History Of Meter Reading Computer Science Essay

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Traditional meter reading for different utility services (such as gas, water etc.) is done by humansfrom houses and building this require number of labor and long working hours. Human operator billing is prone to reading error as sometimes the houses electric power meter is placed where it is not easily accessible. [2]

With the development of country's economy and the improvement of national power, the power requirement isstill ever increasing due to use of improper power management systems and the conventional energy meteringsystem. Meters in the past, and today in a fewcountries, were electromechanical devices with poor accuracy and lack of configurability. Theft detection wasalso a challenge. These types of meters are limited to providing the amount of energy consumption.[1]

Automatic Meter Reading System

The name refers to a latest technology which gathers consumes and status data automatically from different metering devices such as water, gas, electricity.This collected data is then transferred to a central database. After that the stored data is used for billing, error reporting, and analyzing. The technology described above, provide utility companiesa less expensive methodto periodicallyread meters which are located in different areas. It saves the time and effort required by workers to reach every destination in person. AMR system provides in time, more accurate and less error prone reading of meter to both utility providers and customers.

The proposed system can be applied using different technologies such as handheld devices (wired and wireless), radio frequency (RF), or power line transmission. [3]

Purpose of Document

The purpose of this document is to complete a Research Project (Thesis) for Master's Degree in Computer Science (MCS), i.e. Automatic Meter Reading via GSM. The document includes contributions of other people at Automatic Meter Reading and related works done for SMS based Systems. This document contains comparisons of the proposed model to the existing conventional AMR system in terms of ease of use, time saving, reliability and security against corruption.

Introduction to Proposed System

Automatic Meter Reading via GSM

The proposed system is GSM based Automatic Meter Reading System.This system consists of an approach to electronically handle meter reading by using different modern techniques. Mainly these techniques are GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and SMS (Short Message Service). Proposed system can include the feature to get the current reading sending command (SMS) by the server.

The proposed system consists of an approach to electronically collect MR by using sending command to the meter after sometime (After 24 hours), AM reply SMS to the server which consists on the current meter reading. Mainly these techniques are GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication).

Recent developments in this direction seem to provide opportunities in implementing energy efficient metering technologies that are more precise and accurate, error free, etc.

Over the past years, metering devices have gone through much improvement, and are expected to become even more sophisticated, offering more and more services. Aspects of proposed System

The proposed research is to develop a new technique which is Automatic Meter Reading via GSM. The server command meter to send current reading and server sendSMS to customer of that reading. The purposed research will be composed of two steps

Automatic Meter Reading via SMS( Service Providers end)

Send current reading via SMS. (Customer End)

A further step is to stop providing service by commanding to meter via SMS.


The motivation behind this research is to solve the problem of meter reading and then transfer it to a central database.After that the stored data is used for billing, error reporting, and analyzing, which protects data from bribery and send accurate data to server and customer on daily bases.

1.6 Research Statement

Automatic Meter Reading via GSM

1.7 Scope of Research

The research introduces the concept of AMR by wireless technology that ensures meter reading by discussing the possible benefits and usefulness of the proposed technique in terms of cost and efficiency as compared to existing one. So an efficient and cost/time saving system is present with enhance security and reliability. The system is powerful enough to be operated in any environment and from any location being the GSM network available. With the introduction of SMS based AMR system increases as it provides to the system beyond geographical boundaries.

The proposed system has following features;

Central server sends a command to AMR so that AMR send current reading to CS and Customer via SMS.

CS stores the reading of all the customers in a central Database.

If CS does not send a command, AMR automatically send reading after 24 hours.

If there is any malfunctioning in the meter AMR sends a message to CS.

The above features make the proposed system more accurate and secure. Chance of corruption, fraud in meter reading is reduced.

1.8 Existing System's overview

In Pakistan, meter reading system is manual; meter reading is done by (WAPDA, Sui Southern and Sui Northern gas Supply Company) through workers reaching door to door and collect reading on registers. After receiving the reading companies process and computes data to produce billing amount. In this system, the Service providing company or the Utility company (i.e. WAPDA etc.) will receive SMS by the meter about their current units consumed (in case of electricity).

The proposed system consists of an approach to electronically collect MR by using sending command to the meter after sometime (After 24 hours), AM reply SMS to the server which consists on the current meter reading. Mainly these techniques are GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication).

In last few years, the increase in the number of consumers of utility services has also increased the problems in Meter reading process. For example:

It requires a lot of human labor by reaching door to door and collects the reading.

There is a chance of error in reading.

Labor billing job is sometime slowdown by bad weather condition.

It also has time and money (on labor, registers and transport) consuming.

People give bribes to worker for reducing their reading.


All the above cases and many more problems can be reduced by designing and implementing the purposed system.

1.9 Goals and Objectives

To introduce a wireless electronic meter reading system.

Improve the quality of service by reducing human errors.

Reduce time and effort of labor

Save money.

Accurate reading without any chance of bribery.

Make an efficient system for MR.

1.10 Thesis Outline

The thesis is organized in such a way that: Section 1 Introduction to thesis. Section 2 describes the basic concepts and existing system concepts. Section 3 introduces the related work to the proposed schemes. Section 4 Proposed Techniques Design. Section 5 demonstrates the implementation along with algorithm, Section 6 describes testing along with experimental results and at the end the conclusion is provided in Section 7.


