The world's power industry experienced little change over the past century. Power plants ran full throttle around the clock, providing passive consumers with a constant supply of energy. The amount consumed at any one time was anyone's guess. Coal, and sometimes nuclear energy, supplied base load power, and gas plants fired extra electricity for peak periods.
Times have changed with the rise of renewable energy, increased consumer demand, storage concerns and the need for improved grid reliability. The global energy market is now more complex than ever before, and with energy efficiency high on the agenda – governments, utility companies and consumers need a smart solution. This is driving massive uptake with 90 to 130 million smart meters expected to be installed each year until 2022.
The growth potential is huge with more than 2.2 billion of the world's installed utility meters still relying on some form of manual reading in 2017. These meters, and their smart replacements, will inevitably have differing form factors, interface formats, voltage and network requirements. When dealing with device and network variations, it's what's on the inside of a smart meter that counts.
Inside a true smart meter sits a cellular communications module that moves the security and intelligence to the actual meter endpoint without relying on the cloud or server side for analysis. Developed for improved accuracy, a cellular communications module puts the 'smart' inside the meter itself.
As one part of a complete solution, the module must have the flexibility needed to support diverse metering applications on mobile networks worldwide. With the ability to adapt, NetComm Wireless' cellular smart meter modules also interoperate with ecosystem partners including the energy distributor, smart metering company, telecommunications provider and the software management systems.
Governments worldwide have set aggressive deployment targets – driving the smart energy technology market (including smart grid) to reach $220 billion by 2020. With increasing pressure on the energy sector to meet objectives quickly and cost-effectively, technological adaptability is essential.
NetComm Wireless' hot-swappable cellular smart meter modules are designed for seamless integration with any cellular network and smart meter form factor. The technology features an open Linux platform and Software Development Kit (SDK) to provide the custom capabilities needed to overcome a myriad of challenges by offering support for countless metering applications.