Global Smart Grid Standards Sought

by | May 26, 2009

smarty-gridWhile the United States recently laid out plans to standardize domestic smart grid developments, an international group similarly hopes for common technical standards to foster interoperability, security and energy savings.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) convened the leading global experts on smart grid technology recently to lay out a roadmap to ensure interoperability of smart grid systems, according to a press release.

Frank Kitzantides, IEC Vice-President and former Vice-President of the US National Electrical Manufacturers’ Association, said the international standards would benefit not only industry but also end-users.

The meeting was convened by Richard Schomberg, US Vice President Research at EDF. The IEC has members from 13 nations: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, UK and the U.S.

As part of the standardization, the group set out its own definition of the smart grid: “Smart grid is the concept of modernizing the electric grid. The smart grid is integrating the electrical and information technologies in-between any point of generation and any point of consumption.”

The group has designated 19 technical committees whose existing international standards play a role in the smart grid infrastructure.

The IEC is developing a Web portal to highlight the IEC Smart Grid Framework. The portal should offer ready to use standards as well as guidance.

Manufacturers, designers and distributors will be able to visit it to find a single database of all IEC Smart Grid related standards they can use for the projects they are developing and obtain guidance on how best to make use of them, according to the release.

The IEC will hold its next meeting in September in Washington, DC, where it will develop guidance for different technical sectors.

Other major players are getting their feet wet in smart grids. Google has signed on smart-meter manufacturer Itron and eight utilities to offer the company’s PowerMeter Web service for monitoring home energy use, according to CNET.

Networking equipment giant Cisco recently outlined its plans for a highly secure smart-grid infrastructure, which will address everything from data centers and substations to neighborhood-area networks to businesses and homes.

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