Sunday, January 31, 2016

Discrepancy in GPS Timing of 13 Microseconds

Power Delivery systems rely to some degree on Time Synchronization based on global positioning system (GPS).

A time spike in the global positioning system which rippled through the world on January 28, 2016 was caused by a satellite launched in 1990 failing and triggering a software bug!

Although the timing anomaly measured just microseconds, it could have caused significant navigation errors, Richard Easther, head of the University of Auckland's physics department said.
"The rule of thumb is that for every nanosecond of error, you could be out by as much as a foot," Easther said.

"An error of 13 microseconds or 13,000 nanoseconds works out as just under four kilometres."

What would that error mean for Sampled Values? The 13 microseconds are equivalent  to a difference in the angle of 0.234 degrees in a 50 Hz AC system. This seems not to be very critical. But who knows what happens next.

Be aware that our future power system will rely more and more on GPS or other central time sources. So, the power infrastructure does rely on the GPS (or other means) - which by nature does on the power infrastructure. Everything seems to be highly interconnected.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

IEC Committee Draft (CD) 61850-7-420 Ed. 2.0 just published

IEC TC 57 has just published the 57/1655/CD:

IEC CD 61850-7-420 Ed. 2.0: Communication networks and systems for power utility automation -
Part 7-420: Basic communication structure - Distributed energy resources logical nodes

Commenting closes 2016-04-08.

Attention is drawn to document 57/1658/DC which is circulated in parallel and which reflects a draft IEC TR 61850-7-520 and which contains the main guidelines on how to use the data models contained in the present CD.
Since both documents are closely linked IEC national committees are invited to develop their comments in parallel on the present CD and on 57/1658/DC.

The major technical changes with regard to the previous edition are as follows:

  • Corrections and clarifications according to information letter "IEC 61850-technical issues by the IEC TC 57” (see document 57/963/INF, 2008-07-18);
  • Extensions regarding IEC 61850-90-7 (object models for converters in distributed energy resources (DER) systems);
  • Some logical nodes in IEC 61850-7-420:2009 that were not specific to distributed energy resources have been transferred to IEC 61850-7-4 Ed. 2.1 and have been removed from this edition of IEC 61850-7-420 (see also Annex A);
  • The definitions of logical nodes in this edition of IEC 61850-7-420 have been updated using the table format introduced in IEC 61850-7-4 Ed. 2.1;
  • Most of the modelling examples and background information that was included in IEC 61850-7-420:2009 has been transferred to IEC 61850-7-520
This CD is not available publicly as a CDV. The CDV may be available later this year. 

Stay tuned to this blog.

IEC CDV 61850-7-4 Ed.2.0 Amendment 1 just pulished

IEC TC 57 has just published a 269 page CDV that reflects the first amendment to IEC 61850-7-4 Ed.2.0:

IEC 61850-7-4 Ed.2.0 Amd.1: Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 7-4: Basic communication structure – Compatible logical node classes and data object classes

Everybody can read the CDV and comment online (see details below).

The commenting period closes 2016-04-15.

Compared to the second edition, this first revision of the second edition:

  • Provides clarifications and corrections to the second edition of IEC 61850-7-4, based on the tissues = { 650, 671, 672, 674, 675, 676, 677, 679, 680, 682, 683, 685, 686, 689, 693, 694, 695, 696, 712, 713, 714, 715, 716, 722, 724, 725, 726, 727, 732, 734, 735, 736, 742, 743, 744, 748, 749, 772, 773, 774, 775, 776, 800, 802, 808, 819, 830, 831, 835, 838, 842, 843, 844, 849, 871, 877, 878, 879, 881, 882, 902, 908, 909, 910, 911, 912, 913, 920, 928, 932, 933, 937, 939, 940, 952, 967, 991, 1007, 1029, 1044, 1046, 1071, 1075, 1076, 1077, 1081, 1086, 1117, 1119, 1128, 1137, 1139, 1176, 1177, 1190, 1191, 1203, 1205, 1229, 1235, 1236, 1244, 1250, 1256, 1258, 1259, ... }
  • Adds to each functional LN group a parent abstract Logical node where the functional nodes are children from (full object oriented model). Since all abstract LNs are in together in a common clause, the relative position of the functional LNs is not changed within their clause
  • Adds new abbreviated terms
  • Has extension of the list of abbreviate terms to be used for object names
  • Has more precise combination rules for abbreviated terms to object names
  • Has extensions by new logical nodes mainly from power quality domains and others
  • Has corrections of editorial errors.

Please note that this CDV is available to the public for comments (yes: everybody can sign in and get access for personal comments!!):

Click HERE to register for public access and comments.

This allows everybody to ready the content and comment online.

Click HERE to visit the Tissue Database.

This CDV is the result of several years of key editors to reach a very high level of completeness and consistency of the information models throughout the various domains.

Note that the final result will be a new edition of 7-4: Edition 2.1 !! (not 3.0).

Congratulation to the editors for this great work!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Training offers by FMTP and NettedAutomation in 2016

Upcoming Open Seminars in English for SMART GRID, IEC 61850, PAC, Protection Automation Control:

Dammam, KSA Feb 2016
Stockholm, SE Mar 14-17 2016
Hong Kong, Mar 22-24 2016
Karlsruhe, DE Apr 5-8 2016
Stockholm, SE Sept 19-22 2016
Karlsruhe, DE Oct 10-13 2016

Click HERE for more details and registration information.

The seminars are a must for protection and substation engineers. We train you with real market devices - not just theory.

Take five minutes for a Survey on "Smart Grid IEC 61850 Maintenance and Training"

FMTP (Sweden) asks you to take a few minutes for a Survey on "Power 2016 Smart Grid IEC 61850 Maintenance and Training Study".

The Survey is intended to serve our valuable customers even better than today.

Click HERE to get to the survey.

Please note that FMTP and NettedAutomation cooperate in Trainings.

Friday, January 8, 2016

IEC Opens Access to and Commenting of CDVs to the Public

Access to the publication of IEC CDVs (Committee Draft for Vote) was restricted to a very limited number of experts usually active in the standardization work.

IEC has opened this process to be used by the public - allowing you to register free of charge, access the document and provide comments online.

Click HERE to the corresponding website to register or login.


This is a major step forward! Many people interested in IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, IEC 62351, IEC 61158, ... have complained that they have no chance to review the draft documents.

Enjoy the new possibility!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Want to Understand one of the Largest Machines - The Interconnected European Electric Power Grid?

The Interconnected European Electric Power Grid is one of the biggest machines built by humans. It has been developed over a period of about some 130 years. It is a miracle that it is still working very stable and more or less uninterrupted form many years.

The challenge for the future is this: How to keep the power flowing, the grass green and the sky blue. I met with a retired - but still very active - power engineer yesterday. We discussed how more information technologies can be used to support a very reliable automation system to provide 24x7 power flow all over in Europe. We have figured out that one of the key challenges in the discussions is to find the correct language in our discussions. I mean: When I talk about preventing any "remote control command", what does the recipient of that term understand? We figured out that we have discussed this term for years - but did have a different understanding in mind!

Fortunately we solved our disconnect and were happy that we have the same understanding. We will use a new (or just another) terms to make sure that other people will understand what we want to say.

A "remote control command" an mean:

  1. Switch on the electric heater of heat storage system  or
  2. Allow the local controller of the heat storage system to draw electric power when the local controller sees a need to heat the storage.

In the first case the electric power will immediately flow. In the second, it may or may not - depending on the local situation. Not all heater will start immediately at the same time to heat.

In case we use the term "remote control command" for the first application only, we will not be understood by many people. Because - I guess - most people would say: In both use cases we send a "remote control command" to the remote system.

What is the real underlying difference of the two use cases? The first one has a direct impact on the power flow, while in the second there is a local control system involved to decide what to do. Let´s assume we have 1000 heaters of a total power of 10 MW. In the first use case we have an immediate power flow rate of 10 MW per a few seconds. In the second case it is a stochastic situation where some may immediately draw the power others may draw power one hour later ...

Finally: If we would have smart systems, then the local controller would be situationell aware of the condition of the power system: if the frequency or voltage would be below specific set-points, then they would not draw power at all ...

If you would like to learn more about the huge machine "Interconnected Electric Power Delivery System":

Click HERE to watch a video [with English translation] which discusses some basics of the complexity ... enjoy.
Click HERE for the version in German.
Click HERE for more options.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Started the Year 2016 successfully with the Omicron IEDScout 4.10

I hope you had a good start into the year 2016!

During the last days of 2015 and the first days of 2016 I have set up a new notebook and upgraded to Windows 10, Office 2013, ... and Omicron's IEDScout 4.10.

I had to test a control model with operate services. The version 3.0 was very confusing in getting me the information I was looking for. So I decided to upgrade immediately to version 4.10.

This was one of the best decisions of the "young" year 2016!

The version 4.10 is way easier and less confusing to be used for testing real products! The model shows exactly what is crucial for the tester:

This version is an IEC 61850 tool - not just a MMS browser with some flavor of IEC 61850.

Here is the link to the page for free downloading of the fully functional demo version:

If you are looking for a professional IEC 61850 Browser and testing tool: The IEDScout is exactly what should test and consider to purchase.

So, the second day of 2016 was already a successful day here in my office. More to come.

I look forward to helping you to get the right education and tools.