Release 0.7.7 with support for C# and Mac OS X

Release 0.7.7 contains a lot of small improvements and bug fixes (please have a look at the changelog for more details). Some improvements worth mentioning are the socket and ethernet layer implementations for Mac OS X (thanks to Michael Clausen / HES-SO Valais) and the C# client API that will be an inherent part of future releases of the library. Please be aware that the current implementation of the C# API should be considered as a preview version with some functions of the library still missing. The C# wrapper library and examples are working on current versions of the .NET framework as well as with Mono 3.x on Linux and Mac OS X.

Creating ICD files with IEDModeler

Many people are wondering how to get started with data modeling and configuration of IEC 61850 devices (IEDs). This is usually done by creating an ICD (IED Capability Description) file – a special variant of SCL (Substation Configuration Language). A straightforward way is to modify some existing examples. But this can become very difficult and error prone. SCL is not intended to be modified by hand, but to be generated and handled by tools. There is now a new SCL modeling and editing tool called IEDModeler by RedWind that you can use to get started. It is available free of charge for non-commercial purposes. Its aim is to simplify the creation and handling of SCL files for all kind of IEC 61850 applications. You can download it from
http://iedmodeler.com. There you can also find documentation to get started.

New version 0.7.2

Today I released version 0.7.2. The most important new features are the possibility to create data models at runtime by means of the server API, and to create data models at runtime by parsing a configuration file. The file format is very simple to avoid much overhead due to the file parser. As a consequence it is not any longer required to recompile and update the application program when changing the data model structure or adding some model elements. Integrated in this release is also a tool to create server configuration files by SCL files. The other major change is the integration of a more flexible mechanism for client authentication and access control. This version also includes new examples for the new features since version 0.7 (including file read and directory services).

VHP-Ready Industrieforum

Yesterday at the e-world 2014 (energy and water exhibition) in Essen, Germany the “VHP-Ready Industrieforum” has been founded by 14 partners (see press release by Fraunhofer FOKUS – in German only). VHP-Ready (VHP stands for Virtual Heat and Power) is a specification formerly developed by Vattenfall for the integration of CHPs (Combined heat and power plants), heatpumps and similar devices into virtual power plants. With the foundation of the “Industrieforum” it is intended to bring the development of the specification on a broader base. VHP-Ready allows the communication between decentralized energy resources (DER) by means of international standard communication protocols (one of IEC 61850-7-420 or IEC 60870-5-104). Optimax Energy (founding member of the “Industrieforum”) and MZ Automation together have a ready-to-go technical solution for VHP-Ready 3.0 compliant virtual power plants using the libIEC61850 protocol stack for communication between DER units and control centers.

Version 0.7 released

Today I am happy to announce version 0.7 of libIEC61850. The most important new features are support for buffered reporting and a very flexible mechanism to perform server-side access control to data attributes. Also the client API has been extended to provide easy access to report and GOOSE control blocks. Also included is client support for abort and release services. Next to these more visible changes also a lot of smaller changes and bug fixes have been included in this release. I also uploaded a datasheet that contains a list of the ACSI services supported by this version.

BeagleBone Demo

The latest version of libIEC61850 contains a demo project for the BeagleBone and the BeagleBone Black boards. The BeagleBone is a low cost embedded Linux board featuring a Cortex-A8 processor from Texas Instruments (see http://beagleboard.org/Products/BeagleBone+Black). The BeagleBone Black can be purchased from various vendors for approximately 45 EUR.

The demo consists of an IEC61850/MMS server providing access to the four LEDs of the Beaglebone. Also included is a simple client application that performs some actions with the LEDs. Access to the LEDs is modeled with GGIO logical nodes. It should be easy to extend the demo to control GPIOs and port it to other embedded linux boards like the Raspberry Pi or the Carambola 2 board.

At the moment the demo is primarily intended to illustrate the usage of IEC 61850 control models with libIEC61850. The first three LED are modeled as a single point control (SPC) whilst the last LED is modeled as a double point control (a flashing LED represent the intermediate state).

To run the demo on the BeagleBone you need a cross-compile GCC toolchain installed on your development system. E.g. on a current Ubuntu system (tested with Ubuntu 13.04) you can easily install such a tool chain by typing

apt-get install gcc-4.7-arm-linux-gnueabi

on the command line.

Then go to the demo/beaglebone_demo folder and enter

make TARGET=LINUX-ARM

Depending on the OS installed on the BeagleBone you may require a different tool chain. The instructions have been tested with the stock firmware installed on the BeagleBone Black.

If you have successfully compiled the demo you can copy the created binary to the BeagleBone and execute it. Then you can use a generic client to trigger the LEDs by performing operate requests on the data objects representing the LEDs. Or you can modify the provided demo client to trigger the LEDs.

Depending on the version/firmware of the BeagleBone you may have to adjust the file paths for LED control in the file demos/beaglebone/beaglebone_leds.h.

The demo will be extended with future versions of libIEC61850 to illustrate the usage of new features.

Version 0.6 released

After two months without a new version I released a new version today. This version provides a lot of enhancements especially for the client API. But also the server side API changed. Both APIs should be much more usable now. Also included are a lot of bug fixes for problems reported by users and a simple demo application to control the LEDs of a BeagleBone or BeagleBone black with IEC 61850 (a post with detailed instructions will follow soon).
The release plan has also been changed a bit. Originally I planned this release as version 0.5.4. But since a lot of new features have been introduced and also the API changed in an incompatible way (concerning server side callbacks) I decided to release this version as 0.6. The support for TLS has been postponed to a later release. The next major release will focus on support for buffered reporting.

Project roadmap

Version 0.5.3 contains only a few new features. Most of the changes are bug fixes or changes that are required to improve interoperability. But there are many things in the pipeline that will be included in the upcoming releases.

  • Full implementation of the high-level IEC 61850 client API (planned for release 0.5.4)
  • Integration of IEC 62351 (TLS, certificate based client authentication) is planned for release 0.6
  • Support for buffered reporting (planned for release 0.7)
  • Support for logging (planned for release 0.8)

I also hope to be able to provide a stable release (version 1.0 with a stable API and feature set) until end of 2013.

Released version 0.5.1 with support for Visual Studio 2010/2012

Since many people have asked how to build libiec61850 with Visual Studio this new release contains a new build system based on cmake that is able to generate solution and project files for Visual Studio, Code Blocks and other tools. With the help of cmake it is now possible to build all examples and the library as a DLL for Windows with Visual Studio 2010 and 2012. To cross-compile for Embedded Linux systems it is recommended to use the old make based build system. The new release also improved server support for the reporting service. Clients can now create new data sets and connect them to existing report control blocks. This enables a more flexible use of reporting (event based message transmission).

Release 0.5 with full support for IEC 61850 control models

This new release includes full server support for all IEC 61850 control models as well as time activated control. The new control handlers provide applications full access to all aspects of the selected control model. The IEC 61850 client API has also been extended to support control client side. There have also been some smaller changes in the client API and some bug fixes in the SCL file parser. The server now provides support for the MMS identify services. See also CHANGELOG and the API documentation.