By Anaïs Wampack
Published the 14th of December, 2023
Firmware updates are a routine aspect of optimizing energy assets, introducing improvements and features that enhance performance. However, managing assets with diverse firmware versions can be a daunting task.
At Withthegrid, we understand the significance of firmware updates and the challenges they can pose for asset owners, especially in the case of a large asset base. That’s why we’re excited to introduce a new Teleport feature that monitors the firmware version of connected assets, such as solar inverters.
The Challenge of Firmware Updates
To ensure optimal performance and reliability of energy assets, manufacturers (OEM) frequently release firmware updates. However, these updates can be double-edged swords. While they bring enhanced functionalities, they can also introduce breaking changes, potentially disrupting the remote control of the energy assets. This poses a significant challenge: how can we ensure connectivity and control when assets run on a different firmware iteration?
Introducing Automatic Firmware Detection
To address this challenge, Withthegrid has integrated automatic firmware detection into the Teleport. Here’s how it works:
1. Continuous Monitoring: The Teleport constantly monitors the connected assets for changes in firmware.
2. Firmware Recognition: When a new firmware version is detected, our systems recognize it.
3. Automatic Selection: Based on the new firmware version, the Teleport automatically monitors whether communication with the inverter is still possible. In cases where remote control is no longer feasible due to the new firmware version, an alert is raised.
The Benefits of Automated Firmware Detection
Implementing automatic firmware detection brings substantial benefits to asset owners and the renewable energy industry at large:
✓ Seamless Connectivity: Users can rest assured that the Teleport will always be connected to the asset, regardless of the firmware version in use. This ensures uninterrupted remote control and monitoring capabilities.
✓ Efficiency: Manual firmware management can be time-consuming and error-prone. With automatic detection, Teleport users can save time and resources while maintaining peak system efficiency.
✓ Future-Proofing: As firmware updates continue to roll out, our automatic detection system evolves to support new versions, ensuring long-term compatibility.
A Teleport customer recently updated the firmware of its Huawei Smartlogger to the newer version ‘V300R023C00SPC152’. A breaking change occurred when a specific register (404280) required for setting curtailment commands changed from a uint16 to an int16 data type. The Teleport codebase was promptly updated to identify this difference among Smartlogger firmware versions, and can now deal with both versions.
In the realm of renewable energy, adaptability is key. By automating the detection of asset firmware versions, we aim to empower asset owners to focus on what matters most – optimizing asset performance and contributing to a sustainable future.