Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
Cyber security: Power grid grows more vulnerable to attack, MIT report finds.
'Smart grid' features and Internet-based connections to the US power grid are proliferating, increasing pathways for would-be cyber attackers, says a study from MIT. What to do?
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/1206/Cyber-security-Power-grid-grows-more-vulnerable-to-attack-report-finds

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,659 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    Lovely, just lovely. and they are just now "discovering" this ?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 975 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    Great !! :D

    So, to reduce the impact of this, EVERYBODY should install an R.E. system !!

    boB
  • TnAndyTnAndy Solar Expert Posts: 249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    One of the main reasons I put mine in.....sort fond of living 20th century style compared to all those previous ones.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    boB wrote: »
    Great !! :D

    So, to reduce the impact of this, EVERYBODY should install an R.E. system !!

    boB

    Makes me kind of glad I did. I'm more or less self sufficient in food, water, heat and electricity, but can you imagine the utter chaos among the general population, should such an outage last for a week or more? Even for just a few days? It boggles my mind but I truly believe it's only a matter of time before we see it unfold before our eyes. Meanwhile our governments and most of the population are in blissful denial.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    i'd suggest writing your governmental representatives, but i'm afraid they are too dumb to realize the importance of the matter or would just wash their hands as it is a matter for private industry or some crap.

    they get smart meters to enable themselves to be dumb.:roll: like i said in another thread, they are making off grid more and more appealing.:cry:
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    Makes me kind of glad I did. I'm more or less self sufficient in food, water, heat and electricity, but can you imagine the utter chaos among the general population, should such an outage last for a week or more? Even for just a few days?
    Hey this is just normal where I live in Arkansas. During tornadoes, and ice storms we are often with out power. Longest stint was 23 days. Typical year sees a week or more with out power. That's a long time to run a generator to keep everything going, especially when you can't even get to a gas station that has power for a week at a time.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    mikeo wrote: »
    Hey this is just normal where I live in Arkansas. During tornadoes, and ice storms we are often with out power. Longest stint was 23 days. Typical year sees a week or more with out power. That's a long time to run a generator to keep everything going, especially when you can't even get to a gas station that has power for a week at a time.

    Wow! People here in Nova Scotia are just not prepared for such an outage, especially as many heat their homes with electricity, or need electricity to run their oil furnaces. It would be a MAJOR disaster here. If such an outage were to happen during Winter, many would not survive because they've put their lives in the hands of big business. Folks here have a lot to learn.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    Wow! People here in Nova Scotia are just not prepared for such an outage, especially as many heat their homes with electricity, or need electricity to run their oil furnaces. It would be a MAJOR disaster here. If such an outage were to happen during Winter, many would not survive because they've put their lives in the hands of big business. Folks here have a lot to learn.

    wayne,
    i think that is an emergency situation nearly anywhere where it gets cold. a few years back when i and many here in my area and into new england had that terrible winter with numerous storms blowing in, i saw widespread power outages being reported and i was among them without that power at one point. i found myself with my nat gas boiler unable to run because the pump needs electric and for safety reasons it will not be able to heat the water unless that water can be moved by the electric pump. this forced a graduation or upscaling of my involvement with off grid back up as you may recall. my generator wouldn't start at the time, but there wasn't any gas being sold locally due to the outage either. i still would've staved off some of the cold with a few runs of the generator with gas taken out of my car.

    as it was i was without power for 24hrs and many would say that's nothing to worry about, but i disagree. when you are faced with large snow storms that have dumped many feet of snow in a short time period and then top it off with sub 0 temps (in f) with no power and no backup power, you could find yourself in a pickle real quick like. in that roughly 24 hr period i had no power i faced the continued loss of heat in my home that wasn't an immediate danger to us as far as freezing to death goes, but aspects of the home could come under the gun from freezing pipes and that could extend to the radiant heat i have too. it should be noted that the candles we had helped to keep a tad of heat, but most was supplemented by my nat gas stove.

    my home still got down to 60 degrees f in that 24hr period even with those efforts. many other neighbors abandoned their homes and went into shelters, but i knew i had to fight to keep things going as best as i could as i did not know when the power would've come back on. a week here for me under those conditions without power or a backups with solar or a working generator with enough fuel would've been a disaster for sure and i would not have been able to just go back into the house to live as even with draining back the pipes of their water that pockets of water would remain to freeze and break whatever it is in. the built up snow and ice would've also been a problem if i weren't here to deal with it.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,659 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    So, now I've wondering, what the reliability of power, for an off-grid house, compared to on-grid, is.

    Last week in LA, we had some big windstorms, and the power companies (LADWP & SoCalEdison) took days to clear trees out of the roads, before they could even get to the poles, to repair the miles of wire torn off. What would my array look like after 70 mph winds (it's rated for 90mph) ?

    That's an extreme example, compared to a room full of batteries, panels outside, wires, charger electronics, inverters, it's lots of critical gear, and one failure takes the system down.

    Any "gut feel" for how often gear failures take down AE systems ?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    Reliability? Well since I got to the point of being for all intents and purposes, off grid over 4 years ago, my system hasn't gone down even once. But the grid? Now that's a whole different story! A rough guess, half a doz times a year at least.
    That's 24 to 0, in favor of off grid. :D
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,184 admin
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    For my home... Grid Tied went down twice in the last year (~6 year old system)... Once for 4 months, a second time for almost a month. My grid goes down perhaps once every couple of years for an hour or so (traffic accidents, flooded vault at a major power hub like a shopping center or community college).

    2:0 Utility Grid over Solar. :confused:

    -Bill :p
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    So, I wonder if Bill's failure rate for grid tie is average, and if so, I strongly suspect off grid is a lot more reliable ?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,184 admin
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    Repairs were quick--Waiting for warranty replacement, forever...

