IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2016 - 22

guest editorial

Chavdar Ivanov

the way to exchange
what is the Common Information Model?

T

There are a number of challenges that power systems around the
world are facing. These challenges are
due, in large part, to changing political
focuses on the need to integrate renewable along with traditional sources of
energy and, on the other hand, to provide energy consumers with the ability to participate in decisions to reduce
their energy consumption.
although the issues in different power
systems vary in terms of background and
severity, the need to ensure strong cooperation among all parties playing different roles in the sector has taken on a new
urgency. network operators (transmission
system operators and distribution system
operators), utilities, and reliability organizations need to plan and operate the
system more efficiently. They need to perform studies (to plan for contingencies,
for example) and make rapid decisions,
both requiring vast amounts of information to be exchanged in near real time
among disparate, nonhomogeneous systems as a core component of all their activities. Information traditionally locked
in various silos and formats must be made
accessible and transformed to a common
language independent of the data source.
This vision of interoperable data independent of the source is a common
theme encapsulated in all the smart
grid road maps developed by countries
worldwide. This is precisely the goal of
the international standards built around
the common Information model (cIm),
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2015.2485902
Date of publication: 30 December 2015

22

ieee power & energy magazine

which is the subject of this issue of IEEE
Power & Energy Magazine.
This magazine has a wide target audience, ranging from experts performing
studies to system architects, system operators, and management levels. The authors
who contributed to this issue were challenged to balance the content in a way appropriate to facilitate discussions and decision making for those persons responsible
for ensuring that projects involving many
complex information exchanges are successful, maintainable, and scalable over
the life cycle of the systems involved.
The discussions on using the cIm
in different projects have not been easy,
and many organizations are still having discussions on cIm adoption. The
difficulties are partly due to the need to
have more people understand the cIm
concept and its benefits. There is often
confusion about the standardization process of the cIm. as background, cIm is
described in a set of standards issued by
the International electrotechnical commission (Iec), which is the world's leading organization in the preparation and
publication of international standards for
all electrical, electronic, and related technologies. The standardization process of
the cIm is designed to consider contributions from all continents, and this combined with the Iec approval procedure
guarantees applicability in a wide range
of applications. So there is no excuse to
claim that you do not use the cIm as it
does not cover your requirements. The
cIm is extendable, and additional contributions are more than welcome to widen
the coverage of supported use cases.

over the years, the electrical power
engineering industry developed and relied on many different data exchange
standards. This approach was working in
areas in which data exchange was minimal and focused on delivering data for a
specific study. now we see the effects of
the fast-changing power system environment, which means that we need to better
integrate systems used by different players in our industry, i.e., much more data is
necessary to be exchanged as the scope of
studies is enlarged significantly.
You think that you know what your
problems are but you hear different
messages about the cIm. Some say it is
not mature enough. others say the exchange becomes more complex when
using the cIm. and still others say that
it puts heavy requirements on the communication channels as the file size is
bigger compared to traditional aScII
data exchange formats. You might even
wonder how are you going to decide if
this is the right approach to take.

CIM as a Superstore
Indeed, the cIm can be seen as complex
for many power system engineers. Several years ago, I was one of those people trying to understand what it is. It is
true that it took some time, but now the
community is stronger and the material
available covers a wide range of cIm usage. one of the objectives of this issue
of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine is
to give you information about where to
look. I will try to illustrate the cIm with
a simple example using the superstore
(hypermarket) concept.
january/february 2016



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2016

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2016 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2016 - Cover3
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