Prepaid Card Meters
Prepaid Approach: The focus is on the user, the person that consumes is the one that pays, which is fair to all concerned.
Insert For Power
The smart card reader is often placed at the living space, while the meter is lock away safe from tampering at the power panel. The prepaid card concept works very similarly to a phone card; insert card for power, remove card to cease power, and pay-as-you-go. The user needs only to purchase a card to use, the card reader recognizes the card not the person, as long as the card is recognized and has enough credits, then it can be used.
The cards do not need to be discarded after use, they can be reused simply by topping them up from a credit dispensing unit.
Card Reader Capabilities
- Deduct only for the exact amount consumed, display shows the remaining credits, when the credits are used up the power is cut off.
- The display can alternately display the remaining credits, the tariff rate and the amount consumed. An alarm warning is issued when the remaining credits is nearly gone.
Time Tariff (Option)
The tariff rate need not be a flat rate, it can also be based on time of use or inclined block.
The choice of meter model to use is based on the phase/wire and current rating.
The model used will depend on the electrical system phase wire, the choices of which are: 1p2w, 1p3w, 3p3w, 3p4w.
A prepaid card metering system is a very effective energy saving measure, this method of managing energy is not only fair, but is also very easy to use.
- The way that the user pays can change their behavior; e.g. forgetting to turn the lights and air conditioning wastes energy, this way the user is more conscientious about saving energy.
- Inserting card to get energy can also be an administrative method; e.g. only authorized personnel with the right card can turn on the air conditioning.
The traditional way to bill is by having someone read the meters, which wastes a lot of time and effort, and also subject to much dispute, and there is also the risk of the tenant skipping out, leaving the landlord to foot the bill.
Having a prepaid card system in place eliminates the need for manual meter reading, computing the bill, and bill collection. It allows the landlord to be paid in advance, it is transparent and subject to less dispute. It completely eliminates the headache with bill collection.
This mode of billing is well suited to dormitories, rental apartments and officies, mall stores and market stores, and many others.
There are two ways to update to a new tariff rate:
Method 1: Card Tariff Rate
Different users have different rates.
Example: During the mornings, the classroom is for student use; in the evenings, the same classroom is rented to the community college.
Approach: The new rate is changed through the credit dispenser when the card is topped up; the administrator does not need to roam around to update each reader with the new rate.
Form Factor 2: Integrated Type
- The card reader is built into the meter itself, the user must go to where the meter is installed to transfer the credits from the card to the meter.
- When the card is inserted, the credits on the card is transferred to the meter all at once.
- With the method, the card needs to be reloaded before it becomes usable again.
For some applications that need 2 or 3 meters
- One card reader can be matched with 2 to 3 meters.
- All meters deduct from the same pool of credits from the card reader.
- Any combination of meter types can be used whether it be single or three phase.
A remote host computer can have an auto meter reading software installed to allow for remote monitoring and control.
- Aggregates all the meter reading data into one screen, including the consumption data, remaining credits and power status.
- Periodically collects and logs the consumption data for later reporting and search.
- Provides a monthly report.