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  • What are Smart Meters?

    Digitization is taking over the traditional process mechanisms by the minute. Internet of Things (IoT) has been the talk of the town for quite a while. Products like alexa are turning our homes into smart homes which can be controlled remotely. This digitization circuit can only be completed with our electric grid being digital. It’s quite a long time that consumers have been arguing for their incorrect exaggerated bills and utility providers have been reporting revenue losses.

    Smart Meters are devices backed by intelligent chipsetsensors that measure, monitors and collect the electricity consumption data in live real time or rather near-live time and seamlessly synchronize it with the grid to ensure accurate billing and enhances customer experiencefair pricing. These meters offer a lot more than just monitoring and gathering usage and consumption data; they are the engines that drive the digitalization of the grid.
    Smart Meters are the advanced version of traditional meters. They come in different variants:-

    Single Phase Meters: Intelligent and high-potential, remote upgradable meters for household use.

    Three Phase Meter: For consumption up to 120 Ampere for both household and industrial use.

    In terms of functionality, smart meters offer a wide range of options like: near-real time consumption, power outage notifications, voltage monitoring etc. The meter reading and near-live consumption can be accessed on the smartphones with the help of an app. It also offers a choice of communication technologies like NB-IoT, RF Mesh, 2G/3G/4G for connection with the grid.
    Smart meters are paired with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) that communicates with the device on a regular basis or on schedule to sync data and keep the metrics streamlined for both consumer and utility provider. Also, the meters are enabled to receive Over the Air (OTA) firmware upgrades from time to time, to keep the meters ready for new functionalities and processes. This helps keep the meters functional throughout their lifetime of up to 20 years.
    Low revenue generation and power leakages cause shortage of electricity supply which results in power outages throughout the day. As per a report, utility (DISCOM) incurred a loss of over 1 lakh crore worth of power that went unbilled last year alone. While with a smart metering system, the utility gets the complete insight of the no. of power outages in a particular region, can monitor usage vs. revenue, can reduce peak purchase cost of power which will help increase business efficiency.
    Smart meters bust the major cause of distress in the power sector i.e. “revenue loss”. Traditional meters were highly prone to tampering and a user could easily roll back the reading with a magnet. Introduction of intelligent devices in this sector will provide transparency to the system at a whole new level.
    At Crystal, we aim to be concurrent partners in curating custom solutions for utilities (DISCOM). With years of experience in smart metering and related systems, we understand technologies that will work just right. Crystal Smart Meters are optimized for use in smart metering systems along with seamless integration with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and data collection systems.

  • Crystal’s made in India Smart Meters
    #MadeinIndia #VocalforLocal

    The global need for power is ever increasing and the shift towards digitalization has further given it a push. India being the 2 nd largest power consumer in Asia is projected to witness a steep surge in power consumption. It is expected that India, the 2 nd most populous country in the world will consume up to 4 trillion kWh per year by 2030 which is more than 2x of the current consumption of 1.55 trillion kWh per annum. Having said that, we must also take into consideration our current power grid and infrastructure which is not only decades old but is highly inefficient as well. Revamping the existing power infrastructure to match the current demand with maximum efficiency is the only way forward. The foundation stone to an efficient and distribution infrastructure is ‘Smart Meters’.
    A smart metering infrastructure Advanced Metering Infrastructure consists of Smart Meters, Communication Infrastructure and Data Management and Analytics Software. Smart meters are devices that monitor power consumption in near-live time and help the end-user to manage and control the power consumption remotely via mobile app. Viz. a Viz., the smart metering infrastructure also enables the utilities to monitor, control and manage power distribution and pull plugs on leakages and thefts. Smart meters are equipped with the architecture for two-way communication which is clubbed with network, software and control center equipment. Thus, smart meters garner a lot of user data which give utilities the insight of usage patterns.

    India’s drive to shift completely towards smart meters is the world’s largest smart metering program. The National Democratic Alliance or NDA govt. has not only given this drive a nod but is also taking efforts to complete this program by 2022. Amid the latest disturbances between the neighbouring countries, the govt. has decided to halt all product imports from China. Given the risks involved, the imported smart electrical devices are feared to be affected by malware which also pose a security threat Nation-wide. Power Ministry of India has discouraged EESL or Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. and state Power Distribution Companies “DISCOM” against Chinese manufactured smart electrical devices for smart metering program.

