number of substations – in the USA and in Europe … and all over. It is very likely (from my point of view) that the automobile industry will develop very soon international standards for the Security and Privacy in Cars. I expect that such a development will impact also the discussion on security for power delivery systems. The damage that could be caused by hacking a electrical delivery system could be much higher than turn-on the air-condition in a car.

I have experienced more than 30 years ago that the automakers are strong in introducing standards: The GM led the project MAP (Manufacturing Automation Protocols). Unfortunately manufacturers of automation equipment decided not to follow GM’s vision.

With regard to security, I hope that the automakers will help to bring more security to any kind of smart devices: in cars, in homes, in factories, in substations and …

In case of somebody taking over a car, it may be very dangerous to securely bring a (or even many) cars to a hold. But bringing a part of a power system to a hold means: BLACKOUT!! The “SECURE” state: “STOPPED” means: no power!

In case of a stopped car, you may take the next bus or just walk. A stopped power delivery system must be brought back to operation using again thousands of smart devices. Have you ever asked yourself how many smart network-connected computers are involved in power delivery systems? The number goes into the many millions …

Discuss security issues with your colleagues and your management. And maybe contract with experts …

Friday, July 17, 2015

Learn How Three Big U.S. Utilities Gained Experience With IEC 61850

The three well known U.S. utilities New York Power Authority (NYPA), Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L), and Southern California Edison (SCE) have recently gained experience with IEC 61850 applications through various projects. Don Von Dollen (EPRI) and Erich Gunther (EnerNex) have given various answers on a very crucial question: “Why is IEC 61850 used all over the world – but not that much in the U.S.?”

The main outcome of their investigation is:

  • Need extensive training to the workforce.
  • Take advantage of help from other utilities and entities (consultants, …).
  • Cross-vendor configuration is burdensome.
  • Case studies and implementation profiles needed.
  • Participate more in the UCAIug 61850 User Group
  • Build a strong test-lab.

I fully agree with Erich!

The main reason for the slow progress in the U.S. is (from my point of view) related to the misinterpretation what IEC 61850 really is. Most people still believe that it is something like DNP4.0 – DNP3.0 plus … Which is totally wrong!

My experience – after some 4.000 – experts educated in IEC 61850 is this: Teamwork (of smart engineers) makes the Dream work!

Erich Gunther has presented a one hour webinar on the subject on July 14, 2015.

Click HERE to listen to Erich’s one hour presentation.
Click HERE for a copy of his slides [pdf].
Click HERE for a paper written by Erich on the subject [pdf]

The need of smart and well educated engineers is required independent of the approach:

  1. Build turn-key substations (most big vendors support this) or
  2. Utility-driven design, configuration, commissioning and test … and operation.

After last weeks 4 day training for a big South-American utility that applies the second approach, I see an increasing need for more vendor-independent training for protection and SCADA applications in substations.

We are here to help you in this regard:

NEW Training Opportunities for IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, IEC 60870-5-104, and IEC 62351

Monday, June 29, 2015

An Approach to Developing Power Grid Control Systems with IEC 61850 and IEC 61499 and Holonic Control

An interesting paper discusses the combined use of IEC 61850 and IEC 61499:

An Approach to Developing Power Grid Control Systems with IEC
61850, IEC 61499 and Holonic Control

by Valentin Vlad, Corneliu Buzduga, and Calin Ciufudean (University of Suceava, Romania)


This paper presents some models and concepts for developing smart power grid control systems based on holonic concepts and the open standards IEC 61850, IEC 61499. Along with the proposed holonic models for different levels of control, we present a simple fault protection application illustrating how the IEC 61499 artifacts can be used for modeling and implementation of IEC 61850 compliant applications.

Click HERE for the above paper.

Additional information of using IEC 61850 and IEC 61499 in Distributed Power Systems:

Distributed Power System Automation With IEC 61850, IEC 61499, and Intelligent Control (Neil Higgins, Member, IEEE, Valeriy Vyatkin, Senior Member, IEEE, Nirmal-Kumar C. Nair, Senior Member, IEEE, and Karlheinz Schwarz, Member, IEEE; IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SYSTEMS, MAN, AND CYBERNETICS, 2010)

Multi-agent Smart Grid Automation Architecture based on IEC 61850/61499 Intelligent Logical Nodes (G. Zhabelova, V. Vyatkin, Senior Member IEEE; IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 2011)

More to come.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

BDEW Whitepaper on Security for the Power Industry has been updated

Whitepaper V 1.1
Anforderungen an sichere Steuerungs- und Telekommunikationssysteme

White Paper V 1.1
Requirements for Secure Control and Telecommunication Systems

This updated white paper specifies essential security measures for control and telecommunication systems for the power industry. The purpose of this document is to sufficiently protect the operation of these systems against security threats. The security measures described in this document are recommended for all newly procured control and telecommunication systems. The strategic goal of this white paper is to favourably influence the future development for aforementioned systems with regard to IT security. Furthermore the document should establish a mutual understanding for the protection issues of these systems throughout the industry.

Click HERE for a copy of the whitepaper.

Click HERE for related documents.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Video About the German Energiewende

A 11 minute film about Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution, the so called Energiewende (energy transition) has been published recently.
Voices from science, industry, and politics outline the achievements made so far, next steps, and the opportunities the energy transition offers.

Click HERE to watch the video.

Even the video does not mention IEC 61850 – it is clear that the standard series plays a major role in the future energy delivery in Germany, in Europe and all over!

After the announcement of the White House to spent many Billions of US$ on clean energy, I would not wonder if the German and other governments follow and spent also a lot of Euros and other currencies in the near future.

Hope we have enough well educated engineers to work with the money. If you need good education in the automation of power delivery systems: Here you can get some.