In this chapter the background and features of the techniques, which will be used during this thesis, are discussed.

2.1 SMS

It is the abbreviation of"Short Message Service". It is a technology of sending and receiving alphanumeric messages via phone, web, or mobile communication systems. It is similar to paging and standardized communications protocols are used by it. The exchange of short text messages between fixed line, mobile phone devices or e-mail are allowable by these protocols.

2.1.1 Introduction

SMS is a store and forward service, in other words, SMS' are not sent directly from sender to recipient, but always via an SMSCenter instead. Each mobile telephone network that supports SMS has one or more messaging centers to handle and manage the short messages. A single SMS can be up to 160 characters of text in length. Those 160 characters can comprise of words or numbers or an alphanumeric combination. Non-text based SMS' (for example, in binary format) are also supported. [4]

2.1.2 Background of SMS

SMS made its appearance in 1985, beginning as a German/French team including Bernard Ghillebaert, FriedhelmHillebrand, and OculySilaban. Originally, the SMS service was defined in the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standards. The intent was to provide a means for transfer of brief, one-way information, like the news flashes one sees on the bottom of a TV screen. Candidates for inclusion were stock market quotes, sports score updates, weather reports, and up-to-the-minute traffic information. Short messages sent from providers' websites were also planned. It was aimed at business people. The first SMS message actually sent, and beginning the history of short message service (SMS), was a Christmas greeting on December 3, 1992, traveling on Vodafone's GSM network in the UK. [5]

2.1.3Applications of SMS

Some of the common applications of SMS are:

Transfer of small messages betweenusers.

E-mail service by SMS is offered by different companies.

Companies offer their user different alerts e.g.news,e-mail alerts, weather and entertainment, downloading new ring tones etc. via SMS.

Companies provide different services e.g. balance enquiry, notification of new voice mail or fax to users and other utilities using SMS.

One more widely used service based on SMS is Mobile chatting.

2.2 SMSC (Short Message Service Center)

An SMS center is responsible for handling the SMS operations of a wireless network.

When an SMS is sent from a mobile phone it first reaches to SMSC. The operations performed by SMSC are as follows:

It then forwards the SMS towards the destination.

An SMS may need to pass through more than one SMSC, before it reaches the destination.

The main duty of an SMSC is to route SMS and regulate the process.

If the recipient is not available at the moment i.e. when the mobile phone is switched off), the SMSC will store the SMS message.

It will forward the SMS message when the recipient is available. [6]

2.3 SMS Gateways

An SMS gateway is a Web site that allows users to send SMS messages from a Web browser to people within the cell served by that gateway. An SMS gateway provides roaming capability and allows SMS communication to the users which are away from home network.

SMS gateways solve theproblem of different communication protocols used by different wireless telephonyproviders, and make communication possible between them, by translating different protocols into each other. Wireless network operators use SMS gateways to connect SMS centers (SMSCs). [7]

Short Message Service (SMS) is a mechanism by which SMS messages are sent and received. SMS facilitate and streamline text messaging processes for organizations, and will often do some of the conversion to different formats according to situations.

2.4 GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication)

It is a TDMA based wireless network technology, which is developed in Europe. It is used throughout most of the world. GSM phones make use of a SIM card to identify the user's account. The use of the SIM card allows GSM network users to quickly move their phone number from one GSM phone to another by simply moving the SIM card. [8]

2.5 GPRS (General Packet Radio System)

It is a packet-switched technology.It added a packet capability to GSM. GPRS enables data communications between different data applications on phones, including wireless Internet (WAP), MMS, and software that connect to the Internet.Any network connection that is not voice or text messaging uses GPRS. It offers a tenfold increase in data speed over previous (circuit-switched) technologies, up to 115kbit/s (in theory). [10]

General Packet Radio Service isthe first data service for GSM cellular carriers. GPRS works on cellphones as well as laptops and portable devices that have GPRS modems. [11]

2.6 AT Commands

AT commands are instructions used to control a modem. AT is the abbreviation ofattention. Every command line starts with "AT" or "at", which is the prefix that informs the modem about the start of a command line. It is not part of the command name i.e. D is the actual AT command name in ATD, and +CMGS is the actual AT command name in AT+CMGS.

The tasks performed by AT commands are as follows:

(AT+CGMI)name of the manufacturer, (AT+CGMM)model number, and (AT+CGMR)the software version.

(AT+CNUM), (AT+CIMI)IMSI number (International Mobile Subscriber Identity).

Commands used for Send and receive fax are ATD, ATA, AT+F* etc.

Commands AT+CMGS, AT+CMSS for send SMS.

Commands to read SMS are AT+CMGR, AT+CMGL.

Command to write SMS is AT+CMGW.

Command to delete SMS is AT+CMGD.

Command used for notifications of newly received SMS is AT+CNMI.

Command to change the GSM network is AT+COPS.

For SMS center address command is AT+CSCA.

Command for storage of SMS messages is AT+CPMS.

2.6.1 Types of AT Commands

There are two types of AT commands:

Basic commands are AT commands that do not start with "+". For example, D (Dial), A (Answer), H (Hook control), and O (Return to online data state) are basic commands.

