RDS-PP For the new technologies Identification System
for Power Stations
Digitization of proven technology New Layer New Layer
Identification System
for Power Stations
Efficient operational management


Systematic and uniform labelling of installations for the generation and storage of electricity and heat is not a matter of course. However, it is an essential element, especially with regard to digitalisation, for cost-efficient planning, construction, operation, maintenance and dismantling: systems and individual plant components have to be clearly identified and labelled. In addition, a labelling system acknowledged by the power industry is the basis for plant and product documentation. It is the key to efficient data management, modern condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. A common identification system is the only option that can establish digital interfaces between all participants, planners, manufacturers, insurers, operators and owners over the entire life cycle of a plant.


Since the mid-1970s, the VGB Power Plant Identification System KKS has been successfully used worldwide for the identification of power plants. A VGB Working Panel ensures continuous further development and updating of KKS/RDS-PP®. Currently, the 8th KKS edition dated 2018 is available.

After publication of international basic standards for labelling and their adoption in European directives, it became necessary to further develop the KKS. The Reference Designation System for Power Plants – RDS-PP® for short – is the consistent further development of the worldwide successful Power Plant Identification System KKS.

An important pillar in the development of the RDS-PP® was the KKS, which has been known for almost 40 years. The code letters of the KKS function key can be transferred to the new system key to approx. 90 %. The VGB Technical Group “Plant Identification and Documentation” is continuously working on the creation and maintenance of VGB standards for extending application according to RDS-PP®. Labelling according to the RDS-PP® system is based on international standards and includes both the structural and the labelling system. The RDS-PP® provides the basis for an object-oriented identification of individual plant components with any number of relationships to other objects and can therefore be very well mapped in a plant management system. Uniform and consistent structuring as well as the clear identification of plants and components increases plant and personal safety and avoids confusion.

When developing the RDS-PP®, new power generation technologies such as wind energy and photovoltaics and their additional requirements were also taken into due account. An RDS-PP® application guideline is also already available for power-to-gas.

VGB develops KKS and RDS-PP® in the German and English language. For working with KKS and RDS-PP®, VGB offers a comprehensive set of rules and standards as well as further services. In addition, the designation systems are also available as Excel® files.

KKS Basic Standard (incl. thermal power plants)

KKS Power Plant Identi­fi­cation System
Standard and code
Document identifier for energy supply plants
KKS explanations for use
General and subject specific
KKS Assignment list of terms to the com­po­nent and operating equipment key
System code
Code letter
Basic function and product classes
Application guideline
Power plants, general
Document identifier for energy supply plants

Components for specific power plants

KKS explanations for use in hydro-power plants
Application guideline
Hydro-power plants
Application guideline
Wind power plants
Application guideline
Photovoltaic power plants
Application guideline

Supplementary VGB rules and standards

Supply of technical documentation for energy supply plants
VGB abbreviation catalogue for power plant technology
Rules for setting up designations and their application in power plant engineering
Supply of technical documentation for energy supply plants
VGB abbreviation catalogue for power plant technology
Rules for setting up designations and their application in power plant engineering


The labelling systems use up to 17-digit combinations of letters and numbers. Letters are used to classify plant systems in energy engineering. Numbers are used to differentiate between systems, components, equipment or signals. For simple decoding, VGB publications or with digital support are available:


You are convinced of KKS or RDS-PP® and would like to use the system tailor-made? Both systems can be individually extended and tailored to your facilities and needs. You can further develop KKS and RDS-PP® yourself. If required, we are ready to offer consulting and training for your individual support. Our cooperation partner TIPWARE helps you to extend the apps with your own system data or manuals. The apps can be adapted to your corporate identity by logos and colours.

Individual consultation

Are you entrusted to label plant components according to RDS-PP® or KKS?
Do you want to do this efficiently, economically and according to the valid VGB standards?
Do you want to use all possibilities and advantages of RDS-PP® or KKS in an optimum way?

KKS app

The KKS app decodes a scanned or entered KKS code and, based on VGB-S-811/VGB-B 106, provides the generally applicable KKS system information and the plant-specific detailed system information of your company.


RDS-PP® is a plant identification system for all types of energy plants. The RDS-PP® app decodes scanned RDS-PP® code and immediately translates it into readable and understandable information.


VGB is permanently working on the further development of the two plant identification and taxonomy systems KKS (Power Plant Identification System) and RDS-PP® (Reference Designation System for Power Plants) for the benefit of the entire industry. KKS and RDS-PP® are available for practically all applications in power plants and any source of energy. VGB standards provide detailed documentation and suitable license models can be acquired for implementation by any user.

A license is needed for using and applying KKS and RDS-PP®. Ordinary members of VGB (= operators of energy plants as far as they are member according to § 3 (1) of the statutes) are licensed to use and apply KKS and RDS-PP® within the scope of VGBV4SOM (access to the digital VGB rules and standards). Sponsoring and extraordinary VGB members benefit from special offers.


Andreas Böser

is in charge with the designation systems and documentation for energy plants, RDS-PP®/KKS
P +49 201 8128 347
Jörg Kiepert

Jörg Kiepert

is in charge with RDS-PP®/KKS license agreements

P +49 201 8128 231
Ch. Weßelmann

Christopher Weßelmann

is in charge with RDS-PP®/KKS license conditions and publications/works

P +49 201 8128 300