Smart Building and Automation Solutions

Creating building automation-ready smart meters, fire alarms, security cameras and more. Energy Metering

Modern smart meters are now extremely sophisticated pieces of equipment at the forefront of the drive to address climate change by helping users to reduce and optimise their energy usage. Traditional meters which just measure the amount of energy used are being superseded by units which can share meter readings and usage data with power utility companies via the IoT using a wireless communication interface connected with the mobile phone network. The design of these smart meters incorporates several elements besides the actual metrology unit such as a wireless interface, anti-tampering components, and an auxiliary load output for extensions into individual units within a building.

Figure 1. Typical Smart Meter Block Diagram

David Pearson, Technical Director at Anglia A

nalysts are predicting that the market for building automation systems will double in the 5 year period up to 2023 as building designers seek to improve the safety, reliability, convenience, comfort, and energy efficiency of domestic and commercial buildings. This has significant implications for the design of systems that have been present in buildings for some time which now need to be connected and smart. Examples include energy meters, fire and smoke alarms and security cameras. How can designers of these products bring their solutions up to date to meet next generation standards and application demands?

In this month’s issue David Pearson, Technical Director at Anglia looks at how some product solutions from Littelfuse can help developers achieve class leading performance whilst meeting design challenges and budget constraints. Littelfuse have a long history of developing high performance and reliable solutions for the Smart Building sector, they continue to innovate with a broad and diverse offering of protection devices, for which they are best known, along with products for control and sensing applications.

8 July/August 2021 Components in Electronics

Littelfuse has a wide range of components which can be used across the core blocks of a typical smart meter design shown in Figure 1. In the metering unit (1) they can offer Metal Oxide Varistors (MOV) and TVS Diodes to protect the power unit from lightning and voltage transients. An example includes the popular UltraMOV series of radial leaded varistors which are designed for applications requiring high peak surge current ratings and high energy absorption capability offering the design robust protection. In addition, Littelfuse has a range of Thermally Protected Varistors, the TMOV series, which take protection to the next level by integrating a thermally activated element with the MOV which is designed to open in the event of overheating due to the abnormal overvoltage, limited current, conditions outlined in the UL 1449 standard.

For overcurrent protection Littelfuse have a comprehensive range of cartridge fuses and resettable PPTC fuses suitable for this circuit block along with NTC thermistors which can be used to limit high inrush currents and Si and SiC MOSFET for high frequency load switching. For the wireless communication interface (2), TVS diode arrays are a high performance

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