Saturday, October 24, 2009

Smart electricity meters may displace NBN

Victorian electricity distributor SP AusNet has announced it will install 680,000 WiMax connected smart meters by 2013, with about 40,000 installed by mid 2010. These will be used for smart grid applications to allow better management of energy use and cut carbon emissions. But an obvious additional step would be to include WiFi in the home meters. This could be used to communicate with appliances in the home and as a by-product provide a broadband Internet service to rival the NBN.

The meters are part of the Victorian Government Advanced Metering Infrastructure program (AMI). These will record electricity consumption in at least half hour increments, be remotely read and allow the electricity distributor to locate outages.

The system will use MotorolaWiMAX WAP 650 base stations on 2.3GHz connected by a microwave system. It will use a "flat" IP architecture.
Motorola will supply and deploy WiMAX WAP 650 base stations operating at 2.3GHz, Access Service Network (ASN) Gateway and new microwave systems to extend the wide area network (WAN) to new coverage areas. The system is based on a flat, all-IP architecture that enables high-speed machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. It will facilitate communication with SP AusNet’s smart meters embedded with WiMAX chipsets, collecting measurements and sending instructions in real time, supporting the analysis of usage patterns and power generation needs. This wireless network also will allow SP AusNet to facilitate smooth communications for its field operations. The project spans a four-year period, and Motorola will start shipping and installing products by the end of 2009. ...

From: Motorola Powers World’s First WiMAX-based Electric Utility Smart Metering for SP AusNet, Press Release,Motorola, Inc., October 22, 2009

Partnering with SP AusNet in the AMI program are: Landis+Gyr, GE and GridNet, UXC Limited, Electrix,
Motorola, Unwired, eMeter, Logica, Accenture, Enterprise Business Services, and Geomatic Technologies. ...

From: Smart partnerships for SP AusNet’s smart meter roll out, Media Release, SP AusNet, 22 October 2009

Smart meters are being rolled out to all Victorian households and small businesses over the next four years to help people better manage their energy use and cut carbon emissions.

The new smart meters - also known as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) - will provide two-way communication between your electricity meter and your power company, making more immediate information about your electricity use available to you both.

Victoria is the first state in Australia to give the go-ahead for the wide spread roll-out of smart meters. Covering 2.2 million homes and 300,000 businesses, this is a big task, representing one of the biggest improvements to energy infrastructure in the state’s history.

It’s a key step towards future smart electricity grids, which we need so that more renewable energy can be fed into the grid.

The meters will allow customers to access accurate electricity reads every 30 minutes, which helps to monitor and reduce electricity usage - and save money on power bills.

It will be easier to connect and disconnect power when you move house, and power companies will be able to identify outages and restore power more quickly. It will also mean the end of estimated bills or staying in for meter readings.

Electricity distribution companies - who own the poles and wires which deliver electricity to your homes and businesses - will start installing meters towards the end of 2009 and finish by the end of 2013.

Role of Government

Smart Meters Fact Sheet (PDF 113KB) ...

Smart Meters Questions and Answers
Smart meter rollout project
Smart meters in my home
Smart meter installaltion
Smart meter and my electricity bill
Security and privacy

From: Advanced Metering Infrastructure program (AMI), Victorian Government, 30/09/2009.

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