Extended commands are AT commands that start with "+". All GSM AT commands are extended commands. For example, +CMGS (Send SMS message), +CMGL (List SMS messages), and +CMGR (Read SMS messages) are extended commands. [12]

Final Result Code of AT Commands

A final result code is the end response of an AT command. It indicates that modem or mobile phone has completed the execution of a command line. Mostly occurring two final result codes in response of command lines are "OK and ERROR". For each command line there will be either an OK or an Error response will occurred.

The OK final result code indicates that a command line has been executed successfully.

The ERROR final result code indicates that an error occurs.[12]


This chapter deals with the related researches which are similar to the proposed system. Existing works are studied and their models are described. The research papers which are discussed under this section are to make a comparison with proposed system.

3.1 Related Work

Jin Zhu [10].and RecayiPecen "proposed an Automatic Utility Data Collection System using IEEE 802.15.4-Compliant Wireless Mesh Networks. They discuss the hardware design and software implementation aspects of a five-node system. They will work on a larger network with more nodes for extensive mesh network performance evaluation and comparison with other systems, and explore more advanced data aggregation algorithms. Security issue is also a big challenge for mesh networks and needs to be addressed. While the AES security coprocessor is included in CC2430, it has not been utilized and implemented in current prototype and will be investigated in the future."

Alauddin Al-Omary+, Wael El-Medany and Sufyan Al-Irhayim[11]presented "the design and Implementation of secure and low cost wireless AMR using GPRS technology. The AMR system consists of a meter; a GPRS based transmitter and a billing server. The low cost was achieved using off-the-shelf available components. The system security was achieved using the Smart Card that store encryption keys or use the crypto-co-processor of the SIM card. A billing server with meter data management system implemented using ASP.net technology. The implemented system is developed based on the Bahraini power systems requirements. A prototype of the system was developed and tested and proved to be reliable and secure. Successful demonstration of the system prototype has made it possible to be implemented in Bahrain on a larger scale for meter reading applications."

SHOEB S. SHEIKH and PROF. S. SHARMA[1] presented "the technique absorbed many advanced study results in computer technology and communication technology. The meter-reading task can be finished at the management department of residence area by using this system. Meantime, the energy resources management departments can monitor the consumption of power in order to improve the utility of power. It's the basic to realize automatic deliver of energy resources. The system has many significant excellences, such as wireless, low-workload, great quantity of data transmission high-veracity and low-expenses. The using of embedded system improves the stability of wireless data transmission. For a long distance transmission GSM telecommunication has shown excellent performance at any conditions".

In this paper, Md. Wasi-ur-Rahman, Mohammad TanvirRahman, TareqHasan Khan and S.M. LutfulKabiran [12] proposed "SMS based remote metering system has been proposed. Different hardware and firmware unit of the remote meter is described. The central server's different modules and the communication protocol with the remote meters are also shown. We have illustrated both postpaid and prepaid billing scheme. Several experiments with two remote meters and one central server have been conducted. Our future work includes interfacing a General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) modem with the remote meter so that faster and continuous data can be received in the central server".

Jingjing Wang [13] conclude, "the wireless ad hoc network remote meter reading system based on GPRS has many advantages over the traditional cable-based connections or GSM-based SMS remote meter reading system, such as the always-on capability, short establishing time, being highly real-time; low costs of equipment and maintenance; reasonable and cheap charges; fast connection speed, suitability for sporadic or continuous data transmission. However, the GPRS-based system has some shortcomings, such as GPRS network is still not stable enough. But these problems can be addressed and avoided through careful design. As GPRS is tailored to wireless data transmission services, the GPRS-based program has unparalleled advantages over the previous solutions".

3.2 Design and Implementation of Wireless Automatic Meter Reading SystemSHOEB S. SHEIKH Department of Electronics ant Telecommunication, Nagpur University, Nagpur, Maharashtra 440030, India PROF. S. SHARMA P. C. E. Hingna Road, Nagpur, Maharashtra 441110, India:

Over the past years, metering devices have gone through much improvement, and are expected to become even more sophisticated, offering more and more services. Meters in the past, and today in a few countries, were electromechanical devices with poor accuracy and lack of configurability. Theft detection was also a challenge for service provider companies. These meters are limited to providing the amount of energy consumption. Recent developments in this direction seem to provide opportunities in implementing energy efficient metering. GSM technologies are more precise and accurate, error free, etc.

WAMRS provides a two way communication between the electricity company and the load. To reach the destination WAMRS sends a lot of signals of power parameters, control signal and manage the load and power demand control. WAMRS has more competence to control, monitor, get conductive meter-reading, and manage the load. Mobile communication network has been increased with time and in future data transmission is done through GSM. GSM has many practical applications at present. GSM has different features like, it is more stable network with robust features, covers virtually all parts of the world, keeping the security of data transmission. It satisfies the need of speed for data transmission required for automatic meter reading system.

3.2.1 Model

The system structure of "wireless automatic meter reading system" (WAMRS) is shown in figure 3.1. This networked meter-reading system has terminal measure meters, sensors, intelligent terminals, management center and wireless communication network.

"Intelligent terminal or AMR interface, a hardware connected to a meter or a network of meters, which gathers data from meter(s).

Management Centre, mainly a computer or a network of computers, which collects the data sent by the AMR interface.

