Telit Wireless Solutions, an internationally leading specialist in machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, launched a new module featuring wireless M-Bus transfer technology onto the market in November 2010.
Based on the Si443x EZRadioPro® RF transceivers from Silicon Laboratories Inc., the ME50-868 module supports uni- and bi-directional RF connections at 868 MHz between meters for gas, water, heating or electricity and concentrators. This exchange of data forms the basis for the use of smart meters, which can increase the accuracy and transparency of bills, offer better customer service and help improve energy efficiency.
Telit’s ME50-868 modules are the latest generation of wireless M-bus products compliant with EN 13757 part 4 and part 5. The modules provide the best link budget in the market (122 dB) as well as an exceptional range of up to 2,000 meters. The modules with land grid array (LGA) mounting technology operate with ultra-low power (< 1 µA in standby), resulting in long battery life and low maintenance requirements. Equipped with an RS232 interface and digital as well as analogue inputs and outputs, the modules can be easily integrated into various systems, reducing the time and money spent on development. The ME50-868 is pin-to-pin compatible with the Telit modules in the ZE (ZigBee 2007 and PRO stack), NE (Mesh low power) and LE (basic point to point, broadcast stack) families.
The wireless M-Bus standard specifies communications between water, gas, heat and electric meters. The frequency range used, from 868 MHz to 870 MHz, offers the widest range inside buildings. The data from the individual meters is transferred to a concentrator on site, which collates and transfers it via the Internet or a telephone network to the supply companies. Telit, being the only M2M supplier worldwide to offer all relevant wireless technologies in its product portfolio, provides a gateway solution (GG863-SR) that integrates Short Range and GSM/GPRS capabilities.
“The combination of Short Range and cellular capabilities is the key technology for future M2M applications. Companies using Short Range for their smart meters do not have to buy expensive SIM-Cards to transmit their data – they can use the free data transmission via radio frequencies,” says Felix Marchal, Global VP Sales at Telit Wireless Solutions.
“Companies now using Telit’s gateway solution to combine their Short Range with cellular data transmission can fully overcome the Short Range limitations. Such integration provides companies a crucial solution at low costs and energy efficiency to meet all customer requirements.”
Telit chose Silicon Labs’ Si443x ISM band transceivers for their ME50-868 wireless modules because the transceivers provide exceptional sub-GHz RF performance, high sensitivity and very low power consumption. EZRadioPRO devices offer an array of enhanced parameters and features including continuous frequency coverage from 240 MHz to 960 MHz and output power up to +20 dBm. They also include useful built-in features such as antenna diversity, wake-up timer, low battery detector, transmit and receive data FIFOs, power-on reset circuit and general-purpose digital I/Os.
“Silicon Labs’ EZRadioPRO transceivers provide best-in-class RF performance under the wireless M-Bus specification for Telit’s new ME50-868 modules,” said Rafi Fried, general manager of Silicon Labs’ wireless products.
“By partnering with machine-to-machine communications leaders like Telit, we’re bringing superior sub-GHz RF connectivity solutions to next-generation smart meters based on the wireless M-Bus standard.”
Smart metering is already being successfully used in Italy, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, North America and Australia. In Germany, from 2010 onwards, new buildings are required to be equipped with smart meters, and from 2018 this will apply to all buildings. The aim is to encourage consumers to be more energy-conscious by giving them detailed and real-time information about their energy usage.