Question for NSMB electrical geeks: Aside from their remote info transmission capacity, do smart meters measure energy consumption differently? Is the measurement technology fundamentally different or does it simply add a digital screen that provides more info?
Not really, no. They are fairly typical watt meters. Certainly more accurate than the old spinning gauge type. Mass produced each one costs a few hundred dollars each, they're not very advanced. If you need an extremely accurate watt meter (accurate to less than 1W), it's costly, and generally not needed except for DC electronics workbench power supplies.
You could say that the measurement methodology is very different because these are actually small computers with their own processor, OS and RAM. It can be set to, for example, measure cumulative watt-hours used between the hours of 10AM to 4PM, store that data temporarily, and report that data after the six hour period has elapsed. This could be used for time of use billing if BCHydro receives permission to do so in the future.
Another way it could be used is if a customer has an electric car charger which is set on its own timer to charge between the hours of 11PM and 6AM, in exchange for a lower electric rate, the meter would report once each morning on the overnight usage.
In its most primitive form, a watt meter only shows the load at an instant in time, it needs some sort of storage to generate a cumulative total.
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