powerline communication, PLC AMR company
Power meters & PLC AMR

Contact us:
5, R. Shuhevicha St.
Odessa Ukraine
E-mail: sales@digitalpowermeters.com

an ANB International company

Last update:

 

Powerline Communication Automated Meter Reading (PLC AMR) - $3.95 only!

for electronic and mechanical meters of power, water, and gas

 

Extremely durable and reliable powerline communication modules for automated reading of electric power meters, smart house, and industrial automation. The powerline communication modules use our proprietary algorithm which provides moderate speed (not suitable for broadband powerline communication) but extreme reliability and very low price. The powerline communication (PLC AMR) modules operate as black box (whatever signal injected on one end, the same signal received on the other end of the powerline communication), thus drastically reducing development time of PLC AMR networks. We sell PLC AMR SDKs, PLC modules, and PLC AMR-enabled electricity meters. PLC concentrators and AMR software are also available.

 

- low-cost reliable PLC AMR for real-time data acquisition from power meters through powerline communication;

- multitariff billing through PLC AMR even for mechanical power meters;

-  load profile and max demand acquisition from power meters into PLC AMR;

-  using PLC AMR to detect meter tampering attempts: power meter disconnection, cover opening, magnetic influence.

-  ZigBee radio multi-node AMR also available - just $9!

 

Operation: an electronic board (for powerline communication – PLC AMR) is inserted in power meter. Power meter's rotating disk’s mark or LED indicator is read using the optical sensor on the powerline communication module (PLC AMR). Meter data is automatically transmitted to concentrator through the existing power line.
PLC AMR concentrator: one three-phase PLC AMR module services almost any number of power meters, connected after a transformer and communicating through powerline. PLC AMR concentrator may be installed at electric substation or anywhere in the serviced buildings, and control the powerline communication (PLC) node. The powerline (PLC AMR) concentrator continuously polls electricity meters, and communicates the collected AMR data to the central office using phone line or GSM. It is possible to read AMR data from PLC concentrator manually using handheld.
Central office equipment for powerline communications is an industrial PC with modem rack. It polls PLC AMR concentrators either at preset time or on operator’s demand and receives power meter readings through powerline communication. Our PLC AMR system provides various reports on poerr meters, and any reports required are added at no charge. PLC AMR data can be exported into the power utility’ billing system.
When the controlling multifunctional power meter or power quality monitor is installed at the power substation, our PLC AMR system compares electricity import with the sum of individual consumers’ consumptions, indicating leakages and abnormal consumption of reactive energy. The data is continuously communicated through the powerline.
Reliability: the powerline communication AMR operates well even in the worst conditions, like the 1954 power grid.
Powerline communication is perfect up to 1,600 meters in aluminum or copper electric cable. Data saturation from automated meter reading is not encountered up to about 2,000 PLC AMR-enabled meters connected to a single powerline communication concentrator. Powerline communication AMR modules use DES256 encryption, more secure than Internet banking transactions. Automated meter reading data is fully preserved with disconnection of PLC AMR-enabled power meters or concentrator. The powerline communication AMR system is protected against surges, mechanical shock and overheating. Warranty for our powerline communication AMR is 4 years, operational lifetime 30 years.
Installation: powerline communication modules for automated meter reading (PLC AMR) are custom-made for the customer's power meters. The design of our PLC AMR modules provides for easy one-screw or clip-on installation, either in workshop or in the field. Powerline communication is a standard feature of meters which we manufacture.
Multitariff: Continuous automated reading of electricity meters through powerline communication allows calculating electricity consumption in different tariff time zones.
Automated meter reading by powerline communication (PLC AMR) makes multitariff billing possible even for mechanical power meters. Both time-of-day and step tariffs are supported, programmable in hourly intervals for workdays and holidays, and for each season. Four tariffs are standard, with more available on request in our PLC AMR software.
Load profile for electricity meters: PLC AMR communicates a continuous stream of active and reactive (where available) load data for each power meter into the powerline concentrator. The data is transferred to PLC AMR central computer monthly or on demand.
Tamper protection: PLC AMR sensor prevents pilferage by informing utility in through powerline communication of various tampering attempts: power meter opening, disconnection, magnetic saturation, and heating. Tamper sensor also prevents reverse connection of power meters. Two-way PLC AMR can be used to operate power meter relay (remote disconnection), check/ update tariffs and other data through powerline communication. Instead of disconnecting electricity meters through power line (PLC AMR), utility may choose to drastically limit the load of delinquent customer, or the one suspected of electricity pilferage.
Powerline communication automated meter reading (PLC AMR) can be used to collect data from water and gas meters at no additional cost. Two-way PLC AMR can be used to remotely disconnect water and gas meters. PLC AMR units for these applications need not be installed in electric meter, but can be plugged in electric socket anywhere at customer's premises. If customer disconnects powerline communication module for significant time, water and gas valves are automatically closed, and supply terminated until reconnection.

