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AMI: fundamentals of Advanced Metering Infrastructure

What is AMI?

AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) is a two-way communication system to collect detailed metering information throughout a utility's service industry.

AMI is typically automated and allows real time, on-demand interrogations with metering endpoints. FERC defines AMI as “A metering system that records customer consumption hourly or more frequently and that provides for daily or more frequent transmittal of measurements over a communication network to a central collection point.”

A similar definition is offered on advanced metering by the DRAM Coalition: "A system that collects time-differentiated energy usage from advanced meters via a fixed network system, preferably two-way, on either an on-request or defined schedule basis. The system is capable of providing usage information to electricity customers, utilities and other parties on at least a daily basis and enables them to participate in and/or provide demand response products, services and programs. The system also supports additional features and functionality related to system operation and customer service, e.g. outage management, connect/disconnect, etc."

AMI requires requisite bandwidth to supply more than merely metering and power quality information. AMI systems need to have appropriate bandwidth and broadcast capabilities to allow for Demand Response/Load Management as well as Distribution Automation.

What is the infrastructure for advanced metering?

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Advanced metering infrastructure solutions are compiled of both hardware and software.

Hardware

Software

What kind of information does AMI provide?

AMI typically provides a substantial payload of information. Usage information, tamper indication, and interval data is available for electric, water and gas meters, along with specific advanced capabilities for electric metering endpoints.

Here is a list of detailed information that can be supplied via AMI systems:

  • Cumulative kWh usage
  • Daily kWh usage
  • Peak kW demand
  • Last interval demand
  • Load profile
  • Voltage
  • Voltage profile
  • Logs of voltage sag and swell events
  • Voltage event flags
  • Phase information
  • Outage counts
  • Outage logs
  • Tamper notification
  • Power factor
  • Time-of-Use kWh and Peak kW readings

With high-end AMI systems nearly all of this information is available in real-time and on-demand, allowing for improved operations and customer management.

 

View detailed water usage trends, water meter readings and water leak reports with the Yukon software.

What are typical AMI uses?

The Yukon software's built-in, geographical visualization and mapping capabilities provide details on system or network conditions, including outages, alarms and events.

AMI systems have a variety of uses:

  • Verify power outages and service restoration
  • Perform remote service disconnects and reconnects
  • Allow automated net metering
  • Transmit demand response and load management messages
  • Interrogate and control distribution automation equipment
  • Facilitate pre-paid metering