Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Danish utility rolls out wireless network for meter control

Steve Rogerson
November 23, 2016
 
Danish utility Frederiksberg Forsyning is building a wireless network for remote control of energy consumption meters for gas, electricity and heating. As part of this contract, Sweden-based Eltel has signed a 12-month maintenance agreement after the completion of the build.
 
Eltel’s says its contract with Frederiksberg is evidence of how the infranets are becoming more digitalised and connecting consumers with the energy supplier. The network represents an important step to implementing smart grids aiming at on-time optimisation and balancing of energy generation with energy consumption.
 
Building smart grids will boost energy efficiency and lower environmental impact. Smart technologies are an important element to manage the so-called micro grids consisting of micro production of electricity, often renewable solar and wind energy, and electricity consumption.
 
Smart meters as a communications gateway play an elementary part of an interactive system and building of a connected society and smart cities. The Nordic countries have been in the forefront of implementing smart metering since the start of rollouts in Finland and Sweden in 2006. Now that Norway will implement its rollouts by 2019 and the largest Danish utility Dong will complete its rollouts by 2019, all Nordic countries will have smart metering systems in place.
 
Counting the already implemented installations and the current order stock, Eltel’s smart meter installations total five million metering points, representing a 50 per cent share of market in the four Nordic countries.
 
In spring 2016, Eltel also entered the German metering market through two acquisitions. Eltel is involved in various services from meter installations, connecting and disconnecting of consumers, and providing meter reading services to utilities. With Eltel’s structure in Germany, the company provided five million meter readings to its utility customers in 2016. Eltel customers include gas, water and electricity utilities.
 
Germany has passed legislation regarding the replacement of the current 44 million electricity meters with modern meters from 2017 to 2032. Approximately five million of these will be equipped with smart communications while the remaining metering points can be upgraded later. In this respect the German concept differs from the Nordic countries where online communications has been part of the service from the beginning.
 
In today’s society, the requirement for higher speed and quality of data transmission capacity is growing rapidly. Fibre is one way to do this. Eltel is a leading fibre deployment company in northern Europe, serving all major teleoperators.
 
One of the challenges in implementing technical infrastructures in urban environments is to execute the works with minimum disturbance to daily life and routines in cities. In the case of building the network for Frederiksberg in Copenhagen, Eltel can use its experience of delivering installation and maintenance services for electricity, street lighting, traffic signalling, gas, water and sewage networks since 2005 in the city.
 
Aggregating all the competencies of the company, Eltel can use its overall infranet capability in the contract with Frederiksberg, its customers and the entire community. Implementation of the network is being started and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
 
“We are very happy to have been chosen by Frederiksberg Forsyning as their partner to deploy the new system to connect end customers with the supplier of energy,” said Thorbjörn Sagner, president of Eltel Aviation & Security. “This kind of networks shows the way into the new future of infranets and now we see more concrete applications in practice. Eltel’s comprehensive know-how in smart metering, wireless and fibre communication as well as our data centre implementations, all coupled with higher level maintenance services, come to full exploitation in this project. Implementing the project to the full satisfaction of all stakeholders is equally important with the technical level of the entire system.”
 
Eltel has operations throughout the Nordic and Baltic regions, Poland, Germany, UK and Africa. In 2015, its net sales amounted to €1255m. The number of employees is about 9600.