IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2016 - 41

T

The iniTial design for digiTal meTers was To allow The uTiliTy To
more efficiently gather data in a timely and accurate manner. however, it was quickly realized that the ability to communicate directly between the meter and the utility could provide
command and control that was not previously available. in addition, it could provide sufficient data to gain visibility into energy consumption as well as assist in the maintenance
functions if the data is used in conjunction with the outage management, work management
and other utility operational systems. finally, if this new influx of data could be readily
accessed and mined, the studies and analytics could provide a wealth of information that
could be used by many different systems across the enterprise.

The Smart-Meter Information Landscape
Power Consumption
Traditional electric meters support a utility's billing functions by recording a customer's
cumulative power consumption. This data is then captured (typically once each month) by a
process involving human intervention. Customers never have first-hand information about
their own consumption at any finer granularity than the monthly billing cycle.
unlike traditional meters, smart meters digitally read and store not only cumulative
electricity consumption but also consumption during short intervals (typically 15 or even
5 min). smart meters can also record other parameters of the electrical load and supply
(such as instantaneous and maximum rate of energy demands, voltages, power factor, and
reactive power used) and may also contain environmental sensors (such as ambient temperature). smart meters contain communications capabilities and typically take the initiative
to transmit readings to the utility with latency on the order of minutes to hours.
utilities can make this information available to customers, providing them with the
opportunity to monitor and adjust their own energy usage. The combination of smart
meters with two-way communication technology for meter readings, meter control, and
consumer feedback is referred to as advanced metering infrastructure (ami).
The Common information model (Cim) defines information exchanges for all of the above-mentioned categories of
meter readings, as well as for real-time meter control and
asynchronous events. smart metering systems that leverage
the Cim as an information standard can enable the build out
of meter-data interoperability platforms that include thirdparty applications operating on customers' power-consumption data, giving customers powerful tools for analyzing and
optimizing their energy usage patterns.

Smart Meters Generate
Big Data for Utilities
and Customers

Other Electrical and Environmental Measurements and Events
one of the primary improvements gained by the use of the smart meter is the utility's ability to provide timely meter reading data to their customers, thereby giving them an opportunity to better manage their usage. however, other side effects of these meters include the
increased quality of the data produced as well as the ability to send and receive commands
and events between the utility and the meter.
with these meters, the utility can, for the first time, receive information about the meter
including, but not limited to,
✔ a meter reading based on a request from a system internal to the utility
✔ information about the health of the meter (such as a last gasp message)
✔ information that would indicate the meter had been tampered with or some other
event that would affect the quality of the data received
✔ dynamic information about any number of events that would impact the meter.

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2015.2485858
Date of publication: 30 December 2015

january/february 2016

ieee power & energy magazine

41



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2016

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