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Smart Metering

According to the Confederation of British Industry, 30% of the energy that companies buy is wasted. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors estimates that buildings in the UK account for around 44% of our carbon emissions. As energy costs continue to spiral, we can expect more and more regulations that require us to install equipment that not only controls and regulates energy use, but that helps us to understand where and how the energy is used. Part L2 of the building regulations 2010 states “Reasonable provision for energy meters would be to install energy metering systems that enable at least 90% of the estimated annual energy consumption of each fuel to be assigned to the various end-use categories (heating, lighting etc.)”

There is no doubt that meters help building owners and managers account for energy use, and that this knowledge should form a strategy for energy reduction initiatives.

Part L also requires that in buildings with a floor area of greater than 1000m2

Part L also states: “Meters should be provided to enable the performance of any renewable energy system provided as part of the works to be separately monitored and in buildings with a total floor area greater than 1000 m2; the metering system should enable automatic meter reading and data collection.”

Buildings of this size normally have a BEMS. Therefore a sensible strategy would be to integrate the metering with the BEMS system, which has the capability to process data and present in many formats, from simple graphs right up to data export to enterprise level.

The simplest way to record fuel consumption is via a pulse. The BEMS can count the pulses and create usage trends and graphical data. More sophisticated meters – smart meters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_meter) – are able to accumulate a greater amount of data in a much more sophisticated manner. For example where an electricity pulse meter may only deliver a pulse per kWhr, a smart meter will be able to monitor voltage, current, kWhr, kVaHr, power factor etc. The information is presented whether or not there is a requirement to process the information. A further benefit of smart meters is their ability to record data if the BEMS is disconnected, or develops a problem. When the BEMS goes back online –the data is has accrued.

Horizon Controls can advise you on your smart metering strategy, and supply the equipment you require, and advise you how to get the information you need from your smart meters into your BEMS system, which is normally by collecting pulses, or providing MODBUS OR M-BUS interfaces.

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