u-blox collaborates with Iskraemeco and EMH to integrate Bluetooth display interface for smart meters
Proof of concept offering a smart way to visualize energy consumption effortlessly and efficiently.
Thalwil, Switzerland – November 6, 2018 – u-blox (SIX:UBXN), a global provider of leading positioning and wireless communication technologies, is developing a way to make it easier for utility customers to track and visualize their energy consumption. The proof of concept (PoC) design is the result of a three-way collaboration between u-blox and metering companies Iskraemeco and EMH.
The PoC design uses a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) interface to connect a smart meter to a consumer’s smartphone or tablet. The mobile device can then provide a more detailed visualization of current and historical energy consumption than is possible on the simple displays used in smart meters. This PoC will demonstrate an easy way for customer to get current information about their consumption in a secure and reliable way, especially from meters located in cramped utility cupboards or outdoor cabinets. From a utility point of view, using standardized technologies like Bluetooth allows the implementation of an interoperable and cost effective solution.
The PoC has been developed as a response to utilities that require smart meters to offer users a simple and efficient way of visualizing their consumption of electricity, including their historical usage, without using any additional equipment. The existing displays used on electricity meters are not optimal for this sort of visualization. A smartphone or tablet app, accessing the data over Bluetooth low energy, will be able to present the data in much more compelling ways, which will help consumers understand and adopt their usage patterns.
“We expect that demonstrating the PoC will result in BLE being established as the interface required in all future smart meters,” says Stefan Berggren, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Product Center Short Range Radio, u-blox. “The inclusion of a Bluetooth low energy interface will also make it possible for smart meters to connect into a local Smart Home environment that could enable value-added services, such as temperature and humidity monitoring for customer locations and second homes,” he adds.
BLE’s support for mesh networking will also make it possible to extend the range of the smart meter’s connectivity through intermediate devices, such as installed sensors, so that users can query their utility consumption information when they are beyond the usual range of a BLE connection.
To address current concerns about data privacy and security, the PoC uses a secure BLE module from u-blox, which has been designed to industrial standards. Close collaboration with Iskraemeco and EMH facilitated consideration of particular design requirements and security challenges of the metering business.
u‑blox (SIX:UBXN) is a global provider of leading positioning and wireless communication technologies for the automotive, industrial, and consumer markets. Their solutions let people, vehicles, and machines determine their precise position and communicate wirelessly over cellular and short range networks. With a broad portfolio of chips, modules, and a growing ecosystem of product supporting data services, u-blox is uniquely positioned to empower its customers to develop innovative solutions for the Internet of Things, quickly and cost-effectively. With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, the company is globally present with offices in Europe, Asia, and the USA.
Iskraemeco is one of the leading smart metering solution providers on a global scale. Since 1945, Iskraemeco employees have been transforming valuable experience, innovation and a sound understanding of customer needs into comprehensive energy management solutions. With comprehensive smart metering solutions Iskraemeco enables energy companies to shape the future of energy generation and management. Iskraemeco has an established network of partners, subsidiaries and production facilities that offer reliable and efficient support services to the entire client base. www.iskraemeco.com
EMH metering GmbH & Co. KG is one of the world's leading suppliers of digital systems for the collection, transmission, storage and distribution of energy measurement data. With intelligent and integrated measuring systems, EMH metering enables energy companies to digitize their energy systems and develop new business models. The product range comprises precision meters in the extra-high voltage and transmission networks, special meters for medium and low voltage distribution networks, electronic domestic supply meters, DIN rail meters for industrial applications as well as the corresponding communication systems and gateways. For the upcoming smart meter rollout in Germany, EMH metering is offering the necessary products and components that comply with legal requirements. EMH metering was founded in 1991 and has its headquarters in Gallin, near Hamburg. More than 250 employees work at a total of three locations.