The DNP Users Group has released an Application Note, AN2013-001 DNP3 Advanced Photovoltaic Profile, which describes a standard data point configuration, set of protocol services and settings – also known as a profile – for communicating with photovoltaic (PV) generation and storage systems using the DNP3 standard (IEEE Std 1815™-2012). The Application Note provides inverter manufacturers, utilities, and system integrators with standard-based methods for integration of inverter-based photovoltaic and battery storage systems with utility communication and control systems. It enables the use of DNP3 to implement the full slate of common smart inverter functions identified by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in IEC/TR 61850-90-7. The Advanced Photovoltaic Profile, which is available to members from the Document Library, supersedes a Basic Photovoltaic Profile which was released by the group in 2011.
Inverter-based photovoltaic and battery storage systems are believed to have the potential to provide a broad range of grid-support functions, but these capabilities cannot be effectively utilized by grid operators unless they are implemented and exposed in standardized ways. Common communication methods such as the DNP3 AN2013-001 make it possible for many different types, brands, and sizes of distributed energy resources (DER) to be integrated and utilized in a uniform, consistent way. Such cooperative integration could enable higher levels of DER usage in utility distribution systems, and create higher value for the distributed resources.
This advancement was made possible through research led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative under the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems – Advance Concepts (SEGIS-AC) program. The SunShot Initiative’s goal is to reduce the total costs of photovoltaic solar energy systems so they are cost competitive at large scale with other forms of energy, without subsidies, before the end of the decade. EPRI and the DOE are presently conducting field demonstrations with several major utilities to test and validate the advanced PV inverter capabilities and utilize the new DNP3 standard to enable remote monitoring and management of solar plants.