Smart Meter, AMI development in Korea

2020-01-21 [12:29]
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Smart Meter, AMI development in Korea

Korea Electric Power Corporation(KEPCO) about the Advanced Metering Infrastructure(AMI) distribution plan hasn't reached the original target as of 2019. More than 1 trillion won (approx $0.86B) is required this year alone to achieve the final goal. AMI meter or Smart meter is a device that provides consumers with electricity usages such as consumption and hourly rate using a real-time two-way communication network. Meter readers no need to visit the homes and check the electricity consumption any longer and AMI can collect each users electricity usage data to better develop a plan for saving money.


AMI Installation in Korea, less than Half of the original Target

The hourly based, so-called timely rate plan of government introduced, which calculates meter usage based on time and season, seems to be postponed since the AMI installation delayed. KEPCO announced the AMI meters distributed nationwide by 2019 totalled 8.8 million. A total of 7 million units by 2018 and an additional 1.48 million units in 2019. It had planned to install 17 million AMI meter unit nationwide for 10 years from 2010 but actually 37.6%, 8.48 million were installed. Now the goal is 22.5 million smart meter installation in Korea by 2020, which means that 14.2 million AMI meters to be installed in 2020 alone. KEPCO in 1H 2019, suffered a deficit of about 930 billion won ($0.8B) and can't afford to invest over 1 trillion won for AMI meters alone. Energy Industry presumes the fiscal deterioration could have caused the poor numbers of AMI meters installation. We can easily predict the goal will not be realized counting on the history in 2018 and 2019, and there should have reasons for shouting out to reach that big numbers. Experts advised resetting the goal with reflecting realistic smart meter installation. 

In UK, the goal was to install 53 million units by 2020, but 26% installed as of June 2018 likewise and in Germany, there even was a debate about whether Smart meters were needed for low-consumer households with low economic viability. In Korea experts advises to gradually expand Smart meters to households that need to bee distributed.
Korean government announced to apply timely rate plan for electricity rates which can apply by seasons(spring, summer, autumn and winter) and by usage(light, medium, and maximum load), and the payment plan is available only for housings that installed Smart meters. Korean four seasons are known as a very different type of weather by season, therefore, electricity usage apparently shows a big gap. For example, Summer at noon we can see soaring electricity consumption from air-conditioners and fans.
Korean Ministry of Industry plans to introduce a timely rate plan after conducting a demo project for 2048 households in 7 regions including Seoul and Gyeonggi by 2021. However, as KEPCO's AMI meters installation delaying, the timeframe of the timely rate introduction won't be fixed any time soon. An official from the Ministry explained the timly rate introduction can apply for those with AMI Meters deployed. It is not a concrete step for the households to install Smart meters in priority if the households which try to choose a timely rate plan. (Source: ETNEWS.com)

AMI replacement measures required by KEPCO

KEPCO aggressively set a plan to expand smart meters, but since its un-established device management system about replacement, there are concerns that social and environmental problems may occur in the future. The first AMI meters installed in 2007, and the number reached 190,000 units by 2017, 7 million by 2018 and 1.48 million in 2019. Accumulated target of 22.5 million AMI meter unit is by 2020, roughly all the to-be-installed AMI Smart Meters should be replaced by 2030. Goal of KEPCO AMI installation shows 22.5 million units by 2020 and the validity of the majority of them is 8 to 10 years. Even if the validity is calculated as a max 10 years, we should replace surpassing 10 million Smart Meter units by 2028 and 10.5 million Smart Meter units to be replaced by 2030 as per the original AMI deployment plan.


All the mechanical meeters can separate and be recycled each part, but smart meters cannot be reused and should be disposed of destructed meters, but there are no countermeasures against these issues. KEPCO informed that the electricity mechanical meters are being sold to five organizations including the Disaster Military Association, the Social welfare council, and for the Disabled. And the organizations could generate some profits by recycling the meters. Unlike the mechanical meters, smart meters will turn into a burden on the organizations in that they must be completely disposed of. A congressman raised the concern it is necessary to deal with the replacement measures, knowing smart meter and Advanced Metering Infrastructure is essential to accomplish smart grid. Source: The-News.co.kr

AMI, Opportunity and Risk of Smart Energy

The development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Information and Communication technologies affects the major change of power industry. Smart energy can increase the efficiency, safety and eco-friendliness from the production, delivery and consumption of energy. At the same time, as communication technology has advanced, the security issue cannot be overlooked. We will look into ways to strengthen safety of smart grid including advanced metering infrastructure(AMI) and energy storage device(ESS). 
AMI is a two-way communication-based infrastructure consisting of the digital smart meters, other electrical usage transmission and control devices. Main function is for the supplier to remotely read the consumer's gas, electricity, heat, and water consumption, and to provide accurate energy supply, billing, and reporting. A future smart grid of power and gas operations are the various types of distributed power supply systems and information linkage.
AMI(Smart Meter) collect, transmit, store, and utilize metering, billing, and customer information. AMI may bring about the risk of the alteration of meter reading, power usage, and communication interference. Prerequisite includes authentication, network access control, and preventing private data leakage.
A KISA official stated that the security standard for each communication protocol of link and network layer and TCP / IP-based general security protocol will take into consideration of overall network environment. It is necessary to implement a nonrepudiation function which doesn't allow an illegal control order. (Source: Electimes)

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