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The battle in Ukraine is one other reminder that cyber safety is of utmost significance — and hardening the cyber safety of an electrical grid with 1000’s of interconnected DER begins with the inverter. SunSpec Alliance is hosting a terrific academic sequence on the subject.

Within the latest “DER Cybersecurity – Solar Inverter Risks and Defenses from Power Electronics Hardware Attacks,” Alan Mantooth, distinguished professor {of electrical} engineering at College of Arkansas, and lead of the UA Power Group, defined his group’s method to hardening cyber safety on the inverter degree whereas additionally serving to to correctly handle a distributed grid – all for about an additional $100 per inverter.

“We don’t need the modernization of the electrical energy grid, which entails extra inverter-based technology and DER and digital-based controls to be perceived as inflicting degradation within the reliability of our electric energy grid, however that could possibly be the consequence if not correctly managed and cared for,” Mantooth mentioned through the webinar.

The UA Energy Group is working with the Division of Energy’s {Solar} Energy Expertise Workplace (SETO), to check and develop this idea. Proper now they’re mimicking a {solar} farm and deploying their cyber safety strategies in a mock demo earlier than hitting the sphere later this yr.

What are the dangers?

Assaults that hit the {hardware} degree might result in all kinds of issues down the road.

  • Energy high quality points
  • Harm to the battery energy storage (might end in fires)
  • Harm to switchgear (switching on and off quickly)
  • Harm to downstream tools
  • Lack of efficiency and lack of resiliency.

Underneath related situations, assaults can come from the communications portal. These are “man within the center” assaults, comparable to intercepting knowledge and instructions and making issues appear regular however they’ve taken management. Denial of service is one other, flooding the system with information and stopping you from having real-time consciousness of what’s occurring.

Underneath unconnected situations, the assaults can come from insider threats or entry by way of USB ports. Plug that factor in and they’re in.

“If there’s any approach of updating a system, there’s a approach wherein issues can get in,” Mantooth says.

Usually, efficiency points aren’t from an assault in any respect. Defective code or poor selections can have the identical implications for a way a system is working. Mantooth has heard at the very least one utility say this has occurred — a patch was deployed in a PV {solar} system that affected the inverters, resulted in poor energy high quality, and it took them 60 days to determine why.

How can we account for all of this?

Our focus right here is on a DER {hardware} resolution developed by the UA Energy Group, its Common Controller Board (UCB), which is used for all kinds of issues from hybrid bulldozers to hybrid electric plane and different grid related units.

“On the {hardware} degree, there’s a logic we are able to add to energy digital designs that stop the ‘shoot throughs’ from ever being allowed,” Mantooth says, explaining in far more technical element than I might grasp as to how they’ll set guidelines that can not be violated. “Then the {hardware} itself will override any management system that tries to do this.”

Cyber-security-inverter-architecure
Courtesy of SunSpec Alliance and UA Energy Group

Key to all of it is the UCB’s two demand-side platforms (DSPs) and an embedded real-time emulator that, primarily, work consistently to run checks and balances on the system’s efficiency. One DSP is in management, whereas the opposite sits as a real-time digital twin that’s controlling an emulator. The DSP not in management doesn’t have an effect on the operations of the system.

“It will get all the identical instructions and is seeing all the identical inputs, however the DSP 1 controls the inverter, whereas the DSP 2 controls a digital inverter with all the identical loading traits — it’s working a mannequin of the system in actual time,” Mantooth explains. That emulator has a code to indicate how the system goes to react.

  • The embedded digital twin is working real-time within the controller itself to determine if one thing working doesn’t make sense.
  • There’s additionally a behavioral evaluation of latest firmware to evaluate whether or not an replace is actually one thing that needs to be deployed primarily based on efficiency.

System operators can then see what’s occurring within the emulator earlier than any firmware or patch is ever deployed. If there’s a energy high quality problem, you could have an opportunity to catch it.

“Now you can think about that I can add a set of regression assessments that this factor must move, contained in the emulator, and there’s a pass-fail standards,” Mantooth says. “They are often considerably autonomous in that regard. I run it by means of these regressions simply to see if something that failed earlier than is violated once more on this new patch. I can catch that within the emulator with out having a human go in and look.”

If all the things checks out, in a nanosecond, the inverter controls will be converted from DSP 1 to DSP 2. The emulator is accessed by way of an online server with two issue authentication and different encryption.

If one way or the other one thing nefarious is uploaded upstream and works its well beyond the emulator …

“If we don’t catch it, now we have a DSP and reminiscence on board to go to a secure mode of operation,” he notes. “We are able to roll again a number of variations to earlier recognized items, deeper than one again.”

