Tuesday, February 26, 2013

IEC/TR 61850-90-7 Just published

Please note the publication of

IEC/TR 61850-90-7:2013-02
Communication networks and systems for power utility automation
Part 90-7: Object models for power converters in distributed energy resources (DER) systems

Download the preview of IEC 61850-90-7.

This part is very crucial because it provides solutions for the challenges of feeding the huge amount of power from PV and other DER systems into the various voltage levels of the power delivery grid. This part will have a crucial impact on how to manage especially distribution networks. Just a few examples of these functions are:

7.1.2 Function INV1: connect / disconnect from grid
7.1.3 Function INV2: adjust maximum generation level up/down
7.1.4 Function INV3: adjust power factor
7.1.5 Function INV4: request active power (charge or discharge storage)
7.1.6 Function INV5: pricing signal for charge/discharge action
7.2 Modes for volt-var management
7.2.1 VAr management modes using volt-var arrays
7.2.2 Example setting volt-var mode VV11: available var support mode with no impact on watts
7.2.3 Example setting volt-var mode VV12: maximum var support mode based on WMax
7.2.4 Example setting volt-var mode VV13: static power converter mode based on settings
7.2.5 Example setting volt-var mode VV14: passive mode with no var support
7.3 Modes for frequency-related behaviours
7.3.1 Frequency management modes
7.3.2 Frequency-watt mode FW21: high frequency reduces active power
7.3.3 Frequency-watt mode FW22: constraining generating/charging by frequency

Tissue Database for IEC 61850-5 Edition 2 Open

The Edition 2 of IEC 61850-5 (Communication requirements for functions and device models) has been published the other day:

This second edition replaces the first edition published in 2003. It constitutes a technical revision. The major technical changes with regard to the previous edition are as follows:

  • extension from substation automation systems to utility automation systems;
  • including the interfaces for communication between substations (interfaces 2 and 11);
  • requirements from communication beyond the boundary of the substation.

Preview of part 5 Edition 2.

The tissue database for the new document could be used immediately:

Part 5 (2013-01; Edition 2)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Familiar with IEC 61850, ICCP, and DNP3: Southern California Edison (SCE) is looking for you

Southern California Edison (SCE) is hiring an expert for SCADA maintenance of their Centralized Remedial Action Scheme (CRAS).

Job requirements lists among others: Demonstrated experience of

  • IEC 61850,
  • ICCP (IEC 60870-6; Inter-Control Center Communications protocols), and
  • DNP (Distributed Network Protocol).

Candidate must be familiar with Common Information Model IEC 61970 standard and harmonization effort between IEC 61850 and IEC 61970.

Click here to get the complete job description.

List of all job description in the USA that require one way or the other IEC 61850 [78 as per 2013-02-23].

Thursday, February 21, 2013

TÜV SÜD Conducts 2 Day Smart Grid Forum in Munich

TÜV SÜD has become a very active supporter of safe and secure power grids. The future transmission and distribution grids need more than just standardized information and information exchange services. The open information exchange has to complemented by safe and secure solutions – and corresponding tests.

To embed power contributors safe in to the power grid, an intelligent control is necessary, a common language for all the co-players in the space of the grid. At the same time, IT-security items get more and more relevant because of the safety impact of potential cyber attacks on critical infrastructures. In this context, new challenges in standardization and the development of proper technological solutions has to be addressed.

At the TÜV SÜd smart.grids.forum network operators, TÜV SÜD experts and manufacturers of automation components share their practice experience and provide convincing concepts to make grids smart, powerful and safe. Benefit from the opportunity to exchange experience and make (maintain) contacts.

Location: Munich (Germany)
Date: 21-22 March 2013

The conference will be held bilingual (German and English).

