This document discusses the concept of drivers implemented within the context of the REMPLI (Real-Time Energy Management over Power line and Internet, see section 1.8.) network. The process image approach and the tunnelling approach are presented and reasoning is given why the tunnelling approach is preferred. Each of the drivers implemented is associated with a specific metering protocol. This document further discusses the general architecture of such a driver structure. The generic software architecture serves as a framework for integrating serial communication based metering protocols over packet-orientated remote networks and meters, by tunnelling the protocol data units to the remote meters. Principally each Protocol Driver consists of three parts, one part situated at the Application Server, one at the Access Point and one at the Node. This document then gives a description of the general driver structure within the REMPLI network and briefly explains the functions of all the modules contained within the driver structure. An example is used to show how these modules, which make up the software architecture of the Protocol Driver, are used to send an application generated request from the Application Server to the Metering Equipment and sending the response back from the remote Metering Equipment to the Application Server. This dissertation further discusses the need for address translation within the REMPLI network and the need to restrict access to meters by using these addresses and an access control list. This document also discusses the need for a “Keep-alive” signalling scheme, if supported by the underlying protocol and gives a general concept as to how it should be implemented. The role of an Optimization Module is also discussed for low bandwidth networks by means of an M-Bus example. Finally the M-Bus protocol driver implementation is discussed. The results achieved are presented, showing that the driver architecture can successfully be used to tunnel the M-Bus protocol to remote meters, provided the underlying network conforms to the quality of service requirements determined by the implemented metering protocol. The work proposed in this document started off as part of the REMPLI project by the REMPLI team but was completed independently.
Dissertation (MEng (Computer Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2008.
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