Smart Electricity Meter – Overview
For AMR (and AMI) to become truly pervasive it needs to provide more than a reduction in meter reading costs. Optimization for Asset tracking, dynamic pricing, tamper notification, outage management, supply automation, load profiling and network diagnostics are critical elements for the success of this infrastructure. This drives the move from Mechanical Meters towards Static (electronic) meters for all major utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas, Heat).
Currently, meters can be read manually, touch-read (handheld device with a wand or probe), Radio, Bus, Power Line, Modem, or GSM/Satellite. The drivers behind each choice are cost, existing infrastructure, and local regulations. In some regions the usage charge for a radio frequency band is higher than the cost of manual reading, or the local grid may not support communication over the power line (PLC).
In any case, the trend is towards AMR increases the electronics content of the meter itself, and AMI drives a networked infrastructure for all metering. A complete implementation could include power line communication to the electricity meter, and low power wireless communication from the electricity meter to other utility meters. Low power wireless communication to the major loads in the home/business (AC, Heaters, Refrigeration, etc) and would also allow dynamic setting control during power plant peak loading.
Sub-metering applications such as smart plugs and appliance energy meters enable consumers to understand and control their energy usage patterns. Other sub-metering applications such as server power meters help IT departments optimize power consumption of server farms. This white paper discusses features and benefits of energy measurement ICs such as the MSP430AFE2xx in these applications.
See e-meter products > http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/apps/smartgrid/emeter/product.
See TI Wireless Communication solutions for smart meters >