Traditionally, metering has been used by utility companies to measure energy and bill for the quantity or volume of the utility being delivered and for a network to be balanced between the supplier and the shipper. For some energy-intensive industries, energy cost is the highest and for many others, it is the second-highest cost after staff salaries. Therefore, measure energy for effective energy management is a big concern for saving money and resources at the same time. In order to save, you should know how much you consume. Metering plays a big role here. Industrial gases are normally measured in terms of equivalent volume units at stated reference conditions (temperature and pressure). To facilitate this, a gas metering system typically include a volumetric flow metering device, pressure and temperature sensors, and a computational device as shown in the figure below. Source: http://www.kep.com/training-aids/ST2_training_aids/Gas_metering_intro.pdf Volumetric flow measuring devices can be of different categories including:
- Positive displacement
- Ultrasonic and
- Differential pressure meters (eg. orifice or Pitot tube)
Source: http://www.tuvnel.com/_x90lbm/The_Calibration_of_Flow_Meters.pdfThe meter reading was traditionally collected manually. Nowadays, in many installations, Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) is possible and helps also reducing the metering reading cost. Smart metering is a novel concept that enables real-time consumption data collection and billing accordingly. The following figure shows one example of a daily gas consumption pattern collected by a smart gas meter. Source: http://www.watergroup.com.au/gas The consumer benefits of smart metering include getting more insight into usage patterns gives more understanding to determine and reveal potential areas and opportunities for resource and cost savings across the facility. Are you an engineer? What was your best project that helped a company measure energy more efficiently? Would you like to connect and help other companies solve their open innovation energy challenges? Challenge yourself and learn continuously!