Design of a GSM-Based Smart Metering System

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The essence of using prepayment meters, in the management of power is to help improve on cash flow, reduce credit and arrears collection costs, avoid deposits and monthly bills as well as reconnect charges, and many more. These benefits have not been fully explored due to the nature of many prepayment meter implementations where each customer has to disconnect his prepayment card and send to the vender before billing and other services can be implemented. With the spread of internet use and web based application, there is the need to focus on how prepayment meters and utility meters can be aided to stay online. This thesis presents the design and implementation of a Global System for Mobile communication (GSM)-Based Smart Metering System. Embedded functionalities of PICs and GSM module are used to design a meter which is capable of reading and storing electrical power consumptions and sends the readings and various statuses to a server periodically or in real time for billing and report generation purposes. Various requests and updates are also sent to the meter from the server through Short Messaging Service (SMS), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) or both. Web based applications such as Client Web and SMS Access as well as Management Web Access are developed using C#, PHP and MySQL database to present both the consumers and the power companies with the ability to interact with the meter remotely. The GSM-Based Smart Metering System is capable of providing the power companies and the consumers the full benefit of the Prepayment Metering Systems as well as an enhancement of the Post-payment Metering Systems in Ghana. Remote control and other capabilities of the system are tested with the prototype GSM-Based Smart Meter connected to a normal household load. Full control of the meter is achieved and a granular consumption details are obtained and log of all metering activities registered on the Database Server.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Computer Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Of Master of Philosophy (Mphil), November-2012