    This bold step by the govt. will give a push to Indian manufactured smart meters alongside inviting companies to set their manufacturing base in India, in order to supply in India. Giving push to Indian companies will boost our economy and will enable companies to generate more and more employment.

    That’s what we are committed to at Sinhal Udyog. Our smart meters are not only manufactured in India but they are Researched, Designed in In India so making a step ahead of “Make In India” its rather “Made in India”
    and they also proudly sport #MadeinIndia tags. ‘Crystal Group’, the parent company of Sinhal Udyog is an over 38 years of legacy. The company has become a household name in the Indian Power Sector. Brilliance of our expertise and precise craftsmanship of smart meters make Crystal Smart Meters future ready, tamper-proof and secure. Sinhal Udyog is also among one of the first few companies to be awarded BIS 16444 Certification. Hence, Crystal’s Made in India smart meters are advanced devices that match international standards and at the same time are desi enough to comply with local norms.

  • Benefits of a Smart Meter

    The hunger for power is increasing exponentially with time. Considering the current shift towards digital means of business and moving the existing set up to electric has triggered a huge demand for power throughout the nation. To match with the power demands, our electricity grids have to be improvised significantly. To keep pace with the demand doesn’t only mean to increase production; it’s also about utilizing the existing resources judicially and putting hard brakes on leakages. Smart metering infrastructure plays a significant role in revamping the traditional grids to become Future Ready.

    Smart meters are the foundation stone for digitization of the grid. Smart meters don’t only help in getting power systems online but they also have various offerings for all of the parties associated.

    On the part of the consumer:

    Consumption Analysis- smart meters enable you to monitor and track your consumption and wastage in near-real time. It changes the way you see your energy usage completely adding a layer of transparency and control of your consumption. Striking off the unnecessary wastage will help you lower your monthly bills and allow you to bid Goodbye to bill shocks.

    Insights into Usage- intelligent devices take your monitoring and control over power usage to a whole new level. You’ll be able to dive deeper into your energy consumption analytics that will reveal usage patterns, unusual spikes in consumption, theft, leakages and much more.

    OTA Updates Crystal smart meters are BIS certified and are equipped to receive OTA updates which help keep your meter up to date throughout its lifetime of up to 20 years. This also protects your ROI.
    Smart metering infrastructure offers end to end energy solutions which covers every associated party in the energy distribution chain.
    On the part of utility :
    Communication- the first and foremost thing of lasting benefits is two way communication and data. Digitizing the grid allows the utility to garner loads and loads of data. This data can be used to recognize usage patterns, influence consumption and more. Any occurrence of Events or Tampers in the meter is immediately sent to the utility for action.
    Increase Efficieny as per a research, the major cause of revenue loss to power utilities in India is because of power theft. Existing inefficient infrastructure also has a lot of loopholes which account for leakages, and it’s also a cause for a major blow to the revenue. A digital monitoring system will fill this gap by helping identify the leakages and spots of theft. This will help utilities to put a hard brake on unnecessary losses and increase efficiency in operating the business.
    Grid Monitoring- Crystal’s advanced devices allow the utilities to monitor the grid at the click of a button. Our system is equipped with issue diagnostic which helps reduce time taken for action..
    Anti-Tamper Feature- Crystal’s smart meters are designed and built in a forever sealed chamber which is tamper proof. It also has ‘cover open detection’ features. This will allow utilities to reduce efforts on scrutinizing random meters for corruption.

    Time and Tariff- changing power consumption demands have led to revenue losses. Smart metering devices are equipped with usage tracking based upon time i.e. it will allow the utility to track, monitor and control the usage with respect to time of the day. The meters also support up to 8 tariffs, this feature clubbed with the former will allow utilities to charge power consumption based upon time of the day.

    Outage Monitoring – The Smart Meters relay any Power Outage (Last Gasp) and Power Restore (First Breath) information on occurrence enabling the utility to take immediate action. This make 24x7 power availability a reality.