Figure.3.1 Structure of diagram of WAMRS

Communication medium or GSM network, which enables communication between the AMR interface and the center".

Meter-reading, computation and charge can be finished at the management Centre of each residence. The charge message i.e. SMS or Email would send to resident at regular intervals. The GSM network establishes a two way link in between the intelligent terminal and the management center providing useful features.

3.2.2 Hardware Architecture

The hardware architecture and appearance of WAMRS is as shown as Fig.3.2. The energy consumption is being calculated using a standard energy meter. To prevent unauthorized connection, mismatch with the energy meter, a tampering detection unit is added in this block. The digital date generated from this block is then sent to ARM-based embedded system to compute power parameters.

The WAMRS can be divided into five parts; these five parts separately. The hardware description of five parts is introduced as follows.

Figure.3.2 Hardware Architecture

Energy measuring unit (EMU)

The energy measuring unit consists of a standard calibrated energy meter along with the tampering detection circuit. "The following events are considered for tamper detection by the method.

Missing potential event

Current unbalance event

Current reversal event

If any above event occurs, the AES will record the meter status in database and inform UCC about tamper warning on the instant".

Relay control unit (RCU)

The RCU is a vital part in WAMRS. It provides the useful functionality of remotely switching the power ON/OFF to the user. It consists of a protective relay, breaker control circuit & line breaker.

ARM-based embedded system (AES)

"The AES is termed to the heart of WAMRS. Its designed based on a low power 32-bit ARM7 LPC2148 processor. It has 8 kb to 40 kb of on-chip static RAM and 32 kb to 512 kb of on-chip flash memory, so it can execute longer programming code and has larger RAM to store more data".

Wireless communication module (WCM)

The WAMRS adopts a SIM 300 GSM modem as the wireless communication module. SIM300 is a Tri-band GSM/GPRS engine. The SIM300 is designed with power saving technique, the current consumption to as low as 2.5mA in SLEEP mode.

Utility control center (UCC)

The UCC resides in the utility company and has a PC as control server with needed programs and storage to read and collect power parameters.

3.2.3 Software architecture

The system software is implemented by C language. All software development tasks including editing, compiling and debugging can be accomplished using the abovementioned software's.

Figure 3.3.Flow chart for Meter Reading Terminal Figure 3.4. Flowchart for server end terminal

Meter Reading Terminal Software Design

In the hardware of design features of circuit, meter reading terminal software design flow chart is given and shown in Figure 3.3. First, the system initializes each module, reads the meter readings regularly, and stores them. When receiving the command, the meter sends in the current status along with the energy consumption. The system is usually in standby mode. In case of uncertain events, the WAMRS will generate error. The controller may read the contents of the status register to monitor data transfer status.

Server End Terminal Software Design

In accordance to the function of the hardware circuit design, the software programming idea of server end terminal is as follows: first, the system completes initialization, and then sends commands to the meter reading terminal through the GSM modem. When receives the signal, it will select the data and update the database at the same time, send the consumption to the consumer via SMS, Email. The overall software flow chart is shown in Figure 3.4.

3.2.3 Strengths

The following are the strengths of system:

The using of embedded system improves the stability of wireless data transmission.

GSM telecommunication has shown excellent performance for a long distance transmission at any conditions.

GSM network has maintenance and security of data transmission.

It satisfies the need of speed for data transmission required for automatic meter reading system.

The on chip features of WAMR can significantly reduce the total system cost to design network devices.

3.2.4 Limitations

The following are the limitations of the system:

There are certain questionable issues regarding GSM network such as its scalability, reliability and security, especially under high load.

GSM uses several cryptographic algorithms for security.

3.3 Design and Implementation of Secure Low Cost AMR system using GPRS TechnologyAlauddin Al-Omary+ Wael El-MedanySufyan Al-Irhayim College of Information Technology, University of Bahrain:

"In order to overcome the problems of the traditional meter reading system, efforts are underway around the world to automate meter reading and to provide comprehensive information to the consumer for efficient use of the utilities. Researchers proposed different implementation techniques. The work uses the GSM network to send ARM data. In remote real time automatic meter reading system that employs distributed structure based on wireless sensor networks, which consists of measure meters, sensor nodes, data collectors, server and wireless communication network. It has also less contact with adverse elements (dogs, inclement weather, etc.)".

3.3.1 Model

GPRS is quite often used for meters that need to transmit a lot of data or for meters that needs to communicate as a point to point link. In cases were a roll out is scattered over the region PLC cannot be used which results in a solution where the GPRS meter communicates directly with the central access server. Often this is called point to point so it is more secure than broadcast technique. It is also faster and is not sensitive for influences.

Digital Meter Implementation

The evaluation board is used to calculate the power by sensing the load that is connected to it. The PIC microcontroller is used to accumulate the consumed energy by saving the readings in the memory of the microcontroller.

The MCP390 Evaluation Board

The MCP3905 evaluation board was used to build Microcontroller-based digital energy meter. The shunt resistor is used to monitor the current in a circuit and translate the amount of current in that circuit into a voltage that can be easily measured and monitored.

The PIC Microcontroller

The microcontroller is used to store the ID number of the subscriber and also Figure 3.5 The Flowchart of the controlling program used to continuously monitor the instantaneous

Watt-Hour (WH) reading and calculate the accumulated KWH and store it in its EPROM. The flow chart of the controlling program is shown in fig 3.5.

