Automatic Power Meter Reading by GPRS
In many cities, power meter reading is done based on traditional human reading method. However, these meters are always dispersed in different places, and some of them are even in remote field, so the work of meter reading is a practical problem.
With urbanization and the development of communication technology, more and more cities choose automatic meter reading system based on network to replace the traditional method.
Remote power meter reading puts forward requirements to network, for example, the network should:
- Be easy to deploy and can cover the specified area
- Build up reliable communication between meters and monitoring center
- Meet the requirements of transmitting large amounts of data
- Be secured enough
One of our projects concerned with meter automatic reading as introduced below.
In this project, the power company provided power supply for both downtown and suburban areas. In the downtown area, power meters were installed in every resident’s house; in suburban areas, meters were installed separately at each villa, and usually, the distance between two villas was usually 500m to 5km. Traditionally, the power company used to hire thousands of meter readers to go everywhere to read the meter, and always spend much money on traffic and labor.
Based on the requirements of power meter automatic reading, we provided GPRS based solution. For the downtown areas, we used InDTUGS55 industrial GPRS modem to connect with the concentrator by RS485 bus in each apartment; for suburban areas, we used InDTUGS55 to connect directly with the meter for each villa. For each GPRS modem, there was a valid SIM card provided by local mobile operator. These SIM cards could provide special private APN (Private Access Point Network) service which prevented access from public internet and also enabled the access from the power company’s data center to a certain remote meter. (Regarding the private APN and SIM card, you can ask local mobile operator in your area for more information). In this project, thousands of meters were installed with InDTU332GS55 GPRS modems and large amount of records were sent automatically to the data center every day, so there was no need for the power company to hire a lot of meter readers.
InHand provides customers with not only complete solutions but also dependable products to fulfill the task of remote power meter reading:
- Wireless service makes it easy to deploy network and can ensure the network cover all the meters in the specified area
- The network is reliable enough and can safely transmit data from meters to monitoring center
- Billing on power data via network can avoid human error
- Centrally management and configuration of power meters save labor costs
- Industrial design makes the products are robust in harsh environments:
- Wide operation temperature: -25~70℃(-13~158℉)
- Power input: 5-35V DC with industrial terminal
- Immunity to EMI
- Compact design and small size make installation with meters easier
- Support several industrial data protocols (IEC 101 to 104, MODBUS TCP, Transparent TCP), also support customized service