Aetheros to power US smart-meter deployments

  • April 25, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Aetheros, with its IoT operating system for massive machine type computing and communications, has entered the US market to power the next wave of smart meter deployments with distributed intelligence.

Commercially deployed and proven across Australia and New Zealand, and processing over one billion meter reads daily, the Aether Operating System (AOS) provides a OneM2M-compliant IoT service layer for distributed intelligence at the edge. As demand for renewable energy, battery storage and electric vehicles grows, AOS enables an open ecosystem for secure edge applications and smart meters that addresses the changing needs of electricity throughout the USA.

The replacement of the initial deployments of over 100 million smart meters in the USA is underway and utility requirements have changed, prompting the need to re-imagine these endpoints to accelerate the energy transition. To meet these smart meter requirements, many US utilities seek to add analytics and control at the edge of their distribution network to enable the open integration and support of renewable energy sources and electric vehicles, while improving their operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction.

Doing so will require an IoT service layer, and Aetheros provides an open, proven and scalable option.

“Our smart meter networking software, field proven with over fifteen years of deployment in Australia and New Zealand, has accelerated innovation by enabling distributed edge intelligence in the most advanced utility markets in the world,” said Ray Bell, founder of Aetheros. “For years, we’ve enabled our customers to deploy analytics and control at the edge of their distribution network to detect conditions such as floating neutral, high and low voltage, and frequency imbalances, and to implement advanced services like virtual power plants and dynamic volt/var control.”

AOS is said to let utilities improve safety and distribution efficiencies, lower operating costs, raise customer satisfaction, and deliver new smart energy services.

“With the second wave of replacement smart meter deployments underway, now is the time to bring our AOS product portfolio to utilities in North America,” said Bell.

Bell and his team of Silicon Valley veterans shaped the first wave of IP networking and smart meter technologies in the USA, and are now using their knowledge, expertise and track record in Australia and New Zealand to guide US utilities during the next wave of smart meter deployments.

“The first deployments of smart meters in the USA were all about time of use billing and using demand response programmes to offset the need to build more generation capacity,” said Bell. “Today’s requirements are much more complex. Utilities need to use distributed edge analytics and control to build a more efficient and diverse smart energy ecosystem. These needs cannot be met with single vendor walled garden approaches. There’s an urgent need in the utility industry for an open standards-based IoT service layer that allows market innovation to flow freely.”

AOS provides such a layer that does not lock in users. They can build, deploy and manage IoT networks and edge applications and services using the hardware and software of their choice. As AOS grows across North America, utilities and their suppliers alike will have the freedom to innovate at the grid edge and unlock a wide range of smart energy service opportunities, including:

  • Enable a transactive, distributed energy market: Energy providers can build applications that facilitate the buying and selling of energy resources. Consumers with solar panels and batteries, for instance, can sell excess energy in the open energy market and provide critical grid services.
  • Balance power based on distributed resources: With AOS, authenticated edge applications can instantly access cumulative and instantaneous smart metering data, enabling local demand response and load management decisions. For example, utilities can use analytics and control within their smart meters to monitor and manage the customer’s solar inverters, batteries and smart appliances locally to create virtual power plants (VPPs) that curtail energy demand or help balance the distribution grid.
  • Advance EV charging infrastructure: EV charging station operators can optimise their buy-sell transactions based on market and local distribution network supply conditions, as well as participate in demand response and VPP programmes. EV drivers can remotely communicate via their mobile phone with charging stations along their route and reserve a charge point in advance which only works with their vehicle at the allotted start time window.
  • Accelerate industrial IoT: Edge devices collect data from industrial equipment to filter, prioritise and process OT data. With AOS, industrial operations can quickly build IIoT distributed intelligence applications to communicate with factory infrastructure in near real time.

OneM2M is a partnership project founded in 2012 and constituted by eight ICT standards development organisations. The OneM2M IoT standards are the result of collaboration among more than 200 companies across industries, including utilities, telecommunications, transportation and agriculture.

“Having an open operating system that supports distributed intelligence at the edge is essential to the future of the energy sector,” said Adrian Clark, CEO of CrescoNet. “Smart meters with intelligent edge computing enables us to provide our customers with the dynamic control and demand response services that they need. With AOS, we have been able to leverage real-time energy analytics and control at the edge of the distribution network to deliver new competitive energy products and services, and keep Australia and New Zealand on the map as the global leader in smart energy innovation.”

Aetheros products are deployed in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and the USA on Telstra, Spark, Verizon and AT&T LTE networks. Aetherosmex S de RL de CV, its wholly owned Mexican subsidiary, offers managed IoT device, application and communications network services throughout Mexico.