    But that’s not all. There are numerous other features that our smart meters offer like functionally configurable meters to tailor to the end-user’s needs, pre-payment ready and more. Crystal’s smart meters are IS 16444 BIS Certified and are equipped with advanced technologies that empower them to be future proof. Our cutting edge smart metering solutions cover the entire energy distribution network.
    Our meters are bidirectional i.e. they enable measurement of energy from different sources like wind, solar etc. Installation and integration of roof top solar panels is also easier in Crystal’s advanced smart meters. By this, we promote clean energy and help make our environment better, every day.

  • Why Change to Smart Meter

    Energy distribution sector of India is in a very bad shape. Plus, the pandemic has given a major blow to the revenue of power distribution companies (DISCOMs). Given the current scenario, there’s a serious need to restructure and revamp the existing power distribution sector in India. India being the third largest electricity consumer country in the world deserves the best infrastructure which is efficient on the part of revenue and effective on the part of operations.

    Social distancing norms have limited the feasibility of physically visiting the place and generating power bills. Utilities have been asking consumers to click photos of the meter reading to cross verify and generate the bill eventually. Apart from the pandemic situation, a huge manpower is needed to physically visit each and every nook and corner to generate power bills; it adds on to the cost and increase inefficiency and accuracy in billing related to human errors which is ultimately borne by the end-users. Setting up a smart metering infrastructure is the ultimate boon-like solution for the power companies.

    Why the Change?

    Traditional meters come with a lot of hard-work. They require manual readings, are highly inefficient and can be easily tampered. Traditional meters have now become a thing of past and need to be replaced with smart devices to match with the current demand. Utilities have no control over monitoring or tracking usage related data that will help them build an efficient business model.

    Smart metering devices are advanced devices backed with intelligence that bring digitization to the complete power network. Smart meters are equipped with technology to sync the readings and power consumption with the utilities in near-real time. Utilities will be able to track usage and consumption and channelize data as per the requirement. Smart meters allow access to gold mine like heaps of data, which will have long term benefits for the parties associated.

    A lot of power is either wasted or goes unaccounted for in India. As per a report by EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited), last year’s billing efficiency was 83% and the total power consumption stood at 1.31 trillion units i.e. over 221 Billion power units went unaccounted for. If expressed in terms of revenue, it will calculate to a loss of over INR 1 trillion.
    “Smart metering system is the ultimate solution that will help power distribution companies come out of financial crisis. It’s the only solution that has shown positive results that benefit the entire associated value chain of the power distribution network,” said Saurabh Kumar M.D. - EESL

    The report by EESL also states- “the territories and states where smart meters are being installed have already begun showing signs of recovery. Smart meters have increased the billing efficiency to about 99%. In the Capital State New Delhi, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation or NDMC has stated- installation of smart meters has helped increase revenue by up to INR 500 per meter per month”.

    Smart meters are the only way forward for the power distribution companies. Adding intelligence to the grid induces transparency in the system and makes the complete distribution network streamlined to match pace with the increasing demand. Sinhal Udyog’s ‘Crystal’ make smart meters are high-tech devices that offer an array of features like forever sealed tamper-proof housing, real time power consumption monitoring, OTA updates, choice of communication like RF Mesh, NB-IoT, 2G/3G/4G.

    Smart meters are connected via app and allow the users to monitor their load and wastages also adding a layer of transparency. It takes power analytics to a never before level where you learn to manage your power usage effectively. Whereas, traditional meters are now a sign of a dated technology unlike smart meters. To bring digitization to the complete system, whole infrastructure needs to be revamped and updated. Smart meters aren’t just tools of power measurement, but are advanced smart devices that sync with the central system in a two way communication method round the clock.
    Sinhal Udyog’s ‘Crystal’ make smart meters also have pre-payment options that help utilities to receive payment in advance. Usually, when there’s a delay in payment of bills, utilities are left struggling with working capital which results in delayed response to power failures and disruptions. Smart meters also offer bidirectional reading of power measurement from different sources like solar, wind etc. This will help integration of clean energy and will contribute to reduction of CO2 eventually.

    Smart meters are intelligent devices that offer end to end solutions at every stage. They aren’t only beneficial to the utilities but are also beneficial for township energy management, commercial or residential building management (to get consolidated billing and figure out leakages) and also to end- users to help them plan and control their power consumption.