The Power of Tiani. From Health to Energy
Spirit Energy Mission
Tiani Spirit improves Smart Grids by providing specifications, tools and services for interoperability. Tiani Spirit brings together different market actors from the energy sector to develop, test and implement standards-based solutions to vital Smart Grids needs, to enable seamless and secure authorised access to energy information whenever and wherever needed.
We know: There will be no Energiewende (Energy Transition) without Smart Grids and no Smart Grids without interoperability!
With the Project IES (Integrating the Energy System), powered by Klima- und Energiefonds Austria, we adapted the interoperability framework IHE from healthcare to the energy sector, compliant with SGAM (Smart Grid Architecture Model) and M490 (Smart Grid Mandate M490) from the European Commission. Here we see comparable domains with different use cases, roles, processes and devices with corresponding regulations and relevant requirements for security and privacy.
The target is a fully open and transparent platform to guarantee the best competition for excellent solutions on the highest possible level to support the Energy Transition for the benefit of all market actors and the society.
The following graphic shows the global, longtime proven interoperability process from IHE matched to IES:
Cooperation is central in the IES approach. From specifying requirements over peer-to-peer testing till fulfilling customer demands via multi-vendor solutions.
The central point of the IES process is the Connectathon Energy (learn more).
Watch our video on interoperability and the first Connectathon Energy test event!
Project IES - Integrating the Energy System
Interoperability is a key factor for the successful transition of the energy system. The research project IES (Integrating the Energy System) develops a modular process chain to ensure the interoperability of data exchanges in smart energy systems. IES provides a common understanding and a unified framework to develop and reuse solutions for data exchange: interoperability instead of proprietary solutions!
IES implements a transparent, vendor-neutral and cooperative method to achieve interoperability of ICT-systems in the energy sector. It is based on an existing method from ICT in healthcare where interoperability of various systems has long been achieved. Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is a global non-profit organisation that engages with many different actors to achieve interoperability of the ICT-systems. By initiating a cross-sector knowledge exchange, the initiative IES draws from years of IHE-experience and know-how in the health system.
The three pillars of the IES Interoperability Process
IES provides the framework for the development of integration profiles to specify the data transfer, based on real world use cases (pillar profiles). After the implementation of these integration profiles, vendors use an IES software tool to test their products on interoperability and conformity to the applied standards (pillar tests). Developed IES integration profiles are online available, as well as successful test results (pillar results).
Profiles: What is an IES integration profile?
Integration profiles specify the normalised use of existing IT- and communication standards (e.g. IEC 61850, IEC 60870-104) in line with the Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM) which was developed within the European Smart Grid Mandate M/490. Integration profiles are compiled into detailed technical implementation guides called “Technical Frameworks”. During the specification process, vendors and users work together to improve the results.
Tests: What is the test event “Connectathon Energy”?
To assure a sustainable implementation for real-life use-cases, IES provides a test environment for vendors to test their product interfaces on interoperability and conformity based on the Technical Frameworks. In addition to the tests against the already developed reference software, the vendors test their implementation peer to peer with other vendors at the annual test events “Connectathons Energy”. For the testing, an open source software named Gazelle is used, which provides test management and orchestration capabilities for each participant.
Results: What are the benefits?
Technical Frameworks are publicly available, which ensures their use for procurement processes and implementation activities. Successful test results are published in an online data bank following the example of the IHE Connectathon Results Browser. The result browser serves as a source of information for customers and procurement operators.
The specification of the Technical Framework is the centre of the IES process.
The transparency of the process and the publicly available data base for technical frameworks ensure a sustainable investment protection for vendors of interoperable products and services. Interoperability fosters competition, increases product quality and performance at lower costs.
Synergies achieved through cross-sector knowledge transfer with the healthcare sector
Worldwide reference for the successful methodology that comes from the IHE
Synergies through the usage of already existing profiles, e.g. for security
Usage of a proven and reliable test platform for the energy sector
Experiences from the healthcare sector showed that the profiling approach harmonizes the use-cases that software products need to comply. Hence, vendors and customers need fewer resources to integrate new components into an existing IT-landscape. Therefore, it is important that these harmonization processes take place on an international level to ease implementation and facilitate the required communication of decentralised energy components as demanded by the transition of the energy system.
The greater vision: IES Europe
The vision "IES Europe" is already anchored in the SET-Plan Action 4 Implementation Plan 2018, Activity A4-IA0-5 PROCESS CHAIN FOR INTEROPERABILITY OF ICT SYSTEMS (Download here).
To further expand the IES idea, the following points need to be addressed next:
Setup of a transnational organisational structure to coordinate the operative work
Deployment of an annually recurring process that brings together vendors and users of ICT technologies to ensure interoperability in the energy sector
Start the development of first integration profiles which are relevant on an European level
Hosting of annual European interoperability test events “Connectathon Energy”, where vendors can test their software on interoperability and conformity with the relevant integration profiles
IES Partners / Links
International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN)
Annex 6 on Power Systems - Transmission & Distribution Power Systems
IES Europe as part of the Annex 6 Discussion paper
IES Team is part of Knowledge Community
Possible cooperation for certain European projects