#smartgrids

Simulate DNP3 networks in real-time

Speedgoat, a company specializing in systems for real-time testing has introduced recently support for the DNP3 protocol to its offer. The use of the DNP3 library from JPEmbedded and the tools offered by that Swiss company allowed for the creation of an universal offline platform to verify the operation of a single IED and the whole systems in various configurations of the DNP3 networks.

Introduction

 Every day, more and more intelligent electronic devices are being installed in power grids. For proper integration of dispersed infrastructure devices in the network, each charging station, point of energy generation, storage system, or monitoring element must communicate with other devices and SCADA supervision systems. 

Validation and testing of a new solution in a real energy distribution network carry a risk. Looking for an alternative, device manufacturers and utilities often use real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) environments. HIL-based solutions provide valuable, effective, and, above all, safe methods of testing and verification environment. Moreover, HIL environments are realistic, repeatable, and fully configurable by the user.

DNP3 real-time testing solution by Speedgoat

With Speedgoat hardware, you perform simulation models designed in Simulink. You simulate the behavior of separate electric devices, subsystems, or plants in order to test the function of a specific piece of software or major control systems. The typical setups to test the outstation and master side of the communication are presented in the picture below.

Simulink blocks for DNP3 Master and Outstation (examples below) enable connection to devices on different levels of the grid, from the field level to the supervisory level. This allows testing of various applications such as power distribution, substation automation, or circuit breaking in the lab or on the desk.

In addition to DNP3, Speedgoat real-time target machines also support protocols like Modbus TCP and enable fast data exchange on the sensor level with Simulink-programmable FPGA modules.

The DNP3 software library

The communication protocol support is based on the DNP3 library provided by JPEmbedded. The library, implemented in C++ language, was delivered in the form of source code which is independent of the hardware platform and operating system. Like other libraries by JPEmbedded it interfaces the underlying platform via the abstraction layer, aka HAL. 

The project required integration of both the DNP3 Outstation (server) and DNP3 Master (client) side of the communication protocol. In order to realistically model the real-world scenario, in addition to reading static values of binary, counting, and analog points defined by the DNP3 standard, triggering of events, unsolicited messages, and control operations are used by the test environment. The above-listed features of the DNP3 library along with the assistance provided by JPEmbedded made it the right choice for the new Speedgoat product.

“The capabilities of the DNP3 library and the thorough support by the JPEmbedded team enabled us to extend our portfolio of industrial communication interfaces by DNP3. This allows our customers from the power systems industry to benefit from simulation and real-time testing with Speedgoat hardware“ said Alexander Beck, Embedded Software Engineer, Industrial Communication, at Speedgoat GmbH

 

Need more information?

If you are interested in using the DNP3 library in your product, please contact us by writing to sales@jpembedded.eu.

If you would like to learn more about the DNP3 simulation offered by Speedgoat, please visit Speedgoat’s DNP3 protocol for Simulink page.

 

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JPEmbedded Joins STMicroelectronics Partner Program to Accelerate Customer Time-to-Market in the Smart Grids communication.

Krakow, 2021/09/30 – JPEmbedded, smart grid communication solutions provider, announces that it has joined the STMicroelectronics Partner Program to make its software libraries available to all ST customers.

JPEmbedded provides products and services to seamlessly design and implement Intelligent Electronic Devices.

The software libraries IEC 61850 library, DNP3 library, ICCP/TASE.2 library, and IEC 60870-5-10X libraries offered by JPEmbedded feature low memory footprint and high configurability in terms of functionality and resources used. They are easy to integrate, and independent of operating system. That places them as a natural first choice for the OEM’s looking for the communication libraries for the embedded STM32 platforms.

In addition to libraries implementing above-mentioned industry standards, JPEmbedded offers a suite of user applications which allow OEMs to generate SCL files or configure the IEDs running the protocols.

