Studio Dott developed the meter boxes for the roll-out of smart meters in Flanders. Considering the need for mass production, this product was optimized from A to Z. The result is pure efficiency in production, installation and use.
- Client: Eandis
Sometimes international regulations can actually boost development. For example, Europe wants direct communication between all meter users and energy distributors, starting in 2020. In order to achieve this, Eandis, the Flemish grid operator, needs to replace the current electricity meters in every house by ‘smart meters’. That way, it will no longer be necessary for employees to go around reading the meters.
So a new meter box had to be designed for 4 million families in Flemish cities and municipalities. For this public tender, we looked at more than just the meters themselves. We scrutinized the entire installation, production and utilization process.
Every minute counts
That’s how we found out that 1 hour of work on site is more expensive than 1 hour of work in the factory. We also found out that installing a meter is in fact a very labor-intensive task. That’s why we proposed a ‘plug & play’ design, making installation quick and easy. Because when you multiply by 4 million, every minute counts. Eandis agreed, and that’s how we won the public tender for this large-scale and complex contract.
“A ‘finished box’ which is simply plugged into the base plate. That’s how we eliminated manual cabling on site.”
Efficiency was essential for this project. That’s why the wall plate, which is already present in all houses, is maintained. We developed the new smart meters as a ‘finished box’ to be plugged into the base plate. That’s how we eliminated manual re-cabling in existing houses and buildings. That’s how we save time. That’s how we save money.
We calculated the thermal management using virtual heat simulations, in order to determine the most appropriate design for the casing. And we got that right immediately. The first prototype tests confirmed our calculations.
“Thanks to the new system, the electricity price can be better attuned to supply and demand. This makes the national consumption of electricity more efficient.”