MESA-DER Testing and  Certification

MESA-DER Testing Procedure

The MESA-DER test procedure will not and should not replicate available test programs and procedures. Therefore it is assumed that MESA-DER testing will only take place after the basic DNP3 compliance testing has been performed. Where existing DNP3 test procedures already cover an aspect of the MESA-DER specification, MESA testing and certification should not repeat the test. Also, testing required for IEEE Std 1547 compliance, which includes both functional and interoperability testing, should also not be repeated.

MESA-DER Testing Phases

Phase One of MESA-DER Testing and Certification will address the format and meaning of the MESA-DER DNP3 points as defined in the DNP3 Application Note. 

Phase Two will undertake the remaining requirements for testing MESA-DER compliance to both the functions and the communications. Exactly what these remaining requirements will be is still under discussion.

 

 

Phase One Testing

Phase One of MESA-DER Testing and Certification will address the format and meaning of the MESA-DER DNP3 points as defined in the DNP3 Application Note (“meaning” refers to the point such as AI537 (Analog Input), its association (System Meter Frequency), scaling, units (in Hz), data object type, and common data class). The prerequisite to this MESA testing will be the DNP3 testing of conformance to IEEE Std 1815 to validate basic end to end data transmission, as defined by the DNP User Group. Further coordination to test the MESA-DER profile will be required. Discussion is ongoing to determine the extent which the DNP Users Group may be available to support this effort.

Scheduling is also an essential function of the MESA-DER specification. Since scheduling of functions is not (yet) required by IEEE Std 1547, the testing for this capability does not exist. California’s Rule 21 testing in UL 1741 SB will define only very basic scheduling of only one function. For Phase One, therefore, it will be considered sufficient that the format and accurate data reading and writing via the scheduling mechanism of DNP Application Note AN2018-001 are confirmed. Further functional testing of this mechanism will be performed in Phase Two.

Expected value range testing has been developed and performed by MESA members on a per implementation basis and discussion is ongoing as to whether these methods may be used when testing for MESA-DER specification compliance. The time and cost to devise a formal and automated test will determine whether this becomes part of Phase One or Two.

Functional testing (i.e. testing that the function performs as required, as opposed to testing the communication of the data to and from the function) may be part of Phase One, but only as related to IEEE Std 1547.1 functional testing. Although IEEE Std 1547-2018 calls out DNP3 as one of the protocols, there is currently no IEEE Std 1547/UL1741 testing  program being developed for DNP3. There is, however, anticipation that such a program will be developed in the near future as regulation such as California Rule 21 and Hawaiian Electric Rule 14H requirements take effect and DNP3 inverter implementations become prevalent. As a program becomes available, it will be a requirement that MESA-DER testing be preceded by IEEE Std 1547.1 testing and related UL certification.

 

Phase Two Testing

Phase Two will undertake the remaining requirements for testing MESA-DER compliance to both the functions and the communications. Exactly what these remaining requirements will be is still under discussion.

Though Phase One will test priority aspects of the MESA-DER specification, much more testing is needed to guarantee that performance expectations are met. These performance expectations include additional aspects of communication and functionality. For example, interoperability with equipment using points associated with IEC 61850-7-420, schedule implementation, input/output value accuracy and tolerance, and functionality such as ramp rate or state of charge are incredibly important to operation and longevity of equipment.

MESA-DER testing and certification can and must comprise functional testing in accordance to those procedures defined in IEEE Std 1547.1. It is likely that the DNP3 version of the procedures will be available prior to Phase Two of the MESA-DER program. It will be imperative to gain support from other DNP3 users to motivate developers of such programs to move forward with the functional testing. If these programs are in place, the MESA Testing and Certification Working Group will focus on developing functional tests for the MESA-DER functions that are not included in IEEE Std 1547. As is expected with the functional testing provided by IEEE Std 1547.1, the MESA-DER functional testing will also be performed remotely.


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