“We’ve been working on ST products for many years, and we are very satisfied joining the ST Partner Program now” said Maciej Gasienica Sales Director at JPEmbedded. “The energy transition drives change for power systems, electricity grids, and markets to enable a lower-carbon future. To meet tomorrow’s energy needs grid has to be smart, interconnected, and based on a mix of different technologies for generation, transmission, and distribution. Digitalization of the grid and reliable, secure communication between all devices is the key. Offering a wide range of software stacks, protocol converters as well as extensive experience in the cybersecurity area we are fulfilling market needs and driving our society to a greener future”.

“The ST Partner Program is a high-value offering that has exceeded the expectations of our Customers and Partners helping customers’ design teams access strong supplemental skills, tools, and resources that meet design time-to-market challenges across the full ecosystem of products and services while easily integrating ST devices in their projects,” said Alessandro Maloberti, Partner Ecosystem Director, STMicroelectronics. “By selecting, qualifying, and certifying ST Authorized Partners, customers know that the partners they engage have the expertise to accelerate their design and development activities and ensure they ship the most robust and efficient products and services to market.”

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications created the ST Partner Program to speed customer development efforts by identifying and highlighting to them companies with complementary products and services. Moreover, the program’s certification process assures that all partners are periodically vetted for quality and competence. For more information, please visit JPEmbdded’s profile at ST.com

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How to convert DNP3 to IEC61850

Introduction

DNP3 and IEC61850 are two competing standards which allow to communicate intelligent electronic devices within substations. At least that was the idea when they started to be specified more than 20 years ago. IEC61850 is more complicated both in terms of functionality it covers as well as for implementation. This could be one of the reasons why DNP3 the beginning gained more popularity especially in the US. However, in the recent years IEC61850 started to catch up and it is getting more and more popular. With a large base of legacy devices already installed and working in the field, the deployment of IEC61850 and related protocols like GOOSE or sampled values may require integration of the two communication standards. There are different ways to approach this task:

  1. update of the existing IED software to support new protocol which is required by the utility or substation
  2. integration of the PCB implementing new protocol within IED hardware
  3. using external, stand alone gateway translating between the protocol which is already implemented by the IED and the one which is required in given project.

Last option (3) is the least invasive one, from the point of view of the manufacturer of the device (IED) which must be integrated with the new standard. Using the gateways offered by JPEmbedded, any device implementing DNP3 protocols could be easily hooked up into the IEC61850 network. It basically boils down to mapping of information provided by the DNP3 device into the data model of IEC61850 server. In DNP3 standard data (states, binary and analog values) are grouped into the arrays of points of specific types:

  • binary input/outputs
  • analog input/outputs
  • commands

Each value could be addressed by group number (e.g. 10 for binary outputs) and 0 based index of the point within the specific group. There is also additional parameter called variation, which specifies the data format (e.g. unsigned 16 bit integer, signed 32 bit integer,  32 bit float, 64 bit double precision float) in which the value shall be provided by DNP3 master.

Data model of IEC61850 IED server is a hierarchical structure consisting of logical devices, logical nodes, data objects and attributes. Attributes could be of complex types (structures consisting of other attributes) or basic types like, boolean, integer, enumerated or float values.

Conversion

So translating between DNP3 and IEC 61850 is about projecting the point, addressed as

grp. num/pt. index

to IEC61850 basic attribute which is specified by its reference in the form:

IED1_LD0/XCBR1.Pos.stVal

The table below contains examples of DNP3 to IEC61850 mappings

Each time value of some DNP3 point is changed, the corresponding IEC61850 attribute shall be updated. Information about the change of DNP3 point value could be obtained as a result of continuous polling the values of points which are mapped to the attributes. Other option would be take advantage of DNP3 unsolicited messages, which are generated by the outstation each time the value of the attribute belonging to the specific group (for which unsolicited messages are enabled) has changed.

On the IEC61850 side update of the attribute value might result in generation of MMS report, GOOSE message or sampled value message.

In the other direction IEC61850 control commands could be mapped to mapped to the DNP3 points from group 12 (binary control) or 41 (analog control).

