The result of implementation of this certificate is the development of IDIS interoperable smart electric meters ST401 and SM401 whose functions and communication protocols are fully standardized, so that electric meters of different makers can work together within the same system. This provides basis for mass deployment, boosts competitiveness, and ensures investments in smart systems for power consumption measuring, remote reading and management.
Domestic electric meter manufacturers, such as Meter&Control, can be the carriers of their mass deployment, primarily in Serbia, and such reference would allow for the exportation of domestic technology to Europe and rest of the world. Meter&Control entrusted the development of this particular electric meter to an expert team of 30 engineers and invested EUR 3 million in it.
New generation of electric meters ST401 and SM401, intended for use by all categories of consumers (households, commercial and industrial users), are produced in line with the most current global standards, and their usage creates benefits for both power supply companies and buyers, that is, end-users. Apart from measuring power consumption, IDIS interoperable electric meters also make it possible for consumers to manage their power consumption thanks to a switch integrated into the meters, which contributes to the energy consumption balancing and allows for the power generation industry to balance its production and makes huge savings in that way, while end-users get electricity bills calculated on the basis on real consumption and the possibility of taking active part in the control of their consumption ("humane power cuts").
The completed IDIS certification process means that the complete portfolio of power consumption remote reading and management products of Meter&Control is compatible with digital electric meters of other global producers, which ensures competitiveness in the global market. The company landed a big deal in Brcko District in late 2014 and has so far delivered almost 6,000 of these electric meters to that district. It has also signed an agreement in principle on the supply of electric meters to Slovakia, and its electric meters are also the subject of interest of many other EU countries.
In one such system, a smart electric meter is the core element that provides the information relevant to the control and management of the entire system, but it is also the final element by means of which end-users can control their own consumption.
One of the primary obstacles to mass implementation of such systems is the incompatibility of different electric meters. Currently, electric meters of different manufacturers mainly have specific features that limit their compatibility to only their own system, that is, the system of the given manufacturer. However, it is becoming customary in the global market to demand electric meters of different makers to be interoperable and work together in the same system when issuing a request for proposal for the procurement and installation of smart metering and power consumption management systems. This means that different meters must have a common set of features and identical communication protocols.
IDIS interoperable electric meters ST401 and SM401 of the Meter&Control company have fully standardized features and communication protocols, so they can work together with the meters of different makers in the same system. This provides basis for mass deployment, boosts competitiveness, and ensures investments in smart metering, remote reading and power consumption management.
At this moment, there are only four other leading global producers in the world that completed the IDIS certification process for their electric meters – Landis&Gir in Switzerland, Itron in the USA, Elster in Germany, and Iskra in Slovenia. By getting this certificate, Meter&Control became one of the five globally operating manufacturers in the world that hold it.
IDIS three-phase meter ST401 and single-phase meter SM401 provide insight into power consumption by means of modern technologies and enables its control, which is a very important feature that is made possible by a switch built in the meter.
In the countries where power supply companies have a problem with collecting money from consumers, this feature is used to remotely disconnect such debtors from the grid, which has proved to be very efficient. Once the debt is cleared, the consumer is reconnected to the grid, which is also done remotely. In this way, power supply companies have no direct contact with the debt, thus avoiding awkward situations that we usually learn about from the media. On the other hand, in developed countries where collecting money from consumers is not a problem, this feature is used to balance consumption on the grid, especially in critical situations, to avoid serious power cuts. If the grid is overloaded, the power supply company does not have to cut the power, but instead may use the power limitation feature to distribute electric energy among all consumers in line with their respective needs.
This feature makes it possible to use green energy and introduce different rate plans designed to satisfy the real needs of consumers, so they can pick the one they find the most suitable and, thus, reduce their consumption and electricity bills in general.
The system also supports easy and quick changing of rate plans and so-called “humane power cuts” which limit the consumption to a certain number of kilowatts, so that consumers can satisfy their living needs using the allocated amount of energy. This is usually applied to electricity debtors who are not paying their electricity bills on a regular basis as a warning prior to their disconnection from the grid. In this way, consumers are prevented from consuming a big amount of energy and getting high bills which they are unable to pay, while suppliers can continue to supply power to the consumer without interruption. If the consumer wants to take more active part in the control of their consumption, there is a web portal of the power supply company they can access using their personal computer or smartphone and obtain all the information on their power consumption. In addition to the data, the visitors of this website can also get advice on how to cut their consumption, while the most significant benefit for users is the fact that electricity bills are calculated on the basis of real consumption, so that the number of complaints for wrongly calculated bills is reduced to a minimum.
