Edge security in smart inverters: Physical invariants based approach

Anusha Kumaresan*, Nandha Kumar Kandasamy, Robert E. Kooij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


The endeavour towards making power distribution systems (PDSs) smarter has made the interdependence on communication network indispensable. Further, prospective high penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources in the form of distributed energy resources (DERs) has resulted in the necessity for smart controllers on such DERs. Inverters are employed for the purpose of DC to AC power conversion in the distribution network where the present standards require these inverters to be smart. In general, distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) calculate and send set points/operating points to these smart inverters using protocols such as smart energy profile (SEP) 2.0. Given the nature of sites at which such DERs are installed i.e., home area networks with a pool of IoT(Internet-of-Things) devices, the opportunity for a malicious actor to sabotage the operation is typically higher than that for a transmission system. National Electric Sector Cyber-security Organization Resource (NESCOR) has described several failure scenarios and impact analyses in case of cyber attacks on DERs. One such failure scenario concerns attacks on real/reactive power control commands. In this paper, it is demonstrated that physical invariant based security on the edge devices, i.e. smart controllers deployed in DER inverters, is an effective approach to minimize the impact of cyber attacks targeting reactive power control in DER inverters. The proposed defense is generic and can also be extended to attacks on real-power control. The proposed defense is validated on a co-simulation platform (OpenDSS and MATLAB/SIMULINK).

Original languageEnglish
Article number108039
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Cyber security
  • Edge security
  • Physical invariant
  • Smart photovoltaic inverter
  • Volt/VAR control

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