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Cybersecurity of Sustainable Energy Systems

Date: 01/08/2024
Time: 10:00 am
Presenter: Christopher Farnell
Abstract: Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) are used to integrate Photovoltaic (PV), Wind, and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) into the grid. As penetration of these DERs increase, additional tertiary controls and communications are required to ensure optimal performance and stability of the grid. While these additional communications and controls are necessary to ensure high power quality and reliability are maintained, engineers and system designers must be mindful of the increased cybersecurity attack surfaces and institute appropriate mitigation strategies. During this webinar, we will discuss cybersecurity threats, attack vectors, and mitigation strategies. Additionally, we will present examples of cybersecurity intrusions and protections. Finally, design guidelines and best practices will be discussed for cybersecure implementations of DERs.
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Christopher Farnell is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department at the University of Arkansas (UA). Chris received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 2020 and is an IEEE Senior Member. His research interests include Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure, Embedded System Design, FPGA Design, Advanced Control Algorithms, and Power Electronics. He is currently serving as an Associate Director for the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission (NCREPT) located at the University of Arkansas. This 12,000 ft2 laboratory provides the equipment, technical staff, and instrumentation to test and evaluate power electronic circuits and systems at realistic industrial and distribution voltage levels up to 6 MVA power ratings. Chris is the current chair for the IEEE Ozark Section, treasurer for the newly formed IEEE Computer Society Chapter, the CyberHogs Registered Student Organization (RSO) faculty mentor, and remains active in K-12 outreach activities.