Power meter reading is commonly a bottleneck issue for the utilities. Many power meters are installed inside the houses and apartments and even getting there is sort of a problem. By the time inspector manages to see the power meter, customer is well aware of his visit and has plenty of time to connect the poweer meter back or remove illegal loops.

Even those power meters which are installed outdoors, are not feasibly accessible. In many cases, cost of reading all the power meters is prohibitively high. Utilities have to resort to assessed billing of energy consumption, causing conflicts with customers. Also, such billing is illegal in the first place and courts generally uphold customers' claims in this regard.

Important issue is obtaining the actual figures of electricity consumption. It is not unusual for customers to bribe the utility inspectors to record much lowered readings of power meters. Inspectors can be lazy enough to write some figures, which look reasonable to them, instead of actually going to customers. Sometimes they are forced to do so because of the perspective of customers' violence.

Recently, utilities started subcontracting power meter reading. However, this practice is altogether faulty. First, it does not actually solve any of the above problems of power meter reading. Second, its cost is rather high.

Now, there is a solution. This is a powerline carrier automated meter reading network. Small electronic boards are installed in power meters, either electronic or mechanical. Their sensor reads pulse LED or rotating disk marker. This data is communicated over existing power cables to the receiver, usually located in the building or near the transformer.

The PLC AMR receiver accumulates data from practically any number of power meters connected to a given transformer. PLC AMR concentrator stores this data for up to a year. At pre-set intervals, central office's computer dials all PLC AMR receivers and collects the data, accumulated in them. Connection from computer to receivers is established through phone or GSM modems. In the latter case, communication can be performed at night to use lower tariffs. Inspectors can power read meters, using their handheld units.

PLC AMR receiver is a small device. Its cost is insignificant, when divided among many power meters it serves via powerline. We don't use huge and expensive industrial computers, like other companies, who are not able to write software code sufficiently compact for low-cost industrial processors.

In the utility office, the powerline communication center is relatively simple. For small systems, it's Windows-based industrial computer with a stack of modems. All equipment is mounted in a rack, so the design is extremely ergonomic. Larger systems involve Oracle-based database, backup server and remote access unit.

As in our other products, in PLC AMR the utmost attention is paid to durability and security. Numerous tests proved our PLC AMR system to be unbreakable at any feasible cost.

Central office software for PLC AMR networks supports numerous functions, including printing of bills or exporting the power consumption data into the existing billing program of the utility. There are many reports generated and we will add any report the utility may desire without charge.

Utility' officer can obtain reading of any power meter for the last month from his desktop computer. He can also poll any PLC AMR receiver or all of them and immediately get the most current data on power consumption delivered by powerline communication. These are the actual figures – no more assessed billing and illegal arrangements with the inspectors by consumers.

Most importantly, PLC AMR gives utilities not only the month-end reading of power meters, but also continuous stream of load profile from power meters. Integration period can be set as time, usually as 15-minute interval, or as quantity, commonly as 1 kWh.

As is well known, load profile is an extremely useful feature for utility analysis. Through PLC AMR, it's available even for mechanical power meters – and for every power meter.

Consumer with abnormally low power usage cannot claim absence from home anymore, because continuous automated meter readings will show that he, indeed, was using electricity all the time but at a strangely low rate. By analyzing the electricity consumption patterns, our software generates the report on suspicious customers. Then the inspectors can check these users.

