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Edge Intelligent Devices and Cloud-based Analytical Platform for Behind-the-meter Solar Situational Awareness

(Published 15 November, 2021)

The energy industry is facing disruptions from the adoption of aggressive environmental policies to regulatory reform. Today, with the technology advances reducing the cost, the distributed energy resources (DERs) are becoming widespread and has grown explosively. The DERs encompass a wide range of physical and virtual assets that are usually located closed to the loads they serve, both in front and behind the meter.

On August 31st, Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) hosted a webinar titled “Edge Intelligent Devices and Cloud-based Analytical Platform for Behind-the-meter Solar Situational Awareness”. Dr. Bo Yang, Sr. Director & Lab Manager and Dr. Panitarn (Joseph) Chongfuangprinya, Principal Research Scientist of Energy Solutions Lab, Hitachi America R&D, presented the project overview with Prof. Raja Ayyanar from Arizona State University.

In the webinar, the speakers addressed significant challenges for distribution systems with high renewable penetration. They offered solutions to enhance situational awareness for grid operators – (1) design, integration, features and performance of the developed, UL-listed, edge intelligent device (EID) that integrates DERs to the cloud platform through secure, two-way communication, and (2) cloud-based analytics, visualization and control platform called end-to-end solar energy optimization platform (eSEOP) that allows real-time monitoring and control of DERs across the distribution system.

The Hitachi team provided a detailed overview of the eSEOP platform, a cloud-based DER aggregation platform for solar inverters to provide grid services. The platform was designed based on human-centered design approach and in-depth investigation with utilities, manufacturers and research societies. Key use scenarios include “Inverter coordination during normal condition”, “Inverter coordination during grid disturbances”, and “Better situational awareness and mitigation on 69KV networks”.

Dr. Bo Yang also highlighted the eSEOP architecture, key design objectives, and the key benefits, such as Flexible and Open architecture, Situational awareness to rapid growing DERs, Aggregation and control assist to grid operators, in compliment to DERMs and ADMS.

Dr. Panitarn (Joseph) Chongfuangprinya shared functionalities of eSEOP in a demo illustrating 4 scenarios: (1) regular operation, (2) overvoltage, (3) inverter error, and (4) outage and inverter coordination. He also demonstrated how the eSEOP platform could on the cloud receive, store, process, and display 10 seconds interval data from 75 DERs through 3 EIDs on edge. In the end, he showed the remote-control capability of the eSEOP platform by sending a command through the cloud to change the operation mode of solar inverters.

More than two hundred industry experts attended the webinar and highly engaged in discussions. Watch the insightful presentation and demonstration HERE.

Hitachi America is creating a new future for energy not only by leveraging the synergies of its strengths in OT, IT and products, but also by high-value-added energy solutions that creates value from customer data. The Energy Solution Laboratory of Hitachi America, R&D is one of the key energy digital solution enablers to deliver the energy innovation programs.

To learn more about Hitachi America R&D, please contact us at https://www.hitachi.us/rd/contact-us/.