Welcome to www.SmartMeters.co.uk
Updated January 2012
This site is intended to help you to design and produce a smart meter for the UK market. The UK is unique in that smart metering will be rolled out by energy suppliers (retailers), rather than the distribution (networks) businesses. Whilst this is beneficial because retailers are more customer-facing, the UK government and regulator face the challenge of requiring businesses to help the customer reduce demand for their product, through smart metering license conditions. For this reason the processes developed will need to be continually challenged, requiring pro-activity from many different parties, and there is unlikely to be a single solution. Meter vendors with business plans focussed on consumer energy best practise are likely to be most successful in this market.
This site is not the authority on what the requirements for smart meters and infrastructure will be, and makes no warranties as such. However the authors are extremely experienced in metering and attend the various government design groups. The material discussed within the groups is intended to be open and transparent, and what you see on these pages is our assessment of what the best and most likely smart metering system will be, based on the new designs, the existing infrastructure, the nature of the major stakeholders, and plain common-sense.
Basic Meter Specification
The main requirements from the Smart Meter Implementation Program (SMIP) are shown below (not necessarily in order), and are unpacked to a basic meter specification that can be developed and rolled-out now.
It should be possible to replace an existing electricity meter with a smart meter, with the same terminal connections and dimensions. These are conformant to BSi standard, and used throughout the world where British Standards are adopted. The main configuration is single-phase - four 80A terminals (live/neutral in and out) and there are a number of variants (e.g. load switching) but we concentrate on the main requirement here.
For gas, either the meter will be replaced by an electronic equivalent of similar dimensions, or an battery-powered add-on unit will be fitted to collect and transmit pulses to a local collection unit. Ideally the collection unit will be a channel within the electricity meter. The electricity meter is therefore the more complex, and the outline hardware specification is provided below;
- Measurement of electricity import and export to
resolution 1 Watt
- Storage of cumulative import and export (cyclic and non-reset-able)
- Access to instantaneous demand (import or export)
- Battery-backed real time clock
- Fully configurable tariff registers for time-of-use, maximum demand
- Half-hourly recording of import, export and two or more further pulse or data channels
- Display and push-button showing all registers used for billing (MID requirement)
- Additional undefined displays and mnemonics, configurable from the FLAG port
- A 100A contactor on main supply, reserved for later use
- Ideally four or more 5A terminals configurable for relay switching, pulse input/output
- FLAG port allowing reading and programming of all meter functions with appropriate security
- Facility to fit add-on module for Han, IHD and Wan when specifications become available (with access to power supply and FLAG port)
- Compatibility with 3rd Generation Head Ends
Ideally the meter and ancillary devices should run on as low processing speed and power as possible. This conserves energy. Also the minimum data size for reading and configuration to minimise bandwidth requirements on the HAN and WAN. For example, existing digital meters provide all the functionality envisaged through data-driven firmware. Complete firmware upgrades are unlikely to be necessary, use a lot of bandwidth, and will be difficult to specify and control (you can't "reboot" an electricity meter very easily!).
We will update this web-site with more detail and further information as we develop it. In the meantime if you have questions, or would like to be notified when the site is updated please contact the email address below
Vendors (at) SmartMeters (dot) CO (dot) UK
This site is hosted by Pilot Systems.