“Major innovation in the energy industry”

Paris – October 20, 2009

Atos Origin has designed and deployed a power line communications protocol and certification laboratory for ERDF's Linky* smart meter project in partnership with Trialog

ERDF, the European Union's largest electricity distribution network operator, has published on its website the specifications of the power line communications (PLC) protocol for meter/concentrator communication developed and deployed by Atos Origin, a leading international IT services provider and a world leader in smart meter management, and Trialog, a consulting and expertise company dedicated to introducing innovative technologies. The protocol is the backbone of the PLC Laboratory, which will guarantee metering equipment interoperability and serve as the sole certification authority for devices from all equipment manufactures. IskraEmeco, Itron and Landis+Gyr helped develop the open PLC protocol and have already demonstrated their ability to ensure the interoperability of their equipment.


System interoperability is an integral part of ERDF's strategy and a critical factor in the design of France's future electricity metering network. To meet this challenge, Atos Origin and Trialog innovated by integrating power line communications (PLC) technology in the communications network that will support the 35 million new Linky smart meters scheduled to replace legacy electromechanical meters starting on March 8, 2010. This new telecommunications network is being rolled out without any investment in grid infrastructure.


Atos Origin and Trialog combined their recognized skills in electromagnetics and signal processing, the implementation of communication information systems and business processes to design and deploy this new open protocol. The partners also leveraged their years of experience to overcome the technical roadblocks inherent in PLC technology, such as electric wave disturbance and signal weakening.


This project to replace ERDF's 35 million electricity meters in France is the largest smart meter IT contract currently under way in the world. Atos Origin is handling the pilot phase and building the final information system.


The publication of the Linky PLC specifications on ERDF's website shows that our smart meter management system is fully open. With the PLC Laboratory, Atos Origin and Trialog are guaranteeing that we have a completely interoperable system and compliant equipment installed across the network. By opening the system after the pilot phase to all meters and concentrators that meet the PLC Laboratory's requirements, we will ensure healthy competition. This, in turn, will optimize costs and ensure that the equipment making up France's future electricity distribution network is reliable,” noted Jean Vigneron, Linky program manager at ERDF.


Trialog has provided expertise on the Linky project to help formalize the PLC specifications and develop the PLC Laboratory. The Laboratory is a critical part of the organization that will ensure the PLC system's openness and handle the certification process for meters and concentrators. It offers safe, reliable, reproducible and automatic methods for validating the PLC system. This Laboratory, which benefited from two of Trialog's skills sets (power line communications and automatic testing tools), shows that an innovative small business can play a key role in a large-scale industrial project like Linky,” said Alain Moreau, Vice President, Trialog.


The PLC Laboratory's deployment, made possible by close cooperation with equipment manufacturers Landis+Gyr, Itron and IskraEmeco during the pilot phase, is an innovation that will go down in the annals of smart metering. Atos Origin is proud to be the lead contractor of the consortium that will supply a new generation of smart meters designed from scratch. These meters will offer more functionalities than anything currently on the market. We will use the very best experts to deliver impeccable service to our customer, ERDF,” concluded Claude Philipps, Linky program director at Atos Origin.


* Linky is a project to replace the installed base of 35 million electromechanical meters in French households with smart meters that can support bi-directional communications and improve grid management.


About Trialog
Trialog develops solutions for clients in the domain of industrialisation and integration of complex systems which have major software components, strict real-time constraints, and strong requirements in security and reliability.
Trialog's objective is to guide and support its clients during the process of innovation and development of their products. Trialog's clients are large industrial companies which specialise in three main categories: transport, energy, and machine-to-machine.
Trialog is listed on the Alternative trading platform. For more information, consult our web site: http://www.trialog.com/.
For press information, contact Marielle Grouselle, marielle.grouselle@trialog.com, Tel: +33 144 70 61 00.


About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is a leading international information technology (IT) services company, providing hi-tech transactional services, consulting, systems integration and managed operations to deliver business outcomes globally. The company's annual revenues are EUR 5.5 billion and it employs over 50,000 people. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and has a client base of international companies across all sectors. Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market and trades as Atos Origin, Atos Worldline and Atos Consulting.
 

Press contact: Anne de Beaumont + 33 (0)1 55 91 24 15 - anne.debeaumont@atosorigin.com