What is MESA/SunSpec?

What is MESA/SunSpec?

Posted by Dave Zendzian on Mar 31, 2017 1:26:20 PM

Traditionally, grid energy storage systems (ESS) have been one-off solutions, utilizing proprietary software and hardware components.  As such, each installation requires time consuming, custom integration.  Often times proprietary vendor hardware or software protocols require "hacks" to get all components to play nice.  Ultimately this approach results in higher costs, decreased reliability, and limited scalability and upgrade options.

This is where the SunSpec and MESA Alliances come in.  The Sunspec Alliance has standardized a host of functions, including information models, data formats, protocols, and system interfaces, in order to allow "plug & play" system interoperability within solar PV power plants.  MESA, which stands for Modular Energy Storage Architecture, has collaborated with SunSpec to create open, non-proprietary communication specifications specifically for energy storage systems.

From a standards point of view, MESA sub-divides the storage system into MESA-ESS and MESA-Device specifications.  MESSA-ESS provides a standard framework for utility-scale energy storage system data exchanges. 

The MESA-Device specifications address how the lower level components comprising an ESS communicate with each other.

The specifications are built upon the ubiquitous Modbus protocol and established SunSpec device information models.  The information models themselves are protocol agnostic and simply define sets of data, or registers, to be used for control, instrumentation, and configuration purposes.  Each MESA-Device is represented by a collection of Information models.

The Power Conversion System (PCS) within an ESS is one example of a MESA-Device, the MESA-PCS.  This device model is comprised of the SunSpec Inverter models (100 series) as well as the MESA-PCS Extension model which provides ESS specific support.

Through standardization, MESA accelerates interoperability, scalability, safety, quality, availability, and affordability in energy storage components and systems.  This ultimately allows for broad deployment of grid storage technology and greater market growth.

The OZpcs-RS38 is a MESA/SunSpec compliant, rack mounted PCS, specifically designed for grid-tied and micro-grid ESS applications.  Download the product brochure (DR-0110) for additional information.


Topics: energy storage, MODBUS, Power Conversion, Grid Tie Inverter, power inverter