Sunday, September 25, 2016

How to use Generic Input/Output Logical Node "GGIO"

The Logical Node Class GGIO (Generic Process I/O) is (in my experience) the most liked and hated Logical Node. Why? GGIO is often used instead of well known Logical Nodes.
Example: Use of GGIO0.ST.Ind1.stVal instead of XCBR0.ST.Pos.stVal
The use of GGIO is not standardized!
You may use it or not ... one way or the other.
Last week I was contacted by an utility engineer on how to map reporting signals (M1-Boolean, M2-Boolean, M3- ...)?
There are two general approaches in the use of GGIO:

1. Add semantic to Prefix of LN and use many GGIO instances (M1_GGIO1, ...)
2. Add semantic to extended Data Objects in GGIO (M1, ...)

In the first case we instantiate GGIO 10 times.
In the second we extend the model by defining Data Objects M1 ... M10

The main difference is that in the second example we can use the prefix of the GGIO ("Report_") -> "Report_GGIO0" as a wrapper for Reporting. The semantic of the signals is further defined by extended Data Objects "M1", "M2", ...
Both modelling approaches are defined in IEC 61850-7-1 and 7-4. The second approach may not be supported by all tools and devices.
I personally would prefer the second approach.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Draft Edition 6 of Common Information Model (CIM) base

IEC TC 57 has just published the Draft Edition 6 (six!) of the CIM base (57/1779/FDIS):
IEC 61970-301: Energy management system application program interface (EMS-API) -
Part 301: Common information model (CIM) base
Voting closes 2016-11-04

This 6th edition comprises 455 pages compared to 182 pages (Ed1), 187 pages (Ed2), 260 pages (Ed3), and 323 pages (Ed5).

New topics comprise:
  • DC model for CIM
  • Static Var Compensator voltage regulation
  • Package DC
  • Annex A (informative) Custom extensions
    European extensions
Click HERE for a nice introduction to CIM [pdf].

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How secure are “Air-Gapped” Systems?

Many experts believe that it is sufficient to have an "air-gap" between their system and the internet or other outside systems. Because they expect that an "air-gap" would not allow to attack their system.
Several other experts do not believe that.
A demonstration of a destructive cyber attack vector on “air-gapped” systems will be given during a conference in October 2016:
ICS Cyber Security Conference (

Click HERE for the full report.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

IEC TC 57 Just Published the Draft IEC 61850-90-14 (FACTS)

One of the most comprehensive draft extensions (some 175 pages) of the standard series IEC 61850 has been published the other day for comments:

IEC TR 61850-90-14 – Communication networks and systems for power utility automation –
Part 90-14: Using IEC 61850 for FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems) data modelling (57/1776/DC)
Comments are expected by 2016-10-28

"Due to the latest boom of deploying an exponentially increasing number of power electronics and semiconductor based equipment directly in the area of medium, high and ultra-high voltage transmission networks, the call for integrating those direct current related processes and control  systems into IEC 61850 is only logical and consecutive.
Two main groups of DC based types of applications exist: FACTS devices (shunt and series connected) that mainly influence the network at a definite point of connection and Power Converters (e.g. HVDC, SFC) that additionally allow to transmit active power between two different points of connection. ...
FACTS and Power Conversion are thus indispensable to secure power supply and represent a vital component within the backbone of efficient, reliable and resilient future smart grids. This technical report finally enables those technologies to also become an integral part of the IEC 61850 world."

