Home Improvement

Some Aspects of Telemetry Use for Monitoringand Controlling Home Energy

12/30/2015 Parvesh Bravo 0 Comments

Almost all electricity utilities all over the world are switching over to smart meters from the traditional ones because of their ability to provide information on a real-time basis to improve both the reliability and efficiency of the system as well as to deliver improved, timely and more accurate customer service.

Often smart meters are coupled with a telemetry network to monitor as well as control identified home appliances in the residence. Some meters can also be remotely connected for the monitoring to be conducted from a faraway location. These remote connections are usually set up either by the power utility or the customer himself. The data relating to power usage is read by the remote control point that can also provide information pertaining to weather conditions and pricing on a continuous basis. Improvement of the overall efficiency of power generation can also be achieved by using the collected information to limit the load.Smart metering in homes has become a priority with many governments and private sector utilities as it offers unmatched benefits. Smart meters in homes have some common characteristics:


Invisibility

The MQTT client is typically embedded in the software that operates the smart meter. The client does not need to be separately configured or installed so it remains invisible to the customer. The meter also does not require any separate intervention by the user unless he wants to be actively involved in the process of energy-saving.

Uneven Connectivity

The communication between the smart meter and the domestic appliances requires connectivity standards that are quite different than that required between the smart meter and the remote point of connection. It is necessary that the connection between the appliances and the smart meter must be available highly and also conform to the home area network standards.

It is quite likely that an assortment of physical connections would be required for the remote network to function. Some of the commonly used ones, such as mobile phone connectivity can not only be intermittent but have a transmission cost that is quite high. The specifications of The MQTT v3 have been configured to govern remote connections as also the connections between the smart meter and the local adapters. The smart meter in fact, acts as a hub to provide multiple networks for energy monitoring and control in the home environment. For a more detailed explanation of connectivity issues visit http://motee.me/

Security

The use of smart meters gives birth to a number of security concerns such as non-rejection of transactions, initiated control-action authorization and power consumption data privacy. SSL encryption technology can be employed to ensure privacy of data being transferred from the smart meter to the point of remote control. Mutual authentication of the MQTT connection between the remote control point and the smart meter can be done by using SSL to confirm the control action authorization.

Connectivity

There could be considerable variations in the physical nature of the various remote networks. For example, an existing broadband connection or a mobile network that has a high cost of calling and is also plagued with intermittent availability due to signal strength variationcould be used. MQTT is considered to be a reliable protocol that is also quite efficient for connections that are intermittent and involve high costs.

Scalability

With full adoption of smart metering, power utilities would need to deploy smart meters running into tens of millions. In this environment, the use of smart metering as a network concentrator is a crucial aspect of the energy monitoring and control architecture. Using MQTT each appliance adapter can be connected to a local hub that can then concentrate the flow of the data onto a single session of TCP/IP with the point of central control, and also be in a position to overcome outages of the system by storing messages for short periods.

Author bio: Thomas Wayne is a networking expert working with a number of power companies on smart metering projects. Many of his recommendations can be perused on http://motee.me/