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2017-06-09 303 0

Smart Metering

transparent energy consumption

The recording of industrial and household energy consumption is always the center of interest for politicians and businessmen. The objective is to control energy consumption, stimulate energy savings and promote innovative technologies in this sector.

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Christian Lütkemeier

Efficient Energy Use

According to the "Energy Efficiency and Energy Services" Directive of the European Union (2006/32/EC, EDL Directive), the customer should observe his energy consumption transparently in the future with the help of smart metering for efficient energy use. In Germany, the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) and the Metering Access Ordinance (MessZV) implement the EU directives at the national level.
The VDE Testing and Certification Institute is also a competent partner for consumers, manufacturers and energy suppliers in the smart metering area. We offer you individual solutions exactly adapted and tailored to your specific needs.

Our Service

Energy suppliers

Energy suppliers and public utilities need other solutions. These customers focus on high reliability and long service life of their measuring instruments. The VDE Institute is also a competent partner for energy suppliers and public utilities: Already while they prepare a rollout and the associated qualification phase, the testing and evaluation of the electricity meters that might be used can minimize risks.

Consumers

In the consumer protection area, we focus on metrological and calibration tests, which ensure the correct functioning of the measuring instruments on the market. If final consumers doubt the reliability of measuring instruments, they can have them tested at the VDE Institute as part of an inspection. These tests are conducted at the "state-approved test centers for measuring instruments for electricity EF 9" in the VDE Institute recognized by the Hessian Calibration Administration.

Measuring instrument manufacturers

For manufacturers of measuring instruments (such as electricity meters, measuring transformers, integrated or external additional equipment), notified body conformity evaluations according to the Measuring Instruments Directive or German legal metrology are very important because they allow access to the European and domestic market.
Contact taking place already during the development stage makes it possible to prevent unnecessary developmental work and implement requirements relevant to the directive in a suitable way (e.g. in the software). With its accredited testing services, the VDE Institute can optimally support you in the sector of electromagnetic compatibility, environmental tests or electrical requirements.

MID

The VDE Institute has the authorization as notified body according to the Measuring Instruments Directive

The Measuring Instruments Directive 2014/32/EU (MID) allows the simplified marketing of different measuring instruments for the entire internal European market.

MID

The Measuring Instruments Directive 2014/32/EU (MID) allows the simplified marketing of different measuring instruments for the entire internal European market.

One of these types of measuring instruments are electricity meters for active energy consumption, as typically installed in private European households or in light industry.

  • The VDE-Institute is, as notified body (NB no. 0366), and through its accreditation full provider of certifications for the conformity evaluation of this type of instrument. The conformity evaluation is a modular process in which the manufacturer can select suitable conformity evaluations. We offer you the following module combinations: MID Module B + MID Module D
  • MID Module B + MID Module F

Your benefits:

  • One authorization for the entire internal European market
  • Expertise in all MID testing areas from one single source
  • Fast market access due to fast testing sequences
  • Expert knowledge in the set-up and evaluation of QM systems

Take advantage of the synergies and combine one MID authorization with other tests from our service portfolio, such as:

  • Authorization according to the MessEG and MessEV
  • Interoperability tests
  • Service life tests
  • Idle performance tests
Beispielbild

Conformity evaluation body according to the Measurement and Calibration Act

The revision of statutory metrology in Germany led to extensive modifications in the Measurement and Calibration Act (MessEG) and in the Measurement and Calibration Ordinance (MessEV).

Beispielbild

The revision of statutory metrology in Germany led to extensive modifications in the Measurement and Calibration Act (MessEG) and in the Measurement and Calibration Ordinance (MessEV).

For this reason, conformity evaluation bodies are the central institutions for putting measuring instruments in the market.
With the Measuring Instruments Directive process, the VDE Institute as conformity evaluation body offers manufacturers from one single source tests and certifications for their measuring instruments that do not fall under the European directive.

Measuring accuracy of electricity meters

Calibrated measuring devices are mainly used in the field of utility companies. These meters are for gas, water, heat and electricity.

As a “company entrusted with sovereign tasks”, the officially recognized EF9 testing agency in the VDE Testing and Certification Institute relieves the State in enforcing the Verification Act for electricity meters.

Energy providers, operators of measuring points and manufacturers now have the option of handing over initial calibrations, recalibrations, acceptance tests or the extension of the validity of calibration to an officially recognized testing agency in a random sampling procedure, so that they themselves do not have to keep test equipment and personnel available for these tasks.

At a very early stage, the manufacturers of electricity meters can use our comprehensive pool of testing equipment not only to accompany development and to have accuracy tests and insulation tests carried out, but can also benefit from our many years of experience in the field of EMC testing and environmental audits.

End users can also make use of the services of officially recognized testing agencies and calibration authorities if there should be any doubts about the accuracy of meters.

Range of tasks of the testing agency:

  • Initial calibrations
  • Recalibrations
  • Calibration checks
  • Special tests
  • Extension of the calibration validity period (random sampling procedure)
  • Acceptance tests

Testing equipment:

  • Meter testing device with isolating current transformers
  • Insulating test equipment
  • Equipment for testing the influences of electromagnetic interference
  • Climatic test chambers

Interoperability

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.

Further development
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).

Ensuring interoperability

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.

Reliability and measuring constancy of electricity meters

The “Guideline for the evaluation of the reliability of electricity meters and additional equipment” published by the project group “Reliability and measuring constancy of electricity meters and additional equipment” in the Network Technology / Network Operation forum in the VDE (FNN) supplements the normative requirements and calls for higher standards of reliability and quality in energy meters during mains operation.