    -Bill :cry:
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,356 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    Grid: couple few minute outages a year.
    Grid Tie: down once for about 12 hrs from disconnect switch not fully made when the utility changed out the meter I think.
  • offgrid meoffgrid me Solar Expert Posts: 119 ✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    In the 4 months I have been off grid I have not been down once. The grid has been down at least 4 times, once for over 24 hrs. Even today the power want off for some people around me because of high winds and snow. No problem with my mini grid or panels blowing around.
  • chevensteinchevenstein Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    Over two years off grid for me, zero unplanned down time with the exception of one dead on arrival component while building it. Note that this has required some maintenance: watering the batteries, changing the oil in the LP genset (not used too often), and keeping the panels free of snow and dirt.

    The biggest issue for me has been becoming insufferably smug when the grid is down.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    The biggest issue for me has been becoming insufferably smug when the grid is down.

    Hahahahaha I LOVE it and know exactly that feeling! :p:p:
    I have to resist turning on all the outside lights when the grid is down, not wanting to build up the hate from neighbors more than necessary. :p:
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    i do hope you guys aren't misinterpreting what i said to be a criticism of my off grid abilities per-say as i was only pointing out that what i had at the time was not sufficient as it was 1 pvx 1040t and a 300w msw inverter which could not run the boiler pump or refrigerator. i needed to upgrade my off grid abilities for critical items. what i had was good for a few lights every now and then. even what i have now could be made insufficient over time if my other half had anything to say about it, but running critical items would still be spread out by me as one never knows if it would be a week long event.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    I have to resist turning on all the outside lights when the grid is down, not wanting to build up the hate from neighbors more than necessary. :p:

    I'm guilty of that. Never leave the outside lights on for long normally, but when the grid is down I forget to turn them off. :blush:
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    niel wrote: »
    i do hope you guys aren't misinterpreting what i said to be a criticism of my off grid abilities .

    Hey Niel, not at all sir, at least not me. What the discussion did bring out however, was the self realization of just how happy I am with the off grid system that's powering my home etc. I suspect it was the same with others.
    Sorry though if our enthusiasm hijacked the direction your post had intended to take the discussion. Like children on a Christmas morning, our delight got the better of us. At least it did with me. :blush:
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    wayne,
    no problem as i just wasn't sure if i had made my point the way i wanted to. it is your thread so keep opening.8):D:D
  • Fe-WoodFe-Wood Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    It was the eron scandal that made me realize how vulnerable we are to the power companies. California was running a budget surplus the year prior to Enron's con.

    This and the fact that the aging grid is being taxed to the max made my off grid choice pretty easy. There is really no place for the price of energy to go but up even with all the emphasis on conservation.

    Bigger and more violent storms are also becoming a significant factor in the grids reliability.

    Add the possibility for sabotage and.... Its no wonder so many are jumping off the grid.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    not everyone is going totally off of the grid, but are opting to have off grid capability to one degree or another either as a backups (with or without sellback) or dedicated off grid circuits. this is often due to either cost constraints or limitations in one's abilities for a solar install.

    i do foresee that as solar goes further down in price that utilities will try more roadblocks to those wanting to implement it.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    niel wrote: »
    not everyone is going totally off of the grid, but are opting to have off grid capability to one degree or another either as a backups (with or without sellback) or dedicated off grid circuits.

    That's what I've done Niel, kept the grid connected in case I become disabled and no longer able to look after my solar/hydro etc. There is no one in the area other than myself who knows anything about such things, and if I cut the grid now, it could be one heck of a go ahead to get it reconnected later on. Simplest just to keep it, even if I hardly ever use it for anything. For now though, it's awesome to not need the grid for anything. If I was 30 years younger, I'm sure I'd cut the wires to the grid and fly on my own but I have to face reality. In the meantime, the peace of mind and satisfaction I get knowing I make my own power, and that even if the whole North American grid goes down, I'd still have all the power I need, with some to spare, is totally awesome!
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    When the grid goes down...I just go start the lawn mower and say it is a gen.and leave the LED house lights on.
  • Fe-WoodFe-Wood Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    niel wrote: »
    i do foresee that as solar goes further down in price that utilities will try more roadblocks to those wanting to implement it.

    This is happening here in Northern California! PG&E has made the layers of complication such that I didn't want to get involved. I don't know if PG&E is still requiring 3rd party monitoring but that was one of the deal breakers for me. And then there are the Smart Meters:grr

    I have power lines running though my property that my neighbors and I paid to have put in. It was the $5000.00 to 10,000.00 non committal estimate to hook it up to my place that gave me pause. I have spent about $10,000.00 on my system so far. That includes water pumping and my daily needs. The nice part is I don't get a pesking bill every month that I proceed to forget to pay....
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,184 admin
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    I thought that third party monitoring was only required on larger systems (over 10kW?).

    For now, they still have not put a smart meter on my TOU E-7 plan home... I presume that they do have the programming in place to support my TOU plan.

    Everyone else has smart meters now--and I bumped into a couple meter readers that still had to read (some?) meters still (not reliably?) transmitting their data.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.

    If no one has welcomed you yet, welcome bussbar.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • Fe-WoodFe-Wood Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭
    Re: Grid grows more vulnerable to attack. MIT report.
    BB. wrote: »
    I thought that third party monitoring was only required on larger systems (over 10kW?).

    -Bill

    I did a seminar at Solar Depot in Petaluma several years ago (like 3). PG&E had some people there talking about how all new systems in Northern California were going to be required to have 3rd party monitoring if they wanted to be grid tied and sell back to PG&E. Part of that requirement was so they (PG&E) could turn off your system if there was a power failure in your area. It could be that as soon as I heard 3rd party monitoring, I just stopped listening. I'm totally opposed to that kind of stuff...
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