Landis+Gyr’s Gridstream® GWA (Gateway Administration) is a new, fully automated, comprehensive smart metering solution. Developed to meet the strict requirements of the German market, the Gridstream GWA is designed for high performance as well as efficient operations in large scale, point-to-point smart grid installations with high privacy and security requirements.
The German regulation for smart metering solutions requires a system that includes base meters, a smart meter gateway, the gateway administration and interfaces to business process management systems as well as multiple market participants. The gateway administration is an IT system similar to a head-end system, mainly responsible for configuring and managing smart meter gateways for various market participants. Landis+Gyr tackled the challenge by designing a system fitted to the specific requirements of the German market: “Other manufacturers probably tried to extend legacy systems, but we decided to go for a green-field approach and developed a system that would be certain to meet and even exceed the requirements of the BSI (German Federal Office for Information Security) guidelines,” explains Dr-Ing. Markus Bestehorn, Product Manager Smart Energy Solutions, Landis+Gyr.
Intelligence remains in the gateway
The regulator’s demands for smart metering solutions in Germany have driven two major characteristics: the first being that the German model introduces an AMI infrastructure where the intelligence of the metering data collection remains in the intelligent smart meter gateway. The second defining characteristic is that the German model adopts an end-to-end secure schema in which all players need to make use of specific certificates in order to read and receive meter values or control energy.
One of the unique characteristics of Landis+Gyr’s GWA is the system’s fully automated capability to deliver all services needed for installation, mass collection, certificate management and distribution of metering data to the different market participants. The system has a powerful and highly usable solution to troubleshoot exception situations in an environment consisting of several million devices. The user of the GWA is mainly involved in the initiation of the processes that run automatically and in the correction of error situations where automatic recovery is no longer possible.
“By delivering this high level of automation, we enable a fully smart grid by freeing up manpower for our customers and give the highly trained employees the chance to perform other, more important tasks,” says Markus Bestehorn.
Flexible driver concept to ensure interoperability
While German legislation and utilities aim at full interoperability, the maturity of standards developed by various bodies (FNN, DKE, BDEW) has not reached a level where devices are fully interoperable. Due to Landis+Gyr’s experience in emerging smart grid markets, this situation is foreseeable and a driver concept has been integrated into Gridstream GWA. This allows customers to install hardware from various vendors despite the lack of standards. Hardware vendors can integrate non-standard functionality into their devices and support these functions through their drivers. “Interoperability is crucial. We have ongoing activities to integrate smart meter gateways from other vendors, not all competitors are finished with their development yet,” says Markus Bestehorn.