The theory of metering is highly technical. To understand their jobs, meter personnel must have a working knowledge of instruments and meters, elementary electricity, elementary mathematics, and certain practical aspects of electric services.

A good understanding of electronics and personal computers (PCs) has become a requirement for work on electronic metering equipment, such as programmable electronic meters and interval data recorders. Today’s meter technician should be competent in the following subjects:

• Math: fractions and decimals necessary to calculate meter constants, register ratios and pulse values.

• Electrical circuits: AC and DC circuits with particular reference to Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff’s Law.

• Inductance, capacitance, power factor, and vector analysis.

• Electronic components and circuits.

• PCs, in particular, for communicating with and programming electronic meters.

• The current-carrying capacity of wire, the relationship between electricity and heat, and the causes and effects of voltage drops.

• The principles of indicating instruments.

• The principles of operation for both electromechanical and electronic watthour meters, and a good understanding of how to test and calibrate those meters.

• Single and polyphase circuits and how to meter them correctly.

• Blondel’s Theorem and it’s application.

• Principles of power, current, and voltage transformers and how to interconnect them.

• The correct methods of bonding, grounding, and shielding for both safety and the protection of electronic equipment.

• The application of fuses or circuit breakers.

• Basic telecommunication principles and practices.

Various books on metering which can be studied to attain technical knowledge are generally made available within the company. There are also many excellent instructional books and pamphlets issued by the manufacturers.

Besides the technical subjects mentioned before, effective meter personnel must be familiar with company policies, procedures, standards, and work practices that relate to metering. They should attain such additional knowledge of electrical engineering, self improvement, and the utility business in general, as
opportunities provide.

Above all, they must be willing to study and to learn.

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