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Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1981/003541
Kind Code:
Electricity meter mainly intended for measuring, registration and reading of one or more consumers' electricity power consumption and/or energy consumption. To the electricity meter a display (12) is connected which is adapted to indicate momentary power consumption, present electricity tariff and accumulated energy consumption expressed in monetary units. The electricity meter is an electronic construction and includes a central processing unit (1) with a microprocessor, one sensor (2) intended for detection of a consumer's power consumption and a number of memory cells (1a-52d) adapted in a predetermined manner to consecutively receive and store information, calculated and transferred by the central processing unit (1). The electricity meter is also adapted to be connected to a read unit (5) by which stored information and electricity tariffs can be transferred to a central computer, located at, for example, an electrical power producer.

Joensson I, Karlsson B.
Application Number:
Publication Date:
December 10, 1981
Filing Date:
June 04, 1981
Export Citation:
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Joensson I, Karlsson B.
International Classes:
G01D4/00; G01R11/00; G01R21/133; G08C15/00; (IPC1-7): G01D4/00
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1. Electricity meter, preferably intended for measuring, registration, and reading a consumers' electric power consumption and/or energy consumption, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that each one of a number of memory cells (la52d) are adapted consecutively to receive information from a central processing unit (1) , and to store said information which is related to energy consumption, detected by at least one sensor (2) during a predetermined time period.
2. Electricity meter according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a number of memory cells (la52d) are adapted to receive and store normal consumption values for predetermined time periods.
3. Electricity meter according to claims 1 and/or 2, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a modem (4) is arranged for detachable connection of a read unit (5) to the electricity meter and adapted for communication in at least one direction, for example for transferring information from one or more of the memory cells (la52d) in the electricity meter, to the read unit (5).
4. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a read unit (5) is detachably connected to the electricity meter and adapted to transfer information from the electricity meter to an external data medium, such as for example a central computer.
5. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a display (12) is arranged to receive and by aid of indicators (13,14,15) to show numerical values such as for exe ple current electricity tariff, momentary power consumption and accumulated energy consumption expressed in monetary units.
6. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a transmitter (17) is adapted to convert and transmit information, generated in the electricity meter and mainly intended for transfer to the display (12) , for example via an infrared light transmitter (18) .
7. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a communication unit (3) is adapted to receive signals transferred via the distribution network, which signals for example contain superposed, frequency modulated data code signals.
8. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a communication unit (3) is arranged to transfer via the distribution network e.g. a frequency modulated, signal superposed the voltage of the distribution network.
9. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a normal consumption unit (23) is adapted to restore information about the power consumption of the consumer during predetermined time periods.
10. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a normal consumption unit (23) is adapted to compare present power consumption, after a power failure, with the normal consumption values stored in the normal consumption unit (23), and thereby calculate the accurate point of time.
11. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a memory cell (22) is arranged to receive and store an identity code, for example to make it possible for unique addressing of every electricity meter.
12. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a memory cell (22) is arranged to regularly receive and store information about present point of time, and which memory cell (22) is adapted to maintain this information also during failure.
13. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a mechanical clock unit (21) is arranged to be activated at least at power failure, for maintaining and restoring the internal time meter of the electricity meter.
14. Electricity meter according to one or more of the preceeding claims, c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e r e b y that a transmitter (17) is adapted to transmit data coded via the distribution network for example inductively, information intended for transfer to a display (12) , detachably connected to the distribution network.
Microprocessor based energy consumption meter

Background of the invention

The present invention refers to an electricity meter, preferably intended for measuring, registrating and. reading consumers' power consumption and/or energy consumption. On the today established power distribution network producers all over the country transfer electricity from power generating plants to the consumers. A great deal of the energy is distributed to low voltage subscribers as for example domestics. Usually every consumer has at least one conventional electro-mechanical electricity meter intended for registration of the consumers' consumption of electrical energy during a predetermined time period. Conventional mechanical electricity meters mainly comprises a rotating disc the speed of rotation of which is influenced by the consumers' momentary power consumption. The rotary movement is mechanically transferred to a counting device, which registers the energy consumption for instance in the unit of kWh. This conventional electricity meter must of course be manually read at regulary recurren time intervals by meter inspectors employed by the producer. The electrical energy which is produced by the power generating plants is usually supplied to the distributing net work in large areas where the networks are interconnected and is in this way transferred to the consumer

Depending on the type of power generating plant that produces the electrical energy the cost of production will fluctuate. In the conventional * power distribution net work- " the " mometary production cost, or the so called short time marginal cost, can not directly -influence the debiting for the amount of energy the consumer has consumed but the fee for the electrical energy is mainly gathered through fixed tariffs mainly based on the long term marginal cost. A load on the distributing net work is gathered by needs and the load varies heavily during day and night. Great variations occurs

between day and night, between different seasons like summe .. and winter. Because of bad correlation between the cost, fo production and the tariff there is no stimulus for th consumer to change pattern of behaviour concerning thei energy consumption whereby the irregular load on th distribution net work lasts.

