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`Electronic meter has inherent defects'

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, AUG. 15. The electronic meters installed by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) in certain parts of the State have inherent defects which results in the meters working for some time even all the electronic equipments are switched off.

In a reply to an affidavit filed by the KSEB in response to a writ petition pending before the High Court, M.K. Prasad, environment activist, has pointed out that the `stepper motors' used in electronic meters have inherent defects. `Precise torque control' is difficult with steppers. Because of the open-loop nature of stepper motor controlling, they are not very good in varying load conditions.

Steppers not recommended

It is possible for `a stepper motor to lose steps' if it is loaded too much. Steppers are not recommended for high-speed or high-power applications or for applications requiring precise torque control. Therefore, the electronic meter, which works with stepper motors, will work even if the switches of the equipment are in off position for some period, he has said.

Test report

Highlighting another defect of the meter, he has said that the test report of the KSEB indicates that the meters supplied contain IC Chip AD 7751 supplied by Analog Devices. In fact, the AD 7751 is an obsolete product. The company last supplied the equipment in May 2002 and warranties of the chips have not been extended. Therefore, the electronic energy meters installed with AD 7751 are `obsolete and not correct meter' as contemplated by the law, according to him.

Study sought

The affidavit has also said that the meters would work only under normal atmospheric conditions. For example, if there is heat or severe cold or dust, the electronic meter would not work properly. The presence of magnetic items and radiation near electronic equipment might interrupt its working.

The petitioner has, therefore, sought appointment of an expert body to study the functioning of the electronic meters.

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