Implementation

Translating between the two protocols could be quickly and easily done using the Drosera application provided by JPEmbedded. With Drosera app, in 3 simple steps user can  configure gateway to do DNP3 / IEC61850 translation:

  1. Define parameters of DNP3 and IEC61850 side of the gateway
  2. Create mapping of DNP3 data points to IEC61850 attributes
  3. Upload the XML file with defined mapping to APIS device

Once APIS gateway is programmed with correct configuration it will automatically update IEC61850 data model attributes with the values obtained from DNP3 side. Generation of GOOSE and MMS reports is also possible if they are defined by CID file and enabled by the IEC61850 client application connected to the APIS.

If you would like to learn more about our solution or evaluate it, please let us know: sales@jpembedded.eu

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Drosera version 2.1 is now available!

We have it! The new, refreshed version of Drosera application for easier and faster configuration of JPEmbedded protocol converters.

Version 2.1. is expanding the scope of functionality by adding support for communication between all available protocols supported by our devices. We have also improved the management of signal mappings such as adding or editing more than one signal mappings at a time with using simple regular expressions.

Using the application has become even simpler and more intuitive thanks to the refreshed interface and a new manual that guides the user step by step through the principles of operation of the available functionalities. In order to prevent possible errors and facilitate their recognition, we have improved the validation of the input data and detailed the error messages to make them understandable for the recipient.

Invariably, the application is free for all our clients. If you are interested to try it please send us a message via sales@jpembedded.eu.

Are you curious? See the movie shortcut of the newest Drosera version in action!

What’s new:

Drosera demo:

 

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Drosera – convenient mapping of communication devices

For the sake of completeness, we have developed the Drosera application, which allows simple and fast configuration of our 61850 protocol converters. This tool is addressed especially to integrators and device manufacturers and does not require any programming knowledge. The intuitive user interface provides access to configuration and mappings along with performing the operations necessary to establish reliable communication between JPEmbedded’s IEC 61850 gateway and other IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices).

Drosera allows users to add, edit and browse mappings between IEC 61850 data attributes and data points of supported protocols. The application currently supports the following standards: MQTT, IEC 60870-5-103, ModbusTCP, and ModbusRTU. User can upload the generated CID file directly to JPEmbedded’s gateway or export the mappings to CSV file.

Interesting? Watch the demo movie and see Drosera in action!

 

Drosera is made available free of charge to all customers. If you are interested to try it please send us a message via sales@jpembedded.eu.

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Routable GOOSE support

As a continuous process of extending the functionality of 61850 products family, JPEmbedded implemented support for routable GOOSE (R-GOOSE) feature. The advantage of R-GOOSE is that it allows to deliver data beyond local (LAN) networks. It facilitates implementation of centralized systems overlooking operation of the infrastructure on wide geographical areas.

RGOOSE

As a transport protocol R-GOOSE is using multicast UDP/IP. Since GOOSE messages might be sent over public IP networks, there is a need to provide adequate cyber security means for both authentication of data source and encryption of data content.

R-GOOSE implementation by JPEmbedded supports GDOI protocol (described by RFC 6407) used for key negotiation between IDE and Key Distribution Center (KDC) and most popular encryption algorithms like AES-CBC or 3DES-CBC.

From developer perspective there is no difference between enabling GOOSE or R-GOOSE in given IED application, so migration of existing applications using GOOSE to R-GOOSE is smooth and easy. In most cases enabling R-GOOSE for IED will mean generation of certificates required for key negotiation and update of  CID file which defines a multicast group to which R-GOOSE messages shall be delivered.

R-Goose communication between Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) in distribution automation systems (DAS) is defined in IEC 61850-8-1 and cybersecurity issues related to multicast groups are specified by IEC 62351-9.

If you would like to know more about our R-GOOSE implementation please contact us at sales@jpembedded.eu.

 

 

 

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Electricity Exchange selects ICCP/TASE.2 library by JPEmbedded to secure data exchange with EirGrid.

Electricity Exchange is an Irish Utility which has taken a high-tech approach to harness the capacity of unused back-up generators found in hospitals and factories around the country. Its so-called Virtual Power Plant provides reserve power to the national grid. The company has secured back-up generators and designed the state-of-the-art smart grid automation solution. Thus, in the event of a sudden power scarcity that cannot be handled by regular power stations, Electricity Exchange is able to provide the capacity to the national grid to supply up to 150 000 houses.

