The energy industry is increasingly adopting complex sensor systems for data collection. These systems play a crucial role in decision-making, but how can you trust the information they provide?

Whether you're implementing new sensor systems or managing existing ones, sensor system assurance is essential to mitigate risks and ensure reliable outcomes.

Meet our sensor systems and IoT expert:



Read frequently asked questions about Sensor Systems and IoT:

Sensor systems in the energy industry are system components included in data collection from origin and transmission to the platform where the data is being used. They play a crucial role in ensuring safe, efficient and reliable operations in various energy sectors, such as oil and gas, renewable energy and power generation, by providing data for decision-making and process optimization.

Sensor systems focus on data collection and transmission components, while IoT encompasses a broader ecosystem, including sensor system components, connectivity, data processing and applications. IoT integrates sensor systems with other technologies to enable advanced analytics, remote monitoring and control. Sensor systems are a crucial part of IoT, but IoT extends beyond just data collection and transmission.

A combination of reliable sensor systems and IoT enable real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance and optimization of assets and processes. This leads to increased efficiency, reduced downtime, and improved safety. IoT using high quality sensor systems can also facilitate remote operations, data-driven decision making and new business models. By leveraging sensor data and IoT, energy companies can enhance performance, lower costs and drive innovation.

The energy industry can succeed with sensor systems and IoT by focusing on high-quality data collection and transmission. According to DNV’s Recommended practice for Sensor systems assurance (DNV-RP-0317), reliable and accurate data from well-designed and maintained sensor systems is essential. Robust connectivity and secure data transmission to IoT platforms is crucial. Energy companies should invest in quality sensor infrastructure, standardized data formats and reliable communication protocols. By ensuring high-quality data throughout the IoT ecosystem, energy companies can make informed decisions, optimize operations and realize the full potential of IoT.

Sensor system and IoT quality are measured through various factors: 

Accuracy: The degree to which sensor data reflects the true value of the measured parameter. 

Reliability: The consistency and stability of sensor performance over time and in different conditions. 

Timeliness: The ability to provide data at the required frequency and with minimal latency. 

Completeness: The extent to which all relevant data is collected and transmitted without gaps. 

Security: The protection of data from unauthorized access, tampering or loss during transmission and storage. 

Interoperability: The ability of sensor systems and IoT components to work together seamlessly using standard protocols and interfaces. 

Scalability: The capacity to handle increasing amounts of data and devices without compromising performance. 

Assurance of sensor systems should be done to ensure high-quality data generation and transmission for IoT application.

Some key use cases for sensor systems and IoT in the energy industry include: 

  • Asset performance management: Optimizing asset efficiency, reliability and lifespan through real-time data analysis. 
  • Predictive maintenance: Monitoring equipment health to predict and prevent failures, reducing downtime and maintenance costs. 
  • Energy optimization: Monitoring and controlling energy consumption to improve efficiency and reduce waste. 
  • Safety and risk management: Detecting and responding to potential safety hazards, such as gas leaks or equipment malfunctions. 
  • Remote operations: Enabling remote monitoring, control and optimization of energy assets, reducing the need for on-site personnel. 
  • Smart grid management: Balancing supply and demand, integrating renewable energy sources, and enhancing grid resilience. 

This non-exhaustive list of use case examples highlights the importance of sensor system assurance needs in most common use cases.

Key benefits of sensor systems and IoT in the energy industry include improved operational efficiency, low data failure rates, reduced costs, enhanced safety and better decision-making. Real-time data from reliable sensor system infrastructure enable high quality data applications to be developed, including IoT, machine learning, predictive maintenance, asset optimization, remote monitoring, etc. Entities that can benefit from working according to DNV’s Recommended practice for Sensor systems assurance (DNV-RP-0317), are infrastructure buyers, sellers, makers, operators, owners and/or regulators.

Risks and challenges to consider for sensor systems and IoT in the energy industry can include: 

  • Cybersecurity threats: Vulnerable IoT devices and networks can be targeted by hackers, leading to data breaches, system disruptions or control takeover. 
  • Data quality and reliability: Inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete data from poorly designed or maintained sensor systems can lead to incorrect decisions and actions. 
  • Integration and interoperability: Difficulty in integrating diverse sensor systems and IoT platforms can hinder data sharing and analysis. 
  • Regulatory compliance: Ensuring compliance with data privacy, security and industry-specific regulations can be challenging in IoT environments. 
  • Dependence on connectivity: Reliance on stable and secure connectivity for data transmission can be a risk in complex sensor system infrastructures.

Managing risk in sensor systems and IoT requires ample use case understanding, system component analysis, organizational maturity assessment and system analysis, and is a repetitive process until risk is tolerable. DNV’s Recommended practice for Sensor systems assurance (DNV-RP-0317) takes business and technical considerations while doing risk assessment and proposing risk mitigation measures.

The most important regulations and standards for sensor systems and IoT in the energy industry include: 

DNV-RP-0317: This recommended practice provides guidance on data collection and transmission for sensor systems in the energy industry, focusing on quality, reliability and security. 

IEC 61850: This standard defines communication protocols for intelligent electronic devices in electrical substation automation systems. 

ISA-95: This standard provides a framework for integrating enterprise and control systems, including IoT components, in the energy sector. 

NIST Cybersecurity Framework: This framework offers guidelines for managing cybersecurity risks in critical infrastructure, including energy IoT systems. 

ISO/IEC 27001: This standard specifies requirements for information security management systems, which are crucial for protecting IoT data and infrastructure. 

IEEE 1451: This family of standards defines interfaces for connecting smart sensors and actuators to IoT networks. 

OPC UA: This machine-to-machine communication protocol is widely used in industrial IoT applications, including energy systems. 

Compliance with these regulations and standards helps ensure the quality, interoperability and security of sensor systems and IoT in the energy industry.

To test your sensor system and IoT quality, you can follow these assessments in accordance with DNV’s Recommended practice for Sensor systems assurance (DNV-RP-0317). Calibration assessment, functional testing, performance monitoring, interoperability testing, reliability testing, failure mode analysis, user acceptance testing, third-party audits etc. 

High-quality risk assessments and assurance of sensor systems and IoT quality are essential for maintaining reliable and secure operations in the energy industry.

A sensor system assurance process confirms that systems, products, processes or digital assets work safely, effectively and efficiently. Assurance of sensor systems aims to demonstrate confidence to the data consumers in the collection and transmission of sensor system data. The essence of assurance is about reducing the uncertainty of measurements, observations, estimations, predictions, information, inferences or the effects of unknowns.

Get in touch to discuss sensor systems and IoT insights, recommended practices and services

Contact us

Receive insights and updates on Digital Trust articles, case studies, and invitations to webinars and events

Subscribe here