AU2011312957A1 - A method of providing smart grid services securely via shared metering devices and a system derived thereof - Google Patents

A method of providing smart grid services securely via shared metering devices and a system derived thereof

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Publication number
AU2011312957A1
AU2011312957A1 AU2011312957A AU2011312957A AU2011312957A1 AU 2011312957 A1 AU2011312957 A1 AU 2011312957A1 AU 2011312957 A AU2011312957 A AU 2011312957A AU 2011312957 A AU2011312957 A AU 2011312957A AU 2011312957 A1 AU2011312957 A1 AU 2011312957A1
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AU
Australia
Prior art keywords
subnet
metering device
recipient
processor
connected
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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AU2011312957A
Inventor
Kok Soon Chai
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
Original Assignee
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to MYPI2010004651 priority Critical
Priority to MYPI2010004651 priority
Application filed by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) filed Critical Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
Priority to PCT/MY2011/000191 priority patent/WO2012047089A1/en
Publication of AU2011312957A1 publication Critical patent/AU2011312957A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B3/00Line transmission systems
    • H04B3/54Systems for transmission via power distribution lines
    • H04B3/546Combination of signalling, telemetering, protection
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B2203/00Indexing scheme relating to line transmission systems
    • H04B2203/54Aspects of powerline communications not already covered by H04B3/54 and its subgroups
    • H04B2203/5429Applications for powerline communications
    • H04B2203/5433Remote metering

Abstract

A metering device (100) of electricity utility equipped with capability of providing internet access comprises a first sensors (400) capable of real-time measuring utility data of a first recipient (500) and the utility data is acquired as analog signal; a processor (110) connected to the first sensors (400) via a signal processing unit, which process and convert the analog signal to digital signal, to obtain the measured utility data for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications; a hypervisor (120) coupled to the processor (1 10) allowing the processor (110) to host a first (126) and a second operating system (125) forming a first subnet and a second subnet thereon; and a communication module coupled to the processor (110) and adapted to provide internet access to the first recipient (500) via a first domain connected to the first subnet and send the utility data to a billing server via a second domain connected to the second subnet.

Description

WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 1 A METHOD OF PROVIDING SMART GRID SERVICES SECURELY VIA SHARED METERING DEVICES AND A SYSTEM DERIVED THEREOF 5 FIELD OF INVENTION The present invention relates to a method of sharing a metering device for a community of customers while providing smart grid services and internet services securely through a hybrid of power line communication (PLC) and a system capable of implementing the disclosed method. More specifically, the present invention uses a single power metering devices to run 10 one or more virtual machines to cater the publicly shared internet services to one or more recipients, preferably household or office units, while using one or more virtual machines to provide parallel secure network and services available only for the energy provider for secure smart grid applications such as remote electricity cut-off, automated billing etc. The invention also shows a system that allows the energy and internet service providers to offer cloud 15 computing securely to metering devices. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Power line communication has been used to provide broadband internet access. Through the readily available power line network infrastructure, PLC is able to provide internet service to 20 residents located in remote area without incurring much cost for equipment and utility investment. The PLC also facilitates electricity service provider to perform auto-billing via remote billing server in communication with power metering devices constantly monitoring electricity consumption of a recipient. For example, in International Patent with publication no. 2006/028275, an automatic meter reading method and apparatus utilizing a 25 microprocessor and a bi-directional broadband connection to access Internet are disclosed. The disclosed invention claims to have integrated utility infrastructure and communication equipment into a data transmission network without requiring additional cost to deploy new equipment or establishment.

WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 2 Another International patent with publication no. 2006/017094 describes a system used for metering electrical power utility services to residential homes and combining electrical usage and other utility metering function of multiple end user. Thus, the system eliminates the need for an individual electric metering device for each end user. The system serves as a single 5 metering data collection point for multiple users and facilitates interactive communication between the utility service delivery points and utility users. Broadband signal may be impressed onto the service conductors from multiple broadband sources in this invention. Though the. above mentioned prior arts can provide internet services and automatic meter 10 reading through the single network joining the recipients of the utility, the meter reading is not feasible if the utility user does not subscribe for the internet service. Moreover, single network design in the prior arts may subject automatic meter reading to an unexpected disruption when the internet services providers facing substantial downtime. The utility provider may suffer incorrect billing caused by such downtime, particularly during data 15 transmission. Further, sharing the same network for non-secure internet service expose server of the utility provider from being hacked. Therefore, it is more preferred to have a more secure and reliable PLC system to facilitate both meter reading and broadband service offering functions that disruption in one operation causes no effect to another. Other existing metering infrastructures available in the market use separate metering devices, energy 20 dashboards and PLC repeaters to provide different types of services. For example, metering devices provides metering, automated meter reading, electricity theft detection applications, and energy dashboards provide charts to analyze energy consumption data etc. Integration of different components in many of these proposed smart grid fail to deliver a clear economic justification. The benefits delivered by these products cannot significantly outweigh the costs 25 for implementing the infrastructures. To find wider deployment, the smart grid establishment must deliver either more benefits or at lower project costs, preferably both. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 3 The present invention aims to offer an utility metering device which is shared by a community of-users, energy and internet service providers securely. However, sharing a metering device by different parties present many security and technical challenges, the invention provides an approach to realize sharing of the the utilities metering device while 5 meeting performance, real time and technical requirements. Importantly, sharing the network establishment of the connected metering device by different parties reduces the total number ,of metering devices required for a deployment in an apartment, office buildings etc. Another central feature of the utility metering device is to cater internet access and metering the utility consumption. More specifically, the metering device has a communication module to permit 10 data transmission in between multiple utility users and a broadband service provider. Therefore, multiple utilities users can share the utility metering device. The present invention also aims to provide an utility metering device offering a secure network virtually separated from the broadband or internet service network for the utility 15 provider to provide a number of smart grid services such as automatic meter reading and billing via a remote billing server, remote electrical switches, theft detection and prevention etc. These services may be performed automatically through the software installed at the billing server or the metering device itself, or it can be performed and intervened by authorized personnel from the energy service provider. '20 Another object of the present invention is to disclose a system for providing internet access to recipient connected to a power line network via a metering device functioning as the router and repeater. Particularly, a base station of the internet service provider connects to the power line network in between the transformer and the metering devices. 25 Still another object of the present invention is to offer a system architecture that is a hybrid of power line communication which virtually forms at least two or more different networks, preferably a non-secure domain for providing internet service and another secured domain WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 4 accessible only by the utility service provider for smart grid services like, but not limited to, retrieving billing information. The system follows the basic concept of a N-tier web architecture, in which a web 5 architecture is virtually partitioned into a sub-system for web hosting, and a secure sub system for database and other high privilege services. For the partition that runs the secure operating system, at least one of the preceding objects is met, in whole or in part, by the present invention, in which one of the embodiments of the present invention is a metering device of electricity utility equipped with capability of providing internet access comprising a i first sensors capable of real-time measuring utility data of a first recipient and the utility data is acquired as analog signal; a processor connected to the first sensors via a signal processing unit, which processes and converts the analog signal to digital signal, to obtain the measured utility data for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications; a hypervisor coupled to the processor allowing the processor to host a first and a second 15 operating system forming a first subnet and a second subnet thereon; and a communication module coupled to the processor and adapted to provide internet access to the first recipient via a first domain connected to the first subnet and send the utility data to a billing server via a second domain connected to the second subnet. 20 In another aspect, the metering device may comprise a second sensor capable of real-time measuring utility data of a second recipient and is connected to the processor via the signal processing unit to obtain the measured utility data of the second recipients for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications that the utility data of the second recipient is sent through the second domain connected to the second subnet and the first 25 domain connected to the first subnet allows the second recipient to access internet. A storage device maybe incorporated to communicate with the processor for recording utility data and/or information of the analysis and providing the recorded information to the . processor or the billing server upon through the secure operating system upon proper WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 5 authentication. With the right authentication, the authorized application running on the secure operating system may update the secure database with energy consumption data, latest billing information, theft detection and other data that are accessible only with the right authentication 5 Still another aspect of the invention is a system of providing internet service via a power line network comprising a plurality of power metering devices distributed in the power line network that each power metering device connects to at least one recipients, more preferably multiple recipients, and a computing processor is housed within each power metering device 10 and is virtually partitioned by a hypervisor to host a first and a second operating systems forming a first and a second subnets via a communication module, wherein the first subnet connects to a first domain providing access to Internet to the recipient connected to the power metering device and the second subnet connects to a second domain accessible by service provider of the power line for retrieving billing information of the recipient connected to the 15 power metering device. More preferably, the first subnet and the second subnet are virtually separated. In order to avoid disruption in the automatic meter reading process, the second domain is run on the secure operating system that supports secure means of secure network which only 20 accessible by the utility provider to extract utility data from the metering device. In one embodiment, the power metering device comprises a plurality of sensors capable of real-time measuring consumption data of the power used by the plurality of recipients that each sensor is responsible for measuring consumption rate of one recipient of the power; and 25 the processor in communication with the plurality of sensors to obtain the measured consumption data for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications in the secure operating system.

WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 6 In a preferred embodiment, trusted computing platform technologies and practices and virtual private network are applied to provide more secure computing and networking environment between the Energy service provider and the secure operating system. Specifically, the secure operating system applies trusted computing hardware module to prevent unauthorized 5 software applications from tempering the operating system. In another embodiment, the secure operating system may run an application that controls schedule-based remote electrical switches. An authorized person that is authenticated by the secure operating system may remotely access the secure database to change the "Active?" 10 parameter in figure 3. The database may be made flexible by including the feature similar to an alarm clock. A web-based interface hosted by the web server of the secure operating system will be available to the authorized user to schedule a period of time and certain days in a week that the metering device cuts electricity supply to irresponsible customers. 15 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure 1 is a schematic diagram showing the connection of various elements in the disclosed system; 20 Figure 2 is a schematic diagram detailing the flow a N-tier web architecture for a metering device of the present invention through the established secure and non-secure network; Figure 3 is possible user interface used by the power service provider for multiple 25 meter reading and billing through a secure network; Figure 4 is exemplary presentation of one user interface for customer meter reading from a remote PC connected to the billing server, and SUBSTITUTE SHEET (RULE 261 WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 7 Figure 5 shows the structure of Power Line Communication network can be used in the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION 5 The most preferred embodiment of the invention is now described herein with reference to the figures, where like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. While specific. configurations and arrangements are discussed, it should be understood that this is done for illustrative purposes only. A person skilled in the art will recognize that the other configurations and arrangements can be used without departing from the scope of the 10 invention. The terms "energy service provider", "utility provider", "power service provider" and "utility service provider" are used interchangeable in the description herein. 15 One embodiment of the present invention is a metering device (100) of electricity utility equipped with capability of providing internet access comprising a first sensors (400) capable of real-time measuring utility data of a first recipient (500) and the utility data is acquired as analog signal; a processor (110) connected to the first sensors (400) via a signal processing unit, which process and convert the analog signal to digital signal, to obtain the measured 20 utility data for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications; a hypervisor (120) coupled to the processor (110) allowing the processor (110) to host a first (126) and a second operating system (125) forming a first subnet and a second subnet thereon; and a communication module coupled to the processor (110) and adapted to provide internet access to the first recipient (500) via a first domain connected to the first subnet and send the 25 utility data to a billing server via a second domain connected to the second subnet. It is important to be noted that the metering device (100) of the present invention can be configured to connect and communicate with multiple recipients (500) rather than just a single recipient. The processor (110) in the metering device (100) can simultaneously WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 8 perform meter reading and provide internet access to multiple recipients (500) as shown in figure 1. Particularly, the metering device (100) further comprises a second sensor (400) capable of real-time measuring utility data of a second recipient (500) and is connected to the processor (110) via the signal processing unit to obtain the measured utility data of the 5 second recipient (500) for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications that the utility data of the second recipient (500) is sent through the second domain connected to the second subnet and the first domain connected to the first subnet allows the second recipient (500) to access internet. More specifically, in this embodiment, a plurality of sensors (400) are connected to a single processor (110) that each sensor (400) is 10 responsible-afor utility measurement for one recipient. Further, the plurality of recipients connected to the single processor (110) are allowed to access internet service through the non-secure first subnet managed by the internet service provider (200) while the utility consumption information is delivered in between the billing server and the metering device via the secure second subnet running in parallel in the processor of the metering device. In 15 contrast to the conventional technologies which requires metering device (100) to be typically installed for every recipient such as housing units of an apartment, office unit of an office building and the like. Every metering device (100) in the conventional system is costly as it at least