The LCD Screen

A 16x2 LCD (2 lines with 16 characters per line) is used to display the meter reading.

The Billing Server

The collected power consumption reading is sent to the central billing server where it is stored.

GM862 Cellular Quad Band Module

The GSM modem has quad band cellular capabilities (850 / 900 / 1800 /1900MHz frequencies). GSM modules can be controlled via AT commands. It has an on board SIM holder to place the SIM card and also it has GSM antenna.

Quad-band Wired Cellular Antenna

A Quad-band antenna for embedded cellular devices is used to allow customer to connect his cellular module to the outside world. Operates on four frequencies and Comes with a 3M adhesive backing for mounting.

Fig 3.6.shows the complete meter circuit.

3.3.2 Strengths

The strengths of system are as follows: Figure 3.6 the meter circuit

There is no need external wiring.

Data can be transmitted to any place at any time where the GSM network is available.

It should be based on state-of-the-art security methods that offer confidentiality and integrity of the measurement data.

It should be able to be used for ten meters as well as for hundreds of thousands of meters without altering the architectural principles.

The cost of the system implementation should be reasonably low in order to be used for a large number of customers.

3.3.3 Limitations

The limitations of a system are as follows:

The cost of replacing all electricity meters and the introduction of an overall management system was too high.

It should be able to be used for ten meters as well as for hundreds of thousands of meters without altering the architectural principles.

It should be based on state-of-the-art security methods that offer confidentiality and integrity of the measurement data.

3.4 Design of an Intelligent SMS based Remote Metering System Md. Wasi-ur-Rahman, Mohammad TanvirRahman, TareqHasan Khan and S.M. LutfulKabir Institute

"The recent advances in the field of information technology have made the exchange of information fast, secured and accurate. The digital revolution caused the rapid drop of digital devices such as computers and telecommunication devices. In the work presented here, a technique has been developed to read electricity meter readings from a remote server automatically using the existing GSM networks for cellular phones. This technique can be applied for gas or water meters as well. The meters send the meter readings like kilo-watt-hour (kWh), voltage, current, bill, etc. by SMS to a central server. The central server then stores the information in database for analysis and sends the bill to the customer by e-mail. Data can be collected after any desired time interval such as hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In our work, we have used a GSM modem which is connected with the meter using serial port. The information in the meter is sent to a central server by SMS".

3.4.1 Model

The proposed remote metering system composed of several remote meters and a central server as shown in Figure 3.7.

The system exchange information with the central server by SMS using GSM networks for cellular phones. Both postpaid and prepaid billing scheme will implement using this architecture.

Figure3.7. The Remote Metering System

Remote Meter

The remote meter mainly consists of a micro-controller unit, a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), an Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM), Real Time Clock (RTC), an Energy Measuring Module (EMM), Temper detection unit, Latching Relay (LR) and a GSM modem as shown in Figure3.8.

Figure3.8. Block Diagram of the Remote Meter

Central Server

The central server mainly consists of a GSM Hardware unit and several Server Software modules as shown in Figure3.9.

Figure 3.9Block Diagram of the Central Server

3.4.2 Working of Model

"Microcontroller Unit

An 8051 architecture micro-controller (AT89C55WD) is used as the microcontroller unit. The 8051 is an 8 bit Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) microcontroller. Different peripherals of the meter are connected with its ports as shown in Figure 8. The firmware inside the microcontroller's program memory is built using two layers - the Driver Layer and the Application Layer. The Driver Layer contains protocols for accessing different hardware peripherals such as LCD, EEPROM, EMM, RTC, LR, GSM modem, etc. Application Layer calls different routines of the Driver Layer to access hardware peripherals".

Display Unit

A 16 x 2 character LCD (HD44780) is interfaced with the micro-controller port using 4 data wire mode. Different meter readings like current month kWh, total kWh, voltage, current, date, time, etc. are sequentially displayed here.

Permanent Data Storage Unit

"If power fail occurs, the content of the RAM must be stored in EEPROM so that when power is back, the meter can start from its last state. Also, different billing slabs containing rates for peak and off peak hour, meter ID etc. are stored here".

Real Time Clock

An RTC (DS12C887) is used to get the current date and time information. The RTC has a lithium battery inside it which is used to run the clock even if the power is off.

Energy Measuring Module

"The energy measuring module (ADE7753) is used to get the voltage, current, power factor, kWh, etc. information of the connected single phase load. A Current Transformer (CT) and a Potential Transformer (PT) are connected with the EMM to sense the current and voltage respectively.

Relay Unit

A Latching Relay (LR) is used for connecting and disconnecting power supply to the customer's load. The microcontroller sends signals to the LR input signal pins to control the relay contacts. GSM Modem

A GSM modem is interfaced with the micro-controller's serial (RS232) port for sending and receiving SMS.

Temper Detection Unit

If any unauthorized person tries to open the meter box even if the meter has no power, the temper detection unit will activate using a 4.5 volt battery and the meter will not let any power to flow to the customer. An SMS is automatically sent to the central server reporting the temper".

