Interoperable communication tech


The Meters and More technology consists of a set of protocols aimed at secure end-to-end communication for smart metering, providing an identical message protocol for all communication interfaces among the different components of a modern AMI architecture.

Security by design is a key principle and is achieved by authentication, encryption and message integrity verification without the need for translation barriers along the communication path.

This article was originally published in Smart Energy International 5-2019. Read the full digimag here or subscribe to receive a print copy here.

Different from other communication solutions, 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.

Efficiency and robustness are achieved by very short, optimised field-proven protocol messages, for:

  • powerline communication, which is used between the meter and data concentrator, among meters, or between the meter and end-customer devices;
  • optical communication when connecting local O&M devices to the meter or concentrator via an optical probe;
  • • wireless TCP/IP based communication between the meter or data concentrator at one end and the central system at the other end.

The introduction of an extension to the Smart Metering Information and Telecommunication Protocol (SMITP) as developed by Meters and More now also supports an additional DLMS/ COSEM profile, guarantees further impetus in the spread of the Meters and More protocol, addressing electronic energy meter installations implementing the DLMS/ COSEM model.

The Meters and More open technology focuses on field-proven efficiency, interoperability and robustness of communication

Interoperability among Meters and More devices, which is a main concern for any open technology, is guaranteed through an extensive neutral certification process. This process is developed and monitored by the association’s Technical Committee for Certification.

Furthermore, Meters and More is one of the technologies recommended by the European Open Meter Project and the European Standardization organization CENELEC, in compliance with mandate M/441 of the European Commission.

The association’s declared goal is not only to provide an interoperable end-to-end solution for smart metering, but also to develop extensions for complementary value-added services based on the same principles of openness, interoperability, efficiency, robustness and security of communications.

One of the major goals of all recent efforts in the smart metering arena relates to making consumption data available in ‘near real time’ to the end customer. It has been proven that customer awareness is a fundamental step to obtaining reductions in energy consumption and demand.

The way that has been selected to address customer awareness within the frame of the Meters and More Protocol, is the definition of a protocol extension. Such novel protocol enables direct communication between the smart meter and the home gateway, a device owned by and installed inside the customer’s premises.

The protocol extension has been designed in such a way as to make it possible for any gateway manufacturer to produce a compatible device. Such gateways will then be tested against appropriate compliancy testing rules, so as to certify its compatibility.

This communication will allow the home gateway to query the smart meter about energy consumption. Many registers in the meter’s data tables can be made available for the gateway, so that a complete profile of energy consumption can be presented to the customer.

In addition, no restrictions are imposed on the way that the gateway can make use of the available data: it is up to the gateway’s manufacturer to decide how the data is presented to the customer, be it via a local display, a web server, a wireless domestic connection, etc.

The extension protocol includes an appropriate ‘pairing procedure’ that will uniquely identify each gateway to each meter, so that every customer will be enabled to read his/her meter and consumption data only, irrespective of location. It is believed that this innovative protocol will help both the industry at large, by enabling the creation of many kinds of energy management applications, and more specifically customers, in becoming fully aware of their consumption, opening opportunities for important energy savings. SEI

About Meters and More

Meters and More AISBL’s goal is to promote the open Meters and More protocol for smart metering, assuring product interoperability, a neutral certification process, standardisation at European and international level and the continuous integration of technological evolutions.