Company: Analog Devices
Category: Internet of Things Product of the Year
ADE9153B is the first-of-its-kind Energy Measurement IC product that has mSure®, a built-in diagnostics system that continuously monitors the health of the current and the voltage sensors in electronic smart meters. The data from this diagnostics system is analyzed by a cloud-based analytics service (also provided by Analog Devices) that delivers insights to energy utilities that allow them to optimize their operations to save costs, lower CO2 emissions, and reduce electronic waste.
Smart meters are essentially the cash registers for energy utilities and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), widely considered the industry’s first broadly deployed IoT application, plays a crucial role in measuring consumed energy. The issue is that the meter’s external sensors are mechanical components that may degrade over time due to exposure to the environment, harsh loading, or even lightning strikes. This can cause the meter’s power measurement to drift outside legal limits resulting in the customer paying too much or too little for consumed energy.
To protect consumers, regulations in each country require energy utilities to periodically check each meter, or a statistical sample of the meters, to ensure they are measuring within legal limits. This process is costly and intrusive. Appointments are scheduled, field workers are dispatched, power to the home is cut, the existing meter is removed and sent to a calibration lab for testing, and a new meter is installed. A mid-size utility with millions of customers spends upwards of US $1,000,000 each year to perform meter sample testing. Utilities need a solution that allows for remotely testing the meter to save operational costs and optimize the use of scarce field workers.
Additionally, laws require these meters to be replaced after a fixed period (typically 10 or 15 years) determined by statistical methods based on when a small percentage of meters will drift outside legal limits. This means the vast majority of meters replaced are still operating correctly. For a utility with millions of customers, the cost of replacing meters can exceed US $1 Billion. If utilities can find a way of extending the lifetime of millions of meters, the cost savings can be passed on to consumers in the form of more affordable energy.
In order to monitor the meter’s external sensors, the ADE9153B needed the ability to inject accurate reference signals into the sensor and differentiate the injected signal from that of the load energy once in the digital domain. The innovative elements include:
- The ability to manufacture very stable current and voltage reference signals that are accurate to 1000ppm over lifetime
- The design of the analog-to-digital converter that is capable of rejecting components of the injected signal from other sources
- The design of the processing signal path and algorithms to accurately measure (to >60db) and remove the injected signal without affecting the device’s core metrology function
See Figure 1_mSure Edge-to-Cloud solution with Analog Devices ADE9153B Energy Measurement IC
The mSure diagnostics system in the ADE9153B is the basis for a smarter smart meter. Combined with a cloud-based analytics service, the â€œedge-to-cloudâ€ solution commercialized by Analog Devices enables energy utilities to monitor the health of meters remotely, reducing or eliminating the need to send field workers to perform meter sample testing required by law. In addition, utilities can adopt a more effective meter replacement strategy, based on replacing only the subset of meters which are failing, effectively extending the life of the well-performing meters. This significantly reduces capital expenditure and field worker labor at meter replacement, while reducing CO2 emissions (fewer field visits) and reducing electronic waste (fewer meters thrown away).
Market & Social Impact
The majority of energy utilities are government-run, regulated entities and therefore must be socially responsible for using public funds in effective and appropriate ways. Reduced costs can be passed onto consumers in the form of lower tariffs and more affordable energy. In summary, the innovation enabled by Analog Devices’ ADE9153B Energy Measurement IC enables the following:
- Reduces the amount of public funds needed for utility operational costs by reducing or eliminating the need for field-based meter sample testing.
- Reduces the amount of public funds needed for utility capital expenditures by extending the lifetime of installed meters.
- Reduces CO2 emissions and electronic waste by eliminating the need for numerous field worker site visits to test, remove, and replace properly functioning meters. Not having to send field workers to 14 million customer sites saves 72 million vehicle-miles and 17,510 metric tons of CO2 emissions (Source: US Department of Energy, Results from the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, 2016).
- Improves utility customer service by eliminating the need for intrusive field worker site visits which require scheduling appointments, entry to the home, and cutting power while the meter is replaced
- Improves trust and goodwill in the electricity grid by ensuring customers are paying the correct amount for consumed electricity.