Expertise in action: assessing supplier’s capability to control software
TenneT TSO is developing the NordLink interconnector with its consortium, the Norwegian TSO Statnett and Germany’s KfW IPEX-Bank on behalf of KfW. The Nordlink interconnector will run between Wilster in Schleswig- Holstein in Germany and Tonstad, Norway. NordLink will be a bi-pole, high voltage, direct current (HVDC) interconnector made up of a pair of high voltage electricity cables. The exchange of power enabled by the interconnector will increase security of electricity supply in both countries, contribute to increased production of renewable energy, and create an integrated and more efficient power market.
The consortium asked several suppliers to submit proposals for the interconnector project. As a control system for the interconnector is in the scope of this project, the quality of the control systems software is dependent on the supplier’s ability to develop and maintain protection and security software.
TenneT asked DNV GL to conduct an assessment on the supplier’s capability to control software development and quality during all stages of the software life cycle. The objective was to assess the quality of the software development process, not the software itself. Because the outcome of the assessment was input for the overall decision, the assessments were performed within a small timeframe but amongst all the potential suppliers.
A team of DNV GL consultants developed a protocol based on international standards like the ISO/IEC 12207 on systems and software engineering and DNV GL best practices, complementing specific Nordlink requirements. The assessments were based on the protocol, so the results of the assessments could be compared.
The DNV GL team leads the assessments at the supplier sites while representatives of TenneT and Statnett witness the assessments. Because of the protocol – which was sent in advance to the suppliers – it was possible to provide structured feedback to the consortium at short notice.
The outcome of the assessment provided the consortium with a clear description of the approach of the software development process and the peculiarities of the suppliers. The consortium was able to estimate the risks related to software development and took this into account in their decision process.
DNV GL and Transmission & Distribution
DNV GL serves transmission and distribution system operators throughout the entire life cycle of the grid. Covering feasibility, planning and design support, verification and acceptance plans, construction support with accredited testing and certification of equipment and software, validation of project conformity. Operations support with diagnostics and performance management, training of operating and maintenance staff as well as impartial failure investigations.
Some of the things Peter can help you with:
- High Voltage and HVDC technology
- Assessment and Impact of new technology for the grid
- Advanced “fit-for-purpose” equipment and system testing
- Development of flexible future proof hybrid grids
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