Network infrastructure consultation

Technical and cost analysis & recommendations for smart meter roll-out

The Skills Required

Skills required here included in-depth research, analysis of results, postulation of solutions and methods, and verification of findings.
All of this needed to be captured and presented in a report format that allowed high level decision makers, not necessarily familiar with the technical detail, to make clear and well informed decisions that would have far reaching impacts.

Although Fen utilised great breadth and depth of its technical knowledge and product design experience in the initial investigative phases, it was critical that Fen was able to underwrite it's claims with solid evidence.
Fen used its extensive test experience and RF domain knowledge to specify and execute a comprehensive test suite to validate its findings from the study phase.

The Brief

A government body charged with overseeing national smart meter roll-out needed to consider fresh technical approaches to offer better value for money to the public purse by reducing implementation costs.

Roll-out was to be deployed over a number of phases, where the latter phases presented more significant installation challenges, especially in the RF domain. These challenges were creating increasing concern as roll-out came closer and costs escalated. A solution needed to be found quickly and articulated in a form that empowered high level decision makers to make clear and effective choices.

 

The Solution

There were a number of phases to Fen’s work on this project.

Initially Fen reviewed existing housing stock and RF studies, and examined existing meter requirements and specifications. This allowed the re-examination and verification of some of the fundamental premises upon which roll-out decisions were based.

This initial phase informed a second phase of work that produced a wide range of recommendations to consider. These ranged from very simple low-cost software and/or hardware changes, to more sophisticated topological revisions and new product introductions. This allowed the client to consider a number of different approaches sharing costs across multiple stakeholders.

After the client identified preferred solutions from the second phase report, Fen undertook more in-depth analysis of these choices before presenting detailed results to ensure the client was clear and duly diligent in their final choice. The in-depth study involved both theoretical analysis and laboratory RF testing to provide experimental data to underwrite and verify the preliminary findings.

 

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