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NIST Smart Grid and CPS Newsletter - July 2017

Table of Contents


Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) Expo Planned for August 28-29, 2017

The 2017 Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) Expo will bring together 100+ cities and communities from around the world—in partnership with more than 300 companies, universities, non-profits, and federal government agencies—to share and exhibit their smart city projects and the benefits and impacts to their communities. The free event will be held August 28-29, 2017, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.  The preliminary agenda and registration details are available online.

A keynote panel on August 29 will feature the Federal Smart Cities and Communities Task Force. This task force, comprising senior representatives from more than a dozen U.S. federal agencies with programs relevant to smart cities and communities, is the federal government’s inter-agency coordination group. Chris Greer, Director of NIST’s Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, serves as a co-chair, along with Ken Calvert, National Science Foundation; Meghan Houghton, National Science Foundation; and Ken Leonard, Department of Transportation.

The GCTC Expo will also feature a keynote panel of mayors and county executives, including mayors from Fontana (CA), Portland (OR), Saitama (Japan), San Leandro (CA), and Schenectady (NY).  In addition, there will be over 80 live demonstrations of smart city projects, representing more than 100 cities and communities worldwide. International participants will include cities in Finland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Portugal, Taiwan, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.

Five SuperClusters—on transportation, public safety, utilities, city data platform, and public WiFi/broadband—will host pavilions and will present smart city blueprints/playbooks that document real-world examples and best practices among smart city plans and solutions gleaned from cities around the world.

According to Sokwoo Rhee, GCTC lead for NIST, “The GCTC Expo is the largest smart city and community event hosted by the U.S. federal government. We expect the 2017 Expo to be the biggest and best one yet.”

Previous GCTC Expos (in June 2016 and June 2015) have each attracted thousands of attendees as well as significant media coverage. A special publication, summarizing the 2016 Expo and GCTC impacts since its launch in 2014, was recently released and is available online.

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“Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems” Published

The first version of the “Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems” (also known as the CPS Framework) was published in June 2017 by NIST. Published as a two-volume set, it summarizes the work and conclusions of the CPS Public Working Group (CPS PWG), established by NIST in mid-2014.  The two documents are available online, free of charge, as PDF files at the following links: “Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems, Volume 1: Overview, NIST Special Publication 1500-201” and “Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems: Volume 2, Working Group Reports, NIST Special Publication 1500-202.”

Cyber-physical systems are smart systems that include engineered interacting networks of physical and computational components. CPS and related systems (including the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet) are widely recognized as having great potential to enable innovative applications and impact multiple economic sectors in the worldwide economy.

A key audience for this publication is the group of CPS experts, architects, and practitioners who would benefit from an organized presentation of a CPS analysis methodology. The methodology is based on the identified concepts of “facets” and “aspects.” The broader audience for this work includes all CPS stakeholders, who may be interested in broadening individual domain perspectives to consider CPS in a holistic, multi-domain context.

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Upcoming Workshop: Universal CPS Environment for Federation (July 27, 2017)

The Universal CPS Environment for Federation ((UCEF) is an open-source tool kit that provides a collaborative experiment-development environment. NIST is hosting a UCEF workshop on July 27, 2017, at the NIST Campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

At this workshop, participants will:

  • learn the details of UCEF
  • obtain a copy that they can install at the workshop and take home with them on a USB drive
  • participate in a hands-on exercise to design/implement/build a collaborative experiment involving all attendees.

UCEF, developed by NIST and Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Software Integrated Systems, integrates state of the art tools including programming languages, communications co-simulation, simulation platforms, hardware in the loop, and others. This environment uses a standardized communications protocol—IEEE Standard 1516 High Level Architecture (HLA)—to combine simulators and emulators from many researchers and companies.

The workshop is designed for practitioners of these technologies who may be interested in not only using UCEF, but more importantly in contributing to its development and evolution. For additional information, including registration details and a preliminary agenda, please visit this link.

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Transactive Energy Challenge: “Teams, Start Your Simulation Engines”

On July 25, 2017, when the go-ahead is given for Transactive Energy (TE) Challenge teams to begin their simulations, it won’t be as dramatic as the beginning of a NASCAR race. However, if the TE Challenge participants are successful in meeting their goals, the TE Challenge may well have a dramatic impact on the grid of the future.

The goals of the TE Challenge are to identify and advance modeling and simulation tools and platforms that can support analysis of TE systems; to raise awareness of the potential benefits of TE; and to build a community that can work toward applying knowledge gained to TE demonstrations.

