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European Utility Week 2014 – Trends and Technology

The European Utility Week 2014 (EUW) in Amsterdam, Netherlands is over and delivered some impressive numbers with more than 9000 attendees, 350 exhibitors and 400 speakers. EBV Elektronik attended in cooperation with the OMS group – during our stay we had the chance to talk to a lot of companies especially our suppliers and to get great impressions of the current state of the smart metering and smart home market. We collected information and got some great video statements from a number of people we want to share with you.


EBV Elektronik and OMS booth

The OMS Group and its members presented themselves as Europe-wide manufacturer and interest association for the open meter communication with the slogan “Connect to the Open Meter System Specification”. The group enables the data collection and evaluation of all trades, such as electricity, water, gas and sub-metering with standardised system. This is a key-criteria to fulfil the demand of the German “Energiewirtschaftsgesetz” (EWG) for increased application of smart meters.

The Relay GmbH presented its M-Bus solutions and wide portfolio of masters and level converters, as well as slaves, e.g. to make existing pulse meters M-Bus compatible.

Vipa, a prominent heat and water costs billing service provider in Czech showed solutions for billing and also their research and development addressing data transfer devices.

EBV Elektronik presented the EBVchips Hermes and Vesta.

The Hermes M-Bus Transceiver is an EBVchip that reduces power consumption, offering significant advantages. Hermes meets the M-Bus specifications in full. The new EBVchip offers space reduction, lower cost and additional functions that enable a range of attractive new designs.

Vesta fulfills the requirements of the IP500 Alliance, an open wireless standard solution for smart building management, smart home and wireless security. Together with the low power microcontroller and a wide range of peripherals, Vesta uses the best-in-class sub-GHz RF technology to meet the long distance reach requirements, high data rate throughput and security expectations.
Vesta fits perfectly to two of the major trends we discovered at the EUW, the need for security and efficient data protection.

Eckart Voskamp, Director EBVchips at the EUW14


 Atmel

Atmel impressed with scalable smart energy platform solutions, offering lower bill of material and best-in-class connectivity. According to Jesus Teijeiro (Director of Business Development Smart Energy at Atmel) smart metering major trends show the need to support different areas with different requirements with products offering specific and cost optimised solutions. More information about Atmel’s products for smart energy here and in the video:

Jesus Teijeiro, Director of Business Development Smart Energy at the EUW14


Analog Devices

Analog Devices (ADI) gave a great overview about the current devices and products for the energy space and for IoT Big Data. The trends identified in the market by ADI are demands for highly capable and flexible platforms to cover the individual needs of customers trying to solidify their position in the utility market. Products included a sub-Ghz ZigBee solution also able to interface with the wireless M-Bus protocol and more. All energy solutions here and more in the video:

Erick Olsen, Strategic Marketing Manager Energy Comms Segment at the EUW14


 Freescale

Freescale approaches the market with products that can be easily adapted and configured with software. A perfect example has been the Phoenix-PRIME Board which was shown at their booth. This reference design board can either work as a traffic sniffer or a full PRIME modem.
Trends identified by Freescale are the need for lower power devices as they have to run on battery for a long time while new features are added.
We further met Jean-Marc Darchy, MMC Marketing, to talk about Freescales Kinetis L and the trend towards wireless communication especially to sub-Ghz as well as to power line communication (PLC). Watch the great video below and visit Freescale’s Smart Energy Page for more.

Jean-Marc Darchy, MMC Marketing at the EUW14


STMicroelectronics

ST showed a lot of expertise in connecting all kinds of devices by supporting nearly all current communication standards in the market. Solutions for e-meters, water meters, gas meters and home installation included micro controllers, PLC, RF communication ICs as well as powering and sensing of components. Highlight has been the new platform STCOMET, that integrates a narrow band power line communication modem, a high-performance application core and metrology functions in a single chip.
The complete portfolio for smart energy here and additional insights in the video:

Philip Lolies, EMEA Region Vice President Marketing & Application AMS/ IGP Products at the EUW14

In cooperation between ST, EBV and our partners you could see also low cost  single e-meter evaluation platform based on Cortex M0 STM32F1x families covering the needs of non billing e-meter market, IoT and Smart Machines. Also new from ST are SW cores for their Cortex M4 families STM32F4x dedicated to metering and especially for PLC communications Prime 1.3.6 and G3. For more information you are welcome to contact EBV.


Texas Instruments

At the booth from Texas Instruments (TI) we discovered a very comprehensive approach towards smart energy challenges including products and solutions for grid infrastructure, energy meters, flow meters and wireless and wired communication. According to Kripa Venkat, General Manager Smart Grid and Energy, TI is heavily investing in submission automation, circuit breakers and protection relays with high-end processors and full system solutions. Also TI supports a wide range of wired and wireless communication technologies.
Kripa Venkat gives a very good overview in the video below, more details here.

Kripa Venkat, General Manager Smart Grid and Energy at the EUW14


ON Semiconductor

ON Semiconductor presented solutions optimised for energy efficiency. The NCS36510, a low−power, fully integrated, System−on−Chip that integrates a 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4−2006 compliant transceiver has been one of the highlights at the booth. It fits to the market challenges ON Semiconductor has identified: low- power and low-cost solutions. ON Semiconductor is also supporting multiple communication standards and can serve a wide range of customers.
David Buchanan, Corporate Marketing Manager Industrial Products, gives a great overview in the video, more information here.

David Buchanan, Corporate Marketing Manager Industrial Products at the EUW14


The European Utility Show provided a lot more than we could possibly cover in this blog post. SIMCom, NXP, Google Cloud Services, Nest and many more introduced great solutions for an efficient and smarter energy distribution in the future. In the gallery below we captured some impressions: