Hands-on Modbus Cloud Connect – Collection of consumption data via infrared interface

Daniel Schmitz

Daniel Schmitz – Sales Engineer IoT

Hands-On Modbus Cloud Connect - Collection of consumption data via infrared interface

Capturing consumption data and providing energy data is a highly topical issue.With the amendment of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the increasing awareness of sustainability, a digitalization of submetering is required. This is made possible, for example, by the IR readout adapters from Device GmbH in conjunction with our IoT products. Submetering refers to the recording and proportional billing of the various consumption meters in buildings. Digital submetering enables remote reading and simple as well as permanent data transmission.

About the blog article series:
Modbus is a data communications protocol and has become a de facto standard protocol to connect industrial electronic devices. But how could those devices become part of the internet of things and what use cases could be developed? With this series of blog articles, we would like to give answers, ideas, suggestions, and helpful hints. To demonstrate how easy, it is to bridge the gap between devices and IT/cloud infrastructure by using Modbus Cloud Connect.

Electricity, gas and water meters should send data via remote reading on a regular basis in order to monitor energy consumption. Only if the values are continuously documented and checked can, for example, excessive energy consumption be detected. However, there are countless different types of meters that need to be connected due to the above-mentioned requirements. Depending on the type of meter (electricity, gas or water), manufacturers do not offer a standardized platform for transmitting the measured values. However, with appropriate adapters, it is possible to read out the data using a standardized protocol.

All modern metering devices, EDL21, eHZ, RLM and base meters have an infrared interface. With the IR readout adapter (DvModbusIR), for example from Device GmbH, these meters can be read out via Modbus RTU. In conjunction with Modbus Cloud Connect, the meter readings can be transferred very easily to a desired IoT platform. The use of mobile radio makes the connection simple and secure, since no connection to the existing network infrastructure (e.g. Ethernet) has to be made at the respective location.

The IR readout adapter is attached to the optical interface of the electricity meter using the integrated ring magnet. Via the connection cable, the readout adapter is supplied with voltage and the Modbus connection is established via RS-485.

As soon as the cabling has been completed and the supply voltage has been switched on, the Modbus Cloud Connect gateway and the IR readout adapter are ready for operation. For the devices to communicate with each other, the Modbus basic settings must still be made, and the corresponding Modbus registers must be configured. The Modbus registers are configured in the Modbus Cloud Connect self-service portal. Access is provided via a web browser, regardless of location.

The following values, among others, can be read out: Meter number, meter reading and instantaneous power. In order to read extended measured values such as instantaneous power, it may be necessary to unlock the extended functions on the meter by entering a PIN at the optical interface. The PIN can be obtained from your metering point operator.

The Modbus Cloud Connect self-service portal also offers a cloud adapter. With the cloud adapter, the measured values can now be forwarded and stored via HTTP or MQTT to an IoT platform for evaluation. Submetering made easy by retrofitting and combining existing metering equipment with an infrared readout adapter and Modbus Cloud Connect.

Modbus Cloud Connect makes it easy to use, flexibly connectable and broadly applicable. Your device, directly to the cloud.

Daniel Schmitz

Do you have any questions or would you like to start a Modbus Cloud Connect project?

Daniel Schmitz – Sales Engineer IoT

Hi, I'm Daniel. Do you have any questions about Modbus Cloud Connect? Feel free to contact me by e-mail.