NETWORKS

It is entirely possible for someone to misunderstand Smart Metering if there is no appreciation of something we call a "Network." Right now you are viewing this page using a network either through a home computer, a laptop and even a mobile device. Without networks, communication is impossible. Just like when people get together and discuss things in groups, they will not understand each other unless they are speaking the same language. In the world of networking the language is called a protocol. It is important to firstly understand that not everything is using the same protocol to communicate. So, in order for devices like Smart Meters to communicate with other devices in the most successful way, there must be agreement on what protocols are going to be used. The following media presentation by an expert from Enernex Corporation might give us a better appreciation of what is involved and why Enterprise Architecture and Utility Communications is very important. If we are going to succeed in anything, we need to be able to know how to build or benefit from an existing utility communication infrastructure and get it working on an Enterprise level which will require an in depth knowledge of the Smart Grid, how a utility operates and functions and Internet Protocols.


     

People might come to appreciate that there are plenty of issues that continually need to be addressed but since the internet is being discussed (the network you are using to view this page) then someone might understand why the next media presentation is important because it deals with how you can interface with the meters using the same device that you are currently using to view this page on MeterData. There is no need to create a separate network if there are ways to use the ones that already exist and since individuals are familiar with web browsers and Google, then it is easy to understand why the Google Power Meter is  a becoming popular because it is an easy way for home users to monitor their electricity usage and find ways to save money.


     

One of the key factors that seems to be important to individuals is ways to save money (by conserving energy) without having to interrupt their normal way of living. Many of the discussions between users might have to do with power consumption from lighting, refrigeration, washing machines, dishwashers and other home appliances that depend on electricity and so software packages are developing so that users can benefit from a home metering system that not only records energy usage but also gives recommendations on when to best use these devices (e.g outside peak hours) and the ability to manage the devices automatically through a power management system that can be accessed through the internet. It is also possible to use software for total resource management in a home i.e. not only electricity but also gas and water. What is fascinating about home energy management is the portals that provide these services have the possibilities of interacting with their audience and so they might be considered one of the most powerful means by which consumers receive better education. Part of this discussion for improving home energy consumption as well as energy generation is a move toward more carbon reduction i.e. less pollution into the atmosphere. There are also continual improvements being made on new products and manufacturers and designers of Smart Metering related products for home owners and new devices are coming out every year.

 


     

We hope that this page has given a broader understanding of networks and protocols. It was not designed to give an in depth explanation on these matters. Many of the video links from this site will take you to companies who will most likely be very willing to present further technical information on the situation and how they are providing solutions to reduce consumption of electricity, gas and water and at the same time maintaining environmental friendliness.