New M.E. Thesis Submitted from EE Student


State utilities have been striving hard to improve revenue collection and manage load and demand so that they can extend the best possible support to their customers. A major omission is the neglect of demand-side management (DSM) opportunities in India. Demand side management improves quality of supply and strengthens the electrical system, resulting in higher consumer satisfaction. Another problem faced by the utilities is the huge overhead of meter reading, billing, bill distribution, payment collection, warning to defaulters’ disconnections and handling consumer grievances. These activities involve considerable amount of time and effort, which add to the already high overheads. Implementation of prepayment metering, remote control and AMR (advanced metering technology, also known as Smart Metering) can play a major role in resolving the problems. The development of smart meters allows individual consumers to take part in the process of energy saving. Smart meter is a type of advanced meter that identifies consumption in more detail than a conventional meter; and optionally, but generally communicates that information via some network back to the local utility for monitoring and billing purposes. It has three basic functions: measure the electricity used (or generated), remotely switch the customer off and remotely control the maximum electricity consumption. The electricity meter communicates by means of a modem. An important characteristic is the communication infrastructure used by the smart meter for this communication. Amongst the possibilities are Power Line Carrier (PLC, using the existing electricity grid); a wireless modem (GSM of GPRS). Smart meters can provide reliable and timely consumption data readily usable in energy Management programs to help reduce costs and associated carbon emissions. Such meters can also eliminate problems associated with estimated bills and the potential consequences of not being able to correctly forecast and manage energy budgets. It is believed that billing customers by how much is consumed and at what time of day will force consumers to adjust their consumption habits to be more responsive to market prices. Prepaid metering is a system whereby consumers purchase electricity through a smart card. The amount paid together with other information is encoded in the smart card. In order to transfer the credit, the consumer inserts the card in the meter. The meter reads the data and when the paid for energy has been used up, the consumer gets the card reloaded/ reprogrammed. The system has the capability of programming with multiple rates, time of use tariffs, etc. Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) and Remote Meter Reading (RMR) describes various systems that allow meters to be checked without the need to send a meter reader out. Monitoring of consumption patterns to detect theft/ tampering of meters is possible with these types of meters. The remote metering unit may be the RTU (Receiving Transmitting Unit), which receives the pulses generated by the electronic meters and is connected to the Central PC (Personal Computer) Station through a communication system which could be PLC (Programmable Logic Control), public switched telephone network, radio, etc. This thesis work presents possibilities of implementing the system for prepaid metering , remote control and automatic meter reading in Distribution Utilities in Punjab. Conception and structure of new system is illustrated. Advantages of new meter reading system over conventional system, like reducing the costs due to unpaid electric energy, non-technical losses, improving the quality of delivered electric energy and possibility of load control are pointed out. On an example of Janta Nagar Substation, Ludhiana, cost benefit analysis for wide-scale implementation of new prepaid, remote control and automatic meter reading in a distribution grid has been outlined.

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