The new system can also be used to manage power outages or consumption. In case of an outage in a quarter or a street, the system automatically detects this and turns on the power by redirecting electrical energy, so that consumers get the power back on shortly. All this is done from a single center.
Benefits for the power supply company from the use of smart electric meters and systems for remote metering and power consumption management are also multiple: fewer technical losses, reduced unauthorized consumption, that is, energy thefts, automated process of reading electric meters and switching power on and off, which cuts the costs of manpower, easy detection of power outages, increased operational efficiency of the company, better inputs for easier planning of power generation, etc. Power consumption management makes it more balanced, which allows for the power generation company to have a more balanced production as well, which brings about huge savings.
Meter&Control will also soon start the process to obtain MID certificate from the NMI certification body, which will be valid for the whole world. MID is a directive that precisely and clearly defines a large number of parameters as the characteristics of contemporary electric meters in terms of both hardware and their functionality.
Meter&Control has invested EUR 3 million in the smart electric meter production technology. The product is Serbian know-how, mechanics are developed by Meter&Control, while plastic and metal components and printed circuit boards are supplied by domestic partners, which additionally employs domestic industry and encourages its development.
The company has 60 employees, while the development of this type of electric meter was entrusted to an expert team of 30 engineers.
Thanks to the completed IDIS certification process, Meter&Control smart meters are promoted around the world as a high-technology product of Serbia, which results in a huge export potential.
Given that they provide an option to manage power consumption, IDIS interoperable electric meters ST401 and SM401 ensure a more balanced consumption, which brings about huge savings. Benefits are also felt by end-users with the most significant of all being the bill calculated based on real consumption, which reduces the number of complaints regarding electricity bills to a minimum.
The use of smart metering solutions ST401 and SM401 with advanced features, with the help of central software, contributes to rational power consumption, reduced CO2 emission, better utilization of gree energy, and reduced energy losses.
By completing the IDIS certification process, Meter&Control has become one of the five manufacturers in the world holding this certificate and, thus, gained access to the European and global markets. The complete remote metering and power consumption system offered by Meter&Control is compatible with digital electric meters of other globally operating companies, which makes it possible for users to implement them within their systems without incurring additional expenses of implementation, as well as to pick any supplier they want.
Full interoperability of electric meters ST401 and SM401 of the company Meter&Control with those of other makers ensures the company's competitiveness in the global market, which contributes to a great potential for commercial success in the future.
Besides, IDIS specification is constantly developing to meet current requests of users and keep the pace with modern technologies, which makes it possible for Meter&Control to remain one of the top companies in this industry through permanent and quality work and the development of new devices and, thus, clearly stand out from a large number of electric meter manufacturers that are unable to meet new standards and stay in the technology race.
At the respectable trade fair European Utility Week, which was held November 2014 in Amsterdam, the company unveiled IDIS interoperable electric meters ST401 and SM401 and presented them for the first time ever to the European expert public. European Utility Week brings together over 10,000 European experts and leaders in the production of smart solutions for manufacturers and consumers in the energy industry.
After the trade fair in Amsterdam and only few months upon the completion of the IDIS certification process, an EUR 1 million agreement was signed to supply smart meters, concentrators, hardware and software to Brcko District. So far, nearly 6,000 devices have been installed. The company has also signed a framework agreement on the supply of these smart meters to Slovakia recently, and it was also contacted by several power supply companies from the EU (e.g. EANDIS, Belgium) requesting a quotation. The export potential is huge given that whole Europe is getting ready to replace electric meters, and the company finds the markets of Russia and other former non-aligned countries especially interesting.
Meter&Control is already supplying smart electric meters of an older generation, ST100 and ST300, to Elektroprivreda Srbije, and EPS has close to 200,000 electric meters of this company. With new IDIS interoperable electric meters ST401 and SM401 they applied for the job to produce smart meters for Elektroprivreda Srbije. It is estimated that the value of implementation of smart metering project in Serbia totals EUR 500 million and that it would take about seven years to complete. In case the implementation of this project in Serbia is entrusted to Serbian companies, additional EUR 15 million will be invested in the project.
If the production of smart meters by Meter&Control is your favorite for the investment of the year, vote for this nomination at the official Aurea Award website.