India’s energy demand continues to rise. Meeting that demand cost-effectively means investing in new technology that increases efficiency without compromising service levels.
Connectivity, of course, is what makes Automatic meter reading(AMR) smart. Connected meters can both receive data from and send data to a central management system, or CMS, which is typically in the cloud. A utility can remotely monitor and control connected meters; they enable practical applications such as AMR substation automation, distribution automation, outage management, automatic load shedding, and the ability to manage alternative energy sources. With sensors embedded in the metering infrastructure, you can also gather real-time and historical data.
Although most connected meter infrastructure work similarly, there are many different methods of exchanging data between the corresponding meter and the CMS. These include cellular (2G, 3G, LTE, 5G, and NB-IoT), RF mesh, LoRa, Wi-Fi, and other media- to long-range solutions. Two-way smart grid communication links the people and devices in the field with software at substations and the utility’s operations center, enabling applications that deliver vast improvements in efficiency, security, reliability, and resiliency. Extending communication from the substation control house to the substation yard and distribution feeders are best accomplished using wireless field area communication networks.
GPRS or General Packet Radio Service is a packet-oriented mobile data service. It is also known as “2.5G” technology between the second (2G) and third (3G) generation of GSM. Unlike the older Circuit Switched Data Services (or CSD), GPRS uses packet switching. GPRS uses four coding schemes CS1 to CS4, selected according to the signal/noise ratio to guarantee the best and most effective data transmission. These schemes give an 8 to 20 kb/s data rate per timeslot (TS). A commonly used class 10 (4 Downlink TS + 2 Uplink TS) offers on highest CS4 coding scheme 80 kb/s data rate. But GPRS is a best-effort service, implying variable throughput and latency that depend on the number of other users sharing the service currently, as opposed to circuit switching, where a certain quality of service (QoS) is guaranteed during the connection.
GPRS supports the following protocols:
1: Internet protocol (IP)
2: Point-to-point protocol (PPP).
Even though 2G networks are typically more than adequate for essential metering communications, 3G and 4G systems provide flexibility to support future services. Available data services over 3G networks include Wideband CDMA (W-CDMA), High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), and Evolution-Data Optimized (EVDO) Revision A. Newer HSDPA technologies are now comparable to W-CDMA in cost and have become the preferred solution.
In AMR, GPRS is mainly used to connect data concentrators to servers. Concentrators used TCP/IP protocol to exchange data collected from managed meters with the server. But same manufacturers also offer meters directly with GPRS support, where sensors network is realized through GSM network.In this scenario all the meters in the field will be installed with a SIM card and will always be directly connected to the server with the TCP/IP protocol. As the number of devices will always needs to be connected to the network it canlead to the issues like congestion. Communication taking place via GPRS would be secure cryptography applied on the wireless link between the mobile device and base station. Also, TCP/IP is a connection-oriented protocol; it further improves the reliability of data packets. One of the major concerns is power consumption, as the maximum output power during transmission is33dBm. This becomes arduous in power outage notification as battery or super-capacitors have to provide the backup for communication.
Utilities come in all shapes and sizes, but they all strive for essentially the same result; they seek to deliver energy to their customers efficiently and safely while safeguarding the utility’s revenue stream, minimizing expenses, and maintaining customer satisfaction.
Keeping all challenges related to AMR in mind and the fact that developing and deploying effective AMR is indeed a complex process, we have designed the AmbiPower.