KoCoS Blog

In addition to the hardware of a test system, the testing software also plays a major role in protection relay testing. Even though simple test tasks can be performed with ARTES test systems without a PC using the integrated operator interface, it is only the combination of hardware and software that provides the full range of functions. The testing software is designed to simplify and automate even complex protection tests.

KoCoS meets these requirements with its ARTES 5 testing software. ARTES 5 enables today’s protection engineers to perform their daily tasks quickly and easily. To this end, ARTES 5 offers a wide variety of features that make testing as efficient as possible. 


ARTES 5 is a database-based testing software. This allows centralized management of all necessary settings as well as results and eliminates the need for manual data management. In addition to a simple folder structure, entire plants including voltage levels and bays can be visualized in the topology. 

For data exchange with colleagues or customers, individual data sets or entire structures can be exported from the database to a file. In turn, the information contained can be viewed and edited without importing it into the user’s own database. 

All in One

With the increasing complexity of protection functions, the testing software must provide the user with more and more new tools. In ARTES 5, these tools are known as monitors, and various monitors adapted to different protection functions are provided. All available monitors are included in the standard scope of delivery and do not have to purchased additionally by the user. Regular updates, some of which include new monitors, are also provided free of charge. 

Of course, the ARTES 5 testing software offers much more. For a detailed presentation of ARTES 5 our specialists are at your disposal. Contact us via the comment function or by mail to info(at)kocos.com

Background: What is a standby mode?

Standby mode is a state of a technical device. It is characterized by temporarily deactivated functions that can be reactivated at any time without waiting - for example, with the help of a remote control. Standby mode is also sometimes referred to as waiting mode or apparent off mode.
Since the electrical device must at least be able to process the control signals, there is a need for the corresponding control signal processing circuit to be active at all times. Thus, the device consumes power even in standby mode. For operation in standby mode, energy worth around four billion euros is required every year in Germany alone.

Less consumption in standby mode due to eco-design directive?

In order to reduce the power consumption for which standby mode is responsible, the European Union passed the so-called “Ecodesign Directive” in 2008. This sets limits for the power requirements of household appliances and consumer electronics in standby mode. In 2013, the regulations, which came into force in 2010, were tightened once again. The German government, under the leadership of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, transposed the (Ecodesign) Directive 2009/125/EC into German law with the Energy-Related Products Act (EVPG).

By 2020, this should result in EU-wide electricity savings of 72 TWh, which roughly corresponds to the energy supply of 4.5 power plant units (with 800 MW capacity and a realistic full load of about 40% [average full load in Germany from 2015 to 2020: 38.7%]) in this period.

How high is the power consumption in standby mode?

Devices without an information or status display may consume a maximum of 0.5 watts in standby mode. By contrast, electrical devices with an information display - for the time, for example - are subject to a maximum of one watt. For devices with high network availability (HiNA devices) or corresponding functions, a limit of eight watts applies. Other networked devices must remain below a value of two watts since 2019.

This means for the maximum annual power consumption of different device classes with a daily standby duration of 22 hours:

  1. Device without information display (0.5 W): approx. 4 kWh
  2. Device with information display (1 W): approx. 8 kWh
  3. Device with high network availability (8 W): approx. 64 kWh


Energy costs in standby mode

For the three device classes described above, the following energy costs result in standby mode (22h), at an average electricity price of 29 cents per kWh (as of 08/21, including fixed price component and the consumption of an average three-person household of 3,300 kWh/a):

  1. Device without information display (0.5 W): approx. 1.16 euros
  2. Device with information display (1 W): approx. 2.32 Euro
  3. Device with high network availability (8 W): approx. 18.56 Euro

In general, the consumption of one watt in standby mode (24h) costs between 2.57 euros and 3.15 euros per year, depending on the electricity tariff.

Example: Digital voice assistant

Owners of a 1st generation voice assistant can expect the following consumption and electricity costs:

  1. In standby mode, i.e. without a question to the assistant or music playback: 2.8 watts.
  2. In assistant mode, when a question is to be answered: 3.2 watts.
  3. In audio playback with medium volume (level 5 of 10): 3 watts.
  4. During audio playback with full volume - level 10 out of 10: 7 watts.

