Building on synergies is the way forward

IEC develops effective business model for systems committees

By Antoinette Price

Increasingly, industry projects need to apply a combination of standards, in order for products and systems to run smoothly. The technology must be interoperable at different levels and between diverse domains, while remaining secure and safe.

smart_energy_home Smart meters provide access to real-time information, enabling more accurate billing and control of energy use

This can be complex when standards developed by different standards development organizations (SDOs), and even different groups within a given SDO have varied semantic models and architecture references.

Working together in a connected world

IEC Systems Committees (SyC) aim to provide industry with a consistent, thorough and easy to use portfolio of Standards, while supporting the technical committees which develop the Standards. They are comprised of experts on working and advisory groups which liaise with other IEC technical committees and SDOs in the specific fields, such as active assisted living (AAL), smart cities, low voltage direct current (LVDC), smart manufacturing and smart energy.

The SyC smart energy has created a business model, which would help SyCs to achieve this and also enable industry to understand and better use Standards, as well as be aware of what is in the pipeline.

“If industry knows what’s available, what it needs and what changes and new Standards are on the horizon, this will more likely favour the broad effective adoption of Standards”, said Richard Schomberg, Chair, IEC SyC smart energy.

A new approach

Moving with the times, the business model considers the fact that systems are constantly evolving and require continual feedback and input to be able to adapt to the latest market requirements.

Additionally, many TCs have increasing liaisons with other TCs and SDOs, and they work on multiple projects, and they can be involved with several SyCs. Consequently, SyCs would greatly benefit from using similar or a common business model.

… which adds value

The added value of the business model will be achieved with a new approach to the Standards development process itself and include:

  • A combination of use cases analysis and mapping (top-down) with resolving inconsistencies identified by TCs, industry or SyC members (bottom-up).
    The SyC will provide a constant framework of processes, methods, tools and use cases collection, analysis and mapping to produce roadmaps and development plans with associated TCs.
  • Closing loops, meaning ensuring a control and reaction by relevant groups whenever their activities or deliverables are implied in system works. Forums organized on a regular basis getting together at the same place and time representatives of the relevant groups on targeted system situations is the way forward. Forums for IEC TCs/SCs make it possible to close loops inside IEC, while other types of Forums will close loops externally of IEC like with Standards users, regional regulatory and other organizations, as well as SDOs for telecommunication and internet players.

“The SyC is organizing forums that offer many benefits because they allow the cross communication of all stakeholders, while supporting and offering a broader view of TC/SC activities”, said Schomberg.

  • Additional feedback mechanism allowing a new type of registered members (TCs/SCs and also some non-IEC members) to provide comments during the validation process of SyC deliverables.

About IEC SyC smart energy

IEC SyC smart energy began in 2009 as a strategic group. It has since evolved into a Systems Committee with six groups covering generic smart grid requirements, roadmap, standards development plan, methodology and tools, TC forum and more. Drawing on almost a decade of experience, the new business model has been developed through a series of workshops with ten TCs that are most relevant to smart energy.

Find out more about IEC Systems Committees.

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Richard Schomberg, Chair, IEC SyC Smart Energy Richard Schomberg, Chair, IEC SyC Smart Energy
Smart meters for home energy systems Smart meters provide access to real-time information, enabling more accurate billing and control of energy use