The development of an on-chip-metering solution

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Energy Measurements Ltd (EML), a joint venture partnership between Siemens and Spescom, manufacture prepaid electricity utility meters for both the local and international markets. Under the brand name CASHPOWER 2000, EML produces single and polyphase prepayment utility meters. Currently, these meters currently utilise a separate module for the measuring of electrical energy. In order to reduce component costs, EML proposed the energy measurement be conducted by the onboard Microcontroller Unit (MCU), a term known as On-Chip-Metering (OCM). It is envisioned that this would quickly translate in an increase in revenue. However, a major concern regarding this has been the increase in the required processor overhead. The CASHPOWER 2000 embedded MCU would be required to conduct all the present metering functionality in addition to the energy measurement. This, together with the cost analysis and compliance with the stipulated IEC1036 regulations, constitute the key criteria in determining the projects viability. This dissertation represents the investigative and development stages of a prototype algorithm and accompanying peripheral hardware as a possible solution for OCM. As part of the preliminary research, several examples of digital power and energy-measurement techniques were investigated. A comparative analysis of these was performed to facilitate the development of a unique solution based on the research conducted. This completed, a prototype was developed and preliminary testing was conducted to determine its compliance with the stipulated regulations for a class 2 meter, as per IEC1O36 specifications.

Includes bibliographical references.