Smart Metering – no Battery, no Wire

Press Release / 28.9.2011

Fraunhofer IIS will present its resource-efficient smart metering solutions at the Metering Europe 2011 exhibition from October 4 to 6 in Amsterdam. Utility consumption data can be continuously radio read and transmitted using self-sufficient power supply.

Researchers of Fraunhofer IIS have consolidated their competencies in the areas energy harvesting and sensor network technology. By combining the in-house s-net technology for highly energy efficient, wireless networks with pioneering energy harvesting technologies, they are taking another step towards a greener future.

s-net facilitates automatic remote reading of home supply meters for gas, water, electricity and heat. End consumers have a much higher transparency of what they consumed and billing can be based on consumption-based tariffs and accurate estimates. s-net’s dynamic network structure and self-organizing topology require minimum configuration and maintenance while providing a high level of robustness. Bidirectional multi-hop meter to meter communication eliminates radio cell range restrictions. Control commands are sent directly to the smart meters, which can be installed precisely where needed. The meters network independently and do not require wiring, allowing easy replacement during operation.

Powered by energy harvesting technologies, the sensor networks are extremely flexible as they operate without battery. Conventional power generating systems are replaced by technologies, which generate energy available in the natural environment, like temperature gradients or ambient vibrations.

Energy harvesting offers the unique potential to supply energy-efficient sensors and radio transmitters with infinite clean power. Measuring systems powered by energy harvesting technologies are particularly suitable for difficult-to-access areas. Energy harvesting technologies are offered as stand-alone components as well as turnkey or customized systems for system and device integration.

Background: Fraunhofer IIS s-net technology
The Fraunhofer IIS s-net technology combines all key components for radio-based smart metering systems: Hardware design for the radio modules in the meter, modular application and service modules, and individually adaptable protocol software to network the radio nodes. Flexible interfaces integrate the specific meter and meter protocol applications into the s-net system environment. Ultra-low power consumption allows for battery operated systems with up to twelve years of battery lifetime. Fraunhofer experts will showcase demonstrations of various application scenarios at the Metering Europe in Amsterdam, booth B86.