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NIST Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Newsletter - December 2019

Holiday Greetings from the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems (SG CPS) Team
Engaging Stakeholders

Developing Standards, Technology and Methods


Holiday Greetings from the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems (SG CPS) Team

Our thanks to friends, colleagues, and stakeholders who have helped advance the innovation, competitiveness, and improvements in quality of life provided by cyber-physical systems. In 2019, we reached out across the nation for input to our upcoming Smart Grid Framework and Roadmap for Interoperability version 4.0, worked with cities and communities around the world on enabling security and privacy in smart city and community technology, and explored with automotive manufacturers, suppliers, transportation service providers, first responders, and others safety measurement concepts for automated driving systems.

Our engagements with you inform our understanding of this growing field of cyber-physical systems and help us determine the issues that require development of advanced measurement science. As result, for example, we have developed methodologies and technologies for testing smart grid interoperability and ways to assess, predict and offset timing disruptions in cyber-physical systems. And we have identified future needs such as those related to testing and certification for smart grid standards and offered means for evaluating new ways of supplying and buying electricity as part of the emerging concept of Transactive Energy. This newsletter highlights some important 2019 accomplishments, which were possible with your help.

In 2020, we seek to continue these team efforts. We expect to build on the coming releases of the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability 4.0 and Smart Cities and Communities Framework. The Smart Grid Testbed continues to advance, providing us with the technical means to support and inform the smart grid community. Ultimately, we seek your help in advancing cyber-physical systems that are in keeping with our values and that improve our quality of life.

Chris Greer, Director, Smart Grid and CPS Program
Wishing You Great Holiday Cheer and a Happy New Year
From the SG CPS Team

Global Attendance Grows at Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge Expo

The Expo, held in July 2019 in Washington D.C., attracted attendees from Asia, Europe and the U.S. Southeast Asian participation in the Expo increased in response to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement of a “U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership,” at the November 2018 ASEAN Summit in Singapore. Municipal leaders from the Philippines, Taiwan, and U.S. addressed smart city and community initiatives. The Expo highlighted the importance of privacy and cybersecurity for smart cities and communities. Over 100 exhibitors showcased the results of government and industry partnerships, pursuing Internet-of-Things solutions to address pressing issues cities and communities are facing. The Expo was co-hosted by NIST, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
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NIST Collects Information on Smart Grid Testbed Landscape

NIST staff met with representatives from industry, academia and government in April 2019 to discuss Smart Grid Testbed issues and opportunities, in workshops at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the University of Vermont in Burlington. The workshops examined existing testbed capabilities and ways to promote collaboration. Attendees provided input that open source tools and platforms are key to enabling cross-domain collaboration for beneficial outcomes. To do that, they emphasized that testbeds need validated models to represent real-world conditions, and the difficulties of sharing data across testbeds and organizations must be overcome.
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Global Tech Jam Addresses How to Buy and Apply Smart City and Regional Solutions

The September 2019 Global Tech Jam drew international attendees to the Portland, Oregon event. Oregon’s Attorney General kicked off the event, speaking on "challenge-based procurement." Discussions focused on acquiring Internet of Things solutions for smart cities and regions. Mayors detailed their approaches to address key needs of cities and communities. Participants received an overview of new and upcoming publications, developed by the NIST-initiated Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC), including the NIST IoT-Enabled Smart City Framework and Smart Cities and Communities Framework series. The Technology Association of Oregon calls GCTC, “the most influential organization in the U.S. Smart City movement."
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Stakeholders Meet at NIST on Automated Driving System-Equipped Vehicle Safety

In a June 2019 workshop held on the NIST Gaithersburg, MD campus, stakeholders from across the Automated Driving System (ADS) community explored concepts for measuring ADS-equipped vehicle safety. Participants examined ADS safety from varying perspectives including government, industry, academia, and standards development. NIST summarized the workshop, including participants' views, in its Special Publication 1900-320, Workshop Report: Consensus Safety Measurement Methodologies for Automated Driving System (ADS) Equipped Vehicles. Notably, participants proposed engaging the community to identify best safety practices and developing a community-based framework. The workshop was sponsored by a government-industry partnership, led by NIST and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
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NIST Helps Develop IEC Standard for Open Automated Demand Response

NIST staff aided the IEC's (International Electrotechnical Commission) development of the "Open Automated Demand Response" (OpenADR) standard. Dubbed IEC 62746-10-1:2018, the standard is for automated communications between utilities, and commercial and residential facilities. This communication allows energy providers to signal when electricity is in high demand, allowing customers to adjust use to help balance generation and demand. OpenADR is facilitating grid integration of rapidly increasing wind and solar generation. NIST's David Holmberg headed a working group in Project Committee 118. NIST's Steven Bushby, headed the U.S. technical advisory group to the committee.
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NIST Develops Device to Help Assess Timing Disruptions on Grid

