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.

Monday, June 15, 2015

New IEC 61850 Edition 2 Demo Package Available to run on Windows

After successful usage of our old demo package provided 2010 and 2011 NettedAutomation provides a new package for Edition 2 of the IEC 61850 core parts.

The new package comes with a DLL comprising the IEC 61850 Stack, an simple API, and a powerful SCL configuration tool – all included in the DLL. The package contains executable programs that can be used right away. Additionally you will find also the course code of the applications for you to modify the applications to your own needs.

There are two different applications for the client and server:

1. C++ programmed very basic console applications:


The values can manually be changed … use the listed commands.

2. .Net/C# programmed enhanced applications (SCADA like):


The client starts the CER system by clicking the box on the upper left corner of the Client application. The Server application will run. Add values in ther server application … to be reported to the client. The use-case is quite realistic.

All client and server applications use the same DLL (provided by SystemCorp). The IEC 61850 models and communication services are configured by corresponding SCL Files. The applications provided are intended to show what IEC 61850 offers and how to use the simple API for a short time-to-marked development. The applications show how to exchange information with your applications:


The client and server can run on one machine (local host) or on two machines. In case of two machines you can trace the communication with, e.g., Wireshark. The addresses (MAC and IP) have to be configured differently for the two cases. The client connects automatically with the server (based on the SCL files) – no need for manual intervention. The demo shows how an embedded client can communicate with a server – without and browsing service.

The client and server can be configured to publish GOOSE and SV.

Some basic documentation comes with the package that can be downloaded. The main objective is the use of the package in our comprehensive hands-on training courses.

Click HERE to get access to the package.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

XMPP - IEC 61850-8-2 Defines Additional Communication Mapping

IEC TC 57 has published a first draft for an additional mapping of IEC 61850 information models and communication messages.

IEC 61850-8-2 (57/1583/CD):
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation - Part 8-2: Specific Communication Service Mapping (SCSM) – Mapping to Extensible Messaging Presence Protocol (XMPP)

Closing date for comments is 2015-09-11

The new mapping defines (relies on) the following definitions:

Service mapping (unchanged)
The abstract (client-server) services of IEC 61850-7-2 are mapped to MMS as defined in the existing IEC 61850-8-1 Ed2.

Message Encoding (new concrete encoding)
The encoding of the messages uses ASN.1 XER (XML encoding rule) – in addition to ASN.1 BER according to IEC 61850-8-1 Ed2. The encoding defines an XML schema – contained in the draft.

Model mapping (unchanged)
As in IEC 61850-8-1 Ed2. This applies to the flattening of the object identification and adding Functional Constraint (FC=ST or MX) in the path name and using “$” for “.”:


Underlying Transport (new T-Profile)
The transport (exchange) of the XER encoded messages uses a new approach: using XMPP.

This new transport mechanism and encoding will be used between all kinds of utility Distributed Energy Resource devices and related power management systems, over any communication infrastructure including public networks.

The coming IEC 61850-8-2 can be understood as an (encoding and transport) extension of the existing IEC 61850-8-1.

It is very crucial that most parts of implementations and tools can be re-used! Re-Use is one of the basic approaches used in IEC 61850! Don’t start always from scratch – use what is available and add something.

So, to read the frequency of Bay5 is almost the same .. using the reference
encoded in ASN.1 BER (IEC 61850-8-1) and in ASN.1 XER (IEC 61850-8-2).

See also example of encoding.

A second document explains the needs and background for an additional mapping:

IEC 61850-80-3 TR (57/1584/DTR):
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation -
Part 80-3: Mapping to Web protocols – Requirements and technical choices

It describes the requirements and the technical principles for a new specific communication service mapping (SCSM) based on Web Protocols.
For more information about the candidate technologies which have been analyzed but not selected as well as about the selection process used for choosing the technology, national committees are invited to consult document 57/1585/INF which is circulated in parallel:

Accompanying document to 57/1584/DTR, Proposed IEC TR 61850-80-3

It mainly describes the technical solutions which have been investigated but finally not selected for the SCSM of the IEC 61850 based on Web Protocols.

  1. IEC 61400-25-4 Annex A (Web services)
  2. DPWS (Devices Profile for Web Services)
  3. REST (Representational State Transfer)
  4. XML messaging over Websocket
  5. ACSI XML Messaging
  6. OPC UA

The finally chosen solution  “MMS XER payload over XMPP as transport” was recognized after several years of work as the preferred solution – especially from a fast time-to-market point of view.

What does XMPP provide?

XMPP (RFC 6120) is a middleware messaging and presence protocol supporting decentralized architectures and provides:

  • Registering resources in publicly reachable servers
  • Resolving resources based on names
  • Security (authentication, integrity, confidentiality) for the communication with the XMPP server

This fits well to the information models defined in IEC 61850.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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

Education is one of the crucial aspects when it comes to information modeling, system and device configuration, information exchange, and security measures.