And, of course, continuous automated reading of power meters through powerline precludes altering of power meter register value by the consumer. No more countdowns or resets of registers, cutting in the utility profits.

Continuous automated reading of pwoer meters allows utility to calculate end-of-month debt correctly, and to apply late payment charges. Otherwise, when consumer is late with his payments, he can always claim that most of the electricity usage occurred just recently and thus there is no basis for penalty.

PLC AMR logs the information on disconnection of power meters. The PLC AMR system distinguishes between usual power shutdowns and deliberate disconnection of a particular power meter. Thus, utility can now identify illegal disconnections, usually performed for tampering.

Another anti-tamper options for PLC AMR include magnet and meter case open sensors. When customer tries to stop a power meter with magnet or open the cover, such attempts will be logged and data on them automatically communicated to the central office via powerline.

PLC AMR compares import and export of electricity on each power feeder. So, if the customer connects before the power meter, PLC AMR pinponts the place of such losses of electricity with high accuracy. Inspecting of the place generally allows for termination of the illegal connection.

The PLC AMR system supports multitariff billing even when using mechanical meters. There are 4 tariffs, definable by workdays or weekend and holidays. Each season of the year can be attributed different tariff, and during the day tariffs can be changed at hourly intervals. Step tariffs for power meters are also supported, 7 in total.

When the PLC AMR system is installed at customer's premises, for example, in apartment building, manager can print bills for consumers directly from the receiver, by using a common computer.

Significantly for industrial users, PLC AMR communicates the data of both active and reactive consumption.

PLC AMR calculates and stores maximum demand separately for each month and one total, since installation of the power meter or the last reset. Max demand is calculated for both active and reactive energy.

Comparing maximum demand, load profile and disconnection data delivered through PLC AMR allows for highly precise identification of possible meter tampering.

The same PLC AMR modules could be used to collect data from water and gas meters, and two-way PLC AMR can operate valves in our water and gas meters for remote disconnection.

In many cases, PLC AMR is the only feasible solution for reading power meters. For example, it is not easy to disconnect high-demand customers: not only technically, as heavy-load external relays are required, but also practically, as such termination of service would disrupt their work and may damage the equipment, if it has no adequate protection.

In other instances, consumers are prone to challenge the power meter readings, provided by utility, claiming them to be non-accurate. Load profile, communicated via powerline, can provide step-by-step confirmation of the power consumption data.

In such situations, reliable, up-to-date and well-documented power meter data accumulated through PLC AMR is certain to discipline the consumers, and make them understand the necessity of timely payments.

Certainly, we provide all the training necessary for use the PLC AMR and lifetime free phone support for our PLC AMR is free. We make money by selling first-class PLC AMR and power meter products and not by passing hidden costs on our customers. The more comfortable you're with our PLC AMR and power meter products, the more power meters and PLC AMR modules you will buy from us, that's how we see it.

How reliable is this PLC AMR system? In fact, it is extremely reliable. We offer standard 4-year warranty, and the extended warranty is available for both PLC AMR and power meters. The PLC AMR works well with disconnections of power meters, receivers and phone line downtime. The PLC AMR is field-tested in the worst quality power grids, built in 1950s, and places such as this hotel in Ukraine. Even there, signal communication through powerline is very good at more than a mile distance.

PLC AMR is a standard feature of our electronic power meters. But the PLC AMR works even with existing mechanical power meters. Installation of PLC AMR boards is very easy – in fact, we'll make a board of specific shape for each type of mechanical power meter case you're using. Pulse ratio can be programmed in PLC AMR modules individually for every power meter, allowing for continuing employment of power meters with different constants.

Significantly, PLC AMR is very inexpensive system. Its overall cost per power meter is less than a price of mechanical power meter. It is fast recovered simply by automating the meter reading and eliminating the power meter reading expenses. Being the most effective way to eliminate fraud and power losses, PLC AMR is extremely cost-effective and the breakeven period is usually only a few months.

We also supply two-way PLC AMR for our electronic meters, allowing not only reading the power meters automatically, but also updating tariffs, setting maximum allowed load, and disconnecting/ reconnecting the power meters.

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