Further information, program and registration information can be found here [en]

Weitere Informationen, Programm und Anmeldeformular finden Sie hier [de]

Meet several well known experts in Munich. I look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Download IEC 61850 Blog Content as single PDF Document (February 20, 2013)

For those readers of the blog that want to get the complete content as
a single pdf document, it is just a click away … it contains all 772 posts
from 2008 until 2013-02-20. Once you have downloaded the file you
can easily browse the content … search … mark … copy …

Download all posts of the IEC 61850 blog in a single pdf [18,5 MB,
570+ pages DIN A4]

You may also subscribe to the blog to automatically receive updates … as many people do:



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

GOOSE – APPID, appID, and GoID

To figure out the relation between the GOOSE – APPID, appID, and GoID takes some time … it’s a fortune for you that I spent that time for you. Sure, some reader will know it already. For those who don’t, here is the relation:


Hope this helps to understand the relation! … without digging in three documents and checking the tissue database.

IEC 61850 Tissue Number 1000 Posted Today

The technical issues database is used since 2004 by the global IEC 61850 community as a single entry point for reporting, discussing, solving, and documenting problems found in the various parts of IEC 61850.

Today (2013-02-19) the tissue number 1000 has been posted:


The database is used by the industry to help improving the quality of the standards.

Congratulation to the proposer!

In case you find a problem (bug, …) please check first the tissue database to figure out if this problem has already been posted and solved – before you post an new one for the same topic.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What do you think about an IEC 61850 Open Source Implementation?

I have been asked off and on, if there is an Open Source Implementation for IEC 61850 or one with a reasonable price. Yes these are available these days. There is a simple subset of IEC 61850 implemented in Java licensed under the LGPL implemented by Fraunhofer Institute ISE (Freiburg, Germany). This solution is a result of the e-Energy eTelligence research project funded by Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (2009-2012).

There is at least one other affordable solution available that provides a full subset of IEC 61850 even applicable at small embedded controllers – from SystemCorp.

The Open Source IEC 61850 Server supports:

  • MMS Associations
  • (MMS) GetDirectory and (MMS) GetDataDefinition services
  • (MMS) GetDataValues and (MMS) SetDataValues
  • (MMS) DATA-SET model services
  • Interpretation of ICD-File to build model

IEC 61850 Client supports in addition to Servers:

  • Receiving (MMS) Reports

Visit the home page of the openIEC61850 Implementation.

We have tested the open source solution to some extend to see what it provides. The solution is mainly a MMS (ISO 9506) implementation. IEC 61850 contributes to the solution with its information models (logical devices, logical nodes, data objects, data attributes, …). The hierarchical information maps perfectly to MMS NamedVariables (NV)!! The corresponding MMS Services allow to manage retrieving the MMS object model (NVs), writing to the NVs and reading from NVs. Since MMS fits well to the information model of IEC 61850, it is natural that the MMS NV and NV services provide the needed services for IEC 61850 information model management.

IEC 61850-7-2 (ACSI) provides more elaborated services (not supported by the open source solution), e.g., Reporting, Logging, GOOSE, Sampled Value exchange, Control Model, and File transfer. The most comprehensive (complex) model is the buffered Report Control model. This model allows the optimized usage of bandwidth by providing a spontaneous (event) driven mechanism. A specific status information will be transmitted only when its value changes or when – for an analogue value – a configured limit is violated. This reduces the traffic tremendously and meeting a critical timeliness need.

Polling a huge number of devices in a huge distributed system does not scale at all. There is a crucial difference in applying polling or event driven reporting.

Sure, for accessing some values in a remote device once an hour or once a day or so, could be realized with polling.


If your need is focusing on fast (medium and hard real-time) information exchange, then you need high efficient reporting, GOOSE and Sampled Value exchange.

The OpenIEC61850 implementation uses the external access path (the complete path from LD/LN.DO,DA. …) also for the internal access of the real information in the application. The application uses the path at the boundary between communication and application. The application has to analyze the text strings (up to 2 x 64 characters) for each element to be written or read. An API that maps between the external name path and a kind of an internal pointer (maybe just a linear index) is therefore more efficient. One of the crucial objectives of IEC 61850 is to use a standardized model independent of the internal organization of the real data values.

