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Telecontrol standard IEC 60870-6 TASE.2 globally adopted
by Karlheinz Schwarz (02/00)

Abstract

The Information exchange has taken on increasing importance for the restructured energy industry. A standard communications protocol that powers this information exchange, even between incompatible communication systems, enables improved system performance, often accompanied by dramatic cost savings. Developed collaboratively by a team including energy companies, vendors, and EPRI, the Telecontrol Application Service Element or TASE.2 (IEC standard 60870-6 TASE.2 – also known as the Inter-Control Center Communi-cations Protocol or ICCP in the United States) facilitates seamless exchange of time-critical data over local and wide area networks. TASE.2 is the most capable, widely adopted open communications protocol available to the electric power industry today. TASE.2 defines open functions and an object model for application data. TASE.2 supports the integration of instrumentation and control into the corporate wide information and data processing in any application domains, e.g., utilities, manufacturing, or process control.

1 TASE.2 is based on proven technology

The energy markets are characterized by the deregulation worldwide. Production, transport, distribution and sale of electric energy were carried out by a single enterprise till now. In future, these units will form independent companies and compete with each other. Thus, it is becoming possible that a company sells energy of power stations belonging to different companies.

Worldwide, the electric power industry uses more operating data than perhaps any other industry. Energy companies, transmission companies, grid operators and other industry parties obtain a constant flow of information - monitoring and control system data, scheduling data, energy accounting data, and system operator messages. Seamless communication of this information to appropriate locations smoothes the process of generating, transmitting, and distributing the world?s electricity.

To achieve this objective, in the past energy companies developed multiple communications protocols to facilitate exchange of these data from one location to another. Unfortunately, these protocols were often developed on an as-needed basis, leading to a proliferation of proprietary, incompatible protocols.

At the same time, the power industries in many countries began undergoing fundamental changes. For instance, the United States has witnessed an increase in cooperative enterprises such as power pools and regional centers. More than ever, U.S. industry participants needed the seamless exchange of data but found themselves hampered by the technical and economic limitations of incompatible communications protocols.

In Europe, the European Union Directive 96/92 EU on the Internal Market for Electricity calls for the opening of transmission systems throughout much of the subcontinent for marketplace use by February 1999. The Union for the Coordination of Production and Transmission of Electricity (UCPTE) is responsible for implementing this requirement.

Clearly, the need for a standard communications protocol transcends national boundaries. With most energy management system (EMS) vendors offering their products internationally, a globally-recognized standard protocol became necessary. TASE.2 was developed as an open interface by energy utility providers in cooperation with manufacturers of control systems.

The design goals of TASE.2 were:

    - higher safety of the plant,
    - lower costs of components,
    - reduced costs for installation and operating,
    - shorter times for planning, design and installation,
    - simplified selection of the devices and systems,
    - increasing interoperability,
    - lower training costs,
    - higher usage of the operating resources,
    - vendor independency,
    - more support by the supplier, and
    - use of generally available industrial solutions.

TASE.2 is part of the Utility Communications Architecture (UCA version 2). The IEEE SCC 36 (Utility Communications Architecture, UCA) has unanimously decided in April 1999 to publish the UCA Version 2 specification as IEEE Technical Report (IEEE TR 1550) in July 1999. The Utility Communications Architecture (UCA) is a standards-based approach to utility communications which provides for wide scale integration at reduced costs, and which solves many of the most pressing communications problems for today's utilities. The UCA is designed to apply across all of the functional areas within the electric, gas, and water utilities.

2. ...

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07.09.00


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