Precise 3D-Localization System for Wireless Controllers in District Heating Networks

Funded by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)

Duration: January 2017 – December 2018

Compliance with climate goals calls for new efficient control systems for energy grids. An important component are “smart meters”, which offer significant benefits such as reduced cost, ability of remote analysis and maintenance as well as power supply management.

The project OrtoFern3D enables precise and inexpensive automated localization for wireless smart meter controllers indoors. For this purpose the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute develops hard- and software in collaboration with the industry partner KT-Elektronik. OrtoFern3D extends its predecessor project RegelFern, during which a sensor network of such controllers has already been developed and tested successfully. The current project additionally involves autonomous localization of all wireless nodes that are installed within a building, distributed over various floors, and mounted along the heating and water pipes. This way, each device can be assigned to a billing unit or a source of error, which vastly decreases the administrative expenses. Especially the commissioning of such a wireless control network can be facilitated significantly while allowing for a flexible network organization.

The localization is required to be highly precise and robust while coping with restricted hardware resources. A particular challenge lies in the technically demanding environment, which exhibits severe signal attenuation and multi-path propagation. As a consequence, the application of advanced signal processing algorithms (such as gossip- and consensus algorithms) will be necessary. Further, distributed machine learning methods will be deployed, to associate signal strength measurements (RSSI) and further signal characteristics, as well as context information, with spatial locations.