The first World Meter Design Congress has successfully taken place in the heart of Silicon Valley, San José, with approximately 120 delegates from 27 countries gathering to discuss meter technologies and future requirements during the 3-day conference.

The event was sponsored by Gruner, Telit, Trilliant and Zhongfu.

The first day offered an in-depth look at meter packaging, styling and the MMI during the morning workshop. Of particular interest was how utilities should address consumer needs more strongly and how they should communicate the need to use energy smartly, for example by creating a user-friendly design for the meter interface. The power of industrial design as well as the social aspects of system design was analyzed by both an international design consultancy and a consulting firm.

During the afternoon workshop, the various communication architectures and standards, such as ANSI, were discussed in detail.

The main conference day was officially opened by Bill Brier, vice president Policy and Public Affairs at the Edison Electric Institute, DC, USA. He gave an overview of industry trends, addressing energy efficiency and how AMI can support it.

The subsequent panel discussion on the “Globalization of metering” focused on the global need for interoperability and smart meter deployment costs and requirements, as well as current controversies in the industry, such as the pressure to develop new (communication) technologies in ever shorter time periods. The panelists agreed that there is an imminent need to develop standards that can be implemented internationally and to keep the practical view in mind.

Other topics in the Congress included meter communications and advanced functionality, meter design and manufacturing, and meter components, including an overview of the component industry worldwide.

Feedback from the delegates and exhibitors was positive and the 2nd World Meter Design Congress 2009 will take place in February 2009, most likely in Las Vegas. See you there!