Smart Energy – Systems level standardization

Smart Energy
Foto: iStock | Maxiphoto

Smart Grid standardization is a trendsetter: Following the current Smart Grid standardization activities e. g. setting up micro grids, integrating Renewables or combining different storage technologies for a balanced power grid, puts you on the edge of innovation.

It is not surprising that standardization experts have now taken these innovative approaches to the next level: Smart Energy.

Flexibility in the grid supports safety, security and costumer oriented solutions. The interaction of the power grid with heat and gas is the next logical and groundbreaking step.

For customers this offers new opportunities using advanced smart metering to track and manage energy output in electricity, heat and gas, managing Smart Energy in micro grids and active distribution networks in a highly flexible, secure and reliable hybrid grid.

Goal in this Smart Energy Grid is to combine active distribution, transportation and generation into one smart solution. Developing a common architecture using requirements engineering tools like use cases will be the key to create the Smart Energy System.

Smart Energy – Managing future challenges in the energy sector

Energy grids of the future using power, heat and gas require cross sector spanning work. So developing coordination concepts and a system-view is no longer restricted to IEC level. It is necessary for the IEC community to identify and integrate new players like non-IEC groups being able to contribute to a coherent, flexible and secure System.

While Smart Energy activities will confront new issues and questions it can build on established tools like the use case methodology to bridge between organisations. Working in totally different areas, TCs can now compare and advance together using use cases. On the other hand all participating TCs can use these use cases to combine more details in their area of expertise. In smart grid-smart home interface use cases have become a common tool. Smart grid standardization use cases have enabled with these simplified process descriptions other sectors like Industrie 4.0 to compare and find interoperability requirements. In this way a common understanding for totally different sectors was established without having to dig into highly detailed standards. Linking back these use cases to their sector-specific standards, other systems were able to bring the external know-how into their standards.

The Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM) is a tool that not only helps to have a broader system view but also enables to have a multidimensional view which reflects different relationships of the energy grid. The advantage of this 3D layer model is the connection of the usually separated zones like power generation, transport, distribution and customer concepts. Interchangeable layers for components, communication, information, and function make this SGAM flexible and suitable to use for future energy grid challenges.

Image Smart Grid Architecture Model
Bild: DKE

Utilizing the SGAM as the base model the IEC Smart Energy Group developed a Smart Grid Standards Map. This online tool enables the grid manager to single out any given standard in relation to its role within the Smart Grid by giving an overall view of the grid’s architecture, as well as a list of all applicable standards (including their previews).

Furthermore, communication, functional and component views provided by the SGAM and the online mapping tool support the TCs from their corresponding areas and create a transparent vision to identify gaps. Due to this flexibility the architecture model was adopted by other sectors like Industrie 4.0.

The IEC Systems Committee Smart Energy has already started to take the next steps for Smart Energy: It has connected with IEC TCs in the form of a Workshop, has established new interfaces with other systems like Smart Cities, and soon with Industrie 4.0, to begin to create a flexible, secure and sustainable energy ecosystem.


Richard Schomberg

"Smart Energy is extending the Smart electric Grid to include its interactions with gas and heat, providing efficient new flexibility capabilities. Smart Energy is everything about energy for the Smart Cities. The system approach developed at IEC enables the collaborative management of the expected portfolio of standards supporting the industry for large scalable deployments."


Peter J. Lanctot

"Systems level standardization in the field of Smart Energy will help navigate the complexity of these ‘systems of systems’ while also providing a neutral, independent platform on which different stakeholders can cooperate."