The 'High Rise' Challenge
The EU Smart Meter Roll Out aims to provide households with a smart meter, and the means to read it with an in-home display. Meter and sensor reading in complex electricity networks, such as multiple dwelling units (MDUs), can stretch the capabilities of standard wi-fi equipment.
There are two technical solutions to this challenge: Point to Point or Common HAN (Shared Infrastructure) architectures. Through a series of trial installations, PPC and Siemens Metering Services demonstrated that Broadband Powerline (BPL) communications in combination with wireless solutions, can form a platform for both point-to-point and common HAN solutions in multi dwelling units.
PPC and Siemens Metering Services have been advising on the deployment of technologies for conventional meter reading, secondary meter reading and advanced applications, for many years e.g. to the former DECC and the Energywise projects in the UK. Together they have developed a variety of solutions to deliver efficient communications where conditions for wireless prove ‘difficult’.
In high rise buildings and other ‘difficult’ environments, specialised communications infrastructures can deliver communications for metering and Internet of Things where regular wireless solutions cannot.
It has been estimated that up to 20% of homes could be in structures that present some technical challenges, such as multi-dwelling units (MDUs) or other ‘difficult’ buildings. A suitable Home Area Network (HAN) is needed. Solutions must also take into account the different owners of these domains i.e. DNO, Supplier, Building owner/landlord and homeowner/tenant.
As a leader in the German Smart Meter Roll Out, PPC and its partners developed a ‘multimedia’ communications approach that is ideal for even the most challenging of implementations.
Using tried and tested communications hardware, including PPC’s Broadband Powerline (BPL) solutions have been developed for in-home, in-building and on network domains.
Requirements for IoT in ‘difficult’ buildings
- Real time communications
- Ample bandwidth for 2-way data transfer, with headroom for firmware updates and future applications
- Stable, reliable data transfer, resistant to disturbance
- Data security through industry standards
- Energy efficiency, cost-efficiency
Advantages of Broadband Powerline
- Use of existing electricity infrastructures
- Based on industry standard IEEE1901, BPL guarantees interoperability and supports market competition.