Test for immunity to conducted differential mode disturbances of power ports in the 2-150 kHz frequency range with special view of smart meters

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Dr. Varjú György
Department of Electric Power Engineering

The penetration of smart metering shows a very varied picture in Europe nowadays. While in a few countries close to 100% of the meters already have the necessary qualities, in others, such as Hungary, the technology is in its infancy. Although an EU directive requires an 80% coverage in each of the member states by 2020, it is difficult to predict when the use of intelligent meters will gain ground widely. In addition, the penetration of these devices, thus the experiences gained from the already operating systems is continuously shedding light on the defects and flaws of smart metering. These problems can be economical and technical kinds.

The latter includes the fact that the measured medium - to which the meter as an electronic device is connected - is extremely noisy. This will obviously lead to errors in the measurement, which must be within the appropriate limits. There are two solutions to this problem: testing the meters for immunity to disturbances or regulating the emission of devices connected to low voltage network. Until their recent discovery in Sweden, these problems had not been dealt with meaningfully. Due to these incidents, standardization process has been started, and this year, its first result is a standard defining the levels and test for immunity to disturbances. However, at the time of publishing this document, several millions of smart meters are operating, and their operators obviously want to know, whether the meters meet the standard’s requirements.

ELMŰ - a Hungarian electric utility company, which is participating in the Hungarian pilot project – commissioned Budapest University of Technology and Economics to examine this issue. I could also take part in this research.

In my thesis, I review the disturbances occurring in the consumer network, as well as the ways to reduce them. I give a picture about the situation of smart metering in Hungary and about the ongoing processes. Moreover, I describe the standard guidelines of testing for immunity to disturbances, in terms of the devices that are connected to low voltage network. Finally, I summarize the implementation of the measurements of ELMŰ’s smart meters and I also give a summary about the test results.


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