VDE Testing and Certification Institute has been instrumental in the establishment of the guideline through examinations and tests, in particular in the field of the interference of high frequency currents in the frequency range of 2 kHz to 150 kHz.

The following test points are required in the guideline and can be offered by the VDE in complete or in partial tests.

  • Magnetic d.c. fields, maximum strength
  • Magnetic a.c. fields, maximum strength
  • Failure in the neutral conductor
  • Direct current component in the mains
  • Direct voltage component in the mains
  • Symmetrical high frequency currents 2 kHz to 150 kHz

The interference immunity test against symmetrical high frequency currents of 2 kHz to 150 kHz is specifically required by many network operators as a precondition for the use of a measuring device in the mains system.

Electromagnetic compatibility

VDE Institute offers you the EMC test and the additional tests in accordance with the FNN guideline on electronic meters and additional equipment within the framework of an approval test or during the development phase. Our state-of-the-art equipment warrants for excellent quality.

Benefit from our expertise in the field of statutory measuring and EMC to prove increased reliability standards and measuring constancy of your product.

Service life tests for electricity meters

During development of new meter types, or in case of design changes, it is rather costly to establish the service life, and the effects of individual changes in design frequently become evident very late.

In order to reduce or avoid consequential damage, VDE Institute offers reliability tests so that weak spots can be detected during the development phase.

Such reliability tests allow for potential sources of failure to be detected by subjecting the product to increased loads (stress tests). Adequate design changes can thus be made at an early stage to reduce subsequent costs.

With its cutting edge test laboratory and long-time expertise in the field of service life tests, especially for electronic components, VDE Institute offers manufacturers and users a wide range of reliability test.

The benefits for you:

  • Early detection of weak spots
  • Quick reliability information thanks to statistical predictions
  • Reduced consequential costs
  • Enhanced level of quality

DIN EN 62059-31-1:2009-07

In this accelerated reliability test, random samples are subjected to stress levels exceeding the intended operating conditions. The goal is to shorten the elapsed time until product failure, without subjecting them to new failure mechanisms.

The service life is assessed through record entries and examinations of the failures during the test. By determining the failure distribution and calculating service life models, it is possible to extrapolate the time to failure under the intended operating conditions.

E DIN EN 62059-32-1:2012-10

This draft standard represents the basis for assessing the metrological characteristics of an electricity meter under increased loads. The meter is operated for a longer period of time at the upper limits of operating temperature, voltage and current.

The change in the percentage measuring error of the test object at the beginning and at the end of the test serves as the acceptance criterion.

VDE Institute also offers tailor-made tests such as climatic storage at elevated ambient temperature and humidity. Benefit from our state-of-the-art meter testing equipment, which records changes in metrological characteristics under heightened climatic conditions.

Benefit from our experience in the field of statutory measuring to verify increased reliability standards against the measuring stability of your product.

VDE testing system for FNN basic meters

In the future, the grid technology/grid operation forum (FNN) according to FNN specifications will take on the role of the modern measuring equipment within an intelligent measuring system. So basic meters can reliably function while they operate with smart meter gateways made by various manufacturers, the testing of these meters is crucially important, since otherwise no sustainable good quality can be guaranteed. For this reason, the "grid technology & grid operation forum at the VDE" (FNN) draws up test specifications for basic meters:

This testing system developed by the VDE Institute allows the verification of the requirements from the FNN specifications for basic meters. The target groups of the universally applicable testing systems are measurement site operators, manufacturers and test centers.

The VDE testing system consists of software and a hardware module for exchanging messages with the meter. The software has a modular design and relies on the tried and tested TTCN-3 technology for flexible use. It can be expanded to make it future-proof. To ensure that the strict requirements made to the LMN communication interface of the basic meter can be met, a special module was developed in collaboration with an external partner capable of exchanging messages with a secured time base of 10 ns.

The test cases specified in the FNN are automatically executed by the VDE testing system software. In the process, the testing system takes over the control of an external electrical source system. The syntax and semantics of the exchanged communication protocols are checked and evaluated by the TTCN-3 software. Thus, the high degree of automation can significantly reduce the time it takes to test a basic meter with full recording of the test results for error analysis.

Accompanying development tests of communication interfaces
In the age of the Internet of things (IoT), the requirements made to instrument communication technology are becoming increasingly higher. This trend can be observed especially in metering and metrology as well. Thus, in the future, energy meters should be capable of communicating with distribution grid operators and energy suppliers via a smart meter gateway in order to contribute to an intelligent power grid, the so-called smart grid.

The standardization of communication protocols will allow software implementations to be planned, developed, and tested for reliability well in advance to prevent expensive errors in the subsequent operational field. The testing of the respective protocol implementation is an indispensable task that greatly benefits product quality if the communication remote terminal is an independent entity.

To optimally support manufacturers in this field during development, the VDE Testing and Certification Institute has expanded its communication protocol expertise. Specifically, communication protocols are supported in various application fields – for example, smart metering, smart home and e-mobility, where the VDE Institute relies on TTCN-3, the standardized technology for communication tests.

Downloads

Smart Metering at VDE Our services at a glance

PDF 187 KB

Conformity tests on EDL meters

PDF 85 KB

Notified Body in accordance with the Measuring Instruments Directive (MID)

PDF 252 KB

Official recognized testing agency EF 9 for electricity meters

PDF 151 KB

Service life tests for electricity meters (1)

PDF 159 KB

VDE test system for FNN basic meter

PDF 233 KB