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The energy supply industry is in the process of changing. In the future, electricity generation will be more and more decentralized, with an increasing amount of power coming from sources like wind, solar thermal, and photovoltaics. Because of the way it’s generated, power from renewables is prone to fluctuation: The wind doesn’t always blow when demand for power is at its highest. This means power grids will need to be flexible, responsive and smart enough to manage shifts in the availability of power.
One of the key components in a smart grid are smart electronic meters. Their job is to help coordinate power generation and consumption more efficiently. In networks with smart meters, operators can reward customers who shift their power consumption from peak to off-peak periods with lower tariffs. This can help to ease peak demand. Another important benefit is that less-efficient backup generating facilities would not need to be brought on line as frequently to cover demand and could perhaps even be shut down entirely. This would also help protect the climate by reducing carbon emissions from by power generation.
Siemens offers power supply companies a comprehensive solution for tracking power consumption and managing distribution networks: the Automated Metering and Information System (AMIS). AMIS tracks customers’ individual power consumption over time, and records and documents the quality of the power delivered – among other things to identify outages and how long they last. In addition, AMIS enables network operators to optimize their key processes and to offer new services to their customers. For example, customers can access details of their power usage and their charges at any time – information that enables them to make conscious and effective changes to the way they use energy.
AMIS also uses the power network to carry the data it collects. Data concentrators in transformer stations gather the incoming data from individual meters and transmits it to a control center. The system has load switches which work in two directions and can switch loads off and on independently. This means power supply companies can intervene and regulate the network whenever the need arises.
AMIS can also be used as an open communication platform to integrate meters for gas, district heating, water, etc. and to link them to a remote reading system over a wired or wireless connection. Using a PC, customers can connect to an internet portal to track their current energy consumption and view their load profiles.
|Monitoring and optimization of energy consumption based on real-time energy price and individual needs|
|Higher reliability and transparency|
|Integration of energy producers (e.g., photovoltaic, wind park, biomass) and consumers (e.g., e-car)
|Basis for better integration of renewable resources and reduction of CO2 emissions|
|Meter-to-bill solution with integration of back-end IT systems|
|Automation of distribution network, including transformer stations|
|Additional services (integration of meters in other media, home automation)|
2011-Feb-28 | Author