In the electricity grid of the 20th century, it was only individual critical elements that had to be standardised in order to guarantee the quality and precision fit of the various components needed. In order to provide the high-tech and digitised power grid of tomorrow, new standards need to be developed or existing ones adapted. This process also needs to take new products and business models into account.
Standards are still predominantly being developed within individual technology sectors such as photovoltaics, wind energy or grid equipment. The challenge now is to bring different players in the energy market together in a way that enables overarching standards and guidelines to be developed. This is the only way in which the smart grid of the future can be realised.
The SINTEG programme, which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, is helping to standardise smart energy in a number of different ways:
- Expertise: The five SINTEG showcases bring different market perspectives and technologies to the programme. The insights gained through testing in the showcase regions provide a sound basis for adapting the standards to the requirements of the smart grid.
- Involvement: A large number of key players are involved in SINTEG. Partners to the SINTEG programme participate in relevant standardisation committees and regularly exchange information with the relevant interest groups. This ensures that all of the actors involved – even outside the project – all pull in the same direction.
- Validation: New standards that are still under development are being tested in the SINTEG projects. The insights gained from this testing are fed back to the committees and help to improve the outcomes.
- Dissemination: Last but not least, the SINTEG projects play a part in developing up-to-date standards by applying new and updated standards across the showcases and by training staff on how to apply them.
In this way, the SINTEG programme fosters the development and improvement of standards and helps them to become established. One example is the application of the Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM) and the integration of this into business processes. SGAM is a model that enables smart energy systems to be described in a structured manner. It is used to map the functional levels (components, communication, business models etc.), the actors (network operators, producers, customers etc.) and the fields of action (process, operation, market etc.) in a way that is structured. In addition, the methodology used for describing use cases which is set out in the IEC 62559 standard (used to describe process sequences in the smart energy system) is being further developed.
In this area, the SINTEG projects cooperate with standardisation organisations such as the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE), the Forum Network Technology/Network Operation (FNN), the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the PTB [National Metrology Institute] and the German Institute for Standardization (DIN).