The program is not finalized yet but we are glad to present our keynotes and the program for the Tools & Methods Workshop.


Agility, Stability and Complexity: The Challenges of Security in Critical Energy Infrastructures

ABSTRACT: Maneuvering highly dynamic, unpredictable, complex and contradictory environments requires a qualitatively new flexibility from energy companies. Customers, suppliers and employees continue to expect maximum stability, but this can only be offered – paradoxically – if the organization is able to react agile “just in time” to new requirements. In order to be able to offer themselves and others stability, employees, management, structures and processes must become flexible. This keynote highlights this field of tension and presents good examples and failures.

Fotograph: Luca Melette

Linus Neumann

Linus Neumann is a computer hacker and psychologist. He is a spokesperson of the Chaos Computer Club, Europe largest hacker collective. Furthermore, Linus Neumann publishes the podcast Logbuch:Netzpolitik together with Tim Pritlove.

IT-Security for Future Energy Systems: A Lost Cause?

ABSTRACT: Making energy systems more intelligent brings undisputed advantages and is seen as an important enabler as we turn from fossil to renewable energy sources. However, there are severe concerns regarding the security of these complex systems. Introducing information and communication technology not only paves the way for new and important functionality, but also opens the door for new vectors of cyber attacks that can potentially harm this critical infrastructure. Critics see the cyber defense of future energy systems as a lost cause, as the systems are perceived as too complex to be secured properly. In this talk, the question is addressed, if systems as complex as future energy systems can be secured from cyber attacks at all –- and if so, what are the most promising approaches. Current threats and trends in cyber security for energy systems are reviewed. The state of the art in counter-measures, including new approaches, such as blockchain technology, and topics such as the interplay of IT-security measures with end-user privacy are discussed. Finally, an outlook on research challenges is given.

Fotograph: Hannelore Kirchner

Prof. (FH) Dr. Dominik Engel

Dominik Engel is a professor at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences in Austria, where he heads the Center for Secure Energy Informatics. He holds a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Salzburg. Prior to joining Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Dominik Engel was a researcher at the Universities of Bremen and Salzburg and product manager at Sony DADC, where he was responsible for video content security. His current research interests include smart grid privacy and security and technological methods for enhancing end-user trust. Dominik Engel has authored and co-authored a number of publications related to security and privacy in smart grids and is a member in various EU and national standardization committees in this area.

Tools & Methods Workshop

Organizing committee
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Lehnhoff (OFFIS, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Astrid Nieße (LUH, Germany)

For the last nine years, the PhD workshop Energy Informatics has been a successful forum for young researchers to present their projects, the methods/solutions developed, the tools used in the context of future energy systems. Very different aspects of Energy Informatics (EI) have been addressed over these years, from specific applications such as grid operation, EV charging management or VPP scheduling to systematic topics and architectures like prototyping platforms and standardization processes. Whereas most of the former workshop participants have finished their thesis and are now pursuing interesting careers in EI, some of the tools and methods developed during that work have persisted and since then been further enhanced and established in the respective research groups’ set of tools and methods, i.e. the state of the art in Smart Grid research.

In this workshop on “Tools and methods in Smart Grid research” we aim at presenting some of these in the form of “best practice“ examples. For this reason, we invited EI research groups to present their „bread-and-butter” tools and methods used for Smart Grid research.  The workshop will include the following talks:

G-DPS Framework: Game-theoretical Decision-making for Physical Surveillance Games
Dr. Mohamed Amine Abid, Ali Alshawish, Prof. Hermann de Meer, University of Passau, Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics, Passau, Germany
Protecting critical infrastructure is becoming a major concern for critical infrastructures such as utility networks. Surveillance technologies represents a standard practice for protecting such infrastructures. However, depending on how they are configured, surveillance systems are prone to technical or organizational failures resulting in imperfect performance. Hence, the core problem is to find an optimal configuration of the surveillance technology at hand to minimize such risk.
In this work, we present two tools that were developed in Hyrim project. They are used in our proposed decision-making framework, which assesses possible choices and alternatives towards finding an optimal surveillance configuration and hence minimizing addressed risks. The first tool, the Hyrim Tool, is a game-theoretic model for optimizing physical surveillance systems and minimizing the potential damage caused by an intruder with respect to the imperfect detection rates of the surveillance technology. The second tool, the surveillance simulator, serves to assess the effectiveness of the different surveillance (defense) strategies. It simulates realistic physical intrusion scenarios, and assess the effectiveness of the deployed defense strategies.

Blockchain-Based Management of Switchable Loads
Manuel Utz, Simon Albrecht, Jens Strüker, Fresenius Universiy of Applied Sciences, Institute for Energy Economics, Frankfurt, Germany
The blockchain technology has been subject to inflated expectations and super ficial research throughout the last two years. Several publications have identifi ed research gaps regarding the real-world deployment of blockchain ecosystems in field tests. We address these gaps by our approach to realize a blockchain demonstrator with tangible components and devices connected to a blockchain platform.
In this paper we document the creation of such a demonstrator. In particular, we deploy blockchain-connected power outlets with three different functionality levels in a smart home environment. 1) The gray outlet allows for precise billing and proof-of-origin of consumed electricity. 2) The green outlet enables dynamic load switching based on dynamic rates and based on the current index of locally available renewable energy. 3) The blue outlet acts as a wallet and switches devices based on blockchain transactions. Data from each outlet is distributed using NFC chips and Rasberry PIs on which flow-based programming tools for IoT applications are installed. A multitude of Python scripts ensures the tracking and categorization of transactions between the three power outlets and household appliances.
From our work we can derive practical implications for the wide-scaled implementation of blockchain-connected devices in residential homes in order to safeguard the incentivization of grid-stabilizing and ecological behavior.

Rapid Prototyping with i7-AnyEnergy and Detailed Co-Simulation with SGsim
Reinhard German, Peter Bazan, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Nürnberg-Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany; Abdalkarim Awad, Birzeit University, Bir Zeit, Palestine
After an overview of simulation approaches we will present two simulation frameworks: i7-AnyEnergy is a library for the commercial simulation tool AnyLogic and allows for rapid prototyping of simulation models of connected intelligent energy systems. It offers predefined model components from which complex system models can be composed easily. The basic components are models for electric and thermal demands (e.g., gas heating, CHP plant), renewable energies (e.g., solar or wind power), energy storages (batteries, chemical storages), intelligent controllers as well as weather models. Simulation models of single houses, virtual batteries as well as a cement plant will be shown. SGsim is a co-simulation framework consisting of the electricity network simulator OpenDSS (for e.g. transmission lines, transformers, generators, loads) and the packet-level computer network simulator OMNeT++ (the INET frameworks allows for the inclusion of detailed communication protocols) . The interface is based on the Component Object Model (COM) or on Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) such that components like supplies, loads, controllers and more can have representations on both sides. Links to external optimizers and phasor data concentrators are possible as well. As a modeling example, volt/var optimization via wireless communication will be shown.