A scheme of Electricity billing system called “PREPAID ENERGY METER” can facilitate in improved cash flow management in energy utilities and can reduces problem associated with billing consumer living in isolated area and reduces deployment of manpower for taking meter readings. This reduces deployment of extra man power for taking meter reading , payment collection and removes the entire infrastructure for electricity bill collection system. Thus the new metering technology save a substantial amount of money for the service provider which is added to the electricity bill apart from consumption.
The prepaid energy meter can be widely used to provide a new and more customized billing system, where users may recharge when they intend to use that facility.
Whirlybird came up with the innovative solution for Prepaid Enrgy Meter,functions like in a mobile phone recharging, the consumer buys credit gets energy units in return of the balance amount. The balance amount will be in form of unit and load and keep reducing for energy consumed and once zero, the power supply would be automatically cut off. The amount recharged to use and deducted for every unit of energy consumed can be controlled by the distribution unit.
The automatic power line connection and disconnection based on balance amount reduces wastage of energy and create energy awareness to the consumers.This leads to save huge energy when most of the consumers activate their power line through such prepaid based load limiter. Thus the meter provides an ideal solution for optimal power management system in an electric net work.
IPM 05 is microcontroller based prepaid energy meter which is especially designed for solar ac micro grids. It has 5 channels and each of them can be programmed separately for desired watt hour credit, watt limit and credit validity.Multi channel design allows to connect 5 different households using a single meter but measuring usage of individuals at same time. IMP05 is field programmable and can easily programmed by using a mobile phone or a hand held terminal. each channel can be programmed individually for requested watt hours,watt limit or number of days.
The five channel Load Monitoring and Control (LMC) Unit uses Zigbee mesh network for communication along with application specific integrated circuit from analog devices to accurately measure energy consumption. Each LMC unit could independently monitor and control five households. Every network has a coordinator which is GPRS enabled to communicate through web based central data collection and control unit.Number application and features are developed over this architecture,some highlights are as follows.
Watt hours can be credited to individual channels. each channel can be programmed for different watthour credit. once the credit is finish it auto cuts the supply to that house. Meter has a built in RTC so one can program it to allow usages of electricity supply for fixed number of days. Watt limit can be set so no one can use above the permissible watt limit.current usages are channel is detected it trips the supply for that channel. As skilled manpower is one of the challenge in microgrid operation,no skilled man power is required to recharge the meter,any one who is familier with android phones and apps can do recharge and diagnostics of the network.