Secure communication for PV and wind power systems

Secure communication for PV and wind power systems

Regensburg, 23.09.2020 – In the case of critical infrastructures (KRITIS) such as wind power and PV systems, CHP plants and virtual power stations, constant plant availability and security of supply are essential preconditions. This makes secure data transmission and continuous monitoring all the more important.

Anna Wels
Vice President Sales Direct icom ppa.

The firewall of the INSYS icom routers fends off a hacker attack every 8 seconds. Cybersecurity and plant availability are often the crucial factors in energy networks, water supplies and other areas of critical infrastructure. Operators want to be able to detect cyber attacks and technical faults on their remotely controlled energy systems in real time. This is the only way they can take the necessary measures in a targeted manner and secure their installations. “The key to this objective is remote maintenance, remote control and condition monitoring – we have contributed our expertise in this area in a great many cases,” says Anna Wels. The authorised signatory and Vice President Sales Direct of the INSYS icom business unit emphasises that in this way the company is contributing to ensuring grid stability, supplies to customers and revenues from renewable energy plants.

But what does this mean in concrete terms? With its industrial routers and IoT gateways, including device management and VPN servers, the Regensburg-based company provides KRITIS-compliant connections to control equipment and renewable energy systems. In addition to providing secure data connections between the renewable energy plants, local grid stations and the control centres of the direct marketers or grid operators, these enable threshold value monitoring with an alerting function. It is also possible to maintain or control the systems remotely.

“In addition to the classic applications we have discovered for ourselves the field of energy management in compliance with DIN EN ISO 50001,” says Wels. The background to this is that the conscious and efficient use of energy is playing an increasingly important role in both the private and business environment. After all, knowing the consumption of machines, installations or buildings not only opens up significant savings potential. Intensified competition as well as statutory requirements relating to mandatory energy audits under the new Energy Services Act EDL-G and tax refunds under § 10 of the Electricity Tax Act (“Peak balancing”, Efficiency System Directive) make energy management obligatory for many companies. “Our remote maintenance routers serve as a basis for efficient energy monitoring of machines and systems. They record the data automatically and transmit it to the energy management portal for evaluation,” confirms Wels. Time-consuming and error-prone manual readouts are now a thing of the past.

While we are on the subject of the past: the credo at INSYS icom is “Rolling stones don’t gather any moss”. This is why the experts for industrial data communication and networking regularly put their routers and gateways to the test and adapt them to the requirements of the market. According to the INSYS icom manager, the modular MRX router series is the ideal launch platform for this purpose. At the end of 2019, for example, a number of plug-in cards were developed that allow cost-effective updates which meet future standards: they include the MRcard I/O with analogue and digital inputs and outputs, and the MRcard Fiber for fibre optic connections. The development department is also already working on topics such as LoRa or 5G. The management expert refers here to the company strategy, which is based more on long-term relationships than on brief flirtations: “The aim is to offer secure products that are reliable in the long term and are technologically state of the art,” says IT expert Wels.

This article was originally published in German by Energy 4.0 “Kompendium 2020/2021”:

Anna Wels, Vice President Sales Direct icom ppa.

“Hackers launch an attack on energy systems every 8 seconds – routers from INSYS icom are your protective shield.”

Anna Wels has worked for INSYS MICROELECTRONICS GmbH since its foundation in 1992. The business administration graduate (University of Applied Sciences) is an authorised signatory and Vice President Sales Direct of the INSYS icom business unit. With professional hardware and software as well as managed services the company stands for the secure communication and networking of data in demanding applications.