Smart connectivity in large, awkward buildings

By J Worsnop, Siemens

Published in:

Electricity+Control, April 2014 (pages 14-16)

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In the United Kingdom (UK), Siemens has established that the large apartment building - also known as the Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) - causes a particular problem to Smart connectivity devices because of the distance between devices, building fabric issues (such as reinforced concrete floors) and ‘difficult’ meter locations (such as metal meter rooms) - all of which provide radio connectivity challenges.

Working with key development partners, the company has solved this challenge with a unique ‘shared infrastructure’ solution, utilising a Broadband-over-Power Line (BPL) backbone provided by Power Plus communications (PPC) to integrate with wireless radio technology and enable standard Smart meters to be installed, commissioned and connected to a Wide Area Network (WAN) gateway. This solution is currently undergoing field trials in the UK. Siemens believes that Smart metering deployments in a number of European countries, and others worldwide, may also benefit from such a shared infrastructure approach.


Take note

  • The Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) creates a challenge for the rollout of Smart Metering primarily because of the location of the metering components.
  • The Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) solution provides a fully managed communication infrastructure for any ‘difficult’ building.
  • The bridging capabilities of the Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) solution allow any IP capable medium to be used to transport messages from a receiver to an appropriate rebroadcast point.