The Electric Power and Intelligent Control (EPIC)™ Testbed was integrated into iTrust as its third testbed in 2017. The EPIC­ testbed was designed under the guidance of the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore, with funding from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), Singapore and SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC). The testbed was commissioned on 22 May 2017by EMA’s Chief Executive Mr Ng Wai Choong.

EPIC supports experimental investigations into the cybersecurity aspects of the distributed cyber components controlling physical components such as generators and transformers. These include cyber-attacks and defence models, remote attestation, machine learning, economic models, trustworthy and secure data acquisition and communications in Industrial Control Systems (ICS). As part of an upgrade, EPIC can now supply power to both SWaT and WaDi testbeds concurrently. This facilitates research on the cascading effects of cyber-attacks from a power plant to downstream critical infrastructure.

EPIC Architecture

The EPIC testbed comprises four stages: Generation, Transmission, Micro-grid, and Smart Home and comprises various electrical, electronic, physical, and mechanical components.

Physical Process

The Generation stage consists of a power source from SUTD’s grid and two generators. The Micro-Grid stage connects the two generator-coupled motors, 110 photovoltaic cells (PV) and batteries. In the Transmission stage, an autotransformer steps up the voltage from the transmission to the distribution station before consumption. The Smart-Home stage consists of four types of loads: two discrete loads, one electronic load, iTrust’s SWaT and WaDi testbeds and a motor. Throughout the grid, smart meters equipped with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) are installed in several locations to measure the energy (kWh) consumed.

110 PV cells are installed on rooftop above the EPIC testbed to convert the solar power to electrical energy, with inverters to convert the direct current to alternating current and feed it into the EPIC testbed. Batteries act as a supplement power supply to the EPIC testbed in the event of a blackout or low energy conversion due to cloud cover.

EPIC Control Room

EPIC Generator, Battery and Load Bank Room

Network Architecture

WAGO PLCs manage the opening and closing of breakers and loading. Communication within EPIC is divided into five subnets: Generation, Transmission, Micro-Grid, Smart Home and SCADA.

Each stage features its own switches, PLCs, power supply units, protection and communication systems in a ring network via fibre optics to enhance communication rates. High-availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR) and Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) switches are used in the ring network for redundancy purposes. EPIC adheres to the IEC 61850, an international standard defining communication protocols for intelligent electronic devices at electrical substations. The EPIC ring network utilises Generic Object Oriented Substation Event (GOOSE) and Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS) for data transfer between relays and SCADA.

EPIC Network Architecture

See a video walkthrough of EPIC testbed here.