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Thanks for visiting us at EDIE Live

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We were exhibiting at the EDIE Live at the NEC on 23/24 May 2017.  The Edie exhibition is focused on energy, sustainability and resource efficiency for businesses and end-users.  This was a great opportunity to showcase the new WiFi Smart Meter and Openmetrics web portal, as well as latest generation GPRS smart meters for twin-element metering.  We would like to thank everyone who came to visit us on the stand and hope to see you again next year.

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Latest Openmetrics Updates – Add new meter wizard

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Summary of web portal updates

The Openmetrics web portal has seen a number of improvements in the most recent update.  A summary of each of these is as follows with instructions how to use them:-

1. Add new meter wizard

In the top right of the dashboard there is a new button ‘Add New Meter’.  This can be used to easily add new meters to your account that have been purchased from the store.  Too add a meter to your account, enter the meter serial number and the PIN code.  The PIN can be found on a label printed on the side of the meter.  If both these details match the serial/pin combination then the meter is instantly added to the account.

2. Accounts email address added to Details page

Invoices and statements can be sent to a different email address than the one used for other notifications.  Go to Details then scroll down to ‘Enable statements and invoices to be sent to a different email address’, then enter the email and click Save. 

3. WiFi smart meter enhancements

Improved integration with the new WiFi smart meter for backdating missed meter readings when the server or the meter loses the local WiFi connection.  The meter has 24 hours of storage to hold meter readings that are not pushed to the server.

4.  Threshold monitoring alerts based on number of consecutive threshold triggers

From the Details page you can now set the number of consecutive days of low or high thresholds before an alert is pushed.  For example, you may only want the email alert to be triggered after 3 consecutive days of low energy generation. In which case set it to 3 days.

5.  Various glitch fixes

  • Timeouts for CSV exports causing many emails not to arrive
  • Monthly overview chart caption box fixed to show correct year and month format
  • Invoice formatting improvements, including description shown in itemised area

WiFi Smart Meter is Here!

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The WiFi Smart Meters enables automatic meter readings over WiFi .  The Emlite electric meter combines with the new WiFi module to send accurate meter readings every few minutes to the Openmetrics web portal.

New WiFi Hat

Same Emlite meter, new hat for WiFi connectivity.

MID Approved Meter

For use as a feed-in-tariff generation meter, billing meter or export meter with full MID approval.

App Based Installation Tools

Android and IOS apps are for pairing the meter with a local WiFi network

Retrofit WiFi Module

The WiFi module can be hot swapped to existing Emlite base meters on single or twin-element models.

LED Status Indicators

The WiFi module has 2 RGB LEDs to indicate the communication status and current mode of operation.

Openmetrics Web Portal

Sends readings direct to the Openmetrics server where you can enjoy all the same monitoring tools as for any other AMR meter.

15 Minute Readings*

The meter sends readings every 15 minutes but can be configured for more frequent readings.

No SIM Card

Which means no more problems finding a GSM signal or committing to long term SIM contract.

Twin Element Compatible

The WiFi module can be fitted to dual measuring element Emlite meters for monitoring net energy consumption, useful for PPA systems.

Buy Now

The meter can be purchased from the store now!

Android and iOS Configuration App

Start by downloading the app from the Apple Store or Google Play store.  These easy to use apps provide a step-by-step to pair the WiFi meter to the home WiFi network.

Contact us for pricing and to request a demonstration of the Openmetrics web portal to show the WiFi smart meter in action on a live installation.

goodenergylogo

Automating FIT submissions to Good Energy

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We are working with Good Energy to automate FiT submissions for our customers who currently use Openmetrics for automatic meter readings.  Openmetrics will send meter readings directly to Good Energy at monthly intervals for claiming the feed in tariff.

This is an opt-in service, so please contact us to activate this feature for your account to start enjoying the benefits.

Benefits of automated FiT submissions to Good Energy

  • Saving time and effort putting the reading submissions together to send to us
  • Eliminating human error and increasing the number of successful submissions
  • Increasing our load factor tolerance range, meaning far fewer reading failures
  • Ability to submit readings right at the end of the quarter, meaning you’ll be paid for a full calendar quarter and have less time to wait between submitting the reading and getting paid
  • We’ll take interim readings each month too, so that you’ll get an earlier and more regular warning if any sites were to fail our tolerance checks or are on hold for other reasons, giving you more time to fix any problems

New Openmetrics Tools for Managing Assets: Log book and file repository

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Some handy new tools have been added to the Openmetrics web portal for logging messages and uploading files.  These tools will make it easier for users to manage maintenance tasks and store useful information relating to individual meters.

