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Digi ERT/Ethernet Gateway- Extending the Grid Beyond the Meter

 

Digi ERT/Ethernet Gateway

The ERT/Ethernet Gateway brings Smart Grid technology to the millions of utility customers who use meters that are enabled with Itron ERT radio technology. The integrated certified Itron ERT radio receiver enables metering data to be shared with the software application from the utility, energy service provider or consumer via the homeowners’ networking/IP connection to the Internet.

Data can be dynamically analyzed and presented to the customer to help identify areas to optimize energy use. This information exchange is critical to the goal of initiating lifestyle changes that can reduce user consumption of energy resources while maintaining a high quality of service to the customer.

The ERT/Ethernet Gateway can also go beyond the hardware solution when it is combined with Digi X-Grid™ services, which include iDigi™ cloud services. By leveraging the robust, secure and scalable iDigi Platform for serving data, utility service providers can focus on developing a software application layer that can be unique and customizable to the Smart Energy solution that best serves their customers’ needs (see appendix – Digi Smart Energy Solutions).

Digi ERT/Smart Energy Bridge Gateway

In a very similar fashion the ERT/Smart Energy Bridge enables an ERT to be read and converted to a Zigbee protocol, which is then communicated to a Zigbee to Ethernet Gateway like the ConnectPort X2 for Smart Energy (see appendix – Digi Smart Energy Solutions). The ERT/Smart Energy Bridge shares the same form factor as the ERT/Ethernet Gateway as well as the ConnectPort X2, which has been a successful part of the Digi product line for many years. Digi leverages a module approach to design and manufacturing that allows it to quickly adapt and enable new capabilities for its customers such as the ERT/ Smart Energy Bridge.

ConnectPort X2 for Smart Energy

The ConnectPort X2 for Smart Energy provides a low-cost connection between a Home Area Network (HAN) and an energy service provider’s software application over an IP connection (see appendix – Digi Smart Energy Solutions). The gateway incorporates the ZigBee Smart Energy wireless standard (or “Public Application Profile”), making it interoperable with non-Digi devices. The ZigBee Smart Energy standard also allows the ConnectPort X2 to define what information the device will send over the network and how to behave with other devices on the network. ConnectPort X2 can be combined with iDigi™ Energy cloud service to create a platform for serving data to a software application layer. This allows energy service providers to develop their own unique, customizable Smart Energy solutions without designing customized hardware. Built on the XBee-Pro ZB ZigBee module, the gateways feature firmware supporting the implementation of each of the eight devices defined in the ZigBee Smart Energy Public Application Profile. The module also handles networking, joining, authentication and key establishment functions.

 

iDigi Platform

The Digi ERT/Ethernet Gateway requires a communication service called iDigi in order to present the ERT consumption information to any mobile, web, or other utility selected applications. There is a one-time account set-up fee that will be incurred once the system moves into production. However Digi provides a demonstration platform allowing the utility to evaluate up to 5 gateways for a period of 6 months without this fee. Once the utility moves to a production system, they will have to sign the iDigi License Agreement, covering the terms and conditions of this offering and will be invoiced for establishing a production account.

Once connected to an Ethernet router (DSL, Cable, or any broadband connection) and configured with an ERT ID that is in the vicinity, the gateway will report consumption information to one or more applications selected by your utility customers. The Energy Daytrader application (offered by Digi), and Google Powermeter are offered free of charge. The utility can also select any web-based program compatible with the iDigi platform or develop their own using the iDigi Energy APIs that can be provided upon request.

The first year of this service is included in the price of the gateway. After the first year, hourly readings can be collected from the device for a cost per gateway per year, as outlined below. If the customer desires information more frequently, there is an option to receive meter data every 15 minutes for a slightly higher price.

 

 

 

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