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AMI: Advanced Metering Infrastructure
High Voltage
Metering interface units are cellular gateways that are key components in high voltage AMI infrastructures. The units serve as the main gateway for smart meters used by large-scale industrial/commercial users, including factories, schools, and all types of commercial buildings. The cellular gateway must support both the public cellular network as well as private cellular communication technologies.
Low Voltage
An essential component of an AMI low voltage architecture is the data concentrator unit (DCU), which serves as the main access point for all smart meters connected within a neighborhood’s network (NAN, for Neighborhood Area Network). DCUs must be powerful, reliable intermediaries that acquire and consolidate data from local smart meters and then perform basic analysis before forwarding the results to the grid control center. DCUs must be able to withstand severe environmental conditions, since they will be installed at field sites susceptible to EMI and other environmental challenges like extreme temperatures, dust, and humidity. In addition, DCUs must be able to communicate over serial, Ethernet, and power line communications (PLC) interfaces while also supporting ZigBee and Wi-Fi (for DCU-to-meter NANs) and 3G cellular (for DCU-to-control-center WANs).
  High Voltage Low Voltage
User Industrial / Commercial Residential
Gateway Metering Interface Units Data Concentrator Units
Deployment Factories, Schools, Commercial Buildings Residences
Communication Technology Public Cellular, Private Cellular Mesh-RF, NPLC, BPLC, Zigbee
Four Types of AMI Infrastructure