What technology alternatives to 2.4 GHz ZigBee wireless for HAN, DECC asks?


London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — March 12, 2013 – What technologies are available for provisioning home area network (HAN) connectivity to electricity and gas metering equipment, communications hub and in-home devices in cases where a 2.4 GHz ZigBee wireless HAN will not work effectively, Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is asking?

In an Information Request issued March 1, it is stated that in up to 5 percent of properties in Britain – almost 1.5 million in number – the gas meter and/or in-home devices is likely to be out of range of communications hub radios operating in the 2.4 GHz or 868 MHz band, rising to 30 percent for 2.4 GHz only. This includes around 350,000 flats situated in high-rise buildings (greater than six storeys).
The aim is to identify technologies, both wired and wireless, to ensure that consumers in such properties can also benefit from the smart metering.

According to the DECC, consideration should be given to suggesting technical solutions that would minimize the requirements to install communications equipment within the building infrastructure, except at the meter locations and within the consumer’s property.

Further, it will be determined if the selection of suitable technologies needs to be further informed through a technology field trial. Such a trial would then be run as a separate exercise.

DECC also notes that in parallel, Energy UK is conducting a series of tests in multi-dwelling buildings to characterize the performance of their electricity networks with respect to carrying powerline communication (PLC) signals. These should inform on wired HAN provisioning.

Responses to the Information Request are due by April 15.