12 new logical node classes are proposed:

AEPC  Automatic Emergency Power Control
ARUB Automatic Run-Up/Run-Back Module
ASEQ  Generic Automatic Sequencer
ATCC  Automatic Tap Changer Controller
CFPC  Control of FACTS and Power Conversion
CREL  Control Release
GFUN  Generic Control Function
MCON  Converter Measurement
RLFR  DC Line Fault Recovery Sequence
XFPC  FACTS and Power Converter device
XDCC  DC Circuit
ZHAF  Harmonic Filter

I hope that the vendors AND users will contribute to the review of this crucial extension.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Demystifying and Mastering the Complexity of IEC 61850 (San Diego, 30 January 2017)

FMTP (Uppsala, Sweden) and NettedAutomation (Karlsruhe, Germany) will conduct a one day intensive course that opens doors You never dreamed:

Demystifying and mastering the complexity of IEC 61850

Where: San Diego (CA) – exact location will be announced well in advance
When: Monday, January 30, 2017,  10am-4pm

Mr. Andrea Bonetti (Senior Protection and Power Automation Engineer)
Mr. Karlheinz Schwarz (Senior Communication and Application Engineer)
Learn the challenges and drawbacks after 20 years of IEC 61850 and related Standards.
Who should attend?
All people that have heard about the complexity of the standard series IEC 61850 – BUT had not yet a chance to understand what it really provides. People that are looking for comprehensive and neutral information.
Click HERE for more details and registration information [pdf, 350KB].

List of some 700 IEC 61850 Certificates Issued by the UCAIUG

The UCAIUG group has issued almost 700 certificates for IEC 61850 implementations.

Click HERE to access the list of UCAIUG Certificates.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

IEC 61850 in North America

These days we hear some noise from a few US people telling you that the interest in IEC 61850 in North America is still low. Ok. What does this mean? Almost nothing.
IEC 61850 is used in many applications in North America - many are not publicly reported. Why should a customer that is happy with the solution talk about it in the public?
When you check the list of open positions in the US, you can see that there is new interest in this technology - in addition to traditional communication solutions like Modbus and DNP3:
Check for example a open position at GOOGLE (Data Center Control Systems Engineer, Mountain View, CA):

"Minimum qualifications:
  • BS degree or equivalent practical experience.
  • 10 years of experience in the design and operation of mission critical facilities, including programming and design experience.
  • Experience with facility power and cooling related infrastructure systems for data centers or equivalent critical infrastructure, including PLCs, SCADA systems, historians, industrial automation and controls systems design. Experience with bussed I/O including IEC 61850 and Modbus.
  • Experience in the compliance requirements of pertinent codes, regulations, and standards."
Click HERE for the complete GOOGLE Job description.
Another 20+ open positions in the US can be found on Click HERE.
In Germany you find 10+ open job descriptions. Click HERE.
The number of visitors of this blog from the US is also growing and already high: 300+ per day (average during the last months).
More to come.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pt 100 Temperature Relay with IEC 61850 GOOSE

Ziehl (Schwäbisch Hall, Germany) has integrated IEC 61850 GOOSE into their Pt 100 temperature relay for up to 12 sensors with electric 10 MBit/s Ethernet interface.

The TR1200IP can be used wherever multiple Pt 100 sensors (up to 12) need to be evaluated simultaneously:
- Motors or generators,
- also with simultaneous monitoring of bearings or, e.g., exhaust temperatures
- Transformers, also with additional core-temperature monitoring
- Machines and plants
Type TR1200IP temperature relays register the temperature of up to 12 sensors simultaneously and provide the values to the electric 10 MBit/s Ethernet interface.
2 IP protocols are supported, so the registered temperatures can be subsequently evaluated by connected devices that are linked with the TR1200IP via an Ethernet network. In motors, that could be a motor contactor, in transformers a transformer contactor with integrated overload function and thermal monitoring.
An alarm relay reports devices and sensor errors. Sensor breaks or sensor short-circuits are also transmitted via the protocol to the connected evaluation unit.

Click HERE for a general overview.
Click HERE for GOOSE configuration.
Click HERE for the manual.

The GOOSE messages could be received by an HMS SG Gateway either as a client or a server. The SG Gateway could convert the received GOOSE messages into an IEC 61850 server to provide Reporting and Logging and convert to IEC 60870-5-104 or DNP3.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Case Study - IEC 61850 Application for a Transmission Substation in Ghana

A lot of discussions about the benefits of using IEC 61850 have happened in the past and are still going on ... and will go on also in 2017 and beyond.