GSM Hardware Unit

It mainly consists of a GSM Modem which is used to send and receive SMS. To interface the modem with the server's serial (RS232) port, an RS232 Module is used in between them. This module converts the TTL logic levels compatible with the server's COM port.

Server Software

"There are several techniques of building the central server. Our proposed central server is built on Linux operating system with Java as the programming language. For database,

ORACLE 10g is used. The software is composed of several modules as shown in Figure 9. The Data Collection Module communicates with the GSM modem using FBUS protocol.

When the server wants to collect information from a particular remote meter, it sends a Request SMS massage to the target meter and then waits for data from the GSM modem. After the remote meter receives the Request SMS massage, it makes a data frame consisting of the meter's information and sends it to the server by SMS. The server then gets the SMS data from the

GSM modem and stores the information in the Database. Sometimes SMS massages are not delivered by the GSM network. We have developed the protocol such that if data SMS is not received after one minute; the server sends another request massage to the meter and waits for the data. In this way, the server makes total three attempts. If data SMS is not received in three attempts, the server shows network error massages".

Data Collection

"Module of the central server and the remote meter is shown in Figure3.10. The data collection can be done at any time or periodically such as hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis.

The Monitoring & Analysis Module gets data from the Database and calculates the overall energy consumption patterns of the meter. If any unexpected energy consumption pattern occurs, warning massages are generated and the server operator can send Disconnection SMS massage to the remote meter to disconnect the meters relay contacts and thus stop the customer to consume further energy.

For postpaid billing scheme, the bill and report are passed to the Mail Server and it sends them to the customer by e-mail.

Pre-paid scratch-card based billing scheme can also be implemented using the SMS based secret pin number. When the central server receives the SMS, it checks the validity of the meter ID and the pin Figure 3.10. Communication between the Central

number from the database. If the meter ID is valid server and remote meter

and the pin number is also valid and still unused, then the server gets the customer meter's GSM modem call number from the database and sends an encrypted SMS to the customer's meter which contains the information of how much balance will be recharged in the meter.

The meter receives the SMS, decode it and recharge the balance. Then it sends an acknowledgement SMS to the server indicating whether the balance is successfully recharged or not. After receiving the acknowledgement from the meter, the server then sends a report SMS to the customer's personal cellular phone mentioning the meter's current balance".

3.4.3 Strengths

Following are the strengths of the system:

Prepaid scratch-card based billing scheme can also be implemented.

The SMS based data collection can be done very quickly and efficiently.

As there is no human intervention in the entire process, there is no chance of human error and corruption.

Applying complex encryption algorithms on the data SMS, data security can be ensured.

Also, unwanted weather conditions like heavy snow, rain, storm, etc. will not hamper.

It will eliminate the possibility of corruption done by the customer.

3.5 Problem Statement

To develop an efficient and cost effective AMR system that provides accurate reading to server in time this saves time, money and provides the security against the bribery, Using the wireless technology that is being operated without regarding the care of time and location being the GSM service.


This Chapter discusses the design and development of the system. This chapter also show the tools we use for the system.

System Design

System design is the process of making overview of the system. It presents the implementation and further tasks in order to fulfill the requirements of system. System design defines the basic hardware and software interface including the structure of the system. It also defines the components and basic mechanism to implement the system. In order to make a good design the previous stages of the system such as requirement gathering should be well defined, it includes the well-defined knowledge of the system and what to implement. If requirement gathering phase is well defined then it leads to a good design that further leads to a good implementation of the system reducing the complexities.

Design Model

The design consists of the following phases:

Requirement Discovery and Elicitation: Requirements are gathered in this phase regarding the problem statement. Requirement gathering phase includes both hardware and software requirement that are first determined and then elicited according to goal and objectives of the system to be implemented.

Design Model: This phase follows the requirement elicitation and phase. This phase includes making the ERD, DFD, Flow charts and graphical representations of all the requirements and specifications. The purpose of the design phase is to obtain the solution of the main problem identified in the requirements phase. It is most critical factor that affects the quality of the software to great extent.

Coding: Design of the system is translated into appropriate language by converting system into language understandable for the computer. Defined procedures are converted into control specifications in this phase and are also known as implementation phase in which theory is turned into practice.

Testing: After coding testing of the system is done in order to identify and remove the error of the system. For this purpose a test plan of the system is developed. Basic purpose of this phase is to fix all the errors and ensuring that all the requirements is completely met. Basically testing of system is done in two phases:

Unit testing: In this phase all the components of the system are tested individually to find the bugs and errors.

System testing: After carrying out the unit testing system testing is done. In this phase complete system is executed on the actual data. Errors are identified and fixed and tested further in order to produce desired output.

Maintenance: it is the final phase in which the errors are removed after the system is developed.

System Tools

There are two types of system requirements

Hardware environment

Software environment

Hardware Required

The hardware consists of

Intel Dual Core with 2GB of RAM

Processor 2.10GHz

4.3.2 Software Environment

Operating system required is

Windows 2007 language

Visual C# 2008

Microsoft office Access 2003

Overview of the Proposed System

The design of Automatic Meter Reading System consists of following flow charts and information flow through the system is shown in the given flow charts.

Flow chart of GSM hardware support test

In order to check the support for GSM inputs a number of AT commands. If the system gives the Ok response then the hardware device supports the AT commands otherwise error is displayed. Flow diagram of GSM hardware support test is in figure 4.1.


