Conventionally, meter readers must physically visit and read electricity meters every month. This brings the following challenges:

• Manual meter reading lacks the accuracy and efficiency of IoT solutions, and the high labor costs are high. Metering data cannot be collected and analyzed in real time.

• Traditional meter reading cannot enable prepayment or differentiated pricing. Bills can only be paid at official service centers. This decreases the efficiency of electricity fee collection.

• Electricity theft cannot be prevented, and electrical data cannot be collected in real time to analyze line loss efficiently.

To address these problems, we provide two solutions for the electric power industry:

The PLC-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution and the eLTE-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution. The PLC-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution uses wired technologies and is deployed when there are no restrictions on deployment costs. The eLTE-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution uses wireless technologies and is widely deployed when meters are distributed or urban renewal is ongoing.

The PLC-IoT AMI Meter Reading Solution makes use of broadband Hi-PLC meter reading technology, which features a data rate 20 times higher than that of narrowband Power Line Communication (PLC) meter reading technology. This solution provides broadband over power lines (BPL) communications, ensuring a 100% meter reading success rate. This enables real-time bi-directional communications for meter reading and meets requirements of the future smart grid for metering data collection and electricity fee control.

This solution provides online self-help services by providing customers with household or industry smart prepaid electricity meters. With these smart meters in place, users receive an email or a text notification several days before the bill is due. Electric utilities can provide customers with detailed electricity bills. Users can pay the bills through rechargeable cards, automatic payment machines, and service centers. This way, electricity fee collection is accelerated by two or three months.

The AMI system can also provide customers with a clear view of the transformers, power lines, and other aspects of the power distribution grid. This way, customers can identify the potential risks of the power grid in time. When the power grid has exceptions, such as transformer overloading, theft of electricity, or electric leakage, alarms are automatically generated. The electric utilities can quickly locate problems, and dispatch staff to the right location to fix the problems. The comprehensive analysis helps identify exceptions, so as to reduce line loss by over 31% and prevent electricity theft.

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