- it enables real-time or near real-time registration of electricity use,
- it provides local and remote access to the meter (on demand),
- it performs basic calculations in order to translate the raw data that are collected by the specific consumption metering device (abbreviated CMD), into information that can be handled by centralized (cloud) infrastructure,
- it acts as memory storage (buffer) so that data are not lost in case of a network or other error, but are instead stored for transmission when network connectivity is re-established,
- it extracts the appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) from the raw data received by the CMD,
- it performs error handling concerning the CMD and the connectivity of the system,
- it receives instructions for extra KPIs from Intelen’s Meter Data Management (MDM).
This infrastructure system requires not only the installation of smart energy meters but also of additional sensor nodes (e.g. temperature and humidity sensors, meteorological stations etc.). These nodes have to operate reliably, be able to recover from failures and instant networking problems and operate for a large time period (minimum energy consumption).
The deployed nodes are based on the 6LoWPAN standard (IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks) that allows IPv6 packets to be carried efficiently within small link layer frames such as those used by IEEE 802.15.4 thus achieving lower energy consumption.
The energy efficiency of 6LoWPAN is also combined with the support of advanced ad-hoc routing, autonomic networking and infrastructure bootstrapping characteristics.
Self- functionalities (e.g. self-configuration, self-healing, self-management) can be designed and implemented over IPv6, permitting the deployment of advanced communication schemes among the sensor networking devices and reducing the administration overhead for handling faults or alarms. Based on the addressing scheme applied, each device is able to recognize its neighboring devices and an ad-hoc network may be established.