A nice paper has been presented some three years ago:

Case Study: IEC 61850 Application for a Transmission Substation in Ghana

"One of the benefits of implementing IEC 61850 is minimizing or even eliminating the copper field wiring used to exchange protection and control data between intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) across a substation. Conversely, implementing IEC 61850 has introduced commissioning, testing, and maintenance complexity that can be alleviated with proper training, documentation, and testing plans. The design and implementation of the Kintampo, Ghana, transmission substation required redundant protection and control functions distributed among the IEDs and a robust communications network to implement IEC 61850 protocols. ...
As the acceptance of IEC 61850 communications by utilities grows, this type of large-scale project will grow as well. ...
A system solution that is repeatable, pre-engineered, pretested, and designed to specifications is extremely important because it provides the user with a standardized solution that can be implemented across the system, minimizing different designs."

Click HERE for the 10 page paper [pdf]

Saturday, September 10, 2016

How to get Interoperability and Interchangeability with IEC 61850?

The standardization process in the context of IEC 61850 is picking up quite fast. As you have learned in the posts of today and older ones, there are several new topics on the list of items to work on for future new parts of IEC 61850.
One of the crucial objectives is the interoperability and INTERCHANGEABILITY of devices from different vendors in a multi-vendor system.
To reach this goal, we need standards! Sure. But what is absolutely required is the EDUCATION of experts from Vendors, Utilities and System integrators.
We offer the right courses for you: With focus on protection, automation and SCADA.In English and German.
Due to the request from power engineers FMTP and NettedAutomation have scheduled several dates for public training courses in 2017:
The next courses are:

19-23 September 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden [EN]
10-13 Oktober 2016 in Karlsruhe, Germany [EN]
07-09 Dezember 2016 in Karlsruhe, Germany [DE]
Click HERE for more details.
Hurry to reserve your seat!
You would get more than in any other course - because two of most experienced experts (Andrea Bonetti and Karlheinz Schwarz) will guide you through the most crucial aspects of IEC 61850. The combined experience of the two is unparalleled.

ENTSO-E proposes some Extensions of IEC 61850

IEC TC 57 distributed a proposal from ENTSO-E to add some features to IEC 61850 (57/1771/DC):

Proposed new work items by ENTSO-E to introduce additional specification features of IEC 61850 based systems within SCL

Edition 2 of IEC 61850-4 was published in 2011. Edition 2 of IEC 61850-6 was published in 2009. Ultimately, the proposal by the ENTSO-E statement and example of engineering process, aims to serve the market in order to reach the multi-vendor interoperability of systems in an efficient way.

Crucial Topics are:
  1. Input and data flow modelling / Virtual IED - Introduction of additional specification features of IEC 61850 based systems within SCL.
  2. System engineering efficiency - Introduction of additional specification and configuration features of IEC 61850 based systems within SCL.
  3. Communication Network Description - Introduction of additional specification and configuration features of IEC 61850 based systems within SCL.
Please note that big utilities (in Europe ...) have already used SCL to specify the details they want vendors to implement. The time where vendors could model the automation system the way they like it most seems to be over soon. Utilities start to understand that even interchangeability is the ultimate goal!!
It all depends on the willingness to cooperate!
Teamwork makes the dream work!

Machine-processable Format of IEC 61850-related Data Models

IEC TC 57 proposes a new work item (57/1768/NP) IEC 61850-7-7:

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 7-7: Basic communication structure – Machine-processable format of IEC 61850-related data models for tools (proposed 61850-7-7)

Closing date for voting: 2016-11-25

This technical specification will define an XML schema for describing the code components of the data model parts of IEC 61850, to be used as input for tools (typically engineering or specification tools).

In order to foster an active tool market with good quality, and at the end to improve IEC 61850 interoperability, the market needs a machine-processable file describing data model related parts of the standard as input.
This will avoid the need for any engineering tool related to the IEC 61850 datamodel to get the content of the standard manually entered, with the highest risk of mistakes.

