Robotron: Intelligent meter for the industry is coming

August 16, 2023. The share of RLM metering points equipped with an intelligent metering system will increase significantly in the coming years. To drive development in this segment, five companies from the industry have joined forces: E.ON, Netze BW GmbH, Robotron Datenbank-Software GmbH, Power Plus Communications AG and Landis+Gyr GmbH have tested a solution in which RLM meters are connected via smart meter gateways while at the same time taking into account the specific technical and economic conditions of this market segment. The partners have demonstrated that this solution is marketable, offers a high level of security and is available in a timely manner.

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From left to right: Christian Hofmann (Head of Metrology / IoT Energy Industry, Robotron), Volker Kroner (Material and Supplier Management, E.ON), Jürgen Kramny (Head of Metering Systems, Netze BW), Olaf Abbing (Managing Director, Landis+Gyr) Janosch Wagner (CTO, PPC). Photo: PPC

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For the energy transition in the grid, the smart metering system is an essential building block. However, smart metering systems need to make inroads not only with household customers, but also with industry, commerce and large generation plants. Approximately three-quarters of the energy consumed in Germany is recorded at these metering points via recording load profile measurement (RLM). At the same time, however, the number of RLM metering points is very low, at around one percent of the total 53 million metering points in Germany.

According to the Act to Restart the Digitization of the Energy Transition (GNDEW), at least 20 percent of RLM metering points must be equipped by the end of 2028. That’s little time given the effort required for specification, development and testing. Therefore, joint testing of the solution to create synergy effects was a key driver for the five project partners.

By linking an RLM meter with a smart meter gateway (SMGW), they have realized an intelligent, recording load profile measurement system “iRLMSys”. More precisely, an RLM meter from Landis+Gyr was connected to Robotron’s backend system via the CLS interface of PPC’s smart meter gateway. This solution not only fulfills all specific RLM use cases, but also provides the measured values for subsequent billing in a highly available manner (i.e., even in the event of a temporary interruption of the communication link to the meter, for example) by means of a meter reading transition in the meter. The latter is of particular importance due to the high energy quantities to be measured, especially for balancing. Therefore, the measurement data is also stored in the RLM meter. In addition, local interfaces of the meter can be used as a high-performance interface for optimization tasks in industry and enables customers to automate processes efficiently. The solution thus takes into account the requirements of customers in this market segment, which differ fundamentally from those for normal household customers in the requirements described above.

The RLM solution implemented by the partners is implemented and available in a test environment by using the existing secure CLS communication channel. This allows more complex RLM measurement points to benefit from the cyber-secure iMSys infrastructure on an ad hoc basis.

The tested solution is in line with the approach also taken by the standardization bodies. It will be further optimized along the specification work. For all partners, interoperability and standardization as well as short-term availability have a very high priority. Taking into account the requirements outlined, the partners are ready to further explore the solution space with all relevant stakeholders and to continue the constructive dialog.

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Photo: PPC

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