This in combination with the fact that a conventiona electricity meter does not show the consumers' powe consumption in easy readable form, and naturally neither present electricity " tariff, the consumers has n possibilities to observe their momentary electricit consumption and the cost for it. The effect of save effort accomplished by the consumer cannot be identified and this would of course not influence the consumer's save efforts.

To the electric power producer the load peak of the energ consumption is determining how new electric power stations should be constructed. The production capability must be dimentioned for the largest possible load peaks to keep the voltage on the distribution network at a constant level. If these peak loads could be distributed out over the time the dimension of the electric power station could be set to a lower peak power level and be build to a lower cost which of course influence the energy tariff. Also the distribution network, such as transmission wires, transformers and the like, could be dimensioned for smaller power levels and be used at more uniform loads which is naturally more economical both for the power producer and for the country.

It is therefore desireable to make the consumer aware of <his momentary power consumption and make it possible to change the tariff dependent on if the production cost for -the electric energy goes up or down. By providing the every consumer with information about their energy consumptio ; ? and putting this in relation to the present tariff the consumers could be more aware about their costs. This could in turn influence the consumer to- bring at least a part of their

energy consumption to periods during the day and night, or during the year, when energy production cost is lower. This could for example result in that the consumers make the heating of their houses or flats partly during the night, use of washing machines, dish washers, dryers and the like could also preferably be moved to periods when the load on the distribution network and the energy tariff is lower. Because the consumer always is aware of his momentary power consumption and the cost for it increases the consumers propensity to save. In the long run this could bring about lower costs for new electric power stations and for new distribution networks for electric energy transmission.

Electricity meters adapted for indication of consumers momentary power consumptions and/or for indicating used energy by, for instance, monetary units are previously known by for example the US-PS 3.683.343. This invention concerns an energy meter system and has a number disadvantages. Among others the electricity meters, mainly of mechanical configuration, includes a number retardation coils, which heavily limits the number of values or tariffs possible to transmit on the distribution network and ' use for costs calculations. The reason is the band width required to transmit the various tariffs, because every rate value consists of one code or signal superimposed on the electricity distribution network. This bring about that only a few tariffs, with relatively large differences among themselves, can be used. Another disadvantage is that the consumers have not any possibilities to current read their present energy consumption on this electricity meter, because " the different tariff signals provided to the meter influence the speed gear and make it rotate with another speed when the -energy tariff is changed. The on the electricity meter shown -accumulated energy cost is therefore not an adequate value on ' -=the consumers accumulated energy consumption, counted in k h, which naturally is completely unsatisfying from the consumers point of view, because of that the accuracy of the registratal consumption is difficult to control. This

electricity meter is further more expensive to manufacture even in long series, because of its finemechanica construction and that its reliability could be questioned.

The purpose and the main feature of the invention The purpose of the present invention is to construct a electricity meter which eliminates the above related disadvantages and which detects a consumers power consumption, intergrates it over time, accumulates the energ consumption, and calculates the momentary power consumption in proportion to the present energy tariff, and shows this present energy tariff and the cost of the momentar consumption and the accumulated energy consumption via a display.

A further purpose is that by means of the invention it would be possible to define a tariff which is proportional to the energy producers' productions and transmitting costs.

A further purpose of the invention is to show an electricity meter by which the energy producers reading of the consumers accumulated energy consumption and changes of the tariff that may occur, would be essentially simplifyed whereby the costs for this work would be reduced.

The electricity meters should furthermore make it possible to change the consumers' energy consumption pattern so that the energy consumption in higher degree take place at periods with a lower tariff. As a consequence an alocation of the load on the distribution network and a saving effekt for the consumer is obtained.

This can be accomplished by a number of storage cells each adapted to, from a central processing unit, consecutively receive and store information related to the during a predetermined time period, by at least one sensor, detected energy consumption.

- U E


Description of the drawings

Fig. 1 shows a block diagram of an electricity meter, according to the invention, including a communication unit. Fig. 2 shows a block diagram of an electricity meter without communication unit, but including an internal clock. Fig. 3 shows a block diagram of an electricity meter with memory containing 24 hours load values.

