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Radio Aspects of the Home Area Network for Smart Metering

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Ramji Venkataramanan.

We are at the start of an £11 billion roll-out of smart meters across the domestic and small business sectors in Great Britain – 26 million properties – 50 million new meters – 100 million new radio modems. This planned rollout is faster than cellular radio and is to be complete at the end of 2020. It is a major upgrade to our energy infrastructure; it is also a big step towards tackling climate change. Although the roll-out has started, important details of the radio solution are still a work in progress. This talk explains some of the progress over the last two years.

This is an up-to-date large scale case study of how radio communications systems are really designed and should be interesting for people studying communications or just interested to know technically what is coming to their home soon! Some real world problems are described which won’t be found in text books together with pragmatic solutions which reveal various weaknesses in the current communications technology available for this application. After an introduction to the GB smart meter programme we explain how the coverage and capacity of the proposed HAN radio standard (ZigBee) has been assessed and the likely shortfalls. The next part of the talk is about what changes are being made to ZigBee to address these problems and why. There is then an explanation of the process used to define standards in the case of the ZigBee Alliance and in the context of the energy industry. Finally, there will be a chance to ask questions.

This talk is part of the Signal Processing and Communications Lab Seminars series.

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