Abstract of advantages

  • Firmware updates – zero-day assault mitigations and efficiency enhancements
  • Firmware validation – error and menace detection, mitigate insider threats, real-time digital twin
  • Lowered downtime – no downtime required for updates, swap DSP management in lower than a nanaosecond
  • Skill to mitigate issues operators aren’t conscious of.
  • Actual-time anomaly detection.

Different advantages

Scheduled roll outs. Zooming out, there will be blockchain communication on the system degree, linking inverter-to-inverter communication for an additional layer of resilience. Say you could have a {solar} farm with 25 inverters…

“The blockchain communicates with the resilient controls, and it turns into one of many nodes within the community. … We are able to roll out a patch in 4 or 5 [inverters], that are taking part in a blockchain algorithm to find out if it’s working. After which once we roll it out totally, they’re all taking part in any anomaly detection.”

Growing old system monitoring. Other than cyber incidents, take into consideration how the emulator can be utilized to observe the growing older and failure modes of kit. This setup can monitor how issues are naturally degrading and “now we have diagnostic capabilities on the {hardware} degree that may be fed again to the dual.”

When you’ve got learn this far and have an interest, be sure to watch the entire presentation, which works right into a a lot higher depth.

Have you ever checked out our YouTube web page?

We have now a ton video interviews and extra content material on our YouTube web page. Just lately we debuted Power Forward! — a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to debate larger degree trade subjects in addition to finest practices / traits for working a {solar} enterprise immediately.

Our longer working facet venture is The Pitch — wherein now we have awkward discussions with {solar} producers and suppliers about their new know-how and concepts in order that you do not have to. We have discusses all the things from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new residence solar + storage microgrids.

We additionally put up our Project of the Year bulletins there! Interviews with this yr’s winners might be up beginning the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe immediately to remain on high of all this further stuff.

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Sol-REIT ready to finance more C&I solar projects via Amerant Bank credit facility

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Sol-REIT has secured a considerable credit score facility with Amerant Financial institution, the most important group financial institution in Florida, which can enable Sol-REIT to deploy capital to small and medium-sized {solar} builders. The Amerant Financial institution facility will present Sol-REIT the power to execute a pipeline of over $800 million and 400 MW of {solar} energy.

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“We’re actively attempting to assist bridge the hole confronted by communities by offering entry to finance and constructing trusted relationships,” mentioned Jerry Plush, Amerant Vice Chairman and CEO. “This engagement with a credit score facility affords us the distinctive alternative to drive each of those targets. It’s our expectation that by partnering with Sol-REIT, we will lengthen our monetary companies to the underserved whereas facilitating local weather resilience.”

Based by Jim Spano, Kevin Adler and Brian A. Sidman, Sol-REIT seeks to convey mortgage REITs (actual property funding trusts) to the renewable energy market.

Sol-REIT buildings fascinating construction-to-permanent loans, leveraging a mortgage REIT mannequin for middle-market {solar} builders. Sol-REIT is financing particular person {solar} tasks with a mean mortgage dimension of $5 million to $50 million.

“Credit score amenities, such because the one we’re offering to Sol-REIT, deliberately help the transition to {solar} energy,” mentioned Danny Rivera, SVP, Head of Specialty Finance at Amerant Financial institution, who spearheaded the transaction. “Particularly for underserved small and medium-sized companies with a sustainable goal, credit score amenities present a basic device for enterprise continuity, liquidity and financing flexibility.”

The 400 megawatts of {solar} energy is equal to powering 72,253 properties with electrical energy yearly or eliminating practically a billion miles pushed by a mean gasoline-powered passenger car yearly.

Have you ever checked out our YouTube web page?

We now have a ton video interviews and extra content material on our YouTube web page. Not too long ago we debuted Power Forward! — a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to debate larger degree business subjects in addition to finest practices / traits for working a {solar} enterprise right now.

Our longer working facet mission is The Pitch — by which we have now awkward discussions with {solar} producers and suppliers about their new expertise and concepts in order that you do not have to. We have discusses all the pieces from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new residence solar + storage microgrids.

We additionally submit our Project of the Year bulletins there! Interviews with this 12 months’s winners will probably be up beginning the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe right now to remain on high of all this further stuff.

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Sungrow brings new inverters, liquid-cooled energy storage systems to CLEANPOWER 2022

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Sungrow’s sales space at CLEANPOWER 2022.

Sungrow displayed its newest PV inverters and liquid cooled energy storage system (ESS) options to the North American market throughout CLEANPOWER 2022 on Might 16 by 18.

Optimized for utility-scale {solar} vegetation, Sungrow launched each central and string inverter portfolios, together with its newest 1500-V string inverter, its SG350HX and a 3.6-MW central turnkey station. The SG350HX contains a energy output of 352 kW and completely matches large-format high-efficiency modules in addition to monitoring programs. As well as, it contains a bigger modular design, enabling decrease LCOE for the plant.

