In Europe, German powerline communications company Devolo has expanded into the Irish market to tap into the EU country member’s target of deploying 2.2 million smart meters by 2020.
In a statement, Devolo said its G3-PLC technology uses the frequency band between 150 and 500 kHz suited to wide-branching distribution networks like Ireland’s.
Devolo began manufacturing its G3-PLC modem 500k for data communication in the electricity distribution network at the beginning of 2015.
The company jointly tested the product with German energy company Vattenfall Europe Metering and its network operators.
As part of the pilot test, Vattenfall Metering and two other German distribution network operators used 1,000 G3-PLC Devolo modems as part of trialling its smart grid model in real-world conditions.
Dr Michael Koch, vice president smart grids, at Devolo: “Through this extensive pilot test, Devolo has demonstrated that G3-PLC technology in the frequency band of 150 to 500 kHz has the requisite bandwidth for smart metering.
“In addition, all of the metering points in the network cluster are accessible without repeaters, which saves network operators both time and money.”
Mr Koch added: “The G3-PLC modem 500k has no problem transmitting data through buildings. However, WAN communication using wireless technologies would not have been possible due to the solid construction of the office complexes and shopping centres.”
Devolo expansion plans
Commenting on how the company will meet Ireland’s need to roll out 2.2 million smart meters into homes and small and medium size enterprises by 2020, CEO Heiko Harbers claims Devolo can increase production capacity in less than four months at manufacturing sites to meet local demand.
Mr Harbers said: “With multiple manufacturing locations, logistics centres worldwide and plenty of experience in high-volume markets, we are perfectly prepared for entering the Irish market.”
The Aachen-based company also said it will launch new products in 2016.
For the German market, Devolo has added a smart meter gateway to its product portfolio, which is to be launched next year.
Another complement to the product portfolio next year will be a control box that allows network operators to control decentralised energy suppliers and prosumers, users of photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, electric vehicles and thermal storage heating systems.