February 3, 2023

Enabling Data Exchange and Data Integration with the Common Information Model


The Common Information Model (CIM) is an open-source information model that is used to model an electrical network and the various equipment used on the network. CIM is widely used for data exchange of bulk transmission power systems and is finding increasing use for distribution systems. Use of a non-proprietary information model (such as CIM) that has been agreed upon and adopted by numerous utilities, vendors, and researchers allows significant reduction in the effort and cost of data integration. Likewise, adoption of open data platforms built around the CIM increases available functionalities for managing and optimizing the smart grid of the future. This report is intended as an introduction to CIM for utility engineers, power systems researchers, and application developers, providing a broad view of the CIM and how particular profiles can be adapted for various use cases. Unlike most other CIM introduction documents and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards (which are mostly targeted to an audience of data scientists, enterprise database managers, and platform developers), this report is intended for users of traditional power systems analysis software and other readers without any prior experience with canonical information models, data profiles, or UML modeling.

Published: February 3, 2023


Anderson A.A., E.G. Stephan, and T.E. McDermott. 2022. Enabling Data Exchange and Data Integration with the Common Information Model Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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