It would be interesting to see a first device that implements the OpenIEC61850 solution to get an IEC 61850 Conformance Certificate. The current solution does not yet support the Control Model, which is required as a mandatory service. MMS does not have a model that is equivalent to the IEC 61850 Control Model. That’s why the IEC 61850 solution has to implement all the needed features of the Control Model according to IEC 61850-7-2 and IEC 61850-8-1. Having MMS does not mean that it is easy to implement the Control Model – I have seen many experts struggling with the Control Model.

The main reason why there was a decision made to implement an openIEC61850 using Java was (from my experience and understanding) simply because there was not a single software solution available that was affordable for R&D projects. Usually the solutions came in source code … meaning to spent a lot of efforts (money and time) to get what people (researchers, students, Phd students, …) were looking for.

This has changed a lot during the recent years. These days you could build on ready-to-go solutions that allow implementing affordable devices interoperable with other devices.

There is a FREE IEC 61850 evaluation software (Client and Server) available that could be used for building compliant clients and server: A DLL plus application software (executable and source code for the application).


The DLL runs for six months … but could be purchased as well.

Want to listen to an IEC 61850 User?

Nick R. Burnham (Network Rail, UK) has presented in a nice Webcast how they use IEC 61850 in the railway electrification within Network Rail:

“IEC 61850 is a standard that is now gaining pace within the Electrical Supply Industry and one that is under scrutiny by Network Rail. One of the key advantages offered by IEC 61850 is interoperability based on the fact a standard communications interface is implemented between substation devices. This allows the manufacturer to diversify specific functionality whilst allowing communication with other devices.”

Check the Webcast “Network Rail and IEC 61850, a user’s perspective of the standard” [15 minutes video]

His summary is as follows:


I fully agree with his experience: Users need more education and experience in order to reach a balance between vendors and users. Today usually the benefit is on the vendors side.

I appreciate the work Nick and other experts around him have accomplished!

Friday, February 15, 2013

BDEW veröffentlicht Smart-Grid Umsetzungs-Roadmap

Der BDEW (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft) hat am 11. Februar 2013 einen Plan veröffentlicht, in dem beschrieben wird, wie und in welchen Schritten sich Smart Grids realisieren lassen:

Realistische Schritte zur Umsetzung von Smart Grids in Deutschland

Die Roadmap kann hier herunter geladen werden [pdf, 3,6 MB].

Der Plan geht davon aus, dass die Umsetzung eher Jahrzehnte dauert als Jahre! Smart Grids werden über einen lang dauernden Marathon erreicht – Sprinter sind fehl am Platz!

In Bezug auf die nächsten zehn Jahre führt die Roadmap in der Executive Summary aus:

“… Das kommende Jahrzehnt wird hierbei in drei Phasen unterteilt:

  • Die Aufbau- und Pionierphase (2012 bis 2014),
  • die Etablierungs- und Ausgestaltungsphase (2014 bis 2018) sowie
  • die Realisierungs- und Marktphase (2018 bis 2022).

Inhaltlich werden zehn Schritte unterschieden: Wichtige Grundlagen für Smart Grids werden durch stringente Regelungen zur Abgrenzung sowie Interaktion von Markt und Netz, die Entwicklung eines konsistenten rechtlichen und regulatorischen Rahmens, Forschung und Entwicklung sowie die Erstellung von Standards und Normen geschaffen. Diese Grundlagen müssen so schnell wie möglich entwickelt werden. Darauf aufbauend soll zum Einen die Weiterentwicklung der Infrastruktur erfolgen (Sensorik, intelligente Messsysteme, Netzautomatisierung, Energieinformationsnetz).”

