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EETE JULAUG 2013

Smart grids and IoT convergence turns more data into cash By Julien Happich WHIle the smart grid sensor market is set to double in size by 2014, growing to well over $200 million of annual revenue by 2018 according to IMS Research, it only represents a fraction of the global market for M2M data collection, aggregation and actuation devices. According to a recent analysis by Machina Research, machine-to-machine communications already account for 2 billion M2M connections today and are set to grow to 18 billion in 2022, that at an incredible CAGR of 22%. Visiting the Smart Grid Congress in Paris last month, more than hardware metering solutions, one could immediately notice the strong emphasis on data management, analysis and data monetizing opportunities. While utility providers had some metering solutions on display, like the Linky smart meter from ERDF and various smart plugs that provide power consumption data from any appliance connected through them, the congress’ biggest focus really was on how to make the best use of data through simple user interfaces. Utility providers want all the data, but endusers would most probably be offered subsets of metering data with simplified response scenarios and financial incentives to manoeuvre them into particular energy-spending habits. While the hardware solutions abound for power metering, figuring out the level of data that should be displayed to end-users for their own free interpretation and manipulation Washing Machine Refrigerator Boiler Fluvia’s optical reader allows the company to extract power consumption information and to perform data analytics from old electricity meters. to reduce their energy-bill is very much a work in progress with numerous pilot projects across Europe. In France, the TBH Alliance (Tableau de Bord de l’Habitat – which could translate as the housing environment dash board) has just been launched under the leadership of EcoCO2 - www. ecoco2.com - to evaluate how endusers understand their energy consumption patterns and act upon them depending on the type of information and interactivity that is provided to them. This pilot experiment will span 4000 residential customers across all types of housing environments, who will be given the opportunity to interact with one of ten different user-interfaces. One of the alliance partners, Fludia - www.fludia.com – is in the business of providing energy consumption analysis results by end-uses. For old meter installations, the company has also developed an add-on optical reader, the Fludiameter, which is capable of reading optically standard non-smart meters (such as electronic meters with a warning light and electromechanical meters with black mark on disc). The reader can send short time samples of one minute or less. A pulse output communicates the results to any kind of telemetering solution. With the collected information, Fluvia’s algorithm disaggregates the data and figures out what comes from the heating, the water-heater, appliances in stand-by, the refrigerator, the lighting and so on. The results are then delivered through web-services or M2M solutions for the utility providers to cascade some of the information to their end-customers via a residential portal. This is where internet providers move-in, since energy-metering data and smart-home control interfaces could easily be bundled with the internet access spot (instead of adding a dedicated screen into the household), to be displayed directly on the consumers’ own mobile devices. During the congress, Bouygues Telecom, Ijenko and IS2T have demonstrated what they call Fifth Play smart grid ready services, embedded in Bouygues Telecom’s Bbox Sensation Internet gateway. The service relies on the Ijenko platform in the cloud and on the IS2T MicroEJ java embedded platform which enables the Bbox gateway to control, locally or remotely a variety of open standards sensors and actuators. That way, the Internet access router becomes a hub for all homerelated appliances, it also makes the connection between the smart grid and the larger world of the Internet- Already rolling out, ERDF’s Linky. Examples of housing environment dash boards as proposed by the TBH Alliance. 4 Electronic Engineering Times Europe July/August 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE JULAUG 2013
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