The specifications for the proposed functional requirement for smart meters in the Indian Market have been released for consultation.
Representatives from government, utilities and vendors have formed a committee for the India Smart Grid Task Force and prepared the specifications aimed at a solving the problems for the large scale roll-out of smart metering across India.
The specifications show an AMI model that has a good chance of working out in the Indian context would consist of 4 major components – smart meter, LAN/WAN communication over RF mesh/PLCC/GPRS, network management system (NMS), and home area network supporting in-home display over ZigBee/PLC.
For low population density areas, GSM/GPRS communication is recommended. In other areas RF mesh/PLCC would be the choice tomake especially where population density is high.
RF mesh/PLCC can also be used for home energy management, PLCC is the best choice for high rise buildings and is preferred for HAN.
Regarding the smart meter itself, it is recommended that this should support the regular features that a standard static meter does. It should also have facilities including display, tamper and push button that could potentially be dispensed with to save costs.
Group meters can be mounted on a pole or some other convenient place.
The committee recommends that a pilot of the proposed technologies is needed prior to large scale development.The committee also recommends that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) reviews its entire suite of metering standards for possible changes. It also considers that only limited changes, relating to the legal perspective and technical requirements, will be needed to the regulations.