Unused TV channels can be used to cut cost of smart meter technology

by ClickGreen staff. Published Wed 25 Apr 2012 17:06, Last updated: 2012-04-25
White space could be used to transmit smart meter data
White space could be used to transmit smart meter data

A UK first has been revealed for smart meter reading, which could lead to significant cost and energy savings for the industry and consumers, according to Bglobal, the UK’s leading provider of smart energy solutions, and NEUL, a world leader in ‘white space’.

For the very first time, Darwen-based Bglobal has carried out a smart meter reading over a distance of 1km using previously unused ‘white space’ – the spare frequency of television channels that is no longer utilised following the switch over from analogue to digital TV.

The ground-breaking trial, which was facilitated by Neul, could result in smart meters being fitted in every home across the UK, however remote their location.

Aaron Forshaw, solution architect for Bglobal, commented: “The use of ‘white space’ to collect meter readings could potentially revolutionise the nationwide roll-out of smart metering, as it breaks down one of the key barriers – that of communicating with meters in rural areas or other areas poorly served by cellular or wired-broadband connections.

“Whilst Bglobal deploys the most appropriate technology for any given situation, the trial has shown that ‘white space’ can have a highly significant role to play in any smart meter programme. Through this innovative use of emerging technology, Bglobal is once again leading the way in pioneering the new ‘smart energy’ future.”

According to Forshaw, the use of ‘white space’ in smart metering could deliver significant cost and efficiency benefits to the energy market and ultimately energy consumers. Customers who live in remote areas, or otherwise inadequately served by existing communications connections, will be able to receive the benefits of accurate energy consumption data. This will ensure accurate energy bills and allow them to implement additional energy saving techniques.

Paul Egan, VP of business development, said: “White space delivers a huge amount of much-needed new capacity to meet the current and future needs of the machine-to-machine (M2M) market. However, a new industry standard is needed to drive innovation and growth.

“By using Weightless – a simple protocol that is entirely optimised for M2M applications, such as smart meters – we expect to see ‘white space’ M2M standards and network infrastructure in place by 2013, if not by the end of 2012. This will truly utilise the enormous potential of this technology.”

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