What is Smart Electricity Metering?
Smart electricity meters are electronic hardware devices measuring the amount of consumed electricity including the time of day. With wirelessly connected smart meters, utilities and service providers can collect electricity data automatically, and remotely, providing them with accurate consumption information efficiently, without manual work. Smart electricity metering is the most widely deployed smart city application today. The global market continues its strong growth as the cities and power industry transition toward more modern, efficient, and green energy production and distribution.
Benefits of Smart Electricity Metering
With smart electricity metering and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), utility companies can eliminate the need for manual meter readings. They can monitor and control meters remotely and serve their customers quickly and cost-efficiently, connecting or disconnecting customers and monitoring consumption. Continuous and timely monitoring enables demand response , where the utility companies can control electricity distribution and energy production equipment to respond to demand in real-time. As a result, smart metering significantly reduces costs and accelerates cash flow in utilities. The electricity users can enjoy the benefits of transparent consumption monitoring and more accurate billing while the cities are reducing carbon footprint.
Our Solutions for Smart Electricity Meters
Silicon Labs offers industry leading MCUs (microcontroller units), wireless connectivity chipsets, and development tools for device makers. With Silicon Labs, you get access to the broadest selection of hardware, innovative wireless software, the most robust security, including the world's first SoCs (System on Chips) with the PSA Level 3 certification.
When developing smart electricity meters, take advantage of these design considerations.
Enabling Demand Response
Demand response functionality is critical for utility companies because it enables them to respond to demand changes instantaneously by controlling supply accordingly, which saves energy and costs. Silicon Labs wireless hardware is renowned for its superior RF performance, enabling your smart metering devices with reliable two-way wireless connectivity to support demand response.
Security on Smart Electricity Metering
Security is a critical design consideration when developing electricity meters. Any device plugged into the grid can potentially expose the grid to hackers and present a major security threat. Silicon Labs hardware and software are secured at all levels to safeguard your devices against the most sophisticated logical, physical, and wireless attacks. Our Secure Vault enables the world's first SoCs (System on Chip) with the PSA Level 3 certification.
Maintaining Smart Electricity Meters
Smart electricity metering devices serve tens of years in the field. During this period, software will be updated multiple times, and security updates are required to patch up vulnerabilities rapidly. Life-cycle maintenance is a crucial design consideration. Silicon Labs enables utilities to securely maintain the entire installed base through the over-the-air (OTA) firmware update. It authenticates the trusted source of the update file, encrypts the process, and guarantees an unaltered firmware image via the secure boot.
Network Topology for Smart Electricity Metering
Smart electricity metering doesn't have a single standard. Instead, you need to work with multiple wireless protocols and topologies to support various business models, utility segments, providers, and regions. Silicon Labs’ broad hardware and software portfolio enables you to build a scalable and reliable wireless field area network (FAN) based on, for example Wi-SUN and Proprietary. In those smart metering deployments based on the IPv6 and Mesh topology, we support you with the most prominent protocol, Zigbee.
Smart Electricity Meters with Long Wireless Range
Wireless range and reliability are of utmost importance for electricity utilities. Silicon Labs provides you with sub-GHz Wi-SUN and Proprietary wireless protocols to maximize the range on your smart electricity meters. Our wireless SoCs and modules are renowned for their superior RF performance, ensuring your devices perform flawlessly in all circumstances.