Visible to the public Impact of Cyber-attacks on Islanded Microgrid Operation

TitleImpact of Cyber-attacks on Islanded Microgrid Operation
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsChlela, Martine, Joos, Geza, Kassouf, Marthe
Conference NameProceedings of the Workshop on Communications, Computation and Control for Resilient Smart Energy Systems
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-4418-0
KeywordsCyber Dependencies, cyber security, cyber-attack, distributed energy resource, Metrics, microgrid controller, Neural Network, Neural networks, neural networks security, Pervasive computing, policy-based governance, power and energy management, pubcrawl, Resiliency

The prevalent integration of highly intermittent renewable distributed energy resources (DER) into microgrids necessitates the deployment of a microgrid controller. In the absence of the main electric grid setting the network voltage and frequency, the microgrid power and energy management becomes more challenging, accentuating the need for a centralized microgrid controller that, through communication links, ensures smooth operation of the autonomous system. This extensive reliance on information and communication technologies (ICT) creates potential access points and vulnerabilities that may be exploited by cyber-attackers. This paper first presents a typical microgrid configuration operating in islanded mode; the microgrid elements, primary and secondary control functions for power, energy and load management are defined. The information transferred from the central controller to coordinate and dispatch the DERs is provided along with the deployable communication technologies and protocols. The vulnerabilities arising in such microgrids along with the cyber-attacks exploiting them are described. The impact of these attacks on the microgrid controller functions was shown to be dependent on the characteristics, location and target of the cyber-attack, as well as the microgrid configuration and control. A real-time hardware-in-the loop (HIL) testing platform, which emulates a microgrid featuring renewable DERs, an energy storage system (ESS), a diesel generator and controllable loads was used as the case study in order to demonstrate the impact of various cyber-attacks.

Citation Keychlela_impact_2016