With the aim of carrying out this complex task it is necessary to agree on a common understanding regarding the representation of requirements and architectures for Smart Grid solutions . For that purpose, the DISCERN European FP7 project has leveraged two international standards: the IEC Use Case methodology (IEC 62559) for expressing requirements and the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM) for representing high-level architectures of Smart Grid systems covering key Interoperability aspects. Until recently, the Use Case & SGAM approach was mainly used by standardisation bodies for identifying standardisation gaps. In DISCERN this approach was enhanced and adapted to facilitate knowledge sharing within the scope of Smart Grid projects. Thus, the DSOs created the Use Cases and SGAM models for the Smart Grid solutions that will be implemented at their networks. These descriptions were discussed with the vendors of the DISCERN consortium and resulted in the DISCERN catalogues, which represent the DSO requirements grouped per Use Case actor together with the equipment proposed by the vendors in order to meet those requirements (Figure 1).
Figure1 Use Case & SGAM approach for communication between DSO and vendors
The methodology proposed in DISCERN provides DSOs an structured way to design multi-vendor solutions from the very beginning, since the requirements are grouped per actor or component and include the necessary standards to achieve interoperability. The methodology is also beneficial for vendors, because they receive the requirements and architectures from different DSOs in a common language .
In order to assess the proposed methodology beyond the project, a workshop with external vendors was held at Brussels in December 2014. The workshop consisted of an interactive meeting at which vendors were asked to propose technical solutions in response to the DISCERN Use Cases and SGAM models. Vendors were invited to present their technical solutions by using the SGAM. All vendor and DSO participants expressed that the Use Case & SGAM methodology supports mutual understanding between vendors and DSOs, and is seen to be of particular benefit at the early stages of the design discussions.
In addition to improving communication between DSO and vendors, the SGAM framework has also been adopted within DISCERN for: 1) carrying out standards assessment of DISCERN solutions, and 2) mapping DISCERN solutions into the NISTIR 7628 guidelines in order to extract IT security requirements recommended by international experts.
Results of this workshop can be download here: www.discern.eu