ScottishPower, Siemens and SmartReach – the Arqiva-led smart metering consortium with BT, BAE Sytems Detica and Sensus – today announced the launch of a major smart metering trial in the UK.
The trial, which will cover 1000 homes across Ipswich in Suffolk, will test a long-range radio communications network for transferring data to and from smart electricity meters.
The 18-month trial will use Arqiva’s existing tower infrastructure and Sensus’ FlexNet smart metering communications system. Siemens, which already provide metering services for ScottishPower, will undertake the installation of smart electricity meters in the participating homes.
The partners hope that the trial will demonstrate the advantages is using long-range radio communications, which enable electricity meters to be connected wherever they are located, even basements or cellars, something that can be tricky with mobile-based communications.
Using long-range radio also means that only a single communications technology is needed, potentially making installation simpler and less expensive.
“This trial will help us to evaluate the potential of long-range radio to reach meters wherever they are located, with the goal of achieving high first time connection rates and ongoing high levels of reliability,” says ScottishPower’s operations director Andrew Ward.
The technology has been more widely deployed is the US, where some ten million homes and grid end points are connected with Sensus’ long-range radio-based networks.
SmartReach are backing the long-range radio option over mobile communications networks for the government-backed rollout of smart meters across the UK by 2019.
For further information:
British Gas and Siemens take stake in German smart grid company (22-Jun)
Itron completes $100 million acquisition of smart grid provider (15-May)
Invest in smart grid sooner rather than later to boost UK economy, says report (2-May)
UK energy regulator launches smart grid framework (23-Apr)
18 July 2012