Interface Protection Unit for Distributed Renewable Resources Generators

Challenge details

Name: Interface Protection Unit for Distributed Renewable Resources Generators
Challenge type: Reduction to Practice (RTP)
Award: $35000
Deadline: 26th Feb 2022

Challenge overview


With the growing use of Distributed Renewable Resources Generators (DRRG) such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems worldwide there is increased need for interface protection units utilizing robust methods to ensure accurate islanding detection with no nuisance tripping for systems connected to the distribution network. The Seeker for this Challenge, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), is looking for innovative solutions for Loss of Mains (LoM) detection that overcome the known limitations of current technologies in order to provide increased protection for personnel and equipment. 

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, experimental proof-of-concept data, and delivery of a prototype upon request of the Seeker. 



Loss of Mains (LoM) protections help to maintain reliable and safe operation of electricity distribution networks and electricity generators attached to these networks by rapidly detecting the loss of electricity supply on the main network to allow for appropriate operating measures to be taken to prevent power islanding and other detrimental effects. Power islanding can occur when a distribution area with a Distributed Renewable Resources Generator (DRRG) attached operates in isolation after the main utility electricity supply is lost. This condition may persist for some time if the power generation is closely matched to the power load for the isolated distribution area and this creates hazards for both personnel and equipment in the affected area. Current methods to detect islanding and provide interface protection are primarily passive in nature such as Rate of Change of Frequency (RoCoF) and Vector Shift (VS) and are prone to nuisance tripping and may not reliably trip under all LoM circumstances. This may not be a problem on grids with lower installed distributed energy generation capacity but can cause problems as such capacity increases. DEWA, the Seeker for this Challenge, is looking for innovative solutions for interface protection for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems connected to the electricity grid. Solutions may employ passive or active sensing and must include communications to enable remote control tripping. 

The submission to the Challenge should include the following: 

  1. The detailed description of the proposed Solution addressing specific Technical Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-articulated rationale supported by literature/patent precedents.  

  2. Experimental proof-of-concept data obtained as outlined in the Detailed Description of the Challenge (and/or delivery of a prototype if requested by the Seeker).    

The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted solutions by the Seeker. 

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution.   

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 26-Feb-2022
Late submissions will not be considered. 



Employees of DEWA and their immediate families are ineligible to receive awards for this Challenge. 


Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is the exclusive provider of electricity and water services in Dubai. DEWA was formed in 1992 following the merger of the Dubai Electricity Company and the Dubai Water Department which had been operational independently since 1959. DEWA is responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity and water across the emirate of Dubai. For more information, please visit


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InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also, the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, please see the Challenge Specific Agreement.