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.