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geo introduces dual band In-Home Display

geo is introducing a dual band version of the Touchbutton In-Home Display to support the industry’s rollout of smart meters to an increasing number of British homes.

 

 

To reach the market-wide objective of 85% coverage of smart meters by 2024, a more sophisticated Comms Hub is being introduced, using a HAN frequency of 868MHz along with the existing 2.4GHz frequency, enabling millions more British homes to benefit from smart metering.

To support this objective, geo’s Touchbutton In-Home Display & Pre-Payment Interface Device (IHD/PPMID) with Dual Band functionality will communicate with Dual Band Comms Hubs using the most effective frequency (2.4GHz or 868MHz) to improve communication reliability and range in homes where the single band HAN frequency is not sufficient.

The Touchbutton with Dual Band maintains the same benefits as the original Touchbutton, including:

  • Colour TFT screen with clear, easy-to-understand graphics that make energy engaging for the consumer
  • SMETS-compliant integrated IHD + PPMID: the Touchbutton comes with a SMKI certificate pre-installed, enabling it to function as both an In-Home Display and Pre-Payment Interface Device (PPMID)
  • Compatibility with both SMETS1 and SMETS2 meters (both SMETS2 v3.1 and SMETS2 v4.2), auto-sensing which type of smart meter is installed with the display
  • Ready for online services: the Touchbutton has an optional Wi-Fi module to enable apps and online services
  • A single firmware that is ZigBee certified and CPL listed, making testing and deployment easier
In addition, the Touchbutton with Dual Band has: Dual Band ‘auto sensing’ – automatically choosing between  2.4GHz or 868MHz to select the most effective communication frequency.
  • A ‘test mode’ that forces the device to use the 868 MHz frequency during suppliers’ testing & evaluation process

Additional information

  • A number of Touchbuttons with Dual Band are available now to energy suppliers for testing and customer pilots, prior to volume availability later this year.
  • geo will be providing an overview of the Touchbutton with Dual Band during the DCC Operations and SM WAN Forums on 30th July 2020

Please contact your geo account manager for more information and support in planning your smart metering rollout.

Background

A smart metering installation usually includes gas and electricity smart meters, an In-Home Display (IHD) and a Communications Hub (Comms Hub). These devices communicate with each other via a Home Area Network (HAN) which is generated by the Comms Hub.

The current Comms Hubs have a single band 2.4 GHz HAN frequency and are known as Single Band Comms Hubs (SBCH) and should provide HAN coverage in approximately 70% of premises. For some buildings like blocks of flats or where walls are very thick, the smart meter can’t communicate with the Comms Hub, so Dual Band Comms Hubs are being introduced, using a HAN frequency of 868MHz along with the existing 2.4GHz frequency, and are expected to increase coverage to 96.5% of premises – enabling millions more British homes to benefit from smart metering.

BEIS statistics indicate that there were 21.5m smart meters in homes & small businesses (17.3m in smart mode) at the end of March 2020, representing a penetration of 31% of all meters.

For more information, please visit this page on the DCC website and this document published by BEIS in December 2015.

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