Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Cuculus and Elvaco extend scope of smart metering

Steve Rogerson
April 27, 2017
German company Cuculus and Sweden’s Elvaco have teamed up to make smart water and district heating meters as smart as electricity meters.
In most cases, these meters lack the ability for flexible scheduling of meter reads. Handling of events and alarms is very limited and advanced security standards are not supported. They communicate with a gateway through cable using the M-Bus protocol or wirelessly through the wM-Bus protocol.
Cuculus and Elvaco have designed and implemented a concept that allows the addition of missing functionality by equipping the gateways with the DLMS protocol widely used in electricity smart metering projects.
One of the benefits is that the infrastructure can be secured by using the high security standards of DLMS including authenticated, authorised and encrypted communications. Customers can reuse their DLMS infrastructure that may have been set up for electricity meters already.
Cuculus has provided software for the energy sector and beyond since 2007. Its Zonos platform and the supporting optional modules form the basis for smart metering and energy management. Zonos can be integrated into existing system environments in a quick and efficient manner.
“Our clients operate several thousand Elvaco gateways with their Zonos smart metering systems,” said Kjartan Skaugvoll, CEO of Cuculus. “The possibility of making use of DLMS for new installations is an attractive option that will improve operations and ensure investment security.”
The gateway implements each meter as a virtual meter. This enables buffering of meter reads and events. From a system point of view, these virtual meters can be queried as if they were DLMS meters. Meter reads stored in profiles can be pushed by the gateway automatically to decrease the load of the Zonos platform.
Next to the meters, the gateway itself can be managed by making use of the DLMS protocol.
The whole end-to-end setup has been designed in a way that new meter types can be added without the need for firmware updates or further configurations for the gateway. All necessary configurations are managed centrally in the Zonos platform.
“With DLMS – the latest addition to our portfolio of integration options – we have taken our M-Bus metering gateways one step further in becoming the industry benchmark for large-scale, flexible and secure metering infrastructure,” said David Vonasek, CEO of Elvaco.
Elvaco makes communications equipment and software for collection, processing and presentation of metering data. It delivers M-Bus masters and slaves for reading of electricity, district heating, water and any other meter following the M-Bus standard protocol.