What's inside a smart meter?

You can usually find the folks at iFixit tearing down electronics with an eye toward expanding your knowledge of how to repair your electronic devices and keep them out of landfills by extending electronics’ life span.

What’s inside a smart meter? iFixit tears it down article tells that the technicians at iFixit got their hands on an Elster Rex2 Watt-hour meter and they had opportunity to evaluate the health and safety issues that seem to surround the utilities’ installation of smart meters. This smart meter has nonvolatile memory, advanced security with encryption, the ability to make remote upgrades, and support for 900-MHz and 2.4-GHz ZigBee communication.

The Smart Grid depends on smart meters with sophisticated communication capabilities to monitor energy usage and allow residential and business consumers alike to make informed choices about how much energy to use and when to consume it.


  1. Glucose Monitors says:

    Excellent post I try to get to your site often I don’t usually post but I was interested if you are using a template?

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Authenticated power outlets say Show Me the Money

    Everything old is new again: Sony recently introduced a concept demo of its authentication power outlet cloud-based system, where the outlet can check and make sure you’re an approved user of the power outlet, or manage devices on the outlet in times of power shortage, or charge you for using the power for your hairdryer or to recharge your laptop or cell phone. If you’re looking for power, you’ll need to pay for it with a NFC (near-field) card that’s read by the authentication power outlet, and communicated via what Sony calls its “RFID over powerline” communication system. Overall management of the system will reside in the cloud.

    According to Sony’s press release, “The “Authentication

    Concept movie: New Authentication Outlet

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart Grid standards for interoperability, interconnection, integration
    Joining disparate power, IT, and communications systems in developing the Smart Grid.

    Standards are an important consideration in the work of building engineers, but their role is increasing with the globally intensifying implementation of the Smart Grid and the revolutionary changes that are being brought about to way that buildings interact with electricity.

    There is an array of standards that helps enable interoperability, interconnection and integration of disparate systems as power, IT, and communications are interweaved in the developing Smart Grid.

    IEEE 1547 “Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems” for the basis of the interconnection of the photovoltaic device itself to the power grid, and IEEE 1547.1 “Standard Conformance Test Procedures for Equipment Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems” for commissioning tests.

    Systems-level standards are an area of focus for IEEE with regard to the Smart Grid. The IEEE 1547 family of standards

    IEEE 2030 “Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS), End-Use Applications, and Loads” takes a similar system-of-systems approach.

    The Smart Grid is bringing definitive change to the ways that buildings relate with electricity. Whereas most buildings have historically been only consumers of electricity, more and more buildings will also serve as points of power generation in the Smart Grid.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Environmental Benefits of Smart Meters
    Posted Aug 26, 2014 at 2:00 am

    This article presents the environmental benefits of using smart meters as it has provided benefits to consumers and utility companies. This article also discusses those benefits, as well as their energy usage reductions.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Capita’s smart meter monopoly is owed £42m by industry
    ‘Deferred revenues’ up sharply at the Data Communications Company

    The Capita-owned monopoly that runs Britain’s smart meter infrastructure made an operating profit of £390m last year – but paid no tax and is owed £42m by the wider smart meter industry.

    Smart DCC Ltd’s “regulatory accounts” for the year ending March 31 were published earlier this week in its annual report.

    The firm, also known as the Data Communications Company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Capita and has a monopoly over the management of Britain’s smart meter infrastructure, under its licence to operate from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It decides who will build and operate that infrastructure by awarding contracts, on behalf of the State, to suppliers, and then manages those contracts.

  6. 1v1 lol says:

    very useful info, thank for sharing with us!

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tricking A Smart Meter Into Working On The Bench

    When the widget you’re working on is powered by a battery or a USB charger, running it on the bench is probably pretty safe. But when the object of your reverse-engineering desire is a residential electrical meter, things can get a little dicey.

    Not that this elevated danger level has kept [Hash] from exploring the mysteries presented by smart meters. Still, with a desire to make things a little safer, he came up with a neat trick for safely powering electrical meters on the bench. [Hash] found that the internal switch-mode power supply on the meter backplane was easy enough to back-feed with a 12-volt bench supply, rather than supplying the meter with the full 240-volt AC supply it normally gets when plugged into a meter base (these are meters for the North American market, where split-phase 240-volt is the norm for residential connections.) But that wasn’t enough for the meter — it powered up, but stayed in a reset state without fully booting. Something more was needed to bring the meter fully to life.

    When does 3V = 240V??

    In this episode I figure out how to power the smart meter from 12V instead of 240V so we can safely connect a JTAG port to the computer over USB. There is danger in blowing up the smart meter, JTAG adaptor or computer if we power the meter from 240V and plug it all together.

    I had to inject a small sine wave into the meter to make it think it’s connect to a 240V AC power source.

  8. Donkey Kong says:

    There’s really nothing to dislike about this game, it’s made to perfection.


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