New open communications standard for smart meters


A new open standard for smart metering systems, the Universal Metering Interface (UMIT), has been launched by technology and innovation company Cambridge Consultants.

The UMI is being offered as an open standard for the metering industry to help speed up the rollout of smart meters in Europe, and will enable manufacturers to start rolling out and installing smart-ready meters ahead of decisions about how they should communicate with the grid, appliances, or other devices.

The UMI is an ultra low power, low cost and highly defined board-to-board wired interface that will allow standard HAN (e.g. ZigBee or Wireless M-Bus) or WAN (e.g. GPRS) communications modules to be added to any metering product, either during production or in the field, when the communications standard has been agreed.

Because the UMI communications module is entirely separate from the MID-approved (Measuring Instruments Directive) metrology components of the meter, there is no need to re-approve the meter when communications interfaces are changed. This drastically extends both the life of the meter and its marketability to different regions, and makes it future-proof for emerging standards and retrofits.