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Difference between Smart and Analogue Meters

Difference between Smart and Analogue Meters

Electric meters measure the amount of electricity used in a commercial or residential building. They can be either analogue meters or digital meters, which are also known as smart meters. Both types of meters provide the data on the electricity consumed to run heating and cooling systems, lights, appliances, and other devices that run on electricity.

Analogue meters are the basic and time-tested meters that are used for monitoring the electricity usage. These meters have multiple spinning dials which are read to find out the accurate amount of energy consumed. While analogue meters had been quite popular, the problem with them is that they are often confusing for the average consumer to read. Imagine five different dials moving in alternate directions i.e. if one dial is moving in the clockwise direction, the one adjacent to it will move in an anticlockwise direction. While qualified representatives from the electricity meter suppliers in India can read these numbers easily, the average consumer may find it tedious. Having said that, analogue meters have continued to perform one purpose: tell the consumer how much power they have consumed since they checked the meter reading last time.

Smart meters, on the other hand, are much more interactive and multifunctional than the analogue meters. They can record the electricity use on a daily basis and share this information between the electricity suppliers and the consumers over wireless frequency networks. Smart meters, therefore, make for a home energy management system.

A home energy management system enables consumers to bring together interactive devices to create an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Together, this intricate system can help manage energy. Smart meters, for instance, can be programmed to reduce electricity use during the nonpeak hours in the near future. This can cut down costs to a great extent. Additionally, this interactive feature can help utility companies to push for energy management and conservation. They can adjust loads during the period of a potential system overload, particularly during extreme weather conditions. This is why electricity meter manufacturers in India have been supporting smart meters for a while now.

However, smart meters have also posed some concerns particularly related to health, accuracy, and privacy. Some question the accuracy of smart meters and whether these meters are not susceptible to errors. While it possible that smart meters may be generating faulty readings, supports claim that one should overlook other factors affecting the meters. For instance, billing cycle changes, weather conditions, and faulty home appliances can also smart meters to report inaccurate readings. Cases across the world have reported billing errors from smart meters that make the concern valid. Health activities have also questioned the potential risks that can pose a serious threat to consumer health. Smart meters use wireless radio frequencies that emit low-level radiation. Prolonged exposure to the same can cause health risks. Lastly, privacy advocates have questioned the gathering of information by the smart meters and the possibilities of this information being misused. All these concerns are valid and need resolution if smart meters can completely replace the analogue meters.

Irrespective of these concerns smart meters have a potential future and will very likely replace the analogue meters.

HPL Electric and Power Limited is a leading player in the electrical equipment industry in India. Choose from a wide range of its LED products that have been certified to conform to Indian and International standards such as ISI, CE, and KEMA.

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