Fig. 4 shows a flow chart of the principal function of an electricity meter.

Fig. 5 shows a flow chart of an electricity meter comprising a unit adapted for one-way communication.

Fig. 6 shows schematicly a circuit diagram of a driver of an indicator.

Fig. 7 shows a cirquit diagram of an analog-digital- converter, and. Fig. 8 shows a load graph for a week in December in Sweden.

Description of the preferred embodiment

The present invention relates to an electricity meter comprising as is shown in fig. 1 of a number of units schematically described as blocks. The most complex unit consists of a central processing unit 1 which controls input and output of signals and data. The central processing unit 1 is suitably composed by among other things a micro processor which in this embodiment is of the type INTEL-8095. Conventional memory units and interface units constitute the micro processors surrounding equipments. A number of external blocks, as for example aditional memory units and interface modules are connected to the central processing unit 1. Several of the memory cells (la-52d) are adapted in so called EAROM-circuits (Electrically Alterable Read Only Memory) , whose advantage is that when power failure occurs the input data remains unchanged. This is very important because short power failure may easily appear on the distribution network.

The central processing unit 1 is, via an analog-digital- converter 43, also connected to a sensor 2 adapted to current detect the consumers power consumption. In the case when the

consumer is connected to all three phases on the distribution network the measurement is carried out individually on each phase so that the registration of the consumers' total power consumption can be done. The sensor can be designed in many ways and it may for example consists of a so called multipli¬ cation sensor or a single sensor consisting or one or more so called Hall effect devices. As sensor 2 a conventional, electromechanical, k h-meter can also be used for example by means that it is provided with an optical reading device so that the speed of the rotating disc in the electricity meter could be detected.

For the purpose of making it possible to transfer information, such as point of time or tariffs, to the present electricity meter, there is a communication unit 3 connected between the central processing unit 1 and one or more of the phases of the distribution network. In this way an on the distribution network superposed and coded signal can be received and separated from the voltage of the distribution network. Such a transmitted signal is best modulated with a frequence of about 100 kHz and consists of different signal parts. One signal part may for example form an adress part and another signal part may define a data part, and both signal parts may also be provided with control code signals so the effect of possible noise on the distribution network would be considerably eliminated. The communication unit 3 acts only as a receiver and is therefore, in this embodiment, only able to receive signals.

The modem 4 connected to the central processing unit 1 makes it possible to connect a releasable external reading unit 5 in which, stored information in the electricity meter can be transmitted, for example in coded dataform. The modem 4 and the reading unit 5 may also be provided for communicati.on in both directions, i.e. instructions, for example information of new tariffs or other data intended to be stored in different memory cells of the electricity meter, may therefore be transmitted from the reading unit 5 to the

■■ -*. .. - 7 electricity meter. The modem 4 is therefore adapted, at current reading, to transfer the in the memory cells, of the electricity meter, stored information to an external data bank (not shown) via the reading unit 5. It is naturally also possible that- the electricity meter, via a modem 4, is permanently connected to the telephone network or other therefore intended contact lines. The transmitting of information in both directions can in this way frequently be carried out.

The reading unit 5 consists, like the central processing unit 1, of one microprocessor, programme memories and matching networks. Additionaly there are also for instance data memories. The connection of the micro processor, the programme memories and the matching network, are carried out according to conventional principles. That is why it is not discribed in detail here. The data memories in which information is stored before, transfer to ' the central computer, comprises of mass memories such as a cassett tape recorder, EAROM'S or buble memories. The reading unit 5 is removeably connected to the electricity meter via a cabel 55 provided with a multipolar contact plug. The programme routine consists among other things of an identity control where the electricity meters specific indentity code (ID) together with information about the consumers' accumulated consumption, and the cost for this, is stored in the memory of the reading unit 5.

Naturally the reading unit 5 may be provided with an indicator and a key set for visually control of the information and manual registration of the new tariffs.

The power outputs 52, 53, 54 of the electricity meter is connected to the conventional distribution box 6 where each phase is connected to a rail 7 (only one is shown) and to fuses (8-11)'. The system existing electricity at every consumer is not influenced and is not to be changed because of the construction of the electricity meter. No changes of

wall contacts* orYwires are necessary at the installation of the present electricity meter. However the electricity meter is constructed to transmit information about the momentary power consumption and the since the last reading accumulated energy consumption as well as present tariff, from the electricity meter to the external distribution network at the consumer location, to a display unit 12, which is connected to the distribution network via a conventional wall contact. The display unit 12 is provided with preferably three indicators 13, 14, 15 for example of the type of light emitting diodes or a liquid crystal display, via which alpha- numerical characters can be illustrated. The display unit 12 is furthermore, in the conventional manner, provided with electronic circuits adapted for receiving and decoding information and for driving the indicators 13, 14, 15.

