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Information @ a Glance

General

  • An electric meter or energy meter is a device that measures the amount of electrical energy supplied to or produced by a residence, business or machine.

  • The most common type is more properly known as a kilowatt hour meter or a joule meter.

  • When used in electricity retailing, the Utilities record the values measured by these meters to generate an invoice for the electricity. They may also record other variables including the time when the electricity was used.

  • Modern electricity meters operate by continuously measuring the instantaneous voltage (volts) and current (amperes) and finding the product of these to give instantaneous electrical power (watts) which is then integrated against time to give energy used (joules, kilowatt-hours etc).

  • The meters fall into two basic categories, electromechanical and electronic.

  • A Smart meter generally refers to a type of advanced meter (usually an electrical meter) that identifies consumption in more detail than a conventional meter; and optionally, but generally, communicates that information via some network back to the local utility for monitoring and billing purposes (telemetering).

  • The term "Smart meter" typically refers to an electrical meter, but the term is also starting to be applied to the measurement of natural gas and water consumption.

Design

  • Analog part of the solid-state energy meter consists of following blocks: two sigma-delta modulators, bandgap voltage reference, two buffer circuits, and analog multiplexer.

  • It is a mixed-signal chip for active, reactive and apparent power measurement. The power is calculated as a product of measured voltage and current.

  • The functionality and the performance of an electronic energy meter outperform those of the traditional Ferraris wheel meter. One advantage of an electronic meter in monitoring nonlinear loads is its high metering accuracy- electronic measurements are more robust and accurate.

Applications

  • Large commercial and industrial premises may use electronic meters which record power usage in blocks of half an hour or less. This is because most electricity grids have demand surges throughout the day, and the power company may wish to give incentives to large customers to reduce demand at these times.

  • The electronic power meters are preferred both by the consumers and the energy enterprises because they offer significant advantages in the accounting process as accurate readouts, flexible schemes for tariffs, for payment and other possibilities.

  • Energy meters (e-meters) are used worldwide to account for individual usage of electricity at the location of delivery.

  • Historically these meters have been electromechanical in nature, and periodic on-site reading of the meters was necessary to collect usage information for customer billing.

  • The latest generation of meters is electronic and provides new features including networked communications, self-test, and intelligent accounting for various time periods.

Technology

  • The electronic metering raises demands for new technologies to be developed to utilize more deeply the information generated in the accounting process.

  • A need emerges for intelligent information processing to allow the adequate information integration and resource control in the energy distribution network.

  • The technology under development is attempting to combine the modern tendencies in the information processing with the practical and standard means for realization.

Market

  • The advantages of highly functional three-phase meters for digital energy measurement have been demonstrated in North America's commercial and industrial markets.

  • China is currently deploying millions of single-phase digital energy meters and is providing to be one of the more progressive nations when it comes to installing high volumes of digital energy meters.

  • Digital energy measurement technology is being used in millions of Chinese energy meters today. Some Chinese meter manufacturers are eyeing the export market.

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