At an average electricity price of 29 cents per kWh, this results in annual electricity costs of 7.09 euros (24.46 kWh) in standby mode (again for a standby duration of 22h). Two hours of music a day (otherwise standby) results in 9.20 euros.

It gets significantly more expensive for 1st generation assistants with an integrated display. These devices cost between approx. 12 and approx. 19 euros per year. However, a positive trend is that newer voice assistants require less energy, especially in standby mode.

How much money can be saved if all devices are switched off completely?

The amount by which the electricity bill can be reduced if the consumer switches off all appliances and does not merely put them into standby mode depends essentially on two factors: First, it depends on how many household and electrical appliances the respective household owns. Secondly, it depends on how old the appliances are. According to information from the consumer advice centre, an average around 10 to 20 percent of electricity consumption is attributable to devices in standby mode. This percentage range has also been observed in power and energy measurements carried out by KoCoS Engineering GmbH, with up to 20 simultaneous measurements using KoCoS EPPE measuring devices, in large properties belonging to the federal states, the federal government or the real estate industry.

The insurance industry assumes an annual savings potential of 330 to 660 KWh for a three-person household. Assuming an electricity price of 29 cents per kWh (see above), this corresponds to a savings potential of approx. 95 euros to approx. 190 euros per year.


After charging the smartphone, the charger remains in the socket?

You probably know this: after charging the smartphone, the charger remains in the socket. It is convenient to be able to simply plug in the smartphone cell phone when needed and not have to search for the charging cable. What does this convenience cost us?

Modern chargers must not consume more than 0.3 W according to the Ecodesign Directive. If we again assume a duration of 22h in standby mode, a consumption of 2.4 kWh, again at an electricity price of 0.29 euros/kWh, results in a cost of 0.70 euros per year.

For each one a small amount. But if you extrapolate the additional costs to the total population, the sum is surprisingly high: because in Germany, around 60.7 million people will be using a smartphone in 2020 (source: statista).

Assuming all location devices of these smartphones remained connected to the grid in standby mode, this would result in an annual consumption of more than 145 GWh or 145 million kWh at a cost of approximately 42 million euros/a. When converted to electricity (2020 energy mix), this results in more than 58 tons of C02 emissions per year (source: UBA).

As mentioned above, a German household with three persons consumes on average about 3,300 kWh per year (as of September 2020). The energy required for standby mode could supply around 44,000 three-person households in Germany with electricity for a year. But even the chargers of laptops, tablets or e-readers consume energy when left in the socket.

In vehicle construction, the dimensional accuracies between the parts of the drive or the entire drive train play an important role for the vibration behavior on the vehicle. Especially at high speeds and torques, deviations from the nominal values become noticeable through noises and vibrations or, in the worst case, through malfunctions and lead to quality loss or even total breakdown.

It is therefore necessary to check an increasing number of geometries for their exact dimensional accuracy. In addition, established tactile measuring methods and inspections using tracing gauges can no longer cope with the required production cycle times in view of the increasing number of dimensions to be inspected.

The degree of automation required in modern production facilities demands fast and fully automated component inspections that are directly integrated into the production process.

With LOTOS 3D measuring systems, drivetrain components can be inspected quickly and reliably for dimensional accuracy. Furthermore, the parts can be classified and sorted directly into different tolerance zones.

For this purpose, the test parts are placed on the measuring system either manually by hand or fully automatically via robot. Automatic quality inspection is then performed for both external and internal dimensions using predefined measuring programs.

This can be, for example, the geometric inspection of a drive shaft: (LOTOS Video)

Cross-location analysis of network disturbances

Merging and superimposing disturbance records from different data sources is a common practice in the analysis of network disturbances. For example, the effect of network faults at different locations, even across several voltage levels, can be clearly displayed, evaluated and documented.

The SHERLOG analysis software from KoCoS has mastered this superimposition since the first generation. Thanks to the globally standardized COMTRADE data format for disturbance recordings, the superimposition even works across manufacturers and devices. Thus, recordings from different disturbance recorders, digital protection relays and power quality monitors with disturbance recorder function can be very conveniently and quickly transferred to a common recording.  


The results of the superposition are as better, as more precisely the individual data sources are time-synchronized. Time deviations result in phase errors. For example, a time deviation of only one millisecond results in a phase error of 18° in 50 Hz networks. In 60 Hz networks even 21.7°.