Input AT Commands

Open Serial port for Communication

Display Hardware error

Ok Response


No Yes No

Figure 4.1 Flow diagram of GSM hardware support test

4.4.2 Flow chart of sending reading to Customer

If GSM hardware is supported then system opens serial port for communication. The system sends the current reading of meter to customer. Flow diagram of SMS to Customer is shown below in figure 4.2.




Send reading to Customer

Is serial port opened?



Figure4.2. Flow diagram of sending reading to Customer

4.4.3 Flow chart of Automatic meter

Automatic meter send current reading of meter to central server after 24 hours. Central server also sends command to A.M for current reading. Flow diagram of automatic meter is shown below in figure 4.3.



AMR waits for 24 hrs. For request from server

Time up

Send reading to Central Server



Figure 4.3 Flow chart of Automatic meter

4.4.3 Flow chart of Central Server

Central Server load A.M Id and checks if data received it stores the data in Database and if data not received it send command for Current reading. C.S also sends reading to Customer. Flow chart of Central server is shown below in figure 4.4.



Send reading to Customer

If reading received

Request for reading

Store reading to Database




Figure 4.4 Flow chart of Central Server

4.4.3 Flow chart of Proposed System

Flow chart of working of proposed system is shown below in figure 4.5.


AMR waits for 24 hrs. For request from server

Time up

Send reading to Central Server



Store reading to Customer

If reading received

Request for reading

Store reading to Database





Figure 4.5 Flow chart of Proposed System


Implementation is the next phase after designing the structure of purposed system. The purpose of implementation phase is to implement the purpose system and fulfill the requirements. Applications are implemented in C# .Net framework.This chapter discusses the implementation in detail. Till now we have deeply analyzed the requirements of the systems and all the functions have been developed regarding the project. Now we need to elaborate different functions of the systems in such a way that describes their actual infrastructure. In other words we are going to map the design issues to the actual working software. This chapter discusses in detail the implementation of modules along with software and hardware modules.

Implementation of the Purposed System

Implementation of Automatic Meter System via GSM includes the following steps.

Automatic Meter

First of all automatic meter generates reading which is send to Central Server.

privateint RandomNumber(int min, int max)


Random random = newRandom();

return random.Next(min, max);


privatevoid Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)


i = Convert.ToInt32(textBox1.Text = RandomNumber(14536, 45400).ToString());

j = Convert.ToInt32(textBox2.Text = RandomNumber(14673, 39780).ToString());

k = Convert.ToInt32(textBox3.Text = RandomNumber(12886, 29980).ToString());


privatevoid timer1_Tick(object sender, EventArgs e)


textBox4.Text = textBox1.Text;

textBox5.Text = textBox2.Text;

textBox6.Text = textBox3.Text;


privatevoid timer2_Tick(object sender, EventArgs e)


i = i + 1;

textBox1.Text = i.ToString();

j = j + 1;

textBox2.Text = j.ToString();

k = k + 1;

textBox3.Text = k.ToString();


Central Server

Central server receives reading and save it in Database. Central server also sends request for reading and sends current reading to Customer via SMS.

publicpartialclassForm1 : Form


OleDbConnection my_connection = newOleDbConnection();

OleDbDataAdapter my_dataAdapter;

OleDbCommandBuilder my_cbCommandBuilder;

DataTable my_Customer = newDataTable();

int my_rowPosition = 0;

int i, j, k;

privatevoid Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)


my_connection.ConnectionString = @"Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=F:\db1.mdb";


my_dataAdapter = newOleDbDataAdapter("select *from Customer",my_connection);

OleDbCommandBuilder my_cbCommandBuilder = newOleDbCommandBuilder(my_dataAdapter);



serialPort1.PortName = "COM21";

serialPort1.BaudRate = 115200;

serialPort1.DataBits = 8;

serialPort1.StopBits = StopBits.One;

serialPort1.Parity = Parity.None;

serialPort1.ReadTimeout = 300;

serialPort1.WriteTimeout = 300;


richTextBox1.Text = "The units consumed by your electricity meter are \n\n"+textBox4.Text;


privatevoid Form1_FormClosing(object sender, FormClosingEventArgs e)





privatevoid ShowCurrentRecord()


if (my_Customer.Rows.Count == 0)


textBox7.Text = "";

textBox8.Text = "";

textBox9.Text = "";

textBox4.Text = "";

textBox10.Text = "";



textBox7.Text = my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["AMRID"].ToString();

textBox8.Text = my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["CustomerName"].ToString();

textBox9.Text = my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["CustomerAddress"].ToString();

textBox4.Text = my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["UnitConsumed"].ToString();

textBox5.Text = my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition+1]["UnitConsumed"].ToString();

textBox6.Text = my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition+2]["UnitConsumed"].ToString();

textBox10.Text = my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["PhoneNumber"].ToString();


privatevoid button2_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)


textBox4.Text = textBox1.Text;

textBox5.Text = textBox2.Text;

textBox6.Text = textBox3.Text;


privatevoid button3_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)


if (my_Customer.Rows.Count != 0)


my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["AMRID"] = textBox7.Text;

my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["CustomerName"] = textBox8.Text;

my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["CustomerAddress"] = textBox9.Text;

my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["UnitConsumed"] = textBox4.Text;

my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition+1]["UnitConsumed"] = textBox5.Text;

my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition+2]["UnitConsumed"] = textBox6.Text;

my_Customer.Rows[my_rowPosition]["PhoneNumber"] = textBox10.Text;




privatevoid button5_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)


if (serialPort1.IsOpen)


serialPort1.Write("AT" + "\r");

serialPort1.Write("AT+CMGF=1" + "\r");

