Archive for the ‘Networked Energy Services (NES) System’ Category

NES Benefits

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

NES Benefits Flash

Overview of the complete NES System
Reduce costs, improve operations, and generate new sources of income.

The NES System benefits every aspect of your utility’s operation — from metering and customer services to distribution operations and value-added business. We offer an unparalleled return on investment with a payback period for most utilities ranging from two and five years.
Direct Benefits

Metering

The NES System:

* enables completely automated scheduled reads of electric, gas, water, and heat meters
* allows real-time, on-demand reads
* eliminates most meter-reading costs for both scheduled and unscheduled reads, due to wage, insurance, equipment, office space, and vehicular cost savings

Customer Service

The NES system:

  • reduces billing errors, complaints, and inquiries, as well as call center staff and related costs
  • extends the use of flexible tariffs (available to commercial accounts) to residential customers, allowing new tariff structures to be remotely downloaded into meters, such as:
  •   time-of-use pricing
  •   critical peak pricing
  •   real-time pricing
  •   prepayment without card
  • offers remote connect and disconnect features — useful in high-turnover environments such as apartments — that:
  • eliminate costs associated with manually managing service connections
  • increase customer satisfaction through improved response times

Distribution Operation

The NES System’s detailed per-meter supply quality statistics, broad load-profiling capabilities, and extensive provisions for theft detection enable:

  • load-balancing of meters and transformers
  • improved energy forecasting and conservation
  • blackout and brownout prevention
  • comprehensive revenue protection

The system also:

  • rapidly detects outages
  • verifies service restoration while field crews are still in the area

Operating

The NES system:

  • eliminates re-bills caused by incorrect reads or data entry errors
  •   eliminates the need for estimated bills
  •   improves cash flow by reducing read-to-bill turnaround and uncollectibles
  • reduces unnecessary services calls and field investigations through remote monitoring
  • enables load shedding to manage peak energy use by controlling the direct load of appliances such as air conditioners, pool pumps, and water heaters

Regulatory

The NES system offers:

  • power quality reporting for any subset of meters or service areas
  • historical as well as on-demand outage and connection reporting for accurate calculation of service quality
  • remotely configurable meter-reading capabilities by time, period, or service area to comply with changing regulations

Value-Added Benefits

Since the NES System is built on open, internationally recognized standards using existing infrastructures, your utility can add new devices over time — anywhere within the electricity network — using the same communication infrastructure already installed for electricity metering.

Products such as thermostats, boilers, appliances, air handlers, lights, and load control modules based on our LonWorks technology — the backbone of the NES system — are available from thousands of manufacturers worldwide. By adding communications and control over these devices, utilities can offer their customers or partners a number of benefits and services, such as:

  • remote monitoring and control of in-premise devices such as thermostats and appliances
  • predictive warranty services
  • consumer use reports

Network Energy System Architecture

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

NES System Architecture

The NES System consists of a tightly integrated set of components that provide the infrastructure to deliver networked energy services to your utility. The system architecture includes:

  • Intelligent, communicating digital electricity meters
  • Powerful IP-connected data concentrators
  • Scalable system software

A True Smart Metering Network

The NES system is designed to let your utility use a variety of communications media within your system to minimize cost and complexity, and maximize reliability and security. At the core of this flexibility are data concentrators, which provide the connectivity infrastructure between meters at customer sites and the NES System Software at the utility’s central office.

Data concentrators connect to the secondary side of a distribution transformer and securely communicate with and supervise meters attached to the secondary side of a given transformer. They can be installed adjacent to or collocated with one of the meters at a customer site or collocated with the transformer itself, which may be on utility poles, in underground substations, or in above-ground enclosures.

Data concentrators communicate with meters over the low-voltage power line network. Communication between data concentrators and the NES System Software (which usually resides in the utility’s data center) occurs over any IP-enabled WAN. Because our flexible data concentrators can use any convenient WAN technology — such as GPRS, CDMA, GSM, PSTN, and broadband — utilities can take advantage of today’s diverse range of wide area communication possibilities, as well as new options offered in the future.

The hybrid RF/PLC/IP architecture of the NES System cost-effectively serves both the IEC and ANSI markets for a variety of geographic terrains — from densely populated urban and suburban areas to thinly populated, distant rural locations — while retaining all of its functionality.

Advanced Metering

Echelon's NES System Meters

Meters are a utility’s most important asset: They must provide uncompromising quality, accuracy, and reliability. Our internationally certified NES meters offer the industry’s best value for a digital communicating meter, turning each metering point into a wealth of readily available information that can be used not only to generate bills — as in a traditional AMR system — but also to monitor network health, reduce or eliminate on-site visits, improve customer service, and optimize the distribution network.

Since NES provides a complete, always-on, two-way network, each meter is remotely accessible at any time for both data reading and, with proper authorization, remote configuration and control. And because our meters have no serviceable parts, you may never need to send personnel to the field again.

Our NES meters offer a number of features and benefits, including:

  • Support for multiple tariffs, which automatically adapt for holiday, weekend, and seasonal changes
  • Integrated, automatic gas and water meter reading, which expands the value of the network beyond electricity
  • Power quality information — such as power outages, sags, swells, and frequency measurements — which enable predictive repairs and optimizations
  • Extensive load-profiling capabilities to understand customer consumption
  • Real-time scheduled or remote load control to prevent brownouts or blackouts
  • Remote disconnect of main load, for managing vacant or high-turnover premises (such as vacation homes or apartments) without on-site visits
  • Superior tamper and fraud detection, which increase compliance and revenue
  • Full remote configuration capabilities, which eliminate the need to visit meters to change tariff schedule, display, or load control
  • Standard digital meter installation — no special skills or tools required

Networked Energy Services (NES) System

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

The NES System is the cornerstone of the smart grid

Echelon’s Networked Energy Services System is the first, fundamental step for utilities seeking to update their metering infrastructure. The NES System provides utilities with:

  • A metering infrastructure that delivers core services such as:
    • Automated meter reading
    • Outage detection
    • Theft and tampering detection
    • Very accurate data collection
    • The industry’s highest level of reliability
    • Extensibility from 10,000s to millions of customers
  • An open service infrastructure with an ecosystem of software, hardware, project management, and service companies with expertise in extending the NES System to meet any existing or future competitive or regulatory need.
  • Future-proof hardware and remote firmware upgradability built into the meters.
  • The ability to use any existing WAN backhaul including GPRS modem, WiMAX, BPL, and others.
  • A smart grid backbone for:
    • Residential and light commercial demand response
    • Seamless connection to the home area network (HAN)
    • Wired or wireless (such as Zigbee or 6LoWPAN) connectivity to energy-aware products

Elegant System Architecture

The NES system consists of a tightly integrated set of components that provide the infrastructure to deliver networked energy services to your utility. The system architecture includes intelligent, communicating digital electricity meters; powerful IP-connected data concentrators; and scalable system software.