Successful smart metering trial in ScotlandDecember 17, 2012
- Over 99% of smart meters connected first time with a single installation visit to each home, using SmartReach’s long-range radio communications solution
- Scottish trial targets hard-to-reach meters in densely populated urban areas in Glasgow as well as rural locations to simulate GB-wide rollout conditions
SmartReach, a collaboration of Arqiva, BT, BAE Systems Detica and Sensus, together with ScottishPower have successfully demonstrated the ability of long-range radio communications to connect to smart meters regardless of location.
ScottishPower has been able to connect over 99% of meters in the trial areas with a single installation visit to each home, using SmartReach’s long-range radio communications solution alone. What’s more this was achieved before network optimisation by SmartReach, which would further increase connection rates, and without the use of so-called “infill” or any other special communications solutions.
This trial purposely targeted meters in “hard to reach” locations, an important test given that alternative communications solutions may struggle to connect up to 20% of meters, which could impact over five million homes when GB-wide rollout gets underway.
This Scottish trial covers meters located outside and deep inside buildings, in basements and in flats across rural and dense urban areas. Lochwinnoch is only 20 miles from Glasgow but is the type of rural location that alternative communications networks find hard to reach. Densely populated Glasgow presents a different kind of communications challenge, with meters located deep inside buildings, including basements.
Andrew Ward, ScottishPower’s Operations Director, commented, “This highly successful trial with SmartReach has shown how almost all smart meters, even in hard to reach locations, can be successfully connected with a single installation visit using its long-range radio communications solution alone. If this were rolled out at scale it could provide a more convenient experience for millions of consumers and lower installation costs.”
For the trial, SmartReach is using Arqiva’s existing tower infrastructure, Sensus’ proven FlexNet smart metering communications solution and smart meters from EDMI. SmartReach is also running trials with other UK energy and water utility companies, successfully demonstrating the suitability of its long-range radio solution for dedicated smart metering communications.
Sean Weir, Programme Director for SmartReach, said, “Alternative communications networks have gaps in coverage in remote areas and can also find it hard to connect to meters in basement flats and cupboards under stairs, even in city centres. This trial with ScottishPower has demonstrated the strengths of SmartReach’s long-range radio solution to reach meters wherever they are, including in locations that other networks find difficult to reach.”
The technology behind SmartReach is widely deployed in the US, where more than twelve million smart meter and grid end points are connected to long-range radio based networks from Sensus. It has been proven to be suitable for meters situated in conventional locations as well as those located in hard to reach places such as meter pits, cellars and basements.
Arqiva, BT, BAE Systems Detica and Sensus are working together to promote the SmartReach solution for Britain’s smart meter and smart grid programme. The SmartReach solution is an end-to-end data communications network that will provide a dedicated, secure, resilient and universal route to supporting the Government’s mandate for providing all homes and small premises with smart meters by 2019.
Arqiva, the communications infrastructure and media services company, operates at the heart of the broadcast, satellite and mobile communications markets.
The company is at the forefront of network solutions and services in the digital world. Arqiva provides much of the infrastructure behind television, radio, satellite and wireless communications in the UK and has a significant presence in Ireland, mainland Europe and the USA. Customers include major broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, BSkyB and the independent radio groups, major telco providers including the UK’s five mobile network operators, and the emergency services.
BT is one of the world’s leading communications services companies, serving the needs of customers in the UK and in more than 170 countries worldwide. Our main activities are the provision of fixed telephony lines and calls, broadband, mobile and TV products and services as well as managed networked IT services.
In the UK we are a leading communications services provider, selling products and services to consumers, small and medium sized enterprises and the public sector. We also sell wholesale products and services to communications providers in the UK and around the world. Globally, we supply managed networked IT services to multinational corporations, domestic businesses and national and local government organisations.
About BAE Systems Detica
BAE Systems Detica delivers information intelligence solutions to government and commercial customers. We help them collect, exploit and manage data so they can deliver critical business services more effectively and economically. We also develop solutions to strengthen national security and resilience.
We integrate and deliver world-class solutions to our customers’ most complex operational problems – often applying our own unique intellectual property. Our services include cyber security, managing risk and compliance, data analytics, systems integration and managed services, strategy and business change and the development of innovative software and hardware technologies.
Detica is part of BAE Systems, a global defence and security company with just under 100,000 employees worldwide. BAE Systems delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services.
Sensus is a leading utility infrastructure company offering smart meters, communication systems, software and services for the electric, gas, and water industries. Sensus technology helps utilities drive operational efficiency and customer engagement with applications that include advanced meter reading, data acquisition, demand response, distribution automation, home area networking and outdoor lighting control. Customers worldwide trust the innovation, quality and reliability of Sensus solutions for the intelligent use and conservation of energy and water.
ScottishPower is one the leading energy companies in the UK, with approximately 5.2 million customers. ScottishPower is part of the Iberdrola Group, which over the last 10 years has undertaken an expansion and growth project that has enabled it to become a multinational company present in 40 countries, one of the world’s top energy companies and the world leader in wind energy. In the UK, ScottishPower Renewables is the largest developer and generator of onshore wind power.
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