First European field test of IPv6 wireless mesh communication in smart meters in Norway

Steinkjer, Norway – Connode AB, together with NTE, is now trialling the new generation of communications for the energy market at Demo Steinkjer. The new Connode 4 radio system provides seamless IP-based interoperability and global standardisation to the utility sector, which has been characterised by industry-specific protocols and lack of true interoperability.

Demo Steinkjer is Norway’s smart grid centre and facilitates exciting field tests of the new Connode 4 RF-mesh communications modules in a standard, off-the-shelf modular meter. NTE is one of several Connode 4 customer trials currently taking place in cooperation with European utilities and telecom operators. Full market availability is planned for late 2013.

Connode 4 is a break-through, industry-first software platform featuring true IPv6-based software architecture. It is based on open standards for M2M applications in general and smart energy deployments in particular. Connode 4 is portable over several communication medias, like 802.15.4g as well other medias in the IEEE 802-family, giving users flexibility as business requirements grows.

 

 “NTE is aiming for an AMI infrastructure using open standards and proven technology. Together with Demo Steinkjer, Connode 4 has given us the opportunity to test a solution complying with all our requirements for a modern and secure AMI communication platform,” says Håvard Valøen at NTE.

“Real life tests show that both range and performance is beyond previous versions of Connode radio mesh. All testing have been done with real end-to-end security activated. Our analysis show that the security model provided by Connode is future proof and well anchored using IEEE and IETF standards,” says Valøen.

 

Valøen points out that the use of IPv6/6LowPAN gives the opportunity to integrate third party tools for simple monitoring and troubleshooting. “During our testing and analysis it has been a clear benefit that standard IPv6 and DTLS is used. We can easily make dumps and verify how the communication and security protocols work without the need of any vendor specific tools,” he says.

“All in all, both NTE and Connode are satisfied with the test of new technology in our demo. We look forward to further testing of the solution in our “living lab” in Demo Steinkjer. The results from these tests will be of great interest to other utility companies who are preparing for the AMS roll-out as well,” says Erik Hatling, Project manager for Demo Steinkjer.

Demo Steinkjer is a national demonstration project established to gather experience regarding construction and operation of smart grids. The objective is to perform full-scale tests of new technologies and solutions. Demo Steinkjer is a “living laboratory” with infrastructure and services that will contribute to development of innovative products and services for businesses within the energy sector in Norway. The laboratory is located in Steinkjer, approx. 120km north of Trondheim, where smart meters have been installed in about 1.000 households.

Connode AB is the leading supplier in Europe of wireless communication products for smart metering, acting as an OEM and technology supplier to major system vendors active on the rapidly expanding smart grid market.

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