Introduction to Smart Electric Meters

Smart metering is a term used for intelligent energy management and metering systems for residential and commercial communities. These systems are not only cabable of measuring and managing electricity, but can also be applied to water metering.

Absolute energy's smart metering system can control up to two circuits on the end-user's distribution board. Typically these would be the high usage appliances, such as a geyser and/or pool pump. A data concentrator is used to manage to control each individual metering unit via power line transmission. Up to 2000 distribution boards can be controlled from one data concentrator. Each data concentrator connects to the Internet via GPRS. The entire system can be managed from a web-based control interface.

Smart metering features

  • Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) Smart Metering Components
  • Automatic Demand Management
  • Peak Demand Levelling
  • Operator override
  • Web-Based Interface
  • Highly Cost-Effective
  • Easy Installation

Smart Metering – Automatic Meter Reading

  • Eliminates human error
  • Readings are always up-to-date
  • No more estimated readings
  • Consumption patterns can be more accurately determined
  • Increased User Confidence through billing accuracy
  • Ability to deal with complex tariff structures

Smart Metering Automatic Demand Management

  • Passive demand management based on AMR readings
  • Automated switching of circuits to remove supply to un-needed devices
  • Automatic rescheduling of devices to level peak demand
  • Schedules determined in consultation with client

Smart Metering Peak Demand Management

  • System can be programmed to manage peak demand

Smart Metering Active Demand Management
  • All devices on the system can be controlled by central operator in control room
  • Devices may also be controlled via any device connected to the Internet, e.g: Mobile phone, Netbook etc.
  • Permissions may be granted to end-users so they can control selected circuits e.g. startup of bakery ovens, switching on heaters late at night to accommodate out of hours meetings etc.

Smart Metering User Interface

Absolute energy's user interface device is similar to a cordless remote. Touch PadThis allows end users the comfort and convenience of controlling and managing their electricity expenditure. Options also exist whereby users can manage their electrical devices via mobile phone.

Central management of the system is via a web-based user interface.

Smart Metering Extensions

  • Compatible with most sensors (Temperature, Humidity, Smoke detectors etc.)
  • Adaptable to future “smart grids”
  • Available for other options, e.g. Gas and Water

Automated electricity meter reading

Automated meter reading uses wireless or other technology to record how much electricity is being used by a consumer and then transmit the recorded data to a central point where billing can be carried out. Automated meter reading is also applied to certain meters which contain a short range wireless transmitter that meter-readers can receive and manually record the consumption. Here, we discuss the former definition. Automated Meter Reading is being implemented by several municipalities, including Johannesburg City Power.

How it Works

The meters are radio controlled from a central location or hub and broadcast their readings via radio in the 433MHz UHF band. The results are entered into a central computer database and software is used to manipulate the readings so that the user is billed with the correct tariff amount.

Benefits

  • Human errors in meter reading are eliminated,
  • Customer confidence is increased due to increased billing accuracy
  • Up to the minute metering information is provided,
  • Ability to deal with complex tariff structures accurately
  • Shorter billing cycle
  • Meter readers do not have to enter property



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