Interop Essentials

Overview

GEI includes useful information for understanding interoperability, DER standards and how to select the right standard for the job.
  • Protocol Selection - white papers, articles, references on how to select the right DER protocol for an application.  The DER protocol landscape is complex and getting more so.  GEI has collected and continues to collect current guides and other content to aid in the process of understanding a use case, the messaging requirements for it and the DER application-layer protocols that could be used to implement it.
  • SEPA Catalog of Standards and Catalog of Test Programs deserves its own page as it is the most comprehensive collection of smart grid standards and certification programs that we know of.
  • Smart Grid Interoperability - "Interoperability has become a recognized objective of many smart grid projects and standards.  But what is it exactly?   How is it achieved in the real world?  What is the role of standards, use cases, application profiles, test specifications and test and certification programs in achieving the "interoperability“.
  • Want to see more?

Protocol Selection

The DER protocol landscape is complex and getting more so. GEI has collected and continues to collect current guides and other content to aid in the process of understanding a use case, the messaging requirements for it and the DER application-layer protocols that could be used to implement it.

Webinars

Selecting the Right DER Protocol
A critical issue for utilities planning to integrate DER resources into grid operations is how to manage these resources. A major challenge is designing and implementing an interoperable eco-system of utility management systems (DERMS), aggregators and gateways and end-devices themselves. It would be ideal to create a “plug-and-play” eco-system to speed deployment, lower costs, and improve performance of DERs. QualityLogic has been working with the standard grid-edge communications protocols (OpenADR, IEEE 2030.5, IEC 61850, DNP3, etc) for the past 10 years. These standards are a key component in creating the desired eco-system of vendors and products.

As the leading developer of the test tools and training for implementing grid-edge protocols, we have a unique perspective on this challenge and we share that information during this webinar.
Introduction to IEEE 2030.5
On August 26, 2020, QualityLogic’s Senior Vice President of Engineering hosted a 1-hour webinar: Introduction to IEEE 2030.5. Steve has been involved with IEEE 2030.5 since 2010 and has taught thousands of people around the globe on IEEE 2030.5. He has played a key role in assisting many companies in understanding CSIP requirements, CALSSA Testing Pathway, and Phase 3, Functions 2 and 3, and helping companies on their road to getting certified.
This recorded webinar also includes a demonstration of IEEE 2030.5 using the QualityLogic test tools.
An Introduction to IEEE 2030.5 for Australia
As electricity systems become more decentralised, the IEEE 2030.5 protocol is receiving global attention. Hosted by the Clean Energy Council, this 1-hour event will introduce you to the basic concepts of IEEE 2030.5.

This is a recording of the September 15, 2020 broadcast and features QualityLogic’s Senior VP of engineering, Steve Kang, and James Mater, QualityLogic’s co-founder and GM of the company’s smart energy division. Steve is a leading technical expert on IEEE 2030.5 and CA Rule 21 based Common Smart Inverter Profile (CSIP) implementation guide. He has been involved with IEEE 2030.5 since 2010 and has taught hundreds of people around the globe on IEEE 2030.5. James is one of the industry-leading experts on smart grid standards, interoperability, and the maturity of eco-systems of products based on these standards. He is a co-founder of QualityLogic and leads the company’s smart grid business. James has given dozens of presentations and authored multiple papers on interoperability in the smart grid.

View below with access code: OYDB^.45
Introduction to OpenADR
QualityLogic continued to share its smart energy communication protocol expertise during a recent 1-hour OpenADR webinar. The following recording of the webinar provides a 40-minute introduction to OpenADR by QualityLogic’s CTO, Jim Zuber, and is followed by a 20-minute Q&A session that discussed OpenADR and how it can most effectively be utilized for DR and DER use cases.

Whitepapers

Prevent DER Chaos: A guide to selecting the right communications protocol for DER management
Trying to understand which protocol – OpenADR, DNP3, IEEE 2030.5, IEC 61850 – is right for your application?

Developing and supporting test tools for DER protocols provides us an unparalleled knowledge of both the technologies and eco-systems working with the technologies.

