Testing and certifying

IECEE PSC Working Group 2A on Smart Grid

By Aliyah Esmail

IECEE has a working group that is trying to satisfy the needs of industry in terms of Smart Grid. It is looking to help industry ensure that its products are safe, of high quality and interoperable.

Industry needs for their products to be safe and IECEE helps to satisfy this requirement

Smarter and more efficient

The Smart Grid is a way for information and communication applications to link to energy generation, transmission and distribution technologies.

Consumers and industries throughout the world are preparing for the Smart Grid by developing devices and pieces of equipment that consume much less energy than ever before and that can be integrated into the system.

IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, has been testing and certifying electric and electronic equipment for many years. It focuses on product safety and, when the Standards require it, it also provides services that help to ensure efficient performance. Now, in response to industry demand, IECEE is working on the Smart Grid.

“I think everyone sees the need to move to smart technologies but the word smart means so many things to so many people so it’s hard to align it to a single definition,” said Steven Margis from UL, the Convenor of PSC (Policy and Strategy Committee) Working Group 2A on Smart Grid.

Conformity assessment on the Smart Grid

The IECEE PSC Working Group 2A on Smart Grid was created in 2011 to explore the potential and practicality of conformity assessment applications in the fields of the smart home, smart building and smart industry (factory).

When the Working Group was created it started out by trying to leverage the work of the IEC and others around the world on Smart Grid, including SG (Strategic Group) 3 on Smart Grid, which has now become SEG (Systems Evaluation Group) 2. The Working Group went through the IEC Smart Grid Standardization Roadmap, created by SEG 2, and analyzed the Standards it contained to see which could be included in the IECEE System.

In 2009, SG 3 held its first meeting; since then it has provided strategic guidance to all IEC Technical Committees involved in Smart Grid related standardization work. The Systems Evaluation Group keeps abreast of the latest developments and technologies and provides recommendations to address future requirements. An updated version of the Roadmap will be published in 2014.

Standardization acts as the focus

Of the 296 IEC International Standards identified in the Roadmap, 91 have been incorporated into the IECEE and 54 were already in use. They include Standards for   electric vehicle inductive charging systems, secondary batteries for the propulsion of electric road vehicles and electricity metering equipment.

“Thanks to the work of SEG 2, we had an excellent foundation to work from,” said Margis. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate and leverage the outcome of work from SEG 2 to advance on the additional needs of the marketplace.”

Margis explained that when it comes to Smart Grids the Working Group is allowing standardization to continue to lay the technical direction and foundation for Conformity Assessment. This will allow Conformity Assessment to deliver a toolkit of services that aligns with industries' conformity assessment needs.

“IEC Conformity Assessment related deiverables are based on the use of Standards so the alignment makes perfect sense. We want there to be good cohesion within the IEC,” said Margis.

Market driven systems approach

One of the imperatives for the Working Group is to have industry provide input regarding what the marketplace needs are so that it can review the IECEE toolkit to ensure deliverables are adapted to meet these market facing requirements. Working Group 2A welcomes additional feedback on the deliverables that will most directly meet market needs regarding Smart Grid.

“The Smart Grid requires that we consider Conformity Assessment as it relates to a systems approach. With the work of IEC Systems Evaluation Groups, such as SEG 2 on Smart Grid, we will be able to more pricisely target the system based conformity assessment needs of the marketplace,” said Margis.

ca-1-1_defective_plug_large Industry needs for their products to be safe and IECEE helps to satisfy this requirement
circuit breaker testing IECEE Working Group on Smart Grids sees the need for technologies that can be tested and certified
iStock_000005611497Medium Standards adopted by IECEE include those on electric vehicle inductive charging systems