SMART METERS – Who’s that (not) knocking at the door?
Did you know that in 10 years’ time every home in the UK will be fitted with a Smart Meter?
Smart Meters will end the need for Power Company employees to enter customers’ homes to read power meters. By communicating back to the Power Companies the Smart Meters can report power usage and billing information.
Smart meters also allow home owners to see how much electricity they are using in real-time and by which appliance
By connecting all the Smart Meters to a central network a vast wealth of live data on each home’s power consumption becomes available. Add to this the ability to remotely control appliances and the Smart Meter becomes a vital tool in securing future power supply and demand.
ENSURING THE LIGHTS STAY ON
In the 21st Century a guaranteed and constant Power Supply is essential to the economy and well-being of the nation. Industry, transport, healthcare and domestic use are dependent on a constant Power Supply that can meet peaks in demand.
With the ever increasing reliance on renewable energy sources the power supply network is complex and difficult to forecast and control.
HOW SMART METERS HELP
Smart meters allow customers to view their electricity usage in real-time, which appliances are using the most power and how much each appliance is costing to run. Seeing this information will allow homeowners to reduce their energy consumption and bills.
It will be possible for homeowners to sign-up to Energy Tariffs that for a reduction in their tariff rate allow the Power Companies to limit power to certain appliances at times of high demand.
It might sound scary but in reality a lot of power is wasted by appliances that do not need to be running. This practice is already carried out in the industrial sector where large metal and cement works have their power stopped during times of exceptional national demand.
A great example of this will come with the growth in Electric vehicles. Electric vehicles will be charged overnight to be ready for the next day’s commute with a full battery. However the vehicles won’t need to be charged continuously throughout the night. So the power companies can chose to turn off the charge to vehicles at peak demand – generally during the early evening when most people are cooking dinner and watching television.
By turning the National Grid into a Smart Grid the Power companies will be able to manage demand and reduce the peak demand on the system.
It is estimated that 350MW will be reduced from the peak demand through the introduction of Smart Meters both from customer electricity reduction and fromUk smart control of the grid.
This would be equivalent to saving the power from a medium sized Coal fired power station.
UK's TOP TELECOM COMPANY AND TORRY HARRIS CRUCIAL TO SUCCESS
A top Telecom Company in UK has the contract with the UK Government Data and Communication Company (DCC) to connect Smart Meters in the Central and Southern regions of the UK.
Not all homes in the UK have internet connections so to connect the smart meters to the Power Companies the 2G GSM Cellular Network will be used. In homes with no 2G coverage the smart meters will relay information to another smart meter in a neighbouring house which does have 2G coverage via the MESH protocol.
TORRY HARRIS DELIVERING SERVICE EXPERIENCE
The Smart Metering contract is highly important to the Telco because it brings in a new revenue source and opens up future markets for cellular communications to domesticated smart devices.
To ensure that the Telco are providing the best Service of the Smart Metering Cellular Network Communications it is vital that there is a Service Level view. By having the Service Level view the Telecom company can ensure that Customer Experience is maximised. Through great Customer Service future Smart Grid and Smart Home contracts will be won and it will become an integral part of the Smart Network Future.
Torry Harris Business Solutions is engaged within the OSS environment to produce the Service Experience Dashboard for Smart Metering.
The Smart Meter Service Experience Dashboard will display in near real-time all aspects of the Smart Metering communications Network. Everything from how many Smart Meters Hubs are connected to how many meters are delivered and installed on time.
The Smart Meter Service Experience Dashboard will be displayed in the Telco's Service Experience Management Centre (SEMC).
The SEMC will view the Service Level of the Smart Meter network in real-time and be able to act instantly to address any degradation of Service before Customer Experience is affected.
SEMC SMART METER DASHBOARD
The Smart Meter SEMC Dashboard is a large undertaking that will include data from up to 20 systems and include 10s or event 100s of Key Performance indicators that combined together will provide a clear, agile and informative view of the Smart Meter Network.
The Dashboard will be delivered using the OSS Service Management suite of tools including the Business Objects XCelsius Dashboard, ETL tool and Operational Datastore.
Combined with the Dashboard will be ad-hoc reporting to give Service Managers the flexibility to view and report on the KPIs in a bespoke manner. Reports will be created and sent to the DCC for contractual compliance of the Service delivered.
The delivery of the Smart Meter Service Experience Dashboard will be built on Torry Harris’s previous experience of delivering Service Dashboards for the telco's existing Cellular Network.
About the Author
Dave Styles is an OSS Business Analyst and Solution Designer for Torry Harris at UK. He is working in a team to deliver the Service Experience Dashboard for the Smart Metering Implementation Project. He also takes a keen interest in all matters regarding the UK Power Supply and Demand and runs the popular www.ukpowergeneration.info website.