IEC Announces Online Smart Grid Standard Mapping Solution

October 24, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) announced that it will launch its online IEC Smart Grid Standard Mapping Solution. This multidimensional interactive tool will create a map of the smart grid and enable smart grid managers around the world to quickly identify IEC international smart grid standards, position them in relation to their role in the smart grid, and point out possible interactions and overlaps. The announcement was made at the GridWeek conference, during a panel discussion on Global Markets and Global Standards for the smart grid.

The mapping solution will launch by the end of 2010 or early 2011, and has already been recognized by major smart grid standard players (United States’ National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), CEN CENELEC, and others).

The IEC currently provides the large majority of all standards needed to build the smart grid, with new standards being brought into the portfolio on an ongoing basis. The IEC is bringing relevant national or regional standards via a fast track system into the international consensus process. Gradually the new mapping solution will allow other organizations to add their own standards in layers in addition to IEC international standards.

"The smart grid represents a technical challenge beyond building infrastructure, and can’t reach its potential if every country and company is building it based on different standards," said Jacques Régis, IEC President. "Our international set of standards ensures the smart grid industry can grow and function as one coordinated entity, relying on optimal compatibility and the ability of one system or device to communicate with others."

The IEC is the preeminent international organization that develops and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. Founded in 1906, the IEC convenes representatives from 162 countries and close to 10,000 experts in 174 technical committees and 1,000 working groups. These experts work together to create international standards that any company, government or regulator can adopt to guide the design, testing and manufacture of products and technology. This enables a true worldwide market for smart grid solutions.

The IEC Smart Grid Standard Mapping Solution will help smart grid project managers to easily identify the standards they need in their smart grid. Currently, this process must be done manually, often by reading through thousands of pages of standard documents, leading to non-reproducible results with the danger of creating more problems than are solved The solution will be constantly updated, new use cases and standards will be continuously fed into the open source database. It will allow users to search by pointing to areas or links between elements of the electric system.

"For the first time anybody working on smart grids, anywhere in the world, will be able to quickly navigate through the interoperability standards they need to build smart grid projects, products and technology," said Richard Schomberg, Chairman of the IEC Smart Grid Strategic Group. "This approach is unique in that computers will do the heavy lifting, dealing with the full complexity of the task, on behalf of the users. It provides the foundation for a sustainable evolution of the global smart grid standards portfolio."