Industry 4.0 is dawning, and digitalization, decarbonization, and decentralization (aka D3) are fueling the electric grid (r)evolution. D3, in turn, creates opportunities for immense value creation, but invokes new technologies and design concepts, and change brings risk.
As the industrial revolution 4.0 is dawning on us, the digitalization of the utility grid and more broadly digitalization of our complete energy system is inevitable. While digitalization brings massive opportunities for value creation, it also brings significant challenges.
Considering the cyber-physical nature of the future grid, where massive amounts of sensors, communications, embedded computing, embedded controllers, and cloud software will dominate the operation and performance, industry leaders are embracing new design, test, deployment and life cycle maintenance processes based on model based engineering and more specifically model based testing.
Interconnecting distributed energy resources (DER) to the grid, in the United States, requires compliance with a number of standards/grid codes, where three main ones are:
National Electrical Code (NEC),
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 1741, and
Since the existing versions of UL 1741 and IEEE 1547 (IEEE 1547-2003) were written prior to the development of smart inverters they were being revised in the end of 2016 to cover new grid support, utility-interactive inverters and converters. Revisions of UL1741 and IEEE 1547 came from California. Indeed, in early 2013 regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Energy Commission (CEC) jointly convened the Smart Inverter Working Group (SIWG).