CIGRE B5 Industry Updates

CIGRE Study Committee B5

by Richard Adams, Ramboll, UK

News from CIGRE Study Committee B5 Protection and Automation

On 17th April, CIGRE Central Office announced that the 2020 Paris Session will be turned into a digital e-session and the planned in person August 2020 event is now scheduled for August 2021 as a special Centennial Session, with similar format as previous Sessions (e.g., plenaries, tutorials, poster sessions, technical exhibition).

The e-session 2020, in late August and early September will offer critical content from the 2020 Session digitally as part of the CIGRE Academy using CIGRE Academy webinar technology to deliver this timely event in digital format.

More details on the 2020 e-session and the 2021 Centennial Session is expected to be released in late April/early May and full program details will follow on and

For SC B5, the preferential subjects remain the same as follows:

  • PS 1 Human Aspects in Protection, Automation and Control Systems (PACS)
    • Special Reporter: Simon Hussey (IE)
  • PS 2 Communications Networks in Protection, Automation and Control Systems (PACS): Experience and Challenges
    • Special Reporter: John Wright (GB)

SC B5 will also host a tutorial during the e-session with the following two topics:

  • Distribution Protection
    • Will be presented by Gernot Druml of Sprecher Automation, Austria
  • Improved Metering Systems for Billing Purposes in Substations
    • Will be presented by Alex Roumpies of Landis&Gyr, Switzerland

The scope of the topics had been finalized and the presentations currently being prepared.

The second of three new working groups selected during the annual meeting in Tromsø, Norway, B5.72 (Modelling, Assessment, and Mitigation of Protection Performance Issues caused by power plants during Dynamic Grid Events), has had its Terms of Reference (ToR) approved and is now soliciting members before commencing work.

The third, B5.73 (Experiences and future trends related to functional integration) is currently seeking a convener before its ToR is submitted for approval.

The latest Technical brochure (790) entitled “Cybersecurity Requirements for PACS and the Resilience of PAC Architectures” has been published.

This Technical Brochure offers an insight into the emerging threat landscape with attention paid to common protection, automation and control systems (PACS). Overlaid on this portrait is the imposition of emerging laws and regulations.

From this assessment it was clear that a dramatic sea change will be required to modernize existing EPU policies, procedures, and organizational directives.

A well-defined model-based system engineering (MBSE) process was used to define selected views of PACS-centric systems of interest.

Using MBSE each impact is associated with recommended solutions to improve the security posture of PACS operations.

For example, the capabilities needed to implement an integrated security operation center clearly shows that special personnel skills and advanced analytical tools are badly needed to improve the maturity PACS security posture and to implement a proactive or anticipatory security strategy.

The brochure can be downloaded free of charge by CIGRE members from the e-Cigre web site and can be purchased by non-members. Two other Working Groups are expected to publish their work soon too.


Richard Adams is a Principal Engineer with Ramboll in UK. He has a degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and is a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering and Technology. He is a member of the organizing committee for DPSP (Developments in Power System Protection) conference and chair for DPSP 2020. He is currently Secretary for CIGRE Study Committee B5, having been involved in CIGRE since 2003, initially as UK Regular Member, then later as a member of the Strategic Advisory Group. He is also convenor for Working Group B5.41 (Improved Metering Systems for Billing Purposes in Substations). Richard is married with three children and likes to get out walking if there’s time.