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Performance analysis of a smart meter node for congestion avoidance and LoS coverage

Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, National Institute of Technology Karnataka(NITK)-Surathkal Mangalore-575025

Topical Section: Smart Grids and Networks

Smart meters are intelligent next-generation energy meters which are used for measuring energy consumption and transmitting information over a network. In a real-time environment, a smart meter network faces congestion and coverage issues. To connect to the network, a network interface card (NIC) is installed for each smart meter. NICs are hardware components that link a host to a network and acts as both the physical and data link layer. Generally, a single node is connected to a NIC. We found that the use of multiple NICs in a node shows significant improvement over the use of a single NIC to overcome network congestion in a real-time environment. The line of sight (LoS) between the transmitter and the receiver is a coverage issue in a smart meter network, which leads to an increase in the packet loss ratio (PLR). In this work, we address network congestion and the coverage issue through multi-channel capability and maximum LoS with single-and multi-hop nodes respectively. The proposed multi-channel network shows two times improvement in the throughput over the regular system; with additional hardware and approximately 1.5 times lower PLR for Node. The experimental results suggest that for a single-hop node, approximately 30 m is the average distance over which LoS communication is possible, and for multi-hop nodes, the distance is 24 m.
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