Every product or quantity we consume in our day-to-day life is measured using some measuring devices called as meters like tachometer used for measuring speed of electric motors or generators, voltmeters used for measuring voltage, ammeters used for measuring current and so on. Similarly, electric power we consume in our daily life is measured using electricity consumption meters for calculating the electricity charges. These electricity consumption meters are generally called as energy meters. There are different types of energy meters such as prepaid energy meters, induction type energy meters, analog or digital electric energy meters, three phase or single phase energy meters, electromechanical energy meters, microcontroller based wireless energy meters, smart energy meters and so on.
Wireless Electricity Consumption Meter
Wireless power meters or wireless energy meters are wireless technology based electricity consumption meters. They are used for measuring power or electric energy and also to monitor using wireless communication. Wireless communication modules (such as GSM) enable the conventional energy meters to become wireless energy meters. These wireless meters eliminate manpower for metering and billing the customer’s electricity consumption.
Working of Wireless Microcontroller based Energy Meter
The electricity consumption meter shown in the figure facilitates the billing of energy meter along with load control using wireless GSM technology. This is a microcontroller based wireless energy meter, as 8051 microcontroller is used for controlling the entire system. This microcontroller based wireless energy meter consists of major components or blocks such as microcontroller, relays, loads, electricity consumption meter, LCD display, power supply circuit, GSM modem, DB9 connector, MAX232, and relay driver.
The block diagram of microcontroller based electricity consumption meter is shown in the figure which consists of different blocks as mentioned above. To better understand the working of microcontroller based wireless energy meter, we must the working of each block of electronic energy meter.
Working of each block of Wireless GSM Based Electricity Consumption Meter
As mentioned above, there are different blocks in the wireless electricity consumption meter. The major blocks are power supply block, microcontroller block, GSM modem block, and relay-loads block.
Power Supply Block
This is basic block in every electrical and electronics projects circuit, which is used for providing the required power to the microcontroller and other components in the circuit. Generally, this power supply block consists of step-down transformer, bridge rectifier, and IC 7805 voltage regulator. Thus, the required 5V DC power supply is given to the microcontroller.
The microcontroller block can be considered as the main block of the entire circuit, as it is programmed to control all the components to perform the desired operation. Here, in this project microcontroller of 8051 family is used and programmed using Keil software. The energy meter is interfaced with the microcontroller using an interfacing device or middle wire device namely Opto-isolator. Similarly, GMS modem is interfaced with a microcontroller using an interfacing device called as MAX232 and DB9 connector.
Relays and Loads Block
Relays are interfaced with microcontroller using relay driver. The loads are connected between the relays and energy meter, such that loads are given a 230V AC power supply for their operation. This 230V AC power supply is given to operate the loads until the relays are switched by the user by sending SMS from the registered mobile number to the GSM modem to turn off the loads. Primarily, we need to register the authorized person mobile number with the wireless electricity consumption meter. This, registered mobile number can only have access or authority to regulate the loads and monitor the wireless energy meter system.
The microcontroller is programmed to give control commands to the relay driver such that to switch on or off the relays. By using registered mobile number, we can send appropriate commands to the GSM modem as per requirement, which are further used to switch on or off the loads using relays through relay driver. Thus, same information regarding the status of the GSM modem communication with energy meter, the status of the load whether it is on or off, the energy consumed by the loads, SMS sent to the GSM modem, the mobile number registered with the GSM modem will be displayed on the LCD display connected in the circuit.
In this wireless energy meter, GSM modem SIM sends message to the registered mobile number (user mobile number has to be registered to get the electricity bill via SMS) for every regular time interval. Thus, we can check electricity bill in our registered mobile itself by staying anywhere (even though we are far away from residential areas).
The wireless electricity consumption meter reduces the manpower for electricity billing to each and every home or office. This wireless meter system facilitates the user to check the electricity bill over regular intervals based on the requirement. By using this microcontroller based wireless energy meter we can check and pay our electricity bills online from anywhere (even we can get reminded about electricity bills via SMS), so that we can pay bills and avoid the electric power supply disconnections.
With the advancement in technology, most advanced types of electricity consumption meters are being designed and used for various applications. These advanced types of electricity consumption meters include prepaid energy meters which are almost similar to prepaid mobile phones we use in our daily life. These prepaid meters are used for paying the electricity bill in advance; based on the prepaid amount the electricity is supplied. After the completion of the prepaid amount, the electricity supply is automatically stopped until furthermore, money is paid for reactivating the power supply.
GSM based wireless energy meter reading system used to display the bill of the user continuously on LCD display.
Detecting the power theft prior to feeding energy meter and also intimating to the control room using GSM.
Are you aware wireless energy meters along with home automation through GSM technology or any other advanced electricity consumption meters used in real time applications? If you are interested in designing your own electrical projects, then you can approach us for technical help by posting your queries or ideas in the comments section below.