IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015 - 41

ib /ln

Laboratory infrastructures capable of providing, in a safe environment, realistic boundary conditions for extreme grid situations
such as the H/LVRT events shown here are pivotal to enabling the
large-scale integration of DERs into grids at acceptably low risk.

International Collaboration
Within the Smart Grid International
Research Facility Network

0.4
0.2
0
-0.2
-0.4

Positive Sequence
Reactive Current
67.8 67.9 68 68.1 68.2 68.3 68.4 68.5 68.6
Time (s)
(a)

1

U/Un

Positive Sequence
0.9
The growing global need to verify the advanced interop0.8
Voltage
erability capabilities in manufacturers' devices is being
0.7
0.6
addressed by SIRFN.
0.5
67.8 67.9 68 68.1 68.2 68.3 68.4 68.5 68.6
Coordinated by DERlab, SIRFN is a network of smart grid
Time (s)
research test bed facilities located in 11 participating Interna(b)
tional Energy Agency (IEA) International Smart Grid Action
Network (ISGAN) countries. SIRFN's current projects are figure 16. (a) Reactive current and (b) transient voltage
shown in Figure 17. Through a worldwide platform of smart curves during an unsymmetrical grid fault (25% voltage
grid labs, SIRFN enables critical international collaboration remaining at the terminals of the DER with a fault duration
that leads to greater interoperability and efficiency in both of 500 ms), with k = 2 (source: DNV GL).
components and grid architectures. At the test bed facilities,
the performance and reliability of both hardware and software and the associated certification schemes, grid operators can rely
components are measured and shared across SIRFN member on the coordinated and stable performance of advanced interopfacilities and then distributed to key external stakeholders. The erability functionalities and manufacturers can list their products
facilities are selected based on their complementary capabili- once to gain access to multiple markets. Such standardized DER
ties to conduct specialized laboratory evaluations of integrated capabilities will provide the basis for the full integration of PV
smart grid technologies in the areas of cybersecurity, plug-in and battery systems into future smart grid control schemes. Evenhybrids, load management, automated metering infrastructure, tually, this will permit utility and grid operators to manage a large
protection, network sensing, energy management, renewable number of PV systems in a unified way and capture the potential
benefits of inverter-based DERs.
energy source integration, and similar applications.
One of the key topics of research within SIRFN is test protocols for advanced DER functions, as shown in Figure 17. Outlook
This project is aimed at developing a consensus on a set of Renewable and distributed energy resources will continue to be
international certification test protocols for the evaluation deployed at ever increasing levels in the electric power system.
of the electrical behavior (active and reactive power flow) As these systems become more interactive and controllable,
and interoperability (communications) of inverters with ad- their operational characteristics will need to be experimentally
vanced grid interoperability functions. An initial set of tests verified. While advanced grid support features-both autonowas performed in the spring of 2014 using state-of-the-art mous and communication-based-have the potential to allow
PV inverters at AIT, Sandia National Laboratories in the much higher levels of DERs, they also introduce new sources
United States, and TECNALIA in Spain using Sandia's Test of problems that must be investigated and mitigated.
Protocols for Advanced Inverter Interoperability Functions
Because modern DERs can dynamically contribute to grid
procedure. The results demonstrated the capabilities of the voltage and frequency controls, ongoing and future work will
DER devices as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the investigate the stability of systems containing many controllers
testing protocols. In the future, the
interoperability testing procedures
will be updated through the use
of SIRFN round-robin testing of
International Energy Agency (IEA)
DER devices and expanded to inClean Energy Ministerial (CEM)
clude power conditioning and enInternational Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN)
ergy storage systems (PCS/ESS).
Smart Grid International Research Facility Network (SIRFN)
Ultimately, the SIRFN group
Project 1: Smart Grid Distribution Automation
aims to provide experimentally valiProject 2: Advanced Laboratory Testing Methods
dated recommendations for estabProject 3: Power Systems Testing
lishing and harmonizing certification
Project 4: Test Protocols for Advanced Inverter Functions
procedures from IEC, IEEE, UL,
and other standards-making bodies.
With conformance test procedures figure 17. SIRFN's smart grid collaboration projects (source: SNL).
march/april 2015

ieee power & energy magazine

41



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015 - 1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2015 - Cover4
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