Beyond AMI – A Multi-technology, Multi-tiered Communication Platform

By Rangel Floranda
Trilliant Director of Solutions, APAC




Often, I’m asked about what we can do next after a company implements an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project.

I know from experience that C-level executives almost always conclude that once they’ve got AMI deployed, that everything should work without further enhancement. I look forward to speaking with attendees at Enlit Asia 2022 in Bangkok to get their thoughts.

There are several things to understand about AMI. Firstly, it’s a system, a network that provides vast amounts of data. Secondly, collecting and understanding that data can be a daunting challenge for a utility.

Traditionally utilities are not set up to be IT companies. Utilities deliver electricity, natural gas, and water, and bill for those services. The AMI network helps them understand how customers are using their services and develop programs that could help their customers control energy costs.

A multi-technology, multi-tiered secure mesh platform on an AMI deployment brings several benefits. It increases coverage and has built-in safeguards for reliability and security. And not to drop an overused term, but it’s very scalable.

Additionally, utilities gain other advantages when they design communications networks with coverage, bandwidth, latency, and capacity that can cater for other applications beyond just AMI. Those needs can include distribution automation, power quality monitoring, demand response/demand-side management, plus distributed generation, EV charging infrastructure and smart streetlighting.

These scalable, yet low-power communications networks comprise the backbone of both a smart grid and smart cities system. Many utilities employ this comprehensive smart grid strategy that includes building communications networks with large capacities to handle future smart grid applications. When combined with a high bandwidth system to accommodate additional city services beyond electricity metering, these networks deliver increased efficiency and greater control.

An AMI network is just the first step to a connected grid. By deploying a multi-technology, multi-tiered communication platform from the beginning, this system can be leveraged to handle not only the network that provides energy efficiency for customers, but as a foundation for future smart streetlights, smart city and IoT applications.

A robust communications infrastructure can make behind-the-meter equipment even more “grid friendly.”

This is a conversation I often have with utilities, municipalities and city or district leaders. It’s helping these progressive organizations make the most opportunity to create significant long-term value of an important investment.

To learn more about how Trilliant can help you make the most of your investment, connect with us.