In this chapter we will research more about how meter reading is done, the different type of techniques that exist to read metres, and automatic metre reading ; specially the usage of Bluetooth engineering for automatic metre reading. A universe broad position will be explored before we look to the context of Mauritius.
A metre is a device that can observe and expose the exact measure of an component, substance or any quantifiable affair, may it be negatrons, H2O, gas, glucose and many others.
There are many utilizations of metres and in many different sectors of our universe. For illustration, in wellness sector ; metres are used to mensurate the degree of glucose in the blood, to mensurate pulse rate, and many others. The public-service corporation sector, like gas, H2O or electricity companies, uses a really big Numberss of metres. These companies have to supervise the use of the resources used by their clients so that they can be charged for the sum they have used. There are besides other metres like: gauss metres, geomagnetic metres, microwave metres, and many more.
As we have seen, there are many sectors in which metres are being used ; we can non concentrate our attending in all of them. So, we will concentrate our attempt in the public-service corporation sector, more specifically the 1 for electricity companies. Why this pick? Because Energy sector is a driving force in our universe and that many developments and progresss are thanks to electricity. So from here on we will concentrate our attending on that specific sphere.
Types of metres
There are many types of metres depending on the country of usage. The chief types of electric metres are:
- Electromechanical Induction Meter ( Standard Meter ) : It is a metre which counts the figure of bends an aluminum phonograph record does. The sum of electricity used is straight relative to the figure of revolutions of the aluminum phonograph record. The electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours and the rate of charge remains changeless all over the twenty-four hours. These types of metres are normally used on individual stage jumping current supply.
- Electronic Meters: These metres have an electronic show and do usage of radio engineerings like Bluetooth, GSM and GPRS to reassign information about electrical ingestion. They have inbuilt automatic detectors which helps to observe electrical energy larceny or metre meddling.
- Postpaid metres: are like the standard metres ; the lone difference is that, alternatively acquiring a measure at the terminal of the month, it is a wage as you use service. I.e. the consumer wages in progress for the electricity ingestion.
- Smart metre: These metres record the sum of electricity ingestion for a certain period of clip. The recorded information is so sent to the public-service corporation company for monitoring and charge intents. Smart metres can reassign informations from and to the metre, i.e. it is a two manner communicating.
Electric metres measure electricity largely in kilowatt hr ( kWh ) . One kilowatt hr is equal to the sum of energy used by a burden of one kW over a period of one hr, or 3,600,000 Js. The metre reading procedure is done sporadically, so that consumers can be billed for that period of clip. There are different methods used by different companies for metering. There are two ways that can be identified. Namely: the traditional manner and new techniques.
The traditional manner, which uses the ‘standard metre ‘ , can be described as: The metre reader goes to the consumer ‘s topographic point. There, the metre reader reads the current value on the metre and note it down on the measure for the old electricity ingestion period. The measure is so given to the consumer. The metre reader will so come in the current value in the company ‘s system, so that the consumer can be billed for that current period.
The new techniques, which uses, electronic and smart metre are as follows: The metre reader makes usage of new engineerings to read the metre value, and metres have an electronic show. There are many different new techniques used for metre reading, and they will be farther elaborated below.
Automatic metre reading ( AMR )
Automatic metre reading ( AMR ) , is the engineering where informations about ingestion and the position of the metre device is collected automatically. The information is sent to a cardinal database for it to be analysed and charging intent. Meters for H2O, gas, and electricity can utilize the AMR technique.
With the utilizations of AMR, there can be one manner or bipartisan communicating. In the one manner communicating, question is done merely to cognize the reading value from the metre. Whereas in the two manner communicating ; maps can besides be implemented to the metre.
In the touch engineering, a metre reader have a device, it may be a hand-held computing machine or specialised informations aggregation device. When the metre reader in close scope to the metre ; the latter imperativeness a button. A signal is sent house the device to the metre and the reading of the metre is saved on the device. That saved informations is downloaded to a information aggregation computing machine for charging intent. This technique is besides referred as “ on-site ” AMR, as the metre reader needs to travel on site to read the metre reading.
Radio Frequency Network
As its name suggest, the web uses wireless moving ridge to pass on with the metres. There are automatic reading systems which uses the wireless based engineering such Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth and many others. Some of them are listed below.
- Handheld: a metre reader collects meter reading from metres which support AMR system. The metre reader carries a portable computing machine with a wireless frequence receiving system and transceiver which reads the metre readings value.
- Mobile: it is besides referred to as drive-by ” is a technique where the metre reading device is installed in a vehicle. The metre reader needs merely to drive the vehicle along the way where the metres are found and the metre reading value is read automatically by the device installed in the vehicle.
- Fixed web: it is a method where there is a web which is installed for good to read metre reading. The web consists of many repeaters, aggregators and a batch of other equipments so that values read are transferred to a cardinal database. This method does non necessitate the intercession of any human to read the metering value.
Some clip a intercrossed AMR system is implemented so that when the fixed web goes down, the nomadic system come into action.
Current state of affairs in Mauritius
In Mauritius, we have the Central Electricity Board ( CEB ) , Central Water Authority ( CWA ) and Waste Water Authority ( WMA ) as the chief public-service corporations companies. All these public-service corporations companies are utilizing the traditional manner for their charge intents. .I.e. a metre reader will travel place by place and read their several criterion metre.
The CEB is making research on how to implement automatic metre reading and they have some electronic metres for proving intents. CEB has besides purpose to implement postpaid metres.
The AMR system on which CEB is experimenting consist of metre which has a modem. Then a communicating is set with the modem and concerned informations is read. That information is used for the charge intent. As mentioned, the system is still at a proving stage, so a batch are still need to be done. To be able to implement AMR system all standard metres need to be changed to AMR supported metres, and metre readers need to be trained to be able to utilize the new system.
BluetoothA is a wireless engineering for short scope communications which was developed to replace the overseas telegrams linking devices, may it be fixed or portable 1s. Such devices are ; nomadic phones, pressmans, cameras, desktop computing machine, and many others. The BluetoothA engineering is a low power, low cost and maintains high degrees of security.
Bluetooth engineering operates in the unaccredited industrial, scientific and medical ( ISM ) set at 2.4 to 2.485 GHz, utilizing a spread spectrum, frequence hopping, full-duplex signal at a nominal rate of 1600 hops/sec. ” The Bluetooth Special Interest Group ( SIG ) , an organisation of several companies work together to keep and develop the Bluetooth engineering.
The name “Bluetooth ” comes from Danish King Harold Bluetooth. He was influential in unifying warring cabals in parts of what is now Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Bluetooth engineering can defy intervention from radio engineerings which uses the 2.4 GHz spectrum. Adaptive frequence hopping ( AFH ) of Bluetooth engineering detects other devices in the spectrum and avoid the frequence they are utilizing.
Harmonizing to Martin Reynolds, an analyst with Gartner Group ‘s Dataquest, “The thing about Bluetooth is that it truly will transport in the one million millions of units once it additions momentum. It ‘s truly a multibillion-dollar market. ”