October 30, 2014

Landis+Gyr's Gridstream® updated for enhanced security

481429325In the latest release of its end-to-end smart grid platform Gridstream, Landis+Gyr has made communication security a key priority for the data exchange between interoperable smart meters and head end system (HES) via power-line communications (PLC).

Over the past few years, as the scale of smart meter and smart grid deployments has reached a new level, regulators, utilities and their customers have become increasingly concerned about the security of information on smart metering systems. The challenge utilities are facing is how to secure the transfer of increasing amounts of smart metering data without compromising the privacy of end consumers, while maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of this information to authorized parties. Landis+Gyr has been playing a leading role in driving the development of secure smart metering solutions and standards through its engagement with the IDIS Association and other leading manufacturers.

To provide high levels of security for the data transfer and to prevent potentially sensitive data from getting into the wrong hands, Landis+Gyr has introduced encryption codes to its PLC-based devices, which account for 95% of the company’s smart meter market. IDIS compliant PLC and P2P meters are intrinsically “secure by design” through well-established DLMS-COSEM communication protocols. With the new Gridstream release, utilities will benefit from the combination of interoperable future-ready devices and a high level of communication security. The first Gridstream solution with encrypted data communications is currently undergoing field testing and will be deployed as a part of Landis+Gyr’s smart metering infrastructure for Elektrilevi, Estonia.

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Gridstream now also includes a HES device gateway, to support a broader range of metering devices by a single customer business system. Most common use cases are available, such as scheduled and ad-hoc reading of billing profiles, load profiles and event logs, for third party and commercial and industrial smart meters connecting via the mobile networks.

The Gridstream platform integrates the E450 series 3, Landis+Gyr’s latest IDIS-compliant smart residential meter. The company has redesigned the device from a production and reliability perspective, to facilitate mass deployments by utilities, as smart meter rollouts start to increase in scope ahead of 2020.

The updated platform will be launched in the middle of the fourth quarter of 2014, following the testing and customer ramp-up phase.

Gridstream evolution

The integration of G3 PLC communication will be the next major step in Gridstream technology evolution towards smart grids and smart homes.

OFDM PLC technology is gaining reach across Europe thanks to its robust performance and optimized Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) per installed meter. Following the new IDIS package II (IP profile) incl. G3 PLC (due to be released in November 2014), Landis+Gyr will enhance its Gridstream end-to-end offering with the G3 PLC technology. Smooth migration path from the current to the next generation technology will ensure utility long-term investment protection.

IP based G3 PLC technology based on the field proven intelligent Data Concentrator (DC) concept provides a premium smart metering connectivity solution that enables the Internet of Things. Intelligent DC does not only autonomously push the consumption data onto the central system, it functions as a data reading and storage engine and a PLC monitoring tool which helps to offload the system and Wide Area Network (WAN) all together. This approach secures utility customers’ investments into a scalable and highly robust smart metering/smart grid solution today and in the future.

G3 specification uses OFDM PLC technology for data transmission and is primarily intended to function in CENELEC A band (3 – 95 kHz). G3 offers the possibility to migrate to a higher frequency range, resulting in up to 10 times more bandwidth. G3 PLC coexists with the already deployed PLAN PLC devices.

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