includes a current and voltage interface transducer, an analogue to digital converter, digital signal processing and energy computation function, and an optional communication 20 module. According to the preferred embodiment, the sensor (400) is installed to a point, of the power line network, which the electrical current passes through before being supplied to each receipt unit or recipient. Thus the amount of utility passed through the point can be measured. The 25 sensor in the present invention only measures the real time volume or amount of the utility without further processing or recording the measured amount. More preferably, in metering and billing consumption of electricity, the sensor (400) can be current and/or voltage transducer. The transducer continuously generates an analog signal that the amplitude of the analog signal is direct proportion to the current and/or voltage passed through. The amplitude WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 9 of the measured analog signal is sent to the signal processing unit and processor for further process and use. It is important to be noted that metering, recording, analysis and so on are not conducted at the recipient level. The sensor (400) installed at each receipt unit feeds the measured signal to a signal processing unit that the signal processing unit is shared by 5 multiple recipients and receives the measured analog signal from different sensors of multiple recipients. Consequently, in the embodiment where the metering device (100) is connected to multiple recipients, the sensor and the processor of the present invention may not share a single housing while the sensors are positioned much away from the processor at the downstreamlof the power line network to measure the utility data. 10 One of the preferred embodiment, which a plurality of recipients (500) connected to a single metering device (100), may not have the processor (110) continuously received measurement from all the connected sensors. Preferably, a flexible algorithm and electronics circuit sample measurement of the utility consumption from the certain number of sensors (400) installed at 15 the recipients (500) for the processor (110) to compute the amount of consumed utility. For example, sampling of current and voltage value using one or more multiplexer in an electricity distribution network is one feasible way to carry out such embodiment. More specifically, the input power transmission line of each recipient has one current and 'one voltage sensor for energy consumption measurement. The processor (110) has the flexibility i20 to choose which sensor (400) to read by selecting one input of the multiplexer. For example, if there was N number of recipients (500) to be read, the processor (110) samples only the N number of current and voltage sensors using a time division method. However, there may be more than one multiplexer to process multiple number of current and voltage sensors. For example, certain energy measurement chips can measure 2 or 4 housing units simultaneously. 25 Therefore, there may more than one multiplexer and ADC for tens of recipients (500). The processor (110) computes the consumed amount of the utility using the sampled current and voltage values. In more specific, the disclosed metering device comprises a multiplexer disposed in between the connection of the processor (110) and the plurality of sensors (400) prior to the signal processing unit that the multiplexer samples measurement of consumption WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 10 data from each sensor (400) to the processor (110) at a predetermined duration. The sampling rate may be in the scale of micro second. Pursuant to another embodiment, the communication module allows the metering device (100) 5 to transmit data to or from one or more remote server through the power line network. The remote servers, according to the preferred embodiment, are particularly billing server of the utility provider (300) and/or server in a base station of the internet service provider. The communication module includes both hardware and software establishment. The hardware part mainly refers to repeater receiving modulated carrier signal transmitted in the power line, 10 and further amplifying, reshaping and/or retiring the received signal the recipients. Yet the software part has instructions installed to drive the repeater to process the signal for amplifying, reshaping and/or retiming. The repeater of the communication module in the present invention can be a standalone device coupled to the processor, or forming parts of the processor. Apart being an intermediate point to retransmit the signal, the communication 15 module may include as well modulator and demodulator to permit utility data to be sent and received in between the metering device and the connected billing server through the power line communication. Information delivered from the billing server can be extracted for further process via the demodulator, while utility data can be impressed and sent to the billing server as well through the modulator. These modulated and demodulated data deliveries only 20 happens in the secured second subnet. The communication module allows the billing server communicate remotely to the metering device via the secure second subnet for automated billing, theft detection, commodity demand management and so on. In order to share a metering device to a number of users (500), internet (200) and energy 25 service providers (300), a physical processor (110) is virtually partitioned to run a number of operating systems (125 and 126) using a hypervisor (120) as in figure 2. In the simplest design, the hypervisor (120) partitions the processor (110) to run one secure operating system (125) and one non-secure operating system (126). However, it is possible to run more than one secure, or one non-secure operating system, or different combination of operating WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 11 systems. It is intention of the inventors of the present invention to offer a secure network (131) or line for the utility provider (300) to perform utility billing, automatic meter reading and the like without being influenced by the concurrently broadband service offered in the same power line network. With the hypervisor (120) coupled to the processor (110), multiple 5 operating systems, preferably the first (126) and the second operating systems (125), can be host in the metering device (100) each performing virtually separated tasks, namely automatic meter reading and internet data transmission. The first operating system (126) connects to the first domain via the first subnet and acquires data transmitted from/to the internet service provider (200), while the data related to utility consumption and billing is :10 delivered through the second subnet connected to the second domain managed by the second operating system (125). The second subnet in the present invention.is preferably secured network (131) that only accessible by utility service provider (300). A secure operating system (125) is employed to run the tasks and applications set in the metering device (100) via the secure second subnet. The secure operating system (125) requires user to provide the 15 right authentication information using the secure and encrypted networking technologies such as SSL, VPN etc before the use is actually connected to the second subnet. Upon verification, the user may have access and capable of intervening the tasks carried out in the metering device at certain levels to perform appropriate smart grid services (132) securely to the power service provider (300). Moreover, in the present invention, the metering device (100) also 20 function as router to interchange traffic in between two subnets to ensure proper data deliveries. With virtualization of the hardware in the metering device (100) using the hypervisor (120), the present invention creates two or more parallel data transmission lines in a single power line network connected to equal number of subnets sharing the identical routing prefix. There are many methods to implement secure and non-secure subnets. For 25 example, SSL and HTTPS stack are applicable in the present invention to achieve different subnets. The secure operating system (125) may host a secure database (120) and run a number of secure smart grid services (132). During the system.setup, the Ethernet port that is connected to the secure operating system (125) obtain one fix IP address with a set of user account for the energy service provider (300). The secure operating system (125) allows WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 12 encrypted authentication for authorized personnel from the energy -service provider (300) using HTTPS stack and full SSL handshake. On the other hand, the non-secure operating system (126) hosting a web server (144) also implements a HTTPS and SSL stack for authenticating a different set of user accounts. The user accounts are allocated to authenticate 5 the users of the metering device to read energy consumption graphs, payment details etc. Therefore, two different sets of user accounts are allocated for secure operating system (125) and non-secure operating system (126). Only trusted personnel from the energy service provider (300) is provided with the account information for the secure operating system and the account information may be changed from time to time. For a more secure network, 10 virtual private network may be setup between the secure operating system (125) and energy service provider (300). In respect to another embodiment, the metering device (100) further comprises a storage device integrated and in communication with the processor for recording utility data and/or 15 information of the analysis and providing the recorded information to the processor (110) upon request. The data stored utility data is transmitted to the billing server of the utility provider (300) for further billing and analysis through the secured second subnet. In order to transmit the stored data to the billing server via the power line, a modulator may attached thereto to impress data into the frequency carrier signal followed by decryption at the end of 20 the billing server and stored thereto. Besides, the operating system, the software instruction or the frmnware are kept in the storage device as well to drive the processor to perform various tasks. Firmware or software to be run in the processor can be updated by the utility provider via PLC empowered second subnet. The software applications operated in the metering device via the secure operating system and network have the privilege to update the 25 information in the billing server. The software applications may provide many smart grid services such as automated meter reading, theft detection and prevention, remote electrical cut-off and so on.

WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 13 In further embodiment, the metering device (100) may have an interface or display to show utility data and/or analysis information recalled from the storage device and/or the billing server of the utility provider (300). Preferably, the information display is limited to data transmitted in the secured second subnet and not involves the first subnet to ensure subnet 5 security and avoid data collision. The display unit in the disclosed device maybe a flat panel display which is able to simultaneously display multiple meter readings of the utility of different recipients (500). More preferably, the flat panel display of the present invention shows virtual representation of the actual electric meters and readings for at least two recipients on the screen, more preferably with label to indicate the identity of the recipient. 10 The flat panel display is preferably positioned at a place in the building where users can easily access to. A touch screen panel may be used in the present invention that an input means and the display unit are integrally fabricated as a single unit to enhance interaction in between the user and the utility provider. Using the display, the disclosed metering device also permits the utility provider to make announcement using the display unit. More 15 particularly, the announcement is sent from the billing server through the second subnet to the processor for further display on the display unit. Another embodiment of the present invention is a system of providing internet service via a power line network comprising a plurality of power metering devices (100) distributed in the ,0 power line network that each power metering device (100) connects to at least one recipients (500), and a computing processor (110) is housed within each power metering device (100) and is virtually partitioned by a hypervisor (120) to host a first (126) and a second operating systems (125) providing a first and a second subnets, wherein the first subnet connects to a first domain providing access to Internet to the recipient (500) connected to the power 25 metering device (100) and the second subnet connects to a second domain accessible by utility service provider (300) of the power line for retrieving billing information of the recipient (500) connected to the power metering device (100). Preferably, the metering device (100) described above is used in the disclosed system to carry out the preferred embodiments. Likewise, using the mentioned metering device (100) allow multiple recipients (500) to be WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 14 connected via a single metering device (100). More specifically, the metering device (100) may comprise a plurality of sensors (400) capable of real-time measuring consumption data of the power used by the plurality of recipients (500) that each sensor (400) is responsible for measuring consumption rate of one recipient of the power; and the processor (110) in 5 communication with the plurality of sensors (400) to obtain the measured consumption data for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications. Preferably, the first subnet and the second subnet are virtually separated. As in the foregoing description, the sensor (400) is installed to a point, of the power line 10 network, which the electrical current passes through and measured before being supplied to each receipt unit or recipient (500). The sensor (400) can be current and/or voltage transducer. The transducer continuously generates an analog signal that the amplitude of the analog signal is direct proportion to the current and/or voltage passed through. The sensor (400) installed at each receipt unit (500) feeds the measured signal to a signal processing unit that 15 the signal processing unit is shared by multiple recipients and receives the measured analog signal from different sensors (400) of multiple recipients (500). Additionally, in the disclosed system, a flexible algorithm and electronics circuit may be incorporated to the processor to sample the utility consumption from the certain number of sensors (400) installed at the recipients (500) for the processor (110) to compute the amount of consumed utility. More )0 than one multiplexer can be employed to process multiple number of current and voltage sensors. For example, the disclosed system has a multiplexer disposed in between the connection of the processor (110) and the plurality of sensors (400) prior to the signal processing unit that the multiplexer samples measurement of consumption data from each sensor to the processor at a predetermined duration. 25 The communication module of the disclosed system allows the data to be transmitted through the power line network using the metering devices. In one embodiment, the hardware part of the communication module refers to repeater receiving modulated carrier signal transmitted in the power line, and further amplifying, reshaping and/or retiming the received signal the OI IIrTII ITE~ LIIEi ET I-I II E~ *"t/x WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 15 recipients. Moreover, the software part has instmuctions installed to drive the repeater to process the signal for amplifying, reshaping and/or retiring. Modulator and demodulator may form parts of the communication module to permit utility data to be sent and received in between the metering device and the connected billing server through the disclosed system. 5 Nevertheless, the modulated and demodulated data may only perform in the secured second subnet. With the communication module, the disclosed system assists the utility provider to remotely retrieve information from to the metering device for automated billing, theft detection, commodity demand management and so on. The instructions of one or more software applications installed may be used for consumption data recording, signal 10 processing, -automated metering, theft detection, demand management or any combination thereof and the common display is able to simultaneously show analysis information and/or reading of the automated metering of at least two recipients. The information stored in the billing server may be accessible by the recipients (500) via the non-secure first subnet through an user interface, for example as shown in Figure 4. Illustrated in figure 4 is another 15 interface may be employed by the energy service provider (300) through a web-based user interface (144) to read and update various parameters of the meter reading in the metering device. The energy service provider (300) must log in to the secure operating system. As illustrated in figure 5, the plurality power metering devices (100) of the system are '0 connected to a base station of an Internet service provider (200) for accessing the internet. Data is modulated and demodulated at the base station to deliver data to the recipients (500) and extracting data uploaded by the recipients. The base station serves as the intermediate point joining a backbone telecommunication network of the internet service provider (200) and the power line network. Data derived from the backbone telecommunication network of 25 the service provider is impressed to a modulated carrier signal at a preferred frequency to be transmitted along the disclosed system together with the electricity to the metering device. The metering device (100) receives the carrier signal and retransmit the carrier signal to the recipient that the signal is decrypted at the recipient end to be used. The retransmitted signal may be amplified, reshaped and/or retimed at the metering devices.

WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 16 Further embodiment of the disclosed invention relates to a method of providing internet access to a plurality of recipients (500) located in a power line network. The disclosed method can be incorporated into the above mentioned system and use with the disclosed metering device (100). Preferably, it comprises the steps of connecting the at least one 5 recipient to a power metering device (100), incorporated with a computing processor (110), located in the power line network, and providing internet access service to the connected recipient (500) via the power metering device (100), wherein the computing processor (110) is virtually partitioned by a hypervisor (120) to host a first (126) and a second operating systems (125) providing a first and a second subnets that the first subnet connects to a first 10 domain providing access to Internet to the recipient connected to the power metering device and the second subnet connects to a second domain accessible by service provider of the power line for retrieving billing information of the recipient connected to the power metering device. Another embodiment of the present invention have the power metering device (100) communicated with a plurality of sensors (400) capable of real-time measuring consumption 15 data of the power used by the plurality of recipients (500) that each sensor (400) is responsible for measuring consumption rate of one recipient (500) of the power; and the processor (110) in communication with the plurality of sensors (400) to obtain the measured consumption data for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications. The software applications operated in the metering device (100) via the secure operating 20 system (125) and network have the privilege to update the information in the billing server. The software applications may provide many smart grid services such as automated meter reading, theft detection and prevention, remote electrical cut-off and so on. To secure the automatic meter reading process and other smart grid services, the first subnet 25 and the second subnet are virtually separated and the second subnet is a secured network accessible only by the utility provider. The secure operating system (125) requires user connected to the second subnet, secured network, to provide the right authentication information using the secure and encrypted networking technologies such as SSL, VPN etc. Once a device from the utility service provider (300) is authorized with the right WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 17 authentication, the device can have certain levels of access to the database (190) to provide appropriate smart grid services (132) securely to the utility service provider (300). The present disclosure includes as contained in the appended claims, as well as that of the 5 foregoing description. Although this invention has been described in its preferred form with a degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and the combination and arrangements of parts may be resorted to without departing from the scope of the invention. 10

Claims (14)

1. A metering device (100) of electricity utility equipped with capability of providing internet access comprising 5 a first sensors (400) capable of real-time measuring utility data of a first recipient (500) and the utility data is acquired as analog signal; a professor (110) connected to the first sensors (400) via a signal processing unit, whichprocess and convert the analog signal to digital signal, to obtain the measured utility'data for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications; 10 a'hypervisor (120) coupled to the processor (110) allowing the processor (110) to host a first (126) and a second operating system (125) forming a first subnet and a second subnet thereon; and a communication module coupled to the processor (110) and adapted to provide internet access to the first recipient (500) via a first domain connected to the first 15 subnet and send the utility data to a billing server via a second domain connected to the second subnet.
