A key challenge in the digitization of the energy industry is to build and manage intelligent infrastructures that are flexible, efficient, and secure. This, however, changes the way and the scope of a utility’s work: the deployment, operation, and development of a smart metering system with devices, communication, software, and possible additional applications might be opening up gaps when it comes to time, resources and skills. This is where an As-a-Service approach comes into play.
The life expectancy of a smart meter is round about 15 years. In today’s fast-changing world, a lot can happen during that lifetime. 15 years ago, there were no smart phones, voice assistants or smart homes, no WhatsApp or Bitcoin. These innovations changed the world and everything around them adapted. Also, in the energy industry, things are moving rapidly. Ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions and the need to grow the share of renewable energy sources or the number of EV charging facilities push for faster technological developments in the space of efficient and secure energy management.
With almost 4.4 million inhabitants Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city has experienced one of the highest growth rates of any city in Africa and it is estimated that Nairobi's population will reach 5 million in 2025. Due to this development Tatu City, a 5,000-acre, mixed-use area with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport and entertainment complex and manufacturing, was realized outside of the city in order to decentralize the urban environment. Our customer Tatu Connect Power, a private entity at Tatu City is improving the efficiency of power usage and quality of service to consumers in Tatu city by investing in an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system that is fully integrated to the customer ERP (enterprise resource planning) system as well as to an online payment platform. The aim is to operate smart metering devices remotely. About 500 meters and 5 data concentrators from Landis+Gyr have been installed to date of the projected 40 000 meters and 80 concentrators in the next 3 – 5 years.
Our customer Enedis is a public service company that manages the public electricity distribution network for 95% of continental France. Their goal: to modernize the network for the Energy Transition. In 2007, we launched the “Linky project” to upgrade all 35 million residential meters in France with smart meters – the so-called Linky meters in prominent green colour. This cooperation is still in full swing with our company supplying approximately 20% of the volume (with potential for further expansion) in the planned rollout of the next of Linky meters until the end of 2021. Our state-of the-art manufacturing site in Montluçon has been key to this success.
The selection of the most suitable communications technology for a smart metering solution is an important step when building a smart metering infrastructure. Communication technology has evolved dramatically since the first installations of ‘smart’ meters, and so did the expectation regarding data availability, and functionality around smart metering. For a long time it was sufficient to read out data once a day for monthly invoicing, but today expectations are often moving in the direction of near real-time availability - for example, to enable DSO to provide load profile and consumption data in a customer portal, have power quality data available for analysis at short intervals, or use the smart meter infrastructure as replacement for ripple control load management.