SunSpec: Smart inverter communication now a national standard, here’s what comes next

For full article, visit Solar Builder Magazine

By Chris Crowell

On May 21, 2020, the IEEE 1547.1-2020 standard was officially published, making smart inverters with standard communication interfaces the official U.S. national standard for Distributed Energy Resources (DER).

This news comes via the SunSpec Alliance, a trade alliance of more than 100 solar and storage distributed energy industry participants that is dedicated to pursuing information standards to enable “plug & play” system interoperability. Publication of this test procedure document is one of their babies, and here are some the reasons they say it is important:

In conjunction with this announcement, SunSpec ecosystem software developers and implementers should be advised of several things:

• The SunSpec 700 series information models for IEEE 1547 will be promoted from TEST publication status to APPROVED status within the next 45 days, thus superseding the SunSpec Modbus 100 series models that were first introduced in 2009. All SunSpec Modbus projects that are intended for completion and certification in the second half of 2020 should use 700 series models.

• SunSpec Dashboard, the Windows-based software for SunSpec Modbus interface development, will likewise be upgraded with a product called SunSpec System Validation Platform (SVP) Dashboard Core. This product will be enteried beta testing today.

If you are planning to upgrade existing SunSpec Certified products to the new IEEE 1547 standard and would like to understand your options, they are offering no-charge consultations. Just reach out.

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SunSpec: Smart inverter communication now a national standard. Here’s what comes next.

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SunSpec Alliance is the information standards and certification organization for the Distributed Energy Resource (DER) industry. SunSpec communication standards address operational requirements of solar and energy storage on the smart grid.