Pic Microcontroller-Based Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) System Using the Low Voltage (LV) Power Line Network (TECHNICAL NOTE)


Electerical Engineering, University of Malaya


Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) is the remote collection of consumption data from customer’s utility meters over telecommunications, radio, power line and other links. AMR provides water, electric and gas utility service companies the opportunity to streamline metering, billing and collection activities, increase operational efficiency and improve customer service. The AMR system consists of three major components: the meter interface module, communications system, and data concentrator. This paper details with a feasibility study on creation of a robust bi-directional/two-way communication system between an electricity meter and a distant control unit (data concentrator) over the low voltage (LV) distribution grid. Basic functions of the AMR system include the provision for remote connection and disconnection of meter and fraud detection features at both the meter interface and the data concentrator. As a support system to the entire AMR, Lithium-ion batteries are utilized which are especially important in the cases of power failures. The main advantage of this system is that it is a low cost system that produces very encouraging results and it can be implemented upon existing electro-mechanical meters without the need of purchasing new meters. With many existing meters being the electro-mechanical meters, the need for a high-cost, large-scale implementation of new electronic device meters to enable implementation of the AMR system is unnecessary. The cost of implementation is low and the benefits, especially economically, that it brings to the utility company are immense.