Keynote Session

Information Technologies for Smart Grids

With the progress of information technology it was possible to use communication technology like Ethernet networks as well in the industrial environment and for real time applications. Today, advanced communication technology is available for virtually no cost.

The enhancement of the electric network into smarter grids is on one side required due to new area of distributed energy generation driven by ecological considerations to build for the future on renewable energy. On the other side it is possible through distribution system automation and new functionality like smart metering, smart home automation and involvement of consumers into the energy market. These new functionalities however require extensive exchange of information. The electric network of the future requires the creation of a communication network in parallel.

Communication technology suitable for that purpose is therefore the key enabling technology for smarter grids. With the introduction of IEC 61850 to the substation automation, first experience was made in the power industry with commercial communication technology. The standard IEC 61850 was from the beginning designed to be used in other domains than substation automation. New object models supporting the communication requirements of the smart grid have been developed or are under development.

Time synchronization is an important requirement for many functions of the modern automated electrical network. IEEE 1588 plays an important role for these functions.

The key note will address the following topics:

  • concepts of IEC 61850 and experience with Ethernet for substation automation
  • the new area of process close communication
  • the role of IEEE 1588 for the process bus
  • new applications for wide area monitoring and protection and the role of IEEE 1588
  • the path to smarter grids


Keynote Speaker: Christoph Brunner

Christoph Brunner graduated as electrical engineer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1983. He is president of it4power, a consulting company to the electric industry. Before, he worked as a project manager at ABB Switzerland Ltd in the business area Power Technology Products in Zurich / Switzerland where he was responsible for the process close communication architecture of the substation automation system. He chairs the working group (WG) 10 of the IEC TC57 - the working group responsible for IEC 61850. He is member of WG 17, 18, and 19 of IEC TC57. As a senior member of IEEE-PES and IEEE-SA, he is active in several working groups of the IEEE-PSRC (Power Engineering Society - Relay Committee). He is international advisor to the board of the UCA international users group.