Ganz wesentliche Grundlagen bezüglich Informations-Bereitstellung, –Modellierung und –Austausch sind mit den Normenreihen bereits definiert und im globalen Einsatz:

  • IEC 60870-5-104 (traditionelle Fernwirktechnik),
  • IEC 61850 (Informationsmanagement für alle Prozesse in der Energieversorgung),
  • IEC 61400-25 (IEC 61850 für Windenergieanlagen),
  • IEC 62351 (Informationssicherheit),
  • IEC 6168/70 (CIM),

Ein wesentlicher Aspekt bei allen Betrachtungen ist natürlich – kaum überraschend! – die Finanzierung und Rentabilität der Umsetzungen! Bei aller Nüchternheit, die in der Roadmap vorherrscht, wurde ein ganz wesentlicher Aspekt ausgeblendet: Die Notwendigkeit, hinreichend viele Ingenieure und Techniker so auszubilden, dass sie mit den vielen neuen elektrotechnischen (!!) und informationstechnischen (!) Lösungen nachhaltige Versorgungssysteme entwickeln, bauen und nutzen können!

Alleine der Aspekt IEC 61850 ist so umfassend, dass er kaum eben mal nebenbei erlernt und verstanden werden kann. Immer häufiger verstehen die Verantwortlichen in vielen Energieversorgungsunternehmen, dass für die “Kleinigkeit” wie IEC 61850 eine Schulung nachhaltige Vorteile bringt. Nur so können Anbieter und Anwender auf Augenhöhe miteinander verhandeln und zusammenarbeiten. Das habe ich diese Woche wieder während eines Trainings zu IEC 61850 bei einem großen Kraftwerksbetreiber erlebt. Ohne Ausbildung sind die Mitarbeiter (junge, ältere oder auch alte Ingenieure) dem Wohl und Wehe der Anwender ausgeliefert!

Es wäre sehr zielführend, wenn der BDEW die Ausbildung in Richtung IEC 61850 (und anderer Normen) forcieren würde! Vor wenigen Jahren war das Thema IEC 61850 weitgehend tabu!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

IEC 61850 in the Joint EURELECTRIC-EDSO Smart Grid Position Paper

The “Union of the Electricity Industry” (EURELECTRIC) and “European Distribution System Operator for Smart Grids” (EDSO) have assigned a very high priority to the application of IEC TC 57 standards, e.g., IEC 61850, CIM, IEC 60870-5/-6, IEC 62351, … in the paper “DSO PRIORITIES FOR SMART GRID STANDARDISATION”.

End of January 2013 they have published a comprehensive position paper on the standardization for smart grids:


A key clause puts IEC 61850 on a high priority (excerpt of one example):

3.3. Extended field data modelling standards (IEC 61850) to support demand response, DER and VPP

”While the IEC 61850 standard was originally addressing applications and communications within the substation, recent work is being undertaken for extending its applicability to distribution automation applications integrating field devices located outside the substation fence. With its object oriented structure, IEC 61850 can provide comprehensive and accurate information models for various components of distribution automation systems, as well as an efficient solution for this naturally multi-vendor environment.
Some typical applications include: Volt/Var Control (VVC), Fault Localisation, Isolation and Restoration (FLIR), Outage Management System (OMS), Distribution State Estimator, Distributed Generation and Demand response Management, Load Forecast and Modelling (LFM), and other.
IEC 61850 is the only international standard for substation automation which is open for future application. Currently IEC 61850 is extended for use outside substations. The use cases of the different distribution automation concepts need to be considered in the information data models. Therefore the IEC 61850 data models shall cover all distribution automation objects. IEC 61850 allows an open and flexible design and operation of communication networks. IEC 61850 not only provides a protocol for communication but is a whole new concept for naming and configuring substations and power grids.
The normative definition of logical nodes for DER is necessary for new smart grid appliances because process devices have to be described in such logical nodes for information exchange. Therefore it is important that current valid logical nodes in process protocols are not subject to change in the further standardisation process and to enable new devices to seamlessly comply with existing protocols without proprietary vendor solutions.”