Electricity Exchange selected secure-ICCP/TASE.2 library by JPEmbedded as a basis of the company’s communications with Ireland’s Transmission System Operator, EirGrid. Inter-Control Center Communications Protocol (ICCP) also known as TASE.2 is one of the standards that defines communication between control centers, utilities and power pools. The standard supports the exchange of real-time data using secured channel.

JPEmbedded’s libraries and some other solutions available on the market were extensively tested before taking a decision favorable to the Poland based supplier.

Reliable communication between our system and EirGrid is crucial for our business. The solution provided by JPEmbedded’s matches all our needs, including data transfer safety, portability, and last but not least, ease of integration with EirGrid’s systems. – says Dr. Paddy Finn, CEO of Electricity Exchange.

JPEmbedded’s Secure-ICCP/TASE.2 library provides a secure connection to the EirGrid, TSO for the provision of real-time power generation data, in addition, to control states and set points that manage the operation of Electricity Exchange’s power generation assets. – adds Dr. Finn.

Electricity Exchange is a smart grid operator and a leading provider of Demand Response Technologies and Services in Ireland. Electricity Exchange developed technology that enables commercial and industrial electricity consumers to generate revenue by supporting the national power grid. The Company operates a Virtual Power Station that pays businesses for making themselves available to support Ireland’s electricity grid when required. Electricity Exchange was founded by Dr Paddy Finn, a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 competition, with his business partner Duncan O’Toole. The company is backed by Bord Na Móna, an Irish semi-state company.

JPEmbedded is a tech company offering state of the art products for secure and reliable communication in smart grids. Software solutions include off-the-shelf communication software libraries IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5-10X, and ICCP/TASE.2. The company offers also hardware protocol converters that enable interoperability and allows customers, device manufacturers to connect their devices to the grid effortlessly.

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Integrating IoT with IEC 61850

Internet of Things continues to be one of the key technology trends in the recent years. According to Gartner’s estimations, IoT network will grow from 8,7 billion in 2017 to over 20 billion connected things by 2020. Utilities representing the energy market understand the advantages offered by Internet of Things, and look towards integrating it with its Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) deployed in substations and distribution networks. Well-thought integration of the IoT with existing smart-grids will extend benefits beyond distribution, automation and monitoring, making energy use more efficient and saving billions of Euros…

In this blog entry, I will showcase how to integrate IEC 61850 (an international standard for smart grids and substation automation) with an MQTT based IoT network. The idea and demo setup of the system have been presented by JPEmbedded at the IEC 61850 Global Conference in Berlin in October 2018.

JPEmbedded’s IoT to IEC 61850 demo setup consists of several NanoPi modules, acting as IoT devices installed on Distributed Energy Resources (e.g. on microturbines or, on photovoltaics). Each IoT device publishes some data which is sent to an MQTT broker running on a RaspberryPi device.

The MQTT broker is responsible for receiving all messages broadcasted by the IoT network, filtering them, determining who is subscribed to each message, and sending the message to these subscribed clients. Another responsibility of the broker is the authentication and authorization of clients. The broker can handle a large number of concurrently connected MQTT clients.

In our system, a JPEmbedded’s IEC 61850 gateway is configured as an MQTT client and subscribed to receive relevant data from the MQTT broker. The values received from the broker are mapped to the IEC 61850 data model. The control block configured on the gateway generates GOOSE frames each time any value is updated by the IoT network. According to our measurement, the delay between reception of an MQTT message and generation of a goose message by the gateway is lower than 0,8 milisecons.

Updates on the parameter in the data model are sent to the IEC 61850 client installed on a PC.

Communication between DER (including dispersed generation devices and dispersed storage devices) and IEC 61850 is already defined in IEC 61850-7-420:2009. It utilizes existing IEC logical nodes defined in part 4 of the standard where possible, but also defines DER-specific logical nodes where needed.

