Echelon Corp. has announced the new DCN 3000 distributed control node, a multi-protocol, multi-application platform designed to help electric utilities around the world accelerate and simplify their grid modernization and optimization programs. The DCN 3000 extends Echelon's grid technology with increased computing power and flexibility, establishing a more intelligent communication infrastructure between grid devices and the utility head-end through a variety of wireless and fixed connectivity options.

A powerful, extensible and easy-to-install data concentrator and applications processor, the Echelon DCN 3000 manages smart meters, sensors and other grid devices on the low-voltage grid. Its ARM processor and Linux-based platform support the latest security and networking features, as well as drivers and distributed applications that allow utilities to quickly and reliably adapt to changing requirements, integrate new technologies and progress toward their grid modernization goals.

The DCN 3000 is a backward-compatible replacement for the Echelon DC-1000 line of data concentrator products, which are installed throughout Echelon's worldwide customer base and which power more smart meters than any other data concentrator in the world.

"The Smart Grid Gotland project represents an opportunity to see and measure the benefits of grid modernization programs first hand," said Lars Garpetun, project manager, Vattenfall. "We are planning to deploy the DCN 3000 in this project and look forward to how we can leverage this open, utility-grade applications platform to increase grid reliability and efficiency."

The Echelon DCN 3000 features:

  • A new Linux OS supporting an app/driver platform and USB expansion for adding focused functionality after installation of the DCN 3000, as needed
  • Backup power for Last Gasp, providing 30 seconds of uptime in case of power failure, with notification to system software in a single burst
  • Low-Voltage Grid Mapping (LVGM), for determining grid topology; identifying connections and associations of meters, segments and feeders; and providing data for use in GIS integrations, detailed load analysis, phase balancing and other grid modernization applications
  • Proven reliability, to ensure the availability of power consumption and power quality data needed to gain visibility at the edge of the grid
  • Fast, single-message commissioning
  • Multi-client Local Data Access (MLDA), with support for up to 16 external clients with secured read/write

Echelon has select early customer trials on the DCN 3000 planned for the end of the calendar year, with broader availability of the trial program in February 2014 and general availability of the DCN 3000 in March 2014.