“As energy consumption grows, managing and monitoring that consumption has never been more important. The need for finer control of supply through mechanisms such as Demand Response is growing in importance, and smart metering technologies are developing to support the more complex interactions these mechanisms require. The leading enabling technologies in smart metering are currently power-line and wireless communications, such as ZigBee®.
Smart metering is making significant inroads in industries where distributed devices need to be managed and monitored: commercial HVAC, data centre management, electric vehicle charging and street lighting are all benefiting from the remote management and monitoring capabilities of smart metering systems.
Incorporating smart metering into products adds complexity, and time to market is an important consideration for manufacturers and the difficulty of integrating the communications technologies required can be a stumbling block. Product development with power-line or ZigBee technologies requires specialist communications resource and end products must undergo independent certification testing. Companies like ByteSnap Design are simplifying the process by offering already certified modules that consolidate the communications and metering in a single unit ready to integrate into end-customer products.”
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