Openmetrics administrators can also use the status messages for keeping users informed of any back-end tasks that have been done to a meter.  For example in response to technical queries or proposed maintenance, technical datasheets, and contractual information can be posted to the meter’s log book.

Log status messages for meters

Status messages can have 3 levels of urgency: urgent, normal and low.  Which are coloured red, blue and green respectively.  This is a convenient way of storing planned and completed actions for a meter.  For example if a site visit is needed to install a GSM antenna or do other maintenance an urgent message can be created and logged to the meter.  When the task is done another message in low priority green can be added to notify other users.  Status messages are given a timestamp when they are created.

Store images or files

All types of file can be uploaded from a local directory for convenient storage.  Installation images, technical PDF documents, service level agreements, and other files can be uploaded here providing they do not exceed 5mb size.

When a file is uploaded a timestamped status message is created to show when the file was added.  Images can be accessed by clicking on the thumbnail under Files.  And deleted by clicking on X to remove the file.  Currently only administrators can remove files.

How much is your solar PV system generating?

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How much energy is being generated by your solar photovoltaic power plant?

This is essentially what everyone who owns a solar power plant wants and needs to know.  How much did it generate today?  What about yesterday? This month, this year, and since it was installed?  There are two ways of finding this out.   The old analogue way, and the smart way using a smart generation meter.

  • Is the solar system generating as much as it should be?

  • If not, how much should it be generating this month?

  • What have been my earnings from FIT payments in the last quarter?

  • Is there a problem with my solar system?

All these questions can be answered using meter readings collected automatically from a smart generation meter with the Openmetrics web service. Whats more, if your solar system ever does suffer a malfunction and turn off the meter will send an alert to notify you that something has gone wrong and it needs looking it.  This is one of the biggest benefits compared to a basic solar meter.

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Openmetrics Web Dashboard

Openmetrics Latest Update – Enhanced User Interface

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The OpenMetrics Web Portal has recently been updated to bring new enhancements to the user interface and introduce new tools for analysing energy performance.  These changes have been rolled out to all users and affect all types of meters being used for generation and import/export monitoring.

Summary of updates:
  • Improved layout of Meter Information page
  • Meter details and threshold alerts shown
  • Average, minimum and maximum values shown for daily,weekly and monthly energy totals
  • Cumulative current month energy total shown
  • System performance ratio
  • Generation statistics on solar output
  • Peak solar performance

Some of these new features are only shown when viewing the individual day’s data where half-hour profile is charted.  These statistics are specific to the energy yield on that day.

Generation Statistics

There is now a group of useful statistics for monitoring solar generation meters that show how many hours of generation there have been and the time when the solar system started and stopped generating.

15
Hours of Generation
7
Sunrise
22
Sunset

Peak Output

The peak output is the maximum output recorded at any time during the day.  This is the actual rate of energy rather than the total yield in any time period.  The peak output is also used to calculate the system performance ratio by comparing against the system installed capacity.  The time of the peak kWh is also used to show when the solar system was performing at its best.  For consumption or export meters, the peak import or export is shown here instead.

92.1
Peak Measured Generation

System Performance

The system performance is a ratio of peak recorded output against maximum installed capacity.  The system size is reduced by 14% to account for typical system efficiency losses. This provides a realistic indication to show to what extent output is reaching is full potential.  On a sunny day in the middle of summer this should occasionally hit 100%.

87
of Peak Solar Capacity

Highs & Lows

The Openmetrics energy totals graph shows the maximum, minimum and average generation totals for daily, week and monthly charts.  These stats are also available for import/export meters and twin element meters that have import/export/generation/net consumption totals.  Click on the values to jump to the specific day’s half-hour data to view in more detail.

Location & System Information

For added convenience the details and meter type are shown above the main charting area.  These can be edited in the usual way by going to Edit Meter. We strongly recommend entering system information and location for using the PVGIS performance benchmarking tools available for generation meters.

Threshold Alert Settings

The minimum and maximum threshold settings can be set from the Edit Page along with other system details.  This simply shows the current threshold settings for the meter that will raise an alarm if energy exceeds or goes below on any day.

Screenshots with captions
Contact

Use the contact form below to request a demonstration.  Someone will be in contact with login details to view the demonstration account that has a selection of GPRS smart meters monitoring solar PV systems, wind turbines, EV charge points, export meters and twin element meters.

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aslh308 modem a1140 meter

Setting up Elster A1140 meters for automatic meter reading

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The Elster A1140 is a ‘smart-ready’ three phase electric meter that comes as a direct connect or CT operated version.  The A1140 can be used as a standard three phase meter without a GSM modem, or can be retrofitted with a communications module for automatic meter reading.