Another key issue is the support of System interoperability operability testing!!

“A system interoperability testing method including conformance testing, "profiles" and "test use cases", should be provided by the end of 2013”

More to come – keep tuned to this blog.

Monday, February 11, 2013

TÜV SÜD organizes IEC 61400-25 (IEC 61850) Interoperability Workshop on 18.-19. March 2013

The USE61400-25 user group focuses on minimizing the interoperability risks of communication between devices or/and systems claiming conformance to the IEC 61400-25 standard. In order to fulfill this goal, interoperability workshops are held periodically. The next workshop will be held on 18.-19. March 2013.

This interoperability workshop is free of charge for all current USE61400-25 members. Nonmembers are cordially invited to join the workshop as well. To subscribe for the interoperability workshop please return the signed registration form to the testing team [Word doc].

The interoperability workshop will be held at
TÜV Süd, Ridlerstr. 65, Raum E005
80339 München, Germany

18th and 19th of March 2013.
18th March: 13:00 – 18:00
19th March: 9:00 – 12:00

Download invitation for the IEC 61400-25 Workshop [pdf]

Please note that the standard IEC 61400-25 is based on IEC 61850 in general and on IEC 61850-8-1 (MMS Mapping) in particular. The MMS Mapping is – to my knowledge – the solution that is used in most applications. The interoperability test is thus also a kind of an IEC 61850 interoperability test. as can be seen from the registration form:


One of the supporting turbine manufacturers that offers IEC 61400-25 connectivity is REpower. In a paper Repower published recently they referred to IEC 61850 as the basis for IEC 61400-25. See also blog post on the paper.

IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850 for Vattenfall’s VHP-Ready (Virtual Heat and Power Ready) Version 3.0

Vattenfall Europe Wärme AG has published Version 3.0 (October 2012) of their technical specification for virtual power plants: VHP-READY – Virtual Heat & Power Ready. This version comprises a complete profile of models for use of both standards. A detailed list of Signals respective Logical Nodes and Data Objects has been specified.

The new version specifies the use of IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850:

  • IEC 60870-5-104 or IEC 61850 / 61850-7-420 (two options)
  • TCP/IP

Download the complete specification version 3.0 [German only, pdf, 670 KB].

This specification is exactly what the market needs to do: Specify in some level of details what is required for a typical application!

Congratulation to Vattenfall to lead the market (to a great extent) in preparing and presenting a publicly available specification of a profile for virtual power plants based on two international Standards: IEC 60870-5-104 and IEC 61850 (IEC 61850-7-420).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

IEC 62351 added to SGIP Catalog of Standards

Thirteen new standards have been added to the SGIP’s Catalog of Standards (CoS) , bringing the total number of standards currently in the CoS to 56.  The newly added standards include also IEC 62351:

IEC 62351 Parts 1 – 7
The scope of the IEC 62351 series is information security for power system control operations. The primary objective is to undertake the development of standards for security of the communication protocols defined by IEC TC 57, specifically the IEC 60870-5 series, the IEC 60870-6 series, the IEC 61850 series, the IEC 61970 series, and the IEC 61968 series.  Another objective is to undertake the development of standards and/or technical reports on end-to-end security issues.

  • IEC 62351-1:  Communication network and system security – Introduction to security issues
  • IEC 62351-2:  Glossary of terms
  • IEC 62351-3:  Communication network and system security – Profiles including TCP/IP
  • IEC 62351-4:  Profiles including MMS
  • IEC 62351-5:  Security for IEC 60870-5 and derivatives
  • IEC 62351-6:  Security for IEC 61850
  • IEC 62351-7:  Network and system management (NSM) data object models

Note also this paper on TLS security issues (published the other day).