The NP comes with a 150 page draft.

New Work Proposal for Extending the System Configuration Language (SCL) for HMIs

IEC TC 57 has published (57/1767/NP) a proposal for extending the System Configuration Language (SCL) to provide high-level direction in terms of how best to bind the HMI graphical objects with the IEC 61850 data objects/attributes using the configuration description language defined in IEC 61850-6. It builds upon the existing System Configuration Language (SCL) defined in IEC 61850-6, in addition to possibly incorporating other non-IEC namespaces such as the W3C's Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) namespace.

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation - Part 6xx: Configuration description language for communication in power utility automation systems related to Human Machine Interfaces (proposed IEC 61850-6xx)

This work will definitely helping to simplify the graphical representation of DataTypeTemplates in IEC 61850-6 (SCL).

A SCL DataTypeTemplate for a temperature measurement "STMP_0" could be bound to a graphical representation.

The depicted LNType has five related DataObjects. The temperature curve could be shown at an HMI as implemented in the client (HMI) interface of the VHPready demo. The VHPready demo could be downloaded. Click HERE for the access.
The client application of the demo is programmed in C#. A graphical template could be programmed ... if you need it. We could offer such a template if you are interested.

New Part IEC 61850-90-20 proposed - Guideline to Redundancy Systems

IEC TC 57 has proposed a new part for IEC 61850 (57/1766/DC):

Proposal to develop IEC TR 61850-90-20: Communication networks and systems for power utility automation – Part 90-20: Guideline to redundancy systems

As more application domains are added to the IEC 61850, additional modelling, description and functional capabilities need to be added to the “core” of IEC 61850.
One of the missing capabilities is functional redundancy, required by e.g. HVDC, FACTS and industrial applications. Other redundancy systems might also need additions to the standard for correct modelling.
This should be investigated in this work.

It is intended to write a Technical Report.

IEC 61850 Applications Outside Power Utilities

IEC 61850 is often applied in non-utility application domains. Three examples are documented in the following papers:

1. Refinary in North America
"Integrating SCADA, Load Shedding, and High-Speed Controls on an Ethernet Network at a North American Refinery"
This paper discusses the implementation of an Ethernet communications network in a ring that connects substations in a closed communications loop at a large industrial facility. Data are transmitted at protection speeds and must be dependable for industrial power system operation and maintenance applications. The redundant electric power system Ethernet communications network is used for a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that automates industrial electric power system operations.
Click HERE for the complete paper [pdf]

2. Petrochemical Plant
"SACE Emax 2 -- IEC 61850 integration with MV systems"
PVC plant in Jemeppe needed to upgrade the LV side of the electrical plant, so that it could be fully integrated into IEC 61850 protocol used in MV switchboards. Not only customer needed to monitor status and parameters from air circuit breakers installed in the LV switchboards, but also to control them remotely and to interlock them with MV ones.
Jemeppe plant was aiming at a higher system productivity, by avoiding protocol converters, and an increase of safety for technicians thanks to remote control for air circuit breakers.
Click HERE for the complete paper [pdf]

3. Siemens helps Solvay
Solvay Group: International Chemical and Pharmaceutical Company
Solvay uses IEC 61850 for the Operation of high, medium and low voltage systems.
Worldwide systems in use with IEC 61850 up to the network control level, others being planned
Click HERE for more information [pdf]

Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Gateway for EtherNet/IP from and to IEC 61850, DNP3, IEC 60870-5-104, ...

The Anybus® SG-gateway is designed to specifically target Demand Response (networking of industrial electric loads) and Virtual Power Plants (networking of energy resources like biogas plants or combined heat and power units) applications.
The SG-gateway with EtherNet/IP implements a real-time EtherNet/IP adapter interface with an integrated 2-port switch, allowing seamless network integration regardless of network topology (line, star, bus).

Click HERE for details.