What is the electric meter used for - History and operation

The electric meter is a device used to measure the electrical energy consumption of a home, a company, a school, a commercial premises ... Consumption is indicated according to the power of the electrical devices used as well as the period intended for their use.

History of the electric meter

It was towards the end of the 19th century that the first electricity meter appeared, when the distribution of electricity was developed. He was of type electromagnetic. Over time, it evolved and became electric. The display becomes mechanical then Digital.

Then the counter electronic is required. It offers a lot more information as well as a more interesting interface. The consumer has the possibility to choose his type of subscription and his mode of consumption.

Currently, we find what we call smart meter.

The operation of the electric meter

The recovery of consumption is indicated in kWh on the electric meter. But, for a need for electricity at high power, it is possible to request a device with a consumption measured in kVA (Kilovoltamperes), which is not necessary for an individual. The latter, in fact, has a meter whose power is less than 36 kVA. This generally corresponds to the need for consumption as well as to the supply of electricity.

Electric meter models

We distinguish three types of electricity meters:

The electromechanical counter

It is the oldest model, but certainly the most used to date. Many French homes are equipped with an electromechanical meter. We recognize it by its blue case. The consumption measurement is carried out on the principle of magnetism. A rotating disc engages a wheel system with numbers to indicate the value of the energy used. The speed of this disk is equivalent to the power consumption. We have one or two dials, depending on the rate chosen by the user.

The electric meter

The electric meter does not have a disk system. It has a digital screen to display the information. Two buttons are here :

  • S : to scroll through the information (tariff option, power chosen);
  • D : to display the counter index.

The models of electric meters are diversified. We can find good references on many platforms like RS Components.

The communicating meter

This new generation device provides the user with as much information as possible. It is designed in particular Forpromote overall energy efficiency throughout the country but also throughout the European continent through the use of smart grids. User consumption is transmitted directly to the supplier; the device can also self-configure remotely.