LonWorks, Modbus, AMR system and SCADA


Thread Starter


Hi friends,

Our company is searching the best choice to carry out a system able to manage and control electrical consumption in several cities.

By studying several options we have found Echelon's NES system is "maybe" the optimal solution to our needs although we'd like to have other options regarding protocols and energy meters (http://www.echelon.com/metering/architecture.htm)

The schema: [SCADA <-> Data Concentrators <-> Energy Meters] is what we are whising and Echelon"s system has all this but... we have some doubts we want to clarify before in order to choice this system:

1) Is there any other energy meters (EM) brand able to talk Modbus or LonWorks by using PowerLine Communication (PLC) as mean of transport
directly (without transceivers/converters). We already know there is EMs with Modbus capacity but we haven't found one able to use PLC natively.
Although we don't have problems to use Echelon's EMs (it looks excelent), we just want to know and compare other similar EMs.

2) Using the Echelon's Data Concentrator (DC) showed on above link, how fast and reliable is this device (DC-1000) by using PLC to communicate to EMs & SCADA?. Is there any other device from different manufacturer able to do the same?.

3) Although Echelon has its own software for this kind of app (NES software) whe plan to use a commercial SCADA instead and OPC as protocol to read our DCs, my question is: what are the best OPC servers currently to read/write devices via LonWorks?

Thanks to everyone.

Nicolas Kunzer

Hi Konrad,

I can advise you for the SCADA software.
I think PCVUE is that you need. It is:
- a standard SCADA on the market.
- the only standard SCADA communicating DIRECTLY on a Lonworks network.
- a standard OPC DA 2.0 Server and Client
- implemanting a lot of protocols via serial link and/or Ethernet.

You can contact us here:
- Europe: [email protected]
- Germany: [email protected]
- Switzerland: [email protected]
- Asia: [email protected] (Myself)
- US: [email protected]

You can also visit our Websites:
Europe: http://www.arcinfo.com
Asia: http://www.pcvue-sea.com
US: http://www.pcvueinc.com

Talk to you soon,

Try and check with Schneider Electric's MG brand of power meters and their communication options as well as their monitoring software called SMS!
You could talk to Watteco in France. They have expertise in powerline communication, modbus and other protocols over powerline.

I have long experience of LonWorks and think it is an excellent technology. However, a strange thing about Echelon's NES is that it doesn't seem to have the original open approach of LonWorks.

There are other companies offering systems that are similar to NES, but with a more traditional open LonWorks approach. See for example the following websites in Swedish:

Companies like Capelon, Adic, Energie-plan, Janitza, Functional Devices and Surf Networks can also sell you products that can be used for demand side management with LonWorks.

If you want to create truly open, interoperable systems where you can e.g. replace an energy meter from one manufacturer with a similar product from other manufacturer, see www.lonmark.org

Best regards,