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UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim

Tridac

From Ledswinger, upthread:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/smart-metering-equipment-technical-specifications-second-version

I’ve just had a quick scan though that. It’s still at draft stage, V1.58, as of November 2014. It’s a complex spec, based around a zigbee network, with separate hardware described for gas / electricity metering, communications “hub”, user interface / display and auxiliary load switching. Potentially a lot of hardware to install, though I guess some or all functions could be integrated into the same box. No mention of gsm, though the the hub could conceivably integrate or have options for gsm, wifi, ethernet and more.

It looks like it has very fine grained data gathering and load control capability. For example, control of several auxiliary load switches; active and reactive power import and export are measured, as are min / max loads against time. The import / export stuff accounts for grid tie systems and home generation, while reactive power measurement provides the ability for higher charges for users with poor power factor. Just as industrial users have been for decades. There’s lot more and quite interesting in an eyes glazed sort of way.

But, still even now at draft and a half baked spec imho. For example, the auxiliary contactor section doesn’t even mention current or voltage rating at all. Will the meter itself have the “main” contactor, or must there be at least one auxilliary contactor ?. Who will pay for all the voltage drop losses across the ssr ?. Let’s see now, 50 watts loss average * 20e6 meters = 10e9 watts losses !. Even if they use a mechanical relay, the holding coil will consume 5 - 10 watts, so not that much better. Meter itself < 4 watts, but the hub and gas meter are externally powered and thus paid for by the consumer…

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