As different groups of consumers, for example homes, industries and the like, often has different consumption behaviour and therefore pays different basic fees and electricity tariffs it is naturally necessary that the transmitting of new tariffs can be carried out selectively to each group of consumers or individual consumers. To make it possible for the signal transferred over the distribution network to cause changes only in the electricity meters desired, an identity unit 16 is adapted, to compare the on the distribution network transmitted address code with the in every meter earlier programmed unique address code and only initiate alterations in the meters whose identity code corresponds to the transmitted code.

In the intention to provide the display unit 12 with information about momentary power consumption, accumulated energy consumption expressed in monetary units, and present tariff, a transmitter 17 is adapted between the central processing unit 1 and one or more of the phases of the distribution network. The transmitters 17 convert the information transferred from the central processing unit 1 to a superposed signal code which is transferred to the

distribution network. The signal code is thus transmitted via the conventional distribution network to a display unit 12. Another way to ' transfer information is shown in figure 3, where the transmitter 17 is not connected to any of the distribution network phases, but to an infrared light emitting diod 18 adapted in the room where the display units 12 is placed. The information from the central processing unit 1 is converted by the transmitter 17 and it is there¬ after transferred to the infrared light emitter 18, which converts the signal code to modulated infrared light. This light is received by an infrared light receiver 20 arranged at the display unit 12.

Transferring of information from the electricity meter to the display unit 12 can naturally also be done via a therefore intended separate wire, which electrically connects the electricity meter with the display unit 12.

The electricity meter shown in figure 1 is furthermore provided with a number of memory cells here called la-52d. These memories are adapted so that four memory cells are used each week for storage of information. This means that the information stored during one year demands 208 memory cells. In the preferred embodiment the first week the memory cell la is supplied with information about the consumers' energy consumption at day time, and it is related to the electricity tariff concerning day time, which is stored in the mempry cell lc. At night the memory cells la and lc are both disconnected and the consumers' energy consumption in relation to the electricity tariff stored in the memory cell Id is accumulated and stored in the memory cell lb. During the second week of the registration period the memory cells are la-Id disconnected and the memory cells 2a and 2c are connected on day time and 2b and 2d at night time. In this manner all 208 memory cells are used during one year. The electricity meter shown in fig. 1 is therefore provided with information about point of time during night and day and present electricity tariff via the distribution network and

the communication unit, 3. After that power failure has occured the point of time, which is necessary for switching between day and night tariff, is automatically restored since the time information is transferred via the distribution network. Because of that the memory cells consist of so called EAROM-type the stored information in the memory cells la-52d does not disappear but remains intact practically irrespective of how long the power failure remains. No information will therefore disappear and the electricity meter continues to work- as usual after that the power has returned.

An electricity meter according to the invention without communication unit is shown in fig. 2. In this case no information is transferred from the distribution network to the electricity meter. Therefore an internal clock unit 21 is adapted to provide the electricity meter with time information. The clock unit 21 preferably consists of a mechanical clock, which starts to work at a power failure. An internal electronic clock circuit (located in the central processing unit, not shown) normally provides the electricity meter with time information, which is currently stored in a time memory 22 of EAROM-type. At a possible power failure the internal electronic clock fails and the mechanical clock unit 21 begins to work. When the power returns on the distribution network the central processing unit 1 automatically controls the difference which has occured between the time information stored in the time memory 22 and the time information which the clock unit 21 has registered. The difference is transferred to the time memory 22 and the central processor unit 1 can go on working as usual. When this electricity meter does not receive current, information about the level of the electricity tariff information about the 24 hours rythm of the seasons, must be stored. This method of arranging memory cells brings about that a differentiation of the debiting for night and day tariff from week to week during the year can take place. Because of the lack in the communication, the electricity meter is not provided with an

O. PI V'

identity unit (see fig. 2)

In Fig. 3 a further alternative of an electricity meter according to the invention is shown. This one differs from the electricity meter shown in.Fig. 2 in the manner that the clock unit 21 is displaced with' a normal consumption unit 23, via which the electricty meter adjusts the internal electronic clock after a power failure. This proceeds in that way the consumers' power consumption is currently stored and restores the normal consumption unit 23. Information with special characteristics is therefore always stored in the normal consumption unit 23. Because the consumers' consumption pattern not shows great variations from day to day is it possible for the central processing unit 1, after a power failure, to control where on the normal consumption graph 24 the power consumption is at present and thereafter determine the present point of time. The internal electronic clock can in this manner be set with relatively good precision. Since a microprocessor is used in the electricity meter for handling and calculations of data the micro¬ processor also can be used in a relatively complex calculation programme in such a way that the point of time is better and better adjusted and finally corresponds to the normal consumption graph when additional values on the graph is detected after a power failure.

