Proposed specifications for low cost meter for India released


New Delhi, India — (METERING.COM) — March 8, 2012 – The proposed functional requirement specifications for a cost effective single phase smart meter for the Indian market have been released for consultation.

The specifications, prepared by a committee comprising representatives from government, utilities and vendors for the India Smart Grid Task Force, are aimed at a solution for the large scale rollout of smart metering across India.

According to the specifications, an AMI model that has a good chance of working out in the Indian context would consist of four major components – smart meter, LAN/WAN communication over RF mesh/PLCC/GPRS, network management system (NMS), and home area network supporting in-home display over ZigBee/PLC.

In areas where the meter population density is low GSM/GPRS communication is recommended. In other areas, RF mesh/PLCC may be a good choice, especially where the meter population density is high. RF mesh/PLCC can also be used for home energy management depending upon the compatibility of devices. PLCC is envisaged to be used in the high rise building, and is the preferred choice for the HAN.

The reading frequency proposed is once in 24 hours automatically. Alarms are to be communicated on their occurrences. An on demand meter reading facility should also be available.

Regarding the smart meter itself, it is recommended that this should support the regular features that a standard static meter does. It should also have facilities including display, tamper and push button that could potentially be dispensed with to save costs.

In the case of group meters, these can be housed and mounted on a pole or another convenient location.

An in-home display device would be optional but should include as a minimum display of meter data, tariff and supply cost-related data, power quality information, and utility broadcasted messages in consumer friendly format, and should be capable of online real time communication with the meter.

The committee recommends that a pilot of the proposed technologies is needed before large scale deployment.

The committee also recommends that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) reviews its entire suite of metering standards for possible changes. It also considers that only limited changes, relating to the legal perspective and technical requirements, will be needed to the regulations.

According to the document, the specifications have been drawn up based on the requirements of utilities and actual field conditions. The cost of the meter can be arrived at only after prototypes are made and pilots are carried out, and it will primarily depend on the final technology selected by the utility and on the volumes required.