Wednesday, December 12, 2018

TÜV SÜD closes their IEC 61850 / UCAIUG Test Lab

TÜV SÜD (Munich, Germany) a long time provider of IEC 61850 Interoperability and Conformity Testing Services closes their Test Lab.
They emailed today says: "... Unfortunately, we do not supply Interoperability and Conformity Testing Services according to IEC 61850 any longer, which have been replaced by other focus areas in our portfolio. ...".
There was no specific reason for their decision provided.
You may ask me about my opinion. Here it is first brief statement:
  • The standard series IEC 61850 is very comprehensive - applicable in many different application domains. 
  • Implementations of the communication software for Client/Server (MMS based), Publisher/Subscriber (GOOSE), general APIs, and appropriate IED specific configuration tools are very comprehensive (and very complex!) as well.
  • The IEDs tested and certified will likely operate in applications that need many times more logical nodes (and associated FUNCTIONS) than what was tested to get a certificate.
  • MMS is also very complex regarding services and protocol. Unfortunately requires a lot of best skills to implement ... it has been implemented very well by a few companies like SystemCorp.
  • The most crucial aspect of IEC 61850 is the huge number of logical nodes (that represent so many functions). This semantic is of great importance to the energy industries.
  • One of the key issues in the years to come is this: Use the semantic of IEC 61850 and configuration language and map the needed (usually very simple and restricted) semantic configured in a SCL file automatically to JSON-Objects and communicate the JSON encoded information via http(s) or similar protocols
  • This will allow to use IEC 61850 in any project that requires to exchange the well defined semantic of IEC 61850. E.g., the semantic of the schedule logical node (FSCH and FSCC) can easily be configured in JSON. The underlying function (the SCHEDULING) needs to be implemented independently of using MMS/ASN.1 or JSON. The benefit of using JSON is here: Everybody that can program in Python or JS or ... can use the JSON encoded messages directly in the application program.
  • I am working on such a solution that makes IEC 61850 really applicable for simple applications ... http(s) and JSON are used everywhere and can be applied by everybody.
  • More to come!
  • Stay tuned.
For those simple applications with a dozen of points or so ... there would be a need for just a very simple and basic interoperability and conformance test.

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