During a plenary presentation and a workshop at the Transactive Energy Systems Conference (Portland, Oregon, June 13-15, 2017), conference participants learned about the Challenge’s progress to date and the plans for the months ahead. Building on the foundational work of Phase I (2015-2016), Phase II of the Challenge (launched in April 2017) encourages teams to perform simulations of various TE approaches.

Although the simulations may involve a variety of approaches, platforms, and grid topologies, the organizers expect that three common factors will be found in each simulation:

  • Use of the common platform model (developed in Phase I)
  • Use of the shared Challenge Scenario
  • Use of common metrics

The Challenge Scenario will feature a primarily residential distribution feeder that serves many homes with rooftop solar and also some homes with battery systems. At the beginning of the scenario, sunny conditions produce a very significant amount of solar power. However, as a storm front moves through the area, storm clouds cause a sharp drop in PV output for 90 minutes. As the storm abates, sunny conditions gradually return. The various team simulations will use this scenario to perform a series of simulations that measure—using common metrics—what happens under baseline conditions, in a non-TE environment, and in a TE environment.

The TE Challenge teams are currently working to finalize the Challenge Scenario. The official “Simulation Start” announcement will be made later this month at SEPA’s Grid Evolution Summit, during the meeting of the Transactive Energy Coordination Group (Wednesday, July 25, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.). A Capstone Meeting will be held in early 2018 to share the results of the various simulations. 

So far, scientists and engineers from the following institutions are participating in the Challenge:

  • Dartmouth
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • University of Puerto Rico
  • Vanderbilt University

David Holmberg, NIST’s lead for the TE Challenge said, “This is an excellent time for new individuals and organizations to get involved. Additional details about the TE Challenge—including details on how to participate—are posted on the main TE Challenge page and on the TE Challenge collaboration website.”

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NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee to Meet on August 17-18, 2017

The NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee will meet in open session on Thursday, August 17, 2017, and Friday, August 18, 2017. The meeting will focus on updates of NIST’s smart grid activities and the intersections with NIST’s cyber-physical systems activities, and will include:

  • discussions about revising the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards and
  • discussions about the NIST smart grid research program.

This committee was established to advise NIST in carrying out duties authorized by section 1305 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

For detailed information on the upcoming meeting, please see the June 16 notice in the Federal Register.

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Upcoming Webinar: Conformity Assessment for Precision Time Synchronization (August 1, 2017)

In the North American power grid, where each interconnection stretches over a large spatial expanse, it can be a major challenge to achieve correct timing. Timing needs include one microsecond synchronization to a traceable time and frequency reference for synchrometrology, state estimation, fault detection, and localization, as well as real-time control.

A one-hour IEEE webinar—on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 1:00 p.m. EDT—will discuss why time synchronization is crucial to ensuring a reliable power grid and how IEEE-certified devices address this important need.

NIST, IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), and industry stakeholders have come together to develop a conformity assessment program based upon the IEEE C37.23-2017, Standard Profile for Use of IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol in Power System Applications. As part of this effort, a Test Suite Specification (TSS) has been developed with an expected publication date later this year. The TSS provides details on device testing for conformance to IEEE C37.238 standards.

Webinar speakers will discuss the importance of precision timing, development of the TSS, and what should be expected from tested and certified IEEE 1588 Power Profile conformant devices.

The three presenters on the webinar will be:

  • Aaron Martin, Bonneville Power Administration
  • Cuong Nguyen, NIST
  • Bob Noseworthy, UNH-IOL

To register for the webinar, please use this link.

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Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) Update (formerly SGIP Update)

A number of NIST staff members will be participating in SEPA’s upcoming Grid Evolution Summit: A National Town Meeting, to be held July 25-28, 2017, in Washington, DC. In addition to various keynotes, panels, and roundtables, the meeting will include both pre-summit and post-summit technical group meetings. The full agenda is available online.

Speakers and meeting leaders from NIST will include the following:

  • Chris Greer, Director of the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, will discuss cybersecurity issues with Julia Hamm, SEPA’s President and CEO (“Preparing a Strong Defense: Cybersecurity and Utilities,” 1:30 – 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 26).
  • Cuong Nguyen, Testing and Certification Project Lead, will chair a technical group meeting of the Smart Grid Testing and Certification Committee (1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Friday, July 28)
  • NIST staff will chair a technical group meeting of the Smart Grid Cybersecurity Committee (1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Friday, July 28).

Earlier this year, the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) merged with the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) to create an industry-led organization that combines the portfolios of the two organizations. NIST continues to support the technical work of this organization through NIST staff participation on key committees and priority action plans (PAPs) and through the ongoing cooperative agreement grant, now with SEPA. For more details about the merger, please see SEPA’s April 4 news release  and SGIP’s January 31 news release.

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Created August 3, 2017