The improvement of quality of life has brought the use of more electrical devices simultaneously. To meet this growing demand that creates peak fluctuations during the day, Utilities are forced to build more power generators, improve and expand their electrical network infrastructure, experiencing increasing costs and producing higher Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. A significant challence also is the technical and non-technical losses where in some cases is the most important reason to invest and deploy Smart Meters. Besides the efficiency problems, the environmental impacts forced many countries to take specific measures to reduce their GHG emissions, increase renewable resources share, and improve energy efficiency. The technology to address the aforementioned challenges is the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
Advanced Metering Infrastructure consists of the Smart Meters, the Telemetering Center and the interconnecting network between them.
Smart Meters measure active and reactive energy, offer time of use tariffs for providing rewarding plans to lower the demand during peak hours, are equipped with integrated load switch for remote disconnection and reconnection of the power facilitating and optimizing business processes. Smart meters employ telecommunication modems to be connected to the Telemetering Center either by using mobile operator's infrastructure (GSM/GPRS) or the Utility's power line infrastructure (Power Line Communications) or other existing telecom infrastructure. Smart Meters can also connect water and gas meters and be used as communication gateways towards the Telemetering centers for these meters as well.
The Telemetering Center includes the Meter Head Ends and the Meter Data Management Systems that can be deployed either as a private or public cloud.