Enabling Interoperable SCADA Communications for PV Inverters through Embedded Controllers

Deepthi Vaidhynathan, Kumaraguru Prabakar, Akanksha Singh, Emma Raszmann, Joel Greene, Christoph Brunner, Beth Capeles

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The percentage integration of photovoltaic (PV) inverters in the field has increased significantly in the past 5 years. Regardless of the size of the PV plants and the inverters (residential vs. commercial), it is becoming crucial that these devices have the capability to communicate with peers (other smart devices) and with components that are at a hierarchy above the inverters (e.g., supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, distributed controllers, and data managers). This project aims to develop a standard SCADA software code for inverters’ embedded controllers that will enable interoperability with other components in the system. To achieve this, the code will be developed using two different protocols: Distributed Network Protocol 3 and International Electrotechnical Commission 61850. The developed code is aimed to be deployed in simple embedded controllers. It will be tested in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) Energy Systems Integration Facility. The tested code will then be made available through Triangle MicroWorks’s (TMW’s) software platform. The primary objectives of this project include training the NREL team with TMW’s embedded controller libraries, developing an interoperable communication code for embedded controllers, successfully testing and deploying the code, and demonstrating the newly developed code in a conference.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5D00-79386


  • Distributed Network Protocol 3
  • distribution system operator
  • generic object-oriented substation event
  • IED capability description
  • intelligent electronic device
  • internet protocol
  • JSON
  • manufacturing message specification
  • photovoltaic
  • sampled value
  • sbRIO
  • single-board reconfigurable input-output
  • substation configuration description language
  • supervisory control and data acquisition
  • transmission control protocol
  • Triangle MicroWorks
  • VAR
  • volt ampere reactive
  • XML
  • ZeroMQ


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