UL Solutions, NREL set cybersecurity standards for distributed energy, inverters


From pv magazine USA

Electrical standards provider UL Solutions has released a new cybersecurity protocol, UL 2941, to cover distributed energy and inverter-based resources.  Developed with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), UL 2941 provides testable requirements for energy storage and generation technologies on the distribution grid. The new cybersecurity protocol provides a framework for photovoltaic inverters, electric-vehicle chargers, wind turbines, fuel cells and other distributed resources operating within a grid interconnection.

The new UL requirement prioritizes cybersecurity standards for power systems that deal with high penetration inverter-based resources, including those interfacing with bulk power systems for periods of instantaneous high wind, solar and hybrid/storage generation. UL 2941 will also promote cybersecurity measures across all new inverter-based resources (IBR) and distributed energy resource (DER) systems.

“The publication of UL 2941 is a milestone toward securing the distributed generation industry,” said Danish Saleem, senior energy systems cybersecurity engineer for NREL. “Equipment manufacturers, asset owners, regulators and government officials now have an established baseline for strengthening the security of their devices such as network-connected IBRs, monitoring devices, and parts of IBR systems that provide software-based and firmware-based controls.”

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NREL is securing additional support from the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to support the new standard.  With SETO, NREL will receive formal industry feedback on the listed requirements, develop test procedures, and perform beta testing of devices under the UL 2941 standard, said Saleem.

Products that comply with UL 2941 will be eligible for UL certification. The testing is designed to be an add-on service for inverters, complementing UL 1741, the current standard for power inverters, converters, controllers and interconnection system equipment for distributed energy resources.

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