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Cyber-secured & resilient SDN-based Energy Ecosystem challenges and outcomes (WP4)

Cyberattacks are becoming a serious thread for power systems; their prevention is gaining attention and needs to be better understood by developers, technology providers and network operators among others.

Cybersecurity should concern all of us. We communicate through the Internet, and our data is stored on this giant network. Therefore, the devices connected to the Internet are susceptible to being compromised. Of course, this only depends on the user and the software installed on the machine. However, we also need to consider that operators of electrical equipment use this network to monitor and control their infrastructure.

Every day the number of devices of electric infrastructure connected to the power grid and the communications network is increasing. These new devices can be renewable energy sources (RES), energy storage systems (ESS) and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). The penetration of the mentioned technologies at a distribution level can introduce more vulnerabilities but simultaneously be the solution for the exposed threads.

The WP4 on the project SDN-Microsense (SDN -microgrid reSilient Electrical eNergy SystEm) focus on the self-healing capabilities; resilience against all kinds of faults, including faults in both the communication system and in the electrical power grid, that the SDN-technology could offer.

The work package specifies how Software Defined Network (SDN) is applied in the Electrical Power and Energy Systems (EPES) ecosystem, thus transforming the corresponding EPES devices into a new architectural paradigm called SDN-enabled EPES devices. The SDN technology can increase EPES security, to enable mitigation of cyberattacks in the communication layer of the power system infrastructure. The means to achieve attack mitigation is to isolate compromised devices from the rest of the communication system by (through SDN) dynamically rearranging the routing paths of transmitted data.

The work package includes components for the monitoring and control of the equipment in the EPES infrastructures, for the analysis of the current situation in EPES domain and issue mitigation through islanding or energy management mechanisms and for the recovery of the grid observability and the improvement of its QoS when the communication network is under attack.

The main outcomes are:

  • Developments on SDN enabled measurement and control units, specifically an SDN-enabled energy meter and an SDN-enabled RTU
  • The northbound and southbound interfaces for SDN-Controller and a Synchronization and Coordination Service (SCS) to redirect the connection to one or more SDN-controllers
  • Several dashboards to monitor the status of the actions performed by the tools
  • An SDN application to maximize the observability of the network in case of a failure or a cyberattack
  • Development of tools using different algorithms (deep learning and mixed linear programming) to clusterize the grid and generate islands (intentional islanding) as a self-healing mechanism
  • Tools to maintain the energy balance within a microgrid and check the viability for the energy trading actions, to restore the frequency and voltage when there is a blackout and coordination of the control modes regarding the microgrid DERs and Optimal Power Sharing
  • A permissioned Fabric blockchain-based energy trading platform, leveraging provenance features of blockchain technologies, facilitating energy trading based on supply/demand and considering the real time security state of the network: Blockchain-based e-auction framework, Blockchain Based Intrusion and Anomaly Detection system