Thursday, December 29, 2011

How can you feed back your experience with IEC 61850?

The many parts of the standards series IEC 61850 published require some kind of maintenance. In order to collect, discuss, solve, and document the feedback from the market, IEC TC 57 WG 10 has set-up a database: The Technical Issues database or just: the Tissues database.

More and more experts from utilities feed their experience back to the standardization groups. An example is the latest post of today:

Click HERE for the Tissue #810 on the Logical node RFLO.

In case you find any tissue in the published standards search the Tissue database first and post a new tissue if your tissue has not yet been posted.

TUEV-SUED announces IEC 61850 Test Lab and Smart Grid Forum

TÜV-SÜD in Munich accelerates the support of the standard series IEC 61850 in 2012:

  • Test Services
  • Smart Grid Forum (20.-21. März 2012)

TÜV-SÜD will provide a wide range of services to reach a high level of interoperability of IEDs:


Click HERE for more details of the services [English, PDF]
Click HERE for more details of the services [German, PDF]

The Smart Grid Forum (Munich, 20.-21. März 2012) will be conducted in German). Topics are:

  • Normen und Standards für Smart Grids
  • IEC 61850 in der Anwendung
  • Smarte Daten: Normen und Richtlinien für den sicheren Datenaustausch
  • Verteilnetzautomatisierung durch intelligente Netzkomponenten: aktuelle Projektbeispiele von Netzbetreibern und Industriekunden
  • IT-Sicherheit und Datenschutz im intelligenten Netzsystem

Click HERE for more information.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

MMS (ISO 9506) Introduction – Why to focus on the API?

Jan Tore Sørensen and Martin Gilje Jaatun (SINTEF ICT, Trondheim, Norway) have published a nice introduction to the basic architecture and definitions of MMS in a 46 page document – easy to read and understand.

This documents demonstrates that MMS is not complex. IEC 61850-8-1 (and IEC 61850-9-2) use MMS for specifying the message exchange between IEC 61850 servers (publishers) and clients (subscribers).

Implementing IEC 61850 compliant systems comprising SCL tools, servers, clients, publishers, and subscribers means to implement:

  1. Upper layers on top of TCP/IP (or on Ethertype for publisher/subscriber)
  2. Protocol machine (MMS, GOOSE and SV)
  3. Encoding/Decoding ASN.1 BER messages
  4. ACSI services (LD, LN, Control Blocks (reporting, Logging, service tracking, GOOSE, and SV), DataSets, Control, LOG –> mapped to protocols, mainly MMS)
  5. Object model (dictionary in IED and behavior according to IEC 61850-7-4)
  6. API (application program interface) for server, client, publisher, and subscriber
  7. IED configuration using SCL file
  8. SCL tool for system engineering and IED configuration

A ballpark estimate of the efforts needed to implement a reasonable subset of IEC 61850 (if one develops the software from scratch) is in the range of some 10 man-years. Only a small part of efforts (likely less than 10 per cent) deals with MMS and the underlying protocols required by MMS.

A different solution for the client-server messaging, e.g., by using a webservice, would have a minor impact on the total efforts. From a application point of view an efficient API should be in the focus when implementing of using IEC 61850!

Click HERE for the complete paper on MMS [pdf, 446 KB]

Note that IEC 61850 is much more than a protocol – and much more than MMS. MMS is just an international standard like Ethernet or TCP/IP.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Siemens and IEC 61850: More than 200,000 IEC 61850 IEDs installed

According to Siemens they are “the world market leader in digital protection technology … from the experience out of an installed base of more than 1 million
devices and 200,000 with IEC 61850”.

Often people ask, why are the many fieldbus users groups (for CAN, PROFINET, POWERLINK, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, SERCOS III, Foundation Fieldbus, ControlNet, DeviceNet, …) more active than the UCA International Usersgroup (representing IEC 61850)? One reason seems to be this: most of the 50+ fieldbus solutions are competing with each other. It is no surprise that each users group tries to promote the benefits and the success of their solution.

IEC 61850 does not seem to have (serious) competitors – so it is not required to do a lot of marketing by a users group.

Click HERE for a brochure from Siemens on their relays (Relay Selection Guide, pdf).

Example of a new part of IEC 61850 – Edition 1 or Edition 2?

The Technical Report IEC/TR 61850-90-1 (Substation to Substation Communication) has been published in March 2010 – quite new part of IEC 61850:


Is this document part of IEC 61850 Edition 1 or IEC 61850 Edition 2? Neither nor!

It just is IEC/TR 61850-90-1 Edition1 – Edition 1 of part 90-1; NOT a part of IEC 61850 Edition 1. There was never an official Edition 1 of the SERIES IEC 61850 nor will there be an Edition 2 of the whole SERIES.

Vendors are often making statements like “Full compatibility between IEC 61850 Editions 1 and 2” or “Efficient operating concepts by flexible engineering of
IEC 61850 Edition 2” … What does that mean? Hm, it seems to be a marketing expression, or?