New SunSpec software verifies solar product compliance to IEEE grid communication requirements

To accelerate the delivery of Distributed Energy Resource (DER) technology such as solar and storage products that comply with IEEE 1547-2018, the U.S. national standard for DER, the SunSpec Alliance has released the SunSpec SVP Dashboard test platform to its 125 member organizations.

SunSpec SVP Dashboard is a Microsoft Windows application that validates DER devices for compliance to IEEE 1547-2018 communication requirements, including the SunSpec Modbus interface. These requirements were mandated for the first time in the 2018 version of the IEEE 1547 standard, providing the ability for utility grid operators to remotely control DER systems to enhance grid health and expand grid capacity. Research indicates that state-level interconnection rules for solar and energy storage will require compliance with IEEE 1547-2018 starting in January 2022.

Offered exclusively as a benefit to members of the SunSpec Alliance, SunSpec SVP Dashboard monitors and controls any SunSpec Modbus-enabled device on an ad hoc basis. Examples of SunSpec Modbus-enabled devices include inverters, batteries, meters, trackers and environmental sensors.

The SunSpec SVP Dashboard web browser-based interface utilizes all standardized SunSpec device information models, including those for IEEE 1547-2018 DER devices. Key features include an automated Protocol Information Conformance Statement (PICS) generator, a DER simulator and a web-service application program interface (API) for integration with in-house software test harnesses. SunSpec SVP Dashboard with these capabilities is available to all SunSpec Member organizations free of charge.

For an additional fee, SunSpec members may purchase a “Plus Pack” that adds an automated test suite for SunSpec Modbus Certification testing and Modbus protocol analysis features to SunSpec SVP Dashboard. This Plus Pack is in beta until April 15, 2021. Plus Packs for IEEE 1547.1 and Energy Management System (EMS) functional testing are planned for future release.

“Early reviews indicate that SunSpec SVP Dashboard will shave weeks from product development, testing and third-party product validation schedules,” said Tom Tansy, Chairman of the SunSpec Alliance. “We look forward to working with our members to raise the bar on product quality and achieve the full interoperability we’ve been striving for,” Tansy concluded.

The release of SunSpec SVP Dashboard coincides with the ratification of the SunSpec Modbus “700-series models” standard for DER. This standard has been subjected to rigorous testing and review for the past 12 months and will move to APPROVED status pending a final comment period that concludes on April 15, 2021.

SunSpec Modbus 700-Series Models supersede the SunSpec Modbus 100-Series Models that were first introduced in 2009 and signal the culmination of nearly 10 years of research and development by software and electrical engineering professionals around the globe.

SunSpec members may acquire the SunSpec SVP Dashboard software by downloading it from https://sunspec.org/sunspec-svp-dashboard/. SunSpec encourages any organization seeking to implement a SunSpec Modbus-enabled device compliant with IEEE 1547-2018 to join the Plus Pack beta program by becoming a member of the SunSpec Alliance.

News item from the SunSpec Alliance

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