Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Power Outage In Frankfurt Area (Germany) - And People That Need A Breathing Ventilator

I just read that in the western part of the city Frankfurt (Main, Germany) the electric power was down for more than 10,000 customers. A current transformer (CT, for measuring the current) blow up ... and produced a lot of smoke. The power went off from 17:15 on Tuesday 2021-10-26. The restoration took some eight hours!

The Hessenschau (de) reported that nine (9!) people that depend on breathing ventilators had been hospitalized. This critical situation tells us, that the ventilators did likely not have battery backup power - either in the devices or external. The devices we use for my wife have both two internal batteries which give (rated!) power for 16 hours for each device.

This brings two questions up in my mind:

  1. Why is it not required by law that all breathing ventilators have battery power for at least 24 hours?
  2. Why don't we have to have external batteries and inverters that would give power for several days?

Instead of bringing patients with the ambulances to the hospital, it would be much easier (faster and cheaper) to bring an emergency power supply package (batterie plus inverter) to the patients! Or?

There seems to be a wide area of improving the quality of life.

By the way, why did the CT (current transformer) crash? Was it too old or not ... or? I hope that my friend Andrea Bonetti (one of the most experienced protection engineers on this planet) will comment on the importance of CTs!

Any comment?

Add on (2021-10-30): 

First: The utility has told that more than 100 workers are involved in fixing the problem ... the current fix is provisionary only! 100+ workers means: It must be a big problem that needs so many people to fix. 

Second: It was reported that in an elderly care home the nurses had to use their mobile phone's flash light to look for the elderly people ... no emergency light! Hmm ... strange. A few 12V batteries and some 12V LEDs would have done a good job! Cheap and useful ... lifesaving! ... if somebody would care for their maintenance. The management has obviously decided to purchase a hand lamp per floor ... 👍 something is better than nothing. Note: A battery leak (AA or AAA batteries) may damage a flash light that is not used often ... or only in case of emergency. Non leaking batteries are available: Lithium Batteries are the right choice for emergency devices. I have replaced the typical AA and AAA batteries with Lithium batteries for all flashlights and outdoor devices like thermometer ... they withstand cold weather and do not leak ... life time likely 10+ years ...

Click HERE for the extended Hessenschau (de) report.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Want To Know What The IEC 61850 Tissue Process Is All About?

Please click HERE to find a good description of the IEC 61850 Tissue process as defined by IEC TC 57 - written by Christoph Brunner.

The tissue database was designed by my son Michael Schwarz and myself in 2004. At that time we exchanged tissues, questions, discussions, results ... by email ... and somebody took note of the discussion and wrote something into the tissues word document ... huch ... which was the latest version ...? Quite confusing.

NettedAutomation wanted to offer a free of charge service to the community that allows everybody to post any new tissue on a single entry point ... and to get a single, always up-to-date list ... Since then we have improved the tissue database according to the experience made by the global community.

Nowadays the tissue database is an integral part of the IEC 61850 and related standard series like IEC 61400-25 ... all new editions of any part of these series has a list of tissues taken into account in the new edition, e.g., in the name space document of part 7-4:

IEC 61850-7-2 2007A3 NSD light code component, see the IEC 61850-7-2:2010 for full legal notices:

Click HERE to download that name space document. That document lists the tissues taken into account since version 2007/A:

Click HERE for tissue 1652.
So, the tissue process is a core service offered by IEC to the global community! In case you have a comment on the tissue database, let me know.
In case you would be interested in such a tissue database for your standards or other projects, let me know please ... we could provide you an offer.

Note that there are 22 name space documents available for free download.☝

Click HERE to access the name space documents.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Basics For The Future Electric Power Systems – Some Thoughts

Smart Grids, Energiewende, renewable energy, ... Digitalisierung (digitization) der Energiewende, ... are buzzwords for some years. What is really needed for the future electric power systems?

Against the background of the ongoing discussions by engineers, lawyers, politicians, other people ... with a degree in the social or natural sciences, graduate engineers, medical doctors, lawyers, and graduates of business studies and economics, it may be helpful to look at the real needs that are related to the physics ...

I have written a one page document:

Basics for the future electric power systems – some thoughts 

It starts (de and en):

"Das zentraleuropĂ€ische Verbundnetz UCTE ist eine der grĂ¶ĂŸten Maschinen (oder gar bezĂŒglich der LeistungsfĂ€higkeit der Energiebereitstellung weltweit die grĂ¶ĂŸte Maschine) auf unserem Planeten. BezĂŒglich der Ausdehnung wird dieses elektrische Netz nur von dem inzwischen weltweit ausgedehnten Kommunikationsnetz ĂŒbertroffen. Alle diese technischen Netze folgen dabei strikt physikalischen Gesetzen – egal, von wem sie und zu was sie genutzt werden oder auch welche Ideen am Markt gerade en vogue sind..."