String command = "AT+CMGS=\"" + "03335965282" + "\"";


serialPort1.Write(command + "\r");

command = richTextBox1.Text + char.ConvertFromUtf32(26) + "\r";

serialPort1.Write(command + "\r");

textBox11.Text = " Message has been sent successfully";



textBox11.Text = "Error!";



Implementation Results

The output shown in figure 5.1 shows the Automatic meters.

Figure 5.1

The figure 5.2 shows central server which receives the meter reading and send reading to database when button is pressed.

Figure 5.2

The figure 5.3 shows the database which receives the reading from server and saves it in unit consumed field.

Figure 5.3

The figure 5.4 shows the acknowledgement shows in rich text box when message sent to the customer successfully.

Figure 5.4


Testing is done at the end of implementation in order to check that whether the product meets the intended requirements. Giving set of input conditions carries the process of testing and corresponding output against every input is checked.For the development of system it is very important to test the system's errors and the specifications. Testing includes all type of test including random and specific to a certain module of the software. In this phase we test the program and mark the System error free and so that it could provide accurate result. After completing this task we entered data, it provided us information, and also displayed it.

Experimental results

Test Cases

To carry out system testing test cases are generated to compare the experimental and actual output against every input instruction. Test Case 1

Title:Run hardware test

System:Automatic Meter Reading via GSM

Input:Give Port number, Baud rate, Data Bits etc.

Tests:The system tests the inputs and gives OK response which shows hardware is workingproperly.

Result:Test Succeeded. Test Case 2

Title:Run hardware support test

System:Automatic Meter Reading via GSM

Input:Input different AT commands for checking hardware support.

Tests:The system returns OKresponse which shows commands are supported by hardware.

Result:Test succeeded. Test Case 3

Title:SMSCheck for reading

System:Automatic Meter Reading via GSM

Input:Press the button for sending the reading.

Tests:The system sends SMS to preconfigured cell number.

Result:Test succeeded. Test Case 4

Title:Send repeated reading to Database

System:Automatic Meter Reading via GSM

Input:Press the button to update database.

Tests:The system send reading to database to store it.

Output: The system send error message of repetition of message.

Result: Test Succeeded. Test Case 5

Title:Send reading to Database

System:Automatic Meter Reading via GSM

Input:Press the button to update database.

Tests:The system send reading to database to store it and reading update properly.

Result: Test Succeeded.


Statistical analysis is the collection of data to manipulate, examine and summarize it, to discover its causes and relationships.

Analytical Results via Statistical Analysis

The operation of Automatic Meter Reading System consists of following phases

Load meter

Send commands to meter

Send meter reading to Customer

Save reading in database

Statistical Analysis and Results

Table 7.1 shows the number of successful messages sent by the Central Server to the customer and reading updated in database by conducting experiment 5 times and number of successful and unsuccessful delivery of messages and reading notification is recorded and the average percentage of response success rate is calculated.

Reading sent to database

Message sent to Customer











The relationship between the reading sent to database and average percentage of messages sent to customer is shown in figure 7.1.

Figure 7.1 shows the relation between sending readings from Central server

To customer and database


The system is summarized in this chapter including the future enhancement and conclusion.

Proposed framework summary

The system is implemented by using the wireless technology that provides more cost effective solution as compared to existing technologies. The system has the advantage that is scalable and easily integrated. Moreover if one cell site is down it automatically detects and connect the user to the other site so more reliable.

The system is implemented to fulfill the requirement of reading related issues of authority and customer too. It is a commercial solution and can be implemented by companies of Pakistan to facilitate the Customers. Automatic Meter Reading System has resolved the problems faced by companies regarding meter reading issues by proposing cost effective solution.


SMS is a GSM technology that is successful all over the world and is a major source of revenue generator. The technology of AMR saves utility providers the time of several trips to each location to read a meter. The proposed system provides ease to authorities by continuously monitoring and detecting reading situations.

The proposed system consists of an approach to electronically collect MR by using sending command to the meter after sometime (After 24 hours), AM reply SMS to the server which consists on the current meter reading. Central server sends current reading to customer as a prof, by SMS.

This system is utilized by using cost effective technology which provide the utility providers an efficient way of controlling the system remotely independent of geographical locations.

Future Work

Basic level of meter reading issues has been resolved in the proposed system but providing more efficient techniques can extend system further. The present project includes the limited scope and this can be further extended such that Central server can hold the meter and send commands to meter as well for example if the customer didn't pay the bill in certain time limit central could send command to meter to cut off supply of gas, electricity etc. Moreover if any uncertain situation occurs then meter could send central server alert messages about any unusual situation. The GSM technology used allows limited number of messages i.e. 10 to 15 at one instant of time. For further developments it's possible to create a system by using advanced technologies like SMS Gateways enhancing more security and reliability.