SAN JOSE, Calif., June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON), a global leader in energy control networking for smart grid, smart city and smart building applications, today announced the availability of new Control Operating System (COS) software for its smart meter portfolio. Smart meters from Echelon and from its Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP) meter partners worldwide can now be upgraded in the field to function as multi-parameter grid sensors, in addition to serving as billing devices. These meters are the industry's first smart meters that separate billing data from grid power quality data – such as voltage, frequency and power factor – so that they can be read on independent time cycles. By separating these data types, the utility can collect relevant power quality information on an as-required basis, instead of collecting large volumes of billing and operational data from each meter on every read cycle. This enables the utility's communications infrastructure and analytics applications to minimize the volume of data collected and processed, while increasing its usefulness – ultimately improving service reliability at lower cost.
"Echelon smart meters are an essential piece of our smart grid solution. The use of the meter as a grid sensor gives us a unique opportunity to collect measurements for analysis of any problems in the network without affecting the 15-minute interval measurements we use as the basis to bill our customers," said Poul Berthelsen, project manager at NRGi, a leading utility in Denmark. "Today, in order to avoid a data deluge from collecting power quality information every 15-minutes, we only collect power quality measurements from the low voltage grid after we detect or have customer reports of problems in the network. However, with a separate data set dedicated for power quality history and troubleshooting data collected on a different cycle than the billing data, we'll be able to review the previously captured data immediately and decrease the time and cost that it used to take for us to conduct analysis in the field."
"As smart grids scale to incorporate more users, more distributed generation, and other applications like street lighting and electric vehicle charging, it will become increasingly important to collect and analyze power quality information in the distribution network, such as active and reactive energy and power, per phase voltage current and power, sine phase angle, power factor, frequency, etc. in near real-time. Utilities need to have a plan to deal with this potential data deluge. We are pleased to be the first to offer smart meters that provide utilities the ability to access only the power quality data they need, and when they need it. This approach will simplify the 'big data' challenge and let the utilities improve service reliability and maximize the life of grid assets," said Varun Nagaraj, senior vice president of Product Management and Marketing at Echelon.
The new capabilities enabled by the COS software include:
- Improved Relevance and Data Reduction with 4x16 Channels of Load Profile Data: The new software enables Echelon MTR 1000 Series Single Phase Meters and MTR 3000 Series Poly Phase Meters to set up 4x16 channels of load profile data; each of which can be configured independently for interval, size and collection settings.
- Grid Asset Protection with Per Phase Measurements at the Transformer: The new software includes the ability for meters to measure, store, and transmit peak power per phase. When used with Echelon's new MTR 3500 Series Current Transformer (CT) smart meters, utilities can proactively respond to transformer overload situations before they cause an outage. Additionally, the software helps identify load imbalances at the transformer allowing utilities to maximize the life of their grid assets as well as improve efficiency.
- Operational Efficiency Improvements with Location Services: New features in System Software 5.1 and Element Manager 3 – software packages that operate at a utility's head-end – can use Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates to map how meters and grid devices are connected to transformers. This location service capability reduces the time it takes to find and fix problems in the field.
Additionally, Echelon further expanded its smart meter portfolio by today introducing the modular MTR 0600 Series. The MTR 0600 is an affordable, modular smart meter designed for utilities in emerging markets to stage their smart grid investment, while improving reliability. Utilities can replace their existing meters with the MTR 0600 in standalone mode, and subsequently upgrade them in the field with a communications and control module that allows them to plug into the rest of the Echelon energy control networking platform. The communicating MTR 0600 serves as both an automated billing device and a grid sensor and integrates with the utility's billing and analytics applications.
"Just as the Internet revolution defined the advancement of current decade, the evolution of a Smart Energy infrastructure is positioned to define the next," said Bob Gohn, vice president at Pike Research, a leading market research firm focusing on global clean technology. "By deploying smart meters capable of doubling as powerful grid sensors, utilities will be able to optimize the efficient creation, distribution, and consumption of energy."
A Proven, Open Standards, Multi-Application Platform for the Utility
Echelon's energy control networking platform is a three-tiered configuration of devices, control nodes, and enterprise software from Echelon and its partners that enables multiple energy management applications at the edge of the grid. Devices communicate using various device networking standards such as LonWorks®, Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP), Device Language Message Specification (DLMS™), Modbus® and others. Control nodes are responsible for running applications that act on the collected data locally, and for mapping these device protocols into the Web/IT domain so that enterprise applications can work on big data when required. Unlike data networking, control networking requires a semantic understanding of device control protocols across all tiers so that monitoring and decision-making can be distributed and decisions made at all three tiers as appropriate for maximum response time, reliability and resiliency. The software that runs across the tiers of the control networking platform to enable such distributed intelligence and control is Echelon's Control Operating System (COS). Partners can plug into, customize or extend the energy control networking platform by integrating their devices and applications with COS.
About Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP)
Built on open ISO/IEC and IEEE standards, the Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP) is a device control networking protocol published by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for smart grid applications. OSGP specifies a media independent control layer for secure and reliable communication between grid devices, such as meters and control nodes (e.g. data concentrators). OSGP enables independent implementation of interoperable meters and other smart grid devices from multiple vendors on the same network, and helps the utility lower cost and enhance functionality by enabling multiple smart devices and applications to share a common infrastructure while avoiding vendor lock-in. Utilities can then concentrate on building applications that reduce peak loads, balance the grid, reduce losses, identify impending outages, etc. instead of focusing on just the meter and its connectivity protocol. The Energy Service Network Association (ESNA), a non-profit corporation composed of utilities, manufacturers, and integrators, is responsible for publishing, maintaining, and certifying devices compatible with the OSGP specification.
Availability and More Information
The MTR 0600, 1000, 3000 and 3500 Series, System Software 5.1 and Element Manager 3 are available to order today. Pricing and delivery information can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting http://www.echelon.com/products/smart-meters/.
About Echelon Corporation
Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) is an energy control networking company, with the world's most widely deployed proven, open standard, multi-application platform, selling complete systems and embedded sub-systems for smart grid, smart city and smart building applications. Our platform is embedded in more than 100 million devices, 35 million homes, and 300,000 buildings and powers energy savings applications for smart grids, smart cities and smart buildings. We help our customers reduce operational costs, enhance satisfaction and safety, grow revenues and prepare for a dynamic future. More information about Echelon can be found at http://www.echelon.com.
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This press release may contain statements relating to future plans, events or performance. Such statements may involve risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with market acceptance of Echelon's technology, including the MTR 0600, 1000, 3000, 3500 Series, by itself or combined with other applications or offerings; the risk that Echelon's offerings by themselves or combined with other applications or offerings do not perform as designed or do not offer the expected benefits and savings; risks associated with international sales; and other risks identified in Echelon's SEC filings. Actual results, events and performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Echelon undertakes no obligation to release publicly the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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