Deer Technology’s new LimpetReader cost-effectively converts analogue electricity meters to smart meters simply and quickly. Electricity wholesalers and retailers can benefit, as well as asset managers and consumers. Millions of analogue electricity meters in the UK could be converted using the patented LimpetReader system.
To convert an analogue meter, the compact, battery-powered LimpetReader is attached to the faceplate using optical adhesive or tape; installation typically takes around 10 minutes, with no need to dismantle the meter or disconnect the supply. For dual-register meters, two LimpetReaders are installed to capture readings from each register. If desired, a meter can still be read manually without disturbing the LimpetReader.
Deer Technology has designed the LimpetReader to be extremely compact so that it fits easily within a meter cabinet. A key element of the opto-electronic device’s design is multiple micro-cameras that capture date- and time-stamped images of the meter’s register. These are sent automatically to Deer Technology’s secure servers using GSM technology over any of the UK’s established mobile phone networks. Once on the server, the individual images are stitched together with image processing software to create a single, distortion-free register image. This is converted to a numerical value for the electricity consumption.
The LimpetReader is uniquely classified as a visual read for regulatory purposes. As a result, suppliers are not obliged to visit the meter periodically to take confirmatory visual readings, which is in stark contrast to AMR systems.
For electricity wholesalers and retailers, the LimpetReader offers cost reductions because visual readings are no longer required. There are also environmental benefits through not having to use vehicles to visit meters, as well as health and safety benefits from eliminating site visits. Fines for failing to read meters are eliminated, accurate consumption data is available and billing is more accurate through the elimination of estimated readings. As a result, customer satisfaction and retention are improved.
Customer benefits include accurate billing based on real-time data not estimates, the ability to choose read frequencies, and better visibility of data that can help cut consumption, save costs and reduce carbon footprint. If different areas of a site have separate meters, energy usage can easily be allocated to relevant cost centres. Similarly, building owners can use LimpetReaders for sub-metering and billing tenants.
Deer Technology provides a comprehensive service covering meter installation through to data management. The service starts with a customer consultation – and the customer could be a wholesaler, retailer, asset manager or consumer. Having agreed the optimum overall solution to the problem of meter reads and data management, Deer Technology then installs the LimpetReaders and delivers a data service for reporting, visualisation and exporting data to the customer’s databases as required.