With this invention it is naturally also possible to store data in the memory cells of the electricity meter, about the total electricity consumption in the country, expressed per time period. The data about this electricity consumption may for example be collected from historical year consumption graphs, week load graphs and/or consumption graphs concerning the 24 hours. An example on a weeks consumption graph is shown in Fig. 8. The vertical axis corresponds to percentage of a week's average consumption and the horisontal axis corresponds to the days of the week. It is seen how the load varies on the distribution network during a 24 hours' period and during a week. If consideration is also taken to the

variations during the year, for example the summer consumption or the winter consumption, the present electricity tariff may automatically be adjusted in the electricity meter in such a manner that the costs for the consumers electricity consumption per k h is reduced when the total electricity consumption in the country by experience is low, for example at night time and during the summer. New, restored, consumption graphs can thereafter be transferred to the electricity meter when they are changed so that the costs for the electric energy- ill be as proper as possible.

The storing of all these variables, such as load data, tariffs and so on, is made possible thanks to the new developed memories. A great number memory cells today goes into small chips, often not bigger than an ordinary integrated circuit. In electricity meters of this kind some types of solid state memories are suitable. Other memory types are naturally also possible to use, and it is also possible to use memories which at present are under developement.

If a number of memories are used every 24 hours, such as for example memory cells for days, evenings and nights consumption and corresponding memory cells are used for, for example predetermined, day, evening and night tariffs, about 2200 memory cells each year will be needed which with present memories occupies a neglectable volume in the electricity meters. In this way it is possible for the consumer to continously read for example present debiting per k h, and naturally the momentary electricity consumption and the total cost for the accumulated energy consumption.

It is also possible to registrate the consumers' real electricity consumption at different point of times in the electricity meter, such as day, evening and night consumption for each 24 hours during the year instead of storing normal load values, and afterwards by means of a central computer, compare the consumers' electricity consumption with power

producers' production costs or the country's total electricity consumption, of each period, and then stipulate the tariffs. This procedure has however several dis¬ advantages. The consumer can not for example current receive information about present tariff and consequently he can not dispose his electricity consumption to periodes when the electricity is cheaper. Neither can information be received of the cost for the total accumulated energy consumption.

Fig. 4 shows a program flow diagram, which discribes the functioning of an - electricity meter provided with communication unit 3. Every symbole in the program flow diagram are described shortly refering to their function.

25: start

26: initating of the communication unit (moves ID-number to another memory)

27: read the energy price from memory

28: read momentary power consumption

29: calculate the cost of the consumption

30: 'restore accumulated cost memory

31: restore present energy consumption in day, night or weekend memory

32: restore the display unit

33: wait one second

Fig. 5 shows in a corresponding manner a program flow diagram over an electricity meter including communication in one direction, i.e only receiving. The flow diagram symboles 34- 39 are described shortly in the same manner as above.

34: starts at message from the electric power station

(individual address or group address code)

35: read command code received via the communication unit

36: is the command code similar to 1

37: chose day, night or weekend tariff, based on present point of time and write in suitable memory

38: write new energy price in the energy price memory

39 : stop

In Fig. 6 is shown a circuit diagram concerning a part of the driving devices intended for the indicators 13, 14, 15 of the display 12. A transistor 40 supply the indicator 41 current in a way that some or all of the seven segments of the indicators are switched on. Which of the segments who should be activated depends among other things of the signals received from the inverters 42 outputs.

Fig. 7 shows a circuit diagram over an analogue-digital- converter 43, which converts the analogue signal from the sensor 2 to a digital signal which can be received and calculated by the central processing unit 1. The analogue- digital-converter consists mainly of conventional, electronic components such as for example operational amplifiers 44, 45, 46, a number of diodes, capacitors and resistors. The construction and functioning of the analogue-digital- converter is earlier known and is therefore not described in detail here.

The invention is naturally not limited to above related preferred embodiment but a number alternatively embodiments are possible within the claims.