Have you heard about Wireless M-Bus? Do you know what it is intended for?
Today I just want to give you a brief introduction to WMBUS since the upcoming CC430 will be a good fit for this emerging standard. In short, the WMBUS standard (EN 13757-4:2005) specifies communications between water, gas, heat, and electric meters and is becoming widely accepted in Europe for smart metering or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) applications.
As you can see from my very simplified drawing, the intention is to use WMBUS inside the home to read different kinds of meters. The E-meter could either be used as a concentrator or a separate concentrator can be used (imagine the E-meter somewhere inside the house but not at a location where you would want to mount a gateway for external communication with the utility company).
Why would anyone want the meters to communicate? Well, it is all about saving energy and cost while increasing reliability:
- all meters can be read without human intervention
- allows status check of any meter for repair/maintenance
Energy displays which shows instant consumption and cost is also easy to add with this technology, and feedback from people I have talked to is that these displays actually have an impact on household powerconsumption (imagine being able to see just how much it costs to turn on that hairdryer or fry an egg on Sunday morning).
An example of an energy company deploying such a display is here:
Who will benefit from this new technology? Here is my take:
1)Politicians: Higher customer satisfaction and CO2 savings
2)Regulators: "Fair" market conditions and consumption transparency
3)Customers: Save money&energy, new services
4)Energy Industry: Process improvement and load balancing (although connecting AC's and water heaters to the network would make things much more interesting as it enables realtime ajustment of peak load on the grid. This functionality can easily be incorporated at a later stage however, and perhaps some countries or companies will add this as a feature.)
Who are the first movers in this space? For now at least Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are moving towards WMBUS as part of their national smart metering solution. Below are a few links from EnergieNed, the Association of Energy Producers, Traders and Retailers in the Netherlands which describe in detail how smart metering and Wireless M-Bus is being applied in the Netherlands - happy reading!
P3 interface for Electricity meters
P2 interface for Gas, Gas valve, Thermal (heat /cold), and Water meters.
P1 interface for gas, gas valve, thermal (heat /cold), and water meters.
By now you might wonder what TI has to offer in this space?
We are active both on chip development and engaging with software development partners. For more information on how to send WMBUS compliant packets with MSP430 and CC1101, take a look at this application note which includes software. http://focus.ti.com/general/docs/techdocsabstract.tsp?abstractName=swra234a
This will of course be updated with CC430 code once the chip is available!
Here are two links to TI development network partners using our technology for "Wireless M-Bus out-of-the-box" solutions - no need for additional RF hardware design, certification or WMBUS software stack development.
We would love to hear your comments, feel free to use the comment field on this blog!