AMI Smart Meter Reading
Conventionally, meter readers must physically visit and read electricity meters every month. This brings the following challenges:
• Manual meter reading lacks the accuracy and efficiency of IoT solutions, and the high labor costs are high. Metering data cannot be collected and analyzed in real time.
• Traditional meter reading cannot enable prepayment or differentiated pricing. Bills can only be paid at official service centers. This decreases the efficiency of electricity fee collection.
• Electricity theft cannot be prevented, and electrical data cannot be collected in real time to analyze line loss efficiently.
To address these problems, Huawei has provided two solutions for the electric power industry: the PLC-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution and the eLTE-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution. The PLC-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution uses wired technologies and is deployed when there are no restrictions on deployment costs. The eLTE-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution uses wireless technologies and is widely deployed when meters are distributed or urban renewal is ongoing.
Huawei PLC-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution
The Huawei PLC-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution makes use of broadband Hi-PLC meter reading technology, which features a data rate 20 times higher than that of narrowband Power Line Communication (PLC) meter reading technology. This solution provides broadband over power lines (BPL) communications, ensuring a 100% meter reading success rate. This enables real-time bi-directional communications for meter reading and meets requirements of the future smart grid for metering data collection and electricity fee control.
This solution provides online self-help services by providing customers with household or industry smart prepaid electricity meters. With these smart meters in place, users receive an email or a text notification several days before the bill is due. Electric utilities can provide customers with detailed electricity bills. Users can pay the bills through rechargeable cards, automatic payment machines, and service centers. This way, electricity fee collection is accelerated by two or three months.
The Huawei AMI system can also provide customers with a clear view of the transformers, power lines, and other aspects of the power distribution grid. This way, customers can identify the potential risks of the power grid in time. When the power grid has exceptions, such as transformer overloading, theft of electricity, or electric leakage, alarms are automatically generated. The electric utilities can quickly locate problems, and dispatch staff to the right location to fix the problems. The comprehensive analysis helps identify exceptions, so as to reduce line loss by over 31% and prevent electricity theft.
Ikeja Electric, Nigeria's largest power distribution company, distributes power to more than 530,000 users across three states. The electric IoT adopts Huawei's broadband PLC-IoT technology. The PLC-IoT communication module is embedded into smart metering terminals, ensuring a 100% data collection success rate. All electrical data is collected. The agile controller, capable of managing tens of millions of devices, is used to provide value-added services such as prepayment of electricity fees, line loss analysis, and prevention of electricity theft. This helps Ikeja Electric reduce the line loss rate by 31%, mitigate arrears risks, ensure the integrity of metering data, and accelerate payment collection. With this solution, Ikeja Electric obtains more revenues and improves customer satisfaction.
eLTE-IoT AMI Smart Meter Reading Solution
The Huawei eLTE-IoT solution is used for AMI meter reading and certain sensor-related services (such as fault indicator) of the electric power industry. Different from the original AMI solution, the eLTE-IoT solution simplifies the AMI structure. It requires no deployment of the concentrator interface. The eLTE-IoT serves as a pipe, sending metering data directly to the front-end processor, which reduces system complexity and investment costs.
This solution uses Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) frequencies. Customers do not need to apply for licensed frequencies. This accelerates deployment of the eLTE-IoT network and keeps network construction costs down. The eLTE-IoT network provides wide network coverage. With cell radiuses of 3 to 5 kilometers, fewer sites are required and network construction and maintenance costs are reduced. The capacity of an eLTE-IoT network is far greater than that of a traditional network. The network allows for access of up to 1,000 electricity meters from a single cell.
The eLTE-IoT network uses small devices that are easy to deploy. Quick network deployment reduces network construction costs. The star network topology makes it suitable for a wider variety of application scenarios. Customers receive long-term benefits without needing to make additional investments into new network construction.
Tianjin Electric Power used to access industrial and commercial meters using the GPRS network. This resulted in a low meter reading success rate and reduced information security. The company has been reading residential meters using narrowband carrier technology, which used a narrow bandwidth and had a low success rate. Tianjin Electric Power was in urgent need of new technologies to support electric IoT development. To address this issue, Tianjin Electric Power constructed a private eLTE-IoT network to read industrial and commercial three-phase meters and residential single-phase meters remotely. Live network verification showed that the meter reading success rate was over 99% for frequent meter reading over 15 minutes, higher than the success rate of 97% for GPRS network-based meter reading. Tianjin Electric Power gained full control of electricity fees and allowed users to pay fees with rechargeable cards.
In Mexico, the penetration rate of smart electric meters was low and manual meter reading was common. The line loss rate was over 14%. Mexico urgently needed to build an AMI system to improve the accuracy of their meter reading and to reduce line loss. The capacity of small power transformers in Mexico was small and the number of users served by a single transformer was also small. PLC meter reading technology required high network construction and maintenance costs. Mexico PDE adopted Huawei's eLTE-IoT solution and established an AMI meter reading system based on the unlicensed frequency band, 902 MHz. The wireless AMI meter reading system enabled meter reading for different transformers, provided large capacity, and ensured a high meter reading success rate. Network construction and O&M costs were reduced, and electric IoT development was accelerated.