Energy Management of a Big Industrial Zone in Vietnam using LPWAN: Innovation Success by Opinum and Actility

IoT For All

Opinum, the Belgian energy management technology provider, has made it possible to achieve what was never done before in Vietnam: monitoring the supply and energy management of an industrial zone via a Low-Power wide-Area Network (LPWAN) technology, in partnership with Actility, the world leader in LPWAN industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. 

Through a partnership utilizing Actility‘s ThingPark Enterprise™ solution, which enables stable and secure communication in private IoT networks over the LoRaWAN™ network, and the Opinum Data Hub for data analysis and insights, Hai Phong City has gained a great of visibility into power consumption. This new data allows for a new level of accurate customer profiling and increases the understanding of power grid optimization.

The Challenge of Energy Monitoring on a Big Industrial Site 

Located in Hai Phong city and Quang Ninh province, the fastest-growing industrial region of Vietnam, three industrial zones cover over 3,300 hectares overall, hosting a growing number of companies of all kinds – chemical and petrochemical, electronics, automotive, pharmaceutical, logistics and others. This is where the Belgian/Vietnamese group DEEP C Industrial Zones, a developer specialized in construction and operation of industrial infrastructure, operates. 

The group needed to understand how their electrical distribution services work and to collect more data regarding their customers’ consumption. Especially considering the size of the area, the task, when carried out manually, is very demanding in terms of human resources.

“Since we were operating in a large area, we needed an automation solution to collect information to better organize our own activities. We looked into several types of technologies and ended up opting for LoRaWAN (Low-Power, Wide Area Network) technology. Its advantage is to allow the remote collection of large amounts of data and low-cost information transfers in areas where availability of power supply sources and communication network coverage are not optimal. We also needed a solution to process this data in the most practical way possible.”

Niels Hubert, COO of DEEP C Green Energy

This is how the work started working with Opinum and Actility, focusing on energy services and environmental impact. 

An Efficient, Accurate and Reliable Solution Based on LoRaWAN

Smart meters were installed across this big industrial infrastructure in order automate the collection and analysis of energy and environmental data. DEEP C decided to turn to Opinum and Actility, partnering up with a local system integrator, namely the Vietnamese subsidiary of the Japanese operator KDDI. 

Power consumption data are collected every 30 minutes. To get into the Opinum Data Hub for data analysis and insights, the data is securely communicated over the LoRaWAN network, powered by Actility’s ThingPark Enterprise. 

ThingPark Enterprise is the leading LoRaWAN private networking solution, managing over 35,000 commercial gateways. It allows industries to streamline their digital transformation, eliminating wiring for most sensors. With 7+ years field experience worldwide, we support integration of remote sites for all regional radio regulations and offer the widest device interoperability. ThingPark Enterprise delivers carrier-grade technology tailored for the enterprise market: 

  • It has a fully managed SaaS service, 365×24/7 monitoring, and High Availability, while all updates and upgrades are managed by Actility.
  • It’s designed to be integrated within any IoT application with a full set of available APIs and Cloud Connectors.
  • It scales with you – 3 tiers to get you started at the right pace, with a full set of products and options such as Device management, Geolocation services, Roaming, and FOTA to go beyond connectivity.

Software Flexibility for Increasing Understanding of Power Grid Optimization

Whatever the activities of industrial customers, the Opinum Data Hub solution collects and centralizes a fixed set of variables: voltage, capacity, consumption. Their analysis serves two purposes: on one hand, precise and transparent data collection of customer’s consumption profile and, on the other hand, more efficient and precise management of the DEEP C energy grid. 

The solution offers a very flexible interface: changes can easily be made, for example adapting and developing new reports, designing dashboards, and adding sensors. 

“There are two main reasons why we chose the Opinum Solution. The first is the simplicity and clarity of the interface. The intuitivity of the interface allows us to quickly on-board new users with various user profiles with minimal training.”

Niels Hubert

The other reason is the advantage of flexibility. “Changes can easily be made. This is very important for us as we want to be able to operate autonomously, without having to depend too much on our software provider, for instance when we install new sensors, when we need to connect a new client or when we deploy new services. We will be able to do it ourselves.”

It should be noted that the deployment of a remote energy data collection solution, via LoRaWAN connections, was a first in Vietnam. This was one of the first obstacles to be overcome in a country with strict control over communications.

The Opinum solution will eventually allow to better plan maintenance interventions, implement predictive maintenance programs based on trends, and anticipate actions to be taken.

The group also intends to expand the type of data collected in order to extend Opinum Data Hub analytical capacity to its water distribution activities — DEEP C Blue entity — and its facility management entity – DEEP C Park Operations. These other entities will be able to economically equip their respective infrastructures thanks to the availability of the already deployed private LPWAN network within the industrial zone. 

About Actility:

Actility is a world leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark® network core and platform to deploy, operate, and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable, and versatile network infrastructure.

Over 50 public network services providers and thousands of enterprises trust the ThingPark platform all over the world. Actility also provides patented ultra-low-power geolocation technologies through its subsidiary Abeeway. ThingPark Market provides the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and apps to simplify and accelerate deployment of use cases.

About Opinum:

Opinum is a Belgian company founded in 2014. Opinum has created and ensures the continuous development of the Opinum Data Hub platform, designed for energy and environmental actors. Opinum is the key partner of these actors in their digital transformation journey.

Opinum Data Hub covers all stages of the data management value chain to allow its users to look beyond the complexity of data and focus on their core value and expertise. Opinum Data Hub is mainly intended for large private and public service companies, energy suppliers and companies with expertise in energy management (ESCO). 

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IoT For All
IoT For All
IoT For All is creating resources to enable companies of all sizes to leverage IoT. From technical deep-dives, to IoT ecosystem overviews, to evergreen resources, IoT For All is the best place to keep up with what's going on in IoT.
IoT For All is creating resources to enable companies of all sizes to leverage IoT. From technical deep-dives, to IoT ecosystem overviews, to evergreen resources, IoT For All is the best place to keep up with what's going on in IoT.