NESA deploys wireless, automated meter-reading system

By Control Engineering Staff November 3, 2005

NESA , a leading Danish electricity company, will deploy the first ZigBee-enabled system for automated meter reading (AMR) in Europe, heralding a new method for automated communications updates to utilities others. The arrangement uses Freescale Semiconductor’s ZigBee-compliant platform and a system design by alliance partner Develco.

AMR provides utilities the ability to wirelessly monitor electricity usage. Additionally, consumers will have the capability to monitor and control home appliances and receive home intruder alerts remotely through the short messaging system (SMS).

“Freescale’s market knowledge along with the expertise of their partner Develco, who charged the implementation of ZigBee technology in the system, gave us the confidence in selecting their platform as our foundation,” said Willy Bergstrom, NESA’s project manager. “Interoperability with the ZigBee standard enables new possibilities for our subscribers and allows our system to be the perfect gateway for home automation.”

As other manufacturers deploy the ZigBee standard, NESA’s system will expand its service to include additional features such as customer access and control of the temperature of their home and receipt of security alerts while they are miles away—even in another country.

NESA’s wireless system comprises:

  • Electricity meter, GSM/GPRS communication capabilities and an embedding ZigBee-enabled modem;

  • Switch/dimmer (230V ac) with ZigBee modem; and

  • Infrared battery-powered detector, embedding ZigBee-enabled modem.

NESA expects to deploy the automated meter system to all its Danish customers in fourth-quarter 2005, followed by further adoptions in Europe.

— Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering