Electronic Energy Meters Giving False Usage Readings, Say Dutch Researchers

According to a new study, some electronic energy meters can give false readings up to 582 percent higher than actual energy consumption. This news comes from the University of Twente in collaboration with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The study further indicates that at least 750,000 potentially inaccurate meters have been installed throughout households in the Netherlands.

Electronic meters, known as static energy meters, have been increasingly replacing traditional energy meters throughout the Netherlands. The Dutch government hopes to replace all traditional meters with smart meters by the year 2020.

Unfortunately, these new meters are apparently wildly inaccurate. By studying meters produced between 2010 and 2014, researchers were able to determine that electronic meters can and often do give false readings. Researchers attribute the meter inaccuracies to a combination of design-related issues and the increased use of energy-efficient switching devices such as dimmers and energy-saving light bulbs, which produce an erratic waveform that the meter cannot read accurately.

Interestingly, the Dutch researchers determined that the meters associated with excessively high readings contained a “Rogowski Coil,” while those with excessively low readings incorporated a “Hall Sensor.” The researchers were also quick to point out that all of the meters tested were certified as required and met all other applicable legal requirements.

The study about false readings from electronic energy meters was originally published in the IEEE’s Electromagnetic Compatibility Magazine. A summary of the study’s findings is available at the Science Daily website.

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