Communication technology plays an essential role in smooth and reliable AMM system operation. The choice of communication technology shall take into account:
- Availability of suitable communication infrastructure
- Density and amount of metering points
- Geographical topology
- Technological and operational requirements
- Initial investment and operational lifecycle costs
For every purpose and situation
Aidon’s solution offering covers various communication technologies for different needs. The principle solution is based on an autonomous RF mesh network in which the metering devices use each other to build micro networks that re-route automatically in case of environmental conditions affecting the radio signal. In this solution, local metering devices (slaves) deliver their data to a master device. Master devices use 2G/3G/4G connection to communicate with the head-end system. Alternatively, the utility’s own Ethernet connection can be used. This solution is particularly suitable for urban and suburban areas where metering points are close enough to each other to create a micro network.
In the point-to-point solution the metering devices are in direct connection with the head-end system via cellular of fibre networks. This solution is typically used in rural areas.
A third alternative communication solution is wired RS-485. It is used in locations where all metering devices are located in the same space, such as in apartment buildings’ technical rooms. A similar slave-master principle as in RF networks is used for communication with the head-end system.