Smart Meters ─ Types and Application
Smart meters record information on electrical energy consumption, voltage levels, current, and power factors. They offer greater clarity on this information to the electrical service providers regarding electrical consumption, help with monitoring the system, and billing. They use advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) that differs from automatic meter reading (AMR.). They establish wireless communication with the network or through fixed wired connections, i.e., power line carrier (PLC.). Wireless communication options include cellular communications, Wi-Fi, wireless ad hoc networks over Wi-Fi, wireless mesh networks, low power long-range wireless (LoRa), Wize (high radio penetration rate, etc. A big advantage of the meter is that instead of estimated bills, users get invoices based on actual energy usage.
The meters ensure:
- 1. Real-time energy recording.
- 2. Regular consumption reporting.
- 3. Two-way communication between
- Meters and the central system
- Meters and the suppliers
- 4. Load data collection for evaluating demand, tariffing, load forecasting, and planning
- 5. Time resolution programming from one minute to one day
- 6. Tariff management (dynamic tariffs, remote meter reading, automatic printing of bills)
- 7. Load control
- 8. Correct consumption information to customers
- 9. Automation of distribution and monitoring of supply quality.
Various types of smart meters are manufactured and can be chosen based on the applications.
Types of Smart Meters
There are the types of smart meters:
- CT-PT meter
- Distribution transformer operated meter
Apply them as per the requirement.
Applications of Smart Meters
As power grid infrastructure becomes progressively digitized, it is critical to ensure a reliable and secure flow of digital communications. Smart meters measure energy usage and use a secure, wireless network to send meter readings to the energy supplier. The areas in which smart meters are useful are as mentioned below.
Settlement and Billings include:
- Accurate settlements – Accurate and up-to-date consumption data, lower costly settlement procedures later in terms of consumption, settlement, and billing.
- Frequent and cheaper switching ─ Smart meters remotely request metered data from a metering point any time or within a short period reducing switching costs (from one retail electricity supplier).
- Correct and timely billing – Smart meters enhance the possibility to provide the consumers with actual data on electrical consumption.
- Prepayment – Advance collection from consumers. Power is only provided whilst the consumer is on credit.
- Remotely connect, disconnect, or limit load.
- Remote connection and disconnection of total (the whole metering point) or partial loads, and limiting maximum capacity allowed for a metering point.
- Fraud detection.
- Tariff Setting (Time of Use, Maximum Demand, Seasonal).
State Estimation of Power Distribution Networks
In this process, a huge number of measurements from a model network of the physical network and its load is combined. The process helps in the loss calculation (reactive power flow) and identifies faulty measurements and input data. One sample from each meter is used to measure the demand in as low as 1-minute intervals for state estimation. In addition, smart meters measure consumptions at customers’ point (kWh-meter.) Therefore, the loading losses are accurate in measure, overloading at transformers and lines is prevented, and avoid deviations.
Power Quality and Reliability
The Smart Meters’ ability to monitor power quality enables fast and accurate responses to customer complaints and maintains steady power quality with minimal fluctuation. The exact recording of interruptions, voltage drops, or other voltage information help identify the areas of the network that require enhancements. It also helps in services for monitoring preventive maintenance and analysis of failures thereby, helping in and improving energy efficiency to the end-users and dispersed generation based on customer feedback.
Better Customer Service
Smart metering can improve the quality of customer service and make it efficient at call centres. The control centres also will have up-to-date measurements based on available data enabling faster and accurate service. The customer service also includes new connections, load disconnection, and offers to enhance energy efficiency and reduce loads at the customer end. Smart meters also help provide partially automated responses.
Forecast Modelling and Loads Analysis
Load analysis is done based on gas, electricity, heat, and water consumption data. By combining profile data, weather, and outside temperatures smart meters perform statistical analysis and forecast loads. Models based on time variations, total energy use, and peak demand can be estimated and forecasted. While this helps retail suppliers and their customers, it is useful for the DSOs for planning or operating the power distribution network. Detailed energy usage information is used to evaluate energy savings campaigns.
- Smart meters application aids in energy savings through:
- Timely and correctly metered data by final customers
- Real-time and authentic information about energy consumption offers customers better control of energy usage following usage patterns, abnormal consumption as a result of equipment malfunctioning, poor insulation, etc.
Balancing Power Generation and Consumption
Smart meters can be used to maintain the balance of generation and consumption in the power system at any instance. It will control loads and embed generation against electricity prices. Demand response covers price control and direct load control. Customers are offered:
- Price as per market price variations.
- Direct control on load distribution, for example, aggregators (retailer, virtual power plant operator, or Distribution Company) can send signals to switch loads on and off based on market and network situation.
Improved Efficiency and Competitive Edge
Smart meters offer a competitive advantage by providing:
- Quick metering, correct data, and billing.
- Analysis of prospective customers data consumption to retail electricity suppliers for a new contract.
- Entry into international retail energy markets.
- Interaction with international retailers that results in more efficient operations.
- New products and more price elasticity in the energy market, enriching the market, voltage, and reactive power control.
Subsidiary Service Support
Smart meters have remote control functions with local control outputs and local measurements of frequency, reactive power, and voltage level. It somewhat enables services required for the smooth operation of transmission or distribution system. These include energy loss control, frequency control, voltage balancing and power flow control, and supply restoration in case of disruption.
By providing, authorities and researchers with the measurement data, they need smart meters to enable system improvement. The technological innovation for new products & services, energy consumption & its efficiency, and energy saving in the face of rising demand based on energy consumption patterns and trends.
Remote Monitoring to Establish Virtual Power Plat
A virtual power plant is a control structure where numerous small generation units and other small energy resources (such as controllable loads) are in control to act as a big power plant. It can be of immense help in remote monitoring & operation and aggregating energy market connection for small energy resources.
Smart meters ensure safety, security, and social alarm services.
Distributing energy flow is the characteristic of smart grid infrastructure, creates network stability concerns, making network timing, security, and reliability a must requirement. With their real-time measurements that monitor energy health, grid congestion, stability, and system control, smart meters can become an integral part of the smart grid infrastructure in power substations and residential buildings.
In future, it will also provide a possibility to implement automated supplier switching procedures.
At Axis, we have years of experience in synchronizing communications networks and high-reliability and high-performance solutions. Data security and reliable, efficient systems are our expertise that helps you build a future-proof grid infrastructure.
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