New report warns of ‘Smart’ Meter failures due to temperature & weather extremes

A sobering report for Stop Smart Meters! (UK) by independent scientist and researcher, Dr. Issac Jamieson, has brought to light some extremely troubling facts associated with international ‘Smart” Meter design specifications which could spell catastrophe for thousands of households and even lead to loss of life.

In the report, entitled Smart Meters and Weather Extremes – Set to Fail? What happens when weather is colder than smart meters can operate?, Dr. Jamieson:

– Assesses current ‘Smart’ Meter temperature design ratings for the UK and North America, including Canada.

– Compares these ratings to incidences of extreme temperatures in each country.

– Identifies that, in the event that these temperatures are repeated, approached or exceeded, ‘Smart’ Meters could fail and in the process cut-off power or water – at a time when these services are needed most.

Alarmingly, Dr. Jamieson has discovered that, in the UK and possibly elsewhere, ‘Smart’ Meters are designed to “fail-to-off” – that is, if and when they fall victim to temperature or weather extremes, they disable energy and utility supplies.  This points to the shocking realisation that households – potentially in their tens of thousands or more – could be left without heating during cold snaps or without water during heat waves.

The report further details how, in the UK, the Smart Metering Design Group has stipulated minimum operating temperature ratings of -10 °C.  As shown by the Met Office, however, temperatures in the UK as recently as November + December 2010 have fallen well below that lower level, and in some instances went below -20 °C.   The lowest temperatures recorded have so far reached -27.2 °C.  As noted by Dr. Jamieson, recent research by Green & Monger (2012) has indicated that the chances of more severe winters is increasing.

In Canada, the report shows that ‘Smart’ Meters there are designed to only work in temperatures down to -40ºC [-40ºF].  Temperatures in Canada, however, have fallen as low as -63 ºC… a full -23 ºC below the rated minimum.  Dr. Jamieson notes that all of the Canadian Provinces and Territories, temperatures have fallen below the rated minimums.

In the United States, 23 States have had recorded temperatures well below the minimum temperature that ‘Smart’ Meters are designed to operate to.   The lowest ever US daily temperature of -62ºC [-79.6°F] was recorded in Alaska… -22ºC degrees below many ‘Smart’ Meter ratings.

We would like to take this opportunity to give our sincere thanks to Dr. Jamieson for his efforts in bringing attention to key areas of concern regarding the global “Smart” Grid programme.  You can download and read the report here: Smart Meters and Weather Extremes – Set to Fail? What happens when weather is colder than smart meters can operate?