So we thought we’d put that knowledge into a protocol selection guide.
Compare and Contrast IEC 61850 and IEEE 2030.5
This paper provides an overview of the IEEE 2030.5 standard and a comparison with the IEC 61850 information model for DER, including:
  • Background on the two standards and the underlying information models
  • Overview of the developing application of IEEE 2030.5 for the integration of DER in the state of California in the US.
  • Comparison of IEC 61850 and IEEE 2030.5 as it is being applied in DER integration and identification of gaps between the standards.
  • Key conclusions and observations
CA Rule 21 and DER End-End Interoperability
Led by California and the IEEE 1547 Work Group, the electric utility industry is rapidly developing a standardized method to communicate with and manage the growing penetration of DER assets at the distribution level. The California PUC, in conjunction with the IOUs and vendor community, has established a set of procedures for ensuring that the smart inverters meet both performance and communications requirements between utilities and the smart inverters.

This white paper looks at the current plans and how well they will ensure the desired performance of smart inverters under the direction of a utility DER management
CA Rule 21 Communications Requirements and Certifications for Smart Inverters
Given the variety of interests and opinions about what testing and certifications advance the efficiency and interoperability of deploying DER communications infrastructure, the landscape of standards and certifications can be confusing. This paper identifies the current, future, required and optional certifications relevant to implementing CA Rule 21 for Smart Inverter communications. You’ll read about:
  • UL 1741SA Certification
  • IEEE 1547-2003
  • SunSpec IEEE 2030.5 DER Certification
  • IEEE1547-2018 Interoperability Certification

SEPA

The Catalog of Standards (CoS) was initiated in 2010 by the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) sponsored by NIST. It includes both an Architecture Map of the major domains and actors in the Smart Grid and a list of the 84 standards currently in the CoS.  Since the CoS covers all of the smart grid, DER standards are just one class of standards included.  A number of IEC 61850 standards are included as well as IEEE 1547-2018, IEEE 2030.5-2018, IEEE 1815 (DNP3 but not AN001), and OpenADR.  SunSpec is not included at this point.
The Catalog of Test Programs (CoTP) is a useful catalog of known certification testing programs conducted by independent test labs. It currently lists 40 programs with all of them being IEC standard test programs except 4. IEEE 2030.5, IEEE 1547, IEEE 1815 DNP3, OpenADR and SunSpec are not yet included.  There is some useful information about each test program but the citations are primarily links to actual program owners and further information.

Smart Grid Interoperability

Interoperability has become a recognized objective of many smart grid projects and standards. But what is it exactly?  How is it achieved in the real world? What is the role of standards, use cases, application profiles, test specifications and test and certification programs in achieving the "interoperability".
  • The best work in this area that we know of has been done by the GridWise Architecture Council and NIST.  Most of this work is conceptual and useful in understanding the challenges of achieving a "plug and play" interoperable Eco-system of vendors and systems. But there are also some practical interoperability artifacts such as the GWA's "Decision-Maker's Interoperability Checklist" V1.6, PNNL-29962.
  • NIST publishes a key document called the "NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0". Draft Release 4.0 is currently available for review and feedback. A draft of Release 4.0 was recently released for review and can be found here. Version 4.0 of the Framework covers the role of interoperability, smart grid models and communications pathways, interoperability in practice, the economics of interoperability, Cybersecurity and test and certification for interoperability standards. The NIST Framework, along with the body of work from GWAC, provide useful background and context for those wanting to understand more about interoperability and how to achieve it.

GEI News

The Challenge of Inter-Protocol Interoperability for Grid Operators and the EV World

2/3/2021
Recently the California Energy Commission issued a DRAFT SOLICITATION CONCEPT for a series of EV related Interoperability Testing Events. 
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Solving the IEEE 2030.5 Interoperability Challenge in the Covid Era:
A Virtual, Non-Stop Interop Program from SunSpec

1/26/2020
Building a truly interoperable “plug and play” eco-system of vendors and products is not a trivial task, especially in the electric utility industry. The California Public Utility Commission, in cooperation with the California IOUs (PG&E, SCE and SDG&E) and the vendor community...
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