VDE|FNN test of intelligent measuring systems
2017-05-24 Frankfurt am Main press release

Good, but yet not good enough - First results of the VDE|FNN test of intelligent measuring systems

Around 800 experts discuss the future of intelligent measuring systems at the VDE|FNN Conference on Counting - Measuring - Testing (in German: Zählen - Messen - Prüfen). As a highlight, VDE|FNN presents the first results of the coordinated test phase for the introduction of intelligent measuring systems.

Without the introduction of intelligent measuring systems, there is no digitalization of the energy revolution in Germany. This is the conclusion of the first day of the expert council Counting - Measuring - Testing (in German: Zählen - Messen - Prüfen) of the VDE|FNN today in Leipzig. Around 800 experts from Germany and abroad discuss solutions and challenges in the rollout of digital energy measurement technology.

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The Forum Network Technology / Network Operation in the VDE (in German: Forum Netztechnik/netzbetrieb FNN) appreciates the entry into the rollout of intelligent measuring systems, which began with the entering into force of the Law on the Digitalization of the Energy Revolution in early 2017. The focus of the work in VDE|FNN is currently shifting from the standardization of interoperable devices to quality assurance. "Reliability is the key to the acceptance of the intelligent measuring system," says FNN CEO Dr. Stefan Küppers in his keynote speech. "Therefore, the VDE|FNN work on quality assurance applies to all processes, from the specifications, through the coordinated test phase to a quality seal," says Dr. Küppers.
As a highlight, VDE|FNN presented the first results of the coordinated test phase since 2015. It is the largest industry-wide practice test for new components, of which the introduction is governed by the Law on the Digitalization of the Energy Revolution. The results of the first test stage, the laboratory tests, are now available. Modern measuring devices (ie digital current meters) and smart meter gateways have been investigated in conjunction with different gateway administrators according to predefined test cases. The aim was to determine the degree of interoperability of the various components.
13 different combinations of these components were tested and thus a large part of the products currently available on the market. Over a year, 101 defined test cases were tested on the devices and above all the different device combinations. A total of 2,222 tests were carried out. 45 % of the test cases were positive, about 25 % were not feasible due to missing conditions and less than 5 % failed. Thus, the majority of the tests were successful. At the same time, it became clear that the necessary market readiness for an industry-wide rollout has not yet been achieved. "Given the complexity of the task, the achieved findings and the results are positive," says Peter Zayer, chairman of the Steering Group for Metering and Metrology at VDE|FNN. The obtained results also showed how necessary these complex tests are. Interoperability in the sense of a "plug and play" solution has not yet been achieved. "As all components, including the interfaces, were completely redesigned, it was clear that the needed interoperability for a successful rollout would require an ongoing development process," Zayer said.

FNN Infografik Labortests

The majority of the test cases produced a positive result. "Blocked" means that the test was not feasible due to missing conditions, "not tested" means that the test case was not applicable to the test sample.


The coordinated test phase is carried out in a consortium of VDE|FNN and 16 companies in the energy industry. Almost all systems and components currently available on the market are included in the tests. The obtained results are directly included in the standardization of VDE|FNN.
The second stage of the test phase has already started. In this process, devices and processes are tested over their entire life cycle with a smaller number of network customers. In the third step large field tests will be carried out. In this case, the total system has to prove its performance with several thousand or ten thousand customers.

The ZMP is taking place for the eleventh time this year and is the largest national congress on all questions concerning the intelligent measuring system and the topics of counting, measuring, testing. The Forum Netztechnik / Netzbetrieb in VDE is the sponsor of the congress.