The first choice for disturbance recorder systems with the highest time accuracy requirements is therefore synchronization by means of GPS time telegram and second pulse or alternatively via the communication network by IEEE 1588 /IEC 61588 standard (PTP). The time deviations in these systems are in the nanosecond to microsecond range and thus practically do not generate any phase errors (<0.1°). 

However, it is very popular and widespread to realize the time synchronization with GPS time servers, which send the time information via the communication network (LAN) using the NTP protocol. This usually results in deviations of between 0.2 and one millisecond in local networks. In distributed networks (WAN), deviations of up to 10 milliseconds are even possible.

With time synchronization using DCF 77 receivers, deviations of 5 to 15 milliseconds are to be expected.  

Basically, it can be stated that the time deviations due to different synchronization methods in practice may well be up to 15 milliseconds. Added to this are even greater deviations due to faulty or completely missing synchronization.

To cope with this situation, KoCoS analysis software offers efficient methods for reliably and quickly compensating for existing time differences between data sources, thus enabling detailed and correct analysis.

Incidentally, the SHERLOG and EPPE measuring systems from KoCoS ensure that time differences between individual devices cannot occur in the first place. The internal GPS receiver or the optical and electrical inputs for connection to external GPS sources synchronize the systems exactly.

But even when using a time source with larger deviations, such as DCF-77 receivers or SNTP, the master-slave principle ensures exact time synchronization between the devices via KoCoS's own interlink interface. Although there may be an absolute time difference due to the accuracy of the time source used, all the devices connected via the interlink interface run absolutely synchronously.


This method ensures perfect overlapping of disturbance records at all times. Even in the event of a total failure of the time source used.


The comparison of actual test systems shows that the technical data of the devices from different manufacturers are similar in many points. And there are specifications where the devices differ to a greater or lesser extent. When evaluating, however, it should always be questioned what this means for the practical use of the devices.

Specifications as a result of development

In some cases, the technical data are much higher than required by the application. And this was not always the aim during development. Rather, some values are just the result of the development, quasi what has come out.

USPs without added value

And there are certainly manufacturers who deliberately work towards generating "unique selling points", which in the end, nobody needs. A real USP only becomes more important when the existing advantages also offer added value and a special benefit for the customer.

Technical data does not tell the whole story

Technical data are easy to compare. But purely numerical values say not much about which product is best suited for the customer. Product features and properties that cannot be evaluated with numbers, or only with difficulty, often lose their importance in the comparison. And it is often here where the advantages can be found that offer real added value for the customer.

Real USPs are not easy to find

The special features of our ARTES testing systems are pointed out in brochures, articles or blog posts. Customers appreciate, for example, that ARTES can be operated in an upright position. The status LEDs in the front or the operation of our devices on DC supplies are also appreciated by many users.

These properties and the many features and functions of ARTES are often not known. For example, the internal control unit, the low-level outputs, the analogue inputs, the multifunctional inputs or the internal GPS synchronisation unit are already included in the standard scope of delivery of the ARTES 600. In competing products, these features are often found, if at all, as options for which a charge must be paid. ARTES also scores points, for example, with its very low noise level, a feature that is difficult to express in numbers.

The software matters

The software plays a major role in relay testing. The device hardware of a test instrument is primarily a freely programmable function generator. Even though ARTES offers much more with its on-site operation, the test software in the end makes a decisive contribution to the high functionality of a professional testing system.

The ARTES 5 software is not only convincing because of its many useful features. It also has the most advanced user interface and the most intuitive operating concept. With ARTES 5, the user reaches his goal faster and easier, and thus saves time. In a following blog post, we will focus on the features and advantages of the ARTES 5 testing software.

ARTES experience live

The special features of ARTES are also highlighted regularly in social media such as Facebook, LikedIn, Twitter or YouTube. However, a live demonstration also offers the opportunity to find out what a customer's requirements and needs are. Only then is it possible to work out the features of ARTES that are important for the customer and to demonstrate their benefits.

Particularly in view of the diverse functions of the software, we are always pleased to offer our customers practical product presentations. Here, the customer not only learns a lot about ARTES, he can also experience ARTES live.