CTO of "Elgama-Elektronika" Dr Nerijus Kruopis was interviewed by www.Smart-Grids.pl. In the article Dr N.Kruopis shared his experience about Leveraging IoT, PLC, and customization to deliver high-class products. https://lnkd.in/dRrFqbV
Would you tell about yourself and your role in the company?
Dr. Nerijus Kruopis: “After my Ph.D. studies and doctoral degree at Kaunas University of Technology, I joined Elgama Elektronika back in 2000. Since then I have been mainly engaged in development of high accuracy class electricity meters first as an engineer, later as a Project Manager. And now I am a CTO mainly responsible for the strategy and development of new products. The very recent objective and the main target is to put in place a smart metering solution that will offer the best service to the end customers, as well as to utilities. Of course, ambitious targets can never be reached without motivated team. I am very proud of our R&D people. We have an experienced group of hardware, software and testing engineers. So, almost every day I have close contact with our engineers, and open atmosphere for new ideas keeps us on the track of continuous improvement.”
Which markets you see as the best potential from ELGAMA ELKTRONIKA point of view?
Dr. Nerijus Kruopis: “Well it’s an easy question. This is more historically connected, therefore we see as the most promising markets our home country Lithuania, as well as our neighbors Poland, Latvia and Ukraine.
We witnessed that your company is very strong in high class metering (won the Balance meter tender, developed GAMA 350 meter) and what about the smart meters. Is ELGAMA ELKTRONIKA in the game for smart meters mass roll outs, do you develop solutions?
Dr. Nerijus Kruopis: “Yes, we are very proud that we can deliver extremely good products and our team is typically very strong in the field of high accuracy and industrial meters. As an example, just recently we have finished development of 0,2s accuracy class meter, which has already passed KEMA laboratory type approval process.
SMART meters are the possibility, but there is a high level of competition in this market and it’s not an easy task to be at the correct price level and to deliver reliable solution. We can see that some utilities are really focusing on quality issues and they are not trying to make a pure price competition of “standard” products.
What ELGAMA ELKTRONIKA can offer with the smart meters to the end consumers?
Dr. Nerijus Kruopis: “Smart metering gives the customer more detailed information about energy consumption and power quality. We want to create an ecosystem where companies can develop new applications and services, using such metering data to control the energy consumption in-house, to enable distributed electricity generation and storage.”
What is the winning combination? In other words, what is the future of metering?
Dr. Nerijus Kruopis: “Yes, we did several proofs of concept and pilot projects where we have experienced a number of technologies, such as PLC, point-to-point mobile network communication, as well as Ethernet based meters with a direct connection. However, at the end of the day, every technology has its own pros and cons, so a mixture of technologies and a proper exploitation of their advantages will definitely define the future of metering.
Installing of meters is just part of the job, and technical support during the life time of the project is equally important for the success of smart metering. Therefore, the appropriate approach should be used from the very beginning of the project. First of all, open standards instead of vendor-proprietary implementations should be preferred. It concerns every single part of the solution, e.g. communication protocol, data modelling, security measures, etc. Secondly, advanced metering infrastructure is not only about remote data readout of meters, but it is also about monitoring of the system, diagnostics of possible inconsistences, maintenance of meters, validation of data, management of users. Utilities have to take into account all these functionalities in order to select the most effective solutions for their business and for the end customer.