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Sector Name:Power Delivery & Utilization
Document Type:Technical Update
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Since 2009, EPRI has been facilitating an industry collaborative initiative that is working to define common functions and communication protocols for integration of smart distributed resources with the grid. The goal is to enable high-penetration scenarios in which a diversity of resources such as photovoltaic and battery storage can be integrated into distribution circuits in a manageable and beneficial way even if they vary in size and come from different manufacturers. Achieving this requires a degree of consistency in the services and functions that these devices provide and uniform, standards-based communication protocols for their integration with utility distribution management and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
The initiative has engaged a large number of individuals representing inverter manufacturers, system integrators, utilities, universities, and research organizations. The resulting work products have provided valuable input to a number of standards organizations and activities, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Participation in this activity has been open to anyone who is interested. Volunteers met by teleconference from 2009 to August 2012, discussing, defining and documenting proposed common functions.
This report provides a compiled summary of the function descriptions that this initiative has produced thus far. Each function is presented in the form of a proposal, which is the language used by the volunteer working group. The tentative language reflects the fact that the functions are not legal standards unless and until they are adopted by a standards development organization (SDO).
Utilities and device manufacturers are encouraged to use these functional descriptions to aid in the development of requirements for smart distributed resources. An even more beneficial outcome may be the referencing of open standards that have been derived from this work, such as Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3) mapping. The process of developing a complete design specification for a smart photovoltaic, battery-storage, or other inverter-based system may be greatly simplified by taking advantage of this body of collaborative industry work. While it is always possible to independently craft new functions or to design similar functions that work in slightly different ways, such efforts do not bring the industry closer to the end-goal of off-the-shelf interoperability and ease-of-system integration.
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