Foto 7

M. Basile, G. Dini, F. Vernia, and L. Lamoglie, “A Secure and Efficient Group Key Management Scheme for Clusters of String Inverters,” Applied Sciences, vol. 10, no. 21, p. 7900, Nov. 2020.

Written by

A string inverter converts the low voltage direct current coming from the string of its Photovoltaic (PV) panels into alternating current to be exported to the grid. In today Smart Grid’s context, PV plants feature clusters of cooperating smart string inverters that exchange information in a multicast fashion (typically) over the Internet Protocol (IP). However, IP multicast does not provide any mechanism to limit the access to multicast data to authorized subjects only. A security infringement may cause a cluster either into exporting no energy into the grid (zero energy attack) or more energy than the limit set (energy overflow attack). Both the attacks can lead to potential severe consequences. In this regard, we are the first addressing those issues. Particularly, we propose a Key Management Service (KMS) for group key generation and distribution. The KMS provides forward secrecy and periodic refresh. We implement a prototype on a cluster of Power-One Italy S.p.A. a member of FIMER Group smart string inverters and evaluate the performance. Experimental results indicate that the scheme scales up to clusters composed of 50 inverters with an efficiency of 90.5% in terms of latency for group key distribution and 99% in terms of memory overhead.
"Keywords: {key management; inverter; multicast; group communication; authentication; photovoltaic system}"