Fundamentals for a Smart Metering Head-End system?

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Smart metering is the future of how we perceive energy consumption. The smart metering system not only displays energy consumption but also indicates the areas that have caused the high consumption of energy and the methods by which you can save energy. It will act as if your guide in controlling the energy consumption whether it is an industrial organization, residential complex, or commercial establishment.

People around the world have understood the benefits of using smart meters. And the same has resulted in a gradual rise in demand for the smart metering headend system. The smart meters help in ensuring that the billing is correct, recognising the areas that have more power consumption thus helping in energy-saving and enable quick defect identification and defect rectification. 

Further, additional functionalities in smart meters such as connect/disconnect, time of use tariff, load limiting have been advantageous in saving money. 

Why do we need a smart meter headend system?

Smart metering with headend is required for collecting data from the smart meters deployed in the field. The collected data can be used for multiple use cases such as billing, demand response, prepayment, time of use tariffication. 

Some of the advantages of smart meter headend are elaborated in the succeeding paragraphs.

Benefits of Smart Meters in Industry

Monitoring – Monitor power quality parameters such as fluctuations, voltage variations, and quality of electricity constantly, reduce the chances of defects to the equipment. Continuous operation of the industrial assets with minimal downtime optimize operational and maintenance costs.

Power Optimization – Smart metering helps in managing the peak demand by regular monitoring. This optimizes demand charges to the industries. Power factor will get maintained in the system which benefits industries to qualify for power factor incentives provided by the utilities.

Benefits of Smart Meters in Commercial Buildings

Energy Management – Smart meters will indicate the power usage of each building/ section. You can analyse the consumption footprint and institute corrective measures to save energy and avoid wastage.

Easy Integration – The smart meters could be integrated with building management systems or power management systems. Consequently, a single person can manage electric consumption based on the requirement. The easy to operate electrical management system must have helped the commercial buildings and residential enclaves.

Benefits of Smart Meters in Residences

Ensures Correct Billing – The power usage would be monitored by smart meters. This helps you in monitoring the power consumption and confirm that billing is accurate and as per the usage. Besides, the consumer can plan pre-payment of electrical charges using the information from smart meters.

Monitor Power Theft – The smart meter will monitor power theft and similar unwarranted acts on your electric supply line. You can undertake necessary corrective measures based on the indication.

Power Outage and Repair – The power outage reasons and defective sections will be indicated on the smart meters. This could be used for carrying out repair and restoration of power supply.

Components of smart meter headend

Core functional components of the cloud-based smart meter head end are data acquisition, data visualization, data storage, device analysis, data sharing with external systems. 

Application – The headend application will be constantly monitoring the power consumption, power load data, billing depending on the energy consumption, and tamper events from meters. The app will enable basic validation and estimation of energy consumption if data is not read from the meter in time. The application will also be capable of integrating to third party applications and should connect with any brand of meter available in the market.  

Data logger /Modem Hardware – The data loggers or and modem hardware are intended for obtaining data from smart meters installed in the load point. The hardware will be pre-installed with the requisite software.  

Quality attributes of the Smart Metering Headend System

Reliability – Reliability is a critical attribute of the cloud-based smart metering system and associated components. It is advisable to procure the smart metering system from a well-established firm to prevent unexpected and unwanted downtime.

Maintainability – The smart metering system head-end device and components must be easily maintainable. The system must not be complicated and should possess a maintainer friendly design.   

Scalability: The smart meter is required for each enterprise, industrial, and residential complex, so a smart meter head-end system should be scalable for more than millions of meters at a time. 

Easy Integration: As a system will be scalable to millions of meters and data, It should be able to integrate with the new meter, external systems easily. 

Recovery: System shall be deployed on multiple geographical regions to mitigate damages caused by natural and manmade disasters. If one of the regions is compromised, software deployed on the disaster recovery location shall automatically take over all the functions.

Software Updation – The technological advancements may require updating of software to meet the requirements. The cloud-based smart metering system must be receptive to the incorporation of a new update of the existing software without affecting the functionality of the production system.

Security – Security of cloud-based smart metering systems is of paramount importance. A security lapse can cause serious outcomes in major industrial establishments, business organisations, and residential enclaves. The smart metering system must be highly secured with access to only authorised personnel. Alternatively, it can be installed with safety features to prevent unscrupulous acts.

Conclusion 

Now it is clear how the smart meters will change the industry henceforth. Certainly, a cloud-based smart metering system is beneficial to monitor, control, and maintain the electrical systems through a customised software platform. Nowadays it is very important for an industry or a business to control energy consumption on a daily basis, which helps them to save a lot of energy as well as operating costs in the future.

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