Many new or updated standards have been published during the last couple of months – and more to come: e.g., several parts of the series IEC 61850 will be published as Edition 2.1.

In addition to many new definitions we are seeing more and more utilities and vendors in getting started using the above mentioned standards in Automation and Protection … SCADA, …

Taking the experience with the many solutions and the new standard s into account, FMTP and NettedAutomation offer a new series of training courses (in English and German). FMTP and NettedAutomation have conducted more than 10 in-house courses in recent months and several public events. You would tap the experiences of so far more than 4.000 attendees we have trained (FMTP and NettedAutomation) all over.

Karlsruhe (Deutsch, Karlheinz Schwarz):
02-04 Dezember 2015 (neues Datum)
11-13 Januar 2016
14-16 März 2016

Click HERE for details

Karlsruhe/Germany (English, Andrea Bonetti and Karlheinz Schwarz):
13-16 October 2015
04-07 April 2016
10-13 October 2016

Click HERE for details

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

Details will be available soon.

Stockholm/Sweden (English, Andrea Bonetti and Karlheinz Schwarz):
22-25 February 2016
19-22 September 2016

Click HERE for details

We look forward to seeing you in one of the above courses or in an in-house event.

Contact us if you are interested in an in-house event.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Some Videos related to IEC 61850 by Karlheinz Schwarz

Some videos produced by Karlheinz Schwarz (NettedAutomation GmbH) can be found here:


Click HERE to access a list of several interesting videos on various IEC 61850 (IEC 61400-25) issues.


In case you would like to see more videos on other issues – let me know.

Contact Karlheinz Schwarz.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Security: A Never Ending or a not Yet Started Story?

Everybody talks about security! Who is working on it? Some people are working on meeting compliance requirements like those defined in NERC CIP. Very few are dealing with measures to make and keep systems secure.

What's the difference between compliance and security? Does being compliant also mean being secure? NO – not at all. Being compliant may let you sleep better …

Two excellent publications touch on these issues:

1. NERC CIP v5 Suggests Compliance Does Not Equal Security

2. What effective legislation would you write for CI ICS

The first article closes:

“Compliance means you won't be fined. Security means you won't end up in the headlines. A friendly security suggestion would be to look beyond CIP compliance and use it as a baseline for your security policies.”

and the second:

“Hopefully, industry can get behind some sort of meaningful control system
security legislation before we end up with a catastrophic attack on a control

Since most people likely not yet have tried to implement security measures … the following sign (I purchased the other day) wouldn’t help either:


Try it again or the first time. But don’t give up before you have a process for a higher level of security in operation. And never give up to improve.

IEC 62351-11: Draft on Securing XML files

XML (a notation for structured documents) is used in many standards published by IEC TC 57 (Power systems management and associated information exchange). IEC 61850-6 (SCL) is one of these parts that rely on XML and XML schema.

A small change in an SCL file may have a crucial impact of the content of the whole file.  There is a need to secure such files.

IEC TC 57 just published the first CDV:

IEC 62351-11 Ed.1 (57/1562/CDV)

Power systems management and associated information exchange - Data and communications security -
Part 11: Security for XML files

The 62351-11 extensions provide the capability to provide:

  • Header information: the header contains information relevant to the creation of the secured document such as the Date and Time of the when the IEC 62351-11 document was created.
  • A choice of encapsulating the original XML document in an encrypted (Encrypted) or non-encrypted (nonEncrypted) format. If encryption is chosen, there is a mechanism provided to express the information required to actually perform encryption in an interoperable manner (EncryptionInfo).
  • AccessControl: a mechanism to express access control information regarding information contained in the original XML document.
  • Body: is used to contain the original XML document that is being encapsulated.
  • Signature: a signature that can be used for the purposes of authentication and tamper detection.

What do you think about security? It is important! How many time and money have you and your colleagues or your management spent for making systems more secure? One Euro or 1000 Euro?

When it comes to costs – then people are behaving different.

Be more serious about security.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

1400 Tissues (Technical Issues) listed since 2004

The Tissue process is one of the crucial means to improve the quality of the various parts of the IEC 61850 standard series and helps to improve the interoperability of IEDs. Since 2004 the IEC 61850 experts have posted more than 1400 Tissues – number 1400 was posted today (2015-06-04).

The Tissue 1400 is very interesting: It is based on input from utilities (User Feedback Task Force).

This tissue proposes to remove several options in the area of how the subscription is specified in an SCL file – and to allow only ONE possibility

This is a good news!

I personally expect that this approach (to get rid of options) will be applied more often in the future.

Note: Many tissues are just questions that are tagged as “blue” tissues.