This facility, which will specialise in smart metering assurance, is the first of its kind in the UK.

As UK industry makes its final preparations for the mass roll-out of smart metering to households and businesses, the newly-opened DNV GL Technical Assurance Laboratory (DTAL) located in the centre of Peterborough (Cambridgeshire) will play a vital part in this process.

Recently commissioned by DNV GL, the 410 square meters facility will act as an innovative exploration and research centre to ensure the interoperability, safety and reliability of smart energy products for consumers, manufacturers and utilities.

The products under test in the new facility will be destined for prolific deployment in an increasingly decentralised and interconnected smart energy system – and it is important they work reliably, securely and fulfil their design criteria. For example, smart meters must be interoperable. When customers change their energy supplier, there must be no loss of functionality or service. Furthermore, there are a plethora of energy system and in-home technologies which require a similar level of scrutiny and independent testing.

Employing a highly-skilled specialist workforce, the lab will be offering best-in-class quality assurance and testing services for a whole range of smart energy products, including smart meters.

Stuart Bright, Operations Manager of DNV GL’s DTAL, said "This is an exciting development for DNV GL – we are opening a unique laboratory for the independent assurance and testing of smart energy and cyber security products – in one of the UK’s award winning Smart Cities. We are excited about becoming a leading player in these developing sectors."

Cyber security risks are becoming more apparent in today’s world and as a constant stream of headlines suggest, all systems are vulnerable to hackers. The energy system is no exception. It is therefore vital that smart energy products are ‘secure by design’ and are independently assessed to check for any vulnerability. The DTAL is gearing up to respond to this challenge and last year, DNV GL recruited best-in-class security experts.

The facility will be used to perform a wide range of testing activities on different technologies, including:

– Smart energy testing; specifically smart metering, smart home and smart grid products.
– Cyber security testing; for a multitude of hardware/software products.

"As we move to a data smart world in energy systems, it is imperative that functionality, interoperability and cyber security concerns of our customers and wider stakeholders are addressed. I am pleased that DTAL is at the heart of providing this assurance and is therefore at the core of DNV GL’s vision for a safe and sustainable future," noted Prajeev Rasiah, Executive Vice President for Northern Europe, Middle East & Africa (NEMEA), DNV GL – Energy.

DTAL is fully accredited and will be working to ISO 9001 and ISO 17025 methodologies as standard, enabling DNV GL to offer specialised testing services to customers.