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Education and Innovation in Embedded Systems Design

USI Università della Svizzera italiana, USI Faculty of Informatics, Advanced Learning and Research Institute USI Università della Svizzera italiana USI Faculty of Informatics USI Advanced Learning and Research Institute
TitleIntelligent, low-power and low-cost measurement system for energy consumption
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsMinosi, A., A. Martinola, S. Mankan, M. Prevostini, A N. Kostadinov, and F. Balzarini
Conference NameVECIMS 2003
Date PublishedJuly 27-29
Conference LocationLugano
Keywordsmeasurement systems, meter reading systems, power consumption

In the area of utility measurement systems, there is increasing awareness to the importance of using intelligent and secure meter readers. The aim is not simply that of reducing operational costs; aspects such as availability of real-time determination of consumption (mainly in the case of energy meters, but potentially also for water consumption etc.) are relevant not only for actions such as real-time billing but also in view of an increasing environmental awareness leading to 'preferential' billing in particular times of the day or of the week and requiring availability of fine-grained statistics. All these actions in turn involve the requirement of data integrity; when utilities other than power providers are considered, the device should be battery-powered (and very long battery life must be granted), so that low-power design becomes a further requirement while being permanently either in active or in standby mode; moreover, not being connected to the power network means that wireless connections for transmitting and receiving information must be taken into account. Finally, these devices should be made available to the general public and thus be low-cost ones. This paper describes how all the above constraints have been analyzed in the design of a wireless meter reading system.