Sungrow additionally displayed its business inverters, the SG36CX-US and SG60CX-US, to suit various installations. The merchandise allow a excessive DC/AC ratio of 1.5, resulting in a better yield for a venture. As well as, they’re geared up with on-line IV curve scan and analysis capabilities, monitoring any points in real-time and considerably lowering OPEX.

On the storage facet, Sungrow’s liquid cooled ESS PowerTitan reduces capital and working bills as a consequence of its pre-assembled and simple set up design. The brand new cluster controller can cost and discharge particular person battery racks, enhancing the general system efficiency by 6%. The unit’s computerized state of cost (SoC) calibration and the automated system for refilling coolant significantly scale back working and upkeep prices.

Neil Bradshaw, Sungrow’s senior technical gross sales supervisor for ESS key accounts, highlighted throughout a session that energy storage security is just not a singular technique, particularly when tasks are rising in scale and are more and more paired with quite a lot of renewables.

“Security is Sungrow’s precedence. We offer safer battery options with a number of security options from cell degree to module, rack and system degree. The brand new liquid-cooled ESS PowerTitan can mitigate numerous the issues with the superior liquid cooling thermal administration and AI monitoring for battery cells, which optimizes security in addition to yields,” Bradshaw stated.

Information merchandise from Sungrow



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Tampa Electric Pilots Emera’s BlockEnergy Solar+Storage Microgrid Platform

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Tampa Electric Pilots Emera’s BlockEnergy Solar+Storage Microgrid Platform


Utility Tampa Electric Co. (TECO) has bought, put in and acquired regulatory approval for Emera TechnologiesBlockEnergy microgrid platform to be used in a pilot program serving Southshore Bay residential improvement, a group south of Tampa, Fla. The solar-plus-energy storage microgrid, absolutely owned and operated by TECO, permits elevated operability, safety and grid resilience to mitigate excessive climate and different occasions that may impression electric utility grid uptime. BlockEnergy microgrid additionally supplies TECO with an economical option to provide a distributed clear energy useful resource to its Southshore Bay clients and to rapidly advance its imaginative and prescient to realize a net-zero carbon future.

The Southshore Bay residential group, developed in partnership with dwelling builder Lennar Properties and land developer Metro Growth Group, is comprised of 37 new houses all geared up with absolutely built-in, shared rooftop {solar} PV programs. Every dwelling has a battery storage and energy digital management system, or BlockBox, which connects to the neighborhood distribution community, the place it communicates and shares energy as wanted inside the group. A central energy park is situated close to the doorway of Southshore Bay, containing supplemental batteries, non-compulsory extra technology to be used throughout outages and a connection to the electrical utility energy grid.

With this utility-owned enterprise mannequin, owners nonetheless pay for electrical energy on the similar metered price as they usually would, with no additional grid fees or different charges. By being a part of the BlockEnergy community, as much as 80% of their dwelling energy comes from the solar with out having to rent a {solar} contractor to put in a rooftop PV system, undergo the allowing and interconnection course of, after which function and keep the system.

“We’re regularly striving to search out new methods of bringing smarter, cleaner and extra dependable energy to our clients,” says Dave Pickles, vice chairman of electrical supply of Tampa Electric. “The BlockEnergy microgrid pilot venture is a promising resolution that brings a brand new layer of management, operability and suppleness. It’s one that may immediately profit our clients and assist us to understand our net-zero imaginative and prescient.”

“We developed our BlockEnergy utility-owned enterprise mannequin with the constitution to discover a win-win resolution for utilities, owners and regulators to supply clear, dependable energy to owners,” states Rob Bennett, CEO of Emera Applied sciences. “We’re excited TECO is main the way in which by adopting BlockEnergy for Southshore Bay and offering a mannequin residential group that different utilities can be taught from, observe swimsuit, and proceed to make the mandatory adjustments we’d like for a cleaner, extra grid-resilient future.”

After two years of pilot testing and optimizing the platform at Kirtland Air Drive Base in New Mexico – in collaboration with Sandia Laboratories – BlockEnergy acquired approval from the Florida Public Service Fee for Southshore Bay as a four-year pilot venture. The Tampa Electric information additionally comes on the heels of Emera Applied sciences’ latest UL 9450 fireplace and security certification for the energy storage management system built-in with the BlockEnergy platform.

“We’re taking a look at sustaining infrastructure and guaranteeing mission readiness in a means that’s protected, safe, dependable, and cost-effective,” commens Colonel David Miller, the previous commander of Kirtland Air Drive Base. “The Emera venture is correct consistent with what we are attempting to do. This additionally positions us as a pacesetter in serving to the state of New Mexico meet 2045 renewable portfolio requirements, whereas testing an progressive and sensible strategy to energy surety and resiliency.”



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