The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol aims to provide confidentiality and integrity of data in transit across untrusted networks. TLS has become the de facto secure protocol of choice for Internet and mobile applications. DTLS is a variant of TLS that is growing in importance.

That is why security experts should read the paper.

Monday, February 4, 2013

IEC 61850-Why all the Hype?

A report written by two ABB experts asks “IEC 61850-Why all the Hype?”.

“This question was on the mind of the operations manager of a municipal utility when he visited the ABB Smart Grid Center of Excellence (CoE) in Raleigh, N.C. He was considering developing a smart grid substation standard design using IEC 61850. ... He wanted to determine whether the IEC 61850 standard is all hype or could meet their requirements.”

The report concludes: “Our visitor was satisfied with the performance and ease of access to real-time data enabled by the IEC 61850 architecture. He said that the engineering definition and structure defined in the standard
will simplify engineering and integration for the technical team. He was convinced that building a system on the foundation of the IEC 61850 standard would more than satisfy the goals of increased operational efficiencies, maximized system interoperability and support for implementation of advanced applications, which will ensure long-term system viability.”

Download the report “IEC 61850-Why all the Hype?” [pdf, 168 KB]

Aging Infrastructure drives Use of IEC 61850

The aging infrastructure in the electric power delivery system drives the application of IEC 61850 conformant products. One example is the the application of optical sensors in Mexico: “ … the last decade, over two hundred failures of conventional instrument transformers occurred in the Mexican Transmission Electric System. … Since 2004, four projects were developed about optical current transformers (OCT´s) to identify its advantages and shortcoming … demonstrating that it is now a reality a protection scheme using optical instrument transformers and Digital relays interconnected using a network according to IEC 61850-9-2.”

The project was also presented at the DistribuTECH 2013 last week in San Diego:

Lessons learned from first multivendor 400 kV transmission line protection scheme using optical CTs and IEC 61850-9-2 process bus protection relays

by James Ariza - Megger
Carlos Melendez - CFE
Nicolas Juarez – CFE
Rodolfo Colon – IIE

The presentation concludes:
The first multivendor 400 kV transmission line protection scheme using an
IEC 61850-9-2 digital network for optical CT´s and digital protection has
been successfully installed and is in operation since May 2011.
Correct operation and interoperability have been demonstrated during the
commissioning tests as well as real fault on the line.

A paper on the same project was presented at Cigre 2012 it could be downloaded [pdf, 586 KB]

Friday, February 1, 2013

Second and third day of DistribuTECH in San Diego

The second day was similar compared to the first day. I have talked about IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 to many domain experts that showed serious interest in my training services. Most had been quite surprised that there is a global interest in IEC 61850.

When I showed them the list of the 175+ training sessions I conducted over the last 10 years, they were really amazed.

The documents I have handed-out at the exhibition are now available for download:

General Information about IEC 61850, Smart Grid, products, … [pdf, 4.1 MB]

Training information, program example, list of references [pdf, 3.0 MB]

Standards information, List of Logical Nodes, UML examples [pdf, 850 KB]

Brief description of Lite Gateway IEC 61850 / IEC 60870-5-104 [pdf, 480 KB] 

At the end of the day several interested people came by that wanted to learn more about IEC 61850 – they will be served today (Thursday, January 31, the last day of the DistribuTECH 2013.

The third day was quite busy. Several domain experts in the power distribution world contacted me to get the latest information regarding to IEC 61850.

Summary: This event was the most busiest and successful DistribuTECH I have visited since 2009! The situation regarding IEC 61850 is changing quite fast: vendors of various products for substations and distribution systems need to offer IEC 61850 connectivity even for IEDs that have been on the market for some time. One of the easiest and most convenient solutions seems to be the Beck IPC Chip that could be implemented on a small PCB and mounted in the existing housing – it’s that easy:


More details on the chip, its architecture and IEC 61850 support could be found in the fist document (General …) listed above.