The smart meter is an energy meter which measures the units of energy consumed by a consumer. It also provides enhanced features of communication, monitoring, and control to both the service provider and the consumer.
A smart meter can read energy consumption information including values of voltage phase, angle, and frequency. It facilitates secure communication between the service provider and the consumer. The smart meter also enables the customers to exchange their feedback about the power supply and services with the service providers.
A smart meter can control and execute any command given to it. The smart meter can control appliances and devices which are installed on it. The service providers can remotely collect information about the distribution grid and home appliances from the meters within the range. They can measure electricity consumption from the smart meter and charge the consumer according to the units consumed.
A smart meter employs several control devices and sensors to identify parameter to transfer data and signals. The smart meters help in detecting unauthorized consumption and theft with added features of improving efficiency, distribution, and quality of power consumption.
A smart meter is a new kind of gas and electricity meter that can digitally send meter readings to your energy supplier for more accurate energy bills. The smart meters display real-time energy consumption readings so that you can better understand your energy usage.
Benefits of Smart meter
The smart meter is capable of measuring the accurate use of energy, distribution and its cost of consumption. It eliminates the fear of over costing with digital reading which also sends reading to energy supplier at specified intervals in order to receive accurate bills. Some benefits of the smart meter are as under:
- Automatic Meter Reading
- Monitors Electric System
- Efficient use of Power Resources
- Balance Electric Loads
- Reduction in Blackouts
- Dynamic Pricing
Issues emerging in sensing measurement control and automation technology
1. Fabrication and manipulation
Fabrication and manipulation of meter readings, overcharging than the units consumed and gaining control of smart meter represent one of the weaknesses in the smart meter. These weaknesses can lead to the compromised functionality of the smart meter.
2. Complicated Integration
The Integration of new devices becomes more complicated with increasing number of customers due to heterogeneous network devices. This issue also induces the scalability problems.
3. Programming Manipulation
An adversary can steal the smart meter’s credentials through the malicious programs. These programs can have such adverse effects so that sometimes they can even help the adversary to snatch the session keys.
4. Operational Complexity
The operational complexity is an open issue which occurs while implementing demand-side management techniques. It redistributes the energy loads but does not provide safety measure to control extra energy consumed by the appliances.
5. Lack of knowledge about demand response
A lack of knowledge about demand response is one of the major barriers in this regard due to response fatigue for recovering installation cost of smart meters is an open issue and a major financial setback for the service provider.
6. Measurement of Errors
it is difficult to measure errors in transformers due to the presence of magnetizing fuel leakage and heating which also causes serious health issues
7. The accuracy of Electro Magnetic Transformers
Winding resistance, Leakage reactance, core losses and core permeability causes difficulty in the ascertaining and drawing accurate results from electromagnetic transformers.
8. Routine Analysis of unlimited data becomes difficult
A routine analysis of unlimited data brings out the importance of automatic analysis tools to assist engineers in decision support to make the final analysis about energy generation and crisis.
9. Limited Processing Power
Limited processing power permits only coded username which requires the use of simple and insecure protocols which is a constraint in the implementation of host intrusion detection system.
10. Software and hardware Dependent Program
The use of Specific software and hardware dependent program makes smart meter less flexible.
11. The complication in Power flow
It becomes more complicated because of minimum load generation on the customer side. it also faces further complications in the measurement and analysis of Power flow and Contingency Analysis.
A centralized control in the smart meter is far or less compatible with plug and play function, Due to its cost and the time-consuming process to reach local consensus, also the decentralized control needs synchronization.
13. Diagnosis of fault
It is difficult to diagnose a fault in smart meter as the digital fault recorders are placed in critical substations due to unacceptability on these substations which are located in different areas and to reach there in the time of emergency, also there is no proper measure taken to protect these substations due to ignorance in using safety tools.
14. Miscellaneous issues
In addition to the above-mentioned issues, all the appliances installed has specific ids on the smart meter which complicates integration and installation of new devices on the smart meter. A supplementary memory cost to store data increases the cost of the smart meter. Also, there is an issue of fault diagnosis in which each fault location requires specific measurement.
There is also a factor of huge investment in the implementation, installation, of smart meter system. Smart meters can also create security and privacy issues, as this may reveal the information about the number of people in a house and details about the appliances running on smart meter. The appliances which are installed on the smart meter can be used only if it is installed within the area. There is also a threat of deception in which a false data is entered into a system which can lead towards overcharging and errors in unit’s calculation.
Maintenance and storage of data logs is also a tough and continuous work which needs proper supervision. Some other open issues are error handling, weak authentication quality of software employed, and weak protocol.
The lack of proper infrastructure is in developing areas is also another open issue in this regard, as the consumers located in such areas are not fully aware of the use and benefits of the smart meter.
Cyber attacks and disruption is also an open issue which can lead towards unauthorized access to the firmware and an issue of overcharging.