Meters and More: Milestones
Global Power & Energy Elites sat down with Carlo Maria Drago, General Manager of Meters and More, a global nonprofit industry organisation that maintains and promotes the Meters and More protocol for bidirectional data transfer in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems, to discuss the mandate, beyond the meter programme and future plans of the association – which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.
WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES OF THE METERS AND MORE PROTOCOL?
The Meters and More SMITP (smart metering information and telecommunication protocol) technology consists of a set of protocols aimed at secure end-to end communication for smart metering. It provides an identical message protocol for all communication interfaces among the different components of a modern AMI architecture. These components include a central system that manages the entire smart metering network, data concentrators that collect data provided by smart meters, the metering devices and local O&M devices for local management of data.
Meters and More is not only a powerline communication (PLC) technology but also includes all interfaces for a complete end-to-end solution for smart metering and many more applications.
IN THESE FIRST TEN YEARS OF THE ASSOCIATION, WHAT MILESTONES, WOULD YOU LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT?
One of the main milestones has been the recognition of SMITP as a technology recommended by the European Open Meter Project and the award of technical specification status (CLC/ TS 50568) from the European standardisation organisation CENELEC. Also, the definition and set-up of a neutral certification process developed and monitored by the association’s Committee for Product Certification with the appointment in 2015 of CESI S.p.A as the first laboratory accredited as a Meters and More Test Provider. Plus a smart energy gateway protocol specifications and demo as part of the “beyond the meter programme” of the association. With over 45 million deployed devices in Europe and Latin America, Meters and More is the most proven PLC technology in the field.
PART OF THE ‘BEYOND METERS PROGRAMME’ IS THE SMART ENERGY GATEWAY THAT WAS LAUNCHED ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO. HOW IS THIS PROGRESSING, AND WHAT IS NEXT?
Making consumption data available in ‘near real-time’ to the end customer has proven a fundamental step to obtaining reductions in energy consumption and demand. In this context, Meters and More has extended the protocol for communication between the smart meter and in-home devices, enabling the interchange of energy consumption information as well as the inclusion of new services. The first prototype of the Meters and More smart energy gateway, implementing the new protocol extension, aimed at accelerating smart energy and IoT benefits for consumers in accordance with European Commission recommendations on the provision of energy consumption information.
Meters and More exploits CENELEC band C communication to deliver metering data directly to residential customers, enabling new energy use cases; such as demand response, prepayment, alarm and power limitations. The End Customer Device profile completes the Meters and More protocol suite and enables utilities to deliver additional services to the end users. The Meters and More Band C communication has been successful tested in Italy a so-called “Chain 2” service, which enables for the first time the metering data access to 35 million Italian customers; and it has been recognised as the long term solution for electric energy stakeholder engagement in Italy.
WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FUTURE?
We want to make Meters and More a key technology supporting and enabling the energy transition through an intelligent grid while empowering end users and energy communities beyond the meter. We aim to improve the exchange of our acquired knowhow and success stories about smart meters. At the same time, we want to expand the discussion on new technology through dialogues with new stakeholders and new realities, contributing effectively to the European strategic goals for energy. It’s a challenging but exciting long-term programme that Meters and More welcomes new players to join.