Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Devolo launches smart meter gateway and control box

Steve Rogerson
August 25, 2015
 
Germany-based Devolo is expanding its smart-grid business with two products, a smart meter gateway and a control box. With its expertise in manufacturing and logistics, the company says it is prepared for bulk production and the distribution of hardware in massive roll-out dimensions.
 
The products will be unveiled at the energy conference Energietage in Vienna, Austria, and at Metering Days in Fulda, Germany, both in September 2015, when the company will present the results of the G3-PLC pilot test that is being carried out in Hamburg and Berlin.
 
Devolo has experienced a considerable increase in personnel for its smart-grid business in 2015. This increase in workforce and expertise has brought with it a multitude of possibilities in research, development and marketing in the smart metering and smart grid area.
 
"We are using this clear focus to underscore our commitment to the energy revolution and the accompanying conversion of the mains supply to a smart grid throughout Europe," said Heiko Harbers, CEO of Devolo.
 
The development of a BSI-compliant production environment for the smart meter gateway, quickly scalable production capacity, and strong logistics will be the central tasks for the hardware manufacturer in the energy industry.
 
Additional production capacity of nearly unlimited proportion can be set up in fewer than four months at the manufacturing sites. Co-operating with renowned logistics specialists ensures fast delivery times and guarantees planning predictability for the customer.
 
"With multiple manufacturing locations, a large logistics centre in Germany and plenty of experience in high-volume markets, we are perfectly prepared for a massive roll-out," said Harbers.
 
Data communication over existing power lines (powerline communications, PLC) is a central communications technology on a smart grid. The benefits of powerline technology compared with wireless technologies and telecoms networks are especially great in wide-branching distribution networks.
 
With G3-PLC technology in a frequency band of 150 to 500kHz, not only is the needed data rate achieved without difficulty, but so is the required range. With this in mind, Devolo has been producing the G3-PLC 500k modem for data communication in the mains supply network as a batch series product since the beginning of 2015.
 
"We already provide an appealing product for high-performance and future-proof powerline communication in the mains supply in the form of our G3-PLC 500k modem," said Michael Koch, vice president and director of the smart-grid business area.
 
In addition to data communication, data security is also a key aspect within the smart grid sector. Devolo has recognised this early on and added the smart meter gateway to its product portfolio, which is to be launched next year. The portfolio will also be complemented next year by a control box that allows network operators to control decentralised energy suppliers and consumers, such as photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, electric vehicles and thermal storage heating systems, and thus maintain stability of the mains supply network.
 
At the 2015 Metering Days in Fulda in September, Devolo will present the findings and experiences from the G3-PLC pilot test. The field test is being run in co-operation with Vattenfall Europe Metering, Stromnetz Berlin and Stromnetz Hamburg, and will be completed soon. With a total of 1000 G3-PLC modems, the pilot focuses on a large scale distribution of G3 powerline communication and the associated maximum data-traffic load in the network cluster.