The network topology of Jungfraubahnen is situated in a beautiful mountain landscape in the Bernese Oberland. This mountainous and partly sparsely populated region poses challenges in terms of the accessibility of smart meters, as the combination of cables and overhead lines together with remote measuring points makes classic powerline communication difficult or even impossible due to attenuation at cable/overhead line transitions.
As an integral part of the Energy Strategy 2050, Jungfraubahnen relies on intelligent electricity meters from Landis+Gyr, improving the accessibility of remote measuring points. The future-proof smart metering solution is optimised for the challenging Swiss topology and tailored to the high demands of the diverse customers in Landis+Gyr's home market.
Jungfraubahnen has begun a deployment a 100% smart meter rollout of its approximately 900 measuring points with the E360 LTE smart meter based on LTE CAT M1 & NB-IoT communication technology from Landis+Gyr in early 2023. This will enable Jungfraubahnen to fulfil the Electricity Supply Ordinance (ElCom) requirements for the use of intelligent measuring systems in a timely and exemplary manner.
In the context of Jungfraubahnen, the use of the E360 LTE Smartmeter has the following advantages:
1. Fulfilment of the requirements of ElCom
The E360 LTE meter allows the 15-minute load profile to be viewed via the Kraftwerk Jungfraubahn energy portal. This enables electricity customers to check their electricity consumption, recognise and eliminate any power guzzlers and thus save energy and costs.
The so-called "smart push" functionality enables intelligent data transmission from the meter to the central data acquisition system (head-end system). The result is improved performance of the meter so that it can communicate with the head-end system almost in real time. This allows for much more detailed and accurate energy flow calculations, which ensures greater transparency and efficiency in the grid, such as taking measures to ensure a secure power supply.
2. Accessibility of remote measuring points
- The LTE technology integrated in the smart meters used supports the CAT M1 and NB-IoT communication protocols, is 5G-capable and enables the connection of a large number of devices in a power grid. Data transmission is cost-efficient and very reliable compared to previous mobile communication technologies. Its improved signal penetration even reaches meters that are far away or installed in building basements. For example, various meters are located in the transformer stations in the mountain along the Jungfraubahnen tunnel as well as in the old directional beam station on the east ridge of the Jungfraujoch, at an altitude of around 3700 metres above sea level.
- The communication technology is the latest available mobile radio technology and is being rolled out in Switzerland and worldwide. It therefore offers the highest level of future viability. The system also offers a standard for integrating meters from other manufacturers.
3. Ensuring grid stability
In addition to the basic functions of the meter, Ladis+Gyr smart meters can also be used for grid quality monitoring purposes or as a control unit for various monitoring and control systems in today's increasingly decentralised grid. They thus act as intelligent grid sensors and control units.
The use of these grid sensors at Jungfraubahnen leaves all options open for future applications and reduces costs as it makes expensive new purchases unnecessary. In particular, they are used for efficient grid management in accordance with the Federal Act on a Secure Electricity Supply with Renewable Energy Sources (Framework Decree) passed by Parliament in October 2023.
Landis+Gyr smart meters can regulate voltage fluctuations in the grid in a decentralised manner. For example, those caused by weather-dependent feed-in from alpine photovoltaic systems, as may be the case with the planned alpine solar plant on Alp Hintisberg. In addition to monitoring and the resulting visibility in the grid, the smart meters and associated services can make a significant contribution to grid stability and security of supply.
Thanks to its proximity to the Swiss and Liechtenstein grid operators, Landis+Gyr offers a valuable and targeted contribution to solving the challenges of the energy transition in most demanding environments with its hardware and software solutions.