IBERDROLA LAUNCHES A NEW OPEN, PUBLIC AND STANDARD TELECOMMUNICATIONS ARCHITECTURE FOR SMART METERING AND SMART GRIDS
When the number of meters reaches millions of units, it becomes apparent that it is very difficult to achieve secure and reliable communication with control centres. Even more so when some of the functions associated with the Smart Grid concept need communications in real time . In such situations, telecommunications are a great challenge and new smart meters play a key role in successfully facing this new challenge.
This is why IBERDROLA coordinated the PRIME project, with the objective of developing an AMI infrastructure for automatic meter management that is public, open and standard . Working on this project are some of the most important industrial leaders in the areas of metering, telecommunications and silicon manufacturing, such as Advanced Digital Design, CURRENT Group, Landis+Gyr, STMicroelectronics, Usyscom and ZIV. A large number of European utilities have already joinned to the project.
All these companies have joined efforts to launch a new public, open and non-proprietary telecommunications architecture that will support the new AMM functionality and enable the building of the electricity networks of the future, or SmartGrids.
This new architecture is based on the OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing ) application, whose advantages have been proved by IBERDROLA through field tests carried out on various segments of its low voltage network. The results from this field work, made throughout 2007, could not have been more satisfactory. So much so, that we can say, without hesitation, that we are on the threshold of a new generation of high-speed, low cost PLC. IBERDROLA thus leverages its extensive experience in the use of low and medium voltage networks as a telecommunication media.
The end objective of the PRIME Project is to establish a complete set of standards on an international level that will permit interoperability among equipment and systems from different manufacturers. In this way, competition in the metering market will occur for the benefit of consumers.
Unlike other commercially available solutions, the components of this new architecture (protocols, modulation systems, data formats, etc.) will not be subject to Intellectual Property Rights.
In this respect, the specifications of the Automatic Meter Infrastructure will be so detailed that any participant will be able to bring to the market interoperable solutions.
IBERDROLA, along with other utilities, meter manufacturers and technology providers, is a member of PRIME Alliance. PRIME Alliance and its different working groups, is responsible for the definition of open and public PLC advanced telecommunications solutions for the implementation of smart meters and smart grids. Please, visit www.prime-alliance.org for more information.
The basic building block of this new infrastructure is the specification of the physical layer or PHY spec.
The second block of this new infrastructure is the specification of the data link layer, or MAC spec, that alongside the convergence layer specification.
The third block of this new infrastructure is the specification of the convergence layer, that is needed to link the MAC layer with the application layer.
Please, visit www.prime-alliance.org for more information.
The upper layers will be developed based on international standards, such as DLMS-COSEM. For this purpose, a Companion Standard interfaces based on DLMS, according with Spanish smart meters regulation has been specified.
METER FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATIONS
A comprehensive functional metering specification is being defined, so that meters will be fully conformant to the requirements established by the RD 1110/2007 of August 24th, for AMM meters to be installed in supply points of 15 kW of contracted power and below.
This specification is being delivered as a collaborative work between IBERDROLA and other utilities, and responds to the legal mandate of replacing all the aforementioned meters, according to Ministerial order ITC/3860/2007, of December 28th by no later than 2018. This plan accounts for over 10 million meters for IBERDROLA. For more information about smart metering in IBERDROLA in Spain visit the section about Smart Grids.
IBERDROLA, achieved during the year 2008, the approval of the European commission, within the 7th Framework Programme for the promotion of RDI, the project called Open Meter (Open and Public Extended Network METERing), it finished in 2011 and it had a duration of 30 months. The consortium Open Meter is made up by European utilities leaders in energy, gas, water and heat, meter manufacturers, communication technologies, semiconductors and technological centers. Furthermore, CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization), is included in the consortium, this makes easier the compliance with the main objective of the project, which is to develop a standard technology and architecture for remote multi-meter management, ensuring the interoperability in benefit of the final consumers. For more information, you can also download press release [PDF].