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DNV GL offers first IEC 61850 Edition 2 client certification service to ensure interoperability between smart grids systems

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By using certified Edition 2 devices, customers can utilize the most up-to-date equipment within the smart grid and improve interoperability between systems.
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DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, announced today that its smart grid protocol test lab is the first to offer an accredited IEC 61850 Edition 2 client certification service on behalf of the UCA International User Group (UCA). This latest service makes DNV GL unique in its ability to offer customers a complete package in terms of both UCA server certification and client certification to the IEC 61850 standard.

The European union recently commissioned a Mandate 490 on smart-grid standards to ensure the full compatibility between all intelligent devices from any given vendor. The Mandate 490 study revealed IEC 61850 to be the most effective standard for the automation of electricity substations as well as all intelligent devices included on the grid. However, the implementation of this standard alone does not guarantee the successful, long-term communication of devices present within the grid. For this reason, DNV GL has built a specific test lab in order to accurately verify that IEC 61850 implementations meet the latest standard conformance test requirements. 

Research from edition 1 of the IEC 61850, first implemented in 2004, shows that fully certified devices communicate at a much higher rate with each other than non-certified devices. If both client and server devices within the grid are properly certified this will strongly reduce operational issues, and subsequently drive down the cost of maintenance and help ensure project lead times are met. Now that DNV GL provides UCA edition 2 certifications, the end user is able to implement Edition 2 devices and therefore utilise the most up-to-date equipment within the smart grid, and subsequently improve the interoperability between systems.

Klaas van Tricht, Consultant Substation Automation at Dutch DNO Enexis, who has worked with DNV GL to carry out the necessary testing on both the IEC 60870-5-104 and the IEC 61850 standards, commented: “As a user of substation automation, Enexis has a multi-vendor policy. Interoperability between applications and devices is therefore essential in order to conform to the IEC-norm and more specifically to the internal Enexis Protocol Implementation documents. For these tests we require absolute independency, which DNV GL is renowned for.”

Richard Schimmel, IEC 61850 Verification Manager, DNV GL commented: “We are extremely proud to be the first company to be able to provide customers with Edition 2 standard UCA certificates and therefore complete our verification service for both Edition 1 and Edition 2. Many energy companies have already taken this step, and we expect a great deal of others to follow. Not only is this a huge step for an industry that is generally reluctant to use devices that are not correctly certified, it also a necessary one in terms of securing the future of the smart grid”.


• By providing customers with a complete package of both server and client UCA certification for IEC 61850 DNV GL is ensuring the future of smart grids

• By using certified Edition 2 devices, customers can utilize the most up-to-date equipment within the smart grid and improve interoperability between systems

• The IEC 61850 standard found to be the most effective standard for the automation of electricity substations