Energy efficiency solution for one of Australia’s largest utilities

“We needed a scalable solution that has the capability to go beyond the trial. We chose NNNCo as our partner because they’re able to provide a nationwide carrier service based on LoRa as their core technology and deliver the end-to-end solution for Ergon Energy.”

Sanjeewa Athuraliya,
Telecommunications Architect, Ergon Energy

Ergon Energy is one of the largest utilities in the world with a network spanning 1.7 million sq km. Following a successful proof of concept in 2016, NNNCo has deployed a low power wide area network (LPWAN) trial for Ergon in Townsville Queensland to enable demand management solutions at the street, neighbourhood or district level.

The Business Need

Ergon Energy has one of the lowest customer densities of any utility company, resulting in very long distribution lines and making load variation and management a key issue. The company wanted a load control wire IoT solution to enable it to connect beyond substations to individual household power consumers such as hot water.

Ergon Energy’s Sanjeewa Athuraliya, Telecommunications Architect, explains the problem for utility companies and their customers. “Historically when faced with network constraints energy utilities upgraded their networks. However that increases infrastructure costs and places upward pressure on electricity prices. We had to think outside the square on this problem.”

The Solution

NNNCo delivered an end-to-end scalable solution, deploying a low power wide area network (LPWAN) using the global open standard LoRa® technology and highly cost-effective sensors installed on hot water circuits. Starting as a trial in Townsville, the sensors give Ergon Energy granular control to switch individual loads on and off so that they can be reduced where needed and in times of peak power demand without affecting customers. The end game is to allow Ergon Energy to run its network more effectively, increase the longevity of the network, and save customers money over the long-term.

The Tech Story

  • World’s first group multi-cast LoRaWAN™ network deployment
  • Long-range LoRa® technology essential to support the network across Ergon Energy’s very large distribution areas
  • Open standard enables the network to connect to others over time, building an ecosystem rather than a silo solution
  • Individual addressability to each device / sensor enables Ergon to remotely configure each one with unique characteristics
  • Multi-cast functionality for group communication ensures the solution is scalable to millions of devices / sensors
  • Bi-directional communication delivers a managed network with feedback capability from devices
  • Low-cost devices contain the compact module from Murata to deliver a cost-effective roll-out over time
  • Low power devices are capable of operating on small batteries for many years, in cases where the devices are

Latest News

Read more
Read more
Read more

Planning a smart energy network?

If your organisation is interested in participating

Contact Us