IDIS Association: Interoperability in Review
For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinovic
IDIS ASSOCIATION: INTEROPERABILITY IN REVIEW
IDIS Webinar “Overview of Smart Metering Standards (in EU)” – part 2
In the previous report regarding the webinar “Overview of Smart Metering Standards (in EU)”, our guests concluded that a universal companion specification is very much needed to ensure true interoperability, meaning interchangeability, and development of additional services, such as Smart Cities, and that IDIS has the closest companion specification to achieve that.
In this part of the report, we are sharing our guests’ views on two important subjects:
Whether or not the IDIS Association should expand to include utilities?
Is it possible to define a single open, interoperable standard for the realisation of smart cities?
The webinar hosted amazing guests and experts who have influenced the development of European technology and are shaping its future: Mr. Ciril Kafol - network director of Elektro Gorenska, Mr. Milan Kozole - chairman of the technical board DLMS, Mr. Dieter Brunner - former President of the IDIS association, and Mr. Gyözö Kmethy – former President of DLMS user association. The host was Mr. Klemen Belec of Iskraemeco, with moderation from Jovan Vujasinovic.
Previous Blog Posts
IDIS Webinar "Overview of Smart Metering Standards (in EU) - Part 1, For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinivic - February 2021
Shaping the history and the future of IDIS Association.- part 2 For Idis, Jovan Vujasinivic - November 2020
Shaping the history and the future of IDIS Association. For Idis, Jovan Vujasinivic - 18 November 2020
Elektro Gorenjska – IDIS' first experience
For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinovic - 29 October 2020
Overview of Smart Metering Standards -For IDIS, Jovan Vujasinovic 14 October 2020
Should the IDIS association expand toward utilities, and how?
Utilities are also customers of these standards, says Mr. Dieter Brunner by opening the discussion on this topic. However, although the IDIS Association has never included utilities in its membership, it has always been consulting them, especially when there are pilot projects. And the input of utilities has always been valuable to the work of the association. Mr. Brunner adds that is why we need utilities, and we need their input and opinions. One way to include them in the work of the association could be through a discussion or advisory board.
Mr. Ciril Kafol also believes that utilities should be included in the work of the IDIS Association. He said that utilities should be included through a representative association like Eurelectric, or similar (i.eg. EDSO, CIRED), not individually. It is important for that association to have the legitimacy and an established line of communication with the European Commission to truly represent utilities, he adds.
On the other hand, Mr. Milan Kozole said that the IDIS Association has been constituted to build and deploy interoperable smart meters. That was an important commitment that members of the association made and that is why the members are manufacturers. However, he also agrees that it is important that utilities contribute to the work of IDIS. This has happened during the development of the third IDIS package where many utilities contributed and led to a vastly broader IDIS package.
There was an interesting suggestion from the audience, coming from Mr. Phelippe Neu who suggested that IDIS should create a “User group”. Such a group would be open to include utilities, manufacturers and any other companies that have experience in implementing IDIS specifications.
Answering the question about the possibility of different types of memberships for small and medium-sized manufacturers, as it is done in DLMS user association, Mr. Kozole said that different memberships should be based on different levels of contribution to the work of the IDIS Association. This should not be divided by the type of organization. He also adds that this is not something that can be directly applicable to the IDIS association but can be customized.
Is the definition of a single, interoperable standard for the realization of smart cities possible before the mass implementation?
Mr. Brunner states that smart cities need to have a clear definition in the first place. He remembers how it was with smart metering when everybody understood something else. So a clear picture about what a smart city is, what it belongs to and not, is the point from which to start. When there's no clear definition, and no pressure from legislators or industry groups that define what is needed - we can end up at the same place as we were with e-mobility. It took us a very long time to standardise the type of connector - there were almost 100 of them at the beginning, and now there are only three.
Mr. Kozole agrees that there is a need to define such a standard. This work is ongoing, and there are working user groups handling some of the aspects of it.
Mr. Kafol argues that there are many different applications in this area, but mostly as a proof of concept. There are no smart cities on a large scale. If there were an interoperability standard, a clear structure, and a standard platform on which we could seamlessly integrate many different devices, many public and private companies, cities and municipalities would go into this.
It is a good idea to include utilities in the IDIS Association. However, not individually, but through representative associations such as Eurelectric, E.DSO, CIRED or similar. It is important that these associations must have the legitimacy and an established line of communication with the European Commission in order to truly represent utilities. Formally, this can be done through an advisory board. It is also a good idea to form a user group within the IDIS Association, which can be joined by manufacturers, utilities and any other companies that have experience in implementing IDIS specifications.
Standardisation is very much needed in the field of smart cities. However, before that, we must first define what a smart city is, just as we did when we started standardising in the field of smart metering. And if we want the standardisation to happen in the smart cities, we need a strong integration force between manufacturers, utilities, legislators and standardisation association such as IDIS association, and finally the help from the European Commission. Then it will be possible to achieve mass implementation with one universal standard.