My automatic meter reading project

Dear glyn.hudson

I need your suggestion about my automatic meter reading project. Would you please give me your email? So that i can send you my problem

I don’t think Glyn has the time available to research and design a customised solution for you nor anyone else. If you post your question, anyone with knowledge or suggestions can help you.

If your project is so secret that it is commercially sensitive (e.g. you think you can patent it), then you should approach a commercial design consultant who will work with you under a non-disclosure agreement. We cannot do that because it is against the principles of open-source.

Dear Robert Wall,

Thank you very much for your reply.

My project is not so secret.I would be ever grateful to you if you listen &
give appropriate suggestion to implement my project successfully.

I contact several chinese supplier, most of them are interested to sell
their products instead of listening my actual requirement. They offer
complex and expensive solution with more hardware and software which is not
possible for me to spent in such PILOT PROJECT.

I know, It will be a very simple case for you but its very important for my
career on how well and cost effective quality solution i can provide to
complete the project successfully. Such metering automation never happened
in my country and thats why no local expertise/experience.

Please don’t mind to bother you by saying unnecessary things and i’m trying
my best to explain in short as i don’t want to waste your valuable times.

I need to install 3 phase energy meter with inbuilt 3g modem at the
secondary part of 200 KVA distribution transformers. Total number of meters
required is 312 pieces for 312 seperate transformers. The meters will send
KWhr (consumption) data to the server desktop by using its inbuilt 3g
modem.Along with the meter, i also need to buy the most simple software
solutions for those meters. So that, i can collect the data by sitting at
remote desktop server. I have the permission to use a high configuration
desktop as the server for 312 meters, can’t use any big server with lots of
hardware & database softwares.

FYI, In our distribution system 11kv overhead line (3 cables)go to the
primary of 200KVA distribution transformers. At secondary, there comes 4
cables (3 lines & 1 neutral. Line to Line voltage is 420V and Line to
neutral is 220V) Then these 4 cables are extended by outdoor poles to give
consumer connections.


I will collect the KWhr data VALUE at the server from my installed meter
by 3g communication, This VALUE will be equal to the summation of KWhr
values (consumption) of all consumers who took power connection from that
transformer. Consumers KWhr data value will be collected from the meter
readers and then i will do the sum manually. If found big mismatch between
these 2 values, that means, electricity theft happening under that

Dear Robert, initially suppliers were telling me the solution will be
simple & cheap but later starts showing the need to use extra converter,
extra server,web server, database scripts,management platforms, etc.etc.

PLEASE SUGGEST ME a cost effective efficient solution for my project like;

  1. Whether is it possible to complete my project by using meters in the
    field, a high configuration desktop pc as the server and a simple software
    to install at server deaktop?


2)Any good supplier who can provide me the appropriate solution as per my


3)Any suitable meter company from whom i will buy the meter and collect the
required raw data/programming source code of their meter by which i can
make my own software by using local software companies-actually i don’t
even know whether its possible to just buy the meters and prepare my
software seperately by local firms or not.

Finally again sorry for such big writings. Truly saying, Your reply
inspired me a lot to explain you everything clearly.



I think I understand what you want to do. Firstly, because you want to detect fraud, the equipment (hardware) in the OEM shop will probably not be suitable for your needs.

Suggestion 1:
You might find a smart meter that suits your requirements, but I think it is unlikely. The reason I say this is I think every smart meter (in the UK, I cannot speak for other countries) will be customised for and owned by a particular energy supplier. This will inevitably mean that the data is encrypted, and I think it is a certainty that you will not be allowed to have the key to decrypt the data.

Suggestion 2:
Following from suggestion 1, if you approach a smart meter manufacturer, they might be willing to supply you with 300+ meters programmed to your requirements. I have never been closely involved with meter manufacturers, so I cannot suggest names.
Obviously, you will need a meter that can work with and be programmed for current transformers.

Suggestion 3:
The other two suggestions mean little or no work for you to modify the meters. If you go with this one, you will need to find a meter that provides you with the required information - there are many and it’s a matter of choosing one that best fits your needs. You will then need to source a 3G module and link the two with a microprocessor that will request (or accept) data from the meter, process it according to the protocol that the 3G module needs, and control the 3G module. You’ll need to consider whether the remote meters phone in to the monitoring station automatically (say at a set time of day on a specified date) or whether the monitoring station initiates the call.
The harder part will be the database software to collate and allow you to access the data coming in from the meters, and presumably interfacing with your existing accounting system that bills the customers for their electricity. I think you will need to find a local contractor who can write the software to your specification.

Jörg Becker uses a 3-phase meter for monitoring. This archived post gives the details and might help you a little.