FOCUS EMERGING DH MARKETS
By Steen Schelle Jensen, Head of Product Management – Heat/Cooling Solutions, Kamstrup
“We chose the drive-by solution in 2010, based on the simplicity of the meter reading system. But in 2016, we did an analysis and found that it would be more efficient for us to move to fixed network reading,” says director of DEVO, René Prop. The main driver for DEVO’s upgrade was being able to drastically improve the efficiency of their meter reading as well as getting hourly values from all meters, which would significantly enhance the quality of their data analysis. “Quarterly readings meant we only discovered errors on a quarterly basis, which again meant that our workload was bunched together. With more frequent data we discover things faster, meaning we can act faster and fix minor issues before they turn into big problems.”
Smart metering is a key lever to support the expected growth of the Dutch district heating market. It can provide the data-based insight to ensure district heating remains both competitive and attractive to end users. Dutch energy company, DEVO, has improved their system efficiency as well as customer relations after upgrading to network reading with hourly values and is now looking to further digitalise their business with innovative analytics. In the coming years, district heating in the Netherlands is expected to see significant growth due to the plans to phase-out natural gas by 2050. A central challenge for utilities will therefore be to utilise and expand their networks as efficiently as possible while making sure district heating remains competitive and an attractive choice for Dutch end users at the same time. Smart metering is a fundamental part of the solution because, with frequent readings and the right tools, smart meter data can provide network transparency and be turned into actionable knowledge. However, for most utilities smart metering is a step- by-step journey. This makes it crucial that they choose a solution they can build on as their needs change and they achieve new insights along the way. Energy company Duurzame Energie Veenendaal-Oost (DEVO) did exactly that. FROM DRIVE-BY TO NETWORK READING DEVO’s first step was implementing smart heat meters and a simple drive-by solution in their new residential area with more than 1,000 houses.
DEVO quickly saw significant improvements on both their operations and customer relations.
IMPROVED SYSTEM EFFICIENCY The increased amount of meter data has given DEVO a better understanding of their system. “Hourly values give us much more insight into the flow in our system and based on that new knowledge we have already made a number of corrections that have improved our overall system efficiency,” says René Prop. One specific example of data-based value creation was DEVO’s detection of faulty or misadjusted valves in their combined heating and cooling system.
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