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A prepaid meter using mobile communication

A Jain, M Bagree

Abstract


Energy meters in India have dominantly been electromechanical in nature but are gradually being replaced by more
sophisticated and accurate digital and electronic meters. A high percentage of electricity revenue is lost to power theft, incorrect meter reading and billing, and reluctance of consumers towards paying electricity bills on time. Considerable amount of revenue losses can be reduced by using Prepaid Energy Meters. A prepaid energy meter enables power utilities to collect energy bills from the consumers prior to the usage of power by delivering only as much as what has been paid for. This paper suggests a prepaid energy meter behaving like a prepaid mobile phone. The meter contains a prepaid card analogous to mobile SIM card. The prepaid card communicates with the power utility using mobile communication infrastructure. Once the prepaid card is out of balance, the consumer load is disconnected from the utility supply by the contactor. The power utility can recharge the prepaid card remotely through mobile communication based on customer requests. A prior billing is bound to do away with the problems of unpaid bills and human error in meter readings, thereby ensuring justified revenue for the utility. The proposed prepaid meter is implemented in a software model and Matlab has been used for simulation.