Echelon Corp.'s Control Operating System (COS) software will run on new optional Echelon open-standard power line and ZigBee communications modules now available for NES smart meters. The new modules, CNX 3000 for power line and CNX 2000 for ZigBee, enable utilities to easily and reliably connect to a range of building information and control devices such as In-Home Displays (IHD), thermostats, load controllers, motion detectors and temperature probes via the NES smart metering infrastructure. This, in turn, allows electric utilities to use the Echelon COS software to provide new energy efficiency opportunities, while further improving customer satisfaction by giving building owners and consumers insight into energy usage patterns and control over their energy consumption.
Fortum, the largest utility in Finland and a leading energy company in the Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic region, is currently piloting the COS-enabled CNX 2000 and preparing for a CNX 3000 pilot in Finland, and has plans for full production rollout of CNX 3000 and CNX 2000 in 2012.
“The earliest smart meter deployments are reaching completion and a raft of new deployments are starting,” said Stuart Ravens, principal analyst of Ovum and lead author of the new report ‘Home Area Networks: the Future Battleground for Consumer Relationships’, in a statement. “However despite the significant strides utilities have made in delivering value to consumers from their deployments, it is becoming clear that there is yet more opportunity for the utility to engage this most important constituent of the smart grid. With its COS-enabled technology, Echelon has extended its reach into the home, making consumers more aware of their energy consumption and more active in the smart grid of the future.”
The Echelon COS software, first introduced in September 2010 (as ECoS) and running on Echelon’s Edge Control Node, is the smart grid’s first open-standard control platform that can run third-party control applications at the edge of the grid. The Echelon COS software provides an open and secure application framework for monitoring and controlling devices at the edge of the grid - the critical point where the distribution network connects to customers. The COS software enables developers to easily build applications, or “COS apps,” to make local, autonomous control decisions in near real-time for maximum reliability, survivability and responsiveness.
Echelon COS software is delivered on Control Network Connection (CNX) modules that are optional components of Echelon NES smart meters and other smart devices. The COS software, combined with Echelon open-standard power line communications (PLC) or ZigBee wireless technology, makes an NES smart meter part of a building energy network for home or commercial applications. With the communications modules, a utility can reliably connect a residential gateway or IHD to the grid using the existing power lines. The resident or building owner can then use energy and power quality data to inform consumption decisions, and the utility can better manage its distribution grid and even issue demand response commands to in-home and in-building devices. The CNX 3000 and CNX 2000 will be available for Echelon’s IEC meter family with an expected ship date of Q1 2012, while shipments to Fortum will start later this year.
The Echelon power line equipped CNX modules are compatible with the open LonWorks.The ZigBee Smart Energy-compliant CNX 2000 module seamlessly extends an NES based smart metering infrastructure with a wide range of wireless products that monitor, control, inform and automate the delivery and use of energy.