By Antti Aumo

Landis and Gyr building

Landis+Gyr is working with the Czech utility, CEZ, building the largest industrial, commercial and grid metering data centre in Europe, using the latest generation technology designed for 85,000 industrial metering points. By the end of 2008 around 40,000 metering points spread throughout the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and other distribution networks in these countries will be connected to the centre’s system, also provided by Landis+Gyr.

The centre, located in Prague, will collect, verify and compile data from industrial and commercial (I&C) meters. It will provide coverage for I&C customers in these countries as well as at the CEZ Group’s Czech production sites. Finally more than 40,000 customers will benefit from being connected to this system, including many well known Czech companies who are customers of CEZ.

The centre’s system, SuperConverge from Landis+Gyr, could cover approximately 85,000 metering points, involving the calculation of nearly 300,000 load profiles, data from which will be read and used by the SAP ERP system as well as associated IT systems. The entire system has a sophisticated fail-safe design so that if any one component fails, the rest of the system will continue to operate.

Part of a growing environmental trend
The CEZ Group, like Landis+Gyr, is keen to identify operational efficiencies and savings that bring environmental benefits. This development is part of the environmental trend that is gathering speed across Europe as more countries come to appreciate such systems.

Fail-safe operation
The data centre uses elaborate hardware architecture in order to provide maximum security and performance. It contains sixteen servers that also operate another 25 virtual servers, eight routers, 600 modems, and a database server. All of this keeps the system operating at highest efficiency, able to produce nearly 300,000 profiles for customers. Naturally all of this computing power needs to be well maintained and managed in order to produce the information that CEZ and their customers demand.

Customer s go online
Tied into the system is Landis+Gyr’s data web portal, where customers can log on to their individual energy usage information online and create reports from this data. This is via a secure website that links directly to the data centre through a dedicated web server. This is becoming the preferred manner of conveying information to customers rather than through traditional means, such as sending hard copies by post, therefore providing faster access and service for CEZ’s customers. They will be able to get information whenever they want to, and produce their own customised and designed reports.

Enabling market dynamics across thre countries
Part of the internet communications infrastructure is the handling of data, as required by legislation, amongst all the different suppliers, distributors and producers in the energy market. In the Czech Republic distributors are responsible for reading the meters and transferring the data to market operators. Then other associated market players can gain access to this information via this process. The new readout centre will provide support for distribution companies in the Czech Republic, as well as distribution companies in Romania and Bulgaria that are part of the CEZ Group.

The data services centre supports all activities related to data readouts from ICG measurement and associated primary processing. This includes validation and processing for invoicing purposes.

This entire legislative process is orchestrated by the software product, Message Handler. This takes care of contractual data exchanges, supplier changes and customer connect and disconnect, all in either secure EDI or XML format.

Sucessful conclusion
The project is the successful conclusion of many years’ work between Landis+Gyr and CEZ. This cooperation dates back to 1986 when the first Telegyr 800 and Datagyr DG20 telemetric systems were put into operation, which have since been superseded by many later generations of this technology, leading up to the SuperConverge of today. Landis+Gyr remains the exclusive supplier of these technologies to the CEZ Group.

This SuperConverge project is the sixth system upgrade, responding to the dynamic growth of the CEZ Group and to the increasing demands of measurement data quality and availability. Every upgrade has been part of a continual process and driven by a desire to improve quality of service provided to consumers.