The SunSpec System Validation Platform (SunSpec SVP) provides a framework for testing and validating SunSpec compliant devices and applications. Three principal types of testing have been targeted: SunSpec protocol conformance testing, equipment functional testing, and SunSpec Application Program Interface testing.
A common use case for device functional testing is inverter control functionality. Functional testing for a device implementing inverter control functionality would typically have the components, shown in the figure below: equipment under test, grid simulation, PV simulation, data acquisition, and post-test analysis.
- J. Johnson, R. Ablinger, R. Bruendlinger, B. Fox, J. Flicker, “Design and Evaluation of SunSpec-Compliant Smart Grid Controller with an Automated Hardware-in-the-Loop Testbed,” Technology and Economics of Smart Grids and Sustainable Energy, vol. 2, no. 16, Dec. 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s40866-017-0032-7
- J. Johnson, R. Ablinger, R. Bruendlinger, B. Fox, J. Flicker, “Interconnection Standard Grid-Support Function Evaluations using an Automated Hardware-in-the-Loop Testbed,” IEEE PVSC, Washington, DC, 25-30 June, 2017.
- J. Johnson, S. Gonzalez, and D.B. Arnold, “Experimental Distribution Circuit Voltage Regulation using DER Power Factor, Volt-Var, and Extremum Seeking Control Methods,” IEEE PVSC, Washington, DC, 25-30 June, 2017.
- J. Hernandez-Alvidrez, J. Johnson, “Parametric PV Grid-Support Function Characterization for Simulation Environments,” IEEE PVSC, Washington, DC, 25-30 June, 2017.
- J. Johnson, R. Bründlinger, C. Urrego, R. Alonso, “Collaborative Development of Automated Advanced Interoperability Certification Test Protocols for PV Smart Grid Integration,” EU PVSEC, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 22-26 Sept, 2014.
- J. Johnson, B. Fox, “Automating the Sandia Advanced Interoperability Test Protocols,” 40th IEEE PVSC, Denver, CO, 8-13 June, 2014.
- Firmware developers of solar inverters and storage power conversion devices
- Research institutes involved in smart inverter and storage technology
- Nationally Recognized Testing Labs
- Utilities involved in smart inverter and storage technology
SunSpec protocol conformance tests evaluate the correctness of the implementation of SunSpec information models used by the device. These tests verify that the device can provide and accept data point values as specified in the relevant SunSpec specifications. No functional results of the specific data point settings are evaluated.
Equipment Functional Testing
Equipment functional testing consists of verifying the behavior of the device with specified settings under specific electrical conditions. These tests are comprised of test cases specified in test protocol documents such as the Sandia Inverter Test Protocols and UL 1741 Supplement A.
One objective of the SunSpec SVP for equipment functional testing is automation of the test cases. Due to the permutations created by multiple device settings under multiple electrical conditions, it is impractical to run a comprehensive set of tests without a high level of automation.
SunSpec SVP Approach
SunSpec SVP provides an environment that can manage and execute test scripts that utilize libraries that provide access to all the necessary components in the system. This approach allows for the same test logic to be applied in testing scenarios that may be using different physical components to implement any particular functional block in the test system.
Both the test scripts and support libraries are implemented in Python. Python is a rich language that lends itself to both procedural and object oriented styles of programming.
SunSpec SVP was developed to speed the development of SunSpec Certified products and services. SunSpec SVP is made available exclusively to SunSpec Alliance Member companies and research partners for an annual license fee. The documentation for the SunSpec SVP can be found here. If you are interested in seeing a demo or purchasing a license, email SunSpec Member Services. The license agreement for this service can be found here.