Electric Power and Intelligent Control (EPIC)™ is jointly funded by MINDEF, the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC). This is a power grid testbed that comprises four stages of Generation, Transmission, Micro-grid, and Smart Home. It was officially opened on 22 May 2017 by the Chief Executive of the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore, Mr Ng Wai Choong. EPIC is designed to enable cyber security researchers conduct experiments to assess the effectiveness of novel cyber defense mechanisms. EPIC is one of the four testbeds at iTrust that strengthen the infrastructure available to researchers in cyber security. The other testbeds include SWaT™, WaDi™, and IoT for, respectively, water treatment, water distribution, and Internet of Things.
Each of the four stages of EPIC has its own switches, PLCs, power supply unit, protection and communication systems in a fiber optic ring network. WAGO PLCs control the opening/closing of breakers and contain the synchronization logic for the generators. High-availability Seamless Redundancy and Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) switches are used in the ring network for redundancy. EPIC observes the IEC 61850 communication protocol for the electrical substation and automation system. Generic Object Oriented Substation Event (GOOSE) and Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS) are used in the ring network for data transfer between relays and the SCADA workstation.
The Generation stage consists of a power source from SUTD’s grid and three generators. The three generators are rated at 10KW each and provide a total of 30KW of maximum power. At the Transmission stage, an autotransformer is used to step up or step down the voltage to the smart home or micro-grid. Smart home consists of two load banks, 15 and 30kVA, with programmable variable resistive, inductive and capacitive loads. The Micro-grid consists of photovoltaic cells (PV) and batteries. Breaker interlocks are implemented between transmission, smart home and micro-grid to prevent clash in the voltages and frequency of the system. Smart meters with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) to obtain readings of voltages, current, power factor and power consumption, are installed at several locations throughout EPIC grid. These meters enable the measurement of energy in kWh at the generators, PV, and the autotransformer. Readings from individual meters can be viewed via a web-based workstation that stores data mentioned above and provides a graphical visualization.
Communications in EPIC are divided into five portions: Generation, Transmission, Micro-Grid, Smart Home and Controls. A total of 110 PV cells are installed on the rooftop with inverters to convert solar energy to electrical energy and feed it into the testbed. The cells provide a total of 34 KW of maximum power. A battery bank with inverters supplements power supply to EPIC in the event of a blackout or low energy conversion owing to cloud cover. Backup-power to the SCADA workstation is available from a separate battery bank is also implemented to enable network communications to continue in the event of a total blackout.
On demand, EPIC supplies power to run both SWaT and WADI testbeds concurrently. This connection is useful for research into the cascading effects of cyber-attacks of a power plant to downstream infrastructure. EPIC supports experimental investigation into the cyber security aspects of the distributed cyber components controlling the physical components such as generators and transformers.
See a video walkthrough of EPIC testbed here.