Entering the information age with AMR
At the Metering Asia-Pacific conference held earlier this year in Bangkok, Thailand, one delegate stated that, for his company, the metering data is more important than the energy they sell. Similar sentiments have been expressed by many other industries as they have shifted from being a monopoly to facing competition. Why the sudden interest in data?
Solid-state electricity meters - trends and technologies
The demand for solid-state electricity meters is growing worldwide. Today’s solid-state meters exceed the performance and reliability of their electromechanical counterpart. Production costs are decreasing continuously, and the metering industry is now at the point where a solid-state meter is becoming more cost-effective than the Ferraris meter.
African utilities embrace prepayment
A study by the World Bank, titled Can Africa Claim the 21st Century?, suggests there is optimism that Africa will take its place on the world stage. The World Bank has established a body of research called the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS). These household surveys have become an important tool in measuring and understanding poverty in developing countries. Africans are urged to take a more active and business-like approach to governance and economic management.
A vision for metering in 2001 and beyond
The de-construction of the UK energy industry arose as a government initiative to introduce real effectiveness, efficiency and economy through the application of market forces. Other energy markets around the world are likely to follow a similar path, either government inspired or as a business imperative1.
Liberating the energy consumption meter/monitor
With the advent of deregulation in many countries and decentralisation in others, the metering industry has been buzzing at conferences and exhibitions worldwide with papers and talk about how electronics will enable data collection, handling, and management. Ultimately we all benefit with better energy management practices that reduce peak demand and control the number of new power generation plants.
Project profits withs disconnect systems
As deregulation and competition become part of everyday life for electricity utilities, managing customers is an increasingly critical task. The simple amortisation of delinquent accounts into the rates paid by the remaining customer base will weigh heavily on a utility’s ability to be competitive. The lost revenue associated with these bad accounts represents revenue that comes directly off the bottom line.
Smart-cards - a key tool for utilities
Until a few years ago – before deregulation hit the energy sector – end-consumers were limited to just one or two suppliers for all their energy needs. These suppliers in turn purchased virtually all their metering equipment from manufacturers who simply needed a factory in which to produce the equipment. In fact, their entire operating strategy was based almost exclusively on the production time-scales necessary to meet market demand. This is all changing fast. Consumers are demanding more and better services from their energy suppliers, competitive pressures are forcing utilities to rethink their business, and utility suppliers are being asked to come up with more innovative and ‘smarter’ products.
Siemens Metering consolidates market position
Siemens Metering Limited was created by the merger of the Siemens and Landis & Gyr meters and systems businesses in April 1998. The new company’s objective is to consolidate its activities so as to benefit from the strengths of both companies; to expand business in selected growth regions; and to achieve the Number One or Number Two position in the global marketplace.
Single chip digital PLC modem
Several technologies are available to establish communication between the consumer’s electricity meter and the utility – the telephone network, radio waves and PLC. In this context PLC presents competitive advantages, as the network medium already exists.
Since the network is fully owned by the utility company, new opportunities can be exploited. For example, the power line can be used as a telecommunication network. The main component of such a communication system is the PLC modem, which allows communication between users and data concentrators to be established. This last connection point is located at the interfaces between low-voltage and medium-voltage.
Introducing LOC technology for input measuring circuits
Transformers have influenced the design of measuring equipment for over 100 years. During this time the restrictions imposed on us by transformers have become an accepted limitation on the performance of input measuring circuits. Another technique now exists, enabling transformer-less circuits to be used which deliver high performance in practice and allow a more flexible approach.