NIST's Dhananjay Anand and colleagues developed the "Timing Impairment Module." The device introduces timing disruptions, similar to those seen in grid operations, allowing researchers and operators to assess their impact on grid systems and components, and thus determine preventative measures. The device was successfully tested in the NIST Smart Grid Testbed in mid-September 2019. Anand et al.'s paper, "A Timing Impairment Module for Electrical Synchrometrology," provides testing approaches. The goal is to make the device available to industry for compliance testing of substation equipment.
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Smart Grid Testbed Using NIST Solar Array for Research

NISTs solar array, covering almost 11 football fields, helps power its Gaithersburg, Maryland campus – but also supports Smart Grid research. NIST researchers collect real-time performance data from the solar array. The data allow them to study methods for measuring electric grid systems, as they evolve to accommodate new and more diverse resources, many behaving differently from past technologies. Notably, the smart grid team will advance measurement technology and control algorithms for inverters, that convert DC voltage from solar panels directly into AC power to match the grid. Research on these inverters will inform real-world system development and use.
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NIST Develops Method for Testing Smart Grid Interoperability

The method improves testing of interoperability in the field and in a testbed. The method is detailed in NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Test Tools, February 2019, which prescribes use of a NIST-developed, portable toolset. Testers can use the toolset to generate test signals and then capture, analyze and visualize data from multiple smart grid, intelligent electronic devices. The method allows testers to:

  • Simulate a power system and its signal generation capabilities;
  • Monitor clock synchronization of networked devices, to maximize their compatibility; and
  • Verify interoperability of sensors and controllers' Sampled Value messages, per IEC 61850. 

This development is in keeping with NIST's roles of advancing metrology and aiding testing that objectively assesses smart grid device performance.
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NIST Pub Shows Commonality of Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things

NIST Special Publication 1900-202, Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things, provides a common perspective on CPS and IOT, shown in the left graphic, and details this perspective's benefits. Both CPS and IOT involve logical realms (top half of circle), with information processes, and physical realms (lower half), with physical engineered systems. Both use sensors and actuators to integrate these realms. And, humans interact with CPS and IoT.
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NIST Report on U.S. Smart Meters Accuracy

After a European report showed the potential for over 500 percent measurement errors in European smart meters as measured under specific scenarios, NIST developed a testbed for evaluating U.S. smart meters, and tested eight meters. Tests showed that the U.S. meters had good accuracy: three meters showed only variations within test uncertainty; three meters showed maximum errors of less than 2 percent; and only two had errors approaching 4 percent. Results are detailed in NIST Internal Report (NISTIR) 8248, A NIST Testbed for Examining the Accuracy of Smart Meters under High Harmonic Waveform Loads.

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NIST Releases Cybersecurity Risk Profile for Power System Owners/Operators

NIST Technical Note 2051 Cybersecurity Framework Smart Grid Profile is the first publicly available cybersecurity risk profile for the smart grid. It applies risk management strategies from NIST’s Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (Cybersecurity Framework). The Profile helps a broad audience understand smart grid-specific considerations for more than 100 cybersecurity outcomes described in NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework.
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NIST Report: Testing and Certification Needed to Ensure Smart Grid Standards

Complying with standards is critical to smart grid interoperability. NIST's Review of Smart Grid Standards for Testing and Certification Landscape Analysis highlighted the limited testing and certification programs available for smart grid standards. NIST analyzed 240 standards, finding 169 were functionally related to interoperability. Of these, only a small percentage have testing and certification programs.
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NIST Pub Provides Methodology for Calibrating Accurate Timing in CPS

In cyber-physical systems, timing enables sensor fusion, event sequencing, meaningful measurements, and more. Timing differences can also be a problem in CPS operating over large areas. NIST's A Calibration of Timing Accuracy in the NIST Cyber-Physical Systems Testbed, details a NIST-developed methodology for measuring, predicting and offsetting timing differences in CPS.
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NIST Report Offers Ways to Assess Transactive Energy Alternatives

NIST's Transactive Energy Modeling and Simulation Challenge Phase II Final Report addresses ways that the smart grid community can assess alternatives for conducting a new concept for managing and purchasing energy, called "Transactive Energy.” These include co-simulation modeling for system performance analysis; scenarios to enable comparative simulations; and approaches for managing voltage on a distribution grid with photovoltaics.
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Created June 4, 2021, Updated September 17, 2021