More important than ever: to optimize their heat generation and thus save CO2, Danpower and enercity contracting are focusing on automating the reading and processing of meter data. For secure remote meter reading, the heat suppliers use a solution from Deutsche Telekom. So-called gateways, connected to Deutsche Telekom’s Cloud of Things, ensure secure data transmission to the software programs of the two companies. Deutsche Telekom’s solution is thus an intermediary between the meters installed on site and the energy service providers’ IT systems for billing customers.
Meeting legal requirements
In accordance with the applicable legal requirements, newly installed heat meters must allow to be remotely read and the consumption data must be made available to customers. In addition to upgrading the billing systems, this also requires new solutions for remote reading.
“Danpower and enercity contracting supply different customers with future-oriented heating and cooling solutions in more than 340 cities and communities in Germany,” explains Nico Blume, responsible for energy management at Danpower. “This requires a stable, secure and, above all, vendor-independent cloud solution that combines all data and can be integrated into existing systems. Energy is a future market and therefore the technologies used must be interoperable. In Deutsche Telekom, we have found a suitable partner with whom we will equip around 2,000 metering points with gateways each year in the coming years.”
Deutsche Telekom is using the Open Metering System (OMS) for this purpose. The OMS is a standardized technology that enables meters from a wide range of manufacturers to be connected to the gateway and the data to be transmitted to the cloud in encrypted form.
Secure and reliable data transfer
For linking the existing meters, Deutsche Telekom supplies hardware and functionally reliable connectivity on licensed networks. The gateway collects encrypted OMS telegrams once a day. It forwards this meter data directly to Deutsche Telekom’s Cloud of Things IoT platform in encrypted form via NB-IoT over the mobile network. A microservice within the Cloud of Things decrypts the data in the cloud. This means that only encrypted data is transmitted. Danpower and enercity contracting can view the data in a uniform, standardized format on the platform and transfer it to their own systems via an interface. “It was important to us that by using the Open Metering System, meters from different manufacturers can be transferred to the gateway with a uniform data structure” explains Armin Bez, responsible for Operation at enercity contracting. “The protection of our customers’ data and thus also their consumption or meter data is extremely important to us. Through the encrypted transmission path, we can ensure good protection.”
The NB-IoT radio technology is a globally accepted standard for the Internet of Things and ensures good transmission even in basements or with thick walls. If data packets are transmitted only once a day, the gateways can be operated for years without changing. “A gateway can read up to 250 meters via the wireless interface. Heat suppliers or operators of heating systems save the costs for manual reading and checking of the meters. This paves the way for further automation,” says Dennis Nikles, CEO of Deutsche Telekom IoT GmbH (DT IoT).
Danpower and enercity contracting can also configure the gateways remotely via the Cloud of Things, for example how often data is collected and sent. No programming skills are required to operate the gateways and the cloud.