Pelion IoT Device Management helps major utilities company, KEPCO, transform into energy and services provider. With device security at the top of their concerns, KEPCO turned to Pelion Device Management to aid their digital transformation.

Korea’s solus energy provider, Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO) was embarking on a digital IoT transformation that helped facilitate their transition from an energy provider to an energy platform and service company. This evolution involved complementing their infrastructure with 30 million smart meters and deploy an additional billion IoT nodes across their vast grid.
However, the challenges faced by this energy goliath were numerous and included concerns over:

KEPCO soon found that Pelion was the only solution that could provide a dedicated chip with end-to-end security complemented by IoT operating system (OS), device management tools, hardware IP and consultancy services. Pelion was tasked with two key objectives that would tackle KEPCO’s concerns and help realize the value in the data collated for KEPCO and their ecosystem partners.

We chose Pelion to lead our smart utility efforts as they provide a comprehensive IoT solution for securely developing, managing, provisioning and connecting IoT devices from the chip to the cloud.”

Dong-Sub Kim, EVP – KEPCO

Objective 1: Device Control

Pelion offered the means to securely manage devices’ on-boarding, monitoring, and updating, or even decommissioning a device at the end of its lifecycle. Over the Air (OTA) updates mean additional security patches and functionality can be administered without the need to physically travel to support remote devices.

Objective 2: Chip-to-Cloud Security and Efficiency

KEPCO utilized both Pelion’s support and Arm’s secure chipset to reduce time to market, but also create a solution that ensures that data migrates in real-time from the chip, to their billing API in a secure manner. The ability to share these insights with partners and customers effortlessly and securely plays a key part in building a frictionless and trusted ecosystem. Come 2021, Pelion Device Management will be responsible for the onboarding, connecting, and updating of both devices on a national scale.

The platform will consolidate a huge number of data feeds and manage devices via a ‘single pane of glass’, plus simplify and secure the management of each stage of the device’s life cycle. This includes managing data indicating device health and billing, which is relayed to KEPCO in real-time, who then feed the insights gained via APIs to their partners and bills to customers.

KEPCO Pelion Device Management infrastructure
KEPCO AMI 2.0 and Smart Gateways connected to Pelion Device Management

Swift Development

KEPCO engaged with several equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to help deliver the vast number of meters required. Their third parties leveraged Arm’s Mbed OS and toolchain, including Mbed Studio, Mbed CLI and Manifest Tool. These applications are part of a suite of tools and reference designs created to expedite application development, debugging and web services integration. Pelion supports a broad range of connective topology, meaning meters and gateways could communicate via the low energy, low latency qualities offered by WiSUN wireless communications, before relaying to KEPCO’s on-premise servers.

Pelion collaborated with KEPCO’s joint R&D partner, ARGO to create a custom system on a chip (SoC) powered by a Cortex-M3 for meters and with OEMs for a highly secure KEPCO’s gateway infrastructure powered by an Arm Cortex-A9 and Arm TrustZone. It’s this collaboration, combined with a suite of tools that are helping KEPCO trial, then mass deploy gateways and millions of smart meters by June 2021.

Access Pelion Device Management free tier

Get hands-on experience of the Pelion Device Management services, starting with a development board running Mbed OS.

– Connect and manage up to 100 IoT devices, choosing from a range of connectivity and MCU options.
– Carry out 200 firmware updates per month, with robust and easy-to-define FOTA campaigns.
– Communicate with your devices using up to 300,000 CoAP transaction messages per month.