NES increases energy efficiency in Switzerland

  • October 26, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Networked Energy Services (NES), a California-based smart grid provider, is deploying its integrated hardware and software for dual relay control for Swiss business and residential consumers.

This allows DSOs to integrate the normally separate meter and relay control capabilities into the meter, and integrates them for local, scheduled and remote control through its software. As part of this, reliable and secure OSGP communication is used to integrate the control of the relays with the standard metering control and information over the PLC network.

This is made possible by the communication SLAs, typically over 99.7%, which are a feature of NES’s implementation of OSGP.

The dual relays can be controlled from the meter optical interface for installation and local control in special conditions, by schedules that can be loaded remotely from the head-end system and run independently on the meter, or by remote commands sent from the scada platform. Monitoring of the service is provided by a heart-beat function that implements a fallback to local control if the control via remote communication fails.

This can replace legacy ripple control systems, used to assist in grid loading and re-start operations, and can also control demand by restricting supply to heavy-load drawing applications at the consumer premises.

Combining the features of metering and relay control within one physical unit and one communication connection reduces the time and cost of deployment and simplifies the operation of the system.

This has been co-developed with Swiss firm Vivavis but is available through NES to other users.

“This is an exciting new development for NES and Vivavis,” said David Thomson, NES CEO. “Our solution confirms NES’s role as a vendor that is leading improvements in energy efficiency and availability. Although driven by requirements from the Swiss market, we can see this having applications in many markets where relays are used in meters to control demand in order to achieve reliability in the service and maintain optimal performance of infrastructure.”

Vivavis and its subsidiaries help share, qualify, monitor, control, process and communicate any type of data across different areas and functions, from asset data to geo-referenced, security-critical data through to measured values from metering, submetering or IoT infrastructures.

“This is perfect for the Swiss market,” said Ingo Schmitt, responsible for metering business at Vivavis. “The cost effectiveness of having two functions consolidated into one platform, the re-use of existing secure and reliable OSGP communication and the various modes of local, scheduled and remote operation, mean that DSOs can achieve ripple control and demand response more effectively.”

NES specialises in the worldwide transformation of the electricity grid into an energy control network, helping utilities provide their customers with a more efficient and reliable service, to protect their systems from current and emerging cyber-security threats, and to offer services that enable active, intelligent use of energy.

NES was formed as a result of the spinoff of Echelon’s grid modernisation division in 2014. It is headquartered in the USA with R&D centres in Silicon Valley and Poland, and sales offices throughout the world. Its smart grid technology is used in nearly 40 million smart meters and other smart end devices around the world.

Its Patagonia energy applications platform includes grid management software, distributed control nodes, and smart meters and services.