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Optimize and control energy consumption: How a small gateway solved a big problem for Velbert municipal utilities

The use case shows how the CMe3100 gateway provides reliable data based on its dynamic M-Bus protocol in order to optimize energy consumption in school buildings and enables municipal utilities to act in theenergy crisis.

As a subsidiary of the Danish EnergiData AS, EnergiData GmbH operates a platform for the energy monitoring of economically and municipally used buildings. German customers include Velbert municipal utilities in North Rhine-Westphalia. 

Velbert municipal utilities commissioned EnergiData to record the energy consumption for gas, district heating, electricity and water in a total of four school buildings. Two problems emerged:

  1. The responsible combined heat and power plant could not read the values of the district heating meter completely. The cause was a data offset in the M-Bus protocol. However, the standard data logger expects a continuous log.
  2. Another challenge was the main gas meter. Since EnergiData had no way to read the meter directly, an interface has been set up on the data logger to provide the data. To conserve the battery, the interface is automatically sent to sleep mode after three minutes. This means: The data logger would have to address this interface twice in a row within a very short time – once to "wake up" the interface and once to acquire the data.

EnergiData's previous standard data loggers could not meet these requirements – the problems seemed technically unsolvable. 

What was needed was a data logger that can be flexibly parameterized. Together with Elvaco, the idea was born to use the CMe3100 gateway, because it offers the possibility of parameterization by default. The CMe3100 also has a dynamic, i.e. an intelligent, M-Bus protocol. The problem with the heat meter was thus quickly solved. The second challenge in collecting data from the gas meter was more complicated, but could be solved with simple parameterization. Because the CMe3100 offers the possibility to set exactly the required parameters. This makes it possible to determine exactly when the data is collected, in this case, for example, one minute and three minutes after the hour. 

Today, the block heating plant of Velbert municipal utilities has one hundred percent data acquisition and thus reliable data and one hundred percent transparency. On this basis, the energy supply can be optimized. In addition, it is possible to control the energy flows. The result: The combined heat and power plant can be individually adjusted daily so that only the energy that is absolutely necessary is consumed, but still so much that the students and teachers feel comfortable. Municipal Utilities Velbert has thus an important tool in its hands to master the impending energy crisis. 

Product used
The CMe3100 is an M-Bus metering gateway that reads up to 512 meters, compiles the meter data in customer-specific reports and delivers it to a receiving system via the LAN network according to a fixed schedule and integration protocol. It is compatible with all meters that use the standard M-Bus protocol as well as Elvaco CMe/CMeX series devices. The CMe3100 can be easily configured and updated using its web interface, and it supports a variety of integration protocols such as ModBus, DLMS, JSON and REST, making it a viable solution for many different types of meter projects. The continuous readout function means that meter data can be delivered in real time. This data can then be used in automatic control systems, for example. 

"In this case, I solved a very special problem with Elvaco products, which I could not solve with other standard products. I would use the CMe3100 at any time with other customers. And I can fully recommend this solution in order to respond to the energy shortage this autumn and winter," says Volker Baumann, Senior Project Manager Energy with overall responsibility for business in Germany.