2. A power metering device according to claim 1, further comprising a second sensor capable of real-time measuring utility data of a second recipient (500) and is connected to the processor (110) via the signal processing unit to obtain the measured utility data of the second recipient (500) for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications that the utility data of the second recipient (500) is sent through the second domain connected to the second subnet and the first domain connected to the first subnet allows the second recipient to access internet. 25
3. A power metering device according to claim 1 or 2 further comprising a storage device in communication with the processor (110) for recording utility data and/or information of the analysis and providing the recorded information to the processor (110) upon request. WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 19
4. A power metering device according to claim 1 or 2 further comprising an interface to show utility data and/or analysis information.
5 5. A system of providing internet service via a power line network comprising a plurality of power metering devices (100) distributed in the power line network that each power metering device (100) connects to at least one recipients (500), and a computing processor (110) is housed within each power metering device (100) and is virtually partitioned by a hypervisor (120) to host a first (126) and a second 10 operating systems (125) forming a first and a second subnets through a communication module, wherein the first subnet con-nects to a first domain providing access to Internet to the recipient connected to the power metering device (100) and the second subnet connects to a second domain accessible by service provider of the power line for 15 retrieving billing information of the recipient (500) connected to the power metering device (100).
6. A system according to claim 5, wherein the power metering device comprises a plurality of sensors (400) capable of real-time measuring consumption data of the '0 power used by the plurality of recipients (500) that each sensor (400) is responsible for measuring consumption rate of one recipient (500) of the power; and the processor (110) in communication with the plurality of sensors (400) to obtain the measured consumption data for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications. 25
7. A system according to claim 5, wherein the first subnet and the second subnet are virtually separated.
8. A system according to claim 5, wherein the second subnet is a secured network. WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 20
9. A system according to claim 5, wherein the plurality power metering devices (100) are connected to a base station of an Internet service provider for accessing the internet. 5
10. A method of providing internet access to a plurality of recipients (500) located in a power line network comprising the steps of connecting the at least one recipient (500) to a power metering device (100), incorporated with a computing processor (110), located in the power line network, and 10 providing internet access service to the connected recipient (500) via the power metering device (100), wherein the computing processor (110) is virtually partitioned by a hypervisor (120) to host a first (126) and a second operating systems (125) forming a first and a second subnets via a communication module that the first subnet connects to a first domain providing access to Internet to the recipient (500) 15 connected to the power metering device (100) and the second subnet connects to a second domain accessible by utility service provider (300) of the power line for retrieving billing information of the recipient connected to the power metering device (100). 10
11. A method of claim 10, wherein the power metering device comprises a plurality of sensors (400) capable of real-time measuring consumption data of the power used by the plurality of recipients (500) that each sensor (400) is responsible for measuring consumption rate of one recipient (500) of the power; and the processor (110) in communication with the plurality of sensors (500) to obtain the measured 25 consumption data for analysis through instructions from one or more software applications.
12. A method of claim 10, wherein the first subnet and the second subnet are virtually separated. RI IP TITI ITF qIIFFT (RI II F 9M WO 2012/047089 PCT/MY2011/000191 21
13. A method of claim 10, wherein the second subnet is a secured network.
14. A method of claim 10, wherein the plurality power metering devices are connected to 5 a base station of an Internet service provider for accessing the internet.
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WO2017027682A1 (en) 2015-08-11 2017-02-16 Delta Energy & Communications, Inc. Enhanced reality system for visualizing, evaluating, diagnosing, optimizing and servicing smart grids and incorporated components
US10055966B2 (en) 2015-09-03 2018-08-21 Delta Energy & Communications, Inc. System and method for determination and remediation of energy diversion in a smart grid network
WO2017070648A1 (en) 2015-10-22 2017-04-27 Delta Energy & Communications, Inc. Augmentation, expansion and self-healing of a geographically distributed mesh network using unmanned aerial vehicle technology

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US7554320B2 (en) * 2005-10-28 2009-06-30 Electro Industries/Gauge Tech. Intelligent electronic device for providing broadband internet access
CN2862220Y (en) * 2005-12-07 2007-01-24 福建省亿力电力网络信息设备有限公司 Remote meter reading and interface device for network of power line
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