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Technical Overview

Network Data Integration Framework (supporting IEC61850 and CIM)

Xelas Energy offers a comprehensive set of products, related to the handling of network management information.

  • Our IEC 61850 servers (embedded in network devices) enable equipment to communicate in the standardized IEC 61850 protocols.
  • Our IEC 61850 Client-systems perform the management functions, and build a comprehensive object representation in their database.

Together, they manage the full 61850-smart grid domain.

Within DSOs or TSOs, there are many potential applications for this network information,  such as Engineering, Networkcontrol, Maintenance and Asset management (for e.g. life cycle cost optimization and condition monitoring).

The Smart Grid Architecture model defines six business information “Zones”: process, field, station, operation, enterprise and market.

  • IEC 61850 information model provides the standard base on process, field and station level. This is often referred to as “OT”-operations technology
  • CIM (IEC 61970 and 61968)  information model provides the standard base on operations, enterprise and market level. These parts of the business use more common IT (information technology).

OT-IT integration is necessary to support seamless end-to-end processes,

Information systems on enterprise level were traditionally based on network overview tables. But this no longer is sufficient for smart, dynamically changing grids.  These information systems require sets of (life) network information. To support all these network related information needs, cross-departmental solutions are required.

Xelas offers two key building blocks to develop this “one link” between network and “business”. On top of the Xelas 61850  client application, which already translates 61850 network information into a “common IT”  SQL database, the Xelas mediation/integration framework provides key technology to further build this type of network data architecture.

Linking between the 61850 management domain and the CIM-based webservices oriented architectures (SOA) requires a set of security sensitive functions, such as data acquisition, control front-end, gateway, proxy, object mapping services and role-based access control. Integration of NETWORK MANAGEMENT information demands very high availability and flexibility.  It also needs special support for network data formats, models and protocols. Its information streams may be very bulky, irregular or extremely time critical.

The Xelas network data mediation/integration framework is network integration technology, dedicated for all these needs. The framework provides an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) between IEC-61850 and CIM,  the required bridge between the worlds of OT and IT.

The overall integrated IEC 61850 and CIM system archtecture is illustrated in the diagram below.

Southbound, the mediation framework interfaces with the IEC-61850 Xelas client system‘s open SQL database.  On top of the database, the client provides important functions such as data acquisition, control front-end and role-based access control.

To also include non-61850 compliant equipment, other protocol adapters such as 5/101,  5/104, OPC, but also SNMP or ASCII may be used.

The mediation framework directly interfaces with the Xelas client open database interface, and transforms the data into CIM.

Within the framework, a two-step mediation process provides translation and mapping.

The adapters for protocol translation are meta-data driven, enabling easy updating in run time.

Logical mediation and message flow is provided via script-based mediation modules. Using rules and scripts here allows for extremely scalable, easy-to-understand and open logic management and – development, all possible without any operational interruptions.

Northbound adapters include full support of HTTP, HTTPS and IEC-61968-100 services, allowing direct connectivity to SOA-based business frameworks.

The Xelas network data integration framework runs completely distributed, enabling optimal scalability, and provides many additional functions, such as central configuration management and comprehensive logging services (important for additional security management).

Smart mediation means:  a common BUS in the middle, and two-step translation

A framework architecture of intelligent modules, allowing maximum re-use of modules and logic

in a fully distributed system implementation, delivering high performance against low resource consumption, ensuring carrier-grade operational availability and flexibility of mediation

  • Meta-Data Information driven adapters, information accessed at run-time
  • new SCLs (of the IEDs and network devices) can be dynamically loaded
  • Interfaces can be  upgraded to new device software versions without re-coding
  • Off-the-shelf adapter and mediator libraries, reduced development cost
  • No need for hard-wired semantic mediation, but run-time interpreted Rules

or use advanced JAVA, J2EE web integration methods.

Technical Differentiators compared to other Vendors

Network data integration requires many special features:

  • adapters dedicated to network management protocols
  • meta data driven adapters that can automatically be updated when equipment configuration changes
  • persistence and response-time guarantees
  • flexibility in settings, so changes can be applied without any system down-time
  • configure, not program!
  • standard implementations for IEC 61850 and CIM
  • a fully distributed system, so functions can be implemented on field level, operations level and/or on enterprise level