MP102B Power Outage Alerts triggered by an OTA firmware upgrade - enduring solution

Proposer Matthew Alexander
Lead Analyst Bradley Baker
Date raised 18/12/2019
StageRefinement Process
Implementation date Unknown
Latest update The DCC Preliminary Assessment response has been returned. SECAS are reviewing the document with the Proposer and will present the key findings to a future Working Group meeting for comment and feedback.

What is the issue?

Experience has shown that implementing an Over the Air (OTA) firmware update on some Electricity Smart Metering Equipment (ESMEs) generates a Power Outage Alert (POA). This is because when some ESMEs activate a new firmware version it results in an interruption of the power supply to the Communications Hub (CH) (power to the CH is supplied by the ESME). If the power supply for the CH is interrupted for more than three minutes, then the CH must send a POA (the AD1 Alert).

The Data Communications Company (DCC) then sends the AD1 Alert to the relevant Distribution Network Operator (DNO), who can’t tell whether there is a real issue with the power to the premises or whether it was just a firmware upgrade to the ESME. As DNOs need to respond to each POA, a POA initiated by an OTA firmware update will cause a DNO to put in place systems to check every POA to understand if it relates to a genuine power outage.

Investigations during the Refinement Process of MP102 ‘Power Outage Alerts triggered by an OTA firmware upgrade’ found the scale of the issue affecting existing meters much greater than initially envisaged. This could result in a lengthy lead time for implementation where meter Manufacturers could potentially still produce Devices that cause erroneous Power Outage Alerts (POAs). Therefore, the Working Group agreed that there should be two separate solutions to address the issue;
• MP102A - a Technical Specifications document change for meter Manufacturers to abide by for ESME produced after implementation, and
• MP102B - an enduring solution for meters that are currently installed.

Who is impacted?

Networks Parties
Other SEC Parties

What SEC documents are affected?

SEC Schedule 9 'Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications'

Timeline

22 Apr 2020
Modification divided during Refinement Process
02 Jun 2020
Working Group
04 Nov 2020
Working Group

Modification documents

MP102B Request for information responses
13/10/2021
MP102B request for information
21/09/2021
MP102B Business Requirements v0.4
13/09/2021
MP102B June 2020 Working Group summary
25/06/2020
MP102B Modification Report v0.8
22/05/2020
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