Smart Meters

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Smart Meters

Postby gecko555 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:57 pm

Could someone explain how these work. As Powercor is beginning to roll these out in Victoria, will householders be charged (in the "services" part of our bill) or will they be provided and installed free of charge?
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Re: Smart Meters

Postby EnergyMatters » Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:04 pm

Hi gecko555,

We have some info here on smart meters:

http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.p ... cle_id=520

I believe the cost of the meters will be passed onto the consumer; i.e. as part of general electricity price increases associated with infrastructure (so across the board)
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Re: Smart Meters

Postby silver » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:24 pm

the cost of the smart meters and the roll out program is being passed through in the metering charges and will not be part of your retail tariff. it is likley to be a separate line item on your actual retail bill, however this is yet to be confirmed.
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Re: Smart Meters

Postby gecko555 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:44 pm

Thanks silver and EM for some insight in smart meters.
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Re: Smart Meters

Postby KingoftheWatt » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:25 pm

The "Smart Meters" that are being rolled out in Victoria are not very Smart at all.

The only people who will benefit from the introduction are the power companies who will no longer have to come out to read the meter or to connect or disconnect.

No in-home displays are being provided. The only was that a consumer will be able to see their power usage is if the power companies kindly provide the output onto the internet. No company has yet made a comment on whether they will do that yet. Even if they do, the 30-minute interval reading is nowhere near granular enough to enable a homeowner to easily understand their power usage in the same way that devices like the Current Cost Envi (www.smartnow.com.au) and the Effergy do.

NSW made the right decision by postponing their roll out to wait until the technology matures. There is huge potential for Smart Grids to provide some very cool services (distributed storage of power from solar and wind in the battery of your electric car that's parked at work or home, that they can then draw on when it's needed), but the Victorian (and I believe the NZ) roll out are in my opinion flawed.
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Re: Smart Meters

Postby silver » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:36 pm

but the smart meters being rolled out do come with the ability to provide the data to an 'in home display' - agree that there isn't a good option as yet, but with the meter roll out taking untiol 2013 to complete would think by that time the display aspect will be resolved and they can be made available through the existing metering.
the ability to do this is in the minimum specs, it is just that there isn't a good solution as yet
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Re: Smart Meters

Postby KingoftheWatt » Sat Oct 31, 2009 4:26 am

From what I've seen, the solution is there and has been developed - it's just that the distribution companies do not wand to spend more than is necessary on the smart meters, so they are simply not including them. The wireless protocol that the in-home displays operate on is 802.15.4 (Envi and Zigbee both operate here I believe) and the technology is actually very simple and well established (hundreds of thousands of real-time displays - not associated with Smart Meters - have been successfully installed in the UK).

Trouble is that the Dist Companies are not obliged to include the in-home display, so they're not going to do it. I'd bet the farm that we're not going to see in-home displays included by the time the roll-out is complete.

Again, I think Victoria and NZ have made a mess of this and jumped the gun. Hopefully someone else will get it right and we can see how it should be done,
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Re: Smart Meters

Postby AskGerbil » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:36 pm

"Google Power Meter" looks like a promising approach. Should be cheaper and simpler than building your own energy use analysis system.

It is being rolled out in a number of European countries and in the US already.

Google helps get Power Meter suppliers working with electricity retailers - gathering home energy use data with wireless communications between the meters and electricity retailer databases.

Google then supplies free software for electricity consumers to display graphs of their energy use via internet to the retailers' websites.

Its free for electricity retailers and power meter suppliers to participate. I sent off some info to a few companies in the electricity distribution industry in Australia, but haven't heard back if any followed it up.

A copy of an email I received from the Google Power Meter team provides a link to find out more:

>
> Thank you for inquiring about Google Power Meter. We've really appreciated
> the response we're getting - we're excited to help consumers understand
> how much electricity they use, and how to use less!
>
> (Our apologies if you have already heard from us. You may however find
> helpful information below.)
>
> Now that we've opened up Google Power Meter to as many utilities, devices
> companies and other partners that we can handle, we're doing our best to
> deal with the interest.
>
> Please take a look at these brief slides to learn how to work with us:
>
>http://www.bitly.com/powermeterwebinar
>
> Best,
> Chris for the Google PowerMeter Team
>
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Re: Smart Meters

Postby gecko555 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:43 pm

Could someone confirm or deny that smart meters do not work or will not work with solar panels generating electricity and feeding back into the grid?
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Re: Smart Meters

Postby AskGerbil » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:10 pm

Dear gecko555,

gecko555 wrote:Could someone confirm or deny that smart meters do not work or will not work with solar panels generating electricity and feeding back into the grid?


My electricity utility installed a new digital meter when it connected my solar pv system to the grid.
This new meter separately measures all solar pv energy - it all goes into the grid - so the utility can calculate how much to pay me on our gross feed-in tariff contract. The same meter measures energy I consume, in 3 separate time periods each day ("peak", "shoulder" and "off-peak"). This gives me the option to sign-up to pay different prices for energy I use at different times of the day.

The energy utility could upgrade the meter to transmit the recorded values back to their computer systems.
This saves it the cost of paying someone to work around reading meters manually. Its a safe bet that the meter will have to be able to transmit solar pv energy output AND energy I use from the grid. Otherwise, it would still be necessary to manually read the meter, just for the solar pv energy output.

No meter manufacturer would last in the marketplace for long if it delivered smart-meters that could not work with grid-connected solar pv systems. (A "barely-smart" meter?)

Regards

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