"The central European interconnected network UCTE is one of the largest machines (or even the world's largest machine in terms of the performance of energy supply) on our planet. In terms of expansion, this electrical network is only surpassed by the communications network that has now expanded worldwide. All these technical networks strictly follow physical laws - regardless of who uses them and for what they are used or which ideas are currently in vogue on the market..."

Click HERE to download the above mentioned document [pdf, 108 KB de/en]

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Some Information About My Personal Situation

You may be surprised about the fact that I posted very few information on this blog for some time. Let me explain our family situation here at home. I received an email today from a colleague and follower of this blog. This email encouraged me to publish excerpts from the emails we exchanged and to add some thoughts at the end of this post:

Email I received on 2021-10-16:

"Dear Karlheinz,

Perhaps you remember me, I've long been a keen follower of your blog on IEC 61850, and we have exchanged e-mails a few times in the past. ... I am writing to you because 

I remain looking forward to any news from you ... Kind Regards ..."

Email I sent on 2021-10-16:

"Dear ...,

I am sorry to read these lines ... 

I have changed my work (now being retired) to nurse my wife 24/7 … she was diagnosed ALS in January 2017. We are happy that the Lord Jesus has helped us to do that work together with one of our daughters. My wife needs non-invasive ventilation around the clock … we are still together … which is very good.

So, as a consequence I have more or less stopped my business …

Have a great weekend!

Best Regards,

Email I received on 2021-10-24:

"Dear Karlheinz,

I am very sorry to learn that you stopped your business because your wife is seriously ill.

To be honest I had realized that the frequency of your posts had declined in the last months... Your blog was a wonderful source of information and it will be missed by the smart grid community. Your posts were real, technical, relevant, useful stuff and not the usual buzzword-laden, over-hyped bullshit we are all used to read these days.

Given the circumstances, I believe no one will say you didn't do what was your duty.

I wish all the best to you and your family."

Some Thoughts to think about:

  • Have you ever thought about the electric power in your personal life or the life of the people around you đŸ‘Ș?

  • What could we do to help keeping the power flow? It is more than IEC 61850 ... 

  • Smart(er) Grids are nice ... more important is the need for power in situations where the public grid is down ... In our case we need power for the breathing ventilator 24/7, power for the lifter to lift my wife from chair to wheel chair ... to bed ... power for the nursing bed (move it up and down), power for light, power for heating and cooking, ... and so on. It is more than emergency power ... we need at least some power 24/7 ... we use just PV, batteries and inverters, ... 

  • Did you know that (in Germany) we had in 2019 some 4,100,000 care-dependent people that needed nursing ... 3,310,000 nursed at home (usually in families), 818,000 in nursing homes, ... even in nursing homes it is not required to have emergency power !! ... some have. What about the many homes that need electric power 24/7 to survive ... I guess most of them believe that there is always power ... except for a few minutes per year ... 
    Click HERE for the source of the German nursing situation.

  • One of the most crucial challenges in the future is to provide permanent available power to those homes that nurse people ... 

  • Try to contact your neighborhood, your police station, nearby hospital, fire station, power utility, ... to figure out how and where you could get power to operate the breathing ventilator or other medical devices in case of a blackout! You may be surprised what you get ... almost nothing.

  • It seems to be more important (or interesting) to install hundreds of super charger stations along the German Autobahn ... than to care about a minimum of power to help care-dependent people to survive.

  • We need all-over more electric storages ... small and big ones ... for various applications ... in order to have electric power whenever and wherever we need some ...

  • Let me know what you think ... or report about your experiences ... Thanks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

IEC 61850 For Electrical Testing

Megger AB, Stockholm, Sweden is using IEC 61850 for various reasons in the electrical testing domain.

Andrea Bonetti is senior specialist in relay protection and IEC 61850 applications at Megger. Andrea has written a very interesting article in the latest issue of Electrical Tester magazine of Megger:

The importance of IEC 61850 in relation to the smart grid

He concludes: "Economic electricity supply: We need to study and get used to IEC 61850 methods, but once this is done, the economic advantage is evident: reusability of previous projects, shared understanding, focus of the technical community on solving common problems, and concentration of the resources.

In conclusion, I hope it is now clear that IEC 61850 is not just a communication protocol but a complete philosophy for electrical systems. So, next time you have a smart grid project, please try to answer this question: How much of IEC 61850 am I using in my project?"

Click HERE to download the latest issue of the Magazine (101 MB) or click HERE to view the magazine online.

The abbreviation "IEC 61850" could be found 100 times throughout the magazine! ... in conjunction with testing, smart grid, ...