Electricity meter, types and characteristics!


There are many types of electricity meters, where the basic principle of operation of the vast majority of energy meters is the same. However, old meters, such as disc meters, are the exception. As an example, we use a simpler meter to understand its basic operation, because all other models of electricity meters are more updated models than this one. The World of Electrical explains in this article what is an electricity meter, how it works and what are its applications, in addition to explaining what is kWh. Come on, guys!

Electricity meter: What is it?
Popularly known as a light clock, the electricity meter has the function of measuring the electrical energy consumption of a load. Energy meters measure electricity consumption monthly in kWh. If you don’t know what kWh is cool, we’ll explain in this article what it means!

Types of energy meters, what are they?
Electricity meters, how does it work?

There are basically two types of electricity meters, the electronic meter, and the electromechanical meter. It can vary between single-phase, two-phase and three-phase meters, presenting other diverse characteristics. In case you don’t know, the most used electricity meter in Brazil is the 3-wire biphasic meter.

What is kWh?
KWh means kilowatt-hours, which is the measure of electrical energy consumed by a load during a given period. It is important to note that kW and kWh are different, as kW is a measure of electrical power, while kWh is a measure of electrical energy. So we can understand that 1 Watt-hour represents the amount of electrical energy needed to power a 1 Watt load for one hour.

To make it easier to understand this difference, we will use for example a load that consumes a power of 1200 W, this being the power consumed for a period of 1 hour. Therefore, if this load remains on for 6 hours, its consumption will be 7,200Wh. To find this value, just multiply the electrical power of the charge by the number of hours it stays on. After finding the power value in Wh, to obtain its value in kWh, simply divide the result by 1,000, since 1 kWh is equivalent to 1,000 Wh. Performing the division we can see that the consumption of this load is 7.2 kWh, as shown in the image below.

Electricity meters, features, and applications!
How to calculate electricity consumption?

Electromechanical energy meter
Let’s start with the oldest type of meter, which is the electromechanical meter. This meter has a metal disk that always rotates when an electric current passes through its coils so that this current ends up generating a magnetic field, that is, the electromechanical meter works through electromagnetic induction. The generated magnetic field causes the disk in the meter to rotate only when there is electricity consumption so that the gears and hands of the meter move. We point out that although the electromechanical energy meter is older, it is still efficient, which is why it is still widely used in several countries around the world!

Electricity meters, features, and applications!
The electromechanical energy meter, features, and applications!

It is important to highlight that the speed of rotation of the disc is directly proportional to the intensity of the magnetic field, that is, the greater the intensity of the magnetic field, the faster the speed with which the disc will rotate and, consequently, indicating greater consumption of electricity.

Electronic Electricity Meter
As its name suggests, the electronic meter works electronically, that is, its measurement is done digitally, using much more modern technology. In addition, there are several models of electronic energy meters.

Electricity meters, how does it work?
Electronic electricity meter.

There are simpler electronic meters, which measure consumption and present this value on a display. It also has much more complete models, which send information about energy consumption directly to the concessionaire, in addition to presenting other parameters and functions of interest to the concessionaire or the client itself.

Electricity meters are devices that need to be accurate and reliable, but some people still doubt their measurements, so we leave below a video of the Mundo da Elétrica channel that shows the performance of several tests on the electricity meter, it is worth checking out!