CLEVER project creates platform to predict U.K. smart meter data traffic and system performance


London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — October 20, 2011 – The Closing the Loop for Everybody’s Energy Resources (CLEVER) project has recently been completed, creating a platform capable of simulating smart metering transactions and predicting the data traffic and performance for the different smart meter communication infrastructure options in the U.K.

The three-year project, which was funded by the Technology Strategy Board, sought to address the many uncertainties around the smart meter rollout, such as how large volumes of data traffic will impact the network and how alternative technology choices can meet the documented requirements.

This was done by building a computer simulation platform that represents and models the smart metering information systems, communications networks and infrastructure, from the enterprise management systems through to the metering equipment elements (and connected devices such as displays and appliances) within the home.

The project was led by digital media and communications research company 3C Research with technical leadership from the University of Bristol. Other partners included EDF Energy, telecom provider BT, and connected home technology provider PassivSystems.

“CLEVER’s real value will be as an industry”wide tool and we are in talks with DECC and Ofgem to use it to de”risk the entire U.K. smart meter program,” said project leader, Geraint Jones of 3C Research. “The ability to provide a large scale simulator to answer questions based upon a wider variety of complex scenarios, strategies, traffic patterns, volume of installed meters and network architectures will be invaluable to the smart meter rollout program and all its stakeholders.”

Models for CLEVER were built by University of Bristol and EDF Energy using communications network topologies proposed by BT and metering transaction scenarios developed by EDF Energy, such as “take a meter reading”, “install a new meter”, “pay as you go top up”, “tariff update” and covering a wide range of possible system implementation scenarios in millions of homes.

The platform is currently being used to analyze system performance in a set of questions prepared by the project partners, but could be adapted for use in modelling a wider set of metering transactions and communications technologies scenarios defined by the whole smart metering stakeholder community.

The U.K. smart metering program is expecting to roll out a total of 51 million gas and electricity meters at a cost estimated between £7 billion and £11 billion.