Various companies are availing of an advantageous aid known as a smart utility system for the electric, water and gas sector. The Internet of Things (IoT) concept of connected devices is widely used by smart utilities, and they leverage the newest digital technologies in communications, software, computing, and mapping to optimize their operations. A utility billing system allows service providers to keep track of how much water, gas, electricity, wastewater, and sanitation are used. Various systems offer functions such as meter management, invoice managerial staff, and cash management to manage the complete billing process.
Smart utility systems will increase the long-term utility and value of present production methods, integrate more renewable energy, lower carbon emissions, and improve power quality in response to new digital needs. Smart grids can also enlist the help of other distributed energy resources to help balance the needs of a system. This feature improves operational flexibility, strengthens transmission and distribution networks, and lowers the danger of grid failure.
Smart technology’s real-time data can help improve operational efficiency, inform smarter business decisions, and enable remote monitoring of inaccessible metres and sensors. Smart grid improvements will allow for more responsive system overload changes, including alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Some of the benefits achieving from smart utility systems:-
- Smart grid control allows for the development of new and innovative business models.
- Smart metering boosts buyer-seller connections by improving efficiency while lowering total costs.
- Smart utility systems allow utilities to access real-time data, allowing them to make the most of their assets in any situation.
- Smart grid solutions have demonstrated lower failure-related maintenance and power outage costs, as well as longer asset service life.
- The grid’s communications and control technologies allow faults to be isolated and part of service to be accelerated.
- Device-independent solutions, such as smart metering reduce the requirement for technician support, which speeds up payback.
- Theft or supply leakage can be detected early enough to enhance distribution and avoid power outages.
- Smart utility systems can lessen the impact of power-quality events by reducing voltage swells and sags and substituting cleaner backup supplies for disrupted power sources.
- CO2, Sox, NOx, and PM-2.5 emissions are reduced. As a result, the smart grid helps to keep the environment green.
- It cuts down on oil consumption and blackouts on a large scale. As a result, smart grids offer people security by ensuring that they have access to power at all times.
Drawbacks or disadvantages of smart utility system:-
- A reliable communication network should be available at all times.
- Network congestion and performance are major issues in a smart grid system during an emergency.
- In unusual circumstances such as a storm, severe rain, or lightning, cellular network providers do not guarantee service.
- Some smart meters can be hacked and used to increase or decrease electricity use.
- When compared to standard old electricity meters, establishing a phone line is more costly.
Smart technologies and control systems that have recently been developed provide information that helps businesses and utilities operate more efficiently. Disruptive difficulties are on the horizon, with the amount of disruptive and renewable energy increasing, necessitating developing a smart and intelligent grid. Utility billing software is also very beneficial for the billing or payment process. This system is made for an easy and efficient work process. However, as utilities instal new control systems and information management, system integration and interoperability issues will persist.