ApplicationsJuly 1, 2020

M2M protocols offer integration with field devices and meters

System Diagram

Industrial RTUs, which are configured redundantly in the control center, help to ensure reliable network security and management for Deutsche Energie Funk. The end result is a fail-safe communication network that enables the smart grid provider to better serve customers.

Germany continues to advance the energy revolution by integrating alternative energy sources into its mainstream electrical grid supply. According to the “German Renewable Energy Act,” legislation was created to drive alternative energy costs down through the mass adoption of solar and wind generation facilities.

Not only is consumption being reduced by the implementation of “greener” technologies, production is also being watched and controlled more closely to better meet renewable generation requirements. With alternative energy plants taking up large amounts of land, they are typically remotely located where land is either less expensive or wind patterns are more stable.

Deutsche Energie Funk provides electricity demand and monitoring solutions for the power generation market. Tasked with developing a solution to address the demands of collecting real-time data from different power generation sources, the organization was looking to provide secure communication to remote sites while utilizing native M2M protocols like Modbus for easier integration with field devices and meters. The end goal was to deliver a solution that reliably connects generation plants and substations to many downstream systems such as electrical transportation, storage and substations, which rely on real-time accurate and sensitive data for efficient power source and electrical grid management.

Automation solution

Deutsche Energie Funk combined its own narrowband radio network with industry- leading hardware and software components to offer an optimal solution for the remote monitoring and control of renewable energy generation facilities. Narrowband radios are used in this smart grid application to deliver high quality of service, real-time communication and long reach of low frequencies.

By working with Welotec GmbH to select the Sixnet series VersaTRAK RTU technology from Red Lion Controls, Deutsche Energie Funk is now able to reliably collect and store I/O data points from substation equipment located in or near wind farms, solar plants and co-generation facilities. The Modbus registers in the VersaTRAK RTUs then push data to UHF radios that securely communicate with the energy supplier control rooms. The control servers monitor available energy supply with current demand selecting the appropriate mix of generation methods (wind, solar and co-generation) based on a number of requirements.


Red Lion’s RTU technology provides Deutsche Energie Funk with a reliable, secure platform for remotely monitoring and controlling energy generation equipment. The built-in Modbus gateway forms a seamless interface to existing RTU and PLC devices, simplifying integration efforts. In addition, Deutsche Energie Funk is able to incorporate different energy meters with a single automation platform.

Application report by Red Lion Controls