Ingenu creates smart grid with island-wide RPMA coverage
Aruba’s sole supplier of electricity turns to RPMA
N.V. Elmar (or, in Dutch, Naamloze Vennootschap Electriciteit-Maatschappij Aruba), the sole provider of electricity to Aruba, turned to Ingenu to help deploy an RPMA-based network capable of creating a smart grid across the entire island.
The grid was built to make power distribution easier and more efficienct for N.V. Elmar’s customers, who benefited from access to data that showed their energy usage. This allowed for more optimized power consumption, and ultimately, less power usage. According to Ingenu, although the initial network deployment was designed for smart electric meters, N.V. Elmar wanted to have the ability to scale the network to add additional applications. The deployment process started with a pilot program where various technologies were evaluated. Cost, network longevity, coverage and reliability were all factors in the selection process.
After evaluating a number of competing technologies, N.V. Elmar selected Ingenu to implement its RPMA (Random Phase Multiple Access) network smart city solution. The initial roll-out took place in late 2013, with just 50 smart electric meters. However, N.V. Elmar soon began to implement several other applications.
“When we initially launched the RPMA network, we were focused on smart grid initiatives,” said a manager at N.V. Elmar, according to Ingenu. “However, during a very short time frame, we have been able to augment our services by adding an array of smart applications without the need for incremental network investment.”
In late 2014, the utility company added distribution line monitors and smart streetlights to the RPMA network, totaling over 4,000 end points. The street lights were supplied by Ingenu partner, LED Roadway Lighting (LRL) which integrated RPMA technology into its NXT Luminaire street light solution.
LRL has supplied more than 1,800 luminaires to N.V. Elmar, allowing street lights to be controlled and monitored using the same network as other smart grid devices, reducing both energy and maintenance costs. N.V. Elmar now has over 50,000 end point devices in operation across the island country. The addition of oil pressure monitoring enables the company to track oil pressure levels in its transformers. Water metering using advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology is also operating on the RPMA network.
N.V. Elmar serves over 42,000 residential and commercial customers on the island, providing smart metering, distribution automation, smart street lighting, water monitoring and other smart city services.
According to Ingenu, benefits of it’s RPMA Network include:
- Deepest Coverage: RPMA breaks through the barriers in wireless communications by delivering wide-area coverage with a simple network architecture.
- Highest Network Capacity: A single RPMA network access point can provide coverage for tens of thousands of end-point devices.
- Lowest Power: The RPMA Network is tailored for low-bandwidth, powersensitive devices with a lifetime of more than 20 years.
- Redundant Lowest Cost: RPMA features a simple star topology network architecture which makes it easy to model, deploy and maintain, resulting in an extremely cost-effective solution.
- Secure by Design: The RPMA Network provides security by design with a comprehensive set of security guarantees that are based on National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) approved algorithms.