Companies operating in the highly-competitive energy and utilities markets face considerable challenges in terms of reducing their costs, meeting environmental regulations and delivering reliable, consistent services to end-consumers in a way that remains profitable.

CRITICAL Software has significant and, in many ways, unique experience in a number of different areas within the sector, helping companies to become more efficient, improving their end-consumer experience, reducing risks and benefiting the environment.

We have helped to develop and validate ground-breaking smart infrastructure solutions at a national level, provided smart device test products and services for the energy sector, implemented bespoke energy management systems for international energy suppliers and improved the management and efficiency of client operations in the utilities sector.

Many of our broader services also apply to the energy sector too, including our embedded software expertise, development and test services, and our business process management solutions.

If you want to learn more about our work in the energy industry, check the dedicated downloads hub.

Smart Meter and Infrastructure Software Development

CRITICAL Software has a strong software development and test team. These engineers have a broad set of software skills and experience in the energy and utilities markets.

We have worked on the implementation of some of the most relevant protocols in the smart metering sector, allowing interoperability with other vendor devices, reference benchmarking of meter software and hardware, and the correlation of different protocols (such as the conversion of DUIS messages into GBCS commands). We have extensive experience in the implementation of the most important sector protocols (for example, GBCS, DUIS, MMC, DLMS and ZigBee), specifically in testing, development and integration activities. Our services include:

  • Embedded software development – our experienced team of engineers are able to provide a variety of software development services for smart meters and related devices and systems, including solution design, prototyping or full implementation services.
  • Services integration, data collection and analytics – integration of smart meter networks and information systems (ERP, CRM), HAN/WAN channel drivers and data collection and analytics services. These services are useful for energy suppliers who need to interact with smart meters in order to collect data, for service users who need help with integration or domain knowledge, and for operators who need to monitor their networks and interact meaningfully with meters.

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Smart Metering for the UK: DCC Infographic
Smart Metering for the UK: DCC Infographic

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Smart Meter Test Tools

CRITICAL Software specialises in software verification and validation across many markets, with a strong pedigree in the energy sector, especially in smart meter device testing and the development and application of test tools.

Our validation solutions for smart metering include electronic compliance test automation services (hardware-in-the-loop or emulated), as well as bespoke solutions for the validation and verification of smart meter devices and networks in order to provide meter quality assurance for manufacturers, energy suppliers and network operators.

We developed our Smart Meter Integrated Test Environment (SMITEn) solution to provide a highly flexible and modular test environment for energy providers and meter device manufacturers. SMITEn provides electronic testing by using built-in device emulators, which allows for test development and preparation without the need to have real devices in the loop. The simulation of the physical testing of devices takes place through a self-provided HAN or through a communication hub’s HAN and end-to-end testing (for example, DUIS-GBCS-MMC).

We also provide smart metering tools and protocol stacks to help with the implementation of smart meter software, diagnostic tools and SDKs, encryption and authentication support, including GBCS, ZigBee (SEP, ZCL) and DLMS/COSEM, device and HAN emulators, and test tools to support development throughout the software lifecycle.

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SMITEn Flyer
SMITEn Flyer

Smart Metering Integrated Test Environment

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The scale and speed of smart meter, smart grid and smart infrastructure adoption delivers a new set of challenges for the energy market in order to secure customer, consumer and public confidence.

CRITICAL Software has developed a number of test tools and independent verification and validation services that can be used by the energy market to help provide evidence that these new technologies are safe, secure and functionally suitable.

Energy suppliers, consumers and financiers seek assurance that smart devices will work effectively in a smart environment - that they will be interoperable and interchangeable.

We provide a flexible set of services to suit different types and sizes of clients. Our smart meter device test tools can be implemented within manufacturers’ existing test infrastructures. Alternatively, manufacturers can provide their devices to be tested ‘as-a-service’, using existing or client-defined test scripts, providing detailed post-test reports of problems with follow-up consultancy if required.

Clients can choose from a full suite of options, including a variety of test tools (bespoke test tools can also be developed if required), experienced test engineers, accommodation for test infrastructure and test scripts (again, with bespoke test-script writing if required).

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SMITEn Flyer
SMITEn Flyer

Smart Metering Integrated Test Environment

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Energy and Operations Management Solutions

For companies involved in the production and distribution of energy, accurate, real-time information on the performance of key assets and the ways in which they are operated and maintained is crucial. CRITICAL Software’s energy management solutions remove costly guesswork and improve the performance of key assets. We can help to drive business efficiency and reduce costs by using the power of predictive analytics to provide up-to-the minute information on operations and performance metrics.

Unlike most options available on the market, our solutions are highly flexible and configurable, keeping in mind that many energy companies have unusual requirements that standard, off-the-shelf products simply cannot cater for.

Several non-standard energy management software modules already exist, especially in the areas of solar and hydro power. These modules and others can be customised and bespokely developed according to client needs, within a proven development framework.

Our solutions are for companies that manage either renewable or non-renewable energy sources, and are designed to:

  • Provide real-time metrics, KPI monitoring (business or operational) and report generation
  • Support in-house and remote monitoring through intuitive dashboards
  • Transform large collections of data into meaningful information and easy-to-understand “single points of truth”
  • Maximise the availability of operational assets
  • Support better decision making and timely, optimised interventions of operations and maintenance processes
  • Promote effective resource management, based on controlling and optimising operations and maintenance programmes
  • Support the automation of operations and maintenance workflows, reducing manual work and ensuring process compliance and effectiveness

Our solutions offer flexible, modular frameworks and cover several different needs:

  • Maintenance planning and control
  • Maintenance workflows (events and interventions)
  • Operations monitoring (including real-time operational and business KPIs)
  • Hydro-power planning, monitoring and simulation
  • Reporting (including reports and KPIs demanded by regulators)

Our modular, scalable solutions are deployable across several different energy-generation environments:

  • Hydric power plants
  • Thermo power plants
  • Wind turbine parks
  • Solar parks

Want to know more about our work in the energy and utilities industry?

Click the button below to download our latest case study.

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