The Intelligent Transition to Smart Grids

Today’s smart grid needs solutions to create a higher level of reliability, agility and efficiency.
Published: Tue 21 Oct 2014

The modern smart grid is becoming increasingly complex and reliability becomes a major priority as it transmits meter and consumer data. Agility is also crucial as the grid is forced to react to the growing level of intermittent energy sources. And lastly, the grid must be efficient, using the latest data and monitoring solutions to deliver a reliable, sustainable and cost-effective grid.

At European Utility Week, Landis+Gyr showcased three modular and innovative solutions to deliver exactly this using existing grid infrastructure. The solutions were discussed during our webinar,Energy Transformation and Intelligent Transition to Smart Grids on the 21 October. The webinar gave an overview of how the solutions can complement your intelligent transition from smart metering to smart grid.

Landis+Gyr webinar presenters include Christian Giroux, Solutions Product Manager, Smart Energy Solutions EMEA;Igor Dremelj, Vice President Smart Grid Solution Centre, EMEA; and Jesper Klingsten Nielsen, Product Manager Smart Grid Solutions, EMEA.

Gridstream® solution for smart metering as the pathway to smart grids

In the latest release of its end-to-end smart grid platform Gridstream, Landis+Gyr has made communication security a key priority for the data exchange between interoperable smart meters and head end system (HES) via power-line communications (PLC).

Over the past few years, as the scale of smart meter and smart grid deployments has reached a new level, regulators, utilities and their customers have become increasingly concerned about the security of information on smart metering systems. The challenge utilities are facing is how to secure the transfer of increasing amounts of smart metering data without compromising the privacy of end consumers, while maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of this information to authorized parties. Landis+Gyr has been playing a leading role in driving the development of secure smart metering solutions and standards through its engagement with the IDIS Association and other leading manufacturers.

To provide high levels of security for the data transfer and to prevent potentially sensitive data from getting into the wrong hands, Landis+Gyr has introduced encryption codes to its PLC-based devices, which account for 95% of the company’s smart meter market. IDIS compliant PLC and P2P meters are intrinsically “secure by design” through well-established DLMS-COSEM communication protocols. With the new Gridstream release, utilities will benefit from the combination of interoperable future-ready devices and a high level of communication security. The first Gridstream solution with encrypted data communications is currently undergoing field testing and will be deployed as a part of Landis+Gyr’s smart metering infrastructure for Elektrilevi, Estonia.

Gridstream now also includes a HES device gateway, to support a broader range of metering devices by a single customer business system. Most common use cases are available, such as scheduled and ad-hoc reading of billing profiles, load profiles and event logs, for third party and commercial and industrial smart meters connecting via the mobile networks.

The Gridstream platform integrates the E450 series 3, Landis+Gyr’s latest IDIS-compliant smart residential meter. The company has redesigned the device from a production and reliability perspective, to facilitate mass deployments by utilities, as smart meter rollouts start to increase in scope ahead of 2020.

The updated platform will be launched in the middle of the fourth quarter of 2014, following the testing and customer ramp-up phase.

MV/LV Monitoring and Control Solution

Designed to retrofit and digitalize existing power distribution infrastructure in a cost-effective way, the modular MV/LV Monitoring and Control Solution enables utilities to improve business operations, network efficiency and quality of service.

The solution is realized through retrofitting sensors onto the existing medium and low voltage power cables, transformers and switch gear, and through the integration of already installed electric devices located at the substation level.

Some of the key solutions in the MV/LV Monitoring and Control portfolio include:

Smart Grid Device Integrator

The Smart Grid Device Integrator is a MV/LV Monitoring and Control solution which integrates existing and new smart grid devices independent of their functionality. The solution enables utilities to create a cross-functional smart grid platform in the substations through seamless integration of all the smart grid devices into the customer IT business system like SCADA or another energy management platform, which provides investment security and existing asset protection. Furthermore, by implementing advanced fault management utilities are able to reduce their SAIDI and SAIFI and significantly improve the power distribution quality in their markets.

Advanced Smart Grid Terminal

Advanced Smart Grid Terminal is a billing grade metering node with the smart grid functionality of MV/LV Monitoring and Control. In combination with the SmartCom RTU, it aggregates and transmits the real-time data to the utility IT business system like SCADA or another energy management platform. By combining billing capabilities, renewables and microgeneration integration and streetlight functionality in only one device the solution enables utility to secure its investments and reduce operational costs. In addition, the Advanced Smart Grid Terminal cost-effectively satisfies DNO’s smart grid requirements for secondary transformers, which improves the quality of service and protects utility’s existing energy management assets.

Automated Network Management Solution

Reacting to intermittency becomes even more important when we start managing the network as microgrids.Being able to react on time on intermittency in a region significantly reduces the impact on the upper-layer network. This helps stability, robustness and prevents unplanned outages due to supply and demand mismatch. “Managing renewables correctly can reduce the investment costs needed for reinforcing the network significantly,” explains Igor Dremelj, VP Smart Grid Solutions Centre EMEA, Landis+Gyr. As an example, latest studies in Germany show an average cost savings of over 15% in network reinforcement investment if only 3% renewable generation is curtailed. “For end consumers, ANM (Automated Network Management Solution) creates a more stable network, the possibility to connect and use their renewable energy sources efficiently and economically.” The solution enables the utility to increase the level of power grid automation for better quality of supply and asset optimisation. Based on field proven, commercially available technologies it has recently been validated by an independent smart grid research centre Tecnalia.

While it is difficult to work out the return on investment due to the fact that it would be impacted by other investments such as introducing smart transformers with OLTC, BESS, or other controllable network equipment, the Landis+Gyr ANM solution adds the automation and control layer on top of this spend, allowing utilities to optimise their investments.