A new phase has begun in the long-term collaboration on smart-meter technologies between STMicroelectronics and Gridspertise, a company that supports distribution system operators worldwide in accelerating the digital transformation of electricity grids. Gridspertise integrated ST’s latest power-line communication (PLC) SoC into its smart meters for the Italian market, enabling a near-real-time cybersecure communication channel for in-home devices.
Building on a collaboration that began in the early 2000s, the two companies have moved onto what they’re calling Chain 2 technology. The plan is to integrate smart-meter technology initially deployed in Spain, Eastern Europe, and Latin America into new metering products in the Gridspertise portfolio. The resulting products will make Chain 2 technology suitable for the U.S. market and other areas of the world.
According to ST and Gridspertise, Chain 2 technology improves consumers’ awareness of the energy consumed and self-produced. It enables a multitude of new enhanced services that simplify their energy usage through home automation and encourages a more active role for all players in the energy market, as well as the penetration of distributed renewable sources.
For example, the technology can provide recommendations to the end customer on tailor-made behaviors based on real-time data production from its own generation system, like photovoltaic panels. It also enables the smart meter to collect real-time data on home appliances’ consumption. Such data can be used, for instance, to modulate the charging power of an electric-vehicle charger according to the available capacity and other demands for power in the house.
Beyond working on approving the ANSI C communication standard for the U.S. market, the companies are cooperating on adoption of the latest Device Language Message Specification (DLMS)-certified standards into Gridspertise smart meters, further enhancing interoperability and interchangeability between devices and systems. Both companies’ U.S. branches will directly engage with tech companies, power-grid operators, policy makers, and regulators, accelerating the region’s electric future.