Enabling Interoperable SCADA Communications for PV Inverters through Embedded Controllers

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Previously held on Thursday, August 26, 2021 - 11 AM - 12 noon EDT

The percentage integration of Distributed Energy Resources(DER), specifically 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).


National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) with support from Triangle MicroWorks, developed standard SCADA software code for inverters’ embedded controllers that will enable interoperability with other components in the system. This was achieved by using code from two different protocols: Distributed Network Protocol 3 (DNP3) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61850. The developed code is aimed to be deployed in simple embedded controllers. It will be tested in the NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility. The tested code will then be made available through Triangle MicroWorks(TMW’s) software platform.

The focus of this webinar is to show part of the larger work, specifically how to enable IEC 61850 server & client communication on a PV inverter.


  • Overview & objective of the project for interoperable SCADA protocol, specifically IEC 61850, for PV inverters
  • Review SmartGrid support functions on PV inverters, i.e. VoltVAR, etc. and how SCADA can update these points on a PV inverter
  • Learn how to design an ICD file using IEC 61850 7-420 modeling with SCL Navigator to implement SmartGrid support functions so you can configure the settings in real time as required for SmartGrid integration according to IEEE 1547
  • Where to find a full ICD file for support of SmartGrid functions
  • Demonstration of data exchange between BeagleBone board & simulated 61850 Client using Test Suite Pro (TSP)
    • Import ICD file into 61850 Client & Server to update & change points.
    • Client & Server communications
      • Measurements using MMXU from server to client
      • One inverter function update from client to server
  • How to access the technical report & get involved in future projects


Joel Greene
Joel Greene
Director, IEC 61850 Development
Triangle MicroWorks, Inc.

Joel has worked with communication protocols for over 15 years with the last 6 years in the power industry. He is the lead engineer for IEC 61850 development & products at Triangle MicroWorks and is heavily involved with 61850 industry groups. He also works as the co-editor of IEC 61850 7-2. He is a member of the UCA Test Committee and Test Procedures Working Group and involved in IEEE Standard Association. 

Kumaraguru Prabakar
Senior Research Engineer
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Kumaraguru received the M.S. Degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, in 2011, Ph.D. degree from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, in 2016. and the M.B.A. degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2021. He is a Senior Research Engineer with Power Systems Engineering center, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado. He leads research projects targeting improvements in distribution system protection, and interoperability of distribution system assets. He is a Technical contributor in multiple microgrid controller evaluation projects, and advanced distribution management systems evaluation projects. His research work focuses on the controller hardware-in-the-loop, power hardware-in-the-loop, and remote hardware-in-the-loop experiments.


Deepthi Vaidhynathan

Research Engineer
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Deepthi received an M.S. Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, CO in 2015. She is a Research Engineer with the Computational Science Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado. Her interests are in energy system integration, grid modeling and simulation, performance optimization for scientific software.


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