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International Journal of Engineering, Science and Technology Vol. 3, No. 3, 2011, pp. 160-166

MultiCraft

INTERNATIONAL
JOURNAL OF
ENGINEERING,
SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY
www.ijest-ng.com
© 2011 MultiCraft Limited. All rights reserved

A prepaid meter using mobile communication
Amit Jain1*, Mohnish Bagree2
1*

Power Systems Research Center, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, INDIA 2
School of Electrical Engineering, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, INDIA *
Corresponding Author: e-mail: amit@iiit.ac.in Tel +91-40-66531141, Fax.+91-40-66531413

Abstract
Energy meters in India have dominantly been electromechanical in nature but are gradually being replaced by more sophisticated and accurate digital and electronic meters. A high percentage of electricity revenue is lost to power theft, incorrect meter reading and billing, and reluctance of consumers towards paying electricity bills on time. Considerable amount of revenue losses can be reduced by using Prepaid Energy Meters. A prepaid energy meter enables power utilities to collect energy bills from the consumers prior to the usage of power by delivering only as much as what has been paid for. This paper suggests a prepaid energy meter behaving like a prepaid mobile phone. The meter contains a prepaid card analogous to mobile SIM card. The prepaid card communicates with the power utility using mobile communication infrastructure. Once the prepaid card is out of balance, the consumer load is disconnected from the utility supply by the contactor. The power utility can recharge the prepaid card remotely through mobile communication based on customer requests. A prior billing is bound to do away with the problems of unpaid bills and human error in meter readings, thereby ensuring justified revenue for the utility. The proposed prepaid meter is implemented in a software model and Matlab has been used for simulation. Keywords: Balance, Consumer, Energy Meter, Mobile Communication , Prepaid Card 1. Introduction

Electric energy meters, the direct billing interface between utilities and consumers for long, have undergone several advancements in the last decade. The conventional electromechanical meters are being replaced by new electronic meters to improve accuracy in meter reading. Still, the Indian power sector faces a serious problem of lean revenue collection for the actual electric energy supplied owing to energy thefts and network losses. One of the prime reasons is the traditional billing system which is inaccurate many times, slow, costly, and lack in flexibility as well as reliability (Devidas et al, 2010). Therefore, attempts are being made to automate the billing systems. Even though more accurate and faster meter readings have seen the light of day, bill payment is still based on an old procedure. They require an individual/agent to personally come down to customer place and note the meter readings and report the amount one has to pay to the household/office. But the demand for computing power at all levels of electronic systems is driving advancements in semiconductor chip technology. The AMR and power quality monitoring systems manufacturers are taking advantage of these advances and integrating them into new meters and instruments. The networking technologies are driven by the demand for interconnection of computer users worldwide (Chandler, 2005). The AMR and power monitoring systems are using these advances to expand the monitoring systems.

A Prepaid Energy Meter enables power utilities to collect electricity bills from the consumers prior to its consumption. The prepaid meter is not only limited to Automated Meter Reading [AMR] but is also attributed with prepaid recharging ability and information exchange with the utilities pertaining to customer’s consumption details. The idea of prepaid metering will be very important for the new research fields of Micro-grid and Smart Grid and is an inevitable step in making...
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