New developments in electricity markets brought changes in Weather, that has brought in the need for Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in creating a Powerful & Smart Energy Management System. The energy industry is gradually focusing on customer satisfaction, consistency, cost savings and energy efficiency. Initially, metering automatization, started with Automated Meter Reading (AMR) that enabled utilities to slightly read the consumption records and consumer’s basic status information at the consumer premises, but AMR was just limited to remote reading and could not run further applications, which prompted utilities to move towards the Smart Metering or Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI). A “Smart Metering” or “Intelligent Metering System” is an electronic system that measures overall energy consumption and provides necessary data than a conventional meter. These smart meters can transfer and receive data through electronic communication. Smart Metering offers utilities with two-way communication to the meter but also has the ability to evaluate the status of the grid.
As a strategic response, today various utilities are moving towards Automated Metering Infrastructure / Automated Meter Reading (AMI / AMR) technology. AMR / AMI acts as the foundation for enhancements all through the utility—from meter reading to consumer service to engineering and system development. Technology innovations and the convenience of infrastructure features at lesser prices create prospects for extended disposition, value-added services, and probable new revenue streams.
Automated meters as ‘smart meters’ because of a numerous coordinated technology that makes a demonstration, storage, calculations, analysis and communication feasible with a central server.
The effective execution of a Smart Metering System highly depends on the choice of communication technology. Other facets such as the final application, the features of the location and the topology electricity grid, among others, highly impact the choice of the most suitable technology.
Automated Metering Infrastructure consists of3 key elements:Smart Meters, Meter Communication Infrastructure and Data Management. The combination of all3 elements is vital to the development of a smart grid.
Understanding Key elements of Smart Meters is necessary –
Smart Meter – Offers bi-directional communication between a customer and the utility, allowing functions such as out age detection, real-time pricing and power quality monitoring.
Meter Communication Infrastructure –comprises of various methods of communication amid meter and utility. This also includes power line communication (PLC), cellular(broadband or GPRS) and radio frequency (RF).
Data Management –It focuses on managing over all data created by the meter – this comprises the transmission, storage and protecting privacy.
Customer Systems–involves home area networks, in-home displays, energy management systems, and other customer-side-of-the-meter equipment that permit smart grid functions in residential, commercial and industrial facilities.
Benefits of using Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
- On-time delivery of data.
- Helps in making better & informed decisions as there is access to widespread data.
- Real-time managing of intermittent outages is possible.
- Speedy, consistent remote connect and disconnect available.
- Enhances customer satisfaction levels as it offers a timely supply of data, quicker system restoration and a stable supply and demand for energy.
- It involves low operational costs.
- Allows for managed distribution and integrates renewables.
- Helps to monitor grid conditions making it potential to foresee and mitigate power integrity problems, resulting in fewer outages and power quality situations.
Although India is one of the rapidly growing economies globally, its industrial growth has been restricted by insufficient energy availability, particularly electricity transmission, distribution losses and a discrepancy in supply and demand in electricity. Smart Metering systems would improve the efficiency and consistency of the power system for sustainable growth.