The JRC Smart Grid Interoperability Laboratory (SGILab) is a testing facility on the interoperability of smart grid systems. It aims to assess technological implementations according to proposed standards, use cases and processes in conjunction with applicable reference architectures. The goal is to contribute to policy making and industrial innovation regarding the modernization of the electricity grid. The lab works on the verification of the interworks among grid components, benchmarking of different solutions, and identification of gaps and challenges. The work is performed in collaboration with industry and research institutions.
The lab allows interoperability testing of smart grid components following experimental procedures, simulations and emulations and utilising accepted standards. The assessment of interoperability is done with reference to use cases and quantitative assumptions stipulated by industry and standardization bodies. The focus is extended in identifying also the factors that could potentially compromise interoperability.
What is interoperability?
In summary, Interoperability is the ability of an equipment to be integrated in a system and exchange meaningful information, understand the exchanged information and comply with the system rules maintaining the quality of service. It is a fundamental element for the Smart Grid where a key challenge is integration affecting components, information, systems and implementations.
The Smart Grid exhibits a high complexity regarding organizational and technological aspects. Key challenge of the Smart Grid is integration, affecting components, information, systems and applications. Functionalities and interfaces should ensure interworks in order to enable high-level processes. Connecting all of the pieces in a power grid gives rise to an interconnected network in which communication and analysis will take place in real time. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) like Machine to Machine Communicators, Agent technology and Internet of Things will enable the migration of the classical power system towards the modernisation of the grid.
Interoperability is an essential requirement for this migration process and should be carefully considered since any operational, architectural and functional failure will have high cost due to the scale of the power system and its economy. Moreover, interoperability is crucial for deploying Smart Grids open to all vendors and integrators, where the operators can concentrate on the top-level functions, independent from proprietary solutions. Hence, interoperability is at the same time a technical imperative, and the enabler of an open market where innovation can flourish.
Collaboration and partnership
The SGIL is open and ready to collaborate with industrial and research partners in testing interoperability. In the following there are examples of partners who can can benefit from work with us:
- Less market fragmentation, opening up global market opportunities
- Lower production costs due to economies of scale
- Benefits of using open standards Operators
- Better integration of distributed energy resources
- Opportunity for new business models and services
- More consistent approach to a comprehensive digital energy framework
- Access to reliable information on interoperable energy-related products and services
- More certainty about plug-and-play digital energy solutions
- Proof that applications can enable energy efficiency and participation in the energy market
- More choices for products without locking themselves in closed ecosystems
In more general terms, our laboratory can support standardisation activities by identifying gaps and misalignments in current standards and putting forward recommendations for further global harmonisation.
What is interoperability?
A clever laboratory for smart homes
Equipment of Laboratory in Petten
Equipment of Laboratory in Ispra
Through our experimental facilities we contributed to several projects, particularly in the context of the R&I Framework Programme.
DRIMPAC (2018 - )“Unified DR interoperability framework enabling market participation of active energy consumers” is a project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Energy Efficiency Innovation Action. (https://www.drimpac-h2020.eu/)
ERIGrid-II (2020-2023). European Research Infrastructure supporting Smart Energy Systems Research, Technology Development, Validation and Roll Out - Second Edition (Horizon2020 project, https://erigrid2.eu)
ERIC-LAB (2015 - ). European Real-time Integrated Co-simulation laboratory (http://www.eric-lab.eu)
DELTA (2018-21). Future tamper-proof Demand rEsponse framework through seLf-configured, self-opTimized and collAborative virtual distributed energy nodes (https://www.delta-h2020.eu)
AnyPLACE (2015-18). Low-cost, modular energy management system for home automation and grid services (Horizon2020 project, http://www.anyplace2020.org)
Location: Smart Grid Interoperability Laboratory (Building 18), European Commission - Joint Research Centre (JRC), Via Enrico Fermi, 2749. 21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
Tel: +39 033278-5450
Location: Smart Grid Interoperability Laboratory (Building 311), European Commission - Joint Research Centre (GCO), Westerduinweg 3 NL-1755 LE Petten
Tel: +31 (0)224 565656 (switchboard)
Postal address: European Commission - JRC/GCO P.O. Box 2, NL-1755 ZG Petten
Directions: The Joint Research Centre is situated in a research park, just north of the village Petten (20 km north of Alkmaar).