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Smart Metering and Its Importance

in Shaping an IoT Enabled Smart City
Anish PKAnish PK
 Senior Consultant
 IoT for Buildings

Originally Published

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The smart metering system improved a lot in their presence as well as in the features during recent years. The credit goes to the high demand for smart meters in the power distribution and transmission industry across the globe. Most of the developed and developing countries are funding a lot in their power transmission and distribution network in order to improve the performance and also reduce the losses. The requirement from the policymakers presently goes beyond these goals to have an enterprise energy platform with near real-time information to the customers, automated metering, billing, utility switching, power demand management, energy trading, microgrid implementation and easy management etc.

To achieve any or all of these goals, the most common thing to be present is a smart meter. That’s why the smart meter industry is a key player in shaping a reformed power distribution network and in turn which is a building block in a smart city.

Technical Aspects:

The smart meters in the industry started its smartness with the presence of pulse outputs availability and industrial port interface. Where a computing device or controller will capture the pulse count and will calculate the energy consumption and other parameters.
The next phase started with the introduction of energy meters embedded with computation power, data storage capacity and industry-standard protocol interface like Modbus, M-bus, BACnet etc. Here the meter was smart enough to calculate most of the internal parameters and also store the data locally as well as will transmit the data to the monitoring system in above-mentioned protocols.
But here also the enterprise meter data visibility was limited to a certain number/level like the number of meters connected to a loop, and there was a lot of efforts needed in cabling, fixing an aggregator or master controller for each building or campus etc. This kind of architecture was creating a restriction in establishing a wide connected metering network, and thereby the entire energy data of a city or even a state can be populated to a central platform which will ultimately become the backbone of enterprise energy management system.

Market Trends:

The recent advancement in the smart meter industry is very interesting and fairly aligned with the requirement of a smart city. The presence of RF medium to the nearest electric post and from there the two-way communication is established using cellular network.
Also, there is development in communication using wifi protocols with free bandwidths like LoRaWan and sigfox, which will avoid the dependency on cellular network for establishing network communication.
Also in the feature/device application level, a smart meter is capable of providing complex calculations at the edge level like FDD and power demand alerts and also at the enterprise level the metering system helps the utility provider to give near real-time consumption and energy demand/quality details to the customer.

Data Aspects:

One of the key outcomes of implementing smart metering is the availability of rich data. The smart metering creates a useful data source; the customer/citizen energy spending data. Yes as we all know the data has got more power than ever before as it is now considered as the major pillar in framing any policy or strategy.

The smart meters can provide a variety of data where few kinds of data are mentioned below:

•    Customer/User information
•    Power consumption/usage pattern
•    Power demand pattern
•    Utility switching details
•    How much percentage of usage of renewable energy
•    Power outage details
•    Payment details
•    Payment due trends by the customer

Control Solutions, Inc All these data will help the utility providers, the municipal or energy sector policymakers to frame or reform the energy production, transmission and distribution policies and strategies.

One more data which can be interpreted to create an entirely different outcome which I want to narrate here:

So you can just think about the power of data and its utilization which has not had any limit …

About the Author

Anish Krishnamurthy is an Electrical and Electronics Engineer with 12 plus year of experience in Building IoT, Energy Management and Electrical Power Industry and having excellent knowledge of IoT and Smart City, ELV System Integration, Remote Monitoring, Energy Management and Analysis, Fire and Security System Design, Installation, Testing and Commissioning.

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