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Broadband Smart Meters will Have a Powerful Impact on the New Clean Energy Economy

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Byron   Rojas's picture
CEO EASYMETERING, LLC

CEO & Founder at EASYMETERING, LLC. Telecom & electronic engineer skilled in cellular platforms, experienced solutions architect, product creator, speaker, leader; with 25+ experience...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Sep 30, 2021
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2021-09 - LTE Networks, click here for more

For approximately one century, the electricity grid has been changing very slowly. Meanwhile, it has provided us with energy and changed our lives. In the last two decades, some people, institutes, organizations, companies, and governments decided to change their relationship with the grid and contribute to the transformation of the Grid into a Smart Grid. Much effort has been deployed with successful results, but it's still not enough.

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The next three decades are crucial: climate change and its effects on global warming are boosting a new emerging economy around clean energies, many clean power plants will be necessary to incorporate into the Grid to supply the increasing energy demand while also decarbonizing, and more intelligence and control must be added to reach a more resilient Grid is the most important priority in order to provide continuous electricity service.

Humanity welcomes those giant efforts placed on the development of new technologies to generate clean energy, as they will replace carbon-emitting power plants. New clean energy generation sources will inject electricity into the grid, and these new technologies will be the basis of electricity using the clean fuel of the future.

But carbon emissions don't just come from power plants, but they also come from inside our homes via direct use of gas, presenting another challenge to neutralize carbon. Electrifying homes is a difficult challenge because it depends on individual decisions of householders that use several appliances, devices, and cars, where carbon-emitting is huge.

This scenario leads us to wonder how households motivated by economic incentives make free and climate-friendly decisions to replace devices, appliances, and cars with the newest ones that use clean electricity.

For electric utility companies and energy vendors around the world, this situation presents a fantastic opportunity to increase energy sales by offering discounts to consumers in order to incentive clean energy consumption, but the big question is how to do that using the current capacity of the house grid, and here is where "Broadband Smart Meters" come in the game.

Broadband Smart Meters will be the base to manage in real-time the current capacity of power-width that the electrical grid in houses supports, permitting appliances to make use of the capacity of the electrical grid by increasing the energy consumption without the participation of a protection breaker when the instantaneous current is demanded by appliances.

Current Advanced Metering Infrastructure based on narrowband telecom networks will be replaced by new Broadband AMI using proven technologies such as LTE, which is used around the world. The FCC last year approved the regulation that enables the private deployments of LTE networks in 900Mhz, and this regulation opens the door for modernization of the current grid, generating a new opportunity for innovating, digitizing, and decarbonizing the electric utility sector. This will all be done with a smarter grid, but it would be not easy for any single company to achieve on their own. This is where the great opportunity of being part of ANTERIX active ecosystem comes in.

As EASYMETERING is a company skilled in data networks and cellular architecture, with 15+ years of experience in the metering industry, and as a member of this active ecosystem, we’re not only enabling Smart Meters with our NICs (Network Interface Cards), but we also have the capacity to connect to the LTE network tuned in Anterix’s frequency

(900Mhz-B8) and public bands are available options, but we're also offering a complete AMI Cloud solution, including software for meter reading, meter remote programming, remote connect/disconnect services, meter management, billing system, energy monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, SIM card management, software integration, and more. These features allow Utilities to be more friendly with home energy consumers, therefore allowing it to make sense for electric utilities to invest in Private LTE infrastructure because it’ll not only serve critical mission applications but will also develop energy commercialization.

In international markets like Chile, we are selling AMI as a Service to Electric Utilities and Clean Energy Vendors, where our Smart Meters are connected through Public LTE networks to our AMI Cloud, giving electricity services to homes. In addition, we’re connecting and measuring appliances such as heating systems to the grid through the smart meter of households. With this, energy vendors are applying cheaper electricity rates for these appliances compared to the rest of home electricity rate in order to motivate consumers to replace older heating systems that use gas or wood, creating a real business case for dropping the carbon footprint of these home consumers while they’re saving money.

Broadband technologies will not only be a wide pathway for transmitting electricity data, supervision, control commands, energy monitoring, reading meters, smart meter data analytics, and many more activities around the electricity industry, but it will also be the avenue where Broadband Smart Meters will impact the new clean energy economy because they will permit utilities to create new business models in order to sell clean energy in our future smart homes.

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John Benson's picture
John Benson on Oct 14, 2021

I posted a four-part series on various types of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) over three years ago. I just added part-5 explaining want is happening and probably will happen as AMI systems evolve to newer networks. I would suggest you read parts 1-4 before reading part 5. All of these are linked below.

https://www.energycentral.com/c/iu/advanced-metering-infrastructure-ami-part-1-roots

https://www.energycentral.com/c/iu/ami-%E2%80%93-part-2-creating-demand

https://www.energycentral.com/c/iu/ami-part-3-technology-basics

https://energycentral.com/c/iu/ami-part-4-%E2%80%93-internet-things

https://energycentral.com/c/gr/ami-part-5-%E2%80%93-new-networks

Byron   Rojas's picture
Byron Rojas on Nov 7, 2021

Dear John,

 

I read your interesting posts, am really pleased to read them, and thank you so much for recommending me so interesting contribution.

 

I completely agree with you regarding understanding the present and possible futures, is necessary to understand the past.

 

I would like to comment to you that in the 90s, in my country Ecuador, where I'm original, I was part of a company where we deployed M2M applications using Cellular Digital Packet Data, we were the first company in whole Latin American, inclusive our experience motivated to Ericsson to contract us to be part of a team for selling CDPD infrastructure in some Mobile Network Operators in different countries like Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, etc. my responsibility was to integrate and show the market the M2M use cases where power meters were part of the solution.

 

For 97, 98 we worked on the replacement of telephone landlines modems by cellular digital modems used for a meter reading, the local utility used Schlumberger power meters in substations, in 2003 we developed our first GPRS NIC board for A1RL+ ABB power meters for C&I customers of the local utility, our NIC was designed for under glass use, it served to Elster Electricity knows about me and my previous company and started a relationship with them, and inclusive I sold 3G NIC cards for them in 2013 and 2014.

 

I have read your posts with real pleasure, and I feel very honored to have received your links because I mentioned initially, you have done a very important contribution.

 

Thank you so much!

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Nov 8, 2021

You are quite welcome, Byron:

I actually worked on an AMPS replacement, as mentioned in one of the posts above. Although CDPD was used a bit in the U.S. for AMR and SCADA, most AMR systems used AMPS directly with voice-frequency modems (bag-phones as mentioned in the article). First with Comverge, and then IPS Group, we developed a "Bag-phone Replacement product that used CDMA. It was popular for a few years.

-John

Paul Korzeniowski's picture
Paul Korzeniowski on Nov 9, 2021

Clean energy is certainly the goal for utilities nowadays. The challenge is building a business case to deliver it in a cost effective manner. More network intelligence enables energy companies to deploy the new technologies in an efficient manner and ideally balance the desire to move to clean energy and the need for a strong business case. 

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