Arbon, Switzerland --- (METERING.COM) --- February 2, 2009 - Swiss utility Arbon Energie AG is focusing on merging the core tasks of metering and distribution network automation with the implementation of an automated metering and information system (AMIS).

The AMIS solution from Siemens Energy provides functions for implementing a smart grid among other features. Arbon Energie is using these functions to modernize its distribution networks, which will enable it to fulfill the requirements for reliability and efficiency of supply that the regulatory framework for the liberalized energy market of Switzerland demands for the future energy supply of the country.

For Arbon Energie, expansion of its distribution networks to form a smart grid also includes uniform presentation of the meter data processes as well as display of the voltage quality, for example, regarding voltage tolerances and short term and long term failures. The company has achieved this by installing AMIS electricity meters in households and for customers with special contracts. AMIS load switching devices replace the unidirectional ripple-control receivers previously used, control the communal street lighting and connect and disconnect loads. The system uses powerline communications technology over the electricity network for bi-directional data transmission to and from the electricity meters and load switching devices.

This ensures that Arbon Energie can, as the distribution network operator, satisfy the demands of the upstream supplier for technical representation and billing of a four tariff model. For the purpose of representing the integrated process in the system landscape, all consumption data are automatically transferred from the households and used for invoicing as well as for managing the meter point. The meter point is the location in the network at which the energy flows are measured. Significant added value is achieved by also acquiring the consumption data from water meters as well as heating meters over the M-bus, the metering fieldbus system for consumption data acquisition, and transferring them to the control center over the AMIS communication paths. These values are managed and processed in the same manner as the electricity consumption data.

The synergies resulting from metering and network automation are utilized by Arbon Energie in its transformer stations in particular: Using intelligent sensors and instrumentation, the active power, reactive power, temperature, current and voltage values of the transformers are automatically acquired and transferred via the telecontrol and automation components of the AMIS to the existing Power CC control system. Monitoring of the protection systems as well as the medium and low voltage switches is also included. The transformer stations therefore operate fully automatically, because even the commands for triggering switching operations are transferred to the stations. In this case AMIS acts as a link to the control system.

By using the AMIS solution, Arbon Energie AG expects to significantly improve the power system management and to optimize maintenance intervals. The utility is now planning to integrate distributed power generation plants as well as the technology for home automation applications.