The introduction of digital, intelligent meters that allow for remote reading via a communication interface requires reliable interoperability and a high degree of information security for end users and consumers.
This is achieved through quality assurance and standardized interfaces. Such standardization is reached through the comparison of the specifications of the meter with a sufficient number of test cases which assign a predefined basic condition to all known input parameters – including interference variables.
Information security is given when compliance with these conditions is guaranteed for the entire utilization period of the meter.
The test results of the conformity test allow the meter manufacturers to pursue the targeted further development of their products, and can provide measuring point operators and energy suppliers with valuable information on their business processes.
For the technical implementation, the modular EDL concept was created in the Network Technology / Network Operation forum of VDE (FNN). EDL stands for “Energie-Dienst-Leistung” (Energy Service) and provides energy suppliers with a platform that – while maintaining cost awareness – enables the implementation of requirements of the German Energy Management Act (EnWG).
By using the EDL specifications in the design of an electricity meter, the manufacturer can ensure that his product can be operated in the infrastructure of the energy supplier (interoperability).
To provide evidence of correct implementation in the design, VDE Testing and Certification Institute offers conformity tests for the EDL system. Further system tests (including those for MUC) are in preparation.
Tested information security
The conformity test cases established by the expert group (MeKo) within FNN are implemented by VDE Institute in the TTCN-3 and represent the basis for testing the information security of EDL meters. The test setup consists of an EDL-capable meter whose information and measuring point operator interface is read and evaluated by a PC. Each individual test case is assessed and can be analyzed in further detail thanks to comprehensive protocol functions. These functions can also be utilized for the acceptance test during the inspection of incoming shipments.
The objective is to use the standardized communication interface of the digital consumption meters to guarantee, verifiably and transparently, information security not only for the user but also for the end user, and to guarantee the harmonization and standardization, across all sectors, of the measuring and communications systems used for counting and measuring.
VDE Institute carries out tests and creates test reports on the basis of these test cases. If the results are favorable, a VDE quality seal can be issued.