As far as the hardware is concerned, NanoPi and RaspberryPi are only two examples of the various platforms that can be used as a base for IoT devices. Similar systems can be made on any other, commercially available IoT device by integrating it with JPEmbedded’s IEC 61850 gateway. Finally, JPEmbedded’s gateway can be customized and convert not only MQTT, but also other data protocols  like CoAP, Websocket, Node or XMPP.

If you would like to know more about our demo system or the IEC 61850 gateway itself, please contact us at sales@jpembedded.eu.

 

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6 reasons to attend the IEC 61850 Europe Conference

The IEC 61850 Europe is the place to connect with more IEC 61850 experts and the implementation leaders than you’ll find at any other smart grid conference in the world. The event is organized by Phoenix Forums and takes place annually in varying cities all across Europe. The last being in Amsterdam was held in September 2017. We took part in the 3-day event presenting our communication libraries IEC 61850, ICCP TASE.2 and IEC 60870-5-104. A few weeks of work on the preparation of the demonstration set-up, marketing materials and the presentation slideshow. Two sleepless nights, and stress, whether our parcels and equipment would ever arrive in one piece. Happily, all our electronic stuff arrived in Amsterdam safe and sound.

How was the conference itself? It was just perfect! Three days of interesting presentations, case studies (e.g. ‘IEC 61850 engineering process in offshore wind farms’ by Saeed Nemati Yarafi). Hot discussions regarding security standards (e.g. ‘Cyber security for digital substation’ by Cedric Harispuru). Meeting loads of interesting people, establishing both personal and business contacts… Let them flourish over the coming months! If you are working with IEC 61850 standard, this conference is definitely a must for you.

However, if you still have any doubts, I’m listing below the 6 reasons to attend IEC 61850 Europe Conference.

1. Educational opportunities

No matter how experienced you are with IEC61850, there’s always something new you can learn. The educational aspect of a first day’s workshop is indisputable. Fundamentals of IEC 61850 workshop (in 2017 it was carried out by Mr. Christoph Brunner, Convenor of IEC TC57 WG10) providing a comprehensive and in-depth insight into the building blocks, key applications, and optimal operations of the standard within the substation environment.

2. Forge of inspirational ideas.

It doesn’t matter if you run a company or manage a single smart grid project only. Participating in such a conference will awaken the creativity within you so as new ideas will appear themselves. IEC 61850 experts continuously exploring on how to apply the standard on the new fields for example by using IEC 61850 in the controling of street lights. Don’t miss the opportunity to be one of the first to hear and implement new ideas and trends that can impact smart grid future!

3. Follow the changes in the IEC 61850 standard.

The current 2nd version of the standard was published in 2012. The IEC 61850 Europe Conference presents and discusses the planned changes to the standard (which are likely to be included in versions 2.1 and 3 of the standard). You can also talk about changes with the members of the Power systems management and information exchange group, the majority of which can be found during this event.

4. Networking – meet other IEC 61850 experts.

Conference provides a great opportunity to network. Breaking between the presentations and the network reception gives you the opportunity to make new contacts with like-minded colleagues from across the global IEC 61850 ecosystem (i.e. utilities, device manufacturers, certification bodies).

5. Meet vendors and suppliers.

Additionally to the conference, around 20 exhibitors present their products and services. Surrounded by the companies like DNL, TUV Sud, FMTP, Relyum, SAE IT-systems, JPEmbedded presented its IEC 61850 and ICCP/TASE.2 communication stacks for the energy market. For the solution suppliers (such as ourselves), one-to-one private demonstration is also a great opportunity to understand customer’s needs and discuss how to deliver a customized IEC 61850 software solution which fits to the specific use case.

6. Solving the real IEC 61850 implementation and maintenance problems.

People bring real-life situations that are covered during roundtable discussions. You can ask experts to brainstorm and solve your problem (even if the answer always start with “IT depends…” :)) or you can just help the others face their own challenges. There is no doubt that in both cases at the end of the Conference you will be more experienced than on the first day!

 

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