The ASLH308 GSM Modem

The ASLH308 is the preferred communications module for upgrading GPRS connectivity on the A1140 range of meters.  The module has a RJ11 socket that connects to the serial port under the terminal cover of the meter.  The also provides sufficient power for the module.

The GPRS communications module acts as a gateway to route requests from the Openmetrics data collection server to the meter.  The module has a network roaming SIM card that can use any available network operator to create a reliable data link even in low signal quality areas.  This also prevents the need to exchange SIM cards for one that has coverage.

The module has an internal antenna connected by 2 flying leads to the internal modem.  This allows for an external antenna to be connected to one of the leads for improving the signal reception.  A high-gain antenna can be located outside of an enclosure or away from the meter to improve the signal quality.

Checking signal quality at the meter

The meter’s display will update the current signal quality every 10 seconds.  If the number is below 14 then it may be necessary to use an external GSM antenna to bring this above 14.  Also it helps indicate a suitable location for an external antenna.

Programming the meter to talk with the modem

The meter must be programmed to match the settings of the modem in order to communicate between the two devices.  Typically this means the meter must setting the baud rate and parity, the serial port power settings, outstation number, L3 and L2 meter passwords, and communications timeout are all known by the meter reading service provider.

In some cases it is possible to remotely reprogram the modem to the same as the meter if this information is known.  This is often as issue where the meter and module have been provided by different companies.

Final steps

After  the module is connected and powered up, the installer can use the LED  indicators on the device to check that a GPRS connection is established.  The installers guide shows how to read the red, green and amber LEDS to diagnose faults or confirm everything is working normally.

Meters and modems can be purchased from the store here.  All meters come with modems as standard with network roaming SIMs for automatic meter reading on the Openmetrics web portal.  The ASLH308 GSM modem can be purchased from the store here.

 

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How to setup PVGIS performance monitoring on Openmetrics

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The Photovoltaic Geographical Information Survey, or PVGIS, is a database model of solar irradiation and light levels across Europe.  Openmetrics uses this information to accurately predict the yield of a solar photovoltaic power plant to compare against actual meter readings received from smart meters.

Openmetrics needs to know some details about each solar installation before a performance ratio can be calculated from PVGIS.  The location, system size in peak kWh, slope of the panels, and azimuth are used to find the estimated energy yields for each month of the year.  Actual meter readings from the smart meter are compared against predicted yields to return a performance ratio.  This is a percentage of performance indicating whether the PV system is above or below the PVGIS prediction.

PVGIS Openmetrics Chart
PVGIS Monitoring Dashboard

A system that is over performing compared to PVGIS will have a % greater than 100, and a system that is underperforming will have a % less than 100.  Openmetrics makes it easy to identify systems that are underperforming, possibly due to shading issues, or underperforming inverter, or other system fault.  A performance ratio of below 75% at the end of the month warrants further investigation of the system.

The performance ratio is based on meter readings since the start of the current calendar month.  Calculating the ratio in this way may seem illogical however it means that at the end of the month you have an accurate and stable indication of system performance.  The downside of this is that in the first 10 days of the month the performance ratio can vary wildly due to fluctuating weather conditions.  This is the accepted method in the solar industry for monitoring system performance, in order to create end of month reports.

Follow these steps to setup PVGIS performance benchmarking on Openmetrics

Go to Edit from the Meter Information page or from the dashboard.

Expand Show Performance Information to reveal the PVGIS fields. Enter the location post code or longitude/latitude, the PVGIS database to use, kWp, slope, and azimuth.  This is the facing angle relative to south.  E.g. a south facing system has an azimuth of 0, east facing of 90.

Pick the Climate-SAF database you wish to use:

  • Classic PVGIS
  • Climate-SAF
  • PVSOL

Find more information on which PVGIS database to use here.

Then click the checkbox to enable this meter for performance statistics. Finally click Save Meter Data at the foot of the page.

The Edit page will reload and now show a table of monthly predicted yields for the current year.

PVGIS Edit System Details
PVGIS Display Options

Analysing Historic PVGIS Performance

The performance charts can be accessed from the dashboard by clicking on the performance ratio in the PV PERF column.  Also from the meter information by clicking the performance percentage below the main chart area.

This open a new page which charts the predicted yields against actual system yields for the current calendar year.   The currently viewed data range can be changed by selecting the to and from dates in the drop down box.  Or to view the day-by-day chart for an individual month, select the month and year from the drop down box, then click Go.