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Communications Software Development for Distributed Energy Resources

Specialized Certificate

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About the Communications Software Development for Distributed Energy Resources Program

Our certificate in Communication Software Development for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) addresses the shortage of professionals in the technology field of Renewable Energy, DER, and related professional standards and specifications. In the energy space industries, commercial areas, large buildings, municipalities, and communities are facing three main challenges; costs, security of supply, and CO₂ reduction. With the help of local distributed energy solutions, it is possible to turn these challenges into long-term calculable variables – across all businesses and industrial sectors. The solutions utilize an optimized mix of distributed energy resources (DER) including renewable energy, combined heating and power stations, or storage systems, supported by sophisticated energy management.

Track I: SunSpec Modbus

SunSpec Modbus is a data communications specification for interoperability between PV system components (and the system controller). The key concept here is interconnection/communication between solar equipment. Every system requires one of these communication sub systems to operate and comply with IEEE 1547 – 2018 requirements. SunSpec Modbus is the most popular standard protocol used in these sub systems. Students will understand the theory of operation for SunSpec Modbus and how to apply the technology to PV communication sub system development. They will be prepared to obtain software development roles in the DER industry where they will be developing these sub systems.

Track II: IEEE 2030.5

IEEE 2030.5 – 2018 is a data communication specification for interconnection between Distributed Energy Resources Systems equipment and the energy grid infrastructure. The key concept illustrates a network of solar storage equipment and the larger energy grid. DER systems must be able to communicate with the network operator in order to comply with regional interconnection requirements, such as the utility the DER system connects with. Students will understand the theory of operation for IEEE 2030.5 - 2018 and how to apply the technology in DER system–to-network-operator scenarios. They will be prepared to obtain software development roles in the DER industry where they will be developing these solutions.

  • Introduce students to the vocational opportunities in communications software development in DER
  • Educate students on relevant communication standards in the field of DER including IEEE 2030.5 - 2018, and SunSpec Modbus.
  • Because of the significant amount of material and differences in the two standards (Modbus and IEEE) the program is divided into two tracks
  • Instruct students on how to incorporate cybersecurity into communication software system design
  • Educate students regarding design and coding standards for relevant communication technologies
  • Introduce students to open source software resources available to assist in their development projects
  • Provide exercises for students to demonstrate knowledge of communication standards and cybersecurity in formulating products and services
  • The end goal is to have students prepared for job interviews in the Distributed Energy Resources industry. Job titles include software engineer, software quality assurance engineer, software quality assurance specialist, software developer, IT specialist, IT engineer, IT systems engineer, network systems engineer, network engineer, network technician, cybersecurity engineer, cybersecurity specialist and cybersecurity technician.
  • Introduce students to the vocational opportunities in communications software development and its applications ion the Distributed Energy Respires (DER) industry
  • Each track will implement real-world exercises to demonstrate current communications standards and cybersecurity required when formulating products and services
  • Courses in the program will be awarded North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) credits
Format: Online

All courses are offered in online format

Estimated Cost: $3,970

excludes any textbooks or materials

Duration: 12 - 15 months

Contact
Department
Science & Technology
Phone
858-534-9152
Email
unexengr@ucsd.edu

Courses

Delivery Method
Show Legend
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid
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Required Courses (all three are required).

Introduction to Distributed Energy Resources in the Electric GridECE-40300

Units: 3.00

$895

The nation s electrical energy generation sourcesare rapidly transitioning from large central generation plants that burn fossil fuels to distributed generation systems (often located on rooftops) tha...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Introduction to Cybersecurity in the Smart Energy EnvironmentECE-40299

Units: 3.00

$895

With increasing numbers of IoT devicesbeing connected to the Internet, cybersecurity has become a vital requirement for the safe, reliable, and secure operation of those devices. Cybersecurity is espe...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Communication Installation ConsiderationsECE-40312

Units: 1.00

$295

With the passage of IEEE 1547-2018,as of 2021 nearly all Distributed Energy Resources, including solar PV, energy storage systems, and natural gas/diesel generators, will be required to communicate wi...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Electives (Both courses from one of the tracks below are required)

Track I: SunSpec Modbus

Implementation of SunSpec ModbusECE-40307

Units: 3.00

$895

SunSpec Modbus™ is a set of data models and a communication protocolthat is used in electric energy generation and storage applications for in-plant, component-level, monitoring and control. Thi...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

SunSpec Modbus Network Design and ImplementationECE-40310

Units: 3.00

TBD

As of 2021, nearly all solar PV and energy storage invertersPower Conversion Systems will be required to support a local communication interface complying to the SunSpec Modbus standard. This interfac...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Spring, Summer

Track II: IEEE 2030.5

Designing and Installing IEEE 2030.5 Distributed Energy Resources (DER) NetworksECE-40309

Units: 3.00

$895

Due to the passage of IEEE 1547-2018,commencing 2021, many Distributed Energy Resources, including solar PV, energy storage systems, and natural gas/diesel generators, will be required to communicate ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Designing IEEE 2030.5 Distributed Energy Resources (DER) InterfacesECE-40311

Units: 3.00

TBD

As of 2021, nearly all Distributed Energy Resources, including solar PV+ energy storage systems and natural gas or diesel generators, will be required to communicate with utilities and system operato...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Spring, Summer

Who Will Benefit

  • Anyone seeking to enter and advance in the filed of software development, testing, IT/OT, and cybersecurity related to the field of distributed energy resources
  • Military Veterans are encouraged to apply

Military Resource

SunSpec Cyberguardians is a job placement and education program created to prepare military veteran job seekers for career opportunities in the next wave of Distributed Energy Resource (DER) technology. Learn more about the program by visiting SunSpec Cyberguarians.

More Information

For more information about this program, please contact unexengr@ucsd.edu.

Conditions for Admission

It is preferred that students have a minimum of a B.S. in Computer Science, Electrical,or Mechanical Engineering. However, consideration will be given to students with equivalent knowledge and work experience.

Advisory Board

Ivana Kezic, MSE

Sr. EMS Programmer/Analyst - Grid Operations

San Diego Gas and Electric

Jan Kleissl, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Energy Resources

UC San Diego Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Nikola Milivojevic, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer

Suntech Drive

Dan Pickel

Director of Certification

N.A. Board of Certi Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)

Thomas Tansy

Chairman

SunSpec Alliance

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $0 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.